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Tasawwuf: The Soul of Islam

February 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 199

Tasawwuf is the mystical dimension of Islam. It talks about purification of one's heart. Practicing Tasawwuf clears one's heart from lust, calamities of the tongue, anger, malice, jealousy, love of the world, love of fame, niggardliness, greed, ostentation, vanity, deception, etc. It fills the heart with disdainful attributes of repentance, perseverance, gratefulness, fear of Allah, hope, abstention, trust, love, sincerity, truth, contemplation, etc. These are the attributes that are needed to create passion in the other institutions of Islam, known as Fiqh. Fiqh consists of Tauheed (faith in Allah), Zakat (charity), Salat (prayer),Sowm (Fasting in the month of Ramadhan) and Hajj (pilgrimage of Mecca). All of these things are accepted by Allah only if they are done with passion and sincerity, which cannot be achieved without the purity of heart. Thus, Tasawwuf is the soul of Islam.

The practitioner of Tasawwuf is commonly called a Sufi, thus giving Tasawwuf a new name, SUFISM. A lot of people have misunderstandings about Tasawwuf. Many think that it is something beyond Qur'an and Sunnah. Wayward Sufis as well as the superficial ulema, although on the opposite ends of the spectrum, are together in holding this mistaken notion. Consequently the first group has shunned the Qur'an and Hadith while the second group has shunned Tasawwuf. Actually, although the term Tasawwuf, like many other religious terms in use today, evolved later, the discipline is an important part of the Islam. In fact, all the external deeds taught in Quran and Sunnah are designed for the reformation of heart. Its focus is the purification of character. The motive of Tasawwuf is to attain divine pleasure; its methods are totally in accordance with Shariah (Islamic Law).

In order to purify heart and practice Tasawwuf, one normally requires a mentor called the Shaikh. A Shaikh is a person who possesses all the necessary knowledge of Islam, whose beliefs are strong and in accordance with Shariah, and lacks the greed for material things. One can recognize a good Shaikh by the fact that in his company, one can feel himself shrinking away from the world and moving towards Allah, which is what life is all about in the end. It is usually perceived that a Shaikh can perform miracles, which is not true. As a famous Sufi Bayazid Bistami says: "Do not be deceived if you see a performer of supernatural feats flying in the air. Measure him on the standards of the Shariah."

A Shaikh usually gives following instructions to his Mureed (disciple) in order to reach the purification of heart.

1. Perform repentance on past sins. 2. If you owe something to someone, make plans to discharge it.3. Guard your eye, ears and tongue from things that encourage sins.4. Perform dhiker (practice of repeating the names of God).5. Every night, before sleeping, perform self accounting. Review all the good and bad deeds of the day.6. Perform muraqaba-maut (meditation over death) every night before going to bed. Just visualize that you have died. Reflect upon the pangs of death, the questioning in the grave, the plain of Resurrection, the Reckoning, the presence in the Court of Allah, etc. This helps bring softness to the heart and breaks the tendency to commit sins.7.Develop humility. If you do a good deed, don't be arrogant about it. Never consider yourself nobler than other people even if you think they are sinful. It is possible that they may repent in the future, and you might lose your purity because of your own arrogance.

The essential idea of Tasawwuf is to bring our desires, anger and intellect at equilibrium. Above mentioned practices will equilibrate them. When desires are at an equilibrium, it brings chastity and decency. Otherwise, it leads to lust and arrogance. Similarly when anger is at equilibrium, a person develops valor and steadfastness whereas if not at equilibrium it results in pride and boastfulness. Finally, if intelligence is at equilibrium it makes a person wise and witty and if it lacks equilibrium, the result will be ignorance and stupidity. The character of a person becomes beautiful when all these faculties are at an equilibrium. The character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was the most beautiful of all human beings who have ever walked this earth. The beauty of the character of a Muslim is, accordingly, judged relative to it.

If you require services conforming to the Shariah standards, the provided link may prove beneficial to you.: Free Muslim Classifieds.

Source: EzineArticles
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