The Meaning of the statement: “Sufi has no Madhab”

It is said:
ﺍﻟﺼﻮﻓﻲ ﻻ ﻣﺬﻫﺐ ﻟﻪ
“The Sufi has no madhab for himself.”

The Ghair Muqallideen faction loves to quote these and pretend as if like the Auliya Rahimahumullah abandoned following the madhabs, but in reality these particular statement carries a totally different meaning unlike what the “literalist” Ghair Muqalideen make out of it:

Hakimul Ummah Maulana Ashraf `Ali Thanawi Rahmatullah Alaih stated in explanation of the  Statement above:

“This does not mean that the Sufi is one without a school of thought (la madhab) but that he is careful and excercises caution in every matter. This is called piety and God-fearingness. Our fuqaha (the scholars of law) have explained this as well stating that avoiding differences of opinion (khilaf) is recommended (mustahab) as long as doing so does not entail committing a disliked (s: whether ‘slight’ or otherwise; also leaving the difference should not make one fall into another difference and the difference should have some basis (Suyuti)) action in one’s own school.”
( Anfaase `Isa , Pg: 282)

Among the scholars who mentioned the principle that avoiding differences is recommended are Imam Suyuti in his al Ashbah al Nadha’ir , Imam Khadimi in his Sharh Tariqa al Muhammadiyya, Imam Nawawi, and many others.

It is related that Bayazid Al Bastami  Rahmatullah Alaih said that the Sufi should acquire enough knowledge that would make his actions in accordance with the Law according to the position of all four schools. The underlying reasoning behind this, according to Imam Khadimi, is that even though one considers his school to be correct, there still remains a possibility of error on specific issues. Thus, for example, the books of fiqh mention that it is recommended to renew ablution when one touches a woman – to avoid the difference of opinion with the Shafi`i school. (Maraqi al Falah, Al Durr)

Bayazid Al Bastami Rahmatullah Alaih also said:
ﻭَﺃَﻣَّﺎ ﺍﻟﺮُّﺧَﺺُ ﻓَﻴَﺠِﺐُ ﺗَﺮْﻛُﻬَﺎ ﻋَﻠَﻰ ﻛُﻞِّ ﺣَﺎﻝٍ ﺍﺗِّﻔَﺎﻗًﺎ

“As for dispensations, it is necessary to leave it at all costs.”

This is the path of taqwa.


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