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 matters...as 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
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) Allaahs speech and
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 Yaqoob 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
Taabieen never spoke about such things."