I made this chart in the form of an MS word document to help people understand what Sufism is. Many people think it is a sect or movement. It is not. Rather, it is a science relating to improving the relationship of the servant to Allah and perfecting the deen. It has been part of mainstream Islam since the times of the Salaf al-Salaheen. Many of our greatest scholars including, but not limited to, Imam Ghazali, Imam Nawawi, Imam ibn Taymiya (he was a murid of the Qadaree order), Imam ibn ‘Ata-Allah, and Imam Ahmed al-Haddad were, without a doubt, Sufis and wrote treatises on Sufis.
I have heard some stories, none of which have been verified, that some “Sufis” do not pray and drink alcohol because they think they are good enough. If this is true, these are what the scholars call False Sufis. The science of Sufism is grounded in the science of Fiqh. The first thing a master of Sufism will tell his students to do, whether it is an institutionalized order or not, is to leave what is regarded to be haram by sharia’.