Sufi Martyrs

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Sufism, mystical Islam, is a natural expression of personal religion opposed to authoritative religion set on the basis of social institutions and rested on a master-disciple relationship (C. Ernst, B. Lawrence, Sufi Martyrs of Love, p11). The master has a high role as the intermediary link between the Prophet and God. Nothing less than total compliance with the master's will was acceptable (C. Ernst, B. Lawrence, Sufi Martyrs, p19). Their beliefs revolve around three stages: sharia, tariqa and haqiqa meaning law, way and truth respectively. These also represent sensory, cognitive and intuitive knowledge respectively. The Islamic law leads to a code of conduct which is followed as a way to pursuit intuitive knowledge in order to discover the truth about existence which stems from God (C. Ernst, B. Lawrence, Sufi Martyrs, p16). The textual sources were the Quran and a secondary was the Hadith which reflected the sayings and doings of the profit Mohammed. There were two types of Sufis- the Elite dressed in formal attire, educated for they wrote the texts, wealthy, closer to the kings, the orthodox Muslims, smaller in number of followers; and the Popular- more widespread, counter cultural, dressed ragged, antinomian, wore elaborate jewelry and were larger in the number of followers. A Sufi order is a teaching genealogical lineage and most orders were identified on the basis of the founder's name i.e. eponymous. Most were also identified with a particular region. The Chishti order is one such which is identified by its lineage in the place not far from Herat in Khurasan (present day Afghanistan) called Chisht (C. Ernst, B. Lawrence, Sufi Martyrs, p19). The Chishti order is described as an Islamic mystical movement complex of spiritual practice, historical memory, and ethical models which continues to evolve from its medieval Islamic origins in response to the political, ideological, and technical transformations of the contemporary world. In premodern India, the...
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