Skip to main content

fakir

fakir (fäkēr´, fā´kər), [Arab.,=poverty], in Islam, usually an initiate in a Sufi order. The title fakir is borne with the understanding that poverty is the need to be in relation to God. This term, along with its Persian equivalent, dervish, was extended in Western usage to Indian ascetics and yogis, and incorrectly used generally for itinerant magicians and wonder-workers. Each Sufi order (tariqa) traces its ancestry to a mystic teacher and, beyond him, through a chain of transmission (silsila) to the Prophet Muhammad and ultimately, to God. Sufi orders began to organize in the tumultuous 12th cent. although their histories claim to emanate from the formative period of Islam, with its ecstatic and literary Sufi figures. The oldest attested extant order is probably the Qadiriyya, founded by Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (d. 1166) in Baghdad; it is currently one of the most geographically widespread. Other important orders include the Ahmadiyya (notably in Egypt); Naqshbandiyya (central and S Asia); Nimatullahiyya (Iran); Rifaiyya (Egypt, SW Asia); Shadhiliyya (N Africa, Arabia); Suhrawardiyya Chishtiyya (Asia); and Tijaniyya (Maghreb). A disciple (murid) is typically introduced to the order through an ahd, a covenant binding him to his individual teacher (shaykh,murshid, or pir) and follows an extensive regimen of initiation that might include seclusion, sleep deprivation, and fasting, with possible dispensations from the basic obligations of Islam. The religious service common to all orders is the dhikr, the "remembering" or "invocation" of God. Dhikr services vary in form: some involve heightened religious exaltations, such as the whirling of the Mawlawiyya (Mevlevis), often leading to criticism from scholastic religious leaders. The Sufi orders, by tolerating syncretisms, were instrumental in the dissemination of Islam through trans-Saharan Africa, S Asia, and SE Asia. See Sufism.

See J. S. Trimingham, The Sufi Orders in Islam (1971).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"fakir." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"fakir." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fakir

"fakir." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/fakir

fakir

fa·kir / fəˈki(ə)r; ˈfākər/ (also fa·keer, fa·qir, fa·quir) • n. a Muslim (or, loosely, a Hindu) religious ascetic who lives solely on alms.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"fakir." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"fakir." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/fakir-0

"fakir." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved April 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/fakir-0

fakir

fakir Muslim religious mendicant or ascetic. XVII. — Arab. faḳīr poor, poor man.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"fakir." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"fakir." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/fakir-1

"fakir." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved April 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/fakir-1

fakir

fakirmyalgia, nostalgia •sporangia •florilegia, quadriplegia •Phrygia • Thuringia • loggia • Borgia •apologia, eulogia •Perugia •Czechoslovakia, Slovakia •Saskia •clarkia, souvlakia •rudbeckia •fakir, Wallachia •Ischia •Antalya, espalier, pallia, rallier •shilly-shallyer • Somalia •hotelier, Montpellier, sommelier, St Helier •Australia, azalea, bacchanalia, Castalia, dahlia, echolalia, genitalia, inter alia, Lupercalia, Mahalia, marginalia, paraphernalia, regalia, Saturnalia, Thalia, Westphalia •Amelia, camellia, Celia, Cordelia, Cornelia, Delia, Elia, epithelia, Karelia, Montpelier, Ophelia, psychedelia •bougainvillea, Brasília, cilia, conciliar, familiar, haemophilia (US hemophilia), Hillier, juvenilia, memorabilia, necrophilia, paedophilia (US pedophilia), sedilia •chanticleer •collier, volleyer •cochlea • haulier •Anatolia, magnolia, melancholia, Mongolia •Apulia, dulia, Julia, peculiar •nuclear, sub-nuclear, thermonuclear •buddleia

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"fakir." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"fakir." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/fakir

"fakir." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/fakir