WHAT IS SUFISM?
In the Classical tradition of Islam, the science of this inner purification is referred to as Tasawwuf. It is the Islamic sacred science that concerns itself with curing the hearts of spiritual afflictions and attaining the love and nearness of Allah the Exalted. Oct 19, · Tasawwuf is the aspect of Islam which focuses on the heart, on its essence and spirituality. It is a path of spiritual purification and perfection in which one tries to integrate the teachings of the Qur’an and the sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (peace be .
Tasawwuf has been variously defined by various scholars. However, a cursory study of some of these definitions will reveal that they differ mostly in their wording and their emphases.
For the purposes of this essay I will provide three definitions. Is subject matter is the purification of the soul and its end or aim is the attainment of eternal felicity and blessedness. The first definition therefore, sets out the ultimate nature of things viz.
That everything subsists through and by the Will of Allah. The second emphasises the importance of renouncing the ego or lower self. Arrogance, conceit, and self-centredness are considered amongst the greatest veils between man and Allah.
Rabia counted the mere acknowledgement of the individual ego amongst the greatest of sins. The third definition has in mind the development of the human personality along the best of moral values. This process is made possible through the twin processes of purification Tazkiyyah and adornment Tahliyya. That is, purifying the self from all blameworthy qualities, and adorning it with all praiseworthy qualities. Lexicographers have identified a number of source words from which the term Sufi is derived.
The earlier ascetics often donned woollen garments to express their inner detachment from the world and their rejection of the excessive materialism of the earlier Islamic dynasties, particularly the Umayyad dynasty.
Other terms that suggest themselves as source words are the following:. Suffa, meaning a bench or low veranda. During the time of the Prophet may the peach and blessings what are the advantages of computer networking Allah be upon him a number of Companions disengaged themselves from normal worldly activities and devoted themselves to an ascetic way of life. Saff, meaning rank, line, or row.
The first row in congregational prayers in Islam has been accorded a special status for it symbolises those who are in the first rank of spirituality. Earlier orientalist studies have been at pains to show the non-Islamic origins of Tasawwuf.
Islam, according to these studies, have emerged form the dry wastelands of Arabia, could never contain within itself the seeds of such a profoundly inspiring wisdom. The beautific vision of the Sufis simply could not have its roots in the desert.
In these verses Allah classifies people how are mitosis and cytokinesis different three categories:. The first group are those who have rejected faith. The second group are the righteous ones who are consistent in the fulfilment of their duties towards Allah.
And finally their are the Muqarraboon. They are a special group of believers who have attained the highest rank in spiritual development. They are often described as the elect of the elect Khawaas ul-Khaswaas whose intensity of faith iman has bestowed upon them the special privilege of enjoying nearness to What is a good diet plan for diabetes. It is the attainment of this high level of faith and spiritual development that describes the aspirations of the Sufi.
This idea of nearness to Allah is similarly expressed in a Sacred Tradition. When the ideas of the nearness of Allah and His love are combined with the aspect of His beauty as expressed by the Prophetic Tradition:. It is within the context of this spiritual longing that we come to appreciate the intensity of the devotional acts in which the Sufi engages. During the formative period of Tasawwuf the Sufis were not strictly identifiable in terms of specific orders.
Students would gather around a Shaykh — known for the depth of both his knowledge and his piety — where they would often devote themselves to years of learning. Amongst the outstanding Sufi masters of this period were Hasan al-Basri d. The shaykh — murid relationship entailed three important features. The first is the Ilbaas ul-Khirka. These features formed an integral part of the Sufi Way righ from the outset.
In fact most of these practises are traceable to the Sunnah of the Prophet may the peace and blessings be upon him. The teachings of the Sufi masters, along with the different dhikr forms, were handed down from shaykh to murid in a continuous chain of transmission what is the conjugate base of hso4 a silsila.
It is through these silsilas — accompanied by the ijaaza system — that the teachings of the Sufi masters were protected as part of our spiritual heritage.
It was, however, only during the 12th and 13th centuries that the Tariqah orders were formalised and officially adopted particular names by which they came to be identified. This does not mean though, that certain gorups were not identified previously with certain great masters. On the contrary, Hujwiri d. The followers of Abdullah al-Muhaasibi, for example, he calls the Muhaasibis, those of al-Junayd the Junaydis and so forth.
Later on a number of other Orders developed along similar lines such as the Suhrawardiyyah, the Shadhiliyyah, the Naqshabandiyyah, etc. Despite this proliferation of Sufi Orders, the Sufi path has been identified by most scholars as a threefold process:.
The Tariqah — to engage in various spiritual excersises such as dhirk recommended by the What is relaxed fit pants may the peach and blessing be upon him and the established adepts of Tasawwuf.
