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Thread: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

  1. #41
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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    There is no s in ṣufi.
    Kindly elaborate on this. How is there no s in sufi? All the etymologies that have been proposed here involve the word sufi having developed from an initial s. Are you saying that the word sufi developed from the word ufi?

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    Its more like Shia and Sufi-Sunni Muslim= Persian and Sunni Muslim=Arabic
    I don't understand a word of what you are saying.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    Kindly elaborate on this. How is there no s in sufi? All the etymologies that have been proposed here involve the word sufi having developed from an initial s. Are you saying that the word sufi developed from the word ufi?
    Please read carefully how ṣufi is spelled. Hint: the little dot is *not* decoration.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    I don't understand a word of what you are saying.
    The anti-orthodox and pro-Persian Muslim movement really began all the way back with Salman-i-Parsee and the murder of Omar who is still reverenced in a tomb today. The 6 hadiths of canon were all authored by Persian Muslims. Sufis such as Rumi reverenced Sunnis, but also incorporated Zoroastrian elements into his works. The Safavids concept of the Mahdi the 12 and hidden Imam is a direct borrowing from Zoroastrianism, the Saoyshant. As far as I know this motif does not appear in the Koran. The Safavids hence also partook in this subversion of Islam choosing the Shia religion was a part of it. So what you have is a Zoroastrianized Islam practiced in the Irano-Afghan zone (Noe Roz is another good example of antiorthodox practices), and a clearly orthodox sunni Islam practiced amongst most Arabic speakers.
    Last edited by mojobadshah; 24th July 2013 at 12:00 AM.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    Please read carefully how ṣufi is spelled. Hint: the little dot is *not* decoration.
    OK, maybe there's something I don't know. What is your source for ufi > sufi? I don't see why there would be a debate about it if there is sound linguistic evidence for an Arabic origin of the word.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    OK, maybe there's something I don't know. What is your source for ufi > sufi? I don't see why there would be a debate about it if there is sound linguistic evidence for an Arabic origin of the word.
    There isn't. It's just you who is debating. The two proposed Arabic etymons both start with the same letter as ṣufi; yours doesn't.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    The anti-orthodox and pro-Persian Muslim movement really began all the way back with Salman-i-Parsee and the murder of Omar who is still reverenced in a tomb today. The 6 hadiths of canon were all authored by Persian Muslims. Sufis such as Rumi reverenced Sunnis, but also incorporated Zoroastrian elements into his works. The Safavids concept of the Mahdi the 12 and hidden Imam is a direct borrowing from Zoroastrianism, the Saoyshant. As far as I know this motif does not appear in the Koran. The Safavids hence also partook in this subversion of Islam choosing the Shia religion was a part of it. So what you have is a Zoroastrianized Islam practiced in the Irano-Afghan zone (Noe Roz is another good example of antiorthodox practices), and a clearly orthodox sunni Islam practiced amongst most Arabic speakers.
    It seems like you're asserting that "unorthodox" Shia Islam is a continuation of Zoroastrianism and distinct from "orthodox" Sunni Islam, and that the "unorthodox" Suffis are a continuation of the Spitamids. All of this is very far-fetched without any historical basis for support.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    OK, maybe there's something I don't know. What is your source for ufi > sufi? I don't see why there would be a debate about it if there is sound linguistic evidence for an Arabic origin of the word.
    There is a difference between and s. ṣūfī begins with , which is usually only found in words of Arabic origin.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine9 View Post
    There is a difference between and s. ṣūfī begins with , which is usually only found in words of Arabic origin.
    OK I'm almost convinced that Sufi is an Arabic word, but didn't ṣ develop out of s? How did an ṣufi develop out of ufi? I'd like to see the source for this explanation.
    Last edited by mojobadshah; 24th July 2013 at 2:44 AM.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine9 View Post
    It seems like you're asserting that "unorthodox" Shia Islam is a continuation of Zoroastrianism and distinct from "orthodox" Sunni Islam, and that the "unorthodox" Suffis are a continuation of the Spitamids. All of this is very far-fetched without any historical basis for support.
