Sufism is known as the Way of the Heart, the Way of the Pure, the Mystical path of Islam. By whatever name it is called, it is the path which takes the seeker to the Divine Presence. In essence, Sufism is a means and a way by which the seeker will move from the gravity of his or her lower self, to ascend, with the assistance of a mystical guide, and through the methods and practices defined by the Way he or she has chosen, to the state wherein the Vision of God is presented to her or him.

The paths to the Divine are as numerous as the breaths of humankind.

Each individual has his or her own, personal and private way to the Divine Presence. This then is the Sufi Path.

Sufi Orders

Just as there are many paths to the Divine, there are also several Sufi Orders which have been established since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) in 6th Century Arabia. Among the most active in the West today are the Mevlevi Order, known for its distinctive Sema dance known as the Whirling of the Whirling Dervishes, and the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order, known for the Golden Chain of Saints which stretches forward and back, unbroken for centuries.

All Sufi orders practice the healing, meditative chant called Zikr or Dhikr, whether silently or aloud, alone or in congregation and association. All of the orders likewise use the healing and cleansing power and quality of water, for purification of the self.

Through whichever door is entered, the destination is always the same: to achieve a state of ‘opening the eyes of the heart’ to the Divine presence, and to fill the heart with a love that heals and sustains through all difficulties, whether they be mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual.

Come, come, whoever you are, wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.

It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times, come.

Come, yet again, come, come.

      • -Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

Click for more about the Whirling Dervishes.

Click here for an outside link to the Gospel of Barnabas.


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