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Flashcards in Islam Depth Study: Sufism Deck (14)
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1

What are Sufis?

The mystics of Islam - they seek an intimate relationship with Allah in this life, rather than waiting for the afterlife like other Muslims.

2

When did Sufism begin?

About 100 years after Muhammad's death.

3

What is the focus of Sufism?

To rid the mind of the self - of nafs, the manifestations of ego. I.e. selfishness, self-obsession, etc.
A Sufi tries to dedicate their entire life to Allah. In response, Allah gives gifts of insight or emotional changes.
Sufism struggles against attempts to make Islam a legalistic, literalist religion.
It turns faith into devotion to Allah - "I created... humankind only that they may worship me." - Surah 51:56

4

How do Sufis try to dedicate their lives to Allah?

Through recitations of phrases (e.g. the 99 Names of Allah, prayers...)
Through adherence to the 5 Pillars - to rid self of nafs through jihad.

5

What do Sufis wish for?

"Dedication to worship, total dedication to Allah Most High, disregard for the finery & ornaments of the world, abstinence from the pleasure, wealth & prestige sought by most men, & retiring from others to worship alone."

6

What is Sufism based on in terms of structure?

Based on master-disciple relationship - the student (dervish) is guided towards the ecstatic state.
Leads to the formation of 'tariqas' - teacher-student lineage back to the Prophet himself.

7

What is the 'ecstatic state'?

The intense spiritual relationship with Allah while on earth.

8

Who are some great Sufis?

Rabia al-Adawiyya
Jalalud'din Rumi
Al Ghazali

9

Outline the life of Rabia al-Adawiyya.

Never married, because she had no time in her life except for Allah.
Considered rational & disciplined teacher
Mastery of important mystical states: self-criticism, love for Allah, truthfulness.
Repentance a gift from Allah

10

Quote from Rabia

"If I adore you out of fear of hell, burn me in hell!
If I adore you out of desire for paradise, lock me out of paradise!
But if I adore you for yourself alone,
Do not deny to me your eternal beauty."

11

Outline the life of Jalalud-din Rumi

Highly revered mystical poet - inspiring devotional poetry
Great scholar of Qur'an - even reached to other religions
Left off academia for intense devotion
Felt tawhid - oneness with Allah

12

Outline the life of Al-Ghazali

Saw Islam as a mix of Sharia & Tariqa, with reason from Greek philosophy.
Finding balance between reason, faith & mysticism.
Connection with God through clearing mind of distractions & surrendering ego.
Revelation not obtainable by reason, only be ecstatic state.
Reviving faith of Islam.

13

What contribution has Sufism had?

Connected people with Allah on more emotional & spiritual level
Enhanced spread of Islam
Emphasis off legal side
Contributed to ART, MUSIC, LITERATURE ---- led to interfaith dialogue
Different approach to learning - from people not books

14

What impact has Sufism had?

Continuing legacy - poetry, music, writings
A different & enriched experienced - a spiritual, emotional side to Islam.
Attracted more people - more followers