[2] The Concept Of Zuhd: The Understanding Of The Salaf And The Bid’ah Of The Mystic Sufis

The “Zuhd” Of the Mystics

The Zuhd according to the mystic Sufis completely contradicts the essence of the Zuhd laid down in the Qur’aan, authentic Sunnah, and the understanding and practice of the Salaf. It centers upon the following matters:

1. Poverty should be the main objective. One of their prominent figures said: “I like for the beginner not to make his heart busy with the matter of earning (i.e. for his living), otherwise his state would change.”‘ 105

105 See Abu Taalib Al-Makki’s Qut al-Quloob fi Mu’amalat Al-Mahboob wa Wasf Tareeq Al-Mureed ila Maqam At-Tawheed (Cairo, Egypt: Al-Matba’ah Al-Masriyyah, 1932), V.2, p. 168. The reference quoting Al-Makki’s Qut Al-Quloob is Muhammad Lowh’s Taqdee Al Ashkhaas ‘lndaAs-SuJiyyah (Riyaadh, K.SA.:~Daar Al-Hijrah, 1416/1996), V. l,pp. 30-31. In Al-Makki’s Sufi book (V. 2, p. 168), the following saying is attributed to Abu Yazeed Al- Bustaamee, a master in the Sufi path, “I have attained this state (of Sufi knowledge) by means of a hungry stomach and a naked body.”(!) Nun Ha Mim Keller, a Sufi mystic of the Shaathili order and compiler of a book entitled “Reliance of the Traveller,” described Abu Taalib Al- Makki as a “Sufi preacher, ascetic, and scholar of Sacred Law” [Reliance x63, p.1033]. He referred to Al-Makki’s book Qut Al-Quloob fi Mu ‘amalat Al-Mahboob wa Wasf Tareeq Al- Mureed ila Maqaam At-Tawheed [The sustenance of the hearts: On dealing with the Beloved, and a description of the way to seekers of the spiritual station of witnessing the “divine unity”] as “His most influential work.”(!) In reality, however, one finds in it strange reports, corrupt creed, and fabricated stories and Ahaadeeth. (See Talbees Iblees, p. 160). See also the section entitled “Remarks” for a comment concerning Al-Junayd and other Sufi “masters.”

2. A call to abandon marriage and the seeking of hadeeth-knowledge attributed to the “Sufi master” Al-Junayd.106

106 Qut Al-Quloob, V.I, p. 267. Al-Ghazaalee also related the same saying of Al-Junayd: “I like for the starting Mureed (Sufi disciple) not to occupy his heart in three things, otherwise his condition will change (he then named them as): (1)-Seeking to gain sustenance, (2)-Seeking knowledge of Al-Hadeeth, and (3)-Marriage.! Ihyaa’ ‘Ulumid-deen, V. 4, p. 239, published by Daar Al-Ma’rifah, Beirut.

3. A story-of another “Sufi”, Ibn Al-Kurainee, the teacher of Al-Junayd in which he says that he subdued himself into humiliation for twenty years until it became like that of a dog!107

107 Qut Al-Quloob, V. 2, p. 74. This is contained in the “most influential book” of Abu Taalib Al-Makki! In Qut Al-Quloob (V. 4, p. 71) there is the story of “special people” in Basra who if they “would ask Allaah to hold off the establishment of the Hour, He would do so!” Al-Ghazaalee commented: “In themselves these are conceivable matters!” Reported in his Ihyaa’, V. 4, p. 356.

4. “Hunger is the food of the Zaahidee!” 108 Sufi sources attributed this statement to Abu Muhammad ‘ Abdullaah Al-Kharraaz, a master of the way! 109

108 Zaahideen; People of Zuhd. I09 lhsaan Elaahee Thaheer’s Al-Tasawwuf, Al-Mansha’ Wai Masdar [Lahore, Pakistan: Idaarat Turjumaan As-Sunnah, (1st edition), 1406/1986)], p. 100. Ihsaan quoted the text from Tabaqaat Ash-Sha’raanee, 1:7, printed by Daar Al-‘Ilm Liljamee’ and Al-Matba’ah Al-‘Aamiryyah Al-‘Uthmaaniyyah, Cairo, 1305/1887. This print of the Tabaqaat will be referred to as Tabaqaat-l.

