School of Sufi Teaching

Naqshbandi, Mujaddidi, Chishti, Qadiri & Shadhili practices

Support the Sufi School
Sufi School is a non-profit charity involved in creating awareness about Sufism and providing authentic Sufi teachings to sincere seekers.

All the teachings are given free of cost and students are not charged for attending our weekly gatherings for teaching, mentoring, discussions and group practices.

Our activities are carried out through voluntary donations. We request you to donate generously to support our work. Any amount of donation to help us to continue this good work will be appreciated and thankfully accepted.

Use PayPal to send a donation to the School of Sufi Teaching. You can also add a payment reference.

If you don't have a PayPal account, use this link to make a donation via credit card.

Wire transfer
For transfers in the UK (in GBP) use the details below.

Name: The School of Sufi Teaching
Account Number: 11397222
Sort Code: 40-03-16

International transfers
Preferred option for cheap international transfers: Send money to our WISE account.
The Origins Of Sufism

What are the Origins Of Sufism?

Orientalists have expressed various opinions concerning the origins of Sufism. Some authors argue that it was influenced by Greek philosophy. To support this hypothesis Professor R.A. Nicholson of Cambridge cited similarities between the works of Sufis and Greek philosophers. Other authors have asserted that Sufism derives from Vedanta or Buddhism. In our view, all these theories are mistaken. While some of the movements’ principles are similar, similarities do not prove that one movement comes from another.

Professor Louis Massignon, a leading French scholar of Islamic mysticism, concluded after extensive study that the origins of Sufism are embedded in the Holy Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). It was not transplanted from outside, but rather originated in Islam.

The Indian scholar Shah Waliullah (r.a.) (d. 1762) observed that the methods adopted by various orders conformed to the natural inclinations of people in the areas where these orders arose. Shaykhs may have drawn on certain aspects of other religions or systems, particularly when customs had become so deeply rooted as to unassailable. But we should avoid reading too much into superficial similarities. A Sufi aspirant sitting in meditation looks much like a yogi sitting in meditation, but the two differ significantly in their methods and purposes.

On another level, the question of which mysticism derives from what sources is academic. The mystic impulse exists within each human soul. Certain principles have found expression in every country, every language, every religion not because societies borrow from one another, but because God created us with an inborn yearning to know the Divine. It is human nature to turn towards spiritual improvement and training.

If concepts and practices found in Sufism are found also in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other traditions, it does not mean they are un-Islamic, any more than they are un-Christian, un-Judaic, un-Hindu or un-Buddhist. They are legitimately claimed by all faiths, for they reflect the human condition. Those who miss this point – who insist on establishing external sources for Sufism or other spiritual traditions – miss both the uniqueness of each monument of human discovery, and the unity that underlies all creation.

Previous Article
What is Sufism?

What is Sufism or Tasawwuf?

Next Article

Sufism and Humanity's Future

Related Posts
Read More

Global Issues and Sufism

The Sufi approach is relevant both to today’s society and to questions that will shape humanity’s direction in the future. Issues relating to community values, cultural diversity, environmental preservation, economic equity, and conflict resolution are all considered in the teachings…
Read More

Historical Development

Although Sufism has always been associated the spiritual dimension of Islam, the term “Sufism” does not seem to have been used until many years after Islam was founded. What, then, is the history of Sufism, and where did it originate?…
Read More

Meditation (Muraqabah)

Experience over the centuries has shown that Sufi meditation (muraqabah) leads to all stages of perfection. For this reason, although shaykhs of our order also perform dhikr (recitations evoking remembrance of God), durud (supplications for blessings upon the Prophet SAW),…
Subtle Centres of Consciousness in Sufism
Read More

Subtle Centres of Consiousness (Lata’if)

It is generally thought that the human body contains only one subtle center of consciousness: the mind or brain. But the elder Sufis, through their spiritual experiences, discovered additional centers of perception or inner senses which they referred to as…