What exactly is Sufism?

Sufism is the ancient school of wisdom, of quietism, and it has been the origin of many cults of a mystical and philosophical nature. Its roots can be traced to the school which existed in Egypt and from which source all the different esoteric schools have come. Sufism has always represented that school and has worked out its destiny in the realm of quietude.  In the different schools the ideal remained the same, although the methods varied. The main ideal of every Sufi school has been to attain that perfection which Jesus Christ has taught in the Bible, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” The method of the Sufis has been that of self-effacement. But which self? Not the real, but the false self upon which man depends, and upon which he prides himself as being something special; and by effacing this false self he allows that real Self to manifest in the world of appearance. Thus the Sufi method works towards the unfoldment of the soul, that Self which is eternal and to which all power and beauty belong.

– Taken from The Heart of Sufism – Essential Writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan

Is Sufism yet another religion?

Sufism is a religion if one wants to learn religion from it; it is a philosophy if one wants to learn wisdom from it; it is mysticism if one wishes to be guided by it in the unfoldment of the soul.

And yet it is beyond all these things. It is the light, it is the life which is the sustenance of every soul, and which raises a mortal being to immortality. It is the message of love, harmony and beauty. It is a divine message. It is the message of the time; and the message of the time is an answer to the call of every soul.  The message, however is not in its words, but in the divine light and life which heals the souls, bringing to them the calm and peace of God.

– Taken from The Heart of Sufism – Essential Writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan

You refer to many religions. Which God do Sufi’s believe in?

Number one of our Ten Sufi Thoughts states: There is one God, the Eternal, the only being; none exists save He.

The Sufi believes in the God from whom he has become separated, the God within him and outside him; as it is said in the Bible, we live and move and have our being in God. That teaching is the teaching of the Sufis.

The Sufi believes in God as the idealized Self within the true life, as the collective Consciousness, and also as the Lord of both worlds, the Master of the day of judgment, the Inspirer of the right path, and the one from whom all has come and to whom all will return.

– Taken from The Heart of Sufism – Essential Writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan

There seems to be so much written and said about this path. How can I start to find my way through my daily activities.

The key is to find balance within oneself. The condition of life around one depends absolutely on the condition of one’s inner self in order to bring about the necessary balance.

How do we do this?

By keeping a few minutes for a process of meditation, of silence, we can touch that complete balance for a moment, and then, naturally, in our life a balance is maintained. Simply be still, and take a moment to reflect on the beauty of nature.

As we are guided in the Bible: Be still and know that I am God.

– Taken from The Heart of Sufism – Essential Writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan