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What were the major beliefs and practices of the Sufis?

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Last updated date: 01st Mar 2024
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IVSAT 2024
Answer
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Hint: Sufi, means 'purity' in one sense and the other implies pious ascetics who withdrew from urban life, during early Islam. It can be attributed as an altered state of consciousness which is attributed in a religious way.

Complete answer:
Sufism can be defined as Islamic Mysticism that is enlightenment in a religious manner. Sufis the followers of Sufism traces a direct link back to the Islamic teacher and messenger of Islam Prophet Muhammad by forming congregations around a grand master referred to as a “wali”. Sufi terminologies are extremely important in Persian and other literature related to it, such as Turkish, Sindhi, Urdu, Punjabi, and Pashto. They emphasized love and devotion to one God and rejected outward religiosity by inspiring people to be compassionate towards all fellow human beings and respect the creations of God. They rejected idol worship and used considerably simplified rituals of worship into collective prayers ( jamaat).

They believed that the heart can be trained to look at the world in a different way by achieving asceticism i.e. giving up worldly physical and psychological desires. They developed elaborate methods of training or praying, using chanting of a sacred formula or a name; called " zikr". singing and contemplation are known as sama, Raqs (dancing), discussion of parables, breath control, etc. under the counsel of a master or Pir.

Note: Sufism is more flexible than Islam when it comes to praying the One Lord Allah, as it has its own fluid ways of connecting with the god whereas, there are some prescribed rules and obligations of worshipping. In contemporary times Sufism is practised in Egypt, Senegal and Morocco.
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