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In the Name of God بسم الله

Shia-sufism


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My own quick thoughts, which are not a direct relation to the works I suggested are that, quite frankly, a lot of the conflict between Shi'ism and Sufism was due to power struggles and political activity that was going on at particular times. There were always conflict between different schools of thought in Shi'ism and no side is likely free of forging narrations painting their erstwhile opponents in a negative light. It is perhaps easier for me to pass of some of this because I have less trust in the corpus of narrations from the Imams than many other people, but I largely agree with Saintly-Jinns comments about the negative comments being directed towards certain activities of certain sufis, not a blanket condemnation. I also think that it is important to note that it is no doubt true that during the time of the Imam's it would be incorrect to go to the sufis when the manifest Imam was the Sufi Shaykh par excellence.

You have to remember though, Amir, that during the time of the Twelve Imams, it could be very risky to physically contact, directly, the Ahlul Bayt. If you look up many early saints that were praised by the Sufis such as those particularly whose lives were recorded by other Sufis hailed as saints such as Farid al-Din Attar (whom I believe was a Shia in hiding). Saints like: Hasan al-Basri, Malik ibn Dinar, Habib al-Ajami, Sofyan al-Thauri, Rabia al-Adawiyya Bayazid Bestami, Maruf al-Karkhi etc, were all individuals who lived in Abbasid or Umayyad territory during the time of the Imams. A few were recorded to have been taught and initiated by some of the Imams directly (in person), meaning their teachings were considered, and still are considered by Sunni and Shia Sufis, extensions of the teachings and will of the Imams. So for those who did not have the means the meet the Imams in person and learn at their hands personally, the Sufi masters who were taught by them served as their connection to the Imams. For some of those saints who had never met the Imams personally in the physical plane, I would say they still share a connection with the Imams as disciples, either through just being disciples of other disciples or through psychic communication. With a saint like Rabia, who is considered a much higher saint than Hasan al-Basri (who is said by some Sufis to have met and learned for a brief yet significant time at the hands of Imam Ali) Rabia was initiated into the Sufi way before she had ever met Hasan, but this does not mean she had no connection to the Imams or only accepted the authority of the Imams through becoming a disciple to Hasan, which she never was, it was more of the other way around. The way I see it, Rabia was initiated by the Imams through her devotion to God, which, though she was far away from the Imams physically, allowed her to communicate with that spiritual essence that the Imams emanated from and became initiated by them through that method. In other words, she was closer to the Imams in rank than Hasan, even though she didn't meet any of the Imams in the physical world like Hasan did, and she connected with them through a more psychic communication. So for many who were unable to meet the Imams physically, I believe such saints arose, perhaps even as far as Christian Europe, so those who would never meet the Imams (physically) would have some sort of teacher of their knowledge and wisdom so they could be saved.

Also, during the Abbasid and Umayyad times, being associated with the Imams could be dangerous. So for many of these Sufis, I would say they needed to keep up certain appearances so as not to arouse suspicion, to disguise their Shia leanings in clever ways so that they would not arouse more anger of the authorities, who already were critical of their ecstatic practices in opposition to the rules of the Sunni orthodoxy, but still those who were "in the know," would understand their words' true meaning. Keep in mind that Sufis are also called the "Gnostics of Islam," and one thing Gnostics of all religious traditions are known for is keeping certain teachings secret and cryptic for various reasons.

In terms of having to believe in a certain orthodoxy it really depends on the particular Shaykh. For example, there are some hyper-sunni Shadhili's that require their murids to adhere to particular schools of jurisprudence and theology while the two branches I have an association with have no such requirements. In the end you cannot mandate someone to believe something that they do not really believe so I think that these requirements are a touch of nonsense.

I don't necessarily think it is wrong for a Shaykh to say that "Only these particular Sunnis can be members." Or rather to restrict certain teachings to certain individuals he or she trusts. But if the Shaykh refuses to at least educate an interested party in some of the knowledge he has based solely on the religious or sectarian affiliation, then he is not doing his job as a Muslim and "evangelizing." If Muhammad (pbuh) had restricted his knowledge only to other Muslims, then Islam would have remained a wholly inclusive teaching with no power for political or social change. However, to restrict clerical status to those who profess belief and obedience to a teaching the Shaykh feels is the proper and truthful way I wouldn't say is nonsense, only the restriction of simply teaching basic ideas necessary for one to know and believe to be part of the order, to adopt a wholly "secret society" mentality because if you are doing that than the order is not going to grow and people are going to be left in error because you are not willing to teach anyone anything of what you know.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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So for those who did not have the means the meet the Imams in person and learn at their hands personally, the Sufi masters who were taught by them served as their connection to the Imams.

You are probably correct. To use an anachronism these Sufi's were something like khalifa's of the Imam, figured as the Shaykh. In this way one could argue that not much has changed as they are now the representatives of Imam Mehdi.

I don't necessarily think it is wrong for a Shaykh to say that "Only these particular Sunnis can be members."

What is nonsense is accepting people and then telling them that they must change their beliefs, not through arguments and intellectual persuasion, but through authoritarian command. When the Qur'an says that there is no compulsion in religion it is not just giving a command, but stating a reality. You can force conformity of action, but you cannot compel someone to believe anything. One of the problems the sufis have often suffered from is a form of group think and I think it is important for people to live and act and believe as individuals. I don't want to go into this more and I understand what you are saying, but I have seen too many problems in this regard amongst some sufi orders. Others allow almost complete freedom of thought as well and I think, at least in the West, that is the only way forward.

