(1)The Turkish Factor
The Turkish factor played an important role in making Sufism and its institutions a ubiquitous phenomenon in Islamic society. Soon after they had been introduced in the early 3rd AH/ 9th CE century as Turkish soldiers in the army of the Abbasid caliphs, the Turkish populace set out to etch its undeletable place and significance on the Muslim scene. In slightly more than a century later, Turkish soldiers started emerging as the de facto rulers of several sections of the Muslim world, especially of the Muslim Middle East. Some of the prominent Turkish, or Turkish influence dominated, Muslim dynasties were the Tulunids in Egypt and Syria (254-293 AH/ 868-905 CE). “The Tulunid dynasty was the earliest manifestation of a political crystallization in the unruly and heretofore inarticulate Turkish element in the heart of the (Abbasid) caliphate. Other and more important Turkish dynasties were soon to follow.” There were also the Ikhshidids (4th AH/ 10th century CE), as a quasi-independent state in Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Makkah and Madinah; Ghaznawids (4th-6th AH/ 10th-12th centuries CE) in Afghanistan, India and Khorosan; the Saljuqs (5th-7th AH/ 11th-13th centuries CE) in Anatolia, parts of the Arabian peninsula, Iran, Iraq and Transoxania; and finally the Ottomans (7th-14th AH/ 13th-20th centuries CE) who ruled most of the Muslim world.
Read more: Main Reasons for the Rise of Sufism and Sufi Institutions (Part Two)
In this chapter, the main reasons which caused and sustained the continuous existence of Sufism and Sufi institutions will be discussed. The chapter is divided into two parts. Firstly, the rise of Sufism and Sufi institutions between spontaneity and planning will be deliberated. That will be followed by expounding the main factors which were most responsible for the proliferation of Sufism and Sufi institutions. Four factors will be dwelled on, namely, the Turkish factor, the Persian factor, the Shi’ah factor, and the ahl al-sunnah wa al-jama’ah factor.Read more: Main Reasons for the Rise of Sufism and Sufi Institutions (Part One)
Converting Temples into Mosques as a Relative and Qualified Trend
In view of the essential nature of Islam, in general, and in view of the essential qualities of Islamic architecture, in particular, reclaiming and converting not only temples but also churches and some other forms of non-Muslim ceremonial edifices, into mosques, or simply sharing them with the local non-Muslim population, was not at all a strange or an abominable thing. That can be explained in the following way. Read more: Converting Hindu Temples into Mosques (Part Two)
In this chapter, some aspects of the historical phenomenon of reclaiming and converting Hindu temples into mosques will be discussed. The underlying reasons for the phenomenon which were not only of expedient socio-economic and political, but also of profound spiritual nature, will be discussed. The chapter is divided into four main sections: (1) The expediency of converting temples into mosques; (2) Muslim tolerance towards conquered peoples; (3) Converting temples into mosques as a relative and qualified trend; (4) Converting temples into mosques and the identity of Islamic architecture. The character of the study: its content, methodology and conclusions, is conceptual, or philosophical, rather than empirical.Read more: Converting Hindu Temples into Mosques (Part One)