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HEYTHROP COLLEGE
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

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Student ID Number 080414
Degree/Diploma Title ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS - B.A. (HONS)
Year of Degree 1 2 3
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Module Code AR306
Module Title Spirituality and Mysticism in the Abrahamic Faiths
Essay/Dissertation/
Project Title
Hasidism and Sufism: Spirituality in Judaism and Islam



Word Count 4387

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2































Arabic Characters

ء ’

ط ṭ
ب b ظ ẓ
ت t ع ‘
ث th غ gh
ج j ف f
ح ḥ ق q
خ kh ک k
د d ل l
ذ dh م m
ر r ن n
ز z ه h
س s و w
ش sh ی y
ص ṣ

ض ḍ





Long Vowels

ا ā

َ۔ a
و ū ُ۔ u
ي ī ِ۔ i

Hasidism and Sūfism: Spirituality in Judaism and Islam





List of Transliterations
Short Vowels
3

Hasidism and Sufism: Spirituality in Judaism and Islam

Introduction

In an era when media and politics over-shadow relations between Muslims and
Jews, maybe there is a solution – spirituality. I will initiate by defining Ṣūfism and
Ḥasidism, alongside the definition process I will analyse and contrast between
the two. Thereafter, I will focus my attention on the Pīr (sheikh) / Tsaddik and
murīd / ḥasidim, and examine their centrality in both spiritualities using Arabic,
Persian and Urdu poetry. I will examine the notion of the Tsaddik through four
channels as approached by Rachel Elior. I will conclude by briefly analysing
individuals, Abraham Maimonides and Baṣīr, who in the medieval period were
inclined towards Islamic mysticism - taṣawwuf. And alongside the medieval, I will
also look at similar examples in the contemporary modern period – Pīr Ināyat
Khan and Rabbi Zalman Shalomi.

Defining Ṣūfism and Ḥasidism

Jonathan Brown and Martin Lings simply explain Sūfism as: the ‘the art of
knocking’ on the door of the divine.
1
Brown further quotes a famous Sūfi saint
Abū Bakr al-Shiblī as describing Sufism as, ‘comforting the heart with the fan of
purity, clothing the mind with the cloak of faithfulness, acquiring generosity and
rejoicing in meeting God’.
2
Pīr Dhul-Fiqār of the Naqshbandī ṭarīqat (order)
illustrates how one is to acquire taṣawwuf, he quotes Hasan al-Basrī, ‘hum ne
taṣawwuf qīl wa qāl se nahī balke tark-e-lazzāt se sīkhā’ – we acquired taṣawwuf
not through argumentation and debate, but by casting aside materialistic and
worldly desires.
3
Junaid al-Baghdādī once said in a poem:

ٰ
یفصلا یلع فوصلا سبل نم یفوصلا
ٰ
یفطصملا قیرط مزل و ۔

1
Brown, J. A. C. (2009). Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World. (p.
184).
2
ibid.
3
Ahmad, Z. F. (2003). Majālis-e-Faqīr (ريقف
ِ
سلاجم), Vol. 1. (p. 196)
4
یفوصلا نم نسحا یفوکلا بلک ا و ۔ افعلا یلع ایندلا لعج و
4

A Sūfī is he: who dons al-ṣuf (woollen clothing) with the purity of heart
who holds firmly to the ṭarīq (path) of the ‘chosen one’
(Muḥammad)
5

who leaves behind and transcends the world
if not, then a kūfī
6
dog is superior to the ṣufī.

I believe Ṣūfism is very similar to Ḥasidism in the way that it initiated and
transformed into diverse number of ṭuruq (pl. of ṭarīqh – paths). For instance the
chishti ṭarīqa, despite claiming silsila to the Prophet, is named after the place in
contemporary Afghanistan called Chisht, and similar reasons for other ṭarīqas.
However, when defining and analysing Ḥasidism, Rachel Elior presents four
factors that umbrella all the ḥasidic groups: (1) A relationship to the Ba’al Shem
Tov; (2) Tsadik and community; (3) Being and nothingness; and (4) The ḥasidic
congregation.
7


I will focus my attention on the second and fourth points. It is evident that if the
tsadik is viewed so highly, then the master and founder of this spiritual path is
bound to be central. The second notion, Tsadik and community, will be dealt with
in depth and throughout the essay. But, in simple words Elior assesses, ‘The
tsadik links the terrestrial world of his followers with the supernal worlds the link
between the tsadik and his followers is intimate, based on charismatic leadership
of the community in a spirit of holiness. All members are of the community are
equal in their relationship to the tsadik, which fosters a strong sense of
brotherhood’.
8
The third, being (Yesh) and nothingness (Ayin)’ is a ḥasidic idea
of the unity and meeting of opposites. Elior elaborates as, ‘this two-way process
takes place continuously from the ayin to the yesh and from the yesh to the ayin:

4
ibid.
5
In all instances of a Muslim’s speech and traditional writings the phrase ‘Peace Be Upon Him
(PBUH)’ ( یلص ملس و ہيلع ) is followed by the name of the Prophet, but in this article I intend the
phrase, hence on the understanding that it is intended and assumed no disrespect is intended.
6
Kūfī refers to the resident of Kūfa
7
Elior, R. (2008). The Mystical Origins of Hasidism. (pp. 2-4)
8
ibid., (p. 2)
5
every limited element strives to expand, to divest itself of corporeality, and to
return to its abstract source, and every abstract element strives to contract, to
clothe itself, and to be revealed in its limited expression’.
9
This notion is similar
to Muhammad Iqbal’s idea of the Prophet Muhammad and his ascent to the
source, he believes, ‘Muhammad of Arabia ascended the highest Heaven and
returned. I swear by God that if I had reached that point, I should never have
returned’.
10
Finally, the ‘ḥasidic congregation’ is similar to the second notion, but
I view it as a result of the powerful bond between the tsadik and the follower. As
Elior stresses that there was a relation from both channels, tsadik was the sole
channel of divine mercy and sustenance for his followers[on the other hand]
the tsadik also depended on the recognition and support of his followers’.
11
In
the ṣūfism of the sub-continent, the masters at times stress the importance of
murāqaba (meditation) of the master despite it being repudiated by the ulema’.
Similar to this is the incident of Junaid al-Baghdādī and his murīds who claimed
to have walked on water by calling the name of their master, Oh Junaid instead
of Oh Allah: and once they said, ‘Oh Allah’ they began to sink. Interestingly,
Junaid explained, “You are trying to reach Allah and yet you haven’t even
reached Junaid!”.
12
However it is ‘tales’ of these kind that the wahhābī and
orthodox Islamic mind is forced to reject ṣūfism, and at times in its entirety.

