In The Name Of God The Most Merciful, Most Compassionate

Mystical branch of Islam has resurgence in Somalia

by Associated Press
Source: dailylocal.com

Filed under: Africa,Featured,International,Islam,Islam Today,News |

24somalia.inline.A.650

By: Associated Press

Source: Dailylocal.com

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) Hundreds of sweating Sufis chant and sway as the lead sheik moves into the middle of a circle of worshipers and bursts into a chant louder than anyone else’s

Sufism, a mystical branch of Islam, is having a major comeback since al-Shabab, an armed militant Islamic group, was pushed out of Somalia’s capital in August 2011. The Sunni-Salafi insurgents had banned Sufis from gathering and prevented them from worshiping. Sufi sheiks, or elders, were attacked, graves of their saints were desecrated and rituals and celebrations became rare or secretly performed.

Beyond the circle of worshipers are dozens of women, some of them so moved that they are crying. Nearby is the grave of a Sufi saint where the worshipers go to pray to show reverence. Free food, including toasted coffee beans fried in oil, is distributed in wooden containers.

“With Allah’s wish, we are here free and worshiping today,” said Sheik Abdullahi Osman, a 72-year-old Sufi cleric, who has beads dangling from his neck. Sufis in Mogadishu spend hours fasting, praying, and invoking Allah’s name. Traditionally Sufis used sticks to protect their shrines but now it’s common to see a guard with an AK-47 slung over his shoulder in this seaside capital.
“There’s no choice other than defending ourselves and our faith,” said Mohamed Ahmed, an armed Sufi follower guarding the gathering. The arrivals were being checked and other guards stood outside a gate.

Ruqiya Hussein, a veiled woman, traveled from an al-Shabab-held town 90 kilometers (55 miles) away to get to a place of worship.

“I am thrilled to see my sheiks come back to lead us again,” she said, squeezing her henna-tattooed fingers before she joined a group of women swaying and chanting rhymes.

Sufis were known for spreading Islam across Somalia through peaceful teaching and practicing tolerance toward other faiths. Some Sufis hope that their style finds fertile ground in a nation recovering from the wounds of extremism and war.

“Unlike others we don’t kill or harass people. Instead, we provide examples of how to live.” said, Sheik Abdirizaq Aden, the regional leader of the faith.

Al-Shabab, a group of al-Qaida-linked militants that seeks to instill an ultra-conservative brand of Islam across Somalia, controlled Mogadishu from roughly 2007 to 2011. The group still dominates most of south-central Somalia but has seen its territory reduced after military pushes by African Union and Somali forces.

The Sufis in the capital now feel free to practice their faith. In central Somalia, after the graves of sheiks were desecrated and killings occurred, Sufis used weapons to kick militants out of some key towns. The conflict in that part of the Horn of Africa nation persists.

Somalia fell into chaos in 1991 when warlords overthrew longtime dictator Siad Barre and turned on each other. Two decades of violence followed, but the capital and some other towns have seen strong security gains during the last 18 months that have allowed businesses and even sports leagues to thrive.

15 comments
indian_observer
indian_observer

Dear Michael D. May the almighty God bless you. I so heartily appreciate your quote from the noble Quran. It is more than evident the the merciful exalted Lord has already enlightened your heart. I pray : May the celestial Guardian guide us all to the right path. Amen. Looking forward to hear your views on other topics too. Regards.

Michael_D
Michael_D

We will give the home of the Hereafter to those who do not want arrogance or mischief on earth; and the end is best for the righteous.

— The Holy Qur’an, Sura 28(Al-Qasas) Verse 83

indian_observer
indian_observer

Good morning Dear Michael D. I thank you for your enlightening observations. In this regard I would only like to reiterate that : Muslims do NOT worship prophet Mohammad or any other prophet/s unlike Christians who worship Jesus (May God bless them all). God sent His last messenger to save humanity from the sin of worshipping His creation and enjoined them to worship Him alone.

Incidentally it is rather straying from the main issue to judge the prophets. Allah has already certified for the last prophet : “And surely you are of an exalted standard of character.” [Sûrah al-Qalam: 4]. As regrds to invoking God’s blessing on the prophet Mohammad, the noble Quran says: “Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.” [Sûrah al-Ahjab: 56]. Thanks.

Michael_D
Michael_D

My friend indian_observer, I wish what you say was true. But if it were true there would be nothing a person could say about Mohhammad that would give anyone of the Islamic faith anger. For he was just a man, so he is inherently flawed and imperfect as all men. Christ since he was a man was flawed and not perfect. Both men are considered to be prophets, but both of them were also men. So they were not perfect. They were not ALLAH so neither of them deserve to be honored as such. But both sides have proven that they hold these men up and do give them worship. There have been many prophets throughout history. Many whose names have been lost over time. But they were men nothing more, and so were these two. To hold either name up and give them praise is to put them before ALLAH. And this is a sin in both religions. So what do we do? Continue to let the people of both religions sin before ALLAH? To we keep the names of these prophets holy and continue to give them praise? Or do we teach that to continue making these names holy is a sin against ALLAH?

indian_observer
indian_observer

Though the Christians swear that they worship only one GOD, in practice they end up - declaring Jesus as son of God (which is unbecoming for the Almighty) and have trinity to dilute the sovereignty of one God. Islam on the contrary is absolutely emphatic about praying to one Almighty God. In the first few verses of the noble Quran God asks us to pray “Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.” (Al Qur’an1:5). And no Muslim worship the prophet Mohammad(May God bless him and grant him eternal peace and honour) neither do we worship his grave nor do we seek any help from him– we invoke God’s blessings on him (and all other Prophets as well). In India and Pakistan there is fair amount of sufi excesses – where ignorant people throng around sufi shrines with various wish lists and pray to the departed god-man to fulfill their yearnings! In Islam people are not discouraged to conduct their worldly affairs - as these activities are also reckoned as prayers, and the proper place of prayer is the designated place - mosque. In Islam God's sovereignity is non-negotiable or compromising.

Michael_D
Michael_D

polytheism is the worship of more than one deity. Sufi only worship one, Allah who is the seems to be the same GOD of all the one GOD religions They all worship the GOD of Abraham. So you can not say Sufis are polytheistic. Praying near a grave when praying to Allah is no different really than the praise and worship so many give to Muhammad or Christ in the one GOD religions. I would have to say that those who give such praise and worship to either of these two men risk polytheism more than the Sufi.

indian_observer
indian_observer

Sufiism practices are definitely questionable. Islam is rather a straight forward religion. We have well a defined methodology. We pray one Almighty God, we fast, we give in charity, we go for pilgrimage, we fast - all as per the teachings of God as seen in the noble Quran and found in the sahih Hadith. Where is the scope of so called sufiism? Did the blessed prophet, peace be on him, practiced sufiism? This is seer innovation. It is better for all of us to guard our selves from all these abnormal things. Praying near grave – expecting help from the departed souls – are sure sign of polytheism. May the Almighty God guide us to the right path. Amen.

MuslimVillage.com
MuslimVillage.com

Ok will stop now :). If anybody wants to go question the knowledge of the above scholars, with accusations of supporting Shirk, you can so so elsewhere please.

MuslimVillage.com
MuslimVillage.com

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (164 - 241 AH.) said: "O my son, you have to sit with the People of Sufism, because they are like a fountain of knowledge and they keep the Remembrance of Allah in their hearts. they are the ascetics and they have the most spiritual power." [Tanwir al-Qulub p. 405]

MuslimVillage.com
MuslimVillage.com

Ibn Khaldun (733 - 808 AH.) said: "The way of the Sufis is the way of the Salaf, the preceding Scholars between the Sahaba and Tabi'een of those who followed good guidance..." [Muqaddimat ibn al-Khaldun, p. 328]

MuslimVillage.com
MuslimVillage.com

Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (1115 - 1201 AH.) said: "My father Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab and I do not deny or criticize the science of Sufism, but on the contrary we support it, because it purifies the external and the internal of the hidden sins, which are related to the heart and to the outward form. Even though the individual might externally be on the right way, internally he might be on the wrong way. Sufism is necessary to correct it." [ad-Dia'at mukathaffa did ash-shaykh ibn Abdul Wahhab, p. 85]

MuslimVillage.com
MuslimVillage.com

"...some people criticised Sufiyya and Tasawwuf and they said they were innovators, out of the Sunnah, but the truth is they are striving in Allah's obedience [mujtahidin fi ta'at-illahi], as others of Allah's People strove in Allah's obedience. So from them you will find the Foremost in Nearness by virtue of his striving [as-saabiq ul-muqarrab bi hasab ijtihadihi]. And some of them are from the People of the Right hand [Ahl al-Yameen mentioned in Qur'an in Sura Waqi'ah], but slower in their progress.... And this is the origin of Tasawwuf. And after that origin, it has been spread and [tasha'abat wa tanawa'at] has its main line and its branches. - Sheikh Ibn Taymiyya. [Majmu'a Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya al-Kubra, Vol. 11, Book of Tasawwuf, p. 497].

MuslimVillage.com
MuslimVillage.com

Sufism is not shirk. Maybe some so called Sufis, Salafis, Tablighis, etc do shirk, but that does not mean that any of these branches of Islam are shirk. Allah will forgive anything but shirk, so please be careful with your accusations sister....least it be wrong and the words you make come back upon you, waithu billah.

Michael_D
Michael_D

If the Sufis are truly what this article paints them as being. I pray they are successful in taking back their country. And I hope that all Muslims can learn from the teachings of these people. And maybe they can help bring peace throughout the Muslim world.

MuslimVillage Incorporated

Your continued support of MuslimVillage Inc assists in establishing and maintaining the following community initiatives:

Contact

www.muslimvillage.com
MuslimVillage Incorporated
PO Box 304
Hurstville, NSW BC 1481 Australia

Copyight © 2001–2012 MuslimVillage Incorporated