What is sufism ? do sufis pray 5 times a day ? What are differences between sunni islam and sufi islam ?

asked 203 Akeel's gravatar image

Suffism is a grave matter and has to explained in detail. I am not advances in this field so inshalah I'll will post the answer from a scholar.

(Mar 29 '13 at 11:16) Light ♦ Light's gravatar image

This scholar could provide a better discription sufism than me. He is a senior scholar so I will paste what he says inshalah.

Praise be to Allaah.

The word “Sufism” was not known at the time of the Messenger or the Sahaabah or the Taabi’een. It arose at the time when a group of ascetics who wore wool (“soof”) emerged, and this name was given to them. It was also said that the name was taken from the word “soofiya” (“sophia”) which means “wisdom” in Greek. The word is not derived from al-safa’ (“purity”) as some of them claim, because the adjective derived from safa’ is safaa’i, not soofi (sufi). The emergence of this new name and the group to whom it is applied exacerbated the divisions among Muslims. The early Sufis differed from the later Sufis who spread bid’ah (innovation) to a greater extent and made shirk in both minor and major forms commonplace among the people, as well as the innovations against which the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned us when he said, “Beware of newly-invented things, for every newly-invented thing is an innovation and every innovation is a going-astray.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, who said it is saheeh hasan).

The following is a comparison between the beliefs and rituals of Sufism and Islam which is based on the Qur’aan and Sunnah.

Sufism has numerous branches or tareeqahs, such as the Teejaniyyah, Qaadiriyyah, Naqshbandiyyah, Shaadhiliyyah, Rifaa’iyyah, etc., the followers of which all claim that their particular tareeqah is on the path of truth whilst the others are following falsehood. Islam forbids such sectarianism. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and be not of al-mushrikoon (the disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah, polytheists, idolaters, etc),

Of those who split up their religion (i.e., who left the true Islamic monotheism), and became sects, [i.e., they invented new things in the religion (bid’ah) and followed their vain desires], each sect rejoicing in that which is with it.” [al-Room 30:31-32]

The Sufis worship others than Allaah, such as Prophets and “awliya’” [“saints”], living or dead. They say, “Yaa Jeelaani”, “Yaa Rifaa’i” [calling on their awliya’], or “O Messenger of Allaah, help and save” or “O Messenger of Allaah, our dependence is on you”, etc.

But Allaah forbids us to call on anyone except Him in matters that are beyond the person's capabilities. If a person does this, Allaah will count him as a mushrik, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And invoke not, besides Allaah, any that will neither profit you, nor hurt you, but if (in case) you did so, you shall certainly be one of the zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers).” [Yoonus 10:106]

The Sufis believe that there are abdaal, aqtaab and awliya’ (kinds of “saints”) to whom Allaah has given the power to run the affairs of the universe. Allaah tells us about the mushrikeen (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say [O Muhammad]: ‘…And who disposes the affairs?’ They will say. ‘Allaah.’…” [Yoonus 10:31]

The mushrik Arabs knew more about Allaah than these Sufis!

The Sufis turn to other than Allaah when calamity strikes, but Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And if Allaah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things.” [al-An’aam 6:17]

Some Sufis believe in wahdat al-wujood (unity of existence). They do not have the idea of a Creator and His creation, instead they say that everything is creation and everything is god.

The Sufis advocate extreme asceticism in this life and do not believe in taking the necessary means or in jihaad, but Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“But seek with that (wealth) which Allaah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world…” [al-Qasas 28:77]

“And make ready against them all that you can of power…”   [al-Anfaal 8:60]

The Sufis refer the idea of ihsaan to their shaykhs and tell their followers to have a picture of their shaykh in mind when they remember Allaah and even when they are praying. Some of them even put a picture of their shaykh in front of them when they are praying. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Ihsaan is when you worship Allaah as if you can see Him, and although you cannot see Him, He can see you.” (Reported by Muslim).

The Sufis allow dancing, drums and musical instruments, and raising the voice when making dhikr, but Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“The believers are only those who, when Allaah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts…” [al-Anfaal 8:2]

Moreover, you see some of them making dhikr by only pronouncing the Name of Allaah, saying, “Allaah, Allaah, Allaah.” This is bid’ah and has no meaning in Islam. They even go to the extreme of saying, “Ah, ah” or “Hu, Hu.” The Sunnah is for the Muslim to remember his Lord in words that have a true meaning for which he will be rewarded, such as saying Subhaan Allaah wa Alhamdulillah wa Laa ilaaha illa Allaah wa Allaahu akbar, and so on.

The Sufis recite love poems mentioning the names of women and boys in their dhikr gatherings, and they repeat words such as “love”, “passion”, “desire” and so on, as if they are in a gathering where people dance and drink wine and clap and shout. All of this has to do with the customs and acts of worship of the mushrikeen. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Their salaah (prayer) at the House (of Allaah, i.e., the Ka’bah at Makkah) was nothing but whistling and clapping of hands…”

[al-Anfaal 8:35]

Some Sufis pierce themselves with rods of iron, saying, “O my grandfather!” So the shayaateen come to them and help them, because they are seeking the help of someone other than Allaah . Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (Allaah), We appoint for him a shaytaan (devil) to be a qareen (intimate companion) for him.”

[al-Zukhruf 43:36]

The Sufis claim to have gnosis and knowledge of the unseen, but the Qur’aan shows them to be liars. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say: ‘None in the heavens and the earth knows the ghayb (unseen) except Allaah…’” [al-Naml 27:65]

The Sufis claim that Allaah created the world for the sake of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but the Qur’aan shows them to be liars. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And I (Allaah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).” [al-Dhaariyaat 51:56]

Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, addressed His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with the words (interpretation of the meaning):

“And worship your Lord until there comes unto the certainty (i.e., death).” [al-Hijr 15:99]

The Sufis claim that they can see Allaah in this life, but the Qur’aan shows them to be liars. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“[Moosa said:] ‘O my Lord! Show me (Yourself), that I may look upon You.’ Allaah said, ‘You cannot see Me…’” [al-A’raaf 7:143]

The Sufis claim that they take knowledge directly from Allaah, without the mediation of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and in a conscious state (as opposed to dreams). So are they better than the Sahaabah??

The Sufis claim that they take knowledge directly from Allaah, without the mediation of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). They say, “Haddathani qalbi ‘an Rabbi (My heart told me from my Lord).”

The Sufis celebrate Mawlid and hold gatherings for sending blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but they go against his teachings by raising their voices in dhikr and anaasheed (religious songs) and qaseedahs (poems) that contain blatant shirk. Did the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) celebrate his birthday? Did Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, the four imaams or anyone else celebrate his birthday? Who knows more and is more correct in worship, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Salaf, or the Sufis?

The Sufis travel to visit graves and seek blessings from their occupants or to make tawaaf (ritual circumambulation) around them or to make sacrifices at these sites, all of which goes against the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Do not travel to visit any place but three mosques: al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah], this mosque of mine [in Madeenah] and al-Masjid al-Aqsa [in Jerusalem].” (Agreed upon).

The Sufis are blindly loyal to their shaykhs, even when what they go against the words of Allaah and His Messenger. But Allaah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allaah and His Messenger…” [al-Hujuraat 49:1]

The Sufis use talismans, letters and numbers for making decisions and for making amulets and charms and so on.

The Sufis do not restrict themselves to the specific blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that were narrated from him. They invented new formulas that involve seeking his blessings and other kinds of blatant shirk which are unacceptable to the one on whom they are sending blessings.

With regard to the question of the whether the Sufi shaykhs have some kind of contact, this is true, but their contact is with the shayaateen, not with Allaah, so they inspire one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception), as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies – shayaateen (devils) among mankind and jinns, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion (or by way of deception). If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it…” [al-An’aam 6:112]

And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… And, certainly, the shayaateen (devils) do inspire their friends (from mankind)…” [al-An’aam 6:121]

“Shall I inform you (O people!) upon whom the shayaateen (devils) descend?

They descend on every lying, sinful person.” [al-Shu’ara 221-222]

This is the contact that is real, not the contact that they falsely claim to have with Allaah. Exalted be Allaah far above that. (See Mu’jam al-Bida’, 346 –359).

When some of these Sufi shaykhs disappear suddenly from the sight of their followers, this is the result of their contact with the shayaateen, who may even carry them to a distant place and bring them back in the same day or night, to mislead their human followers.

So the important rule here is not to judge people by the extraordinary feats that they may do. We should judge them by how closely or otherwise they adhere to the Qur’aan and Sunnah. The true friends of Allaah (awliya’) are not necessarily known for performing astounding feats. On the contrary, they are the ones who worship Allaah in the manner that He has prescribed, and not by doing acts of bid’ah. The true awliya’ or friends of Allaah are those whom our Lord has described in the hadeeth qudsi narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh (5/2384) from Abu Hurayrah, who said:

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah said, ‘Whoever shows enmity towards a friend (wali) of Mine, I declare war against him. My slave does not draw close to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties that I have enjoined on him, and My slave continues to draw close to Me with supererogatory (naafil) acts, so that I will love him. When I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.’”

And Allaah is the Source of Strength and the Guide to the Straight Path.

Sheik al muhammed salih al munajiid

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answered 4519 Light's gravatar image
edited Mar 29 '13 at 11:14

Assalamu alaikum brother,

Thats a good explanation but why there is only detail about Sufism. Can u please give the same for sunni muslims.

I believe that there is no God but Allah and Prophet Muhammed(PBUH) is Allah's servant and His messenger. It means Islam is one without these sufis and sunnis disputes right?

I ask Allah refuge from joining any groups that might lead us to Hell.

My suggestion to fellow readers Just follow Quran and Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) you will In Sha Allah be safe in God's hands or else prepare yourself for Hell.(Nauzhubillah)

(Mar 29 '13 at 12:23) ferouze ferouze's gravatar image

Before I start bringing more evidence that Sufi is not in accordance to the Quran and teaching of the sunnah, I will like to address sik statement when he said I have no idea what I'm talking about.

1) He states "Sufism' did not exist in the time of the Prophet (S.A.W) or during the time of the First Caliphs but it was used during the period of the four great Imams of Madhabs."

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, “Whoever innovates or accommodates an innovator then upon him is the curse of Allaah, His Angels and the whole of mankind.” (Saheeh Bukhaaree, 12/41 and Saheeh Muslim, 9/140)

So how is this Hadith such as this out of context, in addition u said Sufi never existed during the time of the messenger. This is something that is new into the religion of Islam. The messenger said he will curse him.

"And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqûn" [Al-An’aam 6:153]

Did the prophet ever teach Sufism, never. I don't care who after brought it. If it wasn't the prophet of Allah then you can not mandate that it will benefit this ummah. If it was so great then the prophet of Allah would have introduced it. Are you saying that they were better than the prophet and had to bring this new belief, Sufism breaks tawheed into peices.

All your evidence were not from the Quran and sunnah. In addition, they were fabricated from a book that people have not heard of.there are evidence were the 4 mad jab prohibited Sufism.

2) he states With more and more interest being shown in Sufism by Muslims and non Muslims alike,.

So is this a club were if there a lot of members than it will part of Islam.

"This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion" (Al-Maidah 5: 3)

Our religion is already perfect, so doing some deed which is not found in the Qur’an and Sunnah, one seems to think they have come up with a better version of Islam than Allah revealed did. May Allah keep us away from doing such deeds.

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answered 4519 Light's gravatar image
edited Mar 30 '13 at 00:43

I won't go into detail but

The Qur’aan speaks of the importance of the Sunnah, for example:

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allaah . . .” [al-Nisaa’ 4:80] Allaah described obedience to the Prophet (peace be upon him) as being a part of obedience to Him. Then He made a connection between obedience to Him and obedience to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger . . .” [al-Nisaa’ 4:59]

When people refer to sunni Islam, it is just following the Quran and the sunnah of the prophet without any innovation. Do not make it more than that. The ummah will be divided into 73 groups and 1 will be saved and it is the one who follows the Quran an sunnah. Anyone who brings any new worships into the religion is as the christa s and Jews of today who have change their religion because they thought it will bring them closer to their lord.(for example 3 gods in one, yet this will put them into the hellfire) so beware inshallah of any matter that is not in the Quran and sunnah.

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answered 4519 Light's gravatar image

You (light) have misread the article. It says the "TERM" Sufism did not exist or used during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). just like there weren't different name of different school of thought like Hanafi, Shafi, etc. But in reality the teaching is Sufism mainly focuses on Tazkiya (purification) and Ihsan (benevolence). Both (tazkiya and Ihsan) have bases in Quran and Hadith and if you deny this you are denying Qur'an and hadith.

