posted on May, 3 2005 @ 02:21 AM
Good place to start.
The following 'snipits' taken from the above link sum it up nicely IMO:
Sufism is a system of esoteric philosophy commonly associated with Islam. In modern language it might also be referred to as "Islamic
spirituality" or "Islamic mysticism".
Sufis believe that their teachings are the essence of every religion, and indeed of the evolution of humanity as a whole. The central concept in
Sufism is "love". That love is a projection of the essence of God to the universe.
Since they believe that everything is a reflection of God, the school of Sufism practices to see the beauty inside the apparently ugly, and to open
arms to what they believe as even the most evil one.
Although philosophies vary between different Sufi sects, Sufism as a whole is primarily concerned with direct personal experience, and as such is
often compared to Zen Buddhism and Gnosticism. The following metaphor, credited to an unknown Sufi scholar, helps describe this line of thought.
"There are three ways of knowing a thing. Take for instance a flame. One can be told of the flame, one can see the flame with his own eyes, and
finally one can reach out and be burned by it. In this way, we Sufis seek to be burned by God."
A large part of Muslim literature comes from the Sufis, who created great books of poetry (which include for example the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the
Conference of the Birds and the Masnavi), all of which contain the profound, and hardly graspable, teachings of the Sufis.
I'm no expert on this, so don't take this as anything more than my own opinion but it does seem interesting that Sufi Spiritualism appears to be
somewhat distinct from what is most commonly known today as Islamic Religion. I have noticed how this seems to be a very
common occurance in
just about every Religious Philiosophy I've researched. Anyone else notice this as well???
Here is some support which adds to what I'm saying:
Sufism is usually seen in relation to Islam. There is a major line of Non-Islamic or offshoot-Islamic Sufi thought that sees Sufism as
predating Islam and being in fact universal and, therefore, independent of the Qur'an and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. This view of
Sufism has understandably been popular in the West and has been always opposed by Traditional Sufis who practice it in the framework of
I guess that makes the "Traditional Sufis" within the Islamic Framwork alot like the various other "Traditional religious orders
" and their
specific denomination of choice. It seems kinda strange to me that these so called "Traditional Sufis" would be so opposed, or should I say,
, toward the idea that God & Divinity could possibly exist outside the rigid confines of Islam and the Qur'an. Wasn't the whole
'Sufi' concept about "Love", "Tolerance" and even "To see the beauty inside the apparently ugly, and to open arms to what they believe as even
the most evil one." How quickly they seem to forget thier very own words of wisdom of which they claim to know so well!!
Another Source for you own personal copies of Islamic and/or Sufi Text: