In observing some Muslim peer-peer relationships:
If you’re a guy, a quick way to get kicked out of your guy-circle of friends is to “not do” something common. That’s because guys are used to being able to do whatever they want without much restriction. Why impose that on yourself?
If you’re a girl, a quick way to get kicked out of/ignored by your girl-circle of friends is to “do” something uncommon. That’s because girls are used to being unable to do whatever they want, in the face of much restriction. Why expose yourself like that?
Below are some notes I took during the Ahl al Bayt Forum 2014 in Streamwood, IL at the Bait-ul-Ilm center.
Sufism: Islamic “Mysticism?”
If this definition is to be believed, one must properly define mysticism. Culturally and popularly, the word invokes several other terms:
-Mystery and occultism
-Popular religion and cultural relevance (note that this point lies in contrary to the first)
-Deviance and innovation to a monolithic reality
There are obviously stark differences in the way that people treat Sufism, depending, of course, on the time and place they are witnessing it, the ways it is being manifested in its own cultural milieu, and the public exposure to Sufi practices and practitioners. Most of the time, the topic of Sufism as a particular and separate issue is regarded as “bid’ah” in Sunni circles, but in Shi’i circles, the criticism is of another nature: “They don’t work! They are lazy!” Shi’is usually don’t take issue with some of the practices that make Sunnis uncomfortable, such as calling upon the dead or visiting their shrines. Continue reading