Sufism of
Putative "Salafi" References


As-Salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah:

Do you know of any kind of reference about Sufi affiliations for Dhahabi, Athqalaani, ibn Katheer, Shawkani or any other Naj'di scholars or scholar of Hadith.

Following is evidence of Sufi affiliations for some of the authorities the "Salafis" purportedly respect:

- Ibn Qudama the author of the Mughni
- Ibn Daqiq al-`Id
- Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Qayyim, and Ibn Rajab
- al-Dhahabi
- al-`Asqalani
- al-Sakhawi
- al-Suyuti
- al-Biqa`i
- Ibn `Abd al-Hadi
- al-Qari
- al-Shawkani
- Siddiq Hasan Khan al-Qinnawji.

Allah have mercy on all of them.

1. IBN QUDAMA Muwaffaq al-Din- a Qadiri Sufi:

This is stated by Yusuf Ibn `Abd al-Hadi, see below, notice on Ahmad ibn Taymiyya.

2. IBN DAQIQ AL-`ID - a Shadhili Sufi:

The renewer of the seventh Islamic century Ibn Daqiq al-`Id, his teacher was Ibn `Ata' Allah al-Sakandari next to whom he was buried. That day the entire Egyptian army prayed over him cf. al-Kawhan, Tabaqat al-Shadhiliyya (p. 115-116).

3-5. AHMAD IBN TAYMIYYA, IBN AL-QAYYIM, IBN RAJAB- all Qadiri Sufis:

As Ibn al-Qayyim wrote in his poem al-Nuniyya: "The Ahl al- Hadith, all of them, and the Imams of Fatwa are Sufis."

In al-Mas'alat al-Tabriziyya Ibn Taymiyya declares: "Labistu al-khirqata al-mubaraka lil-Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir wa-bayni wa-baynahu ithnan - I wore the blessed Sufi cloak of Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir [al-Gilani], there being between him and me two Shaykhs." Source: Ms. Damascus, Zahiriyya 1186 H.

Also cited by by Jamal ad-Din at-Talyani in his book Targhib al-Mutahabbin fi Labs Khirqat al-Mutamayyizin. Manuscript Chester Beatty 3296 (8) in Dublin, folio 67a.

Ibn Taymiyya's "two Shaykhs between him and `Abd al-Qadir" are identified in Yusuf Ibn `Abd al-Hadi's book Bad' al-` Ilqa bi-Labs al-Khirqa as such:

i `Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani (d. 561 H) ii-iii Abu `Umar (d. 607) and Muwaffaq al-Din ibn Qudama (d. 620) iv Ibn Abi `Umar ibn Qudama (d. 682) v Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728)

[§ii and §iii both received the khirqa from Gilani himself.]

The list continues:

vi Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d. 751) vii Ibn Rajab (d. 795)

Ibn `Abd al-Hadi adds that Ibn Taymiyya said: "I have worn the Sufi cloak of a number of Shaykhs belonging to various Tariqas, among them Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Jili, whose Tariqa is the greatest of the well-known ones" and again: "The greatest Tariqa is that of my master, Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Jili, may Allah have mercy on him." Source: Ms. al-Hadi, Princeton Library Arabic Collection, folios 154a, 169b, 171b-172a; and Damascus University, copy of original Arabic manuscript, 985H.; also mentioned in al-Talyani.

6. AL-DHAHABI -a Suhrawardi and Akbari Sufi:

He said: "Our Shaykh the ascetic Muhaddith Diya' al-Din `Isa ibn Yahya al-Ansari vested me with the Sufi cloak in Cairo saying, 'Shaykh Shihab al-Din al-Suhrawardi vested me with it in Makka from his uncle Abu al-Najib.'" Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' (Fikr ed. 16:300-302 5655=Risala ed. 22:377).

In his chapter on "the Imam, the Muhaddith, the Examplar, the Shaykh of the Sufis" Abu al-Qasim al-Nasrabadhi, al-Dhahabi established as authentic the chain of transmission of the Sufi cloak from al-Qushayri, from Abu `Ali al-Daqqaq, from al-Nasrabadhi, from Abu Bakr al-Shibli, from al-Junayd, from al-Sari al-Saqati, from Ma`ruf al-Karkhi.

