Tasawwuf ibn `Abd al-Salam

Dancing is a bid`a or innovation which is not countenanced except by one deficient in his mind. It is unfitting for other than women. As for the audition of poetry (sama`) which stirs one towards states of purity (ahwal saniyya) which remind one of the hereafter: there is nothing wrong with it, nay, it is recommended (bal yundabu ilayh) for lukewarm and dry hearts. However, the one who harbors wrong desires in his heart is not allowed to attend the sama`, for the sama` stirs up whatever desire is already in the heart, both the detestable and the desirable.8

He also said in his Qawa`id al-ahkam:

Dancing and clapping are a bad display resembling the display of women, which no one indulges except frivolous men or affected liars… whoever apprehends the greatness of Allah, it cannot be imagined that he will start dancing and clapping as these are not performed except by the crassly ignorant, not those who have merit and intelligence, and the proof of their ignorance is that the Shari`a has not cited any evidence for their action in the Qur’an and the Sunna, and none of the Prophets or their notable followers ever did it.9

al-`Izz on the Superiority of the Rank of the Awliya’ Over That of the `Ulama’ Al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salam was asked in his Fatawa about the correctness of Qushayri’s and Ghazali’s saying that the highest level among Allah’s servants after Messengers and Prophets was that of saints (awliya’), then that of the scholars (`ulama’). He replied:

Concerning the priority of the knowers of Allah over the knowers of Allah’s rulings, the saying of the teacher Abu Hamid (al-Ghazali) is agreed upon. No reasonable person doubts that the knowers of Allah… are not only better than the knowers of Allah’s rulings, but also better than those of the branches and the roots of the Religion, because the rank of a science is according to its immediate object… Most of the time scholars are veiled from their knowledge of Allah and His attributes, otherwise they would be among the gnostics whose knowledge is continuous, as befits the demand of true virtue. And how could the gnostics and the jurists be the same, when Allah says: “The noblest among you in Allah’s sight are the most godwary” (49:13)?… and by the “erudite” (`ulama) in His saying “The erudite among His bondsmen fear Allah alone” (35:28), He means those who know Him, His attributes, and His actions, not those who know His rulings… A sign of the superiority of the gnostics over the jurists is that Allah effects miracles at the hands of the former, but never at the hands of the latter, except when they enter the path of the gnostics and acquire their characteristics.10

It is noteworthy that al-`Izz did not need to include the scholars of hadith, since they are considered below the rank of the scholars of fiqh and are therefore included with them below the saints. Ibn Abi Zayd al-Maliki reports Sufyan ibn `Uyayna as saying: “Hadith leads to misguidance except the fuqaha’,” and Malik’s companion Ibn Wahb said: “Any master of hadith who has no Imam in fiqh is misguided (dall). If Allah had not saved us with Malik and al-Layth, we would have been misguided.”11 We have already mentioned Malik’s warning that religion does not consist in the narration of many hadiths but in a light that settles in the breast.

1 al-Dhahabi, Siyar a`lam al-nubala’ [#969].2 Miftah al-sa`ada 2:353; al-Subki, Tabaqat al-shafi`iyya 8:214.3 al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salam, Qawa`id al-ahkam (Dar al-sharq li al-tiba`a, 1388/1968) 1:29, 2:212.4 Ahmad, Musnad 1:108 (#860).5 al-Haytami, Fatawa hadithiyya p. 212.6 al-Yafi`i, Mir’at al-jinan 4:154.7 Ibn al-`Imad, Shadharat al-dhahab 5:302; Ibn Shakir al-Kutabi, Fawat al-wafayat 1:595; al-Yafi`i, Mir’at al-jinan 4:154; al-Nabahani, Jami` karamat al-awliya 2:71; Abu al-Sa`adat, Taj al-ma`arif p. 250.8 al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salam, Fatawa misriyya p. 158.9 al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salam, Qawa`id al-ahkam 2:220-221.10 al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salam, Fatawa, ed. `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Abd al-Fattah (Beirut: dar al-ma`rifa, 1406/1986) p. 138-142.11 Ibn Abi Zayd, al-Jami` fi al-sunan p. 118-119.

Reproduced with permission from Shaykh M. Hisham Kabbani’s The Repudiation of “Salafi” Innovations (Kazi, 1996) p. p. 345-349.

Blessings and Peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

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