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Visionaries of SilenceThe Reformist Sufi Order of the Demirdashiya al-Khalwatiya in Cairo$
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Earle H. Waugh

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9789774160899

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774160899.001.0001

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The Khalwatiya and Social and Political Institutions

The Khalwatiya and Social and Political Institutions

(p.40) 2 The Khalwatiya and Social and Political Institutions
Visionaries of Silence

Earle H. Waugh

American University in Cairo Press

The Khalwatiya first came to Egypt on the authority of the Mamluk amirs and their power. Without their connections to the authorities, it is doubtful that they could have made such an impact so quickly. The relationship between shaikh and central government was not always so smooth, and zawiya fortunes have always been subject to various degrees of government manipulation. The worst of the atrocities occurred not against the soldiers and the other members of the military establishment, but against ordinary people and their livelihoods. Fields of wheat were either burned or harvests stolen, and livestock killed and eaten indiscriminately. There is also some indication that the shaikh gave private consultations, during which he would propose the use of spiritual retreats or the application of talismans to help cope with personal problems.

Keywords:   amirs, shaikh, manipulation, atrocities, livestock

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