Muslims Running From Sufism
August 31, 2007 § 32 Comments
I’m curious why more Muslims aren’t affiliated with one tariqat or another. Tasawwuf (sufism) is an Islamic Science that can be traced to the ahl al-suffa (people of the veranda), who were sahab-e-kiram (companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) that would spend much of their time outside of the Prophet’s house in devotion and prayer. True Sufism is the heart of Islam according to one source saying,
“True Sufism is submission to God’s Book and imitation of the sunna of His Messenger; it is reliving, by inner state and outer deed, the auspicious age of the Messenger and his Companions; it is the very essence of Islam.” (qtd in Algar, H.)
But despite this claim, today’s Muslims continually avoid tariqat. Why is that? If “true Sufism” is the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as Algar’s 1976 article suggests, why are today’s Muslims avoiding tariqats? It is a question that can perhaps be answered by simply contemplating the nature of Sufism and that is to say bluntly, submission.
In a recent discussion with Yursil of Mind, Body, Soul he suggests that Muslims are avoiding tariqat because of their acceptance of individualized religion, saying of Muslims that,
“Islam has become an individualized religion, which supports their ego.”
Individualized religion means that although there is submission to the Qur’an; the Shariat, submission to the sunnat of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in these days and times it is a self imposition of the Shariat and the self imposition of the Prophet’s sunnat, an imposition that comes and goes as we like. Muslims have accepted the idea of personal religion, where men and women are their own shaykhs. And this is where you find Muslims running, running away from the shariat, running away from the sunnat and therefore running from tariqats. What need is there for tariqats if you can be your own shaykh? What need is there for today’s shaykhs if you can inherit authentic Islamic knowledge and authority from books or Universities?
In tariqat there is submission, one submits to the tradition. What tradition? The tradition of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings upon him), which means the manners, protocols and spirituality connected to the succession of prophets beginning with Abraham (peace be upon him) and ending with the Seal of the Prophets, Maulana Muhammad Mustafa (peace and blessings be upon him). Perhaps, this is the reason that Wahhabi Islam is so dry and pedantic, because it is disconnected from tariqat. If tasawwuf is the heart of Islam and Wahhabi Islam is disconnected from the heart it is not receiving life from the heart at that time. How can it, if it is disconnected?
On the other hand some may suggest that tasawwuf is not the heart of Islam or that the heart; tasawwuf has been corrupted. And in that case I would simply say, meet me in Manhattan (NYC) on 39th St. between 8th and 9th Avenue so that you can sit with our tariqat, listen to a sohbet from our shaykh and participate, observe or enjoy dhikrullah with us. And then you can decide for yourself if tariqat is or isn’t the heart of Islam. I will warn you though, there is a great peace that comes from dhikrullah (especially in the company of the our shaykh) which is why we find this hadith coming from at-Tirmidhi saying,
“‘Abdullah ibn Busr reported a man said, “Messenger of Allah, the laws of Islam are too much for me. Tell me something I can cling to.” He said, “Your tongue should remain moist with the remembrance of Allah.” (at-Tirmidhi)
Powered by ScribeFire.