Sufi - The Apex of the Spiritual Path of Islam

In the first chapter of her book: “The Chishtis. A living light” (Oxford Millennium Press). Missis Muneera Haeri has made a tremendous effort to shed a proper light on the so-called “Sufism” but unluckily she could not avoid some essential errors that today are plaguing even those who do not share anything with orientalists. There are in her book sentences and concepts that are not properly stated because of excessive influence on present day Muslims of wrong interpretations induced in the past in a subtle form by anti-Traditional and more specifically anti-Islamic forces and organizations. Unluckily Missis Muneera Haeri makes use of the word mystic to describe the word “Sufi”. As it will be more clear in our treatise the word Sufi can only be understood looking at its numerical value and confronting it with the word “Al-Hikmah el-ilahiyah” (“The Divine Wisdom”) to find that the two Arabic words have the same numerical value, which means they carry the same “weight” thus they are similar. This exercise shows the beauty and importance of working with a sacred language like Arabic. 

This work of finding numerical values of Arabic words is only possible to those who have knowledge of the Science of Numbers, which is basically disappeared in almost all Islamic countries as Renė Guėnon wrote in the chapter Islamic Esoterism (article appeared in 1947, Cahiers du Sud) of his posthumous book “Perspectives on the Islamic Esoterism and Taoism” referring to the disappearance in 1935 of the “abjad” from the subjects thought at school in the Islamic countries (this is one of the horrible results produced by the Colonialism and the introduction of “Modern and Laicist” states). In the same chapter Renė Guėnon observes that El-Hakmah el-ilahiyah (the “Divine Wisdom”) is wholly owned by the real Sufi (çûfî). Infact <<The real sufi (çûfî) is therefore the one who owns this Wisom (Divine) or in other terms he is al-ârif bi’llah, or in other terms he is “the one who knows by God: because. He cannot be known than by Himself; and it is really there the supreme and “total” rank in the knowledge in the path of Haqîqah.

<< Since time immemorial there have been men and women who have sought spiritual knowledge. The knowledge they longed for was not that achieved through the study of physical sciences, nor was it the acquired mechanistic knowledge which we use in our everyday life. It was, rather, that knowledge which allows us to reach the state of enlightenment to which everybody is drawn. These seekers transcended the fleeting distractions of the world and dedicated their lives to this objective. They strove for an inner awakening which would enable them to discover their own role in the divine programme and walk in harmony with destiny.  >> [“The Chistis. A living light” (Oxford Millemium Press) Muneera Haeri]. We have reproduced this sentence in order to show that somehow the error of confusing the words mystic with “mustawuffin” and “sufi” in is not only a lessical error but unfortunately seeds confusion even among Muslims of great knowledge in present days. The passage quoted above looks perfect but it has a subtle error. The way it is written shows that humanity has sought spiritual knowledge by itself projecting the titanic stereotype of modern man who is “self-made”. Without Divine intervention humanity could not move forward the “thickness of an hair”. Allah SWT in hadith Qudsi “I was an Hidden Treasure” (Hidden to manifestation) and I created in order to be known”. Also the above quoted sentence, as it is, indirectly favors the mythe of progress. From the wordings of the sentence it looks like that since certain humans became conscious of their limitations they started to seek knowledge. Also in this case knowledge cannot be sought without Divine intervention. Humans who have been gifted by Allah SWT by the gift of seeking knowledge with sincere heart are like the Holy Prophet Muhammad, SAWS, before his first meeting with HHH Jibrail, AS, in the cave, feeling uneasy about the surrounding reality. But HHH Muhammad, SAWS, who is the first and the last of manifestation could not move an inch beyond his status of crisis, he, SAWS, could not find answers to the following questions “who am I?”, “why I am living in this world?’, “what is this world, this universe?”. HHH Muhammad, SAWS, was gifted by the revelation of HHH Jibrail, AS, sent by Allah SWT.

