Ibn al-Mabrid’s Work On Tasawwuf

Ibn `Abd al-Hadi’s “Mughni Dhawi l-Afham: is unique among Hanbali books. In this single and thin volume, Ibn al-Mabrid collects the essentials from various sciences, including `aqidah, grammar, jurisprudence, etiquette and morals, tasawwuf, terms specific to the Hanbali madhhab, and fiqh.

In the section on `aqidah, he indicated which issues are agreed upon by consensus, and which ones are held by only a few individuals and who they are.

The section on etiquette and morals is a summary of the rulings from Ibn Muflih’s Al-Adab al-Shar`iya. By mentioning only the rulings, he condensed Ibn Muflih’s four volume work into a mere twenty or thirty pages.

But the section on fiqh is the true masterpiece. The text reads as Hanbali fiqh. Where it differs with simple Hanbali fiqh is that when the verb tenses and parts of speech used in the Hanbali text are combined with a few symbols, the rulings from the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Zahiri schools can be extracted from the text as well.

What follows is a partial translation of what he writes concerning tasawwuf:

The sufi is one who knows himself and is humble; who knows his lord and glorifies Him; who envisions his distance from Him and his nearness to Him and so he fears and hopes. Thus he pays heed to orders and prohibitions, practicing [the former] and avoiding [the latter]. And so his Lord loves him and is his hearing with which he hears, his vision with which he sees, his hand with which he grasps. And He takes him as His friend: if he asks of Him, He gives, and if he seeks protection from Him, He protects.

People of low aspirations are unconcerned because they are ignorant [even] above the ignorance of ignoramuses, and they are under the noose of those passing through [Islam].

Those who have scornful souls exonerate them from inane matters and incline towards the lofty.

So watch out for your soul — [whether] wholesome or rotten, content or discontent, far or near, happy or complaining, tranquil or gloomy.

Do not abandon lofty [goals] because of your incapacity, and [instead] pursue the lower.

Whenever something comes to mind examine the Shari`a: if it matches, set out to do it since it is from the Merciful; but if it disagrees, be wary of yourself and of it since it is from Satan.

Whenever you are ignorant, or slip and fall into something prohibited, or falter — seek forgiveness [from Allah].

Uproot showing off [riya] from your heart since it is hidden association.

If your ego fears the created [al-makhluq, everything other than Allah], it is from your lack of belief in the Creator.

Think about His creation, and beware of occupying one’s thoughts with Him [and His essence].

If your ego shies from people […bi-l-haqq], then you endeavor them and not your Lord.

If you hide from them out of disobedience while presenting it to your Lord, you are a hypocrite.

If you show obedience when in their presense yet do not perform it when alone, you are a show-off.

Spare nothing concerning [curing] your ego! Beware of serving your wife, clothes, pack animal, house, or farm, and being occupied with them instead of worshiping your Lord. For the Muslim is served by his clothes and his pack animal, while the hypocrite serves his clothes and pack animal. Whoever spares nothing in serving his tools, when will he serve his Master?

Wretched is the slave of gold and silver, plush clothes [al-qatifa], cloaks, and al-ibjaniya [m: no idea]! Wretched is the slave of this life: he is content when he has been given, and discontent when he has not!

People with you are according to three ranks: junior, senior, and the middle. Respect the senior and treat him as a father; sympathize with the middle and treat him as a brother; and pity the junior and treat him as a son.

And you are with them in according to three ranks: a student, so serve your teacher and treat him as your father and instructor; a companion, so look out for him, treat him as you would like to be treated, and give him sincere advice; and a teacher, so look out for your student, be open-handed, magnanimous, humble, above reproach, pious, modest, mild mannered, tolerant, and patient.

[…]

It is permissible to gather for the remembrance of Allah, [but] with tranquility and respect.

It is offensive to listen [to poetry, qasidas, and the like] when accompanied by dancing, convulsions, and khauran; and it is unlawful when accompanied by a flat-drum, singing, a long drum, and the like.

(Source: Yusuf bin `Abd al-Hadi, Mughni Dhawi l-Afham via Ghayat al-Maram, pp64-66)

This book, unfortunately, is nearly impossible to find today.

Wa al-salamu `alaykum

Source.

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