What is the origin of the term ‘Sufism’? Is tasawwuf a related word?
Sufism comes from the Arabic word ‘soof’. This is called etymology, going back to where the word comes from. Actually, the Arabic term for Sufism is tasawwuf. From its structure, you can see the letters Saad, Waaw and Faa, showing that this is the origin of the word – Soof. Soof in English means wool. The term tasawwuf denotes the practice of wearing the woolen robe, in Arabic called Libaas-us-Soof. From this act of wearing the woolen robe, it came to represent the act of devoting oneself to the mystic life or Sufism. Sufism may be called Islamic mysticism, though I prefer to use “mislamic” mysticism.
The other term used to refer to mysticism is esotericism. Esotericism actually means the inner while exotericism the outer.< Back to Questions