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Dangers Of Sufism | Al-Taqwa

Dangers Of Sufism



The Qur'an and the Sunnah do not teach us to have any labels for ourselves other than "Muslims". This is the true Islamic way and should be applied across the board. We should take everything back to these references: the Qur'an, the Sunnah and the way of the righteous first generations. Even names which purport to mean just that should be avoided and are not part of Islam. Recently, great scholars, much more knowledgeable than myself have made statements to the contrary i.e., that to claim to be "salafi" means nothing more or less than the definition I offered above. Nonetheless, this does not excuse this innovation of giving ourselves names in addition to being "Muslims". Furthermore its harm is apparent to all who have eyes.

Even if the meaning of a particular label is correct, that doesn't mean the act of using it is correct. We say that "salafi" means "those who follow the Qur'an, the Sunnah and the way of the first righteous generations", but what does it actually mean in the minds of the people? To some it means "harsh". To others it means long beards and short robes. To others it means those who make excuses for corrupt governments but for no one else in the Ummah. Furthermore, every action of those who claim this tag - real, imagined or fabricated - becomes hujja in the minds of the ignorant over the stated creed of "following the Qur'an, the Sunnah and the way of the righteous first few generations".

So, labels - ALL labels - are useless at best and more likely harmful in the extreme. They can be used and abused in all kinds of ways to confuse ordinary people who are not completely abreast of the issues involved. Although it seems to be a shortcut to say "I don't agree with such-and-such a group because they are sufi...", it should be avoided even in the case where that group has given themselves the label. Correct statements would be to state that "They believe in the intercession of the dead for the living." or "They go to extremes in honoring the knowledgeable among as the Prophet () warned us about." or other such statements. If the conversants are incapable of addressing the specific issues, then they shouldn't be talking about the "groups" at all and should restrict their converstaion to the Qur'an, the Sunnah and the great scholars of the early generations.

And so it is witht the term Sufi. This term has a very long history and has been applied to and/or accepted by a very wide range of Muslims and non-Muslims. There are Hindus, Buddhists and atheists all claiming to be "Sufi". Among those claiming to be Muslim there exists everything from those who focus solely on practicing the Sunnah of the Prophet () to those who direct many forms of worship and belief to other than Allah. They attribute to human beings - living or dead - knowledge of the unseen and other divine attributes. They address these others with supplication and seeking of aid in distress - which can only be addressed to Allah Most High.

Thus, it is not impossible that there could be some who call themselves "sufi" and who are not engaged in any form of falsehood or deviation from Islam. One the one hand, we would opress these ones by making blanket statements describing the deviation of "sufis". On the other hand, these people are in manifest error for applying to themselves a label other than being "Muslim". We are likewise in error if we accept a label other than "Muslim" although our error is somewhat less serious if that label has a sound meaning and by and large righteous individuals who have taken on that label before us. The label of "sufi" is more heinous since it contains within its meaning the entire spectrum from guidance to the most extreme forms of deviation and including even people with no Islamic origin at all like Buddhist and Hindu sufis.

Our religious terminology should come first and foremost from the Qur'an and the Sunnah. Beyond that, any terminology which we ourselves come up with (such as "tarawih" or "tauhid al-uloohiya") should serve some useful purpose or should help in the pursuit of truth by contributing to distinguishing truth from falsehood. The term "sufi" serves no such purpose. It seeks to define something besides Islam which distinguishes some human beings from others. It encompasses in its meaning everything from guidance to shirk and kufr. Therefore, the self-proclaimed "sufi" who only seeks to purify his heart and to follow the teachings of Islam and the Sunnah of the Prophet () should be the FIRST one to flee from this terminology. How could someone who is striving to follow the teachings of Islam allow a term to be applied to them which includes under its meaning pious Muslims, Muslims engaged in bid'a, Muslims engaged in shirk akbar and even polytheists and atheists?

Having said that, within this huge historical reality called "sufism", there are many common threads of error and deviation from the teachings of Islam many of which are very widespread and many of which are common to nearly all those who accept this label of "sufi"

About the Name

(From The Other Side of Sufism)

True Muslims should be content with the name "Muslims given to them by Almighty Allah as he says: which means,

"He has chosen you (to conform to His religion) and has imposed no difficulty upon you in religion, the religion of your father Ibrahim. He named you 'Muslims' both before (in the preceding Divine Scriptures) and in this Book." (22.78)

Ibn Kathir elaborated on this verse, saying:

"Allah has chosen the Muslims, honoured them, and distinguished them exclusively of other nations by the most honourable Messenger and the most perfect religion, and He has not overburdened them with more than they can bear."

If Sufis insist that they are Muslims, then what is the sense of identifying themselves with Sufism rather than with Islam. The word "Sufism" was not familiar to those who lived in the first and the best three generations of as-Salaf as-Salih (the pious predecessors) who were commanded by Allah the Exalted and His Messenger (s.a.w)

Beginnings
(From: The Other Side...)
Sufism is a schism developed during the fourth century of Hijrah, exploited by the deviationist sects, the Batini (clandestine) sects and the rest of the enemies of Islam, such as the Jews, the Magians and the Crusaders, to undermine Islamic aqeedah (dogma) and Muslim unity.

