IF you want to get away from politics and all the headache around us in the world your best bet is sufism. You find it extraordinary to find out how this highly spiritual sects came out of Islam the religion of the common sense and the every day Islamic living. Though it is another dimension to Islam after you took care of your job and responsibilities it is a logical one. It is the way to try to reach God through interior realization. Nothing magic when you separate your mind and heart from this world and do the Islamic prayings and Quran faithfully you develop stronger spirituality. I can swear I know when people get to this stage and how their face look more enlighten.
In the Sufism one considers that an " alive Shaykh " is a "Mohammedan heir" that inherited the spiritual 'secret' of the Prophet (slp) (called like this because it is at the level of unutterable, that no term of the usual language can describe) and which himself "was authorized" at the same time by a transcendent source, divine, and by his own Master who thus confirms the veracity and the authenticity of such a designation. Like one says it in the Sufism, it is a transmission of "heart to heart".
Mainstream Islam had not embraced Sufism for fear to be branching out from Islam. Many see it as finding God within. No one is God or part of God but God created in us this spirituality that make us feel him in our hearts. When my mother was Sufi she was not practicing another Islam she would spend long hours reading Quran and praying to God.
According to Sufi: "To be thus authenticated, each Tariqa, or Sufi "way", must be registered in an uninterrupted chain of spiritual Masters, each one heir of this 'secret', to the Prophet of Islam (slp) and, through him, all the chain of the saints and the former prophets. The 'secret' is nothing else but the ultimate and divine direction of the being. To discover it, or to get closer to it, is by itself the main objective of any existence."
I do not agree the need to have masters or a way but I believe any Muslim can get closer to divinity more when his heart is more pure. The more you get pure and faithful the more you get close to God. If your heart is not faithful and/or your mind is more wicked or busy with life it becomes hard to get closer to God.
I like these Sayings from the great Sufi The Shaykh Sidi Hamza Al Qadiri Al Butchichi web site www.tariqa.org :
"To know GOD is without limit. Every step of the journey is hence more beautiful and marvelous than the previous one."
"When Divine Love inhabits the heart, nothing appears difficult, and one profits by everything that happens. Thankfully, this comes from the fact that love erases the veil that separates us from Reality (GOD). As this veil becomes thinner and thinner, one experiences a profound joy that emanates from this proximity with Reality. One is therefore invaded by the perception of Beauty (GOD)".
"Defects and ugliness are not in things or people, but in the impurity of our vision of them. The more the soul is peaceful, perfect and pure, the more it will become disposed to see in all people a Luminous Divine manifestation: all is beautiful. Only the unpolished heart of the disciple renders things ugly."
"Love all people no matter what their religion, race or opinions! Everyone is where GOD meant him to be and it is not appropriate for us to be judgmental."
"Wisdom is in the heart. He who wants to find water in his well must dig. The deeper he digs, the more abundant the water; if he stops digging, the water will not exceed the initial level. He who digs this well should not say, or believe, that all the water has reached its highest level; he must continue to dig; for this well has no limit."
People argued that Sufism had originated from Christianity but Sufi believes that prophet Muhammad (PBUH)is the origin of their way. I am not an Imam but I think Sufism is a great spiritual way of life. But we are asked by God to try to improve our communities in both materialistic and moralistic levels. One step forward or say inward in Islam is to get more closer to God as you become more spiritual Muslim or call it Sufi. This is the way I would look at and like to see in Sufism. It really becomes more true when we get people first to follow the good of our religion and then they can enjoy the higher levels of their spirituality.