Different between Sufi and other misconception.
In the last few years back, and I don’t really even understand why or how people have come to separate what is “Sufi” from being Sunni or Shia, and what’s even more curious is how some people who describe themselves as Salafus-saleeh have decided that those that call themselves Sufi are their “Muslim opposites” or whatever they called them.
The methodology of the Sufi as understood by someone like, Rumi, would be very different to those in today concept. The idea that Rumi was some sort of agnostic is so far from the truth. He was trained as a jurist, issued fatwas, and even within his poetry wrote about how central The Qur’an was to his life and routinely utilized Abu Bakr r.a as a positive metaphor in his poetry.
If you asked Rumi if he was a “Sufi,” he probably would have blinked at you and we will probably be pretty confused. He was what we would call a Sunni.
That doesn’t mean he wasn’t involved with what we call “Sufism.” But for someone of his time, there was no need to distinguish things like that. The Sufi way was simply a lens in which to view the world and his connection to God.As what we call now as the psychology of Islam.
This is true of other great Islamic scholars, like Imam Muhammad Al-Ghazali, who while he utilized the Shafi’i madhab of Sunni jurisprudence, he was someone who is renown for his writings and teachings of the Sufi methodology. He also known as Sufi. Even Salah ad-Din who started the process of Egypt turning from a Shi’a during the fatimid empire to Sunni country, was involved in Sufi practices too.
So instead of looking at “Sufi” as an independent category only, as we do for some odd reason, we should look at it as a filter through which people not only understand their faith but their connection to Allah s.w.t.
Ultimately a Sufi can be anything, Sunni or a Shi’a (Zahidiyyah order comes to mind) and the fact that we are making the distinctions between them is honestly very confusing to me.
Yes, there are people who claim that they are “Sufi” and are independent from being Sunni or Shia or salafi or modern wahabi, but ultimately, their practices will generally fall into one of these categories, whether they want to admit it or not.
I hope I did not offend anyone, I’m speaking purely from a practical standpoint of history.
Insha Allah, if anyone has more questions on this topic, I would be more than willing to answer.