"Sufism," states the renowned Shaikh Abu Bakr al-Djaza'iri, "is a shameful deception which begins with dhikr (chanting the name of Allah) and ends with disbelief. Its outward manifestation appears to be piety, but its inward reality forsakes the commands of Allah."

What's Wrong?
- They turn away from seeking knowledge in Islam.
- They turn away from Qur'an and hadith.
- They claim kashf and al-'ilm alladunni - direct knowledge without the need for the Communication
- They invented a "sunnah" of special clothing
- They advocate deriving Shari'a rulings from dreams, visions and mukashafaat
- False reliance on Allah (without seeking means)
- They distorted the meaning of some Islamic terminology e.g., tauhid, tawakkul, etc.
- They advocated isolation and not marrying
- Neglect of jihad in the path of Allah
- Claims of seeing Allah, the Prophet (), the deceased, etc.
- Acceptance of "sufism" of other religions
- All of the above are inventions and innovations in the din

Bid'a (Generally)

Imam Malik b. Anas, may Allah grant him His mercy, emphasized;

"That which was not religion at the time of the Messenger and his companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, is never to be religion today."

He went on to say;

"He who introduces a bid'ah in the religion of Islam and deems it a good thing, claims by so doing that Muhammad (s.a.w) betrayed the Message,"

(i.e. he did not convey it fully and perfectly as commanded by Allah), despite the fact that Allah revealed; which means,

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

The Prophet (s.a.w) made a point of opening all the speeches with a warning against bid'ah (innovations) in matters of religion. His warning words signify:

"Verily, the best of speech is the Book of Allah, and the best of guidance that of Muhammad (s.a.w) and the evil of all religious matters is their own innovations. Every innovation is a bid'ah, and every bid'ah is a misguidance, and very misguidance is in the Fire."

Bid'a (Dhikr)
This is confirmed by the statement made by the Prophet (s.a.w) to his companions:

"He who will live (long enough) will see many different (ways). Keep you to my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the well-guided khulafa'; hold fast thereto. And beware of innovations (in matters of religion). Verily, every innovation is a bid'ah, and every bid'ah is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Fire."

The Sufi dthikr is of two forms, the dthikr al-khafiy or hidden dthikr wiht the repetition being in the mind or muttered in a low voice; and the dthikr al-jaliy, the open recitation, in which the Sufi murid recites aloud. Sufis distinguis three types of dthikr: the dthikr of the common people (al-awaam), which involves uttering repeatedly the Kalimah, meaning, "There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah;" the dthikr of the upper class, which involves uttering repeatedly the single name of God, "Allah," or the word "haiy" (the living); and the dthikr of the elite, which involves uttering repeatedly the divine pronoun "hu" (He).

The last two types of dthikr have never been uniue to Islam. Sufi dthikr, however, is not limited to the above three types: In many cases it includes litanies and hymns, or as the Sufis prefer to call them, "twassulaat" (supplications or petitions), to the Prophet (s.a.w) and his family.

Supplicating beings other than Allah entails associating partners with Him, a practice which is not only condemned by Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w) but it renders a worshipper's good deeds null and void. Allah says: meaning,

"And it has been revealed to you and to those before you: If you attribute partners to Allah, your deed shall surely be in vain and you shall certainly be among the loosers."(39.65)

The type of dthikr practiced communally by Sufis is not merely recited; it is rather performed in their hadhrah.(55) Sufi dthikr ranges from quietism to ecstatic and hysterical behaviour. In many orders, the ritual has a section called samaa' in which singing, dancing and playing musical instruments, such as the flute and the drum, are highly important.

The dthikr which the Prophet (s.a.w) enjoined should be recited individually, and only according to the manner prescribed by him. Making dthikr in a different manner, or communally, is an innovation leading to misguidance. This is particularly true when such a ritual is accompanied by prohibited practices such as music, against which there is a direct reference in the Qur'an: meaning,

"And of men is he who take idle talk to lead men astray from the path of Allah."(31.6)

The prominant companions of the Prophet (s.a.w) confirmed that the "idle talk" referred to in the above verse means singing and music.(56) The Prophet (s.a.w) verified this fact in the hadeeth which says,

"There will be some people who will consider legal fornication, and the wearing of silk, the consumption of intoxicant drinks and the use of musical instruments." (57)

Rejecting Reward and Punishment
Shah Naqshband said,

"Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya said, 'O Allah I didn't worship seeking the reward of Your Paradise nor fearing your punishment, but I am worshipping You for Your Love alone.' If your worship is for saving yourself or for gaining some reward for yourself, it is a hidden shirk, because you have associated something with Allah, either the reward or the punishment. This is what Hallaj meant."

