Tuesday, April 24, 2012


From the Layman’s Desk-15:
Part 14: Trying Times for Sunnis and Sufis.



The traditional Islamic perspective on Tasawwuf (Sufism) is that it originates in the Qur'an and the teachings of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  There are four stations of spiritual perfection: The Shari’a (Adherence to Prophetic Way), the Tariqa (Spiritual Path denoting brotherhood or Order), Haqiqa (the spiritual gift that comes from closeness to the Creator), Ma’rifa (mystical intuitive knowledge of spiritual truth reached through ecstatic experiences, rather than revealed or rationally acquired).   Each Sufi tariqa has a silsila (chain of authority) reaching back to the Prophet (s.a.w.).  Sayyiduna Ali ® (d.46 A.H./666 A.D.) was the cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). He is regarded as the starting point of the principal chains of transmission of the spiritual heritage of the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).   Other transmitters of note include Anas bin Malik ® (d.93 A.H.) and Salman Al Farsi ® (d.36 A.H.)  It may be noted that Hadrat Imam Ja’far Siddiq ® is joined to the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) through two lineages: The paternal lineage reaches him (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) through Hadrat Ali ®; whereas maternal grandfather’s pedigree is related to the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) through Hadrat Abu Bakr ® because of descending maternally from Hadrat Abu Bakr ® and also received Faid from the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) through him.   The Imam said: “Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddiq ® gave me two lives”.  These two ways of faid and ma’rifa that Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq ® had did not commingle or intersect.   Junayd al-Baghdadi (reh.) declared: “Ali is our Shaykh in the theory and practice of Tasawwuf. Orders (Silsilas) such as Junaidiyya, Qadriyya, Chishtiyya, etc., sprang through Ali ®; where Orders such as Bistamiyya and Naqshbandiyya trace their origin to Syedna Abu Bakr Siddiq ®. 

We already noted that Ibn Taimiyya himself  claimed to be a Qadiri Sufi in a direct line of succession to Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani.  As we learn from Islamic scholars, he had great admiration for `Abd al-Qadir Gilani (commentary on Futuh al-ghayb volume 10:455-548 of the first Riyadh edition of the Majmu` fatawa Ibn Taymiyya) and in a manuscript of the Yusuf ibn `Abd al Hadi al-Hanbali entitled Bad’ al ‘ilqa bi labs al khirqa (The beginning of the shield in the wearing of the Sufi cloak), Ibn Taymiyya is listed within a Sufi spiritual genealogy with other well known Hanbali scholars. The links in this genealogy are, in descending order: `Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani (d. 561) - Abu `Umar ibn Qudama (d. 607) - Muwaffaq al Din ibn Qudama (d. 620) - Ibn Abi `Umar ibn Qudama (d. 682) - Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728) - Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyya (d. 751) - Ibn Rajab (d. 795)(Both Abu `Umar ibn Qudama and his brother Muwaffaq al-Din received the khirqa directly from Abd al-Qadir himself.) And in Ibn Taymiyyas own words: “I have worn the Sufi cloak of a number of shaykhs belonging to various tariqas (labistu khirqata at tasawwuf min turuqi jama’atin min al shuyukhi), among them the Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al Jili, whose tariqa is the greatest of the well known ones. Further on he says: The greatest Sufi Way (ajall al-turuq) is that of my master (sayyidi) `Abd al-Qadir al Jili, may Allah (SWT) have mercy on him.” (Ibn `Abd al Hadi, Bad’ al ‘ilqa bi labs al khirqa, ms. al-Hadi, Princeton Library Arabic Collection, fols. 154a, 169b, 171b 172a; and Damascus University, copy of original Arabic manuscript, 985H.; also mentioned in at Talyani, manuscript Chester Beatty 3296 (8) in Dublin, fol. 67a). And in one of Ibn Taymiyyas own books he writes “I wore the blessed Sufi cloak of `Abd al-Qadir, there being between him and me two shaykhs.” (Manuscript Damascus, Zahiriyya #1186 H).  Significantly, even Muhammad ibn al-Wahhab admits the Sufi Tariqa: “And we do not reject at-Tareeqah as-Soofiyyah, and the purification of the inner self from the evil qualities of disobedience to Allaah connected to the heart and the limbs, as long as the person abides by the laws of the Sharee'ah and the correct methodology.” [Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah fee al-Ajwibah an-Najdiyyah]   Therefore, Wahhabis should note that  Tariqas are accepted as part of Tasawwuf and the opinion of  Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab is very clear and candid about this.  However, the Wahhabis don’t understand and what they don’t understand that is Bida’ for them. 

It is very common for the deviants to deny Tawassul and Intercession and have been vehemently refuted ad infinitum by the giant Classic Sunni scholars, including the Imams of the four Schools of Thought,  as well as the modern Sunni scholars.  As a Dr. Ali Jumu’ah says: There is an enormous and vast difference between wasīla and shirk, as wasīla is commanded to in the Revealed Law in the Exalted’s Statement: “O you who believe!  Have taqwā of Allah and seek the means [ ā was wasīla īla īla] of drawing near to him, and do jihad in ] His Way, so that hopefully you will be successful.” [Al Al-Mā’ida 5:35] The Glorified also praised those who do tawassul in their supplications when He said: “Those they call on are themselves seeking the means by which they might approach their Lord – which of them are closest to Him? – and are hoping for His mercy and fearing His punishment.  The punish punishment of your Lord is truly something to be feared.” [Al-Isr Isrā 17:57]. In the Arabic language, wasīla means ‘rank, ‘connection’ and ‘nearness’, and thus the overall meaning is drawing near to Allah the Exalted by way of that which He the Glorified has legislated and that includes extolling everything that Allah the Exalted has extolled, whether it is places, times, individuals or states.  However, even according to Imam Shawkani who is a major authority for the "salafis" due to his stance on Taqlid: “There is no harm in tawassul through any one of the Prophets or Friends of Allah or scholars of knowledge... One who comes to the grave as a visitor (za'iran) and invokes Allah alone, using as his means the dead person in the grave, is as one who says: "O Allah, I am asking that you cure me from such-and-such, and I use as a means to You whatever this righteous servant of Yours possesses for worshipping You and striving for Your sake and learning and teaching purely and sincerely for You." Such as this, there is no hesitation in declaring that it is permitted.. [al-Durr al-nadid fi ikhlas kalimat al-tawhid] Here, in fact he has systematically refuted all the “evidence” cited from the Qur’an by the Salafis against Tawassul categorically saying that all these verses in fact support Tawassul.  All of which proves that quoting the Quranic verses out of context is the favourite pastime of the Wahhabis/ Salafis.  Even the arch innovator of our time, the late al-Albani  admitted in his At-Tawassul, page 38: “Imaam Ahmad allowed Tawassul by means of the Messenger alone, and others such as Imaam ash-Shawkaanee  allowed Tawassul by means of him, other Prophets and the Pious.”

Likewise, visiting the graves of the Muslims is a Sunnah of the Prophet according to the Sunni scholars.  Please see the following and the related Blog posts too: http://tinyurl.com/c2mf9eg  Imam Nawawi says in Adhkar that it is Sunnah to frequently visit the shrine of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) and those of the Pious Muslims and to stay longer at such places.  This fact is strongly supported by the Hanbali sources too, including al-Qudama’s al-Mughni (3:297). [Please see the following and the related posts too: http://tinyurl.com/bqee8wh

Mulla Ali al-Qari in his book Sharhu sh-Shafa, vol. 2: "Ibn Taymiyyah the Hanbalite was extreme when he prohibited setting out to visit the tomb of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). Others were even more extreme when they said that visiting is definitely a pious act in religion, and denying this is condemned as infidelity. Perhaps the second point was nearer to being correct, because (of the rule that says) prohibiting that which, according to the consensus of the ulama, is considered as recommended (mustahhab) is considered as unbelief, for here prohibition supercedes something that was permissible by unanimous agreement in this case."

