|Doctrines|| ||As a tariqa, the
Badawiyyah lacks any distinct doctrines. It has produced no major teachers
or writers; instead it is a popular cult whose conduct has always been
subject to the censure of the Ulama. |
|History|| ||The Badawiyyah was founded
in the thirteenth century in Egypt by Ahmad al-Badawi (1199-1276). As a
young man al-Badawi distinguished himself from his contemporaries through
his devotion and spirituality. In 1236 he had a vision which 'summoned'
him to visit the tombs of various sufis in Iraq. After returning to Egypt
he gathered a group of disciples in Tanta and established a reputation for
miracles, mysticism and saintly conduct. On one occasion he stood
motionless on the roof of a house staring at the sun until his eyes went
red and sore, taking on the colour of glowing coals. On other occasions
he would maintain a prolonged silence or indulged in continuous screaming.
Once he went without food or drink for forty days. In addition to his
mystical insights, al-Badawi distinguished himself through stirring up
resistance against the Christian crusaders who were attacking Egypt in the
thirteenth century. |
Following the death of the founder the order spread beyond Egypt into Tunisia, Syria, and Turkey. By the eighteenth century it had extended as far as the Persian Gulf and India.
The cult continues to the present day with Tanta as its centre. Its high point in the year is a week long festival which attracts thousands of visitors. Government officials also attend this gathering. Throughout Egypt prayers are addressed to al- Badawi and feasts are celebrated in his honour in Tanta, Cairo and various villages throughout Egypt. Educated Muslims and leading scholars tend to dismiss the festival as an example of popular superstition.
|Symbols|| ||The Badawiyyah wear a red
patched robe (known as a khirka). They are distinguished through the
wearing of a red turban. |
|Adherents|| ||There are no figures
which identify the size of the order. The followers of Ahmad al-Badawi
are also called Amadiyyah and are found throughout and beyond Egypt. |
| ||Tanta in Egypt.|