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YOGIC SPIRITUALITY AND ISLAM
Sufis are more in harmony with the yogic tradition and at times have had a common cause
with it against militant and anti-mystical Islam. The yogic tradition has had much
sympathy for these Sufis and has always tried to help them. This group is more common
among Sufis in India and in the West (though it appears to be in the minority everywhere),
who are generally not so grounded in orthodox Islam, and also among the Shias who are the
main Islamic sect in Persia (which retained much of its pre-Islamic culture).
Most of the great mystical Sufis belong to this line. Such Sufis are
promoted as models of tolerance but it would be wrong to attribute their tolerance to
Islam, which is rarely tolerant. Their tolerance derives more from pre-Islamic traditions,
and in the case of Indian Sufis derives from their Hindu roots (particularly Indian Sufis
who follow Hindu musical and related mystical traditions).
The orthodox Sufis seldom accept yogic teachings and disciplines, though they may be
mystics. They generally support militant Islam and may be among its leading proponents
(even if this requires disguising the fact that they are Sufis in order not to offend the