Science of purifying the heart
– Rashedul Bari
یک زمانہ صحبت با اولیا.
بہتر از صد سالہ طاعت بے ریا
A moment spent in the company of the Awliya
is better than a hundred years of sincere worship.
(Allama Jalal Uddin Rumi)
There is no chance of disrespecting their current followers in their unwelcome behavior. Who am I telling them? – I am informing the beloved servants of Allah known as Awliya or Sufi. Whose resting place is called a tomb or Mazar. And we consider the pilgrims of that shrine/Mazar as Mushriks (nonbelievers) in the tag of worship. One man does not easily respect or obey another man. But even after so many years of their death, people are approaching them in the hope of getting what! And what they have done that has made everyone bow their heads in reverence to this day! They did only one thing – to please Allah. Not only did they please Allah, but they also gave direction and helped many of their companions to gain the pleasure of Almighty Allah. So even today people go to their shrines in search of a way to please the Creator. People believe that if they get their Nazr-o-Karam (eyesight), this path to Allah will be beautiful, easy, and perfect. You / I pretended to be a real Muslim today. I became a follower of the complete law! Wait a minute! Take a neutral look at yourself – how far has it been possible to follow the Shariah? But your / my mode today is that there is no real Muslim except me, there are no followers of the law. The followers of Islam who claim to be Muslims are the followers of Allah who have brought us to Islam; Whom we have always cursed. To us, Shari’ah means thirty-two prostrations and seventeen bows. But to them, every moment was like prostration. Our race to follow the Shariah is very little compared to their Shariah observance.
Sufism/Islamic mysticism: It’s an internal way to discover the creator Allah and the Science of purifying the heart of Muslims. If anyone wants to thicken with almighty Sufism is the only right and perfect path without any doubt. Annemarie Schimmel the Former Professor of Indo-Muslim Culture, Harvard University gets a definition of Sufism perfectly – “Sufism, mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through the direct personal experience of God. It consists of a variety of mystical paths that are designed to ascertain the nature of humanity and of God and to facilitate the experience of the presence of divine love and wisdom in the world.”BRITANNICA
Ibn Khaldun, the 14th-century Arab historian, described Sufism as Dedication to worship, total dedication to Allah Most High, disregard for the finery and ornament of the world, abstinence from pleasure, wealth, and prestige sought by most men, and retiring from others to worship alone. RELIGION STUDIES
Verses of Quran about Sufism:
١. هو ٱلَّذِى بَعَثَ فِى ٱلْأُمِّيِّنَ رَسُولًۭا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا۟ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ مُّبِينٍۢ
It is He Who has sent among the unlettered people a Noble Messenger from themselves, who recites His verses to them and purifies them, and bestows them the knowledge of the Book and wisdom; and indeed before this, they were in open error.[Juma`h 62:2]
٢. قَدۡ اَفۡلَحَ مَنۡ زَكّٰٮهَ • وَقَدۡ خَابَ مَنۡ دَسّٰٮهَا ؕ.
Indeed successful is the one who made it pure. And indeed failed is the one who covered it in sin. [Shams 91:9,10]
٣. اَفَمَنۡ شَرَحَ اللّٰهُ صَدۡرَهٗ لِلۡاِسۡلَامِ فَهُوَ عَلٰى نُوۡرٍ مِّنۡ رَّبِّهٖؕ فَوَيۡلٌ لِّلۡقٰسِيَةِ قُلُوۡبُهُمۡ مِّنۡ ذِكۡرِ اللّٰهِؕ اُولٰٓـئِكَ فِىۡ ضَلٰلٍ مُّبِيۡنٍ
So will he whose bosom Allah has opened up for Islam – he is therefore upon a light from his Lord – ever be equal to one who is stone hearted? Therefore ruin is for those whose hearts are hardened towards the remembrance of Allah; they are in open error. [Zumar 39:22]
٤. الَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ (62) الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ (63) لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَىٰ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
Pay heed! Indeed upon the friends of Allah is neither any fear, nor any grief. (The friends of Allah are the best in the creation.) Those who have accepted faith and practice piety.There are good tidings for them in the life of this world and in the Hereafter; the Words of Allah cannot change; this is the supreme success. [Yunus 10:62.63،64]
A perfect answer was given in qoura by Talib bah – What are some Quranic verses related to Sufism? Can you write compellingly on Islam?
Some terminology: Sufism in arabic: Tasawwuf (Tasawwuf is a scholarly term added later, the original pre-scholarly term for Sufism is Tazkiyah)
Sufi order in arabic: Tariqat
Sufi initiation in arabic: Bay’ah
Sufi meditation practice: Dhikr (or Zikr)
Tazkiyah is mentioned 18 times in the Quran, such as e.g. Surah 62 Ayat 2 [62:2]:
“It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying (tazkiah) them and teaching them the Book and wisdom – although they were before in clear error.”
Tariqat is also mentioned in Quran, such as e.g. [72:16]: “If only they were to go straight on the Path (Tariqa), We would give them abundant water to drink.”
Sufi initiation Bayah is Sunnah as it was practiced by Prophet Muhammad [saw]. It’s also mentioned in the Quran, e.g. [48:18]:
Certainly Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance (bayah) to you under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquillity on them and rewarded them with a near victory,
For more information on Bayah, please refer to the Authentic Hadith collection Sunan an Nasa’i – The Book of al-Bay’ah. Dhikr is mentioned in more than 525 Hadiths. Also in the Quran, e.g. [33:41]: O ye who believe! Remember Allah (dhikr Allah) with much remembrance.
