what Is sufi?

what Is sufi?

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mizta smart
1 year ago
sufi another word is sufism The substance of Sufism is the Truth and the
meaning of Sufism is the selfless
experiencing and actualization of the Truth.
The practice of Sufism is the intention to go
towards the Truth, by means of love and
devotion. This is called the tarigat, the
spiritual path or way towards God. The sufi
is one who is a lover of Truth, who by
means of love and devotion moves towards
the Truth, towards the perfection which all
are truly seeking. As necessitated by love's
jealousy, the sufi is taken away from all
except the Truth.
1 year ago
Sufism is a way of life in which a deeper identity is discovered and lived. This deeper identity, beyond the already known personality, is in harmony with all that exists. This deeper identity, or essential self, has abilities of awareness, action, creativity and love that are far beyond the abilities of the
superficial personality. Eventually it is understood that these abilities belong to a greater life and being which we individualize in our own unique way while never being separate from it.
Sufism is less a doctrine or a belief
system than an experience and way of life. It is a tradition of
enlightenment that carries the
essential truth forward through time. Tradition, however, must be
conceived in a vital and dynamic
sense. Its expression must not remain limited to the religious and cultural forms of the past. The truth of Sufism requires reformulation and fresh expression in every age.
Reformulation does not mean that
Sufism will compromise its challenge to a stubbornly materialistic society. It is and will remain a critic of
“worldliness” by which it is meant
everything that causes us to be
forgetful of the Divine reality. It is and must be a way out of the labyrinth of a secular, commercial culture. Most importantly, however, it is an invitation to meaningfulness and well-
Sufism, as we know it, developed
within the cultural matrix of Islam.
The Islamic revelation presented itself as the expression of the essential
message brought to humanity by the
prophets of all ages. The Qur’an
recognizes the validity of 120,000
prophets or messengers who have
come to awaken us from our selfish
egoism and remind us of our spiritual
nature. The Qur’an confirmed the
validity of past revelations, while
asserting that the original message
was often distorted over the course
of time.
Sufism’s claim to universality is
founded on the broad recognition
that there is only one God, the God of
all people and all true religions. Sufism
understands itself to be the wisdom
realized by the great prophets —
explicitly including Jesus, Moses,
David, Solomon, and Abraham, among
others, and implicitly including other
unnamed enlightened beings of every
1 year ago
a Muslim ascetic and mystic.
Sufism is a mystical form of Islam, a
school of practice that emphasizes the
inward search for God and shuns
materialism. It has produced some of
the world’s most beloved literature,
like the love poems of the 13th
century Iranian jurist Rumi . Its
modern-day adherents cherish
tolerance and pluralism, qualities
that in many religions unsettle
But Sufism, often known as Islamic
mysticism, has come under violent
attack in recent years. On Friday,
militants stormed a Sufi mosque on
the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least
305 people in what officials are
calling the worst terrorist attack in
Egypt’s modern history. The attack
followed several assaults on Sufi
shrines in Pakistan over the past
year carried out by Sunni extremists.
(The vast majority of Sufis are Sunni,
though some are Shiite.)
What is this form of Islamic belief,
and why has it come under assault?
The roots and practices of
Sufism, known as tasawwuf in the
Arabic-speaking world, is a form of
Islamic mysticism that emphasizes
introspection and spiritual closeness
with God.
While it is sometimes misunderstood
as a sect of Islam, it is actually a
broader style of worship that
transcends sects, directing followers’
attention inward. Sufi practice
focuses on the renunciation of
worldly things, purification of the
soul and the mystical contemplation
of God’s nature. Followers try to get
closer to God by seeking spiritual
learning known as tariqa.
Confusion about Sufism is common,
even among Muslims, according to
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, an
American Sufi cleric of Egyptian
descent who preached in New York
City for many years and founded the
Cordoba House, which promotes a
moderate image of Islam in the West.
“It is nothing more than the spiritual
dimension” of Islam, the cleric, who
goes by Imam Feisal, said in a phone
interview. “It is Islam, but we focus
on meditation, on chanting sessions,
which enable the Muslim to have his
or her heart open. The myths people
have about Sufis are analogous to the
myths people have about Muslims.”
For a time, beginning in the 12th
century, Sufism was a mainstay of
the social order for Islamic
civilization, and since that time it has
spread throughout the Muslim world,
and to China, West Africa and the
United States . As Sufism spread, it
adapted elements of local culture and
belief, making it a popular practice.