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What is nonsense is accepting people and then telling them that they must change their beliefs, not through arguments and intellectual persuasion, but through authoritarian command. When the Qur'an says that there is no compulsion in religion it is not just giving a command, but stating a reality. You can force conformity of action, but you cannot compel someone to believe anything. One of the problems the sufis have often suffered from is a form of group think and I think it is important for people to live and act and believe as individuals. I don't want to go into this more and I understand what you are saying, but I have seen too many problems in this regard amongst some sufi orders. Others allow almost complete freedom of thought as well and I think, at least in the West, that is the only way forward.

Ah I see what you mean. Yes I agree, such an attitude to ludicrous. A group of like minded individuals who share the same beliefs should come together willingly, a person should not try to compel others through physical force or harsh words. If a Sufi order is say...Hanafi and that is the nature of the order and foundation of the order's beliefs and the rules for membership in the order require submission to Hanafi jurisprudence, there is nothing wrong with that, but to allow people of other sects to sit with you, just so you can pressure them to think like you with confrontational words is nonsense. If I walk into a Catholic church simply because I'm curious and wish to hear what the priests have to say, I'm going there not to argue my beliefs against their's. I'm going there to observe and listen to something different from my own and learn their beliefs just for knowledge's sake. If the priests, knowing I'm a Muslim, continuously try to start a debate with me in an effort to prove me wrong and bring me to their beliefs, single me out among the crowd, or constantly stare me down because I'm different, that's just stupid and how in the world does that encourage me to believe as they do?

what ahadith sources do the qadariyya take form ? do they take form 12ver shia compiled books of ahadith? or do they take form all ahadith? another questions is their fiqh in line with 12ver's?

The jurisprudence and accepted hadith vary, if you find wisdom in the 12ver hadith, that's what you find wisdom in. All that's really required for it to be "Qadiri" is that it doesn't contradict what is said in Gilani's works.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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He said: Abu Bakr, Muhammad b. Umar al-Je'abi, reported to me from Abul Abbas,

Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Saeed, who reported from Umar b. Isa b. Uthman, who

reported from his father, who reported from Khalid b. Amir b. Abbas, from

Muhammad b. Swaid al-Ash'ari who said:

Fatr b. Khalifa and I called upon Ja'far b. Muhammad(AS), and he presented some

dates to us which we ate, and gave some to Fatr. Then he said to him (Fatr): "What

about the tradition which Abu al-Tufail, may Allah bless him with mercy, narrated to

me about the saints?" Fatr said: I heard Abu al-Tufail say: "I heard Ali, Amirul

Mo'mineen say that Abdal (the saints) are from the people of Sham and the noble

ones are from the people of Kufa. Allah will rally them together on a day which will be

the worst day for our enemies."

Then Ja'far al-Sadiq (as) said: "May Allah have mercy upon you. With us begins the

(severe) test, and then with you, and with us shall begin the relief and then with you.

May Allah bless those with His mercy who endear us to the people, and do not cause

them to detest us."

-Al-Amali of Sheikh Mufid, Fourth Assembly,

Edited by JimJam
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If one practice Islam (Shia Islam) completely, you will find it is complete and includes spirituality and is devoid oh nothing (zahir + batin)

But how do you know when you are practicing it completely and when you are not?

It is not that I feel Sufism is a separate practice from Shia Islam, it's that I feel it is an integral and necessary part so as to practice it completely. There's a difference. I practice and study Sufism as a part of Shia Islam, through Shia Islam, not as something beside it. Same thing with Taoism, I do not see Taoism as "Another religion I follow besides Shia Islam," rather I feel that Taoism is but a discipline of Shia Islam. Shia Islam is my religion, Taoism and Sufism are just religious disciplines, means by which I practice it. You may see three different religions being practiced at the same time, I see only one religion being practiced.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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Same thing with Taoism, I do not see Taoism as "Another religion I follow besides Shia Islam," rather I feel that Taoism is but a discipline of Shia Islam. Shia Islam is my religion, Taoism and Sufism are just religious disciplines, means by which I practice it.

This intrigues me. I know next to nothing about Taoism. Are there any books that are good introductions to Taoism? Can you expand upon how you combine the discipline of Taoism with Islam? If you want to you can pm me or open a new topic if that is better. Thanks.

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^ ^ ^

And that's supposed to mean exactly...???

Its just a hadith I came across. Seemed relevant to the topic

This intrigues me. I know next to nothing about Taoism. Are there any books that are good introductions to Taoism? Can you expand upon how you combine the discipline of Taoism with Islam? If you want to you can pm me or open a new topic if that is better. Thanks.

Read the Tao Te Ching

http://www.thebigview.com/download/tao-te-ching-illustrated.pdf

Its a small book but the ideas it presents are big

Edited by JimJam
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This intrigues me. I know next to nothing about Taoism. Are there any books that are good introductions to Taoism? Can you expand upon how you combine the discipline of Taoism with Islam? If you want to you can pm me or open a new topic if that is better. Thanks.

Sure, thing. I'll either PM you or start a topic tonight. So if you're online then, that would be fine.

Its just a hadith I came across. Seemed relevant to the topic

I wasn't sure what the purpose of the hadith was though exactly. Did you present it to compliment or contradict something?

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Im certainly not seeing it as contradictory to this topic. In fact it seems to me that the Imam is praising the ascetics and to me the hadith appears to indicate an alliance that will happen between Shia and Sufis

Edited by JimJam
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Im certainly not seeing it as contradictory to this topic. In fact it seems to me that the Imam is praising the ascetics and to me the hadith appears to indicate an alliance that will happen between Shia and Sufis

Ah, I see. When I read it, I wasn't sure which way it was meant to be taken, but I can see now why you would think that, looking at the narration more closely.

