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Founded in 2006 by Shaykh Muḥammad Fawzī al-Karkarī as a new branch of the Shādhiliyya, the Karkariyya have grown as an international Sufi order that is distinguished by their multi-colored patchwork robes called the muraqqaʿa and their publication of video testimonials describing experience during spiritual retreats (khalwa). This article examines these practices using ethnographic and textual sources to demonstrate how they are situated within a curriculum of ethical education (minhāj al-tarbiya) aimed at the cultivation of virtuous piety (iḥsān). I show that this ethical education is integral to a program of learning to see (tanwīr) that culminates in visionary experiences (mushāhadāt) and analyze the conceptual dimensions of those visions. In demonstrating the link between tarbiya and tanwīr in the minhāj of the Karkariyya I aim to consider Sufism as a practical ethical tradition linked to philosophical ethics (akhlāq) and proper conduct and comportment (adab).

In: Journal of Sufi Studies