Hesham A Syed

June 28, 2011

Tasawuf

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Tasawuf :

 

TASAWUF  

(A brief Introduction)

Edited by : Hesham A Syed.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent & Merciful.

Peace be upon Haz Muhammed( sav ) the glorious prophet
of Islam and a mercy of universe.

In the present world there exist doubts about Sufism
and of its votaries, not only among the general public, but also among so
called Ulemaas – and this is due to lack of their knowledge. It appears that
the subject has been purposely and systematically confused. Misunderstanding is
bred that sharia and Tariqah are two separate entities and Sufism is foreign to
Islam. In its sprit there is no difference between Sharia and Tariqa, except
that the former is used as media to expound the truth and the latter to imbue
people with positive faith, that is of argument perceived by ear or known sense
and  argument perceived by mind and heart.
Education and knowledge focuses’ sharpening of mind and Fuqr focuses the
cleanliness or purification and piety of heart or soul.

In the present age of catastrophic confusion, the importance
of this responsibility has increased manifold. For the utter neglect of Islam
by the Muslims has not only driven them to misery but also has loosened their
bonds of faith in Allah(swt) , and the Prophet (sav ). The decay in their
belief and consequent perversion in their conduct has reached a stage that an attempt
to pull them out of depth of ignominy and morass of heedlessness makes
suspicious and apprehensions grow rather than a positive response to follow the
Shariah to purify souls and reform within.

However this is also true that the self proclaimed
Peers full of worldly greed are also responsible for this suspicion and
confusion and they have only mislead the general masses and have not been of
last benefit. The world and it’s requirements are changing each day, so should
we consider – but those who take refuge in this argument only are among those
who like to have all kinds of liberties to lead their life without any divine
guidance but based on their own interpretation of the holy book or they are
carried away by their impulses of desire and greed in this world.

If the intention is not genuine and the piety in the
heart is non-existent then what ever is said and acted upon does not breed good
results. The purity of love with Allah(swt) and devotion to Prophet Muhammad(saw)kindles
the light of all spiritual bliss.

The question is how can we achieve or acquire this
light when there are self titled Scholars, Ulemas and Peers who are only
misleading the masses? We all observe and understand that in every fraction or
section of life there are group of misguided people who have continued to be
carrying out the satanic exercises and fulfilling devilish mission directly or indirectly.
If there were a few non-practicing Muslims or  those who are full of innovation without any
divine authority, would we consequently proclaim Islam to be wrong? Or for that
matter if there are quakes, poorly baked literate people in the town would we
consider medical science or any facility of knowledge to be wrong?

CONTRARIES OF
SUFISM.

Let us first remove the general misconception, which
prevails about Sufism / Tasawuf these days: Sufi saint Hazrat Allah Yar Khan – rahma
alaih very clearly defines that: Kashaf and Karamah are no criteria for Sufism,
which is neither an avenue for prosperity in commerce nor hocus pocus nor
talismanic treading nor a mean of winning cases in the court of law. Sufism has
nothing to do with prostration on the tombs, provision of mantles or kindling
of lamps thereon. To predict the future is not Sufism either. To call Aulia in
absentia (with the belief that they listen to such a  call) or believe that they have the power to
deliver mankind of their suffering is not Sufism. It is not a warrant that a
single Tawajjuh (Concentration) of a mentor will edify and enlighten a disciple
and saddle him to the straight path without endeavor and due regard to Prophet’s
sunnah. Neither veracity of Kashf and Ilham in the process is guaranteed nor
Ecstasy. Trance, Dance and Music are Sufism. The irony is that all these
absurdities are  taken as essentials of
Sufism while infect these are its contraries.

Having said that the people might think that if we
take out all above then Sufism will be left with no color and it will loose all
the attractions for the society. But it is important to understand that poison
coated with sugar cannot be useful for anyone. That is way it is imperative to
have a very clear understanding of Tasawuf or Islamic Sufism.

WHAT IS ISLAMIC
SUFISM/TASAWUF:

There is no doubt that Sufism is an important branch
of Islam, irrespective of the fact weather the word itself is derived from the
Arabic word Soof. (Literally wool) or its origin is traced to Safa(Cleanliness)
or Ashaabey Safa (Prophets Companion who used to sit on the platform in Masjid
e Nabway (Prophet’s Mosque) made themselves most of the time available out of
their love for the Prophet (saw) and for learning from the Prophet and
assisting in carrying out the task assigned to them by the Prophet (Saw).

During the time of Prophets eminence and his
companions the terminology for various branches of the faith like tafseer,
Canon, Fiqah, Scholastic philosophy etc had not been coined in spite of their
existence in principle and in sprit. These were compiled under the present
titles at a later stage, like wise this important branch of faith also existed.
Inner purification was a part of the Prophet’s mission and the lives of his
companions provided a model. Yet its compilation as an independent branch of
knowledge like other branches was undertaken afterwards. Against the exalted
appellation of companionship other terms like Scholastic, Commentators,
Traditionists, Jurists and Sufis, being of little consequences were not used
for the companions. The lives of those who subsequently showed singular
devotion to this branch and become its torchbearers, specialists and zealous
followers provided the pristine examples of piety, ascenticism, sincerity and
simplicity. By their habits of taking simple food and wearing coarse garments
of wool (soof) , they were known as sufi and the branch of faith pertaining to
their way of life come to known as Sufism.

