The word Sufism was coined in the 19th century. Sufis were a group of religious minded people who turned to asceticism and mysticism in protest against the growing materialism of the Caliphate as a religious and political institution. They were critical of the dogmatic definitions and scholastic methods of interpreting the Qur’an and sunna(traditions of the Prophet) adopted by theologians.
Sufis laid emphasis on seeking salvation through intense devotion and love for God by following His commands, and by following the example of the Prophet Muhammad whom they regarded as a perfect human being. Sufis interpreted Qur’an on the basis of their personal experience.
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