ON TASAWWUF Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi
The Necessity of a Measure of Proper Sufi education: A measure of proper Sufi education based on the Quran and Sunna is in order here, as it would help in shaping a religious character whose owner would put Allah before Allah’s creation, the Hereafter before earthly life and the motives of religion before the motives of desire. Not all Sufism is evil as some would imagine. Neither are all Sufists misled as claimed by those who lack in knowledge or fairness. Sufists are like other groups, as Sheikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya said in his treatise entitled [the Poor]. He said about them, “Among them you find the straightforward the deviant; the one who wrongs his own soul, the one who follows a middle course, and the one who is, by Allah’s leave. foremost in good deeds”. Of course, we reject all the fallacies of philosophical Sufism (including such tenets as: hulul “divine incarnation” and ittihad “mystic communion with God”), ecstatic utterances of heretic Sufists and the deviations of money-oriented Sufism. What we really seek is the pure, quintessential Sufism of the pioneer Sufists, such as Al Hassan Al Basri, Al Fudayl Ibn lyad, Ibrahim Ibn Adham, Abu Sulayman Al Darani, Abul Qasim Al Junayd and others like them. We seek the Sunnite Sufism that follows a balanced line of Quran and Sunna, the Sufism that cares about the “piety of hearts” before it concerns itself with the “acts of the organs of the body”. It is said in the sound hadith that “Allah shall not look at your bodies or your faces, but rather into your hearts.” [Muslim]. We seek the Sufism that addresses the ailments of the heart, plugs the holes through which Satan can steal into hearts, and resists the desires of the human soul, so that it may have proper morals and virtues and abandon sins. Someone described Sufism in a nutshell, saying, “Sufism is being true to Allah and good to mankind”. This is what Allah the Almighty means by saying, “For Allah is with those who restrain themselves and those who do good” [Surat Al Nahl: 128]. The Sufists are with Allah by being pious, and with people by doing good. Allama Ibn Al Qayyim quoted the early Sufists as saying, “Sufism is good manners, an anyone who surpasses you in manners should be better than you in Sufism”. Ibn Al Qayyim comments on that by saying, “No, religion is good manners, and anyone who surpasses you in good manners should be better than you in religion”. True ! And we need only to quote the Prophet’s hadith, “I have been sent [with the Message] to make manners perfect.” [Bukhari].
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America