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« A Self-Reflexive Moment | Main | VOA on American Muslims »

Oct 31, 2004

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Ben the Orientalist!

Hi ;)

I have to take issue with your description of the Qalandar sect as 'itinerant sufis'. Although the Qalandar tradition did owe much to early Sufiism it is a rather misleading description.

Whilst the Sufi seeks union with god through a rejection of the temporal world, the Qalandar sought unity with god by being rejected by the temporal world. It is quite a major distinction.

The Qalandar also drank alchohol and generaly rejected all aspects of conservative medieval Islamic cultural taboos.

The qalandar were viewed as the height of medieval Middle Eastern Herasy.

To equate them as simply wandering Sufis does not do their deeply complex, largely unknown and truly fascinating ideology justice.

They are indeed a fascinating group who I would like to know far more about.

The most notable qalander being Rumi a former Qadi who rejected his conservative roots and traveled with his Qalandar companion from Iran to Syria.

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