Quran-verse

{ The day on which property will not avail, nor sons; except
him who comes to Allah with a sound heart.} (26-88/9)

“...Until, when no Alim [i.e. knowledgable, learned person in the religion of Islam] is left, people will take ignorant men for teachers. These will be questioned and they will reply without knowledge. They are themselves misguided and misguide others.” (Hadith of the Prophet MHMD in Sahih al-Bukhari)

“It can be ascertained that the troublemakers (al-mushaghibun) in our time, who claim that they belong to the school of the Salaf, outwardly making a show of such affiliation, do not in any way whatsoever belong to it: neither in knowledge nor in practice. They are propagators of falsehood, deception, and misguidance devoid of all guidance.” (Munir 'Abduh Agha)

To proceed a demonstration of the reality of the esoteric science of Sufism:

“Some formalists recognise only the science of the external religious law comprised in the Quran and the Sunna, and declare that the esoteric science, i. e. Tasawwuf or Sufism, is without meaning. In fact, however, the science of the religious law (Sharia) has an internal as well as an external aspect and inculcates inward as well as outward actions. The outward actions are bodily, such as hunger, fasting, almsgiving and the like, while the inward actions, or the actions of the heart, are faith, sincerity, knowledge of God, etc. The esoteric science signifies the science of the actions of the interior which depend on the interior organ, namely, the heart (al-qalb) and is identical with Sufism. The inward aspect of religion is the necessary complement of the outward aspect, and vice versa. Both aspects are inherent in the Quran, in the Traditions of the Prophet MHMD, and in Islam itself.”
Abu Nasr `Abdallah b. `Ali al-Sarrâj al-Tusi (Kitab al-luma fi l-Tasawwuf)



A Survey Of Decisive Arguments And Proof For

Tasawwuf - Sufism in Islam*

Edited by Omar K Neusser — This is the main page of our Tasawwuf section.

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bit.ly/12emm2k

1. The Basics of Tasawwuf

(This chapter is by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi)

1- Definition: Purification of the heart.
True devotion to Allah in the ways He likes by the means He likes.
... Acting upon knowledge;
Acquiring the good characters and getting rid of the bad. 

2- Subject: Allah, as how He can be known; or hearts & souls, as how to purify them.

3- Fruit: The purification of the heart and knowing the Master of the worlds and attaining the Station of ihsân.

4- Merit: Tasawwuf is of high merit. Its nobility stems from its subject. Ihsân is one of the three levels of this deen and the highest.

5- Relation to other disciplines: It is the base of the Sharia; without it acts of worship become imperfect. It is the core of Quran and Sunnah and the tissue of Muslims spiritual life.

6- Name: The word "tasawwuf" is derrived from souf (wool). Tasawwuf has been known by this name since the second century of hijra, i.e. the time of the salaf. It has been frequently called `ilm as-Sulûk (initiatic traveling & spiritual behaviour), `ilm al-Ihsân, `ilm at-Tarbiyah (cultivation) or `ilm at-Tazkiyah (purification).

7- The pioneer: The pioneer of this branch of knowledge is of course the Prophet MHMD . Many hadiths highlight the spiritual dimension of a Muslim's life.[2.2] The earliest scholar who elaborated on it is al-Hasan al-Basriy.

8- Sources: Tasawwuf is derived from Quran and Sunnah[2.1].The sayings of the great scholars represent a rich treasure for the seekers and the masters.[07]

9- Ruling: Acquiring tasawwuf is fard i.e. obligatory; since all human beings are susceptable to sins save for Prophets. Imam Abul Hasan ash-Shadiliy said:
“He who does not truly acquire this discipline will die persisting on major sins without being aware of it.”

10- What it tackles: Tasawwuf tackles some of the cardinal elements of the deen such as sincerity; truthfulness; religious cautioness (wara'); conscious awareness (khushû') reliance; asceticism; love; and similarly their opposites, which are the diseases of the hearts such as insincerity; hypocrisy; arrogance; greed etc.
It also tackles subtle subjects such as the passing of thoughts; the states of the heart; inspirations. One of its most important subjects is dhikr, the remembrance (i.e. in the evocation & recitation of the name) of Allah and its virtues; another is the shaykh and his qualifications, the disciple, murid, and his adab.

11- Basic works in tasawwuf:
- The Beauty of the Righteous by al-Hafiz Abu Nuaym al-Asfahani
- The Revival of the Sciences of the Deen- (Ihya) al-Imam al- Ghazali
- Al-Risalah of Imam Abul Qasim al-Qushayriy
- The Aphorisms, al-Hikam, of Imam Ibn Atta'illah
- Revelation of the Unseen by Imam Abdul Qadir al-Jaylaniy
- Awarif Al-Ma'arif, by al-Suhrawardi
- Qawa'id Al-Tasawwuf, by Imam Ahmad Zarooq



YaGhaffar YaGhafur
Al-Ghafûr:
the All-forgiving i.e. the One who forgives every thing, all things
Al-Ghaffâr:
the Forgiving all the time of the sins, i.e. the Often-Forgiving.



2. Proof from Quran & Sunna

As a matter of fact the amount of proof is too numerous to list here, and this is so, because Tasawwuf - Sufism is nothing less than the heart of the religion (dîn):

“Being the heart of the Islamic message it is, like the physical heart, hidden from external view, although again like the heart it is the inner source of life and the centre which coordinates inwardly the whole religious organism of Islam. The Tarîqah is the most subtle and difficult aspect of Islam to understand at the same time that its external effect is to be seen in many manifestations of Islamic society and civilisation.” [k/trq_e]

2.1 Tasawwuf in Traditional Islam

There are the evident corrupt acts, to be seen by everyone and the concealed corrupt acts:
Sura7_33
{Say: My Lord has only prohibited indecencies, those of them that are apparent as well as those that are concealed,-} (7-33)
It is the function of the science of Tasawwuf to heal (the heart of) the believer even from the concealed corrupt acts, such as blind hatred, ostentation, envy, hypocrisy. For this there are methods, disciplines[033] and doctors of hearts[3.4].

2.2 The ihsân-hadith expressed by the Angel Gabriel:

an.tabuda
The Messenger of Allah MHMD replied to angel Gabriel's (pbuh) question on Ihsan (perfection), that it is "to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot (yet) see Him, then be sure that He is seeing you."
A sound and famous hadith in Al-Bukhari, vol. 1, no. 47; narrated by Abu Huraira.[o/gh_e]

Prophet Muhammad MHMD  also used to say:
"Truly, Allah does not look at your outward forms and wealth, but rather at your hearts and your works."
Allah swt  does not need our outward accomplishments, building records, material goods etc. when everything we have is only from HIM! But He said (in the Quran) that HE will scrutinize our inner being, our heart or soul:
{ The day on which property will not avail, nor sons; except him who comes to Allah with a (sound) heart* free (from evil).} (26-88/9) *sound heart: [2.3]


2.3 Heart, Soul, Inner Aspect

*sound heart (~ the organ of knowledge):

“A heart in which the affectations of the mind do not arise, and which is safe from the distractions of all that is not God.” [CDS]

*diseased heart:

Shibli said: “A heart ruled by the present world (dunyâ) is debarred from feeling the sweetness of the world to come.”

Allah swt warns us from the disease of the heart, which results in eternal damnation:
Sura 2_10
{ In their hearts is a disease, and Allah has caused their sickness to intensify.} (2-10)

The illness of the heart is of two types:
- suspicion and doubt, and
- desire, allurement and wantonness*.
Ibn Qayyim[MP3]
*(i.e. cruel, violent, sexually immodesty)

One's inward diseases are enough to cancel out one's good deeds - even if they are numerous.[PTP34]

*hadith:
“For every object there is a thing which polishes it and that which polishes the heart is remembrance (dhikr) of God.”

