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celt islam
19-10-2005, 04:06 AM
TASAWWUF [ SUFISM ]

Tasawwuf or Sufism is not esoteric Islam. Tasawwuf is the science of the path to Allah. Tasawwuf is the science of conforming the path of Islam through the direct experience of the Real instead of through the tongue or learning from books. This implies the abandonment of any theology. Tawhid is not theo-logical. In this sense Tasawwuf is the protector of Tawhid: La ilaha illallah.

The Muslim affirms: La halwa wa la quwwata illa billah. It implies that there are not two forces in the universe. There is only Allah. It is typical of the esoteric theology to say that the world is divided into two forces fighting each other; the good verses the evil or the darkness versus the light or the truth versus the false. "Haqq is fighting Batil" - this is a typical dualist statement. But it is impossible. Batil, "falsity", cannot stand against Haqq, because there are no two powers except in the imagination of the mushrikun. And yet how many modernist books come with this deviating cosmology proper to the mushrikun.

La halwa wa la quwwata illa billah also means that there is one source of power. Allah lends us His power and veils it from us with our limitations. Therefore we are the source of our own tribulations. We are only obstacle to the establishment of Islam. All the means are available to us. From this comes tawakkul: hasbunullahu wa niamal wakil, "Allah is enough for us and He is the best Guardian". Tawakkul is trust in Allah. It is the food of the faqir. It strengthens the faqir like the zuhud weakens the "I", and it is one of the praiseworthy qualities which everybody must acquire. Allah says, "Whoever relies on Allah, He is enough for him." Its reality is confidence and calmness in the heart and the realization that the sustenance of your physical body is by Allah alone. It is not by anyone other than Allah, and it is not by any of the debris of this world nor by any other cause.

What will help us towards this is to remember Allah that Allah guarantees us provision, and His knowledge and power are perfect, and that He is detached from creation and far remove from forgetfulness and from incapacity.

Shaykh Ibn Ataillah wrote in his book The Abandonment of the Management of Affairs: "Entrusting our affairs to Allah is also a very important quality to acquire. In Quran, Allah relates that the believer among Pharaoh's people said: "I have entrusted my affair to Allah." Its reality is our desire for Allah to preserve us from all that has danger in it and against which we have no security. What helps us in that is to remember our own incapacity, on the basis of which we abandon our selves to Allah."

Without this understanding people end up paralysed. But with it the Muslims is free to be a slave, that is, to obey in a way without barriers. The problem of trying to obey without understanding is that you can only do what you can. You can only move at the speed of your own misfortune and limitations. But to obey Allah while trusting Him is to abandon all sense of practical limitations, and to embark on the achievement of what Allah has ordered us to do. We obey Him not according to our deeds, but we obey Him according to what He has commanded us. We abandon the idea of being practical and we enter into the swift way of being slave. Obedience only takes place with understanding.

Tasawwuf is the light and the heart of the Deen, and without it our understanding of the Shariah is superficial. Tasawwuf enhances our possibilities because it gives wisdom and light to every situation in life: it enlightens us in difficulty and guides us in ease. Tasawwuf is not being a passive, docile consumer in this society with enlightened evenings and weekends. Tasawwuf is the transformation of your heart so that you realize that you are in charge of Dunya, and dunya is not in charge of you. It allows us to understand that what Allah has ordered is possible, and it shows us the path to achieve our highest goals fisabilillah. Tasawwuf allows us to understand that the deeds of the heart are more powerful than the deed of the limbs. Tasawwuf renders all other knowledges subject to the highest knowledge which is La ilaha illallah. With Tasawwuf we realize that knowledge of Allah is above every other knowledge. Tasawwuf allows us to taste La halwa wa la quwwata illa billah. Those who are touched by this knowledge becomes different people and to them there are no barriers and no fears other than Allah. These are the people we want to create.

Umar Vadillio.

Abu Abdallah
08-11-2005, 05:28 AM
Dear Celt Islam,

Assalamu 'Alaykum. Why do you think the author wrote, "Tasawwuf or Sufism is not esoteric Islam."? I agree with almost everything he says, but question his opening statement. If we understand Islam as islam, iman, and ihsan, doesn't our religion contain within it the very Path to God.

The Prophet (sal) said, "Prayer (salat) is the miraj of the believer." This statement and other link the rites of Islam to tasawwuf, and the most significant gnostic experiences of the Prophet (sal).

I am curious what you think.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

celt islam
09-11-2005, 12:51 PM
Dear Celt Islam,

Assalamu 'Alaykum. Why do you think the author wrote, "Tasawwuf or Sufism is not esoteric Islam."? I agree with almost everything he says, but question his opening statement. If we understand Islam as islam, iman, and ihsan, doesn't our religion contain within it the very Path to God.

The Prophet (sal) said, "Prayer (salat) is the miraj of the believer." This statement and other link the rites of Islam to tasawwuf, and the most significant gnostic experiences of the Prophet (sal).

I am curious what you think.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah


asalaamualaykum, let us see what esoteric means shall we?

esotric ; es·o·ter·ic :
a. Intended for or understood by only a particular group: an esoteric cult.
b. Of or relating to that which is known by a restricted number of people.
c. Confined to a small group: esoteric interests.
d. Not publicly disclosed; confidential.
e. understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest; recondite: poetry full of esoteric allusions.
f. private; secret; confidential.
g. (of a philosophical doctrine or the like) intended to be revealed only to the initiates of a group: the esoteric doctrines of Pythagoras.

well one could on and on, i think what the writer was trying to say that sufism is not a cult secret based society that just deals with the inner aspects? as we see there are many a psduo sufi tariqah? wa salaam.

laughinglion
09-11-2005, 03:03 PM
:salam:

I think Sidi `Umar (may Allah protect him), the author of the quote expands and analyises in great depth and detail the problem with esoterisism. My understanding is that one of the most nefarious aspects of esoterism is that it seeks to equate the perceived inner 'truths' of all religions with a universal primordial religious tradition, in order to create a 'new' universal religion or higher more spiritual code of conduct. Thus making the outward forms and practice of all recognised religions obsolete, unnecessary. This inevitably leads to the conclusion that all religions are equally valid, thus equally invalid.

In short tasawwuf can not be considered esoteric Islam, the outward practice of the deen, and a sound `aqida are necessary pre-requisites to a correct and acceptable tasawwuf.
Esoteric is a loaded European renaissance word/concept. The thought that there can be an esoteric Islam shows a profound naievety of the functions/processes involved in the developement of the modern world (kufr). This same naievety leads one to the ignorant acceptance of Islamic banking, stock exchanges, etc.

With Peace.
.

Abu Abdallah
09-11-2005, 06:36 PM
Assalamu 'Alaykum Celt Islam,

Certainly tasawwuf is not meant for the masses. It is true that anyone from any background may be called to the Path, but there is an aspect of the tariqah life which is secret. This is why al-Hallaj was killed for uttering "Ana al-Haqq."

Also, the root eso in esoteric simply means inner or hidden. Like the Arabic batin, or the reality of the qalb that the author spoke about. This not only relates to some orders, but especially Uwaysi encounters with Khidr, the Mahdi, or other initiatic guides from the angelic world.

With that said, even regular orders do not disclose all of their secrets to the public, or even to new adepts. So there is a connection between how certain esoteric socities in the West function, and how the various traditional turuq function.

As far as the question of "the transcendent unity of religions" in concerned, I think it goes further than most philosophical and metaphysical discourses in respecting and seeing the need for exoteric religion, and in the case of Islam, the Shariah. If you have read F. Schuon, M. Lings, or S. H. Nasr you will understand why I say this.

By the way, I prefer Islamic esoterism over esoteric Islam, but do not deny the validity of the term in the context of orthodoxy and tradition. One could suggest that we throw away the term theosophy because various new age movements have used it, yet it is a suitable translation for the work of scholars such as Suhrawardi, Ibn 'Arabi, and Mulla Sadra.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

celt islam
09-11-2005, 10:38 PM
Assalamu 'Alaykum Celt Islam,

Certainly tasawwuf is not meant for the masses. It is true that anyone from any background may be called to the Path, but there is an aspect of the tariqah life which is secret. This is why al-Hallaj was killed for uttering "Ana al-Haqq."

Also, the root eso in esoteric simply means inner or hidden. Like the Arabic batin, or the reality of the qalb that the author spoke about. This not only relates to some orders, but especially Uwaysi encounters with Khidr, the Mahdi, or other initiatic guides from the angelic world.

With that said, even regular orders do not disclose all of their secrets to the public, or even to new adepts. So there is a connection between how certain esoteric socities in the West function, and how the various traditional turuq function.

As far as the question of "the transcendent unity of religions" in concerned, I think it goes further than most philosophical and metaphysical discourses in respecting and seeing the need for exoteric religion, and in the case of Islam, the Shariah. If you have read F. Schuon, M. Lings, or S. H. Nasr you will understand why I say this.

By the way, I prefer Islamic esoterism over esoteric Islam, but do not deny the validity of the term in the context of orthodoxy and tradition. One could suggest that we throw away the term theosophy because various new age movements have used it, yet it is a suitable translation for the work of scholars such as Suhrawardi, Ibn 'Arabi, and Mulla Sadra.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah


asalaamualaykum, the so called what did yoi say sorry hehe : quote; ["the transcendent unity of religions"] , that sound like a quote from idris shah hehe mashallah, schuon was a kaffir and not only that he claimed to be the head of the so called taiqah marriamiyya [ path of mary ] and said that he had holy connection with her ? hehe and sh nasr is a shia and states that sufis are the esoteric side of islam and mr lings was also a close freind and mureed of the tariqah marriyamiyyah blah blah blah!!! sufism is not a secret my dear fellow its the sceince of ihsan and cannot be separted from shariah, all those psudo sufis you quote are all to blame for there jesuit style interpretation of the sceince of tasawuff, and as for ash shaykh al akbar being compared with mulla sadra hummmm , so this is where we are? are we? universal brotherhood? sounds very freemasonic but hey what about gurgeiff ?, as for sufism not being for the masses that is absolute nonsence sufism is not for the chosen few!.
Gnosis is directly witnessing the lights and attributes of ALLAH reflected upon the heart and one cannot attain this without the messenger [saw] and this ia attained my anyone with a pure heart .
Islam is above all faiths and has nothing to do with universality of religions but whatever i suppose schuon would dissagree?, wa salaam

,

Abu Abdallah
10-11-2005, 04:46 AM
Have you ever read Schuon, Nasr, or Lings? They very seriously practiced the Shariah, and wrote about its necessity. There are very few scholars in the West who have brought so many people to Islam. H. Yusuf became Muslim after reading Lings, and N. Keller became Muslim after reading Nasr. They have respect for these writers, as we should for all Muslims, even if they disagree with their view of other religions. H. Yusuf wrote several remarkable essays about Lings after his death (ra), even if they disagreed on some issues. Lings biography of the Prophet (sal) is probably the best in English, and his "What is Sufism?" clearly puts the Quran and the Prophet as the foundation of Sufism. Before you critisize these great scholars and men of God you should use your 'aql.

We should be able to have theological discussions and disagreements without labelling each other as kafir. For if the one who is accused is not a kafir, then the one who accused the Muslim is. One would think that someone who professes the need for the Shariah would be more careful about labelling another Muslim a kafir. And Allah knows best.

Abu Abdallah

laughinglion
10-11-2005, 07:42 AM
Have you ever read Schuon, Nasr, or Lings? They very seriously practiced the Shariah, and wrote about its necessity. There are very few scholars in the West who have brought so many people to Islam. H. Yusuf became Muslim after reading Lings, and N. Keller became Muslim after reading Nasr. They have respect for these writers, as we should for all Muslims, even if they disagree with their view of other religions. H. Yusuf wrote several remarkable essays about Lings after his death (ra), even if they disagreed on some issues. Lings biography of the Prophet (sal) is probably the best in English, and his "What is Sufism?" clearly puts the Quran and the Prophet as the foundation of Sufism. Before you critisize these great scholars and men of God you should use your 'aql.

We should be able to have theological discussions and disagreements without labelling each other as kafir. For if the one who is accused is not a kafir, then the one who accused the Muslim is. One would think that someone who professes the need for the Shariah would be more careful about labelling another Muslim a kafir. And Allah knows best.

Abu Abdallah

:salam:

Yes, we should be able to have a discussion without making takfir of one another, or others. And its a great shame that people take this matter lightly. May Allah be merciful to us and overlook our shortcomings.

A discussion should be a discussion and in this matter I would like to point out, this ones coming to Islam through this, or that ones respect of him, or this book, or that book, to my mind, to not constitute proof in relation to this discussion. As I could equally counter that the high regard deviants show for the men you have named (and I believe, Sidi 'Abu Abdallah, you were the first to call their names thus opening them up to the depreciations of others) is a proof of their deviation http://www.geocities.com/integral_tradition/ , or the impact that the kafir 'war on terror' has had on bringing people to Islam is a proof of the kafirs guidance (an extreme example I know, but it is hoped that it will highlight the validity of my contention).

I have books by the authors you mention and I have read them, I agree benefit may be derived from them by 'initiates', but I also recognise that there is an inbuilt inherent flaw in the philosopies of 'sophia perennis' and the 'transcendent universality of all religions' that can at worst lead one to kufr or at least deviation.

As for theosophy, out! Theology, out! Metaphysics, out! Lets discuss.

May Allah guide us to and establish us in that which is good and correct and tawfeeq is by Him alone.

Ma`a salaama

celt islam
10-11-2005, 09:56 AM
[QUOTE=Abu Abdallah]Have you ever read Schuon, Nasr, or Lings? They very seriously practiced the Shariah, and wrote about its necessity. There are very few scholars in the West who have brought so many people to Islam. H. Yusuf became Muslim after reading Lings, and N. Keller became Muslim after reading Nasr. They have respect for these writers, as we should for all Muslims, even if they disagree with their view of other religions. H. Yusuf wrote several remarkable essays about Lings after his death (ra), even if they disagreed on some issues. Lings biography of the Prophet (sal) is probably the best in English, and his "What is Sufism?" clearly puts the Quran and the Prophet as the foundation of Sufism. Before you critisize these great scholars and men of God you should use your 'aql.

We should be able to have theological discussions and disagreements without labelling each other as kafir. For if the one who is accused is not a kafir, then the one who accused the Muslim is. One would think that someone who professes the need for the Shariah would be more careful about labelling another Muslim a kafir. And Allah knows best.


asalaamualaykum, mashallah! the cat is out off the bag?
schuon well?
i know there tariqah [ marriyamyyah ] and there followers and there indulgence of wine and idols? and there extreme lack of islam! that is what i was trying to piont out! that this so called trancendence of religions is the start of psudo sufiq practices and tariqahs?as in the case of schuon and shah!.

Abu Abdallah
10-11-2005, 06:24 PM
"If suffices a man to be a liar if he narrates everything he hears." -The Prophet (sal)

Wine and idols? You can repeat the slander you may have heard. But this is not the wont of the Prophet (sal), or anyone who claims to practice the Shariah. Have you ever met anyone from Schuon's order, or are you just repeating what you have read in a polemic text?

Abu Abdallah

celt islam
10-11-2005, 09:14 PM
"If suffices a man to be a liar if he narrates everything he hears." -The Prophet (sal)

Wine and idols? You can repeat the slander you may have heard. But this is not the wont of the Prophet (sal), or anyone who claims to practice the Shariah. Have you ever met anyone from Schuon's order, or are you just repeating what you have read in a polemic text?

Abu Abdallah

Norms and Paradoxes in Spiritual Alchemy
Frithjof Schuon
[ quote ] ;
The content of the universal and primordial Doctrine is the following, expressed in
Vedantic terms: "Brahma is Reality; the world is appearance; the soul is not other than
Brahma." These are the three great theses of integral metaphysics; one positive, one
negative, one unitive. Let us specify that in the second affirmation, it is important to
understand that "appearance" gives rise to two complementary interpretations: according
to the first, the world is illusion, nothingness; according to the second, it is Divine
Manifestation; the first point of view is upheld by Shankara and Shivaism, and the second
by Ramanuja and Vishnuism; roughly speaking, for there are compensations in both
camps. The third of the fundamental affirmations in a way marks the passage from the
"Truth" to the "Path," or let us say from the Doctrine to the Method; the soul not being
"other than Brahma," its vocation is to transcend the world.

need i say more? here is the site where one can see for themsevles.

http://www.religioperennis.org/index.html

Abu Abdallah
11-11-2005, 07:01 PM
It seems as though you are intent of believing and trying to prove Schuon to be a kafir. If this is the case, then it doesn't matter what I write.

I have however read his "Understanding Islam" and an article about Schuon and Islam in the journal Sophia. These two sources alone make it clear that Schuon practiced the religion of Islam, including the shariah and the tariqah which he received in Algeria from Shaykh Ahmad Alawi.

He did write about other religions for several reasons. One might have been to illustrate the basic Islamic tenet: There is only One God, One Reality. Now you can choose to believe that only the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God is God: Yahweh, Elohim, Allaha, Allahu, Rahman, etc. But many pious Muslims believe there is also only One God in the Far East: Tao, Brahman, Ahura-Mazda, etc. Not to mention the Great Spirit of the Native American tradition, and other tribal traditions.

Accepting the multiplicity of religions and prophets, only points to accepting the One God, and ultimately to the religion of Islam, which is the last and most preserved religion, and the religion Schuon and Lings died practicing. What people often fail to grasp is that their writings are for a western audience who has more knowledge of various traditions, and in particular the tradition of Christianity. Schuon and Lings were simply opening the door for westerners to see the truth in a religion other than Christianity...while affirming through other writings the validity of Islam.

You say that they are kafir beause you heard this or that, but listening to slander is not Islam. You can say that they are kafir because Schuon wrote about Hunduism or the Native American tradition, or Lings wrote about Shakespeare. Just because they found truth in these writings does not mean that are outside the fold of Islam. Indeed, the Prophet (sal) said, "Seek knowledge even unto China."

Before you critisize them you should try to read just one of their books with an open mind.

Abu Abdallah

Abu Abdallah
11-11-2005, 07:10 PM
I found this on the web:

Frithjof Schuon
1907-1998

Frithjof Schuon, also known as Shaykh `Isa Nur al-Din Ahmad al-Shadhili alDarquwi al- `Alawi al-Maryami, was a leading exponent of the philosophia perennis and traditional metaphysics. A spiritual master, metaphysician, poet and painter, he wrote major works on traditional doctrines and themes. He wrote in German, French, Arabic and English. His corpus of published works is vast. He published two long lyrical poems in German in his early years, and in his later years wrote almost one hundred poems in English.

As a young man in Paris, Schuon became interested in Islam, and he embarked on a rigorous study of Arabic, first with a Syrian Jew and later at the Paris mosque. He visited North Africa several times in the 1930’s and became a disciple of the Algerian Sufi Shaikh Ahmad Al’Alawi. He
married in Lausanne in 1949. He and his wife were given a plot of land with an orchard and vineyard in Pully, a suburb east of Lausanne, where they constructed their home. They traveled widely in Europe, making trips to France, Germany, Belgium, Holland England, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and Morocco, and visited the United States several times.

During the 1950’s, the Schuons had contact with North American natives who visited Paris and Brussels, and they traveled to the Lakota tribe of the Sioux nation in 1959, where they were officially adopted into the Red Cloud family. Later he was also adopted into the Crow tribe. The Feathered Sun: Plains Indians in Art and Philosophy (1990) are a collection of his writings and paintings which poignantly present the pathos and spirituality of the Plains Indians.

In his last years he lived in Indiana, and he died of a protracted illness in Bloomington in 1998.

Schuon said that his role was to bring back the concept of the Absolute in a world become relativized. His had a deep abiding sense of the sacred, manifested outwardly by his serious mien and highly dignified manner. [Whithall Perry, “Perspectives”] “Imagine a radiant summer sky and imagine simple folk who gaze at it, projecting into it their dream of the hereafter; now suppose that it were possible to transport these simple folk into the dark and freezing abyss of the galaxies and nebulae with its overwhelming silence. In this abyss all too many of them would lose their faith, and this is precisely what happens as a result of modern science, both to the learned and to the victims of popularization. What most men do not know – and if they could know it, why should we have to ask them to believe it? is that this blue sky, though illusory as an optical error and belied by the vision of interplanetary space, is nonetheless an adequate e reflection of the Heaven of Angels and the Blessed and that therefore, despite everything, it is this blue mirage, flecked with silver clouds, which is right and will have the final say; to be astonished at this amounts to admitting that it is by chance that we are here on earth and see the sky as we do.” [Understanding Islam, p. 137]

All of Schuon’s work re-affirms the traditional metaphysical principles, explicating the esoteric dimensions of religion, penetrating mythological and religious forms, and critiquing modernism. He clarified the distinctions between exoteric and esoteric dimensions of religious tradition and uncovered the metaphysical convergence of all orthodox religions. The essential theme of Schuon’s writing, as summarized by Martin Lings, is this: the Sole Ultimate Reality of Absolute, Infinite Perfection and the predicament of man, made in the image of that Perfection, an image from which he has fallen, and to which he must return on his way to the final reintegration into his Divine Source.

“Intelligence, by which we comprehend the Doctrine, is either the intellect or reason; reason is the instrument of the intellect, it is through reason that man comprehends the natural phenomena around him and within himself, and it is through it that he is able to describe supernatural things – parallel to the means of expression offered by symbolism – by transposing intuitive knowledge into the order of language. Then function of the rational faculty can be to provoke – by means of a given concept – a spiritual intuition; reason is then the flint which makes the spark spring forth. The limit of the Inexpressible varies according to mental structure: what is beyond all expression for some, may be easily expressible for others.” [“Norms and Paradoxes in Spiritual Alchemy” in Sophia, vol. 1, no. 1 1995]

On the nature of sacred Books, he says, “that is sacred which in the first place is attached to the transcendent order, secondly possesses the character of absolute certainty and, thirdly, eludes the comprehension and power of investigation of the ordinary human mind…. The sacred is the presence of the centre in the periphery, of the motionless in the moving; dignity is essentially an expression of it, for in dignity too the centre manifests at the exterior; the heart is revealed in gestures. The sacred introduces an quality of the absolute into relativities and confers on perishable things a textures of eternity.” [Understanding Islam, p. 48]

Works by Frithjof Schuon:

(1953), The Transcendent Unity of Religions, trans. Peter Townsend, Faber and Faber, London; republished in 1984, The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois.
(1961), Stations of Wisdom, republished 1995, World Wisdom Books, Bloomington, Indiana.

(1975). Logic and Transcendence, trans. P. N. Townsend, Perennial Books, London.

The Roots of the Human Condition

(1981), Esoterism as Principle and as Way, trans. William Stoddart, Perennial Books, London.
(1982), From the Divine to the Human, trans. Gustavo Polit and Deborah Lambert, World Wisdom Books, Bloomington, Indiana.

(1984), Light on the Ancient Worlds, trans. Lord Northbourne, World Wisdom Books, Bloomington, Indiana.
(1985), Christianity/Islam: Essays on Esoteric Ecumenicism, trans. Gustavo Polit, World Wisdom Books, Bloomington, Indiana.
(1986), Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism, trans. Gustavo Polit, World Wisdom Books, Bloomington, Indiana.
(1987), Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts, trans. P. N. Townsend, Perennial Books, London.

