SUFISM IN MIANWALI

 

SUFISM IS, ACCORDING TO ITS ADHERENTS, THE INNER, MYSTICAL DIMENSION OF ISLAM. A PRACTITIONER OF THIS TRADITION IS GENERALLY KNOWN AS A SUFI, THOUGH SOME ADHERENTS OF THE TRADITION RESERVE THIS TERM ONLY FOR THOSE PRACTITIONERS WHO HAVE ATTAINED THE GOALS OF THE SUFI TRADITION. ANOTHER NAME USED FOR THE SUFI SEEKER IS DERVISH.

CLASSICAL SUFI SCHOLARS HAVE DEFINED SUFISM AS “A SCIENCE WHOSE OBJECTIVE IS THE REPARATION OF THE HEART AND TURNING IT AWAY FROM ALL ELSE BUT GOD.” ALTERNATIVELY, IN THE WORDS OF THE RENOWNED DARQAWI SUFI TEACHER AHMAD IBN AJIBA, “A SCIENCE THROUGH WHICH ONE CAN KNOW HOW TO TRAVEL INTO THE PRESENCE OF THE DIVINE, PURIFY ONE’S INNER SELF FROM FILTH, AND BEAUTIFY IT WITH A VARIETY OF PRAISEWORTHY TRAITS.”

DURING THE PRIMARY STAGES OF SUFISM, SUFIS WERE CHARACTERISED BY THEIR PARTICULAR ATTACHMENT TO DHIKR (A PRACTICE OF REPEATING THE NAMES OF GOD) AND ASCETICISM. SUFISM AROSE AMONG A NUMBER OF MUSLIMS AS A REACTION AGAINST THE WORLDLINESS OF THE EARLY UMAYYAD CALIPHATE (661-750 CE. THE SUFI MOVEMENT HAS SPANNED SEVERAL CONTINENTS AND CULTURES OVER A MILLENNIUM, AT FIRST EXPRESSED THROUGH ARABIC, THEN THROUGH PERSIAN, TURKISH AND A DOZEN OTHER LANGUAGES. “ORDERS” , WHICH ARE EITHER SUNN? OR SH?‘? IN DOCTRINE, MOSTLY TRACE THEIR ORIGINS FROM THE ISLAMIC PROPHET MUHAMMAD THROUGH HIS COUSIN ‘AL?, WITH THE NOTABLE EXCEPTION OF THE NAQSHBANDI WHO TRACE THEIR ORIGINS THROUGH THE FIRST CALIPH, ABU BAKR. OTHER EXCLUSIVE SCHOOLS OF SUFISM DISTINCTLY DESCRIBE THEMSELVES AS ‘SUFI’.

ACCORDING TO IDRIES SHAH, THE SUFI PHILOSOPHY IS UNIVERSAL IN NATURE, ITS ROOTS PREDATING THE ARISING OF ISLAM AND THE OTHER MODERN-DAY RELIGIONS; LIKEWISE, SOME MUSLIMS CONSIDER SUFISM OUTSIDE THE SPHERE OF ISLAM. MAINSTREAM SCHOLARS OF ISLAM, HOWEVER, CONTEND THAT IT IS SIMPLY THE NAME FOR THE INNER OR ESOTERIC DIMENSION OF ISLAM.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ZIYARAAH

(VISITING  SUFI SANITS / SHRINES)

THE IMPORTANCE OF VISITING / SPENDING TIME / STAYING WITH THE SAINTS WHILE THEY ARE ALIVE AND ONCE THEY ARE ACCEPTED INTO GOD (FREED FROM THE BODY LIMITATIONS AND INTO THE ABSOLUTE) IS SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE TEACHERS.

• SPIRITUAL TEACHERS EXTEND INWARD TRANSFORMATION TO THOSE SEEK HELP FROM THEM TO BE ABLE TO ADVANCE IN THE SPIRITUAL PATH.

• THEIR TEACHINGS ARE PRIMARILY IN SILENCE. IT IS A HEART-TO-HEART ( CORE OF EXISTENCE – TO – CORE OF EXISTENCE ) COMMUNICATION THAT PHYSICAL SENSES AND THE INTELLECT FAIL TO REGISTER. HENCE DIFFICULT TO COMPREHEND.

• SILENT COMMUNICATIONS ARE REAL TO THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED IT. IT IS MANIFOLD STRONGER, PURER, INTENSE AND IS SURE, WHENEVER ONE VISITS THE PHYSICAL REMAINS OF A SAINT RESTING IN HIS TOMB / THEIR TOMBS ALL OVER THIS PLANET AT THEIR DESIGNATED SPOTS / PLACES.

• SOME EXPERIENCE / SEE LIGHT IN SAINT’S TOMB / TOMBS. IN SAINT’S COMPANY, THOSE SITTING WITH SAINT / SAINTS ARE ENVELOPED IN LIGHT.

• A SAINT’S TOMB ( RESTING PLACE OF SAINTS’ BODY AFTER THEIR SOUL HAS LEFT THE BODY BEHIND ) IS A THRESHOLD TO / BETWEEN CORPOREAL AND GOD. IN DAY-TO-DAY LIFE, WE ARE ABLE TO NOTICE LIGHT COMING OUT THROUGH THE OPENINGS OF A WELL-LIT BUILDING AT NIGHT. THOSE VISITING A SAINT’S TOMB ( THRESHOLD ) THE LIGHT WILL FALL UPON PROVIDED THEY ARE RIGHT AT THE OPENING ( THRESHOLD. )

• SAINT’S TEACHINGS AND BLESSINGS CONTINUE TO BENEFIT THOSE SEEK DURING SAINT’S LIFE IN THIS WORLD AND SAINT’S LIFE HEREAFTER AS THE TEACHINGS ARE EXTENDED TO A SEEKER IN SILENCE / ABSOLUTE SILENCE ( IMPERCEPTIBLE TO THE CORPOREAL. )

• SITTING WITH A SAINT HELPS THE INTERNAL FACULTIES TO HARMONIZE, INTEGRATE, BECOME SILENT AND INWARDLY PEACEFUL TO BEGIN WITH. ONCE THE RUSH, GUSH, WANDERING NATURE IS CALMED, DOUBTS SETTLE AND CONFUSIONS CLEAR THE IMAGE ( QUALITIES BOTH CORPOREAL AND SPIRITUAL ) OF THE SAINT / TRUTH / GOD IS IMPRINTED / REFLECTED INTO THE INWARD REALITY OF THE SEEKER, IN SILENCE. HENCE BECOME.

• A SEEKER TO BEGIN WITH IS LIKE A MIRROR REFLECTING THE IMAGE ( QUALITIES OF THE SAINT / SAINTS ) FOLLOWED BY REFLECTING LIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND AND FINALLY BECOMES THE MEANING / TRUTH I.E. THE STATE OF BEING SELF-LUMINOUS.

SUFISM  IN MIANWALI

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