02 October 2011
"It is seen that tasawwuf, at its early stage, was planned by Indian Jews. It was adopted from the ancient Greeks. For this reason, they [mutasawwifs] disunited and broke Muslims into groups."

Also Mawdudi, a Pakistani la-madhhabi, disseminates the above-quoted words in his book The Revivalist Movement in Islam. Heretical people, in order to attain their desires and selfish advantages, put on attire which is deemed valuable and virtuous in the society. It is not difficult for wise, learned people to recognize such corrupt men and to distinguish them from the good. But an ignorant person believes them and, regarding those who have put on the attire of mutasawwif as real sufists, thinks that the superiors of tasawwuf were also like these "false sufists" and attempts to blame the great authorities of tasawwuf. Muslims should be able to distinguish the truth from falsehood and should not blame the great men of tasawwuf.

Imam Muhammad Mathum al-Faruqi (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih), who was a specialist in tasawwuf, great alim and leader of the awliya' of his time, wrote in the fifty-ninth letter of the second volume of his Maktubat:

"All the outward and spiritual perfections have been attained through Muhammad Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam). The orders and prohibitions, which are outward, have been transmitted to us through the books written by our aimmat al-madhhahib. And the hidden knowledge pertaining to the heart and soul have been conducted through the great men of tasawwuf. It is written in the Sahih of al-Bukhari that Abu Huraira (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) said, 'I filled two cups from Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam). I have explained the contents of one of them. You would kill me if I disclosed the other.' It is also written in the Sahih of al-Bukhari that when 'Umar (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) died, his son 'Abdullah (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) said that nine-tenths of knowledge had died and, seeing that the listeners were confused, added that he meant not the knowledge of fiqh but the knowledge of knowing Allahu ta'ala. All the paths of tasawwuf come from Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam). The superiors of tasawwuf have attained the ma'arif emanating from the blessed heart of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) through their rehbers in every century. Tasawwuf was not made up by Jews or mutasawwifs. Indeed the terms fana', baqa', jadhba, suluk and sair-i ila'llah, which were used for attainments on the way of tasawwuf, were first used by the great leaders of tasawwuf. It is written in Nafakhat that Abu Said al-Harraz (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) was the first one who used the terms fana' and baqa'. Then ma'arif of tasawwuf came from Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam). The names for these ma'arif were given later. It is written in many books that, before he was notified of his prophethood, he had performed dhikr by heart. Tawajjuh (thinking deeply) towards Allahu ta'ala, the dhikrs of nafi (negation) and ithbat (affirmation) and muraqaba (mediation) existed during the time of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) and the as-Sahabat al-kiram (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum ajmain), too. Although the above terms had not been heard from Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), his frequent reticencies showed that he had those ahwal (pl. of hal, spiritual state). He declared, 'A little tafakkur is more beneficial than the 'ibadat of a thousand years.' 'Tafakkur' means '(exercise of) discarding absurd thoughts and meditating on the Reality.' Khidir ('alaihi 's-salam) taught 'Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghunjdawani (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) that mutasawwifs should perform dhikr by repeating the kalimat at-tawhid.

"Question: If the ma'arif of tasawwuf had come from Rasulullah, there should not have been any differentiation. Contrarily, there are various branches of tasawwuf. Why are the ahwal and ma'arif in each of them different?"

"Answer: This difference is due to the difference in men's abilities and the conditions they are in. For example, though there may be a specific remedy for a disease, the prognosis and medical treatment varies with the patient. It is like the difference between photographs of a person taken by different photographers. Every perfection has been taken from Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam). There have been small differences due to power and manner of reception. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) taught the ma'arif, secret sciences, to his companions in different degrees. As a matter of fact, he declared in a hadith ash-Sharif, 'Tell each person as much as he can understand!' One day while he was imparting some subtle knowledge to Hadrat Abu Bakr, Hadrat 'Umar came in and Rasulullah changed his way of expression. When Hadrat 'Uthman joined in, he did the same again. When Hadrat 'Ali came, he changed the way of his expression again. He spoke in different ways suitably with their talent and nature (radi-Allahu ta'ala anhum ajmain).

"All paths of tasawwuf originated from Hadrat Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh), who was joined to Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) with two lineages, one of which was his paternal way, which reached Rasulullah through Hadrat 'Ali (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh). The second line was his maternal grandfather's pedigree, which was related to Rasulullah through Hadrat Abu Bakr (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh). Because he descended maternally from Abu Bakr as-Siddiq and also received faid from Rasulullah through him, Hadrat Imam Jafar as-Sadiq said, 'Abu Bakr as-Siddiq gave me two lives.' These two ways of faid and marifa that Imam Jafar as-Sadiq had did not commingle or intersect. Faid has been flowing through Hadrat Imam to the great Akhrariyya guides from Hadrat Abu Bakr, and to the other silsilas (chains) from Hadrat 'Ali."

[On page 122 of the book, it is written:

"Rasulullah had told Huzaifat ibn al-Yaman the names of munafiqs on their way back from the Tabuk Battle. Huzaifa did not tell these names to anyone lest disunity should arise. As it is obvious, there was no secret knowledge of Huzaifa, as the sufi heretics claim. For, Islam is unhidden and has no secret knowledge."

In this passage, he alleges that the knowledge of tasawwuf was invented by Jews. However, on page 30, it has been said:

"Most of the Sahabis did not know the knowledge Rasulullah had intimated to Muaz ibn Jabal. Rasulullah had told Muaz not to tell it to anybody. Then, it is permitted to conceal knowledge for good and advantageous reasons."

It is obvious that the Wahhabite book lacks coherence. Every part of this book of five hundred pages is full of such similar incongruous, foolish lines. Quoting hundreds of ayats and hadiths, the writer throws dust into eyes and, because he does not know anything about the sciences of tafsir and hadith, goes astray by making up meanings with a swift pen and tries to mislead readers.]

Muhammad Mathum (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) wrote in his sixty-first letter of the second volume:

"The most valuable and most beneficial thing in this world is to attain the marifa of Allahu ta'ala, that is, to know Him. Allahu ta'ala can be known in two ways. In the first one, one can know Him as the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala) communicated. The second one is the understanding of the great men of tasawwuf. The former knowledge can be gained as a result of study and meditation. The second one is attained through kashf and shuhud of the heart. The first one pertains to knowledge ('ilm), which originates from wisdom ('aql) and intelligence, while the second one pertains to a spiritual state (hal) which originates from the origin, the reality. In the first one, there exists an alim as a mediator. In the second, mediation of the 'arif comes to an end, because becoming an 'arif of something means being lost in that thing. This is expressed well in the verse,

Descending and ascending does not make you closer,

To get closer to Haqq means to cease existing!

The former is related to the 'ilm al-khusuli (knowledge attained by studying), and the latter to the 'ilm al-khuduree (knowledge attained through revelation). In the former the nafs has not given up disobedience, while in the latter the nafs has perished and is always with al-Haqq. In the former, iman and 'ibadat are in a superficial form, because the nafs has not become a believer yet. A hadith qudsi declares, 'Be at enmity with your nafs! It bears enmity against Me.' Iman of the heart mentioned above is called the 'iman al-majazi' (metaphoric belief), which may go away. In the latter, because there is no quality of being human left and because the nafs itself has become a believer, iman is protected from being lost, so it is called the 'iman al-haqiqi' (real belief). In this stage 'ibadat are real. The metaphor may be lost, but the reality will not cease existing. This real belief is referred to in the hadith ash-Sharif, 'Oh my Rabb! From You, I want iman the end of which is not disbelief,' and in the 136th ayat of the Surat an-Nisa, 'Oh believers! Believe in Allah and His Rasul.' Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), in order to attain this marifa, although he was at a high degree in knowledge and ijtihad, ran to be in the service of Hadrat Bishr al-Hafi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala). When he was asked why he kept close to Bishr al-Hafi, he answered, 'He knows Allah better than I do.' [The Wahhabite book, on page 109, writes, "Imam Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal's pedigree links on to that of Rasulullah's at Nizar ibn Mu'adh. He was the most superior scholar of his time in fiqh and hadith. He was at a very high level in wara and in following the Sunna. He was born in Baghdad in 164 and died there in 241 A.H." It is written in Farid ad-din al-Attar's (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) Persian Tadhkirat al-awliya that Ahmad ibn Hanbal attended the lectures of many mashayikhs, for example, Dhu'n-Nun al-Misri's and Bishr al-Hafi's (150-277). A crippled woman sent her son to Imam Ahmad and asked him to pray for her. The Imam performed an ablution (wudu) and salat and prayed. The son found his mother welcoming him at the gate when he returned home. She recovered her health through the blessing of Imam Ahmad's prayer.]

"Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) gave up the work of ijtihad in his last years. He attended Hadrat Jafar as-Sadiq's (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) sohbat for two years. When he was asked why he had done so, he answered, 'Numan [Hadrat al-Imam al-Azam's name was Numan.] would have perished if it weren't for those two years.' Although both the imams [Abu Hanifa and Ahmad ibn Hanbal] were at ultimately high grades in knowledge and 'ibadat, they went to the superiors of tasawwuf and attained marifa and its fruit, iman al-haqiqi. Was there another 'ibada more valuable than ijtihad? Was there a deed superior to teaching and disseminating Islam? Leaving these aside, they clung to, embraced the service of the superiors of tasawwuf, and thus attained marifa.

"The value of a'mal (deeds) and 'ibadat is measured with the degree of iman. The brilliance of 'ibadat depends on the amount of ikhlas. The more perfect iman becomes, the more ikhlas is attained, and deeds become all the more glorious and acceptable. The perfection of iman and completion of ikhlas depends on marifa. Since marifa and real belief depend on the attainment of fana' and death-before-death, the perfection of iman is as much as one's fana'. It must be for this reason that it was declared in a hadith ash-Sharif that Hadrat Abu Bakr as-Siddiq's (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh) iman was superior to all other Muslims' iman: ' 'Abu Bakr's iman, if weighed against the iman of all my umma, would weigh more,' for he was the most advanced of all the Umma in fana'. The hadith ash-Sharif, 'The one who wants to see a walking corpse must look at Abu Quhafa's son,' confirms this. All the Sahabat al-kiram (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum ajmain) had attained to the degree of fana'. The preference of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq's fana' in this hadith shows that his degree of fana' was very high."

Imam Muhammad Mathum (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) declares in the 106th letter of the second volume:

"Repeat the beautiful word 'La ilaha illa'llah' many, many times! Perform this dhikr with your heart! This blessed word is very beneficial in clearing the heart. Everything but Allahu ta'ala is annihilated when half of this beautiful word is uttered, and the existence of the true mabud (who is worshiped) is announced when the remaining half is said. And sair and suluk, that is, advance on the way of tasawwuf, are for attaining these two. It was declared in a hadith ash-Sharif, 'The most valuable word is La ilaha illa'llah.' Do not be in the company of many people! Worship much! Cling tightly to Rasulullah's Sunnat! Avoid bidat' and men of bidat' very much! Both the good and the wicked can do good deeds, but solely the Siddiqs abstain from bad things.

"You question whether it is malign for the wayfarer on the way of tasawwuf to wear very expensive clothes obtained in a halal way. The things in the hands or on the body of the one whose heart has attained to the degree of fana' and has no interest in anything except Allahu ta'ala do not prevent his heart from the dhikr. His heart has no relation with his exterior organs. Even his sleep is not an obstacle to his heart's work. It is not so with the one who has not been able to attain to the degree of fana', and his exterior, visible organs, do have a connection with his heart. However, it cannot be said that his wearing new, expensive clothes is an obstacle to his heart's work. Great guides of Islam, the imams of Ahl al-Bait, al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa and 'Abd al-Qadir al-Geilani (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala) wore very expensive clothes. The books Khazanat ar-riwaya, Matalib al-Muminin and Dhahira report that Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) wore a jubba (long gown with full sleeves) which was worth a thousand dirhams of silver. He was seen performing salat wearing a jubba worth four thousand dirhams. Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) advised his disciples to wear new and valuable clothes. Hadrat Abu Said al-khudri was asked what his opinion about changes and new practices in eating, drinking and dressing was. He said that all were means to show Allahu ta'ala's favor when they were done with halal money and not for ostentation or with hypocrisy.

