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Re: Islamic Sufism -- Issues and Incidents
Posted by: Moriarty ()
Date: October 18, 2016 08:38AM

Shaykh Asrar discusses Sufi cults:

[m.youtube.com]

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Re: Islamic Sufism -- Issues and Incidents
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 09, 2017 06:48AM

Interview: ‘Sufism is not a living culture anymore’

Maleeha Hamid SiddiquiUpdated September 18, 2016

[www.dawn.com]

Interview with Professor Azfar Moin, author of

The Millenial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam

[www.google.com]


(Excerpts of interview article - for full text read the url)
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The Pakistani state has become riven with sectarian and ethnic divisions. There is the ever-present threat of the puritanical version of Islam and Sufism is projected as a counter-narrative to this version. But your book busted this myth of Sufis being about peace, love, tolerance and inclusiveness since they were used during the Safavid Empire as a means to capture state power. Was that a surprise for you as well?

It was bit of a surprise that Sufis were used that way but there is, of course, that message embedded in Sufi poetry and there is no denying that. Rumi’s poetry is all about finding truth and there are multiple ways to it. The intellectual Sufism and the Sufism of poetry certainly has that message. However if you ask how was that message spread, it was spread through networks of shrines and it was only when Sufism became embedded in very real material nodes in society, where large numbers of people came to listen to devotional songs, was when that message was permeated.

But because saint shrines became centres of pilgrimage where people donated large amounts of money, where agricultural land was donated as waqf to them, they also became centres of power. The devotion of the people allowed the Sufis to act as kingmakers and sometimes become kings.

That is the argument in my book, which sees the rise of Sufism as networks of shrines become a very popular form of religion. Empires begin to adopt those religious forms for kingship during the Mughal era, the rituals are borrowed from saint shrines. It is about piety and meditation but because these messages are spread through these nodes and shrines become centres of wealth and power, they also become centres of politics, which leads to competition, which leads to war and which leads to violence. It is a different form of violence which has very much to do with land, property and people’s loyalties. It is not based on notions of truth and falsehood or of declaring people outside the pale of religion. So it is not as abstract but very much bound to local politics. And that’s one of the things I discovered

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How do you see the shifting Sufi culture in South Asia, especially with the rise of Hindutva, Taliban and now the IS?

Historically there were different elements to the Sufi culture. Part of it was ritualistic, located in shrine culture, festivals and pilgrimage. Another aspect was it supported a literate culture that created philosophy, metaphysics, rationalised the place of humanity in the cosmos and thought about how to deal with religious difference. And another aspect of it was it connected to imperial power and notions of kingship and sovereignty.

Slowly, as the empire dissolved, we stopped writing those books and studying those traditions in the 19th century. All that was left was the shrine cults. In the 20th century, whether it was a secular modernist who said all this is rubbish or the Taliban and the IS who started to critique shrine culture saying they are local people and are illiterate, the political and intellectual backing that Sufism had enjoyed for hundreds of years was, and is, no longer there. There is nobody to argue back. In some ways the inevitability of today’s critique of Sufism comes from the fact that in the 18th and 19th century, Sufism retreated into particularist local devotional form of religion. Today it is a relic of the past, we pine for it but it is not a living culture anymore.

But one could say the same thing about the madressah culture. According to historian Barbara Metcalfe, the Deobandi madressah, which becomes the model of the madressah across South Asia, was, in fact, a modern institution.....

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What are you working on these days?

I am looking at a number of things: one of them is violence against shrines in pre-modern times, where the shrines were attacked not by people who considered shrine culture to be heretical or innovative but rather by other Sufis. I am trying to understand why there was violence in the age of Sufism, how was it tied to politics, what lessons can be drawn from that and the relationship between religion and politics at the time.

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Pilgrims fleeced, catering fraud other crimes at Sufi Shrine
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 11, 2017 05:11AM

Spiritual benefits, economic losses go together
October 25, 2016

[nation.com.pk]

For full text, read the article. What follows are some excerpts

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LAHORE - One way or the other, almost every visitor gets robbed at Data Darbar - the shrine of famous Sufi saint Hazrat Ali Bin Usman Al-Hajveri.