To perform one's action to the very best is known as ihsan, and in the Qur'an this is known as tazkiya, and to acquire this is a methodology and science it is known as Tasawwuf(or term "Sufism") and suluk.

IHSAN IN QURANIC TERMS. In religion there are three grades: Islam, Iman and Ihsan. These grades correspond to one's actions, beliefs and spiritual states. All islamic teachings revolve around these three grades. Allah has revealed details about them on diffent occasions in the Qur'an. As far the first leve, Allah says:

"Today I have perfected your Din (Religion) for you, and have completed My Blessing upon you, and have chosen for you Islam (as) Din (a complete code of life)." (Qur'an 5:3)

Regarding the second grade, Allah says:

"14. The Bedouins say: ‘We have believed.’ Say: ‘You have not believed. Rather say: We have accepted Islam. And the belief has not yet gone into your hearts." (Qur'an 49:14)

And regarding the third grade, Allah says:

"125. And with regard to adopting the Din (Religion), who can be better than the one who submits his whole being entirely to Allah, whilst he also holds spiritual excellence" (Qur'an 4:125)

Elsewhere in the Qur'an, Allah mentions these three grades together. He says:

"93. There is no sin on those who believe and do righteous deeds with regard to what they have eaten (of the unlawful things before the prohibition came), whereas (in all other matters) they were Godwary and put firm faith (in other commandments of Allah), and practised pious deeds consistently. Later, (also after the revelation of the prohibitions,) they desisted from (all the unlawful things) and believed (true-heartedly in their unlawfulness), became men of piety and Godwariness, and (finally) rose to the station of men of spiritual excellence (i.e., Allah’s beloved, favourite, intimate and righteous servants). And Allah loves those who live with spiritual excellence." (Qur'an 5;93)

At another occasion it is stated about Ihsan:

"119. O believers! Fear Allah persistently, and remain in the (company) of those who uphold the truth." (Qur'an 9:119)

The verse states that in addition to Islam and iman, the Shariah is completed with ihsan, i.e. traiqa and Tasawwuf (sufism). This means that the people of iman cannot alter their internal condition journeying towards the light of taqwa solely through the outward practices of the Shariah. Rather, if they are concerned about their taqwa decreasing, they should adopt the company of righteous servants who are truthful and spiritual excellence. It is they who are the real sufis treading the path of ihsan and Tasawwuf, extremely pious, and who are in close proximity to Allah.

Ihsan is also presented in the hadith of Jabril (as), where he first asks the Prophet (peace be upon him) to tell him what is Islam, what is iman and then asks "tell me about ihsan: and the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied 'it is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and if you do not see Him, know that He sees you.'" (Bukhari)

According to this hadith, ihsan is the term given to the condition of one's worship in which the servant achieves a state in which he perceives God or at least realises within his heart that His Lord watches him.

FOR MORE PROOFS IS WHAT "SUFISM" TEACHES IS PART OF QURAN OR HADITH PLEASE READ SOME SNAP SHOT OF Dr. TAHIR-UL-QADRI'S "SPIRITUAL AND MORAL EXCELLENCES" (CAN BE PURCHASED AT: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1908229071/ref=redir_mdp_mobile )

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j99/sik888/B097C30C-8EA4-4BFA-A53F-5ACCB43EBBF9-1802-000001635FD82F04.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j99/sik888/944345DE-9B53-4D8B-8A1A-1F85083E9D32-1802-000001639950D9AF.jpg

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http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j99/sik888/FC9D7E21-D82C-4AA5-9CC2-52556EFF5A50-1802-00000163D97C0419.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j99/sik888/840EA6C5-E86F-4A29-A537-DE8486434F41-1802-00000163F935A51A.jpg

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answered 8 Sik888's gravatar image

You ( light) are claiming something part of Islam as misguidance(Bidah - according to your understanding). To answer this I will type the passage from Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri's Spiritual & Moral Excellence (p. 93). "To regard tasawwuf as a bidah (innovation) is totally false and baseless; such statements only manifest one's superficial knowledge and lack of appreciation. The truth of the matter is that tasawwuf is not an innovation nor is it an addition to Islam which was imported from the outside. Rather Tasawwuf has been an essential element of Islam since the beginning.

The term 'Sufi' prevailed during the late first century or early second century of Islam as a term to describe those people who practiced zuhd (renunciation); gradually it took the shape of a movement aimed at social reform and moral restoration. Just because it became a movement later does not mean that it did not exist earlier.

