Abu Hurairah narrated that : the Prophet said: “Indeed Allah does not accept the prayer of one of you when he commits Hadath, until he performs Wudu.”
JAMI’ at-TIRMIDHI: The Book on Purification: Hadith 76/148
Wa alaykum salaam
1) Ibadi salafis exist whether you are aware of that fact or not, this is not something I can drop a dhaleel on for you but you have to go out there and meet them for yourself. It’s interesting that they are referred to as Kharijite’s by other salafis but consider themselves to be salafi. Believe it ot not they’re out there
2) In aqeedah:
Nasiruddin al-Albani stated that Allah is surrounding the world in his footnotes on Sahih at-Targhib wat-tarhib, from the 1406 Hijri edition of al-Maktab al-Islami ath-thani
Muhammad Salih Bin Uthaymeen claimed that Allah performs jogging/trotting in his Fatawa al-Aqida, page 112. He also claimed that Allah has two literal eyes in his ‘Aqeedah of a mu’min’
Abd’al Aziz Bin Baz claims that Allah is in a direction in his commentary of Aqida al-Tahawiyya even though Imam Tahawi clearly states this is not acceptable for Allah!
And much, much more.
Nasiruddin al-Albani classed women wearing circular gold jewellery as haram in his Adab al-Zafaf even though its unanimously accepted that it’s permissible (much more than this can be said)
Abd’al Aziz Bin Baz has a well known fatwa where he stated there was no evidence that a woman on her menses can’t touch the Qur’an even though it is agreed across all four schools that this is not permissible. He also issued a fatwa stating that the earth was flat and anybody who denied it was a kaafir.
3) All salafi scholars, particularly Ibn Uthaymeen, Bin Baz and al-albani on works such as sharh aqeedah al-wasitiyyah, masa’il Ibn Baz, sharh aqeeda al-Tahawiyyah and others follow Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah’s views that Allah is made up of body parts/limbs and also state that the sifat of Allah are not from the mutashabihaat ayat and attribute this to the salaf. For proof that indeed the sifat are from the mutashaabihat and that the correct position of the salaf is tafweed al-ma’an wa nafiyul kayf read Sheikh Sayf Ali al-Asri’s Al-Qawl al-Tammam here
4) I think number 3 alone answers this question
5) The difference between internal ikhtilaf in the salafi manhaj compared to any other is that they claimed to be united upon one methodology that was the absolute way of the salaf and the pure way of the shari’ah but then they had so many discrepancies. Also bear in mind that people still claim today that there were no ikhtilaf between the salafi pioneers. All other groups never made such a claim and even then their differences were subsidiary. There is a book compiled in over 800 pages detailing the ikhtilaf between the main heads of salafiyyah showing how greatly they differed in fundamental issues even though they claimed through their neo-ijtihadic ways that they were upon the same understanding, you can read it here
You must be new here, I never say anything without dhaleel and all my posts attest to that. Bear this in mind in future bi’idhnillah
Wa alaykum salaam
Literally salaf means predecessor and in Islam we are encouraged to follow the salaf-as-salih (righteous predecessors) who are the first three generations of Islam, so anybody who strives to follow the pious predecessors can technically be referred to as a ‘salafi’ especially if they follow one of the traditional schools of jurisprudence or theology. The salafi group however is a group that claims to follow Islam according to the first three generations but under close observation it is evident that they follow the understandings and views of later figures and attempt to project this onto the salaf i.e they take the opinions of people who came much later and attempt to attribute these things to the salaf.
Though there are many sincere individuals among them and there is no doubt some good they do, the truth is that the salafi group today is a neo-reformist movement that seeks to reinvent the wheel when it comes to Islamic scholarship. They claim to be upon a one set methodology of the sahabah and the tabi’een (successors) that is the correct way to understand Islam but their chief scholars made flaws in fundamental tenets and differed on principle issues often adopting positions that are outside any acceptable positions in Islam both in creed and jurisprudence. The reality is that today even the salafi movement is in disarray breaking off into many saplings with divergent ideologies and understandings, my teacher has accounted for at least seventy different groups that now exist among them from Ikhwani’s, Ibadi’s, Sahwi’s and Madkhali’s to name a few. On the exterior they seem appealing with their slogans of “a return to the Qur’an and sunnah” and they are able to hoodwink unwitting individuals who lack in-depth understanding of the true traditional ways of Islam. Remove yourselves from the confusion and blind ways of partisanship, adopt the way of the salaf but don’t ascribe to the salafi group. Lock yourself into the traditional schools as has been the way for the past thirteen-hundred years and you won’t be far from the truth.
May Allah forgive me for any shortcomings
Wa alaykum salaam.