It is only when HHH Jibrail, AS, appeared to him, SAWS, in the cave that the process of seeking knowledge by HHH Muhammad, SAWS, took form. And HHH Jibrail, AS, told him  << Recite in the Name of your Lord Who created all/created man from the clot of congealed blood/Recite, and your Lord is the Most Beautiful../Who taught writing by the pen./Thought man  what he knew not. >>[Surah 96 Al-Alaq (The Clot), 1-5]. The Holy and Glorious Qur’an explains everything: it is our Lord Who “taught man  what he knew not”. Moreover the first words of Allah SWT to His most beloved Prophet, SAWS, are not “seek knowledge”’ which shows a kind of “self-made man” approach. Rather the command of Allah (Iqra is imperative form) is “Recite!”, which induces a form of passivity because one has to recite something given by somebody else. Infact HHH Jibrail, AS, gives to HHH Muhammad, SAWS, the words to recite. Not only but the third verse shows and confirms that Allah SWT has created man because of His Infinite Love, He says if you recite what I give you to recite you will experience my Bounty, which is Infinite and has no comparison with other forms of human bounty. Beauty and recitation will bring forward in knowledge. These precious five verses of the Holy and Glorious Qur’an indirectly explain the function of a Messenger of Allah, AS and SAWS, which is making his followers recite and consequently seek knowledge through his revelations, doctrine, rites. 

It is worth adding that seeking spiritual knowledge is due to the restless work of Messengers of Allah SWT who have been sent by Allah SWT so that He may be manifest and His Existence known to humanity. Among those who receive this message there will be and there has been some who have refused it and others who have accepted it and transformed it in a quest of knowledge. It should be added here that love is the essential “engine” that works for knowledge being the latter (knowledge) the exclusive way to increase the love for the Beloved. Only in this view can be understood why there are people (the above “seekers”) who transcend “the fleeting distractions of the world” and devote their entire existence to the scope of knowing the “object” of their love. Quite admirably here Missis Muneera Haeri has described in a very relatively simple fashion the process of spiritual integration and service devoted to Allah Almighty which she epitomizes in a “walk in harmony with destiny”. We would here remember that René Guénon has related Destiny to a ternary whose other two terms are Providence and Will (see “The Great Triade”’ chapter: Providence, Will, Destiny Renė Guėnon). Humans dwelling the spiritual world will try to ally their Will with Providence so that they can counter the nefarious actions of Destiny. This alliance of own Will with Providence is the key of submission to Allah SWT in such way that he will always turn to Allah SWT, Who is Providence and accept his own destiny regardless what it carries because he is “happy and satisfied” by the Actions of his Lord.

The real path to eventually become a sufi is space-less and time less and is the same path followed by the elected of all forms of Faith, as Imaan and Irfan, i.e. as spiritual orders whose final goal is Supreme Identity, which is called in various manners accordingly to the different forms assumed by the Tradition. Christianity had Gnostics and Ermetism, Judaism had Cabalists, while Supreme Enlightenment (Supreme Identity) is the ultimate goal of all righteous Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists etc. The mystics must not be confused with those who walk in any of the true spiritual paths. Path of Tasawwuf is the spiritual path of Islam, those are called mutasawwuf Renė Guėnon writes in the same chapter quoted above: <<… one can only call himself mutasawwuf, term which applies to anyone who has entered the initiatic “path”, at whatever degree he has attained; but the Sufi, as the real meaning of this word, is only the one who has attained the supreme rank. Thus those who realize the apex of the path are called Sufis. The path of submission to God’s Will, that we call Islam, has always existed but it was only with the advent of Prophet Muhammad,  SAWS, and the revelation of the Holy and Glorious Qur’an that it was transmitted in the last form that we know it today. We would rather say the first and the last form of the Tradition since Islam, i.e. submission to Allah SWT, has never changed. Incidentally we should remember here that the primary mandate of HHH Prophet Isa, AS, the man called Jesus Christ, was to prepare the arrival of HHH Prophet Muhammad, SAWS, through the revival of Judaism forming a new spiritual order and not a religion.

As a last religion Islam is indeed a complete religion because it has a Revelation in the Holy and Glorious Qur’an, and the traditions (Ahadith) of the Holy Prophet, SAWS, and a set of rites primarily the five daily prayers and other rites also derived from the Holy and Glorious Qur’an and Ahadith. Islam being complete means that has the two paths, the one common to everyone, known as Shariah (the large path) and the path of the elected (and selected by Allah) ones, known as Haqiqah (the path of Truth).

The Holy and Glorious Qur’an and the Ahadith are the root of Shariah which finds its expression in the four schools of Islamic Jurisprudence (fiqh) known as Hanafi, Sh’afi, Maliki and Hanbali (respectively from the four Imams HHH Abu Hanifa, RA, Sh’afi, RA, Malki, RA, and Hanbal, RA). But Holy and Glorious Qur’an, Ahadith and writings of acknowledged and venerated awlya-Allah enable achievement of knowledge in various fields of life from medicine to mathematics. The Ahadith, the traditions of the Holy Prophet, SAWS, are a safe guidance defining a path to walk across this temporary and effimeral life and adapt to anyone, from the ascetic living in seclusion (quite rare and exceptional case in Islam) to the most committed businessman. In fact Islam is a social religion where relationship and care for the others, which includes environment and nature (animals, vegetal and even minerals) is of primary importance. Careful application of Shariah in every instant of the life is essential for a correct living. There is no worth and serious life for those who live outside shariah.

It is for this reason that those who sincerely aspire to a serious spiritual life and have the courage to enter in this exclusive path must have very clear that without Shariah there is no possibility of spiritual life. There is no Haqiqah without Shariah. Sufism and Tasawwuf. Little and Big Jihad.

In the past years and at present there is a ever-growing interest to Islamic tasawwuf at various levels. Western superpowers are seeing in “sufism (but not tasawwuf!) a lesser evil than salafi movement, because they see in salafi a very strong component of indulgence towards an armed Islam, the Islam of Al Qaeda, if Al Qaeda does really exists. Even if Al Qaeda would be the  brain child of some non-Muslim, non-Islamic intelligence operation unluckily too many Muslims have been attracted by it and in general by the flavor of the “little-Jihad”  (the physical war with weapons). It has to be understood that there must be a very clear order by all Islamic authorities, which derive their authority from Allah SWT by the intercession of the Holy Prophet, SAWS. Muslims and Islam are not war-mougers. Islam calls to war in very well and defined circumstances, which are known to religious authorities, well learned on this subject. This is known also to the non-Muslims in past it has been possibly manipulated in order artificially demonstrate the equation Muslim equal to war-mongers and even terrorists, in order to keep away people from the real message of Islam. It is not a theory of conspiracy actually it happened that during Colonialism the inwading powers resorted to any form of corruption in order to gain control of their domains. In consequence of this nefarious action sectarianism was fostered in order to foment division and obtain control of the masses; the original sectarianism was aimed, especially in the Asiatic Subcontinent, against the spiritual authority, i.e. tasawwuf and Pirs, and by the action of “splitting the Kalima Talbyya” and giving exclusive importance and function of the Holy Prophet, SAWS. As an historical fact the sectarian divide has produce people inclined to terrorism because of an hatred radicalized in them against the Western powers and races.  It is quite consequent that authorities of Western Governments are definitely in favor of those who in Islam speak of love, respect, tolerance and harmony. So words like “tasawwuf” and “Sufi” have become quite popular and object of growing curiosity and interest. Unluckily at least two centuries of orientalist’s works have contributed to rise confusion and misunderstanding rather than clarifying and explaining how things are reality. This degeneration has been increased by the manipulation of the translations of authentic Islamic scholars and awlyia-Allah, many times done on purpose in order to justify the theories of the same orientalists. For example an orientalist like Nicholson who has translated into English from Arabic and Persian books which are nourishment of the spirit and enlightenment of the heart while being adepts of the Theosophic Society, one of the most powerful instruments operating against the pure authentic tradition like Islam it tasawwuf particularly. About the Oriantalists in general are like those who observe animal’s behavior and pretend to know everything of the animals they observe, even their feelings. Except the fact that those Orientalists cannot be animals by themselves in order to understand effectively like the animal they observe feels like in certain conditions. Orientalists pretend to describe and interpret Islam without being Muslims, thus in reality they give their own point of view, which unfortunately is partisan to their own religion and status. Since most of the time Orientalists are also eminent Academic figures in their countries they receive immediate credit, especially in a world where people are literally bombarded by news and information so that it is very difficult to verify the truthfulness and reliability of news and information coming from Orientalists. The phenomenon is so extended that distorted information reach countries where Islam is prevalent and practiced producing damages even there. The artificial synominous of modern or democratic style with progress and civilization forcibly imposed first by the Colonial powers and then by the Westernized modern world have conquered almost all the Islamic countries to the extent that even renown scholars of Islam are trapped in the prison of using names, concepts and ideas whose meaning is exactly the opposed of what they want to infer. As a result the disorder is ever growing fuelled also by those who are far away to have the will to