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Sufism or Taṣawwuf[1] (Arabic: Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Lang/ISO 639 synonyms' not found.‎), which is often defined as "Islamic mysticism,"[2] "the inward dimension of Islam,"[3][4] or "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam,"[5][6] is a mystical trend in Islam "characterized ... [by particular] values, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions"[7] which began very early on in Islamic history[5] and which represents "the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of" mystical practice in Islam.[8] Although the overwhelming majority of Sufis, both pre-modern and modern, have been adherents of Sunni Islam, there nevertheless also developed certain strands of Sufi practice within the ambit of Shia Islam during the late medieval period.[5]

Practitioners of Sufism have been referred to as "Sufis" (/ˈsfi/; Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Lang/ISO 639 synonyms' not found.), an Arabic word which is believed by historians to have originally indicated the "woollen clothes (ṣūf) or rough garb" worn by the early Islamic mystics.[5] 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.[9] These orders meet for spiritual sessions (majalis) in meeting places known as zawiyas, khanqahs, or tekke.[10] They strive for ihsan (perfection of worship) as detailed in a hadith: "Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him; if you can't see Him, surely He sees you."[11] Rumi stated: "The Sufi is hanging on to Muhammad, like Abu Bakr."[12] Sufis regard Muhammad as al-Insān al-Kāmil, the primary perfect man who exemplifies the morality of God,[13] and regard Muhammad as their leader and prime spiritual guide.

Goel writes in Story of Islamic Imperialism: Jayasi, Kutuban, Manjhan and some other sufis wrote their epics in Indian languages because they knew none of the languages patronised by Islam and, what is more important, because Islam had not yet corroded the cultural soul of these recent converts from the Hindu fold. I can cite several sufis who wrote in Indian languages but who invited Muslim monarchs to impose on the Hindus the disabilities decreed by the “laws” of Islam. Muslims like Rasakhan were rare exception. ...It is significant that no NirguNa saint has mentioned the name of a single Indian sufi, while most of them have spoken warmly of earlier sufis like Rabia, Mansur Al-Hallaj, Junaid, Bayazid, Shams Tabriz and Adham Sultan. This is because these earlier sufis were genuine mystics who lived before Islam was able to extinguished finally the spiritual traditions of Arab Paganism, Neo-Plantonism, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism prevalent in the Middle East. The Ulama of Islam came down very heavily upon these earlier sufis as soon as the tone and temper of sufi poetry was noticed by the Ulama. Al-Gazzali worked out a compromise - the sufis could sing and dance or indulge in austerities provided they served Islam in its pursuit of world-conquest and world-conversion. ... On the other hand, Muslim rule had nothing to do with the rise of Hindu saints like Kabir, Nanak, Tulsi, Sur and Mira. They arose in spite of Islam, and flourished only because Islam could not reach out to kill them. Shall we attribute the rise of Solzhenytsin to the rule of Stalin? Human spirit is unconquerable in the long run. Kabir and Nanak have referred to the inequities of Islam in very clear terms. Tulsi, Mira and Sur did not refer to Islam because it was beneath their contempt. At the same time, let us not forget that Mira flourished in Mewar which was never under Muslim rule, and Tulsi and Sur flourished under Akbar...

Ahmad Sirhindi[edit]

Ahmad Sirhindi: As a prominent Sufi who styled himself "Mujaddid-i-alf-i-sdni" or "renovator of the second millennium of Islam", Sirhindi's written works bear evidence to his interest in the weaponization of Sharia'h against the unbeliever. Amongst his letters, compiled in the Maktubat Imam Rabbani Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi Faruqi [14], Letter No. 163 states: " "The honour of Islam lies in insulting kufr and kafirs. One who respects the kafirs dishonours the Muslims... The real purpose of levying jiziya on them is to humiliate them to such an extent that they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling. It is intended to hold them under contempt and to uphold the honour and might of Islam." Letter No. 81 includes the following missive: "Cow-sacrifice in India is the noblest of Islamic practices. The kafirs may probably agree to pay jiziya but they shall never concede to cow-sacrifice.


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named qamar
  2. Martin Lings, What is Sufism? (Lahore: Suhail Academy, 2005; first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), p.15
  3. Titus Burckhardt, Art of Islam: Language and Meaning (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2009), p. 223
  4. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr, ed. William C. Chittick (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2007), p. 74
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 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.
  6. 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'"
  7. Knysh, Alexander D., “Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC.
  8. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr, ed. William C. Chittick (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2007), pp. 74-75
  9. Editors, The (2014-02-04). "tariqa | Islam" [archive]. Retrieved 29 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Glassé 2008, p. 499.
  11. Bin Jamil Zeno, Muhammad (1996). The Pillars of Islam & Iman [archive]. Darussalam. pp. 19–. ISBN 978-9960-897-12-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Gamard 2004, p. 171.
  13. Fitzpatrick & Walker 2014, p. 446.
  14. [archive]