Im glad you’ve asked this question, i’ve been meaning to make a post regarding this but I just never got around to it. These days sufism has a very negative connotation attached to it and I honestly feel that this has caused people to be very ignorant and dismissive of it before actually understanding it along with its many different forms.
Sufism is the term that is usually used to describe a form or method of spiritualism, in Islam the science (and it is a legitimate science) of spiritualism is also often named tasawwuf, tazkiyah, sulook along with sufism. There are many evidences mentioned in the Quran kareem for tasawwuf but one very popular one is; “Verily, he who has purified the lower self (nafs) has triumphed, and he who has corrupted it has lost.” (91:9-10). Another verse which proves tasawwuf is; “On that day (of judgement) neither wealth nor sons will benefit anyone, save him who comes to Allah (SWT) with a reformed heart.” (26:87-89) and this is exactly what tasawwuf is; self reformation and rectification.
I think it would be a good idea to begin with the history of Islamic spiritualism to really give you my thoughts on sufism. Since the time of the Prophet (SAW) and his companions (RA), Muslims have been concerned with perfecting their inward selves, controlling their desires, disciplining their egos attaining contentment, modesty, sincerity, patience and most importantly building a conscious connection and love with Allah (SWT). The companions (RA) and the generation after them and then the generation after them all were keen to rectify themselves and attain higher purity and piety, during this time tasawwuf was very simple and primarily comprised of zuhd (abstinence) from the world and material things. Over time tasawwuf went through many developmental stages and branched into different methods using the fundamental principles in order to attain the same objective.
During the course of history there were many times that people sought to exploit sufism for their own gains and began innovating and corrupting the essence of Islamic spiritualism by introducing practices and beliefs that were alien to Islam and many elements of these deviant groups and ideologies exist to this day. Unfortunately for many, these deviant practices have become the face of sufism and it is for this reason there is such a negative connotation and such a stigma attached to sufism, so much so that just the mention of it causes people to become shocked and even sends chills down their spines. It becomes saddening that what is a core element of Islam is being represented as deviance and it is being snatched away from under our noses.
Therefore, we have to make a distinction between what is deviance and what is true sufism and the best and only way we can make this distinction is to make sure the practices are in accordance to shariah. Many great sufis and saliks (one who practices sulook/tasawwuf) of the past have continuously and repetitively highlighted that the only true spiritualism is by way of following the shariah. For example Bayazid Bestami (rahimahullah), a well known sufi from centuries ago famously stated; “Do not be surprised if you see a performer of supernatural feats flying through the air. Measure him by the standard of the shariah - how he adheres to the commands of the shariah.” Also another very famous sufi who is well known to many, Junaid Al Baghdadi (rahimahullah) states; “All paths besides the strict following of the messenger of Allah (SAW) are closed to mankind.” In more recent times, a great scholar who was known as Hakeem Ul Ummah (Sage of the ummah) and a great spiritual reformer of Islam known as Hazrat Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahimahullah) who was one of the greatest luminaries of the Islamic seminary of Deoband in India said; “Whoever acquires the wealth of arrival and attaining the love of Allah (SWT) has acquired it by virtue of following the sunnah.”
There are many great Muslims of the past who have encouraged sufism and the way of tasawwuf but unfortunately there are certain minds that have not yet reached a level of maturity and understanding to investigate and remove false from truth and so they are dismissive of this beautiful science in its entirety. Had people studied and made research objectively they would understand the true beauty of spirituality and statements of great individuals such as Imam Shafi’i (rahimahullah) who said; “Be both a faqih (jurist) and a sufi; do not be only one of them, verily, by Allah’s truth, I am advising you sincerely.” (Al Shafi, Diwan page 47).
In short what I am hoping to convey is that sufism is an important element of Islam, one that we are all in need of especially in modern times, however we have to be aware of what is legitimate and what is deviance by sticking tightly to the sunnah and shariah. I finish with a statement which sums this up perfectly by Sheikh Ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) who wrote around three voumes in his majmoo on the topic of tasawwuf as well as in many other works, he says; “People have differing opinions about the sufis, some of them exaggerate and see them as the greatest of Muslims. There are some who see all of the sufis as innovators and have left the fold of Islam, but that is slanderous. The best opinion about them is that they are a hard working Muslim faction who had worked hard to arrive at the truth. So some are unjust to themselves, some of them are frugal, and some of them vie in doing good deeds. There are also attached factions that have nothing to do with sufis at all.” (Majmoo Al Fatawa). Regarding this statement, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Ba’az (rahimahullah) a man whom those that oppose sufis claim as a great scholar is quoted to have said; “This is my opinion, this is my opinion.” I see no statement and conclusion more just and reasonable than that of Sheikh Ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) and since I am in no position to hold an opinion or thought in such a matter, I follow and rely upon the opinion of this great individual. If you wish to learn more about sufism I highly recommend listening to a lecture by a Saudi scholar named Sheikh Muhammad Musa Ash-Shareef on Junaid Al Baghdadi (rahimahullah) and the history of sufism. Also, Mufti Abdur Rahman Bin Yusuf has given an entire series of lectures titled “Islamic spiritualism: Sufism, Tasawwuf and Tazkiyah” that I highly recommend, both lectures can be found on youtube. There are also many excellent books which I can recommend if you wish.
