By Sadia Dehlvi
Mar 16, 2012
According to the Islamic calendar, this is the fourth month of Rabi al-Thani. It marks the death anniversary of the greatest of Sufi masters, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani. A direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad, he is universally acclaimed as the Master of all Masters, and called Pir Dastgir and Ghaus-ul-Azam for his ecstatic utterance, “My foot is on the neck of every Sufi,” which established his rank as the foremost amongst all Sufis.
The first major Sufi order to be formalised was the Qadri order that was established by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani in the 12th century. The Qadri order spread to Syria, Turkey, Damascus, Africa, Mauritius, Chechnya and many countries in Asia, including India
After studying theology in Baghdad, the Sufi master from Jilan spent 25 years as a wandering dervish, though the last 12 were spent in seclusion. Countless miracles attributed to Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani include the crushing of mountains, drying of oceans and raising the dead to life. The 12th century was a period of strife between the exponents of Islamic jurisprudence and Sufism, and Shaykh Abdul Qadir struck a balance between them.
At the age of 50, he began to preach in Baghdad where his fame reached incredible heights and thousands attended his sermons. Shaykh Abdul Qadir taught that jihad fought against the self is more important than jihad fought against oppression with the sword.
An often-told story of Shaykh Abdul Qadir is one from his youth when he left Jilan in Persia for Baghdad to pursue his education. His widowed mother sewed 40 gold coins inside his coat for his travels. His caravan had barely reached Hamadan when it was attacked by dacoits. They asked him if he had any money and he truthfully told them of the gold coins hidden in his coat. They ripped his clothes, discovered the coins, and asked why he revealed what they had not found. The teenage mystic told them that before he left home, his mother had instructed him to always be truthful. Moved, the dacoits repented their sins and were amongst his first followers.
The Sufi master is also remembered for his extraordinary spiritual experiences and his memorable sayings and wise teachings. It is said that “he was born in love, grew in perfection and met his Lord in the perfection of love.”
The compilations of his discourses include Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelation of the Unseen), Futuh al-Rabbani (The Sublime Revelation) and Jala al-Khatir (The Removal of Care). They remain important Sufi manuals emphasising that Sufism is all about generosity, cheerfulness, submission, patience, prayers, solitude, poverty, humility, sincerity and truthfulness.
Shaykh Abdul Qadir died at the age of 91 and is buried in Baghdad. His Dargah is visited by millions of people from across the world.
Sadia Dehlvi is author of Sufism: The Heart of Islam
Source: The Asian Age, New Delhi
There is only one Islam in this world as taught by our prophet and words brought down from god. Sufi is not a sect like sunni or shia, but a practice of Islam, physically by doing the normal prayers, fasting and all the five pillars of Islam, and spiritually, meaning guarding the heart from straying away from ALLAH. True sufis look at everything in this world come from nothing but ALLAH.
Be it good or bad, they will accept it as something come from the al mighty ALLAH.But unfortunately, after the demise of the Holy Prophet, a group cropped up claiming to be decendants of the Prophet, thus claiming Superiority over the others and identified themselves as 'Shia's'. (forming about 10 % of the entire Muslim population and now broken into numerous sects among themselves).This forced the others to label themselves as 'Sunnies' to distinct theselves from the 'Shia's'. And the 'Sunnies' are the mainstream Muslims who form about 90 % of the entire Muslim populace.There is no such thing as 'Sufi Islam', but 'a Sufi' is merely a muslim given to learning and understanding the in depth meaning of the realities about life. But unfortunately, this term again, presently is being abused to form different sects in the name of 'Sufi' schools.
Though, there might not be much of a difference in performing the five obligatory Salat as compared to the Sunnie way, but there are practices within different Sufi schools found to be deviated from the mainstream Sunni Path, like worshipping (revering) the dead saints and popular figures.
Sufi: a follower of SufismSufism: a sect that has introduced many innovated practices and beliefs into the religion of Islam while claiming to be mysticalSufism was not known in the time of the Prophet (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) or his Companions, nor was it well known in the first three generations after them. It first appeared in Basrah in Iraq, where some people went to extremes in worship and in avoiding the worldly life, something which is admonished in the Quran:"The Monasticism which they invented for themselves; We did not prescribe it for them." Qur'an 57:27
Sufis belong to the Illumist school of philosophy which holds that knowledge and awareness is brought about in the soul by spiritual exercises. Orthodox Islam holds that one can achieve true knowledge and awareness through the acts of worship that exist in the Quran and Sunnah.Sufism is often, willfully or otherwise, referred to by Sufis themselves, or by orientalists, as "Islamic mysticism", in order to give the impression that Islam is either wholly or partly an esoteric religion, with a set of dogmatic rituals to be understood by the elite alone-in this class, the Sufis! Unfortunately, the lack of any sound critical analysis of the subject in the English language allows these orientalists to flood the English and North American book market with literature that stands unchallenged, and dupes naive Muslims into believing that true salvation can only be attained by pursuing a mystical order. Their vain goal strips Islam of its Universality.
