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Home Articles Sect - Sufism Sufism in the West - Part I : Misguided Sufi Orders & their masters

Sufism in the West - Part I : Misguided Sufi Orders & their masters

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PART I: Misguided Sufi Tareeqas (Orders) & their masters

Shadhili Tareeqa
Naqshbandi Tareeqa
Qadiriya Order
Sufi Masters: Role Models or Deviants?


The Prophet of Allah PBUH said “whoever of you sees an abomination [munkar], he should change it with his hand.  But if he can’t, then [one should change it] with his tongue.  But if he can’t, then [one should change it] with his heart and that is the weakest [degree] of Iman” (reported by Muslim).

What is more munkar than people who call unsuspecting Muslims to bida’a in the name of Sunnah?  They claim lies about Rasool Allah PBUH unheeding of the Prophet’s words who said: “whoever intentionally spread lies about me, he should anticipate his seat in the Hell-Fire” (reported by Muslim).

One such misguided group is the group of Sufis who propagate the ideology of Sufism as the true Islam.  The heads of this bida’a conceal in their hearts what only Allah SWT knows.  And to make matters worse, they are presented to common Muslims as “scholars”.  They use their command of the English language and claim to be following Sunnah to attract impressionable youths and take them away from the path of Sunnah.  This article focuses particularly on those Sufis in the West who propagate many bida’as among the young and sincere generations of Muslims who are seeking knowledge in the Deen.  They have established institutions, programs, halaqas, intensive classes and retreats to attract young Muslims and poison them with their corrupt beliefs.

I must remind you that Allah SWT commanded the believers not put themselves or anyone (no matter who) ahead of Allah and His messenger.  Allah SWT says “O ye who believe! put not yourselves forward before Allah and His Messenger; but fear Allah: for Allah is He Who hears and knows all things” (Hujurat 49:1).

Our allegiance and loyalty is to Allah SWT, his messenger and the believers who follow his Sunnah.  Personal favoritism for an individual should not prevent judging this person according to Quran and Sunnah.  No one is above the scrutiny of Quran and Sunnah. 

This article is divided into the following parts:

  1. Revealing the misguided Sufi Tariqas (Orders) and their masters.
  2. Uncovering those who accept, adopt and spread Sufism and its bida’as
  3. Sufis’ enmity to Ahl As-Sunnah.
  4. Sufi institutions and programs.

I ask Allah SWT to guide us all to what pleases Him.  May Allah impart the haqq and perish the batil“And say: ‘Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished’ for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish”.

وَقُلْ جَاء الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا

PART I: Misguided Sufi Tariqas (Orders) & their masters

“The word Sufi is most likely to be derived from the Arabic word "soof", meaning wool. This is because of the Sufi habit of wearing woolen coats, a designation of their initiation into the Sufi order. The early Sufi orders considered the wearing of this coat as an imitation of Isa bin Maryam (Jesus). In reply to this, Ibn Taymiya said: "There are a people who have chosen and preferred the wearing of woolen clothes, claiming that they want to resemble al-Maseeh ibn Maryam. But the way of our Prophet is more beloved to us, and the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to wear cotton and other garments."

Sufism is known as "Islamic Mysticism," in which Muslims seek to find divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. Mysticism is defined as the experience of mystical union or direct communion with ultimate reality, and the belief that directs knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience (as intuition or insight). Both the terms Sufi and Sufism and Sufi beliefs have no basis from the traditional Islamic sources of the Quran and Sunnah, a fact even admitted by themselves. Rather, Sufism is in essence a conglomerate consisting of extracts from a multitude of other religions with which Sufi's interacted.

