Shaykh Hisham 1st Response

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Shaykh Hisham Mohammed Kabbani’s Opening Response

Shaykh Hisham replied to the preceding electronic mail publicly on the Internet:

To: From: Sender: Subject: Re: msa: Sufism & Tassawuf — Sheikh Muhammad S.Adly Distribution: World

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem

to his eminence Shaykh Muhammad Adly,

Wa alaykum salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakutu

We appreciate your questions and we are very happy to know of your presence in the US as a scholar of Islam. This is because we respect scholars and especially those who are guided by shuyukh, as you mentioned in your c.v. that you studied under many shaykhs. That makes us even happier to know that you accept to study with shaykhs, because for a long time we were emphasizing that point, (the need to study with knowledgeable scholars and shaykhs), whereas others were rejecting that point. However we are happy to see you acknowledge that necessity, as Allah said,

“fas’alu ahli dhikr in kuntum laa ta’alamoon.”

“so ask the followers of the Reminder if you do not know…” (an-Nahl, 43)

As to the questions you have asked to be answered, it is obvious that as a scholar that studied these many years, who was chairman in the Muslim World League and who is a person with a great depth of knowledge of Islam, that you undoubtedly have the answers to the questions you asked. Give us permission to say humbly that for each of the six questions you asked, one can write a complete book as an answer. And as our time is so limited, due to our being engaged in preparation for the upcoming Islamic Convention on the 17th in Chicago, and we are engaged in travel for the rest of the month we are very sorry that we cannot give detailed information on these subjects. Because to answer these questions appropriately would take a great deal of time and effort.

However, since you are an Arab speaker, we refer you to Ibn Taymiyya’s definition of the subject of Sufism, which is encompassed in two books, each of 700 pages or more, Volume 11 of Majmu’a Fatawi Ibn Taymiya entitled Tasawwuf and Volume 10 also of Majmu’a Fatawi Ibn Taymiyya entitled ‘Ilm as-Sulook (The Science of Seeking the Truth) which you can read. Additionally from the book of Imam Ibn Qayyim,

Madarij as-Saalikeen

, (the Steps of the Seekers of Truth), you can also read about the definition of Sufism, which is the station of Ihsan, the stations of the heart, the stations on the way, and ‘ilm as-sulook.

There these scholars explained expansively on these subjects and there they quoted many verses of Qur’an and many authentic ahadith of the Prophet (s). Additionally, as a scholar you know that to study with shaykhs is very important, as you mentioned in your c.v., and your entering this subject made us very happy. Ibn Taymiyya accepted many shaykhs, which he mentioned in his books and Ibn Qayyiim, his student mentioned: such as al-Fudayl bin al-Ayyad, Sayiddina Abdul Qadir Jilani, Bayazid al-Bistami, Abu Hisham as-Sufi, etc. all of whom were well-known as Sufis.

The pronoun Sufi doesn’t mean they differed from the Qur’an and Sunnah, but it is a term which was used to describe their taqwa, zuhd their state of ihsan, their taking up sulook, their states of mushahada (vision), their states of purity (taharrah and tazkiyya), etc.

So as we are students of Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyya and al-‘Allama Ibn Qayyim and we are students of Imam Malik, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafi’i and Imam Hanbali, and we are students of many shuyukh such as Bayazid al-Bistami and ad-Darani and Fudayl bin al-Ayyad and we have read their books, and as we respect them highly, and as you have shaykhs to teach you, so we have shaykhs to teach us and from whom we took the definition of Sufism and from whom we learned what those terms really mean.

Therefore, we should say one thing here: we are not charlatans who are leaving Qur’an and the Sunnah behind, but we are trying to be on the line of the true Islamic path, as-siratul mustaqim, following the Qur’an and following the Sunnah, and guided by the explanation of the above-mentioned shaykhs. And since we learned from them we are referring you to their books, to see what explanations they used for defining and explaining Sufism.

However, that doesn’t mean we are not going to answer the six questions. Insha-Allah, on our own schedule we will be glad to know you and to extend our hand to you as scholars and to support the work of daw’ah. Because that is our aim–to be unified and not to argue on issues which are of no benefit. And insha-Allah later we will be answering these six questions at our leisure, as we are currently extremely busy preparing for the upcoming convention.

You mentioned in your c.v. that you have graduated from al-Azhar, which means that you are Azhari, i.e. you received your degree from al-Azhar. In the Arabic way of speaking, you are Azhari, i.e. you have titled yourself to that school and we have titled ourselves to the school that we have learned from, and that is why we say that we are Salafi. And you said that you have been involved in daw’ah around the world and in many countries and you have been active for 19 years in the US and active in the prisons and we are very happy to hear that about you.

And we mention to you, as we mentioned to you before, we would like to extend our hand to you to be “kal bunyan al-marsus”–“like a solid edifice” and we hope we can fall under Allah’s khitab:

“wa’atasim bi-hablillahi jami’an wa laa tafaraqu” “hold fast all together to the rope of Allah and do not separate.”

(Aali-‘Imraan, 103)

Sincerely, your brother in Islam,

–Shaykh Hisham Mohammed Kabbani