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SUFISM or _TAṣAWWUF_ ( Arabic
Arabic
: التصوف‎‎), which is often defined as " Islamic
Islamic
mysticism ," "the inward dimension of Islam
Islam
," or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam
Islam
," is a mystical trend in Islam
Islam
"characterized ... values, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions" which began very early on in Islamic
Islamic
history and which represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam. Although the overwhelming majority of Sufis, both pre-modern and modern, have been adherents of Sunni Islam
Islam
, there nevertheless also developed certain strands of Sufi
Sufi
practice within the ambit of Shia Islam
Islam
during the late medieval period.

Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis" (/ˈsuːfi/ ; صُوفِيّ ; _ṣūfī_), an Arabic
Arabic
word which is believed by historians to have originally indicated the "woollen clothes (_ṣūf_) or rough garb" worn by the early Islamic
Islamic
mystics. Historically, they have often belonged to different _ṭuruq _ or "orders"—congregations formed around a grand master referred to as a _mawla _ who traces a direct chain of teachers back to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad
Muhammad
. These orders meet for spiritual sessions (_majalis_) in meeting places known as _zawiyas _, _khanqahs _, or _tekke_. They strive for _ihsan _ (perfection of worship) as detailed in a hadith : " Ihsan is to worship Allah
Allah
as if you see Him; if you can't see Him, surely He sees you." Rumi
Rumi
stated: "The Sufi
Sufi
is hanging on to Muhammad, like Abu Bakr ." Sufis regard Muhammad
Muhammad
as _al-Insān al-Kāmil _, the primary perfect man who exemplifies the morality of God, and regard Muhammad
Muhammad
as their leader and prime spiritual guide.

All Sufi
Sufi
orders trace many of their original precepts from Muhammad through his son-in-law Ali
Ali
with the notable exception of the Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
, who claim to trace their origins from Muhammad
Muhammad
through the first Rashid Caliph, Abu Bakr . As the orders are majorly Sunni, most of them follow one of the four madhhabs (jurisprudential schools of thought) of Sunni Islam
Islam
and maintain a Sunni aqidah (creed).

Classical Sufis were characterized by their asceticism , especially by their attachment to dhikr , the practice of remembrance of God, often performed after prayers. They gained adherents among a number of Muslims
Muslims
as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate
Caliphate
(661–750). and have spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium, originally expressing their beliefs in Arabic
Arabic
before spreading into Persian , Turkish , and Urdu
Urdu
among dozens of other languages. According to William Chittick , "In a broad sense, Sufism can be described as the interiorization, and intensification of Islamic
Islamic
faith and practice."

CONTENTS

* 1 Terminology * 2 Etymology

* 3 History

* 3.1 Origins * 3.2 As an Islamic
Islamic
discipline * 3.3 Formalization of doctrine * 3.4 Growth of influence * 3.5 Present

* 4 Aims and objectives

* 4.1 Teachings

* 4.2 Muhammad
Muhammad

* 4.2.1 Sufi
Sufi
beliefs about Muhammad
Muhammad

* 4.3 Sufism and Islamic
Islamic
law * 4.4 Traditional Islamic
Islamic
thought and Sufism * 4.5 Traditional and Neo- Sufi
Sufi
groups

* 5 Theoretical perspectives

* 5.1 Contributions to other domains of scholarship

* 6 Devotional practices of Sufis

* 6.1 Dhikr * 6.2 Muraqaba * 6.3 Sufi whirling

* 7 Saints

* 7.1 Visitation * 7.2 Miracles

* 8 Persecution

* 9 Prominent Sufis

* 9.1 Rabi\'a al-\'Adawiyya * 9.2 Bayazid Bastami * 9.3 Junayd of Baghdad * 9.4 Mansur Al-Hallaj * 9.5 Abdul-Qadir Gilani * 9.6 Ibn Arabi * 9.7 Moinuddin Chishti * 9.8 Abul Hasan ash- Shadhili * 9.9 Ahmad al-Tijani

* 10 Major Sufi
Sufi
orders

* 10.1 Bektashi * 10.2 Chishti * 10.3 Kubrawiya * 10.4 Mawlawiyya * 10.5 Muridiyya * 10.6 Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
* 10.7 Nimatullahi * 10.8 Qadiri * 10.9 Senussi
Senussi
* 10.10 Shadiliyya * 10.11 Suhrawardiyya * 10.12 Tijaniyya

* 11 Symbols associated with the Sufi
Sufi
Orders

* 12 Reception

* 12.1 Perception outside Islam
Islam
* 12.2 Influence on Judaism
Judaism

* 13 In popular culture

* 13.1 Films * 13.2 Music * 13.3 Literature

* 14 Gallery * 15 See also * 16 References * 17 Bibliography * 18 External links

TERMINOLOGY

The term _Sufism_ came into being, not by Islamic
Islamic
texts or Sufis themselves but by British Orientalists who wanted to create an artificial divide between what they found attractive in Islamic civilization (i.e. Islamic
Islamic
spirituality) and the negative stereotypes that were present in Britain about Islam. These British orientalists, therefore, fabricated a divide that was previously non-existent. The term _Sufism_ has, however, persisted especially in the Western world ever since.

Historically, Muslims
Muslims
have used the Arabic
Arabic
word _taṣawwuf_ to identify the practice of Sufis. Mainstream scholars of Islam
Islam
define Tasawwuf or Sufism as the name for the inner or esoteric dimension of Islam
Islam
which is supported and complemented by outward or exoteric practices of Islam, such as Sharia
Sharia
. In this view, "it is absolutely necessary to be a Muslim" to be a true Sufi, because Sufism's "methods are inoperative without" Muslim "affiliation". However, Islamic scholars themselves are not by any means in agreement about the meaning of the word "sufi".

Sufis themselves claim that Tasawwuf is an aspect of Islam
Islam
similar to Sharia, inseparable from Islam
Islam
and an integral part of Islamic
Islamic
belief and practice. Classical Sufi
Sufi
scholars have defined Tasawwuf as "a science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God". Traditional Sufis such as Bayazid Bastami , Rumi
Rumi
, Haji Bektash Veli , Junayd of Baghdad , and Al-Ghazali , define Sufism as purely based upon the tenets of Islam and the teachings of Muhammad.

ETYMOLOGY

The original meaning of _sufi_ seems to have been "one who wears wool (_ṣūf_)", and Encyclopaedia of Islam
Islam
calls other etymological hypotheses "untenable". Woollen clothes were traditionally associated with ascetics and mystics. Al-Qushayri and Ibn Khaldun both rejected all possibilities other than _ṣūf_ on linguistic grounds.

Another explanation traces the lexical root of the word to _ṣafā_ _(صفاء)_, which in Arabic
Arabic
means "purity". These two explanations were combined by the Sufi
Sufi
al-Rudhabari (d. 322 AH), who said, "The Sufi
Sufi
is the one who wears wool on top of purity".

Others have suggested that the word comes from the term _ahl aṣ-ṣuffah_ ("the people of the bench"), who were a group of impoverished companions of Muhammad
Muhammad
who held regular gatherings of dhikr . These men and women who sat at al-Masjid an-Nabawi are considered by some to be the first Sufis.

HISTORY

Main article: History of Sufism

ORIGINS

Ali
Ali
is considered to be the "Father of Sufism" in Islam
Islam
.

Sufi
Sufi
orders are based on the _bayʿah_ (pledge of allegiance) that was given to Muhammad
Muhammad
by his Sahabah . By pledging allegiance to Muhammad, the Sahabah had committed themselves to the service of God. According to Islamic
Islamic
belief, by pledging allegiance to Muhammad, the Sahaba have pledged allegiance to God.

Verily, those who give Bai'âh (pledge) to you (O Muhammad) they are giving Bai'âh (pledge) to Allâh. The Hand of Allâh is over their hands. Then whosoever breaks his pledge, breaks it only to his own harm, and whosoever fulfils what he has covenanted with Allâh, He will bestow on him a great reward. -

Sufis believe that by giving bayʿah (pledging allegiance) to a legitimate Sufi
Sufi
shaykh, one is pledging allegiance to Muhammad
Muhammad
and therefore a spiritual connection between the seeker and Muhammad
Muhammad
is established. It is through Muhammad
Muhammad
that Sufis aim to learn about, understand and connect with God. Ali
Ali
is regarded as one of the major figures amongst the Sahaba who have directly pledged allegiance to Muhammad
Muhammad
and Sufis maintain that through Ali, knowledge about Muhammad and a connection with Muhammad
Muhammad
may be attained. Such a concept may be understood by the hadith, which Sufis regard to be authentic, in which Muhammad
Muhammad
said, "I am the city of knowledge and Ali
Ali
is its gate". Eminent Sufis such as Ali
Ali
Hujwiri refer to Ali
Ali
as having a very high ranking in Tasawwuf. Furthermore, Junayd of Baghdad regarded Ali
Ali
as sheikh of the principals and practices of Tasawwuf.

Practitioners of Sufism hold that in its early stages of development Sufism effectively referred to nothing more than the internalization of Islam. According to one perspective, it is directly from the Qur'an, constantly recited, meditated, and experienced, that Sufism proceeded, in its origin and its development. Other practitioners have held that Sufism is the strict emulation of the way of Muhammad
Muhammad
, through which the heart's connection to the Divine is strengthened.

Modern academics and scholars have rejected early orientalist theories asserting a non- Islamic
Islamic
origin of Sufism, The consensus is that it emerged in Western Asia . Many have asserted Sufism to be unique within the confines of the Islamic
Islamic
religion and 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
Muhammad
ever ate it. According to the late medieval mystic Jami
Jami
, Abd- Allah
Allah
ibn Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn al-Hanafiyyah (died c. 716) was the first person to be called a "Sufi".

Important contributions in writing are attributed to Uwais al-Qarani , Hasan of Basra , Harith al-Muhasibi and Said ibn al-Musayyib . Ruwaym , from the second generation of Sufis in Baghdad, was also an influential early figure, as was Junayd of Baghdad ; a number of early practitioners of Sufism were disciples of one of the two.

Sufism had a long history already before the subsequent institutionalization of Sufi
Sufi
teachings into devotional orders (_tarîqât_) in the early Middle Ages. The Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
order is a notable exception to general rule of orders tracing their spiritual lineage through Muhammad's grandsons, as it traces the origin of its teachings from Muhammad
Muhammad
to the first Islamic
Islamic
Caliph, Abu Bakr .

Over the years Sufi
Sufi
orders have influenced and have been adopted by various Shi'i movements, especially Isma\'ilism , which led to the Safaviyya order's conversion to Shia Islam
Islam
from Sunni Islam
Islam
and the spread of Twelverism throughout Iran. Sufi
Sufi
orders include Ba \'Alawiyya , Badawiyya , Bektashi , Burhaniyya , Chishti , Khalwati , Mevlevi , Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
, Ni\'matullāhī , Uwaisi , Qadiriyya , Qalandariyya , Rifa\'i , Sarwari Qadiri , Shadhiliyya , Suhrawardiyya , Tijaniyyah , Zinda Shah Madariya , and others.

AS AN ISLAMIC DISCIPLINE

Dancing dervishes, by Kamāl ud-Dīn Behzād (c. 1480/1490)

Existing in both Sunni and Shia Islam, Sufism is not a distinct sect, as is sometimes erroneously assumed, but a method of approaching or a way of understanding the religion, which strives to take the regular practice of the religion to the "supererogatory level" through simultaneously "fulfilling ... religious duties" and finding a "way and a means of striking a root through the 'narrow gate' in the depth of the soul out into the domain of the pure arid unimprisonable Spirit which itself opens out on to the Divinity."

