Difference Between Sunni and Sufi
Sunni vs Sufi
The difference between Sunni and Sufi is that Sunni is a descendant of the conventional version of Islam whereas Sufi is an offshoot of the mystical branch of Islam. Sufi can be both Sunni and Shia. Sunnis focus on the teachings and Sunah of the holy Prophet whereas Sufi follows the basic as well as the spiritual practices.
Sunni is a word derived from the Arabic word Sunah. There are many stories about the origin of the word Sufi like the person who wears wool etc. Sufi means a saint in the English language.
Sunni and Sufi both follow Islam and have same beliefs but a Sunni is more involved with worldly matters whereas Sufi is more concerned with the world hereafter. Sunni follows the code of life sent by God in the form of Sunah and Quran. Sunni Muslims follow these codes and spend their lives accordingly to get to heaven as a reward for their worldly noble deeds.
They are fearful of Allah as their literature and teachings incorporate fear of hell whereas a Sufi advocates eternal and divine love rather than fear. The ambition of a Sufi is to attain spiritual enlightenment through meditation, prayers and by quitting worldly desires. Sunni believes in the indirect approach to enlighten the soul whereas a Sufi attempts to experience and feel God with the help of the direct approach.
Sunni Muslim has five major legal schools and several minor ones whereas Sufi has many orders of Sufism. Almost ninety percent of Muslims around the world are Sunni and they get their religious knowledge based on the Quran and the seven books of Hadith narrated by the companions of the Prophet.
Sufism or tassawuf in Arabic follows sharia or the Islamic code of life along with acquired spiritual enlightenment through purification of the heart. A Sufi or saint purifies his heart with the help of various methods and repeated recitations called ‘Dhikr.’
Many of the Sunni sects do not believe in mysticism and call the deviants as Sufism which is misinterpreted. Sufis do not worship graves and they follow the basic beliefs of Islam strictly. There are many Sufi poets who are famous all over the world for their poems on divine love like Jalal ud din Rumi. Unlike many Sunni sects ,Sufism or Islamic mysticism gives importance to the special form of Sufi music and dancing like swirling dervishes.
1. Sunni came into existence after the death of the Prophet and it believes in the well-trodden path of Islam called Sunah.
2. Sufi means dervish or the one who enlightens his heart and soul by following spiritualism and religious practices.
3. Sunni and Sufi are both Muslims yet different in their schools of thought.
4. Sunni is more concerned with attaining the right path in order to get rewards from God. The reward is promised in the next life.
5. Sufi believes in divine love and focuses on meeting God directly by adopting the state of ‘Fana” which means to purify your heart and soul of worldly desires and expectations.
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