Sufi Teachers and Redefining the Traditional Student-Teacher Relationship

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Sufi Teachers and Redefining the Traditional Student-Teacher Relationship

"What does it mean-and more important, what should it mean--to be educated?" (58) A response to Spayd's begs another question. Is education the objective itself or the means to the objective? For some people education is just a degree, a piece of paper framed on the wall. One can say, a person with a diploma has received an education, but it is not certain that the person is educated.

This paper relates to those individuals who use education as a means to reach their objective. For them, education is not a straight line with a definitive start and finish. It is a journey full of crossroads and choices, which require direction from a guide. For a student, the
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The Sufi Order is most prevalent in the Middle East in general but specially in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and India. Sufism is a mystical religion based on fundamentals of Islam promoting the most simple and direct connection between human beings and God. An accomplished member of the Order who has completed his training is called a Dervish. The Dervish traveled across villages, towns and sometimes countries, (usually by foot) spreading the teachings of Sufism. Even today, it is not uncommon to encounter a traveling Dervish when one visits the countries in the middle-east. They spread the message of love and mercy, helping the needy and poor people. The Dervish have no earthly possessions other than the clothes on their back. Their lifestyle is dominated by teaching through story-telling, singing, fortune- telling (using astrological calendars) and healing the sick with herbs and extracts. It is important to realize that there are many sects within Sufism, which reflect its evolution similar to other religions or ways of life. A qualified description of Dervish is provided by Kabir Helminski an author and translator of three books of Sufi poetry and a recognized leader in the Sufi Order.

"A dervish is an apprentice, one who is learning the profession that will provide eternal livelihood. This
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