sufi order

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“Dance until you shatter yourself!” - Rumi

The Persian poet & Sufi mystic Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi) inspired his followers to establish the Mevlevi Sufi Order after his death in 1273 CE. 

The Mevlevi Order are sometimes called ‘Whirling Dervishes’ due to their famous practice of whirling as a form of spiritual devotion to god.

The act of of the whirling dance is inspired by the quran verse “wherever you turn is the face of god”. Members of the order see the dance as a form of worship.

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Vasily Vereshchagin (1842-1904)
“Dervishes in holiday costumes. Tashkent” (1869-1870)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

A dervish is a member of a Muslim (specifically Sufi) religious order who has taken vows of poverty and austerity. Their focus is on the universal values of love and service, deserting the illusions of ego to reach God.

Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan.

A dervish or darvesh (from Persian درویش, Darvīsh via Turkish, Somali: Daraawiish, Arabic: درويش‎, Darwīš) is someone treading a  Sufi Muslim ascetic path or “Tariqah”, known for their extreme poverty and austerity. In this respect, dervishes are most similar to mendicant friars in Christianity or Hindu/Buddhist/Jain sadhus.

Many dervishes are mendicant ascetics who have taken a vow of poverty, unlike mullahs. The main reason they beg is to learn humility, but Dervishes are prohibited to beg for their own good. They have to give the collected money to other poor people. Others work in common professions; Egyptian Qadiriyya – known in Turkey as Kadiri – are fishermen, for example.

Some classical writers indicate that the poverty of the dervish is not merely economic. Saadi, for instance, who himself travelled widely as a dervish, and wrote extensively about them, says in his Gulistan:

“Of what avail is frock, or rosary,
Or clouted garment? Keep thyself but free
From evil deeds, it will not need for thee
To wear the cap of felt: a darwesh be
In heart, and wear the cap of Tartary.”

Rumi writes in Book 1 of his Masnavi:

“Water that’s poured inside will sink the boat 

While water underneath keeps it afloat.
Driving wealth from his heart to keep it pure
King Solomon preferred the title ‘Poor’:
That sealed jar in the stormy sea out there
Floats on the waves because it’s full of air,
When you’ve the air of dervishood inside
You’ll float above the world and there abide…”

There are various orders of Dervishes, almost all of which trace their origins from various Muslim saints and teachers, especially Imam Ali. Various orders and suborders have appeared and disappeared over the centuries. Dervishes spread into North Africa, Turkey, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Iran, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Other groups include the Bektashis, who are connected to the janissaries, and the Senussi, who are rather orthodox in their beliefs. Other fraternities and subgroups chant verses of the Qur'an, play drums or whirl in groups, all according to their specific traditions. They practice meditation, as is the case with most of the Sufi orders in South Asia, many of whom owe allegiance to, or were influenced by, the Chishti order. Each fraternity uses its own garb and methods of acceptance and initiation, some of which may be rather severe. [x]

Rumi is More Than A Dispenser of Clever Words – Find Your Own Shams


People are drawn to the poetic utterances of Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273). In the lives of many, Rumi has become the rare example of encountering a genuine spiritual master of the past, what the Sufis call a “murshid”, an advanced spiritual teacher or guide. More than a poet, they sense there is a radiance behind Rumi’s words, that really, Rumi offers a radically different and far more enchanting approach to God or the spiritual world than the conventional religion they know.


Rumi was a 13th-century Persian Sufi mystic. For some reason, this particular Sufi poet has become extremely popular and well-known to many, yet Rumi is one of thousands of such celebrated Gnostic poet-mystics, Sants and Sufis of the East.


Sufism is a form of Islamic Gnosticism, a school of mysticism. Rumi’s spiritual teacher (living master, murshid) was Shams of Tabriz, a disciple of Baba Kamal al-Din Jumdi in a Sufi Order, a living school of spirituality. In Arabic, “Shams” means “Sun”. For Rumi, Shams was his light-giver (guru), the spiritual guide, someone who communicated the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, the methods of spiritual practice, meditation, how to ascend through the heavens and commune with the Beloved Supreme Being.


Rumi is a great read, composed great poems, contributed much to the world of literature? Sure. However, to truly “get” Rumi and come to appreciate his message, we need to find our own living Shams of Tabriz.


The Master-Student Relationship


“Rumi trusted his heart and soul to Shams, and Shams said, ‘That is a good beginning. What more can you offer?’


”'There is nothing more!’ cried Rumi.


“Shams replied, 'Still you sleep, Rumi. It is a new day. Wake up! You resist my words because of your own insecurities and the fear that right now you could be the God that you truly are. Could I, as your friend, allow you to continue living a life of limitation when you know better?’”


