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Sufic Universalism

From: (Haramullah)
Subject: Sufic Universalism
Date: Kali Yuga 49941109

Quoting: |Hanif 

|'Sufic Universalism' within (or in spite of) an Islamic culture.  

I suspect that Idries Shah has a great deal to do with this, as do a
number of other people who identify as 'Sufis' and yet promote the
mystical 'tradition' as if it were not *necessarily* an institution
or organized body.  I've quoted Shah many times from his books within
this elist and it is quite apparent that he points to the center of *all*
religions when he speaks of 'Sufism'.

My impression (very limited) is that the social body which makes up
sufism (my term indicating the universality which includes Sufism to a 
great degree) is diverse, and there are many (e.g. Karima Omar, 'the Urban
Dervish') who have felt alienated and estranged by a rather condemning
Muslim establishment.  Perhaps the very urge which wells up within the
Muslim institutions to define who is and who is not a Sufi is in some
way *generating* a counter-force, much as the vigor of Christian organ-
izations generates a counter-force variously calling itself 'Neopaganism'
and 'Satanism' (though without too many of the nightmarish components 
that either of these names might imply to Christians or Muslims).

|I guess I'm not sure what the deal is, but wondering if anyone else can 
|make sense of the institutionalization of 'Sufism' OUTSIDE (or in spite 
|of) of Islam.

I think it may be a rebellion *in response to* authoritarian and forceful
control.  There is a long and cherished history of rebellion-and-co-option
within the history of at least the American culture.  Compare the rising
popularity of what is called among some 'Zen without Buddhism' or 'Tantra
without Hinduism'.  'Sufism without Islam' (in the sense of being without
organized religion) is not an isolated case, and while I consider myself
a great instigator of these transformations, I also personally find the
origin-religions to be very beautiful (if, at times, limiting and 

I welcome further discussion on this matter.  I think it is very important
to a preservation of the integrity of Islam and sufism (if such can still
be salvaged).


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