    Both Shia Islam and Sufism incorporate both direct and indirectly inherited Zoroastrian ideas, there's no doubt about that. I was merely proposing that the reason Sufi is developed from Safid "white" because white represented the forces of light and was the heriditary garb of many priestly castes during those days, and the Spitamids were one of them. Everything about this is historical apart from the connection between Sufi and Safid which is a linguistic question.
    Last edited by mojobadshah; 24th July 2013 at 3:28 AM.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by sotos View Post
    The relation between words meaning "white" and "wise" is not impossible. One may argue that the Gr. root "asp-" (> aspros, white) is anagrammatism of the root "sap-" (wise, to know etc).
    Very interesting. You know my original hypothesis was based on etymological work I had done, but not committed to paper, and I could have sworn the word Spitama was related to the Eng. white and the Gk. sofia and the L. sapient. Spitama has been said to mean "white" but also "light" and if I'm not mistaken Sofia is represented by "light," and I'm pretty sure Gk. Sofia is related to L. sapient. Could Safid and Sofia descend from a common root? There must have been a p > f shift in both forms.
    Last edited by mojobadshah; 24th July 2013 at 3:56 AM.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    The Sufi's are also called the Sophees. What kind of word is Sophee?
    Last edited by mojobadshah; 24th July 2013 at 4:01 AM.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    ...1) the Shia subverted Islam by tracing authority to Islam 2) ... Zoroastrian ideas such as the celebration of Noe Ruz ... 3) the writers of these 6 sunni hadiths were Persian... 4) called Sufi's or holy men who wore white garments.
    --------------
    ... 5) Salman-i-Parsee ... 6) Rumi ... incorporated Zoroastrian elements ... 7) The Safavids concept of the Mahdi ... 8) direct borrowing from Zoroastrianism ... 9) a Zoroastrianized Islam practiced in the Irano-Afghan zone
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    10) How did an ṣufi develop out of ufi?
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    11) ... Shia Islam ... incorporate ... inherited Zoroastrian ideas, there's no doubt about that. ... 12) Everything about this is historical apart from the connection between Sufi and Safid which is a linguistic question
    1) All post-Ali rulers, either Shia or Sunni, claimed a kinship to Prophet to legitimise their authority (e.g., Mu'awiah call himself Uncle of Believers; Abbassid Califate chose their name after Abbas, the uncle of Prophet; even now the Jordan kings emphasize on their "Hashimite" origin which includes Mohammad clan). So how was that only Shia "subverted" Islam?
    2) There's not such a thing in Shia Islam called "Nowruz". Many Shia clerics in Iran strongly oppose Nowruz and other non-Islamic holidays like Sizdah be-Dar and Charshanbeh Suri.
    3) You have presumed without evidence that they were not honest in reporting those Hadiths (just because they were not Arabs?), so they altered Islam.
    Interestingly, you first consider Sunni as "orthodox" then you say Sunni was an "altered" Islam by those Iranians! An then Shia is re-altered version of it.
    4) If almost all Muslim and non-Muslim priests wore white garbs why only Sufis were called "whities"?
    5) All we know about him is mainly from later Persian-based traditions. We don't know if he was Zoroastrian, Mazdakite or else, though interestingly, he's said to have known Hebrew.
    6) Examples of Zoroastrian elements? I hope you don't mean composing about "fire" makes someone Zoroastrian-based.
    7) Safavid concept? Mahdi has been well believed by all Muslims since very early decades of Islam.
    8) Even if we think it is not genuine of Islam, why Zoroastrian? Why not from Jewish messiah who is the descendant of David? Actually, a reason that extremist Sunnis are anti-Shia is that they accuse the Shi'ist view of Mahdi and Apocalypse of being Judeo-Christian.
    9) Only 55% of people in the borders of former Sassanid empire (excl. Persian Gulf Arabs) are Shias.
    10) Where did you find this ufi? I didn't see anyone mention it.
    11) All Islamic schools as well as Quran itself has direct or indirect similarities to Zoroastrianism as well as Judaism and Christianity. Can you tell me any Zoroastrian-like feature in Shi'ism (not just current Shia common believes of some Iranians) that is not present in Sunni school?
    12) In fact, the main problem is there is no or little historical evidence for it. If you had told Mazdakite, Mandaism, Judaic mysticism or Manicheism instead of Zoroastrianism it would actually have made more sense!
    ---------

