Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Turuq (pl. of tariqa) are congregations formed around a master, or shaykh, that meet for spiritual & academic sessions in zawiyahs, khanaqahs or tekke as the meeting places are called in different countries. Such turuq are described in the words attributed to the Prophet (peace be upon him):

“Whenever men gather together to invoke Allah, they are surrounded by Angels, the Divine favour envelops them, Peace (as-sakinah) descends opon them, and Allah remembers them in His Assembly.”

Tasawwuf is that branch of Islamic knowledge which focuses on the spiritual development of the Muslim. Traditional Islamic scholars have accepted tasawwuf as an important branch of Islamic learning, so long as it remains within the guidelines of the shariah and emphasizes following the sunnah of the Prophet.

A true shaykh of tasawwuf (sufism) never breaks even the smallest tenets of the shariah or the sunnah. The goal is complete submission to the shariah and sunnah in order to attain purification of the heart and soul.

A shaykh of tasawwuf spends years in training in order to develop his character, mannerisms, daily schedule, outer being, acts of worship, and knowledge under the guidance of a spiritual master. They often spend years mastering the Islamic sciences of Hadith, Quran, tafsir, fiqh, etc. Each aspect of their training further connects them through chains (silsila) of scholars to the Holy Prophet[peace be upon him].

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