propagate it. At concept level we can remember here that of Theosophism, word appeared far later than the time the Mathnavi of HHH Maulana Rumi, RA, was written. Regardless this very evident contrast Nicholson uses the word Theosophy recurrently of his translation of the Mathnavi showing in reality how biased he was promoting the Theosephic  Society using the a word unknown at this age. Anyone can consult Mehgam Webster Dictionary on line which gives also the origins of words to find that the word “Theosophism” was introduced cover of Islam because it was impossible that Maulana Rumi, RA, wanted to use. Infact Theosephic Society is a pseudo religion basically a  syncretism collecting without superior order parts from different doctrines and use them together without any Principle and spiritual connection (see René Gnénon Le Theosoplisume, Histoine d’une Psendo-Religion, i.e. Theosophism, a History of a Psendo  Religion, appeared in 1924). The Theosophic Society is basically an organization which expanded across the end of 1800 and beginning of 200 centuries. This society is responsible of having disseminated several errors and misconceptions regarding orthodox and pure doctrines, especially Islam, Hinduism Buddhism and Taoism. René Gnénon could write a monumental work exposing the real “face” of this organization because a Hindu, Swami Narad Main, provided him with a dossier on the Theosophical Society (See René Gnénon-A biographical note), diffused ignorance of the real spiritual realities. As an example to clarify better our point of view we can consider the absurd idea of reincarnation, which amount to blasphemy because God does not require to relax or rest from His Most Noble Activity of Creation, admitting reincarnation it amounts to consider limited the Function of God, which is pure blasphemy because God is Restless and Infinite and does not allow the replication of the same being twice. Most likely this absurdity has been generated by an incorrect translation of Sanskrit sentence reported in many Hindu and Buddhist temples. The sentence is a prayer to God to have advantages in the future life. Since Hinduism is a pure Initiatic traditional form, which means a very high form of knowledge, the prayer is to have granted to be born at a new life in another plane of manifestation at its center, since the human state is the center of this plane/of manifestation (subjected at the two conditions of space and time) it is easy to sub interpret and use the sentence “make be born” in another life as equivalent to the human state. It is easy to see that if one adds “again” after human this person will enforce the horrible and erroneous idea of reincarnation, but if one adds “alike” he will confirm Truth and enforce the idea that there is only one condition at a time. We mention here a principle observed in quantum physics related to the atomic structure which has won the Nobel Prize to Pauli (April 25, 1900-December 15, 1958, Nobel: 1945): the “exclusion principle” by which two electrons cannot be on the same quantum state. If nature shows obedience to His Creator what to say of those pernicious Orientalists (theosophists) who keep thinking at the validity of reincarnation? A specific critic on this absurd theory of reincarnation is beyond the scope of this work. We have recalled this subject as a typical example of the disasters produced by the work of orientalists. As another example of the misuse of words used to describe spiritual conditions using words originated by totally opposite meanings. One of these words is the tense “mesmerize”. It is not infrequent to find serious Islamic scholars and persons on the sublime path of tasawwuf (salikin plural of salik) using the sentence “mesmerizing experience” referring to an unforgettable (spiritual) experience, close to incantation, due to ritual activity (like recitation of certain dzikr or attendance to a ritual function like a mehfil or on Ours. On the contrary the tense “mesmerizing” derives from Mesmer, the name of a physician, Franz Anton Mesmer (May 23, 1734 March 5, 1815) who claimed to have discovered “animal magnetism” and other phenomena called “mesmerism”. The evolution of Mesmer’s idea brought the physicin James Braid (1795-1860) to develop hypnosis in 1842 one of the most dangerous (for the equilibrium of a being) practices beside being at the opposite of initiatic passivity. In a certain sense hypnosis may be regarded dangerously close to psychoanalysis whose anti-initiatic character was denounced by Renė Guėnon in his book “The Reign of Quantity and the signs of times”. Psychoanalysis is a counter-initiation and it amounts to a part with the cursed-one (satan-rageem).  Mesmer, who studied medicine, is also considered the precursor of “dynamic psychiatry”. Due to a scandal risen by a missed healing of blinders he left his residence in Vienna, Austria, and migrated to Parise,  France, where he was considered a charlatan by some, while others regarded him as a scientist. Thus using the tense “mesmerizing” it amounts to associate dubious and noy-controllable and not-controlled phenomena mostly due to self-suggestion or causes of dubious but negative origin. Just the opposite of what many people intend to use in their writings or speeches. We invite to read the chapters “The mischieves of the psychoanalysis” and the “Confusion between psychich and spiritual” in the book “The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of Times” of René Guénon. In order to confirm our words we repeat here following the words of  René Guénon, also known as His Holiness Abdul Waheed Yahya, RA: “…Psychoanalysis in fact presents, under this aspect, a terrifying resemblance with certain “sacraments of the devil”.

The above extensive discussion to introduce one of the most pernicious misunderstanding and errors originated by orientalists and presently become so dominant to be used in many circles of the Islamic world even by Muslim scholars. We refer to the use of the words mystic, mysticism in reference to tasawwuf and its associated spiritual path and life. Even in serious publications  inspired by authentic spiritual masters, like the book “the Chistis. A living light” of Missis Muneera Haeri (Oxford Millennium Press), we find that the real meaning of the word mystic is totally overlooked and used wrongly. In order to associate mystic and sufi with the result to make sentences of the type “sufi a mystic life” it amounts to associate fire and water consider the both equivalent! In other words a non-sense. For those who want to have an extended explanation of the differences between a mystic and a sufi and also a detailed discussion of how much it is wrong to associate the above two words, i.e. sufi and mystic and their derivates we suggest reading the chapter “Magic and migesticm”  of the book of Renė Guénon “Perspectives of Initiation”. Here we would like to give our explanation about the differences between mystic and sufi we use a paradox: let us suppose that one is a good fast driver who has been given  for the first time a single seat Formula One racing car and requested to compete confetto with the current year World Champion. First of all the new driver will find very difficult to impress to the car at very high speed (>300 km/h peak speed) a certain trajectory in the race-track while for the World Champion pilot of Formula One it will be just routine. At every turn or necessity of turning the new driver will be in high danger and if the car gives a counter-reaction he will not know what to do in order to stay in the race track or even save his life. On the other side the World Champion pilot will be at limited and well calculated risks. A mystic is more or less like a new driver of Formula 1 racing cars but with a fundamental handicap respect a new driver: he will never be able to progress or improve his condition. In other words the mystic will be always as a beginner while the new driver of the example has the chance to improve by fast learning and perhaps one day be better than any other else. On the contrary a mystic has no chance to improve, rather he has more chances to worsen his position into a final self destruction. Our similarity should also be considered as by ideal hypothesis the racing car is a two sit car, the passenger would have the share of the same dangers and in many cases meet the lethal faith of the new-driver performing as Formula One pilot. Similarly those who follow blindly mystics place themselves in the hands of extremely dangerous persons who can carry them to perdition.

As already pointed out here and in other parts of our writings  the use of the words mystic and its derivates as equivalent of tasawwuf is an error whose dimension has been only cleared by René Guénon, who denounced this error in the first two chapters of his book “Perspectives on Initiation” (Original French title: “considerations sur la vie initiatique”).   

As already stressed at the beginning of this section dedicated to the highest rank achievable by a follower of tasawwuf (mutawuffin), Sufi, we cannot overlook this error originally induced by the British Orientalist Nicholson (see note 1 in the first chapter of “Perspectives of Initiation”). Once again we find translators, like Arberry, in manipulating meanings of words in their translations. Tasawwuf is an esoteric, spiritual path that has nothing to share with mysticism. The (substitution) of mysticism with tasawwuf and mystic with sufi, not even mutawwuffin, has become normal practice, so much that even persons belonging to tasawwuf use it without pondering on the real difference existing between mystic and mutawuffin, to do not speak about the misuse of the word sufi. The result is a change of perspective which respond to a more or less deliberate attempt by anti-Islamic and anti-spiritual forces to destroy tasawwuf. Destruction is in principle possible because elements of ignorance cannot bring anything good. Somehow one can consider tasawwuf the heart of humanity and in this acception one can remember the hadith when the Holy Prophet, SAWS, comparing a sin as a black spot in the heart and how it can spread hardening the heart. Of course Allah SWT  is the protector of tasawwuf par excellence but one should not forget also that Allah SWT helps those who help themselves. In denouncing this error of replacing and translating tasawwuf with mysticism we do not advocate to ourselves nothing else than what we write conscious that to us belong only the error and praying to Allah SWT to save us from the errors.

We cannot overlook the problem of misuse of the word mystic and its derived terms also for another serious important issue which was clearly denounced by René Guénon (see first chapter of “Perspectives of Initiation” where he invites to do not underestimate the annexionists attempts of the “religious exoterists”. In a time when the present Pope of Rome (Benedict XVI) launches bridges towards Islam with one hand and the Western world of Christians, Catholics, Orthodox and   Protestant Churches see in Sufism (but not  tasawwuf) the lesser evil side of Islam pushing public opinion into that direction. This opening towards Sufism (but not tasawwuf) as best side of Islam can be seen as the  last phase of annexionism, denounced by René Guénon (see “Perspectives of initiation”), has been launched by those who staunchly refuse that something exists beyond their domain, refusing spirituality, and we cannot role out that  in future an alliance between the Islamic schools of thought which deny tasawwuf and their ill minded Christian counterparts. They will attempt annexing Sufism (not tasawwuf) by miming several essential points of the path of Haqiqah. There are already among Deobandi and Tablighi Jamaat elements who claim to be Pir and have followers. Every Tablighi Jamaat has an individual strength and preparation derived by his militancy to attract easily influenceable people who take them for spiritual guidance attracted by their rigid and staunch application of Islam. Indeed mystics are apparently replacing the real Pirs with people who do not pay  any attention to the misuse of the word mystic. This situation is enforced by the apparent contrast of several real Pirs, including us in first line, who spend their wealth also in worldly things like satellite television and new, beautiful cars. Indeed there is nothing wrong of using things of modern world as long as intention and real self dedication are only for Allah SWT but unluckily several people who are influenced by the appearances and do not see beyond the lowest degree of reality are easy pray of a system which shows an apparent order forgetting first that Judgment pertains to Allah SWT and second that one may possess the entire universe but be ready to leave it at Allah’s order.

On the other side outside Islam all the Christian world, especially the Vatican, master in practicing annexionism, would love to somehow “annex” Islam to Christianity. Although Vatican openings to Islam proceed with ups and downs one should be always in gard with them,  because it is valid for them what ancient Romans used to say about Greeks: “Timeo Dauaos Dona Ferentes”, i.e. “I fear the Greeks when they come with gifts”.

Annexing Islam for the Vatic on means somehow reducing to religion the spiritual side of Islam, i.e. tasawwuf. It is a plan that can be conceived only by those who do not know the real nature of tasawwuf, but as we will demonstrate after this section somehow the Christian/catholic attempt to “annex” Islam is quite active. We do not advocate on our self any “right of defense of tasawwuf”. To be clean we share the same position of HHH Abd ul Muttalib, RA, when he faced the Christian Abraha with his army of elephants to crush the Ka’aba of Makka Mukarrama. HHH Abd ul Muttalib, RA, prayed to Allah SWT to save His House but showed concerns only for his camels with Abraha since Allah SWT is the Holder and Owner of Ka’aba. Allah SWT is too the Holder and Owner of tasawwuf and He is the Best Protector, to us remains only the duty to denounce and try to define errors. HHH Abd ul Muttalib, RA, is the Holy Prophet’s, SAWS, great father and being the purest in lineage among the Quraish and the Bani Hashim HHH Abdul Muttalib was the custodian of the Ka’aba at his time. 
In this regard we should consider a last point in this section. The increased fame of Sufism (but not Tasawwuf) in the West and the liking of Sufism by governments of Non-Islamic, especially Christian/catholic countries, and even Islamic countries too has alerted us offering us an opportunity to ponder about the reasons of such interest with expressions of liking but without any real intention of conversion to Islam and desire to be initiated (ba’iat) by any of the Pirs/Shayuk of any of the orthodox Orders of Tasawwuf (an orthodox Order of Tasawwuf is the one which has a clear line of transmission from the Prophet, SAWS, to the last of the accredited (amanat) Shayuk. We remember here that every Pir/Shayuk can be asked by a future novice to show him mandate (amanat), it is a right and in doubtful cases a very prudent step).