During the primary stages of Sufism, Sufis were characterized by their particular attachment to zikr (remembrance of Allah) and asceticism (seclusion), as well as the beginning of innovated practices to 'aid' in the religious practices. Yet even at the early stage of Sufism, before their involvement in innovated rituals and structured orders, the scholars warned the masses of the extremity of Sufi practices. Imam Al-Shafi' had the opinion that "If a person exercised Sufism (Tasawafa) at the beginning of the day, he doesn't come at Zuhur except an idiot". Imam Malik and Ahmad bin Hanbal also shared similar ideas on this new movement, which emanated from Basrah, Iraq. Although it began as a move towards excessive Ibaadah, such practices were doomed to lead to corruption, since their basis did not come from authentic religious doctrines, but rather from exaggerated human emotions.”[1]

Shaikh Abu Zahrah said concerning the reason for the appearance of Sufism and the sources from which it sprung:

“The first source: Some worshippers amongst the Muslims turned all their attention to avoidance of the worldly life and to cutting themselves off in order to worship. This first began in the lifetime of the Prophet PBUH when some of the Sahabah decided to spend the night striving in Prayer and abandoning sleep. Others decided to fast every day without fail. Others decided to cease having marital relations with women. So when that reached the Prophet PUBH, he said: "What is wrong with a people who say such and such. But rather I fat and I refrain from fasting, I pray and I sleep, and I marry women. So whoever turns away from my Sunnah, then he is not from me (Al-Bukharee and Muslim). Furthermore, the innovation of living like monks (monasticism) is forbidden in the Quran. He said:

"...the Monasticism which they invented for themselves..." (al-Hadeed 57:27).

However, when the Prophet PUBH passed on to join the company of the highest angels, and many people entered into Islam from the previous religions then the number of those who went to extremes in avoidance of worldly life and its blessings grew and Sufism found a place in the hearts of these people since it had come across a fertile planting ground.

The second matter, which attracted peoples' souls, was something that appeared amongst the Muslims in the form of two ideologies. One of them was philosophical whilst the other was from the previous religions. As for the first, then it was the view of the Illumist School of philosophers who held that knowledge and awareness is brought about in the soul by spiritual exercises and purification of the soul. As for the second ideology, then it was the belief that the Deity dwells in human souls, or that the Deity is incarnate in humanity. This idea began to find a place amongst those sects who falsely attributed themselves to Islam in the earlier times, when the Muslims became mixed with the Christians. This idea appeared amongst the Sabians and some of the Kaysaamiyyah, then the Qaraamitah, then amongst the Baatinees, then in its final shape it appeared amongst some of the Sufis...There is another source from which it took, and which causes the manifestation of Sufi tendencies, which is the idea that the texts of the Book and the Sunnah have an outer, apparent meaning and an inner, hidden meaning...it seems clear that they took this idea from the Baatinees." [Ibn Taymiya by Abu Zahra].[2]

Although the Sufi orders are many, there are common concepts that are shared by all Sufi Orders.  This first part will present these common concepts as published on the websites of Sufi Orders.  The reader can then see the misguidance and heresy of such Tariqas for himself and herself.

Shadhili Tariqa

A short examination of the Shadhili Tariqa clearly shows their misguidance.  The following exerts are taken from the Shadhili Order website[4]:

The Tariqa Shadhiliyya is the way of the person who forgets all things and returns back to the truth as in the beginning; a child in the Presence of God. You cannot see more than Him or hear of any other place. You cannot speak without Him. You are with God, in God, to God in the origin of all things. You do not sleep, you are not tired, you watch everything. And so you meet your love to the end, which has no end. Then you are together; you are one thing only, without borders, without above or below, without right or left. You are in this station and this station is in you: fana al-mutlaq (annihilation in the freedom of God); the start which has no start; the end which has no end.

All of this comes from the hidden knowledge of Him. This is the first time in my teaching that God gives me permission to give or to show all that is written in these meetings. I do not know what is the wisdom of God in all these things, but I think you must surely be the sons of God, the eyes of the truth of Muhammad.

Comments: The common concepts shared by Sufis are referred to as “Stations”.  The stations are: fana’ (annihilation), baqa (permanence with God), and itihad (unity) with God.  We shall examine these concepts in more details in later sections.  However, any common Muslim acknowledges that the following words are heretic: “Then you are together; you are one thing only, without borders, without above or below, without right or left. You are in this station and this station is in you: fana al-mutlaq (annihilation in the freedom of God); the start which has no start; the end which has no end”. 

