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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 486 pages of information about Observations on the Mussulmauns of India.

[2] The term sufi, derived from suf, ‘wool’, in allusion to
    the garments worn by them, was applied in the second century of Islam
    to men or women who adopted the ascetic or quietistic way of life.  See
    Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, 608 ff.:  D.B.  Macdonald, The
    Development of Muslim Theology
, 1903:  E.G.  Browne, A Year Amongst
    the Persians
, 1893.

[3] If a Sufi becomes, by devotion, attracted to God, he is called
    Salik-i-majzub, ‘an attracted devotee’:  if he practises
    complete devotion, but is not influenced by the special attraction of
    God, he is called Salik, ‘a devotee’ (Hughes, Dictionary of
    Islam
, 612:  Jaffur Shurreef, Qanoon-e-Islam, 197).

[4] See p. 255.

[5] See p. 255.

[6] Gulistan.

LETTER XXIV

The Soofies continued.—­Eloy Bauxh.—­Assembly of Saalik Soofies.—­Singular exhibition of their zeal.—­Mystery of Soofeism.—­The terms Soofie and Durweish explained.—­Anecdote of Shah Sherif.—­Shah Jee and the Paltaan.—­Dialogue on death between Shah Jee and his wife.—­Exemplary life of his grandson.—­Anecdote of a Mussulmaun lady.—­Reflections on modern Hindoos.—­Anecdotes of Shah ood Dowlah and Meer Nizaam...Page 348

My last Letter introduced the Soofies to your notice, the present shall convey a further account of some of these remarkable characters who have obtained so great celebrity among the Mussulmauns of India, as to form the subjects of daily conversation.  I have heard some rigid Mussulmauns declare they discredit the mysterious knowledge a Soofie is said to possess, yet the same persons confess themselves staggered by the singular circumstances attending the practice of Soofies living in their vicinity, which they have either witnessed or heard related by men whose veracity they cannot doubt; amongst the number I may quote an intimate acquaintance of my husband’s, a very venerable Syaad of Lucknow, who relates an anecdote of Saalik Soofies, which I will here introduce.

’Meer Eloy Bauxh,[1] a Mussulmaun of distinguished piety, who has devoted a long life to the service of God, and in doing good to his fellow-men, tells me, that being curious to witness the effect of an assembly of Saalik Soofies, he went with a party of friends, all equally disposed with himself to be amused by the eccentricities of the Soofies, whose practice they ridiculed as at least absurd,—­to speak in no harsher terms of their pretended supernatural gifts.

’This assembly consisted of more than a hundred persons, who by agreement met at a large hall in the city of Lucknow, for the purpose of “remembering the period of absence”, as they term the death of a highly revered Soofie of their particular class.  The room being large, and free admittance allowed to all persons choosing to attend the assembly, Meer Eloy Bauxh and his party entered, and seated themselves in a convenient place for the more strict scrutiny of the passing-scene.

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