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Some say that the Sufi is he who purifies himself from anything which distracts him from theremembrance of Allah and who becomes full of reflection about the hereafter, to the point that gold and stones will bethe same to him. Others say that tasawwuf is safeguarding of the precious meanings and leaving behind pretensions tofame and vanity, and the like. Thus the meaning of sufi alludes to the meaning of siddiq or one who has reachedcomplete Truthfulness, because the best of human beings after prophets are the siddiqin, as Allah mentioned in theverse:Whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, they are in the company of those on whom is the grace of Allah: of theprophets, the truthful saints, the martyrs and the righteous; ah, what a beautiful fellowship! (4:69)They consider, therefore, that after the Prophets there is no one more virtuous than the Sufi, and the Sufi is, in fact,among other kinds of truthful saints, only one kind, who specialized in asceticism and worship (al-sufi huwa fi alhaqiqa naw`un min al-siddiqin fahuwa alsiddiq alladhi ikhtassa bi al zuhdi wa al '`ibada). The Sufi is "the righteousman of the path," just as others are called "the righteous ones of the `ulama" and "the righteous ones of theemirs"...[Here Ibn Taymiyya denies the Sufis' claim that they represent Truthfulness after the Prophets, and he makestheir status only one among many of a larger pool of truthful servants. This stems from his earlier premise thattasawwuf originated later and farther than the Sunna of the Prophet. We have already mentioned that this premise wasincorrect. All of the Sufis consider that the conveyors of their knowledge and discipline were none other than theCompanions and the Successors, who took it from none other than the Prophet himself. In this respect the Sufis andthe great Companions and Successors are not differentiated in essence, although they are differentiated in name, bywhich precedence is given to the Companions and the Successors according to the hadith of the Prophet.Then Ibn Taymiyya arbitrarily separates Sufis and scholars into two seemingly discrete groups, whereas we have seenthat all the Sufis were great scholars, and that many of the greatest scholars were Sufis. Al-Junayd anticipated suchhigh-handed distinctions in his famous statement: "This knowledge of ours is built of the Qur'an and the Sunna." Alsoaddressing this important mistake in his Tabaqat al-kubra, Sha`rani quotes al-Junayd and goes on to state:Every trueSufi is a scholar is Sacred Law, though the reverse is not necessarily true. 15 ]Some people criticized the Sufis and saidthat they were innovators and out of the Sunna... but the truth is that they are exercising ijtihad in view of obeyingAllah just as others who are obedient to Allah have also done. So from them you will find the Foremost in Nearness(al-sabiq al-muqarrab) by virtue of his striving, while some of them are from the People of the Right Hand... andamong those claiming affiliation with them, are those who are unjust to themselves, rebelling against their Lord. Theseare the sects of innovators and free-thinkers (zindiq) who claim affiliation to the Sufis but in
for example.2. who are interested in bearing the name and the dress etc. he will come under Allah's address:O Our Lord. I do not consider this a sin. though Ibn `Ata'Allah. Inreality. as `Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi said of al-Hallaj. because he is drunk in the love of Allah and this is apleasure and happiness that he cannot control. A person vanishes to himself in the object of his love -. he no longer feels his ownexistence.the opinion of thegenuine Sufis. Ibn Taymiyya says:This state of love is characterize many of the People of Love of Allah and thePeople of Seeking (Ahl al irada). take Allah to witness andnot take himself to witness. as this is a very rare thing3. and Abu al-Qasim al-Nasir Abadi approved of him. or is he merely affecting ignorance?]Tasawwuf has branched out and diversified and the Sufishave become known as three types:1. He will recall Allah. The pen does not condemn the crazedperson except when he is restored to sanity (and commits the same act). it isnot necessary for them to be among the people of true realities. remember Allah and forget himself. "his case (among the Sufis) is not clear. When he reaches that stage. he will take leave of his mind. he will findhimself as if he is accepting the concept of ittihad (union with Allah). 17 About fana' -. al-Hallaj. However. exist in Allah.Allah through the intensityof his love. not to himself. Sufiyyat al haqa'iq: the Sufis of Realities. Can it be that Ibn Taymiyya was unaware of all these positions whichinvalidate his point." 16 Furthermore.and the shatahat or sweepingstatements of Sufis. 18 . we have already mentionedthat major scholars in Ibn Taymiyya's own school rejected the charges leveled against al-Hallaj. That is why he may say in this state: ana al haqq (I am the Truth). or subhani (Glory to Me!).[Here Ibn Taymiyya's inappropriate citing of al-Hallaj is farmore symptomatic of his own misunderstanding of tasawwuf that it is illustrative of the point he is trying to make. they do not belong.There is no blame on you if you unintentionally make a mistake. Ibn Khafif. Sufiyyat al rasm: the Sufis by appearance only.jubba illa Allah (There is nothing in this cloak except Allah). do not take us to task if we forget or make mistakes (2:286).This matter has in it both truth and falsehood. because that personis excused and no one may punish him as he is not aware of what he is doing. and when he enters that state of absentmindedness.. when he is in that state and commitswrong. and ma fi al.. Yet when someone enters through his fervor a state of ecstatic love Tasawwuf Ibn Taymiyya (`ishq) for Allah. such as Ibn `Aqil and Ibn Qudama. Sufiyyat al arzaq: the funded Sufis who live on the religious endowments of Sufi guest-houses and schools.a term used by Sufis literally signifying extinction or self-extinction -. not recalling himself. and even consideredhim a saint. and these are the ones we mentioned above.
