Names of God, Take Two

I thought I’d elevate (unedited) to the front page a comment by our good friend Gariban, who contributes to the world’s spiritual understanding by translating Sufi writings into his native Turkish language.  This man knows about the names of God.

My Dear friends thanks for opening a conversation about the names of God, 99 Names of God were explained clearly in the Qur’an by God and authentical sayings of prophet Muhammad(PBUH). There are books of information about these names clearly stating the names, name-adjectives and adjectives of God and how they are manifesting in the universe and on us. One of the most beatiful and comprehensive book in this area was prepared by Shaikh Tosun Bayrak Al-Jerrahi in Newyork. The name of the book is called “The name and the named”. You can obtain one from amazon I think.

My dear friends, Let me share my opinion with you by commenting on a verse from bible in this case:

“If a man has 100 sheep, but one of the sheep becomes lost, then the man will leave the other 99 sheep on the hill. He will go to look for the lost sheep. Right? And if the man finds the lost sheep, the man is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 sheep that were never lost. I tell you the truth. In the same way, your Father in heaven does not want any of these little children to be lost.” Matthew 18:12-14 (ERV)

Who are these 99 sheeps?
I will humbly try to explain what I understand from this verse with my poor knowledge in islam. In islam 99 names of ALLAH is known. ALLAH is a unique name and it is not equivalent to the name “God”. Equivalent of God in islam is “Ilah” or with the terms of Jesus in aramaic”Alahi”. Explaining the difference between the word “GOD or ilah in arabic” and “ALLAH” is another matter, long to explain here. Debates about this difference are turned in to battle due to illiteracy in knowledge.

Those 99 names what we call “Asma ul Husna” are the sheeps which are bound to the One. They all come from the One.

These 99 names manifest within the universe. But manifests with all names as “ALLAH” on the perfect man only. The word manifestation is a dangerous word and used wrongly in Christian literature. It is perceived as entering in to something and many Christians think that God manifested in flesh as Jesus. So they come up with crazy statements saying Jesus is God and fall in blasphemy. The person who coloured with the names of God and acts with the qualities of these names are not GOD. They are the people who beat their ego and become pure servants to GOD. They are neither joined to GOD nor separate from HIM. They are prophets or Insan-Al-Kamils(perfect human being, saints etc. although there are differences between the titles on saints in Sufism). Name “ALLAH” brings all the names together and combines them in to ONE. So When a person says ALLAH, he says all 99 names without knowing. ALLAH lended a bit of his names to human being . So in the seed of every human being, there are his names and adjectives in different combinations as potential!…

” And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful.” Al-Bakara 2/31.

“Say: “Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names…..” Al-Isra 17/110

See a list of names in the following link”http://www.islamicedfoundation.com/99names/99names.htm”

Human does not own these names, they are his 99 sheeps given to him for a period of time. Human can not be named with all of these names either. For instance “Ar-Rahman:compassionate one” is a special name of ALLAH and can not be used by a human being. Human has to use these names by acting in accordance with the laws of God. If he behaves according to the names, then he is coloured with this name. He needs to milk these sheeps to drink from their milk. But he needs to tackle the wolf(his ego, Nafs-I amara, evil commanding self) first as he is constantly attacking to him.

These 99 names are like the elements within the periodic table. They work in mysterious combinations and make alloys and composites. Sometimes these composites define other names. That is why the complete list of names are known only by ALLAH. This prayer said by prophet Muhammad sheds light on this issue:

(O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your maidservant; my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Qur’an the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety)

To benefit from the name “Al-Wahhab: The giver who gives without expecting any benefit for it”, he spends from what he has for the others without expecting anything from them. If he does this, he activates this potential name within him. He gets the benefit of that milk. If he shows mercy to God’s creation, he gets the milk from the adjective “Ar-Raheem: the merciful”. The person gets closer to God by getting the taste of these milks and being coloured with the colours of these sheeps.

“Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah, said, “Allah has ninety-nite names. He who ‘ahsaha’ [enumerates them, believes in them, ponders their meanings, worships Allah by them and supplicates with them, and acts by them according to one’s belief in them] will enter Paradise. He is God other than whom there is no god, the Compassionate, the Merciful, the King, the Holy, the Source of Peace, the Preserver of Security…” The hadith continues to list ninety-nine names of Allah. ”

Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one. Whoever ‘ahsaha’ will enter Paradise. (Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Who is the lost sheep that man was looking for?
Well , I guess When we first recognise that 99, we will find 100th inshaallah(with God’s willing)!…

AND ALLAH KNOWS BEST…

With peace and love
Gariban

Thanks once again, Gariban, for bringing your knowledge and wisdom to this blog.  Your friendship is more valuable than you know…..

Is This So Much To Ask?

Wanted:

Insan Kamil (Arabic) Perfect man, God-realized being. One who has realized Allah as his only wealth, cutting away all the wealth of the world.

Also from my current favorite (though, unfortunately, having passed away before I could meet him), Bawa Muhaiyaddeen:

But, children, all those who have a body made of the five elements must undergo suffering. Even though you might be one who has cut away the attachments to the world and the connection to the five elements, nevertheless all those who have a body of these elements will experience difficulty. Only God who has no form does not experience this suffering. I too feel tired just as you do. Why? Because even when you are in a place of truth, there are difficulties. Even for one on the path of God, difficulties can arise through the connection to one’s children. When troubles come to the children, then one of truth asks, “O God, why are You giving these difficulties to the children? Protect them.” The poverty, illnesses, sorrows, and hunger of a child affect the wise man also. These sorrows do affect a man of truth. Because of his physical body, he is shaken a little. Because he has firm faith in God, however, it affects him for only a second or two and then passes. But it does affect him for that moment.

Even though he has given up attachment to the world, the attachment to his children on this path affects him. Once he gives up that attachment, then he is God. But as long as he has this attachment to take God’s children back to God, he is man. Although he is an insan kamil, a representative of God, he still has this attachment to take the children of God back to God and the truth. Because of this, he also has a connection to all the accidents and difficulties that befall his children on this path.

When disease, disturbances from the world, sorrow, the five elements, mind, and desire come to attack one of his children, and the wise man realizes that the child has fallen, he has to lift that child up, care for him, and carry that child with him. That work is a little difficult, and at such times he undergoes suffering. Until he opens that path and hands you over to God’s responsibility, difficulties will come. Until that time, he has to take you carefully, with strong faith. He does not have the world within him, but he is attached to taking you to God and giving you the freedom of your soul. Because of attachment he has to share your suffering.

All those born in this world with the form of the five elements undergo disturbances and sorrow. God alone is the exception. Like all of you, I too have a physical body. God does not have such a body, so for Him it is easy. You must understand this. With every thought you have, sorrows can come to you. They come and they go, but we must have firm faith and certitude in God. When you are affected by the pull of your connections to caste, lust, anger, bloodties, colors, and religion, you feel tired. This weariness does not come from God. It comes because your taproot is not strong enough. If we do not have this strength, we cannot find peace either for ourselves or for others.

False gurus need not apply….

Abu ‘l-Moghith al-Hussain ibn Mansur al-Hallaj

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Sometimes words really do have consequences:

The most controversial figure in the history of Islamic mysticism, Abu ‘l-Moghith al-Hussain ibn Mansur al-Hallaj was born C. 244 (858) near al-Baiza’ in the province of Fars. He travelled very widely, first to Tostar and Baghdad, then to Makkah, and afterwards to Khuzestan, Khorasan, Transoxiana, Sistan, India and Turkestan. Eventually he returned to Baghdad, where his bold preaching of union with God caused him to be arrested on a charge of incarnationism. He was condemned to death and cruelly executed on 29 Dhu ‘l-Qa’da 309 (28 March 9I3). Author of a number of books and a considerable volume of poetry, he passed into Muslim legend as the prototype of the intoxicated lover of God.

[…]

The Passion of al-Hallaj

[…]

In their bewilderment the people were divided concerning him. His detractors were countless, his supporters innumerable. They witnessed many wonders performed by him. Tongues wagged, and his words were carried to the caliph. Finally all were united in the view that he should be put to death because of his saying, “I am the Truth.”

“Say, He is the Truth,” they cried out to him.

“Yes. He is All,” he replied. “You say that He is lost. On the contrary, it is Hussain that is lost. The Ocean does not vanish or grow less.”

“These words which Hallaj speaks have an esoteric meaning,” they told Junaid.

