Friday, 23 November 2012

Sufism: Islamic Mysticism in its Global Context



Sufism: Islamic Mysticism in its Global Context (1)
by R. James Ferguson
Topics:-
  1. The Concept and Definition of Sufism
  2. Origins and Ideals of Sufism
  3. Prominent Sufi Literary Figures
  4. The Modern Role of Sufism
  5. Sufism: Controversy, Modernism, and Globalisation

  6. Footnotes
7. Bibliography and Further Resources

1. The Concept and Definition of Sufism
Sufism is basically an individualised, socially critical form of Islam which has spread through major sectors of the Islamic world, and has a very strong role to play in the politics and culture. Sufism is essentially a mystical form of Islam emphasising the relationship between the individual and God (2). Al Ghazali, writing in the 11th century, provides one of the clearest descriptions of this tradition: -
I knew that the complete mystic 'way' includes both intellectual belief and practical activity; the latter consists in getting rid of the obstacles in the self and in stripping off its base characteristics and vicious morals, so that the heart may attain to freedom from what is not God and to constant recollection of Him.(3)
It developed in part out of mystical literary tradition, as well as through spiritual contemplation of the Qu'ran and key oral traditions (Hadith, especially the divine sayings or hadith qudsi [4]) that provided a path to come closer to God. As we shall see, the role and authority of different teachers and their schools would become quite controversial in different Islamic societies. Likewise, the place of Sufism has been contested: for many religious authorities Sufism is at best unorthodox in its teaching and at worst a serious deviation from the truth (see further below). The new-found popularity of elements of Sufi culture in the West does not guarantee Sufism a strong place in mainstream Islamic culture.
The origin of the term Sufi has long been debated. One derivation is that of the suffe, or platform of the Mosque at Medina where the Companions of the Prophet met to explore the revealed knowledge of Muhammad.(5) A more probable source is the Arabic word suf for wool, referring to the rough ordinary clothes often worn by prophets, saints, and many sufis.(6) Other connotations include notions of 'purity', 'method', or 'inner beliefs'.(7) Regardless of these linguistic mysteries, 'the reality of Sufism is clear, for its paramount aim is felicity (sa'ada) which is determined by the knowledge of proximity to God'.(8) Hence,Sufism is the mystical path within Islam (tariqa) which complements its legal and normative tradition.(9) It is the inner tradition that balances the outward conformity to laws and custom. Within Islamic thought itself, Sufism was first used as a technical term in the 10th century CE by Abu 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami (d. 1021 CE) in his writings concerning the lives of Sufi saints.(10)
We can sense this tension between inward reform and outward ritual and obedience in a saying attributed to Abu Muhammad Abdallah Muhammad B. Al-Fadl Al-Balkhi: -
I wonder at those who cross deserts and wildernesses to reach His House and Sanctuary because the traces of His prophets are to be found there: why do not they cross their own passions and lusts to reach their hearts, where they will find the traces of their Lord?" That is to say, the heart is the seat of knowledge of God and is more venerable than the Ka'ba, to which men turn in devotion. Men are ever looking towards the Ka'ba, but God is ever looking towards the heart.(11)
In the West, from the 19th century onwards, Sufism was a term that applied to Muslim mystics, and to esoteric phenomena that Westerners observed, e.g. 'whirling' dervishes and fakhirs. As such, early European studies of Sufism in part followed their own interests and fascinations, e.g. with the esoteric, and with a form of Islam that seemed, when superficially understood, less strict and rule-bound than main-stream Islamic culture.(12) It therefore formed part of a pattern of orientalism whereby the West used (and misused) the East for its own purposes.(13) Today, the same is true: Sufism is popular with both New Age culture, as well as with the new phase of cultural tourism. However, it is questionable whether Sufism is at all meaningful when taken out of its Muslim context (see below). As we shall see, Sufism had a central role to play both culturally and religiously in many Islamic societies.
Within Islam, Sufism was not based on being esoteric, but rather on poverty as a sign 'of turning away from the world and focusing on the divine reality'.(14) Sufis historically viewed themselves as exploring the reality of the submission of humans to God. As we shall see, however, it was Sufi poetry, literature, dance, music, and song that helped make this a popular form of expression for diverse peoples from Morocco to Indonesia.(15)
2. The Origins and Ideals of Sufism
In a theoretical sense, Sufism and similar practices began as soon as people to retreat into solitude for worship. As such, according to Ibn Khaldun, it is a tradition that goes back to the first and second generation of those who knew the Prophet.(16) Within most forms of Sufism, emphasis on a having a spiritual teacher or guide is paramount. Teachers are often known by the title of shaykh, or in Persian pir, or as a guide (murshid).(17) It was around prominent early teachers that the first Sufi orders were formed, and from the 11th century these orders often formed around private houses or larger lodges where students came to study, e.g. in Cairo, eastern Iran and Jerusalem.(18)
Certain key evens within Islam are also viewed as sources of spiritual influence for Sufi's. The most important of these is the Qur'anic Event described as 'the Night of Power' (Sura 97) when the Prophet Mohammad experienced the complete Qu'ranic revelation(19) which he would spent the rest of his life explaining to mankind. This inspiration demonstrated that there was a unique knowledge and spiritual knowledge beyond the ways of earthly experience. From the ninth century onwards, Sufi meditation manuals were published, often compiling the prayers or the thought of Sufi masters such as Shaqiq al-Balkhi, Rumi or Ibn 'Ata Allah of Alexandria, and aimed at developing special prayer formula and methods for developing students at particular levels.(20) Within these manuals, students were instructed to interpret Islamic poetry along set lines - 'the beloved' always refers to God and wine always refers to 'spiritual intoxication'.(21)
One key practice that soon became connected with Sufi's was the recitation or remembrance of the divine names (attributes) of God, called dhikr: -
The term for this recitation is dhikr, meaning recollection. Dhikr . . . is mentioned very frequently in the Qur'an, since humanity is often called upon in the sacred text to remember God and his commands. The movement towards interiorization of the Qur'an that was so decisive for the development of Sufism lent itself especially to the practice of meditation in which the names of God are chanted over and over again, either in solitude or in company, aloud or silently. The practice of dhikr seems to have become established by the eleventh century, though there are indications of it among earlier Sufis. In the description of dhikr by al-Ghazali, it has assumed a great importance as the single technique best adapted to concentrate . . . on nothing other than God.(22)
In later times this meditation might also be combined with dance movements, and with regular patterns of breathing or body movement also designed to induce mediation or trance. It is in this context that Sufi's often use the image of intoxication (drunkenness) as a metaphor of the experience of the closeness of God (see Ibn al-Farid's Wine Ode), which could lead to the annihilation of the sense of individual self (fana').(23) Bearing in mind Islamic injunctions against alcohol and all forms of drugs, this metaphor was intentionally shocking. Likewise, the use of music and dance in Sufi practises would also be criticised within Islam.(24)
Sufism, though sometimes misused as an excuse to avoid legal restrictions, developed it own strong ethical stance. The pragmatic and humanitarian elementsof Sufism can be found in the ten principles of proper human conduct as outlined by Abd al-Qadir Jilani (1077-1166): -
1. Never swear by God.
2. Never speak an untruth even in jest.
3. Never break a promise.
4. Never curse anyone.
5. Never harm anyone.
6. Never accuse anyone of religious infidelity.
7. Never become a party to anything sinful
8. Never impose a burden on others.
9. Never accept anything from human beings - God alone is the giver.
10. Look for in others the good points and not the bad.(25)
3. Prominent Sufi Literary Figures
It will not be possible in this short account to go through the dozens of Sufi poets and hundreds of Sufi Saints who have inspired millions of followers. For our purposes, however, we can briefly mention Rumi as one key example of poetic and religious inspiration. Rumi is the name given to the person born as Jalal al-Din Muhammad (1207-1273 CE) in the town of Balkh in the north-eastern province of Khorasan, part of what might be called 'greater Iran' but is today within modern western Afghanistan.(26) He would become one of the most influential writers of Sufism and most of the most popular and enduring in world history. His name (Rumi) comes from the name for the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire (i.e. Turkey) and he was known to the Turks as Mevlana (= our master), while he was also known as Jalal al-Din, 'The Splendor of the Faith'.(27) His key works include the Divan-i Shams-i Tabriz (40,000 verses) and theMasnavi (25,000 verses).
We can see some of these themes of love and intoxication in one of Rumi's poems, Divan-e Shams no. 36: -
The burning orb of the East
Is our honored guest tonight
And the bright moon in this feast
With us will rest tonight.