Majmu`a al-rasa'il wal-masa'il 1:162. 6 Ibid. the intention was bad) then he is not excused.. And yet. theother one threw himself in behind him. 5 Majmu` fatawa Ibn Taymiyya 10:473-474. but if he is drunk through somethingprohibited (i. Majmu`at al-rasa'il wa al-masa'il (Beirut: lajnat al-turath al-`arabi) 5:83. as long as oneis not drunk through something that is prohibited. 1 The commentary is found in volume 10:455-548 of the first Riyadh editionof the Majmu` fatawa Ibn Taymiyya. 9 . Ibn Taymiyya's misunderstanding of tasawwuf massively outweighed his understanding of it. al-Ihtijaj bi al-qadar (Cairo: al-matba`a al-salafiyya. 1394/1974) p. 38. Suchknowledge was but part of the complete education of anyone who had a claim to learning in his day and before histime. 7 Ibn Taymiyya. as one of them fell in the sea. Therefore. It did not constitute something extraneous or foreign to the great corpus of the Islamic sciences. 1396/1976) 1:267. 3 Ibn Taymiyya. 10:479. This point was brought to light with quasi-surgical precisionby the great Sufi Shaykh Ibn `Ata' Allah in the debate he held with Ibn Taymiyya in the mosque of al-Azhar in Cairo. 4 Ibn Taymiyya. Then the first one asked: "What made you fall here like me?" His friendreplied: "I vanished in you and no longer saw myself. his action is accepted from him. al-Safadiyya (Riyad: matabi` hanifa. I thought you were I and I was you". 8 Ibn Taymiyya.similarly to his case in `aqida which we have unravelled in the previous pages. 19 The above pages show the great extent of Ibn Taymiyya's familiarity with the broad lines of tasawwuf. 2 Majmu` fatawa Ibn Taymiyya 10:516..The story is mentioned of two men whose mutual love was so strong that one day.e.
"Ibn Taimiya: A Sufi of the Qadiriya Order. Zahiriyya #1186 H. 1979) p. 118-129. Bad' al 'ilqa bi labs al khirqa. ms. "The Hanbali School and Sufism.Ibn Taymiyya." in Boletin de laAsociacion Espanola de Orientalistas 15 (Madrid.. Tasawwuf Ibn Taymiyyahttp://www. 1970) p. 88-96. and Damascus University. 1381) 2:464-465." in AmericanJournal of Arabic Studies I (Leiden: E. cit. Tawhid al-rububiyya in Majmu`a al-Fatawa al-kubra (Riyad. Usul al-din p.J. 154a. Majmu`a al-fatawa al-kubra 11:5. 17 Ibn Taymiyya. 315-16. al-Hadi. 1974) p. 67a. 6. 169b.sunnah. 16 `Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi. 18 Op. 12 Manuscript Damascus." in Cahiers de l'Herne: LouisMassignon (Paris: Editions de l'Herne. copy of original Arabic manuscript. fol. 985H. 115126. 10 George Makdisi.htm[06/12/2008 20:50:53] 14 Ibn `Ajiba. 2:396 397. 11 Ibn `Abd al Hadi. 15 al-Sha`rani.manuscript Chester Beatty 3296 (8) in Dublin.171b 172a. 19 . Majmu`a al-fatawa al-kubra 11:16-20.org/tasawwuf/scholr23. also mentioned in at Talyani. 13 Ibn Taymiyya. Princeton Library Arabic Collection. Iqaz al-himam p. fols. "L'isnad initiatique soufi de Muwaffaq ad-Din ibn Qudama. Brill. al-Tabaqat al-kubra 1:4.
Blessings and Peace on the Prophet. his Family.Op. 1996) p. and his Companions .Reproduced with permission from Shaykh M. Hisham Kabbani'sThe Repudiation of "Salafi" Innovations(Kazi. cit. 354-366. 10:339.
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