from Vol. 1, No. 3
Ishaq Ibrahim Adham
by Seyedeh Sahar Kianfar
from Vol. 2, No. 4
by Titus Burckhardt
from Vol. 3, No. 2
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Tariqa & Haqiqa
Survey of Sufi Philosophy and Islamic Law,
of Shari'a, Tariqa, and Haqiqa are interconnected for the Sufi
practitioner. Shari'a is derived from the Arabic root shara'a,
'to introduce' or 'to prescribe' and refers to the canonical
law of Islam. Tariqa literally translates to 'path' and is used
as a synonym for 'school,' 'brotherhood,' or 'order' of mystical
Sufis. Haqiqa means 'truth' or 'reality' and refers to the concept
of an esoteric essential truth that transcends human limitations.
is the relationship of the three that scholars and philosophers
have contemplated and debated throughout the history of mystical
Islam. This three part series will examine the fundamental exoteric
and esoteric components of the relationship between the Shari'a,
the Tariqa, and Haqiqa.
One: An Introduction will provide a general framework for the series.
Part Two: exoteric Truth will introduce the foundations and evolution
of Islamic law. Part Three: Esoteric Truth will survey the relationship
between the Law, the Sufi Order, and Divine Reality.
early Islamic history, Sufism was not recognized as a separate,
inner dimension of Islam, but was identified with Islam as such.
The Prophet (pbuh) was the ultimate Sufi Master, who taught the
essential doctrines of esoteric Islam to the sahaba, or 'Companions.'
In turn, the Companions transmitted the teachings and practices
of the Prophet (pbuh) to their disciplines, cultivating the seeds
for schools of esoteric practice based on the true knowledge of
the self. In addition, both the Prophet (pbuh) and the Rashidin
(the first four 'Rightly Guided' Caliphs) were the ultimate leaders
of jurisprudence and governance. Therefore, there was no cause to
establish an intricate, separate legal institution. During this
fledgling stage of Islam, the Shari'a and Tariqa had not developed
as separate entities. It is not until the consolidation efforts
during the second half of the Umayyad Dynasty (second century AH/eighth
century AD) that schools of Islamic thought began to emerge. Esoteric
teaching methods evolved through a system of initiatic chains, where
Sufi teachers began asilsilah, or 'chain' of transmission,
that passed from one teacher to the next. Emerging Sufi Masters
chose different formulations for making explicit what had been implicit,
resulting in divergences in the chain of transmission . . .
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Sahar Kianfar completed her Masters in Islamic Studies at the University
of Cambridge, England, with an emphasis in Islamic jurisprudence.