sufi literature

Sufi Literature

  • Books
  • Lectures
  • Oral literature
  • Songs
  • Music
  • Folklore
  • Sufi Symbols
  • qawahli

many Muslims have questioned the orthodoxy of it


the great divide pagan factor

Shi’ah – Sunni

The Shi‘ah do not consider the narrations in Bukhari to be authentic, and argue that if things such as Ziyarah and Tawassul were innovations and shirk, Muhammad himself would have prohibited people as a precaution, from visiting graves, or seeking blessings through kissing the sacred black stone at the Ka‘bah.

Some Sunni scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah, have also rejected the notion that such things are innovations (bid’ah).

Sufism and paganism

  • Pagan influence
  • Mysticism
  • Miracles and music

West Asia & Paganism

  • Mecca
  • Tribals

Sufism and Idol worship

  • Dargah
  • Peer
  • Chadar

Sufi saints

  • An array of saints
  • Woman saints
  • scholar and theologian Ibn Taymiyya condemned walis (saints)
  • Enemy of Sufism was Mohamed ibn ‘Abdel-Wahab, the puritanical founder of the Wahhabi movement, Saudi Arabia

Sufi debate

  • European sufism
  • West asian sufism
  • Asian Sufism
  • American Sufism

Sufism and Politics by Paul L. Heck
Sufism is often overlooked when it comes to scholarly consideration of the politics of the Muslim world. This is partly due to the difficulty of defining Sufism, which is both spiritual outlook and social institution. Both aspects, however, have been important factors in the variegated involvement of Sufism in the politics of Muslim society, past and present alike.

The political dimension of Sufism across culture and history and to offer new horizons for scholarly reflection on the socio-political role played by Sufism in both pre-modern and modern Muslim society. Sufism has been an active player in defining the societal nature of Islam, no less than its theological nature, and this volume underscores the way in which Sufism has played that role while adapting itself to changing political conditions.

Issues include charismatic authority and institutional interests, the moral good and the state (both patrimonial and national); patronage, power, and the competitive politics of sainthood; theological assessments of the value of the world, justice, and conceptions of civil society as seen through the eyes of Sufism. This volume casts further light on an important and influential side of the ongoing debate within Islam over the purposes of politics alongside its realities. Sufism and Politics

Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata Allah.

I found the following three to give a taste of the typical wisdom to be found in many Sufi aphorisms: n n

  • “In your despairing you are a free man, but in your coveting you are a slave.
  • Sometimes He gives while depriving you, and sometimes He deprives you in giving.
  • So that your sadness over something be little, let your joy in it be little.”


Dr Sedgwick, is direct and curious, and it deserves to be quoted in full:

“Most Sufis would reply to such a question by asking what future the world has. For Sufis, the eclipse of Sufism is synonymous with the eclipse of true religion, and once true religion has almost vanished from the world, the Final Day will come, as countless hadith predict and explain. Millenarian expectations have always been popular among Muslims, but are particularly widespread today among Sufis, many of whom would be not at all surprised to see the Day of Judgment in their own lifetimes.”

Criticism n confusion

Is Sufism Islam ?

  • Islam rejects mysticism
  • Islam’s disbilief for other faiths
  • Monotheist
  • Mohammed the ultimate


the Shi‘ah partake in the performance of Ziyarah, none of which include the worship of the people buried within the tomb
The Shi‘ah do however perform Ziyarah, believing that the entombed figures bear great status in the eyes of God — Ayatullah Borujerdi and Ayatullah Khomeini.
Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Musawi writes: In this regard, Ibn Shu’ba al-Harrani also narrates a hadith from the tenth Imam of the Twelver Shi‘as: The Ziyarah of the Imams is also done by the Shi‘ah, not only as a means of greeting and saluting their masters who lived long before they were born, but also as a means of seeking nearness to God and more of His blessings (barakah)

In Saudi Arabia, the Guardian of the Two Holy Mosques, attempts to prevent Shi’as and Sufis from performing ziyarat to the graves of nobles (except the tomb of Muhammad) while they are visiting Mecca and Medina during the Hajj.

