Sufism Essay

1790 words - 7 pages


     Sufism, otherwise known as Islamic Mysticism, is a branch of Islam. It
deals with special powers that are contained in the Qur'an. It is a more
philosophical approach, where a person tries to become one with nature, and feel
the power of God. The term mysticism can be defined as the consciousness of the
One Reality -- be it called Wisdom, Light, Love or Nothing. (Shcimmel 23)
     A Sufi tries to unite his will with God's will. They try to isolate
themselves, so they can fear and become close to God. By isolating themselves, a
Sufi tries to stay away from politics and public affairs, so as too not get
corrupted. The Sufi's path is a path of love, to be thankful of all God's
bounties. Many Sufi's try to help individuals in trouble. They use special
powers, which enable them to help people who are suffering. Of course this power
can only be given by God, and Sufi's in no way equal to God's power. In fact,
Sufi's that claim to be at the same level of God cannot be classified as a
Muslim. (Frager 11)
     Sufi's stress love, because they believe that love will help you in the
Day of Judgement. That the people who you truly love, will give you their good
deeds, so that you may enter Paradise. Normally these people who give their good
deeds away are known as dervishes (this is quite different from the belief in
     Sufi's also stress the remembrance of God, which is called Zikr. They
try to get close to God, to be one with God. They define God as something that
is close to you but you can't see it. That God is all around us, but His
presence is too overwhelming to see. An example is like fish who is in water.
The fish can't really see the water, even though it is all around the fish. Once
a person realizes the presence of God, he or she will feel closer to God.
(Frager 27)
     Sufi's believe that God remains hidden, so that people don't complain to
Him (this however is not an Islamic belief). In Islam, God's presence isn't seen,
because He has too much power for the human eyes to see. Sufi's also believe
that pain increases the devotion to God. To get close to God, one must
experience pain. To suffer pain is a true test of faith. Life becomes a test
for that person, and if he or she remains close to God, then he or she passes
the test. (Frager 33)
     When a person feels close to God, he or she has a sense of hope when
they pray to God. Part of the work of a Sufi is to change the state of your
nafs, nafs meaning your soul. The soul and body are two different things, the
soul comes from God and the body is made out of clay. A Sufi believes that the
soul is good, but man misuses the soul to cause undesirable effects. He does
this by being dominated by his wants and desires. (Shcimmel 45)
     A Sufi tries to change the state in a person, to bring him closer...

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