Tasawwuf is not a term for some ritual rather it is a pattern of behavior. its key ingredients are the love of Allah following the Sunnah, and possessing good character. Excellence in one's worship and service to creation is its path whilst remembering Allah, contemplating about the life hereafter, piety, purification, and struggling in His way are its mean. Sincerity is its criterion and Allah's pleasure is its goal. It is wrong and baseless to claim that these were practically absent in the time of our Beloved Prophet ((peace be upon him) and his Companions ( may Allay be pleased with them). Rather, they are all part of the immutable teachings of the Qur'an and Sunna. The sole source of authority for Tasawwuf is Islam. It is the spirit of the deen. The teachings of Tasawwuf are the actual teachings of Islam Tasawwuf therefore, is not an innovation (bidah), rather it is Islam's spirit."

(above is taken from Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri's Spiritual and Moral Excellence" http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1908229071/ref=redir_mdp_mobile )

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answered 8 Sik888's gravatar image

Your definition of bidah is a very narrow minded, it is same as wahabis/ khawaraji (they are out of circle of Islam). Correct understanding of Bidah, based on Quran and Sunnah is defines as Good and bad Bidah, for the view i'm talking about, read: http://minhaj.org/english/tid/2935/The-Concept-of-Bidah.html

you can email me if you want to discuss more issues, Wecelebratemawlid@gmail.com

(Mar 31 '13 at 15:25) Sik888 Sik888's gravatar image

Your definition of bidah is a very narrow minded, it is same as wahabis/ khawaraji (they are out of circle of Islam). Correct understanding of Bidah, based on Quran and Sunnah is defines as Good and bad Bidah, for the view i'm talking about, read: http://minhaj.org/english/tid/2935/The-Concept-of-Bidah.html

you can email me if you want to discuss more issues, Wecelebratemawlid@gmail.com

(Mar 31 '13 at 15:26) Sik888 Sik888's gravatar image

To answer the original question; is it sufficient to follow tasawwuf (sufism) without adhering to the Shariah (e.g. praying 5 times a day)? The answer is No, absolutely not! Without following the Shariah, one cannot even take a single step, let alone progress, in the spiritual path ( tariqa). Those who claim to do so are heretics (zindiq) ; and only a false sufi or a fraudulent inmate of the hellfire and will lead others to it. Avoiding the company of such a person is critical because no one is excused from following the Sahariah. Only through strict subservience to the Shariah can one progress in tasawwuf.

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answered 8 Sik888's gravatar image

take from Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri "Spiritual and Moral Excellence" http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1908229071/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

(Mar 31 '13 at 15:30) Sik888 Sik888's gravatar image

take from Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri "Spiritual and Moral Excellence" http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1908229071/ref=redir_mdp_mobile

(Mar 31 '13 at 15:30) Sik888 Sik888's gravatar image

To answer the original question; is it sufficient to follow tasawwuf (sufism) without adhering to the Shariah (e.g. praying 5 times a day)? The answer is No, absolutely not! Without following the Shariah, one cannot even take a single step, let alone progress, in the spiritual path ( tariqa). Those who claim to do so are heretics (zindiq) ; and only a false sufi or a fraudulent inmate of the hellfire and will lead others to it. Avoiding the company of such a person is critical because no one is excused from following the Sahariah. Only through strict subservience to the Shariah can one progress in tasawwuf.

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answered 8 Sik888's gravatar image

To answer the original question; is it sufficient to follow tasawwuf (sufism) without adhering to the Shariah (e.g. praying 5 times a day)? The answer is No, absolutely not! Without following the Shariah, one cannot even take a single step, let alone progress, in the spiritual path ( tariqa). Those who claim to do so are heretics (zindiq) ; and only a false sufi or a fraudulent inmate of the hellfire and will lead others to it. Avoiding the company of such a person is critical because no one is excused from following the Sahariah. Only through strict subservience to the Shariah can one progress in tasawwuf.

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answered 8 Sik888's gravatar image
-1

This person in above (long) lost has no idea what they are talking about. They are taking verses from Qur'an out if context and making it say whatever they want it to say. They are using verses that apply to polytheist of Makka of that time on present day MUSLIMS.