The Haqiqah, that is the attainment of a spiritual consciousness or inner enlightenment that witnesses that all things ultimately come from and belong to Allah. During the first few centuries of Islam the Islamic world spawned a bewildering number of theological, philosophical, and legal schools of thought.
All these tendencies seemed to be straining in mutually exclusive directions, to the point where the initial fabric of tolerance which had existed amongst Muslims was in danger of how to color your name in garena torn apart.
The increasing tensions, too, between the Jurists and the Sufis further exacerbated the situation. It was left to the celebrated scholar Abu Hamid al-Ghazaali to restore a more balanced perspective to the situation. Amongst the great contributions left behind by Imam al-Ghazaali was his ability, and his success, in harmonising between the legal or exoteric and the sufic or esoteric strands of Islam. A rejection of either would have left Islam as nothing more than a caricature of itself.
The contribution of the Sufi Orders to Islamic culture and civilisation — particularly in the fields of architecture, the arts, and literature — has been immense. The Chistiyya is one such order. The order traces its roots to Hasan al-Basri.
This is a mistaken notion. The order was originally founded in Afghanistan in a town called Chist. In addition to being a great mystic, he also excelled as a theologian.
Many acknowledged him as the spiritual leader of his age. Tasawwuf is non other than the inner, spiritual dimension of Islam. The Tariqah — as method — is the attempt to both preserve and penetrate that dimension. These three aspects of Islam are inseparable parts of an organic whole. As for the many paths which have developed over the centuries the classical Sufi saying sums is up:.
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The Origins of Tasawwuf
What is Tasawwuf? | kristinfrey.com Tawwabeen are those people who seek repentance (Tauba) for their misdeeds and wrongdoings from Allah SWT and sincerely make an effort to purify themselves to become the ideal Muslims. Nov 21, · What is Sufism (Tasawwuf) in Islam? You can read and find everything you want to know about Sufism (Tasawwuf) You have had a good example in The Almighty’s Messenger for whosoever hopes for The Almighty and the Last Day, and remembers The Almighty often. "Know that Tassawuf is two things: Truthfulness with Allah Almighty and good conduct with people. Anyone who practices these two things is a Sufi." ~ Imam Al Ghazali.
What is Tasawwuf Sufism? What is the meaning of Sufism Tasawwuf in Islam? What are the features of Tasawwuf? What is Sufism Tasawwuf in Islam? You can read and find everything you want to know about Sufism Tasawwuf …. Al-Ahzab, In addition to His innumerable blessings, Allah, glory unto Him has granted human beings a unique quality, an extremely precious and subtle quality at that. The Almighty has also given human beings certain special qualities in order to guide them to this direction.
In addition to this general guidance, He also entrusted some of His servants, who were given even further special qualities, with the mission of prophethood. This is an additional Divine favor to human beings. During the times when there shall no longer hail any Prophets from among them, the Lord has continued gracing ordinary human beings by designating some of His righteous servants, who are in fact heirs to the prophets, to guide them to the right path.
The institution of prophethood marks an incomparable blessing of the Divine to mankind. In order to render prophethood all-embracing for humankind entire, the Almighty inaugurated this celebrated institution with Adam -upon him peace-, the first human being and, at once, the first prophet.
After being articulated by more than a hundred-and-twenty-four-thousand prophets, this sacred path of guidance underwent a process of gradual perfection, compliant with the social and intellectual progress of mankind. And it was with the prophethood of the last prophet, Muhammad -upon him blessings and peace-, that this chain of Divine guidance reached its ultimate perfection.
Prophet Muhammad -upon him blessings and peace- possesses two distinctive characteristics that separate him from other prophets. Firstly, his light was created even before the creation of Adam -upon him peace-. Secondly, in terms of his bodily manifestation, he was the final prophet to appear on Earth. Prophet Muhammad -upon him blessings and peace- therefore represents the first as well as the last pages of the book of prophethood. To put it in another way, the institution of prophethood was launched with the Muhammadan Light Nur-i Muhammadi , the very first entity to exist, and was ended with the Muhammadan Corporeality Cisman-i Muhammadi ; his appearance on the spatio-temporal conditions of the world.
These two unique characteristics make him the last prophet in the temporal sense, but also the first one in terms of his original creation. By subjecting his exceptional earthly existence to a close training, both inwardly and outwardly, the Almighty sent the Blessed Prophet Muhammad -upon him blessings and peace- to humanity as a gift. The exemplary character and personality of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- represent the unreachable apex of human characteristics, including those that are fathomable by ordinary human comprehension.
The reason underlying this is the fact that the Almighty made him a quintessential example uswa hasana , the most perfect model, for the entire human race. Being an example for the human race entire, the Almighty therefore made the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- experience every aspect thinkable of human life, a life experience that included his birth as a vulnerable orphan, all the way to him later reaching the authoritative political and religious leadership of his community.