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The Naimatullis are are marked as a Shia-sufi order, only that Shiism is Ismailism

Dear JimJam, I am interested in knowing if this is true. Can you please confirm (or retract) this statement with any scholarly sources? I am of the impression that the order is Twelver in origin (origin in terms of its early conversion to the Shi'ite approach) but because enough of its members are not outwardly practicing Muslims in the exoteric sense, this demonstrates a strong apparent similarity to the Ismaili. Of course, this is purely speculation on my end. Anything better on yours? Salam

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Dear JimJam, I am interested in knowing if this is true. Can you please confirm (or retract) this statement with any scholarly sources? I am of the impression that the order is Twelver in origin (origin in terms of its early conversion to the Shi'ite approach) but because enough of its members are not outwardly practicing Muslims in the exoteric sense, this demonstrates a strong apparent similarity to the Ismaili. Of course, this is purely speculation on my end. Anything better on yours? Salam

Posted 03 October 2011 - 09:23 PM

snapback.pngJimJam, on 05 August 2011 - 07:21 AM, said:

The Naimatullis are are marked as a Shia-sufi order, only that Shiism is Ismailism

Dear JimJam, I am interested in knowing if this is true. Can you please confirm (or retract) this statement with any scholarly sources? I am of the impression that the order is Twelver in origin (origin in terms of its early conversion to the Shi'ite approach) but because enough of its members are not outwardly practicing Muslims in the exoteric sense, this demonstrates a strong apparent similarity to the Ismaili. Of course, this is purely speculation on my end. Anything better on yours? Salam

Nematollahis follow the Ithnashari shia branch. The Gonabadis also follow the same ithnashari shia branch, but are still not free of harassment by a very small number of clerics who are afraid of popularity and budget deficits. Kind of like Stalin who would kill anyone increasing in popularity ... again these are a very small exception. Sufis are not in popularity contest as they seek the pleasure of Allah and popularity with Him and not the masses nor their donations. There can be no duality, not even of one's own self. I am no one. I also want to thank the person who posted tao-te-ching-illustrated.pdf with download link. The Nematollahi's do make use of music but the Gonabadis do not. Thus, you have choices according to your temperament and taste. Sufis of various tariqahs cooperate and try to maintain some contacts with other sufi tariqahs and that probably included ismailism at some time in the past and possibly in the present. Unlike the Nematollahis who use music in their devotional practices, the ismailis do not use music at all in their devotional religious practices, only at social functions, and possibly indian dance. The Nematollahis do not dance. There was a practice whereby an initiate would learn under one teacher who would then on completion refer him to another teacher for further complementary learning. Here is a taste of Nematollahi devotional poetry.

ÈÇØä æ ÙÇåÑã Êæیی¡ ãä äå ãäã¡ äå ãä ãäã

ÛÇیÈ æ ÍÇÖÑã Êæیی¡ ãä äå ãäã¡ äå ãä ãäã

ÎáÞ äãæÏ æ ÈæÏ Êæ¡ ãä ÚÏã æ æÌæÏ Êæ

Úیä ãÙÇåÑã Êæیی¡ ãä äå ãäã¡ äå ãä ãäã

ÓÇیå æ ÑæÔäã Êæیی¡ á Êæ æ áÔäã Êæیی

ãäÙÑ æ äÇÙÑã Êæیی¡ ãä äå ãäã¡ äå ãä ãäã

äیÓÊی ÇÒ Êæ åÓÊ ÔÏ¡ ÚÇáãی ÇÒ Êæ ãÓÊ ÔÏ

ÈÇÏå æ ÓÇÛÑã Êæیی¡ ãä äå ãäã¡ äå ãä ãäã

ÞåÑ ãäی æ ÇáÝÊã¡ äæÑ ãäی æ ÙáãÊã

ãæãä æ ˜ÇÝÑã Êæیی¡ ãä äå ãäã¡ äå ãä ãäã

ÏÑ ÓÑ ãä åæÇی Êæ¡ ÎáæÊ Ïá ÓÑÇی Êæ

ÔÇåÏ æ ÓÇÊÑã Êæیی¡ ãä äå ãäã¡ äå ãä ãäã

Çی Êæ ÓÑæÑÈÎÔ ãä¡ ãåÑی æ äæÑÈÎÔ ãä

ÂیÊ ÈÇ åÑã Êæیی¡ ãä äå ãäã¡ äå ãä ãäã

Has anyone also studied I-Ching here ? Has anyone tried to catalog the religious history of the asian nations ? Recently, a youtube video lecture by a Naqshbandi shaikh explained the descent of middle eastern nations from Sam (SAm), european nations from Ham (HAm), and the asian nations from Japeth. He said that Japeth was also a prophet.

I am mainly able to visit this forum rarely so if you have a question, or something to write, do so and I shall respond, but it may be late.

Edited by nematollahi
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The Nimatullahi's have a very unique history in that they were originally Sunni, are now Ithna Ashari, and at certain points in their history the Ismaili Imam's attached themselves to the Nimatullahi's to avoid persecution. As far as I am aware the order was never fully Ismaili however.

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Salaam all.

As from the Turkish clan maybe i can give some info's about Mavlana a.s and the other saints.

First of all everyone has to acknowledge that these saints were true Shia's and the followers of Ahlulbayt. That's why they have had their Naseeb's (i.e Saintness). Allah swt has given them the Marqaba (Rank) because of their true path. But as for many years the sunni's in Turkey have severally tried to even change these and show these saints as Sunni's. Biggest proof is a saint called Haji Bayrami veli's Turba (ziyarat) had a big sign in the entrance, and on that entrance has some art work with arabic writings. The main part say's "Ali" was erased by the sunni ulema's to hide his faith (regarding to be a true shia).

