Baseless criticism of Sufism/Tasawwuf

[By Shaykh Ahmad Sadeq Desai D.B]


The Reality of Sufism in Light of the Quran and the Sunnah , a booklet against Tasawwuf written by a Salafi, one Ibn Hadee al-Madkhalee, is a portrayal of the ignorance of the author in particular, and in general the ignorance of the Salafis of this era. Since they have confused Tasawwuf (Sufi’ism) with the cults of Bid’ah, they denounce Tasawwuf and proclaim it to be bid’ah, shirk and in conflict with Tauheed.

At the outset it is emphasized that any brand of ‘tasawwuf’ or ‘sufi’ism’ which is in conflict with the Shariah or with Tauheed is not Islamic Tasawwuf. On the contrary it is Satanism. Tauheed is the fundamental basis and the pivot of Islam. Minus Tauheed there is no Islam. This is not a contentious issue.

In the U.S.A. there is a sect called the Nation of Islam who believes in a man-god – that Allah Ta’ala had settled inside a human being who was the founder of this sect of shirk and kufr. Despite their noxious doctrines of shirk and kufr, they proudly advertise themselves as Muslims and they call their religion Islam. In Pakistan is the Qadiani religion. They believe that Mirza Gulam of Qadian was a Nabi. In addition they entertain other doctrines of kufr. Yet they call themselves Muslims and proclaim their religion to be Islam. Similarly, there are other deviates/kuffaar who regard themselves to be Muslims and who label their religion with the tag of Islam.

On account of these sects with their kufr and shirk doctrines, is it intelligent to castigate Islam and proclaim it to be a cult of shirk, kufr and bid’ah?? Islam cannot be branded with evil epithets and denounced as a cult of shirk simply because there are people subscribing to shirk and kufr and who have named their religion ‘Islam’.

Similarly, it is downright stupid to denounce Tasawwuf (Sufi’ism) on the basis of the shirk, kufr and bid’ah of some communities who have appropriated the designation, ‘Sufi’ism’, for themselves. The author in his ignorance has denounced Tasawwuf without understanding what exactly Tasawwuf is. Just as the western kuffaar attribute all the jahaalat of criminal Muslims to Islam, so too does the author do with Tasawwuf. Although the practices and doctrines of the deviant sects with their cults of shirk have no relationship with Tasawwuf, the author of the booklet has failed to understand this fact.

Due to his ignorance, the author states in his booklet:

“It (i.e. Sufi’ism) has greatly affected the beliefs of the Muslims and has diverted it from its true course which was laid down in the Noble Quran and pure Sunnah.”

Deviates of a variety of hues and persuasions have undoubtedly diverted Muslims from Siraatul Mustaqeem,and they did the diversion in the name of Islam.

One such deviate sect which has perpetrated this diversion is the Salafi sect of this era. But neither Islam nor any of its branches such as Fiqh and Tasawwuf may be blamed for the deviation of people. In every age there has been deviant sects and groups who have diverted Muslims from the true path of Islam, and they perpetrate their villainy in the name of Islam. But Islam can not be blamed nor castigated for such deviation. If the author had taken the time and applied some effort and brains to studying the Tasawwuf of the Sahaabah and the Fuqaha, then he would not have been so audacious in his condemnation of Sufi’ism which is tantamount to castigating and denouncing Islam itself.

The proper course of action is to explain what is Islamic Tasawwuf and propagate against the bid’ah and shirk which have become attached to the deviant so-called sufi sects which flourish in North Africa, West Africa, Syria, India, Pakistan, etc.

The type of Fiqh which orientalists impart in the ‘Islamic’ Studies faculties attached to kuffaar universities, is not Islamic Fiqh. On the contrary, it is a ‘fiqh’ designed to undermine Islam. Shall we now condemn Fiqh and outlaw it?? Shall we say that Fiqh is haraam, and Fiqh is not part of Islam?? What shall be said is that the ‘fiqh’ which the enemies of Islam teach is not Islamic Fiqh. It is deviation from which Muslims must abstain. True Fiqh is what is being imparted in the proper Islamic institutions of learning – in the Madaaris.

            WHAT IS TASAWWUF??

