What Ahlul Ilm Have Said About the Sufis

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What the Ahlul Ilm have said about the Sufis

Shaykh Muhammad bin Jameel Zayno states in response to the question:
“How do we eliminate (all traces of) Shirk?:
Answer: Shirk cannot be completely eliminated unless we exclude the following:
1.The belief that others share in Allah’s works such as the (sufi) belief that there are men called Qutub who regulate the universe, even though Allah asked the idolaters:
“And who disposes the affairs? They will say: Allah….”1
………………………Other points given by the Shaykh to eliminate Shirk omitted here.2
“Al-Qurtubi confirmed Maalik’s view by saying that the only exception to this general ruling was the type of innocent songs such as those sung to placate the camels during travel, or during hard labour or boredom or during times of festivity and joy, such as the Eed days and weddings-the latter to the accompaniment of a simple daff (hand drum). Al-Qurtubi then said,
“As for that which is done in our day, by way of the (blameworthy) innovations (bidah) of the Sufi mystics in their addition to hearing songs to the accompaniment of melodious instruments such as flutes, string instruments such as lutes, string instruments etc such is haraam (forbidden).”3
“And if this specification and restriction – of the obligation of the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah according to the understanding of the Salaf As-Saalih – were rejected, the Muslim would be diverted from the Correct Path. And he would become an open prey for the groups and parties that have deviated from the Straight Path. This is since the Qur’aan and the Sunnah are exposed to the evils of numerous attempts made to understanding (them), such as that of the Mu’tazilah, the Murji’ah, the Jahmiyyah, the Shi’ah, the Sufiyyah, the Khawaarij, the Baatiniyyah and other then them. So a distinction must be made……………….”
“………………..And as for the Sufis, then they scoff and ridicule the inheritance of the prophets (i.e. knowledge). And they deny the carriers of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and describe them as being dead. For one of their elders said:-
“You take your knowledge from ‘A dead person reporting from (another) dead person’, while we take our knowledge from ‘My heart narrated to me from my Lord (that He said such and such)!’”4
“…And (therefore) the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah do not rely upon, follow or cling except to the knowledge and the practise of the Salaf us-Saalih and whoever takes from them, sticks to their jamaa’ah and travels upon their trail and binds (and restricts) himself to their principles/foundations. And this is because the Companions (ra) learnt the tafseer (explanation) of the Qur’an and the Hadeeth from the Messenger (saw), then taught it to the Taabi’een but did not put themselves before Allaah and His Messenger with an opinion, ones taste, ones intellect, sudden enlightenment (like that of the soofees) or other such things.”5
“The love of Allah and His messenger must translate to a real following of the commands of Allah and that of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). This negates the following of any innovator who introduces concepts/ways that are not in accordance with Islamic teachings: like the mystics of Sufism and their so-called Tareeqahs (ways) which has nothing to do with Islam. Their thoughts originated from Hindu concepts.”6
“Either he will be restricted to a particular Madhhab or following a particular Sufi order – about which some Sufi’s speak openly and say, “The number of ways to Allah are like the number of created beings”. So, perhaps, this Sheikh belongs to one of those Sufi orders about which the scholars are agreed that nothing of them ever existed in the first three generations after the Messenger, (saw), whose excellence was testified to and Allah Himself says,
“Verily, this is My Way, leading Straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from His (great) Path.”7” 8
“And we prohibit you from the innovations of the Soofiyyah, which many of the common folk of the Muslims have erected to (such) an educational level that whole countries have institutionalised these innovations, such as the celebration of the Birthday of the Prophet. And (innovations such as) accompanying the Christians in their festivals, not to mention the deviations in dealings and manners and other than that from that which separates their countries from the Book and the authenticated Sunnah, with the permission of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.9
“If a person exercised Sufism (Tasawwuf) at the beginning of the day, he does not come to Dhuhur except an idiot.” 10
