The first ṭarīqas are said to have been founded in the 12th century by several Sufis. However, the individual aspects of ṭarīqas such as silsilas, schools and Sufi orders have their origins in the pre-ṭarīqa period, and the substantial contribution of the alleged founders of early ṭarīqas to their formation is dubious. Therefore, the emergence of ṭarīqas is to be regarded as a continuation and integration of existing traditions, rather than the invention of a new style of Sufism. Yet another aspect of the emergence of ṭarīqas is the formation of identity. The ṭarīqas as well as the concept of ṭarīqa itself were formed by Sufis who identified themselves as the successors of the alleged founders.
This article examines the question of the succession of the Sufi shaykhs as heads of a lodge (tekke) or as great masters of a lineage (brotherhood) in the Ottoman Empire in 19th and 20th centuries and shows that there was an important difference between the rule of hereditary succession followed by the tekkes from the beginning of Ottoman history to the classical period (16th-17th century) and the same rule which spread in the 19th century. This study investigates the two principles upon which the legitimacy for succession is established and the heated controversies and quarrels around it. These two principles are: 1. hereditary succession (evladiyet in Ottoman Turkish), which was in general the rule within Sufis orders; and, 2. succession by discipleship, on grounds of learning or other merits. This study demonstrates that the principle of hereditary succession was well cultivated in the Centralized Sufi Orders (Mevleviye, and Bektaşiye) and in some Mother-Lodges of other lineages (e.g. Kâdiriye), and that there were some famous Sufi families which had strengthened this principle and became genuine spiritual dynasties (e.g. Mevlevî, Halvetî). Conversely, some Sufi lineages, like the Nakşibendiye, were inclined to favour the succession by discipleship. The second section of this study focuses on the drastic contestation of the principle of hereditary succession by open-minded and reformist Sufis since the beginning of the 19th century and particularly in the first decades of the 20th century. It analyses the reform of the hereditary succession, especially the measures adopted by several organisations, like the “Council of Shaykhs” (Meclis-i Meşayih) in the mid-19th century, and the project, never implemented, of a “Sufi School” (Medresetü’l-Meşayih) for the education of the sons of the Shaykhs in the beginning of the 20th century.
This article discusses the succession issue within a particular Sufi order, the Central Asian Naqshbandiyya, during it pre-modern period, that is from the sixteenth to the seventeenth century. Although the Naqshbandi tariqa is theoretically opposed to the hereditary mode of succession and defends a strictly spiritual process, the history of the order shows a fairly different image. From the early founding principles to the Makhdûmzâda Khwâjagân, we find controversies and changes in the regulation of shaykh succession (for example, the question of primogeniture or the notion of nisbat). However, I wish to reconsider the consistency, rather than the contradiction, of the various and successive rules of Naqshbandi succession. It seems that, throughout its pre-modern history, the order experienced an accumulation of ways of succession while it tried to maintain a rigorous continuity, in practice and in doctrine as well, oriented toward the sunna and the Prophetic model. Thus the various shaykh succession logics appear as anxious attempts to struggle against the double danger of a decline and of the growing distance from the Prophet. And among them, Naqshbandis found a paradoxical solution in heredity, perceived as embodiment, rather than simple imitation, of the Prophetic ideal.
The present article examines the logic behind “succession” to the leadership (mashyakha) within the ṭarīqas, and some factors involved in their disintegration in early 20th century Egypt.
Throughout the history, the question of succession to mashyakha has been a frequent cause of conflict among the members of ṭarīqas, which at times led to their divisions. Until the beginning of the 19th century, however, the word “ṭarīqa” did not necessarily refer to an organization but literally to the “Sufi Way,” which is a specific method of devotion. Actually, each ṭarīqa consisted of a number of small groups or families headed by their own leaders (shaykhs); this implied that a ṭarīqa did not have to be a single unified organization.
Through the institutionalization of the Egyptian ṭarīqas initiated by the state in the 19th century, a new logic in the Sufi organization was introduced, whereby each ṭarīqa had to be an organization headed by a single shaykh. This logic created a situation which encouraged leaders of those subgroups/families within a given ṭarīqa, who were now ranked as deputies (khalīfas), to claim that they were shaykhs of the independent ṭarīqas.
In 1905, this new logic was stipulated in the regulations, which must have aimed at the stability and the continuity of the existing ṭarīqas. However, this could not stop the recurrence of the divisions. Rather, a number of khalīfas started to claim independence from their shaykhs.
By analysing a case of how al-Ḥabībiyya gained independence from al-Rifā‘iyya, one factor responsible for the increase in the disintegration of the ṭarīqas can be pointed out: the new logic in the Sufi organization itself provided grounds for justifying the claims of those khalīfas who wanted to be shaykhs of their own ṭarīqas. In other words, the state’s very endeavor to stabilize the ṭarīqas served on the contrary to create instability.
This article aims to describe how practitioners of ethnomedicine attempt to transform and improve their ethnomedical knowledge under globalization, through a case study from Kerala, India. In the course of the argument, I attempt to delineate particular characteristics of the ethnomedical knowledge.
Recently, ethnomedicines have become popular in the West. Ethnomedical knowledge tends to be displaced from local contexts and transformed into an objectified set of techniques that can be learnt and used anywhere. On the other hand, Western medicine has spread widely in India and, with rapid modernization of life-styles, people nowadays tend to avoid ethnomedicine, which is often slow to take effect and may involve severe restrictions on diet. Under such conditions, local practitioners in Kerala have begun to get together and collectively improve their ethnomedical knowledge. They have started to remove the hereditary boundaries of knowledge and form groups with reliable colleagues to share and improve their ethnomedical knowledge and skills. By sharing their experiential knowledge, they aim to re-create ethnomedicine that is relevant to contemporary contexts.
This does not mean, however, that they insist on their intellectual property rights, or that they reveal their knowledge to the public as doctors of Western medicine do. They try to maintain the basis of their unique, coherent and embodied knowledge of ethnomedicine and at the same time transform the knowledge in a flexible way by introducing new aspects of medical practices in response to the needs of contemporary patients and patients worldwide who want to receive the treatment.
This paper aims to describe and analyze the change and continuity of culture over three generations in an Endenese village in eastern Indonesia. In purely economic terms, that is, from an outsider’s point of view, one might be inclined to conclude that big changes have occurred in the village; yet, once one takes the native’s point of view into consideration, the scene takes quite a different shape and one would recognize a definite continuity over the said period. I contend that one sphere of the tripartite economy in Ende, the sphere of the market economy, functions so as to absorb the ‘impact’ of the modern capitalist expansion.
In the past, the most important sphere of the tripartite economy, the prestige economy, was supported by the sphere of subsistence economy. Today, the subsistence economy has dwindled to almost nothing, but the market economy has replaced it and supports the prestige economy—money acquired in ‘non-place’ (Malaysia) as well as by ‘non-gift’ (selling of commercial crops) among people with ‘non-kinship’ is ‘dubbed’ as ‘gift’ (bridewealth) and used in ‘place’ among the people with ‘kinship’ ties. Thus, the prestige economy retains the topmost value in the lives of the Endenese people.