The Pīr (master) and the murīd (follower) | The Tsaddik and the Hasidim

I believe, in both spiritual paths within Judaism and Islam, the relationship
between the master and follower is central. The utmost significance in this
relation is the deeper and real experience of the holy letters: in ṣufism the sheikh
is seen as someone who has attained a higher status; he has survived

9
Elior, R. (No date). Chapter: ‘The Infinity of Meaning embedded in the Sacred Text’, p. 39.
Accessed online [08.05.2011]: http://members.ngfp.org/Courses/Elior/EliorNave_Mil-Ch2.pdf
10
Iqbal, M. (2008). The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. (p. 124) – Iqbal, here has
quoted a mystic from Gangoh, pointing towards the difference between the experience between
the Prophet and a mystic.
11
Elior, R. (2008). The Mystical Origins of Hasidism. (p. 3)
12
Naqshbandi, A. Three Tales of Sufi Wisdom.
Accessed online [09.05.2011]: http://www.chowk.com/Views/Three-Tales-Of-Sufi-Wisdom
6
temptation and reached the maqām (station) where he now stands. However,
now he must pass his experience of reaching that maqām to his murīds and the
silsila of the previous sheikhs must continue till the Last Day. I will later look at
the difference between the ‘master’ in ṣūfism and ḥasidism – the silsila. The
sheikh in ṣufism provides the murīd with esoteric knowledge, which is believed by
the ṣufī to be such ‘ilm ladunnī that cannot be acquired through extensive study.
The story of Rūmī’s conversion to ṣufism is an interesting one, in which a
contrast between ‘ilm al-kasabī (acquired knowledge) and ‘ilm-e-ladunnī / kashf
(spiritual esoteric knowledge) is given:
‘One day Mawlana Rumi was sitting with his students and disciples near a pond
which was in the middle of his garden giving them a lesson in one of the Islamic
‘intellectual sciences’. The Mawlana was surrounded by a large pile of
handwritten books and scrolls and was teaching from them when suddenly a
strange fellow approached him and, smiling, pointed to the pile of books and
asked, “What is this?”
Taking the man to be a wandering dervish and illiterate, Rumi smiled and said,
“This is something which you do not know!” [exoteric knowledge].
Still smiling, the dervish picked up the pile of books and threw them into the
pond. Rumi was horrified and cried out, “You ignorant fellow! What have you
done? You have ruined all my precious books!”
The dervish continued to smile and, nonchalantly approaching the pond and
putting his hand into the water, retrieved all the books. Amazingly, all the books
instantly became dry and as good as new!
Astonished at this charismatic miracle Rumi cried out, “What is this?”
“This is something which you do not know!” [referring here to esoteric
knowledge]. answered Shams of Tabriz.
13

Subsequent to Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī’s struggles through the maqāmāt (stations) he
said what is now quoted by ṣūfī’s throughout the ṭarīqa in Persian:

_
¸
. ¨ , ¸-- " ¸·. .:- "

_
¸
.
¸
¸ .:¸
¸
¸+
¸
.
14


13
Accessed online [07.05.2011]: http://www.chowk.com/Views/Three-Tales-Of-Sufi-Wisdom also
in Urdu: Rūmī, J. (2009). Ḥikāyāt-e-Rūmī ( ± ¸.: ¸·. ). Trans. by Sufi Asif Mahmood.
14
Rūmī, J. (2009). Ḥikāyāt-e-Rūmī (¸·.± ¸.:). Trans. by Sufi Asif Mahmood. (p. 21)
7
Mevlawī could never have become the Maula (Master) of Rūm,
till he became the slave
15
of Shams Tabrez
However, even for the famous jurist of Islam, al-Shāfi’ī, the acquiring of exoteric
knowledge depended upon a spiritual state of taqwā and tark al-ma’āṣī. Imām al-
Shāfi’ī once complained to his teacher regarding his weakness in memory and
expressed this incident in a poem:

یظفح
َ
ءوس عیکو
ٰ
یلا
ُ
توکش ۔ رت
ٰ
یلا یناصواف یصاعملا ک
یھا نم رون
َ
ملعلا ناف ۔ یصاع
ِ
ل
ٰ
یطع
ُ
ی ﷲ رون و
16

“I complained to [my teacher / my sheikh] Waqī’ regarding the weakness of my memory.
He prescribed for me the abstinence from sins. For indeed al-‘ilm [sacred knowledge] is
a nūr (light) from my Lord. And the light of Allah is not given to a sinner”.

Interestingly, when Thānwī was asked the definition of a ṣūfī, he replied with
determination, ¸ ¸. ç.` ‘ālim bā ‘amal’ - ‘A scholar, who implements his
knowledge’.
17
Hence, it is bringing to life the letters of the sacred texts and
becoming the embodiment of the sacred knowledge that is the spiritual aim of
Islamic spirituality. Iqbal expresses this notion in his poem, of how a mu’min
(believer) is not the one who merely recites the sacred text, but is in reality the
sacred text.
¸. ·. ¸ ¸_¸ ¸.
! ¸:¸ , ` ¸>¸ ..:.
¸- . ¸- ¸ -¸:. ¸
18
! ,
¸
.´ , ¸.¯ ` ¸´
¸
, ,¸ ±

15
Slave here refers to murīd (follower).
16
Thānwī, A. A. (1425H) . Tuḥfa al-‘Ulemā’ : ¸ ...¸-.
¸
.: ¸±· :¸:,. ¸· : ·.- - (p. 41)
17
ibid., (p. 159)
18
Iqbal, M. ḍarb-e-kalīm (¸ ,·): The Rod of Moses. Accessed online [08.05.2011]:
http://www.allamaiqbal.com/
(search under prose works, ḍarb-e-kalīm.)
8
With Gabriel trusted and steadfast
this clay-born man has kinship close
a dwelling in some land or clime
for himself Muslim never chose.
This secret yet none has grasped
that a mu’min by appearance is a reciter [of the Qur’an],
But in reality he is the Qur’an.
19


There is a similar approach to the Pīr of Ḥasidism, and his relation to his ḥasidim.
As the rabbi of Rizhyn once said,
“Just as the holy letters of the alphabet are voiceless without the vowel signs,
and the vowel signs cannot stand without the letters, so zaddikim and ḥasidim
are bound up with one another. The zaddikim are the letters and the ḥasidim
who journey to them are the vowel signs. The ḥasidim need the zaddik, but he
has just as much need of them. Through them he can be uplifted. Because of
them he can sink – God forbid! They carry his voice, they sow his work in the
world’
20

But, the reason for the ḥasidim’s need to go to the tsaddik I believe is similar to
the ṣūfī idea, of reaching the ultimate source, the reality of God and the tsaddik is
the intermediary for that. Rabbi Mordecai elaborated the need for the ḥasidim to
come to the tsaddikim, which is homogeneous to the ṣūfī idea of transferring
‘ishq (Love) from ‘fānī’ (the mortal) to ‘bāqī’ (the immortal). He once said, “people
go to the tsaddikim for many different reasons. One goes to the tsaddik to learn
how to pray with fear and love; another to acquire strength to study the Torah for
its own sake. Still another goes because he wants to mount to a higher rung of
spiritual life, and so on. But none of these things should be the true purpose of
going, for each of them can be attained, and then it is no longer necessary to toil
for it. The only, the true purpose, should be to seek the reality of God. No
bounds are set to this, and it has no end’.
21

Rābi’ah Baṣriyyah, a famous female ṣūfī of her era, emotionally expressed the
very notion:
“O my Lord, if I worship you from fear of hell, burn me in hell.

