Masters of Sufism
The Sufis dispersed throughout the Middle East, particularly in areas previously under Byzantine influence and control. This period was characterized by the practice of an apprentice (murid) placing himself under the spiritual direction of a Master (shaykh, pir or murshid).
Schools were developed, concerning themselves with topics of mystical experience, education of the heart to purify it of baser instincts, the love of God, and approaching God through progressive stages (maqaam) and states (haal). The schools were championed by reformers who felt their core values and manners were threatened, as the material prosperity of society seemed to them to be eroding the spiritual life.Uwais al-Qarni, Harrm bin Hian, Hasan al-Basri and Sayid ibn al-Mussib are regarded as the first mystics among the "Taabi'een" in Islam. Rabia al-Basri was a female Sufi and known for her love and passion for God. Junayd al-Baghdadi was among the first theorists of Sufism; he concerned himself with fanā and baqā, the state of annihilating the self in the presence of the divine, accompanied by clarity concerning worldly phenomena derived from the altitude of that perspective.
Mevlânâ Celaleddin-i-Rumi (Jalāl-e-Dīn Rūmī, Balkh, 30 September 1207 - Waksh , 17 December 1273 - Konya) is known as Rumi in the West. He was a universal mystic and a devout Muslim. His way of sufism teaches unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. The Mevlevi order was formalized and propagated by his son Sultan Walad and the scribe of the Mathnawi, Husamaddin Chalabi.
"So long as my life persists, I'm the servant of the Qur'an"
"A dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen,"
"If one conveys contrary to my words,"
"Disgusted I am from the conveyor and from the conveyed."
It has been suggested that Sufism was later influenced by Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist culture when Islam was introduced in South Asia.