(1989), In the Face of the Absolute, World Wisdom Books, Bloomington, Indiana.
(1990), The Feathered Sun: Plains Indians in Art and Philosophy
(1990), Gnosis: Divine Wisdom, trans. G. E. h. Palmer, Perennial Books, London.
(1990) To Have a Center
(1991), Roots of the Human Condition
(1992), Echoes of Perennial Widom
(1992), The Play of Masks, World Wisdom Books, Bloomington, Indiana.
(1994), Understanding Islam, World Wisdom Books, Bloomington, Indiana.
(1995), “Norms and Paradoxes in Spiritual Alchemy” in Sophia, vol. 1, no. 1.
(1995), The Transfiguration of Man, World Wisdom Books, Bloomington, Indiana.
(1995), Road to the Heart: The Complete English Poems of Frithjof Schuon, World Wisdom Books, Bloomington, Indiana.

Also see:
Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (ed.)(1986), The Essential Writings of Frithjof Schuon
Nasr, Seyyed Hossein and Stoddart, William (ed.)(1991), Religion of the Heart

Sophia, Journal of Traditional Studies, vol. 4, no. 2, Winter 1998, which is dedicated to the memory of Frithjof Schuon.

laughinglion
12-11-2005, 11:11 AM
:salam:

This could have been an interesting and informative discussion but you guys seem content with argumentative points scoring and reactionary posting. Maybe its got something to do with that ADD ihear so much about (lighthearted jest) And Allah knows best.

With Peace

celt islam
16-11-2005, 06:35 PM
asalaamualaykum,
Just to end this brong disscusion about mr schuon and his kaffir belief of " religio-perrenis" this is what schuon says:" The concept of a trinity seen as deployment [ tijalli ] of unity or of the absolute is in no way opposed to the unitary doctrine of islam". [ Understanding Islam. - 1998.]

As one can see there are serious problems here? mr schuon has great problems with what ALLAH says about those who believe in trinity!

the quraan says ; sura an nisa ; "171

O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not "Three" - Cease! (it is) better for you! - Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His Transcendent Majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And Allah is sufficient as Defender.

Abu Abdallah
16-11-2005, 09:00 PM
In Islam, the tijalli are the Divine Names and Attributes that manifest in the heart of the Universal Man, the angels, nature, and all of creation. This is why the Quran calls Muhammad (sal), "A mercy to all the worlds (rahmatan lil-'alamin)." (21:107) Now Allah, Al-Rahman transcends Muhammad (sal), yet if we suggest that Muhammad's mercy is seperate from the Mercy of Allah, then we are setting up partners with God.

Schuon's was not advocating that we accept the trinity, he was a Muslim who lived and breathed tawhid. Yet, he understood that tawhid manifests in the Christian world, the same way it does in the case shown above. The point that Schuon made was that we should not be focused on one manifestation, but intellectually (through the eye of the heart) see the Truth, and become sanctified ourselves. Yes, the formulation of the trinity obscures the Unity of God, but there is an obvious connection between the Universal Man and the Absolute...I think this is what Schuon was referring to.

Metaphysically, you can not seperate anything from the Real. This is why al-Hallaj said, "I am the Truth," and Bistami said, "Glory be unto me!" So, the Christian doctrine is actually correct if we understand it in a more universal way, that doesn't limit the truth and unity of God to one person, but see all of existence as mirrors reflecting the Attributes of God.

“I have seen that Christianity’s aim is real detachment;
I’ve seen it as the breaking of the bonds of imitation.
Sacred Unity’s courtyard in the monastery of Spirit
Where the Simurgh of the Everlasting makes Its nest.
From God’s Spirit, Jesus, this work of detachment appeared,
Since he was manifested from the sacred Spirit.
There is also a spirit from God within you;
In which is found a trace of the Most Holy.
If you should seek extinction of the earthly self,
Come into the chamber of the Holy Presence.
Anyone who, angel-like, has detached from the earthly soul
With be risen, Jesus-like, to the fourth celestial realm.”

“Earthly elements are your mother of the lower realm;
You are a child whose father is the celestial Father.
That is why blessed Jesus said at his ascension:
‘I am in harmony with my Father who is above.’
You too, spirit of your Father, go to your Father;
Your spiritual companions have left, so go.”
-Mahmud Shabistari in the Gulshan-i Raz

Now, Shabistari, other Persian poets and Schuon himself all practiced Islam. Yet they saw the truth in other religions as well. We see the same narrow-minded fanaticism in the Christian world directed at Muslims as we do in the Islamic world directed at Christians. If both communities would simply practice their own tradition, and learn to respect the so-called other, things might change. Surely, God can not fit into one religious form. While we must practice one form to reach the Truth, we should not confuse the form with the Truth.

Yet I think it would be enough if you simply practiced the shariah and quite slandering a dead Muslim.

Peace,
Abu Abdallah

Abu Abdallah
16-11-2005, 09:18 PM
By the way, you obviously don't understand the religio perennis, for it is nothing but the din al-hanif, the primordial religion, that God brought into being with Adam (as), and is exemplified by Abraham (as). This is why the goal of Islam is to restore man to his primordial nature (fitrah) which is in a state of submission (islam) to God's Will.

As Muslims, we believe that God sent 124,000 prophets to every tribe or nation. 25 prophets are listed in Quran, along with several books (Torah, Psalms, Gospel, and Quran). All authentic religions are manifestations for different communities of the din al-hanif. Islam is the last and most preserved of all religions. Yet if a Christian, Jew, Zoroastrian, or a follower of another monotheistic faith dies in his own religion without hearing the truth of Islam, then according to Quran:

Verily, those who have attained to faith [in the Quran], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians – all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds – shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve. (2:62)

You can call this "kaffir belief", but it is a belief that comes directly from Quran, and many Muslims and scholars of Islam believe it is the truth.

Peace,
Abu Abdallah

celt islam
16-11-2005, 09:55 PM
asalaamualaykum , iam sorry brother but your understanding of mr schuon is not correct, acctulay his claim to be a shaykh is false and he has no real idhan [ permission ] to be a teacher of the alawiyyah tariqah , he never actualy met shaykh al alawi [ ra] , and for the record sir! i grow up with people from tariqah marriyamiyah! and all his mureeds had odd paintings of the blessed virgin[ra] and schuon as there guru, so tell me this !! schuons claim to be in contact with the blessed virgin [as] what about that?
and if you dont believe that schuon stated this then your blind and very ignorent of the truth of the false shaykh who calls himself-shaykh isa nurudeen ahmed al baraka [ mr schuon ] and for the record sir religio perennis is a farce and a total deviation of islamic teaching and its sceinces, religio perennis is a final attempt by jesuit type kafirs who want to destroy islam and create a modernist universal religion which mr schuon actualy was doing!!!, his disgustiing attempts of trying to separate sufism from islam , you only have to look at his site!!and that in its self is corrupt and twisted with psudo-sufiq-yogic-trantik nonsence!! come on ! you cant pull the wool over my eyes sir ! , anyways there is better knowlegde outthere and within ourselves that far better out weighs schuon and his foney tariqah!

peace. celt islam

laughinglion
16-11-2005, 10:36 PM
:salam:

Since 'Abu `Abdullah you have such a firm intellectual comprehension of Schoun's work, how would explain away this: "Guénon was quite right to declare that the Vedanta is the most direct expression of pure metaphysics and, in a certain respect, the most assimilable"? Is this the statement of a practising Muslim? Quote from Schuon's paper on Rene Gueonon.

With Peace.

Abu Abdallah
17-11-2005, 12:15 AM
Dear laughinglion,

Assalamu 'Alaykum. I wouldn't say I know Schuon's writings as well as some scholars do, such as the late Martin Lings, Titus Burkhardt, and others such as Gai Eaton and S.H. Nasr but I can try to clarify this point with what little I do know.

"How would explain away this: "Guénon was quite right to declare that the Vedanta is the most direct expression of pure metaphysics and, in a certain respect, the most assimilable"? Is this the statement of a practising Muslim?"

I wouldn't explain it away at all. If you have studied Vedanta, such as the Gita, or writings from contemporary sages such as R. Maharshi or S. Ramakrishna, you can see that the metaphysical Reality (Brahman/Allah) is seen to be the only Reality of the soul (atman/ruh). While this is spoken about in Islamic sources, and certainly understood by the Sufis such as Hallaj and Bistami, it is veiled in Islam more than it is in Vedanta.

Personally, I think it is veiled in Islam for a reason: so that we don't get distracted by a theology of Unity, and can experience the Reality of Unity. But the fact remains, in Vedanta these truths are revealed very clearly.

The Sufi master 'Abd al-Karim al-Jili writes in his al-Insan al-Kamil:

"The people of the book are divided into many groups. As for the barahimah (Hindus) they claim that they belong to the religion of Abraham and that they are of his progeny and possess special acts of worship...The barahimah worship God absolutely without [resourse to] prophet or messenger. In fact, they say there is nothing in the world of existence except that it be the created of God. They testify to His Oneness of Being, but deny the prophets and messengers completely. Their worship of the Truth is like that of the prophets before their prophetic mission. They claim to be the children of Abraham (as) and say that they possess a book written by Abraham (as) himself, except that they say that it came from His Lord. In it the truth of things is mentioned in five parts. As for the four parts they permit their reading for everyone. But as for the fifth part they do not allow its reading except to a few among them and whoever reads the fifth part of their book will of necessity come into the fold of Islam and enter into the religion of Muhammad (sal)."

S.H. Nasr writes:

"Al-Jili distinguishes between Hindu metaphysics and the daily practice of the Hindus and identifies especially their metaphysical doctrines with the doctrine of Divine Unity in Islam. His reference to the 'Fifth Veda' signifies precisely the inner identity of the esoteric and metaphysical doctrines of the two traditions. He, like other Sufis, sought to approach Hinduism through a metaphysical penetration into its mythological structure to reveal the presence of the One behind the veil of the many. In this domain his approach was not basically different from the attitude of those Sufis who tried to interpret the Christian Trinity an as assertion rather than a negation of Divine Unity."

Despite all of this, Schuon's explanation of the metaphysical meaning of the two shahadahs in "Understanding Islam" is the best I have ever read, and reveals the depth of our faith. Yet it is rarely understood or explained in such a way.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Abu Abdallah
17-11-2005, 12:49 AM
Celt Islam,

"acctulay his claim to be a shaykh is false and he has no real idhan [ permission ] to be a teacher of the alawiyyah tariqah , he never actualy met shaykh al alawi [ ra]..."

S.H. Nasr writes in "Schuon and the Islamic tradition" in the journal "Sophia":

"In recent years certain detractors have sought to cast doubt upon Schuon's attachment to the Shadhiliyyah-'Alawiyyah Order and the possibility of Schuon possessing a regular initiatic chain (silsilah) which alone guarantees traditional continuity in Sufism. Let it be said first of all that there is no proof whatsoever that Schuon was not initiated into Sufism by Shaykh al-'Alawi. On the contrary, over the years numerous Algerian and Moroccan fuqara have attested to his having received the initiation in the hands of the great Algerian shaykh. In the 1960's we met a number of members of the Syrian branch of the 'Alawiyyah Order who asked us about how Shaykh 'Isa was faring and told us stories heard by older fuqara about his coming to Mostaghanem in 1932 and having been received into the tariqah by Shaykh al-'Alawi who put him in his first khalwah, or spiritual retreat. Only three years ago in Morocco we again heard similar stories from older Shadhilis who asked about him."


" i grow up with people from tariqah marriyamiyah! and all his mureeds had odd paintings of the blessed virgin[ra] and schuon as there guru, so tell me this !! schuons claim to be in contact with the blessed virgin [as] what about that? and if you dont believe that schuon stated this then your blind and very ignorent of the truth of the false shaykh who calls himself-shaykh isa nurudeen ahmed al baraka [ mr schuon ]."

I have seen the paintings. I think they are quite good. You can order his books on Amazon.com. Painting in Islam is like poetry and music. We don't put paintings in a mosque or play music in a mosque. But painting in general is no more haram than techno-rave or electronic music. Persian minitures are some of the most beautiful pieces of art in the world.

While his initiation came from Shaykh al-'Alawi and Schuon therefore was connection to the barakah of Muhammad (sal), it is not irregular for Sufis to have visions of other prophets who have passed away such as Jesus, Moses, or even the Virgin Mary, peace be upon them. The term Isawi or Musawi is quite common, meaning a Sufi who is guided by Jesus or Moses, peace be upon them. It was written about by Ibn al-'Arabi and others. You mock his connection with the Virgin (as), as if to suggest that it is somehow un-Islamic for a Muslim to be connected to her (as). Indeed, she is the greatest Muslim women ever, and can not be reduced to a Christian. Her presence in the Islamic world is as great as it is in the Christian world, where countless people see her and tell of their encounters.


"and for the record sir religio perennis is a farce and a total deviation of islamic teaching and its sceinces, religio perennis is a final attempt by jesuit type kafirs who want to destroy islam and create a modernist universal religion which mr schuon actualy was doing!!!"

You have to bring force some evidence and quite making empty and false accusations.

"His disgustiing attempts of trying to separate sufism from islam , you only have to look at his site!!and that in its self is corrupt and twisted with psudo-sufiq-yogic-trantik nonsence!! come on !"

There are obviously some people who have interpreted his teachings in this way, as people interpret theachings of Rumi, Ibn al-'Arabi, and others. But the fact is the Schuon practiced the shariah, made the five daily prayers, abstained from alcohol, pork, slander, and falsehood. And he encouraged his disciples to do the same.

Yes he wrote about other religions and participated in interfaith/ecumenical gatherings, but he was rooted in the tradition of Islam and died as a Muslim. He wrote about other religions to show their commonalities on the level of the Truth, not to have them mixed and matched. He believed one should follow only one religion and its laws, and that ultimately we all have One God (Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc.). And the fact that he practiced Islam is a testiment to this.

The writings of Schuon about Ibn 'Arabi relate to Schuon himself:

"Despite his verbal audacity, Ibn 'Arabi did not become a Buddhist, nor did he reject the dogmas and laws of the shariah, and this amounts to saying that he did not depart from orthodoxy, either that of Islam or that of Truth itself."

Peace,
Abu Abdallah

muhammadnur
17-11-2005, 01:01 AM
"In recent years certain detractors have sought to cast doubt upon Schuon's attachment to the Shadhiliyyah-'Alawiyyah Order and the possibility of Schuon possessing a regular initiatic chain (silsilah) which alone guarantees traditional continuity in Sufism. Let it be said first of all that there is no proof whatsoever that Schuon was not initiated into Sufism by Shaykh al-'Alawi. On the contrary, over the years numerous Algerian and Moroccan fuqara have attested to his having received the initiation in the hands of the great Algerian shaykh. In the 1960's we met a number of members of the Syrian branch of the 'Alawiyyah Order who asked us about how Shaykh 'Isa was faring and told us stories heard by older fuqara about his coming to Mostaghanem in 1932 and having been received into the tariqah by Shaykh al-'Alawi who put him in his first khalwah, or spiritual retreat. Only three years ago in Morocco we again heard similar stories from older Shadhilis who asked about him."


The question wasn't about his affiliation but the fact that he claimed to be a shaikh. Being a murid is far from being a shaikh. And I think the point that Celt_Islam made was he didn't have idhn to call himself a shaikh in the path.

Muhammad-Nur

Abu Abdallah
17-11-2005, 01:21 AM
Dear Muhammad Nur,

Assalamu 'Alaykum. That may be your point, but in celtislam's posts he freely mixes fact and fiction, and likes to add his own new pieces of information to the story.

In any case, in "Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century" by M. Lings we read that Shaykh al-'Alawi was not a Shaykh before his Shaykh died. Only after his Shaykh died did his disciples and he have dreams and visions with Sayyidina 'Ali (ra) which confirmed his function as a Shaykh. Such was the case with Schuon and the Virgin (as).

Peace,
Abu Abdallah

muhammadnur
17-11-2005, 02:15 AM
Dear Muhammad Nur,

Assalamu 'Alaykum. That may be your point, but in celtislam's posts he freely mixes fact and fiction, and likes to add his own new pieces of information to the story.

In any case, in "Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century" by M. Lings we read that Shaykh al-'Alawi was not a Shaykh before his Shaykh died. Only after his Shaykh died did his disciples and he have dreams and visions with Sayyidina 'Ali (ra) which confirmed his function as a Shaykh. Such was the case with Schuon and the Virgin (as).

Peace,
Abu Abdallah

As Salaam Alaikum,

That is a mistake in the understanding that may be derived from Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century. Shaikh Alawi was aleady an authorized shaikh before the death of his shaikh. This is actually evidenced on page 59 of the Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century. "...I was freed from the obligation of devoting myself exclusively to the Divine Name, my Master said to me: "Now you must speak and guide men to this path inasmuch as you are now certain where you stand..."
The dreams after Shaikh Buzidi's death were a confirmation of Shaikh Alawi succeeding his shaikh in terms of being khalifah.
Shaikhs aren't made shaikhs by dreams. Shaikhs are made shaikhs by shaikhs.

Muhammad-Nur

Abu Abdallah
18-11-2005, 05:37 AM
Assalamu 'Alaykum Muhammad-Nur,

After re-reading sections of "A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century," it is clear that Shaykh al-'Alawi (ra) was a Shaykh before his Shaykh al-Buzidi(ra) passed away. I apologize if my above statements about this matter caused any confusion. Indeed, I was wrong about this matter. With that said, it seems Shaykh al-Buzidi did not designate a successor to lead the tariqah as a whole before his death:

One pg 63 in Ling's text, we read a quote by Sidi 'Uddah,

"The Shaykh al-Buzidi died without ever having told anyone who was to succeed him. The question had in fact been broached to him by one of his more prominent disciples who thought well of himself and fancied that he was qualified to fulfil in our order the functions of upbringing and remembering; but the Shaykh al-Buzidi answered him as follows:

'I am a man who has been living in a house by permission of the Landlord, and who when he wishes to leave that house gives the keys back to the Landlord. he it is, the Landlord, that sees who best deserves to have the house placed at his disposition; I have no say in the matter...'"

In the case of Schuon (ra), it is said that he was made a muqadim with permission to give bayat and lead the rites before Shaykh al-'Alawi's (ra) passing. If it is irregular to be confirmed in the function of Shaykh after a master's death, or by a Uwaysi encounters with a prophet or saint, we should look at the history of Sufism in this matter to prove that it does in fact happen.

Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba (ra) (1854-1927) was initiated into the Qadiriyyah, Shadhillyah and Tijaniyyah Orders by various shuyukh, and was given permission to found the Muridiyyah Order by the Prophet (sal) himself in a vision. Today he has millions of murids in Senegal, Mauritania, Europe, and America, and other parts of the world.

Shaykh Bawa Muhaiyaddeen (ra) (d. 1986) had no clear attachment to any tariqah, yet claimed to have an imaginal connection with Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (ra), and the Prophet (sal), and initiated people on the spiritual Path, gave them a wird, led them on the Path of purification (tazkiyyah) etc., in Sri Lanka and the United States.

This is the function of Khidr (as), the Mahdi, and several legitimate shuyukh who are given permission (and orders) to lead men on the Path by prophets or awliya who have passed away. Of course not everyone who claims to be to a shaykh is an actual murshid.

But what evidence do you have that Schuon was not given this permission by Heaven? It is fine if you don't agree with his perspective of Islam and Sufism and choose not to associate with his writings or his order. Indeed, various orders exist to accomodate different types of Muslims. But to say that he is not a shaykh, amounts to saying that he lied about his connection with the Virgin and the Prophet, peace be upon them, without any evidence to prove this! I hope you will re-read this paragraph and try to understand my point.

Allah knows what Shaykh al-'Alawi (ra) said to Schuon (ra) about his function before his passing, but the fact that he was given permission to give bayat and lead the rites, and also his initiatic vision of the Virgin (ra), confirms his function in the minds of his disciples. And Allah knows best.

In the latest issue of the journal Sophia Wilson Eliot Poindexter writes, "Schuon and his followers in Lausanne maintained good relations with Shaykh al-'Alawi's successor, Shaykh 'Ada Ben Tounes, and his followers. As Titus Burckhardt wrote of one meetings with Shaykh al-Mahdi Ben Tounes, the son of Shaykh 'Ada Ben Tounes:

'At the last majlis (prayer gathering) Shaykh al-Mahdi asked Shaykh 'Isa to give a mudhakkarah (sermon); but out of modesty, the latter refused. I them proposed to Shaykh al-Mahdi that I read one of Shaykh 'Isa's latest mudhakkarah, and Shaykh 'Isa allowed me to do so. When I had finished, there was at first silence; the Shaykh al-Mahdi rose, took off his burnous and put it on Shaykh 'Isa's shoulders, whereupon he spoke of the companions of the Prophet, of those who lived in his time and those who lived later and concluded that the last of them was Shaykh 'Isa.'"

The author goes onto say, "One could read many things into this encounter. The least it says is that Shaykh al-Mahdi Ben Tounes recognized Frithjof Schuon as a Sufi Shaykh."

Assalamu Alaykum akhi,
Abu Abdallah

Abu Abdallah
18-11-2005, 06:04 AM
Assalamu 'Alaykum Celt Islam,

I would like to apologize for saying the following in an above post, "That may be your point, but in celtislam's posts he freely mixes fact and fiction, and likes to add his own new pieces of information to the story." In my own posts I found it is easy to make a mistake based on ignorance, and not malace. I hope you will forgive this.

With that said, I think it is best to refrain from calling any Muslim a kaffir who says, "La ilaha illa'Llah Muhammadun rasul Allah," (sal) unless he has committed an obvious act of infidelity such as murder. Schuon (ra) always believed in and taught Divine Unity, and that Muhammad (sal) was the last prophet, even if he recognized the truth and beauty in other religions, which like Islam itself, are partial reflections (to greater and lesser degrees) of the Supreme Truth and Beauty.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

muhammadnur
18-11-2005, 01:35 PM
you wrote:
"But what evidence do you have that Schuon was not given this permission by Heaven? It is fine if you don't agree with his perspective of Islam and Sufism and choose not to associate with his writings or his order. Indeed, various orders exist to accomodate different types of Muslims. But to say that he is not a shaykh, amounts to saying that he lied about his connection with the Virgin and the Prophet, peace be upon them, without any evidence to prove this! I hope you will re-read this paragraph and try to understand my point."


This paragraph is my point as to why a shaikh isn't made a shaikh by dream, because its not verifiable. Just like hadith. Some of the shuyukh have met the Prophet (sallahu alaih wa sallam) and asked him whether a hadith is sahih or not. But that verification is for them but its not used as proof by anyone else because dream visions can't change the hukm of a hadith. We have to go by what the living took from the living back to the time of Rasulullah.

Being instructed to start a tariqa or add a wird by Rasulullah (sallahu alaih wa sallam) in a vision is different than being made a shaikh. Every shaikh even if they had such a vision was verified and made a shaikh by a living shaikh.

I don't know anything in truth about Schoun other than he was a murid of Shaikh Alawi who later claimed to be made a shaikh by visions (also in truth I heard his iman was in question because of certain things he's said and did in particular towards the end of his life based on his perennialist views and native american rituals and beliefs). And if that is his only authorization that's not acceptable among the sufis. Iit may be his rank in the spirit world (Allahu Alim) but its not permissible to follow him based on it. Because not all shaikhs have murids. Just like now there's consensus to follow one of the 4 madhahib. Now if a person were to reach the level of mujtahid mutlaq he would have to follow directly the Quran and Sunnah himself but it wouldn't be permissible for others to follow him as a seperate madhab.

Now for other shuyukh who started tariqas based on visions they were already shaikhs before starting their tariqas if not then they're not to be followed. This is what I've been taught and it just makes sense. Because like I said before with out a verifiable link shaikh to shaikh, anyone could stand up and say I had a dream last night and now I'm a shaikh. How would a murid know if its true or not?
Isnad is a protection for all the sciences of our din.

Muhammad-Nur

Abu Abdallah
18-11-2005, 06:10 PM
Assalamu 'Alaykum,

I realize transmission usually happens from a liviing master to his disciple...but what source do you have that proves it must always happen this way? Is this the view in your tariqah? Or do you have a hadith that says as much?

Because the Prophet (sal) was ummi before God and his angel Gabriel. He did not receive his knowledge from any living being. In the same manner, the Prophet's (sal) contemporary Uways al-Qarani (ra) never met him physically, yet was guided by him spiritually. There are numerous men in Islam whose chain go directly to the Prophet (sal).

Now Schuon (ra) possessed a regular connection back to the Prophet (sal), yet it was his Uwaysi connection to the Prophet (sal) and Maryam (as) that made him a Shaykh. If this is not how it is usually done, you are going to have to provide some evidence to prove it can't be done this way.

Certainly the Prophet's encounters with Gabriel were rare, as was Uways' connection with the Prophet (sal), but they happened, and nations and orders were built upon them.

Even if a living Shaykh does make his disciple a Shaykh, I think it is correct to say, Allah makes Shaykhs. For when the companions took bayat with the Prophet, Allah tells us His Hands are over their hands.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Abu Abdallah
18-11-2005, 06:31 PM
Assalamu 'Alaykum Muhammad-Nur,

By the way, how do any of us know if someone's Iman is in question unless they tell us as much. What is Iman? Belief in Allah, His Angels, His Prophets, His Books, the Day of Judgment...

If anything the religio perennis is a confirmation of Iman, because most people in this school of thought believe in One God, One Reality, believe in and know His Books (the Torah, Pslams, Gospel, and Quran, and also other sacred books like the Vedas, the Tao te Ching, etc), His Prophets (the 25 mentioned in Quran, and many others of teh 124,000 not mentioned), and the Day of Judgment..

Why would visiting with Native Americans make one lose one's Iman. We read in Quran, "On the earth there are signs, to all who are endowed with inner certainty, just as [there are] within your own selves…”

Many Native Americans focus on and understand the signs on the earth (Just as many Hindus understand the signs within our selves). Discussing religion with them, or even participating in their ceremonies does not make one lose one's faith. Indeed it might even strengthen one's faith. If you are serious about this point, I think you had better read some of the words of wisdom from various tribal chiefs and elders, and see how close it is to Islam.

I had a Muslim Shaykh from Senegal who took us to interfaith gatherings at Jewish temples. We celebrated sabath with them, and they heard verses from Quran from us. Now does this type of exchange make one lose one's faith? Or are you simply targetting Native American traditions believe you assume they are not monotheistic traditions?

On the other hand, claiming that a good Muslim has lost his faith or is a kaffir, simply because he sees beauty in religions other than his own, is a sign that someone has lost their Iman. Because this type of slander would not be accepted if it were directed at any of the scholars praised on this site. And Allah will not accept it from any of us on the Day of Judgment. And Allah knows best.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

muhammadnur
18-11-2005, 07:09 PM
"Is this the view in your tariqah?"

Yes the tariqa of Shaikh Al-Alawi. He said that the sanad of the tariqa has to be without doubt. So having an authorization from a dream is definitely doubtful to say the least. So according to the criterion of Shaikh Al-Alawi that would not be accepted. I'll post the quote more fully later insha'allah.

Muhammad-Nur

muhammadnur
18-11-2005, 07:20 PM
As Salaam Alaikum,

The issue isn't dialoguing with people. Or interfaith events (though in truth they are problematic) I didn't mention that. But participating in some rituals of other traditions would entail kufr. And saying certain things and holding certain views concerning other traditions could cast doubt on a persons aqidah or be outright kufr. These things are clear from the Sharia.

Muhammad-Nur

Abu Abdallah
18-11-2005, 07:57 PM
Assalamu 'Alaykum,

I think if a Native American passes a peace pipe to a Muslim, the Muslim should smoke it. To not do so would be extremely disrespectful, (unless he has health problems). The same can be said about reading Torah, Psalms, the Gospel, or texts from Eastern religions, not to mention other rituals that don't involve bowing to and praying to idols. While one should practice the rites of Islam on a regular basis, participating in the rites of another religion does not make one a kaffir. This is ridiculous.

You said, 'But participating in some rituals of other traditions would entail kufr.'

What Native American rituals did Schuon (ra) participate that entailed kufr? Please enlighten us? If this is kufr, then put me in this camp as well. For as M. Shabistari (ra) wrote, "Infidelity is ever singing worship of the Real; 'All things praise Him' is proof of this."

As far as statements about the Absolute in other religions, this certainly does not make one a kaffir. Indeed, our faith is not perfected until we accept God, His Angels, His ProphetS, His BookS, and the Day of Judgment. Yet, as I said, our faith does come into question when we make takfir on other Muslims.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Abu Abdallah
18-11-2005, 08:02 PM
"Yes the tariqa of Shaikh Al-Alawi. He said that the sanad of the tariqa has to be without doubt. So having an authorization from a dream is definitely doubtful to say the least. So according to the criterion of Shaikh Al-Alawi that would not be accepted. I'll post the quote more fully later insha'allah."

Even if this is the view in your tariqah, Schuon (ra) had a regular connection in the initiatic chain, was a muqadim while Shaykh Alawi (ra) was alive (with permission to give bayat and lead the rites), was confirmed by some of al-'Alawi's (ra) successors (which is a fact you have not addressed), and had further confirmation through visions.

Allah knows best,
Abu Abdallah

muhammadnur
18-11-2005, 08:04 PM
salaam,

Ibn al-`Arabi has said:

"Beware lest you ever say anything that does not conform to the pure Sacred Law. Know that the highest stage of the perfected ones (rijal) is the Sacred Law of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). And know that the esoteric that contravenes the exoteric is a fraud" (al-Burhani: al-Hall al-sadid, 32).

Muhammad-Nur

Abu Abdallah
19-11-2005, 05:05 AM
Assalamu 'Alaykum,

This is an excellent quote, and somes up my point. There is no Sufism without the shariah, and yet the shariah is an effective way to salvation even if someone is not in a tariqah.

As it pertains to our discussion, you have to prove that participating in interfaith/ecumenical events is against the shariah: interacting with Native Americans and Hindus in Schuon's case. We know that many Muslims have done this is the past for dawa, and if you read Schuon carefully, you will see this is his intention. Show respect for other religions, which then allows one to speak of the beauty of one's own religion. And by God, it works! No one has brought as many people to Islam in the West as have the writings of M. Lings, S.H. Nasr, T. Burkhardt, G. Eaton, W. Chittick, R. Guenon, and the eminent F. Schuon. With a possible exception to Imam Warith Deen Muhammad's work, which brought over a million African American Muslims into Orthodox Sunni Islam.

On the other hand, we know it is against the shariah to call other Muslims kaffir. So then we should seriously ask ourselves, whose "Sufism" is contradicting the shariah. Because we can admit that interacting with people of other religions, and celebrating their traditions is not a clear violation, yet we know that calling a Muslim a kaffir is. The companions did not even call the khajarites kaffir, they called their actions bidah...their is a big difference, and if you understand it, it may save you from making a big mistake.

We know that Muhammad (sal) judged some Jews by the Torah and not the Quran. We also know that he allowed Christians to perform their rites in the mosque of Medina, not to mention his preservation of images of Abraham, Jesus, and the Virgin, peace be upon them, when the idols in the Kabah were destroyed. This doesn't mean he left the fold of Islam, astafghirullah, but was simply respecting the beauty and validity of other religious forms for other nations.

Allah knows best,
Abu Abdallah

muhammadnur
19-11-2005, 10:11 AM
As Salaam Alaikum,

I really don't have much else to say on the subject but this statement, "not to mention his preservation of images of Abraham, Jesus, and the Virgin, peace be upon them, when the idols in the Kabah were destroyed." is not true. The Prophet (sallahu alaihi wa sallam) actually cursed the people who drew Abraham and Ismail's pictures. But other than that.

I never said interacting with people of other faiths was kufr, but depending on the ritual and ceremony participating in it could be, in particular if you hold this practices to be valid.
Like bowing and prostrating to statues and the like. Or calling on and accepting their dieties , etc.
So like you said even if its not kufr it would be bidah. And what shaikh of guidance would lead one to constant bidah.
The point is if a person goes against the normative practices and beliefs of the muslims, consistently then becareful.
and as a finaly point I tried to be careful in all my post to state these things "COULD" be kufr or lead to kufr.

Muhammad-Nur

Abu Abdallah
19-11-2005, 09:19 PM
Assalamu 'Alaykum Muhammad-Nur,

If one has read Persian Sufi literature, or even the poetry and writings of Ibn 'Arabi (ra) in Arabic, one sees that they wrote about the virtues of other religious forms, without leaving the fold of Islam, and the shariah. Yet these writings have caused debate since they were written.

This is exactly how Schuon's (ra) writings should been seen. If you read his "Understanding Islam," "Dimensions of Islam," "Islam and the Perennial Philosophy," and "Sufism: Veil and Quintessence," you will see his firm understanding of Islamic principles. If you talk to people who knew him, you will find out he lived his life as a Muslim, and practiced the shariah, with an emphasis on the essentials of Islam: the shahadah, salat, zakat, sawm, hajj, and especially dhikrullah, and many visits to the Islamic world, sitting with eminent Islamic scholars and shuyukh such as Shaykh Ahmad al-'Alawi (ra).

If his formulations about other religions are rare in the history of Islam, as we have said, other scholars such as Ibn 'Arabi (ra), Rumi (ra), Hafez (ra), Shabistari (ra), etc, have written about them. Yet if we have the oppurtunity to learn about other religions in our global world, it would make sense that various figures will complete the same thesis that the above scholars began.

Finally, if we believe that there is only one religion (Islam), then the various religions are different crystallizations of Islam for different communities. Yet if one hears about the message of the Prophet (sal), if is incumbent upon them to accept the final Prophet (sal). And this is why Schuon (ra), Lings (ra), and others died as Muslims.

Personally I do not think what they did was a bad bidah, but simply explained an implicit thesis in the Quran and Sunnah. In the same manner as Ibn 'Arabi (ra) and others work on wahdat al-wujud. But it is good to hear that we agree that it is an error the label Muslims kafir.

Allah knows best,
Abu Abdallah

Omar HH
19-11-2005, 09:56 PM
Please everyone get away from Perrenialism. Learn your `Aqeedah from those traditional sources (al-Murshid al-Mu`in, al-Fiqh al-Akbar, Belief Chapter of Ihya Uloom id-Din, Jawharat at-Tawhid, `Aqeedah Tahawiyyah) and not from Perrenialists. After you know your `Aqeedah - then you may go and learn what the Perrenialists like Shaykh Abu Bakr Siraj al-Din (Rahimahullah) had to say leaving his doubtful and heterodox opinions and keeping the good. Perrenialist literature is useful but you must leave the evil.

Allah ta`ala says in Surat al-Bayyinah:

[98.1] Those who disbelieved from among the followers of the Book and the polytheists could not have separated (from the faithful) until there had come to them the clear evidence:
[98.2] An apostle from Allah, reciting pure pages,
[98.3] Wherein are all the right ordinances.
[98.4] And those who were given the Book did not become divided except after clear evidence had come to them.
[98.5] And they were not enjoined anything except that they should serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience, upright, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, and that is the right religion.
[98.6] Surely those who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book and the polytheists shall be in the fire of hell, abiding therein; they are the worst of men.
[98.7] (As for) those who believe and do good, surely they are the -best of men.
[98.8] Their reward with their Lord is gardens of perpetuity beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein for ever; Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him; that is for him who fears his Lord.

The only Din with Allah is Din al-Islam. Now other religions may or may not be distroted forms of Din al-Islam. Judaism and Christianity are distrorted forms of Din al-Islam.

Imam Nawawi said "Whoever believes Jews and Christians are not kaffir is a kaffir"

There is so much primary text evidence of the above fact. Now Ashari school of`Aqeedah states that if the non-Muslim is a conceptual monotheist i.e. not an athiest, agnostic, or strict polytheist and has not heard the message of Islam or heard a distorted version - the definition of distroted version being that through rational thinking he comes to the true conclusion without doubt that Islam is impossible to be truth (meaning he had come across with an incorrect message as it is impossible to believe that true Islam is impossible to be the truth rationally with a intelligent mind) then he is not punished until he comes across with the true message of Islam. One is responsible for acting upon what one knows.

There are some lesser-authenticated ahadith which say this person will be tested on the Day of Judgement - being told "enter the fire" which will be cool. If the person does not enter the fire then he will be thrown into the fire for disobeying Allah. But if he entered the fire he would have found it cool.

Ash Hadu an La Illaha Il Allah Ash Hadu Anna Muhammadan Rasul Allah.

Our Prophet :saw: made it clear that anyone who hears of him and dies not belieiving in him will be in the hellfire.

Imam Malik :ra: said "this matter is your Din, so be careful where you take it from" believing in an incorrect `aqeedah is a means for one's actions not to be accepted and for one to enter the hellfire temporarily or even forever depending on the nature of the matter. Therefore be careful whom you take the Din from.

Lings (ra) did die a Muslim insha Allah - go see Shaykh Hamza's article on him in Q-News which included Habib Ali's opinion - that he was Muslim but with heterodoxies in his belief which did not reach the point of Kufr insha Allah.

Ibn `Arabi (rahmatallahi `alayhi) cannot be interpreted by anyone except an expert on Ibn `Arabi (rahimahullah) such as Shaykh `Abdul Rahman al-Shaghouri (Rahmat Allahi ta`ala `Alayhi) or other traditional Muslim scholars. His work has been misinterpreted.

It is just like the fabirications and misinterpretations of Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi (rahmatallahi `alayhi)'s poetry which are either extremely weak in authenticity, fabricated, or misinterpreted to mean that Rumi (rahmatallahi `alayhi) believed in a trancendental religion which was not Islamic, or believed it didn't matter what-so-ever what religion you were.

Allah Yahdeena.

Ameen.

Omar

Abu Abdallah
20-11-2005, 04:09 AM
Assalamu 'Alaykum Omar,

The Quran must be read and interpreted in context. There are many traditional interpretations of Quran, Hadith, and sirah, that contradict what you have written. Not to mention clear verses that leave nothing to the imagination:

"Verily, those who have attained to faith [in the Quran], as well as those who follow the Jewish faith, and the Christians, and the Sabians – all who believe in God and the Last Day and do righteous deeds – shall have their reward with their Sustainer; and no fear need they have, and neither shall they grieve."
(2:62)

"For each We have appointed from you a Law and a Way. Had God willed, He could have made you one community. But that He may try you that which He hath given you. So vie with one another in good works. Unto God ye will all return, and He will inform you of that wherein ye differed." (5:48)

"Unto each community We have given sacred rites which they are to perform; so let them not dispute with thee about this matter, but summon them unto thy Lord." (22:67)

"Thou wilt find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe to be those who say: Verily, we are Christians. This is because there are among them priests and monk, and they are not proud." (5:82)

It is clear from these verses that Allah accepts the pure devotion of people of other faiths who believe in One God. To say that only Muslims are saved, is like saying that God bestowed His Mercy on people who were born Muslim, or by His Grace reverted. Some people have not and will not hear about Islam before their death. This is like a Christian or Jew saying that salvation is only for them. It contradicts Divine Mercy.

"And they say: None entereth paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian. These are their own desires. Say: Bring your proof if ye are truthful. Nay but whosoever submitteth his purpose to God, and his is virtuous, his reward is with his Lord. No fear shall come upon them, neither shall they grieve." (2:111-112)

Aqidah must conform to the Quran, and Allah's Mercy and Justice. It is neither merciful nor just to condemn people because they were born in another religious community. And the above verses proves it is also against the Quran. It is a narrow and selective reading which denies salvation to believers of other faiths.

Yet this perspective does not suggest that once someone has seen the truth of Islam, they should keep to their religion. Indeed, once the truth of Islam has dawned on their heart (by the Grace of Allah), they must accept Islam and the shariah.

The question is this then: Is it better to reproach people of other beliefs and their traditions to attract them to Islam, or is it better to appreciate the relative beauty and truth and other religions, so that they might take Islam seriously?

"And only discourse with the People of the Book in a way that is most excellent, save with those who do wrong. And say: We believe in that which hath been revealed to us AND REVEALED TO YOU. OUR GOD AND YOUR GOD IS ONE, AND UNTO HIM WE SURRENDER." (29:46)

This is the wont of the Rasulullah (sal), the ahl al-bayt (ra), the sahaba (ra), the awliya (ra), as read by traditionalists. If it disagrees with your aqidah, I still call you a brother in Islam, and not a kafir. I wonder why most people on this board are quick to condemn perennialist Muslim beliefs, yet they allow other Muslims to call fellow Muslims kafir? Think about this.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 04:49 AM
Yes `Aqeedah must conform to the Qur'an.

What do our traditional `Ullema have to say in commentary of those verses?

Tafsir ibn Kathir says:

Mentioning the Worse and Best of Creation and Their Recompense


Allah informs of what will happen to the wicked disbelievers among the People of the Scripture and the idolators who oppose the Allah's divinely revealed Books and the Prophets whom He sent. He says that they will be in the fire of Hell on the Day of Judgement and they will abide therein forever. This means that they will remain in it and they will have no way out of it and they will not cease being in it.


[أَوْلَـئِكَ هُمْ شَرُّ الْبَرِيَّةِ]


(They are the worst of creatures.) meaning, they are the worst creation that Allah has fashioned and created.

As for the tafsir of one of the above verses you quoted it also needs context as many have used this to justify their own theories:

The Meaning of Mu'min, or Believer


`Ali bin Abi Talhah narrated from Ibn `Abbas, about,


[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَالَّذِينَ هَادُواْ وَالنَّصَـرَى وَالصَّـبِئِينَ مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ]


(Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day) that Allah revealed the following Ayah afterwards,


[وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلَـمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَـسِرِينَ ]


(And whoever seeks religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers) (3:85).


This statement by Ibn `Abbas indicates that Allah does not accept any deed or work from anyone, unless it conforms to the Law of Muhammad that is, after Allah sent Muhammad . Before that, every person who followed the guidance of his own Prophet was on the correct path, following the correct guidance and was saved.



Why the Jews were called `Yahud


The Jews are the followers of Prophet Musa, who used to refer to the Tawrah for judgment. Yahud is a word that means, `repenting', just as Musa said,


[إِنَّا هُدْنَـآ إِلَيْكَ]

why the christians were called nasara


[مَنْ أَنصَارِى إِلَى اللَّهِ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنْصَارُ اللَّهِ]


("Who will be my helpers in Allah's cause'' Al-Hawariyyun said: "We are the helpers of Allah.'') (61:14)


It was said that they were called `Nasara', because they inhabited a land called An-Nasirah (Nazareth), as Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj and Ibn `Abbas were reported to have said, Allah knows best. Nasara is certainly plural for Nasran.


When Allah sent Muhammad as the Last and Final Prophet and Messenger to all of the Children of Adam, mankind was required to believe in him, obey him and refrain from what he prohibited them; those who do this are true believers. The Ummah of Muhammad was called `Mu'minin' (believers), because of the depth of their faith and certainty, and because they believe in all of the previous Prophets and matters of the Unseen.

The Sabi'un or Sabians


There is a difference of opinion over the identity of the Sabians. Sufyan Ath-Thawri said that Layth bin Abu Sulaym said that Mujahid said that, "The Sabians are between the Majus, the Jews and the Christians. They do not have a specific religion.'' Similar is reported from Ibn Abi Najih. Similar statements were attributed to `Ata' and Sa`id bin Jubayr. They (others) say that the Sabians are a sect among the People of the Book who used to read the Zabur (Psalms), others say that they are a people who worshipped the angels or the stars. It appears that the closest opinion to the truth, and Allah knows best, is Mujahid's statement and those who agree with him like Wahb bin Munabbih, that the Sabians are neither Jews nor Christians nor Majus nor polytheists. Rather, they did not have a specific religion that they followed and enforced, because they remained living according to their Fitrah (instinctual nature). This is why the idolators used to call whoever embraced Islam a `Sabi', meaning, that he abandoned all religions that existed on the earth. Some scholars stated that the Sabians are those who never received a message by any Prophet. And Allah knows best.


[وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَـقَكُمْ وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَكُمُ الطُّورَ خُذُواْ مَآ ءَاتَيْنَـكُم بِقُوَّةٍ وَاذْكُرُواْ مَا فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ - ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذلِكَ فَلَوْلاَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَكُنتُم مِّنَ الْخَـسِرِينَ ]

Now the traditional texts of `Aqeedah are on Ijm`a that the Kaffir will be eternally in hellfire. The Kaffir is he who rejects the message of the Prophet :saw: of his time as being true.

The Prophet :saw: said that the Ummah will never agree upon error.

The traditional texts make it clear.

Maybe you should read Imam Ghazali's book of belief:

http://www.ghazali.org/works/gz-faith.htm

Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi says in al-Qawanin al-Fiqhiyyah:

The eleventh point of belief [concerning the hereafter] is that [people will] enter the Hellfire. Two types of people
will enter the Hellfire: (1) all of the disbelievers. They will be punished with various types of punishments, some
more severely than others; and they will stay there forever.

The Qur'an 64:10:

And those who disbelieve and deny our signs, they are the companions of the Hellfire to abide therein forever.
And what a miserable journey's end.

Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi's definition of disbeliever is that which there is agreement upon and that is:

a) Negating that Allah has Lordship over His creation.
b) Negating that Allah is one in His Entity, attributes, and actions.
c) Worshiping another entity along with Allah (shirk).
d) Changing one's religion to other than Islam after having learned about Islam and understanding it. (Allah has said that
"Whoever seeks other than Islam as a din, it will not be accepted from him").
e) Claiming that Allah can become manifest in His creation (e.g., take the form of a man).
f) Believing in reincarnation.
g) Negating any one of His known attributes (e.g., the 41 attributes mentioned in Song 2 of the Guiding Helper). Included in
this is claiming that the Universe was created by other than Him or that He was born from something else. Included in this
also is claiming that the Universe had no beginning in time.
h) Claiming that one has sat alongside with Allah literally speaking or claiming that one has ascended to visit Him literally
speaking.
i) Claiming that a person after the time of Prophet Muhammad ibn `Abdullah is a real prophet from Allah (and that Prophet
Muhammad is not the last prophet). Included in this is claiming that one has received revelation from Allah (like a prophet)
k) Stating that it is possible that the prophets lied to us (or did not have the other qualities mentioned in Song 2 of the Guiding
Helper).
l) Claiming that the message of Islam is only for Arabs (or only for another select group).
m) Claiming that one will enter Paradise (literally) while still in this world.
n) Claiming that the punishment and reward in the next life is *only* confined to being metaphorical.
o) Calling all of the Companions of the Prophet (all together) disbelievers.
p) Denying any of the necessarily known and obvious parts of the din (e.g., that formal prayer, fasting in Ramadan, Zakat, and
Hajj is obligatory.)
q) Claiming that there is no need to worship Allah externally any more after becoming spiritually advanced. For example,
claiming that the formal prayer is no longer wajib after one has reached some high spiritual station with Allah.
r) Denying any part of the Qur'an left by the Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace).
s) Intentionally adding to (inserting one's own words into) or changing any part of the Qur'an left by the Prophet (May Allah
bless him and give him peace).
t) Claiming that others besides Allah could produce the Qur'an.
u) Claiming that the later scholars (e.g., Imam Malik, Imam al-Shafi`i) were better than the prophets.
Reference: [QF: page 323: line(s) 7-18: {book 17, chapter 10: clarification}]

Imam Nawawi who is the cheif pillar of the Shafi`i school said it best:

He who believes the Jews and Christians are not Kaffirs is a Kaffir.

The Tafsir of the Aya: "And indeed the only religion accepted with Allah is al-Islam" is:




(Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam.) Allah states that there is no religion accepted with Him from any person, except Islam. Islam includes obeying all of the Messengers until Muhammad who finalized their commission, thus closing all paths to Allah except through Muhammad . Therefore, after Allah sent Muhammad , whoever meets Allah following a path other than Muhammad's, it will not be accepted of him. In another Ayah, Allah said,


[وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلَـمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ]


(And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him) [3:85].


In this Ayah [3:19], Allah said, asserting that the only religion accepted with Him is Islam,


[إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الإِسْلَـمُ]


(Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam.)


Allah then states that those who were given the Scripture beforehand divided in the religion after Allah sent the Messengers and revealed the Books to them providing them the necessary proofs to not do so. Allah said,


[وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ إِلاَّ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ]


(Those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) did not differ except out of rivalry, after knowledge had come to them.) meaning, some of them wronged others. Therefore, they differed over the truth, out of envy, hatred and enmity for each other. This hatred made some of them defy those whom they hated even if they were correct. Allah then said,


[وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِآيَـتِ اللَّهِ]


(And whoever disbelieves in the Ayat of Allah) meaning, whoever rejects what Allah sent down in His Book,


[فَإِنَّ اللَّهِ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ]


(then surely, Allah is Swift in reckoning.) Allah will punish him for his rejection, reckon him for his denial, and torment him for defying His Book. Thereafter, Allah said.


[فَإنْ حَآجُّوكَ]


(So if they dispute with you (Muhammad )) so if they argue with you about Tawhid,


[فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِىَ للَّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ]


(Say: "I have submitted myself to Allah (in Islam), and (so have) those who follow me'') meaning, Say, `I have made my worship sincere for Allah Alone without partners, rivals, offspring or companion,


[وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ]


(and those who follow me) who followed my religion and embraced my creed.' In another Ayah, Allah said,


[قُلْ هَـذِهِ سَبِيلِى أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَاْ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِى]


(Say (O Muhammad ): "This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me...'') [12:108].

This is the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir.

The Qur'an also uses the verb "kafar" or "rejected faith" when describing the Jews and Christians:

Wa laqad kaffaru al-ladhi qalu in Allah Huwal Masihu ibnu Mariam

And indeed kaffaru the ones who have said that Allah he is the Messiah son of Mary. (Surat al-Madi`ah 5:17)

It also says in the Qur'an al-Kareem:

“Anyone who denies Allah, His angels, His books, His Apostles, and the Day of judgment has gone far, far astray.” (An-Nisaa’: 136)

If you say that Islam is not the only way to enter Paradise - then what is your interpretation of the above verse that the only Din with Allah ta`ala is al-Islam. Also who is going to hellfire then? What is your definition of Kaffir?

How the Jews are Kuffar:

Through denying the Prophet `Isa (`Alayhis Salam) and the Injeel as well as denying the Prophet Muhammad :saw: and the Qur'an. Therefore the Books and Messengers of Allah ta`ala are not fully believed in.

How the Christians are Kuffar:

Through the unforgivable sin of shirk by associating partners with God by believing either Sayyidina `Isa (`Alayhis Salam) is Allah (which has been declared Kufr in the Qur'an) or by believing that Allah one of three in a trinity (which has been declared Kufr by the Qur'an). Also through denying the message of Sayyidina Muhammad :saw: the Qur'an and by denying him as a Prophet :saw:.

Now the question arises when is someone morally responsible and the answer is that every person (Muslim or Kaffir) is morally responsible for his actions when he fufills 3 conditions:

1) Is sane and not mentally retarded.
2) Has come of age to puberty.
3) Has encountered the authentic message of our Din.

Therefore someone who fufills (1), and (2) but not (3) is not responsible and therefore is not responsible until he fufills (3). When (3) is fufilled he is responsible.

If he dies and (3) is not fufilled then if:

a) He believes in Allah and is conceptually monotheistic (as through rational thinking one can believe in Allah and his oneness)
b) He is not an athiest, agnostic, or pure polytheist.

Then and only then does the school of Imam Abul Hasan al-Ash`ari and Imam al-Ghazali:

I have heard three possibilities for these people wa Allahu `Alam:

1) Allah may enter them into Paradise.

or,

2) They will be tested on the Day of Judgement by Allah ta`ala and those who pass the test will enter Paradise.

or,

3) They will be in a place called al-`Araf forever.

And this is how

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 05:07 AM
Unfortunately many people seem to misinterpret a point of Islamic `Aqeedah into the belief that all religions are valid. This is not the case - most definetly not. Islamic `Aqeedah is very very clear on the issue. Let me summarize the entire thing one more time so that you understand the Islamic `Aqeedah as interpreted by traditional sources:

1) Islam is the only valid religion. Before the coming of the Prophet :saw: Allah accepted that each nation followed it's Prophets. Prophet :saw: was sent to all mankind and therefore sealed all other ways except through following Ash Hadu an La Illaha Il Allah wa Ash Hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul Allah.

2) Jews, Christians, Polytheists, etc. are all Kuffar or disbelievers.

3) Those Jews, Chrisitans, and conceptual Monotheists who have not encountered the authentic message of our Din are not morally responsible for their actions until they encounter the authentic message of our din.

4) Those agnostics, atheists, and strict polytheists who do not encounter the authentic message of our Din but still die upon this belief are morally responsible for their associating partners with Allah (shirk). This is because it is rationally impossible to believe in shirk with a sound mind. Anyone with a rational mind is obliged to believe in "La Illaha Il Allah."

5) Those who are mentally retarded or insane; and those who are pre-pubescent are not morally responsible for their actions in our Din.

This does not mean that Non-Islamic religions are currently valid.

This means that certain members of Non-Islamic religions may not be punished under certain conditions.

Abu Abdallah
20-11-2005, 05:22 AM
Assalamu Alaykum,
I have a question:

Does a Muslim have to accept the aqidah of al-'Ashari to be a Muslim? We obviously reject Mutazilite kalam, if it can be called that, but can a Sunni follow one of the four schools, and reject aspects of 'Asharite theology, according to your interpretation? There is also Shi'ite kalam based on Tusi's thought based on the Quran, Hadith of the Prophet (sal), ahl al-bayt (ra), not to mention many Sunni Sufis who have questioned aspects of Asharite theology.

In addition to this, while I accept Shafii jurisprudence for other Muslims, Imam Nawawi's words are not the Quran, Sunnah, and necessarily in accord with other schools, and are therefore not binding on all Muslims. (ie. "He who believes the Jews and Christians are not Kaffirs is a Kaffir.")

What is binding is the hadith of the Prophet (sal) narrated by Abu Hurayra (ra), "When a man calls his fellow Muslim an infidel one of them certainly deserves that title!"

It is tribal Islam, to think that all Muslims must share the same aqidah. Yes we all must believe in Allah, His Angels, His Prophets, His Books, and the Day of Judgment...but different schools of law in Islam, schools of theology in Iman, and school of tasawuf in Ihsan, exist to accomodate different types of Muslims. It is not Islam to promote one interpretation to the exclusion of all others. Yet it is fine to base you own Din on whatever schools you follow.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Abu Abdallah
20-11-2005, 05:30 AM
Assalamu 'Alaykum,

Look carefully at point three:

3) Those Jews, Chrisitans, [Sabians] and conceptual Monotheists who have not encountered the authentic message of our Din are not morally responsible for their actions until they encounter the authentic message of our din.

Besides the fact that all people will be responsible for their faith and actions before Allah on the Day of Judgment, there are so many Jews, Christians, Sabians, and conceptual monotheists of other nations who never heard about Islam before they died.

So while I accept that if someone hears about the truth of Islam, they should accept Islam, so many people never will, and so many people never did before they died. Not to mention the fact the the Prophet (sal) judged some Jews by the Torah, and allowed Christians to perform their rites in the mosque of Medina, while questioning their theology. It was not black and white. He showed respect for them when calling them to pure Islam. This is the Sunnah.

As far as dawa in concerned, it is better to approach people with beauty and excellence as opposed to hostility vis-a-vis their religion. This is why the perennialists look at the relative beauty and excellence of another's religion when presenting the final Revelation of Islam.

I hope this makes sense.

Abu Abdallah

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 05:30 AM
A Muslim does not have to believe in the `Aqeedah of al-Ash`ari.

A Sunni does have to believe in the `Aqeedah of al-Ash`ari, al-Maturidi, or the Atharis to be a Sunni. All other Muslim systems of `Aqeedah (other than the pre-Kalam Sunni `Aqeedah of course) are Ahlul Bid`ah or the `Aqeedah of Reprehensible Innovation. They are still Muslim but can be punished in the hellfire for a temporary period for their incorrect `Aqeedah.

The Muslims are clear on this. Traditional Sunni `Aqeedah is of the Asharis, the Maturidis, and the Atharis. If you are forming a new school of `Aqeedah then you are not following traditional Islamic Sunni `Aqeedah so do not claim as such.

Not all errors in `Aqeedah take one out of the fold of Islam. The errors of the Mutazila for example have been said by some scholars to be still in the fold of Islam albeit Ahlul Bid`ah. The errors of the certain sects such as those extremist radical Shi`a who believe that Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq is better than Sayyidina `Isa, and Sayyidina Musa (`Alayhim as-Salam) are out of the fold of Islam by Ijm`a.

Be careful from where you take your Din from. An error in `Aqeedah can be very fatal. It is best to believe what the traditional Muslims believed as codified by Imam Abul Hasan al-`Ashari, Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi, and the Athari school as this is Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah.

Do not believe what your desires want my friend but beleive what others believed.

Jazakallahu Khayrun

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 05:35 AM
Besides the fact that all people will be responsible for their faith and actions before Allah on the Day of Judgment, there are so many Jews, Christians, Sabians, and conceptual monotheists of other nations who will never hear about Islam before they died.

And therefore the 3 possibilities above apply to them. This does not mean that their religions are valid now.


Also the point that non-Islamic religions are valid is not something which is disputed amongst the schools of `Aqeedah:

All Muslim schools of Islamic `Aqeedah (the Ash`aris, the Maturidis, the Atharis, the Zaydis, the Bohra, the Mutazila, the Salafis) are in agreement with the Qur'an and Sunnah that non-Islamic religions are not valid and that the Jews, Christians, and Mushrikeen are Kuffar.

Find me one Muslim school of `Aqeedah which says to the contrary.

Thank you,

Omar.

Abu Abdallah
20-11-2005, 05:42 AM
"The errors of the certain sects such as those extremist radical Shi`a who believe that Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq is better than Sayyidina `Isa, and Sayyidina Musa (`Alayhim as-Salam) are out of the fold of Islam by Ijm`a."

You misrepresent Shi'ism as much as you misrepresent perennialism. The Shaykh al-Azhar wrote in the 1950's that a Sunni can take rulings from any of the five schools, including Jafari.

And more importantly, Shi'ites do not believe that the Imams are greater than the prophets, peace be upon them. They understand clearly that the prophetic function ended with Muhammad (sal), yet believe in walayat, that the light of the Prophet (sal) was passed to 'Ali (ra), and the Imams (ra). This is a basic belief in Sufism as well, as it exists in the Sunni world among the awliya. I have never heard a Shi'ite say the Imams are greater than the prophets. You are misrepresenting and misunderstanding Shi'ism and perennialism to make these schools seem extreme.

A common belief among many scholars is that ijma only exists if we take what both Orthodox Sunni scholars and Orthodox Shi'ite scholars agree upon, which is basically the Quran, Sunnah, islam, iman, and ihsan.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Abu Abdallah
20-11-2005, 05:46 AM
So even though I accept and practice the five pillars, pray according to the Maliki school, believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Prophets, the Day of Judgement, and am initiated into two Sunni turuq, I am not a Sunni?

You can't be serious.

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 05:55 AM
So even though I accept and practice the five pillars, pray according to the Maliki school, believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Prophets, the Day of Judgement, and am initiated into two Sunni turuq, I am not a Sunni?

You can't be serious.

I never said that.

I said to be a Sunni your `Aqeedah must conform to the `Aqeedah schools of Abul Hasan al-Ash`ari, Abu Mansur al-Maturidi, or the Athari school. Go look up what al-Azhar's dictionary says the definition of the word Sunni is.

Shaykh Nuh Keller mentioned this in his talks on Masud.Co.Uk

The differing of the Sunni schools of `Aqeedah are only on 6 minor issues and not on a major issue like this (whether a Jew or Christian is a Kaffir). There is so much primary text evidence for this opinion and all Muslim schools (Sunni and non-Sunni) agree upon this. You cannot interpret the Qur'an by your own opinion.

The opinions of the above verses are not only the opinions of Imam Nawawi (Rahmatallahi ta`ala `Alayhi) and Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi (Rahmatallahi ta`ala `alayhi) but the earliest Mufassirs such as Ibn `Abbas. Even the deviated (bid`i) sects did not say that the Jews and Christians were not kuffar.

It is clear they are kuffar from Surat al-Bayyinah, and many other Ayat (i.e. "And they have disbelieved those who say that God is Christ son of Mary"; "And they have disbelieved those who say that God is one of three:; "And those who have disbelieved from Ahlul Kitab and the Mushrikeen") etc. etc.

If you want to know precisely what is differed upon in the Sunni schools of Islamic `Aqeedah I can gladly list them.

Jazakallahu ta`ala Khayrun

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 05:57 AM
About Shi`a I said THOSE EXTREMIST Shi`a - not all Shi`a. There are many Shi`a who do not believe the above. Some extremist Shi`a believe that the Imams are better than the Prophets. Go read some modern Shi`a `Ullema and what they say if you are not convinced.

Thank you very much,

Omar.

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 06:04 AM
The points of disagreement between the `Ashari and Maturidi schools of Sunni Islam:

(1) - Ash`aris believe that if god willed He could in principle punish the obedient and reward the sidobedient, since He is free to do anything, however he has promised through revelation to reward the obedient and punish the disobedient. Maturidis believe that He must in principle reward the obedient and punish the disobedient and that His doing the opposite is absurd.

(2) Ash`aris believe taht man is responsible to believe in God because of revelation, not merely because he is endowed with human reason, and that he has no responsiblity prior to revelation, while Maturidis believe that man is responsible to believe in God even before revelation by the mere fact of having reason.

(Omar's footnote: This is according to one opinion in the `Ashari school. The opinion that I follow in the `Ashari school is that man is responsible to believe in God even before revelation)

(3) Ash`aris believe that divine attributes of agency such as creation, giving life, giving death, ressurecting the dead, and so forth are temporal; while Maturidis believe they all are manifestations of a single begininglessly eternal attribute termed "existentation" (takwin).

(4) Ash`aris believe that God's own beginiglessly eternal speech may be heard, while the Maturidis believe it may not.

(5) Most Ash`aris believe that in principle God may impose moral obligations that man cannot endure while Maturidis believe this impossible, though both agree that in practice He never does.

(6) Ash`aris hold two views about the possibility of prophets commiting lesser sins that are not sordid, the frist being that they are possible for them to absentmindedly commit while the second is that they are not. The Maturidis say this is impossible and that they are divenly protected from both enormities and lesser sins and this is a position that Taj al-Subki concurs with (3.386-388).

(From Islamica Magazine pg. 16 "The Ash`ari and Maturidi Schools" Issue 13).

Jazakallahu Khayrun

Abu Abdallah
20-11-2005, 06:10 AM
"About Shi`a I said THOSE EXTREMIST Shi`a - not all Shi`a. There are many Shi`a who do not believe the above. Some extremist Shi`a believe that the Imams are better than the Prophets. Go read some modern Shi`a `Ullema and what they say if you are not convinced."

Well alright, those extremist radical Sunni blow up women and children in Iraq, the United States, and elsewhere. Those extremist Sunni kill other Muslims in Iraq. Those extremist Sunni persecute Sufis in Saudi. Those extremist Sunni kill women who have been raped in Pakistan. Those extremist Sunni believe that anyone who doesn't believe what they do are going to hell.

Do you see how these are generalizations? And if you present them as you are introducing a particular group it can be misleading? You are taking the most extreme example of Shi'ism to cast a shadow over the entire community. And we all deserve from other groups of humanity what we give to them in the way of presentation of their doctrines, tolerance, etc.

Abu Abdallah

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 06:10 AM
If you are interested in Sunni belief then I give you the following manuals of belief. If you fully believe in any one of them you are a Sunni, I never said you were not Sunni:

http://www.ghazali.org/works/gz-faith.htm <-- Imam Ghazali's Book of Belief
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/introduction/alaqidah.html <-- The Tahawi Creed

Which says under it,

There is only one religion of Allah in the heavens and the earth and that is the religion of Islam. Allah says:

'Surely religion in the sight of Allah is Islam'. (Al 'Imran 3: 19)
And He also says:
'I am pleased with Islam as a religion for you'. (Al-Maeda 5: 3)

As well as al-Murshid al-Mu`in:

http://guidinghelper.com/pdf/Murshid_Translation.pdf (Chapters 1-3)

Al-Fiqh al-Akbar of Imam Abu Hanifa:

http://muslim-canada.org/fiqh.htm

These texts are all representative of the Sunni belief.

Jazakallahu ta`ala Khayrun.

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 06:15 AM
"About Shi`a I said THOSE EXTREMIST Shi`a - not all Shi`a. There are many Shi`a who do not believe the above. Some extremist Shi`a believe that the Imams are better than the Prophets. Go read some modern Shi`a `Ullema and what they say if you are not convinced."

Well alright, those extremist radical Sunni blow up women and children in Iraq, the United States, and elsewhere. Those extremist Sunni kill other Muslims in Iraq. Those extremist Sunni persecute Sufis in Saudi. Those extremist Sunni kill women who have been raped in Pakistan. Those extremist Sunni believe that anyone who doesn't believe what they do are going to hell.

Do you see how these are generalizations? And if you present them as you are introducing a particular group it can be misleading? You are taking the most extreme example of Shi'ism to cast a shadow over the entire community. And we all deserve from other groups of humanity what we give to them in the way of presentation of their doctrines, tolerance, etc.

Abu Abdallah

I was only making an example of the difference of an error which takes you out of the fold of Islam and an error which takes one into the fold of Ahlul Bid`ah and out of the fold of Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah:

Believing the Imams are better than the Prophets <-- Kufr
Beleiving the Universe existed without begining <-- Kufr
Beleiving that the Imams of Ahlul Bayt are infallible <-- Bid`ah (there is disagreement but this is Imam al-Ghazali's position)
Beleiving that Abu Bakr as-Sidiq was not a Sahaba <-- Kufr (rejecting a verse of the Qur'an)
Beleiving that Ali was the first Khalifa instead of Abu Bakr <--- Bid`ah (according to the Imams of `Aqeedah)
Beleiving the Mutazilite creed <--- Bid`ah (according to some `Ullema)
Belieivng in a Prophet after the Prophet :saw: <--- Kufr

Therefore you cannot classify all beliefs as the same. The Imams of `Aqeedah are the specialists in this field and it is best to ask them what is bid`ah, what is kufr, and what is the correct belief.

Abu Abdallah
20-11-2005, 06:52 AM
How about believing the 4 Imams of the Sunnis schools of law are infallible, or that the scholars of kalam in Sunni Islam such as al-'Ashari (ra) were infallible, is that bidah or kufr?

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 07:08 AM
How about believing the 4 Imams of the Sunnis schools of law are infallible, or that the scholars of kalam in Sunni Islam such as al-'Ashari (ra) were infallible, is that bidah or kufr?

Believing that any humans are infallible other than the Prophet :saw: and Messengers :saw: is bid`ah. This is including the Sahabaha, Ahlul Bayt, or the scholars of the Ummah. This is a bid`ah belief according to Imam al-Ghazali in his Refutaiton of Batini Ismaili Shi`a.

The infallibility is of the agreement of the Ummah (as this Ummah will never agree upon error so it is necessary to believe anything that is ijm`a upon or agreed upon) not of the specific Imams or human beings.

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 07:12 AM
If you don't want to follow the Imams of Sunni `Aqeedah that is up to you in the end - but that does not change the fact that a Sunni is one who follows Sunni `Aqeedah.

There are much more proofs to this if you are doubtful.

Sunnipath.com:

Does one have to be Ashari or Maturidi?

Answered by Sidi Faraz Rabbani

A.

Assalamu alaikum,

It is obligatory for every morally responsible person to believe that which is correct. The correct Sunni belief is that which these two great schools are on. Beliefs that contradict that which these two schools hold are unacceptable. Following one of these two schools is a means towards correct belief. So, whoever has a correct belief, is on guidance, even if they don't say or know that they are Ashari or Maturidi. And whoever says they are Ashari or Maturidi but have beliefs that do not correspond to the guidance of these schools is, to the extent of their deviation from their guidance, astray from the truth.

Historically, we find many Hanbalis who were not Ashari or Maturidi, but whose beliefs were simple yet sound, and did not fall into anthropomorphism.

Where does the Aqidah Tahawiyya fall in?

The Tahawiyya itself is a simple statement of Sunni belief. It is so simple that it is consistent with both Maturidi and Ashari aqida. Imam Subki mentioned that it differs with the Ashari school only on three very minor, subtle points. It is closer yet to the Maturidi school, for it is very much a Hanafi-influenced theological school, and Imam Tahawi was transmitting the Sunni beliefs of Abu Hanifa and his companions (Allah be well pleased with them), as he mentions in his introduction.

Because of its simplicity, every school interprets the Tahawiyya according to its understanding. That is why we have Sunni commentaries, and literalist "Salafi" commentaries, in both recent times and old.

