Beyond Sufism Travels and Essays

The Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society
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Who is a Sufi? The Prisoners of the Nafs — Discourse by Dr. Anxiety — Discourse by Dr. The Intellect — Discourse by Dr. A Selfless Master — Discourse by Dr. The Family of Sufis — Discourse by Dr.

Devotion — Discourse by Dr. Pilgrimage — Discourse by Dr.

The Time of Science and the Sufi Science of Time

Master and Disciple — Discourse by Dr. Spiritual Combat — Discourse by Dr.

The Drop and the Ocean— Discourse by Dr. Chittick Mystical Knowledge? Unbelief — Discourse by Dr. Sin and Merit for Sufis — Discourse by Dr. Freewill and Determinism — Discourse by Dr. Festival — Discourse by Dr. Sufi Love— Discourse by Dr. Detachment from the World — Discourse by Dr. Pain and Cure — Discourse by Dr. Submission — Discourse by Dr. Annihilation and Subsistence — Discourse by Dr. Absence and Presence — Discourse by Dr. Constancy — Discourse by Dr. Reason and Love — Discourse by Dr. The Sufi Path — Discourse by Dr.

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Sufism and Psychoanalysis — Discourse by Dr. Chivalry and Sufism — Discourse by Dr. The Sincerity of the Sufi — Discourse by Dr. A Poem by Dr. Complete your collection of SUFI with the complete set. Are there similarities between these notions, ones which might be constructed without radically oversimplifying the issues at hand? But what a Buddhist extinguishes is craving, while what a Sufi annihilates is themselves before God. And yet, as will become clear, there are crucial parallels that can help us see the ways in which what these traditions have to teach us today have crucial resonances within and through their very real differences.

All potentials are in God, as we were, and will be. It is worth noting, how different the notion of God implicit in the Islamic context is from that presupposed in a Judeo-Christian context. For in many ways, this notion so God is much more similar to that of the Buddha described in my preceding post on Tibetan Buddhist Tsong Kapa, than seen in the west. Firstly, the Prophet Muhammed is quite different than Jesus in contemporary Christianity, no matter which form. Islam is quite clear, in all its manifestations, that Muhammed is a human being, and is not a divine incarnation like Jesus is believed to be by most Christians.

What makes Islam distinct is that there God is much more a force or principle, a divine power to be. And Jesus is just a prophet, which is to say, a man, as is the Prophet Muhammed. In fact, Henry Corbin, a prominent expositor of Islamic beliefs, argues that it is the very notion of the incarnation that leads Christianity to kill the visionary power of theophany which he sees as so essential Islam, its foundation in interpretation of the world via gnosis.

And this is why, for many Sufis, music, dance, and poetry are forms of dhikr. For the world is like a melody or dance or poetry which God creates inside of himself. That is, God works through us, and as many Sufis would say, in this state, my hearing is that of God, not my own, my sight is that of God, not my own, etc.

Of course, some traditionalists in Islam have called this heresy. One aspect of this experience which is distinct to Sufism, however, and quite distinct from Buddhism, is the emphasis upon the ecstasy, intoxication, and erotic love in the evocation of this state. According to Chiddick:. In traveling to God, the seekers undergo total transformation, but now they come back with helping hands. But perhaps Chiddick has invested a Buddhist twinge to his reading of these classical texts? Hail, O Love, great burner of all others! It is He alone who is first and last, all else grows up from the eye that sees double.

Returning to Islamic notions, God others in relation to himself, he dances the universe into being, or, to use the notions of Sufi philosopher of Ibn Arabi, God literally dreams the world into existence. And this brings us back to Hallaj, the Sufi who was executed for heresy.

Sufi Poetry

Here his famous statements are described in prose by Rumi:. Hallaj had been annihilated, so those were the words of the Real. You are yourself, you still think, act, know, but doubled to oneself and hence without self, self-and-non-self. But when it is considered in terms of the face to which existence flows forth from the First, the Real, then it is seen as existing — not in itself, but through the face toward its Giver of Existence. Hence the only existent is the Face of God. So each thing has two faces, a face towards itself, and a face towards its Lord.

