Daily Topic for December 05, 2010
Desiring an emotional religious experience is certainly not unique to Sufis in Egypt. While we understand that our “experience” with Christ does not form the basis of the truth of Christ, our relationship to Him is not limited to mere intellectual teachings and following of the Law. It is for this reason Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit into the world, that mankind might experientially know the conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment.
Pray that spiritually hungry Sufis will find satisfaction in experiencing Christ as Lord.
Saleh sat on the ground looking up into the face of his shaykh, or Sufi mystic leader. As a young, educated business professional in Egypt, Saleh felt that emotion and mystery were missing from the rigid practices of the Sunni Islam he experienced. He found his desired religious experience in Sufism, a mystic version of Islam. Like many who become devotees of Sufism, it first started with, of all things, a whirling dervish dance performed at a belly dancing show in an Egyptian nightclub. Initially unaware of the religious ceremony behind this dance, he was taken with the beauty of the performance, only later viewing the dance as a type of meditation in order to bring one closer to God.
Egypt has the largest number of Sufis of any Muslim country, and Sufism probably originated in ancient Egyptian spiritual practices. Other countries such as Persia (now called Iran) copied a form of Sufism, and traditionally, they have been given credit for founding Sufism. At least one author has taken issue with the idea of Sufism originating in Islam. He calls Islamic mysticism an “oxymoron” (see http://www.egypt-tehuti.org/articles/sufism.html). Though it is unorthodox, Sufism is popular in many parts of the Muslim world, and it shows no sign of going away.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that the Holy Spirit will soon draw many Egyptians practicing Sufism to Jesus. Pray that Christ’s followers in Egypt will make an all out attempt to show the Sufis the ways of Christ.