are two main groups of Sufis, who are a highly complex phenomenon containing many
different points of view. We should note that the term Sufi can stand for intellectuals,
artists, occultists, and mystics in Islamic society whether orthodox or unorthodox and
sometimes even is used as a family name.
One group of Sufis, who could be called "liberal Sufies," are rebels from
orthodox Islam, and often look for the origins of their teachings in earlier Christian and
Persian mysticism or in Hinduism and Buddhism, criticizing orthodox Islam. The other and
more numerous group of Sufis, who could be called "orthodox Sufis," speaks
highly of Mohammed and the secrets of the Koran and appears as orthodox Muslims, accepting
the Sharia or traditional Islamic law.
Sufis share their spiritual teachings with members of other religions and do not actively
promote conversion, orthodox Sufis require that people first become orthodox Muslims
before receiving Sufis teachings and work strongly at converting people to Islam.