Deadline: Monday, October 8, 2012 by 08:00
Sufism is a branch of Islam. It is a religion based on mystical communion with an ultimate reality. A follower of this tradition is generally known as a Sufi. Sufis believe they are practicing Ihsan, or perfection of worship, which was revealed to the archangel Gabriel to Muhammad.
Sufism gained followers among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate (661-750 AD). Today there are approximately 10 million Sufi adherents in Turkey alone.
The Sufis have been using carefully constructed stories for teaching purposes for thousands of years. Read the story below and answer the questions that follow for the blog.
There was once a man who was on his way back home from market with his camel and, as he had had a good day, he decided to stop at a mosque along the road and offer his thanks to God.
He left his camel outside and went in with his prayer mat and spent several hours offering thanks to Allah, praying and promising that he’d be a good Muslim in the future, help the poor and be an upstanding pillar of his community.
When he emerged it was already dark and lo and behold – his camel was gone!
He immediately flew into a violent temper and shook his fist at the sky, yelling: “You traitor, Allah! How could you do this to me? I put all my trust in you and then you go and stab me in the back like this!”
A passing Sufi dervish heard the man yelling and chuckled to himself.
“Listen,” he said, “Trust God but, you know, tie up your camel.”
Answer the following questions:
- 1. What do you think is the meaning behind this Sufi story?
- 2. Define the following boldfaced words in your own words for your post: