An Introduction to Sufism
Islamic mysticism, or Sufism, was a distinct tradition within Islam that aimed to cultivate inner spiritual life. Sufism probably derives from the word suf, meaning wool, a reference to the woolen clothing worn by early Sufi mystics. The focus of Sufism changed over the centuries as Islam grew and expanded. Initially moved by the fear of God, Sufism eventually adopted an affirming doctrine of love, and later the concept of the spiritual journey of the individual towards God.