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In March 2016, India hosted its first ever World Sufi Forum. During the event, India’s
Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Sufism as “Islam’s greatest gift,” and suggested
that the faith was an alternative to more political, extremist interpretations of the
religion, akin to groups like the Islamic State. So what exactly is Sufism?
Well, Sufism is not a branch of Islam like Sunni and Shia, nor is it a sect or denomination.
Rather, Sufism is the spiritual and mystical philosophy of Islam, focused on a direct connection
to God by forgoing material goods and relationships. Not unlike Christian monks, or other ascetic
groups, Sufis dedicate themselves to Allah through meditation, repetitive prayer, and
non-violence. But while the concepts of Sufism are inherent in all versions of Islam, practitioners
who wholly dedicate themselves to spirituality are called Sufis.
Sufism arose less than a century after the founding of Islam. At the time, many Muslims
were concerned with the religion’s increasing materialism, which they believed would interfere
with a spiritual connection with God.. The word “Soo-fi” is an Arabic term for mystic,
which itself was derived from “soof”, or wool. Sufis have historically worn wool
as a rejection of worldly clothes.
By about the 11th century, Sufism had adopted a system of fraternal groupings, called “orders”.
In these spiritual schools, leaders taught their followers the principles and rituals
of Sufism, which included writing books and poems, and reciting hymns. In fact, the 13th
Century is known as the Golden Age of Sufism, as the greatest mystical Islamic art and literature
is believed to have derived from this period. By the 16th Century, Sufism was deeply ingrained
into both Sunni and Shia Islam and had spread throughout Persia, India and Central Asia.
The most well-known symbol of Sufism is the Whirling Dervishes, a Sufi order that originated
in 14th century Turkey. It’s known for repetitive spinning dances that unite the follower with
God, and is a popular tourist attraction in Turkey today.
Today, Sufis can still be found all around the world. But according to the Pew Research
Center, the belief system is most common in Sub-Saharan Africa, where about 35 percent
of Muslims in the region said they belong to a Sufi order. Sufism is also prevalent
among Muslims in India, Thailand, and other southeast Asian countries. Sufism has seen
a resurgence in popularity as a direct alternative to the growing radicalization of Islam.
Sufis have a legacy of philanthropy and missionary work, and are known for their non-violence,
tolerance, and personal sacrifice. During the Sufi forum in India, Prime Minister Modi
said, “At a time when the dark shadow of violence are becoming longer, you are the
noor or the light of hope.” Modi reportedly hopes to make India the center of what he
calls the “World Sufi Movement”, or the large-scale effort to use Sufism as a cure
for jihadist extremism. World leaders have made similar efforts in the past, in countries
like the United Kingdom and the United States. But whether the ascetic, nonviolent practices
in Sufism can overcome the spread of radical Islam is yet to be seen.
But even though Sufism has influenced both Sunni and Shia Islam, there is a huge rift
between these two Islamic sects. Find out why in our video. Thanks for watching TestTube
News! Make sure to like and subscribe so you can catch new episodes every day.


什麼是蘇菲主義,它能阻止激進的伊斯蘭教嗎? (What Is Sufism And Can It Stop Radical Islam?)

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BH 發佈於 2016 年 12 月 31 日
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