Initiation

The ceremony of the initiation can be different in each Sufi order. It may start with a short speech of the shaykh to his mureed-to-be wherein some of the qualities that he or she should emulate, are mentioned. Thereafter the newcomer has to say two cycles of prayer.

Then he or she has to sit in front of the shaykh with his/her right hand in the hand of the shaykh and then recites some verses of the Qur’an like:

– sura Fatiha (Qur’an 1:1-7)
– sura Jonas (Qur’an 10:1-109)
– The fist 10 verses of sura The Victory (Qur’an 48:1-10)
– The 56th verse of sura The Confederates (Qur’an 33:56)
– The final 3 verses of sura The Rangers (Qur’an 37:180-182).

Then the shaykh recites the istighfar, a prayer for forgiveness of the future mureed and gives the advice to keep the spiritual guide always in mind, both in this world as well as in the hereafter.

Having arrived at this point in the initiation ceremony the shaykh says: ‘You should know that the prophet Muhammad (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) is our prophet and that shaykh (the name of the founder of the order is given) is our shaykh. You should realise that the oath of loyalty implies to be loyal to Allah. This hand is the hand of shaykh (the name of the founder of the order is given)’.

Now the silsila of the order may be described, that is, the shaykh mentions the chain of initiations starting with the prophet and after mentioning each name in this chain he asks for their help. He continues thus: ‘I am the representative of shaykh (the name of the founder is given). I have accepted his hand and this hand is his. And now I accept you with this hand as his mureed’.

The disciple then replies: ‘I accept you as well’. The shaykh reacts thus: ‘Now you are accepted in the …. order of Sufis’.

A little later the shaykh performs a certain dhikr and his mureed recites the same three times. He asks his mureed to recite the first sura of the Qur’an and to recite some words of blessing on the prophet. After once again having prayed for the forgiveness of the sins of the new mureed he gives some water to him or her. In a private talk the mureed receives instructions as to which spiritual practices should be performed. The shaykh may give a new name to the mureed as a new life has started for the disciple. This marks the end of the initiation ceremony in a Sufi order.

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