Could you please explain the concepts of Sufi and Sufism?
Submitted by on Thu, 26/05/2011 - 07:37
Dear Brother / Sister,
A Sufi is a person who is freed from dirt, who constantly meditates, who turns to Allah from people and who regards gold and mud as the same. Sufi is a person whose heart Allah has purified; thus, his heart becomes full of nur (light) and he has tasted the pleasure of dhikrullah (mrntioning the names of Allah).
Sufism represents the intuitional and emotional aspect of the Quran. The concept of Sufism is not present in the Quran as a word but it is present as a principle, purpose and lifestyle. Sufists have dealt with the concepts of ethics, meditation, dhikr, tasbih (glorifying Allah), tahmid (praising Allah), etc in the Quran and have interpreted the relevant verses.
İslam consists of belief, worshipping and ethics in general. The science of Kalam deals with belief; fiqh deals with worshipping and Sufism deals with ethics. Sufism means to practice Islam deeply. It is a product of the spiritual and conscientious perception. It means to go to the meaning from the form and to reach the essence from the outer covering. It means to do as one preaches.
There are various definitions of Sufism. A Sufi must try to have good and beautiful things, be patient when he is in need, give things away freely when he has, do people favors without discrimination, do good deeds in return for bad deeds, must not value worldly elements like goods, property, posts and fame; on the other hand, his inner world must be better than his outward appearance; he must educate his soul, purify his heart, attain God Almighty and be a friend of His.
Kushayri reports some definitions of Junayd al-Baghdadi about sufism. According to Junayd al-Baghdadi, “A Sufi is like the ground; everything bad is thrown onto it; but, only good things come out of it. A Sufi is like the ground. Both the good and bad people walk on it by treading it. A Sufi is like a cloud. He shades both the good and bad people. A Sufi is like rain. He waters everywhere without discrimination. If you see a Sufi who gives importance to his outward appearance, know that his inner world is ruined.” (Kushayri, ar-Risala, II, 553)
The definition of Abu Bakr ash-Shibli, “A Sufi is a person who leaves people and attains God Almighty” emphasizes the relationship of a Sufi with God Almighty. A Sufi is the slave of Allah addressed as, “And I have prepared thee for Myself (for service).” (Taha 20/41)
After explaining the concepts of Sufi and Sufism, Hijwiri states the difference between a Sufi and mutasawwif. A sufi is a perfect saint and a supporter of the truth. A mutasawwif is a person who is on the way of being a Sufi and who tries hard to act like a Sufi. (DİA, Diyanet Vakfı Yayınları, 37, Sufi item)
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