What is Sufism?

Sufism (tasawwuf) is the path followed by Sufis to reach the Truth—God. While Sufism usually expresses the theoretical or philosophical aspect of this search, the practical aspect is usually referred to as “being a dervish.”


Sufism, mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. It consists of a variety of mystical paths that are designed to ascertain the nature of humanity and of God and to facilitate the experience of the presence of divine love and wisdom in the world.


Sufism has been defined in many ways. Some see it as the annihilation of the individual’s ego, will, and self centeredness by God and the subsequent spiritual revival with the light of His Essence. Such a transformation results in the direction of the individual’s will by God in accordance with His Will. Others view it as a continuous striving to cleanse one’s self of all that is bad or evil in order to acquire virtue.

Sufi dervishes whirling (abstract)

Main Articles

Aims and objectives

Unity with God

Four Stations in Sufism

Devotional practices of Sufis

Sufi ranks


Major Sufi orders

List of Sufi orders

Prominent Sufis

Influence on Judaism

Asādʿullāh: Nickname given by Muhammad to describe his kinsman Ali. Asadullah means "Lion of Allah", which is also well known as "IsmāʿīlīLion". Alevism, Bektashism and Sufism consider Ali as the holder of the divine secrets and esoteric meaning of Islam, transmitted to him by Muhammad. "I am the city of knowledge, Ali is its gate." —Muhammad.

Asādʿullāh: “Lion of Allah”

See also

La ilaha illa Allah Muhammed asul Allah. English translation: There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.

Key Concepts in The Practice Of Sufism

The Emerald Hills of the Heart
Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism
By M. Fethullah Gulen


Who is Al-Ghazali? Al-Ghazali (full name أبو حامد محمد بن محمد الطوسي الغزالي, Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad aṭ-Ṭūsī al-Ġazālī; latinized Algazelus or Algazel; c. 1058 – 19 December 1111) was one of the most prominent and influential philosophers, theologians, jurists, and mystics[17][18] of Sunni Islam.[19] He was of Persian origin.[20][21][22] Some muslims consider him to be a Mujaddid,...

Allah's names

The All-Beautiful Names of God

The All-Beautiful Names of God Since the time of the Last Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, the All-Beautiful Names of God, exalted is His Majesty, have been a right-guiding source for knowing and recognizing the Divine Being in accordance with His Attributes of Majesty and Grace, and for...

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God’s Attributes of Glory

God’s Attributes of Glory According to the religious methodology or the basic principles of religion, God’s Attributes consist of certain transcending and blessed concepts—whose transcendence and blessedness come from the Being Whom they describe; these describe God Almighty and are, in one sense, regarded as the veils of the Divine...

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Putting an End to a Long Journey

Putting an End to a Long Journey Human beings have an exceptional place among creation; they are travelers whose journey of life passes through the Realm of the Transcendental Manifestation of Divine Commands; their eyes are fixed on the Realm of the Transcendental Manifestation of Divine Attributes and Names, and...

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Ta‘ayyunat (Identifications) and What Lies Before

Ta‘ayyunat (Identifications) and What Lies Before Literally meaning coming forward, emerging and being made specific, in Sufi terminology ta‘ayyun means that the different natures or different essential characteristics inherent in the Divine Being manifest themselves with different wavelengths and ranks and infinitely expand in the All-Existence, the All-Life, and the...

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Lawhun Mahfuz (the Supreme Preserved Tablet) and What Lies Before

Lawhun Mahfuz (the Supreme Preserved Tablet) and What Lies Before Lawh is literally a board to write on, and the Lawhun Mahfuz is the immaterial board or tablet on which God has prerecorded everything, material and spiritual, animate and inanimate, or it is another name for the Divine Knowledge Which relates...

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Metaphysical Realms

Metaphysical Realms The ‘Arsh (The  Supreme Throne of God) Literally meaning an arbor, throne, roof, or the horizon of something, the word ‘Arsh is the title of an elevated realm that envelops all the heavens and the earth, surrounds all systems, and which is the arena of the first manifestation...

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Haqq (the Truth), Haqiqa (the Genuine) and What Lies Beyond

Haqq (the Truth), Haqiqa (the Genuine) and What Lies Beyond  Literally meaning what is true, established and constant, haqq (the truth) denotes that an utterance, an act, or a creed is totally in agreement with what is originally true, real, and genuine. Its opposite is batil (falsehood). In addition, haqq...

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The Horizon of “the Secret” and What Lies Beyond

The Horizon of “the Secret” and What Lies Beyond I am aware that I am not able to write and speak about this topic as it should be written and spoken about. My pen and words also tell me this. I suffer from keeping silent and not writing anything, while...

Khushu And Hurma (Reverent Awe And Respect)

Khushu And Hurma (Reverent Awe And Respect) It is a significant attainment and Divine favor that one is able to utterly annihilate themselves in respect of their carnality and egotism and traverses the distance originating in oneself and realizes “meeting with God” and “intimacy with Him.” However, it should not...

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The Initiate From a Different Perspective

The Initiate From a Different Perspective An initiate is one who follows a way. In Sufi terminology, the word “initiate” denotes one who walks toward God with a certain discipline in order to please Him, thus neutralizing the tendencies in their nature that lead them away from God, or trying...

Khulla (Sincere Friendship)

Khulla (Sincere Friendship) Khulla means sincere friendship. It can also denote brother/sisterhood, or loyal friendship. Some have interpreted khulla as penetrating into the depth of something to change its nature, or enveloping it from all sides so that it gains a second nature. The Prophet Abraham, upon him be peace,...

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Waridat and Mawhiba (Gifts and Favor)

Waridat and Mawhiba (Gifts and Favor) Mawhiba (favor) literally means benevolence, kindness, and extra Divine bounties, while waridat (gifts) denotes what occurs to or emerges in one’s heart as a Divine gift. The Sufis use them to signify God Almighty’s special attention and consideration for those who travel toward Him,...

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Subuhat-i Wajh (The Flood of God’s Facial Light)

Subuhat-i Wajh (The Flood of God’s Facial Light) The subuhat-i Wajh (“the flood of God’s Facial Light”) is the flood of light that God Almighty causes to pour out so that He may eliminate all else but Him from the hearts of the travelers who are on the way to...

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Nazar and Tawajjuh (Attention and Regard)

Nazar and Tawajjuh (Attention and Regard) Even though they appear to have the same meaning and, in fact, suggest certain common feelings and ideas, the concepts of nazar (attention)—which means looking (at), taking into consideration, and complimenting—and tawajjuh (regard)—used to mean turning to, feeling nearness to, and showing sympathy and...

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Karama (Wonder)

Karama (Wonder) Before explaining karama, since there is a close resemblance between it and miracles (mu‘jiza) in respect to their occurrence, we will first briefly examine miracles. Derived from the root verb A-Ja-Za, meaning “that which people cannot imitate,” a mu’jiza (miracle) is the extraordinary state, event, word or attitude...

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‘Aql (Reason)

‘Aql (Reason) Literally meaning understanding, perception, sober-mindedness and prudence, as a term, ‘aql is a Divine light with which a person can perceive the things that cannot be comprehended with external senses. There have been some who view ‘aql as a faculty abstract of matter but which acts in collaboration...

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Wijdan (Conscience)

Wijdan (Conscience) Literally meaning the essence of human existence and a person’s perception of themselves, wijdan (conscience) is a spiritual mechanism composed of the willpower, which chooses between good and evil, the spiritual intellect (fuad), which is the inner, most essential dimension of the heart, the inner power of perceptiveness...

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