Are all Sufis Muslims

Sufism and mysticism in Islam

Sufism is a collective term for religious currents in Islam, whose members, the Sufis, practice regular prayer meditations, which can include music and dances. In this way, the importance of the material world should be overcome and an experience of closeness to God should be achieved.

"Sufism is the spiritual dimension of the Islamic religion. It is a way of attaining peace - first with oneself, then with society and finally with God. God is the creator of all things and he loves all creatures. This message from God We would like to bring all-encompassing unity, truth and love into society. One of the main tasks that we as Sufi therefore set ourselves is to free our hearts from all originalities. "

The local Sufi community under the leadership of Sheikh Hashemi meets once a week in the provincial town of Sanandaj in northern Iran. Together the women and men read the minds of Persian mystics like Jalaluddin Rumi:

Die to your self and come to life out of God ... / Whoever unites with him has to let himself go completely. / As soon as he does it, he sees the world very clearly / which he previously only recognized blurred ... / Let your soul burn in the fire of love / and burn away all your thoughts and words.

Sufism emerged in medieval Persia as a countermovement to Islam's ever increasing focus on the law. The unconventional striving of the mystics to experience God has always been a thorn in the side of many rulers. At times, the Sufi were even persecuted. Still, they survived.

In today's Iran, the members of the Sufi communities come from all walks of life and professions. Many work in the social field. Because the concrete turn to the poor is one of the ideals of the Sufi. Sheikh Hashemi:

"Our circle is open to everyone. We read texts from the Koran or the writings of great philosophers and poets. We also hold meditations in which we visualize the name of God, and finally we practice a dance that is 'tune of love' calls - 'Melody of Love "."

Again and again the name of God rings out at the meetings of the Sufi: Allah. You don't just pray in your mind but with your whole body - in rhythmic movements to the sound of the drums.
In the never-ending prayer - writes Jalaluddin Rumi - the mystic hears the "divine voice":

At every one of your screams 'Oh my god!' / I answer a hundred times: 'Here I am!' ... / I give my answer without words, / but you can feel it from head to toe.

"" In the Shiite direction of Islam that prevails in Persia, our highest ideal is to be close to God. That is the goal of all of our religious practices. And I think it's often just about one thing: We have to make it clear to ourselves that God is with us, yes, in us - now, here, at this moment! "

The thoughts of mysticism are common in Persian philosophy and literature well beyond Sufism. Mohammad Ali Shomali is professor of Islamic theology in the university city of Qom. His specialty is Christian-Muslim dialogue. Travels have taken him all over the world.

"Real mysticism has to encompass both: the heart and the mind. Above all, we have to implement what we have recognized in everyday life. Prayer is not just something that is practiced in the mosque or in special moments, it is rather an attitude that should rule our lives every day, 24 hours a day. If we really always made it clear that God is with us, then we would never lose hope and we would never mistreat others automatically changed, new people. I think a mystic is someone who has understood this, whose behavior towards everything and everyone is shaped by the joy of the presence and love of God. "

The soul of prayer is the merging of the self into God.

- writes Jalaluddin Rumi in the 13th century, around the same time as Christian mysticism was flourishing in Europe. Today more and more Iranian scholars see mysticism as a bridge between religions. The philosophy professor Shahram Pazouki even specialized in this area at Tehran University:

“I often deal with occidental mysticism, with Meister Eckhart or Theresa von Avila. For example, one of my students has now written an excellent doctoral thesis on the comparison between Rumi and Theresa. There are so many similarities between Islam and Christianity, and Most of the parallels can be found in mysticism. Sometimes I even say that Sufism is the "Christian part" of Islam, and in doing so I look for new ways of dialogue. "