What was the Sufi Movement?
The Sufi movement was the direct result of the Hindu influence on Islam in India. Monotheism, equality and brotherhood of man and rejection of rituals and class divisions were distinctive characteristics of Islam. These Islamic ideas later created a profound impact on the religious leaders of this period.
Sufism was a liberal reform movement within Islam. The Sufi Movement had two-fold aims:
1. To make their own spiritual progress
2. To serve mankind.
Important Things to remember
It had its origin in Persia and spread in India in 11th The 1st Sufi saint was Shaikh Ismail of Lahore
Most famous Sufi saint of India was Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti. He settled in Ajmer, having a number of disciples who were called Sufis of Chisti order. Saint Nizamuddin Auliya who belonged to Chisti order was a mighty spiritual force.
Another well known Sufi Saint was Bahauddin Zakariya who came under the influence of another famous mystic Shihabuddin Suharwadi. His branch of Sufi saints was known as Sufis of Suharwadi order.
Few other celebrated Muslim saints of this period were Baba Fariduddin Ganj-i-shakar, Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, Nasiruddin Mahmud Chirag-i-Dehlvi, Malik Muhammad Jayasi and Muhammad Ghous Gwalior.
These Sufi saints are revered even today by not only Muslims but by a large number of Hindus also. Their tombs have become popular places of pilgrimage for both the communities.
Sufism stressed the elements of love and devotion as an effective means of the realization of God. Love of God meant love of humanity and so the Sufis believed service to humanity was tantamount to service to god. Self-discipline was considered an essential condition to gain knowledge of god by the sense of perception.
Sufism absorbed a variety of ideas and practices from different religions like Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism.
Sufis lay stress on inner purity. According to them, one must have the guidance of a pir or guru, without which spiritual development is impossible.
Sufism also inculcated a spirit of free-thinking and tolerance among its followers.
The Sufi movement gained impetus during the reign of Akbar who adopted a liberal religious policy under the influence of the Sufi saints.
What were the ideas of Sufi?
Ideas emphasized by Sufism are meditation, good actions, repentance for sins, the performance of prayers and pilgrimages, fasting, charity and suppression of passions by ascetic practices etc. These liberal and unorthodox features had a profound influence on bhakti saints.
For more such informative articles stay tuned Owntv