Hadeeth Two (الحديث الثاني) : Explanation continued - part 3


Many people today have understood this category under the wrong light. We have two extremes, those who are totally for it and end up doing many bizarre things in the name of Islam and tasawwuf and the other extreme where people think it has no place in Islam.

Some people even think that tasawwuf if not governed by the rules on shariah, so much so that they think you do not even have to be a Muslim to be called "sufi". Shaykh Muhiyyud-deen Al-Arabi was a great sufi. A non-Muslim once attended a dhikr majlis by his grave. When asked who he was he replied that he was not a Muslim but he was a sufi! He claimed to have a Shaykha in London whom the would encircle part of sufi dancing. Suhanallah. Due to the fact that we have this extreme people go to the complete opposite extreme. It is human nature to leave a group that they really hate. Some people are ignorant and do not know of the different between that as mentioned above and real sufism. No individual can disagree with tadhkiyatul qalb (purification of the heart) and ihsaan. It is obligatory and a fardh e 'ayn upon every Muslim, male or female, to implement the laws of the inner self.

Now the question arises, is it necessary for one to have a Sheikh to rectify their inner-self. Should one be part of a spiritual order (tareeq)? Is all this nothing but an innovation? This is something we must all understand. Just as one needs a teacher to study the intricate details of 'aqeedah and fiqh, the branches discussed in the last post, in the same way we need a teacher to help us understand the rulings of the inner-self.

An example may be taken that we are commanded to have "tawaadhu' " which is humbleness - a command related to the heart and inner-self. Islam has ordered us to be humble, but at the same time it is unlawful for us to degrade ourselves to the extent we end up into the category of self degradation (dhillatun-nafs). On one side Islam says pride and arrogance is not allowed and at the same time it sames self degradation is unlawful. The question arises that where will the line be drawn between the two? One may partially understand the fine line between the two, but to fully understand one needs a teacher.

One may ask themself that is it necessary to give bay'ah (a pledge) and be part of a tareeq? A wa'ad - pledge is just a promise, a bilateral pledge. Just like when a child is sent to a madrassah, it is promised that the child will be punctual, abide by the rules and conditions, not to miss class and to be in uniform. On the other end the teacher promises to look after the child, provide him good quality education. This is a mutual promise. Likewise, the bay'ah is a mutual promise, where the Shaykh promises to take out time to help a mureed and the mureed promises to take on board the advice given. This is a proven sunnah, we do not need to exaggerate and call it a fardh. As long as one refers to scholars this can even be done alone. There is no requirement to be part of a spiritual order to purify your inner-self. The scholars that help purify the inner-self are like spiritual doctors. Some prefer to be part of a tareeq as that helps them better. Nevertheless, we should understand that tasawwuf is part and parcel of Islam whether we call it tasawwuf or tadhkiyatul qalb or any other name.

There are many instances where bay'ah has been spoken of in quran and ahadeeth. For example:

In Surah Mumtahina - Ayah 12:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا جَاءكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ عَلَى أَن لَّا يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّهِ شَيْئاً وَلَا يَسْرِقْنَ وَلَا يَزْنِينَ وَلَا يَقْتُلْنَ أَوْلَادَهُنَّ وَلَا يَأْتِينَ بِبُهْتَانٍ يَفْتَرِينَهُ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِنَّ وَأَرْجُلِهِنَّ وَلَا يَعْصِينَكَ فِي مَعْرُوفٍ فَبَايِعْهُنَّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُنَّ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

"O you who believe, when the believing women come to you, seeking bai’ah (a pledge of allegiance) with you that they will not ascribe any partner to Allah, and will not commit theft, and will not commit fornication,and will not kill their children, and will not come up with a false claim (about the parentage of a child) that they falsely attribute (to the sperm of their husbands being dropped) between their hands and their feet (i.e. their private parts), and will not disobey you in what is recognized (in Sharī‘ah), then take them in your bai’ah, and pray Allah for their forgiveness. Surely Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful"

Next post on: Islam, Imaan and Ihsaan.

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