Shaikh Arslan ad-Dimashqi said,

"O Allah, Your religion is nothing but hidden shirk, and to disbelieve in it is obligatory on every true servant. The people of religion are not worshipping You, but are only worshipping to attain Paradise or to escape from Hell. They are worshipping these two as idols, and that is the worst Idolatry. You have said, man yakfur bi-t- aghati wa yu'min billahi faqad istamsaka bi-l-curwati-l-wuthqa ("Whoever disbelieves in idols and believes in Allah has grasped the Firm Handhold") [2:256]. To disbelieve in those idols and to believe in You is obligatory on the people of Truth."

Shaikh Abul-Hasan ash-Shadhili (q), one of the greatest Sufi Shaikhs, was asked by his shaikh, "O my son, with what are you going to meet your Lord?" He said, "I am coming to Him with my poverty." He said,

"O my son, do not ever repeat this again. This is the biggest idol, because you are still coming to Him with something. Free yourself of everything and then come to Him.

"The people of laws and external knowledge hold fast to their deeds and on that basis they establish the concept of reward and punishment. If they are good, they find good and if they are bad they find bad; what benefits the servant is his deeds and what harms him is his deeds. To the People of the Way, this is the hidden Shirk, because one is associating something with Allah. Although it is an obligation to do (good deeds), yet the heart must not be attached to those deeds. They should only be done for His sake and for His love, without expectation of anything in return."
Hidden Knowledge
Three fundamentals of Sufism which are innovations not sanctioned by the Qur'an or the Sunnah:

The division of knowledge into exoteric, or manifest, asoteric, or hidden;
The division of Islam into shari'ah (religious sciences) and the sciences of truth; and
the addition to Islam of the Sufi order as the path leading to the truth.
Manifest knowledge and the sciences of jurisprudence, they assert, belong to the theologians and scholars of the general run of ordinary Muslims, whereas the hidden knowledge and the knowledge of truth are reserved for the Sufi priests, who preferred to call themselves the elite. They who claim the right to interpret the Qur'anic verses and Prophetic traditions in ways not only different from the apparent meanings, but contradict them.

Al-Ghazali said:

"That which is acquired by inspiration is called 'ilm ladunniyan it is that knowledge which requires no intermediary to acquire it between the individual and his creator."

Wird or Prescribed Dhikr
All forms of worship must be taken from the Prophet (). Diligence of the Companions in opposing bid'a.

It is a must for all Muslims to adhere to the two Divine sources of Islam, the Qur'an and the Sunnah, the Prophet's companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, developed great understanding of these two fundamental sources as required and necessitated by the profession of the faith: ("There is no God worthy of being worshipped but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.") They were very critical of the slightest sign of deviation among Muslims. Whenever they noticed one, they vehemently objected to it and tried their best to rectify the situation or eliminate it. Abdullah b. Mas'ood, may Allah be pleased with him, who was governor of al-Koofeh, Iraq, at a time, happened to enter the mosque one day, and saw some people sitting in circles. In the middle of each circle was a heap of pebbles, and in every circle was a man instructing the people: "Say, Sub-han-Allah (Allah is far removed from every imperfection> a hundred times. Say, Al-hamd-du-lillah (praise be to Allah) a hundred times. Say, Allahu-Akbar (Allah is the Greatest) a hundred times." Whereupon Abdullah b. Mas'ood said to them,

"O people, you are either following a religion which is better than that of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w), or you are entering through a door of deviation without consideration." They responded,"Abu Abdur-Rahman! (his nickname), by Allah, we intend to do a good thing." He exclaimed, "How often one intends to do good but never attains his purpose."(58)

The above quotation clearly shows that sincerity and good intentions alone are not sufficient to render acts of worship acceptable to Allah. The acts must first conform to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (s.a.w). Originating new methods or concepts of such acts only incurs Allah's anger. The religion of Islam has already been completed by Allah. It needs no one to tamper with it for the purpose of mundane gain. Thus it follows by necessity that any religious opinion or practice must be judged by and referred to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (s.a.w) to decide its validity.

Oneness of All Things or Anihilation in Allah

Relationship to other deviant sects:

(From "Al-Ghazali")

Ibn Khaldoon said:

"There appeared among them those who were mixed up with the Ismailiya and the latter Rejectors (Shi'a) those who believed in hulool and the divinity of the imams and so the Sufis and the Ismailis imbibed each others beliefs and the Sufis came to proclaim beliefs just like theirs and they came to believe in Hulool and fanaa and their books were filled with such stuff such as the books of al-harawiy and Ibn Arabi and others. So their words were intermingled and their beliefs became similar and the Sufis begain to speak about the Qutb - and it is exactly what the Rejectors were saying and is their religion."

Ibn Taimia said:

In the language of the philosophers on the other hand, intellect reason or the mind is an independent and distinct entity or essence, resembling more closely the reasoner than the faculty of reason given by Allah. This is not in harmony with the language of the prophets and the Qur'an. The creation to the philosophers, as mentioned by Al-Ghazali, is divided into bodies, minds and souls, all of which is referred to as the world of the order. Sometimes they refer to these categories as mulk (dominion), jabroot (omnipotence), and malakoot (realm) respectively, such that those ignorant of the language of the prophets and ignorant of the meanings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah may believe that the mentioning of mulk, jabroot, and malakoot in the Qur'an supports this theory, while this is not in fact the case.

