Friday, January 17, 2014

A brief history on Sufism and the life of Imam Junaid Al-Baghdadi

An unbiased view of the history of Sufism and how it evolved. The speaker, Dr. Muhammad Musa Al-Shareef also relates the life of a great scholar and Imam, Junaid ibn Muhammad Abu al-Qasim al-Khazzaz al-Baghdadi (830-910 AD)


Some important points from the video..

 The first phase of Sufism (at the beginning of third century A.H.) was praised by most early scholars. They also praised those early Sufis who were influential in the first phase and those who followed in their footsteps. Those early Sufis were highly regarded by scholars such as Ibn Taimiyyah, Ibn Al-Qayyim, Imam Adh-Dzahabi and Imam ibn Kathir and many others.

 They praised those Sufis as they were at the height of asceticism, piousness, devoutness, righteousness and they adhered to the Qur'an and Sunnah. They stuck to the pure Islamic principles.

 The most famous figure in the first phase of Sufism was AlJunied. One of the greatest achievements of Imam Junaid al-Baghdadi was that he set rules for religious practices and made them constrained by the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad's traditions(Sunnah).

 For example, Aljunied was asked about those who reject religious obligations; these people belonged to the Batiniyyah sect. The Batiniyyah sect caused Muslims much harm as they were disbelievers in the guise of Muslims. They claimed that after attaining a high rank of religiousness, asceticism, piety, remembrance of God and prayer, they would not have to fulfill all religious obligations believing they had drawn close enough to God. And this is a famous sect, that is why some Orientalist scholars and others found some aspects in common between Sufism and Brahmanism as Brahmans claim that one can give up religious duties after attaining a high level of piety. Anyway, al-Junaid commented on that with an excellent saying. He said,"Yes they have reached a "state", but only one which leads to the Hell-Fire!" because one who believes as such, is a disbeliever as the Muslim scholars had also unanimously agreed upon, because rejecting religious obligations has nothing to do with Islam at all! As Allah Almighty says,{"Worship your Lord till certainty(death) comes.."}.

 The early teachings of Al-Junied refuted the claims of those Batiniyyahs who belonged to the third phase of Sufism where the principles of Batiniyyah, Shiism and Sufism became interrelated, namely in the tenth century A.H. and after, and this is a peril to Muslims.

Those adopting these views(teaching and spreading them) probably did not mean harm to Muslims but the reality is that some infidels manipulated Sufis and Shiism to harm Muslims and thus many Sufi teachings thereafter cannot be understood unless we are aware of the issue of Batiniyyah and its influences on some aspects of Sufism.

And so Aljunied's greatest achivement was cutting off the ideas of Batini infidels and making Sufi practices constrained by and tied to the Qur'an and Sunnah and we're thankful for that rahimahullaahu ta'ala.

Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taimiyyah rahimahullaah said (mentioned two extreme views regarding Sufism)

 1) that there exist religious learned scholars who would undervalue all Sufi worshipers and consider them all ignorant and deluded

 2) that there exist Sufis who disregarded Islamic Law and knowledge thinking that Islamic Law and knowledge stood in their way to God.

 And he said that the correct position is that whatever with regards to Sufism that was based on the Qur'an and Sunnah was true and whatever that contradicted the Qur'an and Sunnah is false. This indeed a golden saying!

 Dr Muhammad Musa then recalled that he once met Shaykh Abdul Azeez ibn Baz and told him that there was an attack on everything that was related to Sufism and Sufis and he asked the Shaykh whether we were to regard them as Ibn Taimiyyah had done. And Shaykh ibn Baz repeated his answer twice or thrice,"This is also my view, this is also my view!" (That he adopted the view of ibn Taimiyyah on Sufism.)

He meant that Sufis were a Muslim sect, some of whom were good, some were evil; some devout and ascetic and some deluded making innovations in Islam and he added that one should adopt the sound religious views of the Sufis and give up their false ones.

 And this applies to all Islamic sects, not only Sufis. This was a fair stance by the late Shaykh Abdul Azeez ibn Baz rahimahullah following the views of Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taimiyyah.

And Allah Almighty knows best.

No comments: