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Abdul Rahman

Going Sufi

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Can I be a Sufi? Is that heretical?

 

Tasawwuf has different levels and aspects. At the very core of it is contentment, i.e. being content with what one has, and esotericism (not in the Western philosophical sense, I couldn't really find a better word for this), i.e. busying oneself with the remembrance of Allah. You don't need to bury your head in philosophy books, but you would most likely benefit from reading various books on Aqeedah (theology) as Haku mentioned, which will provide you with a proper bedrock in achieving spiritual fulfilment.

 

I must stress however, that unless a particular act of worship is described in the Qur'an or in the Sunnah, then it is an innovation. Things like group chants, dancing as a form of remembrance, etc., have little to do with Islam and find their roots syncretism of other faiths. Furthermore, some Sufis may claim to follow a Tariqa (order) or follow a certain Sheikh, oftentimes attributing to the head of the Tariqa special attributes and powers. None of these things have any basis in the Sunnah and are best ignored. However it is also important to get knowledge from scholars, so if you do decide to delve into Sufism you will have to find out which scholars are genuine and which scholars are cult-like.

 

Here is an example of a genuine Sufi scholar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdallah_Bin_Bayyah

Here is the example of the head of a Tariqa: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehmet_Adil

 

In general the rule of thumb is if a practice isn't founded in the Qur'an and Sunnah it is shaky. But for the most part Sufism isn't any different to orthodox Sunnism other than having a larger emphasis on contentment and spirituality.

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Can I be a Sufi? Is that heretical?

 

What do you want out of Sufism?

 

"A Sufi" would usually imply someone who has committed to a particular Sufi path (tariqa), and that requires significant dedication and commitment to make it worthwhile, from what I've seen. But there are a lot of ways us regular folk, not necessarily committed to a particular tariqa, can gain benefit from Sufi ideas and practices.

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What do you want out of Sufism?

 

"A Sufi" would usually imply someone who has committed to a particular Sufi path (tariqa), and that requires significant dedication and commitment to make it worthwhile, from what I've seen. But there are a lot of ways us regular folk, not necessarily committed to a particular tariqa, can gain benefit from Sufi ideas and practices.

I disagree with the first part. Neither older Sufi scholars like al Ghazali or an-Nawawi, or modern Sufi scholars like bin Bayyah or Umar bin Hafiz follow a Tariqa.

 

I just want to spin to cool music. I probably don't need to make a commitment to a way. I should abandon the idea as I'm not disciplined enough for lite Muslim.

The dervish dances don't have any basis in Quran or Sunnah, nor do they grant any ajr. It is better to busy yourself with reading Quran and performing dhikr (saying Subhanallah, Alhamdulilah, Allahu Akbar, etc.), and making heartfelt supplication because these were the actions of our Prophet (PBUH) and they are extremely therapeutic things to do.

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I disagree with the first part. Neither older Sufi scholars like al Ghazali or an-Nawawi, or modern Sufi scholars like bin Bayyah or Umar bin Hafiz follow a Tariqa.

 

isnt umar bin hafiz the head of a tariqa? ppl give bay'a to him in tarim, which is the center of a tariqa (alalawi or something?)

 

However, I guess i agree one can be a Sufi and not part of a tariqa. On a practical level tho, I think it'd be difficult for a lay individual - but it's also dependent on your definition of Sufism. You seem to have a pretty conservative stance toward it.

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isnt umar bin hafiz the head of a tariqa? ppl give bay'a to him in tarim, which is the center of a tariqa (alalawi or something?)

 

However, I guess i agree one can be a Sufi and not part of a tariqa. On a practical level tho, I think it'd be difficult for a lay individual - but it's also dependent on your definition of Sufism. You seem to have a pretty conservative stance toward it.

No he isn't he's just the most prominent scholar from amongst them (maybe Habib al Jifri is, depends who you ask). It doesn't have a Sheikh or Murshid in the sense that other Sufi movements do. It fits into Sufism the way students of al Azhar fit into orthodoxy.

 

Well yeah I did say one should seek out teachers and sheikhs, but not fall into the notion that a Sufi sheikh is some sort of spiritual saint on par with prophets who hand down the rights to their knowledge father to son, as is the case with many Sufi tariqas today with the whole murshid and mureed system.

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I have a friend who studied in Tarim for many years and im 80% sure he gave bay'a to Habib Umar. I could be wrong (will google later). But if I'm not, and if thats not then a Tariqa in your boom, then youre just defining tariqa very narrowly...

 

Believing the shaykh is on par with the prophet is one thing, but believing he's at an elevated spiritual state and therefore has special insights is also common. I agree with that...

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Some thing magical happened and the question started its own thread.

*looks at AR*

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The high you gonna feel afterwards is most probably not spiritual high. But goofies tend to conflate the two.

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You mean the high afterward when I double skipped into the wall, over the end table, then flat on my back spirituality? Or the steam engine sound of my breathing after two minutes spirituality? Those guys are in shape and have no inner ear bones.

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