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Mysticism in Islam: Sufism. Sufism. Aka the heart of Islam Is the name of an old and widespread devotional movement Or group of movements Sufism derives from the Arabic word suf= wool Because early Sufis wore a simple robe made of common wool Sufism values simplicity

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Mysticism in Islam: Sufism


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    1. Mysticism in Islam: Sufism

    2. Sufism • Aka the heart of Islam • Is the name of an old and widespread devotional movement • Or group of movements • Sufism derives from the Arabic word suf= wool • Because early Sufis wore a simple robe made of common wool • Sufism values simplicity • Seeks involvement of emotions

    3. The core of the Sufi movement is its mysticism • Believe that the highest experience a person can have is a direct experience of God • An individual can experience God face to face on earth • Experiencing God is the whole purpose of life not something that has to wait until after death • Sufis have spoken about the sense of loss of self that occurs in mystical experience • This sense of loss of self is called fana or al-fana meaning extinction • When the self is gone, all that remains is God

    4. Sufi practice • Deep regular breathing during meditation • Repetition of the 99 names of Allah (dhikr) • Sometimes counted on a rosary, to enable a constant remembrance of God • Sufi Shaykh • A teacher • Leads his disciples through a variety of spiritual disciplines to help them achieve union with God

    5. Branches of Islam

    6. Muhammad died without a hereditary male successor His sons died in infancy Muhammad apparently never appointed anyone to succeed him The result was confusion and an unclear line of succession This created a division in Islam Muhammad had asked Abu Bakr to be the principal leader of prayer He was his friend and the father of his youngest wife Abu Bakr was recognized as Muhammad’s first successor Caliph means successor After the death of the fourth Caliph, Islam was taken over by its opponents This period marks the division of Islam- which broke into two factions: 1) Shiite and 2) Sunni

    7. The division began as a political argument over who should succeed Muhammad 10-15% of Islam is Shiite From shia meaning faction The faction/party of Ali, the son-in-law and cousin of Muhammad Some early Muslims held that Muhammad had assigned Ali to be his first successor Shiites

    8. Shiite Islam believes that the legitimate succession was hereditary, descending from the immediate family of Muhammad A God-given hereditary spiritual power called the Light of Muhammad It is thought to have passed to a total of 12 successors, or Imams The imam is believed to have special spiritual insight, and is revered as the true earthly authority Ali was the first Imam and the line ended with the disappearance of the last Imam According to traditions, the last Imam (Muhammad al-Mahdi) did not die but entered a hidden realm from which he works by guiding Shiite scholars and leaders Shiites believe that he will emerge from this state in the future to help restore Shiite Islam His reappearance in the world will bring on the Day of Judgment Hereditary succession

    9. For Shiites, their religious leaders possess great authority because are guided by the last Imam

    10. From sunna meaning tradition and example It refers to the entire body of traditional teachings that are based on the life and teachings of Muhammad Sunnis follow the established custom, or sunna, meaning the Sunna of the prophet Sunni Islam developed in response to the claims of Shiite Islam 85-90% of Islam is Sunni Sunnis

    11. Orthodox sect: Taliban • Within Sunni Islam emerged the Taliban • Means seeker of truth • Their views are extremely strict • Prohibit women to work, to uncover when in public • Men cannot cut their beards • Nonreligious music is forbidden • Television and film were banned • Goal: create the purest Islam in the world • They follow their own strict interpretations of the Koran • Claim attacks to be heroic • Believers commit suicide

    12. Reasons to attack 9/11: Taliban • U.S. troops in their land • U.S. soldiers do not respect sacred places and their women • U.S. brings new customs that challenge Islamic traditions • United Nations not helping- did not do anything to U.S. while they were in Muslim land • Bin Laden: • Issued the Fatwa- a religious ruling requiring killing Americans and their allies • Used (misused) the Koran- he proof-text the original phrases • Infidels- non-believer, enemy of faith • Called on Jihad • Used believers as scapegoats to attack America

    13. Jihad • Literally means struggle • Referred as the sixth pillar of Islam • On the personal level (greater jihad), jihad refers to the individual’s spiritual struggle against anything that detracts from venerating Allah and from acting in accordance with the divine will • On the social level (lesser jihad), jihad refers to the preservation of the order that Allah has willed for the word • Jihad is also used in a more controversial way • It refers to armed struggle • It is sometimes thought of as meaning “holy war” • The Koran supports armed struggle for the sake of Islam only if it is carried out in self-defense • Become martyrs and go strait to heaven • JIHAD = CRUSADE