Sufism-Structure of Sufi Orders

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Structure of Sufi Orders


Sufism presumes a fundamental link between the shaikh, head of the Sufi tareeqah (order), and the murid (novice), extending throughout their lifetime and continuing after their death. The murid takes an 'ahd (oath) of loyalty and swears obedience to the shaikh, who in turn promises to solve the murid's problems and deliver him from every dilema whenever he calls on his shaikh for help. The shaikh also promises to interced for him with Allah so that he may be admitted to Jannah.

The murid pledges to be conscientious in practicing the set of dthikr (chants) assigned to him by his shaikh, to adhere to the rules of the order and to accept its claim on his loyalty for life over a wide range of behaviour affecting the well-being of the order. The quality and extent of the shaikh's hold over the murid is therefore almost total.

The murid's behavior even outside the order's group setting is expected to conform to rules laid down by the order. And where conflict with outside obligations arises, the murid must resolve it by acting as a Sufi and following his order's rules. The Tijaniyyeh Order makes every candidate for initiation pledge not to visit the grave of pious personality or visit any living scholar. This is one of the major factors in widening the rift between one order and another, causing an order to enter into conflict against his others in an attempt to convert, conquer or annihilate them.

The mechanism of the order struture in Sufism leads to many evil results: