Forum Philosophicum

Volume 13, Issue 2, Autumn 2008

Saladdin Ahmed
Pages 229-246

What is Sufism?

Most Westem scholars define Sufism as the spirituality of Islam or the mystical version of Islam. It is thought to be the inward approach to Islam that emerged and flourished in the non-Arab parts of the Islamic world. Most scholars like William Stoddart think that Sufism is to Islam what Yoga is to Hinduism, Zen to Buddhism, and mysticism to Christianity (Stoddart 1976, p. 19). In this essay, I will shed light on the major lines and elements in the philosophy of Sufism. I will try to give a concrete account of Sufism by introducing its major features within the relevant Islamic tradition and history.