Many of us have been intrigued and found pleasure in watching the ecstatic dancing of the whirling dervishes of Turkey, or reading poetry by Rumi and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, all from the Sufi tradition. The Spiritual Path of Sufism, the Tariqah, is the study and practice of the mystical, inner, or esoteric dimensions of the religion of Islam. Following a short overview of Islam itself by Patricia “Leigh” Allen, we will begin to explore Sufism. Who are the Sufis and where do they live? What do we know of their history and institutionalization? What do they believe? We will explore their poetry, look at their dancing and modern geometric art, and review their other practices. Most importantly, we will discuss the question: Must one be Muslim to be a Sufi?
Leigh Allen is a member of the St. Pete Lodge and a lifelong seeker of Ancient Wisdom. Her interest in Islam came from her first husband and her children, who are American-Arab Muslims with roots in Benghazi, Libya. She has several friends who are Sufis. Refreshments/Donation