Therefore, every person, from different levels of society, can find a good example for himself in the life of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, and learn lessons from it.
In the Quran, the Almighty declares that the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- represents the best example for the entire humankind, for every person, from the beginning of his prophethood to the Last Day:.
This means that all human beings stand in need of properly learning the characteristics of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, so that, through the blueprint set by his life and deeds, they can attain religious and moral perfection. In a broader sense, such perfection refers to the nature of the Sufi course of conduct. Every person should practice what he or she has learned in proportion to his or her capacity.
This process starts with a simple imitation taqlid and ends in realization tahqiq , which ultimately occurs in accordance with and to the degree of the love and spiritual intimacy that a person feels for the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-.
Innumerable spiritual blessings and disclosures beckon in sharing the same feelings with the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. Being able to partake in some share of the physical, spiritual, and moral characteristics of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- to the extent our capacities allow, is the highest kind of honor attainable in this world and the world to come. Allah, glory unto Him, created the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- upon the best natural disposition fitrah , both inwardly and outwardly, and trained him accordingly.
The Blessed Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- lived in a terribly violent and ignorant society for forty years before actually receiving prophethood.
Still, he was under constant Divine protection and reared by Divine education. Never was he involved in any kind of blameworthy action for which the pre-Islamic society of Ignorance was known.
Furthermore, in order to prepare him better for the heavy responsibility of prophethood, he had his chest cleft and his heart was cleansed and filled with spiritual blessings and lights.
Even before his prophethood, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- led a highly respectable lifestyle and believed in the oneness of The Almighty. Especially right before his reception of prophethood, he had increased his complete devotion to the Almighty, by retreating into seclusion in a cave on the Mount of Hira for long periods of time, on a regular basis, in order to contemplate on the essential questions for humanity.
The outward reason behind his willful seclusion were his heartfelt sufferings from the wickedness, injustice and misery of the society in which he lived, taking their toll on his profoundly compassionate heart that exuded mercy towards all beings.
As for the inward and real reason behind his seclusion, it was a preparatory stage in order to receive the Divine Message, namely the Quran, from the Almighty into the pure heart of the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-.
The disclosures and inspirations that his heart received during this momentous period of his lifetime guided his heart towards spiritual purification and made it a receptacle for Divine revelation.
Becoming ready for revelation, his graceful heart then received spiritual signs and inspirations in the form of truthful visions for six months. The curtains of veiling the secrets of the spiritual realm were thereby parted for the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. This process helped him improve his unique inborn capacity for receiving revelation enabling to bear a huge burden otherwise hopelessly beyond the capacity of ordinary people; similar in ways to how iron turns to steel by virtue of the inherent characteristics it possesses.
The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- combined the authorities and duties of all previous prophets in his personality and conduct. The nobility of lineage and conduct, the perfection of morals and disposition, reached their apex in his person. He established legal regulations. He taught how to cleanse the heart and purify the soul, which incidentally is the essence of Sufism. He also taught the correct way to worship the Almighty and pray to Him with a pure heart.
Through his exemplary lifestyle, he embodied and represented a perfect form of morality. His age of forty marked a significant turning point not only for himself but also for humankind entire.
The essence of Sufism consists of uplifting our spiritual dimension to a certain degree of maturity and making it receptive to the knowledge and love of the Lord, and thereby imparting onto it that certain blend required for reuniting with the Real. Such a perfect blend is the spirit that will save us; a blend which, at once, is a sacred inheritance bequeathed to us from the caves of Hira and Thawr. It was during specific times and at specific places, not only reserved to Hira and Thawr, that the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- went through an intense spiritual training, essential in preparing him for the weight of Quranic revelation; and it was this training constituted that the fruitful basis for purifying his heart and cleansing his soul.
Before receiving the Quranic revelation, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- had already reached a certain degree of spiritual maturity and moral perfection.
However, after his return from the cave of Hira where he openly received the Divine Instruction for the first time, the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- attained a much higher perfection, incomparable even to the exceptional characteristics he already possessed prior to his prophethood. There, the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- had entered an intense and profound spiritual connection with the Almighty; he was given an enchanting taste of the light of Divine oneness and knowledge, elevating him to the peak of the spiritual state of being conscious of the Lord, imbibing a deep sense of piety in his every particle.
Set in motion thereby, he would offer deeds of worship at night until daybreak until his legs would get swollen. Even when he is eyes were shut to asleep, his heart was always alert and awake in a deep, rousing contemplation of the Lord Almighty. In fact, through the content of the revelation of the Holy Quran, replete with knowledge and wisdom, the Blessed Muhammad -upon him blessings and peace- left even the most elite of his contemporaries helpless and in awe; and through his personal lifestyle and actions, he virtually became a miraculous ocean of virtue, unrivalled in both past and future.
No invention until the Last Day will be able to falsify the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, nor will any educator be able to reach his standard of conduct. This immense Divine gift, called Isra and Miraj , was a present to the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- and took place in accordance with a Divine regulation that decreed the temporary removal, for him, of all kinds of limitations set for human beings.
On this occasion, the worldly conceptions of space and time disappeared, and a journey and visions that would normally take the lifespans of billions of human beings, took place within a very short period of time. It was such spiritual maturity and perfection that the Almighty bestowed on the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. These Almighty-given characteristics continually accompanied him throughout his communicating of the Divine message to human beings and in his avid yearning to guide humankind entire onto the straight path.
On the way, he categorically rejected all kinds worldly offers proposed to steer him away from delivering this message. In his eyes, worshipping The Almighty in the most proper sense of the term was preferable to everything else. The idolaters of Mecca sent a proposal to him through his paternal uncle Abu Talib, in order to dissuade him from, and put a stop to, his prophetic activities.
Either the Almighty makes this message spread all over the world and thus I complete my duty, or I breathe my last on this path. Following their unsuccessful attempt, the idolaters, still ill-at-ease with the birth of Islam and its impending growth, took their proposal a step further. If you have a desire for political leadership, we can make you our leader and you can be the ruler of Mecca. Should you wish to marry to a noble woman, we can wed you to the noblest and most beautiful woman in Quraysh…allowing you to pick and choose.
We are ready to do everything you want…so long as you simply put an end to this all. The only thing I want is for you to stop worshipping those powerless idols and to start worshipping the Almighty alone. There is no doubt that these statements and actions present the most consummate examples for all human beings, especially in being firmly stable on faith and consciousness of duty, as well as an ideal and pure state of servitude.
The improper proposals in question were about attaining some worldly pleasures in return for those of the eternal world. The history of humankind is full of examples of those who sold their ideals out in return for meager expectations and prosperities of the world. The Holy Quran and its exemplary practice by the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- constitute the essential principles of Islam.
The former, being a theoretical source of guidance until the Last Day, begins by praising the Lord of all Worlds and ends by purifying the heart from all sorts of negative attributes and enjoining man to take refuge in the Lord, submissively and unconditionally. The latter represents the practical source of guidance for mankind; for following the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- is the only means to acquire true happiness both Here and in the Hereafter.
Nothing belonging to this world, however precious it may seem, can ever compare to this salvation; eternal and thus irreplaceable in nature. The Holy Quran was delivered first to the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, and then through him, to entire humankind. The Quran is a Divine Word that calls mankind to acquire knowledge of the Lord and reach Him by following a natural reasoning on the basis of arriving at the Producer through the product, the Cause through the effect, the Artist through the art, and the Creator through creation.
Consequently, the Holy Quran teaches the precise and proper way to frequently remember the Lord and to lead an observant and pious life, in which one minds the Divine commands as if he sees the Lord in front of him, and thereby acquire the love and approval of the Divine.
One should keep in mind that the single source of Divine love is the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-; since to love the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- is tantamount to loving the Lord, and likewise, obeying or disobeying the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- is equal to obeying or disobeying the Almighty. All of creation, therefore, was created for the sake of and as a cover for the Muhammadan Light.
Mankind represents the most elite part of all creation in terms of receiving Divine gifts. The zenith of all mankind, in the same respect, it is the Muhammadan existence, in other words, the tangible existence of the Blessed Prophet —upon him blessings and peace- on Earth.
The human being is therefore comprehensive creation in terms of containing the qualities, both good and evil, of all beings. At the same time, the human being represents the choicest portion and cream of all creation, because it is like a seed that includes a huge plane-tree inside, or in equal measure, like an individual that potentially includes a society within himself.
Those who met the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- in person were able to either distinguish his inner reality or act blind towards it, depending on the acuteness or the bankruptcy of their physical and moral abilities. Looking at him, some were able to discern and appreciate the goodness of him; while there were others, who would dismally fail and only see something bad. Abu Bakr and Ali ibn Abi Talib —Allah be well-pleased with them- had really met the same person as Abu Jahl did, but the former two saw completely different things in comparison to Abu Jahl.
So deep was the love through which Abu Bakr and Ali —Allah be well-pleased with them- beheld the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- that the two became the first link of the golden chain of the Sufi way. Sufism aims at attaining an outward as well as inward togetherness with the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-; a state of togetherness grounded on a boundless love for him.
The primal concern of Sufism therefore centers on the spirituality of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, both inwardly and outwardly, and guides believers to receive a portion from his spirituality conducive to reaching that state of togetherness with him.
In other words, the Sufi way aims at underpinning faith with a sincere and intense love and fulfilling the deeds of worship amid a deep reverence towards the Almighty and pursuing an observant life.
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