Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sufi Islam in a Wahabi world.

Bismi'llah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim...for the sake of Prophet Muhammad saws and Sheikh Nazim may Allah protect his secret.

Once again I am including something from BL which I hope could be useful to others, either as information or clarification or at least as provocation to further investigation and deeper understanding on the Sufi Islam in a Wahabi world, theme.


Resting the case .. hearing the inner voice.

Once again I got a bit carried away in a comment to Anna, this time though I didn't lose it all. It kind of answers some stuff about the whole Wahabi thing and it would be nice to let this subject rest for a while now.There's something so dark and heavy about the whole thing. I just wanted to try to clear something up, not get bogged down in the thing I was trying to clarify!
In the end it is the heart that speaks and guides in spiritual matters and no amount of rational argument will ever do any good work if the heart is not open or inclined.I believe we all have a voice inside us that tries to be heard.A voice that speaks the truth and of other worlds and realities and spiritual love.In a way it either is, or is connected with, the voice of the conscience and that is what I am sad to see being covered up by so much materialism and rational thought and this sadness is what got me going about non-belief after Skippers' probing question.Anyway, here's the comment;

Anna, I'm still deliberating about how to answer your question..but there are some basic points which are generally well known to sunni Muslims.

First of all there is the great difference between showing respect and reference for the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and to saints that came after him and worshipping them. This is a very obvious difference to true believers who could never muddle worship of the One True Uncreated God Allah and a created human being. Only really someone who is very jealous or has a big problem with respect and authority and a huge ego can be so bold as to try to bring those human beings who have achieved (or been given by God's grace) those special levels, down to the same level as their own miserable selves.
So, there is a muddling between showing respect,reverence and love and worshipping, (wether it be of living people such as the Prophet or saints in their life times, or for their living spirit after their death,or particularly where this influence is often felt strongly, at their tombs). I really think only ignorant,hard hearted and jealous proud people can make this mistake.It can so often be seen that the ego and the mind get together to 'prove' the non-existence of true spirituality and of it's life and influence upon people individually and collectively.(It is easy to see this when watching the climate changes and other strange things happening in these times and people only looking to material causes, never thinking that it may have something to do with the general level of immorality and sin in today's modern world and that this may have an effect on more subtle levels of existence or the spiritual world, or be displeasing to God however one concieves of Him.)

Another strange point is that Ibn Al Wahab and his followers believe in the hands, face and other attributes of God ,mentioned in the Koran as actual rather than symbolic..and that the same goes for His Throne and so on. Even though phrases are repeated many times in the Koran indicating the opposite, such as "Far be He above what they describe." and ...also "And He is not like any other thing." In other words the Wahabis believe that God has a form .. which is another sign of their somewhat wooden headed and low level of understanding.
They see themselves as reformers "cleaning up" practices which they can only see as "bidaa" (new things introduced into the religion) because they don't understand what is happening or being done.. nor respect the fact that the Prophet quite clearly condoned and encouraged these very things. (examples of which are well known from the hadith literature).To back up their claims they want to always use their own reasoning and put aside the four main schools of Islamic law which have been rigorously worked out and adhered to as a protection for Islam through centuries, it being part of sunni Islam to belong to one of these so that one avoids the tendency of the nafs (or ego) to go looking for the easiest and most convenient things from each to please oneself, or, which is worse, simply make up one's own ideas and conclusions without real deep or comprehensive knowledge. (For instance masters of hadith might often study for thirty years before their teacher gave them permission to teach to others, without even considering the levels of Koran and hadith knowledge necessary to hand down any legal rulings or judgements, which Ibn Al Wahab did so carelessly and ignorantly in his vain and devil-may-care fashion.)
They claim to use "ijtihad" or their own reasoning to go back to the Koran and hadith (on their own without reference to authority) to deduce what they see as "pure" Islam and in the process have lost all real respect for the Prophet (pbuh) and also to his highly respected companions whom the Prophet referred to as being "like stars" any one of which, if followed, would take one to the goal.The results of this ignorance and dogma and extremism has been incidents of killing other Muslims, making their lives and blood "halal" according to their twisted shameful doctrine as did their forbears the "Khawarij" in a much earlier generation... and the deliberate destruction of Korans because of their beautifully illuminated covers..which they ripped off and used the leather to make sandals with.
I suppose one has to be Muslim to really understand and feel these things .. but perhaps the above examples communicate something? Perhaps an example nearer to your own experience might be the Jehova's Witnesses or some other dogmatically rigid group from the U.S or Canada within the Christian religion. Sometimes they can be so squeaky clean and so full of convincing arguments..but one just "knows" they are off the wall and wrong somewhere, without even knowing the Bible or Christian dogma..just by their very way of being. It's a bit like that ..too.. I actually sat and tried to talk to these people until about four in the morning in Jeddah when I was on Haj .. and I just ended up with a BIII-G headache! The guy sat surrounded by piles of books (all written by his own people) which he had got down from his wall of shelves and constantly referred to, as if that was going to prove anything or "speak to my heart".

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