In the same way, Tasawwuf which is the name for
Tazkiyah-e-Nafs (moral purification), and the pursuit of which is Waajib is acquired from authentic Mashaaikh who meticulously follow the Sunnah and the Shariah. The criterion of Haqq is the Shariah. Any diversion from the Shariah is unacceptable to the true Sufis. Explaining the nature (Haqeeqat) of Tasawwuf, Hadhrat Maseehullah Khaan (rahmatullah alayh) who was an authority on Sufi’ism in recent times, stated:

“The department of the Shariah which deals with A’maal-e-Baatini (conditions and states of the heart) is called Tasawwuf and Suluk, and that department of the Shariah relating to A’maal-e-Zaahiri (the external dimension such as Tahaarat, Salaat, etc., etc.) is termed Fiqh.

The subject matter with which Tasawwuf deals is Tahzeeb-e-Akhlaaq (adornment of moral character). The method of acquiring the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala which is the objective of Tasawwuf, is complete obedience to the commands of the Shariah.
Tasawwuf is the Rooh and state of perfection of the Deen. Its function is to purify the Baatin (the heart and soul) of man from the carnal and bestial attributes of the tongue, anger, malice, jealousy, love of the world, love for fame, niggardliness, greed, ostentation, vanity, deception, etc.. At the same time Tasawwuf concerns itself with the adornment of the Baatin with the lofty attributes of moral excellence, viz., Tauheed, repentance, perseverance, toleration, gratitude, fear of Allah, hope, abstemiousness, trust, love, sincerity, truth, meditation, reckoning, contemplation, etc.

By this means (of Tasawwuf) the attention becomes focused on Allah Ta’ala. Man’s bond with Allah Ta’ala is solidified, and this is in fact the objective of life on earth. Thus, it is incumbent for every Muslim to become a Sufi. Minus Tasawwuf, a Muslim can not be described as being a perfect Muslim.”

Man is neither only of material substance nor of only spiritual substance. He is a combination of both. In addition, Allah Ta’ala has created an evil nafs in him. Adding to man’s woes, is shaitaan whose presence on earth in pursuit of man’s Imaan and Akhlaaq, was dictated by Divine Wisdom. Casting man into the raging moral and immoral storms of this mundane abode of earth, Allah Ta’ala orders him in the Qur’aan Majeed to arrest the vagaries of his wildly fluctuating bestial nafs: “Shun zaahir sin and its baatin.” (Aayat 120, Surah Al-An’aam).

There is complete unanimity of the Ummah on the shunning and abstaining from all kinds of sin, from apparent/open sins, as well as from secret/concealed sins.

Among the sins of the Baatin are the bestial attributes of the nafs . Purification of the nafs, known as Tazkiya-e-Nafs is a Waajib objective of Islam. There is no need to present evidence for this self-evident fact. This is the subject matter of Tasawwuf.

Besides moral purification and spiritual elevation, there is no other function for Tasawwuf, and no other objective for the Sufi.
Rectification of Aqaaid (Beliefs) is of fundamental importance for the Sufi. The entire success of the Sufi is reliant on correct Aqeedah. Expounding this fundamental requisite, Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh), who was a Mujaddid in the sphere of Tasawwuf, said:

“After rectification of Aqaaid and A’maal-e-Zaahiri, it is fardh upon every Muslim to purify (reform) his A’maal-e-Baatin. Numerous Qur’aanic aayaat and Hadith narrations explicitly confirm the fardhiyat of moral reformation.”

In Tareequl Qalandar it is mentioned:

“All authentic principles of Tasawwuf are to be found in the Qur’aan and Ahaadith. The notion that Tasawwuf is not in the Qur’aan is erroneous. This notion is entertained by miscreant ‘sufis’ and the Ulama-e-Khushq (dry, barren Ulama – Ulama who are devoid of roohaaniyat – spirituality). However, both groups have misunderstood Tasawwuf. According to the spiritually arid Ulama, Tasawwuf is baseless since in their understanding the Qur’aan and Ahaadith are devoid of it. On the other hand, the miscreant ‘sufis’ (ghaali sufis) maintain that in the Qur’aan and Ahaadith are found only the zaahiri ahkaam with which Fiqh deals. Tasawwuf, they say, is the knowledge of the Baatin. Thus, according to their misconception, there is no need for the Qur’aan and Hadith – Nauthubillaah! In short, both groups believe that the Qur’aan and Hadith are without Tasawwuf. Conforming to their opinions, one group (the barren Ulama whom the present day Salafis emulate) has shunned Tasawwuf, while the other group (the ghaali Sufis) have shunned the Qur’aan and Hadith.”

