Practical Sufism and Philosophical Sufism

Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha

The history of Sufism is, indeed, an old yet glorious one. This inner path, which originated from the heart of Islam and was established by the people of the platform, Ahle-Suffa, in Medina, Arabia, fifteen centuries ago, has embraced many individuals throughout the world during its most celebrated history. It is because of the inner truth of Sufism, a belief system and discipline free from the confines of time and place, that people from diverse cultural backgrounds and all walks of life, who are, yet, seeking a common pathway to an eternal and transcendent truth, can call themselves Sufis. It is easy to think of Sufism as an abstract doctrine. It is easy to think of Sufism as an open gateway that leads to the garden of truth, as a path of love which requires no endeavor. It is all too easy if we tend to forget that the inner strength of Sufism has been established through and from the personal qualifications, devotion and intellectual ability of those who have defined the quest of truth, that lies at the heart of Sufism.

The history of Sufism records that when the news of Islam spread throughout the middle east and its neighboring nations, many people from many lands were attracted to Arabia. They were coming to hear the teachings of the Prophet. Among these seekers, there were also groups of people, from many lands, nations, cultures and backgrounds, who were united by the inner longing to


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