Source: The Reality of Sufism in the Light of the Qur-aan and Sunnah by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Rabee’ al Madkhalee page 15 of the English translation
Translator Abu Talhah Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
The word Sufism is taken from a Greek word “Sophia” meaning wisdom. It is also said that it is a word taken from the wearing of woollen (soof) clothing.
The word Sufism is taken from a Greek word “Sophia”, meaning wisdom. It is also said that it is a word referring to the wearing of woollen (‘soof’) clothing, and this saying is the most probable since wearing woollen clothes was a sign of zuhd (dissociation from the worldly life). It was said that this was done in order to resemble ‘Eesaa ibn Maryam ‘alaihissalaam.
Shaykh ul Islaam ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullaah mentions in al Fataawaa (11/7) from Muhammad ibn Sireen that it reached him that a certain people had taken to wearing woollen clothes in order to resemble Eesaa ibn Maryam, so he said: “There are a people who have chosen and preferred the wearing of woollen clothes claiming that they want to resemble al Maseeh ibn Maryam. But the way of our Prophet is more beloved to us, and the Prophet sall Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam used to wear cotton and other garments.”
“Make things easy and do not make things difficult. Give glad tidings and do not repel people..”
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