Tasawwuf al-Harawi

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Shaykh Abu Isma`il `Abd Allah al-Harawi al-Ansari (d. 481) on Tasawwuf

A Sufi shaykh, hadith master (hafiz), and Qur’anic commentator (mufassir) of the Hanbali school, one of the most fanatical enemies of innovations, and a student of Khwaja Abu al-Hasan al-Kharqani (d. 425) the grandshaykh of the early Naqshbandi Sufi path. He is documented by Dhahabi in his Tarikh al-islam and Siyar a`lam al-nubala‘, Ibn Rajab in his Dhayl tabaqat al-hanabila, and Jami in his book in Persian Manaqib-i Shaykh al-Islam Ansari.

He was a prolific author of Sufi treatises among which are:

  • Manazil al-sa’irin, on which Ibn Qayyim wrote a commentary entitled Madarij al-salikin
  • Tabaqat al-sufiyya (Biographical layers of the sufi masters),which is the expanded version of the earlier work by Abu `Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami (d. 411) bearing the same title
  • Kitab `ilal al-maqamat (Book of the pitfalls of spiritual stations), describing the characteristics of spiritual states for the student and the teacher in the Sufi path
  • Kitab sad maydan (in Persian, Book of the hundred fields), a commentary on the meanings of love in the verse: “If you love Allah, follow me, and Allah will love you!” (3:31). This book collects al-Harawi’s lectures in the years 447-448 at the Great Mosque of Herat (in present-day Afghanistan) in which he presents his most eloquent exposition of the necessity of following the Sufi path
  • Kashf al-asrar wa `uddat al-abrar (in Persian, the Unveiling of the secrets and the harness of the righteous), in ten volumes by al-Maybudi, it contains al-Harawi’s Qur’anic commentary

Reproduced with permission from Shaykh M. Hisham Kabbani’sThe Repudiation of “Salafi” Innovations (Kazi, 1996) p. 319-320.

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