For an example, the Baqi Cemetery, is surrounded by large billboards proclaiming the sinfulness of shirk and grave-worshipping. Visitors are advised to visit the cemetery only to remind themselves of death and the Hereafter.

scholar and theologian Ibn Taymiyya who condemned the importance accorded to walis (saints)
many Muslims have questioned the orthodoxy
more bitter enemy of Sufism was Mohamed ibn ‘Abdel-Wahab, the puritanical founder of the Wahhabi movement that continues to be the official doctrine of Saudi Arabia

sufi orders

Al-Qadiriya Sufi order
‘Abdel-Qadir Al-Jilani, who was born in Persia in 1078 and died in Baghdad, spread throughout various parts of Africa, then to China and Malaysia, and later to Bosnia and Albania, as well as to Zanzibar and other areas of East Africa. We are informed that in the twentieth century it was even carried to Siberia by men deported from the Caucasus by Stalin.

Shadhiliya order
named after a Moroccan shaykh of the 12th century from Seville. This shaykh, Abul-Hassan Al-Shadhili, like many other shaykhs travelled widely and spent some time in Alexandria. There he was succeeded by Abul-‘Abbas Al-Mursi, who in turn was succeeded by Ibn ‘Ata Allah. The latter became widely known as the author of a famous collection of sayings under the title “Hikam.”

Tijaniyah Order
Tijaniyah Order is strongly associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which began as an anti-British movement in Egypt in the 1920s, later playing an important role in the revolution which deposed King Faroukh in 1952.
Today the Brotherhood is effectively acting as an intermediary between the oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where it is still technically illegal.

Many of the features which made Sufism so succesfull as an occult underground (for example the secret recognistion codes and ‘cell’ structure) helped the Muslim Brotherhood function effectively as a terrorist organisation and spy network As with western Freemasonry, however, it seems likely that in many cases any esoteric aims have long sonce been submeregd by political objectives.

Chishti Order
Moinuddin Chishti, this incredible master who founded the Chishti order, originally Chisht was in the border of modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan, he was brought to India as a young man.
He was a great saint. Openly, Hindus came to him, he would pray for them, he would be kind to them, and he would eat with them. Many of these Hindus realized this man was beyond all the distinctions of caste and social classifications that existed in India.
I’m not trying to criticize the caste system that has its own philosophy, but the oppressive aspect of social stratification did not exist for him, so, many Hindus came to him.
And they say he brought over 500,000 people to Islam during his life. Same with the Qadiris, some of these were great teachers who did not take a sword and try to fight against the Hindus. They made friends with the Hindus.

Sufism in the West
While some Sufi orders in the West look after the spiritual needs of immigrant workers, such as the branch of a tariqa in Italy that caters for Senegalese workers,
there are other Sufi groups whose members are made up almost solely of Westerners in search of religious truths outside Christianity.
Thus the writings of Idries Shah on Sufism are widely read in the West, though the way in which he presents such teachings would not be endorsed by most Sufis in the Islamic world.
“Sufism is a path within Islam and so can only become something different if removed from that context.”

Naqshabandi order
led by the Turkish Cypriot Shaykh Mohamed Nazim Al-Qubrusi, a man with a knowledge of English in addition to Arabic and Turkish and a person blessed with an unusual degree of charm, charisma and sense of humour. He has attracted to his tariqa — and thus to Islam — a considerable following from England, Germany and other European countries, as well as from the States and native-born Muslims from the Arab world and the Far East.
All are strict Muslims in a way that would satisfy the most rigorous dictates. Most interesting French writer on religion in general and on Islam in particular, René Guenon.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tuni
one of Egypt’s emblematic figures of Sufism, a school of Islam with mystical dimensions. Al-Tuni represents an old line of performers of musical and singing traditions transmitted orally from generation to generation.

French writer, René Guenon
Having become disillusioned with the increasing materialism of the West, Guenon wrote a number of books such as “The Crisis of the Modern World” in which he expressed this dissatisfaction. He himself eventually embraced Islam and became a member of the Shadhili order, making Egypt his home and dying here in 1952.
Many people were later influenced by Guenon’s writings, among the most active of whom was the Swiss thinker Frithjof Schuon who formed an order known as the Maryamiya, branches of which are to be found in various parts of the West and also in some parts of the Islamic world.

EGYPT: Lutes and Sufi chanters
Sufi musical traditions are still often performed in Egypt during religious ceremonies, called “Mulid,” which celebrate the birthday of ancient notables or religious figures. These ceremonies marked all over Egypt involve mystical chants, dance and other performances.