All the saint's which i will name here are all true Shia's and the followers of the Ahlulbayt (a.s).

Haji Bayrami Veli

Haji Bektashi Veli (Son of Seyyed Ibrahim)

Mevlana Jallaladdin Rumi

Pir Sultan Abdal ( Real name Haydar)

Yunus Emre (Famous saint which people still interpets his poem's in many language) was the student of Haji bektashi Veli

Khoja Ahmad Yasawi (The teacher of Haji Bektash Veli)

Taptuk Emre ( Teacher of Yunus Emre through Haji Bektash Veli)

Abdal Musa

Sari Ismail (The student of Haji Bektash Veli

Karaca Ahmed

Shah Ismail Hatai

Hallac Mansur

Asik Nesimi

Veysel Karani

Cabbar and many more.

And even Abdul Kadir Jeylani (jeelani) is considered Shia but then again counted as sunni by sunni's.

Remember brothers all these saints are tried to be shown as sunni because of their ranks. We used to call this (Asimilation) which are explained as After the Dersim Massacre in 1938 Many Turkish-Kurdish-Zaza Shia's were killed, expelled and tortured. Most which were expelled were asimilated (either kids were given to sunni khoja's families and imams and were changed.

Thats why they try to say these saints were sunnis. But all these saints which i have named have never mentioned omar, othman or abu bakr. Infact most of them were all reciting the name of Ahlulbayt and karbala. Pir Sultan abdal was executed for his love towards 12 Imam's. Mevlana used to write poems about Imam Hussein (a.s).

Inshallah it has been a bit of explanation to you brothers. If you have questions regarding these personalities please do ask. Wa salam.

Edited by Huseyin_Cetin_Turkish_Shia
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Hmm, I actually have trouble considering Rumi to be a Shia ( though I was inclined to think so when we first started this discussion months ago). As I have read some words attributed to him in praise of Abu Bakr. Also the Mevlevi Lodge is explicitly Sunni, though they do have some Shia tendencies and are not hostile to the Shia. And the Mevlevi Dervishes are headed by descendants of Rumi himself. I'm not saying there's no wisdom to be found in the words of Rumi that can be of use to Shia, just that I would require some hard evidence that he was Shia in taqiyya, and not just a Sunni with Shia tendencies like many other Sunni-Sufis. Is there proof that he rejected the authority of the first three caliphs? I've never seen any myself, if there is, I'd be interested in seeing it.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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Hmm, I actually have trouble considering Rumi to be a Shia ( though I was inclined to think so when we first started this discussion months ago). As I have read some words attributed to him in praise of Abu Bakr. Also the Mevlevi Lodge is explicitly Sunni, though they do have some Shia tendencies and are not hostile to the Shia. And the Mevlevi Dervishes are headed by descendants of Rumi himself. I'm not saying there's no wisdom to be found in the words of Rumi that can be of use to Shia, just that I would require some hard evidence that he was Shia in taqiyya, and not just a Sunni with Shia tendencies like many other Sunni-Sufis. Is there proof that he rejected the authority of the first three caliphs? I've never seen any myself, if there is, I'd be interested in seeing it.

I don't know which person would claim him to be Shia. It is clear he was not a Shia. but if someone wants to say he was Shia only in a spiritual way (without participating in the Shia formalities) then all Sufis are Shias. All Sufis accept the spiritual wilayat of Ali (even the Naqshabandis). And of course Rumi does not reject the authority of the first three caliphs not really because he believes that it was their right to be the first three caliphs but because he probably doesn't care about this issue just as any Shia who is Sufi/or Arif wouldn't care.

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I don't know which person would claim him to be Shia. It is clear he was not a Shia. but if someone wants to say he was Shia only in a spiritual way (without participating in the Shia formalities) then all Sufis are Shias. All Sufis accept the spiritual wilayat of Ali (even the Naqshabandis). And of course Rumi does not reject the authority of the first three caliphs not really because he believes that it was their right to be the first three caliphs but because he probably doesn't care about this issue just as any Shia who is Sufi/or Arif wouldn't care.

True, I think all Sufis, whether they be Sunni or Shia, bear certain key facets of Shia doctrine regardless. However, I think the clear and obvious dividing factor, after much extra research I have put into looking into the lives of prominent Sufis of the Shia and Sunni schools, is obviously the opinion they have of Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman, and Ayesha. The most prominent Naqshbandi sects bear many similarities with the Shia, including a belief in the Hidden Imam (as) and a veneration of the Twelve, but yet still also hold veneration for Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ayesha so couldn't very well be called Shia.

As for Rumi, until somebody can present to me sufficient evidence that he was a Shia and that there exists a silsilah of Sufi masters or his descendants who were also Shia in taqiyyah, I believe he was a Sunni with heavy Shia tendencies, like all knowledgeable Sunni-Sufis. For example, i know for a fact that Rumi was known to have criticized the Sunnis for believing Abu Bakr was superior to Imam Ali (as) and praised Imam Hussain (as) yet he still was known to speak favorably of Abu Bakr and the other caliphs.

The one saint I am inclined, though at this moment am no longer 100% sure of like I was before, to believe was a Shia in taqiyya was perhaps Farid al-Din Attar. It seems that scholars are known to disagree on whether he was a Shia or a Sunni or when and if he was one or the other. This is perhaps due to many writings attributed to him that bear a heavy Sunnite tinge and others also attributed to him that are heavily Shi'ite influenced. Perhaps you can help me out here eThErEal so that I may not praise a figure as a saint of the Shia without any real knowledge. I have read an abridged version of the Memorial of the Saints, which I am thankful to have discovered as it opened up to me so many historical persons whom I may study the lives of.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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True, I think all Sufis, whether they be Sunni or Shia, bear certain key facets of Shia doctrine regardless. However, I think the clear and obvious dividing factor, after much extra research I have put into looking into the lives of prominent Sufis of the Shia and Sunni schools, is obviously the opinion they have of Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman, and Ayesha. The most prominent Naqshbandi sects bear many similarities with the Shia, including a belief in the Hidden Imam (as) and a veneration of the Twelve, but yet still also hold veneration for Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ayesha so couldn't very well be called Shia.

As for Rumi, until somebody can present to me sufficient evidence that he was a Shia and that there exists a silsilah of Sufi masters or his descendants who were also Shia in taqiyyah, I believe he was a Sunni with heavy Shia tendencies, like all knowledgeable Sunni-Sufis. For example, i know for a fact that Rumi was known to have criticized the Sunnis for believing Abu Bakr was superior to Imam Ali (as) and praised Imam Hussain (as) yet he still was known to speak favorably of Abu Bakr and the other caliphs.

The one saint I am inclined, though at this moment am no longer 100% sure of like I was before, to believe was a Shia in taqiyya was perhaps Farid al-Din Attar. It seems that scholars are known to disagree on whether he was a Shia or a Sunni or when and if he was one or the other. This is perhaps due to many writings attributed to him that bear a heavy Sunnite tinge and others also attributed to him that are heavily Shi'ite influenced. Perhaps you can help me out here eThErEal so that I may not praise a figure as a saint of the Shia without any real knowledge. I have read an abridged version of the Memorial of the Saints, which I am thankful to have discovered as it opened up to me so many historical persons whom I may study the lives of.

Loving Imam Hussein (as), and praising Ali (as) above the other caliphs does not make one Shia. It is the Shia mentality that thinks that only they love Imam Hussein (as) and Ali (as).

is Habib Ali Jifri.. now Shia in taqiyya because of this:

http://madinatube.com/story-of-sayidna-husain-habib-ali

?

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Loving Imam Hussein (as), and praising Ali (as) above the other caliphs does not make one Shia. It is the Shia mentality that thinks that only they love Imam Hussein (as) and Ali (as).

is Habib Ali Jifri.. now Shia in taqiyya because of this:

http://madinatube.co...usain-habib-ali

?

Of course I know that, but some Shia don't as you have said, but I would say the Sunni-Shia tend to have much more in common with the Shia than your average Sunni. I think what separates the Sunni-Sufi from the Shia-Sufi is not the veneration of the Imams. As I stated, all legitimately established and knowledgeabl Sunni-Sufis have deep respect for the Imams to the point where many believe in the 12th being the Mahdi. Also, one or more of the Imams typically, always from what I have seen, occupy the chain of succession for the orders from whom Sunnis learn or that are exclusively Sunni-Sufis.

I think what separates the Shia-Sufi is that his or her veneration of the Imams goes beyond a mere adoration of a holy teacher of mystical secrets and a mere guiding saint, but goes to the point where the Imams occupy such a high place in the hierarchy of saints that they themselves are those who consecrate the saints and (most of) the prophets and send them to us for guidance and the high council that manages the entire universe on the behalf of God. So the Shia-Sufis, such as the Alevi, have greater focus on these kind of ideas above everything else. And like, I said the general rejection of the three caliphs and Ayesha being of any real importance or spiritual authority whatsoever.

Also, honestly when you look at the structure of the Shi'ites, they're managed like Sufi tariqas already, regardless of the sect/school they adhere to and its stance on Sufism.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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I am fully aware of the Bektashi, but some of the beliefs of the Bektashi I'm not quite certain I agree with and also they have links to the Moorish Science Academy, which I'm not certain I agree with either. unsure.gif

They are not linked to the MSA. There are some in the Moorish Orthodox Church, a group of mostly white anarchist types interested in Moorish Science and other obscure traditions, who are interested in the Bektashis and Ismailism, I would be interested as to what lead you to this conclusion.

Btw, The Nihimatulli (spelling?) are Twelver, not Ismailis.

BTW, most of the Alevis are ghulat as far as I know, they don't follow Shari'a either.

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They are not linked to the MSA. There are some in the Moorish Orthodox Church, a group of mostly white anarchist types interested in Moorish Science and other obscure traditions, who are interested in the Bektashis and Ismailism, I would be interested as to what lead you to this conclusion.

That's kind of why, in fact one of the main writers on the Bektashiyya (in the United States) is a white man affiliated with the Moorish Church, and it doesn't seem like Bektashis outside the Moorish Orthodox Church really have a problem with them. However, I'm not certain how exactly the hierarchy of the Bektashi work. I don't know if they are one of those Sufi brotherhoods who basically allow their members to bring whatever traditions they feel fit the Bektashi way so long as they don't act too arrogant about it and force it on others or if they are the kind who are more exclusive than that with single central, Vatican-esque leadership. The impression I got was the latter, but if I'm wrong, please correct me if you have more knowledge.

BTW, most of the Alevis are ghulat as far as I know, they don't follow Shari'a either.

