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Sufism information

Six Sufi masters, c. 1760

Sufism (Arabic: الصُّوفِيَّة aṣ-ṣūfiyya), also known as Tasawwuf[1] (التَّصَوُّف at-taṣawwuf), is a mystic body of religious practice found within Islam which is characterized by a focus on Islamic purification, spirituality, ritualism, asceticism, and esotericism.[2][3][4][5][6] It has been variously defined as "Islamic mysticism",[7][8][9] "the mystical expression of Islamic faith",[10] "the inward dimension of Islam",[11][12] "the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam",[13][14] the "main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization" of mystical practice in Islam,[15][16] and "the interiorization and intensification of Islamic faith and practice".[17]

Practitioners of Sufism are referred to as "Sufis" (from صُوفِيّ, ṣūfīy),[13] and historically typically belonged to "orders" known as tariqa (pl. ṭuruq) – congregations formed around a grand wali who would be the last in a chain of successive teachers linking back to Muhammad, with the goal of undergoing Tazkiah (self purification) and the hope of reaching Ihsan.[18][19][20] The ultimate aim of Sufis is to seek the pleasure of God by endeavoring to return to their original state of purity and natural disposition, known as fitra.[21]

Sufism emerged early on in Islamic history,[13] partly as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad Caliphate (661–750) and mainly under the tutelage of Hasan Al-Basri.[22] Although Sufis were opposed to dry legalism, they strictly observed Islamic law and belonged to various schools of Islamic jurisprudence and theology.[23] Although the overwhelming majority of Sufis, both pre-modern and modern, remain adherents of Sunni Islam, certain strands of Sufi thought transferred over to the ambits of Shia Islam during the late medieval period.[24] This particularly happened after the Safavid conversion of Iran under the concept of Irfan.[24] Important focuses of Sufi worship include dhikr, the practice of remembrance of God.[25] Sufis also played an important role in spreading Islam through their missionary and educational activities.[23]

Despite a relative decline of Sufi orders in the modern era and attacks from revivalist Islamic movement (such as the Salafis and Wahhabis), Sufism has continued to play an important role in the Islamic world, especially in the neo-traditionalist strand of Sunni Islam.[26][27] It has also influenced various forms of spirituality in the West and generated significant academic interest.[28][29][30]

  1. ^ Qamar-ul Huda (2003), Striving for Divine Union: Spiritual Exercises for Suhraward Sufis, RoutledgeCurzon, pp. 1–4, ISBN 9781135788438
  2. ^ "Refworld | Iran: Information on Sufism or Tasawwuf (Islamic mysticism) in Iran".
  3. ^ Cook, David (May 2015). "Mysticism in Sufi Islam". Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.013.51. ISBN 9780199340378. Archived from the original on 28 November 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  4. ^ Anjum, Tanvir (2006). "Sufism in History and its Relationship with Power". Islamic Studies. 45 (2): 221–268. ISSN 0578-8072. JSTOR 20839016.
  5. ^ Sebottendorff, Baron Rudolf von (2013-01-17). Secret Practices of the Sufi Freemasons: The Islamic Teachings at the Heart of Alchemy. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-62055-001-4.
  6. ^ Belhaj, Abdessamad (2013). "Legal Knowledge by Application: Sufism as Islamic Legal Hermeneutics in the 10th/12th Centuries". Studia Islamica. 108 (1): 82–107. doi:10.1163/19585705-12341276. ISSN 0585-5292. JSTOR 43577536.
  7. ^ Knysh, Alexander D. (2006). "Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān". In McAuliffe, Jane Dammen (ed.). Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. Vol. V. Leiden: Brill Publishers. doi:10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQCOM_00196. ISBN 90-04-14743-8.
  8. ^ Milani, Milad (2012). "The Cultural Products of Global Sufism". In Cusack, Carol; Norman, Alex (eds.). Handbook of New Religions and Cultural Production. Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion. Vol. 4. Leiden: Brill Publishers. pp. 659–680. doi:10.1163/9789004226487_027. ISBN 978-90-04-22187-1. ISSN 1874-6691.
  9. ^ Martin Lings, What is Sufism? (Lahore: Suhail Academy, 2005; first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), p.15
  10. ^ Halligan, Fredrica R. (2014). "Sufis and Sufism". In Leeming, David A. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion (2nd ed.). Boston: Springer Verlag. pp. 1750–1751. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_666. ISBN 978-1-4614-6087-9.
  11. ^ Titus Burckhardt, Art of Islam: Language and Meaning (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2009), p. 223
  12. ^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr, ed. William C. Chittick (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2007), p. 74
  13. ^ a b c Massington, L.; Radtke, B.; Chittick, W. C.; Jong, F. de.; Lewisohn, L.; Zarcone, Th.; Ernst, C.; Aubin, Françoise; Hunwick, J. O. (2012) [2000]. "Taṣawwuf". In Bosworth, C. E.; van Donzel, E. J.; Heinrichs, W. P. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Vol. 10. Leiden: Brill Publishers. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_1188. ISBN 978-90-04-11211-7.
  14. ^ 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'".
  15. ^ Compare: Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2007). Chittick, William C. (ed.). The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr. The perennial philosophy series. Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom, Inc. p. 74. ISBN 9781933316383. Retrieved 2017-06-24. Sufism is the esoteric or inward dimension of Islam [...] Islamic esoterism is, however [...] not exhausted by Sufism [...] but the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of Islamic esotericism is to be found in Sufism.
  16. ^ Shah 1964–2014, p. 30. "According to Idries Shah, Sufism is as old as Adam and is the essence of all religions, monotheistic or not." See Perennial philosophy
  17. ^ Chittick 2007, p. 22.
  18. ^ Tariqa. Encyclopedia Britannica. 2014-02-04. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  19. ^ Hossein., Nasr, Seyyed (2008). The garden of truth : the vision and promise of Sufism, Islam's mystical tradition. HarperOne. ISBN 978-0-06-162599-2. OCLC 191932004.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ "Back to Basics | Tazkiyah: An Introduction to Spiritually Blossoming This Islamic New Year". Amaliah. Retrieved 2023-09-19.
  21. ^ Cite error: The named reference AH Shadhili was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  22. ^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2008). The garden of truth: the vision and promise of Sufism, Islam's mystical tradition. Harper Collins. pp. 45–3736–45-3736. ISBN 978-0061625992.
  23. ^ a b Schimmel, Annemarie. "Sufism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-06-26. Opposed to the dry casuistry of the lawyer-divines, the mystics nevertheless scrupulously observed the commands of the divine law. [...] the mystics belonged to all schools of Islamic law and theology of the times.
  24. ^ a b Bos, Matthijs van den (2002). Mystic regimes : Sufism and the state in Iran, from the late Qajar era to the Islamic Republic. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 1-4175-0678-4. OCLC 55505825.
  25. ^ A Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and Protection (2007) by Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, Suha Taji-Farouki
  26. ^ Piraino, Francesco; Sedgwick, Mark J. (2019). Global sufism : boundaries, structures and politics. London. ISBN 978-1-78738-134-6. OCLC 1091678717.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  27. ^ Newlon, Brendan (2017-07-01). "Nationalism, Language, and Muslim Exceptionalism". American Journal of Islam and Society. 34 (3): 156–158. doi:10.35632/ajis.v34i3.789. ISSN 2690-3741.
  28. ^ Cite error: The named reference howell was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  29. ^ Cite error: The named reference sedgwick2012 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  30. ^ Cite error: The named reference voll-OEIW was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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