Some sources state that Sufism is the inner dimensions of the teachings of Muhammad whereas others say that Sufism emerged during the Islamic Golden Age from about the 8th to 10th centuries. Chopra, R. M., "SUFISM" (Origin, Growth, Eclipse, Resurgence), 2016, Anuradha Prakashan, New Delhi. Early fuqaha in Spain were somewhat skeptical of philosophical thought as well as of Sufism. The germ of Sufism is said to have existed from the beginning of the human creation, for wisdom is the heritage of all; therefore no one person can be said to be its propounder. Yet according to Ali el-Hujwiri, an early authoritative Sufi writer, the Prophet Mohammed himself said: "He who hears the voice of the Sufi people and does not say aamin [Amen] is recorded in God's presence as one of the heedless." [21] Ibn Barrajan and Ibn al-‘Arif were both tried for heresy because their views conflicted with those of the Almoravids in power; however, Ibn Barrajan appears to have been more active in using Sufism as a means of challenging Quranic scholars and jurists. For instance, a Christian would claim that Saint Paul was a Christian and a Muslim that Shams Tabriz was a Muslim. They number some fifty million. Hujwiri, in the eleventh century, presented several views of the origin of the term, “Sufi”. Learn more. They have no sacred city, no monastic organization, no religious instruments. We believe that such a period is at hand. Abu l-‘Abbas ibn al-‘Arif (1088-1141) was one of the most prominent Sufis in Spain and one of the earliest ones during Sufism's peak in the peninsula. In many places, a lodge (known variously as a zaouia, khanqah, or tekke) would be endowed through a pious foundation in perpetuity (waqf) to provide a gathering place for Sufi adepts, as well as lodging for itinerant seekers of knowledge. Origin of Sufism The origin of Sufism is difficult to trace, a riddle unsolved. People of the same thought and point of view are drawn to each other with a tendency to form an exclusive circle. It has been revealed more clearly and spread more widely from time to time as the world has evolved. Sufism: Name and Origin by Paul Yachnes Sufism has been described in many different ways by scholars writing in English, throughout this century, but they all agree on its essential character as being the inner, esoteric, mystical, or purely spiritual dimension of the religion of Islam. The characteristic Sufi signature is found in widely dispersed literature from at least the second millennium B.C., and although their most obvious impact on civilization was made between the eighth and eighteenth centuries A.D., Sufis are still active as ever. [11] He lived from 883 to 931 and was born outside of Cordoba. My place is placeless, a traceof the traceless. Centuries later, with the support of Mughal rulers, his shrine became a place of pilgrimage. "We friends" or "people like us" is how they refer to themselves, and they recognize one another by certain natural gifts, habits, qualities of thought. [30], Sufism was an important factor in the historical spread of Islam, and in the creation of regional Islamic cultures, especially in Africa[31] and Asia. But the point of view of the wise differs from that of the simple followers of a religion. Two of the most notable are Kashf al-Mahjûb (Revelation of the Veiled) of Hujwiri, and Al-Risala al-Qushayriyya (The Message) of Al-Qushayri. [8] Scholars have generally seen this later flourishing in two different ways. History of Sufism. There have been hundreds of theories regarding the origin of Sufism, however none has been clearly distinguished for having referred to a specific date regarding the origin of Sufism, or a specific person to be credited with the first use of the word Sufi. [23] His works in Andalusia focused mainly on the perfect human individual, monastic metaphysics, and mystical path to spiritual and intellectual perfection. [45][46] Hosein Nasr states that non-Islamic origin theories are false according to the point of view of Sufism. Almost all existing Sufi orders today trace their roots and chain of transmission ( silsila ) back to Muhammad, via one of these orders. The word Sufi comes from a Persian word meaning wisdom. In tracing the history of Sufism, the earliest instances of Sufism can be found even before the time of the Prophet Muhammad.However it was only after the arrival of the prophet that the practice came to be known by the name of Sufism. A minority is apt to fence itself off from the crowd. Thus the Islamic spiritual life based on asceticism, regular worship, abstention from all major and minor sins, sincerity and purity of intention, love and yearning, and the individual's admission of his or her essential impotence and destitution became the subject matter of Sufism, a new science possessing its own method, principles, rules, and terms. For the pre-modern era, see Vincent J. Cornell. The following article is taken from the journal Sufism: An Inquiry.. A majority of scholars believe that the word “Tasawouf” derives from the word “suf”, which means wool. [4] The Sufi shine at Ajmer in Rajasthan and Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi, Ashraf Jahangir Semnani in Kichaucha Shariff belong to this order. Mbacke suggests that one reason Sufism has taken hold in Senegal is because it can accommodate local beliefs and customs, which tend toward the mystical.