IRAQ: Sufi rituals in Kurdistan
More than 2,000 Kurdish Sufis gathered Saturday at religious shrines in Barzanchi, a village 37 miles east of Sulaymaniya in Kurdistan. The followers of the mystical Islamic sect practiced their rituals. Worshippers beat drums and chanted Allah (God) as dervishes swallowed swords and then cut themselves with the blades. Others ate light bulbs and swallowed fire.

Sufi places of worship

Sufi places of worship
Different Muslim-majority countries, speaking different languages, use different words for these sites.

* Ziyaratgaah — Persian word meaning, “sites of Ziyarat”

* Imamzadeh — in Iran, tombs of the “descendants of Shi‘ah Imams”

* Dargah (?????, ?????) — in South Asia, Iran and Central Asia, tombs of Sufi saints

* Ziyaratkhana — in South Asia (less common)

* Derga or Ziyaret — in Turkey

* Khwaja ‘Abd Allah Ansari shrine, Gazargah

* The Rawze-e-Sharif (Blue Mosque), said to be the grave of Ali ibn Abi Talib; Mazar-i-Sharif

* Khwaja Abu Nasr Parsa shrine, Balkh

* Baba Hatim Ziyarat, Emam Sahib
* The historic Blue Mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif


* Othmania Zawia, traditional zaouia established in memory of a saint; Tolga

* Sidi Okba, Tomb of Sidi Okba bin Nafei, the great muslim Commander of Umayyad Forces; Biskra


* Dargah of Hazrat Shah Jalal, the Dargah (tomb) and Masjid (mosque) of the Turkish Sufi saint Hazrat Shah Jalal; Sylhet

China (People’s Republic of)

* Qilghili Keldim of Uighuristan
Six of twelve, Twelver Shi‘ah Imams are buried in Iraq:

Image:Meshed ali usnavy (PD).jpg|Imam `Ali Mosque
Tomb of:
*`Ali ibn Abi Talib
(First Shi‘ah Imam)
*Adam (Shi‘ah belief)
*Noah (Shi‘ah belief)
( Najaf )
Image:Kerbela Hussein Moschee.jpg|Imam Husayn Mosque
Tomb of:
*Husayn ibn ‘Ali
(Third, Twelver Imam)
*‘Ali Akbar ibn Husayn
*‘Ali Asghar ibn Husayn
*Habib ibn Madhahir

The Ziyarat sites in India are owned and maintained by the waqf Boards of the respective states in which they are located.

* Hazrath Adam(A) landed from paradise to Adam mountain-(Boudh hill)-Sri Lanka-it is nearer to south India.

* Dargah (shrine) of Adam(A)&Hawwa beevi, Mannar-Srilanka-Near to South India

* Dargah (shrine) of Habeel ibn-Adam(A), Rameswaram-Chennai-Tamilnadu

* Dargah (shrine) of Prophet Nooh(A), Manik parvath(Al-joodi hill), Fiazabad, Utter Pradesh

* Dargah (shrine) of Prophet Shees(A), Son of Adam(A), (Al-joodi hill), Fiazabad, Utter Pradesh

* Dargah (shrine) of Prophet Davood(A), (Al-joodi hill), Fiazabad, Utter Pradesh

* Dargahs (shrines) of 40 prophets chalees Ambiya, Baros-Punjab-It revealed by Imam Rabbani

* Imam Rabbani Mujaddid Alfussani(R), Sirhind, Punjab

* Muhammed Maasoom(R), Sirhind, Punjab

* Muhammed Saifudheen(R), Sirhind, Punjab

* Noor Muhammed Badhayooni(R), Delhi

* Muhammed Baqi Billah(R), Delhi

* Shah Valiyullah Dahlavi(R), Delhi

* Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtyar Kaki’s shrine near Delhi

* Ali Hamadani(R), Charare-Shereef, Kashmir

* Dargah (shrine) of Ahmed Rida Khan, Bareilly

* Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, Delhi

* Tomb of Amir Khusro, Delhi

* Dargah of Khwaja Sahib, or Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, in Ajmer, Rajasthan

* Dargah of Hussain Tekri in Jaora, Madhya Pradesh

* Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar district, Jammu and Kashmir

* Dargah of Salim Chishti, at Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh

* Dargah of Syed Ashraf Jahanghir Semnani, at Kichochashareef, Uttar Pradesh

* Mirsa jan jan& Abdullah janjanbade navas-gulburg

* Hazarath Syed Kareemulla Shah Khadari, Kasmur, Nellore Dist, Andhra Pradesh

* Sheikh Jamaluddin Qutb’s shrine in Haryana

* Shrine of Ibrahim, Bhadreswar, Gujarat

* Jamaludheen Jana, Gujarat

* Valley of Saints, shrines of several Sufi saints and the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Khuldabad, Maharashtra.

