Sufi Tariqahs Today: Shall We Follow Them?

1) The following enquiry was made:

I am a young man who is attached to one of the noble shaikhs for the past four years after I came to know the path of Allah. Praise be to Allah, my condition and state have changed a great deal since coming to learn fiqh and creed except that I found a yawning gap in the knowledge of tasawwuf and may shaikh is not a shaykh of any tariqah.

I do feel that this was has been completely veiled from me and I desire to be present in some of the lessons of one of the shaykhs of of Sufis. Is it not a good thing – and Allah knows best – that I be pointed in the direction where the soul can have the illnesses removed that plague it, such as love of rank and praise?

I know that I have other diseases of the heart besides just this, i.e. envy, love of the earthly life and others. Noble teacher, I know from one of the programs I saw on the television in an interview that you said that the Naqshabandi Tariqah is the best of tariqahs that have the least innovation.

So please guide me to how I can join this tariqah and is it necessary for me to give an oath of allegiance to an individual or read a book about it so that I can learn the modes of dhikr of the tariqah?

Also, how can I purify the soul using this way as I want to be thankful at all times so that I rectify my soul in order to be purified from the diseases mentioned previously.

 

The answer given by the marja`, Imam Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan al-Bouti, may Allah preserve him, is as follows below:

The path to purification of the soul is that you need to take hold of all of the texts narrated from the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and the supplications mentioned therein for different times and occasions, and adhere to that. Furthermore, you need to recite what is easy for you from the Qur’an every morning.

This adherence does not require that you take the hand of a shaykh or give him the oath of allegiance. You should frequently read Al-Adhkar by Imam An-Nawawi as much as you are able so that you develop taqwa and this will be sustenance for you and he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, will be your guide. Do all of this to the utmost of your ability.

Taken from the website of the maraji`

 

2) The following question was asked to the marja`:

Is the Naqshabandi Tariqah the way of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, just as is said by some of the shaykhs here in Damascus? Did the successorship in this tariqah come from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in which the shaykh sees the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in a dream and he says, “You are my successor in the earth now.”

The successor then moves about in the Earth however he wills and becomes one of the people of unveiling and he then has wonders that occur. Such a one also sees the Prophet every day. One day a shaykh was giving a lesson when I asked him, “Why is it that the scholars of the Revealed Law do not obtain that which the people of the tariqah say that they attain?”

The answer that the shaykh gave was that, “We are the elite and they are the people of Revealed Law while we are the people of Tariqah.” Whenever I would too many questions, one of the followers would stand up to strike me and expel me from the masjid. Is what the shaykh said true or am I maybe on other than the truth?

 

The answer given by the marja`, Imam Wahbah az-Zuhayli, may Allah preserve him, is as follows below:

All of what the people of tariqahs say – regarding these claims or those who claim on behalf of them – have no standing in the Revealed Law. The Revealed Law has nothing in it that differentiates between “people of Revealed Law” and “people of tariqah.”

It is actually good and noble that you stay away from congregating with these laity and their shaykhs due to what they might do to you when you ask numerous questions.

The Tariqah of Truth is the way of the well known supplications and statements of remembrance grounded and well known in the Qur’an and Sunnah. No one is distinguished from anyone else except by piety or righteous actions.

So we leave these people and what they claim and your Lord is more knowledgeable of who has the most piety.

Taken from Fatawa Mu`asirah, pp. 246-247

 

3) The following question was put forward by one of the Muslims of Kazan, Russia by the name of `Abdul Karim ibn Damanla Muhammad Sadiq al-`Uthmani al-Qarghali on the date of 12 Dhul Hijjah 1331 AH:

What is your view on the tariqahs that have recently spread throughout the area and they go by the name, “circles of dhikr?” What is the reason for the creation of these tariqahs?

 

The answer given by the marja`, Imam `Abdul Qadir ibn Badran ad-Dumi (d. 1346 AH), is as follows below:

I would say that these tariqahs were not well known in the age of the Companions and the Followers of the Companions. Whatever has been claimed as a chain of transmission going back to `Ali ibn Abi Talib in tariqah, such a chain is fabricated without any foundation for it and these types of things only attract those who are heedless of their Lord.

As for the reasons for these tariqahs coming into existence, there are three main reasons on why they have come into being:

1- It is political, in which the minds of the people are attached or fixated on narrations or things about the Awaited Mahdi. Fertile minds that obsess and have this type of thinking and their intention are wide and open to these tariqahs as people such as this are waiting for something. On the back of that, these tariqahs were innovated fabricated and brought into being.

They claim to have secrets, inward and outward and due to their unique beliefs they interpreted and corrupted the Book and Sunnah according to their understanding and the bestial self that inclines towards absurdities and other unusual things.

So when they beguiled the laity with that way of belief, they claimed that the era of the Mahdi was close and they sought control over the people and divided the affair of the Ummah.

They spent their lives in this pursuit and established these lies and then generation after generation that followed their way came and when they saw that claiming wonders for these people was a way to sweeten things and gain a following, they made it a proof in front of the most of the people that someone was a saint.

So they took to fabricating things that confused the minds of the people and even sought assistance in the art of chemistry to make certain deceptive tricks happen. Their schemes were revealed by Ibn al-Hawrani in his book, Kashf ul-Asrar and others that exposed their deceits and pulled the veil from their lies.

It is due to false teachers like these that the Ummah has been made into groups and parties so that every group hates the other and opposes it and hopes for its’ destruction.

2 – When Islam spread to far reaching lands, the people of Byzantium and Persia – in the era of the second Khalifah, `Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him – and the Persians were people of science, politics and chemistry but they could not defeat the Arabs will force of arms.

