selfwrited

anonymous asked:

For Mod Neha: Assalamu alaikum. :) Would you possibly be able to share some information on Sufi Islam or point me in the direction of a good resource to start learning please?

Walaikum asalaam!

With the disclaimer, as always, that I may make mistakes, and don’t know much about the topic, here’s some starting points - 

Sufism, [arabic equivalent = tasawwuf], is a way of approaching Islam that places importance on wanting to lose oneself/wanting to “annihilate” the self within Allah. Sufis (and non-Sufi Muslims, as well) place great importance on tawakkul, which is absolute trust and love of Allah. Sufis reach this state of annihilation of self, or fanaa, by dedicating oneself to dhikr, or remembrance of the Diety, usually through chanting the 99 names of Allah, salaat (prayer), music, the whirling that everyone loves, as formal goals, including: 

- Salvation from ignorance and attainment of gnosis (Ma`arifah);
- Refinement and purification of the self (Tazkiyah Al-Nafs);
- Cleansing of the spiritual heart (Tasfiyah Al-Qalb) and the enlightenment of the soul (Tajliyah Al-Ruh);
- Sincerity and devotion to the Creator (Ikhlas) and detachment from material and worldly concerns (Zuhd); and
- Commitment to the service of all the creatures of God

[from here, a good resource in general]

There’s also, ihsan, meaning perfection, which is a goal for all Muslims, but exemplified in Sufis. Ihsan is faith brought to flesh, it’s the desire to become the personification of the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad. ﷺ . The Prophet ﷺ says ihsan is: 

“To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you.” [x]


Articles [Mostly academic articles, please forgive me if they are difficult to read. My experience has been that Sufism is easily appropriated, and there’s a wealth of misinformation regarding it.]:

Sufi Writings:

Writers [These are in addition to the above]:

  • Ibn-Arabi is my favorite Muslim writer, and many of his works are a good starting point - You can see all his love and devotion within his texts, and it’s stunning, even in English. [link to site with texts and other resources]
  • I don’t think i can talk about Sufism without mentioning Rumi, so I want to direct you to masnavi.net for his major work. It has the whole of Rumi’s Masnavi online, along with Persian audio, and English/Turkish translation. (From my use, the English is a bit wonky at times, but it’s understandable). If you want to grab a physical copy, I highly recommend Jawid Mojaddedi’s translations, but I understand if that’s not possible because he is translating the books separately. Rumi talked a lot about fanaa, in terms of spiritual and physical death, so if that is something that would bother you, please take care of yourself first.
  • Hafez [link to poems]. Hafez’s love poetry is really well known, but he’s also an amazing critical writer, he often talked about religious hypocrisy, which is an important consideration, especially with Sufism, which many people are attracted to in name, but not so much in the discipline and work that goes into it.

And one final recommendation, but highly done so: 

  • Women of Sufism: A Hidden Treasure by Camille Helminski. This one is not available online that I can find, but it’s an incredibly important recommendation, as it seems that women are often left behind in regards to religion. If you can’t pick up a copy, here is a list of the major women covered in the book, I can’t promise they all have a wealth of information online, but I think it’s important to recognize them: 
    • Rabi’a al-’Adawiyya
    • Halima of Damascus
    • Rabi’a bint Ismail
    • Lubaba al-Muta ‘Abbida
    • Fatima of Damascus
    • Sha’wana Ghufayra
    • Dhakkara
    • Fatima al-Barda’iyya
    • A’isha
    • Fatima
    • Futayma
    • Al-Wahatiyya
    • Zubda and Mudgha
    • ‘Abda and Amina
    • Unayza of Baghdad
    • Lady Nafisa
    • Umm ‘Abdullah
30 Day Writing Challenge
  1. Close your eyes
    Write about an object in the room without looking at it. Us your memory.

  2. Photograph
    Go through a photo album and stop at the 15th and write about it.

  3. Dictionary
    Go through the dictionary and find 10 random words. Without looking at the definition describe the word OR make up a definition OR write poem using these words.

  4. Inspiration
    Find your favorite poem and use the last line as the first line for a new poem.

  5. Twist in Time
    Take a famous fairytale, instead of the ‘happy ending’ seen in the Disney films, change the ending. What if the shoe didn’t fit Cinderella? What if Snow White didn’t eat the apple?

  6. Cliche
    Write down all the cliche’s you can think of. Find the one you are drawn to (liking or disliking) and make the the title OR first line of your poem.

  7. Electricity
    Think of all of the things you can do without power. Pick one and describe it.

  8. Recent Recall
    Think of everything that has happened to you in the past month or two and write 20-40 of them down. Pick one and describe what happened.

  9. Feel Your Senses
    Describe how you feel at this very moment in time and describe it using your senses. (For an extra challenge avoid using basic words like sad, happy, good, tasty, ect.)

  10. What object are you?
    Think of an object that best describes you. Tell us why OR write a list of reasons why and pick the most vivid reason why and write a poem extending on that.