“Nobody accompanied the Sufis forty days and had his brain return (ever).” 11
“Warn (people) from Al-Harith (a Sufi leader) the strongest warning!… He is the shelter of the Ahl Kalaam (people of rhetoric).” 12
“Sufism is a shameful deception which begins with Dhikr and ends with Kufr. Its outward manifestation appears to be piety, but its inward reality forsakes the Commandments of Allah.” 13
“….Concerning the practice of the Sufiyyah in wearing woolen clothing as a sign of Zuhd (abstemiousness/disassociation from the wordly life) and in their attempt to mirror the Prophet ‘Isa (AS):
“Ibn Taymiyah (R) mentions in Al-Fataawaa (11/7) from Muhammad ibn Seereen (a famous Tabi’een who died in 110H) that it reached him that a certain people had taken to wearing woollen clothes in order to resemble ‘Isa ibn Maryam (AS), so he said: ‘There are a people (Sufis) who have chosen and preferred the wearing of woollen clothes, claiming that they want to resemble Al-Maseeh ibn Maryam (AS). But the way of our Prophet (saw) is more beloved to us, and the Prophet (saw) used to wear cotton and other garments.”14
Sheikh Al-Madkhalee goes on:
“As regards the first appearance of Sufism, then the word “Sufism” was not known in the time of the Sahabah, indeed it was not well-known in the first three and best centuries. Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyah (R), mentions that the first appearance of Sufism was in Basrah in ‘Iraaq, where some people went to extremes in worship and in avoiding the worldly life, such as was not seen in other lands.” 15
“This was not found to occur amongst the Sahabah, so when it appeared, a group of the Companions and the Tabi’een such as Asmaa bint Abi Bakr and ‘Abd Allah Az-Zubair and Muhammad ibn Seereen criticised that since they saw that it was an innovation and contrary to what they knew from the manners of the Sahabah.”16
“Sufism is a way whose beginning was complete avoidance of the affairs of worldly life, then those who attached themselves to it became lax in allowing singing and dancing. Therefore, the seekers of the Hereafter from the common people became attracted to them due to the avoidance of the worldly life which they manifested, and the seekers after this world were also attracted to them due to the life of ease and frivolity which they were seen to live.” 17
“Some worshippers amongst the Muslims turned all their attention to avoidance of the worldly life and to cutting themselves off in order to worship. This first began in the lifetime of the Prophet (saw) when some of the Sahabah decided to spend the night striving in Prayer and abandoning sleep. Others decided to fast every day without fail. Others decided to cease having marital relations with women. So when that reached the Prophet (saw) he said:
“What is wrong with a people who say such and such. But rather I fast and I refrain from fasting, I pray and I sleep, and I marry women. So whoever turns away from my Sunnah, then he is not from me.” 18
Furthermore, the innovation of living like monks (monasticism) is forbidden in the Qur’an. Allaah (swt) said:
“…the Monasticism which they invented for themselves…”19
However, when the Prophet (saw) passed on to join the company of the highest angels, and many people entered into Islam from the previous religions then the number of those who went to extremes in avoidance of worldly life and its blessings grew and Sufism found a place in the hearts of these people since it had come across a fertile planting ground.
The second matter which attracted peoples’ souls was something which appeared amongst the Muslims in the form of two ideologies. One of them was philosophical whilst the other was from the previous religions.
As for the first, then it was the view of the Illumist school of philosophers who held that knowledge and awareness is brought about in the soul by spiritual exercises and purification of the soul.
As for the second ideology, then it was the belief that the Deity dwells in human souls, or that the Deity is incarnate in humanity. This idea began to find a place amongst those sects who falsely attributed themselves to Islam in the earlier times, when the Muslims became mixed with the Christians. This idea appeared amongst the Sabians and some of the Kaysaamiyyah, then the Qaraamitah, then amongst the Baatinees, then in its final shape it appeared amongst some of the Sufis. There is another source from which it took, and which causes the manifestation of Sufi tendencies, which is the idea that the texts of the Book and the Sunnah have an outer, apparent meaning and an inner, hidden meaning. It seems clear that they took this idea from the Baatinees.”20
“So this self deprivation which went beyond bounds, which we have been forbidden from, has been turned around by the Sufis of our time, ie. the sixth century, so that they have become as desirous of food as their predecessors were of hunger, and they enjoy morning meals, evening meals and sweet delicacies, all of which or most of which they attain through impure wealth. They have abandoned lawful earnings, turned away from worship and spread out carpets on which they idly recline, most of them have no desire except for food, drink and frivolous activities.”21
“It may also be done with the help of their devils as they are a people who are as closely attended by devils as they are by their own brothers… These people who experience these satanic happenings are under a great delusion, in their foolishness they are deprived of all blessings, they only increase that which is feared, they devour the wealth of the people in futile acts, they do not order the good, nor do they forbid evil, and they do not fight Jihaad in Allah’s Cause.”22
“Then I return to the point that when I saw that most of the callers were negligent of the most important aspects of Islam which is the call to Tawheed and the correction and purification of ‘Aqeedah from all Shirk, which takes the form of worshipping the dead, attachment to the graves and calling upon the dead and the absent, and they remained silent about the other deviation of the present day Sufi orders which are very widespread in the lands of the Muslims, and anyone who travels outside this land will see the predominance that the Sufi orders have over the minds of the Muslims in Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Africa and India. Whether it is the Rifaa’ee order, or the Tijanis, or the Ahmadiyyah, or the Qaadiriyyah, or the Burhamiyyah, or the Shadhiliyyah, or the Khattaaniyyah, or the Darqaawees, or the
Naqshabandis or whichever of the large number of Sufi orders…when I saw this I wished to remind of that which I held to be something very important. Likewise, I wished to provide my brothers, who study in the highly regarded Daarul Hadeeth, and they come from various Islamic lands where there are many Sufi orders, with some knowledge and some protection from the deadly sickness of Sufism.”23
As for those authentic and well known books by the ‘Ulemah that have refuted Sufism:
• Al-Fataawaa – by Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyah
• Tabless Iblis – by Ibn Al-Jawziyyah, ibn Taymiyah’s student
• Tanbeebul-Ghabee ilaa Takfeer Ibn ‘Arabee – by Burhaanuddeen Al-Baqaa’ee
• Tahdheerul-‘Ibaad min Ahlil-‘Inaad bibid’atil-Ittihaad – by Al-Baqaa’ee (same as above – died in 885H).
May Allaah(swt) guide us all to the path that leads to jannah and away from all those paths that lead to the hell-fire. May Allaah(swt) help us prepare our selves for ‘the day on which there will be no doubt’…


1 Qur’an 10:31
2 Taken from English translation of Al Aqeedatul Islamiyyah minal Kitabi wal Sunnah Saheehah entitled: ‘Islamic Creed based on Qur’an and Sunna by Muhammad bin Jamil Zino page 34 Answer to Question 19 Published by Maktaba Dar-us-Salam 1995
3 Al-Jaamili Ahkaamil Quraan, vol.14, p.54
4 Shaykh Saleem al Hilaalee taken from “Why the Salafee Manhaj?” Al-Asaalah Magazine, Issue 1
5 Shaykh ul Islaam ibn Taymiyyah Majmoo al-Fataawaa
6 From the article The Meaning of Ash Shahadatan by Dr.Saleh-as Saleh
7 Al-Quran 6:153
8 Advice to Jamaa’at-Ut-Tableegh Shaykh Albaanee
9 Aqeedah Comes First! Shaykh Saalih Ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan
10 Imaam Ash-Shaa’fee Tablees Iblees
11 Imaam Ash-Shaa’fee Tablees Iblees
12 Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbaal (R) said this concerning the famous Sufi leader, Al-Harith Al-Muhasbi Tablees Iblis
13 Illat-Tasawwuf Yaa Ibadallah – Sheikh Abu Bakr Ad-Djaza’iri
14 Ash-Sheikh Muhammad ibn Rabee’ ibn Haadee Al-Madkhalee, “Haqeeqatus Soofiyyah Fee Dau’il Kitaabi Was Sunnah”
15 Al-Fataawaa (11/6)
16 Ibn Taymiyah commenting on the reaction of the early Sufis while hearing Qur’an being recited (it was their practice to fall out and act dumb-struck), Al-Fataawaa (11/6)
17 Ibn Al-Jawziyyah said this concerning the spread of Sufism, Talbees Iblis
18 Bukhari & Muslim
19 Surah al-Hadid 57:27
20 Shaikh Abu Zahrah (R) said this concerning the reason for the appearance of Sufism and the sources from which it sprung Ibn Taymiyah by Abu Zahra
21 Ibn Al-Jawziyyah said after criticising the Sufis for their impostition of hardship upon themselves and for their going beyond bounds of abstemiousness to the point of self torture Talbees Iblis
22 Ibn Taymiyah speaking of the false miracles claimed by many Sufi leaders Al-Fataawaa
23 Sheikh Rabee’ ibn Hadee’ Al-Madkhalee