How Sufism Is A Type Of Mystical Islamic Philosophy

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Tracing back to the original prophet, Sufism is a type of mystical Islamic philosophy where Muslims attempt to take a more direct route to finding God and his divineness. Consisting of different practices and paths that are meant to trace their teachings from the prophet Muhammad himself, and therefore they see themselves as being practitioners of a perfected type of worship, or “ihsan”. While often grouped together as one entity, Sufi orders (called “tariqas”) are found in a wide variety of different Islamic groups and regions, all varying slightly in how they perceive their version of Islamic mysticism. While they are relatively small in quantity compared to Muslims as a whole, they have greatly contributed to the shaping of Islamic philosophy and tradition. In this paper, I will be exploring the Sufi movements in Iran, Turkey, and Senegal and how they have affected the political systems of their respective countries, while also highlighting key differences and similarities between them. I have chosen these three countries due to the stark contrasts in how Sufism is received in them. For example, while Iranian clerics have taken a strict hardline stance against Sufism that involves prosecution, arrests and even demolition of their places of worship, Senegal’s Sufi leaders influence their government and vice versa. Turkey is in many ways a middle ground; while first persecuted and forced to go into hiding, today the dominant Sufi movement, the Naqshbandiyya, works hand in

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