Sufi magic is a practice that relies on knowledge of the unseen world and the ability to manipulate it. It is a powerful and evocative tradition within Islamic mysticism that emerged from the Sahara Desert during the Middle Ages.
The term refers to a group of religious scholars who believe that pursuing spiritual and mystical practices can lead Muslims closer to Allah through personal experience and thereby enable them to enter the hereafter. It is a broad concept that extends beyond the Sunni-Shia divide, across socio-economic boundaries, geographies, and languages.
Its roots trace back to the time before the Fall, when humanity engaged with a divine partnership that honored the sacred energies of life. This relationship, which was not only a spiritual and mystical one but also an ecological one, acted as a conduit between the soul and creation.
The Teachings of Sufism: Spiritual Wisdom for a Modern World
There was a purity of intention in this partnership that allowed humanity to connect to the sacred and awaken a form of magic within the physical realm. Through this magic, human beings could interact with the hidden mystical substance of creation and in so doing co-create a new world, a world that would reflect the Absolute back to itself.
Ariela Marcus-Sells argues that this practice, which relied on cosmology and alchemy to understand the realm of the unseen, was not considered to be magic by its practitioners, who instead called it “the sciences of the unseen.” The authors of Shams, a manuscript that details this practice, believed that their students would be able to gain access to secret knowledge that remained hidden from the world.