Eckhart Tolle explores The Wisdom of Sufism

Eckhart explores teachings and poetry from Sufism to highlight essential wisdom of this unique branch of Islam.

The Sufi masters all point to that most essential place within you and their teaching, although it came out of Islam, same place it transcends, as every true deep spiritual teaching does, it transcends the form out of which it comes in same way as Zen transcends Buddhism in same way, in same way as mystics of middle ages transcended the narrow form of of Chrisitnaity. Very often they were persecuted for that by orthodox Christians in the same way as the  Sufis were, some of them, persecuted and killed by orthodox Muslims and still are. Nowadays especially when we speak of Islam, many people think of it as an intolerant religion but any religion can be turned into that. If you look back to the middle ages you will see that Islam was far more tolerant at that rime  than Christianity and Islam at that time had a higher  form of civilisation than chritianity in Southern Europe. Islam was in southern Europe too.

I would like to go with you to the heart of the sufi teachings or use the sufi teachings as a device to access that place within yourself.

Reading about Sufism on BBC.co.uk:

  • Sufism, or Tasawwuf as it is known in the Muslim world, is Islamic mysticism (Lings, Martin, What is Sufism?, The Islamic Texts Society, 1999, pg 15)
  • Non-Muslims often mistake Sufism as a sect of Islam. Sufism is more accurately described as an aspect or dimension of Islam.
  • Ibn Khaldun, the 14th century Arab historian, described Sufism as… dedication to worship, total dedication to Allah most High, disregard for the finery and ornament of the world, abstinence from the pleasure, wealth, and prestige sought by most men, and retiring from others to worship alone. Ibn Khaldun, quoted in Keller, Nuh Ha Mim, The Place of Tasawwuf in Traditional Islam, http://www.masud.co.uk, 1995
  • Although Sufis are relatively few in number they have shaped Islamic thought and history. Through the centuries Sufis contributed hugely to Islamic literature for example Rumi, Omar Khayyám and Al-Ghazali’s influence extended beyond Muslim lands to be quoted by Western philosophers, writers and theologians. Sufis were influential in spreading Islam particularly to the furthest outposts of the Muslim world in Africa, India and the Far East.
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