When René Guénon denounced the action, started in certain anti-Islamic circles, to establish the wrong equations “Islamic Tasawwuf equal to mysticism” and “Sufi = mystic” this evil work was at its beginning. In present days we can observe that this error has spread beyond those circles of orientalists and anti-Islamic/Tasawwuf forces and invaded the same circles of Tasawwuf, being the words mystic and mysticism used by Pirs/Shayuk because of the lessical diffusion of the words mystic and mysticism used to define, wrongly, Sufi and Sufism. 

From the point of view of tasawwuf this confusion is equivalent to a theft or robbery to spoil the treasures Tasawwuf and make it similar to a Religion by increasing in a countless number of adopt of a supposed Sufism attempting to down rate Tasawwuf from a spiritual system to a religion, like it happened to Christianity, which was at its origin an orthodox spiritual system. 

The establishment of the wrong equation “Sufism equal to mysticism” will allow the anti-Islamic, anti-Initiatic forces to overcome Tasawwuf by idealizing the Sufi as an individual not connected with the Initiatic orders (i.e. : no-Initiation, no-spiritual master or Pir) but directly connected with the Principle without intermediaries (Tasawwuf, Pir, Holy Prophet, SAWS), which is impossible because the Holy and Glorious Qur’an says  << Say to them (O my Apostle): “If you really love Allah, then follow me; and Allah shall love you, and forgive you your sins; and verily Allah is the Most-Forgiving, the Ever-Merciful>>. (Sura III, ‘Ale-Imran, ayat 31). The above ayat tells us that following the Holy Prophet, SAWS, and in his, SAWS, absence his, SAWS, deputies the spiritual masters (Pir in Persian, Shaikh in Arabic) brings closer to Allah while sins are forgiven by Allah SWT. The mystics are outside any spiritual hierarchy by definition because mystics (and not Sufis) cannot access the spiritual world being confined to the intermediary domain. Thus pushing to make credible to the ignorants the equation “Sufism equal Mysticism” will induce people who defect of knowledge to go astray trying to become Sufi without becoming adept of an orthodox Tasawwuf Order so that without Initiation they fall in the trap of the intermediary world. In this domain the production of phenomena will induce them thinking of advancing in the path, while in reality they “go around the garden path… Their passive attitude, the peculiar characteristic that attracts governments in the present days, will expose them to any kind of uncontrolled influence in ever expanding spiral of deception. Meanwhile Islam may be weakened by the attempt of extinguishing the ranks of the real, orthodox Orders of Tasawwuf diverting people to Sufism. The present literature on Sufism tends mainly to project the stories of real Sufis so that people may be thinking easy to become Sufi. Many authors, even belonging to Islam, are inducing their readers to overlook at the importance of an authentic connection with an orthodox, real Tasawwuf Order through an authorized Shaikh. Those authors receiving perhaps the support and protection of the establishment through Academic achievements to confer them credibility will expand their followers and contribute to the development of a kind of religious sect, the Sufism equal to mysticism. But authors and their followers will indeed forget and overlook, eventually, the saying of Tasawwuf spiritual master: “whomsoever takes himself for a master in reality has satan-rageem as a master”’ thus deepening in road of perdition that might have no return. The above sentence should be accompanied by another one which sys more or less that the best game of Satan-rageem is to make believing people that he-rageem does not exist or in other words he-regeem is not behind what one desires to do when this person is without proper guidance. May Allah SWT by the intercessions of His Beloved Prophet, SAWS, same us from any form of deceit.

Mysticism, magic versus tasawwuf 

There is no comparison and no common ground between Tasawwuf and mysticism and between Tasawwuf and magic. Again for detailed explanation on these points one can red two books of René Guėnon, the first book already quoted is “Perspectives of Initiation”, the other book is “The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of Times”. We restrain ourselves to the essential in asserting that mysticism is related to religion. One may argue that also tasawwuf is related to religion, and this may be the original reason of the error in translation committed by Nicholson, the gravity of the situation is that “religious exoterist” have exploited this error in the attempt of annexing Tasawwuf by assimilation of the two words, as we have discussed in the previous section.

Mysticism in origin was really connected to the spiritual world as the root “m-y-s-t” reveals being connected with mystery, mysteries, which in ancient times were of spiritual, initiatic origin. In the course of time the use of the word mystic has been always related to those who belonging to the exoteric religion due to their efforts of piety and strive in religion penetrate without control, protection and even without knowledge and consciousness the intermediary world. The psychic and subtle world (Al Mulk) which is still manifested but not directly visible. This world of endless limits has indefinite ways of manifesting itself, but it cannot be controlled by persons who even do not realize that they have penetrated this intermediary world, instead of the spiritual world, the latter being only accessible through those who have the keys to the Unseen, Spiritual world.

