Sufismus – Ask A Muslim


(Part 1 of 2)


Description: A brief look at how Sufism differs from Islam and how it contradicts the teachings of Islam. This first part defines Sufism, mentions its origins and how it differs from Islam in the idea of ​​belief in God, belief in the Prophet Muhammad (God’s blessings and peace be upon him) and belief in paradise and hell.



Whether from a documentary or from a beautifully designed website, most have heard of ´Sufis´ and ´Sufismus´; TV programs are broadcast, guests on talk shows make speeches and politicians seem to be very interested in this group … you only have to enter the word ‚Sufi‘ in any search engine and you will be showered with all kinds of videos and images that Are available. In cyberspace you can see pictures and videos of Sufi mystics and the elderly dancing rhythmically to vibrating melodies in the background. Confusing images of older Sufi mystics who stab their heads with knives or undergo other different types of torture can also be found everywhere. Someone who is interested in Islam

The question that arises is this: are they really Muslims and do they actually practice Islam? Granted, there are numerous sites, articles, and books that have been written and compiled, but most talk about Sufism in an emotional way that makes you think they’re biased. In this simple treatise I try to write about ´Sufism´ in a purely informative way, far from any inclinations.

Although they are only a small minority, Sufis can be found in many countries, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. But contrary to the belief that Sufism is a ´group´, Sufism is divided into ´fraternities´ (or also called orders, note; each differs in beliefs and practices from the others. Some groups are larger than others and others have fused together over time. Among the surviving groups are the Tijaani Brotherhood, the Naqschabandi Brotherhood, the Qadiri Brotherhood and the Schadthili Brotherhood.


The origin of Sufism

In its earliest form, Sufism’s teachings emphasized that individuals should place more emphasis on the spiritual aspects of Islam, a result of the many who have lost sight of this lofty goal of Islam. After a while, dishonorable elders introduced alien practices to Islam that were welcomed by their followers. These established practices included dancing, playing music, and even consuming hashish.

The scholar Ibn al-Jawzi wrote in his book ´Talbis Iblis´ about the origin of the name which this group used by saying:

„They are named by this name in connection with the first person who dedicated their lives for it, to serve at the Ka’bah God, whose name was Sufah. „

After that, those who wanted to emulate him called themselves ‚Sufis‘.

Ibn al-Jawzi also gave another reason, he said: „They were wearing woolen clothes.“ In Arabic wool means „suuf“ and in those days woolen clothing was a sign of an ascetic, because wool was the cheapest clothing and it was very rough on the skin; in short, it was a sign of asceticism. In any case, the word ´Sufi´ did not yet exist at the time of the Prophet and his companions, but only appeared in the Hijrah around the 2nd century (200 years after the Prophet’s emigration to Medina).

The well-known scholar, Ibn Taymiyyah, also mentioned that Sufism first occurred in Basrah, Iraq, where some people in worship and avoidance of worldly life went to extremes unprecedented in other countries. [1 ]
So what is Sufism?

Sufism consists of a number of concepts and practices that range from poverty, seclusion, deception, renunciation, to singing and dancing, and is based on the mixture of many different religions and philosophies, such as Greek philosophy, Zoroastism, Buddhism , Hinduism as well as Islam.

Sufis often describe themselves as „Islamic mystics“ or are referred to as such by the Orientalists in order to give the impression that Islam is wholly or partly a dogmatic religion with numerous meaningless rituals. It is precisely this nature of Sufism (or Tasawwuf) that contradicts what Muslims should believe in, which I will explain later when I speak of the Sufis‘ faith in general.


The Traits of a Muslim

A Muslim always refers to the Quran in religious matters and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessing and peace, that are called Sunnah, are on him. God tells us in the Quran:
“And it is not fitting for a believing man or woman that when God and His Messenger have resolved a matter, they make another choice in their matter. And the one who does not obey God and His Messenger is obviously going astray. ” (Quran 33:36)

The Prophet Muhammad emphasized the importance of following the Qur’an and Sunnah and the danger it poses if any innovations are introduced into Islam. It is well known that the Prophet said:
„Whoever does an act that is not in accordance with my orders should be rejected.“ (Sahih Muslim)

Ibn Mas’uud (a companion of the Prophet), may God be satisfied with him, said:

„The Messenger of God, God’s blessings and peace be upon him, made a straight line on the floor with his hand, then said,“ This is the straight path of God. “ Then he drew a (short) line on each side of the straight line; then he said: „These (short) lines – each one has a devil that invites people to it.“ Then he recited the verses (from the Quran): “And this is my straight path. So follow him; and do not follow the (different) ways so that they do not lead you far from His way. ” (Quran 6: 153) Sahih: narrated by Ahmed and an-Nasaai’i.

A Muslim is therefore required to obey God and His Messenger. This is the greatest authority in Islam. You don’t have to blindly follow religious leaders; Rather, we humans are required to use our abilities that God has given us: to think and judge reasonably. Sufism, on the other hand, has a binding order that robs people of their free thought and personal discretion, and subjects them to the grace of the sheikh to this order … a dead man who is washed ‚; that is, one should not discuss or contradict the Sheikh’s view, but express absolute obedience and submission to him.

True Muslims are satisfied with the name „Muslim“, which God Almighty has given them:

“He chose you and did not impose anything on you that might affect you in religion, the religion of your father Abraham. He (God) is the one who previously called you Muslims (in the earlier writings) and (now) in this (book). ” (Quran 22.78)

Sufis may insist that they are Muslims, but at the same time some insist on calling themselves Sufis rather than Muslims.

Islamic beliefs at a glance: Belief in God In

short, a Muslim believes in the uniqueness of God. He has no partner, nobody is like him. God Almighty says:
„There is nothing like him; [2] and He is the all-hearing, the all-seeing.“ (Quran 42:11)

God is separate from His creation and not part of it. He is the Creator and everything else is His creation.

Sufis have divergent views about God Almighty, including the following:

a) Al-Huluul: This view states that God Almighty abides in His creation.
b) Al-It’tihaad: This view states that God Almighty and Creation are one, one unified appearance.
c) Wahdatul-Wujuud: This view says that one should not differentiate between the creator and the creation, because creator and creation are one.

Mansuur al-Hallaaj, a highly valued Sufi personality, said, „I am the one I love,“ then he exclaimed, „The one I love is me; we are two souls living in one body If you see me, you see him and if you see him, you see me. ”[3]

Muhiyddin Ibn Arabi, another esteemed personality in Sufism, was notorious for his statement:“ What is under my dress is nothing but God. „And“ The servant is the Lord and the Lord is a servant. „[4]
The above views completely contradict Muslim belief in the unity of God because Islam is a strict monotheism. These main Sufi doctrines are not far from some of the Christian or Hindu reincarnation doctrines. SR Sharda said in his book ‚Sufi Thought‘:

„The Sufi literature of the period after Timur shows a significant change in thinking. It is pantheistic. After the loss of power of the Orthodox Muslims in Central India almost a century ago due to the invasion of the Timur, Sufism was freed from the control of the Muslim Orthodox and united with Hindu saints who influenced him amazingly. The Sufis adopted monism and feminine submission from the Vaishnava Vedantic School and Bhakti and Yogi practices from the Vaishnava Vedantic School. At that time, the popularity of Vedantic pantheism among the Sufis peaked reached.“


Believe in the Prophet of God

A Muslim believes that the Prophet Muhammad was the last Prophet and Messenger of God. He was not divine, nor is he worshiped; but obey him and you cannot worship God except in the way that Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessing and peace, has approved of him.

The Sufi order holds a wide variety of views related to the Prophet that God’s blessings and peace are upon him. There are those among them who believe that he did not have the knowledge that the Sufi elders have. Al-Bustami, a Sufi-Shaykh, said: „We have entered a sea of ​​knowledge on the coast where the prophets and messengers have stood.“

Other Sufis ascribe a certain kind of divinity to the Prophet, that God’s blessings and peace are upon him, saying that all creation was created by the ´Light´ of the Prophet Muhammad. Some even believe that he was the first creature and that he would rest on God’s throne; this is the belief of Ibn Arabi and other Sufis who followed him.

Belief in Heaven and Hell In

short, Muslims believe that both heaven and hell already exist, and they are both real abodes. The sinful person is punished in hell, and the pious person is rewarded in heaven.

Sufis generally believe that there is no need to ask God to grant you paradise; they even claim that the wali (keeper) should not ask for it because it is a sign of lack of intelligence. For them, the ´Paradise´ has a figurative meaning, namely to get the knowledge of the hiddenness from God and to fall in love with Him.

As for hell, a Sufi believes you shouldn’t try to escape from it. According to them, a true Sufi should not be afraid of fire. Some even believe that if a Sufi elder spat on the fire, it would end, as Abu Yazid al-Bustami claimed.

[1] Al-Fataawaa (11/6)
[2] There is no resemblance between the Creator and His creation essentially, in His qualities or deeds.
[3] At-Tawaasien by Al-Hallaj
[4] Al-Fatoohaatul-Makkiyyah & Al-Fatoohaat



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