Though the roots of Islamic mysticism formerly were supposed to have stemmed from various non-Islamic sources in ancient Europe and even Indiait now seems established that the movement grew out of early Islamic asceticism that developed as a counterweight to the increasing worldiness of the expanding Muslim community; only later were foreign elements that were compatible with mystical theology and practices adopted and made to conform to Islam. By educating the masses and deepening the spiritual concerns of the Muslims, Sufism has played an important role in the formation of Muslim society.
The primary meanings it has are "induct" and "initiate". Secondary meanings include "introduce", "make someone aware of something", "train", "familiarize", "give first experience of something". As explained in Strong's Concordanceit properly means shutting the eyes and mouth to experience mystery.
Its figurative meaning is to be initiated into the "mystery revelation". The meaning derives from the initiatory rites of the pagan mysteries. The term means "anything hidden", a mystery or secret, of which initiation is necessary.
A particular meaning it took in Classical antiquity was a religious secret or religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to be communicated by them to ordinary mortals.
In the Septuagint and the New Testament the meaning it took was that of a hidden purpose or counsel, a secret will.
It is sometimes used for the hidden wills of humans, but is more often used for the hidden will of God. Definitions of sufism according to different in the Bible it takes the meaning of the mystic or hidden sense of things.
It is used for the secrets behind sayings, names, or behind images seen in visions and dreams. The Vulgate often translates the Greek term to the Latin sacramentum sacrament.
These followers of mystery religions belonged to a select group, where access was only gained through an initiation. The terms are first found connected in the writings of Heraclitus.
Such initiates are identified in texts with the persons who have been purified and have performed certain rites.
Such initiates were believers in the god Dionysus Bacchus who took on the name of their god and sought an identification with their deity. HesychasmContemplative prayerand Apophatic theology Deriving from Neo-Platonism and Henosismysticism is popularly known as union with God or the Absolute.
He also argues that we should speak of "consciousness" of God's presence, rather than of "experience", since mystical activity is not simply about the sensation of God as an external object, but more broadly about "new ways of knowing and loving based on states of awareness in which God becomes present in our inner acts.
For example, in Advaita Vedanta, there is only one reality Brahman and therefore nothing other than reality to unite with it—Brahman in each person atman has always in fact been identical to Brahman all along.
Dan Merkur also notes that union with God or the Absolute is a too limited definition, since there are also traditions which aim not at a sense of unity, but of nothingnesssuch as Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and Meister Eckhart.
Religious ecstasyAltered state of consciousnessCognitive science of religionNeurotheologyand Attribution psychology Mysticism involves an explanatory context, which provides meaning for so-called mystical and visionary experiences, and related experiences like trances.
According to Dan Merkur, mysticism may relate to any kind of ecstasy or altered state of consciousness, and the ideas and explanations related to them. These experiences are not necessarily interpreted in a religious framework. Enlightenment spiritualDivine illuminationand Subitism Some authors emphasize that mystical experience involves intuitive understanding of the meaning of existence and of hidden truths, and the resolution of life problems.
According to Larson, "mystical experience is an intuitive understanding and realization of the meaning of existence. Horne, mystical illumination "a central visionary experience [ The term illumination is derived from the Latin illuminatioapplied to Christian prayer in the 15th century.
SpiritualitySpiritual developmentSelf-realizationand Ego death Other authors point out that mysticism involves more than "mystical experience. Greco-Roman mysteriesEarly Christianityand Esoteric Christianity In early Christianity the term "mystikos" referred to three dimensions, which soon became intertwined, namely the biblical, the liturgical and the spiritual or contemplative.
In western Christianity it was a counter-current to the prevailing Cataphatic theology or "positive theology". Theoria enabled the Fathers to perceive depths of meaning in the biblical writings that escape a purely scientific or empirical approach to interpretation. Middle Ages This threefold meaning of "mystical" continued in the Middle Ages.
It is best known nowadays in the western world from Meister Eckhart and John of the Cross. Early modern meaning[ edit ] See also: By the middle of the 17th century, "the mystical" is increasingly applied exclusively to the religious realm, separating religion and "natural philosophy" as two distinct approaches to the discovery of the hidden meaning of the universe.
Western esotericismTheosophy BlavatskianSyncretismSpiritualityand New Age The 19th century saw a growing emphasis on individual experience, as a defense against the growing rationalism of western society.
The historical evidence, however, does not support such a narrow conception of mysticism.
These traditions include practices to induce religious or mystical experiences, but also ethical standards and practices to enhance self-control and integrate the mystical experience into daily life. Dan Merkur notes, though, that mystical practices are often separated from daily religious practices, and restricted to "religious specialists like monastics, priests, and other renunciates.
Shamanism According to Dan Merkur, shamanism may be regarded as a form of mysticism, in which the world of spirits is accessed through religious ecstasy. The term is also used to describe similar magico-religious practices found within the ethnic religions of other parts of Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas.TASAWWUF.
Tasawwuf is an Arabic term for the process of realizing ethical and spiritual ideals; meaning literally "becoming a Sufi," tasawwuf is generally translated as Sufism.
The etymologies for the term Sufi are various. Definitions of Sufism according to different scholars: Imam Junayd of Baghdad: "Adopting every high quality and leaving every low quality" Explanation: According to this definition, Sufis want to adopt the right path that leads to God.
They are very keen to know about God. So, they adopt the higher qualities and quit all lower qualities. Definitions of Sufism According to Different Scholars Research Paper Definitions of Sufism according to different scholars: Imam Junayd of Baghdad: "Adopting every high quality and leaving every low quality" Explanation: According to this definition, Sufis want to adopt the right path that leads to God.
Sufism, or Taṣawwuf (Arabic: Historically, Sufis have often belonged to different ṭuruq, or "orders" According to William Chittick, "In a broad sense, Sufism can be described as the interiorization, and intensification of Islamic faith and practice.".
Definitions of Sufism There are numerous "definitive" definitions of Sufism that contradict each other, and none are entirely satisfactory.
They all convey the central notion that Sufi doctrine is about getting closer to God and inner spiritual happiness and that intentions are as important as formalism in worship.
The definition of Sufism can vary drastically between different traditions (what may be intended is simple tazkiah as opposed to the various manifestations of Sufism around the Islamic world). Hossein Nasr states that the preceding theories are false according to the point of view of Sufism.