19
ibid., (search under prose works, translation of ḍarb-e-kalīm)
20
Buber, M. (1991). Tales of the Hasidim. (p. 54)
21
ibid., (p. 164)
9
If I worship you in hope of Paradise, bar me from its gates.
But if I worship you for yourself alone,
grant me then the beauty of your Face”.
22


However, I believe, the most significant contrasting difference between the
tsaddik and the pīr is the silsila (the chain of narrators), which the Ṣūfis believe
leads back to the Prophet himself. An idea which, I believe is influenced by
principles of ḥadīth tradition likewise shi’ite belief of connecting the imams to the
genealogy of the Prophet. But at times these silsilas seem to be problematic
when one finds unauthentic sources in the chain of transmission. For instance,
when figures like Khidr
23
are mentioned in the chain they become dubious. I
present an example of a silsila of my own ṣūfī lineage, where one could see how
the methodology used in ṣufism are assumed to be taught down the ages from
the Messenger himself, but alongside that I will point towards a problem within
the silsila:
Hazrat Mufti Moosa Badat Khalifah of > Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi (died
1417 AH) > Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Zakaria Kandhelvi (died 1402 AH) > Hazrat
Maulana Khalil Ahmed Saharanpuri (died 1346 AH) > Qutbul Alam Maulana Rashid
Ahmed Gangohi (died 1323 AH) > []
24
Khwaajah Fuzail bin Ayaaz (died187 AH) >
Khwaajah Abdul Waahid bin Zaid (died176 AH) > Hazrat Hasan al-Basri (died110 AH)
> AMMERUL MU’MINEEN SAYYIDINA HAZRAT ALI radiyallahu anhu (died 40 AH) >
SAYYIDINA MUHAMMAD RASULULLAH [The Messenger of Allah] Sallallahu alaihi
wasallam (died 11 AH).
25


22
Rābi’ah Baṣri’s (717-801) Ṣūfism. [Accessed online 27.04.2011]:
http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/R/RabiaBasriAl/OmyLordifIwo.htm
23
There are a multitude of interpretations as to who Khiḍr. Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an (vol. 3)
states that Al-Zamakhsharī asserts that Khiḍr lived from the time of Dhū l-Qarnayn to that of
Moses; Sayyid Qub sets that tradition aside, calling him only “the righteous servant.” However,
some ṣūfī tradtions believe that Khiḍr is still alive and witnessed by some mashā’ikh.
24
I have removed 32 mashā’ikh from the silsila, which could be traced from footnote No. 25
25
Silsila taken from: Badāt, M (2003). Nisbat wa Iḥsān aur A’māl - e - Qalbiyyah t.¸¸


¸ ¸. .· ¸. ·,).
Also available online from the English Translation:
Badāt, M (2006). An Introduction to the Science of Tasawwuf: A Translation of Nisbat wa Iḥsān
aur A’māl - e - Qalbiyyah t.¸¸


¸ ¸..·¸.· ,) by Khalil Ahmed Kazi.
Accessed online [29.04.2011]:
http://www.islamrocks.com/Islamic-Books/shajarah-spiritualtree.shtml
10
Here the silsila ends at the Prophet through his cousin Ali: the ṣūfīs from the
chishtī ṭarīqa claim that their teachings and methods have been acquired through
the time which lead back to the Prophet. So henceforth there is a spiritual
connection between the pīr and the murīd, which is acquired directly from the
Prophet through this chain. However, towards the end of the silsila we have the
famous Hasan al-Basrī acquiring his ṣūfī teachings from the Prophet’s cousin Ali,
but it is still debated whether Hasan al-Basri had actually met Ali and heard from
him let alone acquired the complete ṣūfī ṭarīqat.

Within ṣufism there still lies the question of learning from the ‘other’ master,
whom one has not pledged an allegiance (bai’at) to. Thanwi, interestingly
explains this in his ṣūfī exegesis of the Qur’an:
¸> .'
ۡ
ي
َ
ل
ِ
إ
َ
ل
ِ
زن
ُ
أ ٓا َ م
ِ
ب َ نو
ُ
نِ م
ۡ
ؤُ ي َ نيِ ذ

لٱ َ و َ نو
ُ
نِقوُ ي ۡ مُ ھ ِ ة َ رِ خ
َ ۡ
ٱ
ِ
ب َ و َ كِل
ۡ
ب
َ
ق نِ م
َ
ل
ِ
زن
ُ
أ ٓا َ م َ و َ ك ¯·:. :.·,,¸,¸¸ ¸
,¸ _¿¸ .,
¸
.×:¸ _ .·¸,,... ¸_,,_ :. ¸ ¸... _¸¸_·>¸. ¸>ç

,..
· ¸
¸
¸
.
¸ ۔
26

‘those who believe in the revelation sent down to you [Muhammad], and in what
was sent before you, those who have firm faith in the hereafter’ (Qur’an 1:4). It
will be deduced [from this verse] that belief will be on all mashā’ikh ahl al-ḥaq
(the masters of the true path) just as i’tiqād (belief) with one’s own master,
however ittibā’ (following the ṣūfī path) is only of one’s own sheikh. Just as the
identical command regarding the following of Prophets. It is evident from this
exegesis that the ṣūfī’s, despite their silsilas, have resorted to deducing uṣūl
(principles) of taṣawwuf from interpretations of the Qur’an.

The Tsaddik

Rachel Elior has systematically explained the role of the Tsaddik in Hasidism
through four notions; (1) Charisma; (2) Mutual devotion and responsibility; (3)
Embodiment of the divine dialectic; and (4) linking the divine and the material.
Elior explains the notion of Charisma, ‘The Tsadik derives his authority from the

26
Thānwī, A. A. (1424H). Bayān al-Qur’ān ( ن
ٰ
ارقلا نايب : کلم مک نم کولسلا لءاسم ہمجرت ودرا کوکشلا عفر
یناعملاو تاملکلا ہيجوت عم یناثملا هوجو کولملا). (p. 4)
11
charisma of divine election, a sense of divinely inspired mission and a
consciousness of revelation through immediate contact with higher worlds.
27

The ṣūfī sheikh, in this notion, is one with the Tsaddik, but as elaborated earlier
the difference between both in this context would be the silsila, which is believed
to reach back to the Prophet himself. However, there is a distinction between the
function of the ulemā’ and the ṣufī masters, similar to that of the tzaddikim and
the normative rabbis. However, it is clear that both do merge, so there will
certainly be ‘ulemā who are also ṣūfī masters, and this I believe to be the
normative practice now in the Muslim world. For instance the madrasa (Islamic
Seminary) of Bury is famously known for its ṣufī influence on traditional subjects
and methodology. Sūfī mystic-jurists of the sub-continent, such as Mufti Taqī
‘Uthmānī, call for a merging of the sciences of taṣawwuf and fiqh. However, at
times it is felt that ṣufism begins to influence jurisprudence and vice versa. But
this is then rebuked by jurists by differentiating the status of taqwā (
ٰ
یوقت) and
fatwā ( ٰ یوتف).

Elior further explains the notion of ‘Mutual devotion and responsibility’, The
relationship between the tsaddik and his Hasidim is based on an all-embracing
nexus of spiritual brotherhood and social responsibility’.
28
This relationship is
termed hitkasherut vehitkalelut (affiliation and absorption), it could be seen as the
two wheels of the same cycle, as they both need each other for this spiritual
movement on a difficult path. ‘Embodiment of the divine dialectic’, Elior
elaborates as, the tsaddik embodies the dialectical tension between
transcendence and sublimation, the process of emanation from nothingness so
as to bring abundance into the world. He moves between different states of
consciousness so as to confront both divine nothingness and physical being.
29

This notion I believe is quite unique to Hasidism.