Alert, vicious, stressed
Heavens dissolve and arrest
The fields of final rest
Our final test tonight.

Clap your hands in surprise
Excited, with us rise
Dance in our enterprise
While at our best tonight.

O sweet singer of love
Tell us the secrets of love
Ecstatic music from above
Is our quest tonight.

Like a lion brave the way
Not like a fox run away,
Wheel of Fortune as we pray
Our lives has blest tonight.

Like new grapes be not sour
Be sweet like nectar and flower
In sugar and candy this hour
We will invest tonight.

The shining jewel that we sought
For which the whole world we fought
Is in our own nest tonight
In our treasure chest tonight.

If you ask Shams-e Tabriz
The reasons that are all his
Union in his breast tonight
At His behest tonight.(28)

Writing for a sophisticated audience steeped in Persian and Arabic literature, Rumi's works can either be read as sophisticated mystical commentaries, or as a personal account of his mystical inspiration under the influence of the mysterious dervish Shams-i Tabriz.(29) Such thought, combining intellectual sophistication and inspiration, would establish one of the key layers of Sufism. Rumi has also been taken up by modern scholars, especially in Iran, 'as a precedent for and exemplar of a more expansive and tolerant Islam'.(30)
Challenging conventional inspiration, writers such as Ibn 'Arabi and Ibn al-Farid would attract devoted audiences and numerous commentaries.(31) Today, such inspired writing is kept alive in the Chishti and Shattari orders, as well as in the bards of Bengal, known as Bauls, who readily cross over linguistic, cultural and religious boundaries.(32)
4. The Modern Role of Sufism
Sufism in part grew out of the scholastic and metaphysical researches of great scholars such as Razi (885-925), Ibn Sina (Avicenna, 980-1037), and Ibn Rushd (Averroes, died 1198), but soon developed its own poetic stamp, practical philosophies, and forms of social criticism. These may have developed in part out of earlier trends found in Greek and Christian gnosticism (filtered through Muslim scholarship), but was also influenced by the complex social milieu of Central Asia, where Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Chinese influences (33) mixed with Persian and Islamic ones. Such eclectic trends were most noticeable among the more recently converted Khirghiz of Central Asia, though they reached their limit in India where Sufism and Orthodoxy closed ranks against the challenge of a synthetic and universalist creed proposed by the Emperor Akbar.(34) In large part, Sufism in this context became a popularist and grass-roots movement, which meant that in spite of the collapse of the political control of Abbasid Caliphate, Sufism continued to successfully spread through the Islamic world.(36) In the Indian Punjab, for example, descendants of famous Sufi Saints would become caretakers of the tombs that would become centres for local pilgrimage, a tradition also found in Central Asia.
Sufism emphasises raising awareness of the 'Real', as distinct from a distorted understanding of what is taken to be real everyday life, through genuine knowledge of the self and the 'veils' which divide it from any experience of the truth.(37) This is also the search for genuine Existence.(38) It also emphasised compassion from one human being to another, regardless of all other distinctions. This trend greatly widened Islam and aided its attraction throughout Eurasia, India, Southeast Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. This trend has been summarised: -
Though unconcerned with affairs of state, the sufis had a profound influence on the Muslim polity. They humanized its rigours and reduced the area of conflict between religion and politics. They gave Islam a broader base. Non-Muslims flocked to sufi hospices in large numbers and in due course hundreds of thousands came into the fold of Islam. . . . By the beginning of the fourteenth century, large numbers of people, particularly in Central Asia and South and South-East Asia, had accepted Islam through the preaching of the sufis. Under their impact, the Mongols, who had been the scourge of Islam, became patrons of Islam.(39)
This humanitarian form of Islam was also spread by the Mongols, the Ottoman Turks, and Sufism had a special role in bringing Islam into India, first by traders, then under the Mughal conquerors.(40) From South Asian ports this form of Islam was also propagated into Malaysia and Java. This spread was greatly aided by the role of Muslim traders, whether of Arabic or Indian (especially Gujarati or Bengali) origin.(41) Islam rapidly began to influence the trading ports of northern Sumatra, coastal Java and Malacca. Between the 12th and 13th centuries, Islam was spread along the coast of Java and Sumatra, and then inland, largely aided by Indian and Arabian 'traders and preachers', some of whom intermarried with local populations.(42) Malik Ibrahim, for example, a holy man and 'one of the chief proselytizers of Islam in Java', was probably originally 'a Persian or Arab merchant who had made a fortune in the spice trade'.(43) Though other factors such as direct conquest (in parts of Central Asia and Northern India), the seizing of political power (44) or elite conversion of ruling houses (45) were important, the role of traders, and the Sufi (Muslim mystic) traditions they often followed, made Islam both a pervasive and acceptable influence in much of the Malay-Indonesia archipelago.(46) Regardless of the exact mechanisms, there was a 'close connection between trade and the spread of Islam' in this region, with Malacca becoming one focal point in this trend due to its trading activities.(47)
There may be a greater scope for an independent role by women within the Sufi tradition than in some strict interpretations of Islamic jurisprudence. Rabi'a al-'Adawiya (717- 801 CE), for example was a prominent woman saint who never married, while Fatima Nishapuri (d. 838 CE) was respected as a great Sufi teacher.(48) Furthermore, in Central Asian areas strongly influenced by Sufism, there tends to be a less strict interpretation on public codes for women - in Central Asia (excluding parts of Afghanistan), for example, women work and travel publicly, and are not expected to conform to a total covering of the body.
Sufism also allows a considerable range of social criticism, whether expressed through humorous stories, satire, or the special education actions of the 'Malamatiyya . . . those who "draw blame" or deliberately draw the contempt of others while preserving purity of heart, those who do not care if other Muslims accept their faith or actions as legitimate'.(49) Likewise, the inspired exclamations and views (shatahat) of Sufis will not necessarily be conformist, and from the Sufi tradition should not be judged in the same way as everyday sentiments.(50) These trends allow Sufi-influenced groups a greater ability to resist the authoritarian misuse of Islam to establish a legalistic domination of society by rulers or 'clerics'.
Sufism, though found in Egypt, Africa and elsewhere, was a major progressive force in Central Asia, and Sufism also helped spread Islam in the Indian, Malay and Javanese areas.(51) In many ways, it underpins the more everyday form of Islam lived in villages and communities in these societies. This trend continues today in the privacy of small communities, as well as in a revival of Sufi literature and academic societies. Through its love of music, dance, poetry, story-telling and humour, Sufism helped create a vigorous culture which penetrated much of Central Asia, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia. In this guise Sufis are often known to the West as 'dervishes', or spinning dervishes, whose practises like the special chants and breathing exercises lead to a trance state (wajd) designed to bring the participant closer to God.(52) Likewise their humorous, insightful stories have been spread to the West by Idries Shah.(53) One short example can give some idea of the didactic thrust of such stories: -
A certain wise man was widely reputed to have become irrational in his presentation of facts and arguments.
It was decided to test him, so that the authorities of his country could pronounce as to whether he was a danger to public order or not.
On the day of the test he paraded past the court-room mounted on a donkey, facing the donkey's rear.
When the time came for him to speak for himself, he said to the judges:
'When you saw me just now, which way was I facing?'
The judges said: 'Facing the wrong way.'
'You illustrate my point,' he answered, 'for I was facing the right way, from one point of view. It was the donkey that was facing the wrong way.'(54)
This artistic tradition incredibly enriched both Arabic and Persian culture: -
Sufi liberalism had other important effects. While music and dance were anathema to the ulama, these were encouraged in sufi hospices. Their songs were full of passionate devotion to God, the unity of the soul and the body and the oneness of mankind. They indulged in sama, or the chanting of song and music, which led to hal, or a state of mystic exaltation. The theme is as common in the poems of Ibn al-Arabi and some fo the Arabic poets as in the Persian compositions of such literary giants as Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-73), Farid al-Din Attar (d. 1190) and Muslihuddin Saadi (1193-1292). One of the greatest sufi saints of all time was Abd al-Qadir Jilani (1077-1166), better known as Gauth al-Azam or 'the Sultan of Saints' who preached in Baghdad. He was a disciple of Ghazali and his eloquence was as soul-stirring as the radiance of his personality. He founded the Ghauth al order which spread to most parts of the Muslim world and may be regarded as the mother of all sufi orders. According to H.A.R. Gibb, 'The Qadrir order is, on the whole, amongst the most tolerant and progressive orders, not far removed from orthodoxy, distinguished by philanthropy, piety and humility and averse to fanaticism, whether religious or political.'(55)
All these aspects, however, were all directed towards achieving wilayah, or 'identification of man with God'.(56) Though devout, most of these Schools of Sufism are much more able to accommodate modern and secular trends compared to certain puritanical forms of Islam found in other parts of the world, e.g. theWahhabism exported from Saudi Arabia. Previously, the Sufi orders in Arabia were fiercely suppressed by the Wahhabi movement, which helps explain the fact that Central Asia has not proved the most fertile of grounds for Wahhabism in the modern period, in spite of financial resources pumped into the region from Saudi Arabia. Wahhabis, in particular, are opposed to the notion of ecstatic mysteries, as well as the visiting of the tombs of saints which is viewed as potentially leading to idolatry.(57) Wahhabi influence has also been resisted by traditional orders in Chechnya, though it gained some influence in nearby areas such as Dagestan. .
Tombs of Sufi saints often became centres of pilgrimage as in this mausoleum built to commemorate Abakh Hodja, near Kashgar in Western China.

Sufi orders have had a major influence on 20th century Central Asia, and today form one of the main currents of Islam in contemporary political life. Estimates of the number involved in Sufi circles are difficult to make, but Russian surveys of the 1970s suggested that of a population of 27 million, there would have been some 500,000 involved in Sufi brotherhoods, which Bennigsten and Wimbush suggest is a 'reasonably understated figure'.(58) Earlier Sufi ordersincluded the Qadiris, the Chishtis (both of which avoided direct political involvement), and the Suhrawardis and Naqshbandis, who helped give advice to Muslim rulers. In the case of the Naqshbandis, this political activity can be seen in the wide range of contemporary publishing they engage in, including English translations and texts.(59) Likewise, modern Sufi societies also engage in the maintenance of professional on-line Web-sites (Internet resources) promoting their order, and explaining the Sufi role in resisting Russian penetration of the Caucasus.(60) There are contemporary political implications in some of this Internet material, e.g. carrying either direct or indirect criticism of attacks on Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya.(61) Part of the aim here is to bring Sufism to the West. At least forty different Sufi orders could be listed in the mid-19th century.(62)
With these background factors in mind we can understand why Sufism remained robust even during periods of adversity. The main Sufi brotherhoods (tariqa) were active in the former USSR, in Central Asia, South Asia, and to a more limited extent in Southeast Asia today. Writing in 1988, Rafic Zakaria noted: -
The other wellspring of Islam in the USSR is the clandestinely organized network of sufi brotherhoods which has been popular in Central Asia since medieval times. These continue to exercise considerable influence on the Muslims. Of these, the Naqshbandiya is the most popular, followed by the Qadiriyya (mostly in the Caucasus) the Khalwatiya (in Turkmenistan . . . ), and the Yasawiya (in Uzbekistan, Kirghizia and Kazakhstan). The Soviet authorities are aware of the potential of these institutions for religious revival but have so far left them alone, since suppressing them in the past had only inflamed fundamentalism. Nevertheless, Communist party workers have been actively decrying what they call 'parallel or unofficial Islam', as opposed to official or state-controlled Islam.(63)
There are numbers of smaller groups in Central Asia, including the secret society of the 'Hairy Ishans', previously an anti-Soviet group functioning among the Kirghiz in the Ferghana Valley.(64) There are approximately 70 orders active in the world, with perhaps several hundreds of thousands of people directly involved and millions more influenced by their traditions.(65) From 1986, Central Asian leaders were aware of a religious revival throughout the region, including a noted influence on members of the Communist Party and on the young communist association, the Komsomol: the Uzbek Communist Party Central Committee secretary of the time, M. Khalmukhamedov tried to focus his attack not on the believers, but on a 'coercive clergy'.(66) By 1988 other regional leaders, such as Turkmen Party First Secretary Niiaszov were quietly dropping their standard attacks on Islam.(67) At a lower level, other officials were sometimes re-directing state funds to transform 'guest houses' and 'tea shops' into prayer houses.(68) Through the late 1980s, surveys showed that the majority of university students in Uzbekistan attended Islamic religious rituals.(69) By December 1989 the Uzbek Communist Party's election platform stated that it 'favors the freedom of religion and the legal rights of the believers, [as well as] cooperation with religious organisations'.(70)
These trends show that in spite of Soviet attempts at eradication and then re-education, Islam remained a resilient social and religious force throughout the region. Sufism has indeed thrived 'on adversity'.(71) Furthermore, mass deportation of Muslim populations, e.g. from the North Caucasus to other parts of the Soviet Union including Central Asia, would only result in the exportation of Sufi brotherhoods into these new areas.(72)
We can see how some Sufi orders, especially the Naqshbandis, could become involved in political life in the turmoil of the latter half of the 19th century. This included strong resistance to imperial domination, e.g. the Sudanese resistance to British colonial power (e.g. the destruction of General Gordon in the Battle of Khartoum, 1885), resistance to British penetration into Afghanistan, Emir 'Abd al-Qadir's resistance to the French in Algeria until 1847 and the leadership in Central Asia of Shamil Waifi (1797-1871) against Russian control of the region.(73) Under the leadership of Khalid Baghdadi (1776-1827), theNaqshbandi order in particular became involved in the struggle against the liberalism of Moghul leader Akbar in India, and then against Czarist forces in the Caucasus. Imam Shamil, himself a Sufi, with the aid of Naqshbandis fighters expelled Czarist forces from the Caucasus and set up a strong resistance down to his surrender in 1859.(74) Naqshbandi adepts and other murids (disciples) continued strong resistance to Soviet control of the north Caucasus from 1917 down to 1925, with a subsequent revolt lasting from 1929 till 1936, and another bout of resistance in 1942-43.(75) Likewise, Bahal Din Vaishi (1804-93), had led a revolt against Russian influence in Kazan.(76)
Islam generally and Sufi orders in particular form part of the strong resistance of Chechnya to Russian domination, both historically and in the 1994-2007 period. In part this national feeling was sustained by the presence of two mystical Islamic orders, the Naqshbandiya and Quadiriya. In time, the more radical Quadiriya began to dominate in the mountains, where the more 'pure' and nationalist clans lived. From the early 1990s there was also an attempt by external purist forms of Islam, the Wahhabis, to gain ground in Chechnya, but they lost credibility when they tried to confront the Sufi groups, and when they rejected Chechen nationalism.(77) However, the Wahhabi influence has been felt to some extent in nearby areas of the Caucasus region, especially Dagestan. By late 1999 parts of nearby Dagestan had been drawn into the conflict, resulting in Russian military intervention.(78) However, most Chechen leaders, though Muslim, are not Islamic extremists but were drawn from the professional classes, while others in the past were students or in the Soviet military, e.g. Maskhadov and Dudayev.(79)
In general, the organisation of the Sufi brotherhoods was highly effective in the spreading of religious concepts, as well as for revolution and armed resistance.(80) These trends were part of the broader picture of resistance by national groups in the Caucasus and Central Asia against the expansion of Tsarist Russia and then the Soviet Union. In part, this was due to the fact that religious training and ritual was often taught in underground schools attached to the key social unit in Central Asia, the mahalla or neighbourhood based around a group of extended families, a grouping which also provided a 'social security net'.(81) Mullahs, female religious teachers, and elders within the mahalla were the source of religious authority and custom.(82) On this basis, indigenous Islam and Sufism were impossible to eradicate.
Sufi brotherhoods had been consistently represented by Soviet authorities as either bandit criminals or at least radical breeding grounds of anti-Russian feeling, which must be eliminated, as in Chechnya.(83) It was precisely in such an environment that the Sufi brotherhoods were extremely effective. Indeed, scholars such as Alexandre Bennigsten and Enders Wimbush have suggested that Islam was largely kept alive during the Soviet order by the influence of Sufism in Central Asia.(84) This is likely given the covert networking abilities of Sufi brotherhoods, and the way that low-conflict strategies of resistance could be used by these groups which otherwise seemed compliant with the regime. Soviet authorities had real fears that Sufi communities were essentially closed societies which largely lived outside of Russian and communists systems, while seeming to be part of them.(85) It is this aspect of Sufi politics that is also a challenge for governments that oppose their activities.
