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What is Sufism?

Sufism has been explained in many ways. The Sufi Order International uses this definition:

Sufism is not easily defined, for it is neither a religion nor a doctrine. It is not made up of a body of dogma which one must follow, and it does not require its constituents to rely upon specific, prescribed rituals or techniques as part of a spiritual practice. It is not distinctive of any particular race, nation, or church; it has existed across cultures, over centuries. Sufism is a way of looking at the world and a way of living in the world. Yet even when no particular form can be precisely defined, it is possible to describe some of its characteristics

Rather than requiring withdrawal from the world, Sufism practices immersion in life, bringing one's highest ideals into everyday practice. It is a way for humanity to awaken to the abundance of life, both individually and collectively, in every area of human enterprise. Sufism is a contemporary response to the needs of the time and culture within which it exists.

Hidayat Inayat-Khan, son of  Hazrat Inayat Kahn states that:

Sufism is an open door, an attitude of truest sympathy towards all beliefs. As the essence of all religious ideals, Sufism has been appropriated by large cultural and religious streams during different periods in history, but without ever losing its own identity.  .....

Hazrat Inayat Khan came to us with a message of Spiritual Liberty, revealing thereby the real nature of spirituality as inherent to liberty of thought and feeling. ... The religion of our time is destined to be the religion of the heart, and since there are many hearts, there are just as many religious ideals springing forth from one and the same source, wherein wisdom and purity prevail. When the doors of the temple of the heart are open, humility awakens upon finding oneself face to face with the living God within.

The message of Love, Harmony and Beauty is like a Divine stream of spiritual evolution flowing onwards throughout our daily lives, and this awakening to purity and wisdom is the true essence of all that is understood by the term 'Sufi.'
Full text of Hidayat Inayat Khan comments


Page last updated: August 01, 2009