*Quran:
{ For without doubt in the remembrance (i.e. in the evocation & recitation of the name) of Allah do hearts find comfort.} (13-28)
Sura 13_28
{ Those who believe, and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of Allah. For without doubt in the remembrance (i.e. in the evocation & recitation of the name) of Allah do hearts find comfort.} (13-28)




spacetasawwuf

3. The Science Of Tasawwuf

There are several aspects to it, and all have to be taken account of. The beginning of it is when the servant accuses his own soul[m/pse_e], the continuation of it when he takes account of himself in all states, and strives against his ego, seeking recourse in Allah swt . Then there will be blessings (barakah) and ease:
{ With hardship comes ease.} (94-5)


3.1 A Difficult Science, With Great Benefit

It is a science which is easy to hold speaches about, but difficult to implement and practice! Nevertheless one must not avoid the effort, but start the journey at once, before it is too late.
Sura 90_12
{ Ah, what will convey unto you what the Ascent is!} (90-12)

This science is “mixed with what is bitter and distressful. It saddens the heart and brings tears to the eyes...The ego has no portion in its journey ... because its pre-condition is the killing of the ego and abstinence from one's wants. This is why scholars have deserted this science and occupied themselves with the sciences of juridical rulings and differences of opions ... they are lighter upon the souls that are disposed to following their caprice and averse to rights. Allah swt knows best.” [SSK43]


3.2 An Individually Obligatory Science For Everyone

The Prophets - peace be upon them all - are singled out from the generality of believers due to their extra certainty (yaqîn), faith and Prophetic proofs. For the believing Muslim - nay for every Muslim - it is very important to gain deep understanding,* according to the word of the Prophet MHMD :
911-link
“Whoever Allah wishes good for, he grants him deep understanding of religion.”
Al-Bukhari, vol. 1, no.71

*“Deep understanding (fqh) is to know one's self: what is for it and against it.”
Imam Abu Hanifa radiyaa 

*For or against:
The Muslims who implement tasawwuf don't engage in disputation and quarrelling about religion, and certainly not in showing off, but they hold that it is better “for one to occupy himself with what is for and against him,” and they focus on seeking Sacred Knowledge. [SSK67]

“The states, stations, and spiritual struggles (which the Muslims who implement tasawwuf) seek to understand and speak of are needed by all the believers. Knowing their rulings is obligatory upon all and universally relevant. These include qualities such as: truthfulness, sincerity, remembrance, and the avoidance of heedlessness. Nay, the servant must know his intentions, aims, and inner thoughts at every passing moment. If it is a right among the various rights, he must stick to it and if it is his own portion*, he must abstain from it.”[fnSSK46] Allah swt says:

Sura 18_28
{ And do not obey him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, who follows his desires, and whose affair is in neglect.} (18-28)

*That means the servant has to scrutinize his own niyyât and goals at all times in order to discover if they are according with God's satisfaction and stick to them and if they are only for ego's or nafs's portion, he should abstain from it.


3.3 A Warning Of False Claimants

”Among the latter day adherents of Sufism there are claimants who, despite their meagre portion of knowledge and intelligence, claim Divine gnosis and enlightened spiritual unveilings for themselves.” [SSK30]
This is wrong and deviancy.
May Allah bring them back to the Straight Path!


3.4 Looking For A Spiritual Guide

“The benefit of the Shaykh is that he condenses and shortens the path for the spiritual aspirant. Whoever travels the path without a Shaykh is foolish, and he will spend his whole life having not reached his goal because the Shaykh is like the guide who leads the pilgrims to Mecca on a dark night.”[RES57]
Shaykh `Abd Al-Wahhâb Al-Sha`râni

If someone is confused about a particular aspect of this science, he should only defer to the view of  “a scholar who has experienced these states and settled in them and who has researched their sciences and intricacies. Whosoever does otherwise is mistaken.” [SSK49]
Shaykh `Abd al-Hadi Kharsa


3.5 A Measure For The Strength Of One's Struggle (jihâd)

Now if we remind ourselves of the strong love or desire for wordly goods (and grown-ups have this passion, not children) as mentioned in this verse:
Sura 100_8
{ And lo! In the love of wealth he is violent.} (100-8)
then - for reaching the balance -
→ this can be a measure of the strength of our struggle (jihâd) or the force we apply against our nafs for the commands of the LAW and the good pleasure (ridwân) of Allah.



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01 - tasawwuf – an explanation

011→ Sufism ( tasawwuf ) is a knowledge through which one knows the states of the human soul, praiseworthy or blameworthy, how to purify it from the blameworthy and ennoble it by acquiring the praiseworthy [qualities], and to journey and proceed to Allah swt Most High, fleeing unto Him [by taking a spiritual path - tarîq ].

