- Sufism has come to mean a wide range of beliefs that center on the quest for personal enlightenment in the union with God. Sufis are sometimes described as the mystics of Islam, but Sufism fits awkwardly in the categories of religions. Technically Sufism is a denomination of Islam, however there are many Sufis that are not Muslims and there are many Muslims that are reluctant to consider Sufism part of Islam.
One of the few concepts that Sufis seem to agree on is that all religions offer a path to salvation or enlightenment and that true God realization, no matter how it is achieved, transcends the limitations and classification of any religion. Basically, a saint in any religion is equal to a saint in any other religion because they are inspired by the same Divine source.
Initially the term Sufi referred only to those who had achieved God realization, but it has since come to be applied to anyone who follows that particular spiritual path. The name Sufi comes from “suf,” the Arabic word for wool or “saf,” the Persian word for pure. The dervishes or advanced students of Sufism wore inexpensive wool clothes as part of their life.
The Mevlevi Sufi order was founded in the 13th century by Celaleddin Mevlana Rumi. Mevlana means guide or master and Rumi means from the Sultanate of Rum.
Rumi, the son of a famous Islamic preacher came to stay in Konya in 1240.Four years later Rumi met Mehmet Shemseddin Tebrizi, one of the disciples of his father, who had a great influence on him. Celaleddin became his follower. However, in 1247 Rumi's own disciples, fearing Tebrizi`s influence on their master, killed him.
Shocked Rumi renounced the world and plunged himself into meditation. During this span he wrote his great poetic work – the Mathwani and also various Rubai and Ghazal poems, which are compiled into Divan-I-kabir. In 1723 Rumi died. It was his son who organized his disciples and with Konyaas the center, formed the brotherhood of whirling Dervishes - the Mevlevi.
During the Ottoman rule, the Dervishes exercised considerable influence on the social, economic and political lives of the people. Many promising poets and musicians came up during this span and many of the members of this order served as the officials of the Caliphate. It was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, who abolished the Dervish orders in the early 20th century and thus converted the monasteries into the museums. Much later, in 1957 the brotherhood was revived by the Turkish government.
The spiritual path is still living and in Practice. One of the great ,great grandson of Rumi called Mowlana sheikh Nazim from Cyprus is still carrying the blessing of the Ritual and spiritually and though his students is sharing such a bless movement of love and peace throughout the west. This is the Teacher of Irshad, the Director of the Ilkley Sufi Centre.
Examples of Sufi Chanting:
The meaning of Hu
Hu Mantra Meanings: Another simple mantra is Hu. The Sufi belief system holds Hu as the sound of god, the sound of divinity. Another modern belief system, Eckankar, also uses the Hu mantra extensively. (A side note: I've participated in some amazing Hu chants where more than a thousand participants were gathered. The power and pure vibration of a Hu chant of this magnitude is amazing, leaving a person feeling transformed and uplifted. If possible, experience it yourself.)
Hu is chanted in a similar fashion to Om.
Examples of Sufi Chanting:
The meaning of HAQ
From a personal name based on Arabic Haqq ‘true’, ‘truth’, ‘real’.
Al-Haqq ‘the Truth’ is an attribute of the divine.
The name is often found in combinations, for example Abdul-Haqq
‘servant of the truth’, Nu-r-ul-Haqq ‘light of the truth’.