I do not know what is the wisdom of God in all these things, but I think you must surely be the sons of God, the eyes of the truth of Muhammad.  Allah SWT says:

وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَى نَحْنُ أَبْنَاء اللّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُم بِذُنُوبِكُم بَلْ أَنتُم بَشَرٌ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ يَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاء وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاء وَلِلّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ

“(Both) the Jews and the Christians say: "We are sons of Allah, and His beloved." Say: "Why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay, ye are but men, of the men He hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and He punisheth whom He pleaseth: and to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between: and unto Him is the final goal (of all)”.

Naqshbandi Tariqa

Let’s continue and examine another Sufi Tariqa.  These exerts are published on the Naqshbandi’s website[5]:

On Hidden Shirk

'Did you not hear what Hallaj said? "I rejected the religion of God, and rejection is obligatory on me even though that is hideous to Muslims." O Shaikh Salah, what came to your heart -- that the connection is with belief and Islam -- is not the important point. What is important is Real Faith, and Real Faith for the People of the Truth is to make the heart deny anything and everything other than God. That is what made Hallaj say, "I denied your religion and denial is obligatory on me, although that is hideous to Muslims." His heart wanted nothing except Allah."

Comments: What is more heretic than proclaiming to reject Allah’s religion with one’s own tongue?   Islam is the Real Faith.  How can someone reject Islam and yet claim to have ‘real’ faith in Allah.  Allah SWT said: “The religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His Will).” (Aal-Imran 3:19).  To continue with exerts from the Naqshbandi Order’s website:


The shaikh orders the murid to seclude himself in a room where he will be served every day only with what is necessary for survival. Then he will teach his tongue the way of reciting Dhikr, until he will be engaged with that recitation. The shaikh will support his murid in opening the Vision of the Divine Presence in the heart (surat al-mushahada fil-qalb). Whatever happens to the murid during the seclusion, he must tell his shaikh, and he must conceal it from anyone other than the shaikh.

Comments: Was this the way the Prophet PBUH taught his companions?  Is this the method of the companions, followers (tabi’een), or the righteous Imams, scholars and salaf?  But let’s continue:

The 'Uwaysi' Transmission of Spiritual Knowledge

The sign of the Favor of Allah Almighty and Exalted on his servant is to authorize one of His saints to uplift that servant to the Divine Presence. That is why many saints who came in previous times were guides for those who came after through this spiritual (Uwaysi) connection. It is known that many saints have been under the guidance and training of prophets and other saints that lifted them up.

These are the shaikhs of the Naqshbandi Order mentioned by 'Abdullah ad-Daghestani, who have, in addition to their physical connection, received the Uwaisi connection. They are known as the Shaikhs of the Two Wings (Dhul Jana ain), meaning that both the physical lineage and the spiritual lineage are combined in them. These saints are only nine in number. Each one represents one of the nine spiritual points on the chest of the human being. Through these points these saints can reach their followers at any time. Because they have the authority of these nine points, they consider all of humankind to be their followers, whether they are aware of their spiritual connection to them or not. Through these points, which are of 'Uwaysi' nature, they can reach and affect any human being, intercede for them, and inspire their hearts in order to direct them to the Divine Love, although they have never met physically.

Comments: What is the evidence from Quran and Correct (sahih) Sunnah on this claim?  Naqshbandiq’s believe that their saints control the Universe.  They believe that their nine saints can affect any human being, inspire them and intercede fro them with Allah.  Have these saints attained a higher degree with Allah SWT than the Prophet PBUH who Allah tells It is true thou wilt not be able to guide every one whom thou lovest; but Allah guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance” (Al-Qassas 28:56).  Let’s continue:

The Station of Unity

If He were not with an ant, and knew not the conditions in which that ant lives and what are its needs, He could not, by definition be the Lord of that ant. He, the Lord of all, in His knowledge, is even with microscopic creatures; so what about mankind, the most distinguished of His creatures, is it saying too much to say that He is with us? "Does the Creator not know what He created?" asks the Lord, that we may understand His Omniscience, and that being the Lord of all creation does not detract from His being with each individual creature.

Our guest mentioned that this scholar was addressing the topics of "Fana and Baqa",or ''Annihilation and Permanence in the Divine". I think that no one except those who have arrived at these Stations is qualified to speak of them, otherwise his description will be like that of a person who has never tasted honey trying to describe its taste from what he has read about it to others who have been deprived of honey.