012→ Its fruits are the heart's development, knowledge of God - Allah swt - through direct experience and ecstasy [ie. true experience of the Divine], salvation in the next world, triumph through gaining Allah's pleasure, the attainment of eternal happiness, and illuminating and purifying the heart so that noble matters disclose themselves, extraordinary states are revealed, and one perceives what the insight of others is blind to. Muhammad Amin Kurdi [ icd_e ]

013→ The real meaning of the word "Sufi" means actually the one who is liberated [from the shackles of the dunyâ & nafs] or has completed his spiritual realisation. Otherwise the beginner [of the path] should be called "Mutaçawwif" and never "Sufi" as long as he has not arrived at the final goal. AV

014→ It should be pointed out that Sufism has existed before its name since the very time of the Profet MHMD and according to Shaykh Abd Al Wahid Yahya the name actually means al-hikmah al-ilâhiyyah (knowledge of God). AV

greenstar2sat
The wheel, it doesn't have to be reinvented, only re-adapted.

02 - principles of tasawwuf

021→ All the authentic principles of tasawwuf are to be found in the Qur'an and hadiths, so they are in the Sunnah.

022→ He who dies without having entered into this knowledge of ours dies insisting upon his grave sins (kabâ'ir) without realizing it. [ Al-Shadhili ]

023→ Reaching substantial, true belief in Divine Oneness and living in accordance with its demands. [ 10 principles of Tasawwuf ]

03 - tasawwuf - the way of the Sufis

031→ The reality of tasawwuf is defined by truthful self-orientation (sidq al-tawajjuh) to Allah swt Most High.
(10 items:) [ What is Sufism? ]

032→ Know that tasawwuf is two things:
Truthfulness with Allah Almighty and good conduct with people. Anyone who practices these two things is a Sufi ... [ Imam Al-Ghazali ]

033→ Sufism is not as some people think; merely gathering together to engage in remembrance and recite litanies. What many are unaware of is that Sufism is a complete and practical method for transforming people from loathsome (i.e. causing hatred or disgust; repulsive) individuals to complete and model human beings. This is all done through having sound faith, sincere worship, good and correct actions, and virtuous character. [RES37]

04 - The foundations of our path

041→ These foundations of the path are 5:
* taqwâ (godfearingness, mindfulness of Allah), privately and publicly,
* Adherence to the Sunna in word and deed,
* Indifference to whether others accept or reject one,
* Contentment with Allah swt in times of hardship & ease,
* Turning to Allah in prosperity & adversity.


042→ 5 principles for treating the soul's illnesses:
* lightening the stomach by diminishing one's food and drink,
* taking refuge in Allah swt Most High from the unforeseen when it befalls,
* shunning situations involving what one fears to fall victim to,
* continually asking for Allah's forgiveness and His blessings upon the Prophet MHMD night and day with full presence of mind,
* and keeping the company of him who guides one to Allah swt . [Sheikh Yusuf al-Sayyid Hashim al-Rafa`i]

05 - Concerning The Opponents of Tasawwuf

051→ The detractors of tasawwuf often invent odd things about Sufism, either totally misunderstood or without any basis in tasawwuf, in order to be able to attack it, while presenting themselves as "the true followers of the religion" of Islam.

052→ Nevertheless there those who go to extremes and there are deviatiant groups - parading as followers of Sufism, while being lax on the law (Sharia), culturally inherited customs, inventing new matters. These things have nothing to do with the religion whatsoever.

053→ Certain opponents of tasawwuf adduce two reports, one chainless and one weak-chained, originating in a man from the city of Naseebeen (Iraq) who has been critiqued as munkar al-hadith or 'disclaimed in his narrations' to claim that Imam Malik derided group dhikr. [ Imam Malik and the Sufis ]

054→ “No one is allowed to wag his tongue to malign a folk whose knowledge and state he doesn’t know, whose stations and intentions he has not discovered. Whoever does that will fall into destruction, even though he thinks he is from the sincere advisers. May Allah protect us!” [SSK49]

055→ When you detect the slightest whiff of disrespect for (the schools of tasawwuf), you have been given the first sign that you are in the presence of a disconnected, unbeneficial person. [ Sunnism is respect ]