The author without having understood the meaning of Tasawwuf, its objective and its basis as propounded by the illustrious authorities of this department of the Shariah, has blindly denounced it simply on the basis of the baatil cults of bid’ah and shirk which have been named ‘tasawwuf’ by their proponents.

But it is unintelligent to denounce Qur’anic and Sunnah Tasawwuf simply because miscreants and deviates call their cult-practices tasawwuf and the followers of their cults ‘sufis’.

The Imaam of Tasawwuf, the illustrious Sufi, Hadhrat Baayazid Bustaami (rahmatullah alayh) refuting the false claimants of Tasawwuf said:

“Do not be deceived if you see a performer of supernatural feats flying in the air. Measure him on the standard of the Shariah. See if he adheres to the prescribed limits of the Commands of the Shariah.”

Sayyidut Taaifah, Imaam of Tasawwuf, the great Sufi, Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh), said:

“All avenues besides meticulous emulation of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are closed to mankind.”

The famous Sufi, Hadhrat Nuri (rahmatullah alayh) said:

“Do not venture near to one who lays claim to a (supposedly spiritual) state which brings in its wake transgression of the limits of the Shariah.”

Hadhrat Khwaajah Naseeruddin Chiraagh Dehlawi (rahmatullah alayh) said:

“Obedience to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is imperative. This obedience is essential in word, deed and intention because Love for Allah Ta’ala is not possible without obedience to Hadhrat Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Hadhrat Khwaajah Gareeb Nawaaz Mueenuddin Chishti (rahmatullah alayh) said:

“He who adheres to the Shariah, executing its commands and refraining from transgression, progresses in spiritual rank, i.e. all progress (in the spiritual path) is dependent on adherence to the Shariah.”

Hakim Al Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh) said:

“Whoever has acquired the wealth of Wusool (the lofty state of close proximity to Allah Ta’ala), has achieved it by virtue of following the Sunnah.”

Similar statements have been made by all authentic Sufis whose very first step in the Path of acquiring Divine Proximity is strict obedience to the Shariah and perfect adoption of the Sunnah.

The author of the baseless criticism against Tasawwuf, instead of referring to the authorities of Tasawwuf to gain the proper understanding of its meaning, looked at juhhaal who lay claim of Tasawwuf. These frauds and imposters who claim to be Sufis, are totally bereft of Tasawwuf. They are devoid of even a slight fragrance of Tasawwuf. Their ‘tasawwuf’ is a cult of bid’ah and shirk. The shallow-minded author has taken such miscreants to be the authoritative proponents of Tasawwuf.

The fact that the author is shockingly unaware of the Tasawwuf Tareeqah of the illustrious Sufis such as Ibraahim Adham, Junaid Baghdaadi, Baayazid Nustaami and countless others, speaks volumes for his own
jahaalat. It is gross jahaalat to seek an understanding of Islam from the mushriks of the Nation of Islam or from Gulam Ahmad Qadiani or from these misguided modernist zindeeqs who have acquired their smattering of scrap knowledge from the so-called ‘Islamic’ Studies faculties of kuffaar universities. If anyone wants to know what Islam is, he has to refer to the Ulama-e-Raasikheen. Similarly, knowledge of genuine Tasawwuf can be acquired from only the true Auliya and Sufiya who meticulously follow the Sunnah and submit wholly to the Shariah.

Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Maseehullah Khaan (rahmatullah alayh), in his treatise, Shariat & Tasawwuf,states:

“The whole combination of teachings imposed by Islam is known as the Shariah. Both sets of acts (A’maal-e-Zaahiri and A’maal-e-Baatini) are included in the Shariah. In the terminology of the Mutaqaddimeen (the Salaf-e-Saaliheen of the Khairul Quroon era), the term Fiqh was synonymous with the word Shariah. Thus, Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) defining Fiqh, said: “The recognition of that which is beneficial and harmful for the nafs.” Later, in the terminology of the Muta-akh-khireen, the word Fiqh referred to that branch of Islam which related to A’maal-e-Zaahirah, while the the branch which dealt with A’maal-e-Baatinah became known as Tasawwuf and its anglicised designation is Suf’ism. The ways and methods of pursuing A’maal-e-Baatinah are called Tareeqat.

The notion that the Shariat and Tareeqat are different entities – a notion which has gained prominence among the masses in consequence of the fraud perpetrated by imposters and cranks – is palpably false and baseless. Now that the haqeeqat of Tasawwuf has been clarified, it will be understood that:

· Kashf and Karaamaat are not necessary constituents of Tasawwuf.

· Tasawwuf does not guarantee success in worldly affairs.

· It does not convey the idea that achievements will be made by means of Ta’weez and Amaliyaat nor does Tasawwuf claim that one will be successful in worldly affairs such as court cases, etc.

· Tasawwuf does not promise increase in earnings nor cure from physical ailments.

· It does not foretell future events

· It does not teach that the mureed’s islaah (moral reformation) will be achieved by the Tawajjuh (spiritual focus) of the Shaikh. Supernatural operations are not requisites of Tasawwuf.

· Tasawwuf does not contend that the mureed will not be affected by even the thought of sin nor does it claim that he will automatically, without effort, engage in ibaadat.

· It does not promise self-annihilation (Fana and Fana-ul-Fana).

· Tasawwuf does not promise the experiences of ecstacy and spiritual effulgence in Thikr and Shaghl, nor does it claim that the mureed will experience beautiful dreams and wonderful visions.

All these issues are unconnected with Tasawwuf. The objective of Tasawwuf is only to gain Divine Pleasure via the agency of Wara’ and Taqwa.”

Only a moron will find fault with this exposition of Tasawwuf. One who follows this unadulterated Tasawwuf of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, is a genuine Sufi. Just as a Qadiani and a Bilalian (a member of the American kufr cult, Nation of Islam), is not a genuine Muslim, so too, one who follows one of the many baatil cults of fabricated ‘sufi’ism’ is not a genuine Sufi. If a satan claims to be a sufi, the Suf’ism of Islam will not be condemned on the basis of the satanic claim.

The unwarranted attack on Sufi’ism made by al-Madkhalee is of this moronic kind of refutation. He simply denounced Islam without understanding the meaning of Islam which the genuine Sufis practised. And, among the genuine Sufis were illustrious Fuqaha such as Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Shaafi’, Imaam Ahmad Bin Hanbal (rahmatullah alayhim), and innumerable Ulama, Fuqaha and Auliya down the long corridor of Islam’s 14 century history, right from the era of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

In fact, Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was the first Sufi of this Ummah. Among his primary
ashghaal prior to Nubuwwat were Khalwat (Seclusion) and
Muraaqabah (meditation) which have perpetually been significant methods of the Sufiya for the attainment of moral purification and spiritual advancement, and this practice of Khalwat in which the Mu’min communes with Allah Ta’ala, was perpetuated by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) even after Nubuwwat in terms of the Qur’aanic command:

  “And after you have completed (your daytime duties of Da’wat) then stand resolutely (at night in Khalwat), and focus enthusiastically towards your Rabb.” (Surah Inshirah)

Without temporary Khalwat (seclusion, physical renunciation of contact with all and sundry), the attainment of the lofty stages of Roohaaniyat is not possible. We thus see that a great Aalim of Imaam Ghazaali’s calibre wandering in the wilderness and secluding himself in total isolation for a long period of nine years. After he had acquired the necessary qualifications in the realm of Roohaaniyat, Allah Ta’ala created the circumstances for him to re-enter society and then everyone is aware how he lay to waste the conglomerates of Shaitaan with his refutations and proclamation of the Haqq.

Imaam Ghazaali (rahmatullah alayh) – this intellectual Giant of Uloom and Roohaaniyat – was an Aalim with whom Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) vied.

In a dream a Wali saw Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) presenting Imaam Ghazaali (rahmatullah alayh) to Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) and Nabi (alayhis salaam), and with delight asking them: “Have you such an Aalim in your Ummats??” Both Nabi responded in the negative. Lest the spiritually arid Salafi attempts to scorn the dream, we remind him that
Ru’ya Saalihah (the dreams of the Pious Men of Allah)constitute one fortieth of Nubuwwat.

Whilst the form of Rahbaaniyat in vogue during the era of Hadhrat Nabi Isa (alayhis salaam) is not a constituent of Islamic practice, temporary Rahbaaniyat
(seclusion and isolation) is valid in Islam. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) spent every night of his blessed life in Rahbaaniyat. He did not refute the total Rahbaaniyat of the illustrious Taabiee, Hadhrat Uwais Qarni (rahmatullah alayh) who spent his life in the wilderness and desert fleeing at the sight of people.

The Auliya practised various periods of temporary Rahbaaniyat, and the Rahbaaniyat which Allah Ta’ala has devised for the masses is the Masnoon ten-day I’tikaaf during Ramadhaan. All the Fuqaha and Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen during the Khairul Quroon era upheld the style of renunciation and abstinence of the Sufiya of those ages. None of them condemned the Sufiya. Only in the later centuries, spiritually barren Ulama considered it appropriate to criticize the Sufis. Due to their spiritual aridity, these Ulama confused the imposters and fakes with the genuine Sufis, and committed the grave injustice of condemning the entire body of Sufiya-e-Kiraam.


Hadhrat Fareeduddeen Attaar (rahmatullah alayh) said:

“The Math-hab we follow, is the Math-hab of Imaam A’zam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh). This is the Math-hab of Rectitude which precludes error. What a wonderful servant of Allah was he! Besides obedience to Allah and following the Sunnat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), he had no other concern.”

It is recorded in Futoohaat:
“Every conception which is in conflict with the Shariah is baatil zanaadaqah (baseless heresy). For us (Sufis) there is no Path towards Allah, but the Path of the
Shari ah. There is no road for us, except what Allah has shown us in the Shariah. Any person who claims that there is any other way unto Allah in conflict with the
Shari ah, is false. Such a shaikh who lacks adab should not be followed.”
“He who lacks knowledge of the Law of Allah, has no status by Him. Allah has not made any jaahil a wali”

Hadhrat Fareeduddeen Attaar (rahmatullah alayh) also said:
“Those people who have moved away from the ahkaam of the Shariah and fell into deception, tomorrow they will be in Jahannum with the kuffaar. Be firm on the
Shari ah. For the purification of the Baatin and for salvation there is no medium other than the Shari ah.”

Hadhrat Khwaajah Naseeruddin Mahmood (rahmatullah alayh) said:
“Do whatever Allah and His Rasool have commanded, and refrain from whatever they have forbidden. People have abandoned the Qur’aan and the Hadith, hence they have become corrupt and distressed.”

In Khairul Majaalis it is mentioned:
“He who adopts a way other than the path of the Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) will never attain the goal. Besides following in the footsteps of the Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), he will not find the correct path.”

In short, all these genuine Sufis were meticulous followers of the Sunnah and adhered resolutely to the Shariah. There was not a single true Sufi who did not follow the Sunnah. The Pathway of all Sufiya was only one – the Shariah.

Someone said to the great Sufi, Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh) that there are some persons who claim: “We have attained the goal, hence we have no need for Salaat and Siyaam.”

Hadhrat Junaid commented: “They have spoken the truth regarding wusool (having reached the goal). However, they have reached Saqar (Jahannum).”

Once Hadhrat Sultaan Nizaamuddin Auliya (rahmatullah alayh) during a state of ecstacy uttered: “How lofty is my status!”. Afterwards he repented and said: “I had not uttered correctly. At that time I was a Yahoodi. I now renounce that religion and embrace Islam afresh. Thus I declare: Ash-hadu an laailaha il lallaahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu wa-ash-hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu”.

Hadhrat Sultaanji did not justify the statement he had uttered whilst in a trance or in ecstacy. Observing the Shariah and to safeguard the Imaan of the masses, he renewed his Imaan.

Commenting further, Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) wrote in his Shariat & Tareeqat:
“Hadhrat Zunnoon Misri, Sirri Saqati, Abu Sulaiman, Ahmad Bin Abil Hawaari, Abu Hafs Haddaad, Abu Uthmaan, Nuri, Abu Saeed Kharraaz, Khwaajah Mueenuddeen Chishti, Hadhrat Abdul Quddoos Gangohi, Abu Taalib Makki (rahmatullah alayhim) and others have greatly emphasized obedience to the Shariah.
It is abundantly clear from their statements that in the Path of Faqr, the very first requisite is knowledge of the Shariah, then practical implementation of the Shariah. Without these requisites there will be no progress. The Road of Divine Proximity will not open up. No one has ever attained the status of a Wali by opposing Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and adopting bid’ah. When bid’ah severs and blocks the path, what should be said about kufr and shirk?”

All the names mentioned above are prominent and famous Sufis.

Hadhrat Nuri (rahmatullah alayh) said:
“If you see any claimant of proximity with Allah in a condition which is in conflict with the Shariah, do not approach near to him.”

Another great Sufi, Hadhrat Abul Abbaas Deenwari (rahmatullah alayh) said:
“People have violated the fundamentals of Tasawwuf, and have ruined its pathways. They have changed its meanings with new fabricated names. Thus they call tama’ (avarice) ziyaadat, and for disrespect, ikhlaas. They designate abandonment of the Haqq as shatah; subservience to lust as mateebah; obedience to base desires as ibtilaa’; return to the dunya as wasal; evil character as soolah; niggardliness as jalaadah; begging as amal; vulgarity of the tongue as malaamat. But this was not the Tareeq of the Nation (of Sufis).”

Hadhrat Bandaar (rahmatullah alayh) said:
“The companionship of the people of Bid’ah leads to diversion from Allah Ta’ala.”

Hadhrat Qiwaamuddeen (rahmatullah alayh) said:
“O Durwaish! The basis of this effort (Tasawwuf) is the criterion of Kitaabullah, the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the history of the Salaf who were the leaders of the Deen.. ….If anything of the Shaikh is in conflict with the Criterion (of the Shariah), then it is faasid (corrupt). If any statement or action of the Shaikh is in conflict with Kitaabullah, the Sunnah and Ijma’, it will be mardood (rejected). Such a Shaikh is unfit to be a leader. Whoever follows such a shaikh will not attain the goal.”

There are thousands of statements of the Sufi Mashaa-ikh which emphasize the strictest obedience to the Shariah and adoption of the Sunnah. It is thus a contemptible slander to baselessly accuse the Sufiya of diverting Muslims from the course of Islam. Just as Islam will not be condemned if miscreants perpetrate haraam, bid’ah, fisq, fujoor, kufr and shirk in its name, so too is it downright stupid and slanderous to denounce Sufi’ism and the Sufiya because of the bid’ah kufr and shirk of the miscreants who lay claim to sufi’ism.

Offering naseehat to his son, Hadhrat Sayyid Abdul Qaadir Jilaani (rahmatullah alayh) who is among the most famous Sufiya, said:

“ O my son! I admonish you! Fear Allah Ta’ala. Understand the rights of your parents and of all the Mashaa’ikh, for this endears the servant to Allah Ta’ala. In public and in privacy, in all states, defend the Haq. Do not abandon tilaawat of the Qur’aan Majeed, neither with your tongue nor with your heart; in privacy and in public, and recite with concentration and reflection, and with grief and tears. In all the ahkaam (of the Shariah) refer to the Muhkam aayaat of the Qur’aan, for the Qur’aan is Allah’s Proof on the people.

Do not step aside from the knowledge of the Shariah. Learn Ilmul Fiqh. Do not be among the masses and the jaahil sufis. Flee from these mercenaries, for they rob Muslims of their Deen. They are highway robbers.

Make incumbent on you the Aqaaid of the People of Tauheed and the Sunnah. Abstain from innovations. Every innovation is bid’ah and deviation. Do not associate with lads, females, bid’atis, the wealthy and the masses. By means of such association, your Deen will depart……Do not abstain from Jamaat Salaat……Do not hanker after governmental position. He who seeks governmental position will not succeed….Don’t associate with kings and rulers.”