Idk, doesn't it depend on what one considers to be "ghulat" I'm not Alevi myself, but I find some ideas fascinating and not really all that bad. It may just be that some Shia just don't understand some of the teachings and interpret them the wrong way. For example, the Alevi "trinity" is a very often misunderstood concept by outsiders.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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You're speaking about two brothers who I am acquainted with who do happen to be affiliated with the MOCA and the MSTA..that does not mean the whole Bektashi Tariqa is affiliated with Moorish Science. Also, there is no compulsion in religion, but I should tell you that fully initiated Bektashi dervishes are expected to be celibate and live with other dervishes in a Tekke, something which has nothing to do with Islam. Also, there is no trinity in Islam. I have read different so-called mystical explanations of this concept, but Allah is One. By Ghulat I mean that the vast majority of them believe in Hulul, the divinity of the Imams Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã. As Muslims we do not believe that Allah incarnates into anything, or that anything but Allah is Allah. Not to mention they drink alcohol and do not pray namaz. I'm sure they're great people, but I fail to see what they can add spiritually to your deen when one of our Imams (a) said that the only way to get closer to Allah is to be obedient to Him.

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You're speaking about two brothers who I am acquainted with who do happen to be affiliated with the MOCA and the MSTA..that does not mean the whole Bektashi Tariqa is affiliated with Moorish Science. Also, there is no compulsion in religion, but I should tell you that fully initiated Bektashi dervishes are expected to be celibate and live with other dervishes in a Tekke, something which has nothing to do with Islam. Also, there is no trinity in Islam. I have read different so-called mystical explanations of this concept, but Allah is One. By Ghulat I mean that the vast majority of them believe in Hulul, the divinity of the Imams عليه السلام. As Muslims we do not believe that Allah incarnates into anything, or that anything but Allah is Allah. Not to mention they drink alcohol and do not pray namaz. I'm sure they're great people, but I fail to see what they can add spiritually to your deen when one of our Imams (a) said that the only way to get closer to Allah is to be obedient to Him.

Well, the Alevi, which would include the Bektashi, don't believe in a "trinity" They actually oppose this categorization of the theological concept of "God-Muhammad-Ali" when Alevi say "By God-Muhammad-Ali," They are actually referring to them as three distinct beings, not one being in three persons like the Holy Trinity of the Catholic, various Protestants, and Orthodox, though they believe the Christians and interpreted these three layers of reality as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. However, Alevi worship God and God alone, they do not believe Ali or Muhammad are God-incarnate (i think that may be the Nusayri aka 'Alawites' who believe that, Alawi being the same word as 'Alevi' just in Arabic instead of Turkish, though those typically called 'Alawi' and 'Alevi' are distinct from one another). The non-Nusayri Alevi, believe that God, in his transcendence and ineffability created a light by which his transcendent presence would be known, this light was Muhammad (pbuh), and Ali (as) was created from the same light by whom pretty much everything else came to be. When the Alevi say "God-Muhammad-Ali," they are speaking of a succession of authority between three distinct beings (God first, Muhammad second, Ali third) and also they are emphasizing the "unity" or "oneness" between these three beings, not in terms of being or even essence, but rather in terms of will. Both Muhammad and Ali's will are so united that one can speak of their divine wills as one, as Ali never strays from the will of Muhammad, and Muhammad never from the will of God, when you speak of the will of "God-Muhammad-Ali" you are emphasizing how bent the will of Muhammad and Ali are and always have been in submission to God's will, that you can essentially speak of Muhammad and Ali's will as being the same as God's will.

As for the liquor thing, I don't know if all Alevi drink liquor, but the drinking of liquor among the Alevi is generally for ceremonial purposes mainly and most drinking without the supervision of a capable religious authority is either forbidden or at least very forewarned. In the Bektashi-Alevi order, most drinking is actually done as part liturgy, much like Holy Communion in Christian churches, in which a high ranking dervish supervises the exact amount of liquor ingested by each participant. The dervishes of the Bektashi are often themselves prominent brewers and are responsible as the providers of the alcoholic beverages to their communities for ceremonial and recreational purposes, with communities generally limiting themselves to just what the dervishes have provided. Laymen of the faith may not ever drink at all except on liturgical ceremonies in which they drink less than a cup's worth of wine or raqiya.

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I am fully aware of the Bektashi, but some of the beliefs of the Bektashi I'm not quite certain I agree with and also they have links to the Moorish Science Academy, which I'm not certain I agree with either. unsure.gif

However, my studies into the Bektashi have fueled a lot of desire to learn more about more Shia partial Sufism, as well as Rumi. I find Rumi to be especially inspiring and his work has since been very influential on how I see the world and practice my faith. Since discovering Rumi, I have found that Sufism is much more diverse than I thought. Other than Rumi's poetry and discourses and Attar's prose works, I have trouble finding Sufi orders/schools/tariqats whose beliefs I don't either find to be "too Sunni" or "too ghulat." At first I thought I could find a good path with the Bektashi, but am having doubts. I know which saints I accept and whose words I find divine wisdom in, I just am not sure which Sufi orders carry on the true legacy of these saints I admire and venerate.

Now, I'm on this search for a Twelver Shia mysticism that I can really dedicate myself to studying. I'm not so much looking to join any particular order. I don't think at this point in my life I'm the kind of person who would join a specific clergy or anything. I'm only looking to increase my knowledge in mysticism and spiritual sciences without deviating from the path that I'm following now (Twelver Shia). So it would be really nice to discuss the area of Shia-Sufism. What orders are inherently Twelver Shia, what orders are not necessarily Shia but the teachings don't contradict either the traditional Sunni or Twelver Shia outlook, and the history of Sufism among the predominately Shia territories, such as Iran.