056→ As for the statement "being a sufi, he is from among those who have gone astray in the history of Islam" it would be fair to say that this statement constitutes kufr because it attributes misguidance to the massive majority of the elite of this Umma ... GFH [ Mawlana Jalal al-Din ar-Rumi 'misguided'? ]

057→ Remember Imam Ghazali's advice in al-Munqidh min al-Dalal: "Think good thoughts (about Sufis) and do not harbor doubts in your heart"; and of Ibn Hajar al-Haytami's fatwa concerning critics of those who respect tasawwuf and believe in awliya': "Bad thoughts about them (Sufis) is the death of the heart." [Those Who Attack Al-Ghazali]

058→ Although there is no evidence that the word “Tasawwuf” (the Arabic word for “Sufism”) was used by the Prophet MHMD  (peace be upon him), he certainly used the word ‘Ihsan’ or spiritual sincerity. Sufi Shaykhs have said that Sufism itself is nothing other than this sincerity, or the perfect following of the way of Muhammad, both inner and outer. [schoolofsufiteaching.org]

06 - Sufism Is Self-Purification

061→ Hadith of the Prophet MHMD  on the heart:
“... truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart.” (narrated by Bukhari and Muslim) [hadith 40 Nawawi]

062→ The process of self-purification means that a Muslim undertakes to rid himself of repellant characteristics and acquire praiseworthy ones, so that he perfects his worship of his Lord and attains His nearness.

063→ The Sufi is that Muslim whose inner and outer behaviour are in harmony with the Shari`ah (Divine Law), so that he realizes (thqq*; tahqîq) his iman, islam and ihsan.

07 - Famous Quotes On Sufism

071→ Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said about the Sufis: “I don't know people better than them.” Someone said to him: "They listen to music and they reach states of ecstasy." He said: “Do you prevent them from enjoying an hour with Allah?” [Ahmad ibn Hanbal]

072→ Imam al- Shafi`i said: “Be both a faqih and a sufi: do not be only one of them! Verily, by Allah's truth, I am advising you sincerely. [Imam al- Shafi`i]

073→ Imam Malik radiyaa said: “He who practices tasawwuf without learning Sacred Law corrupts his faith, while he who learns Sacred Law without practicing tasawwuf corrupts himself. Only he who combines the two proves true.” [Sufism in Islam]

074→ For Abu Madyan, an aspirant's spiritual progress could never be separated from his social responsibility:
"Sufism is not the (mere) observance of rules, nor does it consist of degrees or stages. Instead, Sufism consists of personal integrity, generosity of spirit, the emulation of what has been revealed, knowledge of the (divine) Message, and adhering to the way of the prophets. He who deviates from these sources finds himself grazing in the gardens of Satan, submerged in the ocean of lusts, and wandering in the darkness of ignorance." [Bidayat al-murid (Basic principles of the Sufi path); Abu Madyan]

08 - Tasawwuf Shuyukh

081→ The scholars of the Sufis are the genuine followers of the salaf due to their fully connected chains leading back to them. This is the fact of the matter and is not a mere claim. They are the Muhammadan inheritors; those in whom Allah has gathered the inheritance of Sacred Knowledge and the inheritance of spiritual states.[SSK] Some of the following are:

 Ibn `Arabi  Hasan al-Basri  Abu Hanifa  Sufyan al-Thawri  Imam Malik  Imam Shafi`i  Ahmad bin Hanbal  Imam Ahmad  al-Muhasibi  al-Ju`i  al-Junayd  al-Tirmidhi  al-Baghdadi  al-Qushayri  al-Ansari  al-Ghazali  Ibn `Aqil al-Hanbali  al-Gilani  Ibn al-Jawzi  al-Shadhili  Ibn `Abd al-Salam  al-Nawawi  al-Maqdisi  Ibn Taymiyya  Ibn Taymiyya II  Ibn `Ata Allah I  Ibn `Ata Allah II  al-Subki  al-Shatibi  Ibn Khaldun  Al-Bistami  al-Sakhawi  al-Suyuti  al-Ansari  al-Haytami  al-Sha`rani  al-Qari  Ibn `Abidin  al-Mawdudi

