Sufism has a considerable history, predating Islam. It is difficult to provide an accurate description of it and in a way it defies characterisation. In Western terms, Aesop's Fables ( sixth century BC) may give an insight into Sufi methods or teaching of the Sufi masters which are often given by way of fable and parable. That which seems to be the case is often not. The Sufis are masters of indirect communication and readily appreciated that their words and teachings often fall on deaf ears. Indeed when people come to a Sufi master for instruction, the master is more likely than not to send them away because they are deemed incapable of receiving the teaching, at least in their present state.
Sufis have been among the foremost philosophers of the last thousand years, while recognising that reason and philosophy are but partial and limited ways to truth. Human beings, Sufis consider, have been conditioned and indoctrinated by their upbringing and culture, and breaking through this conditioning may be the most difficult task of all. The parallel to Kierkegaard seeking to indirectly communicate Christianity into a country that thinks it is Christian is obvious. Sufis also have a suspicion of institutional religion and of clerics, and they believe that each individual has to tread the path for themselves.
Sufism is about transformation of the self, helping someone to become a new individual. This means stripping away the laziness,