Due to the fact that they could not revolt, they decided to divide the word of the Muslims by deception and treachery. Therefore the Persians sent some of their assassins to Madinah in the form of messengers of the king and among their ranks was Abu Lu’lu’, the servant of Al-Mughirah ibn Shu`bah.

`Umar ibn Al-Khattab forbade the servants and slaves from Persia to enter Madinah but they came in anyway and sought to spread esoteric beliefs. When this group of people entered in and Abu Lu’lu’ saw the might of `Umar, he moved to kill him. After the assassination of `Umar, this secret society of esoteric people moved their centre of influence to Egypt.

This secret society tampered with the hearts of simple people and provoked them until they killed `Uthman ibn `Affan, the third khalifah, may Allah be pleased with him. They spread these tribulations further and precipitated the Battle of the Camel that pitted `Ali ibn Abi Talib against `A’ishah as-Siddiqah, then the Battle of Siffin that pitted `Ali ibn Abi Talib against Mu`awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, May Allah be pleased with them.[1]

Then some of the Jews and Persians manifested Islam while internally still harbouring kufr in their hearts and teaching it secretly and introducing innovations into the faith of Islam. They introduced fabricated ahadith and gave strange commentaries to verses of the Qur’an in order to corrupt the faith of the Muslims.

This was also done in the hope that it would cause some of the Muslims that had entered the faith to return to idolatry. The secret society then spread gnostic Christian philosophy among the Muslims and then also brought in Brahmin and Buddhist customs among the people.

Esoteric and gnostic groups covered their true designs by claiming to help the religion. The Brahmins brought into the Muslim world their books and translated them and these contained information on the worship of the stars. Brahmans involved in this act later went on to claim that this was the original Tasawwuf.[2]

The claim was also made by them that the stars have souls that move from place to place and also influence people to commit good or evil and so on the back of that service is paid to the stars in the form of incense, clothing set aside to be as a uniform for certain services and prolonged periods of seclusion.

There are also other claims that they make that are long found in their books if you should take a look at this “science.” These esoteric people gave each star a form to work by. Dear Muslim, You need to ask yourself the following question: if you should live your life by such a code, is this anything except the worship of the stars?

There are others among them who lie and claim to have access to the unseen as laid out in principles collected in a book entitled, Al-Jafr. These people attribute this book – and they are definitely lying and committing a grave calumny in doing so – to `Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him.

These liars also set into place and fabricate principles to do with the movement of stars that is inspired by astrology, talismans. All of this causes the Muslims to be left with doubts in their theology. The most harmful aspect of this deception is that they corrupt the Qur’an and declared it to be replete with pieces of knowledge from the “science of Tasawwuf.” It is these beliefs and practices that caused cults to form and false opinions to multiply among the people.

3 – There are people who are cunning and crafty but have neither knowledge nor desire to really obtain any as they are lazy. So what they do is feign poverty and that their souls incline to that of the tariqah. They serve the shaykh one moment but in the next they go away from him and try to make the people adhere to their ways. These clever people come with strange signs and wonders so as to sway the people but all of these are fabricated arts that existed in the nations of old.

Remember that when the Tatars entered Baghdad, there were many different groups and each one put itself forward and manifested its’ innovation. Most of the people involved in this took the customs that they made and attributed it to a man whom the people believed was pious and upright. They innovated chains of transmission and fabricated hadith to support their customs.

One group claimed that they remember Allah according to the Tariqah of Al-Bas which were people of spiritual transfigurations. They claimed that their messenger was an angel in the form of a spirit and they venerated fire.

They would take an idol, use it for gaining nearness to Allah, use it for worship and make tawaf around it every day three times using wind and string instruments, incense and singing and dancing based upon the methods of music known then.

Sometimes, one of them would stand in the middle of the circle and dance as if he was the idol and sometimes they would stand facing the fire and some people would do the trick of swallowing fire.

Then there were people who worshipped the moon and used dancing, sacred plays, string and wind instruments as a means of worship. Others would place a candle on the graves and venerate them and the Greek fathers of old

All that which is just mentioned was in general their gods which were supposed to have souls and they were standing by guarding the graves and preserving the souls of the people who called on them.

People who followed this way even claimed that these gods could be seen when one was looking directly into the fire and for some reason they had a love for the evergreen tree. Due to this they used to place lanterns in the graveyards and use evergreen trees to make them and also fuel the lanterns.

The ancient Greeks had deities beyond count, like gods of the seas, land and so forth. These people have come into Islam and tried to undermine the goodness of the true religion brought by Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, using catch phrases like “qutub” constantly.

It will be said by people of this way, “He is the Qutub of the land” or he is the “Qutub of the sea.” I will then say that in general that to spend time discussing this matter alone would require a separate volume of its’ own.

The scholars have already authored many books on this topic and the end result they reached in all these texts was that the Revealed Law is free and clear from these astray ideas that were attributed to it by the apostates as well as the worshippers of idols, stars and demons.

The Book of Our Lord and what is authentically reported from Our Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is sufficient for us. Allah is sufficient for us and the best Trustee in all affairs.

Taken from Al-Mawahib ur-Rabbaniyyah: fil Ajwibati `an As’ilat il-Qazaniyyah, pp. 195-197

 


[1] Translator’s note: So although the Khawarij were not Persians, they were Muslims that went astray partly due to influence from these secret societies.

[2] Translator’s note: A thorough study on the rise of perennialism will establish this in the readers mind as the founders and adherents claim that there is an original religion of which Islam is only a snapshot.

 

This entry was posted in False Religions, Miscellaneous Issues, Purification. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *