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Muslims and mainstream scholars of Islam define Sufism as simply the name for the inner or esoteric dimension of Islamwhich is supported and complemented by outward or exoteric practices of Islam, such as Islamic law. In this view, "it is absolutely necessary to be a Muslim" to be a true Sufi, because Sufism's "methods are inoperative without" Muslim "affiliation". Orthodox views also maintain that Sufism is unique to Islam. In contrast, author Idries Shah states Sufi philosophy is universal in nature, its roots predating the rise of Islam and Christianity. Some neo-Sufis in Western countries allow non-Muslims to receive "instructions on following the Sufi path". Some Muslim opponents of Sufism also consider it outside the sphere of Islam.