Paragraph on Sufism (388 Words)

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The Islami mysticism known as Tasawwuf or Sufism was as old as Islam itself, and it was, no doubt ‘born in the bosom of Islam’.


It assumed the form of a regular movement in Persia in the ninth century as a reaction against the rigid formalism of Islam.

It received a theosophical basis during the age the Abbasid Caliphs of Baghdad and the sufi saints drew freely from the mystic concepts of other peoples and religions, including Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Arab philosopher A1 Ghazali (c.1057-1112 A.D.) provided a metaphysical basis to mysticism as a part and parcel of the Islamic theology.

The Sufis were the peaceful emissaries of Islam. They dedicated their lives to the service of mankind and the spread of the Islami faith. The propagation of Islam .was regarded by them as the greatest and the most meritorious service to the people. The sufis migrated to the far-off countries and lived in the midst of the non-Muslims, called Kafirs; where they carried on the work of proselylisation through peaceful means. Sufis came to India after the Arab conquest of Sind.

Sufism was based on the monistic philosophy which is the first fundamental principle of Islam. Nevertheless, the sufis, like the Indian mystics or exponents of the bhakti cult, adopted their own line of thought and philosophic speculations in visualising the Absolute Reality and the relationship between Him and His creation.


The monistic philosophy was based on the theory of ‘wahadat ul wajud’ or the unity of being. This was in conformity with the Vedanta philosophy of absolute monotheism. The sufis practiced austerities and laid stress on complete surrender to the will of God, renounced the materialistic pursuits of the world.

The Sufis were divided into a number of sects, called silsilas or orders. These are broadly divided into two – Ba-Shara, that is those which followed the Islamic law (Shara) and Be-Shara, that is, those which were not bound by it. Of the ‘Ba-Shara’ movements, only two acquired significant influence during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Chisti and Suharwadi. Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti established Chisti Silsilah.

The most well-known saints of the Sunarwardi Silsilah were Shaikh Jhihabuddin Suharwardi and Hamid-ud-Din Nagori. The Sufi movement affected the Hindu religion to some extent. It enhanced the religious tolerance. It gane rise to the Sufi literature also.

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