Lastly the idea of ‘Linking the divine and the material’, Elior understands as, the
tsaddik devotes himself simultaneously to God and to the world. In an
attempt to reunite the divine element in the material world with its source in the

27
Elior, R. (2008). The Mystical Origins of Hasidism. (p. 130)
28
ibid.
29
ibid.
12
heavenly world, he strives to elevate the mundane; at the same time he attempts
to draw down the divine abundance from on high for the benefit of the world’.
30

This idea is similar to Rūmī’s dervish, when he circles in the ṣūfī dance, with one
hand up towards the divine and the other lowered towards the world: it is where
he takes from the divine and distributes to the world. Further to this point at the
death of Umar ibn Abd al-Azīz (Umar II), the Byzantine emperor exclaimed, ‘If a
man subsequent to Jesus Christ had the miracle to bring people back from the
dead, it would have been Umar ibn Abd al-Azīz. I dislike the monk, who escapes
from the world and resides in his abode of worship. That monk amazes me, who
kept the material world beneath his feet and even then lived a life of an ascetic’
[referring here to Umar II].
31


It is interesting to note all the similarities in the tales; poetry; purposes and above
all the belief in One God; and a belief system that leads back to Prophet
Abraham: surely there must be some inclination of both towards the other.
Recently, when the ‘kosher’ phone came into the market designed for the needs
of the Hasidim, the Muslim was the first to say, ‘right, I am certainly buying that
for my child’.
32
And delightful is what Dr Jonathan Gorsky believes, that despite
differences in theology, the Abrahamic faiths come together in spirituality.
33
In
the medieval period there are many examples of Jews, who were inclined
towards ṣufism such as Abraham Maimonides who once said,
"Thou art aware of the ways of the ancient saints of Israel, which are not or but
little practiced among our contemporaries, that have now become the practice of
the Sufis of Islam, on account of the iniquities of Israel."
34

Goiten has written an article ‘A Jewish Addict to Sufism’ focusing on a Jewish
Sūfī Baṣīr, and a letter from his wife to the Rabbi urging the Jewish community to

30
ibid.
31
Sajjad, Z. A. and Shahabi, I. A (1991). Tārīkh-e-Millet t. ¸¸.
¸
.). Vol. 1. (p. 668)
32
Article ‘Is that cell phone Kosher’ on BBC. Accessed online [10.05.2011]:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7636021.stm
33
Lecture at Heythrop College.
34
Accessed online [10.05.2011]:
http://www.tomblock.com/11shalom/article_jewishsufi.php#_edn3
13
bring him back from the mountain.
35
Similarly Pīr Ināyat Khān has also confirmed
the idea of Abraham Maimonides by giving form to an innovative ṭarīqa called the
‘Ināyatī-Maimūnī ṭarīqat’, and also once stated,
“The Sufi is an Israelite, especially in his study and mastery of the different
names of God. The miraculous powers of Moses can also be found in the lives of
the Sufis both past and present. In fact the Sufi is the master of the Hebrew
mysticism; the divine voice heard by Moses on Mount Sinai in the past is audible
to many a Sufi today”.
36

Also in contemporary times Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi too has spent time
in the Zāwiya with Sūfī masters in the ‘Holy Land’. From an article by Rabbi
Zalman he explains how the Sufī master began discussing whether it was kosher
for a non-Muslim to do dhikr. Rabbi Zalman recalls the incident when asked by
the Sūfiīs:
"Why don't you go with your own people?"
I said, "I davened this morning with my own people."... and I'd like to be able to
say dhikr with you."
"Are you a Muslim?"
I say, "La. Ana Mu'min." I'm a believer. I'm not a Muslim, I'm a believer.
"What do you believe in?"
And I say, "Ash-hadu." I bear witness. "La illaha ill Allah al-ahad." There is no G-d
but G-d, and that G-d is one.
[subsequent to being asked what sharī’ah he follows]
"Then why not follow the Shariya of Islam?"
I say, "Because it is not fitting, it isn't 'Adab [respectful],' it's not fitting for a son to
go in paths different than his father. So I come from the banī Yitzhak and banī
Yakub and not from the banī Ismail, and so I have to follow the Shariya of my
parents."
"What about Ṭarīqat?"
So we were talking about the higher levels of the Sufi. I said, "With that, I'm with
you at one."

35
Goitein, S. D. (1953). ‘A Jewish Addict to Sufism: In the Time of the Nagid David II
Maimonides’. The Jewish Quarterly Review, (pp. 37-49)
36
Cited from article, ‘Inayati-Maimuni Tariqat of Sufi Hasidim | The Desert Fellowship of the
Message’
Accessed online [10.05.2011]:
http://www.zimbio.com/Judaism/articles/144/Inayati+Maimuni+Tariqat+Sufi+Hasidim+Desert
14
Then somebody gives a kick on the side and says, "Ask him! Ask him! What
about rasuliyat [prophethood]?" What has he got to say about Muhammed? Ah,
they got me, ah!
So I say, "Ash-hadu." I bear witness. "La illaha il Allah, wa Muhammed rasul
Allah." There is no G-d but Allah. And Muhammed is His messenger.
So they say to me, "Then you're a Muslim!"
And I say, "La. Ana Yahudi." No, I'm a Jew.
"Then how could you say, how could you say such a thing?"
So I said, "Allow me to go back with you in your history. There was Ismail
[Ishmael], the son of Ibrahim ha-lililai, Abraham the friend of G-d. Ismail - his
children - Ismail still had the Tawḥīd - the knowledge of the oneness of G-d, but
his children fell into the dark ages, into the jāhiliyya, into the unknowing. And so,
they had lost their way to the oneness of G-d. So, Ya rahim, Ya rahman, the
merciful, the compassionate, sent out a messenger to the children of Ismail to
bring them back to Tawḥīd - to the oneness . I believe that he was a true
messenger."
The Imam said, "I don't want to talk anymore. I want to say dhikr with this man!"
And they brought in the drums, and we start to say dhikr.
37


It seems that at the end of this essay one possibly could conclude that there is
light at the end of the tunnel when relations between Judaism and Islam are
approached through spirituality and mysticism. I initiated by defining the two
spiritualities and in the process compared and contrasted the two through diverse
tales and poems. I then analysed, what I believed to be the most significant
aspect of Ṣūfism and Ḥasidism, the role of the Sheikh and Tsaddik. I found that
the outlook of both notions very similar, but the only real difference was the silsila
in Sūfism. I thereafter analysed medieval and the continuation up to the modern
period of a merge between both spiritualities within Judaism and Islam.



37
For full article refer to:
‘Reb Zalman Among the Sufis’. Transcribed by Reuven Goldfarb with the assistance of Eliyahu
(Khaled) McLean.
Excerpt from an audio tape of the Farbrengen with Rabbis Zalman Schachter-Shalomi at the
Hillel Foundation, Berkeley, California, March 19, 1994. Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi is speaking.
Accessed online [18.04.2011]: http://www.sufi-tariqah.de/tarchiv/rebzalman.html
15


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Ahmad, Z. F. (2003). Majālis-e-Faqīr (¸¸¸,), Vol. 1. 3
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Elior, R. (No date). Chapter: ‘The Infinity of Meaning embedded in the Sacred
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Accessed online [08.05.2011]:
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Goitein, S. D. (1953). ‘A Jewish Addict to Sufism: In the Time of the Nagid David
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Iqbal, M. (No date). ¸, .· ,
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Iqbal, M. ḍarb-e-kalīm (¸,·): The Rod of Moses.
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(search under prose works, translation of ḍarb-e-kalīm)

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http://www.sufi-tariqah.de/tarchiv/rebzalman.html

Rūmī, J. (2009). Ḥikāyāt-e-Rūmī (¸·. ± ¸.:). Trans. by Sufi Asif Mahmood. Book
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Sajjad, Z. A. and Shahabi, I. A (1991). Tārīkh-e-Millet (. ¸¸.
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Thānwī, A. A. (1424H). Bayān al-Qur’ān ( ن
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ارقلا نايب : کولسلا لءاسم ہمجرت ودرا کوکشلا عفر
یناعملاو تاملکلا ہيجوت عم یناثملا هوجو کولملا کلم مک نم). Idārah Tālīfāt e Ashrafiyyah:
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Thānwī, A. A. (1425H) . Tuḥfa al-‘Ulemā’ ( :¸ : ,.¸·:¸ ... ¸-.
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http://www.zimbio.com/Judaism/articles/144/Inayati+Maimuni+Tariqat+Sufi+Hasi
dim+Desert