Considered in terms of the face of itself, it is nonexistent, but considered in terms of the face of God, it exists. Hence there is no existent but God and His face. This is a strange duality indeed. For if everything in the world is dual, it is split between itself, and that which unifies everything as its aspects, which is to say, the non-dual. This is a non-duality which has duality as one of its aspects. To put this in other terms, the Real has its dreams as its aspects.

And we, and all that exists, are simply the dreams of this most Real, the only Real, which is God. Or veils. According to to Sufi commentator Mustamli,. And so the self, and all its cravings, all the things its believes are distinct like itself and its cravings, keep us from God, which is to say, the Real.

Tawassul - Calling upon other than Allah - Sufism - Murtaza Khan

Here is another Sufi theorist, Niffari,. If you come out from it, you will come out from the veils, and if you remain veiled by it, the veils will veil you. They are the entities of these forms… All this — praise belongs to God! And when we see this, when we come to dream in sync with him, our veils are lifted. According to Niffari:. The greatest of these veils is your own entity. Nothing hides Him but His manifestation… Nothing is nonmanifest. Which is to say, what al-Ghazali calls this second sight, which is to say, to see everything as an illusion because it fades.

The Real, that which is more existent than any particular thing. Saying something about Sufism is a difficult enterprise, and yet, it is more difficult to ignore the complex of practices, beliefs, institutions, theories, and more that together offer a wealth of insights that contemporary philosophy is silly to ignore. But as with my recent posts about Indic thought, or Buddhism, Islam in its various modalities, and Sufism in particular, are difficult to write about in the way that one would, say, write about Bergson.

Bergson was a single human, wrote a limited set of texts, and while complex, we have the texts and can study them. Such difficulties come up whenever one tries to speak about a cultural movement comprised of many individuals only acting somewhat in concert.

Practicing Sufi Chanting as a Form of Meditation During Ramadan

For example, writing about Surrealism. But trying to write about Sufism, as an outsider, is infinitely more difficult. I possess none of the complex of assumptions and contexts which I might have growing up within this culture, all of which I might bring to a Sufi text in order that it might speak to me. And these contexts might make my entire mode of relating to texts, or to notions of time and space, radically different. For an example of such a situation, Robert Thurman tells the story of the difficulty he had with a university press when he tried to explain that the text upon which his work was based was written by a person who was a reincarnation of another.

And hence, the dates that pertained to the text, and the name of the author, were not those recognized by western, non-Buddhist academics, but should be those recognized by Buddhists, who see the author of the text, and the dates appropriate to its composition, as pertaining to the original person recincarnated, not the vessel into which they were reincarnated later. While this example is drawn from Buddhist scholarship, it applies to the study of any type of worldview, and with devotional worldviews, those which may have different criteria of what counts as real for almost anything, well, the pitfalls are many.

When trying to learn about Sufism, there are many types of texts available, and the issues surrounding the attempt to learn about Sufism are similar to those encountered when trying to learn about any devotional tradition. Some of the texts on Sufism are devotional, which is to say, oriented to those who either are Sufis, or want to become Sufis. Others are devotional, but written by other Muslims who see Sufism as a threat. Often these are split between Islamic modernists, who often see Sufism as a threat, full of medieval mystical beliefs which can keep the Islamic world from joining the modern world, with its clear divisions between faith and reason.

Then there are those who want to detach Sufism from Islam, who see it as having more in common with the mystical tradition of other devotional traditions than with Islam, often pointing to the ways in which Sufism and Hinduism found ways to overlap in Indian tradition. Many of these writers wish to extract Sufi mysticism from Islam, and use it to develop new mystical discourses and practices. But then there is scholarly literature, and that varies widely as well.

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Beyond Sufism Travels and Essays - Kindle edition by Colin Azim Looker, Bahar Aykac. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or. Beyond Sufism - travels and essays. likes. A series of essays on modern Sufism and beyond; experiences in painting, Bektashi dervishes, journeys in.

There is some written in a scholarly vein by believers, and this has a different tone than those written by interested non-believers. Others concentrate on the structure of belief, and yet others still focus on texts alone. His works are wonderful introductions from within the tradition. Now, however, I find it really refreshing, intense, and wonderful. And it truly gives you a sense of how this tradition feels from the inside, in a way that is full of very different insights than the Chiddick, Ernst, or Corbin.

Nasr believes that Sufism is one of the great gifts to the world by God.