Sufi Orders continued to exist in Central Asia throughout the period of the Soviet Union, including the period of Stalin, and the age of sophisticated espionage surveillance of the 1970s and 1980s. In spite of attempts to limit and control religion in the region, and their sensitivity to potential Islamic threats or CIA involvement, at least for the closed orders like the Hairy Ishans, there is no recorded case of the inner workings of a Sufi group having been deeply penetrated or exposed by the KGB.(86) Nonetheless, the early revolts of the 19th and early 20th centuries could not be sustained: popular support was strong but variable, while the industrial and military strength of the West and of the Russian empire in the long run were too dominant. It was for this very reason that the more invisible, indirect form of resistance offered by many of the Sufi brotherhoods was more effective.
We can sense the resilience of Islamic social life through some apparent paradoxes. Several Sufi strategies have been consciously used to help Islamic culture survive under conditions of oppression. Two of these are 'invisibility-in-the-crowd', sometimes formulated as khalwat dar anjuman, 'solitude within society', and safar dar watan, 'journey within the homeland', which reminds the Muslim that the journey into the inner world is more important than any external condition.(87) These trends are particularly important in the Naqshbandiya order, where the adepts remain 'in the world' living apparently everyday roles, adapting to everyday modern society.(88) Taken together, these strategies structure a psychological and social 'endurance'.
A related tradition is that of being willing to disguise or hide belief in order to avoid persecution or extinction. In general, Sufis are ordered not to seek martyrdom, and to practise taqiya, that is, caution. Under extreme conditions, they may even deny membership in Islam, without this being regarded as sinful.(89) A Sufi leader's constant engagement in prayer and meditation means that 'he is permanently "mobilised" and engages in unending intensive spiritual and mental concentration'.(90) For the Sufi all earthly empires are ultimately impotent before universal prophecy and before God's will - sincere trust (tawakkul) is sufficient to convert fear (91) into hope. In fact inner corruption and sin is more to be feared than any external oppression. Within the expectation of future judgement, time is always on the side of Islam and its professors. This has meant that in most contexts, Sufi groups and the communities they influence have been willing to use non-violent forms of accommodation with secular state authorities. This was the case with the Tijaniya order of Algeria down to the 1950s, and in general coloured the way Sufi groups reacted to Soviet rule in Central Asia. Exceptions to this trend can be found when Sufi groups try to resist external imperial powers which disrupt regional cultures,(92) e.g. against the Russians in the Caucasus, the Turkmen steppes, and the Ferghana valley,(93) in the Sudan against the British in the 19th century, and in Chechnya during 1994-2007.
5. Sufism: Controversy, Modernism, and Globalisation
The relationship among Sufism, Islam, and universal philosophical trends has been well explained by Dr. Nahid Angha: -
Since all the principles that underlie the instructions of Sufis are based on the Koran, it is impossible to relate Sufism to any religion outside of Islam. Yet the search for true understanding and abstract knowledge of reality is a universal quest. As long as humanity endures, so too will the search for such understanding continue. History shows us that every nation and religion has its own way of expressing the universal spiritual quest.(94)
However, this has not stopped Sufism being controversial both within Islam and more generally. Within Islam, several concerns have been raised: -
1) Circa 1800 the Persian Shi'i authorities persuaded the Persian king to prosecute Sufi movements on the basis of their moral and religious corruption.(95) This distrust of Sufism continues in the current period: -
Theoretical mysticism, known as 'irfan or gnosis, has retained a reputation in Iran to this day; leading scholars such as Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Mutahhari are well known for their writings on philosophical mysticism. On the other hand, anyone who actually practices mysticism in a social context is known instead under the name darvish, which in Iran has become a term of contempt suggesting idleness, drug use, immorality, and every other sort of evil. This distinction permitted the religious hierarchy in Iran to eliminate possible rivals to their authority while appropriating those Sufi doctrines which they admired.(96)
2) The role of Sufi Saints, in so far as they are involved as spiritual intermediaries, and their tombs as places of pilgrimage and healinghas become common in parts of Central Asia (from the 11the century CE onwards), North Africa, Pakistan and Northern India. On this basis, some Muslims are concerned that this could become a form of 'hidden' idolatry distracting believers from their primary religious concerns.
3) Caution has also been raised concerning the ascetic and non-worldly practises of Sufi's, since in Islam there is no formal role for monasticism.(97) Muhammad, himself, was married and had children, and remained deeply involved in the political and social life of his community.
4) Some Sufi's were open to influences from other religious traditions, including Greek gnosticism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Thus the North Indian qawwali singer Ja'far Budauni could combine Arabic verses about Ali, along with Hindi couplets the infant Krishna, interpreted from a Sufi viewpoint.(98) Bengali bards, called Bauls, also mix their songs with elements drawn from Tantric and yogi practises.(99) This syncretism and openness, though making Sufism popular, also suggests how it readily crossed the limits imposed by more Orthodox interpretations of Islam.
Also, in a more general context: -
1) Sufism has sometimes been viewed as a medieval tradition not compatible with a modernising state, e.g. dervish orders were banned in Turkey in 1925, partly because of the loyalty many citizens felt towards such orders.(100) They have since been allowed a limited place as carriers of Ottoman and artistic traditions.(101)
2) The problem of fake Sufis is widely recognised, e.g. those claiming special powers to gain personal power or wealth. The misuse of a claimed holiness, of course, is not just a problem for Sufism, but has also been a major problem in Christianity and Hinduism.
3) The problem of a modern pseudo-Sufism which appropriates elements of Islam as a commodity and entertainment for foreign and particularly Western audiences. The boundary between genuine dialogue between religions verses a severe distortion of belief can be difficult establish.
Here we need to place Sufism against the current trends of modernisation and globalisation. Dialogue across diverse international groups can now easily occur under the current conditions of globalisation, and it is now impossible for a single 'pure' message to be controlled by any single authority. Ensuring a valid interpretation and reception of Sufism is thus part of a wider issue. If a genuine understanding of Islam is propagated globally, then it is also more likely that a better understanding of Sufism will also emerge. Many of the problems listed above will then be set in the context of a deeper and more genuine understanding of the bases of Sufism within Islam. If Sufism can still provide some better access to understanding for non-Muslims, this must not be done at the expense of a genuine understanding of Islam itself.

6. Footnotes
1. A different account of this theme with particular emphasis on Russia and Central Asia will be found in FERGUSON, R. James Meeting on the Road: Cosmopolitan Islamic Culture and the Politics of Sufism, Bond University, Centre for East-West Cultural and Economic Studies, December 1996.
2. ARBERRY, A.J. Sufism: An Account of the Mystics of Islam, London, Allen & Unwin, 1950, p58.
3. Al-Ghazali Deliverance from Error, p56.
4. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p51.
5. ANGHA, Nahid "About Sufism", from Principles of Sufism, (Internet Source), February 1991; IMOS, Zos "Sufi Traditions", (Internet Source), 1994.
6. ARBERRY, A.J. Sufism: An Account of the Mystics of Islam, London, Allen & Unwin, 1950, p35; AL-HUJWIRI, Ali B. Uthman Al-Jullabi The Hashf Al-Mahjub: The Oldest Persian Treatise on Sufism, trans. Reynold Nicholson, London, Luzac and Company, 1976, Chapter III "On Sufism", p30; DANNER, Victor "The Necessity for the Rise of the Term Sufi",Studies in Comparative Religion, 6 no. 2, 1973, p70; LINGS, Martin "Sufism", in ARBERRY, A.J. (ed.) Religion in the Middle East: Three Religions in Concord and Conflict, Cambridge, CUP, 1969, Vol. 2, p253; ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p19, though Nahid Angha denies that this is the main derivation ANGHA, Nahid "About Sufism", from Principles of Sufism, (Internet Source), February 1991.
7. ANGHA, Nahid "About Sufism", from Principles of Sufism, (Internet Source), February 1991; IMOS, Zos "Sufi Traditions", (Internet Source), 1994.
8. RIDGEON, Lloyd "The Felicitous Life in Sufism", Sufi, No. 28, Winter 1995-96, p30.
9. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p26.
10. Ibid., p20.
11. In AL-HUJWIRI, Ali B. Uthman Al-Jullabi The Hashf Al-Mahjub: The Oldest Persian Treatise on Sufism, trans. Reynold Nicholson, London, Luzac and Company, 1976, Chapter XI, pp140-141.
12. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p3.
13. SAID, Edward Orientalism, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1995.
14. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p4.
15. Though most Sufi groups accept some form of song or chanting, note that ordes such as the Naqshbandis and Qadiris are cautious of the role of music and dance, ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p179.
16. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p17.
17. Ibid., p30.
18. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p125. See also ARMSTRONG, Karen A History of Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths, N.Y., Harper Collins, 1996.
19. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p32.
20. Ibid., pp89-91.
21. Ibid., p161.
22. Ibid., p92.
23. Ibid., p115.
24. BEDFORD, Ian "The Interdiction of Music in Islam", The Australian Journal of Anthropology", 12 no. 1, 2001, pp1-14 [Internet Access via Proquest].
25. In ZAKARIA, Rafic The Struggle Within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics, N.Y., Penguin, 1988, p106.
26. LEWIS, Franklin D. Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oxford, Oneworld, 2003, p9.
27. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p167; LEWIS, Franklin D. Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oxford, Oneworld, 2003, p9.
28. Translated by Shahriar Shahriari, 1999, at http://www.rumionfire.com/shams/rumi036.htm
29. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, pp166-168.
30. LEWIS, Franklin D. Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oxford, Oneworld, 2003, p3.
31. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, pp154-157.
32. Ibid., p178.
33. For a detailed comparison with the Taoism of Chuang Tzu, see IZUTSU, Toshihiko Sufism and Taoism: A Comparative Study of Key Philosophical Concepts, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1984.
34. IMART, Guy "The Islamic Impact on Kirghiz Ethnicity", Nationalities Papers, 14 nos. 1-2, Spring-Fall 1986, p69; OLESEN, Asta Islam and Politics in Afghanistan, Richmond, Curzon Press, 1995, p47.
35. ZAKARIA, Rafic The Struggle Within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics, N.Y., Penguin, 1988, p100.
36. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p5.
37. ELWELL-SUTTON, L.P. "Sufism and Pseudo-Sufism", Encounter44 no. 5, 1975, pp9-11; ANGHA, Nahid "About Sufism", from Principles of Sufism, (Internet Source), February 1991.
38. RIDGEON, Lloyd "The Felicitous Life in Sufism", Sufi, No. 28, Winter 1995-96, p30.
39. ZAKARIA, Rafic The Struggle Within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics, N.Y., Penguin, 1988, p101.
40. BALJON, Johannes M.S. "Islam in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan", in ARBERRY, A.J. (ed.) Religion in the Middle East: Three Religions in Concord and Conflict, Cambridge, CUP, 1969, Vol. 2, pp122-3; ZAKARIA, Rafic The Struggle Within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics, N.Y., Penguin, 1988, p101, p132.