These topics are Oceans. When you melt, dissolving in the Unity Ocean of Allah Almighty, then you may understand the meaning of "Fani-fillah" (Annihilation in Allah). When you abandon your position as a being in existence, when you become as a drop of rain falling from the sky and are immersed, united in that Ocean of Divine Unity, then no one can ask where that drop has gone: the drop became an Ocean.

As long as the drop is falling, it continues to say: "I am something", but when it reaches that Ocean, it looks and says: "Where am I? I am finished. I am with Him. I am here, but not here; only He is here, but I am now with Him. I am in His Ocean. I feel this, but no more can it be said that I am a drop: this drop has become an Ocean". That is only a very simple description of Annihilation in God.

"Baqa" or Permanence, is to be with Him always. In such a Station your personality does not appear; what appears is only Divine Existence. You have been dressed in Divine Unity. That is the "Station of Unity", "Maqam at-Tawhid". What Baqa means is that you will never lose sight, hearing, feeling, knowing, understanding - never, but they will be without limits. We must try to attain these Stations, but the Way is difficult and requires severe training.

And so, we have been shown a higher way, the vision of Unity, and we have been asked to be patient with those events that are not to our liking, remembering their source. This is the best training for our egos. Undergo this training or you will struggle fruitlessly - up to the grave. We are being trained by our Lord to recognize the Unity of Actions, so that we can come to understand the Unity of His Holy Names, which leads us to the knowledge of the Unity of His Holy Attributes; that knowledge will prepare us for that ultimate dive into the Unity Ocean of Allah Almighty's existence - essence. That is the final goal: that raindrop falls, and it will not emerge again ever - and it is content because it has just gained everything eternally, forever.

Comments: As mentioned earlier, Sufis believe in the Stations of fana’ (annihilation), baqa (permanence with God), and itihad (unity) with God.  The section above clearly describes those concepts.  Ibn Taymiya in his Majmu'a Fatawa (Vol. 2), said:

The concept that they call fana’ can mean three things:

  1. Fana’ of worshipping anything else [except Allah], which he explained as fana’ of worshiping, loving, or relying on anyone except Allah SWT which is the meaning of Tawhid and is an acceptable meaning.
  2. Fana’ of witnessing anything else [except Allah], meaning fana’ of seeing anything except Allah which is what moderate Sufis claim.  Ibn Taymiya explained that it is positive in the sense that one’s heart is inclined towards Allah SWT, but negative in the sense that one does not recognize that Allah SWT created everything in the real sense (i.e. reality exists and it’s not just imaginary).
  3. Fana’ of the existence of anything else [except Allah].

Ibn Taymiya says regarding the Sufi concept of fana’, baqa and unity:

"The third type, which may be called fana’, is where a person affirms that nothing exists except Allah, and that the existence of the Creator and the existence of His creation are one and the same, so there is no difference between the Lord and the slave.  This is the fana’ of misguided heretics who think that Allah is part of the universe.  This idea was owned by the shaykhs, one of whom said: “I do not see anything except Allah,” or “I do not look at anything except Allah,” and so on.  What was meant was: I do not see any Lord except Allah, or any Creator or Controller except Him, or any God except Him, and I do not look to anyone but Him with love and fear and hope.  Fro the eye looks towards that to which the heart is attached….


This third type of fana’, which believes that Allah is what one can see (pantheism), is the idea, belief and “Tawhid” of the people of Pharaoh, and other similar types such as the Qaramitah (“Karmathians”) and so on.


On the other hand, the kind of fana’ experienced by the followers of the Prophets is the praiseworthy kind of fana’, and the one who experiences it is one of those whom Allah praised by calling them His pious friends (awliya’), successful supporters and victorious troops.


These shaykhs and righteous people did not mean, “What I see of created things is the Lord of heaven and earth.” No one would say such a thing except those who are totally misguided and corrupt, whether the fault is in their way of thinking or in their beliefs.  Such people are in a state between madness and heresy.


