Sufism and the Spiritual Purification

Dr Fazal Wani ✉

Sufism provides a timeless route to inner serenity and spiritual development.

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

The spiritual aspect of Islam known as Sufism is significant when it comes to spirituality. It gives us an idea about the relationship between the human soul and the divine, going beyond simple religious practice. Maulana Rumi once said, “The essence of Sufism is to search for the truth within yourself.” This idea perfectly captures the heart of Sufism, which is a path of spiritual enlightenment and self-discovery.

The Teachings of Renowned Sufis

The teachings of Hazrat Sultan Bahoo possess an outstanding place in the history of Sufism. He taught that obtaining divine approval — rather than worldly recognition — is the path to ultimate fulfilment and stressed the need to have a pure heart as the foundation of spiritual enlightenment. Sultan Bahoo’s statement, “I am neither here nor there; I am in the love of the beloved reflects his deep wisdom.”

Myths Regarding Modern Sufism

Is the Individual Calling Oneself a Sufi Today a True Sufi?
The true essence of Sufism is often misinterpreted in modern perspectives. Making Ostentatious rituals or appearances outside the true Sufism is not important. Being a mystic or ascetic to get material prosperity is not the goal of Sufism. It does not entail acting contrary to Islamic principles or seeking attention by superficial acts of religiosity. Sadly, for some people, modern Sufism means dressing like a mystic, attending ostentatious rituals, and attempting to attract attention from others. Nevertheless, this is far from the central ideas of Sufism. These misconceptions cover everything from superficial acts of devotion to the pursuit of financial gains disguised as spirituality. True Sufism emphasizes inner development and a relationship to the Divine beyond ceremonialist external appearances.

A True Modern Sufi in the Face of Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s role: Despite wearing coats and pants, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the last Ottoman Empire ruler, is seen as a modern Sufi figure. He dressed in contemporary fashion while maintaining a close relationship with Allah. His example serves as a reminder that honesty and dedication are found in the heart and that appearances do not define one’s spiritual connection.
A fascinating aspect of Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s character is his Sufi inclination, which combines traditional spirituality with the requirements of modern governance. He was the head of state in the Ottoman Empire, but he remained deeply rooted in Islamic spirituality and Sufi teachings.
Inner Connection with Allah: Abdul Hamid II’s devotion to Allah and his adherence to Islamic teachings were indicative of his Sufi personality. He maintained his spiritual roots and turned to prayer, meditation, and introspection for direction and comfort despite the
luxuries of modern life and power.

Qualities of a true Sufi

Inner values, not external appearances, are what distinguish a true Sufi. They are the epitome of empathy for all creatures, self-control, and moral purity. A sincere Sufi sheds divine light through their activities and manner, regardless of whether they are dressed in traditional costume or modern attire. Dhikr (remembrance of God), meditation, and charitable deeds are examples of practices that represent the purity of the heart reflecting divine light and providing a route to inner calm and spiritual enlightenment.
Returning to the fundamentals of Sufism — selflessness, introspection, and devotion to the Divine — is the way of the real Sufis. It places a strong emphasis on developing virtues like humility, love, and compassion to lead people to spiritual satisfaction and oneness with the divine. Genuine love and dedication to the spiritual path are promoted, guiding people toward enlightenment and inner peace.

Sufi Ideals: Examples

Sheikh ul Alam, Ameer Kabir, and Abdul Hameed are historical personalities whose unwavering dedication and selflessness embody the values of Sufism. These model Sufis demonstrated genuine spiritual dedication, inspiring those who aspire to follow in their footsteps. Nevertheless, contemporary interpretations may deviate from these lessons, encouraging incorrect assumptions about Sufism through a variety of actions and customs.

Teachings from Sheikh ul Alam

Highly regarded Sufi saint and poet Sheikh ul Alam, also known as Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (May Allah be pleased with him), resided in Kashmir in the fourteenth century. He stressed the following ideas in his teachings:
God’s unity (Tawhid): Sheikh ul Alam taught that God is one and that it is crucial to acknowledge God’s presence in every area of life. He held that accepting the unity of all life and submitting to God’s will are the first steps toward achieving true spiritual enlightenment.
Love and Compassion: The ideas of love and compassion were fundamental to Sheikh ul Alam’s teachings. He stressed the value of showing compassion and understanding to all beings, regardless of their origins or worldviews. He believed that love was the purest kind of devotion.
Serving Humanity: The idea of serving humanity was a further fundamental principle of Sheikh ul Alam’s teachings. He held that easing the pain of others and serving them without self-interest is the path to real spirituality. His disciples were encouraged to practice kindness and empathy to improve society and spread the message of peace and love.

Teachings of Ameer Kabir:

Unity of God: He emphasized the unity of God, holding that God is all-pervasive and accessible to all creatures, and he urged people to pursue spiritual union with their Creator. 

Renunciation of Ego: Believing that egoism is the primary source of human misery and alienation from God, Ameer Kabir preached the value of transcending the ego and submitting to divine will.
Simplicity and Detachment: He encouraged followers to discover fulfilment and inner peace beyond worldly wealth and position by promoting a life of simplicity and detachment from worldly demands.
Ethical Living: Ameer Kabir promoted virtue and moral behaviour, calling on people to develop humility, honesty, and compassion in their day-to-day lives as expressions of true spirituality.


To sum up, Sufism provides a timeless route to inner serenity and spiritual development. A transforming journey toward divine union can be taken by individuals who embrace its basic teachings and illustrate its qualities. To achieve spiritual fulfilment and personal development, let us answer the call to true devotion and accept the core principles of Sufism.

This article was submitted and written by Dr Fazal Ul Haq Wani for & all the facts and findings presented are his own.

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