What is Tasawwuf?


"There is no doubt that Tasawwuf is an important branch of Islam. The word itself may have been derived form the Arabic word "Soof" (Wool) or from "Safa" (cleanliness), but its foundation lies in one’s personal sincerity in seeking Allah’s nearness and trying to live a life pleasing to Him. Study of the Quran, the Hadith, and the practical life of the holy Prophet Muhammad-saws and his faithful Companions provide unmistakable support to this reality."

(Tasawwuf - An Objective Appraisal by Shaikh Allah Yar Khan)



What is not Tasawwuf?


“Kashf (visions) and Karamah (wondrous acts) are not essential to Tasawwuf though charlatans claim such gifts as Sufism, in order to gain personal advantage in business, or win cases in the courts of law. Nor is Sufism in any way involved in hocus pocus and talisman trading. Sufism has also nothing to do with prostration on tombs or the lighting of lamps on them. To predict future is not Sufism either, nor is calling the Aulia (Saints) in absentia (with the belief that they hear such a call), nor the belief that they have the power to deliver mankind from its sufferings. No Tawajjuh (spiritual attention) of a mentor can edify and enlighten a disciple and direct him toward the Straight Path without his own efforts and his own adherence to the Prophet’s Sunnah. Claims for the veracity of Kashf and Ilham are not Sufism, nor are taken to be essentials of Sufism, whereas in fact they are its opposite!”

(Tasawwuf - An Objective Appraisal by Shaikh Allah Yar Khan)


Any action against the Sunnah (Prophet’s way of life) cannot be called Sufism. Singing and dancing, and the prostration on tombs are not part of Sufism. Nor is predicting the future and predicting the outcome of cases in the courts of law, a part of Sufism. Sufis are not required to abandon their worldly possessions or live in the wilderness far from the practical world.  In fact these absurdities are just its opposites. It is an established fact that Tazkiyah (soul purification) stands for that inner purity which inspires a person’s spirit to obey the holy Prophet-saws. If a false claimant of Sufism teaches tricks and jugglery, ignoring religious obligations, he is an impostor. A true Shaikh will lead a believer to the august spiritual audience of the holy Prophet-saws. If you are fortunate enough to be blessed with the company of an accomplished spiritual guide and Shaikh of Sufism, and if you follow his instructions, you will observe a positive change in yourself, transferring you from vice to virtue.