“Let him be killed,” he answered. “This is not the time for esoteric meanings.”

Then a group of the theologians made common cause against Hallaj and carried a garbled version of his words to Mo’tasem; they also turned his vizier Ali ibn ’Isa against him. The caliph ordered that he should be thrown into prison. There he was held for a year. But people would come and consult him on their problems. So then they were prevented from visiting him, and for five months no one came near him, except Ibn ‘Ata once and Ibn Khafif once. On one occasion Ibn ‘Ata sent him a message.

“Master, ask pardon for the words you have spoken, that you may be set free.”

“Tell him who said this to ask pardon,” Hallaj replied.

Ibn ‘Ata wept when he heard this answer.

“We are not even a fraction of Hallaj,” he said.

It is said that on the first night of his imprisonment the gaolers came to his cell but could not find him in the prison. They searched through all the prison, but could not discover a soul. On the second night they found neither him nor the prison, for all their hunting. On the third night they discovered him in the prison.

“Where were you on the first night, and where were you and the prison on the second night?” they demanded. “Now you have both reappeared. What phenomenon is this?”

“On the first night,” he replied, “I was in the Presence, therefore I was not here. On the second night the Presence was here, so that both of us were absent. On the third night 1 was sent back, that the Law might be preserved. Come and do your work!”

When Hallaj was first confined there were three hundred souls in the prison. That night he addressed them.

“Prisoners, shall I set you free?”

“Why do you not free yourself?” they replied.

“I am God’s captive. I am the sentinel of salvation,” he answered. “If I so wish, with one signal I can loose all bonds.”

Hallaj made a sign with his finger, and all their bonds burst asunder.

“Now where are we to go?” the prisoners demanded. “The gate of the prison is locked.”

Hallaj signalled again, and cracks appeared in the walls.

“Now go on your way,” he cried.

“Are you not coming too?” they asked.

“No,” he replied. “I have a secret with Him which cannot be told save on the gallows.”

“Where have the prisoners gone?” the warders asked him next morning.

“I set them free,” Hallaj answered.

“Why did you not go?” they enquired.

“God has cause to chide me, so I did not go,” he replied.

This story was carried to the caliph.

“There will be a riot,” he cried. “Kill him, or beat him with sticks until he retracts.”

They beat him with sticks three hundred times. At every blow a clear voice was heard to say, “Fear not, son of Mansur! “

Then they led him out to be crucified.

Loaded with thirteen heavy chains, Hallaj strode out proudly along the way waving his arms like a very vagabond.

“Why do you strut so proudly?” they asked him. “Because I am going to the slaughterhouse,” he replied. And he recited in clear tones,

My boon-companion’s not to be Accused of mean inequity. He made me drink like him the best, As does the generous host his guest; And when the round was quite complete He called for sword and winding-sheet. Such is his fate, who drinks past reason With Draco in the summer season.

When they brought him to the base of the gallows at Bab al-Taq, he kissed the wood and set his foot upon the ladder.

“How do you feel?” they taunted him. “The ascension of true men is the top of the gallows,” he answered.

He was wearing a loincloth about his middle and a mantle on his shoulders. Turning towards Makkah, he lifted up his hands and communed with God.

“What He knows, no man knows,” he said. Then he climbed the gibbet.

“What do you say,” asked a group of his followers, “concerning us who are your disciples, and these who condemn you and would stone you?”

“They have a double reward, and you a single,” he answered. “You merely think well of me. They are moved by the strength of their belief in One God to maintain the rigour of the Law.”

Shibli came and stood facing him.

“Have we not forbidden thee all beings?” he cried. Then he asked, “What is Sufism, Hallaj?”

“The least part of it is this that you see,” Hallaj replied.

“What is the loftier part?” asked Shibli.

“That you cannot reach,” Hallaj answered.

Then all the spectators began to throw stones. Shibli, to conform, cast a clod. Hallaj sighed.

“You did not sigh when struck by all these stones. Why did you sigh because of a clod?” they asked.

“Because those who cast stones do not know what they are doing. They have an excuse. From him it comes hard to me, for he knows that he ought not to fling at me.”

Then they cut off his hands. He laughed.

“Why do you laugh?” they cried.

