An Explanation of Islam and Sufism
What does Islam mean?
Islam means submitting to God’s Will and accepting that there is no God but one God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God, peace and blessings upon him, as are Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Noah and Adam, peace be upon them all.
What is faith according to Islam?
Faith is believing in:
- One God
- In the existence of spiritual beings known as angels
- In the revelations of God (the Testaments), the Psalms revealed to David, the Torah sent down to Moses, the New Testament brought to Jesus and the Last Testament, Qur’an brought to Muhammad (peace be upon them all)
- all the prophets that were sent as mercy to mankind
- The Judgement Day and Resurrection
- The Divine Decree (destiny)
What is Sufism?
Sufism is the way of purifying the heart from bad manners and characteristics
How is Sufism related to Islam?
It is the path of spirituality that exists in Islam. Its meaning is:
- Seeking the pleasure of God
- Love and peace with one’s self
- Harmony with all creations (mankind, animals, and nature)
- To be dressed with the beautiful attributes of Prophets and Saints/li>
How does Islam view other religions?
- All are vehicles and a path to God’s Divine Presence;
- According to Islam, all religions are originally from God the Exalted. With time and man’s weakness, most religions were distorted from their original truth and adopted practicing of idol-worship or other wrong beliefs, which turned people away from worship and adoration of the one true God.
- You will find the essence of other religions embodied in the beliefs of Islam.
How does one enter Islam?
One enters Islam by believing in one’s heart in the existence of One Lord and believing in Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) as the last of the Prophets that the Lord has sent throughout history.
What is a Shaykh?
A Shaykh is someone who has inherited what the prophets brought and who is authorized to convey these teachings and secrets to those who take his hand as teacher. A true Shaykh is the one that has mastered his lower self’s bad characteristics through devotion and sincerity towards His Lord. For that reason he is able to guide his students to mastery of their own lower selves, opening the way to reach unlimited potential of their spiritual realities. It is that spiritual reality which allows one to attain 6 powers:
- The power of attraction
- The power of concentration on the heart
- The power of guidance
- The power to convey other peoples’s burdens and requests to God
- The power to convey blessings
How does one reach spiritual levels in Sufism?
The main methods of attaining spiritual progress in Sufism are:
- Following the guidance and instructions of an authorized Shaykh or guide.
- Performing dhikr, the remembrance of your Lord through reciting his Holy Names and Attributes, glorifying Him and praising the Creator of all.
- Attending the advice and dhikr gatherings held in the presence of the Shaykh or his representative; sitting together, praying together, welcoming all that come to praise their Lord.