Sufism, Mystical movement within Islam that seeks to find divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. It consists of a variety of mystical paths that are designed to ascertain the nature of mankind and God and to facilitate the experience of divine love and wisdom in the world. Sufism arose as an organized movement after the death of Muhammad (632 CE), among different groups who found orthodox Islam to be spiritually stifling. The practices of contemporary Sufi orders and suborders vary, but most include the recitation of the name of God or of certain phrases from the Quʾrān as a way to loosen the bonds of the lower self, enabling the soul to experience the higher reality toward which it naturally aspires. Though Sufi practitioners have often been at odds with the mainstream of Islamic theology and law, the importance of Sufism in the history of Islam is incalculable. Sufi literature, especially love poetry, represents a golden age in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu languages1.
Sufism is a way of life in which a deeper identity is discovered and lived. This deeper identity, beyond the already known personality, is in harmony with all that exists. This deeper identity, or essential self, has abilities of awareness, action, creativity and love that are far beyond the abilities of the superficial personality. Eventually it is understood that these abilities belong to a greater life and being which we individualize in our own unique way while never being separate from it2.
Sufism is less a doctrine or a belief system than an experience and way of life. It is a tradition of enlightenment that carries the essential truth forward through time. Tradition, however, must be conceived in a vital and dynamic sense. Its expression must not remain limited to the religious and cultural forms of the past. The truth of Sufism requires reformulation and fresh expression at every age2.
The Sufi phenomenon is not easy to sum up or define. The Sufis never set out to found a new religion, a mazhab or denomination. They were content to live and work within the framework of the Moslem religion, using texts from the Quran much as Christian mystics have used the Bible to illustrate their tenets. Their aim was to purify and spiritualize Islam from within, to give it a deeper, mystical interpretation, and infuse into it a spirit of love and liberty. In the broader sense, therefore, in which the word religion is used in our time, their movement could well be called a religious one, one which did not aim at tying humans down with a new set of rules but rather at setting them free from external rules and open to the movement of the spirit3.
Sufism consists of much more than the order founded by Rumi, of course, and its practices are as diverse as the regions in which it thrives. From West and North Africa, to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, Sufism has many interfaces with the practices of average people and mystics alike. These include the maintenance and visitation to shrines and tombs of deceased saints, Islamic endowments, or waqfs, buildings intended for Sufi practice, and the passing on of the traditions. Many daily expressions have also derived from Sufism, which has contributed to sayings, references, concepts in literature and popular culture4.
Maulana Jallaludin Balkhi Rumi, or simply Rumi, as he is known in the West, was a pious Muslim, a mystic, a scholar of Shar’ia law and a famous poet who lived in the 13th century. He was born in Balkh, in what is now Afghanistan, but his family moved to Konya when he was a boy, in what is now Turkey. Muslim mystics have made substantial contributions to the world’s mystical literature. This is especially true in regard to Rumi, but also in regard to Al-Ghazali in the 12th Century, and Hafiz in the 14th4.
Experience the alchemical wisdom of history's most influential Sufi sages with this true work of devotion from esteemed artist, author, and teacher Rassouli. Filled with glorious imagery, insightful commentary, and direct translations from the Persian texts, this mesmerizing oracle creates a window into the world of Sufism. The companion guidebook introduces you to fifteen mystics whose messages will help you discover your soul purpose, make empowering choices, have more satisfying relationships, and more5.
Rassouli is an author, artist, and inspirational guide who has dedicated his life to illuminating the path to happiness, fulfillment, and tranquility regardless of circumstances. Rassouli lives in Southern California, but his spirit is at home dancing around a canvas to bring paintings to life, watching the sunrise to find inspiration for writing books and essays on creativity, mysticism, and channeling kindred spirits to receive revelations for sharing with the spiritual seekers in countless ways5.
Rassouli’s works reflect the shifting light and color of love and express the alchemy of this transforming energy in his visionary ways. He shares the mystical awareness in which he lives, reflects the streaming vibrations of the playfulness of the sages, and illuminates the messages of the great oracles of the world. His guidance is grounded in the gaze of the beloved as he lives the vigil of love through a surrendered heart5.
During the past thirty years, Rassouli has exhibited worldwide, authored several inspirational books and oracle cards, and has lectured across the globe on the art of living. He has guided others in retreats, and has shared his approach on how best to live with serenity and joy in delightfully pragmatic ways5.
Experience the alchemical wisdom of history’s most influential Sufi sages with this true work of devotion from esteemed artist, author and teacher Rassouli. Discover your soul purpose, make empowering choices, trust your intuition, have more satisfying relationships, and develop awareness, creativity, love and more.
- Sufism summary. Encyclopædia Britannica. December 18, 2022. https://www.britannica.com/summary/Sufism
- What is Sufism? - The Threshold Society. The Threshold Society - Mevlevi Sufi Order. June 27, 2019. https://sufism.org/sufism
- The Persian Sufism · Rumi - Rumi quotes and Rumi Poems. Rumi. December 18, 2022. https://www.rumi.org.uk/sufism/persian_sufism/
- The Mystical Tradition of Sufism, or Tasawwuf. Keys to Understanding the Middle East. December 18, 2022. https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/key2mideast/chapter/the-mystical-tradition-of-sufism-or-tasawwuf/
- Sufi Wisdom Oracle: Divine Guidance Through the Hearts of the Great ...December 18, 2022. https://www.amazon.com/Sufi-Wisdom-Oracle-Guidance-Through/dp/0738764191