As a mystic and ascetic aspect of Islam, it is considered as the part of Islamic
Islamic
teaching that deals with the purification of the inner self. By focusing on the more spiritual aspects of religion, Sufis strive to obtain direct experience of God
God
by making use of "intuitive and emotional faculties" that one must be trained to use. Tasawwuf is regarded as a science of the soul that has always been an integral part of Orthodox Islam. In his _Al-Risala al-Safadiyya_, ibn Taymiyyah describes the Sufis as those who belong to the path of the Sunna and represent it in their teachings and writings.

Ibn Taymiyya's Sufi
Sufi
inclinations and his reverence for Sufis like Abdul-Qadir Gilani can also be seen in his hundred-page commentary on _Futuh al-ghayb_, covering only five of the seventy-eight sermons of the book, but showing that he considered tasawwuf essential within the life of the Islamic
Islamic
community.

In his commentary, Ibn Taymiyya stresses that the primacy of the Sharia
Sharia
forms the soundest tradition in tasawwuf, and to argue this point he lists over a dozen early masters, as well as more contemporary shaykhs like his fellow Hanbalis , al-Ansari al-Harawi and Abdul-Qadir, and the latter's own shaykh, Hammad al-Dabbas the upright. He cites the early shaykhs (shuyukh al-salaf) such as Al-Fuḍayl ibn ‘Iyāḍ , 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.

Al-Ghazali narrates in _Al-Munqidh min al-dalal_:

The vicissitudes of life, family affairs and financial constraints engulfed my life and deprived me of the congenial solitude. The heavy odds confronted me and provided me with few moments for my pursuits. This state of affairs lasted for ten years but wherever I had some spare and congenial moments I resorted to my intrinsic proclivity. During these turbulent years, numerous astonishing and indescribable secrets of life were unveiled to me. I was convinced that the group of Aulia (holy mystics) is the only truthful group who follow the right path, display best conduct and surpass all sages in their wisdom and insight. They derive all their overt or covert behaviour from the illumining guidance of the holy Prophet, the only guidance worth quest and pursuit.

FORMALIZATION OF DOCTRINE

A Sufi
Sufi
in Ecstasy in a Landscape. Iran, Isfahan
Isfahan
(c. 1650-1660)

In the eleventh-century, Sufism, which had previously been a less "codified" trend in Islamic
Islamic
piety, began to be "ordered and crystallized" into orders which have continued until the present day. All these orders were founded by a major Islamic
Islamic
saint , and some of the largest and most widespread included the Qadiriyya (after Abdul-Qadir Gilani ), the Rifa\'iyya (after Ahmed al-Rifa\'i ), the Chishtiyya (after Moinuddin Chishti ), the Shadiliyya (after Abul Hasan ash- Shadhili ), and the Naqshbandiyya (after Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari ). Contrary to popular perception in the West, however, neither the founders of these orders nor their followers ever considered themselves to be anything other than orthodox Sunni Muslims, and in fact all of these orders were attached to one of the four orthodox legal schools of Sunni Islam. Thus, the Qadiriyya order was Hanbali , with its founder, Abdul-Qadir Gilani , being a renowned Hanbali jurist; the Chishtiyya was Hanafi
Hanafi
; the Shadiliyya order was Maliki ; and the Naqshbandiyya order was Hanafi
Hanafi
. Thus, it is precisely because it is historically proven that "many of the most eminent defenders of Islamic
Islamic
orthodoxy, such as Abdul-Qadir Gilani , Ghazali , and the Sultan Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn ( Saladin
Saladin
) were connected with Sufism" that the popular studies of writers like Idris Shah are continuously disregarded by scholars as conveying the fallacious image that "Sufism" is somehow distinct from "Islam."

Towards the end of the first millennium, a number of manuals began to be written summarizing the doctrines of Sufism and describing some typical Sufi
Sufi
practices. Two of the most famous of these are now available in English translation: the _ Kashf al-Mahjûb _ of Ali Hujwiri and the _Risâla_ of Al-Qushayri .

Two of al- Ghazali 's greatest treatises are the _Revival of Religious Sciences_ and what he termed "its essence", the _Kimiya-yi sa\'ādat _. He argued that Sufism originated from the Qur'an and thus was compatible with mainstream Islamic
Islamic
thought and did not in any way contradict Islamic
Islamic
Law—being instead necessary to its complete fulfillment. Ongoing efforts by both traditionally trained Muslim scholars and Western academics are making al-Ghazali's works more widely available in English translation, allowing English-speaking readers to judge for themselves the compatibility of Islamic
Islamic
Law and Sufi
Sufi
doctrine. Several sections of the _Revival of Religious Sciences_ have been published in translation by the Islamic
Islamic
Texts Society. An abridged translation (from an Urdu
Urdu
translation) of _The Alchemy of Happiness_ was published by Claud Field (ISBN 978-0935782288 ) in 1910. It has been translated in full by Muhammad
Muhammad
Asim Bilal (2001).

GROWTH OF INFLUENCE

A Mughal miniature dated from the early 1620s depicting the Mughal emperor
Mughal emperor
Jahangir
Jahangir
(d. 1627) preferring a Sufi
Sufi
saint to his contemporary, the King of England
King of England
James I
James I
(d. 1625); the picture is inscribed: "Though outwardly shahs stand before him, he fixes his gazes on dervishes."

Historically, Sufism became "an incredibly important part of Islam" and "one of the most widespread and omnipresent aspects of Muslim life" in Islamic
Islamic
civilization from the early medieval period onwards, when it began to permeate nearly all major aspects of Sunni Islamic life in regions stretching from India
India
and Iraq
Iraq
to the Balkans and Senegal
Senegal
.

The rise of Islamic
Islamic
civilization coincides strongly with the spread of Sufi philosophy
Sufi philosophy
in Islam. The spread of Sufism has been considered a definitive factor in the spread of Islam, and in the creation of integrally Islamic
Islamic
cultures, especially in Africa and Asia. The Senussi
Senussi
tribes of Libya
Libya
and the Sudan
Sudan
are one of the strongest adherents of Sufism. Sufi
Sufi
poets and philosophers such as Khoja Akhmet Yassawi , Rumi
Rumi
, and Attar of Nishapur (c. 1145 – c. 1221) greatly enhanced the spread of Islamic
Islamic
culture in Anatolia
Anatolia
, Central Asia , and South Asia
South Asia
. Sufism also played a role in creating and propagating the culture of the Ottoman world, and in resisting European imperialism in North Africa and South Asia.

Between the 13th and 16th centuries, Sufism produced a flourishing intellectual culture throughout the Islamic
Islamic
world, a "Golden Age" whose physical artifacts survive. In many places a person or group would endow a waqf to maintain a lodge (known variously as a _zawiya _, _khanqah _, or _tekke_) to provide a gathering place for Sufi adepts, as well as lodging for itinerant seekers of knowledge. The same system of endowments could also pay for a complex of buildings, such as that surrounding the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, including a lodge for Sufi
Sufi
seekers, a hospice with kitchens where these seekers could serve the poor and/or complete a period of initiation, a library, and other structures. No important domain in the civilization of Islam
Islam
remained unaffected by Sufism in this period.

PRESENT

Sufism continued to remain a crucial part of daily Islamic
Islamic
life until the twentieth century , when its historical influence upon Islamic civilization began to be undermined by modernism as well as be combated by the rise of Salafism and Wahhabism . Islamic
Islamic
scholar Timothy Winter has remarked: " classical, mainstream, medieval Sunni Islam
Islam
... 'orthodox Islam' would not ... without Sufism," and that the classical belief in Sufism being an essential component of Islam has only weakened in some quarters of the Islamic
Islamic
world "a generation or two ago" with the rise of Salafism . In the modern world, the classical interpretation of Sunni orthodoxy , which sees in Sufism an essential dimension of Islam
Islam
alongside the disciplines of jurisprudence and theology , is represented by institutions such as Egypt
Egypt
's Al-Azhar University and Zaytuna College , with Al-Azhar's current Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb
Ahmed el-Tayeb
recently defining "Sunni orthodoxy" as being a follower "of any of the four schools of thought ( Hanafi
Hanafi
, Shafi’i , Maliki or Hanbali ) and ... of the Sufism of Imam Junayd of Baghdad
Baghdad
in doctrines, manners and purification." Mawlānā Rumi
Rumi
's tomb, Konya
Konya
, Turkey

Current Sufi
Sufi
orders include Alians
Alians
, Bektashi Order
Bektashi Order
, Mevlevi Order , Ba \'Alawiyya , Chishti Order
Chishti Order
, Jerrahi , Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
, Mujaddidi , Ni\'matullāhī , Qadiriyya , Qalandariyya , Sarwari Qadiriyya , Shadhiliyya , Suhrawardiyya , Ashrafi Family , Saifiah (Naqshbandiah), and Uwaisi . The relationship of Sufi
Sufi
orders to modern societies is usually defined by their relationship to governments.

Turkey and Persia
Persia
together have been a center for many Sufi
Sufi
lineages and orders. The Bektashi were closely affiliated with the Ottoman Janissaries and is the heart of Turkey's large and mostly liberal Alevi population. It has spread westwards to Cyprus
Cyprus
, Greece
Greece
, Albania , Bulgaria
Bulgaria
, Republic of Macedonia , Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
, Kosovo
Kosovo
, and, more recently, to the United States via Albania.

Sufism is popular in such African countries as Egypt
Egypt
, Tunisia
Tunisia
, Algeria
Algeria
, Morocco
Morocco
, and Senegal
Senegal
, where it is seen as a mystical expression of Islam. Sufism is traditional in Morocco
Morocco
but has seen a growing revival with the renewal of Sufism under contemporary spiritual teachers such as Hamza al Qadiri al Boutchichi . Mbacke suggests that one reason Sufism has taken hold in Senegal
Senegal
is because it can accommodate local beliefs and customs, which tend toward the mystical .

The life of the Algerian Sufi
Sufi
master Abdelkader El Djezairi is instructive in this regard. Notable as well are the lives of Amadou Bamba and El Hadj Umar Tall in West Africa
West Africa
, and Sheikh
Sheikh
Mansur and Imam Shamil in the Caucasus
Caucasus
. In the twentieth century, some Muslims have called Sufism a superstitious religion that holds back Islamic achievement in the fields of science and technology.

A number of Westerners have embarked with varying degrees of success on the path of Sufism. One of the first to return to Europe
Europe
as an official representative of a Sufi
Sufi
order, and with the specific purpose to spread Sufism in Western Europe, was the Swedish -born wandering Sufi
Sufi
Ivan Aguéli
Ivan Aguéli
. René Guénon , the French scholar, became a Sufi in the early twentieth century and was known as Sheikh
Sheikh
Abdul Wahid Yahya. His manifold writings defined the practice of Sufism as the essence of Islam
Islam
but also pointed to the universality of its message. Other spiritualists, such as George Gurdjieff
George Gurdjieff
, may or may not conform to the tenets of Sufism as understood by orthodox Muslims.

Other noteworthy Sufi
Sufi
teachers who have been active in the West in recent years include Bawa Muhaiyaddeen , Inayat Khan , Nazim Al-Haqqani , Javad Nurbakhsh , Bulent Rauf , Irina Tweedie , Idries Shah , Muzaffer Ozak , Nahid Angha , and Ali
Ali
Kianfar .

Currently active Sufi
Sufi
academics and publishers include Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee , Nuh Ha Mim Keller , Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee
Nooruddeen Durkee
, Waheed Ashraf , Omer Tarin , Ahmed abdu r Rashid and Timothy Winter .

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The tomb of Rukn-e-Alam located in Multan
Multan
, Pakistan. Known for its Sufi
Sufi
tombs, Multan
Multan
is often called the City of Saints.