“It is an easy matter to strike off the hands of a man who is bound,” he answered. “He is a true man, who cuts off the hands of attributes which remove the crown of aspiration from the brow of the Throne.”

They hacked off his feet. He smiled.

“With these feet I made an earthly journey,” he said. “Other feet I have, which even now are journeying through both the worlds. If you are able, hack off those feet!”

Then he rubbed his bloody, amputated hands over his face, so that both his arms and his face were stained with blood.

“Why did you do that?” they enquired.

“Much blood has gone out of me,” he replied. “I realize that my face will have grown pale. You suppose that my pallor is because I am afraid. I rubbed blood over my face so that I might appear rose-cheeked in your eyes. The cosmetic of heroes is their blood.”

“Even if you bloodied your face, why did you stain your arms?”

“I was making ablution.”

“What ablution?”

“When one prays two rak’as in love,” Hallaj replied, “the ablution is not perfect unless performed with blood.”

Next they plucked out his eyes. A roar went up from the crowd. Some wept, some flung stones. Then they made to cut out his tongue.

“Be patient a little, give me time to speak one word,” he entreated. “O God,” he cried, lifting his face to heaven, “do not exclude them for the suffering they are bringing on me for Thy sake, neither deprive them of this felicity. Praise be to God, for that they have cut off my feet as I trod Thy way. And if they strike off my head from my body, they have raised me up to the head of the gallows, contemplating Thy majesty.”

Then they cut off his ears and nose. An old woman carrying a pitcher happened along. Seeing Hallaj, she cried, “Strike, and strike hard and true. What business has this pretty little Woolcarder to speak of God?”

The last words Hallaj spoke were these. “Love of the One is isolation of the One.” Then he chanted this verse: “Those that believe not therein seek to hasten it; but those who believe in it go in fear of it, knowing that it is the truth.”

This was his final utterance. They then cut out his tongue. It was the time of the evening prayer when they cut off his head. Even as they were cutting off his head, Hallaj smiled. Then he gave up the ghost.

A great cry went up from the people. Hallaj had carried the ball of destiny to the boundary of the field of resignation. From each one of his members came the declaration, “I am the Truth.”

Next day they declared, “This scandal will be even greater than while he was alive.” So they burned his limbs. From his ashes came the cry, “I am the Truth,” even as in the time of his slaying every drop of blood as it trickled formed the word Allah. Dumbfounded, they cast his ashes into the Tigris. As they floated on the surface of the water, they continued to cry, “I am the Truth.”

Now Hallaj had said, “When they cast my ashes into the Tigris, Baghdad will be in peril of drowning under the water. Lay my robe in front of the water, or Baghdad will be destroyed.” His servant, when he saw what had happened, brought the master’s robe and laid it on the bank of the Tigris. The waters subsided, and his ashes became silent. Then they gathered his ashes and buried them.

It amazes me how religion purports to offer a Path to God (or Source, Nibanna, Enlightenment, Moksha, Satchitananda, Salvation, Oneness, etc.)… but when a person attempts to follow that Path to its final destination… that person is persecuted, tortured and martyred, cast out of the fold, spat on, condemned to Hell.

What is wrong with humanity, that it is so shallow, so distant from its Source, that it does not recognize a perfect opportunity for realization when it presents itself?

Today’s Rumi Moment

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Masnavi I, 2880-2901:

Whatsoever the man in love (with God) speaks, the scent of
Love is springing from his mouth into the abode of Love.

If he speaks (formal) theology, it all turns to (spiritual) poverty:
the scent of poverty comes from that man of sweet and beguiling
discourse.

And if he speak infidelity, it has the scent of (the true) religion,
and if he speak doubtfully, his doubt turns to certainty.

The perverse froth that has risen from a sea of sincerity-
that turbid (froth) has been set out by the pure source.

Know that its froth is pure and worthy: know that it is like
revilement from the lips of the beloved,
Whoso unsought reproaches have become sweet (to the lover)
for the sake of her cheek which he desires.

If he (the lover of God) speak falsehood, it seems (like) the
truth. O (fine) falsehood that would adorn (even) the truth!

If you cook (a confection) of sugar in the form of a loaf of
bread, it will taste of candy, not of bread, while you are
sucking it.

If a true believer find a golden idol, how should he leave it
(there) for the sake of a worshipper?