All the trustworthy shaykhs agree with the consensus of the early generations and imams of this Ummah, which is that the Creator, may He be glorified, is distinct from His creation; there is nothing of His essence in His creation, and nothing of His creation in His essence.  It is essential to distinguish the Ancient and Eternal One Who has no beginning from the finite event of existence, and to distinguish the Creator from His creation."[6]

Notice how Ibn Taymiya explained that Allah SWT is distinct from his creation, which directly opposes the Naqshbandi’s claim that  “when you become as a drop of rain falling from the sky and are immersed, united in that Ocean of Divine Unity, then no one can ask where that drop has gone: the drop became an Ocean”.  This is the concept of unity (itihad) that was invented by Ibn Arabi, Ibn Sab’een and their followers, which is an absolute heresy as Ibn Taymiya (refer to Majmu'a Fatawa, Vol.2).

Qadiriya Order

The Qadiriya Tariqa attributes its origins to Abdul Qadir Jilani.  Abdul Qadir Jilani is an example of the fabrication of Sufis and an example in Sufis’ methodology of mixing correct and fabricated reports.  It is accurately reported that Al-Jilani is among the knowledgeable in Fiqh and rank.  This was proven by Ibn Katheer, Ibn Rajab, Al-Thahabi, Ibn Taymiya and others.  Iby Taymiya cited in various sections of Majmu'a Fatawa from a number of Al-Jilani’s works which are consistent with the methodology of Ahl As-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah.  Ibn Taymiya says: “Sheikh Abdul Qadir and his likes are among the best Sheikhs of their time in their commitment to Shariah, commanding good and forbidding evil… He commanded to discard desires and personal needs.” (Majmu'a Fatawa, Vol. 10).

Sufis claimed many things about Abdul Qadir al-Jilani; such as calling him he Qutob and Gauth, claiming that he controls the universe, that he used to listen to music and drums, that he used to walk on air and false claims!  The majority of such claims are attributed to Abu al-Hasan as-Shatnoofy al-Masry who wrote a book about al-Jilani and filled it with lies and fabrications.  Although, most high-ranked Hanbali’s from Ahl As-Sunnah reported otherwise.  Ibn Rajab said in the Tabaqat Al-Hanabila:

“Sheikh Abdul Qadir, may Allah have mercy on him, used to be well-respected in his time.  Many of the scholars of his time respected him.  He has many commendable acts and traits.  But, Abu al-Hasan as-Shatnoofy al-Masry collected reports about Sheikh Abdul Qadir and his feats in three volumes where he wrote rotten and poisonous repots.  It is sufficient for a person to repot everything that he hears [without checking its accuracy] to be considered a liar.

I saw some of his book and I do not find it in my heart to rely on anything that is in it.  I would only report from it what is well known in other books.  This is because it is filled with reports from unknowns, exaggerations, evil, false claims and sayings far more than can be counted and these reports are not fit to be attributed to the like of Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, may Allah have mercy on him.  Moreover, I found al-Kamal Jaafar al-Adfoony mentioned that al-Shatfoony himself was accused [of lying] in this book.”

We can conclude from scholars’ opinions that Sufis falsely attribute this Tariqa to Abdul Qadir al-Jilani.  By attributing such lies to a known and respected scholar, Sufis can have instant recognition and acceptance.  But far be it for those who follow the Sunnah to fall for such tricks.  The scholars of Sunnah didn’t leave a single report without examining its validity from both those who narrate it and its content.  They were able to distinguish the lies from truth and liars from those whom lies are attributed to.

Now, let’s examine some of beliefs of the Qadiriya Order which they falsely attribute to Abdul Qadir Jilani.  Here are some segments from a website of Qadiriya Tariqa that is falsely attributed to Abdul Qadir Jilani:

"Concerning personal extinction [fana'].

In response to a question concerning personal extinction [fana'], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"It is experienced when the Lord of Truth discloses Himself to the innermost being [sirr] of His saint [wali], with a most immediate manifestation [tajalli].  Under the impact of that demonstration, the whole universe is annihilated, and the saint [wali] becomes extinct.  The extinction [fana'] he thereby undergoes is actually his survival in perpetuity [baqa'], but he will only survive under the direction of the Everlasting One [Baqi], for it is He who has rendered him extinct, and it is He who has granted him perpetual existence."

Concerning survival in perpetuity [baqa'].

When someone asked the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) about survival in perpetuity [baqa'], he said:  

"It comes about only through the Meeting that is not accompanied by extinction [fana'], nor by separation.  This only happens like the twinkling of the eye, or even more immediately.  The mark of the people of perpetuity [ahl al-baqa'] is that nothing accompanies them in that capacity, because the two are opposites."