Alexander D. Knysh , a professor of
Islamic studies at the University of
Michigan and expert in modern
Sufism, describes it as a “very wide,
amorphous movement” practiced
within both the Sunni and Shiite
Sufism has shaped literature and art
for centuries, and is associated with
many of the most resonant pieces of
Islam’s “golden age,” lasting from
roughly the eighth through 13th
centuries, including the poetry of
In modern times, the predominant
view of Sufi Islam is one of “love,
peace, tolerance,” Mr. Knysh
explained, leading to this style of
worship becoming synonymous with
peace-loving Islam.
Why extremists have
targeted Sufis
While some Muslims view Sufis as
quirky, even eccentric, some
fundamentalists and extremists see
Sufism as a threat, and its adherents
as heretics or apostates.
In February, militants aligned with
the Islamic State attacked worshipers
at the tomb of a Sufi philosopher in a
remote part of southern Pakistan,
killing more than 80 people, whom
the militants described as polytheists.
Sufis praying at the tombs of saints
— a practice core to the group —
have also been attacked in India and
the Middle East.
The Islamic State targets Sufis
because it believes that only a
fundamentalist form of Sunni Islam
is valid.
Some fundamentalists see the
reverence for saints, which is
common in Shiite Islam, as a form of
idolatry, because in their view it
shows devotion to something other
than the worship of a singular God.
Some consider Sufis to be apostate,
because saints were not part of the
original practice of Islam at the time
of the Prophet Muhammad, who died
in 632.
“The opponents of Sufism see the
shrines and these living saints as
idols,” Mr. Knysh explained. “Their
existence and their worship violates
the main principle of Islam, which is
the uniqueness of God and the
uniqueness of the object of worship.”
Even though Sunni hard-liners have
long viewed Sufis as well as Shiites as
heretical, terrorist networks like Al
Qaeda and the Islamic State have
debated whether killing them is
The two terrorist groups have clashed
over whether to focus on the “far
enemy,” powerful Western countries
like the United States, or the “near
enemy,” repressive governments in
the Muslim world. Early in the Iraq
war, when the Islamic State’s
predecessor organization targeted
Iraq’s Shiite majority, in the hopes of
promoting sectarian conflict, Al
Qaeda criticized the Iraqi group’s
leader at the time, Abu Musab al-
Zarqawi, for doing so.
When a branch of Al Qaeda captured
northern Mali in 2012, militants used
pickaxes and bulldozers to destroy
the ancient mausoleums of Sufi saints
in Timbuktu. But documents
recovered in northern Mali revealed
that the militants in Mali had acted
without the permission of their
leaders, who wrote to express their
dismay, arguing that the destruction
— while theologically justified — was
unwise because it caused the
population to turn against them.
Though Al Qaeda has also targeted
Sufi sites, the Islamic State has set
itself apart by calling for brutal
attacks against Sufis.
The status of Sufis in
While no group has yet claimed
responsibility for Friday’s attack, it
bore some of the hallmarks of
previous assaults on Coptic
Christians in Egypt. In the fall of
2016, Islamic State’s local affiliate
claimed to have executed a Sufi cleric
who was about 100 years old.
The religious objections of
fundamentalists to the Sufi style of
worship may not be the only factor
behind the attacks on Sufis.
Experts say the amicable ties
between Sufis and the Egyptian
government may also be factor,
giving the attack a political
dimension. Egypt’s president, Abdel
Fattah el-Sisi, who took power after
the military overthrew a
democratically elected Islamist
president, Mohamed Morsi, has
vowed to do a better job at protecting
religious minorities, who were
shunned when Mr. Morsi’s party, the
Muslim Brotherhood, was in power.
By killing Sufis, the militants may be
trying to undermine Mr. Sisi’s
Like its counterparts in several other
Muslim-majority countries, Egypt’s
government supports the Sufis
because it sees them as members of a
moderate, manageable faction who
are unlikely to engage in political
activity, because their priorities are
oriented inwardly.
Sufi sheikhs generally accept the
legitimacy of the state, leading to
tensions with Muslims who oppose
their governments and are willing to
act on their dissatisfaction — with
violence if necessary.
“They think the society is moving in
the wrong direction and Sufis are
aiding and abetting the authorities
on this corrupt path,” Mr. Knysh
said. “In ways, their reasons are very
much political. They say, ‘If Sufis
support this, we will be against
them,’ more or less.”
Imam Feisal said that attacks on Sufi
worshipers, besides being a “major
sin,” are the result of the
politicization of religion in the
region over the past few decades.
Egypt, in particular, he said, is a
place where that politicization has
fueled extremism.
“When religion becomes politicized,”
Imam Feisal said, “it is not good.”
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