Sufism is the mystic path of Islam. Someone who practices Sufism is called a Sufi, a Dervish, Wali or a Fakir. It could be a Muslim who seeks direct experience of Allah.
In Sufism there exist many different orders (tarikas), that were founded from the 12th and 13th centuries until today, mostly practiced in Iran.
The underlying theme of Sufism is that an individual can achieve God consciousness during his life on Earth. The way is to first destroy the difference or the duality that exists between God and him by self destruction of the self or the ego. This is known as fanaa. Besides various Sufi prayers (which are different for different Sufi orders), one should make it a part of life to remain humble, considerate and indulge only in acts which help one in his quest to control his desires.
After fanaa is achieved, the individual is resurrected in the mould of God (this is called baqaa). This is the state where he has achieved the divine love of God. (In a certain sense he has achieved God now.) He should now try to keep increasing this closeness throughout his lifetime.
Sufi practices are usually defined within the tenets of Islam, (although some orders include singing and dancing in the love of God, something some Muslims frown on.) Hence the practices of sufism are best suited for Muslims only. However the underlying message and aim of the quest for the love of God is true for all humanity. For a non-Muslim the most important ideas in Sufism are love for fellow human beings (which reflects one’s love of God) and living ones life in such a way where all actions are against the self. This automatically starts him on the path of fanaa.
There are some Muslim schools of thought who oppose Sufism because they feel it obliterates the difference between God and man and bypasses the common method of salvation. Also there are non islamic versions of Sufism too (Universal Sufism).
Last updated: September 2, 2014 at 10:13 am
Back to Islam
Back to Worldreligions
Back to Home