Sufism: To what extent has Sufism adjusted to the modern world?

Essay by maheenUniversity, Bachelor'sB, October 2006

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Sufism has been described as a selfless route, connection with God, development of inner peace and etc. However in order to analyse and understand the origin, development, changes and to what extent Sufism has adjusted to the modern world fully, it is helpful to divide it into different tiers thus; introduction of Sufism and practice; development of Sufism in the Islamic and eastern societies; migration of Sufism to the western societies; changes; women in Sufism, poetry; music; dance; Barelvism and Sufism in Bradford.

Sufism or Tasawwuf as it is known in the Arabic language is understood to be by many the inner, mystical and spiritual dimension of Islam. Sufism, over the ages, has often had many meanings however, it originates from the three Arabic words "sa, wa and fa." (Haeri, 1990, page 1). There are many definitions of Sufism and different scholars and authors define it diversely. Muhammad ibn 'Ali al-Qassab, one of the early sheikhs of Sufism, said, "Sufism consists of noble behaviour (akhlaq karima), which is made manifest at a noble time on the part of a noble person in the presence of a noble people."

(Haeri, 1990, page 90). Another early sheikh of Sufism, Samnun said, when asked what is Sufism? "Sufism is that, you should be with God without any attachment." (Haeri, 1990, page 91). Looking at both of these Sufi sheikhs, it is clear that Sufism is about your union with who created you rather than what else he created and your deeds. What Qassab and Samnun have both said about noble behaviour and attachment to God, shows the essence of Sufism is the truth and honesty and that Sufism is the selfless experiencing and actualisation of the honesty.

However, honesty is not the only essence of Sufism but truth and love are also vital...