Sidi Ahsan Irfan writes a beautiful piece on what true tasawwuf (sufism) is:
I recall, quite vividly, that before my re-reversion, I was a staunch enemy of Tasawwuf. The Salafiyyah Manhaj had misguided me regarding this great aspect of Islam, that many misunderstand. And by many, I mean Muslims as well as non-Muslims.
It would be useful first to define Tasawwuf. For laypeople, Tasawwuf is Sufism. The word â€˜Sufismâ€™ is really a misnomer. This term stems from the Westâ€™s need to twist everything, and derive new meanings from it, meanings that previously do not exist. The word Sufism has different connotations for different people. For the most part, pro-Sufi Muslims tend to look at it in terms of â€™saints and shrinesâ€™ and that this aspect of Islam is what is going to help them be better Muslims. For anti-Sufi Muslims, Sufism is â€˜kufr, shirk, bidâ€™aâ€™. For the Orientalist, Sufism is the more â€˜tolerantâ€™ face of Islam. For a layman, Sufism is mysticism, in its real sense of the word.
Continue reading it here.