[37]. Sufi schools have indeed gathered around particular teachers, but there is no graduation and they exist only for the convenience of those who work to perfect their studies by close association with fellow Sufis. In some Sufi orders, practices such as chanting or spinning in circles help Sufi practitioners achieve a natural trance state in order to experience oneness with God. [28], Although Sufism would no longer directly be a part of Andalusi life after the Catholic Monarchs expelled Muslims from Spain, in the Spanish Christian mystics of the sixteenth century, such as San Juan de la Cruz and Teresa of Avila, many have seen Sufism's lasting influence in Spain. Origin of Sufism goes a rather long way back in history and is often said to be as old as humanity itself. Some European scholars find the origin of this philosophy in the teaching Of Islam, others connect it with Buddhism. But the greater number consider that it arose contemporary to the teaching of Zoroaster. All Sufi orders claim a direct chain of leadership to Muhammad, through Ali, with the exception of the Naqshbandis who claim a direct connection to Muhammad through Abu Bakr. [5] In addition, the Suhrawardiyyah order, under the leadership of Abu Hafs Umar al-Suhrawardi (d. 1234), also bequeathed a number of teachings and institutions that were influential in shaping other order that emerged during later periods. Sufism already had a long history when some teachers began to set up formal schools or orders (Tarika or Tariqah) in the early Middle Ages. In order to understand Sufism and its origin we must briefly touch on the elements of studies that have been undertaken in the hope of understanding Sufism, and so examine the accuracy of the conclusions that scholars have drawn. The Sufis are an ancient spiritual freemasonry whose origins have never been traced or dated; nor do they themselves take much interest in such researches, being content to point out the occurrence of their own way of thought in different regions and periods. They recognized God's every messenger and united with them all. (A History of Sufism in India, Vol. To be "in the world, but not of it," free from ambition, greed, intellectual pride, blind obedience to custom, or awe of persons higher in rank—that is the Sufi's ideal. "[47], This article is about Sufism. However Islamic scholars predating the Islamic Golden Age were referred to as Sufis, like Hasan of Basra. "The conquest of India by Babur in 1526 gave considerable impetus to the Naqshbandiyya order" [6]. However Islamic scholars predating the Islamic Golden Age were referred to as Sufis, like Hasan of Basra. [14] The effects of his thought and that of his disciples would appear again in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries amidst later Sufis such as Ibn Arabi. Sofi or Sufi. Sufism arose from within Islam in the … It came to India before the establishment of the Sultanate of Delhi but after the foundation of the Turkish rule, a large Group of Sufis form different Islamic countries migrated to India and established them-selves in many parts of Hindustan. Sufism, mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek the truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. Origins: In its early stages of development Sufism effectively referred to nothing more than the internalization of Islam. At the forefront of the philosophical movement in Spain were Ibn Bajjah, Ibn Tufail, Ibn Rushd, and a Jewish scholar named Ibn Maimun. 1 The Origin and Evolution of Sufism By Dr. Farida Khanam Sufism (tasawwuf) is the name given to mysticism in Islam. The Origin of the Word Tasawouf. [38] Notable as well are the lives of Amadou Bamba and Hajj Umar Tall in sub-Saharan Africa, and Sheikh Mansur Ushurma and Imam Shamil in the Caucasus region. It was only a few centuries later that they came to be known as Sufis. The individual is offered a "secret garden" for the growth of his understanding, but never required to become a monk, nun or hermit, like the more conventional mystics; and he thereafter claims to be enlightened by actual experience—"he who tastes, knows"—not by philosophic argument. Sufism is an inner mystical dimension of Islam practiced by different turuq which is a congregation formed around mawla who trace their teachings to Prophet Muhammad. [27] His work helped Sufism become more accepted within the Islamic sciences. At the time of the Prophet and his companions, the term Sufism (Tasawwuf) did not exist as a distinct discipline.Rather it was inseparably present in the spirituality of Islam. In reality Christ was not a Christian nor was Mohammed a Muslim, they were Sufis. Fresh Rain: An Introduction to the Sufi Way. Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, a disciple of Khwaja Usman Harooni, the propounder of this order, introduced it in India. [10], One figure in particular has often been credited as being the earliest introduction of Sufism to Spain: Ibn Masarra. In wisdom is rooted religion, which connotes law and inspiration. Numerous other traditions link him with the Sufis, and it was in Sufi style that he ordered his followers to respect all People of the Book, meaning those who respected their own sacred scriptures—a term later taken to include Zoroastrians. As he noted: "Every age of the world has seen awakened souls, and as it is impossible to limit wisdom to any one period or place, so it is impossible to date the origin of Sufism.". Not only have there been illuminated souls at all times, but there have been times when a wave of illumination has passed over humanity as a whole. Sufism existed as an individual inner practice of Muslims since early Islamic history. No important domain in the civilization of Islam remained unaffected by Sufism in this period. [9] Others give exclusive credit to the influence of eastern mystics, most often including al-Ghazali's thoughts and teachings. This is because of the Sufi habit of wearing woolen coats, a designation of their initiation into the Sufi order. Its origin is given as an answer in the search for the human spirit. [2], Towards the end of the first millennium CE, a number of manuals began to be written summarizing the doctrines of Sufism and describing some typical Sufi practices. History and theology History and theology. Sufis respect the rituals of religion insofar as these further social harmony, but broaden religion's doctrinal basis wherever possible and define its myths in a higher sense—for instance, explaining angels as representations of man's higher faculties. Though awareness of this secret quality or instinct can be sharpened by close contact with Sufis of experience, there are no hierarchical degrees among them, only a general undisputed recognition of greater or lesser capacity. II, Rizvi, Page 259). See Introduction in "Great Sufi Poets of The Punjab" by R. M. Chopra, 1999, Iran Society, Calcutta. [17] Also at this time, eastern Sufism was developing more as a communal movement, whereas that of the West (including in al-Andalus), it remained largely an individual pursuit. While the Indian Subcontinent branches of the order did not survive into modern times, the order later spread into the Ottoman Empire and became influential there after it came under persecution by the rise of the Safavid Shahs during the sixteenth century.[33]. Introduction “Sufism” is the English term used to refer to mystical interpretations and practices of the Islamic religion. Sufi definition: 1. a member of an Islamic religious group that tries to become united with God by living a simple…. Seyyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha. Others do not reject as incredible the Semitic tradition that Sufism's foundation is to be attributed to the teachings of Abraham. The mystics have, therefore, usually imparted their ideas to a chosen few only, to those whom they could trust, who were ready for initiation and discipleship. Some sources state that Sufism is the inner dimensions of the teachings of Muhammad whereas others say that Sufism emerged during the Islamic Golden Age from about the 8th to 10th centuries. The one exception to that trend was Ibn Abbad al-Rundi (1332-1390), a member of the Shadhiliyya order who was born in Ronda and whose scholarship brought together mystical and juridical paths. The chosen ones of God, the salt of the earth, who responded without hesitation to the call of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed, were Sufis, and were not only simple followers of a religion but had insight into divine knowledge. [18], A group of Sufi masters who defended the works of theosophists such as Ghazali and al-Qushayri began emerging in the late eleventh and early- to mid-twelfth centuries. [15], By the twelfth century, shifts towards the acceptance—or at least tolerance—of philosophy and Sufism into what had previously been strictly orthodox beliefs were occurring. The wise, whatever their faith, have always been able to meet each other beyond those boundaries of external forms and conventions, which are natural and necessary to human life, but which none the less separate humanity. The following article is taken from the journal Sufism: An Inquiry.. From the original root many derivations can be traced; among them the Greek word Sophia is one of the most interesting. The chosen ones of God, the salt of the earth, who responded wi… It may derive from the word for 'wool' and the woollen garments worn by early Sufis. The European historian sometimes traces the history of Sufism by noticing the actual occurrence of this word and by referring only to those schools which have definitely wished to be known by this name. [3] According to the late medieval mystic Jami, Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (died c. 716) was the first person to be called a "Sufi".[4]. Sufi Practice . 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