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Description copypasta from Wikipedia: Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (died December 8, 1986) was a saintly Tamil-speaking teacher and Sufi mystic from the island of Sri Lanka who first came to the United States on October 11, 1971 and established the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship in Philadelphia. From Philadelphia, with its approximately 1,000 followers, branches of the Fellowship have spread throughout the United States and Canada, as well Australia and the UK. Societies of followers were already in Jaffna and Colombo, Sri Lanka before his arrival in the USA. According to the older Sri Lankan students, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen emerged from the jungles of that country in the early 1940s and met pilgrims who were visiting shrines in the north. Reports of dreams or mystical meetings that preceded a 'physical' meeting by these early students were not uncommon. According to an account from the 1940s, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen had spent time in 'Kataragama', a jungle shrine in the south of the island, and in 'Jailani', a cliff shrine dedicated to 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani of Baghdad. His association with that Shaikh indicates his connection to the Qadiri order of Sufism. Many of his followers who lived around the northern town of Jaffna were Hindus and addressed him as swami or guru. His role was often as healer of both medical and spiritual illnesses, including curing demonic possession. Eventually an ashram was formed in Jaffna, and a farm was started south of that city. After business travelers from the south of the country met Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, they invited him to visit in Columbo, the capital of Sri Lanka. By 1967, the 'Serendib Sufi Study Circle' was formed by these Colombo students who were predominantly Muslims. Earlier in 1955, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen had set the foundations for a 'God's house' or mosque in the town of Mankumban, on the northern coast. This was the result of a spiritual meeting with Mary, the mother of Jesus. After two decades, the building was finished by students from the United States who were visiting the Jaffna ashram. It was officially opened and dedicated on February 17, 1975. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen taught through the use of fables. These reflected the background of the student or listener and included Hindu, Christian, and Muslim religious traditions; he welcomed persons from all traditions and backgrounds.
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