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Re: Theos-World RE: Where does the word Sufi originate ?

Nov 16, 2002 01:40 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen


Hi Netemara and all of you,

Well, according to my source Idries Shah the following could spark some
afterthought on the Syrian Druzes
which Dallas recently mentioned:

According to some authors, and they are in the majority, "Sufi" is traceable
to the Arabic word, pronounced
"Soof", which - litterally means "wool", referring to the material from
which the simple robes of the early Muslim mystics were made. These it is
further claimed, were made of wool in imitation of the dress of Christian
anchorites who abounded in the Syrian and Egyptian deserts and elsewhere in
the Near and Middle East.
("Wool is the garb of animals", "As-Suf libas al-Inam": Arabic quotation
from Hujwiri's "The revelation of the veiled"; See Sirdal Ikbal Ali Shah,
"Islamic Sufism" (London, 1933), p.17
But this definition, plusible though it may appear, will not solve our
problem as to name...Equally important lexicographers, however, stress that
'wool is the garb of animals' and emphasize that the Sufi objective is
towards the perfectioning or completing of human mind, not the emulation of
a herd; and that the Sufis, always highly conscious of symbolism, would
never adopt such a name. Furthermore...

(..and then we are given the story about "The Companions of the Bench",
which I recently emailed.)

***
Elsewhere: Sufi="wool". Externalists in the East and the West has often
adopted this etymology, which therefore often appears in reference books as
the derivation.
(The word "externalists" could be siad to unveil some truth.)

***
You can check this out: I
dries Shah was not just a half-learned scholar - he knew a trick or two on
wisdom for sure.

It is also said somewhere in some of the scriptures from The Middle East,
that the Armenian mystics wore white robes of wool - even before Christ
came along. Maybe some of the more wellread ones can confirm that.

But as stated by Idries Shah, - the sound of the word "Sufi" - i.e.
"SSSUUUFFF" is maybe the key to the mystery.
You know - sounds makes a certain penetration upon the brain. And those
suited for the word "SUF" etc. they could be said to be the ones who get
aquainted with the teaching.



from
M. Sufilight with himself entangled in Wool...>:-)



----- Original Message -----
From: "netemara888" <netemara888@yahoo.com>
To: <theos-talk@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Saturday, November 16, 2002 1:10 AM
Subject: Re: Theos-World RE: Where does the word Sufi originate ?


I just posted that on another forum that Sufi comes from sufl which
means 'wool' like the woolen clothes they wore, as a retro to simple
clothing in expressing direct displeasure over the rich caliphs and
their fine clothing. That was from one reference source. I don't know
if it is true or not.

