Sufism
Download
1 / 19

Sufism - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 460 Views
  • Updated On :

Sufism. Carl Ernst Reli 180, Introduction to Islamic Civilization. Outline . Problems of definition Modern European and fundamentalist concepts of Sufism Quick vocabulary check on Sunni/Shi`I Ibn Khaldun on Sufism Institutional development of Sufism, post 1200.

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Sufism' - daniel_millan


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Sufism l.jpg

Sufism

Carl Ernst

Reli 180,

Introduction to Islamic Civilization


Outline l.jpg
Outline

Problems of definition

Modern European and fundamentalist concepts of Sufism

Quick vocabulary check on Sunni/Shi`I

Ibn Khaldun on Sufism

Institutional development of Sufism, post 1200


1 definition and the problem of essentially contested terms l.jpg
1. Definition and the problem of “essentially contested terms”

  • Examples: Liberal; justice; freedom (see George Lakoff, Whose Freedom? The Battle over America's Most Important Idea)

  • Different perspectives on Sufism: foreign & non-Islamic, or the heart of Islam?

  • Where do definitions come from?

    • Summaries of analytical observation (Plato)

    • Historical record (Oxford English Dictionary)

    • Authority (political/religious figures)


Arabic definitions l.jpg
Arabic definitions terms”

  • The derivations of Sufi

    • suf, wool, garment of ascetic denial

    • safa’, “purity”

    • safwa, “the elite”

    • Ahl al-suffa, “the people of the bench” (early Muslims who shared everything in common)

  • Tasawwuf, “becoming a Sufi” explained by teaching definitions

    • How might that differ from “Sufism” as part of the catalog of “isms”?


2 rediscovery of the sufi tradition l.jpg
2. Rediscovery of the Sufi tradition terms”

Spirituality, experience, mysticism: loaded terms from European/Christian history

Early Europeans like Sufi poetry (love and wine), thought it couldn’t possibly be Islamic – must be from somewhere else?

Recent colonial/postcolonial reformations of Islamic identity (“fundamentalism”) reject Sufi saints, intercession, Sufi lineages and practices, as evil innovations


3 who overlaps with whom a quick vocabulary check l.jpg
3. Who overlaps with whom? terms”A quick vocabulary check

Sunni Sufis, and Shi`i Sufis



4 ibn khaldun on sufism l.jpg
4. Ibn Khaldun on Sufism terms”

Sufism “belongs to the sciences of the religious law that originated in Islam”

Divine worship, devotion to God, aversion from the world, abstinence from wealth, retirement into solitude for worship – all common among early Muslims

Special name “Sufi” developed a couple of centuries later [compare special technical terms of Islamic law and hadith]


Ibn khaldun characteristics of sufism l.jpg
Ibn Khaldun: characteristics of Sufism terms”

Asceticism

Intuitive perception of psychological states and stations

Self-scrutiny and quest for knowledge and unity with God

Special language for inner experience, parallel to other fields of religious knowledge


Ibn khaldun explains sufism l.jpg
Ibn Khaldun explains Sufism terms”

Philosophical psychology as an explanation of Sufi experiences

“Removal of the veil” as a key metaphor for perception that goes beyond the senses

Different views on God as separate or one with creatures (p. 362); alleged similarity with philosophical and Christian views

Disapproval of Sufis by legal scholars (muftis, who give anti-Sufi fatwa decrees)


Ibn khaldun criticizes sufism l.jpg
Ibn Khaldun criticizes Sufism terms”

Theories of absolute oneness: only God exists

Theory of God’s imagination as source of the cosmos

-- Ibn Khaldun dismisses these views as contrary to both reason and experience


More criticism of sufism by i k requires distinction of topics l.jpg
More criticism of Sufism by I.K. requires distinction of topics

“pious exertions” of meditation and worship

Removal of the veil, perception of supernatural realities

The operation of divine grace in the world

Ecstatic expressions that arouse suspicion (“I am the truth” – Hallaj)  These are the primary problem; they should be disapproved or reinterpreted


Ibn khaldun s final verdict l.jpg
Ibn Khaldun’s final verdict topics

Seeking inner experience is fine, but it’s better not to discuss them publicly!


5 institutional development of sufism post 1200 l.jpg
5. Institutional development of Sufism, post 1200 topics

  • “Saints” or living friends of God

    • Problems with using the term “saint”

  • Tombs as centers of pilgrimage: local forms

  • Masters (shaykh, pir) and disciples (murid)

  • “Chains” (silsila) of master and disciple, going back to the Prophet [Sufi “orders”]

  • “Ways” (tariqa) taught by orders

  • Veneration of the Prophet




Scale of sufi shrine pilgrimage l.jpg
Scale of Sufi shrine pilgrimage topics

Ajmer receives 1.5 million pilgrims at the annual festival

Touba receives over 2 million pilgrims

Neither pilgrimage center is aware of or connected to the other

Both challenge the hajj to Mecca in size

To what extent should they be considered marginal in modern Islam?


More institutional developments l.jpg
More institutional developments topics

Chanting the Arabic names of God as a ritual of remembrance (dhikr)

Rituals of music, recitation of poetry

Sometimes arms-length from politics, sometimes tightly involved

Abolition of Sufism in Turkey by secular govt., in Saudi Arabia by fundamentalists

Modern phenomenon of Sufism for non-Muslims


Conclusion l.jpg
Conclusion topics

  • Problems of definition:

  • “Once Sufism was a reality without a name; now it is a name without a reality”

    -- Abu al-Hasan Fushanja (11th century)