Monday, September 1, 2008

Sufism: Its Origin Part 2

Part 2 - Source:

Incorporation of Music in Rituals

Allah's Messenger (s.a.w) said in a lengthy hadith concerning the appearance of vile acts, "...when singing-girls and stringed instruments make their appearance, wines are drunk, and the last members of this people curse the first ones, look at that time for a violent wind, an earthquake, being swallowed up by the earth, metamorphosis, pelting rain, and signs following one another like bits of a necklace falling one after the other when its string is cut." [Tirmidhi ].

The deception of Sufism is brought to full light by looking at the lives of their esteemed leaders, the Sheikhs of whom which they place full trust in heir knowledge and obey their every command, and by contrasting the Orthodox Islamic teachings against the Sufi alternative.

Sufi Sheikhs: Role Models or Deviants?

Bayazid Tayfur al-Bistami

Bayazid is considered to be "of the six bright stars in the firmament of the Prophet (s.a.w)"15, and a link in the Golden Chain of the Naqshibandi Tariqah. Yet his life reeks of Shirin all aspects.

Bayazid al-Bistami was the first one to spread the reality of Annihilation (Fana'), whereby the Mystic becomes fully absorbed to the point of becoming unaware of himself or the objects around him. Every existing thing seems to vanish, and he feels free of every barrier that could stand in the way of his viewing the Remembered One. In one of these states, Bayazid cried out: "Praise to Me, for My greatest Glory!"

Yet this concept is to be found nowhere in the Qur'an, nor Sunnah, nor in the behaviour in the Salaf us Saalih.

Bistami's belief in the Unity of all religions became apparent when asked the question: "How does Islam view other religions?" His reply was "All are vehicles and a path to God's Divine Presence." Was this the Message of Tawheed which the Prophet (s.a.w) practised and was followed by the Sahaabah? He attributed the believers to be the same as the disbelievers themselves, who Allah describes as being worse than cattle (Surah 7, verse 179) and dogs; the same disbelievers who the Prophet (s.a.w) stated he had been commanded to fight till they testified that there was no deity but Allah.

The whole life of Bayazid is rife with such contradiction to Eeman. From a young age, he left his mother stating to her that he could not serve Allah and his mother at the same time.16 When walking through the streets, he once called out "I am God; why do you not worship me?" He spent his time sitting with his head resting between his knees, one of his companions stating he did so for thirty years. But strangest of all was his obedience to a dog he once came across. The dog had apparently become upset at Bayazid's attempt to avoid him, to which the dog spoke to him and scolded him. So Bayazid pleaded "O dog, you are so enlightened, live with me for some time."17

Ibn Arabi

During the late 12th and early 13th centuries, under the influence of speculative mysticism, Ibn al-Arabi produced a system that created a complete chasm between the law and Sufism. In societies, such as Islamic India, that had a strong pre-Islamic heritage of mysticism, this chasm became much wider.18

Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi holds perhaps the highest position amongst all Sufi Schools, and was pivotal in the permanent split between Islam and Sufism. He claimed to have received direct orders from the Prophet (s.a.w) himself, including a book of completely new hadith never seen or heard of before.

Prior to his receiving 'revelation', Ibn Arabi was well known to attend nightly parties in Seville. During one of these nights, he heard a voice (his drunk inner self?) calling to him, "O Muhammad, it was not for this that you were created". He fled in fear to a cemetery, where he claims to have met, and received instruction from, Jesus, Moses and Muhammad, peace be upon them all. From his books, innumerable forged sayings attributed to the Prophet (s.a.w) have been used, to the extent that countless of Muslims consider these to be real.

The following are quotes from Ibn Arabi:

"The man of wisdom will never allow himself to be caught up in any one form or belief, because he is wise unto himself".19

"All that is left to us by tradition (Hadith) is mere words. It is up to us to find out what they mean"20. (This reflects his alliance with Baatini (inner) meanings and interpretations)

"He (Ibn Rushd) thanked God that in his own time he had seen someone (Ibn Arabi) who had entered into the retreat ignorant and had come out like this (knowledge of inner meanings)- without study, discussion, investigation or reading"21


Junaid was the fourth head of the Safavid order who sought to transform the spiritual strength of the order into political power. What may be unknown to his followers however was his policies of military adventurism combined with Shi'a and Sufi piety.22 His son, Haydar, himself established the Safavid dynasty and the Twelver Shi'a Islam in Iran came under his grandson, Isma'il I.

