Middle Eastern Dervish Group
Rifai Dervishes - a Dervish order founded by Shaykh Sayyid Ahmad ar-Rifai (1119-1182). Traditional Dervish order found with a marked prescence in Syria, Egypt, Kosovo and Albania. The Rifai have a notable tendency to blend worship stylesand ideas with those of other orders who predominate in the local area. They sometimes perform tricks such as sticking knives into their bodies and some have extraordinary abilities to command animals. Dervish or Darvesh in Persian usually refers to a person who is a seeker of the truth i.e. universal truth'. Within the Islamic tradition such people are often known as Sufis, Sufi, people of the way or mystics and they come from every strata of society; here monetary considerations are inapplicable since the situation is that of a deep personal inner spiritual longing. There are in existence a number Sufi Orders many of which bear the name of a great saint and within these orders various practices have continued over the centuries in order to assist generations of seekers whose desire is to be brought to reality itself. It is said that the number of ways to reality/truth exceeds the number of grains of sand on the beach. It may be noted that this infinite number of ways to truth can even start at a point beyond religion, ultimately the truth is an univeral quality."
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