As far as my personal views are concerned, i would quote following from the famous book of poetry, “Masnavi”, by Jalaleddin Rumi, the following is said by AnHazrat (pbuh) about Hazrat Owais Qarni (r.a.) :
“The Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) says that the breeze brings O’men!
The divine perfume from Yemen.
The scent of Ramin comes from Veys
The fragrance of God from Oveys.
Oveys’ heavenly perfume from God,
Overjoyed the heart of the Prophet of God.
Forsaking his mortal being willingly
That earthly (Oveys) become heavenly.”
Each major religion has its mystical side – Christianity has the Gnostics and Islam has the Sufis for its mystical counterpart. Sufism is mainly based on the Holy Quran. All Muslims believe that it is possible to become close to God after death and judgment. The Sufis believe that this is possible while alive. They believe that we are on a spiritual journey to God and on the way we must battle with our “false self” – the ego. To win the battle we must surrender to God. Along the path, ecstatic experiences called Wajd may occur where one is drawn into the presence of God.
Apparently, when the Prophet was alive 1500 years ago, scholars would sit on the “suffah” in the mosque where the Prophet taught and discuss the meaning of life and the implications of being. This supposedly was the beginning of Sufism.
Briefly put, “sufi” is a second-century name applied to a type of Muslim earlier known as “zahid.”