But this is also a valid path, especially for the common man: to hold fast to the basic beliefs of Sunni aqida, as represented by a reliable outline (such as the Tahawiyya, or Imam Ghazali's text that is in the Reliance), without delving into the details of the science of aqida. But, at the end of the day, "Are those who know like those who do not?" In times when there are all sorts of attacks on the bases of our belief, and on faith in general, it helps to understand the principles and bases of our belief, so that we have a solid foundation for our iman. This is not sufficient, however, for it is only like good soil. Unless there are good seeds (following the Sacred Law) and nourishment (righteous deeds, especially the worship and remembrance of Allah), then one's iman will remain weak and susceptible to dangers.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,
Faraz.

Also read this VERY IMPORTANT article by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller:

http://www.abc.se/~m9783/k/ki_e.html

Jazakallahu Khayrun

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 07:35 AM
For over a thousand years Ash'ari-Maturidi theology has defined Sunni orthodoxy. When I visited al-Azhar in Cairo in 1990 and requested for my library the entire syllabus of religious textbooks taught by Azhar High Schools in Egypt, one of the books I was given was a manual on Islamic sects, whose final section defined Ahl al-Sunna as "the Ash'aris, followers of Abul Hasan al-Ash'ari, and the Maturidis, followers of Abu Mansur al-Maturidi" (Mudhakkara al-firaq, 14).

This is not an isolated assessment. When the Imam of the late Shafi'i school Ibn Hajr al-Haytami was asked for a fatwa identifying ashab al-bida' or heretics, he answered that they were "those who contravene Muslim orthodoxy and consensus (Ahl al-Sunna wa al- Jama'a): the followers of Sheikh Abul Hasan al-Ash'ari and Abu Mansur al-Maturidi, the two Imams of Ahl al-Sunna" (al-Fatawa al-hadithiyya, 280). <-- Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller:

http://www.abc.se/~m9783/k/ki_e.html

Kareem
20-11-2005, 07:38 AM
I have never heard a Shi'ite say the Imams are greater than the prophets.
i have

well didnt hear, someone said it on a forum

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 07:48 AM
i have

well didnt hear, someone said it on a forum

Thats a different subject for a different time.

Kareem
20-11-2005, 09:09 AM
my bad, it just struck me as if he was saying no shia believes that. thats why i posted

celt islam
20-11-2005, 12:30 PM
[QUOTE=Omar HH]I never said that.

I said to be a Sunni your `Aqeedah must conform to the `Aqeedah schools of Abul Hasan al-Ash`ari, Abu Mansur al-Maturidi, or the Athari school. Go look up what al-Azhar's dictionary says the definition of the word Sunni is.

asalaamualaykum, mashallah , well just to be a liitle alternative minded hehe, so where in the quraan and sunnah does it say that one must follow any particular school?

celt islam
20-11-2005, 02:09 PM
asalaamualaykum, As this topic was intended for the disscussion of the science of tasswuf [ sufism ] i thought it beter to get back to the subject , here is a wonderfull read inshallah enjoy wa salaam.

The Phrase - Everything Perishes Except the Face of Allah

by Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi

Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim

We have looked at the letter and we have looked at the word, now we will look at a phrase. This phrase is a Qur'anic phrase about which Ibn aI-'Arabi has written much. Everything he says is a confirmation, explanation and commentary on what is in the Qur'an al-Karim. The ayat of Qur'an is: "Everything is perishing except the face of Allah."

There are different degrees of knowledge. There is the knowledge of the simple people, there is the knowledge of the chosen people and there is the knowledge of the elite of the chosen people. The highest knowledge confirms the lowest knowledge. This statement, "Everything perishes except the face of Allah" "continues: "And He is the Going On, oh Lord of Majesty and generous gifts." All this spiritual knowledge of which we are about to speak should not, correctly, be examined at this stage. This is a medicine for you to give you the desire to arrive at the stage where you can use this knowledge and live in it. Modem man is so cut off from this knowledge - the materialists' view of life does not supply intellectual answers and is in itself unscientific. It is against the evidence of experience.

Then modem man says, "I want spiritual knowledge." In other words, 'I am not interested in this outwardness, I want inward knowledge but I am not interested in all of these religions. These are all forms, and I want the essence. I want Allah and I will dispense with the Prophet, with Jesus, Buddha, this one and that one', and because they have not got a path of teaching, these people end up in terrible disaster. Modem man is in the marshes! What a mess! If he goes to know spiritual knowledges without a guide he has to base it on himself, yet the only path since the beginning has been the dismantling of the self, the taking to pieces of the experiencing locus. You are the locus of these darknesses and turbulence, and what is desired is to dispel these clouds in order that the sun should shine.

These people do not arrive at a spiritual condition, they arrive at a kind of very high sickness like a fever because they have mistaken fine feelings and fine sensory sensations for the meanings. They never leave the realm of the sensory and so they do not enter the realm of the meanings. In America very often people would say to me, "I know what you are talking about. I am a mountain climber and I climb up the-great mountains in the Rockies and I look at the horizon and I am annihilated. I feel that I am nothing before this greatness of the Divine." What he is saying however is that he has identified himself with the horizon, he has expanded his personality until he is a complete issue of The National Geographic! People say, "Ah, when I listen to Mozart", and some very exalted people say that when they listen to Bach, "I feel this oneness that the mystics talk about", but if you experience anything then there are two, so where then is unity? Where is the oneness of Allah?

From the beginning man has spoken about this difficult matter in terms of being blown out like a flame, being pulverised like a mountain, or being blown away like a cloud, and all have agreed that this recognition is based on your non-existence. Now we really begin because I have now connected what we were saying to what we started with. People want to take this knowledge and in taking it they have invented something and based their spiritual knowledge on their presence and not the presence of Allah.

We have taken this phrase, "Everything perishes except the face of Allah." Everything perishes, everything is in annihilation - fana, except the face of Allah. It continues, "The Lord who is Dhul-jalali wal-ikram." So to understand this deeply I have said that you must have a certain experience and that modem man wants to get somewhere without taking the journey. However, because he is trapped in materialism, if you told him to take the path of the great men of knowledge of the past, because they are rebels they would refuse, you have to show them something at the end, you just talk to them about the goal. They do not understand it but it is exciting, ravishing and intoxicating and so people say, "Yes, this is what I want." If they are sincere, they set out on the path and as they go on the path they realise that they do not have this doctrine as experience so they have to go back to the beginning of the matter. What were the beginnings of the matter? They are what is visible with the outer eye: prayer, fasting, Zakat and the Hajj.

What they dismissed before as religion in the way of divine knowledge they realise is the vehicle to take them to discovery. We will very breath that is in you, this spirit that knows itself. Ibn al-' Arabi calls this the mirror. You are the mirror and you are facing the world. While the world is facing you it is a mirror and it puts to you what is in front of you. What is before you is inside you without contradiction and without struggle for every moment of your existence. Your reality is before you. There are not two worlds, there is one world and that world is visible and invisible and light. What is before you in the visible world comes from the yearning of the living heart so nobody must be surprised at anything in the destiny since the pen, properly speaking, is in their own hands.

Man is creation. Moulay aI-'Arabi ad-Darqawi, the shaykh of our shuyukh, says, "If the cosmos was to disappear, do you think it is possible that you would not disappear also? When you disappear, does not the whole world disappear with you?" When you die it all goes with you. Your world is gone, and a world with you in it has gone. There is no longer a you/world - that dual vitality has disappeared. Let us look for a minute at this cosmos, still imagining for a moment that it is the thing we stand on, that we are like moon colonisers and have landed on this alien planet. Let us pretend that it is all outside us before we confront this difficult fact that we are just a tuft of the carpet that has been pulled out from the great design of the carpet.

We look up and we see the stars streaming through the sky and they are like a cosmic dust, and we look down and we see the dust of the atoms. What is above us and what is below us is basically the same. We do not know anything at this stage unless there is unveiling, but the opposites are such that if you go from the one thing to its opposite you will at the extreme of that opposite arrive back to what you left. Thus the materialists in their relentless search to prove the solidity of the stones beneath their feet have come back and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we are very sorry. I am afraid it is nothing but space." Nothing but space - the materialists have even said it! Properly speaking, the materialists are nearer to tawhid than the muslim 'ulama. What the scientists have discovered with their instruments which cost a fortune and have left them stupid before their knowledge, was already known by Ibn aI-'Arabi and the Andalucian sufis without having spent a penny. They had better television because they could see in it whatever they required, and written in the great book of Ibn aI-'Arabi is everything that you find in high energy physics, atomic physics.

As you already know from school, if you go into a square inch of your flesh you will find a living population the size of the city of Madras. When you go in deeper that city begins to open out and as you go in further it expands out even more until you enter the sub-atomic world where you are basically an empty space. When you go into you there is nothing there, but I do not want to frighten you so we will forget about you - let us look at the stones. The principle is of binding: there is active energy around a nucleus so there is a kind of basic dust which by its polar energy holds itself together so that around that the protons and the neutrons can revolve. What you have is an agitation in a kind of ball. If that is looked into it all begins to disappear in more subtle forms. According to the structure of these atoms, this binding becomes closer and more powerful and more solid until this agitating mass takes on the character, when stood back from, of solidity.

Thus the stones under your feet seem solid but then planet has a structure, like that obnoxious story of the Little Prince standing on the planet. In fact you are standing on this thing and it also is bound by a series of inner energy processes, all of which are movement, all of which are whirling and involve tremendous speed. This tremendous speed becomes the stillness of the stone of the rock before you. Equally the planet, made up of all these, becomes like a great stone when in fact, when stood back from as you would look at a planet in the sky, it is spinning and is in an orbit and that orbit in turn is galactically whirling in an enormous motion. The speed is what solidifies in our experience but not, I am prepared to say, in reality. Something that seems to be there in place is not in place in any way that you can say that place exists, so cosmically we are in a very unusual situation.

Now we look at the creature on the rock. What is happening beneath his feet is happening in his own body. There is not only the streaming energy of the electrical currents of his body, which if interrupted he will become ill and which if cut off he will die, not only are there rivers running through his body, not only is there a whole inner geography in motion, not only is his body a processing system taking in energy and putting out energy, putting out waste and taking in raw energy but that we are powered by oxygen. If you look with your eyes at the air you see space, but remember that the oxygen on which you depend is itself a solidity, it is a gas. Nothing is what it seems to be!

Now we are going to take a step. Everything so far is basically your school education about physics and cosmology. Look at the strange reality we find ourselves in which is that you are in this cosmic sea! It is streaming; you are streaming, and you perceive that it is below you and that you are on it. This basic myth is the foundation of history, events, suffering and ignorance. The reality is not like this but how it is, is very strange. All of existence is here and at the same instant it is not here. It is not that everything is going in and out like a light blinking - if you blink a light very fast there is a point where it seems constant and the point at which it becomes constant is the point when it is changing at the speed of light. When you look at the star it seems to be there because its light is happening so quickly that you are getting a picture of a constant zone. Others with a different signal seem to be blinking, twinkling.

The truth of the matter is that the things that are here, are not here. They are not here, and then not here. They are 'are not' at the same time. At the point that they are 'are not' is itself the frontier which makes time. The somethingness of the' is' moment is time, and the frontier of the not-there is before-timeness, after-timeness, endless- timeness. This barrier is the secret of the divine power of the Creator and beyond this we cannot go with words. This is the truth of every living thing. What is the truth of the smallest grain of sand is the truth of the greatest star and is the truth of the whole cosmos. The truth of one thing is the truth of everything. Someone said to one of the great shaykhs of the Darqawi tariqa, "Tell me the greatest great Name of Allah!" And he said, "Show me the least thing in the whole universe, and I will show you the greatest great Name of Allah.

Al-Hayyu al-Qayyum - these are two names of Allah. The Hayyu is the Living and if you listen to it, "Hayy, Hayy, Hayy", it is what you do in the hadra, it is the breath, it is life itself. What is life itself but the instant? You have no life except at this instant. The man or woman who came into this room has already moved atom by atom millions of miles in the revelation of the sub-structure of their body. Look at the feeble base on which we are held up! Ibn aI-'Arabi says, "Existence is a khayal" - an imagination, but that imagination is bil-Haqq, by the truth, by the real, it is it! And it is not it, that you can worship it, because it is not there that you should worship it, and it is there that you must worship its Creator. You are part of it so you do not exist that you should be a mushrik, yet you are there as a slave that you should recognise your source. It is your source, but you are its proof on itself to itself of its lordship.

He is the Lord of the world. Are you not one of his worlds? By you the world is seen. If you are not there, there is no world, there is no-one to see. He has made you and sees by you and you see by Him because your faculties are His. The ear is yours, the eye is yours - the property of the slave, but the seeing is His and the hearing is His. Why? Because the ear is sensory, the eye is sensory, but the seeing is meaning and the hearing is meaning, so there is this line between the visible and the invisible and this is the divine reality which sets up the forn and destroys the forn. Knowledge of it is the only knowledge. You are by it, it is not by you. You are dependent on these energies coming together in this whirling conflagration that is your brief life. He is independent, exalted above any connection with anyone or anything.

Everything is in annihilation except the face of Allah. What is the face of Allah? Here I must stop. I cannot say. If I were to say, you would not understand. That does not mean that there is another way that we can say it that, "That is it, but it is a secret", because when you have the secret, if you give it, it is not a secret. What is this secret? It is your secret, meaning that this matter of the face of Allah must concern you more passionately, more deeply and more profoundly than any other matter in existence, because it is your source. It is that which remains when you perish. You are it. You belong to it. You are from it. Everything that you have, everything that you know, everything that you experience is by the lights of this face. It is like you have this enormous television set and all of it is based on its energy which makes it possible. The image is based on the source and the source is its energy, but for you to know that there is that energy it has to flood through all the parts of the machine and in every part of that machine that energy will set up processes which will create a picture which is how you are with Allah. He is the Hayyu, the Living. What is Al- Qayyum? Al-Qayyum is the opposite name. Al-Hayyu is the instant, and the Qayyum is the endless desert of eternity and the same truth. The instant and the endless time are not two things, they are one thing without thingness. This is the situation of the human being.

People of this knowledge cannot continue in the charade of pretending that they are here forever and that their private project is greater than the only meaningful act of the human being which is to glorify Allah. This glorification has a binding condition because this knowledge, as we said at the beginning, is based on your having a body and having a limited intellect. The binding condition is that you are permitted to glorify Allah on condition that you feed the hungry, that you look after the orphan, that you protect the widow and you give out of what you possess until generosity becomes your mark. Generosity is not by niyyat, generosity is in the hand. There is no time for the niyyat of generosity until you have niyyat to take the next breath that you take and such men do exist, who breathe knowing that the breath is from Allah. They account for every breath they take because it is nothing else than the breath of the Merciful.

We have touched on the first layer of the many layers of meaning in this great ayat, but you must remember another ayat of Qur'an which says: "If all the trees were the pens, and the seven oceans were the ink, and then one ocean more, they would be used up before they would be finished speaking of the glories of Allah." This is the human situation, this is the cosmic situation, nothing exists except Allah, nothing happens except the glorification of the angels, and sometimes men consciously by their choice join with a conscious praise, the praise that they are, by their existing in the first place.

Abu Abdallah
20-11-2005, 07:49 PM
Assalamu 'Alaykum,

"my bad, it just struck me as if he was saying no shia believes that. thats why i posted."

We know that some Shia believe the Imams are superior to the prophets, and some who even think the Imams are God. This however takes them outside the fold of Orthodox Shi'ism. There are very clear that walayat derives from the Prophet (sal), and that neither the prophets nor the imams are God.

Similarly, if a Sunni-Sufi believes his master is Allah, he is taken outside the fold of Orthodoxy, or if he believes the awliya are greater than the prophets. Even though the above happens in Sunnism, we would not take these extreme examples to present the tradition. Likewise, it makes no sense whatsoever to present examples of the most extreme Shia beliefs when presenting their tradition.

It does nothing for the unity of the Ummah.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 08:07 PM
Actually I was not going to mention this but you are plain incorrect.

You are right that Bohra, and Zaydi Shi`ism do not believe that the Imams are better than the Prophets.

As for Ithna `Ashari Shi`ism - the Orthodox belief is that Imam is a distinction from Allah which is above Prophet or Messenger. They say that Ibrahim and Muhammad :saw: were both Imams while the other Prophets were not Imams. They say that the 12 Imams are Imams. Therefore The 12 Imams are above all Prophets (astaghfirallah) in their belief except for the Prophets Muhammad :saw: and Ibrahim (`Alayihis Salam) as they are also Imams. This belief they say is the truth but not obligatory to hold.

For proof Shi`a Shaykh Muhammad al-Husayni al-Maddrasi says:




The term ‘Imam’ in the context of the Shia creed is more specific than the term ‘Hujjah’. Imam refers to the divinely appointed leadership which is higher in rank than both ‘Prophet’ and ‘Messenger’. Allah refers to this fact in the Qur’an when telling us about the trials and tribulations that Ibrahim (may Allah’s peace be upon him and upon our Prophet and his household). Allah tells us that after Ibrahim had been chosen as a Prophet (i.e. one who receives revelations), then a Messenger (one who is sent to the masses as a guide), he then subjects him to a final test:


And remember that Ibrahim was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: he said: "I will make thee an Imam to the Nations." [2:124]

When we use the term Imam (without any suffix such as ‘Jama’a’) we refer to a very exclusive group of individuals who are the Prophet Mohammad, and the 12 infallibles, plus Prophet Ibrahim. We refer to the leaders who have the same authority over us as Allah for He says: “Your guardian can be only Allah; and His messenger and those who believe; who establish worship and pay the poordue while bowing down [in prayer]”. As you can see, only one ‘Guardianship’ is ascribed to all three parties; Allah, His messenger, and he who pays charity while bowing down, who is none other than Imam Ali.

So yes this is an Orthodox belief of specifically the Ithna `Ashari sect of Shi`ism but is not obligatory to hold and therefore it would be a foolish statement to say "All Ithna `Asharis are Kaffirs" but anyone who believes the later Imams are better than the Prophets are Kuffar by Ijm`a as narrated above by Ibn Juzayy al-Kalbi. May Allah guide them.

You should sit and study under traditional scholars of Islam. This will really change your understanding I think wa Allahu `Alam.

celt islam
20-11-2005, 08:30 PM
WHAT HAPPEND TO THIS FORUM? THIS TOPIC IS NOT ABOUT SHISM V SUNNISM, MAKE ANOTHER TOPIC SOMEWHERE ELSE PLEASE AS THIS IS ABOUT SUFISM THANKS :cheesygri

Abu Abdallah
20-11-2005, 09:10 PM
"You should sit and study under traditional scholars of Islam. This will really change your understanding I think wa Allahu `Alam."

You assume I haven't sat with traditional scholars of Islam simply because the traditional beliefs you were taught seem to contradict the ones I have been taught. In fact I have sat with traditional scholars from Mecca, Senegal, and Iran, for a number of years, and many from the United States who have studied in Cairo, Damascus, Fez, Java, Medina, etc. You should sit with the traditional scholars I have sat with. This will really change your understanding I think wa Allahu 'Alam.

Abu Abdallah

Abu Abdallah
20-11-2005, 09:17 PM
Not to go further off topic, but the above quote about Shi'ism and the Imams is not the Shi'ism that I have learned in the writings of Allamah Tabatabai (ra), S.H. Nasr and others. They always make it clear that the station of the Imam derives from the Prophet (sal), and the Imam is therefore a reflection of the Muhammadan light (al-nur al-muhammadiyyah), like the moon reflecting the light of the sun. Yet they do not possess the function of rasul or nabi, and are therfore less than the Prophet (sal), who was a rasul, nabi, and imam.

Read, "Shi'ite Islam," by A. Tabatabai, trans. by S.H. Nasr, to see what the most respected Shi'ite scholar of the 20th Century said about this issue.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 10:01 PM
al-Hamdulilah people like Sayyid Hossein Nasr are not spreading this false belief.

By traditional Sunni scholars I mean `Ashari, Maturidi, or Athari scholars or scholars which have beliefs that conform to one of the above three and have no beliefs that contract the above three.

You use al-Azhar as your resource when it says that Ja`faris are a madhhab of Islamic jurispudence - but when they say that Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah are those who follow the two Imams (Abul Hasan al-Ash`ari and Abu Mansur al-Maturidi) you do not aqree?

Our religion is not forming any new ideas - it is believing what those before us believed in an authentic chain back to Rasul Allah :saw:. In fiqh we may have differences which is a mercy - but this is not in `Aqeedah. Anyone with beliefs that are contrary to the Ash`ari, Maturidi, and Athari madhahib is not a Sunni = plain and simple. It doesn't matter what Martin Lings (Rahihimahullah) or Sayyid Hossein Nasr have to say about it.

If you are saying that Ibn Kathir, Imam Nawawi, and Ibn `Abbas are all wrong along with every single Muslim who believed that the Jews and Christians are Kuffar - then please do not call your view "traditional."

Rasul Allah :saw: said in a Sahih Hadith:

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed: By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, he who amongst the community of Jews or Christians hears about me, but does not affirm his belief in that with which I have been sent and dies in this state (of disbelief), he shall be but one of the denizens of Hell-Fire.

It says in the Qur'an the only Din with Allah is al-Islam.

Ibn `Abbas (Radi Allahu `Anhu) said that this means Islam is the only valid Din after the coming of the Prophet Muhammad :saw:.

Ibn Kathir quoted Ibn `Abbas in his Tafsir.

Imam Nawawi agrees that whoever does not believe the Jews and Christians are Kaffir is a Kaffir.

There are so many other sources other than these.

I am taking the Qur'an in context.

The Qur'an, the Sunnah, the words of the Companions, and the words of the classical scholars, as well as the modern scholars (Shaykh Nuh Keller) all agree that the Jews and Christians are kuffar.

I told you there is not one madhab of Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah or Ahlul Bid`ah that agrees that the Jews and Christians are not kuffar. The Zaydis, the Bohra, the Salafis, the Mutazila all agree with the above fact.

This article of belief has been so well established with primary text proofs and secondary text proofs that denying it is Kufr. This is a necessary belief for every Muslim to hold. Therefore I urge you to excercise extreme caution. It is one thing to say that people who do not hear the message of Islam are not responsible for their actions. It is another to say that their religions are valid after the coming of Prophet Muhammad :saw: which is blasphemy.

I am not saying you are a Kaffir at all (astaghfirallah). I think you and I agree that they are not divinely responsible if they do not hear the message (with conditions as outlined above) and that their Dins are not valid. But I am warning you that the belief that they are not kaffir is by ijm`a Kufr and the Prophet :saw: said "my Ummah will never agree upon error." Therefore do not slip into this belief.
Imam Malik (Radi Allahu `Anhu) said this knowledge is of your Din so be careful where you take it from.

muhammadnur
20-11-2005, 10:19 PM
"In addition to this, while I accept Shafii jurisprudence for other Muslims, Imam Nawawi's words are not the Quran, Sunnah, and necessarily in accord with other schools, and are therefore not binding on all Muslims. (ie. "He who believes the Jews and Christians are not Kaffirs is a Kaffir.")"