Actually when we report the term used by René Guénon “religious exoterist” we consider the point of view of Christians, led by the Catholics, who do not perceive the existence of a spiritual world and cannot go beyond the material and subtle, a mimic of the spiritual world attributing and confusing the soul, manifested and perishable with the spirit, which is perennial. Mystics cannot go beyond the manifested limitation of the soul, confining themselves in the animistic, psychic and subtle world. The world of illusion. On top of this it should be considered that the mystic does not choose consciously and actively to enter in this world moreover he does not have any mean to control and protect himself in this intermediary, subtle world where everything is illusion. The mystic is a completely passive subject to anything in the two manifested worlds the materialistic and physical world and the intermediary world. A mystic has the possibility of experiencing phenomena of subtle nature but he does not have the command over them and cannot reproduce them at his own will. Incidentally this enormous limitation is seen on the contrary by the religious exoterists as a point of merit of the mystic because they (religious exoterists) consider the irregularity of the phenomena as a gift of Divine Providence, thus showing absolute ignorance about the Actions of Divine Providence (see René Guénon “The Great Triad” chapter Providence Will Destiny).

There is no rite or specific prayers for the mystics, they are involved in a domain on which they have no control because they have a passive attitude towards it, they do not even know the nature and the intensity of the source of what they experience. A mystic is like a man who has started a car without knowing how to drive it, rather he does not even know why he is in that car.
In contrast with this total passivity magicians can produce and reproduce phenomena from the unseen manifested world into the visible manifested world without loosing a degree of control of the magic operations they carry. Unluckily for them (the magicians) they cannot reach beyond the limits of the manifestation. Magicians are very much present all over the world but in areas where still exist strong and pure spiritual centers like Tibet, China and Asiatic Subcontinent (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan) they are considered like charlatans by those who belong and understand tasawwuf. Unluckily the damages of the modern western civilization have reached and spread like a disease in the same above areas so that all sort of charlatans from fortune tellers and even black magicians are so widely spread that unfortunate cases of black magic are quite recurrent to the extent that most of the spiritual centers have special persons trained and authorized by the Chief Spiritual Master (Sajjada Nasheen) to treat black magic. Westernized people (this include also those who born in Oriental families who have practically lost or exchanged their traditional origins for an “integrated” westernized life) have a special attraction for magic and magicians because modern world is based on experimentalism. More this experimentalism is shrouded by scientific and “technically-sound” methods it acquires on the eyes of moderns a proof of authenticity to the extent that nobody doubts an airplane flying but everybody will astonish seeing a man flying.

A magician therefore has certain degree of activity (as opposed to passivity) so that he may exerce a certain control on the phenomena that he, by his own will, intends to activate and manipulate. Anyhow if somehow the forces that he activates for certain reasons do not work properly because the magician has made a mistake in activating them or simply he is not in the proper conditions to carry his experiment then he is at very high risk and consequences may be as dramatic as death. In the Islamic world, especially in the Asiatic Subcontinent, there are people, luckily not so many, who pretend entering in contacts with Jins or even capturing Jins. Jins are created being whom Muslims believe, man is made of clay, Jins are made of fire, thus both are incompatible. Jins can assume various forms, including human, but Allah SWT and the Holy Prophet, SAWS, has never encouraged men to deal with Jins. Jins can be good Muslims or non-Muslims and worst enemies of man. Jins have very special powers, they can move at very high speed and be invisible to man and communicate among them without being intercepted by human senses but can also speak to men at occurrence. Due to their special powers there are people of doubtful faith and limited intellectual horizons who try capturing and enslave Jins for greed of power. Imagine having a servant who moves more or less at speed of light, and is invisible to others. One can know many affairs in this world. We have been reported by very reliable sources that a man in Chackwal District, West Punjab, Pakistan, captured and made his servant a Jin. One night the man did not realize that he missed to protect his daughter’s bed so that the Jin would have not approached here during sleep. Somehow the man left over some part around the bed not protected. During the night the Jin did not think twice and penetrated through the gap inside the “magic barrier” left incomplete by the poor father and killed mercilessy the girl in revenge of his (referred to the Jin) captivity.