Sufism -- Sufis -- Sufi Orders

Sufism's Many Paths
Dr. Alan Godlas, University of Georgia

Sufism or tasawwuf, as it is called in Arabic, is generally understood by scholars and Sufis to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam. Today, however, many Muslims and non-Muslims believe that Sufism is outside the sphere of Islam. Nevertheless, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, one of the foremost scholars of Islam, in his article The Interior Life in Islam contends that Sufism is simply the name for the inner or esoteric dimension of Islam.

After nearly 30 years of the study of Sufism, I would say that in spite of its many variations and voluminous expressions, the essence of Sufi practice is quite simple. It is that the Sufi surrenders to God, in love, over and over; which involves embracing with love at each moment the content of one's consciousness (one's perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, as well as one's sense of self) as gifts of God or, more precisely, as manifestations of God.

  • Workshop on Sufi-Islamic meditation with Dr. Godlas in the Bahamas, March 22-24, 2012 As a part of the "Meditation as a Path to Enlightenment: An Interfaith Symposium" held at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in Nassau, Bahamas, March 18, 2012 to March 24, 2012, Dr. Godlas will be giving a series of presentations (on March 22, 23, and 24) involving both lectures on meditative practice in Sufism as well as sessions of silent and vocal dhikr (i.e., Sufi meditation and chanting). Participants are welcome to come for just Dr. Godlas' presentations, for the entire symposisum, or for any part of it. For costs and reservations, see the information at Sivananda Ashram website, linked here.
  • Sufi Spiritual Transformation Workshop w/Dr. Godlas March 29-30, 2008, near Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  • Sufis Without Borders An online semi-private discussion group loosely moderated by Dr. Godlas and a moderating committee; currently over 1100 international participants from many Sufi orders and perspectives, interested non-Sufis, and scholars.
  • Sufi News and Sufism World Report The only news digest from around the world concerning Sufis and Sufism. Updated daily.
  • Sufi Cartoons

    Table of Contents

    Sufism: an Introduction
    Classical Sufi Definitions of Sufism
    Obstacles on the Path
    Struggle With One's Nafs (self) 
    Awakening to the Awareness of the Unmanifest World 
    Remembering God 
    Sufism, Remembrance, and Love
    Islam's Relationship to Sufism: Approval and Criticism 
    Sufism and Sufi Orders in the West
    Sufi Poets and Sufi Poetry
    Sufi Women 
    Sufi Qur'an Commentary (Sufi Tafsir)
    Sufi Resources, Books, Bookstores, Events and Conferences, and Sufi Personal and Marriage Ads
    Online Sufi Texts in Arabic

    Shaykhs, Sufi Orders, and Shrines

    Selected Sufis

    Sufi Orders and Their Shaykhs

    Hasan al-Basri Malamatiya
    Rabi'a al-Adawiya Yasawiya - Ahmet Yasawi
    Bayazid-i Bistami Kubrawiya (and Oveyssi)- Najm al-Din Kubra 
    Sahl ibn 'Abdallah al-Tustari Qadiriya - 'Abd al-Qadir Jilani
    Mansur al-Hallaj Rifa'iya - Ahmet Rifa'i
    Abu 'l-Hasan Kharaqani Mevleviye - Jalal al-Din Rumi
    Abu Sa'id Abu al-Khayr Bektashiye - Haji Bektash Veli
    Khwajah 'Abdallah Ansari Naqshbandiya - Baha' al-Din Naqshband
    Abu Hamid al-Ghazali Ni'matallahiya - Shah Ni'matallah Vali
    'Ayn al-Qudat Hamadani Bayramiye - Haji Bayram Veli
    Ruzbihan-i Baqli Chishtiya - Mu'in al-Din Chishti
    Ibn 'Arabi Shadhiliya - Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili
    Yunus Emre Khalwatiya - 'Umar al-Khalwati
    Tijaniya - Ahmad al-Tijani
    Muridiyya - Ahmadu Bamba
    Orders in East Africa
    Orders in North Africa
    Orders in Indonesia and Malaysia
    Orders in Afghanistan
    Orders in Pakistan
    Orders in Bangladesh and India
    Orders in Kurdistan
    Orders in Russia
    Orders in Turkmenistan
    Orders in the Balkans

  • Go to Islam and Islamic Studies Resources of Dr. Godlas.

    eXTReMe Tracker