5. Ash-Sha’raanee reported that Rabaah Bin ‘Amr Al-Qayeesee said: “A man would not attain the levels of the Siddeeqeed 110 until he leaves his wife as if she was a widow, his kids as if they were orphans, and takes refuge in dog houses! 111

110 Siddeeqeen (Sing. Siddeeq)’. One who eminently, or always, accepting, or confirming the truth in his saying, belief, and deeds.

111 At-Tasawwuf, Al-Mansha’ Wai Masdar, p. 58, quoting from Tabaqaat-I, 1:46. 112

6. Ash-Sha’raanee also reported that one of the celebrated Sufi so called Awliyaa’ by the name of ‘Abdur Rahmaan Al-Majthoob, ‘Cut off his own private part in the beginning of his Jathbah (a mystic Sufi state of Jathb)” 112

112 Ibid, from Tabaqaat-I, 2:142. Jathb (Lit. attraction): A Sufi term referring to the Sufi being in a state of “attraction” in which Allaah attracts the Sufi to His Presence. See Mu’jam Al-Mustalahaat As-Sufiyyah by ‘Abdul Mun’im Al-Hafhee, p. 27, published by Daar Al- Maseerah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1407/1987.

7. Ibraaheem Bin ‘Usayeefeer was, according to Ash-Sha’raanee, “A man having a great deal of Kashf} 113…He used to come to the town riding a wolf or a hyena, and to walk on water having no need for a boat; his urine was as white as milk…Most often he slept in a church, and he used to say: the Christians, unlike Muslims, do not steal shoes in the church.”114 He invalidated the fasting of the Muslims who ate chicken and mutton meat. Only those who, like the Christians, do not eat mutton meat, their fast is correct as far as ‘Usayeefeer is concerned! 115

113 Kashf: Perception and witnessing all of the realities of existence as well as those of Al-Ghayb. You can find this in the stories of their so-called Gnostics which would take volumes to collect. [See for example: Masaadir At-Talaqee ‘Inda As-Sufiyyah, by Saadiq Saleem Saadiq (Riyaadh, KSA; Daar Ar-Rushd, 1415/1994), pp. 35-37 and 62-94. See also Kashf Haqeeqat As-Sufiyyah li Awwal Marrahfit-Taareekh by Mahmood ‘Abd Ar-Ra’uf AI-Qaasim (Ammaan, Jordan: Al-Maktabah Al-Islaamiyyah (2nd. edition), 1413/1992), p. 18.]

114 They may not steal shoes, but they steal something far greater-creed!

115 Ibid, p. 90, from Tabaqaal-l, 2:140.

8. He also reported that another Sufi mystic by the name of Yaaqut Al-‘Arshee (d.707/1307) married the daughter of his sheikh Abul ‘Abbaas Al-Mursee. She stayed with him for eighteen years but he never touched her being shy from her father. He left her while she was still a virgin! 116

116 Ibid, p. 60, quoting Al-Akhlaaq Al-Matbuliyyah by Ash-Sha’raanee, V. 3, p. 179, checked by Dr. Manee’ ‘Abdul Haleem Mahmood. Published by Daar At-Turaath AI-‘Arabi, Cairo, 1974.

