PRELIMS SNIPPETS – November 22nd 2022


Why in News?

  • A book ‘In Search of the Divine: Living Histories of Sufism in India’ has recently been published


  • Sufism is a mystical form of Islam, a school of practice that focuses on the spiritual search for God and shuns materialism.
  • It is a form of Islamic mysticism which stresses on asceticism. There is a lot of emphasis on devotion towards God.
  • In Sufism, self-discipline is considered an essential condition to gain knowledge of God by sense of perception.
  • In the beginning of 12 AD, some religious people in Persia turned to asceticism due to the increasing materialism of the Caliphate. They came to be called the ‘Sufis’.
  • In India, Sufi movement began in 1300 A.D & came to South India in the 15th century.
  • In Sufism, self-discipline was considered an essential condition to gain knowledge of God. While orthodox Muslims emphasize external conduct, the Sufis lay stress on inner purity.
  • Multan and Punjab were the early centers and later on, it spread to Kashmir, Bihar, Bengal and the Deccan.
  • The term ‘Sufi’ is probably derived from the Arabic ‘suf’ word which means ‘one who wears wool’. This is because woolen clothes were generally associated with ascetics. Another possible origin of the word is ‘safa’ which means purity in Arabic.
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