Any help would be great. Again, I'm aware of the Bektashi and find some truth in their teachings. I just am not sure if they carry on the true legacy of the Sufi saints like Rumi, Rabia al-Basri, Mansur Hallaj, Farid al-Din Attar, that I read about. If there is better Shia-Sufism out there, I'd like to study it so I can make a better decision on what path I want to continue in my gnostic adventures. Ya Ali madad! :angel:

from what you have typed, what you have explained about yourself and what you are in search for, it really seems like your looking for more then this, from my understanding there is a limit of what you can get out from books and the average knowledgable person. Once one gets to this stage he becomes frustrated and stuck as he doesn't know where he is headed, he then choses pathways in desperation to gain and achieve a goal he doesnt understand.

The reason why i am saying this is because, you are a very knowledgable person, getting into sufism /shia is normally not a area shias get into. Some people struggle search and search, gain and gain to reach a destination that they have longed for but never get there, then you have people who will begin a search and reach that destination without a struggle.

Rumi from what i have been told, Later in his life he met a saint, this saint threw his books into a river, he then complained, he was shown a mirracle by this saint, Rumi left his books and became a follower a faqeeer...

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Well, the Alevi, which would include the Bektashi

Not all Bektashi are Alevi. They have a lot in common, but this a common misconception. I even know some guys who are Marufi-Rufai who consider themselves Alevi, although they do observe the Shari'a as far as I know.

As for the liquor thing, I don't know if all Alevi drink liquor, but the drinking of liquor among the Alevi is generally for ceremonial purposes mainly and most drinking without the supervision of a capable religious authority is either forbidden or at least very forewarned. In the Bektashi-Alevi order, most drinking is actually done as part liturgy, much like Holy Communion in Christian churches, in which a high ranking dervish supervises the exact amount of liquor ingested by each participant. The dervishes of the Bektashi are often themselves prominent brewers and are responsible as the providers of the alcoholic beverages to their communities for ceremonial and recreational purposes,

1. What does a communion have to do with Islam?

2. Alcohol is completely forbidden in Islam.

All I'm saying is, these are two groups which seem to be very heterodox at least, the abandoning of Shari'a should be a warning sign. If you work out to a point that you get super-ripped, do you all of a sudden stop and keep your build?

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Not all Bektashi are Alevi. They have a lot in common, but this a common misconception. I even know some guys who are Marufi-Rufai who consider themselves Alevi, although they do observe the Shari'a as far as I know.

Do you mean that not all Alevi are Bektashi? I know that plenty of Alevi are not Bektashi, but I'm pretty sure that Bektashi considers itself to be officially an order within the Alevi sect.

1. What does a communion have to do with Islam?

I didn't say it was communion, I said it was like communion. The ritual they do with the wine or raqi holds a great spiritual significance for them as far as they're concerned, it's been the holy way of their order for as long as it's been around. But again, this is a Bektashi ritual, not necessarily a ritual of all Alevi. I don't know if all Alevi drink liquor or if all Alevi do the same liturgical ritual involving liquor even if they do.

2. Alcohol is completely forbidden in Islam.

Well, obviously not to their tradition. I doubt they care what you, I, or anyone else says is forbidden or allowed in Islam but follow what their traditional fiqh says.

All I'm saying is, these are two groups which seem to be very heterodox at least, the abandoning of Shari'a should be a warning sign. If you work out to a point that you get super-ripped, do you all of a sudden stop and keep your build?

Fair enough, but you have to understand that they follow their own traditions, hadith, and exegesis of Islam than we may not follow ourselves, even if they may share some views with us, and we shouldn't be so arrogant as to act as though everything is just so obvious to everyone that people cannot be led astray and still have a good heart and intention for disciplined spirituality and good behavior. Since I don't like it when Sunnis "How come you don't follow the Sunnah" as though I'm willingly going against the Sunnah just because I have a different belief system (by which I do feel I am following the Sunnah, the true Sunnah) as though what is the Sunnah is so obvious for everyone to figure out, I hence don't do the same. Rather, I understand that despite what I may feel is the truth, others may have a different view, not necessarily because they like to spread lies, but because they truly feel they are following the right path and earnestly want to do good by it. So, I prefer to listen and examine why and on what grounds people do this or that behavior or follow this or that system of religious beliefs and ritual. This way, even if I don't agree with them, I still have a better understanding of what they believe, and why, perhaps learn something new and improve my spirituality, and also, either when criticizing or exalting their beliefs/behavior, I speak only truth concerning them. :)

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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I've spoken to some people affiliated with the Bektashi order and they seem like good people, I just don't agree with certain things they do. To each their own, just remember that obedience to Allah swt is the key to closeness to Him-and I say that as a reminder to myself first.

Do you mean that not all Alevi are Bektashi? I know that plenty of Alevi are not Bektashi, but I'm pretty sure that Bektashi considers itself to be officially an order within the Alevi sect.

My contacts have specifically told me that while they share many similarities in belief, they are not one and the same. The Bektashi are definitely a separate group. Although some Alevi are Bektashi, it is not a pre-requisite for membership.

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My contacts have specifically told me that while they share many similarities in belief, they are not one and the same. The Bektashi are definitely a separate group. Although some Alevi are Bektashi, it is not a pre-requisite for membership.

I see. That's very interesting. I must admit that the Bektashi were one order I found especially interesting for their ideas. I once considered trying to join the order, but decided against as I felt it would be too hasty of an action and that I needed to learn more about other Sufi orders before I joined a tariqa. IF I joined a tariqa, that is. I very much value Sufism as something one can learn without having to officially join a tariqa if they don't want to.

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Salam,

Quick word about the Nimatullah-- they are NOT Shi'a. As a Shi'a with a deep love of Sufism, I do not say this out of spite. Rather, I actually called a Nimatullah center in the US (Santa Fe branch if you must know) and spoke to the master of the khanaqah in order to gain more information about the order. He told me the following things:

1. The Nimatullah are not concerned with exoteric practices of faith (rituals, prayers etc.) but only esoteric (batini) meanings.

2. The Nimatullah consider themselves to have "transcended" Islam, do not consider themselves a part of Islam, and believe that Islam is an "outdated" religion. As the master of the khanaqah put it to me, "Why should we care what a bunch of Arabs living in the desert did 1400 years ago".

3. In keeping with the last point, the Nimatullah do no consider themselves Shi'a (or even Sunni for that matter). In keeping with the first point, the Nimatullah do not believe that exoteric practices are necessary to gain esoteric insight-- this is a claim which has been fought and branded a lie by every Sufi of any repute (Ibn Arabi, Ghazali, Attar, Ibn Atallah, Jilani etc... I could go on).

Again, I take no pleasure in saying what I just said. I merely am basically retelling what I heard straight from the horses mouth. And again, I have a deep love and respect for the Sufis (even the non-Shi'a orders, though I do not honestly believe that anyone could have reached any stage of genuine inner unveling without at least being a Shi'a in secret). But all the things you read in books and papers by people such as Professor Sayyid Hossein Nasr and company stating that the Nimatullah are Shi'a is incorrect. I strongly encourage people to call one of their centers and verify my statements for themselves if you don't believe me.

Basically, if you want to join some sort of Shi'a Sufi way and do not live in the Middle East, all I can say is that your best bet is to make the most sincere and strong-willed effort to refine your character. Read the works of the Sufi masters (I personally find Ibn Arabi's work to be of the most-elevated nature) but keep everything within a Shi'a framework, and most importantly don't let Sufism be a purely academic exercise but do your best to live with the spirit of Sufism. I believe there is a strong possibility that many Sufis did not disclose their inner Shi'ism in order to avoid persecution (I think Ibn Arabi's writings in particular reflect this the greatest, you just have to get comfortable with ignoring his occasional praise of Muawiyyah or Abu Bakr etc.) Indeed, many Shi'a Sufis make this claim of their Sunni Sufi counterparts. Other than this, just ask the Lord to guide you and hope the spirit of Uwais finds you! The Lord's Mercy knows no bounds!

Salam

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Salam,

Quick word about the Nimatullah-- they are NOT Shi'a. As a Shi'a with a deep love of Sufism, I do not say this out of spite. Rather, I actually called a Nimatullah center in the US (Santa Fe branch if you must know) and spoke to the master of the khanaqah in order to gain more information about the order. He told me the following things:

1. The Nimatullah are not concerned with exoteric practices of faith (rituals, prayers etc.) but only esoteric (batini) meanings.

2. The Nimatullah consider themselves to have "transcended" Islam, do not consider themselves a part of Islam, and believe that Islam is an "outdated" religion. As the master of the khanaqah put it to me, "Why should we care what a bunch of Arabs living in the desert did 1400 years ago".

3. In keeping with the last point, the Nimatullah do no consider themselves Shi'a (or even Sunni for that matter). In keeping with the first point, the Nimatullah do not believe that exoteric practices are necessary to gain esoteric insight-- this is a claim which has been fought and branded a lie by every Sufi of any repute (Ibn Arabi, Ghazali, Attar, Ibn Atallah, Jilani etc... I could go on).

Again, I take no pleasure in saying what I just said. I merely am basically retelling what I heard straight from the horses mouth. And again, I have a deep love and respect for the Sufis (even the non-Shi'a orders, though I do not honestly believe that anyone could have reached any stage of genuine inner unveling without at least being a Shi'a in secret). But all the things you read in books and papers by people such as Professor Sayyid Hossein Nasr and company stating that the Nimatullah are Shi'a is incorrect. I strongly encourage people to call one of their centers and verify my statements for themselves if you don't believe me.

Basically, if you want to join some sort of Shi'a Sufi way and do not live in the Middle East, all I can say is that your best bet is to make the most sincere and strong-willed effort to refine your character. Read the works of the Sufi masters (I personally find Ibn Arabi's work to be of the most-elevated nature) but keep everything within a Shi'a framework, and most importantly don't let Sufism be a purely academic exercise but do your best to live with the spirit of Sufism. I believe there is a strong possibility that many Sufis did not disclose their inner Shi'ism in order to avoid persecution (I think Ibn Arabi's writings in particular reflect this the greatest, you just have to get comfortable with ignoring his occasional praise of Muawiyyah or Abu Bakr etc.) Indeed, many Shi'a Sufis make this claim of their Sunni Sufi counterparts. Other than this, just ask the Lord to guide you and hope the spirit of Uwais finds you! The Lord's Mercy knows no bounds!

Salam

ws wr wb

I don't think we can make an imam of one khaniqah represent the entire Nimatullah order. Secondly, orders can "evolve" and "change" and don't necessarily stick to their original principles--they can become corrupt even; especially after the passing away of the Shaykh. It is therefore not an incorrect statement to say that the Nimatullah have considered themselves a Shia tariqah.

Edited by eThErEaL
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ws wr wb

I don't think we can make an imam of one khaniqah represent the entire Nimatullah order. Secondly, orders can "evolve" and "change" and don't necessarily stick to their original principles--they can become corrupt even; especially after the passing away of the Shaykh. It is therefore not an incorrect statement to say that the Nimatullah have considered themselves a Shia tariqah.

Isn't there more than one Nimatullahi order, cause the Nimatullahi in Hyderabad commemorate Muharram and consider themselves Shia muslims.

Sadly, Sufism in the USA is starting to lose its "Islamic flavor" in some circles so it doesn't surprise me that some so called "Sufis" are trying to "transcend" Islam. Whatever the hell that means. :dry:

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