Aside

Thoughts on Sufism and Modern Communities

I find it difficult to aspire to a system in which the esoteric is separated from the exoteric, the batin is operable independently from the zahir. I don’t see a sustainable solution to incorporating Sufism into a community unless it is made to be a seamless part of how the community functions. I’m saying this, of course, from studying books and such, so I can’t say that it is accurate to any current context, but judging by This World’s emphasis on the politics of control, it is easy to see how Sufi orders that are peripheral to a governance or community easily fall into irrelevance or fall victim to government meddling, including being co-opted for their own use. Many a Sufi Order has been used as a bargaining chip for garnering popularity (and patronage) toward a specific caliphal site. This trend is visible clearly when examining the roles of Sufis throughout the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries.

I find the community-oriented aspects of certain tariqat to be good topics of exploration in this subject. The global branch of the Tijani Order, the Fayda Tijaniyya, seems to embody the idea of Sufism as a tool for community cohesion. 

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