Here is the remarkable speech by Sheikh Aboobacker Ahmad, A veteran Islamic scholar from India. He is the General Secretary of the organization of Ahlussunna scholars in India and the patron of Jamia Markaz Saqafathi Sunniyya at Kozhikkode. His stands on various social, religious issues are widely discussed in Indian media and even in political circles as his mass support makes them anxious. Here we see him talking to world Muslim scholars and dignitaries in the Conference on Sufism in Cairo.
In the Name of Allah – the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. Peace and Blessings be upon the leader of Prophets and upon his family and companions as well.
Respected dignitaries and audience, Even though I brought here detailed essays on the subject, i.e. Sufism: an authentic way of personal and social reform I would like to summarize it as I am late to attend this conference. As I am also coming from India, representing Jamia Markaz Saqafathi Sunniyya al Islamiyya where some twenty thousand male and female students get their education. I don’t want to elaborate on Indian state of affairs since you heard it from our brother a short while ago.
Dear brothers and respected scholars, these days we are astonished to hear some people lashing out at Sufism and insulting Sufi scholars. They say “He is a Sufi” scornfully as if he were a heretic or a polytheistic. By God, We cannot understand how they can reject Sufism. If they do so because of some pseudo Sufis, likewise, Musailama, the Liar has falsely claimed prophet hood, can they reject our prophet because of that? There are genuine and counterfeit in everything, we take the original and throw the fake away. The same is true to Sufism also. This great way of life, Sufism, that we are talking about is the path where the great pious pioneers have stepped in. Imam abul Qasim al Junaidi, Supreme leader of the Sufis once answered to a question on Sufism (Tasawuf). He said it is the purification of heart. All Sufi scholars described Sufism in the same terms. Tasawuf we follow is what Our Messenger has pointed to by the word ‘Ihsan’and described it as to worship Allah as if you see Him, although you don’t see Him, He does see you.
So purification of mind from all bad characters such as Polytheism, heresy, arrogance, greed for fame and Hypocrisy is called Taswuf (Sufism) Almighty Allah indicated this in the holy Quran as He says: “Indeed Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses, and purifying them, ….
Look at the verses of almighty Allah. Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) supplicated Allah to teach the people first and then to purify. “Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them the Book and the Wisdom and purify them.” In these verses and other verses as well, Almighty Allah emphasizes Purification of Heart because the main purpose of sending prophets and messengers is to cleanse and sanctify people from all bad characters. Allah mentioned this in many verses and so the prophet (PBUH) in many hadiths
Dear scholars, We need to differentiate between the truth and the falsehood. We cannot accept a way that contradicts religious principles. See what Shaikh Abdul Khadir al Jeelani has said. He said in his Book Futuh Al Ghaib , Chapter One The Essentials of a Believer – Accept Allah’s Orders and Content with His judgments: He sets obeying religious Do’s and Don’ts as a precondition for entering into the Sufi Order. Shaikh Zainuddin Makhdum al Malaibari said in his book that all Sufi orders require complete compliance with the Quran and Sunnah.
The real Sufi Tariqah is stemmed from the Holy Quran and Sunnah so it can never contradict any Sharia rule. If somebody claims affiliation with Sufism, at the same time acts against Sharia rules and permits what is prohibited like alcohol, he has nothing to do with the Sufism. Sufism that we follow is what our Messenger (PBUH) has taught us. All though the term Sufism was formed many years later like all other technical terms, it has been firmly rooted in Quran and Hadith. The real Sufi, I don’t say Islamic Sufi, is the one who follows the footprint of the Prophetic way by Practicing all what is ordered and avoiding all that is forbidden. Moreover, he cleanses his heart form all rusts and dusts. Quran says: “No. In fact what they have been doing has rusted on their hearts.” Human hearts get rusted and become dirty so that we need to clean them and keep them stainless.
We seek help from Allah and all praise is due to Him.