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Quote Angel Replybullet Posted: 10 January 2007 at 9:07pm

Topic:

Ghazali on tasawwuf and others on Ghazali (42 of 55), Read 417 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

NAUSHEEN

Date:

Monday, October 21, 2002 08:18 PM

On 10/20/2002 10:12:00 PM, Anonymous wrote:

1.
>The life of al-Ghazzaali needs
>to be discussed at length
>because he went through a
>number of stages. He indulged
>in philosophy, then he
>recanted and rejected that.

2.
>After that he indulged in what
>is known as ‘ilm al-kalaam
>(Islamic philosophy) and
>gained a sound grasp of its
>basic principles; then he
>rejected that after it became
>clear to him that it was
>corrupt and filled with
>contradictions. He was
>focusing on ‘ilm al-kalaam
>during the period when he
>refuted philosophy, and at
>that time he was given the
>title of Hujjat al-Islam,
>after he had refuted the
>arguments of the philosophers.
>Then he recanted ‘ilm
>al-kalaam and turned away from
>it.

3.
He followed the path of
>the Baatiniyyah (esotericists)
>and learned their knowledge,
>but then he rejected that and
>showed the beliefs of the
>Baatiniyyah to be false, and
>exposed the manner in which
>they tamper with the texts and
>rulings.

4.
>Then he followed the the path of sufism.

and??
Did he find it false too and rejected it?

Imam Ghazali is one of the most reputed islamic scholars, and those who have the nerve to criticize him, can surely depend on nobody to acquire knowledge on the deen except their own intellect.
May allah give them wisdom.


Imam Ghazzali, under the heading "On the way of the Sufis” in his book entitled Al-Munqidh min-al-Dalal (Rescuer from Error) states:
“When after acquiring proficiency in these sciences, I turned my attention to the methods of the Sufis, I came to know that their method attains perfection by means of theory and practice The gist of their knowledge is to mortify the self and acquire freedom from baser passions and evil attributes so that the heart may get rid of the thought of any thing save God and to embellish it with Divine remembrance.”

In the essay on Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, Professor Muntansir Mir writes: ". . .
Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali, medieval Muslim theologian, jurist, and mystic. Few individuals in the intellectual history of Islam have exerted influence as powerful and varied as did Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali. When he died at the age of fifty-two, he had attempted, with an exceptionally perspicacious mind and a powerful pen, a grand synthesis of the Islamic sciences that has ever since evoked the wonder and admiration of scholars, both Muslims and non-Muslims. He gained distinction in the court of the Seljuk vizier Nizam al-Mulk, and at the age of thirty-four he was appointed professor at the Nizamiyah College at Baghdad. After teaching there for several years, al-Ghazzali suffered a crisis of confidence. Losing faith in the efficacy and purpose of the learning he has acquired and was now disseminating, he searched for the truth and certitude that alone could set his moral doubt at rest. He left his position at the Nizamiyah, withdrew from practical life, and spent eleven years in travel, meditation, and reflection. When he returned he had found the object of his search - in sufism. The details of al-Ghazzali's quest for knowledge that would give certitude are found in his autobiography, Al-munqidh min al-dalal (Deliverer from Error). Al-Ghazzali tells us that, of the four groups of people who claimed to be in possession of the truth, only the sufis, who walked the right path, because they combined knowledge with action, had sincerity of purpose, and actually experienced the serenity and contentment that comes from direct illumination of the heart by God.

Al-Ghazzali's critique of the philosophers, the esotericists, and the theologians constituted the critical aspect of his work, but there is a constructive aspect to it also; in fact the two aspects are closely linked. In a sense the principal motif of all al-Ghazzali's work is spiritualization of religious thought and practice; form must be imbued with spirit, and law and ritual with ethical vision. Taking salvation in the hereafter as the final goal, and therefore the ultimate point of reference, he set out to identify and analyze the aids and impediments to that goal. This resulted in his best-known work, Ihya ulum al-Din, an attempt to integrate the major disciplines of Islamic religion - theology and law, ethics and mysticism. Here as in other works, al-Ghazzali seeks to demystify Islam. He maintains, for example, that in order to be a Muslim it is sufficient to hold the beliefs that have been laid down by God and his Prophet in the Quran and sunnah, and that knowledge of the complex arguments advanced by the theologians is not requisite of faith. The essence of religion is experience, not mere profession, and the sufis are the ones who are able to experience the realities that theologians only talk about. [vol. 2, pp. 61-63].

Recently one of the leading Muslim journals in US, the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, [a joint publication of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)], vol. 12, no. 4, Winter 1995, published a paper titled "Al Ghazali between Philosophy and Sufism" [authored by Professor Yasin Ceylan]. The author describes al Ghazali's experience with sufism in these words: "Al Ghazali embarked on his investigation of four different schools of thought that were influential in his time - Batinism, theology, philosophy, and Sufism - in order to find truth in them. The first three did not satisfy him, while Sufism provided him the truth for which he had been searching. There have always been notable Sufis of varied backgrounds throughout the history of Islamic thought. Whereas most of them received the traditional education, some had so much interest in logic and philosophy that they pursued these fields in depth. However, none of them penetrated into these sciences as far as al Ghazali, who acquired an intimate knowledge of both philosophy and theology. Al Ghazali himself discloses why he was frustrated by philosophy in his quest for truth and why he choose to adopt Sufism instead. His account may be summed up as follows: His disillusionment with philosophy was derived from its destructive effect on the fundamentals of religion, while his attraction to Sufism was rooted in the fact that ethical refinement and the purification of the soul were necessary conditions in this discipline." [p. 584] "Al Ghazali mentions three fundamental features related to his mystical experience: a) the purification of the soul from those evils and worldly desires that hinder moral perfection; b) those spiritual dispositions or explorations that occur after the process of purification reaches the level of maturity (described as extraordinary intellectual intuitions); and c) that these dispositions are not explicable through reason." [p. 587]


N
~ Our feet are earthbound, but our hearts and our minds have wings ~
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Quote Angel Replybullet Posted: 10 January 2007 at 9:10pm

Topic:

Sufism in Islam - 7 (Dhikr) (43 of 55), Read 401 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

NAUSHEEN

Date:

Friday, October 25, 2002 12:47 AM


What The Qur'an Says About Dhikr-Allah

Those men and women who engage much in Allah's praise. For them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a great reward. (33:35)

He is successful who purifies himself, and remembers the name of his Lord, and so prays. (87:14-15)

Allah Ta'ala said in His Book: And mention the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with a complete devotion (73:8).

Those who believe, and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah! Behold in the Remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction. (13-28)

O ye who believe let not your riches or your children divert you from the Remembrance of Allah if any act thus, the loss is their own. (63:9)

Then do ye remember Me I will remember you. (2-152)

Men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from Remembrance of Allah nor from regular Salaat, nor from regular practice of Zakaat. (24-37)

He who turns away from the remembrance of His Lord He will cause him to undergo a severe Penalty. (72-17)

Those who remember Allah while standing , sitting, and lying on their sides (3:191)

Sura Al-Baqara [Yusuf Ali Translation 2:152]
Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me and reject not faith.

Note 156:
The word "remember" is too pale a word for zikr, which has now acquired a large number of associations in our religious literature, especially Sufi literature. In its verbal signification it implies: to remember, to praise by frequently mentioning; to rehearse; to celebrate or commemorate; to make much of; to cherish the memory of as a precious possession. In Sufi devotions zikr represents both a solemn ritual and a spiritual state of mind or heart, in which the devotee seeks to realise the presence of God. Thus there is zikr of the mind and zikr of the heart. For beginners the one may lead to the other, but in many cases the two may be simultaneous. There is a subtler distinction, between the zikr that is open, and the zikr that is secret, corresponding to the two doors of the heart, the fleshly and the spiritual.


From: Kitab at-Tasheel li 'Uloom at-Tanzeel" - "The Sciences of Tafsir"

Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab said, "Its meaning is 'Remember Me with obedience and I will remember you with reward'." It has been said that it means 'Remember Me with supplication and glorification and the like of that.

The commentators, particularly the Sufis, have said a great deal in commentary on this subject using words with restricted and qualified meanings, and there is no proof of restriction. In general this ayah is an explanation of the nobility of dhikr, which the saying of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made clear, as he narrated it from his Lord, "I am in My slave's opinion of Me, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I remember him in My self. If he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in an assembly better than them."

There are three types of dhikr:

* the dhikr of the heart,
* dhikr with the tongue,
* with the two of them together.

Know that dhikr is the best of actions in general, even if in some hadith there is related some superiority to some other action, such as the prayer, etc., for that is only because of what they contain of the meaning of dhikr and being present with Allah ta'ala.

