What is meant by Sufi Saints?

Sufi Saints are Muslim saints who entered India in the 12th Century and gained popularity in the 13th century. This article will give brief details about Sufi Saints within the context of the IAS Exam.

What is Sufism?

Sufism is also known as Tasawwuf in the Arabic speaking world. It is not a particular sect of Islam, rather it transcends all the sects of Islam. It is a style of worship which emphasises on introspection, closeness with God, purification of the soul, renunciation of worldly things.

Ideals of a Sufi Saint

They are the Muslim Saints who entered India in the 12th Century and gained popularity in the 13th century. Sufi saints believed in the following ideals.

  1. Seeking inner purity
  2. The only way to reach God is through devotion and love.
  3. They believed in Prophet Mohammed and also attached importance to their ‘Murshid’ or ‘Pir’ (Guru).
  4. More priority is given to devotion rather than prayers.
  5. Sufi saints were classified into 12 orders. Each of the 12 orders belonged to a prominent Sufi saint.

Since the first Muslim hagiographies were written during the period when Sufism began its rapid expansion, many of the figures who later came to be regarded as the major saints in Sunni Islam were the early Sufi mystics, like Hasan of Basra, Farqad Sabakhi, Dawud Ta, Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyya, Maruf Karkhi, and Junayd of Baghdad.

Who is the first Sufi?

Abu Hashim was also known as Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah was the first Sufi as per medieval mystic Jami. Abu Hashim was a member of the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraish tribe in Mecca.

Who is the greatest Sufi Saint?

Some of the greatest Sufi Saints of India are given below

  1. Khawja Moin-ud-Din Chisti (1143 A.D – 1234 A.D) – He settled at Ajmer.
  2. Baba Farid-ud-Din Ganj-i-Shakar – His tomb is located at Faridkot in Punjab.
  3. Nizam-ud-Din Aulia – His tomb is located in Delhi.

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