This is probably the second official post on our lame blog. I apologise for the poor design and graphics on this blog…we’re still learning how to get the hang of it and make full use of the free customising tools. Hopefully inshaa’Allah the content of our posts would make up for our lack of style 😛
Recently I’ve learnt a few things that really horrified me, and then made me feel even more useless than I already am because I can’t do much to rectify the problems. Bleh, So the least I could do is to share what I learnt about the sufis and the tragedies in the masajid around where I am.
OK, first of all in case y’all don’t really know about this sufi stuff (not that I know much either), here’s a very brief introduction to Sufism:
‘The word “Sufism” was not known at the time of the Messenger or the Sahaabah or the Taabi’een. It arose at the time when a group of ascetics who wore wool (“soof”) emerged, and this name was given to them.
The early Sufis differed from the later Sufis who spread bid’ah (innovation) to a greater extent and made shirk in both minor and major forms commonplace among the people, as well as the innovations against which the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) warned us when he said, “Beware of newly-invented things, for every newly-invented thing is an innovation and every innovation is a going-astray.”
Reported by al-Tirmidhi, who said it is saheeh hasan.’
Some other things the various types of sufis claim, believe or practise are:
- They can see Allah in this life
- Some sufis believe that everything is creation and everything is God, so they don’t have the idea of a Creator and His Creation
- They worship other than Allah, like Prophets and “saints”, whether living or dead
- They take knowledge directly from Allah, without the mediation of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and in a conscious state, as opposed to in dreams
- They believe Allah gave the power of running the universe to certain “saints”
- They celebrate the mawlid, aka the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)’s “birthday”
- They partake in grave worship
Now that we’ve got a very basic idea of the shirkiness of sufi ideologies…let me share what I came across…
Shock #1: Some months ago I learnt that Hamza Yusuf, a very popular speaker in USA who has his own institute called Zaytuna College, is actually sufi as well, and numerous shuyukh have advised to avoid listening to him.
Before anyone gets defensive, many shuyukh who strive to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah have tried to speak to Hamza Yusuf himself in person and try to advise him and encourage him to follow and propagate authentic teachings in Islam. Due to his refusal, these shuyukh have publicly informed the lay Muslims, who are not well acquainted with sufi ideologies, to avoid listening to him, so as to ensure that we do not learn the deviant teachings of Sufism.
I wasn’t very stumped by this finding as I never really listened to Hamza Yusuf before. I only started panicking when I saw how popular he was on YouTube amongst the Muslims today. Thus began my research on him and Sufism.
As I read more about his biography and his institute, I came across this poem known as “qaseedatul burdah” or “poem of the cloak”. This poem is written by the “enlightened sufi” called Muhammad ibn Sa‘eed ibn Hammaad al-Sunhaaji, aka al-Busayri, who was born in 608AH. It is said that once he was chronically ill and no medication was working. He used to send a lot of blessings upon the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) until he saw him in a dream where he (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) covered him in a cloak -.-“ When he woke up from the dream, his illness was gone, so he decided to write the poem of the cloak. Allah knows best how true this story is.
In the poem, some of Allah’s qualities and attributes are given to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). For example, one line from the poem is as follows: “This world and the Hereafter are part of what you control, and part of your knowledge is the knowledge of al-Lawh al-Mahfooz and the Pen.” The “you” is referring to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). So…astaghfirullah.
And guess what, Hamza Yusuf has published his translation of the burdah and also teaches this at Zaytuna College.
So that was like a confirmation for me about whether he truly propagated sufi ideologies or not.
Out of curiosity, I wanted to hear how the burdah is recited, just in case it’s something that I’ve heard before and didn’t realise it. So here’s shock #2. It IS played very widely amongst the Muslims where I am; in the Islamic schools, gatherings etc, as a “nasheed”. And if you don’t really know Arabic, like me, you probably wouldn’t have been able to understand the shirkiness within or even think that it was something harmful, because it is very catchy and pleasing to the ears. But then again, regular junk music is also catchy and pleasing to the ears so… 😉
Time for shock #3. I noticed in many of the masajid here, they often sing these weird lines after the congregational prayer. I could only catch words like “Allahumma salli ala Muhammad, Ya Rabbi salli alayhi wa sallam.” It didn’t seem right when I first heard it as it wasn’t part of the sunnah to do such a thing, but again it never crossed my mind that it was a Sufi thing to do. Turns out that those lines they sing are similar to the burdah as well.
After I learnt this I honestly felt as if there’s really no where to go here to learn the Deen according to the Qur’an and Sunnah without doubting all the teachers, even if they claim to hold a degree from prestigious Islamic universities. Alhamdulillah for the Internet…got some sorta access to trustworthy scholars and teachers 🙂
FUN FACT…rather SAD FACT: Islam was brought to Southeast Asia by the Sufis. That’s why a lot of their practises have been ingrained into the Muslim communities here. Check out this video to see if you’re unknowingly doing or have done some of such acts.
Shock #4…I’m not really sure if this is directly related to the Sufis or not, but it’s a very common act of shirk that many of us are unaware of. Recently we learnt that placing the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)’s name on par with Allah’s name is actually an act of shirk, as we are elevating his status to Allah’s. As Muslims, we know that Allah has no partners in association, so putting anyone else’s name on the same level as His is actually implying that both have equal status. Many of the masajid, Islamic institutions as well as our homes have such “decor”.
My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, please please always try to verify if the knowledge, rulings and practices we learn about is in line with the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and that our understanding of the Deen is like that of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and his companions (radiyallahu anhum). May Allah guide us all to the Straight Path and keep us steadfast.
It was narrated from Mu’aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood among us and said: “Those who came before you of the people of the Book split into seventy-two sects, and this ummah will split into seventy-three: seventy-two in Hell and one in Paradise, and that is the jamaa’ah (main body of Muslims).”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (4597) and others; classed as saheeh by al-Haakim (1/128)