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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 10, 2013 09:50PM

From a Kaffir:

In the West, an atmosphere of mystique, mystery and romance surrounds the term 'Sufi'.

Please beware as this triggers craving, greed and what the saliks would say inflames the 'nafs'.

Too often in the West, the Sufi circuit (as patronized by acculturated Westerners, especially wealthy ones or those who have potential to become wealthy) becomes another elitist hang out.

Emulate the ones who see tassawuf is simply a greater commitment to Islam.

Books to read so that you have a good start.

Warning: None of these books are inspirational. Inspiration is a mere mood and one can easily become addicted to it.


Mark Sedgwick -- Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret History of the Twentieth Century. Traditionalism (Guenon, Schuon, Lings and especially Nasr, have introduced a severe bias into many people's converstion to Islam, making conversion to Islam a mere means to an end--accessing some sort of true initiation into an alleged 'primordial wisdom'.

Conversion to Islam cannot be a means to an end. It is one's goal. Not a mere seeking of a 'valid initiation.'

Memoirs of a Dervish by Robert Irwin. This man encountered a Sufi community in its cultural context. And he tells how vulnerable the community was to the political fortunes of the larger community. No bed of roses. Irwin converted to Islam before taking bayat with the Sheikh of the 'Alawi tariqua.

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Worship God, not the Sheikh, Pir or Murshid.

And beware any order where one is taught to visualize and internalize the image of the sheikh, pir or murshid, on principle this personage has realized God and that to visualize and internalize the teacher is then to link the salik to God.

The dangers outweigh any possible advantages. This internalization can lead one to become the psychic slave of the leader.

this is dangerous.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 10, 2013 09:56PM

A tariqa or Sufi group may seem on surface to be OK.

But if you find any evidence that there is a secret core of "Sheikh" worship or "Pir Worship", a leader seeming oh so humble but secretly living in luxury, waited on, pampered in secret, visualizations taught only to higher level adepts in which they visualize the leader on principle of the leader being God realized, practices which may be concealed from novices and from outsiders---

get out of there, even if you have to abandon your dearest friends and social networks.

Even if you find you must move to another town.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 12, 2013 10:10PM

Discussions here


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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 12, 2013 10:42PM

Earlier posts 'Sufi Muslim Survivors'


And, some insights from a blog called Keep Yourself Alive


UGM can develop very slowly and be imperceptible to those inside or outside of the group.

So what is an Unhealthy Group Mentality(UGM)?

Put simply, it is the behaviour and attitudes of any group which is likely to be damaging to those in the group.

How can UGM be prevented?

Always, always remember that you alone will be accountable for your actions on the Day of Judgment. As you have the sole accountability for yourself, so you should have the final say. Seeking advice is one thing, but letting others make decisions for you is another.

Allah gives people different blessings, some are visible, others are not. Whatever blessings someone may have, it does not necessarily indicate that they are a good person. Beware of assuming that someone is sinless just because of their status, knowledge or background. Only Allah knows the true reality of things.

Unless there is abuse or another type of dangerous situation , then any marital problems should be solved by both spouses, together. One spouse talking about problems, alone to an outside party, rarely results in a positive solution. You both are the experts on your marriage, not an outsider.

Step away from the fatwa websites. Unless you are seeking a solution to a specific religious query (e.g, does using toothpaste break my fast?), fatwa sites can be at best unhelpful and at worst destructive, if not actually dangerous.

This is because they encourage people to put their problems into the hands of people who do not know them personally, may come from a very different culture and cannot get an accurate insight into the situation from one letter or email.

Knowledge, religious or otherwise, does not equal wisdom. As consulting fatwa sites discourages personal responsibility, this is a dangerous practice.

Judge the situation, not the status of those involved in it. If the members of a group have numerous disputes, divorces or other fitna, they may not be as pious as they claim. Look at what people do, not what they say.

Keep a wide social circle, as this prevents isolationism and help maintain personal perspective.

One person wrote in the comments section:

" not know why, but it seems that many Muslims engage in personality worship, whereby they replace Allah with the leader of their personal group. You cannot actually confront people with this because it’s deny, deny, deny, but the proof is in the results, I think. "

Here is a matter that is important.

In some very unhealthy groups (and this may include plenty of non Muslim groups), there may be a secret inner core of personality worship of the Sheikh or Pir or Murshid-- something concealed from the public and from lower ranking members of the tariqa or group.

In cultures where it is commonplace to engage in slavish devotion to Pirs (In Pakistan some Pirs continue to rule as feudal lords and multitudes abase themselves, and beg the Pir for healings, blessings and miracles), personality worship is not kept a secret.

But in areas where this is discouraged or ridiculed or well understood to be in violation of Islam, a corrupted Sheikh may take care to hide his actual status of authoritarian guru from lower ranking members, prospective recruits, and from the general public.

One sign that a sheikh is exerting this kind of personality worship is when too many members live in close proximity and socialize or network mostly with each other.

Keeping a secret takes a great deal of energy and is tiring. So persons who share that secret (even if its the secret of their own actual slavery to a mere creature impersonating God)--keeping that kind of a secret is exhausting. So those in on this secret will tend to cluster together.

Persons not in on the secret may have a sense they are being treated as small children, excluded from something unspoken and important.

That is why it is important to worship in other settings, so that one doesnt get used to normalizing and rationalizing something that feels "off", feels "icky", feels "strange".

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 25, 2013 12:02AM

If this has happened, it is especially tragic.

A girl or woman who has been raped is treated like dirt in Indo Muslim society.

If she is allowed to live at all.


The Kashmir Observer Thursday , July 11, 2013 - IST

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 25, 2013 12:18AM

For a detailed description of the role played by travelling dervishes in counseling and faith healing, get and read Dancing Girls of Lahore by Louise Brown.


She lived in a poor neighborhood in Lahore. Twice, her landlady went to these traveling holy men, first to beg help to have a spell lifted from her, and second, to beg supernatural aid to her daughter who was lost in Dubai.

The first such person was greedy, added to the woman's fears, demanded a heavy payment in addition to the free dinner he was served, at her expense.

Because women often consult these persons, a criminal can easily abuse their trust in quite terrible ways.

A mother or very devoted male followers could be easily manipulated to allow such a charlatan access to their children.

And in this society, a raped girl or woman's life is socially ruined--unless she has a unusually progressive family and community.


Fake Dervish Held For ‘Raping’ Girls in Kashmir
Free Press Kashmir, Thursday, 11 Jul 2013

syed gulzar
SRINAGAR: Police in Kashmir have arrested a fake dervish who allegedly raped young girls on the pretext of ‘purifying’ them, sources say.

Gulzar Ahmed Bhat, who went by the name ‘Syed Gulzar’, ran a residential institution for girls which offered a two-months course in Islamic studies in Khansahib area of Budgam district.

Sources say four students, all aged under 18, complained to the police that he indulged in sexual activities with them at the hostel.

According to the girls, the fake dervish would quote sayings in Arabic to justify his sexual activity with them.

“He would tell them that having sex with him was necessary to purify them of all evil,” a police officer told Freepress.

He said medical examination of the girls confirmed rape. Gulzar has been booked under section 376 of Ranbir Penal Code (rape).

‘Syed Gulzar’, who often gave advertisements in newspapers claiming to be a Sufi, also delivered sermons through local cable TV network in the valley.

Moulvi Muhammad Amin, the whistleblower in this case, says the fake preacher would manipulate verses of the Quran to motivate the girls into sex. He alleges that Gulzar has so far raped nearly 200 girls at the hostel.

“He would tell them that he receives divine knowledge and that all the earlier saints had prayed for his birth,” Amin, who is the president of the International Khatm-e-Nabuwat Movement (J-K chapter), told Freepress.

Amin has appealed to “all innocent people not to fall prey to these illiterate, fake religious men.”

Published: May 21, 2013

Updated:May 23, 2013

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 25, 2013 12:24AM

Sadly, this con had some confidential women assistants who persuaded the young girls to submit.

What is interesting is that so many were allowed to reside at the Pir's residential center.

Most conservative families would refuse to give up supervision of their daughters. So the girls who did live at this man's center were especially vulnerable.

Times of India

Kashmir's self-styled godman arrested for rape of young girlsM Saleem Pandit, TNN May 23, 2013, 03.13PM IST

Syed Gulzar|
Kashmir's self-styled godman|
Jammu and kashmir|
Gulzar Ahmed Bhat|
godman arrested for rape of young girls|
Budgam district
(Police said Gulzar was arrested…)


SRINAGAR: A 42-year-old self-styled Sufi dervish Gulzar Ahmed Bhat was arrested on Wednesday by Jammu and Kashmir police for raping and sexually abusing several young girls at his religious centre, Khansahib in Budgam district.