While all Muslims
Muslims
believe that they are on the pathway to Allah
Allah
and hope to become close to God
God
in Paradise
Paradise
—after death and after the Last Judgment —Sufis also believe that it is possible to draw closer to God
God
and to more fully embrace the divine presence in this life. The chief aim of all Sufis is to seek the pleasing of God
God
by working to restore within themselves the primordial state of _fitra _, described in the Quran. In this state nothing one does defies God, and all is undertaken with the single motivation of _ishq _.

To Sufis, the outer law consists of rules pertaining to worship, transactions, marriage, judicial rulings, and criminal law—what is often referred to, broadly, as "qanun ". The inner law of Sufism consists of rules about repentance from sin, the purging of contemptible qualities and evil traits of character, and adornment with virtues and good character.

TEACHINGS

Entrance of Sidi Boumediene Mosque
Mosque
in Tlemcen
Tlemcen
, Algeria
Algeria
, built to honor the 12th-century Sufi
Sufi
master Abu Madyan
Abu Madyan

To the Sufi, it is the transmission of divine light from the teacher's heart to the heart of the student, rather than worldly knowledge, that allows the adept to progress. They further believe that the teacher should attempt inerrantly to follow the Divine Law.

According to Moojan Momen "one of the most important doctrines of Sufism is the concept of _al-Insan al-Kamil_ "the Perfect Man". This doctrine states that there will always exist upon the earth a " Qutb
Qutb
" (Pole or Axis of the Universe)—a man who is the perfect channel of grace from God
God
to man and in a state of wilayah (sanctity, being under the protection of Allah). The concept of the Sufi
Sufi
Qutb
Qutb
is similar to that of the Shi\'i Imam . However, this belief puts Sufism in "direct conflict" with Shia Islam, since both the Qutb
Qutb
(who for most Sufi
Sufi
orders is the head of the order) and the Imam fulfill the role of "the purveyor of spiritual guidance and of Allah's grace to mankind". The vow of obedience to the Shaykh or Qutb
Qutb
which is taken by Sufis is considered incompatible with devotion to the Imam".

As a further example, the prospective adherent of the Mevlevi Order would have been ordered to serve in the kitchens of a hospice for the poor for 1001 days prior to being accepted for spiritual instruction, and a further 1,001 days in solitary retreat as a precondition of completing that instruction. The Darbar Sharif of Shams Ali Qalandar
Qalandar
, located in Hujra Shah Muqeem , Pakistan
Pakistan

Some teachers, especially when addressing more general audiences, or mixed groups of Muslims
Muslims
and non-Muslims, make extensive use of parable , allegory , and metaphor . Although approaches to teaching vary among different Sufi
Sufi
orders, Sufism as a whole is primarily concerned with direct personal experience, and as such has sometimes been compared to other, non- Islamic
Islamic
forms of mysticism (e.g., as in the books of Hossein Nasr ).

Many Sufi
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. An example is the folk story about Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari , who gave his name to the Naqshbandi Order. He is believed to have served his first teacher, Sayyid Muhammad
Muhammad
Baba As-Samasi, for 20 years, until as-Samasi died. He is said to then have served several other teachers for lengthy periods of time. He 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.

MUHAMMAD

“ His aspiration preceded all other aspirations, his existence preceded nothingness, and his name preceded the Pen, because he existed before all peoples. There is not in the horizons, beyond the horizons or below the horizons, anyone more elegant, more noble, more knowing, more just, more fearsome, or more compassionate, than the subject of this tale. He is the leader of created beings, the one "whose name is glorious Ahmad".

Mansur Al-Hallaj

Devotion to Muhammad
Muhammad
is an exceptionally strong practice within Sufism. Sufis have historically revered Muhammad
Muhammad
as the prime personality of spiritual greatness. The Sufi
Sufi
poet Saadi Shirazi stated, "He who chooses a path contrary to that of the prophet , shall never reach the destination. O Saadi, do not think that one can treat that way of purity except in the wake of the chosen one ." Rumi attributes his self-control and abstinence from worldly desires as qualities attained by him through the guidance of Muhammad. Rumi states, "I 'sewed' my two eyes shut from this world and the next – this I learned from Muhammad." Ibn Arabi regards Muhammad
Muhammad
as the greatest man and states, "Muhammad's wisdom is uniqueness (_fardiya_) because he is the most perfect existent creature of this human species. For this reason, the command began with him and was sealed with him. He was a Prophet while Adam was between water and clay, and his elemental structure is the Seal of the Prophets." Attar of Nishapur claimed that he praised Muhammad
Muhammad
in such a manner that was not done before by any poet, in his book the _Ilahi-nama_. Fariduddin Attar stated, " Muhammad
Muhammad
is the exemplar to both worlds, the guide of the descendants of Adam. He is the sun of creation, the moon of the celestial spheres, the all-seeing eye...The seven heavens and the eight gardens of paradise were created for him, he is both the eye and the light in the light of our eyes." Sufis have historically stressed the importance of Muhammad's perfection and his ability to intercede. The persona of Muhammad
Muhammad
has historically been and remains an integral and critical aspect of Sufi
Sufi
belief and practice. Bayazid Bastami is recorded to have been so devoted to the sunnah of Muhammad
Muhammad
that he refused to eat a watermelon due to the fact that he could not establish that Muhammad
Muhammad
ever ate one. The name of Muhammad
Muhammad
in Arabic
Arabic
calligraphy. Sufis believe the name of Muhammad
Muhammad
is holy and sacred.

In the 13th century, a Sufi
Sufi
poet from Egypt
Egypt
, Al-Busiri , wrote the _al-Kawākib ad-Durrīya fī Madḥ Khayr al-Barīya_ (The Celestial Lights in Praise of the Best of Creation) commonly referred to as _Qaṣīdat al-Burda _ ("Poem of the Mantle"), in which he extensively praised Muhammad. This poem is still widely recited and sung amongst Sufi
Sufi
groups all over the world.

Sufi
Sufi
Beliefs About Muhammad

According to Ibn Arabi, Islam
Islam
is the best religion because of Muhammad. Ibn Arabi regards that the first entity that was brought into existence is the reality or essence of Muhammad
Muhammad
(_al-ḥaqīqa al-Muhammadiyya_). Ibn Arabi regards Muhammad
Muhammad
as the supreme human being and master of all creatures. Muhammad
Muhammad
is therefore the primary role-model for human beings to aspire to emulate. Ibn Arabi believes that God's attributes and names are manifested in this world and that the most complete and perfect display of these divine attributes and names are seen in Muhammad. Ibn Arabi believes that one may see God in the mirror of Muhammad, meaning that the divine attributes of God are manifested through Muhammad. Ibn Arabi maintains that Muhammad
Muhammad
is the best proof of God
God
and by knowing Muhammad
Muhammad
one knows God. Ibn Arabi also maintains that Muhammad
Muhammad
is the master of all of humanity in both this world and the afterlife. In this view, Islam
Islam
is the best religion, because Muhammad
Muhammad
is Islam.

Sufis maintain that Muhammad
Muhammad
is Al-Insān al-Kāmil . Sufis believe that aid and support may be received from Muhammad, even today. Sufis believe that Muhammad
Muhammad
listens to them when they call upon him. Sufis strive towards having a relationship with Muhammad
Muhammad
and seeking to see Muhammad
Muhammad
in a dream is a common Sufi
Sufi
practice.

SUFISM AND ISLAMIC LAW

Tomb of Salim Chishti
Salim Chishti
, Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri
, Agra
Agra
, Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
, India
India

Sufis believe the sharia (exoteric "canon"), tariqa (esoteric "order") and haqiqa ("truth") are mutually interdependent. Sufism leads the adept, called _salik _ or "wayfarer", in his _sulûk_ or "road" through different stations (_maqaam _) until he reaches his goal, the perfect tawhid , the existential confession that God
God
is One. Ibn Arabi says, "When we see someone in this Community who claims to be able to guide others to God, but is remiss in but one rule of the Sacred Law—even if he manifests miracles that stagger the mind—asserting that his shortcoming is a special dispensation for him, we do not even turn to look at him, for such a person is not a sheikh, nor is he speaking the truth, for no one is entrusted with the secrets of God
God
Most High save one in whom the ordinances of the Sacred Law are preserved. (_Jamiʿ karamat al-awliyaʾ_)".

The Amman Message
Amman Message
, a detailed statement issued by 200 leading Islamic
Islamic
scholars in 2005 in Amman
Amman
, and adopted by the Islamic
Islamic
world's political and temporal leaderships at the Organisation of the Islamic Conference summit at Mecca in December 2005, and by six other international Islamic
Islamic
scholarly assemblies including the International Islamic
Islamic
Fiqh
Fiqh
Academy of Jeddah, in July 2006, specifically recognized the validity of Sufism as a part of Islam—however the definition of Sufism can vary drastically between different traditions (what may be intended is simple tazkiah as opposed to the various manifestations of Sufism around the Islamic
Islamic
world).

TRADITIONAL ISLAMIC THOUGHT AND SUFISM

The literature of Sufism emphasizes highly subjective matters that resist outside observation, such as the subtle states of the heart. Often these resist direct reference or description, with the consequence that the authors of various Sufi
Sufi
treatises took recourse to allegorical language. For instance, much Sufi poetry refers to intoxication, which Islam
Islam
expressly forbids. This usage of indirect language and the existence of interpretations by people who had no training in Islam
Islam
or Sufism led to doubts being cast over the validity of Sufism as a part of Islam. Also, some groups emerged that considered themselves above the Sharia
Sharia
and discussed Sufism as a method of bypassing the rules of Islam
Islam
in order to attain salvation directly. This was disapproved of by traditional scholars.

For these and other reasons, the relationship between traditional Islamic
Islamic
scholars and Sufism is complex and a range of scholarly opinion on Sufism in Islam
Islam
has been the norm. Some scholars, such as Al-Ghazali , helped its propagation while other scholars opposed it. William Chittick explains the position of Sufism and Sufis this way:

In short, Muslim scholars who focused their energies on understanding the normative guidelines for the body came to be known as jurists, and those who held that the most important task was to train the mind in achieving correct understanding came to be divided into three main schools of thought: theology, philosophy, and Sufism. This leaves us with the third domain of human existence, the spirit. Most Muslims
Muslims
who devoted their major efforts to developing the spiritual dimensions of the human person came to be known as Sufis.

TRADITIONAL AND NEO-SUFI GROUPS

_ The mausoleum (gongbei _) of Ma Laichi in Linxia City , China
China

The traditional Sufi
Sufi
orders, which are in majority, emphasize the role of Sufism as a spiritual discipline within Islam. Therefore, the Sharia
Sharia
(traditional Islamic
Islamic
law) and the Sunnah are seen as crucial for any Sufi
Sufi
aspirant. One proof traditional orders assert is that almost all the famous Sufi
Sufi
masters of the past Caliphates were experts in Sharia
Sharia
and were renowned as people with great Iman (faith) and excellent practice. Many were also Qadis ( Sharia
Sharia
law judges) in courts. They held that Sufism was never distinct from Islam
Islam
and to fully comprehend and practice Sufism one must be an observant Muslim.

"Neo-Sufism," "pseudo-Sufism," and "universal Sufism" are terms used to denote modern, Western forms or appropriations of Sufism that do not require adherence to Shariah, or the Muslim faith. The terms are not always accepted by those it is applied to. For example, the Afghan-Scottish teacher Idries Shah has been described as a neo-Sufi by the Gurdjieffian James Moore . The Sufi
Sufi
Order in the West was founded by Inayat Khan , teaching the essential unity of all faiths, and accepting members of all creeds. Sufism Reoriented is an offshoot of it charted by the syncretistic teacher Meher Baba . The Golden Sufi Center exists in England, Switzerland and the United States. It was founded by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee to continue the work of his teacher Irina Tweedie , herself a practitioner of both Hinduism and neo-Sufism. Other Western Sufi
Sufi
organisations include the Sufi Foundation of America and the International Association of Sufism .