Lets look at the scholars of four school of thought say about Sufism. Question is, were they promoting misguidance and polytheism? If so then what good can we get from their books? http://www.janathimessage.co.uk/Literature/sufism/Sufism%20and%20Islam.html

With more and more interest being shown in Sufism by Muslims and non Muslims alike, we investigate whether or not Sufism is part and parcel of Islam or a Myth introduced by outsiders into Islam to corrupt Islamic beliefs. One thing is for certain that the term 'Sufism' did not exist in the time of the Prophet (S.A.W) or during the time of the First Caliphs but it was used during the period of the four great Imams of Madhabs. Therefore, we shall examine what the four Imams had to say about the Sufi people and their spiritual knowledge or Islamic Mysticism.

Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A) said "If it were not for two years, I would have perished. For two years I accompanied Hazrat Jafer as-Sadiq (R.A) and I acquired the spiritual knowledge that made me a knower in the Way (i.e. Sufism)." [Ad-Durr Al-Mukhthar, Vol. 1, P43]

It is also mentioned in the book Ad-Durr Al-Mukhtar that Hazrat Ibn Abidin (R.A) said, "Hazrat Abu Ali Dakkak (R.A), one of the Sufi saints, received his path from Hazrat Abul Qasim an-Nasarabadi (R.A), who received it from Hazrat Shibli (R.A), who received it from Hazrat Sari as-Saqati (R.A), who received it from Hazrat Maruf al-Kharqi (R.A), who received it from Hazrat Dawud at-Tai (R.A), who received the knowledge, both the external and internal, from Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A), who supported the Sufi spiritual path."

Imam Malik (R.A) said, "Whoever studies jurisprudence and does not study Sufism will be corrupted. Whoever studies Sufism and does not study Jurisprudence will become a heretic. Whoever combines both will reach the truth." [Kashf Al-Khafa Wa Muzid Al-Abas, Vol. 1, P341]

Imam Shafi (R.A) said, " I accompanied the Sufi people and I received from them three kinds of knowledge:

  1. They taught me how to speak
  2. They taught me how to treat people with leniency and a soft heart.
  3. They guided me in the ways of Sufism." [Tanwir Al-Qulub, p405]

Imam Ahmed (R.A) advising his son said, " O my son you have to sit with the Sufis, because they are like a fountain of knowledge. They recite the remembrance of Allah (S.W.T) in their hearts. They are ascetics and they have the most spiritual power." [Ghiza Al-Albab, Vol 1, P120]

He (R.A) also said about the Sufis, "I do not know any people better than them." [Ibid]

This, then, is the opinion of the four great Imams of Madhab about the Sufis and indeed they themselves were Sufis in their own rights.

But what about the generations after the four Imams, did they accept Sufism or did they discover something objectionable about Sufism.

Imam Ghazali (R.A), the Proof of Islam, said, "I knew it to be true that the Sufis are the seekers in Allah's Way. Their conduct is the best of conduct. Their way is the best of ways. Their manners are the most sanctified. They have purified their hearts from other than Allah and they have made them as pathways for rivers to run receiving knowledge of the Divine Presence." [Al-Munqidh Min Ad-Dalal, P131]

Imam Nawawi (R.A) said, "The specification of the Ways of the Sufis are five:

  1. To keep the Presence of Allah (S.W.T) in your heart in public and in private.
  2. To follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (S.A.W) by action and speech.
  3. To keep away from dependence on people.
  4. To be happy with what Allah (S.W.T) gives you, even if it is little.
  5. To always refer your matters to Allah (S.W.T) Almighty and Exalted." [Al-Maqasid At-Tawhid, P20]

So far, all the above mentioned are Imams that the Sunni Muslims (i.e. Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat) accept, what about the opinions of the Imams of the Salafi ,Wahhabi and other non Sunni movements. What do they have to say about Sufis?