Hasidism and Sūfism: Spirituality in Judaism and Islam List of Transliterations Arabic Characters ‫ء‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ت‬ ‫ث‬ ‫ج‬ ‫ح‬ ‫خ‬ ‫د‬ ‫ذ‬ ‫ر‬ ‫ز‬ ‫س‬ ‫ش‬ ‫ص‬ ‫ض‬ ’ b t th j ḥ kh d dh r z s sh ṣ ḍ ‫ط‬ ‫ظ‬ ‫ع‬ ‫غ‬ ‫ف‬ ‫ق‬ ‫ک‬ ‫ل‬ ‫م‬ ‫ن‬ ‫ه‬ ‫و‬ ‫ی‬ ṭ ẓ ‘ gh f q k l m n h w y Long Vowels Short Vowels ‫ا‬ ‫و‬ ‫ي‬ ā ū ī َ‫۔‬ ُ‫۔‬ ِ‫۔‬ a u i 2 .

but by casting aside materialistic and worldly desires. alongside the definition process I will analyse and contrast between the two.3 Junaid al-Baghdādī once said in a poem: ٰ 1 ‫ا‬ ‫ٰ ۔ و م‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ا ف‬ ‫ا‬ Brown. (2003). Defining Ṣūfism and Ḥasidism Jonathan Brown and Martin Lings simply explain Sūfism as: the ‘the art of knocking’ on the door of the divine. and examine their centrality in both spiritualities using Arabic. C. Vol. Majālis-e-Faqīr (‫ر‬ 184). who in the medieval period were inclined towards Islamic mysticism . clothing the mind with the cloak of faithfulness. I will initiate by defining Ṣūfism and Ḥasidism. I will also look at similar examples in the contemporary modern period – Pīr Ināyat Khan and Rabbi Zalman Shalomi.taṣawwuf. And alongside the medieval. J. (p. 1. Persian and Urdu poetry. acquiring generosity and rejoicing in meeting God’. ibid.2 Pīr Dhul-Fiqār of the Naqshbandī ṭarīqat (order) illustrates how one is to acquire taṣawwuf. he quotes Hasan al-Basrī. I will examine the notion of the Tsaddik through four channels as approached by Rachel Elior. (2009). maybe there is a solution – spirituality. (p. ‘hum ne taṣawwuf qīl wa qāl se nahī balke tark-e-lazzāt se sīkhā’ – we acquired taṣawwuf not through argumentation and debate. I will conclude by briefly analysing individuals. Abraham Maimonides and Baṣīr. Ahmad.Hasidism and Sufism: Spirituality in Judaism and Islam Introduction In an era when media and politics over-shadow relations between Muslims and Jews. I will focus my attention on the Pīr (sheikh) / Tsaddik and murīd / ḥasidim. 196) 3 .1 Brown further quotes a famous Sūfi saint Abū Bakr al-Shiblī as describing Sufism as. F. Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World. A. ‘comforting the heart with the fan of purity. Thereafter. 2 3 ‫س‬ ِ ). Z.

All members are of the community are equal in their relationship to the tsadik. Tsadik and community. (pp. R.. of ṭarīqh – paths). The Mystical Origins of Hasidism. (p. but in this article I intend the (PBUH)’ (‫م‬ 6 7 8 phrase. which fosters a strong sense of brotherhood’. being (Yesh) and nothingness (Ayin)’ is a ḥasidic idea of the unity and meeting of opposites. in simple words Elior assesses. In all instances of a Muslim’s speech and traditional writings the phrase ‘Peace Be Upon Him ‫و‬ ) is followed by the name of the Prophet. is named after the place in contemporary Afghanistan called Chisht. (2008). But. despite claiming silsila to the Prophet. For instance the chishti ṭarīqa. Kūfī refers to the resident of Kūfa Elior. and (4) The ḥasidic congregation. Elior elaborates as. The second notion. when defining and analysing Ḥasidism. based on charismatic leadership of the community in a spirit of holiness. will be dealt with in depth and throughout the essay.7 I will focus my attention on the second and fourth points. and similar reasons for other ṭarīqas. I believe Ṣūfism is very similar to Ḥasidism in the way that it initiated and transformed into diverse number of ṭuruq (pl. hence on the understanding that it is intended and assumed no disrespect is intended. It is evident that if the tsadik is viewed so highly. then the master and founder of this spiritual path is bound to be central. 2) 4 . ‘this two-way process takes place continuously from the ayin to the yesh and from the yesh to the ayin: 4 5 ibid. However. then a kūfī 6 dog is superior to the ṣufī. 2-4) ibid.4 ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫۔ وا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫و‬ A Sūfī is he: who dons al-ṣuf (woollen clothing) with the purity of heart who holds firmly to the ṭarīq (path) of the ‘chosen one’ (Muḥammad) 5 who leaves behind and transcends the world if not.8 The third. (2) Tsadik and community. Rachel Elior presents four factors that umbrella all the ḥasidic groups: (1) A relationship to the Ba’al Shem Tov. ‘The tsadik links the terrestrial world of his followers with the supernal worlds the link between the tsadik and his followers is intimate. (3) Being and nothingness.

(2008). and every abstract element strives to contract. Three Tales of Sufi Wisdom.10 Finally.every limited element strives to expand. Oh Junaid instead of Oh Allah: and once they said. but I view it as a result of the powerful bond between the tsadik and the follower. the masters at times stress the importance of murāqaba (meditation) of the master despite it being repudiated by the ulema’.11 In the ṣūfism of the sub-continent. the ‘ḥasidic congregation’ is similar to the second notion. and to return to its abstract source.chowk. M. Interestingly. 39. I swear by God that if I had reached that point. R. Accessed online [09. and at times in its entirety. As Elior stresses that there was a relation from both channels.com/Views/Three-Tales-Of-Sufi-Wisdom 5 . I should never have returned’. 124) – Iqbal.12 However it is ‘tales’ of these kind that the wahhābī and orthodox Islamic mind is forced to reject ṣūfism.ngfp. “You are trying to reach Allah and yet you haven’t even reached Junaid!”.9 This notion is similar to Muhammad Iqbal’s idea of the Prophet Muhammad and his ascent to the source.org/Courses/Elior/EliorNave_Mil-Ch2. in both spiritual paths within Judaism and Islam.pdf 10 quoted a mystic from Gangoh. p. to divest itself of corporeality. the relationship between the master and follower is central. The Pīr (master) and the murīd (follower) | The Tsaddik and the Hasidim I believe. The utmost significance in this relation is the deeper and real experience of the holy letters: in ṣufism the sheikh is seen as someone who has attained a higher status. Similar to this is the incident of Junaid al-Baghdādī and his murīds who claimed to have walked on water by calling the name of their master. ‘Oh Allah’ they began to sink. and to be revealed in its limited expression’. pointing towards the difference between the experience between the Prophet and a mystic. here has Accessed online [08. The Mystical Origins of Hasidism. 3) Naqshbandi. (2008). Chapter: ‘The Infinity of Meaning embedded in the Sacred Text’. Junaid explained. he believes. Iqbal. The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. (No date). (p.05.2011]: http://members.05. he has survived 9 Elior. A. to clothe itself. 11 12 Elior. R. tsadik was the sole channel of divine mercy and sustenance for his followers [on the other hand] the tsadik also depended on the recognition and support of his followers’.2011]: http://www. (p. ‘Muhammad of Arabia ascended the highest Heaven and returned.

