Know What Is Sufism

Silsila Shah-E-Raza


Become A Mureed

The Sufis

“Look into the heart of a Sufi,
If you want to see the Reality
You would find there nothing but,
The true reflection of the Almighty”

Sufism inspires masses and considerable inquisitiveness  amongst people has been developed mainly because of the mysticism associated with it and also because not much is known about the secrets of their(Sufis) knowledge. Often, however, persons, who have symbolized Sufism to observe certain customs and rituals but who do not understand the true meaning of Sufism, mislead them. Sufism is not something, which could be explained theoretically; it could be understood only through participation and practice.

Although Sufism has been greatly influenced by Islam, yet to take all the Sufis as Muslim mystics would be too myopic a view to understand Sufism in its true sense. Sufism is indefinable; it is a way of life. Tasawwuf (Sufism) is neither a religion nor a philosophy; nor is it a ritual or mere learning. If it was ritual, one could learn it by practice. If it was mere learning, one could acquire it by studying. To be a true human being, free from all bondage and honest with the Almighty is being a Sufi. Hakim Jami, a great scholar and Naqshbandi Sufi has said: “Do not be proud of your intellect and learning, for in the Sufi way your intellect hampers your progress and learning is stupidity”. But this has to be understood in the right perspective; the real learning for the seeker is from the book of the heart of the Sufi. In the same connection Maulaye Rum says-


MaulviHargiz Na ShudMaula E Rum
Ta Ghulaam E Shams Tabraizi Na Shud

Mevlana could never be Mevlana Rumi
Had he not devoted himself to Shams e Tabrizi.


Shams Tabriz were the spiritual master of Maulana Rum. According to himIf he had not given himself in to the hands of Shams Tabriz he would have never attain such a degree in his life.

Sufism is a matter of conduct: It concerns with one’s conduct and is a matter of practice. About being a Sufi, HazratAbul Hasan Kharqani, a great Sufi Master of the Naqshbandi Order, said that the Sufi is not the one who wears patched clothes or carries the prayer rug, nor the one who keeps certain customs and appearances, but the Sufi is one to whom everyone’s focus is drawn, although he is hiding himself. He also said that the Sufi is one who in the daylight does not need the Sun and in the night does not need the Moon. The essence of Sufism is absolute non-existence that needs no existence besides the Almighty’s Existence.

The Sufis do not crave for any recognition or special treatment for them. The idea of an intimate communion of the self with the Eternal Reality is central to being a Sufi.

Sufism is spiritual activation and evolution through participation, practice and one’s own experience. It is a process of evolution of self in harmony with the others. Sufis believe in evolution of a man into a complete man by enlightenment through one’s own experience and understanding. The spirituality of Sufis reflect in their everyday action. It is not something external reserved for some special occasion, but a part and parcel of their daily life. Sufis make a conscious effort to evolve as a perfect man.

In regard to spiritual evolution of a Sufi, Hazrat Abu Yazid al-Bistami (Bayazid) said that progress could not be made by standing with the pious or with the warriors in the cause or with those who pray or fast excessively. The only way to the Almighty is to “leave yourself and come”, which meant to leave one’s self interest in this world and hereafter, leaving everything other than the Almighty behind. The Sufi, therefore, is one, who has emptied himself of everything, who has left everything behind, except what he really is. He has bruised aside all the dust and the rusting from the mirror of his heart, which now shines with His Glory and reflects His Presence. The Sufi is one, who has submitted himself to the will of the god, who lives in union with the God and who has devoted himself in search of the Truth.

The Sufi is a complete man, with his essential personality reflecting from deep within. “A Sufi is liberal like the ocean, kind like the Sun and humble like a river”. The Sufi is drunk without wine; he is lost in his Master’s love. He is sated without food; shows opulence in poverty; joy in sorrow and loves even his enemies”-


Maulana Rumi

Outwardly the Sufis may look to be any one, a peasant, a merchant, a soldier, a physician, a lawyer, a teacher or a housewife and according to the understanding of the ordinary viewer they may seem mystics, dressed in rugged rough clothes, practitioners of occult sciences or just the ordinary people like anyone else. Some of them may talk, others may be silent, some may walk relentlessly, and others may sit and train disciples. They are the people from this world but still not of this world. Their ideal is to be free from ego manifested in various forms such as ambition or pride. They live for social harmony with equal respect for all religions, for they see the same quest for the Truth underlying all religious practices but at the same time not having blind obedience to customs and rituals.

