« "Morsi's rule: A chip off the old Mubarak block?" A-Ahram Online | Main | Anonymous on what ails the US Government »

25 August 2012

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

FB Ali

"What they want is the GWOT".

For the influential sector that does, creating chaos in the Muslim world (which enables the Salafi Jihadis to prosper) is a logical policy. That other, saner elements in the US policy-making structure do not see this is a sign of blindness or/and ignorance.

The Twisted Genius

Aren't the Sufis present in large parts of Pakistan as well? I remember reading about Sufi villagers pushing back against the Taliban when they came out of the mountains and tried to push their Salafist ways into the valley villages.

It's too bad the American public can't make the distinction among the different varieties of Islam. They can't even distinguish between a Sikh and a Moslem. Nor do I see our "political elites" being capable of making those distinctions. I hope there are some in Africom and the IC who can make this distinction and reach the decision makers inside the Beltway.

BTW, whenever I hear of the Sufis, I imagine Danny DeVito's line in "The Jewel of the Nile" when he declares, "Sufis Rule!"

FB Ali

Sufi beliefs and practices were an important element of Islam in South Asia, especially Pakistan. This was a heritage from the Sufi 'saints' and mystics who were the primary cause for the spread of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. Unfortunately, the aggressive Wahhabism imported from Saudi Arabia in the last few decades has forced such Sufi elements in the religion to retreat into the background.

It seems that American 'experts' on the Muslim world are also now becoming aware of what is happening. In a recent op-ed in the NYT Robin Wright says, "But there is something dreadfully wrong with tying America’s future position in the region to the birthplace and bastion of Salafism and its warped vision of a new order". It's a bit late for that warning!

Babak Makkinejad

All:

Sufis are not against Sharia, they predicate their practices and beliefs on Sharia (Law).

What they say, however, is that the Law is not All the Truth of Religion (Islam).

Their major innovation is the recasting of the Christian Trinity: God, Man(Son), Love (the Holy Ghost).

Sufism is alive and well in Turkey, in Iran, and in Pakistan.

But they lack the billions of dollars that Saudis spent on Protestant Mulsims (a.k.a. Wahabis and other assorted neo-Salafis.).

different clue

Is a bit late still better than never? Or is it a bit too late to matter any more? (If the dawning realization causes the US to reverse course on supporting the FSA for example, is it not too late yet for Syria?)

Babak Makkinejad

I think about 1/3 of the Sikh scirptures is Sufi poetry - in Persian.

Guru Nanak Singh was a Muslim.

Babak Makkinejad

It is just a game for them.

Like boys everywhere, they will get tired of their latest toy (car, business, woman, cause) and move on to the next one.

The fault lies squarely with Muslim rulers and leaders; they should know better and act accordingly.

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

Al Halaj was executed because he stated that "I am the Law."

He was wrong to say so, but it was out of Joy of his Mystical experience - I think.

turcopolier

Babak

Yes. I know, and Ghazali saved them by provding a bridge however flimsy to Sharia, some sort of Sharia. Plwasw don't mistake me for Robin Wright. i have shorter hair. pl

turcopolier

Babak

Perhaps it was "I am the law," or perhaps it was "I am the truth." pl

YT

"Neither heretic nor believer, who am I?"

ابو حمید ابن ابوبکر ابراهیم

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farid_ud-Din_Attar

Charles I

A free man of Creation

RetiredPatriot

Sufism is a varied expression of Islam that concentrates on the Batn, the inner spiritual life of Muslims rather than the rule driven Islam of the Salafists who seek everywhere to impose their inhumanly austere Sharia law. They hate the Sufis for their belief in the importance of the love of God.

This is not too different than what is also happening in both Christendom and Judiasm. Fundamentalists and their -ism are on the march in both these belief groups and those that lean towards the "love of God" are shunted to the background, driven from theological influence, and charged with apostasy.

Fundamentalism demands ignorance because it demands complete devotion. And ignorance is what we make best in our modern world full of knowledge. What irony!

RP

YT

Bless you, sir.

FB Ali

What al-Hallaj is actually supposed to have said was, "I am al-Haqq". He was executed for heresy because this term is also used for God.

I believe that what he was really expressing was the truth he saw in his mystical vision that, on earth, God has devolved his responsibilities and (potentially) his powers upon humans. It was the realization of this awful burden that led him to cry out in agony:

"God cast him into the sea,
his arms tied behind him.
And said, ‘Take care, take care,
lest thou be wetted by the water'."

turcopolier

FB Ali

Yes "Ana al-haq" was what he said. I take that to mean that he felt merged with God (truth). That was enough to kill him. salafists are yearning for similar opportunities. pl

Babak Makkinejad

The opposition to sufis and their ideas and practices is endemic to all sects and legal schools of Islam.