These people perpetrate great deceptions on the Muslim, such as their saying that the universe is "brought about" i.e. having an origin and a beginning (which, of course, it is), even though in reality they believe is to be ancient and without beginning. Something which is "brought about" (muhdath) in Arabic is of necessity something whose presence was preceded by its absence. It is not found in the language of the Arabs nor in any language that one can refer to something without beginning as being muhdath i.e. "brought about". Allah has informed us that He is the Creator of everything. Every created thing is by definition muhdath, and every muhdath has come into existence after not existing. The Jahmiya and the Mu'tazilah attempted to bring an Islamic response to the philosophers, but fell short and failed to understand the information brought to us by the Prophet (), nor did they understand the dictates of sound reasoning. They neither came to the aid of Islam, nor did they weaken its enemies. They joined them in some of their corrupt ideas and concepts while rejecting some of the sound bits of reasoning contained in their legacy. Their shortcomings in both the knowledge of the revelation and of the sound use of reasoning became an added reason for the thorough deviation of the philosophers, as I have explained at length in other works.

These philosophers said that Jibreel was the imaginary vision which appeared in the mind of Muhammad (). Vision and imagination are products of and secondary to intellect. Thus the deviants came, those who shared with the philosophers this corrupt belief, and further believed themselves to be allies of Allah, and that the allies of Allah are superior to the prophets of Allah, since they receive from Allah with no intermediary, as was claimed by Ibn Araby the author of "The Essences of Wisdom" and "The Makkan Inspirations". He said that he takes from the same source from which the angel who gave revelation to Muhammad () used to take. This "source" which he is referring to is to him none other than the intellect ('aql), and the angel to him is the imagination. Imagination is secondary to intellect, and since Ibn Araby and others like him imagine that they take directly from the source and not from one of its secondary components, while the Prophet took from the imagination which is secondary and a product of the mind, this is how he came to believe himself superior to the Prophet (). Even if prophethood consisted entirely of the three factors mentioned and they were sufficient to indicate prophethood, this man would not even be in the same group as the Prophet, let alone superior to him! What's more, these three "criteria" are things which can be granted to anyone among the believers.

Prophethood is another matter entirely! If Ibn Araby claims a relationship to "Sufism" it is the sufism of deviants and philosophers, and not the sufism of the people of knowledge, let alone that of a leader of the people of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. These were people such as Al-Fadheel ibn 'Iyaadh, Ibrahim ibn Ad-ham, Abi Sulaiman Ad-Daaraani, Ma'roof Al-Karkhi, Al-Junaid ibn Muhammad, Sahl ibn Abdallah At-Tastry, and others like them, may Allah be pleased with them all. Allah has described angels in His book very different from the concepts of the philosophers and those influenced by them, as in His statement:

[And they said that Allah took for Himself an offspring. Glorified is He! Rather honored slaves. They never precede Him with their speech, and they act with His order. He knows what is in front of them and what is behind them, and they do not intercede or plead for anyone except for the one for whom He has accepted this, and they are apprehensive with fear of Him. Whoever of them says I am a deity besides Him, we will reward him with Hell fire, and this is our reward for the oppressors. Qur'an 21/26-29

[And so many angels in the heavens whose intercession will be of no benefit unless and until Allah gives His permission for this intercession for those whom He wishes and is pleased with.] Qur'an 53/26

[Say: Call those who you imagine other than Allah. They do not own even the weight of an atom in the heavens nor in the earth, nor have they any share therein, and no one of them can aid Allah in any way. Intercession is of no benefit with Allah except that for which He has granted permission.] Qur'an 34/22-23

[His are all in the heavens and the earth, and those in His presence are not too arrogant to worship Him, nor do they become weary of it. They praise Allah in the night and the day and never break.] Qur'an 21/19-20
Allah has informed us that angels came to Ibrahim in the form of humans, and appeared also to Maryam in the form of real people. Jibreel also used to come to the Prophet in the form and face of a man named Dahiya Al-Kalbi, or in the form of an unknown bedouin, and was seen not only by the Prophet (
), but by his companions as well.

Allah has described Jibreel as a possessor of power:

[...high in station with the Possessor of the Arsh, respected and obeyed there, trusted] Qur`an 81/20-21

and told us that the Prophet Muhammad ():

[...saw him on the clear horizon.] Qur'an 81/23

and further described Jibreel as:

[It was taught to him by the mighty in strength * Magnificent in his form, he settled down * While on the upper horizon * Then he came close, descending * Until he was at a distance of not more than two bows length * Then he revealed to Allah's servant that which was revealed * His heart has not lied about that which he saw. * Do you then dispute with him about that which he witnessed? * And he has seen him on another occasion * At the Lote tree of the farthest boundary * There is the garden of refuge. * When the lote tree was covered by that which covered it * His sight did not waver, nor did he go beyond bounds * Truly he has seen some of the greatest signs of his Lord.] Qur'an 53/5-18

It has been authenticated in the collections of Muslim and Bukhari on the authority of Aisha that she said that the Prophet () never saw Jibreel in the form in which Allah created him except for two times. She means the two mentioned in the above verse: once on the clear horizon, and the other at the Lote tree of the farthest boundary. Further, Allah described Jibreel in other verses as the trustworthy spirit and the sanctified spirit, as well as other descriptions which show clearly that he is one of the greatest living, reasoning creations of Allah ta'ala, and that he is a real being having an independent existence, not a figment of the Prophet's imagination, as the deviant philosophers imagined, as well as the claimers to the wilaya of Allah and that they are more knowledgeable than the prophets!