Well the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said,

"By Him in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, any person of this Community, any Jew, or any Christian who hears of me and dies without believing in what I have been sent with will be an inhabitant of hell" (al-Baghawi: Sharh al-sunna 1.104).

This hadith was also reported by Muslim in his Sahih by `Abd al-Razzaq in his Musannaf, and others. It is a rigorously authenticated (sahih) evidence that clarifies the word of Allah in surat Al 'Imran

"Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam will never have it accepted from him, and shall be of those who have truly failed in the next life" (Qur'an 3:85)

muhammadnur
20-11-2005, 10:27 PM
On the validity of all religions
in the thought of ibn Al-'Arabi
and Emir 'Abd al-Qadir
a letter to `Abd al-Matin
©Nuh Ha Mim Keller 1996

Dear `Abd al-Matin,
In the name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
as-Salaamu 'alaykum wa rahmatu Llahi wa barakatuh.
Thank you for your question about the notion of the "universal validity" of all religions and its relation to the Sufism of Sheikh Muhyiddin Ibn al-`Arabi and Emir `Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza'iri. I do not have all the English books you mentioned that ascribe this notion to them, but I believe that some kind of an answer can be given on the basis of the books I have seen in English, and traditional Islam as I have taken it from my shiekhs in fiqh and Sufism.

I will try to touch on some general considerations about the universality of the message of the prophets (on whom be peace), the finality of Islam, the validity of non-Islamic religions, and the positions of Ibn al-`Arabi and Emir `Abd al-Qadir versus that of some of their modern interpreters. Some of the material included has been drawn from Tariqa Notes, and some from a letter last year to Christians in the Ukraine.

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1. The Universality of Religions and Finality of Islam.
Allah sent mankind and jinn His prophetic messengers (upon whom be peace), who were trustworthy, intelligent, truthful, and fully conveyed their messages. He protected them from sin, and from every physical trait unbecoming to them, though as human beings, they ate, drank, slept, and married. They were the best of all created beings; and the highest of them was him whom Allah chose to be the final seal of prophethood, our prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Though the Sacred Law of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) superseded all previously valid religious laws, it was identical with them in beliefs, such as tawhid or "oneness of God", and so on, a fact that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) emphasized by saying, "Let none of you say I am superior to [the prophet] Jonah," (Bukhari, 4.193: 3412), for the illumination of Jonah's tawhid (upon him be peace)--under the darkness of the storm, the darkness of the sea, and the darkness of the belly of the fish--was not less than the illumination of the Prophet's tawhid at the zenith of his success as the spiritual leader of all Arabia (Allah bless him and give him peace). The light of their message was one, in which sense the Qur'an says, "We do not differentiate between any of His messengers" (Qur'an 2:285), showing that previous religions were the same in beliefs, and though differing in provisions of works, and now abrogated by the final religion, were valid in their own times.

As for today, only Islam is valid or acceptable now that Allah has sent it to all men, for the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said,

"By Him in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, any person of this Community, any Jew, or any Christian who hears of me and dies without believing in what I have been sent with will be an inhabitant of hell" (al-Baghawi: Sharh al-sunna 1.104).

This hadith was also reported by Muslim in his Sahih by `Abd al-Razzaq in his Musannaf, and others. It is a rigorously authenticated (sahih) evidence that clarifies the word of Allah in surat Al 'Imran

"Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam will never have it accepted from him, and shall be of those who have truly failed in the next life" (Qur'an 3:85)

and many other verses and hadiths. That Islam is the only remaining valid or acceptable religion is necessarily known as part of our religion, and to believe anything other than this is unbelief (kufr) that places a person outside of Islam, as Imam Nawawi notes:

"Someone who does not believe that whoever follows another religion besides Islam is an unbeliever (like Christians), or doubts that such a person is an unbeliever, or considers their sect to be valid, is himself an unbeliever (kafir) even if he manifests Islam and believes in it" (Rawda al-talibin, 10.70).

This is not only the position of the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence represented by Nawawi, but is also the recorded position of all three other Sunni schools: Hanafi (Ibn 'Abidin: Radd al-muhtar 3.287), Maliki (al-Dardir: al-Sharh al-saghir, 4.435), and Hanbali (al-Bahuti: Kashshaf al-qina', 6.170). Those who know fiqh literature will note that each of these works is the foremost fatwa resource in its school. The scholars of Sacred Law are unanimous about the abrogation of all other religions by Islam because it is the position of Islam itself. It only remains for the sincere Muslim to submit to, in which connection Ibn al-`Arabi has said:

"Beware lest you ever say anything that does not conform to the pure Sacred Law. Know that the highest stage of the perfected ones (rijal) is the Sacred Law of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). And know that the esoteric that contravenes the exoteric is a fraud" (al-Burhani: al-Hall al-sadid, 32).

_______________________________
2. Ibn al-`Arabi and Contemporary Non-Islamic Religions
As for the abrogation of all religions by Islam, many of us know Muslims who believe the opposite of orthodox Islam, perhaps due to a literary and intellectual environment in which any and every notion about this world and the next can be expressed, in which novelty is highly valued, and in which tradition has little authority. Many have even sought backing for their emotive preference for the validity of other religions from the books of famous Sufis who are far from such a beliefs, such as Ibn al-`Arabi or `Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza'iri. In a recent work for example entitled "Imaginal Worlds: Ibn al-`Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity", Professor William Chittick says:

"The Shaykh [Muhyiddin Ibn al-`Arabi] sometimes criticizes specific distortions or misunderstandings in the Qur'anic vein, but he does not draw the conclusion that many Muslims have drawn--that the coming of Islam abrogated (naskh) previous revealed religions. Rather, he says, Islam is like the sun and other religions like the stars. Just as the stars remain when the sun rises, so also the other religions remain valid when Islam appears. One can add a point that perhaps Ibn al-`Arabi would also accept: What appears as a sun from one point of view may be seen as a star from another point of view. Concerning abrogation, the Shaykh writes,

"'All the revealed religions (shara'i') are lights. Among these religions, the revealed religion of Muhammad is like the light of the sun among the lights of the stars. When the sun appears, the lights of the stars are hidden, and their lights are included in the light of the sun. Their being hidden is like the abrogation of the other revealed religions that takes place through Muhammad's revealed religion. Nevertheless, they do in fact exist, just as the existence of the light of the stars is actualized. This explains why we have been required in our all-inclusive religon to have faith in the truth of all messengers and all the revealed religions. They are not rendered null (batil) by abrogation--that is the opinion of the ignorant.'([al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya,] III 153.12[16])

"If the Shaykh's pronouncements on other religions sometimes fail to recognize their validity in his own time, one reason may be that, like most other Muslims living in the western Islamic lands, he had little real contact with the Christians or Jews in his environment, not to speak of followers of religions farther afield. He had probably never met a saintly representative of either of these traditions, and he almost certainly had never read anything about these two religions except what was written in Islamic sources. Hence there is no reason that he should have accepted the validity of these religions except in principle. But this is an important qualification. To maintain the particular excellence of the Qur'an and the superiority of Muhammad over all other prophets is not to deny the universal validity of revelation nor the necessity of revelations appearing in particularized expressions" (Religious Diversity, 12526).

Chittick's claim above that Ibn al-`Arabi "does not draw the conclusion that many Muslims have drawn--that the coming of Islam abrogated (naskh) previously revealed religions" is false, and could have been corrected by a fuller translation of the passage he has quoted from the Futuhat:

"The religious laws (shara'i') are all lights, and the law of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) among these lights is as the sun's light among the light of the stars: if the sun comes out, the lights of the stars are no longer seen and their lights are absorbed into the light of the sun: the disappearance of their lights resembles what, of the religious laws, has been abrogated (nusikha) by his law (Allah bless him and give him peace) despite their existence, just as the lights of the stars still exist. This is why we are required by our universal law to believe in all prophetic messengers (rusul) and to believe that all their laws are truth, and did not turn into falsehood by being abrogated: that is the imagination of the ignorant. So all paths return to look to the Prophet's path (Allah bless him and give him peace): if the prophetic messengers had been alive in his time, they would have followed him just as their religious laws have followed his law.

"For he was given Comprehensiveness of Word (Jawami' al-Kalim), and given [the Qur'anic verse] 'Allah shall give you an invincible victory' (Qur'an 48:3), 'the invincible' [al-'aziz, also meaning rare, dear, precious, unattainable] being he who is sought but cannot be reached. When the prophetic messengers sought to reach him, he proved impossible for them to attain to--because of his [being favored above them by] being sent to the entire world (bi'thatihi al-'amma), and Allah giving him Comprehensiveness of Word (Jawami al-Kalim), and the supreme rank of possessing the Praiseworthy Station (al-Maqam al-Mahmud) in the next world, and Allah having made his Nation (Umma) 'the best Nation ever brought forth for people' (Qur'an 3:110). The Nation of every messenger is commensurate with the station of their prophet, so realize this" (al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya, III 153.1220).

The passage, when read carefully, is merely an affirmation that Allah's messengers (upon whom be peace) were true, and everything they brought was true, which is believed by every Muslim. It further suggests that everything their laws (shara'i' means nothing else) contained has not only been abrogated, but is thereby implicitly contained in the new revelation, in which sense "their religious laws have followed his law." A familiar example cited by ulama is the law of talion, "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", which was obligatory in the religious law of Moses (upon whom be peace), subsequently forbidden by the religious law of Jesus (upon whom be peace) in which "turning the other cheek" was obligatory; and finally both were superseded by the law of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), which permits victims to take retaliation (qisas) for purely intentional physical injuries, but in which it is religiously superior not to retaliate but forgive. This is the absorption of the stars' lights into that of the sun, of "what, of the religious laws, has been abrogated by his law (Allah bless him and give him peace) despite their existence, just as the lights of the stars still exist." This is the sense in which Ibn al-`Arabi is interpreting Comprehensiveness of Word (Jawami' al-Kalim) here.

What the passage does not say is that non-Islamic religions are valid now that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has been sent with Islam. Professor Chittick's omission of the second half of the passage (which is plainly punctuated in finish by the words "so know this") is puzzling, for it is highly material to the topic, and in spirit and in letter ("because of his being sent to the entire world (bi'thatihi al-'amma)") plainly contradicts the professor's suggestion that Ibn al-`Arabi does not believe that the coming of Islam abrogated (naskh) previously revealed religions. The wrongness of this notion is clear to anyone who reads the second half and knows what the expression bi'thatihi al-'amma means from having read it in similar contexts from other works of the traditional Islamic sciences that formed Ibn al-`Arabi's education.

In fact, one looks in vain in the works of Ibn al-`Arabi for the belief of the validity of currently existing non-Islamic religions, for this is kufr, as Imam Nawawi and the other Imams mentioned above unanimously concur. Traditional Islam certainly does not accept the suggestion that

"it is true that many Muslims believe that the universality of guidance pertains only to pre-Qur'anic times, but others disagree; there is no 'orthodox' interpretation here that Muslims must accept" (Religious Diversity, 124).

Orthodoxy exists, it is unanimously agreed upon by the scholars of Muslims, and we have conveyed in Nawawi's words above that to believe anything else is unbelief. As for "others disagree," it is true, but is something that has waited for fourteen centuries of Islamic scholarship down to the present century to be first promulgated in Cairo in the 1930s by the French convert to Islam Rene Gunon, and later by his student Frithjof Schuon and writers under him. Who else said it before? And if no one did, and everyone else considers it kufr, on what basis should it be accepted?

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3. Emir `Abd al-Qadir and Christianity
My point is that it would have been one thing to say it under their own auspices, but to project their views onto great Muslims of the past is a mistake that should be corrected. Another example is found in Islam and the Destiny of Man, in which Charles le Gai Eaton (omissions are his) says:

"According to the great mujahid (the 'warrior in the path of Allah'), the Emir `Abdu'l-Qadir, our God and the God of all the communities opposed to ours are in truth One God . . . despite the variety of His manifestations . . . He has manifested Himself to Muhammad's people beyond every form while manifesting Himself in every form . . . To Christians He has manifested Himself in the form of Christ . . . and to the worshippers of whatever form it may be . . . in the very form of this thing; for no worshipper of a finite object worships it for its own sake. What he worships is the epiphany in the form of the attributes of the true God . . . Yet that which all the worshippers worship is one and the same. Their error consists only in the act of determining it in a limitative manner. [Quoted from Mawqif 236 in the Mawaqif of `Abdul-Qadir (French translation by M. Chodkiewicz published by Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1982).] `Abdul-Qadir fought the Christians who invaded his land, Algeria, because he was a Muslim. Exiled in Damascus, he protected the Christians against massacre by taking them into his own home because he understood. Those who would challenge him or accuse him of heresy should be prepared to face his sword and accept death from its blade since small men risk their necks when they challenge great ones"(Islam and the Destiny of Man, 53).

The passage quoted from the Mawaqif is interesting, not only because scissors seem to have been harder at work on it than sword, but because the reference suggests it has been translated from Arabic to French to English, something of a journey from the original words of the author. I don't know who arranged the French original, but the above passage has not been quoted from Mawqif 236 of the Arabic Mawaqif that I have, which was printed in 1329/1911 in Damascus from the copy of Sheikh `Abd al-Razzaq al-Bitar, a manuscript read by `Abd al-Qadir himself, with emendations in his own handwriting in the margins.

The idea, however, is familiar, and is mentioned in a number of places in the Mawaqif, and is also mentioned in the Chapter of Hajj toward the end of the first volume of the Futuhat of Ibn al-`Arabi, whom `Abd al-Qadir follows closely. Ibn al-`Arabi feels that while God consigns idolaters to hell eternally (if a prophetic warner has been sent to them, for otherwise they are not responsible to do or refrain from anything), their worship is not completely amiss, in that everyone, whether Christian, Jew, fire-worshipper, or idolator, consider what they worship to be the Divine (Ar. al-Ilah, "the Deity"), and do not worship what they worship except for this reason, in which sense "your Lord has ruled that you shall worship none except Him" (Qur'an 17:23), in which "ruled", according to `Abd al-Qadir, means "brought about"; namely, that Allah, in virtue of this motive and this name (al-Ilah) and His jealousy for its prerogative, often answers the supplications of such worshippers and fulfills their needs; though as said before, their worship is not valid, for "Allah does not forgive that any should be associated with Him, but forgives what is other than that to whomever He wills" (Qur'an 4:48): From one side they do worship the God, but from another they have associated with Him the specific objects that they believe He inheres in, so their worship is invalid, because it does not conform to the absolute tawhid brought by the prophets, upon whom be peace, who taught that Allah is absolute in manifestation, not bound by any created form.

No matter what the religion, then, for Emir `Abd al-Qadir, Allah cannot not be "worshipped" in the limitary sense of the basic impetus of the worshipper towards the Divine. But this does not mean it is acceptable or valid in Allah's eyes. Whoever confuses these two things, as the above passage does, has done violence to `Abd al-Qadir. He says:

"Since the manifestings of Him Meant by Worship are manifold, so are sects and creeds. For the aim of worship is to exalt with reverence, and the lowliness and humility of every worshipper is only rendered to someone able to harm or benefit, give or withhold, to give sustenance, to lower or raiseand these attributes are not in fact, those of anyone except one alone, who is Allah Most High, and He is absolutely beyond perception (ghayb mutlaq).

"So every worshipper of a form, be it sun, star, fire, light, darkness, nature, idol, phantasm, jinn, or other, maintains that the form he worships is of Him Meant by Worship, and he ascribes the attributes of the Diety (al-Ilah) to it, of harm, benefit, and so on. Such a person would be right, in a way, if only he had not made Him finite and conditional. For no worshipper intends by adoring the form he worships anything except the Reality Deserving Worship, which is Allah Most High, and this is what Allah has ruled (Qur'an 17:23) and brought about. But they have proved ignorant of this Reality's absolute manifestation, unsullied by conditionality or limitariness, and have proved ignorant of the Reality in point of fact, though they do know it in general terms, this being innately possessed knowledge" (al-Mawaqif, 1.33:8).

What is the consequence of their proving "ignorant of the Reality in point of fact?" Does it mean that every worshipper, whether he associates others with Allah or not, is acceptable to Allah? `Abd al-Qadir answers this question in another section of the Mawaqif in his exegesis of the words of the Meccan idolators quoted by Allah in surat al-An`am, "Had Allah not wanted, we would not have associated anything with Him, nor our fathers, nor would we have prohibited anything" (Qur'an 6:148):

"This is truth intended as falsehood, that is: 'If Allah had willed us not to associate others with Him, we wouldn't have associated them with Him; and if Allah had not willed that we prohibited anything, we wouldn't have done so, for nothing we do occurs except what He wills.' And it is true; but the way this truth is intended as a falsehood is that they claim that everything Allah has willed for His servants is acceptable and liked by Him.

"And this is a falsehood, for Allah Most High wills for His servants whatever He knows from them pre-eternally. And that which He knows from them pre-eternally is whatever is entailed by what they most truly are, which they seek through their primal disposition, be it good or evil, pure monotheism (tawhid) or unbelief (kufr). For His will is subject to His knowledge, and His knowledge is subject to what He knows, and what He knows includes both the guided person and the lost, the affirmer of pure monotheism (muwahhid) and the associater of others with Him (mushrik), the damned and the saved, the truthful and the liar. The beings that He Most High has created are the sites of manifestation (madhahir) of His names, and there are those of His names which entail beauty and mercy, this being the share of those who are saved, the 'People of the Right Handful'; and there are others of them that entail rigor and subjugation, this being the share of those who are damned, the 'People of the Left Handful.'

"So Allah's willing something is not the sign of His love for it and acceptance of it, for 'He does not accept unbelief for His servants' (Qur'an 39:7), though He has willed the unbelief of many of them. His will is only a sign of His beginningless eternal knowledge of that which He would will for endless eternity. If everything He willed for His servants were goodness, it would entail that His sending the prophetic messengers and appointing their laws was futile. For they came with commands and prohibitions, and explained the Right Handful and the Left Handful, as He says: 'Of them [humanity], there are the damned and the saved'" (Qur'an 11:105) (al-Mawaqif, 1.46970: 236).

So at the level of creation and destiny, everything is the will of God, and in a sense, all religions, according to `Abd al-Qadir's viewpoint, are "worship" of the Deity. But at the level of validity and salvation, only the worship that conforms to what the prophets (upon whom be peace) have brought is acceptable to Allah.

_______________________________
4. Divine Will Versus Divine Acceptance
In the first passage I have translated above from the Mawaqif, `Abd al-Qadir explains that the mushrik who associates others with Allah is in a sense "worshipping" God by the fact that he ascribes attributes of the Deity to the object of his worship, which he only worships for their sake, though he has proved "ignorant of the Reality [Deserving Worship] in point of fact" (al-Mawaqif, 1.33: 8). And in the second passage quoted, `Abd al-Qadir contrasts the will of God in creating the mushrik and his "worship", from the acceptance of Allah, which applies to neither, for he mentions "both the guided person and the lost, the affirmer of pure monotheism (muwahhid) and the associater of others with Him (mushrik), the damned and the saved, the truthful and the liar" (al-Mawaqif, 1.469: 236). There is little doubt here as to who is who: the muwahhid is saved, the mushrik is lost. Whatever exception may be taken at the above use of "worship", one thing that it certainly does not entail is the validity and acceptance of God for all forms of this worship. In the whole discussion, Emir `Abd al-Qadir closely follows Ibn al-`Arabi, who says,

"Allah says, 'Your Lord has ruled that you shall worship none except Him' (Qur'an 17:23), that is, has determined, and for His sake have the gods been worshipped, for no one is intended by the worship of any worshipper except God, since nothing is worshipped for its own sake but Allah. The associator of others with Allah (mushrik) but makes the mistake of setting up for himself a worship in a particular way not given to him by God, and so is damned for that (fa shaqiya li dhalik). For they say of those they associate with Him, 'We but worship them that they may bring us closer to Allah' (Qur'an 39:3), thus acknowledging Him" (al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya, I 405.3133)

It is difficult to agree completely with Ibn al-`Arabi and `Abd al-Qadir's interpretation of "Your Lord has ruled" (qada Rabbuka) as meaning "Your Lord has determined" (hakama, i.e. brought about), as opposed to meaning "amara" or "commanded", the interpretation of other exegetes, for the latter is attested to by the remainder of the verse:

"[Your Lord has ruled that you shall worship none except Him,] and show goodness to parents" (Qur'an 7:23),

where if "ruled" (qada) meant "determined" (hakama), it would entail that every behavior in the created world towards parents may be termed "goodness", which is not the case.

Ibn al-`Arabi ascribes his interpretation to "kashf" or "spiritual intuition" (al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya, III 117.8) rather than linguistic or other conventional exegetical evidence--a private understanding that few ordinary readers can follow him in--but in any case his explicit words "and so is damned for that (fa shaqiya li dhalik)" leave little doubt about the acceptability of such worship in his eyes. If there were doubt, the same thought can be found many other passages of the Futuhat such as his description of the four groups who shall never leave the hellfire, the second of whom is those who associate others with Allah (al-mushrikun), a mushrik being someone who "affirms the existence of Allah, being unable to deny it, but Satan makes him associate others besides Allah in His divinity" (ibid., I 302.9), a sin which he notes in another section is "among those enormities that are never forgiven" (ibid., 749.16).

The upshot of these texts is that Ibn al-`Arabi, like `Abd al-Qadir (and virtually every other Muslim), clearly distinguishes between the divine will, which pertains to every created thing, and the divine acceptance, which only pertains to things the Sacred Law deems good. This brings us back to our starting point, the word of Allah in surat Al 'Imran that

"whoever seeks a religion other than Islam will never have it accepted from him, and shall be of those who have truly failed in the next life" (Qur'an 3:85).

_______________________________
5. The Fate of Non-Muslims in the Afterlife
The reason that contemporary writers affected by the writings of Gunon and Schuon, such as Chittick and Gai Eaton (or such as Martin Lings, Titus Burckhardt etc.), seem to want the universal validity of all religions at any price, even to the extent of attributing it to masters like Muhyiddin ibn al-`Arabi ("in principle") or Emir `Abd al-Qadir ("he protected the Christians against massacre by taking them into his own home because he understood" [as if other scholars considered massacring them halal]) would seem to be the emotive impalatability of followers of other religions going to hell. Where is the mercy? Would Allah put someone in the hellfire merely for worshipping in another religion besides Islam? This question is answered by traditional Islam according to two possibilities:

(1) There are some peoples who have not been reached by the message of the Prophet of Islam (Allah bless him and give him peace) that we must worship the One God alone, associating nothing else with Him. Such people are innocent, and will not be punished no matter what they do. Allah says in surat al-Isra',

"We do not punish until We send a Messenger" (Qur'an 17:15).

These include, for example, Christians and others who lived in the period after the spread of the myth of Jesus godhood, until the time of the prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), who renewed the call to pure monotheism.

