Licchavi Lyceum


Licchavi Lyceum


Sufism is Islamic belief system that focuses on seeking a deeper understanding of the Divine through personal experience and self-discipline. The word “Sufism” comes from the Arabic word “suf,” meaning wool, which refers to the simple woolen garments worn by early Sufis as a symbol of their rejection of worldly pleasures.


History of Sufism

Sufism began in the early years of Islam, when Muslims sought to deepen their spiritual practice beyond the basic tenets of the religion. The first Sufis were ascetics who lived in poverty and isolation in the desert, seeking to purify their hearts and minds through meditation, fasting, and other spiritual practices.

Over time, Sufism became more organized and developed into a distinct movement within Islam. Sufi orders, or tariqas, emerged, each with their own spiritual practices and teachings.

Beliefs of Sufism

Sufism emphasizes the importance of direct personal experience of the Divine, rather than relying solely on scripture or religious authorities. Sufis believe that the path to spiritual enlightenment involves purifying the heart and mind, developing a deep love for God, and living a life of service to others.

Sufis also believe in the concept of tawhid, or the oneness of God, and the idea that all beings are interconnected and part of a larger spiritual unity. Sufism also teaches the importance of self-discipline and the need to overcome the ego, which is seen as a barrier to spiritual growth.

Practices of Sufism

Sufism involves a range of spiritual practices, including meditation, chanting, and recitation of sacred texts. Sufis also engage in practices such as dhikr, which involves the repetition of the name of God or a sacred phrase, and sama, or spiritual music and dance.

Many Sufi orders also place a strong emphasis on service to others, and Sufis are often involved in charitable work and community service.

Controversies and Misunderstandings

Despite its emphasis on peace and love, Sufism has often been misunderstood and even persecuted throughout history. Some extremist groups have targeted Sufi communities, viewing them as heretical or deviant from mainstream Islam.

Additionally, some scholars have criticized certain aspects of Sufism, such as its use of music and dance, as being unorthodox or contrary to Islamic law.

Rise of Sufism

The Sufis were very liberal in their religious thinking. The Sufism originated in Iran and spread in India through the Turkish invasion.  The sense of tolerance, Sympathy and equality in Sufism attracted many Hindus especially from the lower caste. The Sufis emphasized on the respect of all human being. It was considered to be the purification of heart.

The Sufism was divided in Silsila based on the founder of the respective sect.  The local leaders in Muslim were known as Sultan who ruled the country in the name of Khalifa.

There were different orders that existed in the Sufism, One was Chisti Silisila centred near Ajmer. It attracted mainly the poor people.

The Sufi saints used vernacular language to connect to the common man.

Chishti silsilah was named after the town of Khwaja Chishti near Heart in central Afghanistan. The Chishti Silsila was among the most influential orders. It had a long line of teachers like Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti (founder of Chisti movement in India in 1142 CE and is also called Garib Nawaz as he believed that serving mankind was the best form of devotion and therefore he worked amongst the downtrodden) of Ajmer (where there is now his famous Dargah).

Khanqah – A Sufi lodge, often used as a rest house for travellers and a place where people come to discuss spiritual matters, get the blessings of saints, and hear Sufi music.


Despite these challenges, Sufism continues to be an important spiritual tradition within Islam, and its teachings have influenced many people of different faiths and cultures. Sufism emphasizes the importance of direct personal experience of the Divine and the need for self-discipline and service to others, providing a powerful model for spiritual growth and transformation.