Sufis are often described as the mystics of Islam, but Sufism fits awkwardly in the categories of religions. Technically Sufism is a denomination of Islam, however there are many Sufis that are not Muslims and there are many Muslims that are reluctant to consider Sufism part of Islam.

         One of the few concepts that Sufis seem to agree on is that all religions offer a path to salvation or enlightenment and that true God realization, no matter how it is achieved, transcends the limitations and classification of any religion. Basically, a saint in any religion is equal to a saint in any other religion because they are inspired by the same Divine source. Initially the term Sufi referred only to those who had achieved God realization, but it has since come to be applied to anyone who follows that particular spiritual path.


The name Sufi comes from “suf,” the Arabic word for wool or“saf,”the Persian word for pure.
  The whirling dervishes of Sufism wore inexpensive wool clothes as part of their life of renunciation. 

The Sufi Way consists of four stages. The first stage involves learning the morality and ethics of all religion, which is accomplished by studying Islam.

Non-Islamic Sufis rely on other religions or the writings of Sufi saints to establish the foundation of morals and ethics.

The first two stages are accomplished through practice and imitation, basically surrendering blindly to rituals.

The second stage is the path of Sufism,  which  is  a  focus on internal

 practices in the same way that Islam offers the external practices of law and worship.

  The third stage is where the aspirant begins to understand the meaning behind the teaching and practices, experiencing God within and the mystical states of Sufism.

The fourth stage is ma'rifah or gnosis. This is where the knowledge of God is realized and is only achieved by prophets, great masters and saints. The goal of following the Sufi way (or to be devoted to any other religion) is not to become a saint, but rather to align your life with the will of God and to do all that you can to accept and live by God’s Grace.

Indeed, if your goal is to become a saint, it is all but assured that because of your own desires you will never become one.