Sufi Mysticism

Islamic Mysticism Spirituality – The Sufi Way By Huston Smith

ISLAMIC MYSTICISM: THE SUFI WAY is shot in magnificent Islamic architectural settings from Morocco to Turkey to India, Islamic Mysticism: The Sufi Way provides a window into the rigorous Sufi schedule of prayer, fasting and study.

Huston Smith, renowned scholar of world religions and author of A History of Man, adds commentary as the camera takes an in-depth look at this gentle, mystical branch of Islam.

Sufi mysticism See the whirling dervishes of Konya | Turkey | Pinterest
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It is said that while a Muslim prays five times a day, the Sufi prays without ceasing.

This film, shot by Elda Hartley, captures the Sufi quest for deeper meaning in all things, and includes exquisite footage of Whirling Dervishes, endlessly circling in search of God.

tazkiya e nafs –  purification of soul or ego, is a path of self understanding. On this path one realizes the inner aspect of religion and understands the meaning of his existence in this universe.

Anyone who wishes to embark on this journey looks for an accomplished spiritual master in order to undergo the process of spiritual training under his supervision.

This path of self realization leads to God and His love, which is the ultimate goal of human being in this existence.

This is a gradual process where one first needs to develop an understanding of his bad characteristics and then try to replace them with good characteristics, Zikr or Remembrance of God is been prescribed in order to help the seeker to continue this journey.

The term Sufi appears to be derived from the Arabic word “suf” meaning “wool” in the sense of “cloak”, referring to the simple cloaks the original Sufis wore. Some initiates are given a specially designed, colored wool vest which is symbolic of the woolen robes of poverty worn by ancient dervishes, and signifies the loving commitment of the dervish to serve humanity.

Sufism in now to be found in many parts of the Muslim world as, across the , many people have felt drawn toward the more emotional and personal ways of knowing God promoted by Sufi mysticism. Today there are literally hundreds of mystic orders with millions of adherents. They are most prevalent in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Arabia.

Sufism has come to those who are interested in finding a way or practice toward inner awakening and enlightenment. This movement developed as a protest against corrupt rulers who did not embody Islam and against the legalism and formalism of worship which paid more attention to the form rather than content of the faith.

Many of the Sufis became ascetics, began to gather disciples around themselves and developed into religious orders, known as dervishers. Others forsook the orders and became mendicants, traveling around the country side, living off the charity of others. Many sufis were outstanding men of saintly stature.

Sufi practices, while attractive to some, are not a means for gaining knowledge. The traditional scholars of Sufism hold it as absolutely axiomatic that knowledge of God is not a psychological state generated through breath control.

Thus, practice of “techniques” is not the cause, but instead the occasion for such knowledge to be obtained (if at all), given proper prerequisites and proper guidance by a master of .

Furthermore, the emphasis on practices may obscure a far more important fact: The Sufi seeker is, in a sense, to become a broken person, stripped of all habits through the practice of (in the words of Imam Al-Ghazali) solitude, silence, sleeplessness, and hunger.

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