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Sufism and Islam

Islam was initiated by the Prophet Mohammed (may peace be upon him) who lived in Mecca and then Medina from 570/571 - 632 CE ( d 11 AH in the Islamic calendar). He left the Koran (“Recitation”), his example (“Sunnah”) and his companions (“Sahaba”) who he trained. In Arabic, a Muslim is simply “one who has surrendered to God (Allah)” or “has found peace”.

The Four Rightly Guided Caliphs, who came from the Sahaba, led the Islamic world after the Prophet’s death (may peace be upon him).  Most Sufi orders originate from the Caliph Ali, however our Naqshbandi Order originates from the Caliph Abu Bakr. Now nearly 1,400 years old, Naqshbandi knowledge has passed through a chain of 41 Shaykhs (the Naqshbandiyya Nazimiyya Golden Chain) up to our present day. 

Over the centuries, the relationship between Sufism and the religion of Islam has often been uneasy. Islam itself has fragmented to some extent, and each Muslim group often made different claims for and against Sufism, whilst at the same time being under it’s influence. Not surprisingly, the situation continues today.

Of course as in other great religions, muslim empires have come and gone, and each empire incorporated the religion of Islam in different ways. However Sufism has always been about offering a key to heaven for the journey of the souls, so it’s only basic need was a school to spread education in the community, a voice in the mosque, and a centre for friendship, ceremonies, events, seclusion and retreat. 

Sufism has been described as many things, and Sufi Saints have appeared in many communities over the ages. There have been many associations with miracles, science, social service and more, along with a fair share of imposters. However this path to spiritual truth, love and meaning has endured through all of this.

Sufism does encourage the Five Pillars of Islam. It also emphasises other issues that are relevant to the people and community of the time.

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Sufi Path Group events around Australia:

Melbourne, Victoria
Sydney, New South Wales NSW