He was said to have blown a fatal breath at his slave-girl, to which he argued that she was ruining his forty years of spiritual practices.23

This so-called 'Saint', a supposed friend of Allah, made the following remarks:

"I saw a thief who was being gibbeted. I bowed to him... for being true to the profession he followed."

"He who fears Allah never smiles".

"One moments forgetfulness of the Lord ruins a thousands years worship".

Mansur al-Hallaj

Mansur is renowned for his claim "Ana-l-Haq" (I am the Truth), for which he was executed for apostasy. Yet he is still revered by Sufis even though he abandoned all the laws governing Tawheed.

He was said to have lived in one cloak for a full twenty years, along with a scorpion inside. He stood bare-footed and bare-headed for one year at the same spot in Makkah. During his prayers, he would say "O Lord! You are the guide of those who are passing through the Valley of Bewilderment. If I am a heretic, enlarge my heresy." He also said "I denied your religion (Islam) and denial is obligatory on me, although that is hideous to Muslims."24

Abu Yazid

Abu Yazid once prayed one Juma'a prayer in 24,000 different places. He told the religious authorities in one place: "I was praying in 12,000 different houses of worship today." They asked: "How?" He said, "By the power of the Lord Almighty. If you don't believe me, send people around to ask." They sat and waited until messengers returned saying that he was seen in so many places. Abu Yazid said later: "I was afraid to say 24,000, so I only said 12,000." So Abu Yazid clearly lied, when he could have simply not mentioned anything in the first place.

Are these truly the ones who we are told to receive the knowledge of our religion from? Do these men reflect the teachings of Islam? A man who left obedience to his mother, to the obedience of a dog? Are we supposed to follow men who receive revelation in a cemetery after spending the night at a party? Or a man who kills his slave girl for 'disturbing' his worship? To us, Islam calls smiling a charity, not a deviation from Allah's Pleasure. Islam forbids prostration to anyone but Allah. The Prophet (s.a.w) used to make du'a seeking Allah's guidance, not begging for heresy. And Islam teaches us truthfulness, not lies.

Evidence Against their teachings: their beliefs and practices

Position of the Sheikh and Wali

The Sheikh or Wali is given a similar standing as that of a Catholic Saint, or the Dalai Lama himself. Complete obedience is enforced on his followers, and any questions are deemed as a betrayal of trust: "The seeker must submit to the will of the Sheikh and to obey him in all his orders and advice, because the Sheikh has more experience and more knowledge in Haqiqat, in Tariqat and in Shari'ah," and "he must agree with the opinion of his Sheikh completely, as the patient agrees with the physician".25

Yet Muslims believe that any single act of worship must be substantiated by the Qur'an and Sunnah only. Allah the Exalted says: "Say (to them), 'Produce your proof if you are truthful'." [2: 111], and the Prophet (s.a.w) said "The created is not to be obeyed over the Creator."

The Sheikh is given the standing of a deity in Sufism. Attributes which belong to Allah, are also assigned to their Sheikhs. They seek help from them, whether they are dead or 10,000km away. They believe that their sheikhs know everything their students are thinking, and that they converse with the Prophet (s.a.w) on a regular basis (in reality).

Distortion of the concepts of Dhikr, hadith, Qur'an

Since the Qur'an and Saheeh Hadith cannot be changed, the Sufi's have reverted to Ta'weel, a method of changing the apparent meaning of the verse or hadith to have a hidden one. This provided them with sufficient lee-way to support any concept they desired, by simply stating that the verse/hadith had an inner meaning which only the Sheikh himself could know.

In the Bezels of Wisdom, Ibn Arabi presents certain aspects of what he terms "Divine Wisdom," as he conceives it. 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 "wrongdoe," "infidels," and "sinners" in Surat Noah as 'saints and Gnostics' 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: "And they (Noah's people) said, 'Do not abandon your gods, neither Wad, Suwa', Yaghooth, Ya'ooq nor Nasr'. " [71: 23]