The story of Rūmī’s conversion to ṣufism is an interesting one. smiling. J. Trans. Trans. Ḥikāyāt-e-Rūmī ( 14 Rūmī. The Mawlana was surrounded by a large pile of handwritten books and scrolls and was teaching from them when suddenly a strange fellow approached him and.com/Views/Three-Tales-Of-Sufi-Wisdom also ). “This is something which you do not know!” [exoteric knowledge].2011]: http://www. in which a contrast between ‘ilm al-kasabī (acquired knowledge) and ‘ilm-e-ladunnī / kashf (spiritual esoteric knowledge) is given: ‘One day Mawlana Rumi was sitting with his students and disciples near a pond which was in the middle of his garden giving them a lesson in one of the Islamic ‘intellectual sciences’. Amazingly. Rumi was horrified and cried out. now he must pass his experience of reaching that maqām to his murīds and the silsila of the previous sheikhs must continue till the Last Day. answered Shams of Tabriz. 13 Subsequent to Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī’s struggles through the maqāmāt (stations) he said what is now quoted by ṣūfī’s throughout the ṭarīqa in Persian: 14 13 Accessed online [07.temptation and reached the maqām (station) where he now stands. by Sufi Asif Mahmood. “What is this?” Taking the man to be a wandering dervish and illiterate. (2009). ). by Sufi Asif Mahmood. pointed to the pile of books and asked. I will later look at the difference between the ‘master’ in ṣūfism and ḥasidism – the silsila. “You ignorant fellow! What have you done? You have ruined all my precious books!” The dervish continued to smile and. However. (2009).05. (p. The sheikh in ṣufism provides the murīd with esoteric knowledge. retrieved all the books. which is believed by the ṣufī to be such ‘ilm ladunnī that cannot be acquired through extensive study. Still smiling. all the books instantly became dry and as good as new! Astonished at this charismatic miracle Rumi cried out. nonchalantly approaching the pond and putting his hand into the water. J.chowk. Rumi smiled and said. Ḥikāyāt-e-Rūmī ( . the dervish picked up the pile of books and threw them into the pond. 21) 6 in Urdu: Rūmī. “What is this?” “This is something which you do not know!” [referring here to esoteric knowledge].

even for the famous jurist of Islam.Mevlawī could never have become the Maula (Master) of Rūm. al-Shāfi’ī. Accessed online [08. Thānwī.17 Hence. till he became the slave 15 of Shams Tabrez However. He prescribed for me the abstinence from sins. ḍarb-e-kalīm ( ): The Rod of Moses. Iqbal expresses this notion in his poem.‘A scholar. 159) Iqbal. A.05. Tuḥfa al-‘Ulemā’ ibid. A. 41) 17 18 http://www. 15 16 Slave here refers to murīd (follower).. of how a mu’min (believer) is not the one who merely recites the sacred text.com/ (search under prose works. (1425H) .) 7 . M. who implements his knowledge’. the acquiring of exoteric knowledge depended upon a spiritual state of taqwā and tark al-ma’āṣī.(p. when Thānwī was asked the definition of a ṣūfī. he replied with determination.allamaiqbal. And the light of Allah is not given to a sinner”. ‘ālim bā ‘amal’ . ḍarb-e-kalīm. Interestingly. it is bringing to life the letters of the sacred texts and becoming the embodiment of the sacred knowledge that is the spiritual aim of Islamic spirituality.2011]: . For indeed al-‘ilm [sacred knowledge] is a nūr (light) from my Lord. but is in reality the sacred text. Imām alShāfi’ī once complained to his teacher regarding his weakness in memory and expressed this incident in a poem: 16 ‫۔ و ا ٰ کا‬ ِ ٰ ُ ‫۔ و رﷲ‬ ‫َء‬ ‫ا‬ ُ ‫تا ٰ و‬ ‫نا َ ر‬ “I complained to [my teacher / my sheikh] Waqī’ regarding the weakness of my memory. (p.

Through them he can be uplifted. (p. and his relation to his ḥasidim. The only.. This secret yet none has grasped that a mu’min by appearance is a reciter [of the Qur’an]. “people go to the tsaddikim for many different reasons. As the rabbi of Rizhyn once said. 19 20 21 ibid. and it has no end’..With Gabriel trusted and steadfast this clay-born man has kinship close a dwelling in some land or clime for himself Muslim never chose. (p. The zaddikim are the letters and the ḥasidim who journey to them are the vowel signs. But none of these things should be the true purpose of going. The ḥasidim need the zaddik. Rabbi Mordecai elaborated the need for the ḥasidim to come to the tsaddikim. 54) ibid. (1991). but he has just as much need of them. they sow his work in the world ’ 20 But. should be to seek the reality of God. and then it is no longer necessary to toil for it. He once said. emotionally expressed the very notion: “O my Lord. a famous female ṣūfī of her era. Still another goes because he wants to mount to a higher rung of spiritual life.21 Rābi’ah Baṣriyyah.19 There is a similar approach to the Pīr of Ḥasidism. which is homogeneous to the ṣūfī idea of transferring ‘ishq (Love) from ‘fānī’ (the mortal) to ‘bāqī’ (the immortal). “Just as the holy letters of the alphabet are voiceless without the vowel signs. and the vowel signs cannot stand without the letters. No bounds are set to this. the reason for the ḥasidim’s need to go to the tsaddik I believe is similar to the ṣūfī idea. (search under prose works. for each of them can be attained. translation of ḍarb-e-kalīm) Buber. Tales of the Hasidim. the reality of God and the tsaddik is the intermediary for that. and so on. the true purpose. so zaddikim and ḥasidim are bound up with one another. of reaching the ultimate source. M. Because of them he can sink – God forbid! They carry his voice. if I worship you from fear of hell. 164) 8 . another to acquire strength to study the Torah for its own sake. But in reality he is the Qur’an. burn me in hell. One goes to the tsaddik to learn how to pray with fear and love.

24 25 I have removed 32 mashā’ikh from the silsila. Nisbat wa Iḥsān aur A’māl .shtml 9 by Khalil Ahmed Kazi.islamrocks. I believe is influenced by principles of ḥadīth tradition likewise shi’ite belief of connecting the imams to the genealogy of the Prophet. I believe.2011]: http://www. some ṣūfī tradtions believe that Khiḍr is still alive and witnessed by some mashā’ikh.” However. But if I worship you for yourself alone.If I worship you in hope of Paradise. M (2006). Sayyid Qub sets that tradition aside.poetry-chaikhana.e .Qalbiyyah Also available online from the English Translation: Badāt.e . but alongside that I will point towards a problem within the silsila: Hazrat Mufti Moosa Badat Khalifah of > Hazrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Gangohi (died 1417 AH) > Shaikhul Hadith Maulana Zakaria Kandhelvi (died 1402 AH) > Hazrat Maulana Khalil Ahmed Saharanpuri (died 1346 AH) > Qutbul Alam Maulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi (died 1323 AH) > [ ] 24 Khwaajah Fuzail bin Ayaaz (died187 AH) > Khwaajah Abdul Waahid bin Zaid (died176 AH) > Hazrat Hasan al-Basri (died110 AH) > AMMERUL MU’MINEEN SAYYIDINA HAZRAT ALI radiyallahu anhu (died 40 AH) > SAYYIDINA MUHAMMAD RASULULLAH [The Messenger of Allah] Sallallahu alaihi wasallam (died 11 AH).com/R/RabiaBasriAl/OmyLordifIwo.22 However. calling him only “the righteous servant.04. An idea which.04. which could be traced from footnote No.Qalbiyyah Accessed online [29. [Accessed online 27. bar me from its gates. M (2003). when figures like Khidr 23 are mentioned in the chain they become dubious. where one could see how the methodology used in ṣufism are assumed to be taught down the ages from the Messenger himself. 25 22 Rābi’ah Baṣri’s (717-801) Ṣūfism.com/Islamic-Books/shajarah-spiritualtree. grant me then the beauty of your Face”. 3) http://www. For instance. Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an (vol.htm 23 states that Al-Zamakhsharī asserts that Khiḍr lived from the time of Dhū l-Qarnayn to that of Moses. which the Ṣūfis believe leads back to the Prophet himself. But at times these silsilas seem to be problematic when one finds unauthentic sources in the chain of transmission. 25 Silsila taken from: Badāt. An Introduction to the Science of Tasawwuf: A Translation of Nisbat wa Iḥsān aur A’māl .2011]: There are a multitude of interpretations as to who Khiḍr. the most significant contrasting difference between the tsaddik and the pīr is the silsila (the chain of narrators). . I present an example of a silsila of my own ṣūfī lineage.