The great Muslim scholar, Imam Ghazali, includes in this category those who have only been reached with a distorted picture of the Messenger of Islam (Allah bless him and give him peace), presumably including many people in the West today who know nothing about Allah's religion but newspaper stories about Ayatollahs and mad Muslim bombers. Is it within such people's capacity to believe? In Ghazali's view, such people are excused until after they have had an opportunity to learn the undistorted truth about Islam (Ghazali: "Faysal al-tafriqa," Majmu'a rasa'il al-Imam al-Ghazali, 3.96). This of course does not alter our own obligation as Muslims to reach them with the da'wa.

(2) A second group of people consists of those who turn away from God's divine message of Islam, rejecting the command to make their worship God's alone; whether because of blindly imitating the religion of their ancestors, or for some other reason. These are people to whom God has sent a prophetic messenger and reached with His message, and to whom He has given hearing and an intellect with which to grasp it but after all this, persist in associating others with Allah, either by actually worshipping another, or by rejecting the laws brought by His messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), which associates their own customs with His prerogative to be worshipped as He directs. Such people have violated God's rights, and have accepted to go to hell, which is precisely what His messengers have warned them of, so they have no excuse:

"Truly, Allah does not forgive that any be associated with Him; but He forgives what is less than that to whomever He wills" (Qur'an 4:48).

In either case, Allah's mercy exists, though for non-Muslims unreached by the message, it is a question of divine amnesty for their ignorance, not a confirmation of their religions validity. It is worth knowing the difference between these two things, for one's eternal fate depends on it.
_______________________________
6. The Absolute and Relative
A final question arises here; namely, that since Allah alone is absolute, and all forms (presumably including religious ones) are relative, why could He not transcend the forms given in the Islamic Revelation; that is, if He can do anything, why should it be impossible for Him to simply "forgive everyone"?

The answer involves the concept of al-wajib al-'aradi or "the contingently necessary," which is part of traditional Islamic aqida (tenets of faith), and hence well known to scholars like Ibn al-`Arabi and Abd al-Qadir, but perhaps not familiar to many contemporary Muslims. It is arguably among the most important points one can learn from classical works of aqida.

The possible or impossible for Allah Most High involves the divine attribute of qudra or omnipotence, "what He can do". This attribute in turn relates exclusively to the intrinsically possible, not to what is intrinsically impossible, as Allah says, "Verily Allah has power over every thing" (Qur'an 20:29), "thing" being something that in principle can exist. For example, if one asks "Can Allah create square circle?" the answer is that His omnipotence does not relate to it, for a square circle does not refer to anything that in principle could exist: the speaker does not have a distinct idea of what he means, but is merely using a jumble of words.

Similarly, if one were to ask, "Can Allah terminate His own existence?" the answer is that the divine omnipotence does not relate to this; it is intrinsically impossible (mustahil dhati), for the divine nature necessarily entails the divine perfections, of which Being is one. It is impossible that Allah could cease to have this perfection or any other, for otherwise He would not be God.

There are thus things that are necessarily true of God (that He cannot not be); and their opposites, things which are necessarily impossible of God. In terms of the question above, the choice to forgive everyone, that is, to simply suspend the implications of the Qur'anic verses and hadiths that indicate that some classes of people will never leave hell, is not intrinsically impossible (mustahil dhati) for Allah, in that it does not involve something inherently impossible as does the square circle, or negate something inherently true by the very nature of the Divine. Then why didn't any scholar ever think of it? Because for Islamic orthodoxy, there is another class of both the necessary and the impossible that the divine attribute of omnipotence (qudra) has no relation to; namely, that which is necessary or impossible because, although not so a priori, it has become necessary or impossible by being connected with the knowledge ('ilm) of Allah and His beginninglessly eternal attribute of speech, in His informing us of it.

For example, Abu Lahab was born with apparently the same chance as anyone to hear the Prophet's message (Allah bless him and give him peace), enter Islam, and reach paradise. But when he persecuted the Muslims, and surat al-Masad (Qur'an 111) was subsequently revealed, and Allah manifested His beginninglessly eternal knowledge that Abu Lahab was of the people of hell. Although initially this outcome was merely contingent and possible, when the eternal Word of Allah connected with it, it became necessary, final, and inabrogable, for Allah only informs of what is in His knowledge, and His knowledge only conforms to what truly is, which is why no one alters the words of Allah (Qur'an 6:34), for otherwise His words would express ignorance, an attribute impossible for God, or lies, which equally contradict the nature of the Divine.

Abu Lahab is thus necessarily of the people of hell, necessary not logically or inherently, but contingently necessary, because of the contingent event of Allah having informed us of it. Everything that Allah has informed us of is of this class of thing, and divine omnipotence (qudra) does not relate to their contrary, for His Word shall be realized exactly as He has said, and it is impossible that any of it be nullified.

This is why for Sufis like Ibn al-`Arabi and Emir `Abd al-Qadir, the revealed law in a sense partakes of the Divine, for it returns to Allah's attribute of speech, in the Qur'an, and to the unrecited revelation of the sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) which is Allah's act of inspiration-both of which are inseparable in principle from Allah's entity. For such Sufis, the sharia is the haqiqa, and this is, after all, the position of Islam itself. To answer our question above, the first premise that Allah alone is absolute, and all forms are relative, is plainly wrong, and contradicted by the manifold existence of Allah's determinations, which, though contingently necessary (wajib aradi) rather than inherently so, are no less absolute than the Divine itself.

I remain your brother,

[signature]

Nuh Ha Mim Keller

Was-Salamu alaykum wa rahmatu Llahi wa barakatuh.

_______________________________
7. Works Cited

* al-Baghawi, al-Husayn. Sharh al-sunna. Ed. Shuayb al-Arnaut. 16 vols. Damascus: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1400/1980.
* al-Bahuti, Mansur. Kashshaf al-qina an matn al-Iqna. 6 vols. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1402/1982.
* al-Bukhari, Muhammad ibn Ismail. Sahih al-Bukhari. 9 vols. Cairo 1313/1895. Reprint (9 vols. in 3). Beirut: Dar al-Jil, n.d.
* Chittick, William C. Imaginal Worlds: Ibn al-`Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994.
* al-Dardir, Ahmad. al-Sharh al-saghir ala Aqrab al-masalik ila madhhab al-Imam Malik. 4 vols. Cairo: Dar al-Maarif, 1394/1974.
* Gai Eaton, Charles le. Islam and the Destiny of Man. Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, 1994
* al-Ghazali, Abu Hamid. Faysal al-tafriqa, Majmua rasail al-Imam al-Ghazali. 7 vols. Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyya, 1409/1988.
* al-Hashimi, Muhammad. al-Hall al-sadid li ma astashkalahu al-murid. Ed. with appendices by Muhammad Said al-Burhani. Damascus: Muhammad Said al-Burhani, 1383/1963
* al-Hashimi, Muhammad. Sharh ****ranj al-arifin. Ed. with appendices by Muhammad Said al-Burhani. Damascus: Muhammad Said al-Burhani, n.d.
* al-Haythami, Nur al-Din. Majma al-zawaid wa manba al-fawaid. 10 vols. N.p. n.d. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-`Arabi, 1402/1982.
* Ibn 'Abidin, Muhammad Amin. Radd al-muhtar ala al-durr al-mukhtar. 5 vols. Bulaq 1272/1855. Reprint. Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-`Arabi, 1407/1987.
* Ibn al-`Arabi, Muhyiddin. al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya. 4 vols. Cairo, 1329/1911. Reprint. Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, n.d.
* al-Jaza'iri, `Abd al-Qadir. Kitab al-mawaqif fi al-wadh wa al-irshad. 3 vols. Damascus: Matbaa al-Shabab, 1329/1911.
* al-Nawawi, Yahya. Rawda al-talibin wa umda al-muftin. 12 vols. Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1412/1991.

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Omar HH
20-11-2005, 10:37 PM
I would like to add to what the Esteemed Shaykh Nuh says. It is not just the position of the Malikis, Hanafis, Shaf`is, Hanbalis and their schools of `Aqeedah (the Ash`aris, the Maturidis and the Atharis) but also the position of Ahlul Bid`ah including the Mutazila, the Zaydis, the Bohra, and the Salafis.

Along with this it is also the position of the Ithna `Ashari Shi`a :saw:.

If you would like references go read Imam Baghdadi's Farq Baynul Firaq (Moslem Sects and Schisms) which is availible in English probably in your local library.

The Prophet :saw: said that this Ummah would never agree upon error.

The Ummah is infallible as a whole in its ijm`a (consensus) and whatever it agrees upon is not an error.

:jazak:

Abu Abdallah
20-11-2005, 11:14 PM
We have to ask ourselves what constitutes hearing about Islam and Muhammad (sal)? Is a Christian or Jew responsible for not reverting to Islam if they only see "Muslim" terrorists on their television, and read about Bin Ladin, Zarqawi, the Talaban, the Wahhabis, in the newspaper? Indeed, there are not many good representatives of Islam left on the earth. Yes, if someone with Iman approaches them, tells them about Islam...they understand what is being said, etc, then they are responsible after having heard the message. But if there exposure is through modernist and "fundamentalist" Muslims who contradict the shariah through their use of modern weapons directed at civilians, not to mention many Marxist, and modernist ideas that have made their way into Islamic movements, then I do not think the non-Muslim is responsible.

Allah knows best,
Abu Abdallah

Omar HH
20-11-2005, 11:20 PM
We have to ask ourselves what constitutes hearing about Islam and Muhammad (sal)? Is a Christian or Jew responsible for not reverting to Islam if they only see "Muslim" terrorists on their television, and read about Bin Ladin, Zarqawi, the Talaban, the Wahhabis, in the newspaper? Indeed, there are not many good representatives of Islam left on the earth. Yes, if someone with Iman approaches them, tells them about Islam...they understand what is being said, etc, then they are responsible after having heard the message. But if there exposure is through modernist and "fundamentalist" Muslims who contradict the shariah through their use of modern weapons directed at civilians, not to mention many Marxist, and modernist ideas that have made their way into Islamic movements, then I do not think the non-Muslim is responsible.

Allah knows best,
Abu Abdallah

I have the exact answer to the question.

Encountering the authentic Din of Islam is exactly:

Sincerely believing that Islam is rationally possible in one's mind.

Once you believe this you are responsible to learn about it - because if you believe it is rationally possible to be the truth and then deny it or decide not to accept it- you are rejecting Islam.

Not encountering the authentic Din of Islam is exactly:

Sincerely believing that Islam is rationally impossible in one's mind.

Because if someone believes Islam is rationally impossible he has obviously not encountered the authentic true pure divine Message and instead a distorted image of the Din.

This is what the Ash`ari scholars have said on the matter. I do not know if this is the Maturidi position.

:jazak:

Also remember those who do not encounter the authentic Din of Islam are still responsible according to the Ash`ari (and I believe Maturidi schools) to believe in Allah and be a conceptual monotheist.

:jazak:

Abu Abdallah
21-11-2005, 12:04 AM
Well then we have to agree, the Islam presented in the media, and by certain "fundamentalist" groups is irrational. What percentage of Jews and Christians in the West would you estimate have encountered authentic Islam, which conforms to the Revelation, tradition, and man's rational faculties?

How many people have you met that have said they agree Islam is a rational possibility and then don't act on their understanding? I'm sure it happens, but it is very rare.

Abu Abdallah

Omar HH
21-11-2005, 02:25 AM
I do not know what percentage and it does not matter - Allahu `Alam. Allah will judge us all.

Yes, the majority of the media is putting forward a lie about Islam and distorting the true image of Islam. There is some good Islamic media availible or TV documentaries that are more accurate but I seem to see alot of garbage.

Then we agree that non-Islamic religions are not valid and that Jews and Christians are not kaffir but that those who do not encounter the message of Islam are not responsible for it (but they are still responsible for believing in Allah and being conceptual monotheists and not atheists, agnostics, or pure polytheists). This is the position of Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah which you agree with. I just misunderstood your vocabulary.

Thanks,

Omar.

Abu Abdallah
21-11-2005, 05:21 AM
Assalamu 'Alaykum,

There are common misunderstandings about perennialist beliefs, because like Islam in general, they are misrepresented by academia, and other Islamic scholars. Not to mention certain circles around Guenon (ra) and Schuon (ra) which misrepresent their message, attempting to marginalize their Islamic identity, for the sake of a pseudo-unity of the terestrial level that betrays the transcendent Unity that can only exist with Allah.

It is said well by Rama Coomaraswamy in a review of a book in the journal Sophia which critiques the idea of a "One-World Religion:

"Part of the impetus for creating a One-World Religion is that the major religions seem to preach similar truths...For some reason this leads many people to become indifferent to these truths rather than to accept them as the common inheritance of mankind. There is nothing in such recognition that should induce people to abandon their own religion and their God-given sources of truth. But there is a vast difference between recognizing common truths and creating a new religion, a kind of smorgasbord based on picking and choosing the lowest common denominator and including in such selections the various false cults of the New Age pseudo-spirituality. Yet such is the goal of the United Religions Initiative."

Now, Guenon (ra) and Schuon (ra) believed that if "God had willed, He could have created you as one sommunity...," so they realized that there is a multiplicity of religions for a reason. No amount of missionaries or dawa will convert a billion Chinese or a billion Hindus to Christianity or Islam, unless Allah wills it. So we have to emphasize Divine Mercy and Justice in Islam for people who have not heard about the last prophet (sal).

Yet, they believed that Islam was the most preserved religion, and provided a Law and a Way to God that was intact. That is why they reverted from Christianity to Islam, and lead others to do the same. They guarded their personal lives for a variety of reasons, and therefore it is not immediately clear from their writings that they are Muslim. Yet, their subtle intellectual attraction has pulled countless people into Islam, mashallah. It is simply a matter of intelligence and grace to not yell at people and tell them they must accept Islam, which then allows Allah to do the work that only He can in the hearts of so many people that did convert to Islam after reading their texts.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Omar HH
21-11-2005, 05:53 AM
Shaykh Abu Bakr Siraj al-Din (Martin Lings) was a Muslim insha Allah and May Allah have mercy upon him. This was the position of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Habib `Ali Jifri.

There is much benefit from Perrenialist works such as critiques of materialism and modern culture as well as different insights and beneficial things in one's life.

There is also detriment in Perrenialist works such as believing in heterodoxies such as the Universal Validity of Religions and other incorrect doctrines if understood incorrectly. This is why Perrenialist literature should not be read by any Muslim until he learns the `Aqeedah of Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah according to the Ash`ari or Maturidi schools and masters his basic `Aqeedah. Then when he has no doubts and hesitations he may read Perrenialist works leaving the doubtful and taking the good.

"It is the way of the ignorant masses to make general statements." - my Beloved, Shaykh Abu Qanit al-Sharif al-Hassani.

Abu Abdallah
21-11-2005, 06:43 AM
Assalamu 'Alaykum,

Let me pick up on that point about Shaykh Abu Bakr (ra)...If you have read any of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf's tributes to Shaykh Abu Bakr (ra), it is clear that he accepted him as a pious Muslim, while disagreeing with him on some of the points that we are discussing.

Shaykh Hamza writes in the latest issue of Sophia about Shaykh Abu Bakr (ra):

"I realized I was speaking to a man who embodied the prophetic character. I was not interested in whatever differences we might have in abstruse points of creed; I wanted only to learn from his gentle and upright character."

"...he was a celestial intellectual and spiritual giant in an age of dwarfed terrestrial aspirations and endeavors."

"Another quality that impacted both of us was the utter humility he displayed...What struck me more than anything else was that during the entire conversation he almost always prefaced his remarks or followed them with a verse from the Quran, which he always quoted with as eloquent Arabic accent."

"Habi 'Ali was deeply moved by the meeting [with Lings] and was struck also by the students of Dr. Lings in the West who constitute a highly educated cadre largely made up of converts who have done some of the finest work on Islamic materials. Through their efforts they have presented Islam in a beautiful and illuminating manner that has made it accessible to people it would normally not have reached, and with as aethetic and intellectual dimension that is sorely absent from many of the mainstream Muslim efforts."

I could go on, but it is clear from this alone, the respect Habi 'Ali and Hamza Yusuf have for Martin Lings (ra), which says something about their character as well, being humble enough to praise other scholars, and to have the discernment to see value in them and their work.

What must be understood, is that Lings (ra) was a disciple of Schuon (ra) for over sixty years (60)! And embraced Islam in the latter's hands. He was also influenced by Rene Guenon (ra) who he lived with in Egypt. So you cannot detact Lings from his lineage. Lings taught other Muslims as a Shaykh in Schuon's Order until his death this year. If you call him Shaykh Abu Bakr (ra), it is because Schuon (ra) made him a Shaykh, mashallah, and Hamza Yusuf, Habi 'Ali, and others certainly believe this is a fitting title.

You will know a tree by the fruit it bears. And we know Schuon (ra) by Lings, Burkhardt, Nasr, Eaton, and some of the best Muslim writers of our generation.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Omar HH
21-11-2005, 06:55 AM
Yes if you read the newest Q-News you will see the respect of Habib Ali and Shaykh Hamza for Shaykh Abu Bakr Siraj al-Din.

He was a very smart man no doubt. I heard Shaykh Hamza did something for his newest book "The Book of Certainty"

Abu Abdallah
21-11-2005, 07:06 AM
If you are not tired of this conversation, I would like to make another point which addresses the acceptance of traditionalist/perennialist writers in Egypt and specifically at al-Azhar (Since this was questioned in an above post):

S.H. Nasr writes:

"[Shaykh Abu Bakr] was well known and highly respected among major Sufi masters and 'ulama of al'Azhar in Egypt and also within Sufi circles in other Arab lands, especially the Shadhiliyyah in the Maghrib."

Shaykh 'Ali Juma'a, the current Grand Mufti of Egypt, writes of Shaykh Abu Bakr (ra):

"The meeting between Martin Lings and Rene Guenon had the most profound impact on the emergence of the light of guidance which became known as the Traditionalist School. One of its most conclusive results was a critique of the modern world which is dominated by materialism and the rediscovery of the wisdom which is at the heart of all religions, whether Zoroastrianism or Buddhism or Hinduism, as well as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam..."

"Martin Lings came to Islam under the hand of Shaykh 'Isa Nur al-Din who was Swiss, who in turn came to Islam under the friend of God Ahmad al-'Alawi al-Mustaghanimi al-Jaza'iri..."

"His character influenced the large number of people who knew him, including many young people who sought spiritual advice from him, advice which hopefully they will continue to follow the rest of their lives. They fear they will not find someone like him again. May God have abundant mercy on him and bless the ummah with people like him. Amin."

"We are in need of studying in a scholarly manner such icons that came to Islam in order to confirm the universality of this religion and its suitability for every time and place."

Lings, and the traditionalist perspective is accepted in Egypt, and by the finest scholars in the Muslim world. If many Arabs reject this perspective, it is because they reject Sufism in general. Indeed, perennialist writers have found a greater audience in Turkey, Iran, the Malay world, Pakistan, Europe, and the United States. Popularity alone does not entail veracity, but if one examines these writings along side the Quran, Sunnah, and writings of classical Sufi writers, it is clear that their aqiqah perfectly accords with the Noble Quran and Messenger, may Allah Bless him and grant him Peace.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Abu Abdallah
21-11-2005, 07:26 AM
"The Book of Certainty "was the first book Lings' published, and the first book Hamza Yusuf says he read about Islam in 1976 in Ojai, California, in his article in the journal Sophia.

"I remember purchasing a small metaphysical treatise by an author with a foreign name way back in 1976 as I was browsing the shelves in a small bookstore located amidst a beautiful garden in Ojai, California. The title was "The Book of Certainty: The Sufi Doctrine of Faith, Vision, and Gnosis, and the author was Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din. At the time, I knew nothing of Islam let alone who the author was, yet the title intrigued me. It was, in essence, what I was searching for -certainty.

I read as much of the book as I could but recall not understanding very much. It quoted extensively from the Quran and offered highly esoteric commentaries in a language quite foreign to me. I set it aside, but my curiosity had been piqued so that shortly thereafter, in a life-altering transaction, I purchased a Quran and began to read a very personal revelation that would compel me to convert to the religion of Islam."

"What I didn't know at the time was that Dr. Martin Lings and Abu Bakr Siraj ad-Din, the man whose book led me to the Quran, were one and the same person."

It is possible Hamza Yusuf is helping with another printing of the text. What is compelling about this all is that this is about "the Sufi Doctrine of Faith," as being a signal to vision and gnosis. So while it is important to hear about the fire (as in the burning bush), hearing about the fire is different than seeing the fire, and still even more different than being burned by the fire.

So doctrine is limited because human words alone cannot express the Divine Reality, it must be experienced, through repitition of the Divine Word.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Omar HH
21-11-2005, 08:15 AM
Woops I meant "Questions and Answers"

Thanks for that quote by Shaykh Jumu`ah. He is good.

Abu Abdallah
21-11-2005, 09:12 PM
You are welcome. Thank you for all of your posts and contributions. I will have to look at the Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller letter with some care, and in detail. Perhaps when we have more time we can continue this discussion.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

tazkiyyah
22-11-2005, 07:00 PM
Sufism can be a double edged sword.
For those who are amateurs like me, getting into the sophistications of the science
can lead you astray...
e.g. mawlana thanwi said that the word kafir in the language of the sufis can mean the faani dunya..whereas an amateur will take a different meaning and it will lead him astray

In fact mawlana thanwi said , one should not teach sufism to non-muslims.WHy?
Because dhikr has a deliciousness to it. They will start feeling good, without becoming muslims and they may not feel the need for islam per se...and this is misguidance.

So I feel, these deeper issues should not be touched by amateurs.Many sufis told people ,even scholars, that though ibn arabi was a righteous sufi(and he was defended by the elders of deoband) and hallaj too was defended by the elders of deoband,.....their words cannot be read without extensive commentaries
I think its a bit careless to publish translations of ibn arabi in english for the layman(As
islamic texts society and others have done-including fons vitae) who
may have no knowledge of aqeeda/ etc etc
It may lead them all astray!

tazkiyyah
22-11-2005, 07:05 PM
At the same time he noted:-

One philosopher wrote a letter informing me that after he had become a complete atheist he reverted back to Islam by studying the Mathnavi (of Mulana Rumi [rahmatullah alayhi]). I prescribe the Diwan of Hafiz and Mathnavi for those devoid of passion. The statements of these sages kindle yearning in the heart. The Molvi Saheb (i.e. the philosopher) had no faith in the Sufiya. I, therefore, advised him to sit in the dars (class) of Mathnavi. After a while a state of ecstasy settled over him. He became a great admirer of Maulana Rumi (rahmatullah alayhi).

Abu Abdallah
23-11-2005, 01:51 AM
Assalamu 'Alaykum,

I would like to point out that we are dealing with several different questions here:

Is the shariah necessary for someone who wants to be on the Path (tariqah)?

The answer to this question by Schuon, Lings, Nasr, and those at ITS and Fons Vitae is yes! This is why they also publish books on fiqh, versions of Quran, hadith, and sirah, in addition to books on Sufism.

