Significant People and Ideas- Sufism
explain the contribution to the development and expression of Islam of Sufism analyse the impact of this school of thought on Islam
Sufism is the inner, esoteric dimension of Islam, through which adherents are able to reach a deeper level of spiritual development extending past the exoteric practice of Islam, allowing the individual to purify themselves in order to become one with the divine. Sufism developed in the 10th century as a reactionary, anti-intellectual movement against the corruption present within the Islamic Orthodoxy and disparity between the classes at the time. It has also acted as a revivalist reform movement within Islam, reinforcing the focus on the ultimate goals of Islam, inner unity and closeness to God. Sufism has led to the growth of Islam and development of a more expressive, value based tradition
Revitalizing/reform movement- return to what’s important- the path towards self betterment (annihilation of ego/bad traits) and unity with God (fana, tawhid) The Sufis have acted within Islam as a revivalist reform movement, causing the shift in focus back to the important goal of inner unity and closeness to God. Integration of society/ummah- transcendence of ethnic boundaries, based on the definition of unity that transcends all multiplicity- base belief of transcendent love and unity regardless of ethnic boundaries and other differences. Accessible esotericism- anti-intellectual, accessible not only to the elite/educated. relevant at the time of development due to corruption within Islamic elite, separation between educated class’s access to esoteric/advanced spiritual education/practice and the less/uneducated majority Sufism is an accesibly path to inner purity and oneness with God via esoteric knowledge and committed practice. The path of the Sufis is accessible for anyone devoted to the divine law of shari’ah and the base elements of Islamic practice and...
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