Gulzar Bhat, who went by the name Syed Gulzar, ran a residential institution for girls which offered short duration courses in religious studies. The self-styled dervish used to promote himself on local TV channels and publish promotional advertisements in local newspapers.

The scandal came to light when one of Gulzar's disciples, Imtiyaz Ahmad Sofi saw him indulging in a sexual act with a young girl. Police said Gulzar was arrested after four girls recorded their confessional statement before the court of the sub-judge in Budgam on Tuesday.

Police said at his centre with over 500 girl students, the self-styled god-man had been repeatedly exploiting the girls sexually on the pretext of "purifying" them. The charlatan had employed a few women who would motivate the girls to please the godman.

SP Budgam Uttam Chand said that the police were looking for two of his close associates - Abdul Gani Ganaie and Bashir Ahmed Mir.

DSP Bashir Ahmad of Khansahib said that a local court on Wednesday remanded Gulzar Ahmed Bhat to police custody for 15 days to investigate the case. He said that medical examination of the victims had confirmed the allegations. "There is ample evidence to prove that the accused is involved in exploiting innocent girls. He is fully involved and there is no doubt about it," the police officers said.

The confessional recording of a victim reveals that Gulzar used to lure girls and women and later on with the help of his cronies assaulted them sexually. A victim from Pampore said that every new entrant was being persuaded and guided by a female employee Shakeela Bano of Lolipora. She claims that after her admission into Gulzar's religious centre, Shakeela took her in a room and advised her to serve 'Peer Sahab by heart if she wanted to get rid of her miseries.'

Another victim said: "Noor Mohammad, who served as Gulzar's Aamir-e-Aala, lured me to the centre. I was asked to enter 'Hujra-i-Pak' (Gulzar's personal chamber). As I entered, Molvi Gulzar ordered me to shut the door. He looked into my eyes and said, 'Marriage is not important for the propagation of religion. Wherever I will touch you that part of the body will not burn in Hell. Mein noor houn tum aag ho, noor aag say miley ga to poora noor ban jaey ga. Then he looked at me with scary eyes and I lost my conscience, my eyes were watching everything but my body was unconscious when he took me to bed."

A prominent local cleric Molvi Mohammad Amin said that scores of girls approached his organization World Khatme-Nubuwat Movement. "We were shocked after the girls made startling revelations." Molvi Amin alleged that Gulzar would "manipulate the verses of holy Quran to motivate the girls into sex."

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 25, 2013 10:07PM

"I Wouldn't Play the Role of a Holy Man"

Rory Stewart, while walking along a canal in Pakistan's Punjab district, was stopped by an elderly, very poor man. The man begged him for a charm, assuming a man free to travel on foot, carrying a staff as Mr Stewart did, was a dervish and could write tawiz (charms, talismans) to bring luck or ward off misfortune. The man refused to take no for an answer and the encounter turned desperate.


Respected one,’ he smiled and his voice was nervous, ‘most kind one. Give me a sacred charm.’‘

"I’m sorry, I don’t have one.’‘

"Look at me. This work. This sun.’ He was still smiling.

‘I’m very sorry. Hoda Hafez, God be with you.’

I turned away and he grabbed me by the arm. I hit him with my stick. He backed off and we looked at each other. I hadn’t hurt him but I was embarrassed. But I could see that the man I’d hit wasn’t dangerous.

He was now smiling apologetically, ‘Please, sir, at least let me have some of your water.’

I poured some water from my bottle into his hands. He bowed to me, passed it in front ofhis lips and then brushed it through his hair.

‘And now a charm: a short one will be enough...’‘

"No, I’m sorry. I can’t.’

I couldn’t. I wouldn’t play the role of a holy man. ‘Hoda hafez.’

A hundred yards further on I looked back through the midday glare and saw him still staring at me. He had, it seemed, perhaps because I was walking in Pakistani clothes, mistaken me for whatNavaid would call a wandering Dervish.

This encounter, from a story entitled 'Dervishes' by Rory Stewart is in an issue of Granta #78



But..unlike Rory Stewart, many others would have said yes, they would play the role of holy man.

Here is a description:



We have to raise our intellectual level through scientific knowledge and rational ideas to get rid of superstitions

No matter which part of the world we visit, we will find the natives nurturing certain beliefs and superstitions and our Kashmir is no exception in this case. We too believe in fortune tellers, lucky charms, numerology, wearing bracelet, tying black thread on the wrist or neck. Eye twitching is very common here particularly among the women folk. It can be good or bad omen depending upon which eye is twitching. Itchy palms tell a person he is getting some money. Like the other people in the world, we too believe in ghosts, astrology and horoscopes etc.

But one of the most prevalent superstitions in Kashmir is visiting the wayward and fake Pirs, faith healers, imposters, for considerations like getting good luck, money, luxuries, treatment of diseases, getting rid of Jinn, begetting children and other divine blessings. Even people invite these fake dervishes to their houses and host them for weeks and months together. But in the guise of a dervish they usually deceive and rob them of money and exploit them. T

he recent shocking incident of a faith healer exploiting the innocent girls jolted the whole Kashmir Valley. This is not for the first time that such incident has occurred here, just a few months back a faith healer inflicted cruel act on a child in the Kangan area and in south Kashmir a minor girl was allegedly impregnated by a faith healer when the parents of the girl were staunch followers of the Pir. These incidents are going on, sometimes the culprits are caught and sometimes the matter is hushed up.

There might be thousands of such thugs in Kashmir in the garb of spiritual healers who resort to all sorts of exploitative methods to dupe gullible people. It is true that our women folk have more tendency to remain in search of clues and whereabouts of these fake Pir’s to seek divine blessings from them, who offer them solutions to their long cherished dreams and other problems. I have seen fake Pir’s coming to the houses for alms and when they look around and notice that there is nobody except the house lady, they immediately change their tune and make predictions about their good fortunes and in the process they extract things in cash and kind. In many cases, the family head arrives at the seen, after an exchange of hot words with the lady both the fake Pir and the house lady receive a severe beating. Such incidents clearly testify that superstitions and ignorance are deeply rooted in our society.

Way back a fake Pir or faith healer used to visit a village in Bandipora telling people about his magic power. I remember, in a big hall full with his followers, he was claiming that “I can touch the high tension power line of 33000 volts while sitting on the ground”. I was a student of 12th class then. For many days I became confused, asking myself how it is be possible. I pursued him for some time, for showing me this power atleast by touching a transformer wire, but he dodged me every time. The fake dervish used to prepare different colored liquids claiming to be the panacea for all ills. In a few days time he would return his home with full bag of money. Similarly I have seen fake Pir’s telling women and students that he has sent Jinn to search their answer scripts in Board and University buildings where it will affect the change in the marks and they will succeed in the examination.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 25, 2013 10:31PM


Quoted from a Pakistan think tank article on upcoming elections.

This is an example of a story from the same culture that produces dervishes. To grow up in such a culture is to hear not only wonder working stories, but a chance of hearing stories that support discernment, such as this one.

Sad thing is, when we are desperate (and all human beings will be desperate at one time or another), that is when it is so easy, so tempting, to slip back into the anxiety of childhood and not know it.

And forgets this kind of wisdom parable and will listen to someone who takes money and offers hope at a price. Sadly, that price can put one in debt or even cost a person her life, if she loses her izat (honor) and is killed for being used by a Pir.

Or if allowed to live, a child who grows up a bastard from such an encounter may hear stories of his (if a boy) charlatan father. Or be told his father was a holy man, so the familiy can save face. Perhaps some of these offspring, regarded with unease in the family as they grow up, feel marginalized and some may become the next generation of predatory fake holy men.


Sheikh Saadi parable.

A king concerned about the welfare of many dervishes (sages, ascetics) residing in his domain gave his vizier money for distribution among them. The vizier returned a few days later with the money unused and said he could not find any dervish.

Annoyed, the king said that there were plenty. The vizier calmly explained,
“O’King, the real Dervishes wouldn’t touch the money and those who wanted it were phonies not dervishes so I didn’t give it to them.”

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 25, 2013 10:41PM

Observations by Russians in Iran in the 19th Century.

Absence of mercenary motive was the mark of the genuine dervish.

Until a hundred years ago, Russians had their own tradition of monasteries and wandering pilgrims, both genuine and charlatans. This gave Russians a framework for understanding and discerning genuine from false dervishes.

"A true dervish is a monk by vocation who belongs to one or another brotherhood. In spite of his fanaticism, and often his hatred toward Europeans and other characteristics, they are always marked by humility, do not like to attract too much attention, and even beg rarely, since their rules forbid them to accept alms. Most of the wandering dervishes are not inclined to preaching and teaching, but if one or another of them gets inspiration, he would talk til he reaches ecstacy, without having any mercenary motive, which is always the goal of a fake dervish."


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