from the true Sufism
Publishing Time : 02.03.2016
Today people are liking to be a Sufi and trying to achieve Sufi’s properties. But most of them are deviated from the true Sufism. Because of some reasons people could not reach to the true Sufism. They do not investigate what are the main principles of Sufism. They prefer some paths which seem to them to be easy. But these paths would not bring them to be a true Sufi. We will discuss some deviations from the true Sufism in the following.
► Some people think that Sufism is similar to Buddhism and there is cultural borrowing between them. They think that Buddhism has effected on the Sufism.
This point of view is completely wrong. There is no any similarity between Sufism and Buddhism. Because they are both totally different in their own basic meaning. In Islam there are three stages which are Faith, Science and Sufism. We have explained these three stages in our article “Three beauty: Faith, Science and Sufism”. Therefore Sufism is the last stage of Islam. If one has fulfilled the first and second stages, then he can try to reach the third stage, which is Sufism. In this sense, Sufism means that he lives Islam external and internal. So Sufism is a part of Islam. Without faith and science it is impossible to be a true Sufi.
Buddhism is a philosophy which was established by Buda in the century 6 BC. Buda was born as the son of a king in a part of India. In his childhood Buda was enclosed in the luxurious environment of his palace. Although his father, the king, has tried to prevent him from seeing suffering in the real world; as a young adult he insisted on visiting the town. The sudden discovery of suffering came upon him as a shock. He has tried to understand and explain this realty of suffering in the real world. So he has established his philosophy. He has done it by using only five senses and his intelligence. His philosophy has not any divine property. He has considered the suffering in the real world as a matter of existence. Here he has faced with the personal dimension of one’s identity.
But as in the other cases of philosophy it is not possible to reach the absolute truth by the mental science. Because the human mind is a creature and so it is bounded in ability. Because of its competence is limited, it is not possible to know the absolute realty in mental way. We have explained this fact in our article “The Beauty of Science”. Therefore it is not possible to compare the Sufism and Buddhism in any way.
Some people claim that Islam and Buddhism have heavily borrowed from each other, because they have been neighbors for centuries in Asia and as a result, Sufism has emerged that contains elements from both. It is an useless effort to support Buddhism by Islam, which is the unique and true religion on the world. Islam is a full completed religion. It is established in the 7th century AC by the holy Quran and the Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (sav). It does not need any borrowing and mutually influence. Islam is today justly the same as the beginning. Sufism has not any elements from Buddhism. In the view of Islam Buddhism is an idolatry. How can Sufism get any element from an idolatry? In Sufism there is not any little piece from idolatry.
Buddhism has no any divine dimensions own itself. They do not consider God in any way. People try to cause Buda to be regarded as sacred man. But Buda has not regarded himself as sacred man. He has only established the main principles of his philosophy. But people worship him today.
As we explained in our article “What is the Sufism in Islam?”, Sufism has begun with the prophethood. The Prophet (sav) has taught the secrets science to his companions. Secrets knowledge has been passed up by Muslims in this way to each other. Therefore the lineages of all Sufi orders are reunited with the Prophet (sav). The real Sufism until today is a continuation of that period. However many superstitions have emerged up to this time because of the influences of some enemies of Islam. If one wants to know the true Sufism, can find the principles of being true Sufi in our website.
But unfortunately we see some people in the world who try to compare the results of Sufi’s experience with the practice of Buddhism. They resemble the “zikr” of Sufis to the mantras of Buddhism. Zikr and mantra are fully different from each other. The zikr of Sufis are the words and sentences from Quran and holy hadiths. They all have meanings. They are not only voices. They are all divine explanations and are not created by human. But mantras are created by the human and they have no any divine features. The Sufis turn themselves to their hearts while performing zikr. But Buddhists turn themselves to their brains while performing mantras. Their aim is to plunge into underconscious and to get out the energy from there. The aim of Sufi’s zikr is not same. His aim is to be closed to God while performing zikr. Further the worship of Sufi is not only the zikr. Sufis pray five times everyday. They perform namaz (ritual of worship centered in prayer) every day at least five times. Besides them they fast everyday in the month Ramadan. They go to Mecca to perform their pilgrimage. One can not compare these worships by the mantras of Buddhism.
Buddhist has the concept of “becoming empty”. They say that the concepts, ideas and images that we hold in our minds have forms. The forms that we see on the outside are empty. But it is not the same in Sufism. According to Sufism the concepts, ideas and images that we hold in our minds gain an existence outside. This existence is not empty. Being empty of heart in Sufism means to be free of worldly sorrows and unhappiness.
In Buddhism people believe in reincarnation. But in Sufism the reincarnation is rejected. If a Sufi believes reincarnation he is not a true Sufi.
There is no God in Buddhism. Buddhism canon does not have any reference to a fall, it is not talking about it. But they respect the actual cosmology of the universe as a divine property. In the most atheistic versions Buda becomes the equivalent of a deistic God, possibly even uniting with monadic one. Sufis believe in God, who is the unique creator of everything in the universe. So Sufism is a divine path, not a mental path.
In Buddhism people are taught that they have Buda-nature. That is everyone is just one enlightenment away from becoming the same exact thing as the Buda, with all his glory and powers. This is a fundamental difference and a great foolishness. If everybody becomes a god one day, how can they govern the universe without any conflict.
We see here that the mental establishment of any philosophy have to fall into contradictions and absurd remarks. So Buddhism falls also into the same situation. But one can not find any contradiction and deficiency in Islam and so in Sufism.
► Some people say that one can be Sufi and not Muslim and it is possible for Non-Muslims to have spiritual attitudes of Sufism.
As we have explained above, Sufism is the third and the last stage of Islam. To be a Sufi it is necessary first to fulfill the first and second stage which are the faith and science in Islam. A non-Muslim has not the faith in Islam, so he fails at the first stage. Therefore it is meaningless to consider Sufism for non-Muslims.
These people think if one emphasizes charity, humility and unity, he could be able to embrace the spiritual attitudes of Sufism. They must perceive that Sufism is not made up only charity, humility and unity. Sufis begins of faith, science and good deeds, and just after the acquiring.
Today there is only one valid religion in the world, which is Islam. The others are not valid. Sufism could be considered only for the valid religion. That is Sufism is valid only for the Muslims. Sufism is the stage of coming close to God. How will God consent to non-Muslims while they do not accept His last Sharia and do not obey His last Messenger? How can we understand that non-Muslims would be Sufis?
They claim that being a Muslim is not necessary for one to help finding his inner spiritual self in his or her own tradition. They forget that finding the inner spiritualty self is only possible under the permission of God. Finding the inner spiritual self is not a mechanical matter which could be applied by themselves; on the contrary it is a divine matter and only possible under the consent of God. How can non-Muslim get the consent of God, while they are rejecting His last Sharia and last Messenger and depending on their invalid religion?
In the history some Sufi Masters have had Hindu and Christian disciples. These masters have tried to let them to be Muslims. They have not mastered them in Hindu belief or Christianity. It is not permitted to the Sufi masters to guide non-Muslims upon the spiritual paths of their invalid religion.
► Some people think that Sufism is seen as a threat to various theologians in Islam.
According to these people the Muslims are afraid of being inclusive and their nafs (self) or ego prevent them from embracing an universalist outlook. These people wish if Islam would be inclusive and universalist. But it is an absolute realty that Islam does not embrace an inclusive and universalist outlook. Islam contradicts with Perennialism.
To be inclusive and universalists means that all other religions and ideologies should be included in Islam and would be considered they are valid. But Islam does not accept the inclusive and universalist. Because in Islam everything are set in their true places and Islam is completed most perfectly. In Islam there is no place for the rules and the elements of other invalid religions and ideologies. Islam is an unity with Quran and sacred Hadiths of Prophet (sav). Therefore people can not change anything in it. Perennialism is an useless effort of other invalid religions and ideologies to win validity under the protection of Islam.
These people argue that each religion has certain doors that open to spiritual universality throughout its text. This argument is absolute wrong. Because the concept of spiritual universality has no valid meaning. They think the spiritual facts as the charity, humility and unity. But such attributes occur from their human being. Every man has some part from them. But the meaning of spiritualty in Sufism is different. It is defined as the secret knowledge which are bestowed by God on the servants. Therefore spiritual facts can be formed only under the permission of God. Therefore such spiritual facts can only be obtained at the end of the paths in Sufism.
So if one likes to reach the spiritual facts, he must follow the stages “faith, science, Sufism” as we have explained in our article “ Three Beauty : Faith, Science, Sufism”.
► Some people think that the religion, the good deeds and the Sufi paths are hidden shirk in Islam.
They give some examples of the statements from the famous Sufis, but their aims are to deviate the meanings of them. They say:
“The people of God do not admire what they are doing; they act only out of the love of God.”
“O Allah, I did not worship seeking the reward of Your Paradise nor fearing your punishment, but I am worshipping You for Your Love alone.”
“O Allah, Your religion is nothing but hidden shirk, and to disbelieve in it is obligatory on every true servant. The people of religion are not worshiping You, but are only worshiping to attain Paradise or to escape from Hell.”
All of these arguments are not true. The main aim of a Muslim is to attain the consent of God. Muslims should oblige the orders and the prohibitions in the Quran and sacred hadiths of Prophet. They worship according to these rules. Because they know and believe in that people are created to worship the Almighty God. They should always remember God while they are worshiping. It means that they feel themselves in front of God while they worship and do the good deeds. Therefore it is not possible to distinguish between the worship and Love of God. To love God Muslim should worship and do good deeds. Without any worship and good deeds, the Love of God could not be placed in the heart of Muslim. So the statements above about the shirk are not true.
The religion of Islam is not shirk, on the contrary it is the main element of Loving God. In a verse it is expressed “If you wish to love Me, obey the Prophet”. Obeying the Prophet is the fulfillment of all obligations in Islam which are ruled in the verses of Quran and sacred hadiths of Prophet. The Muslims try to obey these obligations as far as possible. They hope that their trying will be accepted by Almighty God and He will give them His Paradise as rewards. During that they never forget God in their mind. According to Islam Muslims should be between hope and fear. It means that they should expect His Paradise and fear of His Hell. This is not shirk.
The Sufi paths are also not shirk. The aim of the Sufi paths is to walk to God by supererogatory worships after they fulfill all obligatory worships in Islam. On these paths they try to clean their hearts from the worldly greed and loses. They follow these paths on the guidance of Sufi master, because it is not possible to walk on these paths alone. These paths would cause the disciple to become closer to God with love and obedience. On these paths the disciple do not forget their Creator God even at one instant. Becoming closer to God increases their Loves of God in their hearts.
► Some people claim that Sufism is an innovation and shirk.
They put forward the idea that in the periods of Prophet, Ashab and Tabiien (the companions of the Prophet) there is no Sufism. It has emerged in the third century of Hegira. Therefore Sufism should be an innovation and shirk. They consider the following hadith of Prophet:
“Beware of newly-invented things; for every newly-invented thing is an innovation and every innovation is a going-astray.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
What these people think is wrong. Because Sufism has existed also in the period of Prophet, but it was not brought into the open. Sufism and the secret science were applied secretly at this time. Perhaps they might think that the Muslims were at the beginning of their beliefs and the secret science might deform their beliefs. We learn the existence of the secret science, and so Sufism, in the time of Prophet from the following hadith narrated by Abu Huraira:
“I have learnt from the Prophet Muhammad (sav) information in two full shoulder bags. I have served out one of them. If I served out the second, my neck would be cut.”
This hadith is available in Sahih Bukhari. Here the information in the second shoulder bag are the objects of the mystical science of Islam. He has not served out them to everyone, because he had been afraid of that the people could not realize the mystical information.
Hz. Ali ibn Talib (ra) also said in his poem:
There is so many knowledge substances, if I explained them
No doubt you would say to me I am idolater,
And Muslims would consider lawful my blood,
They regard this most ugly behavior as a nice one.
Here we learn that the secret science has existed also in the time of Prophet and his companions. But they have applied Sufism hidden, because they are afraid of the misunderstanding of Muslims at that time. The Muslim community has needed a long time to strength their faiths and science in Islam. Therefore Sufism has become apparent first in the third century of Hegira.
We conclude from the above explanations that Sufism is not an innovation and shirk.
► Some people think that the Sufis worship others than God, such as Prophet and saints (awliya), living or dead, because they ask for help with the words “Yaa Jeelani”, “Yaa Rifaa’I” (calling on their awliya), or “O Messenger of Allah, help and save”.
This claim is wrong and funny. None of Sufis turn towards an awliya (Friend of God) and the Prophet by neglecting God. Sufis are always with God. It is not possible for them to forget God anyway. But they might ask a wise man or their Prophet Muhammad (sav) for getting their important needs so that the wise man or the Prophet would pray God for the assuming of Sufis’ needs. Sufi knows that the prayers of wise man and Prophet are more efficient than his prayer, because they are beloved by God. In this respect it does not contradict Islam and so it is not shirk. It is meaningless to consider this act as worshiping others than God.
► Some people argue that Sufis claim that they can see God in this life.
This is fully false. There is no such a claim of real Sufis and there is not any proof for this argument. Sufis are sure that God would be seen in the heaven afterlife.
► Some people claim that the name of “Allah” on its own, either as a noun (Allah) or a pronoun (Huwa) is not a complete phrase or meaningful sentence. So it does not bring any knowledge to the heart or bestow any kind of benefit upon it.
These people do not know anything about Islam or wish to deviate some facts of Islam. Every Muslim knows that “Allah” is the main name of God. God has 99 beautiful names. The name “Allah” contains all the meanings of other names. Therefore it has a special place. “Huwa” is the pronoun which signify God. These words are contained in the Quran and have meanings. Sufi repeats these words turning towards his heart to strength his faith of Islam in the heart and remembering God. This is an important zikr of Sufis. With repeating this zikr in a certain number of times, Sufis rise in the degrees of Sufi paths.
► Some people claim that the Sufi orders (tareeqah) are among the innovated ways that go against the Quran and Sunnah. All the sheikhs of these orders have made up their own wirds (phrases and sentences to be uttered on zikr), hizb (books of prayers to be read daily by their follower) and ways of worship by which each of them may be distinguished from the others. This goes against Sharia and divides the ummah (community of Muslims).
These people do not have the true information about the Sufi Orders. Sufi Orders are not against the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet. Their wirds and hizbs consist of the verses from Quran, prayers, praises to God which were learnt by the Prophet (sav). Only their combinations may be different from each other. But in any way they are not against Quran and Sunnah. The Sufi orders arrange some optional worships by adding to the obligatory worships. Some of the optional worships may be different in each order. But most of them are same in every order. These optional worships are performing additional namaz (ritual of worship centered in prayer) in certain times, fasting in additional days and rosaries in certain times.
These additional worships are not against the Sharia. Because they are the increasing of the obligatory worships in certain proportions and they are recommended by The Prophet. They are not new kinds of worships which were not existed before. The aim of these additional worships is to become Sufi closer to God. This fact is narrated in a sacred hadith of the Prophet. Therefore the Sufi Orders do not divide the Ummah, on the contrary they try to bring the Muslims in a community together.
► The Sufis believe in that God has created the universe for the sake of Muhammad (sav). But some people say that it is against to Quran.
Muslims believe in that The Almighty God created the universe out of love. This is spread to all creations and all businesses. In a sacred hadith Our Lord states that:
“I was a hidden treasure, I liked to be known and created all creatures for they know me.”
Almighty God has created first the soul and the light (nur) of Prophet Muhammad (sav). Then He created all creatures from the Prophet’s light. In a sacred hadith is said for the Prophet that:
“If you were not existed, I had never created the universe.”
This hadith means that God created all things for the sake of His Prophet. It is known that God has created the jinni and human only for worshiping Him. (Al-Dhaariyaat, 51/56). But this verse does not contradict with the fact that He created all creatures from the light of Muhammad (sav). The Prophet Muhammad (sav) is the most perfect human and has the largest degree according to God. He is beloved by God at most. But the people who do not have perfect faith in their heart, do not understand this fact.
► Some people think that the Sufism is composed of love. Therefore to be Sufi it is sufficient to love God sincerely.
Muslims believe in that Almighty God created the Universe out of love. This love is spread to all creations and all businesses. Our Lord created all existences in the universe to know Him. Therefore our duty is to know God and to seek Him. He helped the people to know Him by removing up the veil of His Garden of Heart. Only after this it would be possible to see the secrets and beauty of His Heart Garden by the wise men. They invited the people to know God by love of ecstasy. This love of ecstasy is placed in the hearts of servants and so the hearts of servants could be fond of God.
But this can be achieved only through the Sufi path. We have explained the Sufi path in our article “What is Sufism in Islam?”. To be successful in this path, loving God with heart is not sufficient. There are many struggles and worships in Sufi path. So if one says that to be a Sufi it is enough to love God sincerely, he makes a great mistake. Famous Sufis say that the Love of God is to obey the rules of Sharia, that is, to worship all obligatory worships and in addition to perform many supererogatory worships. Without these worships one loves God never and can not become a Sufi.
The purpose of such objections to Sufism is to destroy the true belief of Muslims. It is a great operation towards the true Islam in our century. But they would not be successful. Because there is an owner of this religion, who is the Almighty Allah. He is able to protect His Religion from vanishing. This fact is cited in the following verse of Quran:
“It is We who have sent down the Quran and We will, most surely, safeguard it.” (Al-Hijr, 15/9).
In spite of all their worries to deviate the true Islam, we expect that Islam would be superior in the 21th century with all its institutions. This expectation is revealed us by the secret science, which is the main foundation of Sufism.
Therefore the Muslims should learn the true Islam and teach Islam all the people in the world with their all efforts and energies. We hope that God will give them success. These works cause Muslims to acquire merit in God’s sight and gain the consent of God. So they become closer to God. These are the main aims of being Muslim.
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