Further Information on Tasawwuf 7
Imam Ibn Taymiyya Mentions some Great Shaykhs of Sufism
And we wish to mention some of the shaykhs which Imam Ibn Taymiyya accepted from the well-known Sufi shaykhs. This is found in his volume entitled ‘Ilm as-Sulook [the Science of Travelling the Way to God], which consists of the whole of volume 10 of Majmu’a Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya which is 775 pages in length, all of which is about the knowledge of the ways of true Sufism, the Science of Travelling to God, ['ilm us-sulook].
On page 516, the third paragraph he says:
“the great Sufi shaykhs are the best shaykhs to be known and accepted, such as: Bayazid al-Bistami [a grandshaykh of the Golden Chain of the Naqshbandi Tariqat], Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Junayd bin Muhammad [the most well-known Sufi] Hasan al-Basri, al Fudayl ibn al-Ayyad, Ibrahim bin al-Adham [very famous sufi, known as Sultan of the Ascetics], Abi Sulayman ad-Daarani, Ma’ruf al-Karkhi [a well-known Sufi], Siri as-Saqati, Shaykh Hammad, Shaykh Abul Bayyan.”
He continues, stating:
“Those great Sufi people were the leaders of humanity: they were calling to what is right and forbidding what is wrong.”
In Majmu’a Fatawa, Vol, 11, page 497. Book of Tassuwuf, Ibn Taymiyya says:
“You have to know that the rightly-guided shaykhs must be taken as guides and examples in the Din, as they are following in the footsteps of the Prophets and Messengers.And the Way (tariqat) of those shaykhs is to call people to Allah’s Divine Presence and obedience to the Prophet.”
Here we find Ibn Taymiyya calling for people to take a guide and mentioning that each guide has his own method (tariqat) in calling people to the Prophet’s ways.
Ibn Taymiyya says on page 499 of the same volume:
“And the shaykhs whom we need to take as guides are our examples that we have to follow, as when on the Hajj, (the pilgrimage) one needs a guide [daleel] to reach the Ka’aba, these shaykhs are our guide [daleel] to Allah and our Prophet (s).”
Ibn Taymiyya quotes from Bayazid al-Bistami, who said, on page 510,
“…the great Sufi shaykh Bayazid al-Bistami and the famous story about him when he saw God in a vision (kashf) and said to Him: ‘O Allah what is the way to You?’ And Allah responded ‘Leave yourself and come to Me.’”
Ibn Taymiyya continues quoting Bayazid al-Bistami,
“I shed my self as a snake sheds its skin.”
This quotation is an indication of the need for zuhd (self-denial or abstention from the worldly life), as that was the path followed by Bayazid al-Bistami.So we see from the above quotes, that Ibn Taymiyya was accepting many shaykhs by quoting them and urging people to follow guides to show the way to obey God and to obey the Prophet (s).
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America