Nay, he will take it and cast it into the fire: he will break
(destroy) its borrowed (unreal) form,
In order that the idol-shape may not remain on the gold,
because Form hinders and waylays (those who seek Reality).

The essence of its gold is the essence of Lordship (Divinity):
the idol-stamp on the sterling gold is borrowed (unreal).

Do not burn a blanket on account of a flea, and do not let
the day go (to waste) on account of every gnat’s headache.

You are an idol worshipper when you remain in (bondage
to) forms: leave its (the idol’s) form and look at the reality.

If you are a man (bound) for the Pilgrimage, seek a pilgrim
(as your) companion, whether he be a Hindoo or a Turcoman
or an Arab.

Do not look at his figure and colour, look at his purpose and
intention.

If he is black, (yet) he is in accord with you: call him white,
for (spiritually) his complexion is the same as yours.

This story has been told up and down (confusedly), like the
doings of lovers, without foot (end) or head (beginning).

It hath no head, inasmuch as it existed before eternity; it
hath no foot: it has (always) been akin to everlastingness.

Nay, it is like water: every drop thereof is both head and foot,
and at the same time without both.

This is not a story, mark you! God forbid! This is the ready
money (presentation, here and now) of my state and yours;
consider (it) well.

Because the Sufi is grand and glorious (in his spiritual vision):
Whatever is past is not remembered (does not enter his mind).

“The Mathnawi of Jalalu’ddin Rumi”
Edited and translated by Reynold A. Nicholson
Volume I, verses 2880-2901
Published by “E.J.W.Gibb Memorial”,
Cambridge, England.
First published 1926, Reprinted 1990.

* I.e. “every trivia vexation.”

UPDATE: Here’s a bonus Sufi essay, just for kicks….

What Is God?

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An interesting question, to which many an answer has been directed.

One in particular, however, deserves a post of its own. Take it away, M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen:

God has no form. He has no shadow. There is nothing in comparison to Him. He has neither wife nor child. He is neither darkness nor light. He is not like the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars. God is one power, a power which is able to control and subdue all other powers. From the single atom to all of the universes, this is a power which is intimately mixed within all things. It has nothing, no shadow, no aid. It is the One who is alone, the Original One. It is a point, a power, which has neither beginning nor end. There is no language for it, nor does it have a religion. It does not possess a race; there are no colors in it, no black or white. It is a power, a point which is within every creation.

It has no mouth, no tongue to speak, yet through our mouths that power is speaking. It has no eyes, yet it is observing through our eyes. It has no ears, yet it replies to the sounds that we hear with our own ears. It has no nose, but it senses fragrance through our sense of smell. It has no hands, but that power makes our hands the agency for giving and receiving. It has no feet or legs, but it walks throughout all the universes. Such is that power.

The mind cannot see this power. The mind has the form of a demon. Earth, fire, water, air, and ether are the form of this demon. It is the essence of the elements, the form of spirits or vapors, the form of desire and illusion. Therefore, mind and desire cannot see or pray to God. God is that treasure which transcends mind and desire. If we want to see that treasure and realize it, then we have to understand ourselves. Only wisdom can understand that treasure, and if we want to realize God, then we must acquire His qualities within ourselves. Those qualities create a different form within us, the form of His beauty. God can never he seen. It is God’s qualities which are His beauty, and the light which radiates through those qualities is His power. Those qualities are His form and that light is His power. That is God.

Look are this Sufi master’s website — a site created for him several years after his passing from this world — to see just how direct an experience he had of the words he conveys.

Such experience is worthy of our respect.


A Force for Moderation

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Sufism is more than just a mystical spiritual path:

“If there is a family in Sudan that does not have at least one Sufi member, it is not Sudanese.”

This is the view of Dr. Hasan Al Fatih Qaribullah, a leading sheikh of the Sammaniya tariqa, or Sufi movement, in Khartoum. It is a view commonly held by Sudanese.

Sufism in Sudan is not a public issue or part of a national debate. Yet it is an enormously important force that has shaped, and continues to shape, the society as a whole.

It is widely recognized that the extended family is of vital social and economic importance in this country, where poverty is widespread but real hunger rare.

Strong family ties are traditional, but Sufism, which teaches the practice of sacrificial service for others, is an important element in the glue that holds many Sudanese families together.

