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Warning Against the Innovators
  The Methodology of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah in Warning Against Innovators and Their Books
Author: Shaikh Rabee' bin Haadee al-Madkhalee
Source: book Manhaj Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah Fee Naqd-ir-Rijaal wal-Kutub wat-Tawaa'if
Article ID : BDH050002  [31914]  
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Then there came Abu Nu'aim Al-Asbahaanee and he wrote a book for them called Hilyat-ul-Awliyaa (The Beautification of the Saints), in which he mentioned many evil and despicable things regarding the confines of Sufism. And he had no shame in mentioning Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthmaan and 'Alee as well as the rest of the high ranking Sahaabah as being from among the Sufis! He spoke of them as having amazing abilities in it, and he mentioned Shuraih Al-Qaadee, Al-Hasan Al-Basree, Sufyaan Ath-Thawree and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal as being from among them, also. Similarly, As-Sulamee in At-Tabaqaat As-Soofiyyah mentioned Al-Fudail and Ibraaheem Ibn Adham and he placed them among the Sufis, by indicating that they were individuals that abstained from the worldly life and its luxuries (zuhd).

Sufism is a way of Islaam, which is well known for exceeding in abstaining from the worldly affairs and its luxuries (zuhd). What directed them to split away from others is that no one would dare to speak badly about this abstinence (zuhd). However, Sufism has indeed been spoken about badly in what we will follow from this discussion.

'Abd-ul-Kareem Ibn Hawaazin Al-Qushairee wrote a book for them called Ar-Risaalah (The Message), and he mentioned in it many farfetched and mystical things regarding the extinction of ones conscience and its immortality; the grasping, unifying and splitting of souls; the state of consciousness and unconsciousness of the mind; tasting and drinking; obliteration and affirmation; the revelation of hidden affairs, gathering with the inhabitants of the unseen and witnessing the mystical realms; the ability to decree, verify ones good fortune and informing others of the future; shaping and enabling; the Revelation and the reality of well as other delirious and insane beliefs that do not amount to anything. And his tafseer is even more bizarre than this!

And then there came Muhammad Ibn Taahir Al-Maqdisee and he wrote for them Safwat-ut-Tasawwuf (The perfection of Sufism), in which he stated things that any person with common sense would feel ashamed to mention! We shall state that which will rectify what is mentioned in it, in a later place, with the Will of Allaah.

Then there came Abu Haamid Al-Ghazaalee and he wrote a book for them called Ihyaa ‘Uloom-ud-Deen, based on the ways of these people. And he filled it with forged ahaadeeth, while being very well aware of their falsehood. He spoke about knowledge of the hidden and he withdrew from the principles of Fiqh. And he stated such things as: 'Indeed the stars, the sun and the moon, which Ibraaheem saw, were in fact lights that screened Allaah.' Such things are not mentioned in any of the sources of knowledge. Rather, this was from the kinds of speech based on assumptions of the hidden.

And he said in his book Al-Mufsih Bil-Ahwaal: 'Indeed, in their state of wakefulness, the Sufis presence the angels and the souls of the prophets. They hear their voices and they take hold of benefit from them. Then this condition escalates from witnessing images to levels which are limited to the domains of (hearing) Allaah’s speech and decreeing.’

The factors that caused these individuals to write these books was their little knowledge of the Sunnah, Islaam and the narrations, as well as their eager acceptance of what pleased them from the habits of the people (Sufis). And indeed they were only pleased by it and approved of it, because the adoration for abstinence (zuhd) was established in their souls. They did not see any condition better than the condition of these people (Sufis) in regards to appearance, nor any speech more purer than their speech, while in the behavior of the Salaf, there was found a type of rudeness and harshness. Thus, the turning of the people and their inclination towards these individuals (Sufis) was intense.

This was due to what we stated previously, that on the outside they were about cleanliness and performing worship, while on the inside they were about indulging in leisure and hearing music, which were influenced by exotic and eccentric appeals. This was while in the original stages, the first Sufis used to flee from the leaders and the authorities. However they later turned out to become their good friends.

The majority of these books, which were compiled for them, have items mentioned in them that cannot be traced back to any (authentic) source. Rather, they are only based on mystical occurrences that befell some of them, which they managed to take hold of and record. They named this al-‘ilm-ul-baatin (or hidden knowledge). Abu Ya’qoob Ishaaq Ibn Hiyya said: ‘I heard Ahmad Ibn Hanbal being asked about the occurrence of fantasies and visions (to someone), so he responded: The Sahaabah and the Taabi’een never spoke about such things.’" [34]

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