Essay about Sufism or Tasawwuf: A Sect of Islam

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“The knowledge of God cannot be obtained by seeking, but only those who seek it find it.”(Abu Yazid al-Bistami). This quote sums up the aim of Sufism which is that those who embark on a journey that consists of love and the remembrance of God and living a spiritual and devotional life will attain great reward. Islamic mysticism, otherwise known as Sufism or 'Tasawwuf' is the Islamic science of spirituality that aims to explore and search the 'truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God'. It involves various mystical paths that are aimed to determine the true essence of God and of humanity and also helps when encountering the 'divine love and wisdom in the world' (Sufism - Encyclopedia Britannica, 2012).…show more content…
However, Sufism has been condemned by the Muslim community for many reasons. The obvious reason is in relation to certain principles, beliefs and practices of Sufis which the Muslims reject and are highly critical of. Despite there being some principles and practices of Sufism that are recognised within the Muslim community, there is difference due to various interpretations and understandings of such beliefs and rituals. Therefore, throughout the essay I will outline the main distinctive features of Sufism and explain why Sufis were and are often condemned by the Muslim community.

It is clear that in Sufism the importance of having a communion with God is the ultimate aim. For Sufis, the desired aim is to achieve closeness and a union with God (Tawhid). For most Sufis 'God is the only reality' (Richard, 1982, p.65). In order to achieve this, a distinctive feature practiced by Sufis is asceticism which involves living a life of self-discipline and abstaining from materialism and worldly pleasures. The ascetic form of piety is practiced by Sufis which involves living a devotional life by following the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah and avoiding worldly gain. The perfect example for Sufis was the Prophet Muhammad. Simply because the life of the Prophet involved meditating in solitude, his complete trust and love for God, acts of worship and the simplicity life of
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