Page 1 of 2

Sufi Soul

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:07 pm
by Sabina


Poem from the Sufi movie Bab'Aziz:

The people of this world are like the three butterflies
in front of a candle's flame.

The first one went closer and said:
I know about love.

The second one touched the flame
lightly with his wings and said:
I know how love's fire can burn.

The third one threw himself into the heart of the flame
and was consumed. He alone knows what true love is.

Quote from movie:

But where is this gathering?
- I don't know, my little angel.
But do the others know?
- No, they don't know either.
How can you go to a gathering without knowing where it is?
- It suffices to walk, just walk. Those who are invited will find the way.

And finally, here are some Sufi stories, if anyone is interested.

Dervish and Sufism

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:14 am
by mirjana
A Dervish is someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path . Similar to mendicant friars in Christianity, Hindu, Buddhist or Jain sadhus, they are known for their extreme poverty and austerity.

In Persian Dar means "a door". Dervish literally means "one who opens the doors", although there are in other languages related to ascetics.

Dervishes are Sufi practitioners and as such they are also known as sources of wisdom, medicine, poetry, enlightenment, and witticisms. For example, Nasrudin became a legend in the Near East and South Asia, not only among the Muslims. With the time he became one of symbols for witty and wise stories.

Practice & Rituals
As ascetics who have taken a vow of poverty, many dervishes are mendicants, but not for their own good, but to learn about humility. Because of that they give collected money to other poor people. While they walk around praising the Lord, anyone according to his own desire may voluntarily give them some coins.
There are also dervishes who work in common professions as fishermen, like in Egypt and Turkey.
A dervish who wears the proper robe does not beg, nor does he make any demands.

This is what Rumi, who was Dervish himself, says about this practise of Dervishes in one of his poems:

Water that's poured inside will sink the boat

While water underneath keeps it afloat.

Driving wealth from his heart to keep it pure

King Solomon preferred the title 'Poor':

That sealed jar in the stormy sea out there

Floats on the waves because it's full of air,

When you've the air of dervishood inside

You'll float above the world and there abide...

Rumi about Sema, Dervish ritual

Rumi was Sufi master and creator of Sema, one of many Sufi ceremonies performed in order to reach religious ecstasy.

Sufi whirling or spinning is a physically meditation performed as a customary dance. By spinning their bodies in repetitive circles, which is a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the Sun, and by listening to the music, they are focusing on God which helps them to abandon their egos and desires aiming to reach a source of perfection.

In the symbolism of the Sema ritual, spinning dance, dervishes‘ camel‘s hair hat represents the tombstone of the ego; his wide, white skirt represents the ego's shroud. By removing his black cloak, he is spiritually reborn to the truth.
At the beginning of the Sema, by holding his arms crosswise, dervish appears to represent the number one, thus testifying to God's unity. While whirling, his arms are open: his right arm is directed to the sky, ready to receive God's beneficence; his left hand, upon which his eyes are fastened, is turned toward the earth. Dancing dervish or semazen conveys God's spiritual gift to those who are witnessing the Sema. Revolving from right to left around the heart, the semazen embraces all humanity with love. The human being has been created with love in order to love.
Famous Sufi poet describes this beautifully:
"All loves are a bridge to Divine love. Yet, those who have not had a taste of it do not know!"

Sufism is a peacful and mystic path that focuses on the individual relationship with the creator in a humble and spiritual way.

Re: Sufi Soul

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:14 am
by Pat
Mirjana I love what you wrote here about Sufism ....I have a Sufi teacher and he would love what you have written,,

Re: Sufi Soul

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:14 pm
by dermot
To be honest, i knew nothing about Sufism. I have read lots about Buddhism and eastern philosophy etc, but this is interesting and i am quite excited to learn more.

Thanks Sabina and Mirjana !

More about Sufism

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:48 pm
by Sabina
I just came across this text... the author is a notable Sufi called Inayat Khan.

In man We have designed Our image;
In woman We have finished it.

Woman, whom destiny has made to be man's superior,
by trying to become his equal, falls beneath his estimation.

Through the loving heart of woman manifests Thy divine grace.

From the personal notebooks of Inayat Khan,
founder of the Sufi Order International and exemplar of Universal Sufism

At any rate, when it comes to gender issues Sufism is as universal as about other issues, it is above it. In fact, the more I find out about Sufism, the more I feel drawn to it. It is surrounded by a mystical veil, yet it is pure and simple at the same time. It's beautiful.

Here is also more information: Sufism
The outlined teachings are, again, beautiful.


Sufi story about acceptance

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:27 pm
by mirjana

A Sufi teacher was visited by a number of people of various faiths who said to him:

'Accept as your disciples, for we see that there is no remaining truth in our religions, and we are certain that what you are teaching is the one true path'.

The Sufi said:

'Have you not heard of the Mongol Halaku Khan and his invasion of Syria? Let me tell you. The Vizier Ahmad of the Caliph Mustasim of Baghdad invited the Mongol to invade his master's domains. When Halaku had won the battle for Baghdad, Ahmad went out to meet him, to be rewarded. Halaku said: "Do you seek your recompense?" and the Vizier answered, "Yes".

'Halaku told him:

' "You have betrayed your own master to me, and yet you expect me to believe that you will be faithful to me". He ordered Ahmed to be hanged.

'Before you ask anyone to accept you, ask yourself whether it is not simply because you have not followed the path of your own teacher. If you are satisfied about this, then come and ask to become disciples'.

It is very inteersting way that shows how we can use every experience to come to the core of our being and discovering of some levels of our onion we haven't yet pealed.
Putting questions from backwards leads to the inital reason for non acceptance, irritation or whatever...
We tend to simply answer that something somebody else does is never possible to be something we would do. It is a very tricky statement. Because, experiences we get are not of the very same kind but they cross our life in the way that has the biggest impact on us and our observation, therefore the greatest chance to realize the back stage of this in our own inner world.
Sufi would say, "who works from inside, discovers the way to eternity".


Re: Sufi Soul

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:59 pm
by Sabina
Someone who turns on one person and in order to be "in their good graces" talks badly of the first person will eventually talk badly of the other person as well. Simply because it is in their nature to talk badly of people... so, as a conclusion, I agree with the message of the story, BUT I don't like it as a story, it makes something simple more confusing than necessary by the names and the different references (for instance, Mongol Halaku Khan is referred to as Halaku, and later as the Mongol).

Charles Bukowski said:
"An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way.
An artist says a hard thing in a simple way"

I agree with that... and as stories are (or should be) art, this story could have been told in a simpler way, so in that sense only, it is not a very good story.

From the little that I know about Sufism, it is rather the artistic than an intellectual approach (in the sense of the Bukowski quote), so this story is also not a good representation of the Sufi way, for me. Sufis say something complex in a very simple, down-to-earth and non-pretentious way. That is one of the things I have come to appreciate about them.
Just my thoughts... :)


Re: Sufi Soul

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:04 pm
by Tim
Sufism has some of the most beautiful and deeply spiritual writings I have found. It seems to be very clear and straight to the point and I love the way it embraces aspects of all the major religions. It's been a real blessing connecting with the Sufi pathway.

Re: Sufi Soul

PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:33 pm
by mirjana
Hi Tim,
Welcome again =0) to you and your avatar. Nice.

Hi Sabina,
I agree that the story could have been simpler and in that sense more representative for the Sufi way which I also admire very much. I have taken it because of the last conclusion and my whole attraction and attention were by that.


Woman as One of Sufi Founders

PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:42 pm
by mirjana
Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyya from Basra, Iraq, lived in the second half of the 700s, the second Islamic century. She is considered one of the most important founders of Sufism. She was a woman free from many of the traditional constraints placed on women’s lives. One of the essential elements of Sufi thought is not to expect anything from God, but rather to recognize the larger greatness of the deity beyond personal small existence.
This little story is one of those that illustrate her teaching:
One day Rabi‘a and her serving-girl were getting ready to break a fast of several days. The serving-girl needed an onion and was about to go next door and borrow one, but Rabi‘a said: “Forty years ago I vowed never to ask for anything from anyone but God—we can do without onions.”
Just then a bird flew over, and dropped an onion into Rabi‘a’s frying pan, peeled and ready to fry.
“Interesting but not convincing,” she said. “Am I supposed to believe that God is an onion-vender? I mean, really.”
That day they fried their bread without onions.

One of her most famous prayer is the following:

If I adore You out of fear of Hell, burn me in Hell!
If I adore you out of desire for Paradise,
Lock me out of Paradise.
But if I adore you for Yourself alone,
Do not deny to me Your eternal beauty.

Doorkeeper of the heart: versions of Rabia / [translated by] Charles Upton. Putney, Vt.: Threshold Books, c1988. (52, [4] p.)