The Sufis have introduced many innovations into Islam in the name of Tasawwuf and have justified such practises by fabricated statements and unsound arguments Although many sects have appeared throughout the ages, none have outlasted as long and spread their effects into the homes of so many as Sufism has. The emotional attachment that a countless number of Muslims have towards this sect is so powerful that any analysis should be purely from an objective perspective; Its conclusions however leave no doubt as to the alien nature of Sufi teachings that have infiltrated into the religion that our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.s) left us upon.True Muslims should be content with the name "Muslims given to them by Almighty Allah as he says: which means,"He has chosen you (to conform to His religion) and has imposed no difficulty upon you in religion, the religion of your father Ibrahim. He named you 'Muslims' both before (in the preceding Divine Scriptures) and in this Book." (22.78)Ibn Kathir elaborated on this verse, saying: "Allah has chosen the Muslims, honoured them, and distinguished them exclusively of other nations by the most honourable Messenger and the most perfect religion, and He has not overburdened them with more than they can bear.Sufis believe that their teachers are also a source for legislation in worship, as they will order them to carry out acts of worship that have no basis in either the Quran or the Sunnah.
The extremists from amongst them often claim that Allah dwells within His creation (i.e. in people's hearts, internal organs etc.). Consequently, they ascribe to their Sufi teachers attributes and powers which only belong to Allah, such as the knowledge of the unseen.They often claim that the texts of the Quran and the Sunnah have an outer, apparent meaning, and as well, an inner, hidden meaning. They hold that the outer, apparent meaning is known to those who practice orthodox Islam, while the inner and hidden meanings of the Quran and Sunnah are known only to their teacher and order.
These teachers will often claim that since they have advanced to the inner and hidden meaning of Islam, they no longer need to pray or fast, something that not even the Prophets were excused from.Like many other Sufi doctrines, pantheism is adopted from man-made religions and philosophies, as confirmed by S. R. Sharda in his book, Sufi Thought"Sufi literature of the post-Timur period shows a significant change in thought content. It is pantheistic. After the fall of Muslim orthodoxy from power at the centre of India for about a century, due to the invasion of Timur, the Sufi became free from the control of the Muslim orthodoxy and consorted with Hindu saints, who influenced them to an amazing extent. The Sufi adopted Monism and wifely devotion from the Vaishnava Vedantic school and Bhakti and Yogic practices from the Vaishnava Vedantic school. By that time, the popularity of the Vedantic pantheism among the Sufis had reached its zenith."If Sufis insist that they are Muslims, then what is the sense of identifying themselves with Sufism rather than with Islam.
The word "Sufism" was not familiar to those who lived in the first and the best three generations of as-Salaf as-Salih (the pious predecessors) who were commanded by Allah the Exalted and His Messenger Muhammad (s.a.w.s)Ibn Taymiyyah makes this clear in his 'Majmu al-Fatawa: 'Some people accept everything of sufism, what is right as well as what is wrong; others reject it totally, both what is wrong and what is right, as some scholars of kalam and fiqh do. The right attitude towards sufism, or any other thing, is to accept what is in agreement with the Quran and the Sunnah, and reject what does not agree'" [Majmu Fatawa Shaykh al-Islam, Vol. 10, p. 82]
The enemy of my enemy...With his knockoff designer handbags, hats, and gloves, Manhattan street vendor Omar Thiem hardly seems like a guy out on the front lines in the war on terrorism.
Like many of the city's itinerant traders, Thiem is a devout Sufi from West Africa, and a portion of his earnings goes to support the Tijani order, a vibrant, tolerant sect of Islam. Increasingly, U.S. strategists believe, Thiem and his fellow Sufis may be among the world's best weapons against al Qaeda and other radical Islamists.From the dancers of Turkey's whirling dervishes to the seductive Afropop of Senegal's Youssou N'Dour, Sufis and their mystical ways strike a marked contrast to such fundamentalist sects as Wahhabism, whose strictest imams ban music, dancing, and even romantic love.
