What is Sufism?


One of our members suggested that we start a forum on the topic of Sufism.  This forum is to learn and discuss about Sufism and how it is related to the beloved religion of Islam.


This is a brief and informative introduction on the subject of Sufism.



Part 2:



What is Sufism (Tasawwuf)?
It is important for us to understand, firstly, that the words “Tasawwuf” and “Sufism” are modern terms which refer to something that is not automatically approved of in the Shari’ah as the words imaan (faith), Islam and ihsan are. Neither is it automatically condemned like the words kufr, fusuq (immorality) and ‘isyan (disobedience, sin).  

In such cases, we need to find out more about what is meant by such words before we can pass a comment. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

“The words al-faqr and al-tasawwuf (i.e., Sufism ) may include some things that are loved by Alaah and His Messenger, and these are things that are enjoined even if they are called faqr or tasawwuf, because the Quran and Sunnah indicate that they are mustahabb and that is not altered if they are called by other names. 

That also includes actions of the heart such as repentance and patience. And it may include things that are hated by Allah and His Messenger, such as some kinds of belief in incarnation and pantheism, or monasticism that has been innovated in Islam, or things that go against shari’ah and have been innovated, and so on. 

These things are forbidden no matter what names they are given… And it may include limiting oneself to a certain style of clothing or certain customs, ways of speaking and behaving, in such a way that anyone who goes beyond it is regarded as an outsider, although this is not something that has been stipulated in the Quran or Sunnah; rather it may be something that is permissible or it may be something that is makruh, and this is a bid’ah that is forbidden. 

This is not the way of the friends of Allah (awliya Allah); such things are innovations and misguidance that exist among those who claim to follow the Sufi path. 

Similarly, among those who claim to be servants of knowledge there are innovations that involve beliefs and words that go against the Quran and Sunnah, using phrases and terminology that have no basis in shari’ah. Many such things happen among those people. 

The wise believer agrees with all people in that in which they are in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah and obey Allah and His Messenger, but he does not agree with that in which they go against the Quran and Sunnah and disobey Allah and His Messenger.

He accepts from every group that which was taught by the Messenger… when a person seeks the truth and justice, based on knowledge, he is one of the successful friends of Allah and His victorious party…” (Al-Fatawa, 11/280-290)

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