Friday, December 04, 2009 By Maryam
Qayshari, Junayd, Ghazali, Ibn Arabi, Sirhindi and other great masters of Sufism have always been critical of corruptions in Sufi practice at the hands of ignorant dervishes, addicts, madmen, occultists, guardians of the shrines, so-called peers posing as Sufi masters and libertine pseudoSufis. Modern forms of sama would be loathed by most Sufi authorities. Just a few remarks of Ibn Arabi on his contemporary dervishes: "They have no knowledge of the prohibited (al-harâm) to make them return"; and "They don't know the conditions of the sunna or the obligatory works, they aren't even fit to serve as a servant in the toilets." Ibn Qayyim Jawzi and such things as the chapter on Sufism in Talbeesi Iblees have great value for separating the satanic from the divine in what poses as Sufism. Most peers selling amulets and involved in the business of jinns are not real Sufis. Most of true Sufis are hidden – extraordinarily ordinary persons – whom you can’t guess easily as being elevated souls. A very simple test of a good Sufi is his character – how far he resembles the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) whose function was perfection of morality or virtue –, in his state of sabr, raza, tawakkul etc. He can’t be self centred. Apparently supernatural things, predictions, mind reading, faith healing can’t be trusted as evidence of being genuine Sufi. Self praise and boosting are indications of one’s degradation. Genuine Sufis have no interest to be respected, praised, served and in money minting. They respect shrines but are not asthan parast as the greatest shrine is the human heart and God’s residence is there only. They will help the poor more than they will be interested in celebrating curses with great pomp. They are not great debaters to be interested in takfeer of rivals, to dispute doctrinal matters, to slander other believers. They believe only in themselves – even Gabriel is a prey in their net – so they cannot be accused of shirk. They will not readily beg even God for mundane things – their prayer is not petition – not to speak of going from asthan to asthan. They are more interested in saving their souls rather than in processing the files of the clients regarding worldly matters.