Long at odds with fundamentalists, the Sufis have seen their shrines destroyed and been forced underground in countries like Saudi Arabia, where their mysticism and worship of saints are branded apostate. But Sufism is staging a comeback, with tens of millions of faithful in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and West Africa, plus hundreds of millions more who follow Sufi traditions.
Sufi activists say they're up against billions of dollars spent by state-sponsored Saudi missionaries intent on spreading Wahhabism. "It would be foolish to ignore this confrontation," says anthropologist Robert Dannin, who has studied African Sufis and likens their clash with fundamentalists to "a guerrilla war."The conflict has caught the attention of U.S. policymakers, who, while they can't endorse Sufism directly, are pushing to strengthen those associated with it. "The moderates don't have a chance unless America steps in," says Hedieh Mirahmadi, director of WORDE, a Washington, D.C.-based group that seeks to foster greater Muslim-western understanding. A practicing Sufi, Mirahmadi has advised U.S. officials on how best to proceed. "The goal is to preserve things that are the ideological antithesis of radical Islam," she says. Among the tactics: using U.S. aid to restore Sufi shrines overseas, to preserve and translate its classic medieval manuscripts, and to push governments to encourage a Sufi renaissance in their own countries.
The idea has already caught on with King Mohammed VI of Morocco, who has quietly brought together local Sufi leaders there and offered millions of dollars in aid to use as a bulwark against radical fundamentalism.This story appears in the April 25, 2005 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.Supporters of sufism are being funded by U.S. to support the causes of the westners.
To all,Here everyone is trying to prove his point, but the facts remains this that what Sheikh Abdul Qadir JIlani (R A)has done for islam & preserving shariah & sunnah of our beloved Prophet(SAW) should be taken as example of those great people who have actualy followed islam as Allah wanted us to follow,But there is blurred line in believing & following, people are believing him & trying to celebrate his anversary only instead of trying to immaluate him so that Allah message reaches to others.
Currently i am living in bareilly & here i have seen manny things which they attributes to islam but which is actually not islam, only influenced by culture & also due to stubborness to do something diffrent from other sects of Islam. The Prophet(SAW) has given us Allah`s Message through Quran, Sahih Ahadees & Sunnah to follow , instead of arguing here if we can go by these i hope we can be a better muslim than those who is trying to create rifts between muslim ummah in common
DearMr. Rashid. Sir who is this Yousuf? If you meant that for Mr. Younus, then Iregretfully observe that you are making mistake yet again. The first time youdid when I pointed out the word 'attributed' has already been used for whateveryou mentioned by “Perhaps all this was added to after the person was all deadand gone as per normal, but his worshipers remain”.
WhenI clarified, you are pointing out as if it was I who missed noticing it ratherthan you. But this is really a non-issue, I understand that we are on same pageand you just missed that. I know you can write much better than that originalarticle and not to say, even me, but you are misreading what some of us aresaying. Whatever Muslims are not supposed to do and not do, I think I do notneed to remind you, as I trust that you are a person of Imaan but at the sametime it is not part of Imaan to snatch away credit from the great stalwarts ofIslam. I see both Sheikh Jilaani Rahmatullah Alaihe, and Mr. Younus, I shouldadd Rahmatullah Alaihe for him too, for rendering great service for the causeof Islam. Sir you will be doing a mistake by putting Satwa and him as one kindof people. Their comparison is like comparing eye with aaloo. To be clear letme put it this way Satwa is aaloo while Mr. Yousuf is eye.
Sir,we are not commemorating ‘mumbo –jumbo’ and definitely we are not Saintworshipping. If you want to see what worshipping is then see how Dr. ZakirNayak is being turned as Saint and how is he being worshipped. Later when Dr.Zakir Nayak will not be there, then his worshippers will commemorate andenumerate his skills and stunts. If that is not worshipping then rememberingthe Sheikh is also not worshipping. Asfor highlighting the word ‘spirituality’ is concerned, we should not be cynicof worst kind who when smells flower thinks of a corpse like nearby. It is all partof spirituality that we believe whatever Prophet Muhammad SAW asked to believe.Or even what is attributed to him to have asked to believe. Nauzobillah, do wedoubt it? Is it then not Prophet worshipping?
Ihope we can settle this subject in honourable and truly Islamic way. Regards.