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What is Sufism?

The practice of Sufism is the intention to go towards the Truth by means of love and devotion. This is called the tariqat, the spiritual path or way towards God.

What is Sufism? To explain the Truth is indeed a difficult task. Words, being limited, can never really express the perfection of the Absolute, the unbound. Thus, for those who are imperfect, words create doubt and misunderstanding. Yet:

If one cannot drink up the entire ocean,
At least one can drink to one’s limit.

Only by the light of the spiritual path and the mystic way can the Truth be discovered. In order for one to truly witness the perfection of the Absolute, one must see with one’s inner being, which perceives the whole of Reality. This witnessing happens only when one loses one’s (partial) existence in the whole.

If the whole is likened to the Ocean and one’s existence to a drop, the Sufi says that witnessing the Ocean with the eye of a drop is impossible. Only when the drop becomes one with the Ocean will it see the Ocean with the eye of the Ocean.

Thus, the Sufi path leads to non-being, loss of self, and passing away in the Beloved.

Excerpted from The Path
By Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh

To read more, see Sufi Discourses