Islam is a monotheistic religion based upon the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th century Arab religious and political figure. It is the second-largest religion in the world today, with an estimated 1.4 billion adherents, known as Muslims.
Muslims believe that God revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad and that Muhammad is God's final prophet. Muslims consider the Qur'an and the traditions of Muhammad in the Sunnah to be the basic sources of Islam. Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam is an Abrahamic religion.
Sufism is a mystic tradition of Islam encompassing a diverse range of beliefs and practices dedicated to Allah/God, divine love and sometimes to help a fellow man. Tariqas (Sufi orders) may be associated with Shi'a Islam, Sunni Islam, other currents of Islam, or a combination of multiple traditions. It has been suggested that Sufi thought emerged from the Middle East in the eighth century, but adherents are now found around the world. Some Sufis have also claimed that Sufism pre-dates Islam and some groups operate with only very tenuous links to Islam.
There are three ways of knowing a thing. Take for instance a flame. One can be told of the flame, one can see the flame with his own eyes, and finally one can reach out and be burned by it. In this way, we Sufis seek to be burned by God.
Unknown Sufi scholar
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