Tens of thousands of devotees from across the country visit the Lahore’s historic shrine daily. But they are virtually robbed by the food sellers, contractors, and mafias who in fact enjoy the administrative control of the shrine.

In addition to fleecers and fraudsters, the populous Data Darbar locality is among the worst crime-hit areas of the provincial metropolis.

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Devotees from across the country visiting the shrine take sigh of relief when they pay homage to their spiritual leader buried here. About 40,000 to 50,000 pilgrims daily visit the shrine of Hazrat Ali Hajveri widely known as Data Ganj Bakhsh, according to Data Darbar manager Mr Jahangir.

Due to poor administration of Auqaf department which is also custodian of the shrine, security, janitorial and administrative issues are not up to the mark.

When a devotee enters in the Darbar limits, he has to face swindlers, pickpockets and kidnappers roaming around the premises in guise of beggars, food sellers, addicts, and flower sellers.

Food (Lungar) sellers not only sell substandard food but also in lesser quantity than declared. A devotee, Muhammad Salman said, “I bought a Daigh of rice of 10 kg to distribute among the poor but when I checked, there was hardly 5 kg food in ‘Daigh’. The irony is that one cannot countercheck the weight at the Data Darbar.”

Another regular visitor told The Nation that some food sellers only receive money from the rich devotees to distribute food among the people but after distributing minor chunk of the food, they put the food again at their counter for sale.

Similarly, many devotees coming from far flung are deprived of their money through pickpocketing when they enter in the rushy area of the shrine.

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Another grave concern of Data Sahib devotees is overcharging by the contractors of Auqaf for shoes-keeping. The department has fixed Rs5 for each pair of shoes when a devotee goes inside the Darbar he has to put his shoes off and hand them over to the Darbar staff.

But in ‘normal’ practice, the contractor charges Rs100 to 150 per pair of shoes keeping in view the dressing and financial position of the devotee.

Jabbar Ahmad, a resident of Bahawalnagar, who was there with his family, complained to the Darbar manager that the shoes-keeping staff had charged Rs100 from his wife and also misbehaved with her

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Re: If you visit a foreign Sufi group, make sure it isnt feudal
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 06, 2017 07:22AM

SC seeks report on allegation of Lahore ‘faith healer’ brainwashing youth


[www.pakistantoday.com.pk]

(excerpt)

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he Supreme Court has directed the inspector general of Punjab police to submit a report into the alleged brainwashing of a youth by a “faith healer” in Lahore.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the case on an application filed by Mohammad Salman Shakeel’s parents in the Human Rights Cell of the Supreme Court.

Qazi Shakeeluddin stated in the application that a pir (faith healer) named Sufi Khurram and his disciple Rizwan had brainwashed his son, leading to him abandoning his family.

He urged the court to order authorities to recover his son and take action against Sufi Khurram and Rizwan as per the law.

Taking notice of the application, the director of SC’s Human Rights Cell wrote a letter to IG Punjab earlier this week, directing him to submit a report of the case within 15 days.

According to the father, Salman was introduced to Sufi Khurram by a friend he met at the local mosque while studying for his BCom degree. Salman started spending his evenings and eventually staying over at Sufi Khurram’s dera (camp), he said.

A year later, in an apparent first sign of his radicalisation, Salman started wearing shalwar kameez to college and grew out his hair.

(Corboy note: shalwar kameez is a long shirt, often below knee length
and loose trousers. SK is worn by many in Pakistan, but considered traditional garb by Pakistanis who aspire to more modern lifestyles and prefer to wear western style clothing

[historyplex.com]

[www.google.com]


)

Salman then took admission in the MA programme at the University of Central Punjab, only to quit less than a month later citing the “presence of female students” in his class.

Salman devoted his next five years in service of Sufi Khurram, forgoing his studies and prospects of a job. He eventually started living away and would visit his family home for only a few hours every day.

Shakeeluddin alleged that Sufi Khurram had managed to separate several young men from their families and was exploiting them for his ‘faith healing’ business.

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Re: Charter School blog -- the Gulen Movement
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 08, 2018 08:59AM

The Muslims Who Fast Sunup to Sundown for Three Straight Years
In a school in remote Central Java, students practice an extreme version of the fasting month.

Zakki Amali

Jun 5 2018, 3:56am

[www.vice.com]

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