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Full text of "The Dabistan"

220

CHAPTER XII.

OF THE RELIGION OF THE SUFIAHS, ' CONTAINED IN

THREE SECTIONS.

SECTION I.—Some of their tenets.

SECTION IL—The open interpretation of their open confessions.

SECTION III.—Some individuals among them.

SECTION I.—OF SOME OF THEIR TENETS.

These sectaries, like other philosophers, always
were, and are, scattered among all nations of the

1 Several derivations are given to the word Sufi; it may be here suf-
ficient to adduce the three most specious of them. Some derive the
name from the verb IsLs ^ Safar, " he was sincere, pure;" this deriva-
tion is claimed by these sectaries themselves, who frequently call them-
selves LyLo!, Asfid, " pure," as may be seen in Jami's work, Tohfat

ol ebrar, " a present offered to the pious:" and in Gulshenraz (work
quoted). To this etymology is objected, that a substantive derived from
the said verb should be ^JLo 9 and not c^^>. Others deduce it with
grammatical strictness from x__t^o suf, " wool," and sufi signifies

therefore " wool-dressed." But the fact is, that not all wool-dressed per-
sons are Sufis, and not all Sufis are wool-dressed: a Sufi may wear a Dur-
vish's patched coat, or satin, as it was said by a true Sufi. If, of the two
etymologies quoted, the first does not answer the grammatical construc-
tion, the second does not render the meaning to be expressed. The latter
appears to me so much more important, that I am disposed to pass over
an anomalous construction, which in other names is not without nu-
merous examples. Nor would I be averse to derive the word, with other
etymologists, from the Greek <ro<po?, " wise," or caye?, "pure;" not-
withstanding the general use of representing in words of Greek deriva-
tion the sigma, 2; by a sin, ,^ and not by a sad, -^? if I did not