41. BALJON, Johannes M.S. "Islam in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan", in ARBERRY, A.J. (ed.) Religion in the Middle East: Three Religions in Concord and Conflict, Cambridge, CUP, 1969, II, pp122-3; ZAKARIA, Rafic The Struggle Within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics, N.Y., Penguin, 1988, p101, p132; DI MEGLIO, Rita R. "Arab Trade with Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula from the 8th to the 16th Century", in RICHARDS, D.S. (ed.) Islam and the Trade of Asia: A Colloquium, Oxford, Bruno Cassirer, 1970, p116; MEILINK-ROELOFSZ, M.A.P. Asian Trade and European Influence In the Indonesian Archipelago Between 1500 and About 1630, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1962, p63. Earlier and stronger influence would probably have come from Bengal, which had already adopted Islam as early as the 12th century, while Islam was not a strong influence in Gujarat till the 14th century, MEILINK-ROELOFSZ, M.A.P. "Trade and Islam in the Malay-Indonesian Archipelago Prior to the Arrival of the Europeans", in RICHARDS, D.S. (ed.) Islam and the Trade of Asia: A Colloquium, Oxford, Bruno Cassirer, 1970, p144; MEILINK-ROELOFSZ, M.A.P. Asian Trade and European Influence In the Indonesian Archipelago Between 1500 and About 1630, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1962, p21, p23, pp68-69. Indian ships, merchants and merchant corporations predominated in the Indian seas and the Bay of Bengal down to the 13th century A.D., PANIKKAR, K.M. India and the Indian Ocean: An Essay on the Influence of Sea Power on Indian History, 3rd ed., London, George Allen & Unwin, 1962, pp28-29, p35.
42. DI MEGLIO, Rita R. "Arab Trade with Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula from the 8th to the 16th Century", in RICHARDS, D.S. (ed.) Islam and the Trade of Asia: A Colloquium, Oxford, Bruno Cassirer, 1970, pp116-118; See also MEILINK-ROELOFSZ, M.A.P. Asian Trade and European Influence In the Indonesian Archipelago Between 1500 and About 1630, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1962, p6, pp20-21.
43. DI MEGLIO, Rita R. "Arab Trade with Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula from the 8th to the 16th Century", in RICHARDS, D.S. (ed.) Islam and the Trade of Asia: A Colloquium, Oxford, Bruno Cassirer, 1970, p119. See also MEILINK-ROELOFSZ, M.A.P. Asian Trade and European Influence In the Indonesian Archipelago Between 1500 and About 1630, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1962, p108.
44. In some ports in northern Java, see MEILINK-ROELOFSZ, M.A.P. "Trade and Islam in the Malay-Indonesian Archipelago Prior to the Arrival of the Europeans", in RICHARDS, D.S. (ed.) Islam and the Trade of Asia: A Colloquium, Oxford, Bruno Cassirer, 1970, p149.
45. As in the conversion of the prince, who founded Malacca, to Islam, thereby being given the new name Iskandar Shah, DI MEGLIO, Rita R. "Arab Trade with Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula from the 8th to the 16th Century", in RICHARDS, D.S. (ed.) Islam and the Trade of Asia: A Colloquium, Oxford, Bruno Cassirer, 1970, p119.
46. Although Sufism may have been involved at an early date, no certain evidence of Sufi orders have been found in the region during the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries, SEEKINS, Donald M. "The Malacca Sultanate and the Evolution of the Malay Identity", Chapter 1B in Malaysia, 1991 [Electric Library, Internet Access]. Alternatively, it has been suggested that although traders had some role, circumstantial evidence suggests that the Sufis had the dominant role in bringing Islam to the region, AL-ATTAS, Syed NaguibSome Aspects of Sufism As Understood Among the Malays, Singapore, Malaysian Sociological Research Institute Ltd., 1963, p21. Certainly by the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Sufis and Muslim mystics are attested in Malacca and Sumatra, with major mystics such as Hamzah Fansuri, Shamsu'l-Din and `Abdu'l-Ra-uf prominent in north Sumatra in the early and mid-seventeenth century, Ibid., pp22-32. For the spread of Islam into West and East Africa by Arab spice traders, see FARRELL, Karen "Arab Spice Trade and Spread of Islam: SPICE Case", TED Case Studies, no. 334, June 1996 [Internet Source. http://gurukul.ucc.american.edu/ted/SPICE.HTM].
47. MEILINK-ROELOFSZ, M.A.P. "Trade and Islam in the Malay-Indonesian Archipelago Prior to the Arrival of the Europeans", in RICHARDS, D.S. (ed.) Islam and the Trade of Asia: A Colloquium, Oxford, Bruno Cassirer, 1970, p143, p148, p100. See also ALISJAHBANA, S. Takdir "The Confluence and Conflict of Culture in Malaysia in a World Perspective", in ALISJAHBANA, S. Takdir et al. (eds.) The Cultural Problems of Malaysia in the Context of Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Society of Orientalists, 1965, p36; SEEKINS, Donald M. "The Malacca Sultanate and the Evolution of the Malay Identity", Chapter 1B in Malaysia, 1991 [Electric Library, Internet Access].
48. IMOS, Zos "Sufi Traditions", (Internet Source), 1994; HELMINSKI, Camille Adams "Women & Sufism", (Internet Source), 1996.
49. IMOS, Zos "Sufi Traditions", (Internet Source), 1994.
50. LINGS, Martin "Sufism", in ARBERRY, A.J. (ed.) Religion in the Middle East: Three Religions in Concord and Conflict, Cambridge, CUP, 1969, Vol. 2, p264.
51. In general, see SYED, Naguib al-Attas Some Aspects of Sufism As Understood and Practised Among the Malays, Singapore, Malaysian Sociological Research Ltd, 1963.
52. IMOS, Zos "Sufi Traditions", (Internet Source), 1994.
53. Idries Shah is sometimes viewed as not presenting an authentic Sufi tradition, i.e. as a pseudo-Sufi, see ELWELL-SUTTON, L.P. "Sufism and Pseudo-Sufism", Encounter44 no. 5, 1975, pp9-17.
54. "Which Way Round is Right", in SHAH, Idries The Way of the Sufi, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1968, p192.
55. ZAKARIA, Rafic The Struggle Within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics, N.Y., Penguin, 1988 p105.
56. ZAKARIA, Rafic The Struggle Within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics, N.Y., Penguin, 1988, p109.
