The Sufis were mystics who had risen in Islam at a very early stage. These religious-minded people were persons of deep devotion and high thinking. They turned to asceticism and mysticism in protest against the growing materialism of the Caliphate as a religious and political institution. More
The Sufis laid emphasis upon free thought and liberal ideas. They were against formal worship, rigidity and fanaticism in religion. They turned to meditation in order to achieve religious satisfaction. Some of the early Sufis, such as the woman mystic Rabia (8th century) and Mansur Bin Hallaj (10th century) laid great emphasis on love as the bond between the God and the individual soul. Their views led them into conflict with the orthodox elements who had Mansur executed for heresy.
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