So the good Muslims of ISIS have martyred 300 ( and still counting ) Sufi Muslims in Sinai in their attempt to reach heaven riding on the blood of innocents.
Many would read the global war on terror as a Samuel Huntingtonian self-fulfilling prophecy; THere is a civil war but it's not between civilizations rather it's a civil war in Islam. There are clearly many fault lines within Islam, some of which are deepening dramatically. One, there are attacks on Muslim intellectuals, attempts to suppress dissent. Two, there is polarisation between the Shias and Sunnis, primarily due to the Salafisation of Islam that has been continuing since the early 20th century.
In the last few years, I have visited several Sufi sites that fall roughly in the territories of the former Ottoman and Mughal empires. All over this vast terrain, there are signs of Sufis under siege. In Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, Sufi sites have been targeted in various ways.
Sufism was the way whole populations expressed their Muslim identity — -in music and dance and poetry from Egypt till Turkey.
The big question, of course, is why the antipathy between Sufis and Salafis is becoming a civil war in Islam.
Although most modern Muslims do not identify themselves as Salafis, their thinking has been greatly influenced by Salafism, especially the younger generation in diaspora. Much effort is expended in public displays of religiosity such as beards, prayer beads, prayer calluses and women's clothing, while the spiritual aspect of religion and the proper ego annihilation a Muslim should adhere to take a back seat.
What is the difference between Sufi and Salafi?
Primarily it's about who these two groups approach Islamic tradition and scripture ---Sufi's emphasize the Batin over the external shell of Sharia. They believe God must be at the forefront of one's thoughts at all times. The dhikr rituals, which include dancing and religious songs, are aimed at nothing more than the remembrance of God.
Salafism, on the other hand, puts enormous emphasis on external appearance rather than the inner spirit. They grow their beards just as the first Muslims did and trim their trousers so that the hems hang well above the ankles (or just wear a short jilbab) and their women usually wear the niqab. Wahabis has reduced Islam to a series of externalities completely ignoring its spiritual and esoteric teachings.
‘God does not want meditations and austerities
Through love alone canst though reach the Abode of Bliss.
Thou mayst be lost like salt in water
Still it is difficult for thee to know God.
They believe that anything that deviates from their strictly literal interpretations of Islam is bida'a (innovation) and thus a gateway to hell---rather than the spirit of Islam; they become obsessed with the appearance of Muslims in sixth-century Arabia, ignoring the heart of the faith. Saudi funded Clerics have declared Sufi poetry, dance and veneration of saints to be Bidah. They rail against Sufi poetry and esoteric philosophy of Unity of beings. Sufi Masters such as Hallaj and Suherwardi were martyred because Takifiri Theologians lacked the required knowledge of philosophy and light of heart to understand their teachings so they passed fatwa's on what they could not understand much like today when they blow Sufi shrines up.
To learn the scriptures is easy,
to live them, hard.
The search for the Real
is no simple matter.
Deep in my looking,
the last words vanished.
Joyous and silent,
the waking that met me there.
- Lalla Ded
Awliyas are Signs of Allah: They are the best transmitter and communicator of God's message, to pay them to visit and sending them salaams is a form of Ibadat and help remembering God.
In Memory of Those Who Melt the Soul Forever
by Muhyiddin ibn Arabi
Their spring meadows
are desolate now. Still, desire
for them lives always
in our heart, never dying.
These are their ruins.
These are the tears
in memory of those
who melt the soul forever.
I called out, following after
A fakir Dancing in Sachal Sarmast
You so full with beauty,
I rubbed my face in the dust,
laid low by the fever of love.
By the privilege of the right of desire for you
don't shatter the heart
Of a man drowned in his words,
Nothing can save him now.
You want a fire?
Take it easy. This passion
is incandescent. Touch it.
It will light your own.