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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al Ya`qubi al Hasani

The Principles of Tasawwuf

By Sheikh Muhammad ibn al Ya`qubi al Hasani.

1.The definition:
Hundreds of definitions of Tasawwuf have been drawn.

The great scholar Sidi Ahmed Zarouq says: ”Tasawwuf has more than two thousand explanatorydefinitions; all ultimately refer to the following: True devotion to Allah from where He likes by the means He likes Some of the common definitions are:
Acting upon knowledge Noble character Acquiring the good characters andgetting rid of the bad.

2. The subject:The Divine Essence as how Allah can be known.
Another opinion says that the subject of this discipline is hearts and souls; because it works on their purification and cultivation.

Both opinions are correct as the latter looks at the goal and the former looks at the means; as it has been correctly said, ”He who knows himself will know his Lord”.

3. The fruit: The fruit or the benefit of this discipline is the purification of the heart and knowing the Master of the worlds.

4. The merit: Tasawwuf is a noble discipline of high merit. Its nobility stems from its subject. Al-Ihsan is one of the three levels of this deen and the highest.

5. The relation of this discipline to the other sciences: Tasawwuf is the base of the Sharia; without it all acts of worship would be imperfect. It is the core of the Quran and the Sunnah and the tissue of muslims spiritual life. Imam Malik (May Allah Ta'ala be pleased with him) says: ”Whoever acquires tasawwuf without fiqh is a heretic and whoever studies fiqh without tasawwuf is unrighteous and who combines both has the reality”

6. The pioneer: The word al-wadi means the one that sets forth this branch of knowledge. It is of course the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace). Many ahadith highlight this fact, most famous of which is hadith Jibril (May Allah ta'ala bless him). The first one who made this knowledge known is Sayyiduna Ali (May Allah Ta'ala be pleased with him) and then his son Sayyiduna al-Hasan (May Allah Ta'ala be pleased with him) and al-Hasan al-Basri (May Allah Ta'ala have mercy on him).

7. The name: The name of this science is tasawwuf. The word is derrived from souf: wool;or from safa: purity; or from suffa: the special place of a group of the sahaba in the Holy Sanctuary of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace).The discipline has been known by this name since the second century ofhijra, i.e. the time of the salaf (May Allah have mercy on them). It has been frequently called ilm as-Sulouk, ilm al-Ihsan, ilm at-Tarbiyah or ilmat-Tazkiyah.

8. The sources: Tasawwuf relies on al-Quran and as-Sunnah as the sources and proofs of its material. The sayings of the great scholars are a rich treasure for the seekers and the masters alike.

9. The legal ruling: The legal ruling of studying tasawwuf is fard i.e. obligatory. Since all human beings are susceptible to sins save for the Prophets. Imam Abul Hasan ash-Shadiliy (May Allah's Ta'ala mercy be with him) ”Who does not deeply study this discipline will die persisting on major sins without being aware of it”.

10. The issues discussed:Tasawwuf tackles some of the cardinal elements of the deen such as ikhlas: sincerity; sidq: truthfulness; wara: religious cautioness; tawakkul: reliance; zuhd: asceticism; mahabba: love; and similarly their opposites,wich are called the diseases of the hearts such as insincerity; hypocrisy;arrogance; greed. It also tackles some of the subtlest subjects such as the passing of thoughts; the states of the heart; inspiration. One of its most important subjects is dhikr, the remembrance of Allah and its virtues; another is the sheikh and his qualifications, the disciple murid and his adab.


  1. Anonymous12:04 am

    Assalamu `Alaykum

    Are the citations literal, or are they descriptions of his words? Barakallah feekum.


  2. I have to be honest it was from and email that I found on the web, I am not sure of the source. Take it generally.
    walikum salam