The Word Sufism is an english word, in our Deen we only use arabic to describe the Deen, the word in Arabic for Sufism is Tasawwuf, and the act you perform is called Tazkiyah an Nafs, purifying your self of evil and bad while promoting good qualities in your self, and what you try to achieve by it is Ihsan, Human Perfection.
1) Surah Shams, 91:9 Allah takes an oath in the Quran like no other and swears by the act of Tasawwuf, “Qad Aflaha man Zakaha” (Zakaha = Tazkiya an nafs), “He Who Purifies it succeeds”, This is talking about getting rid of your bad qualities, Tazkiya Nafs.
2) Surah Abbasa, 80:3 The Blind Man comes to the Prophet (saws) seeking Islam and the Prophet (saws) frowns upon Him as his attention is elsewhere, Allah responds by Saying, “Wama yudrika La-alahu Yazaka” (Yazaka = Tazkiyah an Nafs), “Yet for all thou didst know, [O Muhammad,] he might perhaps have grown in purity”, So in Surah al Shams Allah mentioned the first part of Tazkiyah an Nafs and that is Purifying your self of Evil, In Surah Abbasa he mentions the second part, learning and Promoting Good qualaties in your character and growing as a person.
3) Surah Ashurah, 26:88-89, Allah says, “The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, But only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart”, “a heart free of sins and love for this worldly life” (Tanwir al miqbas Min Tafsir Ibn Abbas). You Have to know the Acts of Tazkiyah Nafs to Free your Heart from Sin and love for this Dunay (world), and Only One science in islam deals with this Subject in all of islams history and that is Tasawwuf, Fiqh does not cover Human Character and Psychology, it covers the Fiqh of Halal and Haram, how to actually change your self, the ullumah dealt with that in a different science of islam.
4) The most famous Hadith in all of Islam is the hadith of Jibril (hs), which occurred 86 days before the prophets (saws) death, it defines all the parts of Islam with out a Doubt, into Fiqh (Islam), Aqeedah (Iman), Ihsan (Tasawwuf) and the Sings of the Hour.
Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “While we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless with him and grant him peace, one day a man came up to us whose clothes were extremely white, whose hair was extremely black, upon whom traces of travelling could not be seen, and whom none of us knew, until he sat down close to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, so that he rested his knees upon his knees and placed his two hands upon his thighs and said,
‘Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Islam is that you witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and you establish the prayer, and you give the Zakat, and you fast Ramadan, and you perform the hajj of the House if you are able to take a way to it.’
He said, ‘You have told the truth,’ and we were amazed at him asking him and [then] telling him that he told the truth.
He said, ‘Tell me about Iman.’
He said, ‘That you affirm Allah, His Angels, His Books, His messengers, and the Last Day, and that you affirm the Decree, the good of it and the bad of it.’
He said, ‘You have told the truth.’
He said, ‘Tell me about Ihsan.’
He said, ‘That you worship Allah as if you see Him, for if you don’t see Him then truly He sees you.’
He said, ‘Tell me about the Hour.’
He said, ‘The one asked about it knows no more than the one asking.’
He said, ‘Then tell me about its tokens.’
He said, ‘That the female slave should give birth to her mistress, and you see poor, naked, barefoot shepherds of sheep and goats competing in making tall buildings.’
He went away, and I remained some time. Then he asked, ‘Umar, do you know who the questioner was?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘He was Jibril who came to you to teach you your deen’.” (Muslim and Bukhari narrated it).
The Entire point of Ihsan, Human Perfection is to worship Allah as if You see Him, the acts that help a person Achieve this are defined by the Acts of Tazkiyah an Nafs (91:9).
