Scholars developed ‘Ilm an-Nahu, ‘Ilm al-‘Ajaaz, ‘Ilm ul-Kalam, ‘Ilm at-Tawhid, ‘Ilm al-‘Aqida, ‘Ilm al-Qur’an, ‘Ilm al-Fiqh, ‘Ilm al-Hadith, ‘Ilm as-Sirah, ‘Ilm as-Sarf, ‘Ilm al-Bayan, ‘Ilm at-Tafsir, ‘Ilm al-Tajweed, ‘Ilm at-Tarteel, ‘Ilm at- Tasawwuf! (‘Ilm ul-Ihsan), ‘Ilm ul-Mirath and many other sciences (‘Ulum), all of which came from the Holy Qur’an and the hadith of the Prophet (s). [These are respectively: the Science of Grammar, the Science of Explaining the Miraculous Eloquence of Qur’an, the Science of the Unity of God, the Science of Belief, the Science of Qur’an, the Science of Jurisprudence, the Science of the Traditions of the Prophet (s), the Science of the Life of the Prophet (s), the Science of Linguistic Analysis, the Science of Clarification, the Science of Exegesis of Qur’an, the Science of Harmonious Recitation, the Science of Fluid Recitation, the Science of Purification of the Self–also known as the Science of Perfection of Character and the Science of Inheritance]. None of these sciences nor their terminology existed in the time of the Prophet(s). Whereas their realities did exist, as the Sahaba were practicing them better than anyone after them. The Science of Tasawwuf, or Science of Purification of the Self is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“Hua alladhee ba’atha fil-ummiyyin Rasulan minhum, yatlu ‘alayhim ayaatihi wa yuzakihim wa yu’alimuhum al-kitaba wal-hikmata wa in kanu min qablu lafi dalaalin mubeen.”
“He it is Who raised among the inhabitants of Mecca an Apostle from among themselves, who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom, although they were before certainly in clear error. (Jumu’ah 2,3)
In this verse we find four essential principles. One of these four principles mentioned in this verse, purification (Tazkiyya), is mentioned under the words “wa yuzzakihim.” It means to purify the believers from all kinds of shirk (association with Allah) and to purify their hearts and to prepare them for the state of Ihsan. Ibn Kathir’s explanation of that verse goes to many pages. “Tazkiyya” means “to sanctify,” which means to raise the individual from a state of materialism to a state of purification of the heart. The state of Ihsan, which is the second component of the Science of Tassawuf, is mentioned in the Sunnah of the Prophet (s). This term is mentioned in the hadith of Jibril, when he appeared to the Prophet (s) while the Prophet (s) was sitting among his Sahaba, and questioned the Prophet (s) about the definitions of the terms “Islam” (the Corpus of Islam), “Iman” (the Beliefs of Islam) and “Ihsan,” (the Way of Perfecting Character). We are only mentioning this subject glancingly at this time, but we intend to expand the explanation of this subject in our answer to Shaykh Adly’s questions which we are currently in the process of preparing, due to the eagerness of the readers to hear our response. So all these sciences, as well as those we didn’t name, came from 5000-7000 hadith and the 500 or so pages of Holy Qur’an. From this we say:
“from an individual, personal reading of the Holy Qur’an and Holy Hadith scholars wrote thousands of books whose roots are Qur’an and Hadith and don’t deviate from them, and include explanations.“
Ibn Taymiyya’s Majmu’a Fatawa is 37 volumes, Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir is 20 volumes. Sayyid Qutb’s tafsir of Qur’an, In the Shade of the Qur’an is voluminous. Therefore what some people are saying, “if it isn’t explicitly spelled out in a verse of Qur’an or in hadith then it doesn’t exist in Islam” doesn’t coincide with the understanding of a person of intellect. We are not saying something which has no roots in Islam, in Qur’an nor in the Sunnah. For example, Ibn Kathir who was a Shaykh ul-Islam, from childhood until the day he died, spent time memorizing Qur’an and Hadith. We cannot simply disregard or discard his explanations of the Qur’an by saying “where is the daleel?” That contradicts the reality of the knowledge these scholars had from Qur’an and Hadith. And we have to say that every science from the sciences (‘ilmun min al ‘ulum) we mentioned has to have its root in the Qur’an and Sunnah. It cannot be otherwise. And we as Muslims must not accept for ourselves to take any superstitions or to take anything from a philosophy or an ideology. We don’t accept that — we only accept what is in Qur’an and Sunnah. Just because some of our brothers are not aware of the sources, doesn’t mean we are deviating from Islam. It does means they have to go deeper in reading and verifying these sources, instead of throwing out accusations that we are against Sunnah and Shari’ah. We are sinful persons and we are only servants to Allah. Yet even the Prophet (s), who was the most Honorable Servant of Allah, used to pray “O Allah, don’t leave me to my ego [nafs] for the blink of an eye.” We are not perfect as he was and we are not Sahaba, nor are we great scholars. We must confess that we are poor servants, who are trying to imitate the way of the Prophet and Sahaba. May Allah forgive us and we repeat on the network, for all to witness, “ashhadu an laa ilaha ill-Allah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah” –“we testify that there is no god except Allah, and we estify that Muhammad is His Messenger, peace be upon him.” And we say that we are worshipping Allah Alone, and we are happy to praise the Prophet as His Favored Servant, peace be upon him.
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America