Sufism

  • Sufism originated in Iran and found a congenial atmosphere in India under Turkish rule.
  • Khanqah, institutions (abode of Sufis) set up by Sufis in northern India took Islam deeper into countryside. Mazars (tombs) and Takias (resting places of Muslim saints) became sites for propagation of Islamic ideas.
  • Ajmer, Nagaur and Ajodhan or Pak Pattan (Pakistan) developed as important centres of Sufism. These also started tradition of piri-muridi (teacher and disciple).
  • Hindu impact on Sufism also became visible in form of siddhas and yogic postures.
  • Advent of Sufism in India is in 11th and 12th centuries.
  • Sufism was a liberal reform movement within Islam. It stressed on elements of devotion and love as a means of realization of God. It recommended a Pir or spiritual guru to enhance spiritual development. It emphasized on meditation, musical performances (Sama), fasting, charity and ascetic practices.
  • Sufis believed in concept of Wahdat-ul-Wajud (Unity of Being) which was promoted by Ibn-i-Arabi. He opined that all beings are one. Different religions were identical. This doctrine gained popularity in India. It was like teachings of Upanishads.
  • One of the early Sufis of eminence, who came to India, was Al-Hujwari who died in 1089, popularly known as Data Ganj Baksh (Distributor of Unlimited Treasure).
  • In the beginning, main centres of Sufis were Multan and Punjab. By 13th and 14th centuries, Sufis had spread to Kashmir, Bihar, Bengal and Deccan.
  • Sufi Silsila‚Äôs were divided into two categories Ba-shara who followed Islamic tenets and Be-shara who did not believe in Sharia.
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