082→ Other Shuyukh who wrote on tasawwuf:
Far from being opponents of tasawwuf, there are those who accepted its reality, but this has not pleased some of the narrowminded who have tampered with the original writings(!), which is our Islamic heritage, to fit into their innovated ideology. Examples are here [trs_e] and here [strm_e]. Among the Shuyukh which they like to count as their's are the following who accepted tasawwuf and praised it:

 Ibn al-Qayyim  Ibn Taymiyya (1)  Ibn Taymiyya (2)  Ibn Taymiyya (3)

09 - Texts On Tasawwuf (at LivingIslam.org)

091→ Briefly put, 'sufi' is a second-century name applied to a type of Muslim earlier known as 'zahid.' [ Sufism in Islam ]

092→ The Tarîqah or Spiritual Path which is usually known as Tasawwuf or Sufism is the inner and esoteric dimension of Islam and like the Sharî`ah has its roots in the Quran and prophetic practice. S H Nasr [ Sharî`ah, Tarîqah And Haqîqah ]

093→ We seek the Sufism that addresses the ailments of the heart, plugs the holes through which Satan can steal into hearts, and resists the desires of the human soul ...
Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi [ On Tasawwuf ]

094→ Apart from this main page, here a list of other texts:

- 10 Principles Of Tasawwuf - Sufism In Islam, Gibril F Haddad - Sharî`ah, Tarîqah And Haqîqah, S H Nasr - Tasawwuf - Sufism in Islam, Hamza Yusuf - Purifying & Striving Against The Ego, al-Qadir `Isa - Role Of Sufism in Building Good Character Today - What is Sufism? GFH - The Defense of the Sunnah, GFH - On Tasawwuf, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi - Al- Junayd al-Baghdadi, GFH - Shaykh Muhyi al- Din Ibn `Arabi, GFH - Sufism in Islam, GFH - Imam Al-Ghazalî, GFH - The Awliyâ'u-LLahi, - Questions about the Hadra, GFH - Al-Shâfi`î and Tas.awwuf, GFH - Islamic Sufism (And Islam &Science), Nasr - Sufism of Putative "Salafi" References, GFH - ‪Those Who Attack Imam Ghazali‬, GFH - Book of Proofs - Defense of ... Tasawwuf, GFH - Al- Suyuti (his tasawwuf), GFH - Ibn al-Qayyim (on tasawwuf), GFH - Tasawwuf Shuyukh, GFH - old page with Tasawwuf Shuyukh -left- also: - Advice To Our Brothers the Scholars of Najd
by Sayyid Yusuf ibn Al-Sayyid Hashim al-Rifa`i




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Muhammad

Epilogue

This strange idea that Islam can be (understood as being) complete without taking recourse to the treasure of spiritual, guiding knowledge of the centuries of (the saints and `ulema') of the Muslim Ummah has now been disproven and shown to be a grave misunderstanding, a forbidden change, an innovation (bid`a) in our noble religion of Islam and a ridicule for all the rest.

May Allah swt increase us with knowledge and mercy (marhamah)!
May Allah guide us the correct path!
May Allah's peace and blessings be upon Sayyiduna Muhammad, his family and his companions.

 

notes:

CDS: Contemplative Disciplines in Sufism, Dr. Mir Valiuddin
MP: Medicine Of The Prophet; by Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya
PTP: The Path The Perfection, by Shaykh Masihullah Khan,
whitethreadpress.com, maulana_masihullah, x L 20120703 [the author]
whitethreadpress.com, publications, path_perfection, x L 20120703 [the book]
RES: Realities Of Sufism; by Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir `Isa, [the author]
SSK: The Scholars of the Sufis; by Shaykh `Abd al-Hadi Kharsa, [the author]


It has to be emphasized that tasawwuf as spiritual training and method, cannot be learned from books and sophisticated theories about God - Allah - and the universe. The spiritual initiation cannot be attained except through a shaykh. All that books can do is prepare the aspirant on the spiritual path in a general fashion.
But first of all he has to learn the most important elements of the Shari’ah and fiqh.
back to text upw_arrow


Next page in the Tasawwuf series:
- About The Pure Heart - And What It Keeps Alive