I came across the following post on Facebook. It summarises some important aspects of how Sufism as a minoritarian embodied tradition relates to Islam.
If there’s a particular aspect of Sufism that stands in marked contrast to mainstream Sunni Islam, it is the role of a teacher, as the reflection of prophetic light, a living conduit of God to the seeker.
The correctness of such a notion is not something I am qualified to dispute. I’m neither a Muslim nor a Sufi.
However, I’d argue that the Quran does not lend itself easily to such a privileging of the teacher. Teacher-as-light interpretations of the Quran (of the imam mubeen as a human) are not a natural fit, they are an artificial reading (and, in this sense, are similar to the readings of the Quran I’ve offered up here, albeit more boring.)
Islam was not written down with the idea of further “seals”, despite what ibn Arabi declared. It was defined as a spatio-temporal lock, a sealing from which no personality other than the Quranic “you” can escape. Because that’s how the author saw himself.