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Sufism

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By Rutaba

Sufism is a mystical Islamic belief and a practice in which Muslims are in search to find the truth of heavenly/divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. It consists of a variety of mystical paths that are designed to make sure the nature of humanity and God and to spread it among those who believe and who seek.

Sufism derives from the Arabic term for a mystic, “sufi”, which is in turn derived from suf, “wool,” plausibly a reference to the woolen garment of early Islamic ascetics The Sufis are also generally known as “the poor,” fuqaraʾ, plural of the Arabic faqir, in Persian darvesh, whence the English words fakir and dervish.


Sufism is less an Islamic sect than a mystical way of approaching the Islamic faith.

In the Islamic history we can see this mystical movement everywhere. It grew out strong and this movement was for the Muslim community to reach the far-spread areas of the world.

In less than a century after the founding of Islam, the earliest form of Sufism arose under the Umayyad Dynasty (661-749). Mystics of this period meditated on the Judgement day passages in the Quran, and were called “those who always weep.”

These early Sufis led a life of strict obedience to Islamic scripture and tradition and were known for their night prayers. Many of them concentrated their efforts upon tawakkul, absolute trust in God, which became a central concept of Sufism.

There were a lot of developments in it, including strict self-control, psychological insight, “interior knowledge,” annihilation of the self, mystical insights about the nature of man and the Prophet, hymns and poetry. This period, from about 800-1100 AD, is referred to as classical Sufism or classical mysticism.

After the annihilation of the self and accompanying ecstatic experience, the mystic enters a “second sobriety” in which he re-enters the world and continues the “journey of God.”

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