46 Facts About Sufism


Term Sufism was originally introduced into European languages in the 18th century by Orientalist scholars, who viewed it mainly as an intellectual doctrine and literary tradition at variance with what they saw as sterile monotheism of Islam.

FactSnippet No. 449,320

The current consensus is that it emerged in the Hejaz, and that Sufism has existed as a practice of Muslims from the earliest days of Islam, even predating some sectarian divides.

FactSnippet No. 449,321

Practitioners of Sufism hold that in its early stages of development Sufism effectively referred to nothing more than the internalization of Islam.

FactSnippet No. 449,322

Some contend that Sufism developed from people like Bayazid Bastami, who, in his utmost reverence to the sunnah, refused to eat a watermelon because he did not find any proof that Muhammad ever ate it.

FactSnippet No. 449,323

Sufism cites the early shaykhs such as Al-Fudayl ibn 'Iyad, Ibrahim ibn Adham, Ma`ruf al-Karkhi, Sirri Saqti, Junayd of Baghdad, and others of the early teachers, as well as Abdul-Qadir Gilani, Hammad, Abu al-Bayan and others of the later masters— that they do not permit the followers of the Sufi path to depart from the divinely legislated command and prohibition.

FactSnippet No. 449,324

The spread of Sufism has been considered a definitive factor in the spread of Islam, and in the creation of integrally Islamic cultures, especially in Africa and Asia.

FactSnippet No. 449,325

Sufism played a role in creating and propagating the culture of the Ottoman world, and in resisting European imperialism in North Africa and South Asia.

FactSnippet No. 449,326

Between the 13th and 16th centuries, Sufism produced a flourishing intellectual culture throughout the Islamic world, a "Renaissance" whose physical artifacts survive.

FactSnippet No. 449,327

Ideological attacks on Sufism were reinforced by agrarian and educational reforms, as well as new forms of taxation, which were instituted by Westernizing national governments, undermining the economic foundations of Sufi orders.

FactSnippet No. 449,328

Sufism is popular in such African countries as Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Senegal, where it is seen as a mystical expression of Islam.

FactSnippet No. 449,329

Sufism is traditional in Morocco, but has seen a growing revival with the renewal of Sufism under contemporary spiritual teachers such as Hamza al Qadiri al Boutchichi.

FactSnippet No. 449,330

Mbacke suggests that one reason Sufism has taken hold in Senegal is because it can accommodate local beliefs and customs, which tend toward the mystical.

FactSnippet No. 449,331

One of the first to return to Europe as an official representative of a Sufi order, and with the specific purpose to spread Sufism in Western Europe, was the Swedish-born wandering Sufi Ivan Agueli.

FactSnippet No. 449,332

Many Sufi believe that to reach the highest levels of success in Sufism typically requires that the disciple live with and serve the teacher for a long period of time.

FactSnippet No. 449,333

Sufism is believed to have served his first teacher, Sayyid Muhammad Baba As-Samasi, for 20 years, until as-Samasi died.

FactSnippet No. 449,334

Sufism is said to then have served several other teachers for lengthy periods of time.

FactSnippet No. 449,335

Sufism is said to have helped the poorer members of the community for many years, and after this concluded his teacher directed him to care for animals cleaning their wounds, and assisting them.

FactSnippet No. 449,336

Sufism is the leader of created beings, the one "whose name is glorious Ahmad".

FactSnippet No. 449,337

Sufism was a Prophet while Adam was between water and clay, and his elemental structure is the Seal of the Prophets.

FactSnippet No. 449,338

Sufism is the sun of creation, the moon of the celestial spheres, the all-seeing eye.

FactSnippet No. 449,339

Sufism leads the adept, called salik or "wayfarer", in his suluk or "road" through different stations until he reaches his goal, the perfect tawhid, the existential confession that God is One.

FactSnippet No. 449,340

Literature of Sufism emphasizes highly subjective matters that resist outside observation, such as the subtle states of the heart.

FactSnippet No. 449,341

These and other reasons, the relationship between traditional Islamic scholars and Sufism is complex, and a range of scholarly opinion on Sufism in Islam has been the norm.

FactSnippet No. 449,342

Term neo-Sufism was originally coined by Fazlur Rahman and used by other scholars to describe reformist currents among 18th century Sufi orders, whose goal was to remove some of the more ecstatic and pantheistic elements of the Sufi tradition and reassert the importance of Islamic law as the basis for inner spirituality and social activism.

FactSnippet No. 449,343

The traditional scholars of Sufism hold it as absolutely axiomatic that knowledge of God is not a psychological state generated through breath control.

FactSnippet No. 449,344

Sufism is to collect all of his bodily senses in concentration, and to cut himself off from all preoccupation and notions that inflict themselves upon the heart.

FactSnippet No. 449,345

Sufism has contributed significantly to the elaboration of theoretical perspectives in many domains of intellectual endeavor.

FactSnippet No. 449,346

Sufism was given lessons about hadith by Abu Bakr ibn Muzaffar.

FactSnippet No. 449,347

Sufism was given lessons about Tafsir by Abu Muhammad Ja'far, a commentator.

FactSnippet No. 449,348

Sufism spent twenty-five years as a reclusive wanderer in the desert regions of Iraq.

FactSnippet No. 449,349

Sufism joined the teaching staff of the school belonging to his own teacher, Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi, and was popular with students.

FactSnippet No. 449,350

Sufism taught that his followers need not abstain from what Islam has not forbidden, but to be grateful for what God has bestowed upon them, in contrast to the majority of Sufis, who preach to deny oneself and to destroy the ego-self "Order of Patience" (Tariqus-Sabr), Shadhiliyya is formulated to be "Order of Gratitude" (Tariqush-Shukr).

FactSnippet No. 449,351

Sufism was born in a Berber family, in Ain Madhi, present-day Algeria, and died at the age of 78 in Fez.

FactSnippet No. 449,352

Sufism hailed originally from Syria, and was born in Aleppo to a Syed Hussaini family.

FactSnippet No. 449,353

Sufism was found by a group of religious pilgrims in the early 1900s meditating in the jungles of Kataragama in Sri Lanka.

FactSnippet No. 449,354

Sufism himself considered his writings to have been divinely inspired.

FactSnippet No. 449,355

Sufism's order was Junaidia, which links to the golden chain of many Sufi orders.

FactSnippet No. 449,356

Sufism laid the groundwork for sober mysticism in contrast to that of God-intoxicated Sufis like al-Hallaj, Bayazid Bastami and Abusaeid Abolkheir.

FactSnippet No. 449,357

Sufism is still revered by Sufis for his willingness to embrace torture and death rather than recant.

FactSnippet No. 449,358

Sufism's was however released by her master when he awoke one night to see the light of sanctity shining above her head.

FactSnippet No. 449,359

Sufism's is said to have proclaimed, running down the streets of Basra, Iraq:.

FactSnippet No. 449,360

Figures like Rumi have become well known in the United States, where Sufism is perceived as a peaceful and apolitical form of Islam.

FactSnippet No. 449,361

For several reasons, Sufism was generally looked upon as heretical among Muslim scholars.

FactSnippet No. 449,362

Idries Shah states that Sufism is universal in nature, its roots predating the rise of Islam and Christianity.

FactSnippet No. 449,363

Followers of this path, which they called, Hasidism or Sufism (Tasawwuf), practiced spiritual retreats, solitude, fasting and sleep deprivation.

FactSnippet No. 449,364

Sufism has become one of the most widely read poets in the United States, thanks largely to the interpretative translations published by Coleman Barks.

FactSnippet No. 449,365