Netemara
*************

-- In theos-talk@y..., "Morten Nymann Olesen" <global-theosophy@a...>
wrote:
>
> Hi Dallas and all of you,
>
> Thanks for your very kind answer Dallas.
>
> The following could maybe enhance something, while keeping in mind,
that I
> hold the below word "Sufi" to be the same as the
word "Theosophist" - as the
> Ancient Wisdom Teaching of all ages past:
>
>
> The Sufis are also called -
> "heart spies", "the lovers", "the builders", "the people of
truth", "the
> near ones", "the Masters", "the pillars", "the rose", --- or ---
> "Mutassawif", "the Blamworhty", "those in white clothes" (a kind of
> 'clairvoyant' version), ...etc.
> ...
> The Sufis claim that a certain kind of mental and other activity can
> produce, under special conditions and with perticular efforts, what
is
> termed a higher working of the mind, leading to special perceptions
whose
> apparatus is latent in the ordinary man, Sufism is therefore the
> transcending of ordinary limitations
>
> ...
> It would maybe reduce the problems of the student to learn that it
is said,
> with all the authority of the Jewish Encyclopedia, that the Hebrew
experts
> regard the Cabbala and the Hasidim, the Jewish mystics, as
originating with
> Sufism or a tradition identical with it.
> (*Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. XI, pp. 579,580,581 et passim. Jewish
sages
> regarded by Western Scholars as following the Spanish Sufi Schools
include:
> Juda Halevi of Toledo, in his Cuzari; Moses ben Ezra of Granada;
Josef ben
> Zadiq of Cordoba, in his Microcosmus; Samuel ben Tibbon; Simtob ben
> Falaquera.*)
> Neither would it encourage him/her to hear, that although the Sufis
> themselves claim that their knowledge has existed for thousands of
years,
> they deny that is is - derivative, - affirming that it is
equivalence of the
> Hermetic, Phytagorean and Plantonic streams. (Identity of Sufi
ideas with
> ancient Egyptian, Phytagorean and Platonic schools noted; by M.A.
Ubicini,
> Letters on Turkey (London, 1856).
>
> Our still uninitiated student may by now be thoroughly confues; but
he/she
> had a glimpse of the problems of studying Sufi ideas, even if only
because
> he for himself can witness for himself the unproductive struggle of
the
> scholastics.
>
> ...
> Since Sufi study is carried out mainly by direct methods (and it
has known
> to be conveyed entirely by gesture, symbol and demonstration), when
we lose
> this element in our study, relying upon books, we must be at the
mercy of
> those who advance al kinds of subjective theories.
> ...
> Serious problems in locating genuine and relevant Sufi ideas and
practises
> exist, too, for any student who has alreday met a watered-down,
generalized
> or partial variety of Sufism, wheather in the East or in the West.
There are
> many hundreds of people in America and Europe who practise 'dervish
dance,
> whirling or turning' in spite of the fact that it is psecifically
on record
> in easily accessible dervish litterature, that this practise was
especially,
> precribed, for local reasons, by Rumi (A great Sufi and poet; d.
1273) for
> the people of Asia Minor in the region of Iconium.
> (Shamsudin Ahmad El-Aflaki, Munaqib El-Arfin: trans. Redhouse
as "The Acts
> of Adepts" (London 1881); reprinted in facsimile ed. Kingston
as "Legends
> of the Sufis" (London 1965). See also El-Ghazali, "Alchemy of
Happiness".)
>
> ******
>
> There is the awkward fact, that the so-called Companions of the
Bench - the
> Ashab as-Safa - are traditionally soppposed to be the sufis of the
time of
> Mohammed (d. 632). It is said, that they formed themselves in to an
esoteric
> group in the year 623 A. D. And that their name is a derivation
from the
> phrase Ashab as-Safa.
> "Sawfa" meaning "piety" and "saff" (contracted from the
phrase 'First Rank
> of the Worhty').
>
> "saff" - "safran" - "sif" - "sign" - "design" .....
>
> ***
> These are the words taken in part from the Afghan Sufi - Idries Shah
> (d.1996), who lived England.
> ***
>
> To the reader: Feel free to enlighten us all...
>
>
> from
> M. Sufilight with some new sounds of..."free cultural mixing"...<:-)
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <dalval14@e...>
> To: "AA-B-Study" <study@b...>
> Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 9:24 PM
> Subject: Theos-World RE: Where does the word Sufi originate ?
>
>
> > Nov 15 2002
> >
> > Re: "Sufi" -- ( also "white," and "pure")
> >
> > Dear Friend:
> >
> > Here is an entry from H P B's THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY p. 311
> >
> > SUFFISM (Gr.). From the root of Sophia, "Wisdom ". A mystical
sect in
> > Persia something like the Vedantins; though very strong in
numbers,
> > none but very intelligent men join it. They claim, and very
justly,
> > the possession of the esoteric philosophy and doctrine of true
> > Mohammedanism. The Suffi (or Sofi) doctrine is a good deal in
touch
> > with Theosophy, inasmuch as it preaches one universal creed, and
> > outward respect and tolerance for every popular exoteric faith.
It is
> > also in touch with Masonry. The Suffis have four degrees and four
> > stages of initiation:1st, probationary, with a strict outward
> > observance of Mussulman rites, the hidden meaning of each
ceremony and
> > dogma being explained to the candidate; 2nd, metaphysical
training;
> > 3rd, the "Wisdom" degree, when the candidate is initiated into the
> > innermost nature of things; and 4 final Truth, when the Adept
attains
> > divine powers, and complete union with the One Universal Deity in
> > ecstacy or SamÔdhi.
> >
> > Other references in the same book will be found on pp 36, 105,
118,
> > 156, 158, 216,
> >
> > On p. 280 the mysterious force ROWANEE is mentioned and H P B
prints
> > there a contribution by W. W. W WESTCOTT
> >
> > ROWHANEE (Eg.) or Er-Roohanee. is the Magic of modern Egypt,
supposed
> > to proceed from Angels and Spirits, that is Genii, and by the use
of
> > the mystery names of Allah; they distinguish two forms-Ilwee,
that is
> > the Higher or White Magic; and Suflee and Sheytanee, the Lower or
> > Black Demoniac Magic. There is also Es-Seemuja, which is
deception or
> > conjuring. Opinions differ as to the importance of a branch of
