Sufism in 3 words: Excerpt from Daata Sahib [Ali Hajvairi]
Definition of Sufism in 3 words – Excerpt from Kashf-al-Majoob by Hazrat Daata Sahib Lahori [Ali Hajvairi]
The definition given by Abu Bakr Al-Kitani is the masterpiece of both being concise and comprehensive:
التصّوف : صفا ٕ و مشاہدہ
“Tasawwuf is purification (from evils) and “observation (of Nature’s Manifestations in the Universe)”
Out of these two attributes the first (Safa or Purification) is the cause (genesis or source of origin) and the other attribute namely observation is the Effect or aim and the desired goal. This definition is very comprehensive or all inclusive which also includes the pathway or which the salik (passerby) travels from one stage (destination, or manzil) to another higher stage till he attains perfection in the Path of Divine Journey.
Imam Ghazali has given a rather detailed explanation of this reality in his famous book Ihlaya-ul-Uloom’:
Translation: The first step in the pathway of the Destination is that he (Salik) should undertake endeavour (hard work by way of Mujahidah); destroy and get rid of evil deeds, snap up all the extraneous relations and associations, and bend all his energy towards concentration of Divine Manifestation mirroring the Entity (Zaat) of Almighty Allah. When the traveller (Salik) attains this noble and sacred perfection, then Almighty Allah Himself becomes the Guardian and Protector of the heart of His servant and becomes the Guarantor of providing Light and Guidance from the Divine Treasures of enlightenment and inspiration.