(1) Charisma. which is acquired directly from the Prophet through this chain. So henceforth there is a spiritual connection between the pīr and the murīd. Just as the identical command regarding the following of Prophets. however ittibā’ (following the ṣūfī path) is only of one’s own sheikh. However. despite their silsilas. Bayān al-Qur’ān ( ‫م‬ ‫ءل ا وک ن‬ ‫وک اردو ر‬ ٰ ‫ن ا ران: ر ا‬ 10 ‫ت وا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫و‬ ‫( . A. Within ṣufism there still lies the question of learning from the ‘other’ master. (2) Mutual devotion and responsibility. ‘The Tsadik derives his authority from the 26 Thānwī. A. those who have firm faith in the hereafter’ (Qur’an 1:4). (3) Embodiment of the divine dialectic. It is evident from this exegesis that the ṣūfī’s. (1424H). Elior explains the notion of Charisma. 4) . towards the end of the silsila we have the famous Hasan al-Basrī acquiring his ṣūfī teachings from the Prophet’s cousin Ali.)ا وک و وه ا‬p.Here the silsila ends at the Prophet through his cousin Ali: the ṣūfīs from the chishtī ṭarīqa claim that their teachings and methods have been acquired through the time which lead back to the Prophet. have resorted to deducing uṣūl (principles) of taṣawwuf from interpretations of the Qur’an. and (4) linking the divine and the material. whom one has not pledged an allegiance (bai’at) to. It will be deduced [from this verse] that belief will be on all mashā’ikh ahl al-ḥaq (the masters of the true path) just as i’tiqād (belief) with one’s own master. but it is still debated whether Hasan al-Basri had actually met Ali and heard from him let alone acquired the complete ṣūfī ṭarīqat. The Tsaddik Rachel Elior has systematically explained the role of the Tsaddik in Hasidism through four notions. interestingly 26 ‫۔‬ ‘those who believe in the revelation sent down to you [Muhammad]. explains this in his ṣūfī exegesis of the Qur’an: ِ َ ِ َ َ‫وٱ ذ نَ ُ ۡؤ ِ ُ ونَ ِ َ ٓ أُ زل َ إ ِ َ ۡ ك و َ ٓ أ ُ زل َ ِن َ ۡ ِك و ِ ۡ َ ِرة ھُمۡ ُ و ِ ُ ون‬ َ َ َ َ ِ ِ Thanwi. and in what was sent before you.

11 . call for a merging of the sciences of taṣawwuf and fiqh. it could be seen as the two wheels of the same cycle. the process of emanation from nothingness so as to bring abundance into the world. in this notion. Sūfī mystic-jurists of the sub-continent. Elior understands as. Lastly the idea of ‘Linking the divine and the material’. (p. which is believed to reach back to the Prophet himself. (2008). However. But ٰ this is then rebuked by jurists by differentiating the status of taqwā (‫ ) وی‬and ٰ fatwā (‫. at times it is felt that ṣufism begins to influence jurisprudence and vice versa. the tsaddik devotes himself simultaneously to God and to the world. elaborates as. 130) ibid. The Mystical Origins of Hasidism. the tsaddik ‘Embodiment of the divine dialectic’. and this I believe to be the normative practice now in the Muslim world. For instance the madrasa (Islamic Seminary) of Bury is famously known for its ṣufī influence on traditional subjects and methodology. He moves between different states of consciousness so as to confront both divine nothingness and physical being. Elior embodies the dialectical tension between transcendence and sublimation. However. there is a distinction between the function of the ulemā’ and the ṣufī masters. R.29 This notion I believe is quite unique to Hasidism. but as elaborated earlier the difference between both in this context would be the silsila. such as Mufti Taqī ‘Uthmānī. However. similar to that of the tzaddikim and the normative rabbis. as they both need each other for this spiritual movement on a difficult path.) وی‬ Elior further explains the notion of ‘Mutual devotion and responsibility’. so there will certainly be ‘ulemā who are also ṣūfī masters. it is clear that both do merge. The relationship between the tsaddik and his Hasidim is based on an all-embracing nexus of spiritual brotherhood and social responsibility’. 27 The ṣūfī sheikh. a sense of divinely inspired mission and a consciousness of revelation through immediate contact with higher worlds. ibid. 28 This relationship is termed hitkasherut vehitkalelut (affiliation and absorption). is one with the Tsaddik. In an attempt to reunite the divine element in the material world with its source in the 27 28 29 Elior.charisma of divine election.

I. ‘If a man subsequent to Jesus Christ had the miracle to bring people back from the dead.heavenly world.33 In the medieval period there are many examples of Jews. the Muslim was the first to say. poetry.bbc. the Abrahamic faiths come together in spirituality.tomblock. who escapes from the world and resides in his abode of worship.stm 33 34 http://www. Accessed online [10. the Byzantine emperor exclaimed. Recently.05. A.2011]: Lecture at Heythrop College. Sajjad. purposes and above all the belief in One God. which are not or but little practiced among our contemporaries. I dislike the monk. 1. 668) 32 Article ‘Is that cell phone Kosher’ on BBC.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7636021.com/11shalom/article_jewishsufi. ‘right. who were inclined towards ṣufism such as Abraham Maimonides who once said. on account of the iniquities of Israel.php#_edn3 12 . at the same time he attempts to draw down the divine abundance from on high for the benefit of the world’. who kept the material world beneath his feet and even then lived a life of an ascetic’ [referring here to Umar II]." 34 Goiten has written an article ‘A Jewish Addict to Sufism’ focusing on a Jewish Sūfī Baṣīr. A (1991). (p.05.31 It is interesting to note all the similarities in the tales. Accessed online [10. when he circles in the ṣūfī dance. he strives to elevate the mundane. and a belief system that leads back to Prophet Abraham: surely there must be some inclination of both towards the other. Z.co. I am certainly buying that for my child’.30 This idea is similar to Rūmī’s dervish. that have now become the practice of the Sufis of Islam. That monk amazes me.2011]: http://news. when the ‘kosher’ phone came into the market designed for the needs of the Hasidim. with one hand up towards the divine and the other lowered towards the world: it is where he takes from the divine and distributes to the world. Tārīkh-e-Millet Vol.32 And delightful is what Dr Jonathan Gorsky believes. and Shahabi. Further to this point at the death of Umar ibn Abd al-Azīz (Umar II). "Thou art aware of the ways of the ancient saints of Israel. and a letter from his wife to the Rabbi urging the Jewish community to 30 31 ibid. it would have been Umar ibn Abd al-Azīz. that despite differences in theology.