May Allah (SWT) forgive me for any short comings, any good I have said is from Allah (SWT) alone and any wrong I have said is from myself and my nafs.
Wa alaykum salaam
Following a tariqa is a means to attaining something in the deen, what is it that one attains? Tazkiyah (self-purification), zuhd (abstention), nisbat (closeness) to Allah which in the end lead to contentment and true success both in this life and the next. Self-purification and reformation of our blameworthy human characteristics is an essential part of Islam, Allah says in the Qur’an, “Verily he who has purified the lower self (nafs) has triumphed, and he who has corrupted it has lost” (91:9-10). Allah also says in another place, “On that day (of judgement) neither wealth nor sons will benefit (anyone), save him who comes to Allah with a reformed heart” (26:87-89). Therefore the need and requirement for every individual to endeavour upon a path towards self-reformation is undeniable.
Islam is a multi-faceted religion which is made up of many dimensions and realities. Within this religion we have codified schools of jurisprudence that help us understand what is lawful and what is unlawful, by following the methodologies and systems set forth by our predecessors we come to understand these laws to find ease and harmony in our way of living to please Allah, we know these to be the madhahab (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali). Also within this religion we have codified methodologies of understanding matters that relate to belief, by following them we comprehend what is permissible to believe in, what is injurious to faith and what is tantamount to disbelief. We know these to be the schools of theology now as aqeedah/usul al-deen (Ashaa’irah, Maturidiyyah and Athariyyah). Just as the above mentioned are all a means to attaining a particular objective in a particular aspect of the deen which relate to the outward (dhahir) realities, we also have means and methodologies towards attaining perfection (ihsan) of the inner realities (batin) which are self-reformation and remembrance of Allah that are just as essential as jurisprudence and theology; these means are known as turuq (singular of tariqa) such as the Naqshbandi, Chishti, Qadiri, Suharwardi, Shadhilli, Rifa’i etc. Therefore it cannot be said that the following of a tariqa is an innovation, nobody claims it to be an essential of the religion but rather it is a means to an end like many others and it is by them that people come to understand and fulfil another requirement of the religion in order to please Allah.
No doubt there are deviated and exotic factions and individuals who have innovated certain practices into some turuq that are contrary to shari’ah and in fact contrary to the turuq to begin with, it is unfortunate that it is due to them that people today make blanket statements upon all the turuq to condemn them all as being upon misguidance. It is unfair that although there are such individuals who have perpetrated similar crimes in other sciences as mentioned before such as in jurisprudence and theology, yet it is the science of tasawwuf that is met with such harshness and ignorance. It is advised that people take the statement of Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah), a man admired by those who like to criticise the sufis, he says;
“People have differing opinions about the sufis, some of them exaggerate and see them as the greatest of Muslims. There are some who see all of the sufis as innovators and have left the fold of Islam, but that is slanderous. The best opinion about them is that they are a hard working Muslim faction who had worked hard to arrive at the truth. So some are unjust to themselves, some of them are frugal, and some of them vie in doing good deeds they are ‘people of the right hand’ (mentioned in Surah Al Waqi’ah). There are also attached factions that have nothing to do with sufis at all.” [Vol.11 pg.18]
In fact it is not known by many that he too was part of many turuq as attested to by himself and his students. If you’d like to read more about his views on sufism/tasawwuf you can read about them here or if you want to read a brief introduction to tasawwuf have a read of a previous answer here. I understand this has probably gotten longer than it should have but I felt it was something that needed to be elaborated upon, hopefully it’s useful as well as insightful.
May Allah forgive me for any shortcomings
Just ask this question to yourself:
"If you were not a Muslim would you become Muslim by looking at your life?"
"If you were not a Muslim would you become one by looking at the Muslims?"
We really have to get back to the basics and start living the way the Quran tells us and the way Prophet (saw) showed us
اَلَّذٖينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اِنَّنَا اٰمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
Al-i Imran 16: Those (the God-revering, pious) pray: “Our Lord, we do indeed believe, so forgive us our sins and guard us against the punishment of the Fire”;