Western Neo- Sufi
Sufi
practices may differ from traditional forms, for instance having mixed-gender meetings and less emphasis on the Qur'an.

THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES

The works of Al-Ghazali firmly defended the concepts of Sufism within the Islamic
Islamic
faith.

Traditional Islamic
Islamic
scholars have recognized two major branches within the practice of Sufism, and use this as one key to differentiating among the approaches of different masters and devotional lineages.

On the one hand there is the order from the signs to the Signifier (or from the arts to the Artisan). In this branch, the seeker begins by purifying the lower self of every corrupting influence that stands in the way of recognizing all of creation as the work of God, as God's active Self-disclosure or theophany. This is the way of Imam Al-Ghazali and of the majority of the Sufi
Sufi
orders.

On the other hand, there is the order from the Signifier to His signs, from the Artisan to His works. In this branch the seeker experiences divine attraction (_jadhba _), and is able to enter the order with a glimpse of its endpoint, of direct apprehension of the Divine Presence towards which all spiritual striving is directed. This does not replace the striving to purify the heart, as in the other branch; it simply stems from a different point of entry into the path. This is the way primarily of the masters of the Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
and Shadhili orders.

Contemporary scholars may also recognize a third branch, attributed to the late Ottoman scholar Said Nursi and explicated in his vast Qur'an commentary called the Risale-i Nur . This approach entails strict adherence to the way of Muhammad, in the understanding that this wont, or _sunnah _, proposes a complete devotional spirituality adequate to those without access to a master of the Sufi
Sufi
way.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO OTHER DOMAINS OF SCHOLARSHIP

Sufism has contributed significantly to the elaboration of theoretical perspectives in many domains of intellectual endeavor. For instance, the doctrine of "subtle centers" or centers of subtle cognition (known as _ Lataif-e-sitta _) addresses the matter of the awakening of spiritual intuition. In general, these subtle centers or _latâ'if_ are thought of as faculties that are to be purified sequentially in order to bring the seeker's wayfaring to completion. A concise and useful summary of this system from a living exponent of this tradition has been published by Muhammad
Muhammad
Emin Er .

Sufi psychology has influenced many areas of thinking both within and outside of Islam, drawing primarily upon three concepts. Ja\'far al-Sadiq (both an imam in the Shia tradition and a respected scholar and link in chains of Sufi
Sufi
transmission in all Islamic
Islamic
sects) held that human beings are dominated by a lower self called the nafs (soul), a faculty of spiritual intuition called the qalb (heart), and ruh (spirit). These interact in various ways, producing the spiritual types of the tyrant (dominated by _nafs_), the person of faith and moderation (dominated by the spiritual heart), and the person lost in love for God
God
(dominated by the _ruh_).

Of note with regard to the spread of Sufi psychology in the West is Robert Frager , a Sufi
Sufi
teacher authorized in the Khalwati Jerrahi order. Frager was a trained psychologist, born in the United States, who converted to Islam
Islam
in the course of his practice of Sufism and wrote extensively on Sufism and psychology.

Sufi cosmology and Sufi metaphysics are also noteworthy areas of intellectual accomplishment.

DEVOTIONAL PRACTICES OF SUFIS

Sufi
Sufi
gathering engaged in Dhikr

The devotional practices of Sufis vary widely. This is because an acknowledged and authorized master of the Sufi
Sufi
path is in effect a physician of the heart, able to diagnose the seeker's impediments to knowledge and pure intention in serving God, and to prescribe to the seeker a course of treatment appropriate to his or her maladies. The consensus among Sufi
Sufi
scholars is that the seeker cannot self-diagnose, and that it can be extremely harmful to undertake any of these practices alone and without formal authorization.

Prerequisites to practice include rigorous adherence to Islamic
Islamic
norms (ritual prayer in its five prescribed times each day, the fast of Ramadan, and so forth). Additionally, the seeker ought to be firmly grounded in supererogatory practices known from the life of Muhammad (such as the "sunna prayers"). This is in accordance with the words, attributed to God, of the following, a famous Hadith Qudsi :

My servant draws near to Me through nothing I love more than that which I have made obligatory for him. My servant never ceases drawing near to Me through supererogatory works until I love him. Then, when I love him, I am his hearing through which he hears, his sight through which he sees, his hand through which he grasps, and his foot through which he walks.

It is also necessary for the seeker to have a correct creed (_Aqidah _), and to embrace with certainty its tenets. The seeker must also, of necessity, turn away from sins, love of this world, the love of company and renown, obedience to satanic impulse, and the promptings of the lower self. (The way in which this purification of the heart is achieved is outlined in certain books, but must be prescribed in detail by a Sufi
Sufi
master.) The seeker must also be trained to prevent the corruption of those good deeds which have accrued to his or her credit by overcoming the traps of ostentation, pride, arrogance, envy, and long hopes (meaning the hope for a long life allowing us to mend our ways later, rather than immediately, here and now).

Sufi
Sufi
practices, while attractive to some, are not a _means_ for gaining knowledge. The traditional scholars of Sufism hold it as absolutely axiomatic that knowledge of God
God
is not a psychological state generated through breath control. Thus, practice of "techniques" is not the cause, but instead the _occasion_ for such knowledge to be obtained (if at all), given proper prerequisites and proper guidance by a master of the way. Furthermore, the emphasis on practices may obscure a far more important fact: The seeker is, in a sense, to become a broken person, stripped of all habits through the practice of (in the words of Imam Al-Ghazali ) solitude, silence, sleeplessness, and hunger.

Magic may have also been a part of some Sufi
Sufi
practices, notably in India. The practice of magic intensified during the declining years of Sufism in India
India
when the Sufi
Sufi
orders grew steadily in wealth and in political influence while their spirituality gradually declined and they concentrated on saint veneration, miracle working, magic and superstition.

DHIKR

Main article: Dhikr The name of Allah
Allah
as written on the disciple's heart, according to the Sarwari Qadri Order

Dhikr is the remembrance of Allah
Allah
commanded in the Qur\'an for all Muslims
Muslims
through a specific devotional act, such as the repetition of divine names, supplications and aphorisms from hadith literature and the Qur'an. More generally, dhikr takes a wide range and various layers of meaning. This includes dhikr as any activity in which the Muslim maintains awareness of Allah. To engage in dhikr is to practice consciousness of the Divine Presence and love , or "to seek a state of godwariness". The Qur'an refers to Muhammad
Muhammad
as the very embodiment of dhikr of Allah
Allah
(65:10–11). Some types of dhikr are prescribed for all Muslims
Muslims
and do not require Sufi
Sufi
initiation or the prescription of a Sufi
Sufi
master because they are deemed to be good for every seeker under every circumstance.

The Dhikr may slightly vary among each order. Some Sufi
Sufi
orders engage in ritualized dhikr ceremonies, or sema . Sema includes various forms of worship such as: recitation , singing (the most well known being the Qawwali music of the Indian subcontinent), instrumental music , dance (most famously the Sufi whirling of the Mevlevi order ), incense , meditation , ecstasy , and trance .

Some Sufi
Sufi
orders stress and place extensive reliance upon Dhikr. This practice of Dhikr is called Dhikr-e-Qulb (invocation of Allah
Allah
within the heartbeats). The basic idea in this practice is to visualize the Allah
Allah
as having been written on the disciple's heart.

MURAQABA

Main article: Muraqaba

The practice of _muraqaba_ can be likened to the practices of meditation attested in many faith communities. The word _muraqaba_ is derived from the same root (_r-q-b_) occurring as one of the 99 Names of God
God
in the Qur\'an , al-Raqîb, meaning "the Vigilant" and attested in verse 4:1 of the Qur\'an . Through _muraqaba_, a person watches over or takes care of the spiritual heart, acquires knowledge about it, and becomes attuned to the Divine Presence, which is ever vigilant.

While variation exists, one description of the practice within a Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
lineage reads as follows:

He 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. And thus he is to turn his full consciousness towards God
God
Most High while saying three times: "_Ilahî anta maqsûdî wa-ridâka matlûbî_—my God, you are my Goal and Your good pleasure is what I seek". Then he brings to his heart the Name of the Essence—Allâh—and as it courses through his heart he remains attentive to its meaning, which is "Essence without likeness". The seeker remains aware that He is Present, Watchful, Encompassing of all, thereby exemplifying the meaning of his saying (may God
God
bless him and grant him peace): " Worship
Worship
God
God
as though you see Him, for if you do not see Him, He sees you". And likewise the prophetic tradition: "The most favored level of faith is to know that God
God
is witness over you, wherever you may be".

SUFI WHIRLING

Main article: Sufi whirling Whirling Dervishes , at Rumi
Rumi
Fest 2007

Sufi whirling (or _ Sufi
Sufi
spinning_) is a form of Sama or physically active meditation which originated among Sufis, and which is still practised by the Sufi
Sufi
Dervishes of the Mevlevi order. It is a customary dance performed within the _sema_, through which dervishes (also called _semazens_, from Persian سماعزن) aim to reach the source of all perfection, or kemal. This is sought through abandoning one's nafs , egos or personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God
God
, and spinning one's body in repetitive circles, which has been seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun. As explained by Sufis:

In the symbolism of the Sema ritual, the semazen's camel's hair hat (sikke) represents the tombstone of the ego; his wide, white skirt (_tennure_) represents the ego's shroud. By removing his black cloak (_hırka_), he is spiritually reborn to the truth. At the beginning of the Sema, by holding his arms crosswise, the semazen appears to represent the number one, thus testifying to God's unity. While whirling, his arms are open: his right arm is directed to the sky, ready to receive God's beneficence; his left hand, upon which his eyes are fastened, is turned toward the earth. The semazen conveys God's spiritual gift to those who are witnessing the Sema. Revolving from right to left around the heart, the semazen embraces all humanity with love. The human being has been created with love in order to love. Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi
Rumi
says, "All loves are a bridge to Divine love. Yet, those who have not had a taste of it do not know!"

SAINTS

_ A Persian miniature depicting the medieval saint and mystic Ahmad Ghazali (d. 1123), brother of the famous Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111), talking to a disciple, from the Meetings of the Lovers_ (1552) Main article: Wali
Wali

_Walī_ ( Arabic
Arabic
: ولي‎‎, plural _ʾawliyāʾ_ أولياء) is an Arabic
Arabic
word whose literal meanings include "custodian", "protector", "helper", and "friend." In the vernacular, it is most commonly used by Muslims
Muslims
to indicate an Islamic
Islamic
saint , otherwise referred to by the more literal "friend of God." In the traditional Islamic
Islamic
understanding of saints , the saint is portrayed as someone "marked by divine favor ... holiness", and who is specifically "chosen by God
God
and endowed with exceptional gifts, such as the ability to work miracles ." The doctrine of saints was articulated by Islamic scholars very early on in Muslim history, and particular verses of the Quran
Quran
and certain hadith were interpreted by early Muslim thinkers as "documentary evidence" of the existence of saints.

Since the first Muslim hagiographies were written during the period when Sufism began its rapid expansion, many of the figures who later came to be regarded as the major saints in Sunni Islam
Islam
were the early Sufi
Sufi
mystics, like Hasan of Basra (d. 728), Farqad Sabakhi (d. 729), Dawud Tai (d. 777-81) Rabi\'a al-\'Adawiyya (d. 801), Maruf Karkhi (d. 815), and Junayd of Baghdad (d. 910). From the twelfth to the fourteenth century, "the general veneration of saints, among both people and sovereigns, reached its definitive form with the organization of Sufism ... into orders or brotherhoods." In the common expressions of Islamic
Islamic
piety of this period, the saint was understood to be "a contemplative whose state of spiritual perfection ... permanent expression in the teaching bequeathed to his disciples."