There are three aspects to the proof of the superiority of dhikr:
First, the texts which have been narrated about its superiority over all other actions. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Shall I not tell you of the best of your actions, and the most pure of them with your King, and the most exalted of them in your ranks, [those which are] better for you than your meeting your enemy and striking their necks and they striking your necks?" They said, "Certainly, Messenger of Allah." He said, "Dhikr of Allah." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, "Which actions are the best?" He said, "Dhikr of Allah." Someone said, "Is dhikr better or jihad in the way of Allah?" He said, "Even if the mujahid were to strike at the kuffar until his sword broke and he was coloured with the blood, the person of dhikr would be better than him."

Second , that Allah exalted is He, wherever He commands us to do dhikr or praises dhikr, He has stipulated a great deal of it, so He says, "Remember Allah with much remembrance" and "those who remember Allah a great deal" and He does not stipulate that for any other action.

Third, that dhikr has something extra which belongs to it especially and does not belong to anything else, which is presence in the Highest Presence, and arrival to nearness which is indicated by that which is narrated in the hadith which mention 'sitting with' and 'withness', for Allah, exalted is He, says [in the hadith Qudsi], "I sit with the one who remembers Me", and He says, "I am in My slave's opinion of Me, and I am with him when he remembers Me."

People have two stations with respect to their intentions in dhikr:

* the intention of the generality is to earn rewards,
* the intention of the elect is nearness and presence.

How great a distance there is between the two stations, and how great it is between one who takes his reward and he is behind a veil, and one who draws near until he is one of the elect of the beloved ones.

Know that dhikr has many types, of which there is "La ilaha illa'llah", and tasbeeh, takbir, praise, "La hawla wa law quwwata illa billah", "husbuna'llahu wa ni'ma'l-wakeel" and the dhikr of every name of Allah ta'ala, and sending blessings on the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and seeking forgiveness, etc. Each dhikr has its special quality and its fruit.

* As for "La ilaha illa'llah - There is no god but Allah", its fruit is tawhid , and I mean the tawhid of the elect because every believer obtains the tawhid of the ordinary people.
* As for takbir "Allahu Akbar - Allah is greater", its fruit is exaltation of the Possessor of Majesty.
* As for praise and the [Divine] Names whose meanings are good treatment and mercy such as ar-Rahman "The Universally Merciful" and ar-Raheem "The Specifically Compassionate" and al-Kareem "The Nobly Generous", and al-Ghaffar "The Oft Forgiving" and the like of them, their fruit is three stations, gratitude, strength of hope, and love, for the One Who Treats [us] Well is unavoidably beloved.
* As for "La hawla wa law quwwata illa billah - There is no power and no strength but by Allah" and "husbuna'llahu wa ni'ma'l-wakeel - Allah is enough for us and an excellent guardian" their fruit is dependence on Allah and surrendering [all affairs] to Him, and strong trust in Allah.
* As for the [Divine] Names whose meanings are showing and grasping, such as al-'Aleem "the All-Knowing" and as-Samee' "the All-Hearing" and al-Baseer "the All-Seeing" and al-Qareeb "the Near" and the like of them, their fruit is muraqabah "fearful watchfulness".
* As for sending blessings on the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, its fruit is strong love for him, and carefully guarding the following of his sunnah.
* As for istighfar "seeking forgiveness" its fruit is going straight in taqwa , and guarding the preconditions of turning in penitence [to Allah from one's wrongdoing] along with the hearts rejection of the causes which led to previous wrong actions.
*Then the fruit of the dhikr which unites the names and attributes is gathered together in the unique dhikr which is our saying, "Allah, Allah". This is the goal and the limit.


The Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) about Zikr

A chapter is devoted to the Prophet's injunctions on the subject in all large books of traditions, called Babu 'z-Zikr, from which the following sayings of Muhammad have been selected:

* Whenever people sit and remember God, they are surrounded by angels which cover them with God's favor, and peace descends upon them, and God remembers them in that assembly which is near him.
* Verily there are angels who move to and fro on the road and seek for the rememberers of God, and when they find an assembly remembering God, they say to one another, "Come ye to that which ye were seeking." Then the angels cover them with their wings as far as the lowest heaven, called the region of the world. The Prophet said: - When the angels go to the court of God, God asks them, while knowing better than they, "What do My servants say and do?" Then the angels say, "They are reciting the Tasbih, the Takbir, the Tahmid, and the Tamjid for Thee." And God says, "Have they seen Me?" The angels say, "No, by God, they have not seen Thee." Then God says, "What would their condition be if they had seen Me?" The angels say, "If they had seen Thee, they would be more energetic in worshiping Thee and in reciting the Tamjid, and they would be more excessive in repeating the Tasbih." God says, "Then what do they want?" The angels say, "
Paradise." Then God says, "Have they seen Paradise?" The angels say, "We swear by God they have not." Then God says, "What would their state have been had they seen Paradise?" The angels say, "If they had seen Paradise, they would be very ambitious for it, and would be excessive wishers of it, and very great desirers of it." God says, "What thing is it they seek protection from?" The angels say, "from Hellfire." God says, "Have they seen the fire?" The angels say, "No, by God, if they had seen the fire. -- " God says, "How would they have been had they seen the fire?" The angels say, "If they had seen the fire, they would be great runners from it, and would be great bearers of it." Then God says, "I take ye as witnesses that verily I have pardoned them." One of the angels said, "There is a person amongst them who is not a rememberer of Thee, and is only come on account of his own needs."
* There is a polish for everything that takes rust, and the polish for the heart is the remembrance of God, and there is no act that redeems from God's punishments so much as the remembrance of Him. The Companions said, "Is not fighting with the infidels also like this? He said, "No, although he fights until his sword be broken."
* Shall I not inform you of an action which is better for you than fighting with infidels and cutting off their heads, and their cutting off yours?" The Companions said, "Yes, inform us." The Prophet said, "These actions are remembering God."
* 'Abdullah ibn Aus said: - An 'Arabi came to the Prophet and asked, "Which is the best of men?" the Prophet said, "Blessed is the person whose life is long and whose actions are good." The 'Arabi said, "O Prophet! Which is the best of actions, and the most rewarded?" He said, "The best of actions is this, that you separate from the world, and die whilst your tongue is moist in repeating the name of God."
* A man said, "O Prophet of God, really the rules of Islam are many, tell me a thing by which I may lay hold of rewards." The Prophet said, "Let your tongue be always moist in the remembrance of God."
* "Verily there are ninety-nine names of God; whosoever counts them up shall enter into
Paradise."
* When Zu 'n-Nun (Jonah) the prophet prayed to his Lord when he was in the fish's belly, he said, "There is no Deity but Thee. I extol Thy holiness. Verily I am of the unjust ones." And a Mussulman who supplicates God with this petition will have his prayer granted.
* The best expressions are these four: Subhana Allahi, al-Hamdu Lillahi, La ilaha illa Allah, and Allahu akbar; and it does not matter with which of them you begin.
* Verily I like repeating these four expressions: O Holy God! Praise be to God! There is no deity but God! And God is Great! better than anything upon which the sun shines.
* No one can bring a better deed on the Day of Resurrection (unless he shall have said the like or added to it) than he who has recited, "O Holy God! Praise be to Thee!" one hundred times every morning and evening.
* There are two expressions light upon the tongue and heavy in the scale of good works, and they are, "O holy God! Praise be to Thee!" and "O Holy God! The Mighty One!"
* That person who shall say, "There is no deity but God, who has no partner, to whom is dominion and praise and power," one hundred times, shall receive rewards equal to the emancipating of ten slaves; and one hundred good actions shall be written for him, and one hundred of his sins shall be blotted out; and those words shall be a protection to him from the devil and his wickedness, in that day in which he shall have repeated them, until the night. Nor can anyone perform a better deed for the Day of Resurrection than this, unless he has done even more.
* Moses said, "O my Lord, teach me how I am to call upon Thee." And God said, "O Moses, recite, 'There is no deity but God!'" Then Moses said, "O my Lord every one of thy people say this." And God said, "O Moses, if the seven heavens and their inhabitants and the seven earths were put into one scale, and this expression, 'There is no deity but God,' into another, these words would exceed in weight."
* Reciting "O Holy God" is half the scale of good works, and reciting "God be praised" fills the scale. The recital of "There is no deity but one," removes the curtain between the worshipper and his God.
* He who recites with an unsullied heart, "There is no deity but God," shall have the doors of heaven open for him until he reaches the throne of God, as long as he abstains from great sins.
* The ejaculation, "There is no power and strength but in God," is medicine for ninety-nine pains, the least of which is melancholy.
* There are two qualities which, being practised by anyone, shall cause him to enter
Paradise; they are small and easy, and it is easy for anyone to practise them. One of them is saying 'God is holy' ten times after every prayer, 'Praised be God' ten times, and 'God is great' ten times. And verily I saw the Prophet counting these words on his hand, and he would say, "then these words are one hundred and fifty with the tongue in the day and night, but they are one thousand and five hundred in the scale of actions, reckoning ten for one. And the second is this: when he goes to his bedchamber, let him say, 'God is holy' and 'God be praised,' and 'God is great,' then that is one hundred on the tongue and a thousand in the scales. Then which of you is it that commits two thousand five hundred vices in the day night, so that these words may cover them?" The Companions said, "If when we repeat these words we have so many rewards, why should we not say them?" The Prophet said, "The Devil comes to one of you when at prayers and says to him, 'Remember so-and-so,' till you have finished your prayers; and the Devil comes to you in your bed-chamber, and is always making you sleep."



Be not heedless of thy Lord
for even the blink of an eye,
Lest He directs His attention towards you,
and finds you unawares.

 

 

Topic:

Sufism in Islam - 7 (Dhikr) (44 of 55), Read 400 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

Anonymous

Date:

Friday, October 25, 2002 07:17 AM

It is not permissible for a Muslim to innovate any dhikr to recite regularly or to tell others to do so – such as awraad/wird,
ma’thooraat or du’aas. The adhkaar that were reported in the saheeh Sunnah are sufficient for this, otherwise a person is an innovator
or one who calls others to bid’ah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in
this matter of ours [i.e., Islam] that is not a part of it, will have it rejected.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhaari, 2550; Muslim, 1718).

According to a report narrated by Muslim: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (i.e., Islam)
will have it rejected.”

Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This hadeeth represents one of the most important principles in Islam.
It is like a scale against which the external appearances of deeds are measured, just as the hadeeth “Actions are but by intention” is the
scale against which the inner motivations of actions are measured. Just as every deed which is not done for the sake of Allaah will
bring no reward for the one who does it, so also every deed which is not in accordance with the way of Allaah and His Messenger will
be rejected
and thrown back at the one who does it. Anyone who innovates new things in the religion and does things for which Allaah and His
Messenger have not granted permission, this is not a part of the religion at all.” (Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam, 1/180).

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This hadeeth is one of the most important basic principles of Islam, and it is one
of the most concise and comprehensive sayings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It clearly states that
innovations and newly invented matters will be rejected.

The second report adds another idea, which is that some of those who follow the innovations of others may become stubborn when
they are presented with the evidence of the first report which says, “Whoever
innovates something…” They may say, “I am not innovating anything”. But he may in this case be presented with the evidence of the
second report, which says, “Whoever does any action…” This clearly shows that all innovated actions will be rejected, whether the
one who does them innovates them himself or is following someone else who innovated it… This hadeeth is one that should be learned
by heart and used to denounce evil actions and be spread as evidence so that all people may use it.” (Sharh Muslim, 12/16).

Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“No doubt adhkaar and du’aa’s are among the best forms of worship, and worship is one of the matters in which there is no room
for personal opinions – we have to follow what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did and taught, not our own
whims and desires or innovations. The du’aa’s and adhkaar of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) are the best
that anyone could find. The one who follows this way will be safe and sound, and the benefits and positive results that he will gain are
beyond description. Any other du’aa’s and adhkaar may be haraam or they may be makrooh; they may involve shirk even though most
people do not realize that – the details of this would take too long to explain here.

No one has the right to teach the people any kinds of du’aa’s or adhkaar apart from those that are mentioned in the Sunnah, or to
make it a kind of regular worship which he expects the people to do regularly as they do the five daily prayers – this is the innovation
in religion which Allaah does not allow… As for adopting a wird or
regularly reciting a dhikr that is not prescribed in sharee’ah, this is one of the things that is not allowed. The du’aa’s and adhkaar
prescribed by sharee’ah are the best that anyone could ever hope to find, and no
one ignores them in favour of newly-invented, innovated adhkaar except one who is ignorant, negligent or a wrongdoer.” (Majmoo’
al-Fataawa, 22/510-511).

 

~ Our feet are earthbound, but our hearts and our minds have wings ~
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Quote Angel Replybullet Posted: 10 January 2007 at 9:13pm

Topic:

Sufism in Islam - 7 (Dhikr) (45 of 55), Read 389 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

NAUSHEEN

Date:

Sunday, October 27, 2002 08:34 PM


brother Anonymous writes above on Friday, October 25, 2002 07:17 AM:

>>It is not permissible for a Muslim to innovate any dhikr to recite regularly or to tell others to do so – such as awraad/wird, ma’thooraat or du’aas.<<

After this there is a long lecture, telling us what bidah or innovation is, and how we are supposed to abstain from it, lest we may be guilty of introducing reprehensible practices in Islam, and may be regardes as a disbeliever.

From Dhikrullah what is meant is remembrance of Allah (SWT). And even those who call the dhikr gathering of sufis bidah, cannot say that Dhikrullah in itself is bidah.

Does allah lay any limit for the number of times, He should be remembered?
After how many remembrance, does the next become a bidah? Is there any hadith that says, for example 100 times remembering allah with the tongue and in the heart during a day is permissible, but if anyone does it 100+1 times, and invites others to do the same he is guilty of bidah?

The very first verse which I quoted says:
Those men and women who engage much in Allah's praise. For them has Allah prepared forgiveness and a great reward. (33:35)

does allah limit us to the occasions when we can remember Him, and others when we cannot?

O ye who believe let not your riches or your children divert you from the Remembrance of Allah if any act thus, the loss is their own. (63:9)

Those who remember Allah while standing , sitting, and lying on their sides (3:191)


Allah says to Him belong the most beautiful names, and we can call him with any of His names .... because in the remembrance of allah hearts find comfort

Is it an innovation to remember allah with any of His names? Where is the hadith that says calling allah with a particular name is not permissible?

Does allah say anywhere in Quran that He can be remembered with such and such name but not by such and such?


I am reminded of a hadith of hadrath musa (AS) he heard a man supplicating to allah in manner which is not suitable for allah, and Musa(AS) tells him not to do so as it is not proper to address the almighty in such a way. Later when he goes to have a word with allah (as this prophet is also know as kalimullah .... or the one who used to talk with allah), allah said to him He liked the way that man used to address allah, and musa(AS) should not have checked him.

Subhan allah!

Dhikr allah is the kind of ibadah where allah deos not impose any rule. He loves those of His servants who remember Him in heart and from tongue, and says that He remembers those who remember Him. He does not say He accepts a particular kind of remembrance but rejects the other.

Once rasul allah (SAW) left hadrath Juwariah(RAA) on the prayer mat in fajr prayer, went out and when came back after a few hours, he found her still engaged in dhikr. The prophet of allah said may i teach you something better? Which means what she had kept herself involved with an exercise that was 'good' that is why he did not tell her to stop, or to abandon. He told her something that was better - a comparative degree of the word 'good', and not 'bad'.

And he said if one says the following praise to allah thrice, is better than a thousand dhikr:
Subhan allah wa bihamdihi, adada khalqihi, wa ridha nafsihi, wa zinate arshihi wa medada kalimatihi.

Those who invite people to dhikr of allah (SWT) invite for something good, and they cannot be charged of reprehension.

He is successful who purifies himself, and remembers the name of his Lord, and so prays. (87:14-15)



Be not heedless of thy Lord
for even the blink of an eye,
Lest He directs His attention towards you,
and finds you unawares.

 

 

Topic:

Sufism in Islam - 7 (Dhikr) (46 of 55), Read 395 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

Anonymous

Date:

Monday, October 28, 2002 07:13 AM

Exaggeration and Innovation of Sufis in Worship (Dhikr):

It has been mentioned from sufi sources that among the conditions for dhikr is to acquire the dhikr from a Shaikh of Dhikr as the Sahabah took dhikr from Rasoolullah.

This "condition" gives the sufis their allowance to prescribe innovative forms of dhikr to their mureeds (disciples).

Comparing the sufi sheikhs to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is a clear error, because Sahabah referred to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) for guidance since he was the sole recipient of revelation from Allah. Sufi sheikhs do no receive any revelation from Allah that their disciples must take dhikr from them. This comparison is therefore false because comparison is only done in similar matters.

Allah says: "O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and make not vain your deeds." Hence, any matter of the religion that does not have its origin from the Sunnah can never be beneficial as a source of guidance. This is why the sufi dhikr is a source of hardship, torture, anxiety and insanity - to site a few examples:

They (sufis) say: "The dhakir (one involved in dhikr) should acquire perfect purity by wudhu and ghusl and then sit in the Tashahud position facing Kiblah, keeping both his hands on his thighs in close proximity to the knees. Alternatively, hold back the right hand with the palm of the left hand, gripping the right thumb with the left thumb.... Thereafter, closethe eyes and either inaudibly or slightly raised voice (or loud depending on the tareeqah) in what manner the Sheikh has instructed focusing the heart on Allah, recite La-ilaha illaAllah repeatedly, expelling with full force and full attention of the heart all good and bad thought from the heart. Draw La-ilaha from the heart and deliver with full force illAllah into the heart."