Concerning the state of ecstasy [wajd].

When someone asked him about the state of ecstasy [wajd], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained: 

"It is the state in which the spirit [ruh] is preoccupied with the sweetness of the remembrance [dhikr], and the lower self [nafs] is preoccupied with the pleasure of the entertainment [tatrib], while the innermost being [sirr] remains wholly devoted to the Beloved Friend [Habib], impervious to any outside influence, in its dedication to the Truth, in the presence of the Truth [Haqq]. 

"The experience of ecstasy is a beverage which the Master [Mawla] gives his saint [wali] to drink, on the pulpit of His Noble Grace [Karama].  When he drinks, he becomes light-headed, and when he becomes light-headed, his heart flies on the wings of intimate friendship [uns] in the gardens of Holiness [Quds].  Then it falls into the ocean of awe, and is thrown into a trance, so the ecstatic [wajid] swoons into unconsciousness." "[7]

Comments: Qadiriya Sufis believe, like other Sufi Tariqas, in the concepts of fana’, baqa, hulul, wajd; all of which are concepts that were exposed earlier in this paper to be foreign to the religion of Islam 

Jenab Barilwee, a master of Barilwee Tariqa (a subsect of Qadiriya), is on record as saying, “Whenever I called for help, ‘Ya Gauth’ is the only thing I said.  Once I wished to call upon another Wali (Hazrat Mehboob Ilahhi) but my tongue could not utter his name, but only ‘Ya Gaugh’ would emanate from my tongue” [Malfoozaat p.307].  Note, Gauth is as Sufis claim: Gauth al A'zam Sayyidi 'Abdul Qadir Jilani, the founder of Qadiriya Tariqa, which we have shown already to be a lie.

Allah says:

لَهُ دَعْوَةُ الْحَقِّ وَالَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ لاَ يَسْتَجِيبُونَ لَهُم بِشَيْءٍ إِلاَّ كَبَاسِطِ كَفَّيْهِ إِلَى الْمَاء لِيَبْلُغَ فَاهُ وَمَا هُوَ بِبَالِغِهِ وَمَا دُعَاء الْكَافِرِينَ إِلاَّ فِي ضَلاَلٍ

“For Him (alone) is prayer in Truth: any others that they call upon besides Him hear them no more than if they were to stretch forth their hands for water to reach their mouths but it reaches them not” (al-Ra’ad 13:14).  He SWT also says:

ذَلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَالَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ مَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِن قِطْمِيرٍ ، إِن تَدْعُوهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُوا دُعَاءكُمْ وَلَوْ سَمِعُوا مَا اسْتَجَابُوا لَكُمْ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكْفُرُونَ بِشِرْكِكُمْ وَلَا يُنَبِّئُكَ مِثْلُ خَبِيرٍ

“Such is Allah your Lord: to Him belongs all Dominion. And those whom ye invoke besides Him have not the least power. If ye invoke them, they will not listen to your call, and if they were to listen, they cannot answer your (prayer). On the Day of Judgment they will reject your "Partnership." And none, (O man!) can tell thee (the Truth) like the one who is acquainted with all things.” (Fatir 35:13-14). And:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ عِبَادٌ أَمْثَالُكُمْ فَادْعُوهُمْ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

“Verily those whom ye call upon besides Allah are servants like unto you: call upon them, and let them listen to your prayer, if ye are (indeed) truthful!” (al-A’araf 7:194).  And:

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ شُرَكَاءكُمُ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقُوا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ أَمْ لَهُمْ شِرْكٌ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ أَمْ آتَيْنَاهُمْ كِتَابًا فَهُمْ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِّنْهُ بَلْ إِن يَعِدُ الظَّالِمُونَ بَعْضُهُم بَعْضًا إِلَّا غُرُورًا

“Say: "Have ye seen (these) 'Partners' of yours whom ye call upon besides Allah? Show me what it is they have created in the (wide) earth. Or have they a share in the heavens?" Or have We given them a Book from which they (can derive) clear (evidence)? Nay, the wrong-doers promise each other nothing but delusions.” (Fatir 35:40)

