Sufi song (Islamabad)

Stelian Pavalache | Shimshali People, Satwa Guna Project | Pakistan 2010

Sufi music is a genre of music inspire by Sufism its philosophy, and most importantly by the works of Sufi poets, like Rumi, Hafez, Faiz, Bulleh Shah, Waris Shah and even Kabir. Qawwali is the most well known form of Sufi music, common in India and Pakistan . However, music is also central to the whirling dervishes and the ceremony of Sema, who use a slow, sedate form of music featuring the Turkish flute, the ney. The West African gnawa is another form, and Sufis from Indonesia to Afghanistan to Morocco have made music central to their practises. Some of the Sufi orders have taken an approach more akin to puritan forms of Islam, declaring music to be unhelpful to the Sufi way.

Video recordings made with Nikon D3s

Sufi love songs, are often performed as ghazals and Kafi, a solo genre accompanied by percussion and harmonium, using a repertoire of songs of Sufi poets.

Sufism or tasawwuf (Arabic: تصوّف‎) is, according to its adherents, the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a ṣūfī (صُوفِيّ). Another name for a Sufi is Dervish. Classical Sufi scholars have defined Sufism as “a science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God.” Alternatively, in the words of the Darqawi Sufi teacher Ahmad ibn Ajiba, ”a science through which one can know how to travel into the presence of the Divine, purify one’s inner self from filth, and beautify it with a variety of praiseworthy traits.”

Classical Sufis were characterised by their attachment to dhikr (a practice of repeating the names of God) and asceticism. Sufism gained adherents among a number of Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate (661-750 CE[6]). The Sufi movement has spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium, at first expressed through Arabic, then through Persian, Turkish and a dozen other languages.

”Orders” (turuq), which are either Sunnī in doctrine, trace many of their original precepts from the Islamic Prophet Muhammad through his cousin ‘Ali, with the notable exception of the Naqshbandi who trace their origins through the first Caliph, Abu Bakr. Other exclusive schools of Sufism describe themselves as distinctly Sufi.

According to Idries Shah, the Sufi philosophy is universal in nature, its roots predating the arising of Islam and the other modern-day religions; likewise, some Muslims consider Sufism outside the sphere of Islam.Mainstream scholars of Islam, however, contend that it is simply the name for the inner or esoteric dimension of Islam.

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