In Qur’an it is referred to as Taqwa (Piety), Tazkiah
(Puriofication), Khashiat (Fear if Allah) and in the Hadeeth as Ehsaan-these
have been regarded as essence of Faith. (Detail is available in Hadeeth
Gibrail).

In short Sufism, Ehsaan Sincerity,Sulook (mystic path)Tazkiah,
Tqwa, Khashiat are different names of the same reality.

There are
two distinct faces of Prophet hood and both are equally important as enunciated
in the holy Quran.

“Verily
Allah hath shown grace to the believers by sending unto them a Messenger of
their own, who reciteth  unto them HIS
revelations and causes them to grow in purification and teacheth them the
scripture and wisdom – 3/164”

The first
i.e the external or outward aspect pertains to recitation of the scripture,
it’s teaching and exposition; the second, the internal pertains to the teaching
and purification.

The pious
soul who inherited Sample share from the former were called as commentators,
the Traditionalists, the Jurists, and the Preachers while those who were
blessed with both attained the high offices of the Devine Elite, Abdaal, Qutub,
Ghauth, Qayum,Fard and Siddique etc. But it must be remembered that all these
attainments emanate from the same fountainhead that is the Qur’an (Al Kitab)
and sunnah, which constitute the only connection between Allah and HIS faithful
believers and in it alone lays the ultimate salvation. Right from the death to
the resurrection, the basis of all reckoning will be the Book and Sunnah. That
is why all learned Sufis are unanimous in asserting that a Sheikh or a guide
must have thorough understanding of both Qur’an and Sunnah. If some one is seen
flying around but his practical life runs counter to Book and Sunnah he or she
can not be termed as Walee or Waliyaa, rather he / she may be an imposter or
charlatan, because perfect obedience to Prophet is indispensable to any claim
of Devine Love as enjoined by Qur’an: “Say (O Muhammad to mankind) if ye
love Allah follow / obey me and Allah will love you – 7/31.”

Only those
of Allah’s bondsman proved true followers of Sunnah who kept in view the
importance of both aspects of Prophet hood – Outwards as well as Inward, and in
their preaching and dissemination of the massage down the time never lost sight
of purification of the soul. Every excellence and all exalted
hierarchical offices are attained solely through total adherence to the Prophet
(saw). This is certainly the foundation stone of Sufism.

DEFINATION OF SUFI KNOWLEDGE AND ITS
PURPOSE:

Sufism is
that knowledge which leads to the perception of esoteric and exoteric states,
purification of soul and purgation of morals to help attain eternal salvation,
soul reformation and Allah’s pleasure and cognizance. It’s postulate is the
purification, purgation and reformation of the inner self while its ultimate
purpose is the attainment of eternal bliss.

Saintly poet
Iqbal in his couplet says that: To those whose heart is kindled with spiritual
light – they are also blessed with vision or insight to understand the meaning
of their existence.

CONCERN AND SOLUTION:

Now let us examine
the argument made out of the fear that there are many imposters termed as Peers
and Sheikh and this may lead to further distortion of faith.

What would
we do if we are sick and one Doctor is not helping much to cure the disease –
we will look for a better one, another example is that if we are not earning
enough from one source to keep us going in life or providing all our needs – we
will educate ourselves further, develop better skills, and look for another or
more reliable source of income. The society is filled up of different type of
people, but it is our responsibility to choose what is good for us and seek
companionship of people who could be fruitful for this world and hereafter.
When we don’t compromise on cheaper stuff for worldly things why should we
submit ourselves to people with no light – We need to make an effort to kindle
light in the darkness of our heart.

Famous
couplet is of Maulana Room – Good companionship makes you also good and bad
ones make you also bad in life.

It is a plain fact that there are thousands of ordinances in other branches of the faith
having the basis of Zann (assumption) but we accept them but reject Sufism on
this very account and be hyperbolical in expressing this belief is nothing but
an intellectual dishonesty. In fact this tantamount to bearing enmity with
Sufis i.e. with Aulia for which divine warning conveyed through the Prophet –
saw must be heeded:

“He who harbors enmity with my Wali – I proclaim war on him”

Therefore one can evaluate his or her own self where he or she stands in this regard. It
is an established principle that a non – expert in a particular field has no
right to comment on it or on it’s specialists.

Saintly poet
Iqbal said: Those who do not come out of their earthly lofty folds and have
week wings do not have the right and can never fly in the sky.

Today on
this occasion and as a tribute to saint Maulana Jalaluddin Roomi I am
presenting a few of his couplets from Masnawee Roomi in support to what has
been said above:

  1. That glass or crystal or mirror is stainless and full
    of God’s light – (This he is referring to the Qalb/Heart or wisdom of Muhammad
    – saw)
  2. You should go to him and get your stain cleaned by
    looking at him and seek the same light from him i.e Noor e Illahi.
  3. Pay attention to this reality so that you come out of
    the fold of materialism.

    1. If you have any sense than give way to your sprit over
      your sprit over your physical temptation and desire.

 

References
and Excerpts from:

Al
Qur’an +Book of Hadeeth+Masnaweey Roomi(ra)

+Kulliatey
Iqbal(ra)+Malfoozat O Efaadaat – Hazrat Allah Yar Khan(ra)+others
.

 
heshamsyed@yahoo.ca

 

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