VISITATION

Main article: Ziyara

In popular Sufism (i.e. devotional practices that have achieved currency in world cultures through Sufi
Sufi
influence), one common practice is to visit or make pilgrimages to the tombs of saints, renowned scholars, and righteous people. This is a particularly common practice in South Asia, where famous tombs include such saints as Mir Sayyid Ali
Ali
Hamadani in Kulob , Tajikistan; Afāq Khoja , near Kashgar , China; Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
Qalandar
in Sindh
Sindh
; Ali
Ali
Hajwari in Lahore
Lahore
, Pakistan; Bawaldin Zikrya in Multan
Multan
Pakistan; Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer , India; Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi
Delhi
, India; and Shah Jalal in Sylhet
Sylhet
, Bangladesh.

Likewise, in Fez , Morocco, a popular destination for such pious visitation is the Zaouia Moulay Idriss II and the yearly visitation to see the current Sheikh
Sheikh
of the Qadiri Boutchichi Tariqah , Sheikh
Sheikh
Sidi Hamza al Qadiri al Boutchichi to celebrate the Mawlid (which is usually televised on Moroccan National television). The purpose of such visitations is usually two-fold, first and foremost the aim is to receive spiritual guidance and blessings from the saint who rests in the shrine, which helps the seeker in his or her own path towards enlightenment. Secondly, the saint is also approached for intercession in prayers, be it in worldly matters or religious.

MIRACLES

Main article: Karamat

In Islamic
Islamic
mysticism, _karamat_ ( Arabic
Arabic
: کرامات‎‎ _karāmāt_, pl. of کرامة _karāmah_, lit. generosity, high-mindedness ) refers to supernatural wonders performed by Muslim saints . In the technical vocabulary of Islamic
Islamic
religious sciences, the singular form _karama_ has a sense similar to _charism _, a favor or spiritual gift freely bestowed by God. The marvels ascribed to Islamic
Islamic
saints have included supernatural physical actions, predictions of the future, and "interpretation of the secrets of hearts". Historically, a "belief in the miracles of saints (_karāmāt al-awliyāʾ_, literally 'marvels of the friends ')" has been "a requirement in Sunni Islam
Islam
."

PERSECUTION

Main article: Persecution of Sufis See also: Sufi–Salafi relations

Persecution of Sufis and Sufism has included destruction of Sufi shrines and mosques, suppression of orders, and discrimination against adherents in a number of Muslim-majority countries. The Turkish Republican state banned all Sufi
Sufi
orders and abolished their institutions in 1925 after Sufis opposed the new secular order. The Iranian Islamic
Islamic
Republic has harassed Shia Sufis, reportedly for their lack of support for the government doctrine of "governance of the jurist " (i.e., that the supreme Shiite
Shiite
jurist should be the nation's political leader).

In most other Muslim countries, attacks on Sufis and especially their shrines have come from adherents of puritanical schools of thought who believe that practices such as celebration of the birthdays of Sufi saints , and dhikr ("remembrance" of God) ceremonies are bid‘ah or impure innovation, and polytheistic (Shirk ).

PROMINENT SUFIS

RABI\'A AL-\'ADAWIYYA

Depiction of Rabi'a grinding grain from a Persian dictionary

Rabi\'a al-\'Adawiyya or Rabia of Basra
Basra
(died 801) was a mystic who represents countercultural elements of Sufism, especially with regards to the status and power of women. Prominent Sufi
Sufi
leader Hasan of Basra is said to have castigated himself before her superior merits and sincere virtues. Rabi'a was born either a slave or a servant of very poor origin, released by her master when he awoke one night to see the light of sanctity shining above her head. Rabi'a al-Adawiyya is known for her teachings and emphasis on the centrality of the love of God
God
to a holy life. She is said to have proclaimed, running down the streets of Basra
Basra
, Iraq:

"O God! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship You for Your Own sake, grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty." — Rabi'a al-Adawiyya

She died in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and is thought to have been buried in the Chapel of the Ascension .

BAYAZID BASTAMI

Bayazid Bastami is a very well recognized and influential Sufi personality. Bastami was born in 804 in Bastam . Bayazid is regarded for his devout commitment to the Sunnah and his dedication to fundamental Islamic
Islamic
principals and practices.

JUNAYD OF BAGHDAD

_ A manuscript of Sufi
Sufi
Islamic
Islamic
theology , Shams al-Ma\'arif _ (The Book of the Sun of Gnosis), was written by the Algerian Sufi master Ahmad al-Buni during the 12th century.

Junayd of Baghdad (830–910) was one of the great early Sufis. His order was Junaidia, which links to the golden chain of many Sufi orders. He laid the groundwork for sober mysticism in contrast to that of God-intoxicated Sufis like al-Hallaj, Bayazid Bastami and Abusaeid Abolkheir. During the trial of al-Hallaj, his former disciple, the Caliph of the time demanded his fatwa. In response, he issued this fatwa: "From the outward appearance he is to die and we judge according to the outward appearance and God
God
knows better". He is referred to by Sufis as Sayyid-ut Taifa—i.e., the leader of the group. He lived and died in the city of Baghdad.

MANSUR AL-HALLAJ

Mansur Al-Hallaj (died 922) is renowned for his claim, _Ana-l-Haqq_ ("I am The Truth"). His refusal to recant this utterance, which was regarded as apostasy , led to a long trial. He was imprisoned for 11 years in a Baghdad
Baghdad
prison, before being tortured and publicly dismembered on March 26, 922. He is still revered by Sufis for his willingness to embrace torture and death rather than recant. It is said that during his prayers, he would say "O Lord! You are the guide of those who are passing through the Valley of Bewilderment. If I am a heretic, enlarge my heresy".

ABDUL-QADIR GILANI

Geometric tiling on the underside of the dome of Hafiz Shirazi's tomb in Shiraz
Shiraz

Abdul-Qadir Gilani (1077–1166) was a Persian Hanbali jurist and Sufi
Sufi
based in Baghdad
Baghdad
. Qadiriyya was his patronym. Gilani spent his early life in Na'if, the town of his birth. There, he pursued the study of Hanbali law. Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi gave Gilani lessons in fiqh . He was given lessons about Hadith by Abu Bakr ibn Muzaffar. He was given lessons about Tafsir by Abu Muhammad
Muhammad
Ja'far, a commentator. His Sufi
Sufi
spiritual instructor was Abu'l-Khair Hammad ibn Muslim al-Dabbas. After completing his education, Gilani left Baghdad. He spent twenty-five years as a reclusive wanderer in the desert regions of Iraq. In 1127, Gilani returned to Baghdad
Baghdad
and began to preach to the public. He joined the teaching staff of the school belonging to his own teacher, Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi , and was popular with students. In the morning he taught hadith and tafsir , and in the afternoon he held discourse on the science of the heart and the virtues of the Qur'an.

IBN ARABI

Muhyiddin Muhammad
Muhammad
b. ' Ali
Ali
Ibn \'Arabi (or Ibn al-'Arabi) AH 561- AH 638 (July 28, 1165 – November 10, 1240) is considered to be one of the most important Sufi
Sufi
masters, although he never founded any order (_tariqa_). His writings, especially al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya and Fusus al-hikam, have been studied within all the Sufi
Sufi
orders as the clearest expression of _tawhid_ (Divine Unity), though because of their recondite nature they were often only given to initiates. Later those who followed his teaching became known as the school of _wahdat al-wujud_ (the Oneness of Being). He himself considered his writings to have been divinely inspired. As he expressed the Way to one of his close disciples, his legacy is that 'you should never ever abandon your servant-hood (_ʿubudiyya_), and that there may never be in your soul a longing for any existing thing'.

MOINUDDIN CHISHTI

A Mughal-era Sufi
Sufi
prayer book from the Chishti order

Moinuddin Chishti was born in 1141 and died in 1236. Also known as Gharīb Nawāz "Benefactor of the Poor", he is the most famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order. Moinuddin Chishti introduced and established the order in the Indian subcontinent. The initial spiritual chain or silsila of the Chishti order in India, comprising Moinuddin Chishti, Bakhtiyar Kaki, Baba Farid, Nizamuddin Auliya (each successive person being the disciple of the previous one), constitutes the great Sufi
Sufi
saints of Indian history. Moinuddin Chishtī turned towards India, reputedly after a dream in which Muhammad
Muhammad
blessed him to do so. After a brief stay at Lahore, he reached Ajmer along with Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad
Muhammad
Ghori , and settled down there. In Ajmer, he attracted a substantial following, acquiring a great deal of respect amongst the residents of the city. Moinuddin Chishtī practiced the Sufi
Sufi
Sulh-e-Kul (peace to all) concept to promote understanding between Muslims
Muslims
and non- Muslims
Muslims

ABUL HASAN ASH-SHADHILI

Abul Hasan ash- Shadhili (died 1258), the founder of the Shadhiliyya order, introduced _dhikr jahri_ (the remembrance of God
God
outloud, as opposed to the silent _dhikr_). He taught that his followers need not abstain from what Islam
Islam
has not forbidden, but to be grateful for what God
God
has bestowed upon them, in contrast to the majority of Sufis, who preach to deny oneself and to destroy the ego-self (_nafs _) and its worldly desires. These two ways are sometimes referred to as "Order of Patience" (Tariqus-Sabr), as opposed to the "Order of Gratitude" (Tariqush-Shukr). Imam Shadhili also gave eighteen valuable _hizbs _ (litanies) to his followers out of which the notable _Hizb al-Bahr_ is recited worldwide even today.

AHMAD AL-TIJANI

Ahmad al-Tijani ABU AL-ʿABBâS AHMAD IBN MUHAMMAD AT-TIJâNî or AHMED TIJANI (1735–1815), in Arabic
Arabic
سيدي أحمد التجاني (_Sidi Ahmed Tijani_), is the founder of the Tijaniyya Sufi
Sufi
order. He was born in a Berber family, in Aïn Madhi , present-day Algeria and died in Fez, Morocco
Morocco
at the age of 80.

MAJOR SUFI ORDERS

Main articles: Tariqa and List of Sufi orders _ "TARIQAT" IN THE FOUR SPIRITUAL STATIONS: The Four Stations, sharia , tariqa, haqiqa . The fourth station, marifa , which is considered "unseen", is actually the center_ of the _haqiqa_ region. It is the essence of all four stations.

The term _Tariqa_ is used for a school or order of Sufism, or especially for the mystical teaching and spiritual practices of such an order with the aim of seeking ḥaqīqah (ultimate truth). A tariqa has a murshid (guide) who plays the role of leader or spiritual director. The members or followers of a tariqa are known as murīdīn (singular murīd), meaning "desirous", viz. "desiring the knowledge of knowing God
God
and loving God".

BEKTASHI

Main article: Bektashi

The Bektashi Order
Bektashi Order
was founded in the 13th century by the Islamic saint Haji Bektash Veli , and greatly influenced during its fomulative period by the Hurufi Ali
Ali
al-'Ala in the 15th century and reorganized by Balım Sultan in the 16th century.

CHISHTI

Main article: Chishti Order
Chishti Order

The Chishti Order
Chishti Order
(Persian : چشتیہ‎‎) was founded by ( Khawaja
Khawaja
) Abu Ishaq Shami ("the Syrian"; died 941) who brought Sufism to the town of Chisht , some 95 miles east of Herat
Herat
in present-day Afghanistan. Before returning to the Levant, Shami initiated, trained and deputized the son of the local Emir
Emir
(Khwaja) Abu Ahmad Abdal (died 966). Under the leadership of Abu Ahmad's descendants, the _Chishtiyya_ as they are also known, flourished as a regional mystical order.

KUBRAWIYA

Main article: Kubrawiya

The Kubrawiya order is a Sufi
Sufi
order ("tariqa ") named after its 13th-century founder Najmuddin Kubra . The Kubrawiya Sufi
Sufi
order was founded in the 13th century by Najmuddin Kubra in Bukhara
Bukhara
in modern Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
. The Mongols
Mongols
had captured Bukhara
Bukhara
in 1221, they committed genocide and killed nearly the whole population. Sheikh
Sheikh
Nadjm ed-Din Kubra was among those killed by the Mongols.

MAWLAWIYYA

Main article: Mawlawiyyah

The Mevlevi Order is better known in the West as the "whirling dervishes".

MURIDIYYA

Main article: Muridiyya

Mouride is a large Islamic
Islamic
Sufi
Sufi
order most prominent in Senegal
Senegal
and The Gambia , with headquarters in the holy city of Touba, Senegal
Senegal
.

NAQSHBANDI

Main article: Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi

The Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
order is one of the major Sufi
Sufi
orders of Islam, previously known as Siddiqiyya as the order stems from Mohammad through Abū Bakr as-Șiddīq. It is considered by some to be a "sober" order known for its silent dhikr (remembrance of God) rather than the vocalized forms of dhikr common in other orders. The word "_Naqshbandi_" (نقشبندی) is Persian , taken from the name of the founder of the order, Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari . Some have said that the translation means "related to the image-maker", some also consider it to mean "Pattern Maker" rather than "image maker", and interpret "Naqshbandi" to mean "Reformer of Patterns", and others consider it to mean "Way of the Chain" or " Silsilat al-dhahab ".

NIMATULLAHI

Main article: Nimatullahi

The Ni'matullāhī order is the most widespread Sufi
Sufi
order of Persia today. It was founded by Shah Ni\'matullah Wali
Wali
(died 1367), established and transformed from his inheritance of the Ma\'rufiyyah circle. There are several suborders in existence today, the most known and influential in the West following the lineage of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh who brought the order to the West following the 1979 Revolution in Iran
Iran
.

QADIRI

Main article: Qadiriyyah

The Qadiri Order is one of the oldest Sufi
Sufi
Orders. It derives its name from Abdul-Qadir Gilani (1077–1166), a native of the Iranian province of Gīlān . The order is one of the most widespread of the Sufi
Sufi
orders in the Islamic
Islamic
world, and can be found in Central Asia , Turkey, Balkans and much of East and West Africa
West Africa
. The Qadiriyyah have not developed any distinctive doctrines or teachings outside of mainstream Islam. They believe in the fundamental principles of Islam, but interpreted through mystical experience.

SENUSSI

Main article: Senussi
Senussi

Senussi
Senussi
is a religious-political Sufi
Sufi
order established by Muhammad ibn Ali
Ali
as- Senussi
Senussi
. Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Ali
Ali
as- Senussi
Senussi
founded this movement due to his criticism of the Egyptian ulema . Originally from Mecca, as- Senussi
Senussi
left due to pressure from Wahhabis to leave and settled in Cyrenaica where he was well received. Idris bin Muhammad
Muhammad
al-Mahdi as- Senussi
Senussi
was later recognized as Emir
Emir
of Cyrenaica and eventually became King of Libya
Libya
. The monarchy was abolished by Muammar Gaddafi but, a third of Libyan still claim to be Senussi.

SHADILIYYA

Main article: Shadhili

The Shadhili is a Sufi
Sufi
order founded by Abu-l-Hassan ash- Shadhili . Murids (followers) of the Shadhiliyya are often known as Shadhilis.

SUHRAWARDIYYA

Main article: Suhrawardiyya

The Suhrawardiyya order ( Arabic
Arabic
: سهروردية‎‎) is a Sufi order founded by Abu al-Najib al-Suhrawardi (1097–1168). The order was formalized by his nephew, Shahab al-Din Abu Hafs Umar Suhrawardi .

TIJANIYYA

Main article: Tijaniyyah

The Tijaniyyah order attach a large importance to culture and education, and emphasize the individual adhesion of the disciple (murīd ).

SYMBOLS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SUFI ORDERS

*

The symbolic emblem of the Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
Sufi
Sufi
Order *

Seal of the Chishti Order
Chishti Order
*

Grave of Ma Yuanzhang , the Sufi
Sufi
Grand Master, in China
China
*

Allah
Allah
's essence within a disciple's heart, associated with the Sarwari Qadri Order *

Mirror calligraphy, symbolizing the Sufi
Sufi
Bektashi Order
Bektashi Order
of the Dervish *

Symbol of the Mevlevi Order *

Safaviyya star from ceiling of Shah Mosque, Isfahan
Isfahan
*

A symbol from the Mughal Empire : an amulet comprising magic squares, Quranic verses (including _Al-Baqara 255 (Throne Verse) _ (2:255) running around the frame), and invocations to God, with a depiction of Zulfiqar at the center

RECEPTION

PERCEPTION OUTSIDE ISLAM

A choreographed Sufi
Sufi
performance on a Friday in Sudan
Sudan

Sufi
Sufi
mysticism has long exercised a fascination upon the Western world, and especially its Orientalist scholars. Figures like Rumi have become well known in the United States, where Sufism is perceived as a peaceful and apolitical form of Islam. Orientalists have proposed a variety of diverse theories pertaining to the nature of Sufism, such as it being influenced by Neoplatonism or as an Aryan historical reaction against "Semitic " cultural influence. Hossein Nasr states that the preceding theories are false according to the point of view of Sufism.

The Islamic
Islamic
Institute in Mannheim, Germany, which works towards the integration of Europe
Europe
and Muslims, sees Sufism as particularly suited for interreligious dialogue and intercultural harmonisation in democratic and pluralist societies; it has described Sufism as a symbol of tolerance and humanism —nondogmatic, flexible and non-violent. According to Philip Jenkins , a Professor at Baylor University, "the Sufis are much more than tactical allies for the West: they are, potentially, the greatest hope for pluralism and democracy within Muslim nations." Likewise, several governments and organisations have advocated the promotion of Sufism as a means of combating intolerant and violent strains of Islam
Islam
. For example, the Chinese and Russian governments openly favor Sufism as the best means of protecting against Islamist subversion. The British government, especially following the 7 July 2005 London bombings , has favoured Sufi
Sufi
groups in its battle against Muslim extremist currents. The influential RAND Corporation , an American think-tank, issued a major report titled "Building Moderate Muslim Networks," which urged the US government to form links with and bolster Muslim groups that opposed Islamist extremism. The report stressed the Sufi
Sufi
role as moderate traditionalists open to change, and thus as allies against violence. News organisations such as the BBC, Economist and Boston Globe have also seen Sufism as a means to deal with violent Muslim extremists.

Idries Shah states that Sufism is universal in nature, its roots predating the rise of Islam
Islam
and Christianity. Shah's views have however been rejected by modern scholars. Such modern trends of neo-Sufis in Western countries allow non- Muslims
Muslims
to receive "instructions on following the Sufi
Sufi
path", not without opposition by Muslims
Muslims
who consider such instruction outside the sphere of Islam.

INFLUENCE ON JUDAISM

_ This section POSSIBLY CONTAINS ORIGINAL RESEARCH . Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations . Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (July 2017)_ _(Learn how and when to remove this template message )_

See also: Jewish philosophy

Both Judaism
Judaism
and Islam
Islam
are monotheistic. There is evidence that Sufism did influence the development of some schools of Jewish philosophy and ethics. In the first writing of this kind, we see "Kitab al-Hidayah ila Fara'iḍ al-Ḳulub", _ Duties of the Heart _, of Bahya ibn Paquda . This book was translated by Judah ibn Tibbon into Hebrew
Hebrew
under the title "Ḥōḇōṯ Ha-lleḇāḇōṯ".

The precepts prescribed by the Torah
Torah
number 613 only; those dictated by the intellect are innumerable.

It is noteworthy that in the ethical writings of the Sufis Al-Kusajri and Al-Harawi there are sections which treat of the same subjects as those treated in the "Ḥovot ha-Lebabot" and which bear the same titles: e.g., "Bab al-Tawakkul"; "Bab al-Taubah"; "Bab al-Muḥasabah"; "Bab al-Tawaḍu'"; "Bab al-Zuhd". In the ninth gate, Baḥya directly quotes sayings of the Sufis, whom he calls _Perushim_. However, the author of the _Ḥōḇōṯ Ha-lleḇāḇōṯ_ did not go so far as to approve of the asceticism of the Sufis, although he showed a marked predilection for their ethical principles.

The Jewish
Jewish
writer Abraham bar Hiyya teaches the asceticism of the Sufis. His distinction with regard to the observance of Jewish
Jewish
law by various classes of men is essentially a Sufic theory. According to it there are four principal degrees of human perfection or sanctity; namely: 1. of "Shari'ah", i.e., of strict obedience to all ritual laws of Islam
Islam
, such as prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, almsgiving, ablution, etc., which is the lowest degree of worship, and is attainable by all 2. of _Ṭariqah_, which is accessible only to a higher class of men who, while strictly adhering to the outward or ceremonial injunctions of religion, rise to an inward perception of mental power and virtue necessary for the nearer approach to the Divinity 3. of "Ḥaḳikah", the degree attained by those who, through continuous contemplation and inward devotion, have risen to the true perception of the nature of the visible and invisible; who, in fact, have recognized the Godhead, and through this knowledge have succeeded in establishing an ecstatic relation to it; and 4. of the "Ma'arifah", in which state man communicates directly with the Deity.

Abraham ben Moses ben Maimon , the son of the Jewish
Jewish
philosopher Maimonides
Maimonides
, believed that Sufi
Sufi
practices and doctrines continue the tradition of the Biblical prophets. See Sefer Hammaspiq, "Happerishuth", Chapter 11 ("Ha-mmaʿaḇāq") s.v. hithbonen efo be-masoreth mufla'a zo, citing the Talmudic explanation of Jeremiah 13:27 in Chagigah 5b; in Rabbi Yaakov Wincelberg's translation, "The Way of Serving God" (Feldheim), p. 429 and above, p. 427. Also see ibid., Chapter 10 ("Iqquḇim"), s.v. wa-halo yoḏeʾaʿ atta; in "The Way of Serving God", p. 371.

Abraham Maimuni's principal work is originally composed in Judeo- Arabic
Arabic
and entitled "כתאב כפאיה אלעאבדין" _Kitāb Kifāyah al-'Ābidīn_ ("A Comprehensive Guide for the Servants of God"). From the extant surviving portion it is conjectured that Maimuni's treatise was three times as long as his father's Guide for the Perplexed. In the book, Maimuni evidences a great appreciation for, and affinity to, Sufism. Followers of his path continued to foster a Jewish- Sufi
Sufi
form of pietism for at least a century, and he is rightly considered the founder of this pietistic school, which was centered in Egypt
Egypt
.

The followers of this path, which they called, interchangeably, Hasidism (not to be confused with the Jewish
Jewish
Hasidic movement) or Sufism (Tasawwuf), practiced spiritual retreats, solitude, fasting and sleep deprivation. The Jewish
Jewish
Sufis maintained their own brotherhood , guided by a religious leader—like a Sufi
Sufi
sheikh .

Abraham Maimuni's two sons, Obadyah and David, continued to lead this Jewish- Sufi
Sufi
brotherhood. Obadyah Maimonides
Maimonides
wrote _Al-Mawala Al Hawdiyya_ ("The Treatise of the Pool")—an ethico-mystical manual based on the typically Sufi
Sufi
comparison of the heart to a pool that must be cleansed before it can experience the Divine.

IN POPULAR CULTURE

FILMS

* In _ The Jewel of the Nile _ (1985), the eponymous Jewel is a Sufi holy man. * In _Hideous Kinky _ (1998), Julia ( Kate Winslet ) travels to Morocco
Morocco
to explore Sufism and a journey to self-discovery. * In _ Monsieur Ibrahim _ (2003), Omar Sharif 's character professes to be a Muslim in the Sufi
Sufi
tradition. * _Bab\'Aziz _ (2005), a film by Tunisian director Nacer Khemir , draws heavily on the Sufi
Sufi
tradition, containing quotes from Sufi
Sufi
poets such as Rumi
Rumi
and depicting an ecstatic Sufi
Sufi
dance.

MUSIC

Play media Friday evening ceremony at Dargah Salim Chisti, India
India

Abida Parveen , a Pakistani Sufi
Sufi
singer is one of the foremost exponents of Sufi
Sufi
music, together with Nusrat Fateh Ali
Ali
Khan are considered the finest Sufi
Sufi
vocalists of the modern era. Sanam Marvi another Pakistani singer has recently gained recognition for her Sufi vocal performances.

A. R. Rahman , the Oscar-winning Indian musician, has several compositions which draw inspiration from the Sufi
Sufi
genre; examples are the filmi qawwalis _Khwaja Mere Khwaja_ in the film _ Jodhaa Akbar _, _Arziyan_ in the film _ Delhi
Delhi
6 _ and _Kun Faya Kun_ in the film _Rockstar _.

Bengali singer Lalan Fakir and Bangladesh's national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam
Islam
scored several Sufi
Sufi
songs.

Junoon , a band from Pakistan
Pakistan
, created the genre of Sufi
Sufi
rock by combining elements of modern hard rock and traditional folk music with Sufi
Sufi
poetry.

In 2005, Rabbi Shergill released a Sufi
Sufi
rock song called "Bulla Ki Jaana ", which became a chart-topper in India
India
and Pakistan.

Madonna , on her 1994 record _Bedtime Stories _, sings a song called "Bedtime Story " that discusses achieving a high unconsciousness level. The video for the song shows an ecstatic Sufi
Sufi
ritual with many dervishes dancing, Arabic
Arabic
calligraphy and some other Sufi
Sufi
elements. In her 1998 song "Bittersweet", she recites Rumi's poem by the same name. In her 2001 Drowned World Tour, Madonna sang the song "Secret" showing rituals from many religions, including a Sufi
Sufi
dance.

American rock band mewithoutYou draw heavily on all of the Abrahamic religions in their music, with a heavy focus on Sufism. Their 2009 album _It\'s All Crazy! It\'s All False! It\'s All a Dream! It\'s Alright _ is based on the teaching of Sufi
Sufi
mystic Bawa Muhaiyaddeen .

Singer/songwriter Loreena McKennitt 's record _ The Mask and Mirror _ (1994) has a song called "The Mystic's Dream" that is influenced by Sufi
Sufi
music and poetry.

Tori Amos makes a reference to Sufis in her song "Cruel".

Mercan Dede , a Turkish composer and Azam Ali
Ali
, an Iranian-American singer incorporate Sufism into their music and performances.

British folk singer Richard Thompson is a long-time Sufi.

LITERATURE

A 17th-century miniature of Nasreddin , a Seljuk
Seljuk
satirical figure , currently in the Topkapı Palace Museum Library

The Persian poet Rumi
Rumi
, who was born in present-day Afghanistan, has become one of the most widely read poets in the United States, thanks largely to the interpretative translations published by Coleman Barks . Elif Şafak 's novel _The Forty Rules of Love_ is a fictionalized account of Rumi's encounter with the Persian dervish Shams Tabrizi
Shams Tabrizi
. Furthermore, between 1910 and 1911 one of the first Sufi
Sufi
journals, called _Hikmet_ , was published in Istanbul
Istanbul
by Ahmad Hilmi of Filibe . Another Sufi-oriented journal was published in Egypt
Egypt
between 1931 and 1934. _Al-Maʿrifa_ informed among others about Sufi
Sufi
moral and wisdom.

GALLERY

*

Shrine of Sultan Bahu of the Sarwari Qadiri *

The Golden Chain of the Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
order *

Tomb of Khwaja Ghulam Farid at Mithankot *

Sufi
Sufi
mosque in Srinagar
Srinagar
, Kashmir
Kashmir
*

The Great Mosque of Touba , home of the Mouride Sufi
Sufi
order of Senegal *

Haqqani Anjuman Faquiri Huzra Mubarak in Bagmari, Kolkata
Kolkata
(State:WB , County:Ind ), established in 1876 by Maulana Sufi
Sufi
Mufti Azangachhi Shaheb *

Wali
Wali
tomb, south of Karima, Sudan
Sudan
*

The Rumi
Rumi
Museum in Konya
Konya
, Turkey *

An illustration of Ibrahima Fall , leader of the Mouride Order *

The Mughal Emperor
Mughal Emperor
Jahangir
Jahangir
preferring a Sufi
Sufi
shaikh to kings *

Mazar e Soltani, Bidokht , Gonabad County . Shrine of four Qutbs (masters) of the Nimatullahi Sufi
Sufi
order *

Kaygusuz Abdal *

Mausoleum of Makhdoom Shah Daulat (d. 1608). Ibrahim Khan, the Mughal governor of Bihar
Bihar
, completed his mausoleum in 1616 during the reign of the Mughal Emperor
Mughal Emperor
Jahangir
Jahangir
. *

The shrine of Shah Arzani constructed during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir
Jahangir
*

Pir Dastgir from the Mughal Empire *

Sheykh of the Rufai Sufi
Sufi
Order *

Marabout
Marabout
of West Africa
West Africa

SEE ALSO

* Index of Sufism-related articles * List of modern Sufi
Sufi
scholars * List of Sufi saints * Tawassul * World Sufi
Sufi
forum

* Sufism portal

REFERENCES

* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Qamar-ul Huda (2003), _Striving for Divine Union: Spiritual Exercises for Suhraward Sufis_, RoutledgeCurzon, pp. 1–4 * ^ _A_ _B_ Martin Lings, _What is Sufism?_ (Lahore: Suhail Academy, 2005; first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), p.15 * ^ Titus Burckhardt, _Art of Islam: Language and Meaning_ (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2009), p. 223 * ^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, _The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr_, ed. William C. Chittick (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2007), p. 74 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ Massington, L., Radtke, B., Chittick, W.C., Jong, F. de., Lewisohn, L., Zarcone, Th., Ernst, C, Aubin, Françoise and J.O. Hunwick, “Taṣawwuf”, in: _Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition_, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. * ^ Martin Lings, _What is Sufism?_ (Lahore: Suhail Academy, 2005; first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), p.12: "Mystics on the other hand-and Sufism is a kind of mysticism-are by definition concerned above all with 'the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven'" * ^ Knysh, Alexander D., “Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān”, in: _Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān_, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. * ^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, _The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr_, ed. William C. Chittick (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2007), pp. 74-75 * ^ Editors, The (2014-02-04). "tariqa Islam". Britannica.com. Retrieved 29 May 2015. * ^ Glassé 2008 , p. 499. * ^ Bin Jamil Zeno, Muhammad
Muhammad
(1996). _The Pillars of Islam
Islam
& Iman_. Darussalam. pp. 19–. ISBN 978-9960-897-12-7 . * ^ Gamard 2004 , p. 171. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ Fitzpatrick & Walker 2014 , p. 446. * ^ _A_ _B_ Kabbani, Muhammad
Muhammad
Hisham (2004). _Classical Islam
Islam
and the Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
Sufi
Sufi
Tradition_. Islamic
Islamic
Supreme Council of America. p. 557. ISBN 1-930409-23-0 . * ^ Schimmel, Annemarie (2014-11-25). " Sufism Islam". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2015-05-29. * ^ _A Prayer
Prayer
for Spiritual Elevation and Protection_ (2007) by Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, Suha Taji-Farouki * ^ G. R Hawting (2002). _The First Dynasty of Islam: The Umayyad Caliphate
Caliphate
AD 661-750_. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-203-13700-0 . * ^ Sells 1996 , p. 1. * ^ Chittick 2007 , p. 22. * ^ _A_ _B_ Chittick (2008), p.6 * ^ Alan Godlas, University of Georgia, _Sufism\'s Many Paths_, 2000. * ^ Guénon 2001 . * ^ Glassé 2008 , p. 500. * ^ _World Sufi
Sufi
Mission_ * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Chittick 2007 . * ^ Chittick (2008), p.3,4,11 * ^ Ahmed Zarruq, Zaineb Istrabadi, Hamza Yusuf Hanson. _The Principles of Sufism_. Amal Press. 2008. * ^ _Corrections of Popular Versions of Poems From Rumi\'s Divan_ * ^ Ibrahim Gamard, _ Rumi
Rumi
and Self-Discovery_ * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein Nasr (1993-01-01). _An Introduction to Islamic
Islamic
Cosmological Doctrines_. ISBN 9780791415153 . Retrieved 17 January 2015. * ^ William C. Chittick (2009). "Sufism. Sūfī Thought and Practice". In John L. Esposito. _The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic
Islamic
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Hisham Kabbani, 2004 * ^ " Sufism in Islam". Mac.abc.se. Archived from the original on April 17, 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012. * ^ The Bloomsbury Companion to Islamic
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Hisham Kabbani, _Classical Islam
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and the Naqshbandi Sufi
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Supreme Council of America, p. 644 * ^ "Taking Initiation (Bay`ah) The Naqshbandiyya Nazimiyya Sufi Order of America: Sufism and Spirituality". _naqshbandi.org_. Retrieved 2017-05-12. * ^ Shaykh Tariq Knecht, _Journal of a Sufi
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Odyssey_, Tauba Press * ^ IslamOnline.net Archived July 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ Massignon, Louis. _Essai sur les origines du lexique technique de la mystique musulmane_. Paris: Vrin, 1954. p. 104. * ^ Imam Birgivi , _The Path of Muhammad_, WorldWisdom, ISBN 0-941532-68-2 * ^ _A_ _B_ Encyclopædia Britannica, Retrieved on August 1st, 2016 * ^ Nasr, Hossein (1993). _An Introduction to Islamic
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Cosmological Doctrines_. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-1515-3 . * ^ Ridgeon, Lloyd (2010). _Morals and Mysticism in Persian Sufism: A History of Sufi-Futuwwat in Iran_. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-97058-0 . , p. 32 * ^ Ibn Khallikan 's Biographical Dictionary, translated by William McGuckin de Slane . Paris
Paris
: Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. Sold by Institut de France
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and Royal Library of Belgium . Vol. 3, p. 209. * ^ Ahmet T. Karamustafa, _Sufism: The Formative Period_, pg. 58. Berkeley : University of California Press , 2007. * ^ J. Spencer Trimingham, _The Sufi
Sufi
Orders in Islam_, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-512058-5 . * ^ Daftary Farhad 2013 A History of Shi'i Islam
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New York NY I.B. Tauris and Co ltd. page 28 ISBN 9780300035315 4/8/2015 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _The Jamaat Tableegh and the Deobandis_ by Sajid Abdul Kayum, Chapter 1: Overview and Background. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ "Dr. Jonathan AC Brown - What is Sufism?". youtube.com. 13 May 2015. * ^ Trimingham (1998), p. 1 * ^ Faridi, Shaikh Shahidullah. "The Meaning of Tasawwuf". _www.masud.co.uk_. Retrieved 2017-05-12. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, _The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr_, ed. William C. Chittick (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2007), p. 76 * ^ _A_ _B_ Martin Lings, _What is Sufism?_ (Lahore: Suhail Academy, 2005; first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), p.16 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "Is orthodox Islam
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possible without Sufism? - Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad (Dr. Timothy Winter)". youtube.com. 13 May 2015. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Profile of Sheikh
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Ahmad Muhammad
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Al-Tayyeb on_The Muslim 500_". _The Muslim 500: The World's Most Influential Muslims_. * ^ Massington, L., Radtke, B., Chittick, W.C., Jong, F. de., Lewisohn, L., Zarcone, Th., Ernst, C, Aubin, Françoise and J.O. Hunwick, “Taṣawwuf”, in: _Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition_, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs; _q.v._ "Hanafi," "Hanbali," and "Maliki," and under "mysticism in..." for each. * ^ _A_ _B_ Titus Burckhardt, _Introduction to Sufi
Sufi
Doctrine_ (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2008, p. 4, note 2 * ^ Martin Lings, _What is Sufism?_ (Lahore: Suhail Academy, 2005; first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), pp. 16-17 * ^ "Caner Dagli, "Rumi, the Qur\'an, and Heterodoxy," note on Facebook". facebook.com. 6 January 2015. * ^ Rozina Ali, "The Erasure of Islam
Islam
from the Poetry of Rumi," _The New Yorker_, Jan. 5 2017 * ^ The most recent version of the _Risâla_ is the translation of Alexander Knysh, _Al-Qushayri's Epistle on Sufism: Al-risala Al-qushayriyya Fi 'ilm Al-tasawwuf_ (ISBN 978-1859641866 ). Earlier translations include a partial version by Rabia Terri Harris (_Sufi Book of Spiritual Ascent_) and complete versions by Harris, and Barbara R. Von Schlegell. * ^ "Home". Fons Vitae. Retrieved 29 May 2015. * ^ The Alchemy of Happiness at archive.org * ^ "Dr. Jonathan AC Brown - What is Sufism?". youtube.com. 27 December 2015. * ^ For the pre-modern era, see Vincent J. Cornell, _Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism_, ISBN 978-0-292-71209-6 ; and for the colonial era, Knut Vikyr, _ Sufi
Sufi
and Scholar on the Desert Edge: Muhammad
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B. Oali Al-Sanusi and His Brotherhood_, ISBN 978-0-8101-1226-1 . * ^ Leonard Lewisohn, _The Legacy of Medieval Persian Sufism_, Khaniqahi- Nimatullahi Publications, 1992. * ^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, _Islam: Religion, History, and Civilization_, HarperSanFrancisco, 2003. (Ch. 1) * ^ Dina Le Gall, _A Culture of Sufism: Naqshbandis in the Ottoman World, 1450–1700_, ISBN 978-0-7914-6245-4 . * ^ Arthur F. Buehler, _ Sufi
Sufi
Heirs of the Prophet: The Indian Naqshbandiyya and the Rise of the Mediating Sufi
Sufi
Shaykh_, ISBN 978-1-57003-783-2 . * ^ Victor Danner, _The Islamic
Islamic
Tradition: An introduction_. Amity House. February 1988. * ^ " Islam
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in the Modern World, by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, reviewed by Zachary Markwith" (PDF). * ^ Jonathan A.C. Brown, Misquoting Muhammad
Muhammad
(London: Oneworld Publications, 2015), p. 254 * ^ Masatoshi Kisaichi, "The Burhami order and Islamic
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resurgence in modern Egypt." _Popular Movements and Democratization in the Islamic
Islamic
World_, pg. 57. Part of the New Horizons in Islamic
Islamic
Studies series. Ed. Masatoshi Kisaichi. London: Routledge, 2006. ISBN 9781134150618 * ^ Babou 2007 , p. 184–6. * ^ Mbacké & Hunwick 2005 . * ^ Chodkiewicz 1995 , p. introduction. * ^ " Sufism – Oxford Islamic
Islamic
Studies Online". oxfordislamicstudies.com. Retrieved 26 August 2015. * ^ "Sufism, Sufis, and Sufi
Sufi
Orders: Sufism\'s Many Paths". uga.edu. Retrieved 26 August 2015. * ^ Abul Hasan ash- Shadhili (1993). _The School of the Shadhdhuliyyah_. Islamic
Islamic
Texts Society. ISBN 978-0-946621-57-6 . * ^ Muhammad
Muhammad
Emin Er, _Laws of the Heart: A Practical Introduction to the Sufi
Sufi
Path_, Shifâ Publishers, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9815196-1-6 * ^ Abdullah Nur ad-Din Durkee, _The School of the Shadhdhuliyyah, Volume One: Orisons_; see also Shaykh Muhammad
Muhammad
Hisham Kabbani, _Classical Islam
Islam
and the Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
Sufi
Sufi
Tradition_, ISBN 978-1-930409-23-1 , which reproduces the spiritual lineage (_silsila_) of a living Sufi
Sufi
master. * ^ _A_ _B_ Momen, Moojan (1985). _An Introduction to Shiʻi Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver
Twelver
Shiʻism_. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-03531-5 . , page 209 * ^ Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman Madzillah-ul-Aqdus (2015). _Sultan Bahoo: The Life and Teachings_. Sultan ul Faqr Publications. ISBN 978-969-9795-18-3 . * ^ See Muhammad
Muhammad
Emin Er, _Laws of the Heart: A Practical Introduction to the Sufi
Sufi
Path_, Shifâ Publishers, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9815196-1-6 , for a detailed description of the practices and preconditions of this sort of spiritual retreat. * ^ See examples provided by Muzaffar Ozak in _Irshad: Wisdom of a Sufi
Sufi
Master_, addressed to a general audience rather than specifically to his own students. * ^ Shaykh Muhammad
Muhammad
Hisham Kabbani, _Classical Islam
Islam
and the Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
Sufi
Sufi
Tradition_, ISBN 978-1-930409-23-1 * ^ Carl W. Ernst (2010), p. 125 * ^ _A_ _B_ Carl W. Ernst, _The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad_, Muḥammad as the Pole of Existence, Cambridge University Press, p. 130 * ^ Gholamreza Aavani, _Glorification of the Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
in the Poems of Sa'adi_, p. 4 * ^ Gamard 2004 , p. 169. * ^ Ibn Arabi, _The Seals of Wisdom (Fusus al-Hikam)_, Aisha Bewley

* ^ Fariduddin Attar, _Ilahi-nama – The Book of God_, John Andrew Boyle (translator), _Thou knowest that none of the poets have sung such praise save only I._ * ^ Fariduddin Attar, _Ilahi-nama – The Book of God_, John Andrew Boyle (translator) * ^ _The Signs of a Sincere Lover_ (PDF), p. 91 * ^ _A_ _B_ Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych, _The Mantle Odes: Arabic Praise Poems to the Prophet Muhammad_, Indiana University Press * ^ Muhammad
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Emin Er, _The Soul of Islam: Essential Doctrines and Beliefs_, Shifâ Publishers, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9815196-0-9 . * ^ Schimmel 2013 , p. 99. * ^ (source: ) * ^ The Amman Message
Amman Message
Summary. Retrieved on Feb 2, 2010. * ^ Witteveen, Hendrikus Johannes (1 January 1997). "Universal Sufism". Element – via Google Books. * ^ Elwell-Sutton, L. P. (May 1975). " Sufism & Pseudo-Sufism". Encounter XLIV (5): 16. * ^ "Neo-Sufism: The Case of Idries Shah by James Moore". gurdjieff-legacy.org. Retrieved 26 August 2015. * ^ _A_ _B_ Muhammad
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Emin Er, _Laws of the Heart: A Practical Introduction to the Sufi
Sufi
Order_, Shifâ Publishers, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9815196-1-6 * ^ For a systematic description of the diseases of the heart that are to be overcome in order for this perspective to take root, see Hamza Yusuf, _Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart_, ISBN 978-1-929694-15-0 . * ^ Concerning this, and for an excellent discussion of the concept of attraction (_jadhba_), see especially the Introduction to Abdullah Nur ad-Din Durkee, _The School of the Shadhdhuliyyah, Volume One: Orisons_, ISBN 977-00-1830-9 . * ^ Muhammad
Muhammad
Emin Er, _al-Wasilat al-Fasila_, unpublished MS. * ^ Realities of The Heart Lataif * ^ Schimmel 2013 . * ^ See especially Robert Frager, _Heart, Self & Soul: The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance, and Harmony_, ISBN 978-0-8356-0778-0 . * ^ Hakim Moinuddin Chisti, _The Book of Sufi
Sufi
Healing_, ISBN 978-0-89281-043-7 * ^ For an introduction to the normative creed of Islam
Islam
as espoused by the consensus of scholars, see Hamza Yusuf, _The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi_, ISBN 978-0-9702843-9-6 , and Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Maghnisawi, _Imam Abu Hanifa's Al- Fiqh
Fiqh
Al-Akbar Explained_, ISBN 978-1-933764-03-0 . * ^ The meaning of _certainty_ in this context is emphasized in Muhammad
Muhammad
Emin Er, _The Soul of Islam: Essential Doctrines and Beliefs_, Shifâ Publishers, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9815196-0-9 . * ^ See in particular the introduction by T. J. Winter to Abu Hamid Muhammad
Muhammad
al-Ghazali, _ Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul and on Breaking the Two Desires: Books XXII and XXIII of the Revival of the Religious Sciences_, ISBN 978-0-946621-43-9 . * ^ Akbar Ahmed, Diiscovering Islam, Making sense of Muslim History and Society, ISBN 0-415-28525-9 (Pbk) * ^ Abdullah Jawadi Amuli, " Dhikr and the Wisdom Behind It" * ^ Hakim Moinuddin Chisti _The Book of Sufi
Sufi
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Emin Er, _Laws of the Heart: A Practical Introduction to the Sufi
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Path_, ISBN 978-0-9815196-1-6 , p. 77. * ^ "The Sema of the Mevlevi". Mevlevi Order of America. Retrieved 2009-03-26. * ^ The Whirling Dervishes of Rumi * ^ Hans Wehr, p. 1289 * ^ John Renard, _Friends of God: Islamic
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name for the tomb of a holy man... A qubba is usually erected over the grave of a holy man identified variously as WALI (saint), faki, or shaykh since, according to folk Islam, this is where his baraka is believed to be strongest... * ^ Radtke, B., "Saint", in: _Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān_, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.. * ^ J. van Ess, _Theologie und Gesellschaft im 2. und 3. Jahrhundert Hidschra. Eine Geschichte des religiösen Denkens im frühen Islam_, II (Berlin-New York, 1992), pp. 89-90 * ^ B. Radtke and J. O’Kane, _The Concept of Sainthood in Early Islamic
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BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Babou, Cheikh Anta (2007). " Sufism and Religious Brotherhoods in Senegal". _The International Journal of African Historical Studies_. 40 (1): 184. * Chittick, William (2007). _Sufism: A Beginner\'s Guide_. Oneworld Publications. ISBN 978-1-78074-052-2 . * Chodkiewicz, Michel (1995). _The Spiritual Writings of Amir ʿAbd al-Kader_. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-2446-9 . * Fitzpatrick, Coeli; Walker, Hani (2014). _ Muhammad
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EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to SUFISM _.

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* Sufism from _The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic
Islamic
World_, via _Oxford Islamic
Islamic
Studies Online_ * Sufism at DMOZ * Sufism, Sufis, and Sufi
Sufi
Orders – Sufism\'s Many Paths * Extensive photo Essay on Sufism by a National Geographic photographer * A Survey Of Decisive Arguments And Proof For Tasawwuf

.