Apart from the Fard and Nawaafil prayers, the Sufis of all Turuq engage themselves in Dhikr and Wird.  The Salafis consider even Dhikr-Allah and Wird as bida’h!  We shall only examine some of the Quranic verses and only a few ahadith in refutation based on the works of Islamic scholars:

A few Quranic Verses showing desirability of Dhikr:

2: 152. “Therefore remember Me, I will remember you. Give thanks to Me, and reject not Me.”
3: 191.  “Such as remember Allah, standing, sitting, and reclining, and consider the creation of the heavens and the earth…”
4:142.  Lo! the hypocrites seek to beguile Allah, but it is He Who beguileth them. When they stand up to worship they perform it languidly and to be seen of men, and are mindful of Allah but little;
6:91. Say: Allah and leave them to their idle prattle.
13: 28. Who have believed and whose hearts have rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!
24: 37. “Men whom neither merchandise nor sale beguileth from remembrance of Allah…”
33:41.  O ye who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.
33: 42. And glorify Him early and late.
43: 36. And he whose sight is dim to the remembrance of the Beneficent, We assign unto him a devil who becometh his comrade.
57:16. Is not the time ripe for the hearts of those who believe to submit to Allah's reminder..
58:19.  The devil hath engrossed them and so hath caused them to forget remembrance of Allah. They are the devil's party. Lo! is it not the devil's party who will be the losers ?
63: 9. O ye who believe! Let not your wealth nor your children distract you from remembrance of Allah.
76:31. And glorify Him through the livelong night.

“However In order to build or practice these inner traits of the self and feel the noor and pleasure of Allah’s worship one needs to entrust him/herself to a spiritual guide, (shaykh/pir) who has already embarked upon this journey of self purification and experienced the Divine as Allah says “O you who believe fear Allah and join those who are truthful” (Al Quran 9:119)”

A few ahadith regarding the Dhikr:

Asma' bint `Umays the wife of Abu Bakr and mother of `Abd Allah ibn Ja`far ibn Abi Talib - Allah be well-pleased with all of them! - said: "The Messenger of Allah - upon him blessings and peace - taught me words for me to say in times of duress: 'ALLAH, ALLAH is my Lord nor do I associate with him anything!' [Dawud Book 8 Hadith 1520 and Ibn Majah ]

The Prophet upon him peace - said as narrated from Anas:  "The Hour will not rise until ALLAH, ALLAH is no longer said on the earth."

Through another chain from Anas, Allah be well-pleased with him: "The Hour will not rise on anyone saying: ALLAH, ALLAH."

[Muslim narrated both in his "Sahih," Book of Iman (belief), chapter 66 titled (by al-Nawawi): "The Disappearance of Belief at the End of Times."]

According to Sunni scholars,  Imam Nawawi authenticates the invocation of ALLAH ALLAH as Sunna Ma’thura (invocations inherited from Prophet sal Allahu alayhis wasallam and the Companions.)  One who knows that the dhikr "ALLAH, ALLAH" has been mentioned by the Prophet himself, is not at liberty to muse whether it was used by the Companions or not in order to establish its basis. It suffices for its basis that the Prophet said it! Sami`na wa-Ata`na!  One who knows that "ALLAH, ALLAH" is a dhikr used by the Prophet, is not at liberty to object to similar forms of dhikr such as HU and HAYY and HAQQ. { "To Allah belong the most beautiful names, so call Him by them" } (7:180).  Moreover, it is established that Bilal used to make the dhikr "AHAD, AHAD" while undergoing torture. As for the hadith of the ninety-nine Names, it does not limit the Names of Allah to only ninety-nine, as al-Nawawi made clear in his commentary of that hadith.

Hadrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) says in the commentary of this Ayah:  "One should make Allah`s Dhikr during the day and at night, in water and in the dry, when traveling and when at home, in poverty and in prosperity, in sickness and in health, with softness and with loudness". [Tafseeraat-e-Ahmedia by Mullah Jeewan (Shaykh Ahmed a pious scholar of 1600’s c.e.), pg. 207; Durre Mansoor by Imam Suyuti Ash Shafi`I, Vol. 2, pg. 214; Ihya ul Uloom by Imam Ghazzali, Vol. 1, pg. 301]

As far as the loud Dhikr is concerned, Abu Sa’id ® narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Allah (SWT) says, ‘The people assembling on the Day of Resurrection will come to know who the generous people are.” The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked,, “Who are the generous people, O Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) ?” He replied, “Those who hold remembrance sessions in mosques.”  Imam Hiban and Ahmad Said: This Hadith is "Sahih"  [Ahmad ibn Hambal, al-Musnad Volume 003, Hadith Number 11670]

Narrated Abu Ma'bad: the freed slave of Ibn 'Abbas) Ibn 'Abbas told me, "In the lifetime of the Prophet it was the custom to celebrate Allah's praises aloud after the compulsory congregational prayers." Ibn 'Abbas further said,  "When I heard the Dhikr, I would learn that the compulsory congregational prayer had ended." [Sahih Bukhari Book 12 Hadith 802]

Another relevent hadith is the following one:   Abu Sa`id Khudri ® relates that once Mu`awiyah ®  visited the mosque and saw a circle (of reciters).  He asked,   "What has made you sit?"  The said, "We have assembled here to   remember Allah."  He said, "By Allah you did not sit except for   this purpose?"  They affirmed, "We did not sit except for this."   Mu`awiyah ® then told them, "I did not ask you to swear  on account of any malice.  None of you can match me for scanty  narration of the Prophet (s.a.w.) (and as such have narrated  very few traditions about him).  The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.)   once visited a gathering of his companions and inquired,   `What has made you assemble here?'  They answered, `We have  gathered to remember Allah and praise Him for having led us to Islam and granted this favour to us.'  The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.)  inquired, `Do you affirm by Allah that it is so?'  The Holy  Prophet's Companions affirmed, `By Allah we are sitting here for   this purpose only.'  He said, `I have not put you on oath on  account of any doubt, but angel Jibreel had visited me and told   me that Allah felt proud of you among the angels.'"   [Muslim, and also in the Riyadh us-Saliheen.]

This hadith shows clearly that in the time of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), he approved of people  gathering in circles for dhikr (against the claims of Salafis). The hadith is from Sahih Muslim, so it is a sound hadith. This tradition of making dhikr in a circle in assembly continues in the Sufi turuq.  Shaikh Zakariyya’s comments: Mulla Ali Qari (reh.) explains that Allah boasts about these people because despite having worldly engagements, natural desires, temptations and the shaitaan trying to mislead them, they do not neglect and turn away from My remembrance; then the Dhikr of the angels who are faced with none of these obstacles is no comparison to their Dhikr.

The Qur'an also says in meaning:   "Lo!  In the creation of the Heavens and the earth and in the night  and day are tokens (of His sovereignty) for men of understanding,   such as remember Allah, in standing, sitting, and reclining. "  [Qur'an 3:190-191].  What this part of the Qur'an establishes is that posture is not important in performing dhikr -- standing, sitting, or reclining.  Presumably other postures are also okay, so criticisms about posture during dhikr is irrelevent.

A Hadith al-Qudsi from Sahih Bukhari  narrated on the authority of Abu Harayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), who said: Allah (glorified and exalted be He) has supernumerary angels who rove about."SEEKING OUT GATHERINGS IN WHICH ALLAH'S NAME IS BEING INVOKED":  They sit with them and fold their "WINGS ROUND EACH OTHER" filling that which is between them and between the lowest heaven. When [the people in the gathering] depart, [the angels] ascend and rise up to heaven. He (the Prophet p.b.u.h.) said: Then Allah (mighty and sublime be He) asks them - [though] He is most knowing about them: From where have you come? And they say: We have come from some servants of Yours on Earth:  "THEY WERE GLORIFYING YOU (SUBHANA LLAH), EXALTING YOU (ALLAHU AKBAR), WITNESSING THAT THERE IS NO GOD BUT YOU (LA ILAHA IL ALLAH),PRAISING YOU (AL-HAMDU LILLAH), and asking [favours] of You. He says: And what do they ask of Me? They say: They ask of You Your Paradise. He says: And have they seen My Paradise? They say: No, O Lord. He says: And how would it be were they to have seen My Paradise! They say: And they ask protection of You. He says: From what do they ask protection of Me? They say: From Your Hell-fire, O Lord. He says: And have they seen My Hell-fire? ... They say: NO. He says: And how would it be were they to have seen My Hell-fire: They say: And they ask for Your forgiveness. He (the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said: Then He says: I have forgiven them and I have bestowed upon them what they have asked for,and I have granted them sanctuary from that from which they asked protection.  He (the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)  said: They say: O Lord, among them is So-and-so, "A MUCH SINNING SERVANT, WHO WAS MERELY PASSING BY AND SAT DOWN WITH THEM" He (the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said: And He says: And to him [too] I have given forgiveness: he who sits with such people shall not suffer. [It was related by Muslim, and also by al-Bukhari, at-Tirmidhi, and an-Nasa'i.]

