Archive for Sufism/Tasawwuf

I Want this new CD Set by Shaykh Hamza!

I see that Shaykh Hamza has a new release out on Alhambra Productions. It’s a 15 disc series.

I can’t wait to have the money to be able to get it inshAllah.

Here is what they say about it on the site.

In the City of the Prophet, peace be upon him, Hamza Yusuf delivered this series of lectures on this lesser known work, Refinement of the Hearts. The author of the text, the 8th century Spanish master of the Islamic sciences and martyr, Imam Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi, presents an unassailable Sufism thoroughly grounded in the Book of God.
This small but powerful treatise is one of the finest pieces of Islamic spiritual literature in Muslim history. Hamza Yusuf’s illuminating and engaging reflections bring it to life for any modern Muslim in search of the keys to refining his or her heart in a world that seduces the hearts of humanity.
Doomsday’s singular preparation is to use the opportunity of the world to refine our hearts, for it is a “Day when nothing avails a person, neither wealth nor progeny, only one who brings to God a sound heart.” This wonderful treatise helps us with practical and effective means to do just that. Esentially dealing with the adornment and the beautiful qualities of the heart.

Click here for more info on the CD set.

Buy it! You won’t regret it! Don’t sleep on Hamza Yusuf.
I am never disappointed by his lectures mashaAllah. May God preserve him for us.

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Sufism and Islam

Islam is divided into 3 parts, Islam, Iman and Ihsan. This is how Sufism is rooted in the Sharia. Here is an excerpt of the authentic Hadith of Jibreel.
…My father, Umar ibn al-Khattab, told me: One day we were sitting in the company of Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) when there appeared before us a man dressed in pure white clothes, his hair extraordinarily black. There were no signs of travel on him. None amongst us recognized him. At last he sat with the Apostle (peace be upon him) He knelt before him placed his palms on his thighs and said: Muhammad, inform me about al-Islam. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Al-Islam implies that you testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and you establish prayer, pay Zakat, observe the fast of Ramadan, and perform pilgrimage to the (House) if you are solvent enough (to bear the expense of) the journey. He (the inquirer) said: You have told the truth. He (Umar ibn al-Khattab) said: It amazed us that he would put the question and then he would himself verify the truth. He (the inquirer) said: Inform me about Iman (faith). He (the Holy Prophet) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, in His Apostles, in the Day of Judgment, and you affirm your faith in the Divine Decree about good and evil. He (the inquirer) said: You have told the truth. He (the inquirer) again said: Inform me about al-Ihsan (performance of good deeds). He (the Holy Prophet) said: That you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, for though you don’t see Him, He, verily, sees you.. .. He (the narrator, Umar ibn al-Khattab) said: Then he (the inquirer) went on his way but I stayed with him (the Holy Prophet) for a long while. He then, said to me: Umar, do you know who this inquirer was? I replied: Allah and His Apostle knows best. He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: He was Gabriel (the angel). He came to you in order to instruct you in matters of religion.

(Sahih Muslim)

So, in Islam, every part of the deen has a science. Fiqh is the science of Islam, which governs the limbs. This is our ritual prayer, the ritual ablution, how to fast, etc… Aqeeda (Creed) is the science of iman (faith), which teaches us proper belief and how we have to belief in angels and the messengers peace be upon them etc. Iman corresponds to the heart and mind. Finally there is ihsan, which is focused on the heart, the consciousness and inward behavior. It’s corresponding science is tasawwuf or Sufism.

“Islam is the outward which is made erect by Iman the inward, and it is perfected by Ihsan; a palpable consciousness of God comparable to “seeing.”

Quran, 22:46 …Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts.

More on the heart:

Presence of heart is what substantiates outward worship.

“Verily, God does not look to your bodies nor to your forms but He looks to your hearts.” [Muslim]

“… if it is sound, the entire body is sound and if it is corrupt
the whole body is corrupt.” [Bukhari]

So this is all what tasawwuf is about. It is about purifying the heart from what makes hearts go blind. Sufism can be called the science of ihsan. It is just as much of a science of Sharia as is fiqh and aqeeda. So people that reject it are rejecting a whole third of Islam.

On Tasawwuf:

Its beginning is knowledge, its middle is action and its end is bestowed.” [Sidi Ahmad ibn `Ajiba al-Maliki]

“To avoid any misinterpretation of what is implied by the words Sufi and “Sufism” in Arabic: tasawwuf, the fact of wearing a garment made of wool-suf-as an emblem of purity) was adopted to designate the quest fro spiritual illumination, while sufi was applied to characterize the person who had attained an obvious degree of proximity to God. This indicates that Sufism has always been embedded in the texture of the Islamic creed, representing an ideal mode of worship derived from the Quranic Revelation and from the customs and sayings (sunna and hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad, and then transmitted without interruption throughout the centuries.”

What about the different Sufi orders?

