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What is Sufism?|
»Man´s greatest need today is for the exploration of the human personality, in order to find there the latent inspiration and power upon which to build the whole structure of his life. For life means not only to live, but to ennoble oneself and reach that perfection which is the innate yearning of the soul. The solution to the problem of the day is the awakening of the consciousness of humanity to the divinity of man.« Hazrat Inayat Khan
Rather than requiring withdrawal from the world, Sufism practices immersion in life, bringing one's highest ideals into everyday practice. It is a way for humanity to awaken to the abundance of life, both individually and collectively, in every area of human enterprise. Sufism is a contemporary response to the needs of the time and culture within which it exists.
»If anybody asks you, "What is Sufism? What religion is it?" you may answer, "Sufism is the religion of the heart, the religion in which one thing is most important, and that is to seek God in the heart of mankind."
There are three ways of seeking God in the human heart. The first way is to recognize the divine in every person and to be careful of every person with whom we come in contact, in our thought, speech, and action. Human personality is very delicate. The more living the heart, the more sensitive it is. But that which causes sensitiveness is the love-element in the heart, and love is God. The person whose heart is not sensitive is without feeling; his heart is not living, it is dead. In that case the Divine Spirit is buried in his heart.
A person who is always concerned with his own feelings is so absorbed in himself that he has no time to think of another. His whole attention is taken up with his own feelings. He pities himself: he worries about his own pain, and is never open to sympathize with others. He who takes notice of the feeling of another person with whom he comes in contact, practices the first essential moral of Sufism.
The next way of practicing this religion is to think of the feeling of the person who is not at the moment before us. One feels for a person who is present, but one often neglects to feel for someone who is out of sight. One speaks well of someone to his face, but if one speaks well of someone when he is absent, that is greater. One sympathizes with the trouble of someone who is before one at the moment, but it is greater to sympathize with one who is far away. And the third way of realizing the Sufi principle is to recognize in one´s own feeling the feeling of God; to realize every impulse of love that rises in one´s heart as a direction from God; realizing that love is a divine spark in one´s heart, to blow that spark until a flame may rise to illuminate the path of one´s life.« Hazrat Inayat Khan