Sufism and Islam


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A short question: What is the general Muslim opinion of Sufism? Also, related, is Sufism pantheistic or panentheistic or none of the above? Thanks.

Sufism embraces countless different sects. Fundamentally, they are innovators both in there origin and in their name. They are not complying with the Qur’ân, the Sunnah and the practice of the Companions at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and after his death.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned against this when he said: “Whoever innovates in our religion something that is not from it will have it irejected.”

He also said: “Whoever does something innovated will have it rejected.”

There is no doubt that the rites of Sufism and its various brotherhoods never existed at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), nor were they known to the Companions. This is clear in spite of the Sufis’ efforts to attribute these practices of theirs to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Companions.

In this concern, we say whatever we find of good, righteousness, true remembrance of Allah, piety and devotion in Sufism is more evident in pure Islam. Consequently, Sufism in and of itself is useless. We should be satisfied with what the people of the first, most preferable, centuries were satisfied with.

Conversely, whatever Sufism contains of innovations, falsehood and extremisms should be immediately abandoned.

This is a general ruling on Sufism. On the individual level, the ruling will be different from one person to another and from one Sufî approach to another. There are some devoted men in Sufism who are pious and righteous in spite of the fact that they also have fallen into some minor innovations. At the same time, there are some extremists who could be classified as unbelievers on account of their belief in certain false creeds.

Some of them believe that Allah manifests himself in some of His creatures, which is total nonsense. They would even say that the Creator and the creation is the same thing. Some Sufîs have a belief that when worshippers attain a certain level of spiritual awareness, they are exempted from the legal teaching of Islam.

Sufism was one of the catastrophic factors working against the Islamic nation throughout its history. It made people fall into weakness and humiliation. It destroyed the nation’s ability and efforts by its innovations and falsehood. It also engaged people in useless issues and encouraged unemployment, laziness and indolence.

It is clear that you doesn't know anything about Islam ..................
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Rauzael has left the building...

Back to Sufism.
Peace to all.

I do not think it appropriate to speak in the name of all Muslims on the subject of Sufism and Islam. I cannot place myself in the stead of all believers and claim to speak for them. Also, Muslima does not hold this right. She can only express her opinion, unless she quotes the Holy Qur'an or an acceptable Hadith on this subject.

Regardless of any individual opinion of Sufism, if we attack without a thorough study of all the mystic orders, their history and their goals, we will never reach an understanding of their place in the Islamic community. A sweeping generalization that Sufis innovate and do not comply with the Prophet’s (PBUH) example shows a need for further study on the subject. If Muslima is addressing a specific order she has encountered, or random individuals claiming to be from one sect or another, then she does other orders that may be compliant a great insult by her generalizations.

The approach of the answer insures that no individual who is a practicing member of any order will participate in this thread, thus limiting the chance for many myths to be dispelled, both within and outside of the Islamic community.

Bitter bickering and combativeness amongst us and lack of tolerance for any others beliefs is not the example set by the holy Prophet (PBUH). This is responsible for decline in our faith.

I should like to listen to members of any order who might enlighten us about misconceptions and myths in Sufism.

May God guide us all
Information About Sufism

-Sufism as an organised movement arose among pious Muslims as a reaction against the worldliness of the early Umayyad period (AD 661-750). The Sufis exploited the chaotic state of affairs that existed during the fifth and sixth centuries A.H. and invited people to follow their way, alleging that the remedy to this chaos was conformity to the guidance of their order's Sheikhs

-Although it began as a move towards excessive Ibaadah(Worship ), such practices were doomed to lead to corruption, since their basis did not come from authentic religious doctrines, but rather from exaggerated human emotions.

-Sufism gained its breeding ground during this period, whereby it gained its support from the Dynastic Rulers, who had deviated from Islam to the extent whereby magic was used as entertainment in their courts, even though magic is rejected in Islam.

-Sufi ideology and thinking flourished during the times of the likes of Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, Jalal Ad Din Rumi, and Imam Ghazali. Their translation of Greek philosophical works into Arabic during the third Islamic century left an indelible mark on many aspects of Sufism, resulting in Greek pantheism becoming an integral part of Sufi doctrine. Pagan practices such as Saint worshipping, the use of magic and holding venerance towards their Sheikh overtook the Original practices of Islam and had little resemblance to the Islam left by our Prophet (s.a.w). In fact, Sufism is never characterised under "Islam" in any system of catalogue, but rather under 'Mysticism'

-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".

"All that is left to us by tradition (Hadith) is mere words. It is up to us to find out what they mean". (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"

-Ibn Arabi went as far as to say that he saw Allah during one of his ecstatic trances, in the shape of a young blond boy sitting on a Throne! (see Bezels of Wisdom, London 1980). Other Sufi Gnostics followed suit in Ibn Arabi's trail: "In the writings of Ibn al-Arabi and Ibn al-Farid, eternal beauty is symbolised through female beauty; in Indo-Muslim popular mystical songs the soul is the loving wife, God the longed-for husband."

-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.

The whole life of Bayazid is rife with such contradiction to(Muslims believing )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. 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."

-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. 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.

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-Hallajis 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

-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.

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.

Actually ,This is one drop of sea .
Thanks to all

Assalamu Alaikum Friend,
The history lesson is Sufism was very thorough. But the question asked was never answered. I am assuming you reading Ibn Arabi's work in the original Arabic of his time, and these quotes are not gleaned from and English translation? I was not there to witness al Hallaj yell "Ana al Haq" so only Allah knows if he deserved to die having his skin peeled from him in strips, etc. So from your sample of three, you are now condemning all. It is too much akin to All of Islam being condemned by the behavior of Osama bin Laden.

You assume too much. I repeat, I do not have to agree with Sufic philosophy and the orders. It does not mean I should not hear what their practictioners have to say. That is why I am here.

In the meantime, the initial questions on this thread were not answered.
1. What is the average Muslims opinion of the Islamic mystic orders
2. Are they pantheistic