9. A man who used to fast throughout the year and offer Salaat throughout the night for thirty years. He was one of the regular attendants of the circle of Abu Yazeed Al Bustaamee (one of the mystic “masters”). Nevertheless, he was unable to find the kind of knowledge which Abu Yazeed possessed! So, Abu Yazeed taught him that even if he fasts for three hundred years and offers Salaat throughout the nights of such period he would not be able to find even an ant-weight of such knowledge! When asked about the “cure,” Abu Yazeed told him that he should shave his head and beard (!), hang a nosebag filled with nuts around his neck, gather some kids in the market around him and tell them, “Everyone who slaps me once, I will give him a nut!” The story goes that he should continue on this manner and that this is the way to attain a knowledge like that of Abu Yazeed.!!!117 When the man was astonished from what he had heard, he exclaimed, “Subhaana Allaah!” 118 Abu Yazeed replied: “Your saying Subhaana Allaah is Shirk (prescribing partners to Allaah)!” The man said: “Explain to me how?” Abu Yazeed answered: “Because you magnified yourself and Fasabahtaha (made Tasbeeh of it) and did not make Tasbeeh of your Rabb!” 119

117 Is this the way to attain knowledge? You often hear from the mystics that “you don’t know what it means until you become a mystic yourself.” It may have a “hidden” meaning as the Sufis try to deceive the Muslims with their mystic terminology! But we will leave it for Al-Ghazaalee to explain the meaning of their Tawheed and their Shirk. He said: “Anyone who does not see Allaah in everything, then he sees ‘other’ than Him,” and that “The pure Tawheed is to see in everything nothing but Allaah” See Ihyaa’, V. 1, p. 288. The meaning of such “Tawheed” is that there is one existing Being and that is Allaah. The one who sees an existence other than that of Allaah is the Mushrik (who commits Shirk). Al-Ghazaalee explained the perfect understanding of la ilaaha ilia Allaah as: “To see none except the One, the Truth. ” and that this represents the “perfect state of Tawheed]” He referred to a state of “Tawheed,” “witnessed by the sincere ones and which the Sufis call Al- Fanaa’ (annihilation) in Tawheed” as the one in which, “Only One (i.e. Allaah) is seen in the entire existence.” Al-Ghazaalee stresses that the utmost objective of Tawheed is to see, “Al-Kull (everything) not as Katheer (many), but as one,” and that this “represents the objective of the (Sufi) knowledge known as Kashf” and that, “The secrets of this knowledge should not be recorded in a book.” He defined the Mushrik as the one, “Who affirms the existence of an existence1 besides that of Allaah” and that Allaah is, “The witness and the Witnessed, the beloved and the Beloved, and He is the shaakir (the one who is thankful) and the Mashkoor(The One Who deserves acknowledgment and recognition)… Ihyaa’, V. 1, 288, V. 4, pp. 86-87 and pp. 245-247. He relates the saying of some of the Sufi mystics including that of Abu Yazeed Al-Bustaamee, “The Awliyaa’ (so-called Sufi saints) see only Allaah in the two Worlds (lofty and low one).” [Ref. Rawdat At-Taalibeen, p. 9. Published by Maktabat Al-Jundee, Egypt, quoted in A. Dimashqiyyah’s book “Abu Haamid Al-Ghazaalee and At-Tasawwuf p. 296, second edition, published by Daar Tayebah, Riyaadh, KSA, 1409/1988.]

118 Subhaana Allaah: Far is Allaah removed from every imperfection or deficiency. This is referred to as Tasbeeh of Allaah.

119 Qut Al-Quloob, 2:74-75, and Ihyaa’, V. 4, p. 358. According to the story, the man magnified himself by refusing to do what Abu Yazeed recommended, and in doing so, he did not magnify Allaah who “wants and likes” what Abu Yazeed does!!! This is a grave mistake regarding the understanding of Allaah and His Divine Pre-ordainment. Allaah does not like wrong and (or) Kufr and demands that mankind comply with His ordinances. Good and evil, however, exist by His Will. He willed the creation of good and evil in accordance with His Wisdom and Knowledge. He ordained that mankind must disassociate themselves from what He declared to be evil and which He hates. He requires from them to do good and He Likes it. Refer to our book Al-Qadaa’ wal Qadar for more details. Note: Al-Ghazaalee commented on the above story of Abu Yazeed saying: “What he (Abu Yazeed) mentioned is the remedy for the one who suffers from arrogance and from bow he is looked upon by the people…”

10. Abu Yazeed, an example for many Sufis, devoted himself to Allaah and he had the determination to restrain himself from drinking water and from sleeping for one year!!! 120

120 Qut Al-Quloob, V. 2, p. 70 and Ihyaa’, V. 4, p. 356.

11. The story of the Mureed (a Sufi disciple) who, when urged to come and see Abu Yazeed, said: “I have seen Allaah and that made me in no need to see Abu Yazeed!” The person who urged him, Abu Turaab An-Nakhshabee, became very angry and said: “Woe to you! You allow yourself to be deceived by Allaah! If you had seen Abu Yazeed only once, it would have been more beneficial for you than seeing Allaah seventy times!” The Mureed did not feel comfortable and rejected what he heard from An-Nakhshabee. When he asked for an explanation, An-Nakhshabee told him: “Woe to you! Don’t you see that when you see Allaah before you, He appears to you according to your rank, but when you see Abu Yazeed with Allaah, He appears to him according to his (Abu Yazeed’s) rank!” He (the Mureed understood what I said!” 121

121 See Qut Al-Quloob, V. 2, p. 70. Allaah is Above what the unjust attribute to Him. Note: Remember that Nuh Ha Mim Keller described this book of Abu Taalib Al- Makki (died in Baghdad in 386/996) as “his most influential work”!!! Al-Ghazaalee commented on this story saying: “This is only the beginning of their Sulook [journey to Allaah (which they claim)]! and the least of their Maqaamat (so-called Sufi stations on the way to Allaah). It represents the dearest thing that exists amongst the pious of mankind.” Ihyaa’, V. 4, p. 357.

12. The Faqeer amongst the Sufis used to wander in the land, days and nights without food! This further developed into “discovery trips” around the globe:

a) Abu Yazeed describes mountains named Qaaf, ‘Ayn, Saad which, according to him, surround the lower earths, around each earth there is a mountain the size of the Qaaf (I) mountain which surrounds the earth we live on. Not only that, but one of their mystics climbed mount Qaaf and found Noah’s ship laying on top of it! And another one puts his leg on mount Qaaf while sitting in Al-Basra, 122

122 See Qut Al-Quloob, V. 2, p. 69.

b) Abu Yazeed describes himself being taken by Allaah to the heavens and being shown him what is in it from Al-Jinaan (Sing, of Jannah) all the way to the ‘Arsh. Then He made Abu Yazeed stand before Him and said: “Ask me anything of the things which you have seen and I shall grant it to you.” I said: “My Master! I have not seen anything which I liked so that I would ask You to have. He said: “Truly you are my ‘Abd (slave); Truly you worship Me (only) for My sake!” 123

123 Ihyaa’, V. 4, p. 356.

c) Al-Ghazaalee said: “Amongst the Awliyaa’ of Allaah are some whom the Ka’bah visits and makes Tawaaf around him, as some people of Kashf have witnessed.”124 The above are just some examples of the mystic stories in Al-Makki’s Qut Al- Quloob and Al-Ghazaalee’s Ihyaa’. Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee said that he (Al-Makki) “mentioned ugly things with regard to Allaah’s Attributes.”125

This critique by Al-Khateeb Al- Baghdaadee is written in the same reference (Al- ‘Alaam, V. 6, p. 274) which Nuh Ha Nuh Keller referred to when he compiled the biography of Abu Taalib Al-Makki, but he did not mention it! In addition Nuh Ha Mim Keller compiled a biography (x68, p. 1039) of Abu Yazeed Al-Bustaamee in which he said: “When a prominent scholar once asked him [Abu Yazeed] from whence he had acquired his knowledge, he replied that it was from applying the maxim, “Whoever applies what he knows, Allaah bequeaths him knowledge of what he did not know.” How does this compare with his stories above?

124 Ibid, V. 1, p. 269. No need for comment!

125 See Taareekh Baghdaadby Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee, V. 3, p. 89.