The end result of the reality of these people is the total rejection of all of the foundations of faith: to believe in Allah, His angels, His revealed books, His prophets, and the last day. The reality of their position is the rejection of the Creator, for they have made the existence of the creation the selfsame thing as the existence of the Creator, saying: Existence is one. They failed to differentiate between oneness of reality and oneness of concept. Everything which exists shares the concept of existence, just as all humans share in the concept of humanness, and all animals share in the concept of being animals. The problem is that this kind of general sameness is never really sameness except in the mind, just as the animalness of a man is not in reality the same as the animalness of a horse. The mere presence of the concept is not the actual existence of the man, and, in the same way, the existence of the Creator is unlike the existence of any of His creation (even though both are called "existence").

The reality of their position is that it is the position of Pharaoh who denied the Maker. He did not deny the visible, tangible creation, but claimed that it came into existence by itself with no maker or creator. The philosophers and claimers of wilaya agreed with him in that, but imagined that this visible creation is Allah. Thus, they are farther astray than Pharaoh, though the evil of his position may be more apparent. This is why they said that the idol worshippers did not worship other than Allah (since everything in their wrong belief is Allah, including the idols.) And they say that Pharaoh spoke the truth when he said: "I am your highest Lord", since he was in the position of ruler and the holder of the reins of power, i.e. though all of you are a "lord" in relation to something, I am higher than all of you through the apparent rulership over you which I have been given.

About "Hulul". From:

Themes of 'The Erotic' in Sufi Mysticism
by Jonah Winters
Rabi'a seems to have loved a God who was an other, a being who created her and yet was distinct from her. al-Hallaj, though, often has been interpreted as loving a God who was identical with himself. Inspired by Qur'anic verses such as "He who hath given thee the Qur'an for a law will surely bring thee back home again," (28:85), al-Hallaj wrote: "I have become the One I love, and the One I love has become me! We are two spirits infused in a (single) body."[66] This sense of tawhid, of a complete unification of the lover and the beloved, led al-Hallaj to speak of God in very amorous terms. al-Hallaj's biographer Louis Massignon, in describing his ideas of mystical ontology, wrote that, for al-Hallaj, divine union is consummated in "the amorous nuptial in which the Creator ultimately rejoins his creature ...and in which the latter opens his heart to his Beloved in intimate, familiar" discourse.[67]

Al-Hallaj and Hulul:

A Sufi leader by the name Abu Mansoor al-Hallaj went so far in disbelief as to claim he was god himself. He was crucified for his blasphemous claim, and for his defiance of shari'ah, or Islamic jurisprudence, in Baghdad, Iraq, in 309 A.H. (922 A.D.) He said,

"I am He Whom I love; He Whom I love is I; we are two souls co-inhabiting one body. If you see me you see Him and if you see Him you see me."(67)

Abdul-Karim el-Jili, Ibn Arabi's closest disciple, went a step ahead of his master, claiming that he was commanded by Allah to bring to the people his own book, The Perfect Man, the theme of which is pantheism. He claimed that the perfect man could represent all the attributes of God, even though Allah the Exalted is far above the qualities of men.

El-Jili went on to purport to prove that nothing in essence exists in the universe other than Allah, and that all other things, human, animan and non-living are only manifestations of God Almighty Allah. He further asserted in his book that the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) is the perfect man and the perfect god. From these blasphemous theories, el-Jili went on to declare himself to be a god also, and exclaimed, "To me belongs sovereignty in both worlds." (68)

This assertion is blatant enough to condemn anyone who utters it of clear kufr, or disbelief. Whenever such zindiqs, or heretics are mentioned, Sufis live up to their beliefs by invoking Allah's mercy on them, unaware of the fact that tolerance of kufr is itself an act of kufr, and that whoever invokes Allah's mercy on an unbeliever commits a grave sin.

