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IS SUFI PART OF ISLAAM?




By

Ibn 'Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

It is disturbing when some people say: let us unite all the Muslim sects, all sects have good and bad, so, let us take the good and leave the bad. This is like attacking an authentic hadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. It is like saying the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم didn't know what he was saying in the relevant hadith. That is kufr, isn't it? 

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said unambiguously that there would be 73 sects from the Muslim ummah, and only one of them all will be acceptable to Allaah سبحانه وتعالى. Then, how do we know the saved sect? He صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

 من كان على مثل ما أنا عليه اليوم وأصحابي

"Whoever is upon what I am upon today and (what) my sohaabah (are upon)" [Authentic Hadith]

So, what else do we want to know again about the saved sect that we have not be made to understand from this hadith and some other relevant hadiths? Did the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم say all the sects would be accepted by Allaah? He specified the approved one that we should all seek to be upon till death. The implication of this is that anyone who choses another way apart from the way of the salaf would be tested and tried with one fundamental deviation or the other that may take him out of Islaam, if proper care is not taken. 

Sufism came up after all the Companions رضي الله عنهم have died. The followers of the Companions and the followers of the followers of the Companions رحمهم الله have died before sufism surfaced. So, how can the path of Sufi be the saved sect? And how can anyone find any good in what the best generations of Muslims knew nothing about? We have more than enough common-sensical proofs to save ourselves from the misguidance of sufism. These people have made many of what Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم forbid halal for themselves and their followers (eg music, dancing, pictures, innovations, magic, innovations in the religion and so on) and you still think it is the saved sect? You will never find a sufi except that he is linked with all of the above or significant part of it. 

Sufism has nothing to do with the shari'ah because it lacks respect for the Sunnah in many respect. Anything that has no basis in the Sunnah cannot be part of Islaam. If sufism is to be part of Islaam, it would have been part of the Sunnah. It would have been clearly reported in many hadith. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم didn't hide anything from his Companions رضي الله عنهم. He told them everything, and none of his teachings involves sufiyyah. Imam Al-barbaharee رحمه الله mentions categorically in his Sharh us Sunnah that Islaam is Sunnah and Sunnah is Islaam. Islaam cannot stand separately without the Sunnah, and vice versa.

Some people would say Sufism is about purifying the soul and seeking closeness to Allaah. What cleanses the heart better than the Sunnah? What purifies the heart better than the adhkaar of the Rosul صلى الله عليه وسلم that many of the sufis have neglected. Instead, they innovate a lot of things into the deen without basis in the name of dhikr. They replace many aspects of the sunnah with their innovated beliefs and practices. How can a Muslim seek closeness to Allaah or purify his soul with what the Rosul صلى الله عليه وسلم and his Companions knew nothing about? Whoever calls himself Muslim and the Sunnah is not enough for him, bid'ah and kufr would occupy his life and lead him towards dolaal (misguidance).

Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan رضي الله عنه said: Every act of worship which the companions of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم did not do, do not do it. Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه also said: Follow and do not innovate, for the religion is complete. Adhere to the old way (i.e., the way of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Sahaabah). Imam Maalik رحمه الله equally said, whatever that is not part of Islaam during the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Sohaabah رضي الله عنهم will never be part of Islaam forever.

So, if you think there is any other thing you can do to attain salvation in this life and the hereafter apart from following the Sunnah and the way of our salaf [in terms of fard (obligatory) and nawaafil (voluntary) matters], that could be disastrous. I can't but agree with the saying of Sufyan uth Thaoree رحمه الله that it is going to be difficult for an innovator to repent because he is arrogant upon the truth and he thinks he is doing the right thing. He is mistaking misguidance for guidance, and vice versa.

In tasawwuf (Sufism), there is no such thing as bid'ah (innovation, whether in relation to 'aqeedah or 'ibaadah) despite the fact that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم warned against it in almost all of his sermons. If you deal closely with them, you will understand this fact. To them, every form of bid'ah found in their activities is bid'ah hasanah (good bid'ah). Whereas, scholars have clarified times without number that there is nothing like bid'ah hasanah. Every new things in the practise of Islaam is bid'ah and all bid'ah is misguidance.

When you call the attention of sufis to various acts of bid'ah they engage in, they would say they are not bid'ah. And when you ask them to name one common bid'ah being practiced by Muslims today, they will not be able to mention any. They believe the concept of bid'ah is a fabrication of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah despite the clear provisions of the Qur'an and sunnah warning against it. 

