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Sufi Tariqah in Contemporary Muslim World / Naqshbandiayh Sheikhs and Ideas in Western Sumatra

The problem of studying the syncretistic religious traditions deals with transferring and preserving of ancient knowledge in Islamic mystical institutions, Sufi tariqahs disseminated over different regions of Asia. During the process of Islamization the tariqah penetrated to the furthest corners of Islamdom in South and Southeast Asia being a social instrument, a channel of transferring of spiritual knowledge and a bearer of cultural Islamic code. In Indonesia today one can find variety of features from old-fashioned Islam of surau (institutions of traditional religious learning in Western Sumatra) to post-modern doctrines of Naqshbandiyah sheikhs. The research is not only an attempt to depict Sumatra as a cross - cultural place of various religious belonged to Persian, Hellenistic Egypt, Arabic and Indian civilizations in the form of Sufi ideas and rare spiritual practices but to distinguish the peculiarities of ‘local Islam’. Oral and writing mystical traditions coexist in this region till nowadays as the tradition of writing religious texts in Arabic and Jawi (Arabic Malay) was developed during the process of Islamization since XIII-XV centuries. This research introduces original sources of Sumatran Naqshbandiyah and Shattariyah Sufi writers, in particular, the texts on traditional astrology and medicine (thibb).