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Sufism in India - Term Paper Example

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"Sufism in India" paper states that there is a crisis in Sufism of India today. The sect suffers from authoritarianism and the allied dangers.  In other words, “certain Sufis are deifying various aspects of Sufism. A totalitarianism of the non-essential is being imposed.”…
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Sufism in India
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Download file to see previous pages Imam Raza's notions of Prophet Muhammad's role as mediator with Almighty Allah and his extraordinary achievements were congruent with Sufi concepts of spiritual authority and power (Sufism in India). The Sufi sect in the Indian subcontinent started out as a spiritual exercise based on “intuition, esoteric knowledge and experience of the mystical world”. Hence, the trend of intellectualizing religious principles, which found expression early in the millennium, was in opposition to this fledgling religious sect. At the time of its ascendancy in India, the Suhrawardi’ leaders played a preeminent role in mitigating the power held by the ruling classes of the day. In effect, the Suhrawardi leaders took Islam toward a fundamentalist path. Nevertheless, “the large number of eminent Sufis whose vision of Islamic spiritual life was broadly based gave moral courage to the people by awakening in them spiritual values and reliance on God during calamities such as drought, floods, and panic due to protracted wars and foreign invasions” (Behera, 2002).

Much of the early traditions of Sufism are still evident in India today. The most widespread of it is Sufi poetry, once considered “an expression of the mystic love of thirsty soul seeking an intuitive understanding of God” (Behera, 2002). It has now evolved into an avenue for giving vent to spiritual feelings, which was prohibited erstwhile in the orthodox interpretation of Islam. In India, Sufi poetry is also related to Hindi (the predominant language in the northern Indian landscape). By incorporating elements of both these languages, the Sufi poetry that is in existence today opens up to its practitioners new ways of spiritual expression, one which is more liberal and artistic. Considering the fact that the Sufi poets of yesteryears concurred with the torchbearers of the Bhakti movement of Hinduism, the Sufi poetry of today contains in it traces of the Bhakti movement as well. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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