Idol Worship! (Ibn Arabi)

Allah responded by drowning Noah's people in the flood in this world, and condemning them to Hell-Fire in the next, a punishment fitting their crime. But Ibn al-Arabi interprets the relevant verses of surat Noah in the most outrageous fashion, since he suggests meanings diametrically opposed to those accepted by all Muslim scholars. He interprets the "wrongdoers," "infidels," and "sinners" in surat Noah as 'saints and gnostics'(35) drowning and burning not in the torment of Hell, but rather in the flames and water of knowledge of God. Ibn Arabi regarded the idols worshipped by Noah's people as divine deities. Allah condemned their deed saying: which means,

"And they (Noah's people) said, 'Do not abondon your gods, neither Wad, Suwa', Yaghooth, Ya'ooq nor Nasr.'"(71.23)

On which Ibn Arabi commented:

"If they (Noah's people) had abondoned them, they would have become ignorant of the Reality to the extent that they them, for in every object of worship there is a reflection of Reality, whether it be recognized or not."(36)

The "Reality" to which Ibn Arabi refers is nothing but the divinity of his pantheistic beliefs. Yet his disciples, the Sufis, still argue that their doctrines are based on the teachings of Islam. However, the fact remains that their cardinal doctrines are not far from the christian doctrine of incarnation, promoted by Mansoor el-Hallaj, one of the infamous Sufi leaders, who was crucified for claiming identity with God.

"I am He Whom I love," he exclaimed, "He Whom I love is I; we are two souls co-inhabiting one body. If you see me you see Him and if you see Him you see me." (37)

Intercession in This Life
How the Naqshabandis cleaned up their web site after they were quoted.

Power of Other than Allah to Bring Harm or Benefit
Taking from non-Muslim Sources
Like many other Sufi doctrines, pantheism is adopted from man-made religions and philosophies, as confirmed by S. R. Sharda in his book, Sufi Thought

"Sufi literature of the post-Timur period shows a significant change in thought content. It is pantheistic. After the fall of Muslim orthodoxy from power at the centre of India for about a century, due to the invasion of Timur, the Sufi became free from the control of the Muslim orthodoxy and consorted with Hindu saints, who influenced them to an amazing extent. The Sufi adopted Monism (24) and wifely devotion from the Vaishnava Vedantic school(25) and Bhakti (26) and Yogic practices(27) from the Vaishnava Vedantic school. By that time, the popularity of the Vedantic pantheism among the Sufis had reached its zenith." (28)

It is quite obvious that the Sufis did not develop their thoughts independently. Christianity and the worldly religions had their impact on Sufi doctrines.

"At the beginning of the ninth century," N. fatemi elaborates, "the Sufis developed an ecumenical doctrine based on the idea of Zoroastrianism,(29) Buddhism, (30) Judaism, Christianity, Neo-Platonism and Islam."

(From the Naqshabandi site)

Ibn Taimia said:

"I only ask that Sufis follow the path of the Sunna of these great and pious ancestors of our faith (Salaf): the ascetics (zuhhad) among the Companions, the generation which suceeded them, and the generation that followed in their footsteps to their best! Whoever acts in this way I esteem him highly and consider him to be an Imam of the religion. As for unwarranted innovation and the insertion of the ideas of idolaters such as the Greek philosophers and the Indian Buddhists, or like the idea that man can incarnate Allah (hulul) or attain unity with Him (ittihad), or the theory that all existence is one in being (wahdat al-wujud) and other such things to which your Shaykh summons people: this is clearly godlessness and unbelief."

Oath
The Tijaniyyeh Order makes every candidate for initiation pledge not to visit the grave of pious personality or visit any living scholar. This is one of the major factors in widening the rift between one order and another, causing an order to enter into conflict against his others in an attempt to convert, conquer or annihilate them.

The practice of taking 'ahd to a shaikh, and the ceremony surrounding it, were unknown at the time of the Prophet (s.a.w) and also during the time of the best three generations of the Prophet's companions and their followers. The Sufi order system and the rituals associated with it are no more than bid'ah (innovation) originated by subsequent generations.
'Ahd or Bai'ah in Light of Qur'an and Sunnah

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In order to make Muslims aware of the seriousness of the Sufi bai'ah, it must be defined linguistically and judicially. Linguistically it signifies bartering or exchanging commodities. It also signifies making a covenant, a compact, an agreement or the like, as though each of the two parties sold what he had to the other, and gave his own special property and his obedience, and that pertains to the case. And judicially it signifies making pledge to the Khalifah, or the Muslim ruler to promise or swear allegiance to him, making a covenant to him to submit to him the judgment of his own case and the cases of Muslims in general, not to dispute with him, but to obey him in whatever command he might impose upon him, pleasing or displeasing. In doing so, it was usual for the person making this covenant to place his hand in the hand of the Khalifah, or the ruler of the Muslims, in confirmation of the covenant, as is done by the seller and the buyer; hence the act is termed bai'ah (or bargain). (49)

The Prophet (s.a.w) said,

"If two califs were given the covenant of allegiance, then kill the second of them."(50)

The great Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal was asked about the above hadeeth. He said:

"Do you know who is the Imam? It is the one upon whom all the Muslims agree; of whom every one of the Muslims says, 'This is the Imam.'"(51)

Imam al-Qurtubi said,

"As for appointing two imams or three at one time, in one country, it is a practice which is unanimously held as impermissible." (52)

Based on the above, every bai'ah which is made to other than the Khalifah of the Muslims or the Muslim ruler who is invested with authority to declare wars or ratify peace treaties and execute religious castigations, or hudood is null and void.