The Sufi people believe anyone can say or do anything about the deen the way they like, without basis from the Quran or Sunnah and it would be accepted from him. This depicts the case of many of the past and present leaders of sufi sect. That is why they are very close to the Christians and the Jews in their manners of worship. They make a lot of noise. They sing, beat drum and dance. They use rosary like the Catholic Christians. They value the photos (images) of their 'saints' and attach so much importance to them despite the fact that image making is not halal in Islaam based on the most acceptable verdict. They call their saints in their graves for help and guidance. Whereas, Islaam is premised on nuquul (revelations) and not 'uquul (human intellect) because it is generally believed in the shari'ah that human intellect is not capable of making laws that can override divine revelations.

As explained by one of the scholars of Sunnah, Sheikh Ahmad Fareed in his work, "من أخلاق السلف", one of the best qualities of the salaf as saalih is their restraint from any work or statement until they can verify its status in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Today, Muslims just do whatever they like or say whatever they like without basis from the Qur'an and Sunnah. The Sheikh mentioned and I quote:

"فقد كان السلف  الصالح يحثون علي التقيد بالكتاب والسنة واجتناب البدع، ويشدون في ذالك"

"Indeed, the pious predecessors used to encourage people to chain themselves with the Book of Allaah and the Traditions of the Prophet and move away from innovations in the deen, and they used to be harsh on this" [Min Akhlaaq As-salaf, pg 12]

The Sheikh mentioned that even 'Umar Bin Khattab رضي الله عنه during his time did not take bid'ah lightly. He used to exercise fear not to fall into bid'ah. It was reported that when 'Umar رضي الله عنه had concluded on a matter and he had resolved to implement it, and any of his followers says to him, "the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم did not do this and he did not order the doing of this", 'Umar رضي الله عنه would withdraw from his decision immediately without hesitation. So, who are we to think we can innovate in the deen when people like 'Umar رضي الله عنه used to avoid it by all possible means?

In one of his works on sufism, Sheikh Saalih Fawzaan Ibn Abdillah Al-fawzaan حفظه الله said the words 'tasawwuf' and 'sufiyyah' were not known during the best generations of Islaam. They were introduced into into Islaam from other nations of the past. He said and I quote:

"The conclusion that some modern-day authors have come to – that Sufism crept into the lands of the Muslims from other religions, such as Hinduism and Christian monasticism – has become accepted based on what Shaikh Ibn Taimiyyah رحمه الله reported from Muhammad bin Sireen رحمه الله, that he said: “There are some people that prefer to wear wool claiming that they resemble the Messiah, son of Maryam عليه السلام. However, the guidance of our Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is more beloved to us!” This indicates that Sufism has a connection to the religion of the Christians!" (See Haqeeqat-ut-Tasawwuf (pg. 11-15) [1422 1st Edition])

In that work, the Sheikh mentioned what some of the past scholars said on the concept of sufism thus:

Dr. Saabir At-Tu’aimah  said in his book: “Sufism – Its Beliefs and Methods”:

“It appears that it came about due to the influence of Christian monasticism in which the monks would wear woolen garments and reside in their monasteries. There were many of them that would be upon this practice throughout the lands, which Islaam freed by way of Tawheed…” [As-Sufiyyah: Mu’taqidan wa Maslakan , pg. 17]

Shaikh Ihsaan Ilaahee Dhaheer رحمه الله, said in his book “Sufism: Its Source and Origin”:

“When we look deep into the teachings of the first and latter-day Sufis and the statements that have been quoted and narrated from them in the Sufi books of old and present, we see a huge difference between it and the teachings of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Likewise, we don’t see its roots or its seeds in the history of the chief of all creations (Prophet Muhammad) (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) nor in that of his righteous and noble Companions, from the best of Allaah’s creation. Rather, contrary to that, we see that it has been derived and acquired from Christian Monasticism, Brahmanism, Hinduism, the religious devotion of Judaism and the asceticism of Buddhism.” [At-Tasawwuf: Al-Mansha’ wal-Masdar, pg. 28]

Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Wakeel, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in the introduction of the book “The Downfall of Sufism”:

“Indeed, Sufism is the lowest and vilest of schemes, which the Devil innovated so that the servants of Allaah can mock and ridicule along with him in his war against Allaah and His Messengers. It is the veil of the Magians (Majoos), which gives the impression that it is divine. Rather, it is the veil of every enemy to the true religion. Examine it and you will find in it Brahmanism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and the Manichaean beliefs. You will find Platonism in it. You can even find Judaism, Christianity and the idolatry of the Days of Ignorance in it.” [Masra’ at-Tasawwuf, pg. 19]

May Allah guide us aright and make us fervent followers of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his companions رضي الله عنهم

First written on 06/08/1437 (13/05/2016)

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