This study focuses on the political influence of Sufism and tariqas in the Sudan. Previous studies have emphasized the political influences of Sufi shaykhs and tariqas on Sudan’s history and demonstrated why and how Sufis and tariqas have exercised their political influence over time; however, the problem is that these researches are largely limited to only two particular religious orders, the Khatmīya order and the Anṣār, that have their own political parties. Therefore, this study stresses on the political importance of Sufis and tariqas without their own political parties and aims to reveal their presence in present Sudanese politics, with special references to the strategies and activities of the government and the remarks of Sufis at meetings held by several tariqas during the national election campaign in 2010. In order to reveal the influences of Sufism and tariqas without their own political parties in Sudanese politics, this study introduces four sections. The first section traces the historical transition of the political influences of Sufism and tariqa from the rudiment until the present Islamist government. The second section introduces the thoughts of Islamists toward Sufism in the Islamic Movement (al-Ḥaraka al-Islāmīya) such as the introduction of new terminology ahl al-dhikr (people that remember [Allāh]), which accentuates the political attitude toward Sufism, and the third section deals with the policies and activities of the present government with regard to Sufism and tariqas, such as the foundation of the committee for Sufis and tariqas. The fourth section discusses the relationship between Sufis and the president, focusing attention on their speeches at the meetings held during the national election.
This article focuses on the ways the Soviet authorities in Uzbekistan, and specially the scholars, dealt with the figure of ‘Ali Shîr Nawâ’î (844-906/ 1441-1501), the great poet of Central Asia, and his connections with Sufism, within an ideological framework dominated by the dogma of “scientific atheism.”
Nawâ’î was initiated into the Naqshshbandiyya order by his spiritual master and lifelong friend, the great Persian poet and mystic, Jâmî, in 881/ 1476-7. His work was deeply influenced by Sufism and Naqshbandî doctrine. During the Soviet period, due to his historical importance, the authorities had no choice but to take him into consideration in a way that would not detract the materialist ideology. Emphasis was therefore put on his “humanist” and “materialistic” conceptions, and even when the scholars had to speak of Bahâ ud-Dîn Naqshband they tried to conceal as much as they could his religious and mystical influences on the poet. So along with Nawâ’î, even Bahâ ud-Dîn Naqshband became some kind of pre-communist figure.
This sort of “patrimonalisation,” that is to say a kind of official exploitation of two major historical and religious figures in Central Asia turned into pre-Soviet characters, had soon had to face the independence of the country in 1991. During this period, speaking of Sufism was encouraged by the new authorities who wanted to promote what they regarded as “the golden heritage” of free Uzbekistan. But ten years after the independence, some Uzbek scholars pointed out the fact that in the field of “Navoishunoslik” (“Studies on Nawâ’î’s life and work”) Sufi matters were still not enough investigated. This shows how significant has been the impact of the Soviet ideological policies on modern Uzbekistan and some of the difficulties the country has to face to recover its own heritage.
This article discusses the relationship between the Sayyids and the people in contemporary Indonesia, with special attention paid to the role of print media. The ulama of Sayyid descent have been extending their influence in the religious scene of Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim country. Today, one can observe yet another increase in the attention given to them. One of the reasons for this is the success of a new generation in da‘wa (call to Islam) activities. I would argue that one of the key elements in their attaining fame is the Indonesian Islamic magazine alKisah. In the discussion, the overview of the Sayyids in Indonesia is presented. Then, some aspects of alKisah, such as the background of its publication, character of its content, and reaction from the Sayyids are discussed. Finally, the role of the magazine as the transmitter of the Sayyids’ information to the people is located in historical context. Rather than emphasizing new aspects of Sayyids’ promotion by a print media, I attempt to draw a parallel between the activity of alKisah and that of storytellers in the propagation of saints’ legends. Finally, I suggest that the Sayyids, the magazine, and the readers act in a longstanding structure of what can be termed as a “Saints’ promotion system.”
Nineteenth-century Egypt witnessed a drastic change in the relation of ṭarīqas with both the government and the public. In 1812, the newly established Mu∆ammad ‘Alī government introduced a centralized control system over ṭarīqas by conceding the shaykh of the al-Bakrī family (Shaykh al-Bakrī), a distinguished Sharifian family in Egypt, the jurisdiction over the Egyptian ṭarīqas.
As for the relation of ṭarīqas with the public, the change of the situation came to be visible in 1880s, when some ṭarīqa practices began to meet with criticism from several intellectuals, and in 1890s, the ṭarīqa issue constituted a topic for public debate.
It must be noted here that the critics regarded ṭarīqa practices as a problem not only because of their illegality in view of Islamic Law but also because of their irrationality and regression. Moreover, the criticism reflected the nationalist sentiment arising in this period; in this context, ṭarīqas were regarded as the main cause of poverty and factionalism in the society, which might prevent national unity.
At this point, the question of how the Sufis responded to the criticism bearing these modern features arises. In this paper, by examining the Ṭarīqa reform carried out from 1895 to 1905 under the leadership of Mu∆ammad Tawfμq al-Bakrī, Shaykh al-Bakrī of the time, I would like to explore the reasoning and strategies by which the Sufis defended ṭarīqas.
It is said that the Ṭarīqa reform was initiated primarily as a passive response to critics and that its main objective was to silence their growing criticism. However, it must be noted that Bakrī himself was actually a reformist thinker, and his reform plan clearly reflected the modern concepts shared by the critics. By comprehensively analyzing Bakrī’s reform plan, this paper aims to reveal in his discourse the kind of values and roles that were expected to be assumed by ṭarīqas in modern Egyptian society and the basis of the justification of his idea.
Ever since its inception, Sufism has had considerable influence in Muslim society, through mystical insights and organizational power. However, it is often thought to have lost its significance in the modern age. The researchers of Sufism have tried to determine and examine the various roles of Sufism in today’s Muslim society. A∆mad Kuftārū, a Naqshbandī Sufi master in modern Syria, reflects the defensive mode of Sufism today. He is also regarded as a successful Sufi master who promotes the value of Sufism in Muslim society. This paper focuses on Kuftārū’s prominence as a Sufi master and clarifies how he has promoted the value of Sufism. Kuftārū’s attitude toward Sufism and his Sufi network are not always oriented to the mainstream discourses of Sufism, but through a certain marginalization of Sufism, he succeeds in bringing recognition to the presence of Sufism as the backbone of his Islamic orthodoxy orientation and various types of social activities. From this point of view, we could say that Kuftārū’s Sufism can be evaluated interpretively and retroactively.
In previous studies on the Japanese ideology of Pan-Asianism towards the Muslims in the interwar and World War II period, all Japanese Muslims were said to be “bogus Muslims”, who converted to Islam with the intention to utilize the Muslims for the Japanese interests. The Japanese Government committed to provide such “bogus Muslims” among the Japanese people. In reality, a number of Japanese military agents became Muslims in order to promote such an ideology among the Muslims in the East and Southeast Asia. However, quite a few aforesaid Japanese intellectuals and activists became Muslims by their own will. When we consider the history of Japanese Muslims, it is required to clarify how they came to believe in Islam, especially their comprehension of harmony between Shintoism and Islam.
Among such unique Japanese Muslims in the interwar period, Nur Muhammad Ippei TANAKA (1882–1934) and Ahmad Bunpachirô ARIGA (1868–1946) provide us the details of their comprehension about Islam and the unique ways they used in order to syncretize Shintoism and Islam. TANAKA learned the Chinese language and Confucianism. When the Russo-Japanese War broke out in 1904, he went to China as the interpreter of the Army and stayed in China to study Confucianism as a private scholar after the war. In this career, he was interested in the Chinese Kai-ju or Hui-ru, which literally means “Islamic Confucianism.” Finally, he converted to Islam in China in 1924. He found similarities between Shintoism and Islam, and the possibility of syncretizing Shintoism and Islam occurred to him. His idea was not realized due to his sudden death after his second pilgrim to Mecca in 1934. ARIGA converted to Islam in the year 1932 after his retirement as a businessman. He was extremely enthusiastic about the missionary actions of “Japanese Islam,” which depended on the syncretism of Shintoism and Islam, different from TANAKA’s idea. He was not religious but nationalist. Therefore, his idea was the result of the syncretism of Pan-Asianism and Islam.
We must excavate unique, forgotten Japanese Muslims such as TANAKA and ARIGA in order to understand Interwar Japanese Muslims.
The text Emar VI 373 prescribes the procedures for the zukru festival, which was celebrated in every “seventh” year, and the preparatory rituals held in the preceding year. This study deals with them in terms of their schedule (§ II), procedures (§ III) and the gods involved (§ IV). In § II, the present writer argues that the dates of the preparatory rituals were established in consideration of the gaps between ‘lunar years’ and solar years, and he argues further that it is not certain that the festival followed a seven-year cycle; it is also possible and, in my opinion more probable, that it was a six-year cycle. In § III, on the basis of comparison between Parts I and II of the text, the procedures of the procession rites held on the days of the preparatory rituals and on the first and last days of the festival are reconstructed. We find that those procedures are similar to each other, though not identical. In § IV, the major divine participants in the procession rites, Dagan (bēl bukari), the festival god, and dNIN.URTA, the city god, are discussed. An analysis of when the face of Dagan (as well as of dNIN.URTA) is covered or uncovered during each of the rites and of the days on which dNIN.URTA returns to the city riding on the wagon together with Dagan shows that their different combination patterns play a significant role in building up towards a climax on the last day of the festival.