In his book Al-Bai'ah, Ali Hassan Abdul-Hameed refutes the proofs presented by Sufis and certain Islamic parties who hold bai'ah as a central religious rite. They claim, "There is no text which prohibits the rite of bai'ah." The author refutes this saying:

"All of the statements of the preceding scholars pertaining to bai'ah refer to the bai'ah as an exclusive right which belonged to the Khalifah or the ruler of the Muslims. No one of them made reference to an exceptional bai'ah.
If we approve, for the sake of discussion, of the innovated type of bai'ah (Sufi or otherwise) then we pose to them the questions, Is it (the bai'ah) restricted to one particular group of people, or are all the Muslims entitled to it?
If their answer to the first question is 'yes' then by approving such bai'ah, they initiated an act of worship which is sanctioned by neither the Book nor the Sunnah, because Allah never distinguished one particular group of Muslims from the other with any act of worship. And if their answer to the second question is positive too, they accordingly approve the disunity of the ummah, and deem lawful dividing it into orders, sects and parties, and give the excuse to every group to follow its desires and devise its own bai'ah.
And if they claim that this exceptional type of bai'ah is legal, then is it possible that the pious predecessors whom Allah praised in His Book were unaware of such an act of worship?"
Abu Na'eem al Asbahani reported in his book Hilyatul Awliyaa that Mutarrif al-Shikh-khir said,

"Once I visited Zaid b. Soohan while he was with a goup of people circulating a sheet of paper on which were written statements such as, 'Allah is our Lord, Muhammad is our Prophet, al-Qur'an is our imam. He who is with us we are with him, and he who is against us we are against him etc.' The paper was shown to every man present, every one of whom was then asked, 'Do you acknowledge this covenant? When the paper reached me, I was asked, 'Do you acknowledge it, young man?' 'No!' I said. Thereupon, the head of the goup interjected saying to his men, 'Do not take a hasty action against the youth. Then he turned to me and enquired, 'What do you say, young man?' I said, 'Allah has already taken a covenant from me in His Book, after which I shall never give a covenant to anyone.' Thereupon, every single man relinquished his previous acknowledgment of the covenant. I asked Mutarrif, 'How many of you were there?' He said, 'We were about 30 men.'"

Now compare those truthful and sincere predecessors, who rejected any act of worship, regardless how good it sounded, once they realized it was not practiced by the Prophet (s.a.w) or his companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, with the Sufi shaikhs and party leaders of today, who not only make imperative that their followers give bai'ah to them, but also consider bai'ah as an indispensable religious rite.

The Big Issue: Wilaya
Wilaya is measured by the degree of compliance with the Shari'a. (From Al-Furqan)

Allah has explained in His Book, and in the Sunnah of His Prophet that He has awliyaa' among the people and that shaitaan also has his awliyaa', and He has differentiated between these two types of awliyaa'. Allah said:

[Indeed, there is no fear upon the awliyaa' of Allah, nor shall they grieve, those who believe and are ever pious in their actions. To them are glad tidings in this life and in the hereafter. There is no changing the words of Allah. That, then, is the great success.] Qur'an 10/62-64

The allies of the devil have also been mentioned in the Qur'an :

[And so, when you read the Qur'an, seek refuge in Allah from the accursed shaitaan. He has no power over those who believe and depend on their Lord. His power is only over those who give their allegiance to him and who (succumb to his urgings and) associate (partners) with Allah.] Qur'an 16/98-100

[Those who believe fight in the path of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the path of taaghoot, so fight the allies of shaitaan, verily, the plot of Shaitaan is weak (when confronted with true faith).] Qur'an 4/76

Haram Issues Invite the Jinn
Ibn Taimia said:

The karamaat of the allies of Allah must have as their cause or reason faith and pious practice. Thus, whatever is brought about by kufr, corrupt conduct, or disobedience is a "miraculous" feat of an enemy of Allah, and not of the karamaat of His allies. Whoever has such astounding feats, but they do not come about through prayer, recitation of the Qur'an, remembrance of Allah, praying in the night, and making du'a or supplication, rather they come about through shirk (associationism) such as supplication of a dead person, or someone who is not present, or they come about with corrupt conduct and disobedience and the consumption of forbidden things such as snakes, hornets, beetles, blood and other unclean things or through singing and dancing and especially with the participation of women and young boys. The intensity of such feats decreases in the presence of the recitation of the Qur'an, and increases in the presence of the horns of Satan (music). Thus, he can dance through the night, but when prayer time comes, he prays sitting down, or prays quickly like the bobbing of a rooster's head. He detests hearing the Qur'an, and flees from it. It is difficult for him, he has no love in it nor does he experience any sweetness from it, but he loves listening to "clapping and whistling", and from it he experiences powerful feelings and inspirations. These are satanic states, and he is one of those intended by Allah's statement:

[Whoever turns away from the reminder of the Merciful, we will assign a devil to him who will be a partner to him.] Qur'an 43/36

The Qur'an is the "reminder of the Merciful" (Dhikr-ur-Rahman) mentioned in this verse. Allah said in another verse:

[As for the one who turns away from My reminder (dhikriy), for him is an oppressive life, and We will bring him back on the day of Qiyama blind. He will say: My Lord, why have you brought me back blind, though I used to see? Allah says: In this way my verses came to you and you forgot them, and in the same way today, you are forgotten.] Qur'an 20/124-126

The meaning of forgetting the verses of Allah here is to neglect their application. Ibn Abbas said:

"Allah has undertaken, with respect to those who read His book and practice what is therein, that they would not become lost in this life, and would not suffer hardship in the next left..." then he recited the above verse. (Ibn Abbas)

(From the Naqshabandi site)

"In the beginning of my travel on the Way, I used to wander at night from one place to another in the suburbs of Bukhara. By myself in the darkness of the night, especially in the wintertime, I visited the cemeteries to take a lesson from the dead. One night I was led to visit the grave of Shaikh Ahmad al-Ajgharawa and to read al-Fatiha for him. When I arrived, I found two men, whom I had never met before, waiting for me with a horse. They put me on the horse and they tied two swords on my belt. They directed the horse to the grave of Shaikh Mazdakhin. When we arrived, we all dismounted and entered the tomb and mosque of the shaikh. I sat facing the Qiblah, meditating and connecting my heart to the heart of that shaikh. During this meditation a vision was opened to me and I saw the wall facing Qiblah come tumbling down. A huge throne appeared. A gigantic man, whom no words can describe, was sitting on that throne. I felt that I knew him. Wherever I turned my face in this universe I saw that man. Around him was a large crowd in which were my shaikhs, Shaikh Muhammad Baba as-Samasi and Sayyid Amir Kulal. Then I felt afraid of the gigantic man while at the same time I felt love for him. I had fear of his exalted presence and love for his beauty and attraction. I said to myself, 'Who is that great man?' I heard a voice among the people in the crowd saying, 'This great man who nurtured you on your spiritual path is your shaikh. He was looking at your soul when it was still an atom in the Divine Presence. You have been under his training. He is Shaikh Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q) and the crowd you are seeing are the khalifs who carry his great secret, the secret of the Golden Chain.' Then the shaikh began to point to each shaikh and say, 'This is Shaikh Ahmad; this is Kabir al-Awliya; this is 'Arif Riwakri; this is shaikh Ali Ramitani; this is your shaikh, Muhammad Baba as-Samasi, who in his life gave you his cloak. Do you know him?' I said, 'Yes.'

The Myth of Ahlus-Suffa

Some of these people even say that the people of the Suffa (a place in the Prophet's masjid reserved for the Muslims who migrated to Madina, and had no house or other place to stay) were not in need of the Prophet, and he was not sent to them. Some of them say that Allah gave revelation to the people of the Suffa, showing them secretly that which was revealed to the Prophet on the night of the ascension, so they are equal to the Prophet in status. In their excessive ignorance, they did not even know that the ascension occurred when the Prophet was still in Makka, as Allah said:

[Glory to the one who took His slave on a journey by night from the sacred Masjid (which is in Makka!) to the farthest Masjid whose precincts we have blessed.] Qur'an 17/1

and that the people of the Suffa did not exist until after the migration of the Prophet () to Madinah. The Suffa was an area in the northern parts of the Prophet's Masjid in which stayed the newcomers who had neither family nor close friends in Madinah with which they could stay. The believers used to migrate to the Prophet in Madinah; if they had some place in which to stay, they went to it, and if this was not easy for them, they stayed in the masjid until it was made easy for them to find another place to stay.

The "people of the Suffa" were not a particular group of people who never left the Suffa. In fact, they used to decrease in number sometimes, and increase other times. A man may stay there for some time, and then move out to another location in Madinah. Those who stayed in the Suffa represented all sectors of the people, they had no particular characteristics of knowledge or religiosity. In fact among the people of the Suffa was one who turned back from Islam, and was killed by the Prophet. In sahih Bukhari, there is a story of a group of Arabs who came to Madinah during the time of the Prophet. They found difficulty with the climate of Madinah, and their health degenerated. They asked the Prophet to supply them with milk. He ordered them to go to where his camels were being tended. They went there and drank of the milk and the urine of the camels. When they regained their health, they killed the one tending the camels, stole the camels, and ran off into the desert. The Prophet () sent out a party in pursuit, and when they were captured, he ordered that their eyes by cauterized by heated nails, their hands and feet were cut off without sealing the wounds, and they were left in a rocky area of Madinah, asking for water but finding no one to give them.

In this hadith, as it is found in Sahih Bukhari, it is mentioned that they had been staying in the Suffa. So, it was inhabited by people like this, and it was also inhabited by some of the best of the Muslims such as Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqaas, he was the best of those who stayed in the Suffa, then he moved elsewhere. Abu Huraira and others also stayed in the Suffa. The scholar Abdul Rahman As-Salmi has collected a history of those who spent time in the Suffa.

As for the Ansaar, none of them were of the people of the Suffa. Likewise, the greatest of the migrators like Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Talha, Az-Zubair, Abdul Rahman ibn 'Auf, Abi 'Ubaidah ibn Al-Jarraah, and others, none of them were ever of the people of the Suffa.




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