The word Sufism is a collective name for a mystical direction, which is particularly adapted to the islamic Quran. By the time it also adopted indian teachings like breath exercises and the knowlegde about the Shabda(Nama).
Sufism was especially known by masters such as Rumi, Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi, al-Ghazzali, Fazlallah Astarabadi (Naimi) and Kabir.
== Origins ==
The name as-Sufi appears as early as the eighth century, as some of the ascetics were wrapped in woolen robes. According to these, they were called Sufi (from suf 'Wool').
The Sufis themselves derived their name from safa 'purity' and saw the Sufi as safi, the purified and the chosen. This cleaning process is also called 'big jihad'.
In this early ascetical world, the element of the joyful love of God came through the mystic (Rabi'a Basri († 801) - comparable to a Hindu bhakti yoga. Even the numer - mysticism of the found its way into sufism over the 'Ikhwan as-safe' (the louder brothers of Basra).
== Doctrine ==
The meditation practice in Sufism has the name Muraqabam, which is subdivided into three main stages with sub-stages, starting with different colored lights. 
The ultimate goal of the Sufi is the knowledge of the divine, the development of the ego, and to become one with God, with the emphasis on love and the love of God.
Islam, on the other hand, knows instead only the friends of God. The Kabbalah teaches also that a unity with the En-Soph is not possible - and so only step 18 of the universal path. The course of the Cheops Pyramid ends here too.
1. Hahut ( Divine essence )
2. Lahut (The Divine)
3. Jabarut ( Area of power )
4. Malakut (Area of angels) - separate consciousness
5. Nasut (Area of people) - parallel to the Sephiroth Malkhut.
Sufism also knows the Shabda or Nada(Awaz-i-Mustqim) : 'Creation came into existence through Saut (sound or word), and from Saut all light came forth'. (Shamas-i- Tabrez)
The Great Name (Ism-I-Azam) is the essence and the life of all names and forms. His revealed form sustains the creation. It is the great sea of which we are only the waves. He alone can understand this who has mastered our science.(Abdul Razaq Kashi)-
Other Arabic designations are Bang-i-Ilahi (Ruf Gottes) and Nida-i-Asmani (heavenly sound).
== Practices ==
For the realization of God, the Sufi uses various practices such as asceticism, breathing exercises, meditation up to ecstasy, dance (sema), music, temporary hermitism, and (Dhikr - memory of god - or Dhikrullah), 99 names of god and bektashi-rituals.
The background is the transformation of the impulses of the lower soul or the dominant ego (an-nafs al-ammara) for the purpose of obtaining the pure self (an-nafs as-safiya) with the background of a unity faith in God (tawhid) : God is one (Allahu ahad) and ultimately becoming one.
To go this way, an instructing master (s heikh, pir - der sog. Scheich oder Murschid) is regarded as unavoidable, while the sunna direction of Islam absolutely rejects an intermediary role between God and man, and some Sufis like al-Halladsch(† 922) und den Hurufi - Gründer Asterabadi(† 1398) executet.
== Secred doctrine ==
Out of this reason, a secret symbolism (Balaibalan language brought alive) was used in many places in the letters of the Sufimeister to the pupils comparible to the Sandhabhasa in other religions. The lyricism of the Sufis is also full of symbolism and encryption, which often make it impossible for the uninitiated reader to recognize the true meaning of the texts.
Ibn Arabi writes in his Fusus al-Hikam in chapter 3 :
One especially knows that when the language of the various Shari'as speaks about Allah as they do, they speak to the common people in the first sense, and to the elite in every sense which can be understood from the various aspects of that expression in any language in the usage of that language.
However, Sufism views many passages of the Koran as having double meaning, at what already Al-Hadid Surah 57:12 points. This includes not only the exercises of Bektashi dervishes which were transferred in the 1940s to germany by 'Freiherr von Sebottendorf' . 
== Rumi ==
Maulana Dschalaluddin Rumi was born 1207 in Balkh (former Persia, today Afghanistan ) and died at 17. Dezember 1273 in Konya in Turkey. He is regarded by many as the greatest mystical poet of all times. He is also considered to be the founder of the formerly widespread Mevlevi Brothership.
== Sharfauddin Ahmad ibn Yalıaya Maneri ==
Sharfauddin Ahmad ibn Yalıaya Maneri was one of the pioneer Sufis. He was born in August 1263 at Maner near Patna, the capital of the present -day Indian province of Bihar. Later he was known as 'Makhdum ul-Mulk', i. e. the spiritual leader of the country, and at present he is referred to by people of Bihar as Makhdum Sahib or Respectable Makhdum.
== Ibn Arabi ==
Ibn Arabi (1165–1240) was an andalusian Sufi mystic and philosopher. He is also called asch-schaich al-akbar (the greatest master) because of his superior influence. Ibn 'Arabi stood especially up for religious tolerance.
His doctrine of wahdat al-wudschūd ( Unity between Creator and creation ; Wudschūdiyya) assumes a kind of physical unity between Creator and Creation (similar to Shivaism).
The beings are A'yān thābita, i. Archetypes or prototypes, or non-existent objects that are already present in God's eternal primordial knowledge.
Other Sufis proceeded from a Wadschibatul wudschūd, that is, the "unity with God" here is connected with the dissolution of one's own will in God's will and thus the giving up of one's ego.
This requires a great effort (dschihad) in the a struggle against the 'low ego' (an-nafs al-ammara) of one 's own inside . ( To this refers secretly also the Quran). The highest stage, is for Ibn Arabi the 'pure ego' (an-nafs al-safiya).
Today the Salafis, which have neither spiritual exercises nor selffrealisation, are opponents of his teachings. In Islam, there are only awliyâ, the friends (God), and no one can, according to Islamic faith, place himself on a level with Allah, the 'holy'.
Hinduism and especially Shivaism, however, know further developmental stages and leave the Ishvara behind (Sadashiva).
Higher grades than the creator god Allah are unknown. So the simplified Islamic revelation is more suitable for immature beginners. Steps of a path to Allah are not known here. Allah himself is not known from own experiences las Enoch and others had, so there is also a grudge discussion s and a struggle for leadership, and the visions of several Sufis are second-rate for official Islam.
== Kabir ==
Kabir (1440-1518) was an Indian mystic who grew up in a Muslim weaver's family.
He was weaverr and became famous for his consequent ostracism of religious demarcation, which was widespread in the intellectual elite of the Muslims and the Hindus of his region. However, he was critical of both Hinduism and Islam, which he regarded as misguided by Vedas and Quran. He especially criticized the initiation rites, such as the sacred cord and circumcision, and also rejected the varna system.
Kabir argued for the ideal of a united humanity. He had a monistic philosophy of a single origin of all things, and taught loving humility towards God.
His teachings included ideas from the Vedanta and from Hindu bhakti, as well as from Sufism and Islamic mysticism. Some of his texts entered the Adi Granth.
For the realization of God he recommended the mantra Rāma Rāma.
In his main work bijak (or Seedling), he presents the idea of the One Absolute. It is a collection of poems in which he treats the ideas of Brahman, Karma and Reincarnation, as well as the Bhakti and the ideas of the Sufis.
== Literature =