Abu Sa’id Khudri ®  narrates that Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said: Engage so excessively in Dhikr  until they (wicked people) say He is mad! [Narrated by Ahmad, Abu Ya’la, Haakim, Ibn-Hibban ]

Zaid bin Aslam reports from a Sahabi ®  that one night I walked with Rasulullah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) when he passed by a person in the Masjid who was engaged in loud Dhikr. I said: O Messenger of Allah perhaps he is showing-off! He replied: No but in fact he is an Awwaah. [Narrated by Baihaqi]

The Salafis cite a Mawdu hadith attributing to Ibn Mas’ud ® that he prohibited the loud Dhikr.  Allamah Dimyaati clarifies this matter in the following words: "But Allamah Hafni states in his work Fadhl-Tasbeeh-wat-Tahleel that what is reported from Ibn-Mas’ud (the incident of loud Dhikr) in the Masjid is not authentic, the proof of which is an authentic narration of Abu Wa’il (student of Ibn-Mas’ud) in Kitabuz-Zuhd as follows:

"This what people have attributed to Ibn-Mas’ud that he prevented loud Dhikr (is incorrect) because whenever I sat with him in any gathering, he always engaged himself  in loud Dhikr".  Further on,  he states: The evidence of the desirability of loud Dhikr can also be inferred from the narration of Imam Baihaqi (reh.) from the incident of the person (Abdullah Zul-Bujadain ®) who was making loud Dhikr in the Masjid when Rasulullah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) passed by him, referring to him as being an Awwah. Allamah Hafni (R) explains: Awwaah is that person who experiences pangs of pain in the heart due to overwhelming and ardent love for Allah. From this it is clearly established that loud Dhikr is allowed.

Abu Hurairah ® narrates that Rasulullah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said that Allah Ta’ala says: I treat my servant according to his opinion of Me and I am with him when he remembers Me; if he remembers Me privately, I remember him privately and if he remembers Me in public, I remember him in a gathering (of the angels which is) better than his gathering. [Narrated by Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Nasai, Ibn-Majah, Ahmad]

Anas ®  narrates that Rasulullah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said: When you pass the gardens of paradise then graze well. They asked: What are the gardens of paradise? He replied: The gatherings of Dhikr.

According to a hadith in Tirmidhi, everything on earth is accursed, except the Remembrance of Allah.

Anas ®  narrates that Rasulullah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said: To sit with a group of people who engage in Dhikr after Fajr until sunrise is more beloved to me than all that upon which the sun rises (i.e. all the things of this world) and from after Asr to sun set is more beloved to me than the whole world and whatever it contains.  [Narrated by Baihaqi, Isbahani]

In the opinion of some Islamic scholars, loud Dhikr is preferable to silent Dhikr since it serves as an encouragement to those around the person doing the Dhikr.  The views of the Fuqaha (Jurists) are favourably disposed to Loud Dhikr but cannot be mentioned here for brevity’s sake.  Suffice it to say that Maulana Abdul Hayy Lucknowi  has enumerated some  fifty Ahadith on this subject in his work Sabahatul-Fikr which establishes the permissibility of loud Zikr.  It would be well to remember that it is mentioned in a Hadith that:  There is a purifier (or polish) for everything, the polisher of the heart is Dhikrullah. 

The subject of Tasawwuf or Islamic Sufism is vast as the Oceans to say the least because of the backing of the Islamic scholars of fourteen centuries, including the Salaf as-Saliheen. The practice of Tasawwuf is not only the practice of the Sharia but also striving to draw closer to Allah,   the inner sciences and self purification and reflection upon one's own actions and the state of their hearts.  On reading the biographies of the Sahaba we learn that they entrusted themselves (bayt) to the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) in order to be enlightened and to attain nearness to Allah as well as to be purified and be better people. Thereafter the disciples of the companions (Tabieen) adopted the company (suhba) of the Sahaba  in order to benefit from the noor that they had received from the company of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), and thereafter the followers of the Tabieen (Taba- Tabieen) adopted their company to taste the beauty of Iman that they had achieved through the companions who had received it directly from the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) and so on. This chain continued, continues and will continue till the day of judgement in the form of Silsilas and Tariqas named after the respective Shaykhs due to their methodology of attaining the closeness of Allah.  Imam Fakhr al-Din Razi (Rahimullah) states:  “The summary of what the Sufis say is that the way to the knowledge of Allah is self-purification and renunciation of material attachments, and this is an excellent way… Sufis are a folk who work with reflection and the detaching of the self from materialistic trappings. They strive in order that their inner being be solely occupied with the remembrance of Allah in all of their occupations and their actions, and they are characterized by the perfection of their manners in dealing with Allah . Verily these are the best of all the sects of human beings.” (Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, I`tiqadat firaq al-muslimin p. 72-73).  In the words of Ibn ‘Ata Allah,: We know that tasawwuf recognizes that what is sullied has no part in religion and that cleanliness has the character of faith. The true and sincere sufi must cultivate in his heart the faith recognized by the Ahl al-Sunna.

Regarding Tasawwuf, just remember that all the four Imams of the Four Schools of Thought who were Mujtahid Mutallaq, i.e. Absolute Mujtahid,  and the great,  giant Islamic scholars of the Salaf as-Saaliheen and Khalaf as-Saadiqeen wrote only good about the Sufis, except for the ones that don’t belong to the Ahl as-Sunna wal Jama’ah,  which we have already mentioned above. They never considered it a Bida’h.   So one need not be an Islamic scholar to understand that Sufism or Tasawwuf is not a new sect or innovation or reaction but rather an inner dimension that was known as Ihsan during the time of Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) and is very much a part of Deen of Islam.  However, Shaykh Nuh Keller states in Reliance of the Traveller: Nonetheless in order to reach the level of Ihsan (perfection) Muslims need to strive and struggle to attain the pleasure, closeness and love of Allah through muraaqaba (meditation), mujahada (struggle), tafakkur (reflection), tadabbur(contemplation), mushahdah, Ikhlas(sincerity), taqwa(piety), zuhd(renunciation), zikr (rememberance), shukr (gratitude) and sabar(patience) which are all subjects of Tassawuf derived from the Quran and sunnah. As the great Imaam Junayd al Baghdadi said “This knowledge of ours is built of the Quran and sunnah”.  

I would like to end it with the following Hadith Qudsi, related by Imam Bukhar,  which spells a warning to the haters of Sufis and Awliya Allah: 

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah ® who said that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) said: Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said: Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon  him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with  supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him  I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he  walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.          

Regarding the above hadith shareef, Imam al-Dhahabi stated tht the critic of a true Sufi enters into the above hadith.  Also, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami was a student of Zakariyya al-Ansari. He represents the foremost resource for legal opinion (fatwa) in the entire late Shafi`i school. He was once asked about the legal status of those who criticize Sufis: Is there an excuse for such critics? He replies in his Fatawa hadithiyya: It is incumbent upon every person endowed with mind and religion not to fall into the trap of criticizing these folk (Sufis), for it is a mortal poison, as has been witnessed of old and recently.1  "Yes, indeed, criticizing the Sufis is a mortal poison  and a pitfall from which one does irremediable damage to one’s belief.  Whoever opposes the Sufis, Allah will not make the opposer’s knowledge beneficial and he will be inflicted with the worst and ugliest diseases."  

To continue, Insha Allah.


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