Seeking Sacred Sunni Knowledge

About SeekingIlm

Seekingilm’s purpose is to call the Muslim community, and all others listening, to the traditional orthodox path of Islam. The path of those who earned Allah’s pleasure, not the path of those who have earned his anger. After almost two years of propogating the call of Sunnism, our Administration has realized that in calling to traditional thought, we must also respond to the unorthodox beliefs and practices that have entered the Muslim world. The reader of Seekingilm.com will notice that this site defends “Sufic” practices. Our administration believes that Tasawwuf, commonly called “Sufism”, is an integral core of Islam. It is our belief that the earliest Muslims practiced and developed this science, just as the other ‘sciences’, such as Fiqh or Hadith, developed by the hands and hearts of the scholars. What follows is a brief introduction of tasawwuf and our take on the issue.

 The path to seeking and implementing the spiritual enlightenment of Islam is called “At-Tasawwuf” or sometimes called Sufism (mysticism). Unfortunately, Tasawwuf has been scarred by the actions of some claimaint Sufis, of the past and present. To know what tasawwuf is one must know the principles of Tasawwuf. The erudite Imam of Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, Abu Zakariyyah An-Nawawi (author of Riyadh-us-Salihin & other great works) defined At-Tasawwuf in the following words:

“The basic rules of the way of Sufism are five:

(1) having Godfearingness privately and publicly, (2) living according to the Sunnah in word and deed, (3) indifference to whether others accept or reject one, (4) satisfaction with Allah Most High in scarcity and plenty, and (5) turning to Allah in happiness or affliction.

1. Godfearingness is attained by scrupulousness and uprightness;

2. Following the Sunnah is attained through caution and good character;

3. Indifference to others’ acceptance or rejection is attained through patience and trust in Allah;

4. Satisfaction with Allah is attained through contentment with what one has and submission to the will of Allah;

5. Turning to Allah Most High is attained by gratitude to Him in happiness and taking refuge in Him in affliction.”

[Al-Maqasid pg 96]

Thus when one sees a claimant Sufi performing spiritual heresy, he is not reflecting the core fundamentals of Tasawwuf. True orthodox tasawwuf is the implementation of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad upon the methodology and understanding of the earliest Muslim community and those individuals after them that adhered to their path.

The signs of Sufism on an individual were also mentioned by Imam An-Nawawi in his “Al-Maqasid” with the following words:

“The principles of Sufism’s signs on a person are also five:

(1) Seeking Sacred Knowledge in order to perform Allah’s command; (2) keeping the company of sheikhs and fellow disciples in order to see with insight; (3) forgoing both dispensations from religious obligations and figurative interpretations of scripture, for the sake of cautiousness; (4) organizing one’s time with spiritual works to maintain presence of heart; and (5) suspecting the self in all matters, in order to free oneself from caprice and be safe from destruction.

1. Seeking Sacred Knowledge is vitiated by keeping the company of juveniles, whether in age, mentality, or religion, who do not refer for guidance to a firm principle or rule;

2. Keeping they company of Sheikhs and disciples is vitiated by self-deception and concern with the unimportant;

3. Leaving dispensations and figurative interpretations is vitiated by leniency toward the self;

4. Organizing one’s time with spiritual works is vitiated by looking for more and more supererogatory worship;

5. Suspecting the self is vitiated by satisfaction at its goodliness and uprightness.”

[Al Maqasid pgs. 96-97]

Seeking knowledge is fundamentally sacred in Islam. Unfortunately, many hold seeking religious knowledge in disdain. In fact, some of the early Sufis would criticize other Sufis, such as Imam Ibn Khafif, for seeking Knowledge.

The master of tasawwuf, Imam Ibn Khafif [rahimahullah] (d. 376 A.H.) once said to the followers of Ibn Maktum,

“Busy yourself with the acquisition of some knowledge, and do not let the words of the Sufis [to the contrary] fool you. I myself used to hide my inkwell and pen inside my clothes, and go secretly to visit the scholars. If they [the Sufis] had found out, they would have fought me and they would have said: You will not succeed! Later they found themselves needing me!”

The prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Seeking knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim!” [reported by At-Tabaraani and others] Fulfill your obligation and begin today!

 Lastly, we would like to clarify that Seekingilm.com has no official connections with any Sufi Shaykhs. We support them all in their goodness and their aspirations for Allah, and ask Allah ta’alaa to bless them all with His immense mercy.