57. LINGS, Martin "Sufism", in ARBERRY, A.J. (ed.) Religion in the Middle East: Three Religions in Concord and Conflict, Cambridge, CUP, 1969, Vol. 2, p268; RENTZ, George "The Wahhabis", in ARBERRY, A.J. (ed.) Religion in the Middle East: Three Religions in Concord and Conflict, Cambridge, CUP, 1969, Vol. 2, pp270-271; RASHID, Ahmed "Revival of Islam", Far Eastern Economic Review, 17 December 1992, p33.
58. BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p57.
59. For one list of Sufi-related sites on the Web, see http://world.std.com/~habib/index.html
60. See for example FENARI, Kerim "The Jihad of Imam Shamyl", (Internet Source) 1995.
61. For one printed Iranian view of the Western failure to protect safe havens in Bosnia as a direct attack on Muslims, see AYATOLLAH KHAMENE'I "In Fulling Our Obligations and Duties Regarding Bosnia, We Will Not Wait For Others", Echo of Islam (Tehran), No. 119, (Extracts from Speech of 20 April 1994), May 1994, pp10-12).
62. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, pp112-113.
63. ZAKARIA, Rafic The Struggle Within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics, N.Y., Penguin, 1988, pp268-269. See also BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p7.
64. RORLICH, Azade-Ayse "Islam and Atheism: Dynamic Tension in Soviet Central Asia", in FIERMAN, William (ed.) Soviet Central Asia: The Failed Transformation, Boulder, Westview Press, 1991, p191; BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p12.
65. IMOS, Zos "Sufi Traditions", (Internet Source), 1994.
66. RORLICH, Azade-Ayse "Islam and Atheism: Dynamic Tension in Soviet Central Asia", in FIERMAN, William (ed.) Soviet Central Asia: The Failed Transformation, Boulder, Westview Press, 1991, p189.
67. Ibid.
68. Ibid., p190.
69. HANKS, Reuel "Civil Society and Identity in Uzbekistan: The Emergent Role of Islam", in RUFFIN, M. Holt & WAUGH, Daniel C. (eds) Civil Society in Central Asia, Seattle, Centre for Civil Society International, 1999, p162.
70. Ibid., p210.
71. BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p112; HUNTER, Shireen "Islam in Post-Independence Central Asia: Internal and External Dimensions", Journal of Islamic Studies, 7 no. 2, 1996, p293. See also FULLER, Graham E. & LESSER, Ian O. A Sense of Siege: The Geopolitics of Islam and the West, Boulder, Westview Press, 1995, p164.
72. BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p30.
73. OLESEN, Asta Islam and Politics in Afghanistan, Richmond, Curzon Press, 1995, pp52-53; Rashid, Ahmed The Resurgence of Central Asia: Islam or Nationalism?, Karachi, OUP, 1994, p16; ZAKARIA, Rafic The Struggle Within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics, N.Y., Penguin, 1988, p157; ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p5.
74. WHEELER, G.E. "Islam in the USSR", in ARBERRY, A.J. (ed.) Religion in the Middle East: Three Religions in Concord and Conflict, Cambridge, CUP, 1969, Vol. 2, p149; BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p19.
75. BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, pp24-8.
76. ZAKARIA, Rafic The Struggle Within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics, N.Y., Penguin, 1988, p158.
77. BENNIGSEN, Marie "Chechnia: Political Developments and Strategic Implication for the North Caucasus", Central Asian Survey, 18 no. 4, December 1999, pp548-549.
78. MALAYEV, Arsen "Caucasus War Could Spread", ABC Newsworld, 13 August 1999 [Internet Access].
79. FREDHOLM, Michael "The Prospects for Genocide in Chechnya and Extremist Retaliation against the West", Central Asian Survey, 19, nos. 3-4, September-December 2000,p321.
80. ZAKARIA, Rafic The Struggle Within Islam: The Conflict Between Religion and Politics, N.Y., Penguin, 1988, pp157-8.
81. HANKS, Reuel "Civil Society and Identity in Uzbekistan: The Emergent Role of Islam", in RUFFIN, M. Holt & WAUGH, Daniel C. (eds) Civil Society in Central Asia, Seattle, Centre for Civil Society International, 1999, pp158-179, pp166-167.
82. Ibid., pp168-169.
83. BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, pp101-103, p111.
84. The definitive text remains BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985.
85. BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p108.
86. Ibid., p36, p74.
87. OLESEN, Asta Islam and Politics in Afghanistan, London, Curzon Press, 1995, p50; BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p59.
88. BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p8, p59.
89. BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p36, p76, p52, p58, p67, pp76-77; FALARTI, Maziar M. "Sufism in Central Asia", Unpublished Research Paper, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bond University, Queensland, Australia, 1996, p19.
90. BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p77.
91. ARBERRY, A.J. Sufism: An Account of the Mystics of Islam, London, Allen & Unwin, 1950, p27.
92. FALARTI, Maziar M. "Sufism in Central Asia", Unpublished Research Paper, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bond University, Queensland, Australia, 1996, p19.
93. BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985, p3.
94. ANGHA, Nahid "About Sufism", from Principles of Sufism, (Internet Source), February 1991.
95. ERNST, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism, Boston, Shambhala, 1997, p11.
96. Ibid.
97. Ibid., p99.
98. Ibid., p176.
99. Ibid., p178.
100. Ibid., p8.
101. LEWIS, Franklin D. Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, Oxford, Oneworld, 2003, p2.

