The heart of Islam, Sufism is a school of wisdom and spiritual humanism which finds its source and its energy in the Prophet Muhammad, who defined the Muslim as “he who does no harm to others, either by his acts or by his words”.

The Sufi tradition, strengthened by a 14-century-long heritage and revitalized in each historical epoch, invites us to “the Doing of Good” (ihsān), to respect for life and to universal mercy (Rahma). It teaches at once individual responsibility, solidarity among all human beings, and respect for all the realms of creation.

As a path toward enlightenment, Sufism’s calling is to educate human consciousness. “Desire for others that which you desire for yourself”: this saying of the Prophet is in the direct line of universal wisdom which has been present since the dawn of humanity.

“Sufism is not an ideology, is not a system of knowledge of and by itself. It is like an aroma (perfume)”, according to Sheikh Bentounes.

“Sufism is a spiritual sustenance seeking to awaken human consciousness. It rests on humanistic and universal values such as fraternity, altruism and generosity. It reminds us that the meaning of religious practice is first of all to be a remedy for human suffering. To pray, to meditate, to chant - that is the therapy for the soul. In Sufism one finds neither legalism, nor dogmatism, nor literalism. Sufism considers that no one holds a monopoly on truth. There are as many paths as there are human beings on this Earth. Religious diversity is a treasure. “The other” is my mirror, he is a necessity for me.”

 

Sheikh Bentounes, Interview in Le Temps, October 7, 2010.

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