Rumi says: “If you seek to know God, sit at the feet of the Masters.” “Feed your heart in conversation with someone harmonious with it; seek spiritual advancement from one who is advanced.” Rumi says, may you find your own Shams and learn from them the Secret of Secrets.


“Rumi found in poetry the only form of expression befitting his reverence for his teacher Shams of Tabriz.”


Rumi’s Ode to the Satguru


You come to us
from another world


From beyond the stars
and void of space.
Transcendent, Pure,
Of unimaginable beauty,
Bringing with you
the essence of love.


You transform all
who are touched by you.
Mundane concerns,
troubles, and sorrows
dissolve in your presence,
Bringing joy
to ruler and ruled
To peasant and King.


You bewilder us
with your grace.
All evils
transform into
goodness.


You are the master alchemist.


You light the fire of love
in earth and sky
in heart and soul
of every being.


Through your loving
existence and nonexistence erge.
All opposites unite.
All that is profane
becomes sacred again.

The nearly six centuries of Ottoman rule over south-eastern Europe provided considerable occasion for the spread of Islam in that part of the world. Undeniably, among the nations that now comprise the Balkan Peninsula (Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) the Muslim component of their populations is quite discernible and apparent. Two of these nations, Albania and Bosnia-Hercegovina, are comprised of Muslim majority populations. Huge Muslim minorities can be found among the inhabitants of Macedonia and Serbia (which also includes the province of Kosova). In Croatia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Greece the percentages of Muslims is much smaller, but in some cases the numbers can be quite impressive, as with the more than 1 million in Bulgaria!

The largest Muslim ethnic group present in the Balkans is the Albanians, who now number over 5 million. They are concentrated in the central and southern regions of the peninsula and form the overwhelming majority of the population in Albania, the Serbian occupied province of Kosova, and western Macedonia. There are small groups of Albanians living in Bosnia, Montenegro, and Croatia who are primarily émigrés from the Tito era. In regards to religion, Albanians have never found in it a force for ethnic unity, though they are, for the most part, followers of Islam (or the non-practicing descendants of Muslims). Sizeable segments of the Albanian people still adhere to either Roman Catholic or Orthodox Christianity, and among the Muslim population there was (and is) further division between Sunnis and the followers of the Shi’i Bektashis.

The next ethnic element of the Muslim population of the Balkan Peninsula is that of the Slavs. They number some 3.5 million and are the descendants those portions of the populace that embraced Islam during the centuries of Ottoman rule. Culturally and linguistically they are a varied group whose language, racial origin and religious faith form for the only common feature. Muslim Slavs form a plurality of the population of Bosnia-Hercegovina (where they are known as Bošnjaks), a majority of the Serbian-controlled region of Sandzak, and a significant minority in Macedonia (where they are known as Torbesi) and Bulgaria (where they identify themselves as Pomaks). Small pockets of Slav-speaking Muslims can also be found in northern Greece (Pomaks) and in Kosova (Goranis).

The Turkish element in the Balkan Muslim population is but a mere shadow of what it once was even a century ago. In the past, Turkish-speaking Muslims made up substantial portions of the populations of Macedonia, Thessaly, Morea and Bulgaria. At the present time, there are nearly one million Turks who continue to live in Bulgaria. In Macedonia and Greece there are some 200,000 Muslims who still classify themselves as Turks. There are also less significant communities of ethnic Turks who live in the urban centres Kosova and the Sandžak.

The Roma are a smaller yet significant Balkan Muslim ethnic group. They are highly scattered throughout the region and tend to follow the prevailing religion where they reside. Consequently in the heavily Islamized regions of Bosnia, Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia they usually profess Islam whereas in parts of Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece they are Orthodox Christian. In Macedonia, the Roma are a highly visible minority, especially around the capitol city of Skopje. Historically, the Roma have suffered (and continue to do so) from racial discrimination by their non-Roma neighbours, both Muslim and Christian. In recent decades the Roma have counteracted their exclusion from the official Islamic by becoming heavily involved in various Sufi Orders.

In times past there were other ethnic groups that have since disappeared due to “ethnic cleansing”, annihilation, expulsion or assimilation into one of the more dominant Muslim groups. For example there once existed large numbers of Greek-speaking Muslims in Macedonia, Crete and in the various regions of Greece up until the beginning of the 20th century. Several of the Slav tribes of Montenegro embraced Islam in the early 18th century only to be exterminated decades later in an event commemorated in the famous Serbian epic The Mountain Wreath. One can also find the descendants of Circassian and Tatar refugees from Russia still living in Kosova and Bulgaria, though they have been assimilated to a large degree into the Albanian or Turkish populations amongst whom they live.
—  A Survey of Sufism in the Balkans - Foreword; Huseyin Abiva

Heart Toroid Field

A living, beating human heart generates an electrical-magnetic field in an undulating torus (a shape similar to a doughnut) composed of highly stable energy that arcs out from the heart, only to bend back along itself, and re-enter the heart. This heart toroid field is nestled within a second, larger toroid field of approximately 8 to 10 feet in diameter, both of which share the same axis.
The torus is the most primal pattern of life. It is found in every life form from the smallest atom to the largest galaxy to “all that is.“ In fact, “all that is” could be described as one gigantic universal torus comprised of an infinite number of interacting, holographic tori nestled within. 
The smaller heart toroid field is a transmitter and receiver of unified love and wisdom from your ba (your higher self) to your ka (yourself) and from your ka (yourself) to your ba (your higher self), whereas the larger heart toroid field is a transmitter and receiver of unified love and wisdom from your ka (yourself) to your environment (including all others and all objects) and from your environment to yourself. Each person’s torus is distinct but simultaneously open and connected to every other torus, similar to waves in an ocean. Therefore, all beings are interconnected; what one thinks, how one loves, contributes to the greater whole, and vice versa.
In addition to the two heart toroid fields, there is a third component, a space within the heart that has been described as a “secret place,” a “sacred space,” the” point of infinite possibility,” “the jewel within the lotus,” and the “holy of holies.” At first glance, it would seem as if this space is extremely small and entirely empty but, paradoxically, it is the ground for “all that is” as well as “all that is not” (form and formlessness), the alpha and the omega, your own God-Nature (enlightened mind), the creative source for all that you manifest or may potentially manifest. 
This sacred space is the seat of the “unseen operator” of the merkaba (God or Source) whose reflection of love and wisdom is displayed through emanations of the double heart toroid field. Because the heart toroid field is holographic in nature, the information of the heart toroid field is present in every point of the torus. This allows the “seen” (or physical operator of the merkaba – the “you” that you perceive yourself to be at present) to access any time, any place, any dimension, any wisdom, any miracle, and even to transcend time and space altogether. 

In the heart of man the whole universe is reflected; and as the whole universe is reflected in it, man may be called the heart of the universe.

– Hazrat Inayat Khan, Founder of the Sufi Order in the West

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New Video (Urdu): Sufi ka Kirdar kiya hai? 

In this speech, His Holiness Younus AlGohar explains what the character of a Sufi should be, what a Sufi does in order to continuously generate light, and how a Sufi maintains a spiritual lifestyle. His Holiness also explains how thoughts can have a negative or positive impact on one who is on the path of spirituality.

This speech is in Urdu, however an English translation will be available soon.

If you would like to ask His Holiness Younus AlGohar a question on Twitter, include ’#askYounusAlGohar’ in your tweet. You can also leave us a comment on Facebook, or you may also email us your questions at info@goharshahi.com or ask@younusalgohar.com.

The Disconnect In Tariqat These Days

BismillahirRahmanirRahim

These days, there is a separation, a disconnect between who is speaking and who is listening. When a religion, it becomes just book knowledge, then you are going to get the separation. These days, Tarikat has become book knowledge too, but, people find what they are looking for. Majority are not really looking for a guide, or a sheykh, or a Mursyid, they just want a lecturer. They just want somebody there to just deliver a lecture. If they give hand outs, it’s better. They just have to sit, fill up a questionnaire then they go back with that hand out. This is not religion. This is especially not Tarikat and this is not sohbet. There is a sohbet that is, in that sohbet, there for you for that time. As much as you are looking to fix yourself, you will find it. 

~Hazrat Hoja Lokman Effendi~

Portrait of Shayk Husayn Chishti

India, Mughal, c. 1620 - 1630

Medium unknown; likely opaque watercolors with gold on paper

The masterful portrait of an old holy man was probably made by one of Jahangir’s court painters. The man resembles Shaykh Husayn Chishti, head of a Sufi order that enjoyed the Great Mughal’s special favor.

His distinguished face – with bold, hooked nose, wise eyes, and finely delineated beard – bears witness to portraiture’s high level during this period. The old man is simply clad in white, though with a gold-figured sash. On his shoulders is a plain brown shawl that could have been of the finest pashmina wool. What might resemble a pocket watch is undoubtedly a qibla compass, which can give the direction of prayer toward Mecca.

Come… come…let’s you and I
abandon the city of vultures,
leave the region of “you” and “I”
and obtain a passport
to the traceless realm,
Where no clocks are made
and minutes are not sold,
Where the Khezr of good fortune
has stitched pre and post eternity together.
Where they do not point to numbers
and dust is not sold for gold,
Where breaths cannot be counted,
where eternity, from end to end, is just one breath,
Where you
will be I
and I
you..
— 

REMEMBERING YOU  - Dr. Javad Nurbakesh
Javad Nurbakesh was the Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order for over 55 years prior to his death at the age of 82.

The Prayer of the Heart