What is Sufism?

Embark on an intellectual journey into the realm of Sufism. Explore the intricate history, philosophical underpinnings, and mystical practices that have shaped this fascinating tradition. Join me as we delve into the topic of Sufi mysticism, shedding light on its profound impact on Islam & its history.


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Music by:

Filip Holm



Sources/Recomended Reading:


Abu-n Nasr, Jamil M. (2007). "Muslim Communities of Grace: The Sufi Brotherhoods in Islamic Religious Life". C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd.


"Al-Qushayri's Epistle on Sufism - Al-Risala Al Qushayriyya Fi 'ilm Al-Tasawwuf". Translated by Alexander Knysh. 2020. The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization.


Avery, Kenneth S. (2004). "A Psychology of Early Sufi Sama: Listening and altered states". Routledge.


Casewit, Yousef (2017). "The Mystics of al-Andalus: Ibn Barrajan and Islamic Thought in the Twelfth Century". Cambridge University Press.


Chittick, William (1989). "The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn 'Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination".


Chittick, William (1998). "The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn al-'Arabi's Cosmology". State University of New York Press.


Cornell, Vincent J. (1998). "Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism". University of Texas Press.


Caner Dagli (translated by) (2004). Ibn 'Arabi - "The Ringstones of Wisdom (Fusus al-Hikam)". Great Books of the Islamic World. Kazi Pubns Inc.


Ernst, Carl W. & Bruce B. Lawrence (2003). "Sufi Martyrs of Love: The Chishti Order in South Asia and beyond". Palgrave Macmillan.


Homerin, Emil (Translated by) (2001). "'Umar Ibn al-Farid: Sufi Verse, Saintly Life". Classics of Western Spirituality. Paulist Press.


Homerin, Emil (2019). "Aisha al-Ba'uniyya: A Life in Praise of Love". Makers of the Muslim World Series. Oneworld Publications.


Karamustafa, Ahmet T. (2006). God's Unruly Friends: Dervish Groups in the Islamic Middle Period 1200-1550. Oneworld Publications.


Karamustafa, Ahmet T. (2007). "Sufism - the formative period". Edinburgh University Press.


Knysh, Alexander (2000). "Islamic Mysticism: A Short History". Brill.


Knysh, Alexander (2019). "Sufism: A New History of Islamic Mysticism". Princeton University Press.


Lewis, Franklin D. (2000). "Rumi: Past and Present, East and West". Oneworld publications.


Malik, Jamal & John Hinnells (ed.) (2006). "Sufism in the West". Routledge.


Ridgeon, Lloyd (ed.) (2015). "The Cambridge Companion to Sufism". Cambridge University Press.


Schimmel, Annemarie (1975). "Mystical Dimensions of Islam". The University of North Carolina Press.


Van Bruinessen, Martin & Julia Day Howell (ed). (2007). "Sufism and the Modern in Islam". I.B. Tauris.





0:00 Intro

4:27 What does "sufi" mean?

5:37 The Earliest Sufis

8:20 Basic sufi teachings and practices

12:49 Dhikr & Sama´

17:41 Fana (& Baqa)

20:06 Systematization & Sufi manuals

22:33 The Sufi Orders

28:11 Sufi poetry & music

32:31 Sufi "Philosophy" (Metaphysics)

38:49 Intuitive/Mystical Knowledge (Ma'arifa/Dhawq, Kashf)

40:40 Sufi saints (awliya) & Insan al-Kamil

43:01 Post-Medieval developments

44:44 Sufism, Politics & Dispelling misconceptions

47:25 Sufism today & in the west

52:43 Conclusions



#sufism #mysticism #islam