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DARWISH

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

"The word darwish or darvesh (pl. darawish) is a Persian word, being composed of two syllables, dar and vish. Various meanings are assigned to the two syllables, taken together. Some say it means the sill of the door; others, those who beg from door to door; while there are many who assert that darwish signifies in thought or deep meditation, using the dar as a preposition in, and not as a substantive, and the vish as thought. Hence, darwish means one who remains in thought or reflection. The word darwish was borrowed into Arabic or represented by its equivalent faqir (pl. fuqra).The term darwish was used more especially for the classical Sufis of the Arab Near East, Iran, Central Asia and Turkey, while the word fakir was used everywhere in Arab regions and elsewhere. The Turkish proverb reads: "The darwish is not known by the mantle which he wears" (darvishlik khirqa dan billi dagil dir).

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