Sufism: how did sufism affect Islam and the world ?
Sufism has come to mean a wide range of beliefs that center on the quest for personal enlightenment in the union with God. Sufis are sometimes described as the mystics of Islam, but Sufism fits awkwardly in the categories of religions. Technically Sufism is a denomination of Islam, however there are many Sufis that are not Muslims and there are many Muslims that are reluctant to consider Sufism part of Islam. One of the few concepts that Sufis seem to agree on is that all religions offer a path to salvation or enlightenment and that true God realization, no matter how it is achieved, transcends the limitations and classification of any religion. Basically, a saint in any religion is equal to a saint in any other religion because they are inspired by the same Divine source. Initially the term Sufi referred only to those who had achieved God realization, but it has since come to be applied to anyone who follows that particular spiritual path. The name Sufi comes from “suf,” the Arabic word for wool or “saf,” the Persian word for pure. Sufis and Islam
Sufism began as religious teachers in the Middle East came to learn the Truth of Islam directly from Mohammad. There is no firm historical source for Sufism. Many of the early orders were considered an integrated part of Islam, but as teachings were codified and the elements of Shi’i and Sunni Islam became more distinct, Sufism emerged with an identity. One of the basic ideas of Sufism is to minimize the self or individual identity. Belonging to a particular group with a unique name is contradictory to this effort. It is said, “a Sufi is one who is not,” and with a philosophy that seeks the destruction of self-identity it is thought that Sufi’s received their name from outsiders. Initially the term Sufi referred only to those who had achieved God realization, but it has since come to be applied to anyone who follows that particular...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document