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    ... but didn't ṣ develop out of s?
    No. And if it did then certainly more than 6000 years ago in a predecessor language to proto-Semitic. Certainly not relevant for our discussion.
    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    How did an ṣufi develop out of ufi? I'd like to see the source for this explanation.
    Who said it did?

    In Semitic etymology you always look for a verbal root and a verbal root is identified by its three-consonant (in rare cases four) skeleton. E.g., Islam, Muslim and Salam as well as Hebrew Shalom all relate to the root s1-l-m (s1 is a sound that developed into s in Arabic and into sh in Hebrew) meaning to be free/safe/healthy/unharmed.

    In ṣufi we have the adjective suffix -i meaning of/from/pertaining to and ṣuf- could be derived from two different roots: ṣ-f-w = to become clear/pure (search for Sad-Fa-Waw here) or ṣ-w-f = to wear wool (search for Sad-Waw-Fa here). This ambiguity arises because the semivowel w can be vocalized to ū or can be lost in derived words. In theory a third root ṣ-f-f, mentioned here, is possible too but that is less likely (you would expect the f to be long but in ṣufi it isn't).

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    The Sufi's are also called the Sophees. What kind of word is Sophee?
    If accented at the last syllable, seems to be transliteration of the Gr. σοφοί (plural of σοφός).
    On the meaning of spitama as light, it seems that may be cognate to the Gr. spinther (spark).
    Let me know if you are aware of the Neo-Platonic influences in Sufi movement ("St. Plato" etc). I could indicate some online sources.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    The Sufi's are also called the Sophees. What kind of word is Sophee?
    By whom and in which language representing which pronunciation?

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by berndf View Post
    By whom and in which language representing which pronunciation?
    I'm not really sure. Its from English books. I did a scan on google for Sophee + Sufi and what I could find was that the Templars were probably Assassins which would make them Sophees connecting them to the Sufis. The Sophees ruled Persia from 1500-1736. There is also mention of the Great Sophie and an implication that Sufi = Salavf. Not sure what Salavf means though.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by sotos View Post
    If accented at the last syllable, seems to be transliteration of the Gr. σοφοί (plural of σοφός).
    On the meaning of spitama as light, it seems that may be cognate to the Gr. spinther (spark).
    Let me know if you are aware of the Neo-Platonic influences in Sufi movement ("St. Plato" etc). I could indicate some online sources.
    I am aware of Neo-Platonic movement in Sufism. If I'm not mistaken that influence in the east began during later Zoroastrian times. The idea of the "mean" was a Greek concept incorporated into Zoroastrianism. I'm also aware that Surwardi was a Neo-Platonist who promoted what he called the secret oriental religion which was probably Zoroastrianism.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    I'm not really sure. Its from English books. I did a scan on google for Sophee + Sufi and what I could find was that the Templars were probably Assassins which would make them Sophees connecting them to the Sufis. The Sophees ruled Persia from 1500-1736. There is also mention of the Great Sophie and an implication that Sufi = Salavf. Not sure what Salavf means though.
    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    I am aware of Neo-Platonic movement in Sufism. If I'm not mistaken that influence in the east began during later Zoroastrian times. The idea of the "mean" was a Greek concept incorporated into Zoroastrianism. I'm also aware that Surwardi was a Neo-Platonist who promoted what he called the secret oriental religion which was probably Zoroastrianism.
    Moderator note: Ok, now all this seems to to have little to no bearing on the etymology of the word ṣufi any more. We should leave it at that.

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    Re: Is Sufi from Arabic Tasawuf or IE. forms?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojobadshah View Post
    Kindly elaborate on this. How is there no s in sufi? All the etymologies that have been proposed here involve the word sufi having developed from an initial s. Are you saying that the word sufi developed from the word ufi?
    Dear Mojobadshah, if you can read Arabic letters then it is clear that س and ص are different letters-and in case of Arabic-different sounds. Here س is represented by "s" and ص by "ṣ" - so as you can see there is no "s" in ṣufi". I myself was given to speculate that the word "Sufi" has in fact something to do with Greek "sophia". But it turned out to be incorrect. Because evidently Arabs transliterated the aforesaid Greek word as "سوف" not "صوف" (as in فلسفه or سوفسطی); while Sufi is in all cases, to my knowledge, written as صوفی in Arabic-a fact which almost precludes any possibility of kinship with Greek "sophia". Arabic Sufi is most likely derived from "صوف" meaning "wool". I think it was Attar, if I am not mistaken, who first records the speculation of Sufi being connected with Greek "sophia". I believe it had esoteric purposes rather than reflecting the true etymology.
    Quaere Verum

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