A profound subject
Study Sufism in the right perspective
FEEDBACK BY PROF. HAMID NASEEM RAFIABADI
It was a good piece to read about Sufism in Greater Kashmir by Mufti Mubashir. However it needs more elaboration as Sufism is not that easy a subject to be discussed in a newspaper article casually as you have done without properly contextualising your write-up. It is true that people use Sufism for ulterior motives and they do that with religious teachings also. How will you explain the terms like Tazkiya, Taqwa Awliya Allah Muqarabin, Muhsinin etc if you exclude the great personages known as Sufis in Islamic history? My point is that instead of rejecting anything in total we need to analyse its negatives and positives and present the position of our stalwart scholars and thinkers of Islam like Ibn Taimiyah, Ibn Qaim, Shaikh Sarhindi, Shah Wali Allah, Anwar Shah Kashmiri Maulana Mawdudi, Allama Iqbal and Abul Hasan Nadwi etc for exposition of our stand on such an intricate and highly sensitive subject rather than relying on some reports or subjective feelings here and there.
Even an ostensibly ardent opponent of Sufism Ibn Taimiyah has not rejected all types of Sufi masters and has praised one group of Sufis by calling them Aimata al Huda, the masters of guidance. In case of the Sufis who are known for their sukur (ecstasy), he exonerates them from all blames and allegations. However he criticised only those Sufis who were believing in Unitarian and incarnation, emanation and such other deviant doctrines and theories. Mawalana Mawdudi has also qualifies Sufis into at least three categories and has praised the trend of Islami Sufism and its historical role in no unequivocal terms. His Tajdid -wa Ahya-i- Din bears testimony to this fact in which he has elaborated the great contributions of Sufis like Ghazali, Sarhindi, Shah Wali Allah ,and Syed Ali Hamadani etc. In his Risalah-i-Diniyat he calls spirituality the Batin of Ibadah. Abul Hassan Ali Nadvi has included Ibn Taimiyah among the spiritual personalities of Islam in Tazkiya wa Ihsan Ya Tasawwuf wa Saluk. Anwar Shah Kashmiri was a well known scholar apart from being a practising Wali of Allah, who has been called by Iqbal as a Khirqaposh having a blazing hand hidden in ones sleeves. And Iqbal always preferred to call himself a Darwesh, a Faqir, a Qalandar and while addressing to his son Javed he remarked:
Magar us ghar ka charag hai tu
Jis ghar ka Mazaq hai aarifana
“You are the light of that house, the demeanour of which is imbedded in the Gnostic traditions of Islam” .
There is no doubt that Sufism is being used for non spiritual and sometimes un-Islamic purposes by the people of different hues and colours but behaviour of such people does not disqualify this sublime phenomenon of glorious history of Islam as un-Islamic in all its manifestations.
We don’t need to call it mysticism as insisted by William Chittick, we may call it Ihsan and Tazkiya as advocated by Shah Wali Allah and Abul Hassan Ali Nadvi respectively, provided it is purged from its alien elements.
Let me tell you that Islamic spirituality is the greatest tool in our hands to convince the western milieu grossed in materialistic and bestial modes of life to take Islamic way of life seriously and shun its bias against the last repository of divine revelation, the Quran. It has already convinced a great number of western audiences and is attracting millions to its fold in present day world. Now it is our religious duty to demonstrate its pure Islamic manifestation as was done by our great ancestors who made Islamic Dawah possible both by their spiritual acumen and scholarly erudition.
However we have to purge Islamic spirituality from all its foreign and un -Islamic embellishments and moorings and present the purest form of spirituality enshrined in the Quran and Hadith, and actually this approach to spirituality has had been the hall mark of the life style of our most erudite Mashaikh of past, and present it before the world which is crying for such panacea for its spiritual and moral ailments amidst its false glamour and pomp of materialist progress.
Islamic spirituality can give solace to the ‘soulless’ west and ‘dispirited’ east in this crucial stage of human history where capitalism has lost its zenith and communism its vitality.
Let us scrutinise our great legacy with an unclouded mind and sincere heart filled with pain for the suffering Muslim Ummah and wandering humanity in general.
However I appreciate Mr Mubashir Mufti’s genuine concerns he has mentioned with regard to the exploitative manoeuvres of some unscrupulous western and credulous Muslim propagators of the Europeanised or Epicurean and hedonistic mode of Sufism which in no way can be accepted as a genuine form of Islamic Spirituality. May Allah guide us to His straight path !Aameen!
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Dec 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Dec 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Dec 2009 00:00:00 IST
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