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Sufism is a mystic tradition of Islam encompassing a diverse range of beliefs and practices dedicated to Allah, divine love and sometimes to help a fellow man. Tariqas (Sufi orders) may be associated with Shi'a Islam, Sunni Islam, other currents of Islam, or a combination of multiple traditions. It has been suggested that Sufi thought emerged from the Middle East in the eighth century, but adherents are now found all around the world. Some Sufis have also claimed that Sufism pre-dates Islam and some groups operate with only very tenuous links to Islam.
The Sikh Gurus have always shown great respect for Sufism and their saints. The writings or Gurbani of Sufi saint Baba Farid forms a very important part of the Sikh holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib. Over 130 Saloks and Shabads of this great Sufi saint and Sikh bhagat appear in the Sikh holy scripture. When the Sikhs bow to their holy book, they accept Their 10 Gurus and all the 15 Bhagats as their spiritual guides.
Some Sufis under Chistiyya order were not against absorbing ideas from the Hindu Bhakti movement and used even Hindi language for their devotional songs. However, the orthodox Ulama with royal support insisted that Sufis go "back to Shariat" Even though Ulama had certain differences with Sufis over theological and mystic issues, the Shariat remained a cementing force between them.
The Suharawardy order was started by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi of Baghdad and brought to South Asia by Baha-ud-din Zakariya of Multan. Suharawardiyya order of Sufism gained popularity in Bengal. The Qadiri order founded by Abdul Qadir Gilani whose tomb is at Baghdad. It is popular among the Muslims of South India.