"Love for anything other than Allahu ta'ala is of two kinds. The first kind is the love for a creature through the heart and body and the desire to obtain it. Such is the love of the ignorant. It is for the purpose of redeeming the heart from this love that one endeavors on the way of tasawwuf. Thus, solely the love for Allahu ta'ala remains in the heart and one gets redeemed from occult polytheism. It is thus seen that tasawwuf is necessary for a person to get rid of occult polytheism. It is a means to attain the iman ordered in the ayat, 'O believers! Do believe!' The divine order in the 120th ayat of the Surat al-Anam, 'Give up the sins which are performed overtly with the organs or with the heart!' shows that it is necessary to unfasten the heart from its interest in everything but Allahu ta'ala. What kind of goodness could be expected of a heart in love with something other than Him? In Allahu ta'ala's sight, there is no value or importance in a soul that yearns for someone other than Him.

"The second kind of love is that in which solely the organs' love or wish is involved. The heart and soul, having already been devoted to Allahu ta'ala, know none but Him. This sort of love is called the 'mail tabii' (instinct). This love is only of the body. It does not smear the heart or soul. It arises from the properties and needs of substances and energy in the body. Love of this kind for creatures might exist in those who have attained fana' and baqa' and in the awliya' (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala) of high status. In fact, it exists in all of them. Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) liked cool and sweet sherbets. The hadith ash-Sharif, 'I was allowed to like three things of your world,' is widely known. The books of Shama'il write that Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) liked clothes called 'al-burd al-yamani ' that were made of cotton and linen.

"When the nafs is honored with fana' and attains itminan (tranquillity), it becomes similar to the five latifas, namely the qalb (heart), ruh (soul), sirr (mystery), khafi (the secret) and akhfa (the most secret). And at this state of the nafs, jihad is made only against the evil desires of the substances and thermal and kinetic energy of the body. A hadith ash-Sharif declares, 'What is perceived through the sense organs affects [those who have] clean hearts and also cleansed nafses.' The effect on other people can be inferred accordingly.

"You ask whether it is permissible to eat what the following people might offer or to go to their houses: bidat-committer, bribe-taker, cheater (fraud), sinner. It is better not to eat and not to go. In fact, it is necessary for those who are on the way of tasawwuf to avoid them. It is permissible in case of necessity. It is haram to eat something which is known to be haram. It is halal to eat anything known to be halal. If it is not known whether it is halal or haram, it will be better not to eat it.

"Question: 'Is tasawwuf a bidat? Was it invented by Jews?'

"Answer: It is one of the orders of Islam to try to know Allahu ta'ala and, for this purpose, to look for and obey a rehber who knows and teaches the way of tasawwuf. Allahu ta'ala declared, 'look for a wasila to attain to Him!' The disciples' receiving faid and marifa from the rehber has been done and known by every Muslim since the time of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam). It is not something introduced later by leaders of tasawwuf. Every rehber has held on to the rehber who has guided him. This chain of attachment goes back up to Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam). The chain of connection of the superiors of the Akhrariyya reaches him through Hadrat Abu Bakr (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh). And chains of other branches reach through Hadrat 'Ali (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh). Can this be called a bidat? Although such terms as murshid and murid were introduced later, names or words are of no particular importance. Even if these words did not exist, their meanings and the hearts' attachment would exist. [The Wahhabite book, too, says that not words but meanings should be taken into account.] The common fundamental job of all branches of tasawwuf is to teach how to do the dhikr, which is a command of our religion. The silent performance of a dhikr is more valuable than the vocal. 'The dhikr that the hafaza angels cannot hear is seventy times as valuable as that which the hafaza hear,' was declared in a hadith ash-Sharif. The dhikr commended in the hadith ash-Sharif is that performed by the qalb (heart) and the other latifas. It is written in valuable books that Rasulullah performed dhikr by the qalb before he was notified of the prophethood. Saying that tasawwuf is a bidat and that it was made up by Jews is like saying that it is a bidat to read the hadith book of al-Bukhari or the fiqh book Al-hidaya."