Consider what the sufis are saying: that conformance to Law is not certain to lead to Salvation (for the individual).

That poistion implies that the position of very many Doctors of Religious Sciences of Islam who - over the centuries - have elevated the Law (Sharia in this case) to its current supremacy has been a misguided effort in substituting Form for Content.

They (the Doctors of Religion) would not be happy.

Mark Gaughan

PL,
What is the picture at the top of this post?
Mark

Babak Makkinejad

I took it to mean what Jesus is purported to have said "I am the Law, the Truth,..."

But he was not Jesus...

Babak Makkinejad

Yes he was experiencing a Truth but which was not his to express.

A piece of iron is put into fire and is warmed up. Before long, it is white hot and it cries out " I am one with Fire, I am Fire..."

A profound misunderstanding of the experience, won't ypu agree?

Regardless, to most people, in US, Iran, or elsewhere this is all meaningless pratter and fluff.

One has to have nuclear weapons - the Ultimate Materialization of the Death Principle - to give meaning to one's life and the life of others.

Babak Makkinejad

Only in God such a claim can have any substance, and only for the Un-Fallen.

turcopolier

Mark Gaughan

it is the name of Mansur al-Hallaj. pl

RetiredPatriot

In times past - times with less fundamentalist fervor - Sufism was tolerated and in many places flourished. But times have changed - and strident fundamentalism brooks no opposition. This is my main point.

As for ecstatic individual spiritualism, there's no doubt that dogmatic authorities are frightened, infuriated and outraged by those who claim the direct connection to their deities. As you note, such thoughts undercut the very dominion dogmatic authorities demand over the people. So the ecstatics must be suppressed and obliterated lest they erode the prerogatives of said leaders.

Thus it is now as it ever was....

RP

turcopolier

RP

"and in many places flourished." It flourished and continues to flourish nearly everywhere in the Islamic World. We are blinded to this becasue the complexity ofthe thought makes our collective heads hurt. It is so much easier to ignore this major thread in Islam. The dogmatic hate mystics in every religion. Islam is no exception. Sufism is usually a major component of village level religion as it was in Iraq. The jihadis learned this the hard way. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Regrettably, the mystics/sufis had no theory of governance - barring Ayatollah Khomeini.

The other famous one, Al Ghazzali, told his followers not to think lest they loose their faith.

RetiredPatriot

Well then, there is some hope! Now, if we could only find our own christian "sufis" ... then again, I think they exist as well especially at the local levels.

Of course, they're probably known as agnostics and church haters! :)

RP

turcopolier

Babak

I was unaware that Khomeini was a mystic. i thought he was a philosopher. the two things do not seem compatible to me. Ghazali was a Sufi in his early years but then became someting much more like a speculative theologian. He was no friend of the Sufis in his later years but, then, like everyone else he had "been shown the instruments of torture." pl

Babak Makkinejad

He was a student of the philosophical tradition that sought to synthesize mystical and rational knowledge with Islam.

In a ltter to on of his sons he admonished him to never doubt the veracity of mystical experience & knowledge.

He also wrote mystical poetry in the form of ghazal.

Medicine Man

Col.: Do you know of any good books about Sufi Islam?

turcopolier

MM

>y advice would be to read books by Western scholars. If you read books by Sufis about Sufis,. you will be reading sermons. I continue to recomment "The Venture of Islam" by Marshall Hodgson. 3 volumes in paperback. pl

Medicine Man

Thank you, sir. That sounds like what I'm looking for.

Fred

"The dogmatic hate mystics in every religion."

I believe you've expressed a universal truth here.

Alba Etie

Our USA Constitution also stipulates we have freedom from religion . I am a live & let live Christian who wishes to practice Jesus 's teachings the other six days per week besides Sunday. But here at the intersection of our politics and religion if I am forced to choose between the American Taleban Tea Party sponsored by their corporate greedmasters ie the Koch Brothers and the 'heretics' then sign me up with the agnostics. IMO the Salafist/wahabees and the Christian Dominionist are the two sides of the same religious fascist world view -

Babak Makkinejad

Mysticism, sacred and profane;: An inquiry into some varieties of praeter-natural experience by R. C Zaehner

and

Hindu And Muslim Mysticism by R. C. Zaehner

YT

Bless you, sir.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

June 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30            
Blog powered by Typepad