Thursday, January 17, 2008

Prep for ALIM program, read up on tasawwuf / sufism

InshAllah My wife and I are going to the ALIM program this weekend. The Theme will be " Is Islamic Thought Dying ". I suggest people read the following articles before going on tasawwuf or "sufism" (The science of Ihsan). Muslims tend to be pretty clueless on what it actually is, and since it seems like it will be covered fairly intensively, i thought it would be a really good idea to read up on it beforehand.

On the legitimacy of tasawwuf in Islamic law: is associated with shaykh hussain abdul sattar (see the list of representatives of that site).

A taste of what tasawwuf is:

Bida and Sunnah in Shariah:
If you don't want to read this entire arti, at least read the ending part where it starts "We are now able to return to the hadith with which I began". I asked a very reliable indo-pak scholar (won't say which one, i'll just say he's not in the US) whether the idea that bida itself takes on the usuli rulings of shariah (wajib, mustahab, mubah, makruh, haraam) is a ligit idea, and he said yes... and he said that the only disagreement with that part of the article is that he said that mawlid / milad is bida makruhah, but i guess that could be debated and could vary from culture to culture.

Bayah isn't necessarily part of tasawwuf, but it's related, so read this:

But to make it all very simple, see The Hadith of Jibreel (#2 here: ).
This hadith is like a summary of Islam, see how it talks about three concepts in our deen:

Iman (belief)
Islam (outward practice)
Ihsan (spiritual excellence)

Well each of these concepts have associated "sciences", here's how they map out:
Iman :: Aqeedah
Islam :: Fiqh / Shariah
Ihsan :: Tasawwuf / Tazkiyat-un-nafs

Another way to think of it are these associations:
Iman/Aqeedah :: the mind
Islam/Fiqh :: The limbs, and 5 senses
Ihsan/Tasawwuf :: the heart

And yet another way to think of it, as shaykh hamza explained it are the 3 geometric dimensions:
The forward and backward dimension would be like islam,
The left and right dimension would be like iman,
The upward direction (towards Allah) would be ihsan.
The fourth dimension, time, would be that we are all doing the above for the hereafter, to present ourselves to Allah on the day of judgement.

... all that is
really just an explanation of the hadith of jibril.

get it?


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