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Sufism and Sufi Orders

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Sufi Muslims are more contemplative, mystical, individualistic, syncretistic, and non-legalistic than someone who is an orthodox Muslim.


Sufism and Sufi Orders in Islam


I.  Sufi Timeline

A.  661-850 A.D.

B.  850-988

C.  988-1075

D.  1075-1150

E.  1150-1250

F.  1250-1350

G.  1350-Present


II.  Key Terms

A.  Tariqa

B.  Pir


III.  Six Major Differences between Orthodox and Sufi Islam

A.  Contemplative and Mystical

B.  Non-legalistic

C.  Individualistic

D.  Syncretistic

E.  Esotericisms in Qur'an and Hadith

F.  Role of the Pir


IV.  Four Orders

A.  Chishti Order

1.  Spiritual vitality can be transmitted through a material substance.

2.  Praise music and spontaneous worship of Allah.

3.  Popular in India.

B.  Suhrawardi Order

1.  Sufi saint Suhrawardi has been given intercessory powers.

2.  Sufi saint Suhrawardi can apply merit to any devotee.

3.  Miraculous beliefs associated with Ismail.

4.  Popular in India and Iraq.

C.  Qadiri Order

1.  Emphasis on Sufi meditative techniques.

2.  Ecstatic experience more important than obligatory prayers.

3.  Sufi pirs can be physically translated to distant places.

4.  Emotional “God intoxication.”

5.  Popular in India, Africa.

D.  Nagshbandi Order

1.  Seeks to harmonize Koran/Hadith with mysticism.

2.  Belief in Qayyum.

3.  Pir veneration and worship.

4.  Popular in India, Turkey, Middle East (not Saudi Arabia) and Africa.


V.  Schismatic or Political Oriented Groups within Islam

A.  Kharijites

B.  Ahmadis

C.  Political Groups

1.  Druze

2.  Hezbullah

3.  Hamas

4.  PLO

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