This quote describes one manner of the dhikr of the sufis, for which there is no proof in the Sunnah. The sufis act upon these types of dhikr upon the prescription of their "Shaikhs of Dhikr."

Another addition to khikr that has been prescribed by sufi sheikhs, and many refereces can be found in books of the sufis to it, this practice is very similar to the way the yogis and ascetics in other oriental religions practice: "Holding the breath in dhikr"

The sufi sheikh instructs: "Recite Allahu 90 times, in a single breathe, gradually increasing the number in accordance with his ability. Ultimately he developed his ability to extend of up to 400 times with a single breath."

In Islam, the quantity of deeds does not ensure reward with Allah; rather deeds are accepted by the obedience to Allah's Messenger (pbuh). Deeds become insignificant and yield no gain if they are not performed with Ittiba (guidance and following) of Allah's Messenger (pbuh).

 

 

Topic:

Sufism in Islam - 7 (Dhikr) (47 of 55), Read 382 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

NAUSHEEN

Date:

Wednesday, October 30, 2002 07:53 PM


Brother Anonymous says:
>>>Exaggeration and Innovation of Sufis in Worship (Dhikr):<<<

I would like to know if this is a personal opinion of the poster or a borrowed notion from any website, who think its their 'divine duty' to inform the muslim ummah of the "evils" of sufism.
Anyway it should be noted, that what I kike may not be treated as a binding on anybody. You may feel free even to remain silent on the authorship of any and every post that is broadcasted here.

>>>It has been mentioned from sufi sources that among the conditions for dhikr is to acquire the dhikr from a Shaikh of Dhikr as the Sahabah took dhikr from Rasoolullah.<<<

Acquire the dhikr? I dont really understand what it means. Dhikr is an act, a deed. And a deed cannot be "acquired" from anybody. Only its method of performance can be "learnt" from someone, if desired.

>>>Comparing the sufi sheikhs to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is a clear error,<<<

I am unable to see the "error" in "clarity" here if one sees the "role" of his shaikh "like" that of the prophet(saw) in "a certain" way.
Point to be noted, that although to "acquire dhikr" sounds absurd to the ears, still i address this notion of comparison because.... a muslim is supposed to emulate the prophet in all his actions. This does not mean he should consider himself a prophet. Nevertheless it is one's duty to lead life as the prophet taught us, and in certain spheres of life perform the roles that he(SAW) did, to serve the mankind. Like he(SAW) was a teacher, and a torch bearer of the message of allah. After he is gone, the message still needs to be transmitted, the religion still needs to be taught. Of course one does not need to go through the ordeal of devising "new methods" to do the job, as the "methods" have already been chalked out, but the job is still there and we need sincere muslims to accomplish it.

Transmission of the word of allah "from allah to people" was done by the prophet and this was a unique role, for which allah will not choose anybody in future till the judgement day. However to transmit the word of allah (as in the quran) from people to people still needs to be done.

And allah says in the quran, if you dont worship allah like He should be worshiped .. He will create a generation who will ... and nothing is difficult for allah.

To see a muslim in one of those roles that prophet performed to accelerate the cause of deen, be it of social or spiritual nature, if is an error, we need to prove it as an error through some authentic sources.

>>> Hence, any matter of the religion that does not have its origin from the Sunnah can never be beneficial as a source of guidance. This is why the sufi dhikr is a source of hardship, torture, anxiety and insanity - to site a few examples:

They (sufis) say: "The dhakir (one involved in dhikr) should acquire perfect purity by wudhu and ghusl and then sit in the Tashahud position facing Kiblah, keeping both his hands on his thighs in close proximity to the knees.<<<

Imam Nawawi has said about etiquettes of dua, that one should be in a state of ghusl or wudu and face the qibla, raise ones hands, recite sura fateha, and seek allah thru the intercession of his beloved servants (prophet and awliya)

Dua is ibadah, and the "best way" of ibadah is to do it in such a way as one performs the salat - "which is the most excellent ibadah".

The prophet(SAW) said, shall I teach you which is the most excellent action for you .... it is dhikr allah.

So is dhikr not sunnah?
Is dhikr not ibadah?
Is doing ibadah in a state of total ablution not sunnah?

Do sufis say that if you are not in a state of total ablution for dhikr it will not be accepted by allah?
NO THEY DONT!
yet sufis say, it is for the training of your ownself, if you remain in a state of ablution while doing dhikr.

Do we not have a hadith that says one should try to remain in a state of ablution in all times?
Is this a torture? If not then how is dhikr in a state of ablution a torture?
If one likes he can see more purity, more devotion and more beauty in this act, yet some choose to see only 'insanity'. May allah guide them through His wisdom.

The sufis do teach how to concentrate on ones acts of devotion.

The Quran instructs us to perform our religious duties with 'presence of mind' although the method to keep one's mind present is not described. If one repeats the name of allah with his tongue, but his heart does not echo the words, one can still get the reward, but how come keeping one's heart and tongue in unison a bidah - is it not moving towards perfection? So is doing lip service to the name of allah and letting the heart and mind wander to some other spot favorite to the nafs Islamic? astaghfirullah!! May allah forgive those who have weak understandings of His deen.

>>>Another addition to khikr that has been prescribed by sufi sheikhs, and many refereces can be found in books of the sufis to it, this practice is very similar to the way the yogis and ascetics in other oriental religions practice: "Holding the breath in dhikr"

The sufi sheikh instructs: "Recite Allahu 90 times, in a single breathe, gradually increasing the number in accordance with his ability. Ultimately he developed his ability to extend of up to 400 times with a single breath."<<<

I would have asked to give the source of this information, but it is not important because there have been so many lies attributed to the sufis in this thread, that this one seems frugal :)

N
~ Our feet are earthbound, but our hearts and our minds have wings ~
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Quote Angel Replybullet Posted: 10 January 2007 at 9:16pm

Topic:

Sufism in Islam - 7 (Dhikr) (48 of 55), Read 380 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

Anonymous

Date:

Thursday, October 31, 2002 10:24 AM

In explaining the state of the Sufis, the intention is not to gloat over their faults, nor to make mockery of them. Rather to warn Muslims from being duped by falsehood, tricks and ruses.

All sects of Sufis have gone beyond bounds in veneration of their Sheikhs and in complete submission of the follower (mureed) to his teacher (sheikh), not showing the slightest resistance, so that he becomes like a dead body beneath the hand of the person washing it.

Muhammad Uthman as-Sufi the author of al-Habaatul Muqtabisha says while discussing the manner befitting the follower: "From them is that he sits in his presence as he sits in the prayer, and that he loses himself in his presence, and that he does not sit above his mat, nor make wudoo with his pot, nor lean upon his stick. Listen to what one of the pure people said: "Whoever says 'Why?' to his teacher will never prosper."

Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (2:185) It has been made permissible for the Muslim to refrain from fasting in Ramadan when he is a traveller or is ill as a mercy to us, so all praise adn thanks are due to Allah, for His favors.

Sufis, endurance of self-imposed hardship was found amongst the first Sufis, but as regards later Sufis, their imposition of hardship upon themselves have gone beyond bounds. Ibnul Jawzee in Talbees Ibless, has criticized the Sufis for their abstemiousness to the point of self torture.
What Ibnul-Jawzee relates is also the state of the Sufis of our time, indeed they are many times worse.

 

 

Topic:

Sufism in Islam - (ctisism ?) (49 of 55), Read 385 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

NAUSHEEN

Date:

Thursday, October 31, 2002 04:39 PM

Ibn Jawzee is not criticizing 'tasawwuf' in general. The scholars of old who you DO NOT read, but hear of from ppl WHO YOU READ and then conclude sufism has no basis in islam, always acknowledged the science. Their critic is on the "sufis" who have gone astray in the practices, and not on "sufism".

I am almost sure, you have not read all of my inputs on this thread.

To negate the science in itself is an error. you can surely raise a finger at those who dont follow the principles, but you cannot say that the principles are themselves wrong - that they have no foundation in Islam.

This concept of opposition of tasawwuf is as new as the newly corrupted practices of "some" sufis.

I have said in the very beginning that i do not condone all the sufis. Still I cannot accept from anybody what all they say about tasawwuf "in particular". So far you could have no answer to any of my refutation, which in itself is a proof that you have to accept your accusation are wrong.

If a person does not follow islam properly is it a fault of islam and the the prophet of islam or an error of the individual?

And yes, there are plenty of ppl who do things that are not sanctioned in the religion, and say that it is okay, for them islam is this. How should you deal with them? Should one say islam is a practice that should be rejected? i dont think so.

May i ask you, have you read iblees tablees? I say this because I read my rebuttals since i started posting on this thread, and the conclusion I came to is that even sufis are not at par with those scholars who have critisized some of the practices.

i have read essays in support of sufism, where authors have said how Ibn Taymiyah did not reject sufism as a whole, but the wrong practices that were developed by some of the sufis.

