Sufi literature in Persian. Sufism played a major role in the process of Islamization of the Iranian world. The literary expression of its doctrine suited its didactic approach, which entailed initiating, then guiding its audience on the spiritual path. Its devotional intensity inspired monumental works in Persian literature. Sufism sought perfection of the soul. Moving from austerity to asceticism, it soon advocated the path of love. It prompted its audience to reach beyond themselves, leading them to recognize the true self. Sufism could also lead to a form of ecstatic mysticism. Literary works ensued to comment upon this and guide the seeker along the path. One must recall here that two schools of Greek philosophy, Stoicism and Neoplatonism, had a great influence on the history of the three great monotheistic religions.


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