* Darghah of Haji Ali, Mumbai

* Dargah of Makhdoom Ali Mahimi, at Mahim in Mumbai

* Nath-har Ali Badhshah(R), Trichi-Trinapalli, Tamilnadu

* Tameemul Ansari(R), Chennai, Tamilnadu

* Ukkasha(R), Tamilnadu

* Dargah of Nagore, in Tamil Nadu we recommend you to visit

* Hazrath Haja Sheikh Alavudeen(RA),Paapavoor,Tamilnadu

* Darghah of Sulthan Ibraheem Badushah, [[[Ervadi,, Tamilnadu]]

* Hazrath Hameed Aulia(RA),Kanchipuram,Tamilnadu

* Hazrath Usmaan Aulia(RA),Kanchipuram,Tamilnadu

* Hazrath Syed Moosa Sha Qadiri(RA), Dargah chennai, Tamilnadu

* Dargah of Hazarath Tawakkal Mastan, Bangalore, Karnataka

* Bababudangiri shrine, Chickmagalur, Karnataka

* Darghah of Tippu Sultan(R), Mysore, Karnataka

* Sayyid Muhammed Madani(R), Mangloor, Karnataka

* Sayyid Alavi Mouladdhaveela-MAMBURAM, Malabar, Kerala

* Muhammed Ibn-Alavudheen, Ediyangara, Calicut-Kerala

* Quthubul Aalam Muhammed Abeebacker(R), Madavoor-Calicut, Kerala

* qutubul qadriyya shiekh kamaludheen EK umrar haji al qadri, calicut, kerala

* shiekh jamaludheen EK ahmad haji al qadri muttichoor, thrisur, kerala

* shiekh shaheed aliyul bakari parambil (ra), calicut, kerala

* shiekh ashiq-u-rrasool kundoor abdul qadr musliar al qadri(ra), malappuram, kerala

* qutubul qadriyya shiekh saeed sirajudheen al qadri ailakkad(ra), malappuram, kerala

* kaniyamburam abdurrazak masthan (Ra), kerala

* Malik Ibn Habeeb, Kasargod, Kerala

* Shiekh Abdu Rahiman Naqshbandhi-Khalidi, Tanoor, Kerala

* Shiekh Muhammed Bappu Khalidi-Shaduli, Machingappara-Tirur, Kerala

* Raffi Rifayya-Old Masjid, Calicut, Kerala

* Zainudheen Maqdoom(R)-1, Ponnani, Kerala

* Zainudheen Maqdoom(R)-2, Mini Palli, Shompal

* Abdul Qader Sani-Suharwardhi,, Purathiyil-Kannur, Kerala

* Muhammed Moula- Buqari, Kannur, Kerala

* Sheikh Muhammed Haji Thangal Shaduli, Vadakara-Calicut, Kerala

* Faqeer Shah Baba Qadri Gwalior, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

* Pallipadi Auliya, Ernakulam, Kerala

* Sayyid Hamid Thangal Rifai, Kalamassery, Kerala

* Hazar Deewane- shah kapasan, m.p.

* Sayyid Moulal Bhukhari – Kannur City, Kannur, Kerala

* Valiyullahi (R) – Muttil Juma Masjid, Muttil, Kannur, Kerala

* Valiyullahi (R) – Oliyankara Juma Masjid, Cherukunnu, Kannur, Kerala

* Valiyullahi C M Abubacker Musliyaar (R) – Madavoor, Malabar, Kerala

* Umar Qazhi (R) – Veliyankode, Malabar, Kerala

* Tamim ul Dari (R), Parapalli, Calicut, Kerala

* Hazrat Shah Noor Jamal(RA),Hoshiarpur


* The tombs of the Wali Sanga

* Tomb of Tuan Guru Syeikh Abdurrahman Siddiq, Riau – frequented by Malays from Indonesia and Malaysia
Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization lists several hundred “ziyarat-gah” or places of pilgrimage in which a sage, Sufi, Imamzadeh, or Imam were buried in Iran. Some of the more popular ones include:

* Shrine of Bayazid Bistami, Bistam

* Darb-i Imam shrine, Isfahan

* Davazdeh Imam shrine, Yazd

* Fatimah al-Ma’sumah Mosque, Qum

* Friday Mosque of Shiraz, Shiraz


dhikr, fiqh, sunna,
frequent meetings of individuals of community dars (or lesson) or suhba
sihr-al-halal or pemitted magick

various Sufi tariqas

  • Al-Qadiriya Sufi order
  • Shadhiliya order
  • Naqshabandi order
  • Tijaniyah Order
  • Shadhili order
  • Al-Tuni
  • Maryamiya order
  • Qadiri Order
  • Chishti Sufi orders
  • Rumi, the best selling poet in America today

sufi belief


  • Like many of the important Sufi terms, the word ‘Sufi’ is itself a complex pun on Arabic words of similar sound and meaning.
  • ‘suf’, meaning ‘wool’ (a reference to the cloth from which the cloaks worn by Sufis are made), and ‘sufiy’, meaning ‘pious’
  • Golden Era
  • Abbasid dynasty 750-1258 c.e (based in Baghdad) saw a shift of power to the more ancient Persian culture.
  • Greater influence of music, poetry and intellectual pursuits suited the Sufis, many of whom began to make important cultural contributions to Islam.

  • Sufis believe they can transcend into a state of altered consciousness and experience closeness to Allah, or God. This is usually achieved through a set of rituals that involve whirling the head or the body to intense rhythmic music and repetitive chanting of divine names.

  • As the rising sounds of oriental percussion and lutes resonated around him, the frail Sufi chanter struck a glass with prayer beads in fast repetitive movements. His vibrant voice sang love for the prophet Mohammed.

  • The man featured at a cultural center in Cairo was Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tuni, one of Egypt’s emblematic figures of Sufism, a school of Islam with mystical dimensions. Al-Tuni represents an old line of performers of musical and singing traditions transmitted orally from generation to generation.

“the poor man’s Hajj”

Apparently there is a folk belief in South Asia that passing through the gate of the Dargah of Khwaja Sahib seven times is equivalent to doing the Hajj.

According to the Tribune of India:
“The “zannati darwaja” is opened only four times in a year during Khawaja’s Urs, on Id-ul-Fitar, Sixth of Id and Bakrid. It is considered by faithfuls that one who passes through the “zannati darwaja” gets his seat reserved in “Zannat” (heaven) after death. Moreover seven rounds of the “Darwaja” gives “sawab” equal to Haj pilgrim. Those who cannot afford to go for Haj come here when the “darwaja” traditionally remains open and pass through it seven times. This is called poor men’s Haj.”

Mohammed El-Ghazali

Great poet but also an influential theologian, is still often referred to as ‘the Authority of Islam’ even by the most orthodox Sunni Moslems.
Although a controversial figure in his own times, Ghazali’s work offered acceptable solutions to some of the most pressing Theological questions of the era (the early 12th century).
Effectively guaranteed the acceptability of the Sufis doctrines around which these solutions were based, thereby securing the future of the Sufi cults.

Sufism For beginners

Sufis: main ‘mystical’ manifestation of Islam


  • real Sufism, deeply rooted in Islam ?
  • no one can be a Sufi without having a shaykh
  • absence of a hierarchy / clergy
  • a Sufi normally asks permission of shaykh


  • Orthodox Muslims : Sufism is an ‘Inner Tradition’ within Islam
  • Origins in older near-eastern mystical traditions, dating back to ancient Egypt
  • Sufi tradition, ‘Sufi’ was decided at a council of 45 mystics in 623 c.e., the 2nd year of the Islamic calendar
  • 1st documentary evidence of Sufis arrives with the founding of the first Sufi Order in 657 ce
  • Prophet Mohammed was himself a Sufi

Sheikh Ahmad al-Rifai, a founder of a Sufi order in Iraq in the 12th century, described the relationship between God and a Sufi man:

“Who loves Allah, allows himself to become modest, and does not like anything other than Him. Servitude to Allah is an attribute that who has it does not esteem anything other than Him. The perfection of servitude is freedom, which means salvation from submitting yourself to things other than Allah.”

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