Sufism as a Path to Counter Extremism
The word Sufism is originated from the word suf which means “wool
”, and the word Sufi comes from Persian word which means wisdom.
Sufism is not in isolated form but it is the spiritual dimension of
Islam, and the process through which a person loves the inner/self.
Sufism does not relate to any particular religion or sect but, it
belongs to all humanity. Classical Sufi scholars defined Sufism as,
“a science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and
turning it away from all else but God ”. According to Imam Ghazali
in his book “Al Munqaz Min Alzalal ” conveys to the entire ummah,
Sufis ’ method is complete with both knowledge and its
implementation and their essence of knowledge is that the
inner will should be clear of all evil and immoral values so that
the heart is purified of everything that takes away from ALLAH and
the heart beautifies with remembrance of ALLAH.
Sufism is the path of the gradual awakening of the heart, and shows
abstinence to his inner will/wishes and always also looking
The Sufi does not acknowledge differences of race, religion, belief
system or any other separation. Sufism does not believe in
decisive message, it beliefs on unity and cohesion among human
beings without any discrimination and with any status. Sufis
central doctrine is love and always advises others through the path
of devotion, truth and love. Sufi path is also known as open path,
their way is very simple as all other methods, regardless of any
religious beliefs, doctrines, and spiritually open path and
unbounded by concepts and their moral values are purer
than all others.
One may also imagine Sufism as a path encouraging people and to
encounter themselves from extremism. Today, only Sufism is
capable of holding the torch of the way of peace, the way of good
character, and the way of balance and communication with everybody
from all over the world and teaches the knowledge of humanity. At
the time of the Prophet (S.A.W) and his companions, the term Sufism
“TASAWWUF is the purification of hearts ”, did not exist as a
distinct discipline. Rather it was inseparably present in the
spirituality of Islam. It was a reality without a name which
was practiced in the daily lives of the companions through their
spiritual initiation atthe hand of the Prophet. He was their
‘living model ’ and source of inspiration.
According to Sharah Sheik ul Islam Abi Yahya Zakariya Alansari,
“Tasawwuf ” is the knowledge of those feelings with which one
controls the will, purifies moral values, and develop the external
and internal self, so that the man can get eternal benefit.
A Sufi ’s way of life is to love and be of service to people,
obtain knowledge purely through introspection, without any
machinery deserting the ego or false self and all illusion so that
one can reach maturity and perfection, and finally reach Allah, the
True, the Real.
Quaidi-i- Azam University Islamabad