Al-Dhahabi makes countless mentions of his Shaykh Ahmad ibn Ishaq ibn Muhammad al-Misri al-Abarquhi, one of those he says transmitted the Suhrawardi Sufi path cf. Siyar (Fikr ed. 17:118-119 6084; missing from the Risala edition). Al-Dhahabi venerated him and related from him in Mu`jam al-Shuyukh al- Kabir (1:37) that he said in his last illness while he was in Makka: "I will die in this illness because the Prophet MHMD upon him blessings and peace - promised me that I would die in Makka."

Al-Dhahabi also received the Sufi cloak of Shaykh Muhyi al- Din Ibn `Arabi and the transmission of all his works as we mention below, in the section on Ibn Hajar, even if he did not spare him his criticism.

Al-Dhahabi said in al-Muqiza (p. 88-90):

"The critic of a genuine Sufi (muhiqq al-sufiyya) becomes a target of the hadith: 'Whosoever shows enmity to a single one of My Friends, I have declared war on him.' While one that abandons all condemnation for what is clearly wrong in what he hears from some of them, abandons the commanding of good and the forbidding of evil."

7. IBN HAJAR AL-`ASQALANI- a Shadhili Akbari Sufi?:

Ibn Hajar kept all his life in touch with the Shadhili Shaykh Muhammad al-Hanafi and the latter's biographer, al-Battanuni in al-Sirr al-Safi (1:7) describes Ibn Hajar as sitting on his knees before al-Hanafi, taking care not to raise his eyes at him, then kissing his hand before walking backwards to exit the room.

Ibn Hajar in Lisan al-Mizan (5:315) praises the Futuhat al-Makkiyya. He received from Abu Hurayra Ibn al-Dhahabi, from his father Imam al-Dhahabi, the Sufi cloak of Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi according to Abu al-Mahasin al-Qaraqji (d. 1205) in Kitab Shawariq al-Anwar al-Jaliyya fi Asanid al-Sadat al-Shadhiliyya ms. Damascus 1522 fol. 59b.

Ibn Hajar wrote a partial commentary of Ibn al-Farid's Sufi poem al-Ta'iyya. He clearly sides with the Sufi consensus over the fact that al-Khidr is alive and well as he narrates his meeting with many of his own teachers in his monograph al-Zahr al-Nadir fi Naba' al-Khadir and in the Isaba. His student al-Sakhawi said in al-Jawahir wal-Durar fi Tarjimat Shaykh al- Islam Ibn Hajar (1:111) that the Dhikr-beads (sibha) never left his hand in post-`Isha gatherings and lessons.

8. AL-SAKHAWI - a Shadhili and Suhrawardi Sufi:

Al-Murtada al-Zabidi in `Iqd al-Jawhar al-Thamin (folio 65) and Ithaf al-Asfiya' bi-Raf` Salasil al-Awliya' (folio 34) affiliates al-Sakhawi to the Shadhili Tariqa as he himself confirms it in the section of his book, al-Jawahir al- Mukallala fil-Akhbar al-Musalsala devoted to the transmission of hadith through chains formed exclusively of Sufi narrators, where al-Sakhawi states he received the Sufi path from Zayn al-Din Ridwan al-Muqri' in Cairo cf. A.J. Arberry, _Sakhawiana: A Study Based on the Chester Beatty Ms. Arab. 773_ (London: Emery Walker Ltd., 1951) p. 35. In the same work al-Sakhawi also mentions several of his teachers and students of hadith who were Sufis. Here are the names of some of them, together with the words used by him to describe them in his biographical work al-Daw' al-lami`:
"Al-Sakhawi's Sufi Teachers" at <sunnah.org>
or at LivingIslam.org: < Al-Sakhawi's Sufi Teachers>

Al-Sakhawi also said in al-Daw' al-Lami` (10:150-152) that he received permission to lead dhikr from the Suhrawardi Shaykh Madyan and (8:238-240) that he took tasawwuf from the Suhrawardi Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamri.

