Monday, September 1, 2008

Sufism: Its Origin Part 3

Part 3 - Source:

On which Ibn Arabi commented:

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

The act of making Zikr in circles and jumping/moving frantically is also totally unfounded. Zikr in the true Arabic sense means "Remembrance of Allah." The Prophet's (s.a.w) method, which Muslims agree to be the best and only acceptable one, of zikr consisted in reciting Qur'an, discussing religion with his companions, and making Tasbeeh on his hands. Yet the act of sitting in circles and loudly or silently chanting "Allah, Allah" was never practised by the Prophet (s.a.w) nor the Salaf, and all hadith which state that the Prophet (s.a.w) did so (such as when he supposedly went into a room, told the companions to lift up their hands and chant "La Ilaha Illa Allah" ) are unanimously agreed upon to be forged. Ibn Taymiyyah stated that this practice opened the door to Shaytaan, whereby the Shaytaan would enter the gathering (since they were involved in innovation) and take the form of a pious person. He also stated that the recital of "Allah, Allah" was forbidden, as it was never declared to be a form of Dhikr, and has no attached word to complete it (such as Allahu Akbar, Subhaan Allah).26

The stories also of Khidr and his meeting with the 'Awliyaa', the 40 Abdaal's who are always on the Earth and can be at any place in the wink of an eye, are derived from Jewish and Christian legends, not Islamic traditions.


Imam Malik remarked: "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 who introduces a Bid'ah (innovation) in the religion of Islam and deems it a good thing, claims by so doing that Muhammad (s.a.w.s) betrayed the Message."

The Sufis are to be found indulging in and spending an enormous amount of resources defending innovated practices, declaring them to be "good innovations." These include celebrating the death of the Prophet (s.a.w.s) (a practice adopted from the reign of Fatamids, who began this innovation in order to seek the pleasure of the masses), reading Qur'an over the dead and seeking blessings form them, and the building of extravagant mosques (even though our Prophet (s.a.w.s) forbade this. Anas reports that the Messenger of Allah said: "The Hour will not come to pass until the people vie with each other in (building) the mosques." [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, anNasa'i, Ibn Majah] ).

Why they still survive Emotional attachment

The Sufi's have become such an integral part of the lives of so many Muslims that Muslims are finding it difficult to accept that the Sufi path is wrong, and accuse anyone who pinpoints the errors of Sufism as an extremist or a follower of some 'deviant' sect.

Sufism calls to human emotions rather than intellect and Islamic evidence. For example, poetry and music were the most popular form during the past hundreds of years, whereby "Sufi ideas permeated the hearts of all those who hearkened to poetry."27 Today, Sufism is followed by masses of people who desire to leave behind the complexities of this world, instead of building the ability to challenge it. Sufism provides the perfect escape, where its followers can meditate instead of thinking about the other Muslims who are suffering, let alone help them.

Similarity with pagan beliefs

Sufism is so similar to other religions, and as we noted earlier very tolerant of them, that a change to Sufism does not involve a complete change of life, as Islam requires. So Buddhists, Sikhs, Taoists and mystic Jews and Christians looking for an easy alternative find solace in Sufism which perhaps only adds another dimension to their previous way of life, rather than uprooting it and starting afresh


Ibnul-Jawzee says in Talbees Iblees: "Sufism is a way whose beginning was complete avoidance of the affairs of worldly life, then those who attached themselves to it became lax in allowing singing and dancing. Therefore the seekers of the hereafter from the common people became attracted to them due to the avoidance of the worldly life which they manifested, and the seekers after this world were also attracted to them due to the life of ease and frivolity which they were seen to live."

Sufism offers its followers a life carefree from fighting (Jihad), politics, the initiative to seek knowledge and teach it, the work of Da'wah, and allows a person to indulge in worldly activities such as music, magic, and other prohibited acts.

The leader of the Naqshibandi Tareeqa in America, was quoted in the media as saying the following: "You have to be both material and spiritual. Sufis can give people joy in their spiritual life. Well, Madonna is giving people a kind of joy in their material life... You cannot say she is wrong. Sufis don't object and criticise - they are accepting everything. That's why, when my children are looking at Madonna on MTV, I say, 'Let me come and look also!'"

Support from the governments

Any group which manages to gain the support of an anti-Islamic Government must be suspicious. During the reign of the tyrant Mustafa Kemal, under whose leadership thousands of scholars were executed and Islamic practices banned, special permission was granted by the Turkish government in 1954 allowing the Mawlawi dervishes of Konya to perform their ritual dances. In fact, they have become a regular attraction nowadays, performing around the world along with their Turkish Mystical Music State Ensemble. 28

The Sheikh of the Naqshibandi's of America has greeted and received praises from the President of America Bill Clinton himself. And why shouldn't he, since the 'Islam' he portrays is one of pacifism and unity with the Kuffar.

Twisting of evidence

Since the Qur'an and Hadith are readily available, and cannot be changed, the Sufis have resorted to another trick used by other Mystics: Ta'weel, or changing the apparent meaning of a verse or hadith to a secret inner one which only a certified Sheikh could explain!

They also rely on providing the mass with forged hadith, such as the one stating the beseeching of Adam (a.s) in the name of Muhammad when he sinned; the stories of Khidr; the rising of the Prophet (s.a.w) from his grave so a person could kiss his hand and so on.

Because of the lack of knowledge the general mass possess on the knowledge of Hadith and Aqeedah, they believe what they are told, and pass on the stories to other generations, becoming distorted even more along the way.

Another smart tactic is to attribute forged sayings in support of the Sufi's from the righteous scholars. For example, Ibn Taymiyyah is attributed to have been a member of the Qadiri order and had been initiated, and spoken great words on Bistami and his likes. Yet Ibn Taymiyyah spent the majority of his life fighting against the teachings of Sufism, was imprisoned because of them, and bluntly stated "...Ibn Arabi who wrote "Al-Fousous," and other slandering atheists such as Ibn Sab'een and his like. They even witness that they are simultaneously the worshipers and the ones being worshiped."

The Damage to the Ummah

l Sufis distracted the Muslims from the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah towards the servitude of the Sheikh. Muslims thus became alienated from the teachings of Islam, and possessed no protection from the innovations and trappings of the deviant sects. Teachings such as "He (the follower) must not look to any other than his Sheikh" did nothing to cement the community. Rather, it sent the ball rolling for the wars between the various Mathabs, which culminated in fighting, rejection of each other faiths, and praying at different stations in Makkah itself.

l The Sufi's have left a lasting impression on the image of Islam, portraying it as one of peace and apolitical, and anyone who contravenes this is an impostor and considered an extremist. By relying on forged hadith such as the 'bigger Jihad is Jihad'ul Nafs (i.e. struggle against the self)' and its like, Muslims have been made to believe that work and family is the greatest Jihad, rather than establishing Allah's religion on Earth though the use of the sword.

l The Sufi influence undoubtedly contributed greatly to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The pacifist views they spread, the lack of Shari'ah knowledge, and their befriending of the disbelievers, made sure that no one would oppose the vast changes being made to the Ottoman Laws. By 1880, the Tanzimat period was in full force, where Shari'ah was replaced by European Laws (except in limited circumstances such as in Hadd punishments), yet little opposition was heard29. Whilst the masses were busy in the construction of extravagant mosques and spinning around in circles, the Ottoman Empire was overtaken by Masons and eventually torn to parts.


Sufism was doomed to destruction from when it first emerged, because of its deviation from the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah. The small excess, the little innovation, led to the snowball effect, such that it emerged as a movement for well-meant increased Ibaadah and Zuhd, to Kufr and Innovation.

In truth, Islam is sufficient for us, and it is only Shaytaan who wishes to turn us away from our religion, to make us exceed the limits, and fall into his trap. The only sure way to avoid this is to grasp tightly onto what was left to us by our beloved Prophet (s.a.w), the Qur'an and Sunnah, as understood and believed and acted upon by the best people to have lived: the Salaf us Saalih, the Companions and those who followed their footsteps.

By Br. Yusuf Hijazi

1 Al Fataawa 11/7
2 Encyclopaedia Britannica
3 Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
4 Encyclopaedia Britannica
5 The Fundamentals of Tawheed, Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips
6 S. R. Sharda, Sufi Thought
7 The Naqshbandi Way, pp 12,16
8 Ibn Arabi, al-Fusoos, p.191
9 Hadhihi Hiyas-Soofiyah, p.38
10 The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, p.77
11 The Triadic Heart of Shiva, pp 183-4
12 Angela of Foligno: Complete Works, pp 181-2
13 Encyclopaedia Britannica
14 ibid.
15 Naqshibandi Way
16 Memoirs of the Saints, translated by Dr. Bankley Behari
17 ibid.
18 Encyclopaedia Britannica
19 An unpublished poem from Ibn Arabi's 'Diwan', translated by Dr Austin
20 Stephen Hirtenstein's paper Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi: The Treasure of Compassion
21 Sufis of Andalusia, transl. by R. W. J. Austin, p.23
22 Encyclopaedia Britannica
23 Memoirs of the Saints, p.108
24 ibid.
25 Naqshibandi Way
26 Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmoo' al Fatawaah
27 Encyclopaedia Britannica
28 They recently came to perform in Australia, charging $30 per head. Only the elite went to watch this 90 minute theatrical display.
29 The Islamic World, New Jersey 1991