This breaks my heart. Sufism, the mystical sect of Islam, is the inner core of true beauty in the Islamic faith.
Many of you have read the Sufi poet Rumi, or the Rubayyat of Omar Khayyam, or the poetry of Khalil Gibran, whose line “Drink of the same wine but not from the same cup” has enriched many a set of wedding vows.
Everyone has heard of the “whirling Dervishes,” but not everyone knows that a Darweesh is a mystical adept who spins through a complex pattern of movements in deep trance, in order to achieve synchrony with the Divine!
And although this has been practiced since at least the 7th century c.e., and perhaps earlier, and even though Sufism has always been a deep and enduring branch of knowing God in the context of Islam, now it’s being branded as heresy and its practitioners are being killed.
Such a tragedy!
I have been associated with Sufis since 1990, when I studied African drumming with a black American Sufi and his white Jewish American Sufi wife. While in Israel I hung out with Sufi musicians who were Jewish. Yes, that happens in Israel. You don’t hear about it on the news…the ecstatic music sessions on the streets and in the market places late at night, when Muslims and Jews gather to praise our mutual Creator with flutes, drums, and lyres…this too is taking a risk, now that the imams seem to be branding anything pleasurable as “haram” (forbidden).
Heaven help us.
In the meantime, please enjoy your life. Dance. Make music. Howl at the moon! Listen to music, read, pray. Enjoy Nature! Enjoy one another!
Live with joy, live the juice of life!
Counter repression with expression!