“They basically represent different methods, without there being any possibility of a fundamental difference of doctrine, for the doctrine of Unity is unique” (at-tawhidu wahid)

Was this around at the time of the Prophet? (May Allah bless him and give him peace)

“For those who say, “Where did the name tasawwuf come from? It was not received from the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace)…the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) never said Sufiya? Did the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) mention Muhaddithun(Peopleof Hadith)? Did the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) tak of Huffadh (memorizers of Quran)? Did the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) talk about the Usuliyun (People of the principle of religion)? Did the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) talk of the Shaykh of Islam? Did the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) talk of the Mufti? The Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) did not use these words, but this community has constructed technical terms…” (Habib Ali al Jifri)

If anyone has any suggestions or corrections or additions, feel free!

Calling Oneself a Sufi

I know that times have changed and dynamics have changed so that now it’s acceptable for people to attribute the name Sufi to themselves. But I choose not do it, because a Sufi is someone who has mastered tazkiyatun nafs, which I haven’t.

I found an interesting excerpt that I wanted to share:

“As for the derivation of the words tasawwuf and Sufism they come from the word sufi, and here it must be first said that no one can ever call himself a sufi, except from pure ignorance, for it proves thereby that he is not truly so, this quality necessarily being a secret(sirr) between the true sufi and Allah; one can only call oneself a mutasawwuf, a term applied to anyone who has entered upon the initiatic “way”, whatever the “degree” he may have reached; but the sufi , in the true sense of the term, is only the one who has reached the supreme degree.”

So I guess we can conclude that in these days the word sufi is not used in the true sense of the term, which is unfortunate.

from Haqiqa and Sharia in Islam

Negativity towards Tasawwuf implies a lack of confidence in the Qur’an and sunnah

This is a quote from Habib Ali al Jifri’s Book: Wayfarers to God. Buy it on Guidance Media. It’s a read you won’t regret inshaAllah.

I’ll be posting lots of gems from this book inshaAllah. It’s hard for me not to post the whole book!

“…The portrayal of tasawwuf as falsehood, error, shirk, disbelief, and a plot conspired by non-Muslims, means that the people of tasawwuf are people of error, wrongdoing, and shirk– which then implies a lack of confidence in the Qu’ran and a lack of trust in the Qu’ran and sunnah. Why? Because all of our chains of transmission – in our receipt of the Book and the sunnah- include imams of tasawwuf. In an ijaza (license to teach) for one of the recitations among the seven or ten recitations of the noble Qu’ran, it is impossible to report a chain from a sahih hadith, without one of the imams of tasawwuf making up a part of the chain. If they are all in error and all mushriks and people of evil then our receipt of the Qu’ran would be in doubt. This is because our Qu’ranic chains of transmission would then consist of people who are said to be in error and are said to be evil- may Allah protect us from that. It is not possible for anybody to quote a single chain today that leads back to Bukhari or Muslim- to all the books of Hadith-save that chain is adorned with Imams of tasawwuf…If our generations were to research, they would find that all versions come through people of tasawwuf, and thus if they were people of error, then no version of the Qu’ran and sunnah would be reliable and trustworthy. This aspersion goes to the very heart of the Qur’an and sunnah, because it impugns the chain through which we received them. Therefore it is incumbent of Muslims to become aware of this matter.” (p. 74)

I was reflecting upon this passage and I came up with a variety of thoughts. First off, I like, many others had a negative view of Sufism/ tasawwuf before I learned exactly what it was and that it’s derived from the Qu’ran and Sunnah. But my experience is very different. I am not coming from a background of people who denounced it as shirk and the sorts. I was more confused about it. I had the idea first that they were the people who didn’t follow the rules of religion like they drank alcohol, didn’t pray etc. I had nobody to tell me otherwise and I was just confused. Little did I know, those people give a bad name to Sufism and that Sufis actually follow law to the letter mashaAllah.

Then my second encounter with Sufism much later on in life. I asked someone that I looked up to what Sufism was all about. She told me they were “weird” and “really conservative.” She was talking without knowledge and I didn’t know that so I took her word for it. Maybe the Sufis she did know of were “weird’ but still she could have told me that she didn’t know what Sufism was! Muslims have like this disease where they can’t say they don’t know! Oh Well. When I did find out what Sufism was, I was pretty upset that I was in the dark about it for so long.

Habib Ali al Jifri is right. Sufism cannot and should not be ridiculed the way it is. We need to inform people what it actually is and what it’s not.

Habib Ali al Jifri also addresses the non-law abiding Sufis and how this is not an argument against Sufism. It’s like the old”there are bad hijabis so that’s why I won’t wear hijab” argument. That is not an argument against hijab.

“Yes, there are some that have been attributed to tasawwuf- many of whom have been associated with tasawwuf in our times- that have fallen into error and deviated from the way, but that does not warrant aspersions against all Sufis. We have already mentioned that many scholars and narrators of Hadith – and others linked to Hadith have fabricated Hadith about the Envoy of Allah ( May Allah bless him and give him peace) and invented lies about him. Should we then denounce all Hadith, because amongst those dedicated to Hadith, are those who invent lies about the envoy of Allah?… No! The same applies to tasawwuf, we do not denounce it.” (p. 75)

Allahu Alim.