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== Definition of Tariqat ==
A tariqa (Arabic: طريقة‎ Ṭarīqa; pl. طرق; ṭuruq, Persian: tariɢat, Turkish: tarikat; alternate spelling, tariqah meaning "way, path, method") is an Islamic religious order. In Sufism one starts with Islamic law, the exoteric or mundane practice of Islam and then is initiated onto the mystical path of a tariqa. Through spiritual practices and guidance of a tariqa the aspirant seeks ḥaqīqah - ultimate truth.
== How does Tariqat work ==
A tariqa is a school of Sufism. A tariqa has a murshid (guide) who plays the role of leader or spiritual director of the organization. A tariqa is a group of murīdīn (singular murīd), Arabic for desirous, desiring the knowledge of knowing God and loving God (also called a faqīr Arabic: فقير‎, another Arabic word that means poor or needy, usually used as al-Faqīr ilá l-Lāh, "the needy to God's knowledge (الفقير إلى الله)).
Nearly every tariqa is named after its founder and is referred to by a nisba formed from the founder's name. For example, the "Rifai order", named after Sheikh Ahmad ar-Rifai, is called the "Rifaiyyah", the "Qādirī order", named after Shaykh `Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī, is called the "Qadiriyya". Often, ṭuruq are offshoots of another tariqa. For example, the Qadri Al-Muntahi order is an offshoot of the Qadiriyya order founded by Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi, the Jelveti order is an offshoot of the Bayrami order founded by Hacı Bayram-ı Veli who are an offshoot of the zahidiyye founded by Pir Zahid al-Gaylani. The Khalwati order are a particularly splintered order with numerous offshoots such as the Jerrahī, Sunbulī, Nasuhī, Karabashiyya and others, the Tijaniyyah order prevalent in West Africa also has its roots in this ṭarīqa.

Latest revision as of 21:44, 27 August 2012

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