7. Bibliography and Further Resources
Resources
A short account of Islam in Central Asia will be found at http://info.irex.org/publications/policy-papers/islam.htm#history
A range of material on Sufism and Sufi orders is collected athttp://www.arches.uga.edu/~godlas/Sufism.html/sufism/sufism/ibnarab.html
A useful website with a mass of material on Rumi, including translations of his poetry, will be found at http://www.rumionfire.com/
An update of material on Rumi can be found at http://www.oneworld-publications.com/Rumi/
Bibliography and Further Reading
AGUIRRE, Mariano "Guerres de civilisations?", Le Monde Diplomatique, (Internet Source) Décembre 1994
AKCALI, Pinar "Islam as a 'Common Bond' in Central Asia: Islam Renaissance Party and the Afghan Mujahidin", Central Asian Survey, 17 no. 2, pp267-284
AL-ATTAS, Syed Naguib Some Aspects of Sufism As Understood Among the Malays, Singapore, Malaysian Sociological Research Institute Ltd., 1963
ALAWI, Ridha "The Political and Cultural Dialogue Between Islam and the West", Echo of Islam (Tehran), No. 119, May 1994, pp28-30
AL-GHAZALI Deliverance from Error, translated in WATT, William Montgomery (trans.) The Faith and Practice of Al-Ghazali, Oxford, Oneworld, 1994, pp17-92
AL-HUJWIRI, Ali B. Uthman Al-Jullabi The Hashf Al-Mahjub: The Oldest Persian Treatise on Sufism, trans. Reynold Nicholson, London, Luzac and Company, 1976
ALISJAHBANA, S. Takdir et al. (eds.) The Cultural Problems of Malaysia in the Context of Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Society of Orientalists, 1965
AMIRAHMADI, Hooshang "Iran and the Persian Gulf: Strategic Issues and Outlook", in ZANGENEH, Hamid Islam, Iran, and World Stability, N.Y., St. Martin's Press, 1994, pp118-119
AMULI, Sayyid Haydar Inner Secrets of the Path, trans. Assadullah ad-Dhaakir Yate, Longmead, Elements Books, 1989
ANGHA, Nahid "About Sufism", from Principles of Sufism, (Internet Source), February 1991
ARBERRY, A.J. (ed.) Religion in the Middle East: Three Religions in Concord and Conflict, Cambridge, CUP, 1969
ARBERRY, A.J. Sufism: An Account of the Mystics of Islam, London, Allen & Unwin, 1950
ARMSTRONG, Karen A History of Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths, N.Y., Harper Collins, 1996
Arnold, Anthony Afghanistan, the Soviet Invasion in Perspective, Stanford, Calif., Hoover Institution Press, 1985
AYATOLLAH KHAMENE'I "In Fulling Our Obligations and Duties Regarding Bosnia, We Will Not Wait For Others", Echo of Islam (Tehran), No. 119, (Extracts from Speech of 20 April 1994), May 1994, pp10-12
BALJON, Johannes M.S. "Islam in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan", in ARBERRY, A.J. (ed.) Religion in the Middle East: Three Religions in Concord and Conflict, Cambridge, CUP, 1969, Vol. 2, pp119-144
BARKEY, Henri J. "Iran and Turkey: Confrontation Across an Ideological Divide", in RUBINSTEIN, Alvin & SMOLANSKY, Oles (eds.) Regional Power Rivalries in the New Eurasia, N.Y., M.E. Sharpe, 1995, pp147-168
BARRETT, C.K. (ed.) The New Testament Background: Selected Documents, London, SPCK, 1987
BEDFORD, Ian "The Interdiction of Music in Islam", The Australian Journal of Anthropology", 12 no. 1, 2001, pp1-14 [Internet Access via Proquest]
BENNIGSEN, Marie "Chechnia: Political Developments and Strategic Implication for the North Caucasus", Central Asian Survey, 18 no. 4, December 1999, pp535-574
BENNIGSTEN, A. & WIMBUSH, S. Mystics and Commissars: Sufism in the Soviet Union, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985
BEZANIS, Lowell "Uighurs Casualty of 'Confidence Building' in Asia", OMRIAnalytical Brief, I no. 75, (Internet Source), 22 April 1996
BISHOP, Patrick "Review of GELLNER, Ernest Conditions of Liberty: Civil Society and Its Rivals", Australian Journal of Political Science, 30 no. 3, November 1995, p614
Bonosky, Phillip Washington's Secret War Against Afghanistan, New York, International Publishers, 1985
BOURDEAUX, Michael (ed.) The Politics of Religion in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, N.Y., M.E. Sharpe, 1995
Bradsher, Henry S. Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, Durham, N.C., Duke University Press, 1985
CHING CHEONG "Xinjiang Riot Unlikely to Boost Separatism", Straits Times Interactive,13 February 1997 [http://www.asia1.com.sg/straitstimes/pages/stea10.html]
Collins, Joseph J. The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: A Study in the Use of Force in Soviet Foreign Policy, Lexington, Mass., Lexington Books, 1986
CUTHBERTSON, Ian "The New 'Great Game'", World Policy Journal, 11, Winter 1994/5, pp31-43
DANNER, Victor "The Necessity for the Rise of the Term Sufi", Studies in Comparative Religion,6 no. 2, 1973, pp71-77
Dukes, Paul A History of Russia: Medieval, Modern, Contemporary, Basingstoke, Macmillan Education, 1990
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Essays in History, Politics and Culture: Copyright © R. James Ferguson 2007

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