Sufism

A mystical Islamic movement or mode of being Muslim, which empahsizes the batin (interior) dimension of religion.

Sufism takes many forms. Some Sufis have been ascetics living in poverty, traditionally wearing coarse woolen garments (hence their name - suf means wool) and rejecting human praise and comforts. Some Sufis have been mystic philosophers who speculated about and sought to experience the soul's union with God. Some have been great poets, speaking of the soul's anguished love for and separation from God. Some have been more ordinary people who have devoted themselves to being led in a spiritual quest by a Sufi master, and to personal or group devotional practices such as dhikr (the recitation of repeated formulas to help focus the mind on God.) Some groups of pupils became vast organizations called tariqas (Sufi orders, literally "ways").


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