What is Sufism?
The Shaykh of Olanlar (=The perfect Ones) Convent, Ibrahim Effendi ( k.s. ), defines Sufism as follows,
The beginning of Sufism is said to be inanimate
The end of Sufism is said to be a sultan at the heart throne
On the path of love Sufism is to accept nothingness
In Reality it is said that Sufism is to be a quest in the palace of secrets
Sufism is to pass away individuality
It is said that Sufism is to become Light by purifying the soul
Sufism is to awaken the lamp of Divine light within the heart
It is said that Sufism is to burn with the fire of love.
Sufism is to roll the book of existence (= to annihilate self)
It is said that Sufism is to be a true Moslem
Sufism is to be aware of the Divine Laws eminently
It is said that Sufism is to prescribe remedies to all the sufferers
Sufism is to open the door of existence with the name of God
It is said that Sufism is to destroy Self
Sufi! Sufism is to convert knowledge into action
All the words of a Perfect Man are like the elixir of life
Sufism is to be cognizant of the expressions and their interpretations
It is said that Sufism is to discover divine secrets within your heart
Sufism is to be enchanted by the amazing presence of God
It is said that Sufism is to be fascinated by the infinite secrets of God
Sufism is to renounce all things but save love for God in the heart
It is said that Sufism is to have faith in the heart and to make it Gods throne
Sufism is to think Eastern and Western in every breathe
It is said that Sufism is to be a guard of all the people
Sufism is to see God in every molecule in the world
It is said that Sufism is to be like sun light which illuminates the world
Sufism is to be considerate to seventy-two nations
It is said that Sufism is to be Solomon in the world of mind
Sufism is to obey the orders of Holy Quran strictly till passing away
It is said that Sufism is to deserve Gods mercy
Sufism is to guide the whole universe with the great name of God
It is said that Sufism is to be able to interpret Holy Quran
Sufism is to see God everywhere
It is said that Sufism is the way that makes the difficulties easy for the Sufi
Sufism is to make your heart the cellar of Divine knowledge
It is said that Sufism is to be an ocean whereas a single drop
Sufism is to burn the whole body with the fire of la(=inexistence)
It is said that Sufism is to be a Perfect Man through the light of illa
Sufism is to be aware of the eighteen thousand world
It is said that Sufism is to be a firman to solar system
Sufism is to invite people to the Sufi path saying God is enough
It is said that Sufism is to be enchanted by the words, Return your God
Sufism is to die thousands of times a day and to come to life again
It is said that Sufism is to experience union with God
Sufism is Sufis absorption in God
It is said that Sufism is to attain the stage of nearness to God
Sufism is to give the heart to the beloved and become free
It is said that Sufism is to be the lover of true beloved
Ibrahim! Sufism is to be a servant of God
It is said that Sufism is to let the Divine Law live in heart as an evidence
Definitions of Sufism
One of the Khalifs of Shaykh Ibrahim Effendi(k.s), Hazrat Sunullah Gaibi, from Kutahya, defines Sufism, saying that it consists of self-annihilation, noble behaviour and entering every exalted quality.
In Masnawi Sharif Hazrat Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi says, It was asked to a holy person what Sufism was. He said it was to find serenity at the time of grief and sorrow.
Hazrat Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Jariri said, Sufism is to adopt every higher quality and to leave every low quality.
Hazrat Junayd Baghdadi stated in his definition of Sufism that God should make you die to yourself and should make you live in him.
Below are some other definitions of Sufism by famous Sufis quoted from Tasavvuf ve Dinler Tarihi ( = Sufism and the History of Religions ) by Dr Mustafa Kara.
Ruwayn ibn Ahmad Baghdadi said, Sufism consists of abandoning oneself to God in accordance with what God wills. Sufism is founded on three traits adhering to poverty and dependence on God attaining the virtues of generosity and selfless giving and abandoning resistance and choice . Sufism is to devote yourself. If you dont do this, then dont stand the pain and sufferings of Sufis.
Abu Bakr ash Shibli: Sufism consists of mutual friendship and love. It is being with God by letting go off all negative qualities. It is a fire which burns. Sufism is to curb your senses and guard your breaths. Sufism is polytheism because it is to protect heart from worldly things. However, the God and the universe are the One and the same thing.
Amr ibn Uthman al- Makki : Sufism is that at each moment the servant should be in agreement with what is most suitable at that moment.
Abu Said Miheni: Sufism is to achieve a sense of direct communion between Heart and the God.
Jafar Huidi: Sufism means taking up every sublime moral characteristics and turning away from every low quality.
Abu Bakr Kathani: Sufism consists of high-quality comportment. So one whose comportment improves in quality, his purity will similarly become increased.
Other definitions of Sufism.(Who said them first couldnt be defined)
generosity, grace and purity.
to be aware and watchful.
to be purified from dirt and to get rid of grudge.
to leave lust and will.
to be modest, to serve food and drink and to extend hospitality.
to be wise, loyal, generous and have good moral quality.
to be with God but to live in society.
generosity and fidelity.
not to be hurt or not to hurt.
the knowledge of heart.
to give support to each other.
to learn how to love and be loved.
the gathering of opposites.
All these definitions are as if the flowers of the garden of Sufis heart which are watered by Prophet Mohammeds light spring. Although these definitions look different, they all express the same meaning . The differences are only because of the Sufi Masters dispositions and attitudes. All these definitions have gained their colour and harmony from Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). He is the Pir of Sufi Masters. These definitions are the rays of the eternal Sun. God is the owner of them. The definitions of all masters, concerning Sufism, are correct. Because all these definitions at first arise from the hearts of those who feel and experience Sufism and then they are described through words.
After examining these definitions of Sufism , the following things can be said about it,
Man as a soul apart from body is the most honourable of all living creatures. There is a hidden Truth which resides within man and this causes unsatisfaction. Neither prosperity nor status, position, glory or fame is enough to make him happy. The one who wants to find peace and tranquillity starts to seek them. Thus, the need for training occurs at that point.
Those who wants to be on the Sufi Path or who wants to join the Sufi wayfarers can get some information by reading some books. However, the information gained from the books are not enough for Sufi training. Because Sufism is a path of devotion. We should accept our nothingness. With regard to this a perfect master says, A Sufi student should learn the two important principles of Sufism at the beginning of his training. Firstly he should accept his nothingness and secondly he should be silent. One should realize that everything is a manifestation of God and seeking an independent existence is only an imagination. Sufi should listen silently to reach the stage of awareness. When one starts to realize the importance of accepting his nothingness and staying silent , the door of Truth opens partly.