If one looks upon them as saints, one would benefit from their sainthood. One would benefit from their company anyway even if one does not revere them as saints since their heart radiates the energy of love and induces the feeling of love in the hearts of others, resulting in the peace of their mind. For them the world is the place where the mankind has to gain experience. Human beings have been given freedom of action, good or bad, according to their desires. The spiritual progress is based on knowledge, which in turn is based on movement. The capability to act lies in the soul. Contact of soul with the physical matter is, therefore, necessary so that on the basis of experience, it may acquire knowledge of the world and thereafter the knowledge of the Truth. A physical body is necessary for realization. The soul needs an outer covering, the physical body, just as for a seed the outer shell is necessary. If a seed is sown without its outer covering, it will not sprout; it will not grow into a tree. Similarly, the soul also cannot realize the Truth without a physical body. The experience of pain and suffering enables one to understand pain and suffering of others and develop sympathy and kindness for them. It is a process of constant evolution and achieving perfection as a true human being.

The Sufi is pledged to the service of humanity. There is no good or evil for the Creator. Only the human society makes it so. The Sufis are also beyond good and evil but they are the people of the highest morality. They are different from others in that they are absorbed somewhere all the time. They do not notice good or bad. Sufis do not say: ‘I do this or that’. They do it. It is the Sufi way. If one thinks that he did a great thing, then it just goes in vain; it has no value. The Sufi thinks that he did it because it was his duty. For them duty has a permanent value.

Sufis are lovers. They are Beloved of God. The Sufi lives only in the present. He does not think of yesterday or of tomorrow. The Sufi is linked to the present moment and he lives in the Eternal Now. The present moment is the nexus between him and the Eternal. He listens to his inner self and acts accordingly. For him the present moment is the moment to achieve his target. He does not wait for a better or an auspicious tomorrow. He evolves every moment. He is like a wave, which propagates every moment.

Sufism can be considered as something approaching a universal faith with liberal teachings and great tolerance as exhibited in the conduct of most of the Sufis. The most important attributes that have contributed to their wide acceptance are their love for the humanity, purity of mind and perfection in their conduct. Sufis distinguish spirituality from religion. For them the Almighty is not concerned with one’s religion but with love. Spirituality does not need following of any particular religion. Customs and rituals are only the outer form of religion, which depend upon the place and social circumstances. Spirituality, however, is seeking the Truth and self-realization that are the matters of soul, which is same in everyone and above all these things.

The Sufis are people with an open heart. They do not have any prejudices i.e. their mind is not preoccupied with any bias towards any one. They have no complex; neither are they overawed by the presence of kings, nor do they boast in the company of poor. They take things as they come. They do not condemn anyone, even a known sinner, for they consider that to hurt someone’s feelings is the biggest sin. For them to hurt others’ feelings is the same as hurting one’s own feelings. They may, therefore, suffer bodily, but would not hurt their feelings. No difference exists between their conduct and their feelings, as a result of which they do not suffer from any complex. Their outer and inner is same.

Sufism teaches everyone

Surrender: Surrender to Allah with love and allow the heart to be the instrument of connection and exploration.

Unity: All beings are one and connected to the source of existence.Allah is the lover and the beloved.

Remembrance: Remember Allah constantly through prayer, Zikr, chanting, or other practices that invoke the divine presence.

Purification: Purify the soul from worldly attachments and egoistic desires that hinder the realization of Allah.

Service: Serve humanity and creation of Allah with compassion, generosity, and humility as a way of expressing gratitude to Allah.

Among these Sufis there is a prominent name of Khwaja Muhammad Nabi Raza Shah alias Dada Miyan, born in later 19th century, whose ancestors had migrated to undivided India from Afghanistan and settled in Rampur. He became the guiding light for many and inspired the generation to come from his teachings. As a result of which to this day there are millions of followers across the world who are spreading his teachings and guiding people to understand the meaning of Sufism.


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Hazrat Khwaja Mohammad Sabahat Hasan Shah Sajjadanasheen
Dargah Hazrat Khwaja Mohammad Nabi Raza Shah Almaroof Dada Miyan R.A. Lucknow<br /> Wa khanqah Rahati, Inayati, Fasahati Bhainsori Sharif Tahsil Milak, District Rampur Uttar Pradesh India.