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Categories: mevlana, sufism

Ali Yıldırım


Sufism is a mystical and inner path of Tasawwuf that represents the esoteric dimension of Islam. Rooted in the fundamental beliefs of Islam, this mystical teaching aims to guide seekers on a spiritual quest to approach and unite with Allah in their inner world. Sufism has had a profound influence, particularly in the Islamic world, and boasts a rich historical legacy.

Origin and History:

Sufism derives its core teachings and ethical understanding from the divine revelation brought by the Islamic prophet Hz. Muhammad (SAW). Over time, Sufism began to shape its own unique interpretations and practices, distinct from other branches self-identified as Islamic. The term “Sufi” is derived from the Arabic word “safa,” meaning “purity” or “sincerity,” pointing to a spiritual path of purification.

Sufism gained significant traction in the Islamic world, especially during the 9th and 10th centuries. Notable Sufi scholars and mystics of this era made efforts to spread the teachings of Sufism. Prominent representatives of Sufism include figures such as Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, Hacı Bektaş Veli, and Yunus Emre.

Key Principles and Practices:

The primary objective of Sufism is to help individuals cleanse themselves from their ego and worldly desires, turning their hearts toward Allah. Sufis refer to this process as “tasfiye,” believing that the heart will be filled with love for Allah through this purification. In Sufism, alongside Islamic disciplines such as Quranic knowledge (kelam ilmi), Islamic jurisprudence (fıkıh), and theology, Sufi sciences hold significant importance. Additionally, Sufism incorporates various artistic and ritualistic practices such as poetry and sema (a form of religious music and dance).

Beyond the five fundamental acts of worship in Islam – prayer, fasting, almsgiving, pilgrimage, and testimony of faith – Sufism emphasizes the process of “marifet,” which involves recognizing and establishing direct communication with Allah. Love, or “muhabbet,” is a central concept in Sufism. Sufis believe that Allah’s love is the source of all existence and call upon all beings to return to this love.

Sufi Orders (Tarikatlar):

Sufism spread through mystical communities known as “tarikats” or Sufi orders. Each order has its distinct teachings and rituals. The leader of a tarikat is referred to as “şeyh” or “pir,” and the followers (müritler) continue their spiritual development under the guidance of the leader. The tarikats organize regular gatherings to pass on their teachings and share spiritual experiences. Some of the most renowned Sufi orders include Mevlevilik (the order of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi), Nakşibendi, Kadiri, Bektaşi, and Rifai.

A Universal Approach:

Sufism has garnered interest not only among Muslims but also among followers of other religions. Sufi thinkers have spread a message of universal love and peace, helping build bridges of tolerance, understanding, and brotherhood across different cultures and faiths.

In conclusion, Sufism represents a rich tradition that embodies the mystical aspect of Islam. For thousands of years, its teachings and rituals have illuminated the hearts of individuals on their spiritual quests and conveyed a universal message of love and wisdom. Sufism continues to guide people towards universal love and understanding as the path of divine love and knowledge.