  11. Sets of Words
    Pick one word from each set of words below and write a mini story (300 words or less)
    Set 1: Cat, Unicorn, Paper Clip, Popcorn, Waitress, Dollar Bill
    Set 2: Park, Teddy Bear, Greek, Concert, Tiara, Teacher
    Set 3: Lawyer, Customer, Book, Pencil, Wig, Cape

  12. Scary
    Write
    about a scary encounter (real or fiction)

  13. Workplace 
    Write about a weird experience in your work place.

  14. Moving
    Describe a time you moved towns/houses. 
    OR
    If you have never moved write about why you have not tell if you want to or not. Describe.

  15. Irony
    Write a story about irony, with the main character as a teacher.

  16. Escape
    Write about the place
    you go when you want to escape from the world. Describe it. (Avoid using words like Red, Big, Small, Amazing, ect.)

  17. Ideal Place
    In 400 words, describe your ideal place.

  18. YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US!
    Describe
    what you would want to say to an uninvited guest.

  19. Start the story…
    Start a story with “There was once a chance I didn’t take…”

  20. Color of Hunger
    Describe the color of hunger without actually staying a color.

  21. 10-Year-Old Self
    Write a letter to your 10-Year-Old Self.

  22. First Toy
    In 200 words, write about your first toy.

  23. Bashful One of the Seven Dwarfs
    Rewrite Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    in the point of view of Bashful.

  24. “My Life” By Me
    Write the description on the back of the book of your life in 100 words.

  25. Decision Making
    Write and Describe about a time you had to make a tough decision.

  26. Decision Making #2
    Write and describe a time you made the easiest decision of your life.

  27. Empty Glass
    Write a story about an empty glass.

  28. Boring Day
    Describe a boring day you had, but
    DON’T make it sound boring!

  29. Power
    Write a 500 word story
    about “If i had the power to change one thing, I would change…”

  30. Who wants to work?
    Write a descriptive excuse about why you are unable to work today.

Need anymore ideas? Visit: http://creativewritingprompts.com/#

30 Day Writing Challenge
  1. Close your eyes
    Write about an object in the room without looking at it. Us your memory.

  2. Photograph
    Go through a photo album and stop at the 15th and write about it.

  3. Dictionary
    Go through the dictionary and find 10 random words. Without looking at the definition describe the word OR make up a definition OR write poem using these words.

  4. Inspiration
    Find your favorite poem and use the last line as the first line for a new poem.

  5. Twist in Time
    Take a famous fairytale, instead of the ‘happy ending’ seen in the Disney films, change the ending. What if the shoe didn’t fit Cinderella? What if Snow White didn’t eat the apple?

  6. Cliche
    Write down all the cliche’s you can think of. Find the one you are drawn to (liking or disliking) and make the the title OR first line of your poem.

  7. Electricity
    Think of all of the things you can do without power. Pick one anddescribe it.

  8. Recent Recall
    Think of everything that has happened to you in the past month or two and write 20-40 of them down. Pick one and describe what happened.

  9. Feel Your Senses
    Describe how you feel at this very moment in time and describe it using your senses. (For an extra challenge avoid using basic words like sad,happygoodtasty, ect.)

  10. What object are you?
    Think of an object that best describes you. Tell us why OR write a list of reasons why and pick the most vivid reason why and write a poem extending on that.

  11. Sets of Words
    Pick one word from each set of words below and write a mini story(300 words or less)
    Set 1: Cat, Unicorn, Paper Clip, Popcorn, Waitress, Dollar Bill
    Set 2: Park, Teddy Bear, Greek, Concert, Tiara, Teacher
    Set 3: Lawyer, Customer, Book, Pencil, Wig, Cape

  12. Scary
    Write
     about a scary encounter (real or fiction)

  13. Workplace 
    Write about a weird experience in your work place.

  14. Moving
    Describe a time you moved towns/houses. 
    OR
    If you have never moved write about why you have not tell if you want to or not. Describe.

  15. Irony
    Write a story about irony, with the main character as a teacher.

  16. Escape
    Write about the place
     you go when you want to escape from the world. Describe it. (Avoid using words like RedBigSmallAmazing, ect.)

  17. Ideal Place
    In 400 words, describe your ideal place.

  18. YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US!
    Describe 
    what you would want to say to an uninvited guest.

  19. Start the story…
    Start a story with “There was once a chance I didn’t take…”

  20. Color of Hunger
    Describe the color of hunger without actually staying a color.

  21. 10-Year-Old Self
    Write a letter to your 10-Year-Old Self.

  22. First Toy
    In 200 words, write about your first toy.

  23. Bashful One of the Seven Dwarfs
    Rewrite Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 
    in the point of view of Bashful.

  24. “My Life” By Me
    Write the description on the back of the book of your life in 100 words.

  25. Decision Making
    Write and Describe about a time you had to make a tough decision.

  26. Decision Making #2
    Write and describe a time you made the easiest decision of your life.

  27. Empty Glass
    Write a story about an empty glass.

  28. Boring Day
    Describe a boring day you had, but 
    DON’T make it sound boring!

  29. Power
    Write a 500 word story 
    about “If i had the power to change one thing, I would change…”

  30. Who wants to work?
    Write a descriptive excuse about why you are unable to work today.

Need anymore ideas? Visit: http://creativewritingprompts.com/#