37-49) 36 Message’ Accessed online [10. (1953)." There is no G-d but G-d. So I come from the banī Yitzhak and banī Yakub and not from the banī Ismail.bring him back from the mountain. I'm not a Muslim. it isn't 'Adab [respectful]. [subsequent to being asked what sharī’ah he follows] "Then why not follow the Shariya of Islam?" I say. I said. and that G-d is one. In fact the Sufi is the master of the Hebrew mysticism. "I davened this morning with my own people.35 Similarly Pīr Ināyat Khān has also confirmed the idea of Abraham Maimonides by giving form to an innovative ṭarīqa called the ‘Ināyatī-Maimūnī ṭarīqat’. Ana Mu'min..." "Are you a Muslim?" I say.com/Judaism/articles/144/Inayati+Maimuni+Tariqat+Sufi+Hasidim+Desert 13 . and I'd like to be able to say dhikr with you. and also once stated. The miraculous powers of Moses can also be found in the lives of the Sufis both past and present. ‘Inayati-Maimuni Tariqat of Sufi Hasidim | The Desert Fellowship of the Maimonides’. especially in his study and mastery of the different names of God." 35 Goitein." I bear witness. ‘A Jewish Addict to Sufism: In the Time of the Nagid David II Cited from article. I'm a believer. the divine voice heard by Moses on Mount Sinai in the past is audible to many a Sufi today”." I'm a believer. Rabbi Zalman recalls the incident when asked by the Sūfiīs: "Why don't you go with your own people?" I said.zimbio. D.". "What do you believe in?" And I say. (pp." "What about Ṭarīqat?" So we were talking about the higher levels of the Sufi. "Ash-hadu. The Jewish Quarterly Review. "La illaha ill Allah al-ahad. From an article by Rabbi Zalman he explains how the Sufī master began discussing whether it was kosher for a non-Muslim to do dhikr. "Because it is not fitting. and so I have to follow the Shariya of my parents. "La. I'm with you at one.05.2011]: http://www. “The Sufi is an Israelite. "With that.36 Also in contemporary times Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi too has spent time in the Zāwiya with Sūfī masters in the ‘Holy Land’.' it's not fitting for a son to go in paths different than his father. S.

into the jāhiliyya. I believe that he was a true messenger.2011]: http://www. I initiated by defining the two spiritualities and in the process compared and contrasted the two through diverse tales and poems. they got me.04. "Ask him! Ask him! What about rasuliyat [prophethood]?" What has he got to say about Muhammed? Ah. but his children fell into the dark ages.html 14 . Ana Yahudi. "Ash-hadu.Ismail still had the Tawḥīd . 37 For full article refer to: ‘Reb Zalman Among the Sufis’. into the unknowing. ah! So I say.to the oneness .de/tarchiv/rebzalman. And so. what I believed to be the most significant aspect of Ṣūfism and Ḥasidism. And Muhammed is His messenger. and we start to say dhikr. March 19. "Then how could you say. Excerpt from an audio tape of the Farbrengen with Rabbis Zalman Schachter-Shalomi at the Hillel Foundation. 1994.the knowledge of the oneness of G-d. but the only real difference was the silsila in Sūfism. they had lost their way to the oneness of G-d. Accessed online [18. Abraham the friend of G-d." I bear witness. "La. "I don't want to talk anymore. Ya rahim. So they say to me. So. "La illaha il Allah. I want to say dhikr with this man!" And they brought in the drums. Transcribed by Reuven Goldfarb with the assistance of Eliyahu (Khaled) McLean. I then analysed. how could you say such a thing?" So I said.Then somebody gives a kick on the side and says. Ismail . There was Ismail [Ishmael]." There is no G-d but Allah. I'm a Jew.sufi-tariqah. wa Muhammed rasul Allah. "Then you're a Muslim!" And I say. "Allow me to go back with you in your history.his children ." The Imam said." No. the merciful. the compassionate. the son of Ibrahim ha-lililai. I found that the outlook of both notions very similar.37 It seems that at the end of this essay one possibly could conclude that there is light at the end of the tunnel when relations between Judaism and Islam are approached through spirituality and mysticism. Berkeley. sent out a messenger to the children of Ismail to bring them back to Tawḥīd . Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi is speaking. Ya rahman. I thereafter analysed medieval and the continuation up to the modern period of a merge between both spiritualities within Judaism and Islam. California. the role of the Sheikh and Tsaddik.

M (2006). S. (2009).Maḥmoodia: Bately. (1991).islamrocks. R.2011]: 15 Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction. C.Qalbiyyah Majlis .Bibliography The Qur’an: A New Translation by M. The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization: Portland. Z. Chapter: ‘The Infinity of Meaning embedded in the Sacred Text’. 3rd edition. Nisbat wa Iḥsān aur A’māl . England Brown. USA Elior. 1. J.com/Islamic-Books/IntroScienceTasawwuf. (2003). M (2003). Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World.2011]: http://www. Accessed online [08.Qalbiyyah ( Accessed online [29. Schocken Books: New York. Oneworld Publications: Oxford. A. Majālis-e-Faqīr ( Faqīr: Faisalabad. (2011). Oxford . A. Pakistan [Urdu] ). J. Tales of the Hasidim. USA Brown.e .shtml Buber. University Press: Oxford. C. English ed. F.e . UK Elior. (2008). M. (No date). A. ) by Khalil Ahmed Kazi. UK ( Badāt. An Introduction to the Science of Tasawwuf: A Translation of Nisbat wa Iḥsān aur A’māl . Vol. Maktabatul Badāt. The Mystical Origins of Hasidism. Abdel Haleem Ahmad.e .04.05. R.

Book Corner Show Room: Jehlum.2011]: http://www. Trans. D. Accessed online [08.05. Iqbal.org/Courses/Elior/EliorNave_Mil-Ch2. 1. D. (2008). Sheikh Muhammad Bashir & Sons: Lahore. and Shahabi. India. The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. Rūmī.ngfp. J. Accessed online [18. S. A.http://members. M. translation of ḍarb-e-kalīm) McAuliffe. Kitab Bhavan: New Delhi. urdu tarjumah. Tārīkh-e-Millet ( Islāmiyyāt: Lahore / Karachi. 37-49. Pakistan [Urdu] Sajjad. (No date). Vol. I. 3. pp. tashreeh. M.2011]: http://www.de/tarchiv/rebzalman. M. Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān.04. J. by Sufi Asif Mahmood. Brill: Leiden. Vol.html Transcribed by Reuven Goldfarb with the assistance of Eliyahu (Khaled) McLean. 1 (July 1953). Pakistan ). ‘A Jewish Addict to Sufism: In the Time of the Nagid David II Maimonides’.sufi-tariqah. (2003). Boston ‘Reb Zalman Among the Sufis’.pdf Goitein. (1953).com/ (search under prose works. ḍarb-e-kalīm ( ): The Rod of Moses. New Series. No. Kulliyyat-e-Iqbal: matan. Iqbal. A (1991). 44. The Jewish Quarterly Review. Pakistan [Urdu] Iqbal. (2009). Idara 16 . Z.allamaiqbal. Ḥikāyāt-e-Rūmī ( ). Vol. 10th ed.

Tuḥfa al-‘Ulemā’ ( Idara-e-taleefat-e-Ashrafiyya: Multan.2011]: http://www.05.2011] http://news.bbc. Bayān al-Qur’ān ( ‫ءل ا وک‬ ‫وک اردو ر‬ ٰ ‫ن ا ران: ر ا‬ ‫ت وا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫و‬ ‫ا وک و وه ا‬ ‫م‬ ‫ . A.Thānwī.com/Judaism/articles/144/Inayati+Maimuni+Tariqat+Sufi+Hasi dim+Desert 17 .poetry-chaikhana. (1424H). Pakistan [Urdu] Thānwī.co. A.) ن‬Idārah Tālīfāt e Ashrafiyyah: Multan. [Urdu] http://www.04. Pakistan. A.2011] ‘Inayati-Maimuni Tariqat of Sufi Hasidim | The Desert Fellowship of the Message’ Accessed online [10. A.zimbio.stm Accessed online: [10.com/ Accessed online [27.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7636021.05. (1425H) .