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(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 SufismSufism
, an umbrella term for the ascetic and mystical movements within Islam. While Sufism is said to have incorporated elements of Christian monasticism, gnosticism, and Indian mysticism, its origins are traced to forms of devotion and groups of penitents (zuhhad
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See J. S. Trimingham, The Sufi Orders in Islam (1971).



(1) A Muslim mendicant dervish.

(2) In India, in addition to the word’s basic meaning, a servant in an agricultural commune who performs Muslim rituals associated with the agricultural cycle.

(3) In certain contexts, a magician, animal trainer, mindreader, or soothsayer; it is in this sense that the word became common in Europe.

(4) In the circus and on the variety stage, one who demonstrates his body’s insensitivity to physical pain—achieved through prolonged training—or performs acts of prestidigitation.


Vadimov, A. A., and M. A. Trivas. Ot magov drevnosti do illiuzio-nistov nashikh dnei. Moscow, 1966.


, faqir, fakeer
1. a Muslim ascetic who rejects wordly possessions
2. a Hindu ascetic mendicant or holy man
References in periodicals archive ?
We cannot forget him and his services which would be remembered for years, he further said while speaking on his life and the days spent with Faqeer.
On it Faqeer Mohammad got infuriated and opened fire with his 32 bore pistol on Mohammad Akram and also tried to cut his throat with axe.
It is worth mentioning that commander Faqeer was a strong supporter of the defunct LI ,although ,couple of weeks before, he sided ways with Mangla Bagh led LI and surrendered to forces along with his colleagues, sources said.
Speakers who included District Officer Social Welfare Department Naseer Hussain Shah, Murtaza Ghanghro, Sarah Sahar, Sanam Faqeer, Afshan of the Nari Foundation, Afshan of the Aurat Foundation and others briefed the audience about the hardships the homebased workers were facing in the absence of a law on their rights.
Earlier, key commanders of the outlawed militant group LashkariIslam (LI), Hafi Faqeer and Malam Khan, had surrendered to the security forces along with more than 80 of their men.
The arrested Khateebs were Maulvi Ghulam Mohammad resident of Jagal Khateeb of Noor Mohallah sector 1, Maulvi Ghumal Geelani Khateeb Jaia Mosque Hanfia sector no 3, Qari Abdul Basit Khateeb Jamia mosque Dhinda, Maulana Faqeer Ahmed Khateeb Bravli qazin mosque and Maulvi Abdullah Khateeb Jamia Mosque AhleHadees.
According to rescue sources, a man was killed when unknown gunmen opened fire in Faqeer Colony area of Orangi Town while another was injured in North Nazimabad who was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for treatment.
LAKKI MARWAT -- A football team of Manzar Faqeer village won the district level football tournament on Sunday.
Exemployee of Pakistan Air Force Nawazish Ali son of Mohammad Ali of Mohallah Jattala Tala Gang Chakwal and Mohammad Mushtaq son of Imran Ahmad of PhaseII Sblock Faqeer Abad Karachi were awarded death penalty for their involvement in assassination attack on General (Retired) Pervez Musharraf and detained at Central Jail Faisalabad from where they were shifted to District Jail Faisalabad.
On the other hand, the police raided the hideout of Qari Ikram, the alleged mastermind of the attack on PTI's leader Faqeer Jamshed, early Sunday.
The other office bearers including Altaf Khan, Yaqoob Afridi, Amjad Ali, Momin Khan, Rizwan Javed, Yasir Khiyam, Faqeer Hussain, Zahidullah Shah and Sarfaraz Khan have also been elected as unopposed Sr.
PHP recovered 79 litters liquor from Javed, Rizwan, Irfan, Aslam, Saleem, Faqeer, Shahbaz, Ibrar, Bilal, Afzal , Munir, Ijaz, Aftab Zubair, Abdul Rahman and Maqsood.