The core of Sufism is the transformation (or purification) of the soul. Known as Tazkiyah al Nafs. The verses referencing the purification of the soul are in Quran [91:7–9]: By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it; And its enlightenment as to its wrong and it’s right; Truly he succeeds that purifies it.
The word remembrance (dhikr) is mentioned in 254 places in the Quran; the reason it is mentioned so often is to point out that man should not forget Allah. These types of commands and messages in the Quran are the principles that form the basis for Islamic spiritual life and enable the formation of Sufi thought. It is possible to multiply evidence of Islamic spiritual life from the Quran and to increase them in a way to support every Sufi term. And finally we realized the importance of Sufism by the verse of surah Fatiha:
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ • صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ
Guide us on the Straight Path. The path of those whom You have favoured. Not the path of those who earned Your anger – nor of those who are astray. [Fatihah 1:6,7]
Hadith about Sufism:
1.Narrated Abu Huraira: One day while the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was sitting in the company of some people, (The angel) Gabriel (peace be upon him) came and asked, “What is faith?” Allah’s Apostle (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, ‘Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection.” Then he further asked, “What is Islam?” Allah’s Apostle (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “To worship Allah Alone and none else, to offer prayers perfectly to pay the compulsory charity (Zakat) and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan.” Then he further asked, “What is Ihsan (perfection)?” Allah’s Apostle (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you.” Then he further asked, “When will the Hour be established?” Allah’s Apostle (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “The answerer has no better knowledge than the questioner. But I will inform you about its portents.
1. When a slave (lady) gives birth to her master.
2. When the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of higher buildings. And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) then recited: “Verily, with Allah (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour–.” (31. 34) Then that man (Gabriel, peace be upon him) left and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked his companions to call him back, but they could not see him. Then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “That was Gabriel (peace be upon him) who came to teach the people their religion.” Abu ‘Abdullah said: He (the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him) considered all that as a part of faith. (Sahih Bukhari volume 1, hadith 47.)
2. Allah Most High says: “. . . . My slave approaches Me with nothing more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him, and My slave keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary works until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he seizes, and his foot with which he walks. If he asks me, I will surely give to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I will surely protect him (Sahih al-Bukhari. 9 vols. Cairo 1313/1895.
3. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (RadhiyAllahu ‘anhu) who said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Verily Allah (Glorified may he be) has said: ‘Whosoever shows enmity to a wali (friend) of Mine, then I have declared war against him. And My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to me with nafil (supererogatory) deeds until I Love him. When I Love him, I become his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.’ ”[Reported by Bukhari]
History of Sufism and its EXTENSION :
Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon on him) is the main piller of sufism/Sufis.The actual goal of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is to gain the pleasure of Allah.So he made his life as Allah wanted it to be. Sufis also want to spent there life as a perfect follower of Muhammad (pbuh). Ashab-e-Rasulullah (Muhammad’s Companions) was the early Sufi saints.
The Naqshbandi tariqah is notable in being the only Sufi tariqah which traces its lineage to Prophet Muhammad (saw) through Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (ra), the first Caliph. All other sufi tariqahs trace their lineage through Ali ibn Abu-Talib (ra), who became the fourth Caliph of Islam.
Sufis in Bengali (Indian Subcontinent) :
An article was published in August 2013 in The Daily Star written by Emdadul Haq – The earliest record of Sufism in Bengal goes back to the 11th century AD in connection with the continuation of Sufism in northern India. Shah Sultan Rumi was the first Sufi to come to Bengal, when he came to Mymensingh in 1053 AD. Subsequently, Baba Adam Shah Shahid came to Dhaka in 1119 AD and Shayekh Jalaluddin Tabrizi, more popularly known as Hazrat Shah Jalal, arrived in Sylhet in 1225 AD. The list of names is a lengthy one.
From 1200-1500 AD Sufism attained its ‘Golden Age’ in Bengal, being influenced by the diverse Sufi orders of Qadiriya, Chistia, Naksbandia, Mujaddedia, Suhrawardiyya etc. During this period the Sufis of northern India, especially Hazrat Khawja Muinuddin Chisti and Khawja Bahauddin, sent their deputies to Bengal as torch-bearers of the Islamic faith. In Akbar’s reign many religious teachers, including Mujaddid Alf Sani, were sent to this province, where they continued preaching their faith- Islam- among non-believers.
Spirituality and Mental Health :
Spirituality being an integral part of most religious philosophies provides the value system for the majority of people and thereby influences their well-being. Recognizing this, the spiritual well-being, in accordance with the social and cultural patterns, was accepted as one of the important determinants of health by the World Health Organization during the 37th World Health Assembly in 1984.1 Spiritual teachings has already found its place in the curriculum of many medical schools in the Western world.2
Sufism or Islamic mysticism it’s not a matter of neglect or disrespect. Sufism is an approved Road to success for Muslims. Because the purpose of Muslim life is to gain the satisfaction of Allah. If we want to reach our goal and achieve our purpose in life we must follow the Shariya (Islamic Law), obey the tariqa (path of spiritual learning.), Haqiqat (mystical verity, Actual knowledge) Marifat (mystical knowledge).
1. Basu S. How the spiritual dimension of health was acknowledged by the world health assembly – A report. New Approaches Med Health. 1995;3:47–51.
2. Sims A. ‘Psyche’ – Spirit as well as the mind? Br J Psychiatry. 1994;165:441–6.
Bangladesh Islami Chattrasena central.