Both al-Suyuti in al-Manhaj al-Sawi fi Tarjimat al- Nawawi and al-Sakhawi in al-Manhal al-Rawi fi Tarjimat al-Nawawi name the latter the Qutb of his time.

9. AL-SUYUTI - a Shadhili, Ahmadi, Qadiri, Suhrawardi, Uwaysi Sufi:

Al-Suyuti took many Sufi chains of transmission: 1. from Kamal ibn Imam al-Kamiliyya he received the Ahmadi, Qadiri, and Suhrawardi paths 2. from Muhammad al-Maghribi he received the Shadhili. 3. from Muhammad al-Halabi he received the Akbari-Uwaysi. 4. from Taqi al-Din al-Subki's daughter, from her father(*), from Ibn `Ata' Allah he received the Shadhili.

(*) Shaykh al-Islam al-Taqi al-Subki, he also took the Shadhiliyya from Abu al-`Abbas al-Mursi and gave it to Ibn al-Furat from whom Shaykh al-Islam Zakariyya took it. The latter also holds silsilas in seven other chains.

Al-Suyuti eulogized the Shadhili Tariqa in two monographs defending tasawwuf, Ithaf al-Firqa bi-Rafwi al-Khirqa ("The Gift to the Group in the Mending of the Cloak") printed in al-Hawi lil-Fatawi; and the monograph in print Ta'yid al- Haqiqat al-`Aliyya wa-Tashyid al-Tariqat al-Shadhiliyya ("The Support of the Higher Truth and the Strengthening of the Shadhili Path"). He was the Shaykh of Ibn Tulun and al-Sha`rani.

10. AL-BIQA`I (Burhan al-Din) - a Sufi of unspecified Tariqa:

Salafis quote his tract against Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi but are unaware that al-Biqa`i himself was a Sufi and that he received the Sufi mantle or khirqa from his Shaykh, `Abd Allah ibn Khalil al-Qal`i al-Dimashqi al-Shafi`i as related in Hajji Khalifa's Kashf al-Zunun (2:1827).

11. IBN `ABD AL-HADI (Yusuf) - a Qadiri Sufi:

He said in al-Jawhar al-Munaddad fi Tabaqat Muta'akhkhiri As-habi Ahmad (p. 13) that he wore the Qadiri cloak from his Shaykh Ibn al-`Aythawi i.e. Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn `Ali al-Ba`li. He said in Tahdhib al-Nafs (folio 5, recto) that he wore it also fromhis Shaykh al-Shihab ibn Zayd i.e. Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abi Bakr al-Hanbali. And in Bad' al-`Ilqa (Zahiriyya Majmu` 3794 folio 87 recto) he said he wore it also from Muhammad ibn Abi al-Hasan the Shaykh of the Zawiya al-Kurdiyya. Two other Sufi books he authored are Sidq al-Tashawwuf ila `Ilm al-Tasawwuf and al-Wuquf `ala Libs al-Suf as mentioned by al-Ghazzi in al-Na`t al-Akmal li-Ashabi Ahmad ibn Hanbal (p. 69-70).

12. AL-QARI:

One of those mentioned among the Renewers of Islam, al-Qari was probably a Shadhili Sufi like his principal teacher al-Haytami whose principal teacher was Zakariyya al-Ansari and who had a huge influence on al-Qari, with whom he co-authored many important books, and whom he calls "Mawlana wa-Sayyiduna wa-Sanaduna al-Shaykh Shihab al- Din Ibn Hajar al-Makki" in Mirqat al-Mafatih (1:25) of which al-Haytami wrote 1/4. Ibn `Imad al-Hanbali said of the latter in Shadharat al-Dhahab (4:370):

Shaykh al-Islam, the seal of the major learned scholars, the untroubled ocean, Imam al-Haramayn by consensus of the scholarly assembly, the roving star in the night heaven by which, truly, those who are well-guided obtain their guidance as Allah STW said, {and by the stars they find a way} (16:16), the peerless one in the times, second to the firmament, third to the sun and moon, who alone among the scholars can solve complex problems and shed light on our difficulties....