Ibn Taymiyah, who deviated from the Ahle Sunnat Jamaat and whom the Salafis and Wahhabis take as their Imam, has said, "Sufism is the science of realities and states of experience. A Sufi is that person who purifies himself from everything which distracts him from the remembrance of Allah (S.W.T). The Sufi is so filled with knowledge of the heart and knowledge of the mind, that the value of gold and stones will be equal to him. Sufism safeguards the precious meaning and leaves behind the call of fame and vanity to reach the state of truthfulness. The best of humans after the Prophets are the truthful ones, as Allah (S.W.T) mentioned them in the Holy Quran, 'All who obey Allah and the Messenger are in the company of those on whom is grace of Allah: the Prophets, the sincere lovers of truth (Siddiqin), the Martyrs and the righteous. Ah! what a beautiful fellowship' [4:69]...[Sufis] strive to be obedient to Allah. Among them you will find the foremost in nearness by virtue of their striving and some of them are among the People of the Right Hand.'." [Majmu Afatawa Ibn Taymiyya, Vol 10, P497]

Ibn Taymiyya has praised Sufis and Sufi practices in many of his books. He himself claims to be a Sufi Shaykh of the Qadiri Sufi Order. He says, "I wore the blessed Sufi cloak of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Gilani, there being between him and me two Sufi Shaykhs." [Al Mas'ala At Tabriziyya]. Ibn Taymiyya's Sufi lineage is given as follows: Shaykh Abdul Qadir Gilani (R.A), Abu Umar Ibn Qudama, Muwaffaq Ad-Din Ibn Qudama, Ibn Ali Ibn Qudama and Ibn Taymiyya. [Majmu Afatawa Ibn Taymiyya, Vol 10, P516]

After Ibn Taymiyya his great student Ibn Qayyim had this to say about Sufis. He says, "We can witness the greatness of the people of Sufism in the eyes of the earliest generations of Muslims by what has been mentioned by Sufyan ath-Thawri, one of the greatest Imams in the 2nd century and one of the foremost legal scholars. He said, 'If it had not been for Abu Hisham as-Sufi, I would never have perceived the action of the subtle forms of hypocrisy in the self.' [Manzil As-Sa'irin]

Moving on to the Wahhabi leader Ibn Abdul Wahhab, whose followers we generally know as Wahhabis, and his views on Sufis. His son Abd Allah says, "My father and I do not deny or criticise the science of Sufism, but on the contrary we support it because it purifies the external and the internal of the hidden sins which are related to the heart and the outward form. Even though the individual might externally be on the right way, internally he might be on the wrong way. Sufism is necessary to correct it." [Ad Dia'at Al Mukhththafa Didd Ash Shaykh Ibn Abdul Wahab, P85]

Coming on now to the religious "reformers" of this century, we see that they all praised and agreed with Sufism, however, the followers of these reformers are under the dilution that their leaders denounced Sufism as being out of Islam.

Muhammad Abduh said, "Sufism appeared in the 1st century of Islam and it received tremendous honour. It purified the self, straightened the conduct and gave knowledge to people from the wisdom and secrets of the Divine Presence." [Majallat Al Muslim, P24]

Rashid Rida said, "Sufism, was a unique pillar from the pillars of the religion. Its purpose was to purify the self and to take account of one's daily behaviour and to raise the people to a high station of spirituality." [Ibid, P726]

Abul Hasan Ali An-Nadwi said, "The Sufis initiate people in Oneness and sincerity in following the Sunnah of the Prophet (S.A.W), in repentance from their sins and in avoidance of every disobedience to Allah, Almighty and Exalted. Their guides encourage them to move in the way of perfect Love of Allah." [Muslims in India, PP140-146]

Abul Ala Mawdudi says, "Sufism is a reality whose signs are the love of Allah and the love of the Prophet (S.A.W), where one absents oneself for their sake and one is annihilated from anything other than them. It instructs us how to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet (S.A.W)." [Mabadi Al Islam, P17]

Further he says, "The Shariah and Sufism; what is the similitude of the two? They are like the body and the soul. The body is the external knowledge, the Shariah, and the spirit is the internal knowledge." [Ibid]

All references presented in this article have been reproduced from the book ' The Naqshbandi Sufi Way ' written by Sheikh Hisham Al-Kabbani of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order.

In conclusion it can be established from the above information that Sufism is Islam. If anyone chooses to deny Sufism, then they must reflect on their own arrogance akin to the arrogance of shaitan. Let them not accuse Sufism on the basis of coming across false people who claim to be Sufis. Let them think by studying the lives and practices of real Sufis, who practise Shariah to the letter and guide people to the truth. It is a historical fact that the Sufis are responsible for spreading Islam throughout the world. It is the Sufis that have converted the majority of non Muslims to Islam.

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Asked: Mar 29 '13 at 00:19

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