Sufism, The Heart of Islam. Excerpt



The Times of India


“What has Sufism got to do with Islam? I realise that Islam is perceived as a faith with harsh laws, whereas Sufism represents wonderful poetry, dance, art and an appealing form of universal love.
It is difficult for some Muslims and most non-Muslims to accept that Sufism is the spiritual current that flows through Islam. Sufi Masters are called ahl-e-dil, 'people of the heart'. They teach that religion has no meaning unless warmed by emotions of love, and interpret Sufism as being the heart of Islam.
However, i do understand that Sufism has come to mean something quite different in the language of the New Age. Disillusioned with religion and the problems associated with it in secular democratic societies, people tend to mix and match elements from various religious traditions that personally appeal to them... I have attempted to explain how Islam and Sufism are inseparable. The Qur'an informs us that Islam is not something that began with prophet Muhammad some 1400 years ago, but with the creation of the universe in which Adam was the first Prophet. Sufism is the timeless art of awakening the higher consciouness through submission to the Divine Will. The Sufi doctrine goes far beyond history and is rooted in the primordial covenant all unborn souls made with their Creator...
Sufism essentially consists of a path that teaches how to free oneself from the ego and rise to higher spiritual levels. The road is endless and how far one wishes to travel is largely a matter of personal choice. The Sufi way contains a method of guidance and transformation that is not an easy route...
I learnt that Islam was clearly about moderation and reflection, and how Prophet Muhammad had warned us of extremism... The Qur'an reminds us that mercy and compassion are the foremost of Allah's attributes. The answers to many issues facing Muslim communities can be found in revisiting the scholarship of the Sufis. These Masters have established traditions of knowledge transmission that go back all the way to Prophet Muhammad who said, 'Pass on knowledge from me even if it is only one verse'...
My Sufi Master Shah Muhammad Farooq Rahmani... emphasised that Sufis are torch-bearers to the path of righteousness. He believed that for those unable to seek the sohbat, company of Sufis, reading and being aware about their life and teachings are blessings. The mystic began each discourse with the words, 'Those who are true in their intent, those who have complete faith and those who seek the Truth are the ones who successfully achieve their goal'. He lamented that the biographers of the Sufis focussed more on their miracles than on their inner struggle, character and teachings...
To describe the essence and depth of the Sufi experience in words is almost an impossible task. We have seen throughout history that Muslims do not react to attacks on God but will never allow any disregard for Prophet Muhammad. They deeply love, trust and venerate their Prophet who forms the exemplary model for each believing Muslim. The central figure in Islam, therefore, forms the axis of the Sufi doctrine. A knowledge of Sufism requires not just an understanding of Islamic essentials, but a look into the life and role of Muhammad.
For mystics, Prophet Muhammad mirrors Allah's attributes. During my Sufiinitiation, I was taught that loving and following the Prophet was to love God. He remains the perfect vehicle to inner enlightment, for even in slumber, he remained connected to Allah...
(Excerpted from the writer's recently released book - Sufism: The Heart of Islam.)


5 comment (s):

  1. Mo'in said...

    Dear Maryam,

    Thank you for this.

    Here it is written: "The answers to many issues facing Muslim communities can be found in revisiting the scholarship of the Sufis."

    ~ Inshallah...may this occur!

    It also is written: "My Sufi Master Shah Muhammad Farooq Rahmani... emphasised that Sufis are torch-bearers to the path of righteousness."

    ~ There is an article which I very much like by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh. In it he says (very similar to the above), "Sufis must know that they are the standard-bearers of the school of humanity..."


    "Sufis must strive to be examples of noble human beings in order to draw the desires and inclinations of others towards these humane attributes-attributes that are unique to the human species."

    The link for that article is:

    Thank you again for sharing this.

    Best wishes,


  2. Maryam said...

    Precisely not many days ago I reposted an article about the Yawan Mardi regarding chivalry. It was from a spanish blog and here is the link but it is in spanish although it has the same meaning. Thank you for all the comments Dear.

    Ya Haqq,


  3. Mo'in said...

    Dear Maryam,

    Thank you very much for sharing this link. I wish that I read/spoke Spanish (this would also help me to further enjoy one of my favorite poets, Federico Garcia Lorca).

    I do have a particular interest in javanmardi, futuwwah, spiritual chivalry (cross-cultural expression of it), and the spiritual (sufi) component of zurkhaneh. One of my very favorite books is "The Way of Sufi Chivalry" by Ibn al-Husayn al-Sulami (ISBN: 0-89281-317-2, published by Inner Traditions International).

    Laleh Bakhtiar's "Moral Healer's Handbook: The Psychology of Spiritual Chivalry" (God's Will Be Done, Volume II), ISBN: 1-871031-39-7, published by The Institute of Traditional Psychoethics and Guidance, is also quite nice. I also like very much her translation of the Holy Qur'an, "The Sublime Quran."

    Best wishes,


  4. Maryam said...

    Dear Mo'in,

    Thanks for the book titles. I added them to my personal list. So much to learn and enjoy!

    Thank you.

    Ya Haqq,

  5. Muhammad Qadri Razavi Attari said...

    Assalaatu wassalaamu alaika ya Rasoolallah
    Jazaakillah for sharing....
    I would Also like to read the book "Sufism :heart of Islam" for free
    So if possible could you give me the link

    Sag e Attar
    Muhammad Qadri Razavi Attari

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