Magic
> > called Darb el Mendel, or as Barker calls it in English, the
Mendal:
> > by this is meant a form of artificial clairvoyance, exhibited by a
> > young boy before puberty, or a virgin, who, as the result of
> > self-fascination by gazing on a pool of ink in the hand, with
> > coincident use of incense and incantation, sees certain scenes of
real
> > life passing over its surface. Many Eastern travellers have
narrated
> > instances, as E. W. Lane in his Modern Egyptians and his Thousand
and
> > One Nights, and E. B. Barker; the incidents have been introduced
also
> > into many works of fiction, such as Marryat's Phantom Ship, and a
> > similar idea is interwoven with the story of Rose Mary and the
Beryl
> > stone, a poem by Rossetti. For a superficial attempt at
explanation,
> > see the Quarterly Review, No.117 [w.w.w.]
> >
> > In another place (same book, p. 105) H P B indicates there is a
> > connection between the Sufis and the Druzes of Lebanon and Syria
> >
> > DRUZES . A large sect, numbering about 100,000 adherents, living
on
> > Mount Lebanon in Syria. Their rites are very mysterious, and no
> > traveller, who has written anything about them, knows for a
certainty
> > the whole truth. They are the Sufis of Syria. They resent being
called
> > Druzes as an insult, but call themselves the "disciples of
Hamsa ",
> > their Messiah, who came to them in the ninth century from
the "Land of
> > the Word of God", which land and word they kept religiously
secret.
> > The Messiah to come will be the same Hamsa, but called Hakem-the
> > All-Healer ". (See Isis Unveiled, II 308, et seq.)
> >
> > In the Glossary (p. 36) another reference associates them with
the
> > "Assassins"
> >
> > ASSASSINS . A masonic and mystic order founded by Hassan Sabah
in
> > Persia, in the eleventh century. The word is a European
perversion of
> > "Hassan ", which forms the chief part of the name.
> > They were simply Sufis and addicted, according to the tradition,
to
> > hascheesl-eating, in order to bring about celestial visions. As
shown
> > by our late brother, Kenneth Mackenzie, "they were teachers of the
> > secret doctrines of Islamism; they encouraged mathematics and
> > philosophy, and produced many valuable works. The chief of the
Order
> > was called Sheik-el-Jebel, translated the 'Old Man of the
Mountains',
> > and, as their Grand Master, lie possessed power of life and
death.'
> > ( p. 36)
> >
> > Thus the secret "societies" including the ancient order
of "Masons,"
> > (builders, cosmocratores) was shown to be united in their
teachings
> > concerning the origins and purpose of the World and our universe.
> >
> > Another entry of interest is here given ( p. 37)
> >
> > ASSYRIAN HOLY SCRIPTURES. Orientalists show seven such hooks: the
> > Books of Mamit, of Worship, of Interpretations, of Going to
Hades; two
> > Prayer Books (Kanmagarri and Kanmikri: Talbot) and the KantolitÚ,
the
> > lost Assyrian Psalter. (p. 37)
> >
> > ASSYRIAN TREE OF LIFE . "Asherah" (q.v.). It is translated in the
> > Bible by "grove ' and occurs 30 times. It is called an "idol"; and
> > Maachah, the grandmother of Asa, King of Jerusalem, is accused of
> > having made for herself such an idol, which was a lingham. For
> > centuries this was a religious rite in JudŠa. But the original
Asherah
> > was a pillar with seven branches on each side surmounted by a
globular
> > flower with three projecting rays, and no phallic stone, as the
Jews
> > made of it, but a metaphysical symbol. "Merciful One, who dead to
life
> > raises! was the prayer uttered before the Asherah, on the banks
of the
> > Euphrates. The "Merciful One ", was neither the personal god of
the
> > Jews who brought the "grove" from their captivity, nor any extra-
> > cosmic god, but THE HIGHER TRIAD IN MAN SYMBOLIZED BY THE GLOBULAR
> > FLOWER WITH ITS THREE RAYS. ( p. 37)
> >
> > Further investigation shows a relationship with "Hamsa" as
follows:
> > (p. 134)
> > HAMSA OR HANSA (Sk.) "Swan or goose", according to the
Orientalists ;
> > a mystical bird in Occultism analogous to the Rosicrucian Pelican.
> > Tile sacred mystic name which, when preceded by that of KALA
(infinite
> > time), i.e. Kalahansa, is name of Parabrahm ; meaning the " Bird
out
> > of space and time". Hence BrahmÔ (male)is called Hansa Vahana "the
> > Vehicle of Hansa (the Bird). We find the same idea in the Zohar,
where
> > Ain Suph (the endless and infinite) is said to descend into the
> > universe, for purposes of manifestation, using Adam Kadmon
(Humanity)
> > as a chariot or vehicle.
> >
> > HAMSA (Arab.). The founder of the mystic sect of the Druzes of
Mount
> > Lebanon. (See "Druzes" .) [ see above ] (see MAHATMA LETTERS p.
116,
> > Modern Panarion p. 375, S D II p. 27; H P B Articles III
281...
> > "Lamas and Druzes" -- showing a relationship with the Tibetan
> > Esoteric philosophies.
> >
> > ISIS UNVEILED makes a very interesting reading if one is in
search of
> > evidence relating to the past of Theosophy as seen in and at the
base
> > of every ancient Theogony, Religion or Secret Society. These were
> > also closely related to the Egyptian and Greek MYSTERIES.
> > Best wishes
> >
> > Dallas
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Morten Nymann Olesen [mailto:global-theosophy@a...]
> > Sent: Friday, November 15, 2002 9:38 AM
> > To: Theos-Talk
> > Subject: Theos-World The word Sufi...
> >
> > Hi all of you,
> >
> > It is said that the word "Sufi" is a new one.
> > It is said to have German origin from year 1821.
> > The book by the author F.A.G. Th÷luck is titled: "Ssufismus sive
> > Theosophia Persarum pantheistica" (Berlin 1821) - yes - in latin
> > The book has a title with the word Theosophy in it, and that is
> > interesting.
> > As H. P. Blavatsky uses the word "sufi", it could be interesting
> > to know in which books she has read that term --- if any reading
took
> > place at all.
> > Someone says that the word has a distinct sound
called 'SSSUUUFFF'.
> >
> > Do any of you have anything on this ?
> >
> > from
> > M. Sufilight
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
> > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
> >
> >
> >




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