It is a serious religious discipline, not the ideal seen by 1960s western religious romantics.

The word suf means wool in Arabic, and the Sufis took their name for wearing rough woolen clothes as part of their spiritual discipline.

On a recent Friday afternoon on a Khartoum street closed to traffic and covered in mats, hundreds of Sammaniya devotees stood in lines facing each other for the zikr, or remembrance of God, that is the most important Sufi ritual.

They spent all afternoon of their only day off work bowing deeply hundreds of times, chanting “la illah il Allah,” there is no god but God, or other devotional lines, or simply the word “Allah”, again and again. Every moment directed by their sheikh, they turned from side to side and jumped up and down. There was no small talk; there were no distractions, just the devotee, his sheikh and his God against the background of the voices of men leading the chants.

The zikr combines chants, prayers, meditation and various related body movements to induce a total absorption of the individual in the worship of God.

It requires real stamina to go the full five or six hours, especially when summer temperatures soar to well above 40 degrees Celsius.

But the reward, says Sheikh Qaribullah, is a feeling of joy. He says when he engages in the zikr his whole focus is on God and being close to God.

“I try hard to be close to God,” he says simply.

His dignified bearing and spiritual face testify to the fruits of these exertions.

His father and grandfather were Sammaniya sheikhs as well, and they descended from the man who introduced the sect to Sudan, a disciple of Samman, a mystic based in Medina (many years before the current Wahabi sect took over Saudi Arabia and suppressed Sufism there altogether).

There are some 3,000 men in Qaribullah’s Khartoum group, and half as many women, who worship separately. He says Sammaniya is the largest Sufi tariqa in Sudan, probably numbering in the millions. There are definitely several million Sufis in Sudan altogether, making probably the largest national Sufi community in the world.

The various groups operate independently (Sufism is not like a Christian denomination; it more closely resembles Christian mystical orders) but have good relations among themselves. On the prophet Mohammed’s birthday (May 24 this year) there will be a 12-day Sufi get-together in Khartoum that will bring together all the groups in a massive celebration. This is an annual event.

Members vary from children to old folks, poor to rich, educated and not. When the Sammaniya meet for their zikr, they all wear the white galabiyas common in Sudan, with a special leather belt that signifies their devotion. There is some variety in dress among the groups.

Qaribullah says that increasingly young, well-educated Sudanese are drawn to Sufism because they are disappointed in the other Islamic movements, especially fundamentalism with its emphasis on law rather than spiritual experience and growth.

There are many other Sufi movements in Sudan. Some of the larger ones are the Tijaniya, Khatamiya, Ansar (the group of the Mahdi of anti-British fame) and the Birhaniya.

Many are part of international tariqas, such as the Shazliya, the Qardiriya and the Naqshabandi.

Qaribullah says the Sammaniya have branches in several countries and are the largest tariqa in Nigeria.

Each tariqa is founded by an individual who has some particular teachings and ways of conducting a zikr, but all share common principles and similar practices. For all, the sheikh is important as the person who guides each devotee, or murshid, on the path of spiritual development.

The sheikh leads the prayers and zikr but also gives personal advice to his followers on most matters, including career, marriage and family.

But while Sufism is a tough, demanding discipline, it is not a career in itself and Sufis have to hold down ordinary jobs like everyone else.

Qaribullah is a scholar who has taught in various universities and was for several years the chancellor (president) of the Omdurman Islamic University. He has also written and published over 100 books, following a pattern established by his spiritual lineage.

The Sufis are not directly involved in politics, allowing their followers to make their own choices. But politicians frequently court their favor, nonetheless.

And many political leaders in Sudan are Sufis themselves, including several ministers in the present government. Jaafer Nimeiri, Sudan’s president throughout the 1970s, was a Sammaniya Sufi.

But Sufis do inevitably have a moderating effect on whatever party leads the country since the very core of their teaching and practice is tolerance of others.

Qaribullah sums up the Sufi mandate thus:

“The Sufi should do good for people and follow the way of the Prophet Mohammed. He should be tolerant with his family, neighbors and all others in the world.”

These are not ideals to which lip service is given. These are the core objectives of every disciple and progress in the tariqa depends on achieving them.

It’s the Perennial Wisdom, y’all….