from Shane's Muslim Connect
Over 300 Sufi Muslims lost their lives this weekend because other Muslims think they’re doing it wrong.
Who are Sufis?
Renowned author Philip Jenkins contends, “A fifth of the world's Muslims today identify with Sufism, and for many millions more, Sufism is simply part of the air they breathe.”
While the metaphor falls short, we might compare Sufis in Islam to “Charismatics” within Christendom. While following Muhammad and the Qur'an, they express a more mystical form of Islam and are concerned with loving God. Like Charismatics, Sufis are found in all areas of their religion and have among themselves a variety of orders or sects. They are also looked down on by many Muslims as heretical and mis-guided, placing experience over knowledge of God and submission to his rules.
To be honest, like every last one of us, Sufis do not have a completely clean slate. Indians accuse them of being complicit in Muslim military takeovers of the subcontinent and they have themselves resorted to violence and terrorism to advance Islam and hold off attackers.
We’d do well to learn more about Sufis. We should ask our Muslim friends what they think of Sufism, and the question behind the question, “Are you a Sufi?” Again according to Jenkins, Sufis are tactical allies for the West, and, “potentially, the greatest hope for pluralism and democracy within Muslim nations.”
But for today, we mourn. We ask God to heal and comfort, and in every way bring to Sufis the abundant life Jesus said he came to bring.
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