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Sufism, also known as Tasawwuf (Arabic: تصوف‎‎), is an Islamic mystical tradition, whose adherents aim to achieve obliteration of the self and complete oneness with Allah. Sufis believe that nothing exists outside of Allah (similar to the Kabbalistic view on the nature of God), and that the Qur'an has always existed on some metaphysical realm outside of our own, and therefore merely being revealed by Allah, rather than authored by him. This belief caused much persecution of Sufis during some periods of history. Sufis, like most Muslims, view Muhammad as the prime example of spiritual piety, the al-Insān al-Kāmil, and that he was not only the greatest prophet, but also the greatest man to have lived. [1] Sufis are particularly fond of dhikr, the practice of reciting the various "names of Allah," of which there are 99.

Practitioners are called Sufis, dervishes, or murīdīn. They group themselves into orders based around a murshid, or a guide. These orders are called Tariqa. The etymological origin of Sufism is not clear, but scholars generally agree that ṣūf or "wool" is probably the root word of "Sufi." Sufism has many parallel beliefs alongside different religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, as well as Greek concepts.


  1. Carl W. Ernst, The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad, Muḥammad as the Pole of Existence, Cambridge University Press, p. 130