What is Sufism?
1. Sufi’s saw the material and wordly temptations that were overtaking Islam, so they decided to cleanse it and make it have a deeper meaning to the individual.
2. Sufis wanted to experience Allah in their lifetime, instead of waiting for death to be with Him.
3. To encounter Allah, Sufis believe that they must get closer to Him through the mysticisms of love, ecstasy and intuition. The mysticism of love is gaining knowledge of Allah through a person’s heart, the mysticism of ecstasy is gaining knowledge of Allah through entering an altered state of mind where they can visually experience Him, and the mysticism of intuition helps Sufis gain knowledge about Allah through a mystical “eye” that sees the world as Allah in disguise.
4. Sufis use symbolism to deepen the meaning of Islam for the individual by asserting that everything is God, and use analogies to visualize and comprehend things that they usually wouldn’t be able to about Allah without the use of symbols.
5. Sufis and the rest of the Muslim community have been peaceful towards each other, although Muslims who are not Sufis view Sufism as almost sacrilegious because the divisions between the two denominations are so profound.
Thesis: The main goal of Sufism is to create an extremely personal relationship with Allah through accessing His love in your heart, accessing Him through entering altered states of mind, and learning to access Him through everything in the world, because everything is the world is God.
What is Whither Islam?
1. Islam has had a long history and has made many great contributions to the world in the areas of scientific and social developments
2. Although Islam has had a long history of achievements, it currently faces many challenges of how to change with the world and still keep it’s main teachings.
3. Islam is one of the most powerful religions in the world and although the religion and it’s followers face many issues of development it is still a strong and influential force in the world because of it’s multitude of followers.
Thesis: Islam has had a long history and although it faces many challenges in how the religion will progress, it has a lot of power in the world because of its many followers.