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Sufism

Sufism or Tasawwuf is a branch of Islam that encompasses the inner, mystical dimensions of the religion. One of its main aim is the establishing of a direct communion with God through the personal experience of the mysteries that lie at the heart of Islam. The Sufis, while accepting the Shariat (Islamic Law), did not confine their religious practices to formal adherence, and stressed the cultivation of religious experience aimed at the direct perception of God.
The chief reason for the widespread nature of Sufism in India could have been the predominant Brahmanical social order, which divided the community on the basis of caste, creed and colour. Hence, the Sufis found an opportunity to spread their message to the people of India and embrace them irrespective of their religious, racial or social status. Among the many orders or silsilas of Sufism, the Chishti order emerged as the most popular. Because of their emphasis on love, tolerance and openness towards all, the Chishtis established a deep relationship with the common masses.