Now whether or not it is advantageous to make the books and teachings on Sufism public, is another question, and an important one. There is a tendency in the West to avoid Islam in the name of "Sufism." Yet, the publication of such material has brought many westerners to Islam, and strengthened the faith of Muslims in general (as you have pointed out). Not to mention the intellectual critique of modernism, secularism, and scientism that scholars derive from various Sufi texts. In fact, Sufism (with in the context of Islam) is one of the fews things that can challenge modernity and extremism, and bring back spiritual beauty and meaning to our world, and the soul of each person (along with sacred art). Read "Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition," ed. by Joseph Lumbard. Various Scholars use the life and work of al-Ghazali (ra), Ibn 'Arabi (ra), M. Thanvi (ra) and others to challenge modern ideologies within the West and the Islamic world. Sufism has a general message for the world, and a specific message and Way for adepts on the Path.

I think there must be care when presenting the writings of Ibn 'Arabi (ra), Rumi (ra), Hafez (ra), and others. You will see in the work of Schuon, Lings, Nasr, Chittick and others that they make it very clear that the above awliya practiced the shariah, and that they also taught others to, as a necessary requirement for salvation, and as a protection on the Path (tariqah).

This is in contrast to so many other translations in the West that take Islam and the shariah out of Sufism, as is common with the versions of Rumi (ra). So we can either let these translations and presentations of Sufism stand, or make the necessary corrections and affirm that Sufism only exists within Orthodox Islam.

As far as the question of whether salvation is possible through other religions...this is still another question. We have already dealt with this. But whether we agree or disagree about the plurality of salvation, we can agree that Sufism only exists in Islam.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

celt islam
23-11-2005, 02:40 AM
Assalamu 'Alaykum,

I would like to point out that we are dealing with several different questions here:

Is the shariah necessary for someone who wants to be on the Path (tariqah)?

The answer to this question by Schuon, Lings, Nasr, and those at ITS and Fons Vitae is yes! This is why they also publish books on fiqh, versions of Quran, hadith, and sirah, in addition to books on Sufism.

Now whether or not it is advantageous to make the books and teachings on Sufism public, is another question, and an important one. There is a tendency in the West to avoid Islam in the name of "Sufism." Yet, the publication of such material has brought many westerners to Islam, and strengthened the faith of Muslims in general (as you have pointed out). Not to mention the intellectual critique of modernism, secularism, and scientism that scholars derive from various Sufi texts. In fact, Sufism (with in the context of Islam) is one of the fews things that can challenge modernity and extremism, and bring back spiritual beauty and meaning to our world, and the soul of each person (along with sacred art). Read "Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition," ed. by Joseph Lumbard. Various Scholars use the life and work of al-Ghazali (ra), Ibn 'Arabi (ra), M. Thanvi (ra) and others to challenge modern ideologies within the West and the Islamic world. Sufism has a general message for the world, and a specific message and Way for adepts on the Path.

I think there must be care when presenting the writings of Ibn 'Arabi (ra), Rumi (ra), Hafez (ra), and others. You will see in the work of Schuon, Lings, Nasr, Chittick and others that they make it very clear that the above awliya practiced the shariah, and that they also taught others to, as a necessary requirement for salvation, and as a protection on the Path (tariqah).

This is in contrast to so many other translations in the West that take Islam and the shariah out of Sufism, as is common with the versions of Rumi (ra). So we can either let these translations and presentations of Sufism stand, or make the necessary corrections and affirm that Sufism only exists within Orthodox Islam.

As far as the question of whether salvation is possible through other religions...this is still another question. We have already dealt with this. But whether we agree or disagree about the plurality of salvation, we can agree that Sufism only exists in Islam.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah



asalaamualaykum, schuon ,lings and nasr are all perrenialists , and form the very fabric of psudo sufism , schuon with his secret inner cirlce of nudic tantric-hinduism, and lings with his free masonic symbolism? what is intresting about lings is that he moved away from schuon , espeicaly when he found out that schuon didnt get idhan from shaykh al alawi, acculay schuon was given a letter from sidi adda bentounes, which is very intresting indeed as the people of mostaghanem rejected the self appionted sidi adda when he claimed shaykh of tariqah, only schuons group accpeted him!
and just to finish off this schuon fake sufi once and for all here is what he says about the sunnah and how it is a problem for him as a perrenialist ,

"from the point of view of the Religio Perrennis , the queston of the sunna implies a highly delicate problem, given that the accentuation of the intermediate and social sunna goes hand in hand with a perticular religious psychism, which by definition excludes other equally possable religious psychisms and which fashons , as they do , a particular mentality one obviously is not essential to islamic knowledge"
[ understanding islam by f schuon ]

so look what we have here!! schuon clearly does not understand what islam realy is! the fact is mr schuon the difficulty of the sunnah is the difficulty of the second part of the shahadah , muhammadun rasullulah [ saw] , the second part of the shahadah is what makes islam complete and unique.
schuon portrays the sunna as an accident of a particular religious psychism ,
and he separates the following of the sunnah from the essence of islamic knowledge, this is a prefound revealing of his missunderstanding of both the sunna and islamic knowledge , which go hand in hand and belong inseparably together. appart from that his abuse of art and knowledge is very well known, icons of prophets angels ect are strictly forbidden, so why did schuon paint his version of lady mary mother of isa [as] and make people pray towards it in a kinda hindu fashon?
and last but not least !,was his claim to be in direct communion with lady mary mother of isa [ as] ?

wa salaam

Abu Abdallah
23-11-2005, 04:55 AM
For those of you who want people to take Sunni forum seriously, you should consider banning this type of slander, or at least correcting those who commit it. It is against the Quran, Sunnah, and the shariah, and especially adab and Sufi ethics.

Celt Islam,

You are very good at taking things out of context, to try to prove your point. I think I will focus on the chapter you quoted from, and look at Schuon's entire view of the Sunnah:

"To the "Book" (Kitab) of God is joined the "Practice" (Sunnah) of the Prophet; it is true that the Quran itself speaks of the Sunnah of Allah, meaning by this God's principles of action with regard to men, but tradition has reserved this word for the ways of acting, customs or examples of Muhammad. These precedents constitute the norm, at all levels, of Muslim life." (Understanding Islam, p. 95)

Schuon (ra) goes on to list various levels of the Sunnah which correspond to the moral, cultural, spiritual, and quintessential Sunnah. In your above out of context quote, Schuon (ra) is simply pointing out that the cultural Sunnah is relative, whereas the quintessential Sunnah of the Prophet (sal) is metahistorical and transcends time and space.

To illustrate this point he mentions the story of Moses (as) and Khidr (as) in the Quran. Khidr (as) understood the quintessential Sunnah, while Moses (as) was critisizing Khidr's (as) actions based on his understanding of certain relative moral and social principles.

When referring to the quintessential Sunnah, Schuon (ra) mentions a saying of Shaykh al-Darqawi (ra), "The systematic pusuit of meritorious acts and the multiplication of supererogatory practices are habits amongsth others; they pull the heart in all directions. Let the disciple therefore hold fast to a single dhikr, to a single action, each according to what corresponds to him."

While Schuon (ra) always emphasized what is most essential, we read in S.H. Nasr's "Schuon and the Islamic Tradition":

The private life of Schuon was in fact carried out in an atmosphere which recreated the traditional Islamic ambience in the heart of the West. The interior of his house was like the most beautiful traditional maghribi home and in it one hardly felt separated from the traditional atmosphere of the Islamic world. But it was not only this immediate ambience that was filled with objects of Islamic art. His days were punctuated with the daily prayers and when he was younger he fasted not only during Ramadan, but also many days of the year following the Sunnah of the Prophet. Almost every day he recited the Quran. We remember in the 60's he began to travel more extensively, he asked us to send him thirty parts (juz') of the Quran is separate bindings so that he could take one or two along without having to carry the whole book which in its larger printings is of course heavy. From the time of his conversion to Islam he lived as a Muslim although hidden from the public, practicing the tradition from its exoteric to the most esoteric level. As already mentioned, his being the great spokesman for esoterism and universal metaphysics did not affect his being a Muslim on the plane of forms. Although he wrote eloquently of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shamanism, and other religions, his name for his followers remained Shaykh 'Isa Nur al-Din Ahmad and not something else. And when he died he was buried according to Islamic rites carried out strictly on the basis of traditional practices." (Sophia, Volume 5 Number 1, pp. 30-31)

If the quote you took out of context offends you, it is because you are ignorant of the religio perennis and the life of Schuon (ra). Schuon (ra) observed the Sunnah in detail. He wore traditional Islamic clothes, and lived a simple life. He also followed the shariah. Yet, the religio perennis is the eternal religion that has manifested to 124,000 prophets. Various social conditions have required different customs, yet the essential laws are the same. You will notice that Allah requires slightly different things of the Jews in the Quran, that are different from Islamic Law. This is what Schuon (ra) was pointing out. At one time people pray towards Jerusalem, and another time towards Mecca, yet Allah is neither of the East nor of the West. With that said, Schuon always prayed towards Mecca because he understood the time and place that he was living in, and the value of having a center.

As a Muslim, he practiced the Sunnah as well as one can in the West. Understanding that there is diversity among Muslims in Arabia, Persia, Turkey, Pakistan, Africa, the Malay world, China, and in the West. Yes, we should all pray, fast, and dhikr according to the essential Sunnah. But if one form of food is more abundant in a certain region, or if one style of clothing (within the bounds of modesty) in more suited for a certain climate, then we don't all do as the Arabs do.

As far as you other posts are concerned, we feel no obligation to address slander and backbiting, especially when there is no evidence for such outlandish claims.

Yes, Schuon painted beautiful paintings. And you make electronic music. The Prophet (sal) did neither, yet the principles of beauty are contained in the Quran and the quintessential Sunnah. Either you agree with this, or you are acting against the Quran, Sunnah, and shariah.

Anyone on this board can address the veracity of Celt Islam's claims be reading Ling's (ra) writings which pay homage to Schuon (ra), or asking one of Ling's disciples if he died as Schuon's disciple. Because I saw one of them today, and she affirmed no such non-sense.

If you have a PC, you can watch a video on this site that talk about Lings' (ra) spiritual influences (click on slideshows and scroll down to biographies): www.worldwisdom.com

caution! those who are scared of other religions and their teachings, and believe that reading about other religions take them outside the fold of Islam, should not click on the above website.

Salam,
Abu Abdallah

celt islam
23-11-2005, 11:11 AM
asalaamualaykum one needs to read the book by sidi umar vadillio called the esoteric deviation in islam , which exposes psudo sufis like schuon and nasr ,here is a little taste ;

The Esoteric Deviation in Islam



In this magisterial near-1000 page study of the current state of Islam the author surveys today’s situation in the light of the sociology and doctrines that have affected the world Muslim community over the last 150 years. Based on a vast research, a carefully argued case is put which is both a critique and analysis of deviation, and a construct for Islam’s future.



The Author delineates the key term of “esotericism” in Part 1 of the book, describing it as that tendency to consider what is inward more important than what is outward, and therefore to transform Islam into an esoteric, or inward, religion of ‘Islamic principles’, in which outer matters, and ultimately the Shari‘ah, are negotiable, abrogated, to be modernised, contingent, or merely of secondary importance.



Throughout the book he couples this phenomenon with the integration and assimilation of the Muslim Ummah into the new religion of capitalism, unveiling the doctrine of “All religions are equal” as actually meaning “All religions are equally wrong”, and defining the supposedly inclusivistic perennialist movements, as well as modernist movements, all as means of allowing the Muslims to submit to the now dominant capitalist dogma. Now, he states, the religions, and in particular Islam, can be democratically questioned, only capitalism and its laws remain aloof, unquestionable.



Part 3, The Religious Reforms, uses the christian reform in Europe - the christianisation of usury, or riba - to illustrate the Islamic reform movement of the 20th century, which saw the islamisation of usury, and then of banks, stock exchanges, constitutions, insurance and so on. Drawing parallels, he throws light on the people involved and the processes common to these reforms. Part 4, Freemasonry, examines the influence of that school: masonry, he says, is now largely irrelevant since its once controversial and secretly promulgated doctrines of “the Unity of Belief in God of All Religions and Spiritual Paths” and “Universal Brotherhood of Mankind” have become openly accepted as part of capitalism.



Part 5, Islam, returns us to the Madinan foundations of correct Islam and reasserts that the only religion with Allah is Islam, and that Islam abrogates all other religions and spiritual paths. He examines the Dhimma contract under which jews and christians can live in the lands of Islam, and the esotericised, modernised equivalent in which the Muslims are abased and without sovereignty. The author explains, with comprehensive evidence, the unacceptability of human rights under Islamic Law. He covers the subject of the Mahdi, and how it has grown into a millennialist excuse to postpone the establishment of Islam until an unknown, or sometimes falsely predicted future date, a practice he terms “millennialism”.



Part 6, The Tanzimat - the Esoteric Preparation returns to the source of the esoteric deviation in the middle of the 19th century, and discusses the synchronicity between the change in the nature of money and the emergence of the so-called “rights of man”. Part 7, Political Deviations, then examines this deviation as manifested in the various groups and movements, including the mu’tazili and the shi‘a. Mr Vadillo also delineates correct ‘aqida, set over and against that of the esotericists. He continues, quoting extensively from their sources, with the imamiyyas, bahaism, and the wahhabis.



In Part 8, The Esotericisation of Tasawwuf, Vadillo examines further material from esoteric sources: René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon, Shaykh Nazim and many other key figures who have promoted an esoteric deviation from Islam along with the perennialist error that all religions stem from a primordial religion, which is therefore superior to all of the outward forms, opening the door to a complete abandonment of Shari‘ah.



Part 9, The esotericisation of the Shari‘ah, deals with the same subject but from the viewpoint of the modernists, who as Vadillo explains essentially did the same thing under the guise of reform rather than a deviated Tasawwuf. He outlines their basic doctrines and typical thinking, and the devices of belief and reasoning they used to bring about their changes. Part 10, The Humanist Stage, examines the individuals involved with detailed quotations and references. Jamaluddin al-Afghani, his freemasonry, political activities and alliances; ‘Abduh and Reda; the modernist-wahhabi alliance; the Young Turks and the anti-Khalifate position.



The Utilitarian Stage, Part 11, takes the development further as it progresses into the 20th century. Hasan al-Banna, whose theories “belong to Islamic reformist thinking impregnated with the ideas of political humanism, namely nationalism, statism and democracy”; Sayyid Qutb; Muhammad Asad; and others. In Part 12, The Assimilation Stage: esoteric nihilism, he forms a clear case against Islamic banking and Islamic statism, before following the deviation to its final evolution, examining the writings of figures such as Sayyed Hussein Nasr, Shaykh Ahmad Kuftaro and Anwar Ibrahim. Part 13, The Politics of the Esoteric Deviation, examines the forms and sources of political docility, the philosophy of ‘the Muslims are weak’, opposition to the Khalifate, waiting on the Khalifate, Puritanism other similar philosophies.



Part 14 is The Opening of Islam, explaining the importance of the following the behaviour of the people of Madinah as a blueprint for a construct of victory for the Muslims, as well as the necessity of Tasawwuf and the real prospect of renewal through Islam. He concludes with an outline programme for reimplementing the Zakat, Islamic Trading, Islamic Gold and Silver currency, caravans, guilds and Islamic contracts, all set out and expanded within the framework of our modern society. In other words, a complete alternative to capitalism rooted in the revealed pattern of the Book and the Sunna.



The extensive appendices, glossaries, footnotes and bibliography make up a monumental study resource and fascinating reading in their own right.



There is no other book of this kind in existence today. One of its greatest achievements is to depict the modernist/wahhabi and perennialist/pseudo-sufic fronts as merging in the assimmilation into capitalism. The esoteric deviation is a philosophy of defeat. The Muslim seeking answers to the modern predicament will inevitably come to the door of this work, and in it will find relief, openings, and an opportunity to start afresh and return to the beginning, reminded of the obligation of obedience over and against utilitarian pragmatism, and of Allah’s promise to the Muslims of victory.



* * * *



“For a hundred years we have been without Khalifate. For the last hundred years a reform was introduced in Islam on two fronts which was meant to paralyse Islam, the only force that could prevent capitalism from reaching its final destiny, the world state. One front was an exoteric modernism and the second was an esoteric traditionalism or perennialism. Both were influenced by freemasonry and incited by freemasons. In our present day, both fronts have merged into one front. This esoteric deviation is preparing Islam to enter the final phase of capitalism. We will prevent it. This book is the first step to eradicating this hundred year old plague. Insha'allah. I put my trust in Allah.”



Umar Ibrahim Vadillo

here is where you can order the book ; http://islamicbookstore.com/b8261.html

Abu Abdallah
25-11-2005, 02:15 AM
Tazkiyyah posted the folowing in another forum. He is pointing out the weaknesses in the Ummah in the US:

5. Sects: We are creating differences today on issues that were decided 1,000 years ago. Shaykh Hamza specifically pointed out the selafi and progressive muslim movements. He also said that we are abusing takfir with one another and being conservative with its use considering that calling the wrong person a kaffir is committing kufr.

celt islam
26-11-2005, 02:05 AM
Tazkiyyah posted the folowing in another forum. He is pointing out the weaknesses in the Ummah in the US:

5. Sects: We are creating differences today on issues that were decided 1,000 years ago. Shaykh Hamza specifically pointed out the selafi and progressive muslim movements. He also said that we are abusing takfir with one another and being conservative with its use considering that calling the wrong person a kaffir is committing kufr.

asalaamualaykum, when the deen is attacked in such an abusive way one cannot just sit on the fence and do nothing!, we as muslims have a duty to defend islam at all costs even if it means that one my die in the proccess.
As for your attitude towards schuon and nasr who have not only distorted islam and sufism by introducing hindu and psudo native american beliefs , but there attitude towards the deen of ALLAH has been exposed! , there are many scholars from many tariqah's including the alawiyya-darqawi tariqah who have writen books and exposed the self proclimed shaykh schuon as a farce and foney, and exposed his belifs that are contary to islamic teaching!.
The holy messenger sayyiduna muhammad [ saw] told us that devient people will try and distort the deen of al islam for there own means and schuon is one of them, i have given you proof of his kufr and you still deny, as a muslim brother i ask you one thing, look and do your resurch and you will see what these people have done and how they have introduced free-masonic modernist ideas to what they call sufism.
wa alaykumsallam.

Abu Abdallah
26-11-2005, 03:30 AM
That's interesting...I have never heard of the scholars you are referring to, or seen any of their books. After the passing of Shaykh Abu Bakr (ra), S.H. Nasr has to be one of the most respected scholars on traditional Islam and Sufism living in the West, in addition to G. Eaton, Abd al-Hakim Murad, Hamza Yusuf, and a few others, even if they disagree on some points of doctrine.

By the way, there was no intellectual Islamic critique of modernity, secularism, and scientism before Rene Guenon (ra) and Frithjof Schuon (ra), who along with Ananda Coomaraswamy and others in the Islamic world such as Maulana Thanvi (ra) educated Muslims and those in the West about the vicisitudes of modernity.

It makes absolutely no sense to make takfir on Muslims for writings about the relative virtues on Hinduism (something Abd al-Karim Jili r.a. wrote about), the Native American traditions, or Western initiatic groups.

You think God only smiles on Muslims. And this is the same attitude we hear from Christians who say you have to accept Jesus (as) to go to Heaven. No I won't buy this brand of religion.

Abu Abdallah

Abu Abdallah
26-11-2005, 04:50 AM
When a Muslim takes pride in his heritage and says Celt Islam, Arab Islam, African Islam, American Islam, etc. and looks at the pre-Islamic symbols from that culture that correspond to Islam is that kufr?

Let us look at the Celtic tradition, with no intention to revive what may be left of pre-Christian traditions or Celtic Christianity. One sees floral designs that resemble arabesque patterns in Islamic calligraphy and architecture, and point to the book of nature. Nature itself is sanctified, and its signs point to a transcendent Reality. One also hears stories about the "Green Man." The symbol of the cross is also used. Its vertical and horizontal dimensions relate to the Universal Man (al-insan al-kamil) as a link and bridge between Heaven and earth. The mythological stories, like those in Greek culture, also point to a higher reality, and have transhistorical and cross cultural meanings.

The point is this: I am not writing all of this to revive some pseudo New Age Wiccan tradition, or even Celtic Christianity. Yet the pre-Islamic traditions in Europe and in all cultures have value for the people who live there, and should have relative value for all people who use their intellect. Every nation was sent a prophet. As such we honor those teaching by understanding it through tawhid, and it therefore retains some of its original meaning. This does not mean we should practice anything other than what the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet (sal) prescribe.

Yet by showing people parallels between their culture and tradition and Islam, they will see the beauty and truth of Islam, as a summation of all the teachings that came before Muhammad (sal). I don't think one can truly understand Islam without some cross-cultural experience, not to mention an appreciation for what came before the last Prophet (sal).

My wife and I are part Native American, and do not appreciate the pejorative comments about the Native American traditions, as if it is wrong for Muslims and Native Americans to interact and come together from time to time. Yes, it is incorrect to mix traditions on the formal level. Yet it is correct to see that Allah are the Great Spirit are the same God, and for the various nations to interact and occasionally share gifts, stories, and prayers.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

tazkiyyah
26-11-2005, 09:19 AM
Abu Abdullah.
The points that Lings and Nasr discuss are very complex theological points.

I for one, do not understand them. Hence i do not say they are wrong. Most sufis I know shy away from the cosmology of ibn arabi nowadays, and the fact that there are so many discussions like this one on the net show that it shouldnt be discussed amongst the awaam.

Gai Eaton writes in a style much more easily understood for the masses.

I think it would be better not to discuss such intricate complexity amongst non-scholars who have not studied those texts in a tariqa with a shaykh and nowadays people dont even know the basics of kalam/etc never mind delving into
the benefits of wahdat ul wujood /wahdat us shuhood and so many other issues.

Abu Abdallah
27-11-2005, 07:47 PM
Assalamu 'Alaykum,

I think you take the right course tazkiyyah. And I am willing to drop this discussion for the time being because of your moderate and thoughtful comments.

Indeed, it is better to remain silent if we don't understand all of the utterances and actions of some Sufi Masters. I certainly don't understand everything Shaykh al-Akbar (ra) has written, and I don't understand everything the perennialists have written either. And if we are in this boat, it is better to allow those who do understand what they have written to interpret such teachings.

I have had the oppurtunity to study directly with one of the shuyukh among them, and feel that I can interpret some of what they have written. Not to mention the fact that my experience with this teacher has proved to me that they hold strong to the rope of Allah: the Quran, Sunnah, the five pillars, iman, and ihsan.

I don't doubt that others associated with perennialism in the Islamic context act outside of tradition and Orthodoxy, one can see some people like this in every tariqah, and even among some Wahabbis who drink alcohol. But this is not the norm for what I have witnessed among certain scholars, and any legit. Sufi Order. In fact, I have seen a stricter interpretation of the Shariah among Muslim perennialists than I have seen in other Sufi Orders, and even among Muslims who are not in a tariqah.

wa salam,
Abu Abdallah

Azlan Khalili
04-05-2012, 03:09 AM
Tasawwuf to me is the inner dimension of Islam. My tasawwuf is the tasawwuf of the Great Imam al Ghazali as exemplified in his Ihya Ulum al Din. I follow various tariqahs, and hold to the Shariah.

Azlan Khalili Ash Shadhiliyah