A screen shot for Sufiordersgate in Arabic (Photo:Ahram Online)
The first digital platform of the general sheikhdom of the Sufi orders was launched on Thursday in a move that the religious groups hope will spread their message in the digital age.
“The Sufi orders’ website is a great transformation for the official Sufi foundation as it uses digital technology to convey its message and highlight the meaning of benevolence in a modern way,” said Abdel Hadi El-Qassabi, head of the sheikhdom, in statement published on the homepage of the website.
“The idea first came to Sheik Zein El-Radwan, head of the Radwani Sufi order, and Sheikh El-Qasabbi agreed to it,” explained Mohamed Elwan El-Radwani, secretary-general of the Radwani Sufi order and director of the new website.
“The platform represents all 75 Sufi orders in Egypt, addressing 18 million Sufis,” El-Radwani told Ahram Online, explaining that each Sufi order will have their own section in which they reveal their methods, biographies of their sheikhs, their praises and their chants to an online audience.
“We are planning to collaborate and connect with Sufi orders worldwide, through our English, French, Spanish and Chinese translations of the platform,” he added.
The website also showcases news, Sufi events, and will feature some books from an Islamic rare book collection.
It also has a section on the charity services the orders provide.
Egypt has the most number of tombs of the Ahl-Al Beit (Prophet Mohammed’s family members), considered spiritually significant to Sufi orders, and Sufis have long been part of the Egyptian community.
Known for their piety and spirituality, the Islamic religious orders take part in moulid celebrations and in pious praising and chanting.