Among al-Qari's books are Fath Abwab al-Din fi Aadaab al- Muridin, a book on Sufi ethics; Nuzhat al-Khatir al-Fatir fi Tarjimat Sayyidi `Abd al-Qadir, a biography of Sayyidi al-Gilani; and Sharh `Ayn al-`Ilm wa-Zayn al-Hilm (in print), a commentary on Muhammad ibn `Uthman ibn `Umar al-Balkhi's abridgment of Ihya' `Ulum al-Din which he prefaced with the words (1:1):

I wrote this commentary on the abridgment of Ihya' `Ulum al-Din by the Proof of Islam and the Confirmation of Creatures hoping to receive some of the outpouring of blessings from the words of the most pure knowers of Allah, and to benefit from the gifts that exude from the pages of the Shaykhs and the Saints, so that I may be mentioned in their number and be raised in their throng, even if I fell short in their following and their service, for I rely on my love for them and content myself with my longing for them.

On the obligation to seek purification he writes (1:78):

The greatest of the great (al-akabir) have striven to pray only two rak`at without conversing with their ego about dunya in the midst of their prayer, and they were unable to do this. Therefore there is not any such ambition for us of ever achieving this. Would that one saves only half of his prayer, or only a third, from the whisperings and the passing thoughts turning over in the mind. He is like him who mixes good and bad, like a glass full of vinegar into which water is poured: inevitably vinegar is spilled in proportion to the water poured and the two amounts never coexist. We ask for Allah's help!

In the last chapter al-Qari writes (2:354-355):

Love and the discipline of the path (al-mahabba wal- suluk) mean the path of love and longing, and whoever does not scoop his drink from the ocean of gnosticism does not know the reality of love, even if the genus, examples, and terminology are different. Love has no other meaning than the exhortation to obedience, and whoever denies love denies familiarity (uns) and passion (shawq) and taste (dhawq) and effacement (mahu) and clarity (sahu) and extinction (fana') and subsistence (baqa') and contraction (qabd) and expansion (bast) and all the rest of the necessary characteristics of love and longing, and the rest of the stations of the People of Gnosis.

13. AL-SHAWKANI- A Naqshbandi Sufi:

In his biographical compendium al-Badr al-Tali` bi-Mahasin man Ba`d al-Qarn al-Sabi` (1998 Fikr ed. p. 412) in the entry devoted to al-Sayyid `Abd al-Wahhab ibn Muhammad Shakir ibn `Abd al-Wahhab al-Mawsili, al-Shawkani mentions that the aforementioned Shaykh "came to us in San`a in the year 1234 (1819ce) and I frequented him heavily... and I took from him the Dhikr according to the Naqshbandi Tariqa."

14. SIDDIQ HASAN KHAN AL-QINNAWJI:

The Indian Wahhabi Sufi of Bhopal, he was greatly influenced by Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Qayyim, and al-Shawkani. He advocated the doffing of imitation (taqlid) and began his career with "solid aversion toward the Imams of Fiqh and Tasawwuf" but repented in the latter part of his life according to his biographical notice in Nuzhat al-Khawatir (8:187-195) to the point that when he desired to take bay`a from Shaykh Fadl al-Rahman al-Muradabadi the latter sent him his turban and recommended asking forgiveness as his permanent devotion, after which al-Qinnawji was never seen without a sibha (dhikr-beads) in his hand making istighfar.

He fell ill with dropsy and went into a coma from which he came out only to ask: "Has my Maqaalaat al-Ihsan come out of the press yet?" He meant the last of his 200+ books, a translation of Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Gilani's Futuh al- Ghayb. His last words were, "I long to see my Lord."

Also among his works in Tasawwuf is al-Ghunna bi-Bisharati Ahl al-Janna (Bulaq 1302/1885).

In his 200-page book Takhrij al-Wasaya min Khabaya al- Zawaya (Beirut: al-Maktaba al-Thaqafiyya, 1986) on the "Counsels of Allah and His Prophet and the Righteous of His Umma" he abridged the book of Wasaya of Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi from the end of his Futuhat al- Makkiya. Al-Qinnawji prefaces that part of his book with the words, "The most majestic Shaykh, the Knower of Allah Most High said in al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya..."

Allah Most High have mercy on all of them.

Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad





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2004-04-11

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