You think what you have said so far should sound like mockery? Dear brother, go thru the whole thing from the beginning, if you really care. But no, you have a one sided view, borrowed from a particular ideology, and you dont want to understand anything that falls outside the realm of this ideology - in such a state you cannot benefit from any word that is posted here. It is a pity, and dont think i a angry at you ... no I am not. but when you post something that is not in line with my beliefs, i have a responsibility to come here and post the truth.

Peace,
Nausheen


Be not heedless of thy Lord
for even the blink of an eye,
Lest He directs His attention towards you,
and finds you unawares.

 

 

Topic:

Sufism in Islam - (ctisism ?) (50 of 55), Read 387 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

Anonymous

Date:

Thursday, October 31, 2002 06:16 PM

"i have a responsibility to come here and post the truth."

Where is this "responsibility" when posting "The Fifth Paradise: The Garden of Beauty and Felicity," to post the truth concerning what our Prophet (pbuh) said, or for that matter what Allah, Most High has said. Certainly Sufism began having noble intentions, upholding Quran and Sunnah; but where are they today?

 

 

Topic:

Sufism in Islam - (ctisism ?) (51 of 55), Read 399 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

NAUSHEEN

Date:

Thursday, October 31, 2002 08:18 PM

On 10/31/2002 6:16:00 PM, Anonymous wrote:
>"i have a responsibility to
>come here and post the truth."
>
>Where is this "responsibility"
>when posting "The Fifth
>
Paradise: The Garden of Beauty
>and Felicity," to post the
>truth concerning what our
>Prophet (pbuh) said, or for
>that matter what Allah, Most
>High has said. Certainly
>Sufism began having noble
>intentions, upholding Quran
>and Sunnah;
but where are they
>today?
>
>
Is this what you just said? or am I seeing things :-)

It took you almost 50 posts to say that sufism began with "noble" intentions.
That sufi principles are indeed those that uphold Quran and sunnah. So far I only heard the words "bidah" and "haram" - that sufism has no place in islam.

If you could only stick to this stance, then probably i can presume that you have "grudges" with the sufis "of today", and not with tasawwuf in principle :-)

I dont stand here and speak for those who call themselves "sufis", but for the path that is called tasawwuf or "purification of self". If you call it a fraud, I wont ask you to stop, or change your mind. In fact quite the contrary, please continue to believe what you may. Still I have posted much for those who are searching for truth with an open mind.

My posts are not going to benefit you, I knew even before deciding to post anything here, and may allah increase you in Imaan in which ever way you pursue His deen, still i will refute your allegations.

As for what I posted in women's corner.

1. this was not the first time i posted something and you objected it. (if you remember the first time your book of AA tabari came on the discussion board when i posted something THAT WAS MUCH IN LINE WITH QURAN AND SUNNAH) - so it is not important, you will object when the source is a sufi website.

2. I did not ask anybody to accept my post in women's corner as a fact, infact the little disclaimer i gave was just that i liked it very much.

3. I did not object or argue with you on your objection on the very thread when you came up with it.

4. I posted the exact hadith which you demanded AND STILL DID NOT INSIST ANYBODY TO ACCEPT what you called a "story" as truth.

So if you have anything personal with me, I still dont have anything against you. This is as clear as day because it is you who has charged me with allegations, but i did not resort to your methods to reply you.

You may think your book is not refuted, and you may think there is nothing on the net to talk against those who have beliefs like yours, but this is not true. Still i dont want an ugly fight here. To argue with you will not help anybody, and nobody likes to read two people returning gestures in kind. My intention is to remove misconceptions and charges which some so fondly and blindly paste on the great sufi scholars of Islam.

Peace,
Nausheen
~ Our feet are earthbound, but our hearts and our minds have wings ~
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Quote Angel Replybullet Posted: 10 January 2007 at 9:19pm

Topic:

Sufism in Islam-The Proof of Islam, al-Ghazali (52 of 55), Read 401 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

Ibn Hanbal

Date:

Sunday, October 27, 2002 01:23 PM


All praise is indeed for Allah, Most High, Most Gracious. It is out of his mercy that allows us to see the truth and be guided. And it is out of His Mercy that He brings forth the revivers and scholars of this nation to guide the public. Their (the scholars of the past) right upon us is that we do not speak ill of them in any bad manner, and that we withhold from being haste in making judgement upon that which we ourselves may not understand.

As to those who are totally convinced of their standing in their opinion on certain scholars of the past (based on a limited understanding coming from reading a few sayings of scholars), for them this discussion may not bring any benefit. Even if we were to present contradictory sayings and comments from the majority of the scholars that are in opposition to their own personal views, they would not care to agree to it or believe in what you give them. Nevertheless, it is only befitting and among the rights of the righteous (Saaliheen) who came before us, for us to state the truth of the matter concerning the Imams (leaders and scholars).

Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Tusi al-Ghazali (Allah’s Mercy be upon him).

For some general information, note that Imam al-Ghazali studied and mastered Shafii’ school of Jurisprudence as well as other sciences of Islam, and his work al-Mustasfa is considered an invaluable work in the science of Usul al-Fiqh and is used to this day. He wrote this book on legal theory a year or so before his death. The minister of that region and time, Nizam ul-Mulk selected Imam al-Ghazali (who was at this point well-known for his knowledge) and appointed him as a teacher and lecturer at the world famous (at that time!)
Nizamiyya University in Baghdad. The post by anonymous seems to suggest that al-Ghazali’s knowledge of Ahadith was no better than ours (mine and yours). This is completely incorrect, as al-Ghazali had studied Ahadith (more so towards the end of his life) and to be even considered as a scholar one had to go through some study of Ahadith. Towards the end of his life he studied Sahih ul-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim under the scholar Hafidh Amr ibn Abi al-Hasan al-Rawasi. This subject will be addressed again. We can go on and on concerning the details of the life of this personality, but that can be read elsewhere and at another time.

The previous post on Imam al-Ghazali has unfortunately presented to the reader various personal opinions and a mixed variety of sayings, some of them not reflecting the correct understanding and opinion on the scholar of Islam, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. If we are to describe the life of this Imam and the various “stages” that he went through, the most authentic source in that case would be his autobiographical account for the search for the truth titled al-Munqidh min ad-Dalal (Deliverance from Error). Sister Nausheen quoted from there as well and anyone interested can take a look at that. I will restate, that Imam al-Ghazali mentions that there were four groups (at that time) who were in search for the truth. The first, were the dialecticians (people of Kalam) and debaters, and who claimed to possess insight and wisdom. The second, were the Batiniyya (Batinites) who insisted on a hidden or esoteric knowledge. The third, were the Philosophers who became proud and arrogant in considering themselves superior in logic and reason. The last, are the people of Tasawwuf (Sufiyya). He went on to refute and mention the fallacies on the first three groups. What is odd about the claims of the anonymous brother is that he keeps on mentioning that somehow the Sufis have the same interpretations as the Batiniyya. For this reason it is most important to understand who the Batiniyya were in order not to be deceived by those who go around labeling others as sects. It is a sad situation today, when we see the modern day phenomenon (among Muslim groups) of labeling others as the Batiniyya, Jahmiyya, Kharijiyya, and other sects that don’t even exist today! Yet, they will use these names (of sects that existed) and any other words they can attach the suffix “iyya” to as labels upon others!

Batiniyya, were a sect and group that were most prominent during the years previous to the life of Imam al-Ghazali and then afterwards as well. Note that it was Imam al-Ghazali himself who was most instrumental in refuting their false claims. An example of what they believe is in the book Qawaid al-Aqaid (by Muhammad al-Dailimi Yamani, p.16-18):

”The Prophet is a person illuminated by the Holy Spirit of Divine Being. Gabriel is not an Angel but an allegorical name for Diving Grace….Fornication (Zina) is a transmission of the secret and occult knowledge to one who is not initiated (or capable)….Ablution (Wudu) means the acquirement of knowledge from an illuminated teacher (Batini Imam). Prayer (Salah) is a call to obey the leader, Zakah is the initiation of the faithful (Batinites) into the hidden knowledge. Fasting (Saum) is to take precaution to guard the secret, and Hajj is the seeking of knowledge and true wisdom…



This sect and their followers basically tried to negate all the established rituals and beliefs of Islam through an esoteric and symbolic interpretation. Anyone who has read the works of the people of Tasawwuf knows that none of them call to the abandonment of rituals, as the Batiniyya did. None of them hold views like the one quoted. The only people today that are following the way of the Batiniyya are the modern day Qadianis and Bahai group. For this reason it is most odd to see anonymous suggest to us that the Sufis are in fact the Batinis. My question is, bring us some proof and evidence (instead of making allegations) from the works of the known people of Tasawwuf (like al-Ghazali, Abdul Qadir Jilani, and the many others) that they are indeed the Batiniyya. What I will quote, myself, is the most well-known work of Tafsir based on the interpretations and understanding of the Sufiyya. The work by the renowned scholar of Baghdad (d.1270 AH) Imam Muhammad Alusi titled Ruh al-Ma’ani is well known and is often quoted and studied by the people of Tazkiya and Tasawwuf. About it, the scholar Sayyid Muhammad Yusuf Binori wrote in an article (Yatimat ul Bayan): “Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani which in my opinion is an exegesis for the Quran on the pattern of Fath ul-Bari (by Ibn Hajr), the exegesis of Sahih ul-Bukhari, except that Fath ul-Bari is the interpretation of human words.” In his Tafsir Ruh al-Ma’ani the scholar al-Alusi states:

”The deliberations reported from the Sufis in connection with the Qur’an in fact point to those deep and fine disclosures that they read in it. These disclosures are truly based on the apparent meaning. The Sufis do not believe that the apparent meanings are to be ignored against intuitive meanings because this is the belief of the Batiniyya apostates who have adopted its as stepping stone to negate the laws of Islam. Our Sufiyya (people of Tasawwuf) have nothing to do with this belief, and it cannot be since they (Sufiyya) insist that the apparent meanings of the Qur’an must be adopted first.”


[Ruh ul-Ma’ani, v.1, p.7 in the Introduction. Also note that the esteemed scholar Jalal ul-Din ul-Suyuti has also mentioned this same material in al-Itqan, v.2, p.185]

I find it even more odd that anonymous mentions that al-Imam al-Ghazali mentions views that are similar to the Batiniyya view! My question is, from where did such an allegation come from? Was it based on personal study and looking with an unbiased view into the works of al-Ghazali? Or was it from some articles found on some website in which the quotes of scholars are misunderstood and jumbled?

Firstly, the methodology of Imam al-Ghazali in his most well known and most beneficial book Ihya Ulum al-Din (Reviving the Religious Sciences) is as follows. Whenever he is speaking about a subject, he first quotes verses from the Qur’an, then gives statements from the Messenger of Allah, then gives statements from the Companions, Successors, and scholars. This is the consistent methodology of Imam al-Ghazali, and no one who has actually read the works of Hujjat ul-Islam can claim otherwise. Secondly, the one who is most recognized by the historians and biographers as being among the first to refute the Batiniyya was Imam al-Ghazali himself. After the request of the Abbasid Caliph Mustazhir Billah, who held the Imam in high esteem, al-Ghazali wrote his work al-Mustazhiri (titled after the Caliph) specifically to refute the Batiniyya cult.

To add to this, it must also be known that the state of Imam al-Ghazali should be not be considered as being something odd. After realizing the fallacies of the three groups (Batiniyya, people of Kalam and debate, and the Philosophers) the esteemed Imam finally realized that the pleasures of this world should be renounced and that he needed to follow the path of true sincerity and self-purification. He states in his autobiography:

“One day I would determine to leave
Baghdad and these circumstances, and the next day change my mind… The desires of this world pulled at me and entreated me to remain, while the voice of faith cried out ‘Go! Go! Only little of your life remains, yet before you there lies a lengthy voyage. All the knowledge and works that are yours today are but eyeservice and deceit. If you do not prepare now for the Afterlife then when shall you do so?’” [Munqidh min al-Dalal, p.36-37]

After this point, he went for search of knowledge and to purify himself, his work Ihya Ulum al-Din only bears witness to his sincerity and spiritual accomplishment. For this reason and others, the commentators of the Ihya, al-Zabidi and al-Safadi (in Miftah al-Sa’ada wa Misbah al-Siyada) state: “were all the books of Islam be lost save the Revival alone, it would supply for them in full”. There is so much more to be said about his book Ihya and its benefits, and the circumstances and reasons for his writing it, but that also can be talked about some other time.

Getting to the original point, nowhere is there any trace of Batini views or esoteric symbolism in Imam al-Ghazali’s most famous work (Ihya). He describes the punishment of the grave, the Scales, and features of the Day of Judgement as literal facts by revelation. In fact, he states in another book that ‘the man who denies the existence of physical punishment in the Afterlife…must be considered an unbeliever’.

The next point that often some people bring up is the issue of the authenticity of the Ahadith and sayings in Ihya Ulum al-Din. There are certainly a number of authors and even scholars who have criticized the Ihya on this basis. It must be said though that Imam al-Ghazali was not a scholar or master of the science of Ahadith. This is something recognized by all and specifically metioned by the scholar al-Subki in his biographical work Tabaqat al-Shafi’iyya. I will only confine myself to mention a few short points on this subject, and then give a link to an article that goes into more detail about Ahadith in the Ihya and what the various scholars state.

Firstly, unfortunately, the opinions of Shaykh Taqi ul-Din Ibn Taymiyya (Allah’s mercy be upon him) and his student Imam al-Dhahabi (who is a recognized and well known scholar of Ahadith) was generally more critical and harsh against Imam al-Ghazali and other scholars of Tasawwuf. That, however, does not mean that theirs is the only opinion on this matter. Many scholars hold opinions opposite to theirs and state the great benefit in the Ihya outweighs this fault in it. It is recognized that there are some weak Ahadith in Ihya Ulum al-Din, however this fact has been somewhat exaggerated by some scholars and writers, such as Imam al-Dhahabi who were harsh and critical. There are examples of him (Imam al-Dhahabi) discrediting the Sufiyya and Ashairah without hesitation in the minutest matter in which he regarded them to be contradicting the Shariah. For this reason, the eminent scholar Taj al-Din al-Subki (who was a Qadi, Shafii’ scholar, and son of the scholar Taqi al-Deen al-Subki. From
Egypt, and passed away in 771 AH) has stated in his biographical work Tabaqat al-Shafi’iyya:

Here our Shaikh al-Dhahabi with all his learning and piety displays an excessive bias against Ahl al-Sunnah, therefore it is not permissible to follow his opinion. Thenceforth, although he is our master and teacher, but the truth is more deserving of being followed. And the truth is that he has reached a risible level of extreme partisanship, and I fear for his on the Day of Resurrection on the part of the majority of the Muslim scholars and their Imams, who have been the standard bearers of the Islamic law for us, for they are Ash’aris for the most part and when he criticized and Ash’ari he was unsparing and unrelenting.”

[1/190]

Similarly, Imam Jalal ul-Din al-Suyuti has mentioned in his book Qam ‘al-Mu’arid fi Nusrat ibn al-Farid:

“Do not be deceived by the criticism of al-Dhahabi because his criticism transcended to the likes of Imam Fakhr al-Din ibn al-Khatib and even as far as one who is more eminent than he, Abu Talib al-Makki the author of Qut al-Qulub. He was even unsparing of those of the caliber of Shaykh Abul Hasan al-Ashari whose fame blossoms far and wide. His books al-Mizan, al-Tarikh and Siyar al-Nubala are laden with undeserving comments.”



Although it is admitted that there are weak traditions in the most beneficial work of al-Ghazali (Ihya), people today have exaggerated it and taken away an incorrect understanding. Firstly, a number of the masters and scholars of Ahadith have written works on the Ihya Ulum al-Din. The well known scholar and master of Ahadith, Hafidh Zayn ul-Din al-‘Iraqi did Takhrij of the book by documenting where the Ahadith in Ihya Ulum al-Din are from and their authenticity. His well known work al-Mughni 'an Haml al-Asfar is often used by those who study the Ihya. Another well known book is the commentary by the Hadith master Murtada al-Zabidi who wrote his work in 10 volumes on the Ihya, which contains the most comprehensive documentation of the hadith narrations cited by al-Ghazali. For anyone interested, they can take a look at the Introduction by al-Zabidi in his book on the Ihya:

http://umcc.ais.org/~maftab/ip/pdf/ithaf.pdf (in Arabic)

Ibn Hajar, who was a student of Zayn ul-Din al-Iraqi, also wrote a documentation of the traditions in Ihya titled al-Istidrak 'ala Takhrij Ahadith al-Ihya.

The scholar Ibn al-Jawzi was another critic of Ihya Ulum al-Din and he mentioned several things against it. However, he himself acknowledged the effectiveness of the Ihya and the need for it. For this reason, he himself, summarized Ihya Ulum al-Din in his book titled Minhaj ul-Qasidin (The Path of the Truthful Seekers) in which he has deleted certain portions.

The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the scholars found the works of Imam al-Ghazali to be of benefit, and they did not stop people from reading them. Some people who go to extremes in criticzing al-Ghazali in Ahadith, should firstly fear Allah since we are accountable for everything we should say, and next they should know that weak Ahadith are not necessarily completely disregarded. There is a difference between Weak Ahadith (Da’eef) and those that are fabricated (Mawdu’). Those that are fabricated are not even allowed to be transmitted according to the scholars of Ahadith. However, weak Ahadith can be used, keeping certain rules in mind. One of the conditions for the use of weak Ahadith is that they cannot be used to establish a ruling, they are only allowed to be mentioned in order to show the benefit of doing something, for recommending or encouraging a good deed (that is already established), or when inspiring hope or fear. This principle for the use of weak Ahadith is mentioned by the majority of Ahadith scholars. Imam al-Nawawi mentions this in his own commentary on his collection of Forty Ahadith (Sharh Matn al-Arba’in al-Nawawiya), and as well in the book Tibyan fi Ulum al-Qur’an: ‘The Ulama (scholars) are agreed on the legitimacy of using weak hadiths in the realm of virtuous works (fada’il al-a’mal)’.

For those who want to see the proof of using weak Ahadith and the conditions that go with them, please see the following article:

http://www.abc.se/~m9783/n/vwh_e.html

Although a small number of scholars criticized Imam al-Ghazali (Allah forgive them and shower His mercy on them), they did not necessarily completely disregard his works, as some people suggest. In fact, after mentioning his opinion on the defects and mistakes in Ihya Ulum al-Din, Ibn Taymiyya states:

”Not withstanding these defects, the Ihya contains the teachings of the numerous illuminated mentors and the Sufiyya, and their experiences in regard to the purification of the self and the intuitive knowledge, which are identical with the laws (or principles) of the Qur’an and the Sunnah and can thus be acceptable from a theological point of view. It is because of this reason that the scholars hold different opinions about the Ihya and all of them are not opposed to it.”


[Fatawah, vol.2, p.194]

Nowhere in his works did al-Ghazali refute or take back what he had written in Ihya, in fact it can be said that the Ihya was in fact his most outstanding and beneficial book, his magnum opus. His book Iljam ul-‘Awwam ‘an ‘Ilm il-Kalam (The Restraining of the Common People from the Science of Dialectics) establishes the authority and superiority of the Qur’an and its principles and reasoning over philosophy and other forms of reasoning and logic.

Finally, I ask those who are sincere and interested in the truth to see it for themselves. Instead of making personal judgments resulting from reading a few articles on the internet, or even before accepting my opinion, please read the works of Imam al-Ghazali (Allah’s mercy be upon him) for yourself to see his methodology and the clear benefit of his works. The books to start off with are the excellent translations (of Ihya Ulum al-Din) available in English (with notes and documentation of the Ahadith) done by T.J. Winters (Abdul Hakim Murad) and published by Islamic Texts Society (can be purchased at www.islamicbookstore.com).

All that is correct and good is from Allah alone, the mistakes are mine, and Allah knows best. May Allah forgive us and guide us to the truth.

The Life of Imam al-Ghazali, with a Section on the Ahadith in Ihya Ulum al-Din:

http://www.abc.se/~m9783/ghaz_e.html

 

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Quote Angel Replybullet Posted: 10 January 2007 at 9:25pm

Topic:

Sufism in Islam-8 (seeing God as we worship Him) (53 of 55), Read 376 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

NAUSHEEN

Date:

Thursday, October 31, 2002 07:28 PM

It has been said in this thread that sufis "claim" to have seen God. The fact is their "claim" is misinterpreted. To be literal, there is no such "claim" and the people who follow trditional islam and tasawwuf emphasize on the essence of a hadith(that folows), that comes to us from hadrath Umar ibn al-Khattab(RAA).
This is a Qudsi hadith and in this our prophet explains what is "Ehsan". The prophet says we should worship God "as if" we see him. The literal meaning is not to see allah in reality, but to be in such a state of mind and heart "as if" we are in his presence and seeing him. In other words to be conscious of His divine presence. This is a very sufi concept, WHICH EXISTS IN ISLAM AS TAUGHT BY THE HOLY PROPHET (SAW), and EVERYBODY should "try to acquire" this state of mind during worship. However, as I have said earlier also, the sufis DO NOT IMPOSE THEIR PRACTICES ON ANYBODY. If a muslim finds it feasible he may acquire, if he does not, then indeed the religion is what it is, and even a person who has as little as a grain of faith shall be saved from hell fire, insha allah.

Brother Anonymous has tried to argue that allah has made the religion easy, so one SHOULD NOT STRIVE HARD for perfection in faith. However allah has also said that the hereafter is more excellent in ranks.

Allah says:
See how we prefer one above the other (in this world), the hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preference. (17:21).

So when there is no compulsion is religion (2:257) and every one will be rewarded according to their deeds, and will be preferred according to how they excelled in righteousness (17:21), then one SHOULD FEAR ALLAH AND NOT POINT A FINGER AT THOSE WHO WANT TO STRIVE "HARDER!"

Allah also shows His anger and displeasure at those who "hinder" men in good deeds.

There is a hadith that says one should "compete" each other in good deeds. Religion is made easy, I do not deny, but to strive to be one of the muqqarrabun (56:8) is some thing that will be rewarded with most beautiful rewards insha allah.


Going back to the hadith of Ehsan it is reported in Muslim, that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said:

As we sat one day with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), a man in pure white clothing and jet black hair came to us, without a trace of travelling upon him, though none of us knew him.

He sat down before the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) bracing his knees against his, resting his hands on his legs, and said: "Muhammad, tell me about Islam." The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: "Islam is to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and to perform the prayer, give zakat, fast in Ramadan, and perform the pilgrimage to the House if you can find a way."

He said: "You have spoken the truth," and we were surprised that he should ask and then confirm the answer. Then he said: "Tell me about true faith (iman)," and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) answered: "It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His inspired Books, His messengers, the Last Day, and in destiny, its good and evil."

"You have spoken the truth," he said, "Now tell me about the perfection of faith (ihsan)," and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) answered:"It is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you see Him not, He nevertheless sees you."

The hadith continues to where ‘Umar said:

Then the visitor left. I waited a long while, and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to me, "Do you know, ‘Umar, who was the questioner?" and I replied, "Allah and His messenger know best." He said,

"It was Gabriel, who came to you to teach you your religion" (Sahih Muslim, 1.37: hadith 8).


This is a sahih hadith, described by Imam Nawawi as
one of the hadiths upon which the Islamic religion turns. The use of din in the last words of it, Atakum yu‘allimukum dinakum, "came to you to teach you your religion" entails that the religion of Islam is composed of the three fundamentals mentioned in the hadith: Islam, or external compliance with what Allah asks of us; Iman, or the belief in the unseen that the prophets have informed us of; and Ihsan, or to worship Allah as though one sees Him.

In Islamic Faith and Practice by Mohammad Manzoor Nomani, chapter 9, he says:

The stage of Ehsan is reached when awareness of God becomes the greatest reality of one's life and one's every act is performed under a constant sense of His presence for although man cannot see God - it is just not possible in this material world-God does see him all the time.

This state of sublimity can exist only when faith has worked itself out to the highest degree and become one's life-breath. It was for the attainment of this state that the Prophet would beg fervently to God. "O God!" he would say, "Let such be my state that I feared Thee and revered Thee as if I was seeing Thee constantly till (at last) my time came and I went up to join Thee,"

This condition is known among the Sufis (Muslim mystics) as Huzoori (presence) and Yad-Dasht (remembrance) and Nisbat (affinity), and when anyone is described by them as Saheb-i-Nishbat it denotes that he has arrived at it in a considerable way. When this state of spirituality is reached, a person gets permanently attuned to God and becomes immune to all kinds of doubts and misgivings concerning His Being.

As a natural outcome of this all-pervading effulgence of faith, this all engulfing sense of Divine presence all other ties and attachments are merged and lose their identity the one great allegiance to the Almighty, and external acts, such as, love, friendship, enmity and social and business intercourse begin to be gone through and carried out for His sake alone. A Tradition of " the Prophet on the subject of Ehsan tells that "a person whose state may be that when he loves, he loves for the sake of God and when he hates, he hates for the sake of God, and when he gives, he gives for the sake of God, and when he withholds his hand from giving, he withholds it for the sake of God - he has attained perfection in his faith."

The most exalted position in this respect was that of the Prophet. He operated at the highest level to which a man can evolve his destiny from the point of view of faith and Ehsan. In his life there was contained the most ideal blending of knowledge and awareness, and piety and the fear of God. He used often to say of himself, "No one among you fears God more than me, no one reveres Him more intensely than me and no one possesses a greater knowledge and a more complete awareness of Him than I do."
As Hazrat Gangohi, a Sufi-saint of the current century, writes. "This is not a single doubt or temptation can creep into it. Nay, it cannot creep into it the ultimate goal of all systems (of Sufism) ... Why had holy Companions sacrificed all that they had - life, family, property and everything? What had they seen? It was simply because that they had acquired absolute faith in God through their association with the Prophe [this was, with them, the measure of all things. How did Abdul Qadir Jilani, Moinuddin Chishti and Bahauddin Bukhari climb to greatness? Through this very faith." A few lines later, the great Sufi goes on to observe: "This forging of a link with God is called Ehsan. The raising of the Prophet was for it's sake alone and all the holy Companions were endowed with it in different degrees.

The real thing, therefore, is the acquirement of the light of faith and the inner feeling of Ehsan. The holy Companions had realized this state through the fullness of their love for and devotion to the Prophet, through the intimateness of their association with him, and through dedication themselves to a life of virtue under his advice and direction and making utmost sacrifices in the cause of God. At the death of the Prophet, the Companions, both individually and as a body, functioned as his successors and representatives in the line, and as long as they remained in the world the exalted state of Ehsan could be gained by sitting at their feet.

When the Companions, too, were gone and symptoms of moral and spiritual degradation began to make themselves manifest in the Muslim society with the lapse of time, a stage came when the high-souled men in the Ummat,' cherished in their hearts the heritage of Ehsan and occupied the same elevated position in their branch as Mujtahids in Fiqh, and this stirred them into activity. Seeing that the inspiriational society of the Prophet and the Companions was no longer available and the Muslim Millet was moving down steadily from the ideal of righteous-doing to corruption, they evolved certain methods for the kindling of the flame of faith in the hearts and the generation of that feeling of God-realization which is the essence of Ehsan. These methods included excessive remembrance of God, meditation, and the control and discipline desires and impulses of the self.


Nuh Ha Mim Keller says:



All Muslims believe in Allah, and that He is transcendently beyond anything conceivable to the minds of men, for the human intellect is imprisoned within its own sense impressions and the categories of thought derived from them, such as number, directionality, spatial extention, place, time, and so forth. Allah is beyond all of that; in His own words,

"There is nothing whatesover like unto Him" (Koran 42:11)

If we reflect for a moment on this verse, in the light of the hadith of Muslim about Ihsan that "it is to worship Allah as though you see Him," we realize that the means of seeing here is not the eye, which can only behold physical things like itself; nor yet the mind, which cannot transcend its own impressions to reach the Divine, but rather certitude, the light of Iman, whose locus is not the eye or the brain, but rather the ruh, a subtle faculty Allah has created within each of us called the soul, whose knowledge is unobstructed by the bounds of the created universe. Allah Most High says, by way of exalting the nature of this faculty by leaving it a mystery,

"Say: ‘The soul is of the affair of my Lord’" (Koran 17:85).

The food of this ruh is dhikr or the ‘remembrance of Allah.’ Why? Because acts of obedience increase the light of certainty and Iman in the soul, and dhikr is among the greatest of them, as is attested to by the sahih hadith related by al-Hakim that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

"Shall I not tell you of the best of your works, the purest of them in the eyes of your Master, the highest in raising your rank, better than giving gold and silver, and better for you than to meet your enemy and smite their necks, and they smite yours?" They said, "This—what is it, O Messenger of Allah?" and he said: Dhikru Llahi ‘azza wa jall, "The remembrance of Allah Mighty and Majestic." (al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, 1.496).
Increasing the strength of Iman through good actions, and particularly through the medium of dhikr has tremendous implications for the Islamic religion and traditional spirituality.



Be not heedless of thy Lord
for even the blink of an eye,
Lest He directs His attention towards you,
and finds you unawares.

 

 

Topic:

Sufism in Islam-8 (seeing God as we worship Him) (54 of 55), Read 370 times

Conf:

References: Discussions Frequently Repeated

From:

ibnbatota

Date:

Sunday, December 08, 2002 07:18 AM

Bismillah,

The information exchanged in the above dialogue is both useful and dangerous: useful for those who have some knowledge and dangerous to those who have no knowledge (by knowledge we mean knowledge of the Quran and the Sunnah). People without knowledge are al-mutaqualideen (the blind followers) and they are in the greatest danger of being misguided. So every Muslim should be careful in what he says. If somebody is misled and misguided to follow erroneous beliefs then until such time that bad practice continues the person responsible for introducing it will get a part of that sinn.

Efforts by the first party to defend its point of view on Sufism are appreciable, as she has taken so much time and pain to research her posts.All efforts will be judged by Allah in the Hereafter according to their intention and sincerity. However,I go with the stand of the second party and pray Allah to reward him for his efforts to portray the truth and correct position of Sufism in the light of the Quran and Hadith. I hope his posts have made many readers aware of the dangers posed by Sufi claims. Some of their claims are really preposterous such as one of the Sufi Sects, known as al-Halolillah wa al-Itihadiah, belive that they see Allah in this world in the shape of a human being.

Moreover, some of their ways may find far-related connections with the Quranic interpretation but, All Praises be to Allah, Who has not left his servants without guidance in this regard. For instance, when the pagans asked about the gambling Allah revealed in the Quran that it has some benefit for the mankind but its harm is greater to them than its benefit. Thus it is not allowed to practice. Similarly, some Sufi methods may have usefulness for mankind but its overall danger of taking away the faithfuls from the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) is greater beyond any doubt; hence it has to be abandoned

I have another small advice for the readers to judge all such claims in the light of the following Hadith. When the Prophet (saws) mentioned that the Muslims would be divided into many sects and only one of them will be on the right path, the companions asked him how people would know the sect on the right path. He replied:" Man kana alla mithl ma anna alayhi alyoom wa assahabi"; it could be translated as 'those who would be on the path on what I and my companions are today'

Hence readers must judge all claims of Sufis to purify and get nearer to Allah in their Ibadh and Dhikr in the light of this Hadith. Did Prophet (saws) and his companions practise any of these methods in their Ibadh to get nearer to Allah. Who could be more nearer to Allah than His Prophet (saws)!! Who could do better and perfect Ibadh than the Prophet (saws)!! Who could more clearly and vividly understand the meaning and interpretation of the Quran than Allah's Prophet (saws)!! Anybody who claims to know more or better meanings, intentions, and interpretations of the Quran than the Prophet (saws) is verily a misguided one. May Allah save all of us from falling into this pit of arrogance.

Therefore,if you find that the Prophet (saws) and his companion did not practice such methods in their Ibadh or zeal to get purified or be nearer to Allah, then you too should not adopt any such methods - how beautiful and useful they may sound - and you will, Insha Allah, find yourself on the right path, the path of the Prophet (saws) and his companions.

Allah commands Muslims to obey Him and His Prophet (saws) in many places in the Quran. And that should be the criteria of a Muslim to only follow in the foot steps of the Prophet (saws)in his Ibadh, purification and getting near to Allah, and not any Sufi, Sheikh, Imam, Alim or Abid.

Remember that any Ibadh, whether bodily or materialy, which is not done according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) has no weight in the sight of Allah. The Quran has warned mankind to be aware of this.For instance, there will be people in the Hereafter who will find that all their good deeds (as they believed them to be good deeds) will have no wight because they were not performed according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) and having discovered this truth those people will wish vainly: had they followed the Prophet (saws) in their worldly life and in despair would chew their fingers. Allah may save us all from being among those losers.

Wama Taufiqi Illa Billah

Ibnbatota

 

 

http://wb.islamicity.com:8080/read?64672,58e#64672

 

*****************************************

Topic:

Sufism.... what is it???? (7 of 9), Read 67 times

Conf:

Corners: Youth

From:

NAUSHEEN

Date:

Tuesday, June 17, 2003 01:23 AM

Assalamuaalikum wa rahmatullah wa abrkatuhu,

 1.
Sufism is not a sect of Islam... it is the science of purification heart. That purification which is required by every soul for its success in the hereafter of which the Quran reminds us time and again.

2. Sufism did not originate in
India.

Sufism was very much there in the arabian penninsula, where there have been so many sufis in
Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Iran etc, before and around the same time when they came to India.

I agree with most of what Umm Abed is saying above, that there are many ppl who have distorted the beliefs - many who are practising for money and fame instead of for the love of allah, and pure devotion to Him.

However, this practice in its original form was never bida. here is a good read, if u are interested.

There was a debate on this board, where many allegations on the true sufi practices were refuted in the thread mentioned by Angel , you can take a look there too.

Ma salama,
Nausheen

 

http://wb.islamicity.com:8080/read?76513,5e

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Quote Angel Replybullet Posted: 10 January 2007 at 9:28pm

That concludes the discussion/dialogue

I know there is a lot there to take in but its here and just take little bit by little or read bit now and a bit later another bit later on 

~ Our feet are earthbound, but our hearts and our minds have wings ~
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Quote rami Replybullet Posted: 16 January 2007 at 11:09pm
Bi ismillahir rahmanir raheem

assalamu alaikum sister senekerk

Like i said I am not into drumming, dancing dream interetation, just mediatation  on Allahs names and attributes. i apoligise if I offended you.

Insha Allah you benefit and enjoy reading this,

99 atributes of allah by imam al Ghazali.

Martin Lings allah yerhamu is a great author i highly recommend his book on the prophet, the reviews speak for themselves.


Edited by rami
Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.
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