Sarde After Dinner Podcast

BILAL ORFALI: Unwrapping the mysteries of Sufism | Sarde (after iftar) Podcast #71

April 3, 2022

[0:00] Why is Sufism a debatable topic worldwide?

[7:36] The etymological origins of the name “Sufism”

[9:49] The historical beginnings of Sufism

[10:55] The existential questions that define Islamic branches

[14:24] The story of the Prophet Mohammad and the angel Gabriel

[16:32] Various Sufi practices throughout history

[21:59] All about the Dervishes (Sufi whirlers) and the Mevlevi way

[25:16] Mystical and Sufist practices in other religions

[28:56] Debunking the misconceptions of Sufism brought on by the internet

[31:26] The controversial miracles in Sufism and criticisms from other religions

[35:43] The danger Sufis represented to the Turkish system

[38:21] Sufis don’t worship out of fear of Hell nor desire for Heaven

[42:37] Defining the gender of God

[43:57] Yawm Al Mithak: The moment of creation

[49:43] Finding beauty in the art of math and in Arabic literature

[53:06] The similarities between the world’s religions

[57:02] The enemies of Sufism over time

[1:03:39] Al-Hallaj, the Absolute Truth and the secret he divulged

[1:07:11] Teaching life values in a college course through Sufism

[1:22:05] The concept of marriage & love in Sufism

[1:30:45] Ambiguity in Sufism No Halal (right) Nor Haram (wrong)

[1:32:09] What unites/separates Sufism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism?

[1:39:05] Can no religious people be considered “Good”?

[1:51:42] The negative side of Sufism

[1:55:23] The negative connotation of Hope in Sufism and the myth of The Simurgh

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بلال الأرفه لي هو أكاديمي متخصص بالأدب العربي والدراسات القرآنية والتصوّف. يشغر منصب كرسي الشيخ زايد للدراسات العربية والإسلامية في الجامعة الأمريكية في بيروت. بدأ اهتمامه بالروحانيات والتصوّف أثناء دراسته للحصول على الدكتوراة في جامعة يال، حاليا يعلم صفًا عن هذا الموضوع في الجامعة الأمريكية في بيروت.

تحدثنا في هذه السردة عن:

- لماذا اشتهر جلال الدين الرومي؟

- كيف يمارس التصوّف حول العالم؟

- المفاهيم الخاطئة الشائعة عن المعتقدات الصوفيّة من وجهات نظر مختلفة.

-  ما هي العناصر المشتركة والمختلفة بين التصوّف، الإسلام، المسيحيّة واليهوديّة؟

- التفسيرات المختلفة للتصوّف بين البلدان وعبر التاريخ

- الباطنية الروحانية والفنون في التصوّف (الشعر، الرقص، الفن، الغناء)


Bilal Orfali is a scholar specializing in Arabic literature, Quranic studies and Sufism, who currently serves as the Sheikh Zayed Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies at The American University of Beirut (AUB). During his PhD at Yale he began looking into spirituality and Sufism to satisfy his curiosity, and now teaches an in-demand class about it at AUB.

In this Sarde, we spoke about the following:

- Why is Rumi so damn popular?

- How is Sufism defined and practiced around the world?

- Common myths and misconceptions about Sufist beliefs from multiple perspectives

- What unites/separates Sufism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism?

- Different interpretations of Sufism across countries and cultures throughout history

- Mysticism and the arts in Sufism (poetry, dance, art, singing)


Sarde (noun), [Sa-r-de]: A colloquial term used in the Middle East to describe the act of letting go & kicking off a stream of consciousness and a rambling narrative.


The Sarde After Dinner Podcast is a free space based out of the heart of Beirut, Lebanon, where Médéa Azouri & Mouin Jaber discuss a wide range of topics (usually) held behind closed doors in an open and simple way with guests from all walks of life.



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 تابعوا سردة عبر يوتيوب، أنغامي، سبوتيفاي، أبل بودكاست وجوجل بودكاست


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