The Mystical Movement within Islam that began in 8th and 9th centuries,
partly as a call to return to a simple ascetic life with devotional
practices (eg. the dervish rituals of using the name of God), and
partly as a reaction against the excesses of the jurists, the
thoelogicans and the philosphers. They developed many Sufi orders
(similar to Christian orders or communities), which kept Islam very
much alive among the people and became a strong missionary movement.
Two well known Sufis are
(d.908) and al-Hallaj (d. 922).
The latter was crucified for heresy. Another famous sufi
is ibn al-Arabi (d. 1240).
Perhaps the most famous is
who managed to establish sufiism within orthodox Islam.
The following quotations are taken from
exploring Sufism in Islam.
- ayas used to justify Sufism,
al-Baqarah 2:156; an-Nur 24:35; Qaf 50:6.
- Prince Dara Shikoh, sufi son of Moghul Emperor Shar Jahan, affirms that
Sufism and Advaita Vedantism (Hinduism) are essentially the same,
(Martin Lings, What is Sufism?, London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.,
1975, p. 99 )
- Hossein Nasr acknowledges that "many Sufis in India called Hinduism the
religion of Adam," and, "[the] orthodox Naqshbandsaint Mirza Mazhar Jan
Janan considered the Vedas as divinely inspired." (Seyyed Hossein Nasr,
Sufi Essays, London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1972, p. 139)
- Mansur al-Hallaj (d.922): "I saw my Lord with the eye
of the heart. I said: Who art Thou? He answered: Thou."
- Abu Maydan (d. 1197): "Everything outside of God is
unreal, everything taken individually or collectively,
when you truly know it ... Whatever does not have root
in his Being, can in no wise be real."
- Muhammad al-Harraq (d. 1845): "Seekest thou Laila
[Divine Reality], when she is manifest within thee?
Thou deemest her to be other, but she is not other
than thou." (Stoddart, 83-84)
- Jalal al-Din Rumi (d.1273): "Though the many ways
[diverse religions] are various, the goal is one. Do you
not see there are many roads to the Kaaba?"
(Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Sufi Essays, London: George Allen and Unwin
Ltd., 1972, p. 149)
The Mystics of Islam
by Reynold A. Nicholson
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