Armenian Van Vaspurakan (UCLA Armenian History and Culture by Richard G. Hovannisian

By Richard G. Hovannisian

The UCLA convention sequence «Historic Armenian towns and Provinces» has been prepared to discover the ancient, political, cultural, non secular, social, and financial legacy of a humans rooted at the Armenian Plateau for 3 millennia. Armenian Van/Vaspurakan is the 1st of the convention court cases to be released, in view of the truth that the world round Lake Van is the cradle of Armenian civilization.

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45 The awliy§" are those who realize in the most perfect way the path of the Prophet’s Companions in its both external and internal aspects. This emphatic orthodox character of the Naqshbandiyya, and its consequent special respect toward the religious scholars, ultimately derive from the same inversion in its mystic path. Seen from this point of view, the shari#a constitutes not only the beginning of the sufi path, when the seeker is required to repent his sins, but also its end. The rapturous state of annihilation of one’s self in God ( fan§"), the goal of the other orders, is considered in the NaqshbandÊ path as a necessary yet dangerous state that must be negated ( fan§" al-fan§") on the way to the state of subsistence in one’s self through God (baq§"), in which he becomes protected from offending the shari#a.

Nevertheless, the Kh§lidÊ branch of the Naqshbandiyya–Mujaddidiyya managed to strike deep roots in Damascus and influence its religious evolution through the nineteenth century, and to this very day. This page intentionally left blank the mystical praxis 29 CHAPTER ONE THE MYSTICAL PRAXIS In reviewing Shaykh Kh§lid’s teachings, Abu-Manneh based himself on the collection of his letters to his deputies and supporters, edited and published by his nephew, As#ad al-‘§Èib, the head of the order in Damascus at the end of the Ottoman period.

Kh§nÊ, Al-Bahja al-Saniyya, p. 96. In his diploma to MuÈammad AmÊn #$bidÊn, Kh§lid added Qur"an exegesis, see ‘§Èib, ibid. the mystical praxis 43 The integration between mysticism and erudition underlies the NaqshbandÊ definition of the sufi saints (awliy§", lit. the friends of God). These are the #ulam§" al-#§milån, who combine the “external sciences” and the hidden wisdom, the sharÊ#a and the ÈaqÊqa, the two wings that the believer must seek in order to ascend to the world of sacredness (#§lam al-quds).

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