Hadhrat Fudhail Ibn Iyaadh (rahmatullah alayh) was among the Akaabir Sufiya. Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) held him in the highest esteem, and would consult with him in difficult Fiqhi masaa-il. Hadhrat Fudhail said:

“Allah Ta’ala destroys the deeds of a person who loves a man of bid’ah, and He snatches away the Noor of Imaan. I have firm conviction that Allah Ta’ala will forgive a person who has animosity for a man of bid’ah despite the paucity of his virtuous deeds. If you see a bid’ati walking along a road, then walk on another road. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) cursing the Ahl-e-Bid’ah said: “Allah, His Angels and creation curse a man who introduces a bid’ah or harbours a bid’ati. Neither is his Fardh accepted nor his Nafl.”

Refuting the slander (which has always been made by those who bear malice for the Sufis), Hadhrat Khawaajah Muhammad Ma’soom (rahmatullah alayh), who was the son of Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf-e-Thaani (rahmatullah alayh), both being very senior Sufis, said:
“If the way of the noble Sufiya was abstention from Amr Bil Ma’roof, then why would a great Sufi say: “A day in which there is no Amr Bil Ma’roof Nahy Anil Munkar among the Sufiya, is indeed an evil day.” Just reflect on those people who do not oppose (evil) nor practise Amr Bil Maroof. Do they in fact believe in the thawaab and athaab of the Aakhirah and the severe warnings in the Qur’aan and Hadith for evil deeds………….

If Allah Ta’ala had loved that people should not be opposed (by means of Amr Bil Ma’roof), then why did He send Ambiya (alayhimus salaam), and why did He command the Call to the Deen of Islam and the negation of all other religions??

Allah Ta’ala has established primarily the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam), and secondarily, the Auliya (the Sufiya) to invite to the Deen, and by their medium, He (Allah Ta’ala) forewarned people of Punishment and Reward. Thus, the true followers of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are the the associates of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in Da’wat and Amr Bil Ma’roof. A person who abandons Amr Bil Ma’roof is not a follower of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Hadhrat Khwaajah Ahraar (rahmatullah alayh) said: :
“I have been appointed to disseminate and establish the Deen. Initiating mureeds is not my only function.”
This has always been the stance and way of the Sufiya….

The moron Salafi alleges:

“Some of them eat soil and sand and choose to drink murky water, avoiding pure and cool water, since they would be unable to give due thanks for it. This is in fact a puny excuse, since would they, by abandoning cool water, be giving due thanks to Allaah for the rest of His blessings upon them?”

Again the moron illustrates his compound ignorance. In the first place, how many Sufiya is he aware of who had ate sand and soil and consumed murky water?? Then, in an isolated case when the Sufi had consumed these substances, what is the evidence for contending that the reason was the Sufi’s belief of inability to ‘give due thanks’? Madkhalee has made baseless assumptions to hallucinate this reason. The one in a million Sufi who had consumed sand, did so to treat some moral condition of his nafs.

Never did a Sufi believe that he was able to fulfil Shukr
to Allah Ta’ala for a single ni’mat. No one understands this fact better than the Sufiya. Their humility is incomparable. Their belief of their own contemptibility is to the degree of Ilmul Yaqeen.

They believe themselves to be more contemptible than dogs. The question that it had never crossed their minds even in the category of a stray waswasah that they were capable of fulfilling Shukr
for all the limitless bounties of Allah Ta’ala except for cold water and delicious food, is the corrupt conjecturing of moron Salafis.

If in an isolated or rare case a Sufi had eaten sand, then by what stretch of intelligence and by what norm of justice is it valid to accuse all the Sufiya of having done so?? And, on what basis can it be claimed that the rare Sufi had propagated his personal valid idiosyncrasy to be an act to be emulated or that it was a tenet of the Deen??

When so much haraam and najis substances are nowadays used as medicine and for medical treatment, the Salafis are dumb. They are silent and have no criticism for the utilization of haraam substances for medical treatment of physical diseases, but when a Sufi had prescribed for himself a taahir substance as a treatment for a spiritual or nafsaani ailment which he has diagnosed in himself, then the Salafis are quick to condemn, not only the isolated Sufi, but the entire million Sufis who had never resorted to the treatment of the solitary Sufi.

The noble Sufi who had consumed sand for a spiritual condition which he diagnosed in himself was not a jaahil. He was among the greatest Ulama of this Ummah. His name is Abu Taalib Makki, the author of the famous kitaab, Qootul Quloob on which great Shaafi’ Fuqaha such as Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) were reliant.

The fact that Imaam Nawawi, Imaam Raaf’i, Zarkashi as well as other Fuqaha and also Imaam Ghazaali (rahmatullah alayhim) cites from Qootul Quloob, is sufficient to confirm the lofty status of this noble ‘sand-eating’ Sufi. No one had ever made any disparaging comment about the noble Shaikh’s ‘sand-eating’.The illustrious Fuqaha of all Math-habs cite Shaikh Abu Taalib Makki and his kitaab occupies a lofty pedestal among the authorities of Islam. Not a single authority of the Shariah has criticized this noble Shaikh, but the moron Salafi deems it appropriate to hurl his jahaalat at this great Waarith (Heir) of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

The penances which the Sufiya observed were in the category of treatment for certain moral and spiritual conditions and states. Just as no one finds fault with
tadaawi bil haraam (medical treatment with haraam substances) when there is a real need, similarly, there can be no valid objection against a Sufi who devised an ‘extreme’ measure to treat a moral or spiritual condition in him. The Sufi who drank ‘murky’ water did so for some specific reason. If this reason is unknown to the moron Salafi, he has no justification for condemning the Sufi, and to a greater extent is his error for implying that such penances of some Sufis were the norm of all Sufis.

In all groups are to be found imposters, fakes and cranks. It is unjust to formulate an opinion regarding the genuine members of a group on the basis of the misdeeds of the fakes. Those who have masqueraded as Sufis for worldly objectives are not the criterion for passing judgment on the Sufiya. Ibnul Jauzee’s criticism in his kitaab, Talbees-e-Iblees, is directed at the frauds
(mustaswifeen) who pretended to be Sufis. He never criticized the Auliya. Among the Ulama too there are numerous fakes and villains. No person of any intelligence will condone condemnation of all the Ulama simply because of the villainy perpetrated by the ulama-e-soo’. On this issue, Madkhalee says:

The endurance of self-imposed hardship was found amongst the first Sufis, but as regards later Sufis then they were concerned only with food and drink.”

And, we may add to this, even smoking dagga and indulging in adultery in the name of the Deen. But such scoundrels may not be termed Sufis. They do not belong to the noble galaxy of Sufiya who were the embodiments of virtue and morality of the highest calibre. Those whose goal on earth is materialism, food, drink, dagga and vice are not Sufis. They are the progeny of Iblees. They are not Walis (friends) of Allah. They are walis of shaitaan. By what stretch of hallucination does the moron Salafi usher such frauds and villains into the class of the Sufiya-e-Kiraam??

What resemblance is there with the self-proclaimed ‘sufis’ who were imposters given to debauchery and the genuine Sufis such as Hasan Basri, Junaid Baghdaadi, Sarri Saqati, Ibrahim Bin Adham and the innumerable illustrious Sufi Masters who strode the firmament of Islamic Roohaaniyat (Spirituality) and Ma’rifat? Painting them all with the same brush displays the compound ignorance of the moron Salafi.

In every age the true Sufis had condemned the imposters and had explained the meaning of Tasawwuf, leaving no ambiguity in this concept and proving that it is an integral part of the Shariah. Moral reformation(Tazkiyah Nafs) is Waajib. Any brand of ‘tasawwuf’ which is in conflict with the Shariah is not true Tasawwuf. It is Satanism.

In recent times, Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh) as well as other senior Ulama of Deoband – all Sufis – have thoroughly exposed the fake and ignorant so-called Sufis. What the grave-worshipping so-called ‘sufis’ are perpetrating today is not Tasawwuf, and the Sufiya may not be condemned on account of the kufr and shirk perpetrated by these false claimants of Tasawwuf.

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