Sufis (1500-Present Day)


Sufi Whirling

(Modern day Sufi song)






Historical Background

We came from the Shiite sect of Islam. It is a controvisial debate who was the first sufi and started the movement. Many say it was our Prophet Muhammad's cousin Ali Ibn Abi Tailab but some say that it was the caliph Abu Bakr. We started out in Basra (modern day Iraq) and we spread from there. We had a slow start but around 1000 CE we started to publish our philosophies and people really started noticing us. Many schools were created for the practice of Sufism. However, trouble times did await us. We were looked down upon and even victims of hate crimes. Some Shias but mainly Sunnis looked down upon us and did not consider us Muslims. Till this day many Sunnis and Shias do not consider us Muslims.

We are located everyone in the Middle East, but mainly in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. In Asia, we mostly located in Pakistan and India. However, we are everywhere. There might not be a great deal of Sufis but there are some.

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We express our love to Allah through songs and dancing. We have a great deal of Qawallis and Sama (whirling). Hadra is a religious ceremony where events take place ranging from singing to praying. We are normal people it's just that our lives are based on spiritual connection with Allah.


We are a sect of Islam. We follow the Qu'ran, however, we do not find formal religious teachings to be meaningful. We believe in a spiritual connection and personal experience with Allah. We do not believe in material objects, and therefore, live a austere life. We still follow the Sharia and Sunnah.


So, Muslims from other sects are all up in our grill for numerous reasons. Lets see, first there has been a great response towards our missionaries. Our missionaries are soo nice, open-minded, and do not force anyone to listen to them. Therefore, many people see the real Sufism. Many people have been converting because our religion is extremely tolerant and includes the following of the Sharia and Sunnah so it would not be a drastic change for converters.

1900 people have been taking our whirling to the extreme. All we wanted was a whirling where people can feel close to Allah and create a spirtiual connection with them. Now, we have been seeing "whirling" which is not WHIRLING! It's just people dancing like maniacs stating that they are creating a connnection with Allah. Whirling has a complex steps to do it and just dancing freely is not whirling!

YAY! So, Sufi songs, such as, Qawallis have never attracted the young generation. However, young "hip" groups have been emerging attracting the younger generation. They have created Sufi rock. It may sound like everyday music but the lyrics are quite different. They are all about loving our Allah and creating a connection with them. The only sad part is we believe that the young generation has no idea that they are listening to Sufi songs. Eventually, we hope they will learn its Sufi rock not just rock.

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