Muhammad Mathum al-Faruqi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) wrote in the 36th letter of the second volume of his Maktubat:

The leader of the tasawwuf way (school) named Khwajaghan is 'Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghunjdawani (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala). The jadhba (attraction) of qayyumiyya peculiar to this way came to him from Hadrat Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anh). And he taught the way of obtaining this jadhba. This way is called wuquf-i 'adadi and consists in the dihkr khafi, which again comes from Hadrat Abu Bakr. The second way, named jadhba ma'iyya, begun with Baha' ad-din al-Bukhari (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala). 'Ala ad-din al-'Attar (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), the qutb of his time, established the conditions for the attainment of this jadhba. These conditions were called the Tariqa-i 'Ala'iyya. It has been reported that the shortest way [that makes one attain in the least time] is 'Ala'iyya." [It is also called the Ahrariyye because Ubaid-Allah al-Ahrari (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), who passed away in Samarkand in 895 (1490 A.D.), disseminated the way of his master Ala ad-din al-Attar.]

Muhammad Mathum (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) wrote in the 158th letter of the second volume:

"For attaining saada (salvation), two things should be achieved. Firstly, the batin, that is, the heart, should be rescued from being fond of creatures. Secondly, the zahir, that is, the body, should be embellished by holding fast to the al-Ah'kam al-Islamiyya (the Rules of Islam). These two blessings are easily attained in the sohbat of the masters of tasawwuf. It is difficult to attain them by other means. In order to be able to hold fast to Islam, to carry out 'ibadat easily and to keep away from the prohibitions, the nafs has to become fani (resign itself). The nafs has been created as ferocious, disobedient and arrogant. Unless is saved from these evils, the reality (haqiqa) of Islam does not occur. Before resignation or tranquility, there is the surface or appearance of Islam. After the tranquility of the nafs, the reality of Islam occurs. The difference between the appearance and the reality is similar to that between the earth and the sky. The followers of the appearance attain to the appearance of Islam while those of the reality attain to the reality of Islam. The belief of the 'awam (the laity, ignoramuses) is called iman majazi (figurative belief). This belief may be defiled and vanish. The belief of the khawas (scholars, the people of the reality) is protected from fading away and from being spoilt. This real belief is indicated in the order, 'Oh the believers! Believe in Allah and His Prophet!' in the 135th ayat of the Surat an-Nisa."

Muhammad Mathum (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala) wrote in the 16th letter of the third volume:

"Statements such as, 'Everything is Him. The word Allah is the name of everything. It is like the name Zaid indicating human being; whereas, each of his organs has a different name. Then, where is Zaid? He is nowhere. And Allahu ta'ala is seen in every being. Therefore, it is permissible to call everything Allah. Beings are all appearances. Their annihilation is also a kind of appearance. In reality, there is nothing that becomes non-existent,' express not believing in the One Being but in many beings, and this is not compatible with what the superiors of tasawwuf have said. By such statements, Allahu ta'ala is claimed to be in the material world, meaning that He is not a distinct being and needs His creatures for His existence and for the existence of His attributes. He is likened to the existence of compounds which are in need of the existence of elements. And this is disbelief in Allahu ta'ala and is frank kufr (unbelief). It is necessary to believe that the existence of Allahu ta'ala is distinct from the existence of the material and spiritual worlds. In other words, the Wajib (the Indispensable Being, the Creator) and the mumkin (the dispensable, the creation) are two distinct beings. There is distinction in every case where there is dichotomy. If someone argues, saying, 'If the 'alam (everything other than Allahu ta'ala) existed in reality, then there would be no dichotomy. The existence of the 'alam is in appearance,' we answer that the Really Existent Being does not unite with the imaginary one. That is, one cannot say, 'Everything is Him.' If, by saying so, one means to say, 'Everything is non-existent; He is the only One who exists,' then it is correct. Yet, it would have been expressed not plainly but figuratively. It is similar to one's saying, 'I saw Zaid,' upon seeing Zaid's image in the mirror [or on the television screen]. Saying these not in the figurative sense but in the plain sense is like saying 'lion' to a donkey. [Similarly, it is incorrect to say that the sound from a radio or a loudspeaker is the voice of the speaker.] A lion is different from a donkey. It cannot be written in words that the two are the same one. The superiors of tasawwuf who taught Wahdat al-wujud did not say, 'The Real Being is in the creatures. He does not exist separately'; they said, 'The creatures are His manifestations, appearances.' Muhyiddin ibn al-'Arabi and his followers (rahimahum-Allahu ta'ala) said 'Hama-ust,' that is, 'everything is Him,' in this sense.

"The statement, 'The 'alam has come as such, and so it will go on,' implies that the world is Qadim (eternal). Believing such is kufr and is a denial of the fact that the 'alam will become non-existent. The Qur'an al-karim openly declares that everything will be annihilated. Among those who say that they believe in the annihilation and resurrection of human beings, there are some who say. '[The bodies of] human beings are made of earthen material. They transform into earth [water and gas] after death. These materials are transferred to plants, and then to animals, and, by being eaten by human beings, are transformed into flesh, bone and semen; thus other human beings come about. This is how the resurrection or re-creation of human beings takes place.' [Of course, the transformation of substances as mentioned here is true. Such is Allahu ta'ala's Divine Rule. But] saying that this is how human beings are re-created means a denial of Qiyama (Doomsday), Nashr (Resurrection) and Hashr (assembling for the Judgement). It has been openly stated in the Qur'an al-karim and the Hadith ash-Sharif that the Last Day will come, that he dead will rise from their graves, that all living beings will be assembled in a large square, that the deed-books will be brought forward, that there will be reckoning, that the Balance will be set up, and that the believers will pass the Sirat Bridge and go into Paradise while the unbelievers will fall into Hell to remain in eternal torture. The denial of that day is unbelief, apostasy and atheism.

"Statements such as, 'The well-known salat (ritual prayers) has been ordered for ignorant people. The worship for the pure, exalted human beings is dhikr and tefekkur (contemplating Allahu ta'ala). All particles of the human body and everything are always busy with dhikr and worship. This is the way it is, even if man does not comprehend it. Islam has been sent for those with little wisdom. Thus, their mischief-making has been prevented,' are the words of the very ignorant with little wisdom. Our Prophet (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) declared that salat is a pillar of Islam. He said, 'He who performs salat has constructed the building of his faith. He who does not perform salat has demolished his faith. Salat is the miraj of the believer.' He felt at ease and peace in salat. The closeness in salat cannot be found in anything else; it was declared in a hadith ash-Sharif: 'The curtain between Allah and man is removed only during salat.' Every perfection can be reached by following al-Ah'kam al-Islamiyya (The Rules of Islam). He who departs from these rules, that is, the orders and prohibitions, deviates off the right track. He cannot attain to happiness. The Qur'an al-karim and the Hadith ash-Sharif order that these rules should be followed. The right path is that shown by the Qur'an al-karim and the Hadith ash-Sharif. Other paths are the paths of devils. 'Abdullah ibn Masud said, 'Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam) drew a straight line. He said, "This is the only right path that leads man to the pleasure of Allahu ta'ala." Then, drawing slanting lines to the right and left of this line [like branches of a fishbone], he said, "And these are the paths of devils. The devil one each path calls one to it." Then he recited the ayat al-karima, "This is My right path. Come to [follow] it!" '

"The teachings revealed unanimously by prophets ('alaihimu 's-salam) and conveyed to us by the 'ulama' of Islam cannot be destroyed by the imagination of any one. It is unbelief and atheistic to say that the Rules of Islam are intended for the retrogressive. May Allahu ta'ala protect both us and you from believing such words! Amin."

Sayyid 'Abdulhakim Effendi (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih), who was the mujaddid of the fourteenth century of the Hegira, the refuge of the lovers of al-Haqq, the treasure of the Zahiri and batini knowledge, the indisputable proof of awliya', the master of 'arifin, the leader of muhaqqiqin, the elect of 'ubbad, the guide of rasikhin, the apple of Muslims' eyes, the expert in tasawwuf, the heir of Rasulullah (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), and whose books are documents and whose speeches were full of wisdom, wrote very concisely the definition, history, subject and terminology of tasawwuf in his Turkish work Ar-riyadu 't-tasawwufiyya. [Published by the Harbiyye Mektebi Matbaasi in Istanbul in 1341 (1923 A.D.).] He wrote in the preface:

"Since there is no superiority more honorable and more valuable than having attended the sohbat of our Prophet (sall-Allahu ta'ala 'alaihi wa sallam), those who had attained to that honor were called the Sahaba. Those who came after them were called the Tabiin because they followed (tabi') them in practice, and those who followed them were called Atba' at-Tabiin. After them, those who excelled in religious affairs were called zuhhad and 'ubbad. Thereafter, bidat' increased and every group called their leader zahid and 'abid. Those who were in the group of Ahl as-Sunnat protected their hearts from ghafla (forgetfulness of Allahu ta'ala) and secured the obedience of their nafses to Allahu ta'ala. This state of theirs was called tasawwuf while such a Muslim was called a sufi (Persian Sufi). These terms were first used at the end of the second century of the Hegira. The first one who was called a sufi was Abu Hashim Sufi of Kufa (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala). He was engaged in irshad (enlightenment, initiation) in Damascus and passed away in 115. He was the ustadh (master) of Sufyan ath-Thawri (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), who passed away in Basra in 161 (778 A.D.). Sufyan said, 'If Abu Hashim Sufi had not been, I would not have known the Rabbani (Divine) realities. I had not known what tasawwuf was before I saw him.' The first tekke was constructed for Abu Hashim in Ramlah city. The saying, 'Breaking mountains into dust using a needle is easier than removing haughtiness from the heart,' belongs to him. He frequently said, 'I take refuge in Allah from useless knowledge.'

"The men of tasawwuf have been honored with a branch of knowledge in addition to that of the other scholars of Islam. This knowledge of theirs is the expression of the dhawq resulting from their combating with their nafses. When the branches of knowledge were begun to be transferred from the heart to written form, the superiors of the men of tasawwuf also began writing on this branch of knowledge. Haris ibn Asad al-Muhasibee (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), who passed away in Basra in 241 (855 A.D.), gave extensive information on wara' and taqwa in his book Kitab ar-Ri'aya. Imam 'Abd al-Karim al-Quishayri (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), who passed away in Nishapur in 376 (987 A.D. ), in his well-known Ar-risala, and Shihab ad-din 'Umar as-Suhrawardi (rahimah-Allahu ta'ala), who passed away in 632 (1234), in his 'Awarif al-Ma'arif, have given information on the rules of Tariqa and the wajd (ecstasy) and ahwal (states). Imam Muhammad al-Ghazali (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaih) explained in detail these two groups of teachings in his book Ihya'.

"As it is seen, the beginning of tasawwuf goes back to the beginning of the prophethood (nubuwwa, risala). The knowledge of tasawwuf is the product of understanding the realities of the heavenly religions. The marifas of Wahdat al-Wujud, which is a part of tasawwuf, should not be confused with the wahda which was deduced by the Buddhists and the Jews through reason and austerities. The former consists of the marifas comprehended through dhawq while the latter consists of the fancies produced by the mind. The heedless who have not tasted this dhawq think that the two are the same."

[Allahu ta'ala declares in the Surat adh-Dhariyat, "I have created genies and men so that they should perform 'ibada [for Me]." And 'ibadat, in its turn, will cause qurb and marifa. This means to say that men are commanded to become awliya', which is possible by observing the nafila (supererogatory) 'ibadat together with the fard ones and keeping away from the holders of bidat. The duties practiced on the way of tasawwuf are the 'ibadat which are nafila. Ikhlas, which is a condition for the acceptance of the fards, is attainable by doing these duties. The above-given information clearly shows that the Wahhabis' statement, "Tasawwuf has been adapted from Jews and ancient Greeks," is an atrocious lie and slander.]