Ibn Taymiya says about those who call onto the dead or visit the grave or shrines of the dead to seek their intercession:

“As for the additional bida’a, it is the bida’a when a person intends to seek his needs, dua’a, or intercession from the dead.  Or when a person intends to make dua’a at his [master’s] grave, because the person thinks that this will facilitate the answer to his dua’a.  Hence, this type of visitation is an innovation that the Prophet PUBH never decreed and his companions never practiced at the grave of the Prophet PBUH or any other grave.  This is a type of Shirk and a reason for committing Shirk.”[8]

"Sufi Masters: Role Models or Deviants?

Bayazid Tayfur al-Bistami

Bayazid is considered to be "of the six bright stars in the firmament of the Prophet ", and a link in the Golden Chain of the Naqshibandi Tariqa. Yet his life reeks of Shirk in all aspects.

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 Quran, nor Sunnah, nor in the behaviour in the Salaf us Saalih.

Bistami's belief in the Unity of all religions became apparent when asked the question: "How does Islam view other religions?" His reply was "All are vehicles and a path to God's Divine Presence." Was this the Message of Tawhid, which the Prophet PBUH practised and was followed by the Sahaabah? He attributed the believers to be the same as the disbelievers themselves, who Allah describes as being worse than cattle (Surah 7, verse 179) and dogs; the same disbelievers who the Prophet PBUH stated he had been commanded to fight till they testified that there was no deity but Allah.

The whole life of Bayazid is rife with such contradiction to Iman. 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."

Ibn Arabi

During the late 12th and early 13th centuries, under the influence of speculative mysticism, Ibn al-Arabi produced a system that created a complete chasm between the law and Sufism. In societies, such as Islamic India, that had a strong pre-Islamic heritage of mysticism, this chasm became much wider.

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  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 PBUH 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"

Mansur al-Hallaj

Mansur is 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 Tawhid.

He was said to have lived in one cloak for a full twenty years, along with a scorpion inside. He stood bare-footed and bareheaded 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."

Abu Yazid

Abu Yazid once prayed one Juma'a prayer in 24,000 different places. He told the religious authorities in one place: "I was praying in 12,000 different houses of worship today." They asked: "How?" He said, "By the power of the Lord Almighty. If you don't believe me, send people around to ask." They sat and waited until messengers returned saying that he was seen in so many places. Abu Yazid said later: "I was afraid to say 24,000, so I only said 12,000."

Are these truly the ones who we are told to receive the knowledge of our religion from? Do these men reflect the teachings of Islam? A man who left obedience to his mother, to the obedience of a dog? Are we supposed to follow men who receive revelation in a cemetery after spending the night at a party? Or a man who kills his slave girl for 'disturbing' his worship? To us, Islam calls smiling a charity, not a deviation from Allah's Pleasure. Islam forbids prostration to anyone but Allah. The Prophet PBUH used to make dua'a seeking Allah's guidance, not begging for heresy. And Islam teaches us truthfulness, not lies."[9]


Clearly, these Sufi Tariqas and their masters are misguided and far astray.  Can anyone imagine that a Muslim would adopt, endorse, and propagate such beliefs?

Is it possible with all the documented evidences against the innovations and misguidance of such Tariqas that there would be those who accept them and claim them to be the way of Sunnah?
Can you imagine sending your children to learn their Deen from such people?  Would you endorse and financially such organizations?

Furthermore, can you imagine that such people are presented at Islamic conferences and lectures as ‘scholars’ of Islam?

Of course, the answer to all of the above questions is NO.  But the sad reality is that the answer is YES to all of the above questions.

[1] www.alharamain.org/EN/Contents.aspx?AID=161


[6]Al-‘Ubudiyyah: Being a True Slave of Allah” by Ibn Taymiya.

[8] “A Great Principle in seeking Tawassul and Waseela” by Ibn Taymiya (cited from "The Useful ِanswer of the problem of those who are ignorant of Tawhid” by Dr. Tariq Abdelhaleem.  It was re-published in Saudi Arabia in عقائد الموحدين” (Aqeedas of the Muwahideen) prefaced by Shaikh Bin Baz).

Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 October 2008 23:57 )