works in various languages that express and advocate the ideas of Sufism.
Sufism had an important influence on medieval literature, especially poetry, that was written in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, and other languages of the Middle East. Sufi doctrines and organizations provided more freedom to literature than did the court poetry of the feudal period. The Sufis used elements of folklore in their literature.
The works of Nizami, Navoi, Hafiz, and Jami were more or less related to Sufism. The verse of such Sufi poets as Sanai (died c. 1140), Attar (born c. 1119), and Rumi (1207–73) protested against feudal oppression from the standpoint of “divine justice” and criticized evil rulers, religious fanaticism, and the greed and hypocrisy of the orthodox Muslim clergy. The poetic forms used by these writers were similar to the folk song, parable, and fairy tale.
Sufi poetry written in Persian (Farsi) flourished from the 12th to 15th centuries. Later major poets linked with the Sufi tradition included Hatif Isfahani (17th century) and Bedil (18th century). There are several Sufi poets in Iran and Pakistan.