The Prophet (saws) said,”Many amongst men attained perfection but amongst women none attained perfection except Maryam (Mary), the daughter of ‘Imran, and Asiya, the wife of Fir’aun (Pharaoh). And the superiority of Aishah to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (an Arabic dish) to other meals.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Ihsan, Perfection, is something to be achieved and this is done through Tazkiyah an nafs (Purification of the Self). Allah says about human Perfection in the Quran “We sent unto her Our Spirit (Jibril) and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man.” (19:17)
All the Ullumah of Islam, in all our history knew about Tasawwuf and Most of the Great Ullumah practised it because they wanted to achieve Human Perfection, about this Allah Says in the Quran “So for this let the competitors compete.” (83:26), Encouraging the Ummah to out do each other in gaining nearness to Him (Azza wa Jall) and This Verse is referring to illiyyun which is the Highest part of Janatul Firdaus just beneath the Throne of Allah.
The List of Ullumah who Practiced Tazkiyah an Nafs is extensive and includes, Imam Bukhari, Imam Nawawi, Imam Tirmidhi, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafii, Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Taymiya, and surprisingly at one point in his life Muhammad Ibn Abul Wahhab whose Family was Sufi and Practiced Tasawwuf. The Wahabi-Sufi Argument, by those properly educated in it, is one over which Practice in Tasawwuf is acceptable in Islam and which isn’t, this is usually Ikhtilaf (difference of opinion) between the Hanbali Madhab which is literalist in its understanding and the other three Madhhabs. Not wether Tasawwuf is part of Islam or Not, which is Kufr to claim it isn’t since it is mentioned in the Quran in a similar way to how Fiqh and Aqeedah are mentioned.
These labels, Fiqh, Aqeedah and Tasawwuf are what the traditional sciences came to be called, Just like Ahl al Sunnah are Sunni and the successors are labeled Tabiin and Tabi Tabiin, just because some western Muslim kids suddenly woke up one day in a world where their parents didn’t teach them anything about the Deen while growing up, and thought this science must be new, doesn’t mean the subject is new.
If the science of Tasawwuf is about Human nature and perfecting it and that is the Point of Deen entirely then how can it be new, “He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad SAW) from among themselves, reciting to them His Verses, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and Al-Hikmah. And verily, they had been before in manifest error”(62:2), [ Tafsir al Tustari] “It is He who sent to the unlettered [folk] a messenger from among them”… The Imam said: The unlettered are those who believed in Muḥammad and were connected to him through following (ittiba) him and emulating (iqtidāʾ) him. Whoever does not emulate him is not of his nation. His words, Exalted is He: [62:3] And [to] others from among them who have not yet joined them…That is, those who came after him who believed in him and followed him, God will join with the first [generation of believers].
This is a Promise from Allah to those who follow the Ihsan of the companions, Allah will join them together in the this life and the next. This all dates back to the time of the messenger himself (saws) and this is reflected in the major Hadith Collections.
These works are part of each scholars larger Ahadith collection and they cover an important part of Tasawwuf: Imam Tirmidhi’s Book of Asceticism, Imam Muslims Book of Zuhd (Asceticism) Piety And Softening Of Hearts, Imam Muslims’ The Book of Manners and Etiquette (Adab), Imam Bukhari’s Book of Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), Imam Bukhari’s Book “To make the Heart Tender”, Imam Maliks Book on Good Character, Imam Ibn Majah’s Book of Zuhd (Asceticism), Imam Abu Dawwud’s Book of General Behavior (Kitab Al-Adab), Imam Bukhari’s Al-Adab Al-Mufrad (on Conduct and behaviour). All these books mention Ahadith about the prophets (saws) Life that are Important to Tasawwuf. Softening of Hearts and making it Tender is not referring to how a person feels after giving them a Big Teady Bear, this is talking about how to cure a heart from one of the worst sicknesses a human can suffer and that is Hard Heartedness.
“Woe, then, unto those whose hearts are hardened against all remembrance of God! They are most obviously lost in error!” (39:22).
“Allah does not change the condition of people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran, Surah Al Ra’d, 13:11), untill they Practice Ihsan.
This understanding that Tasawwuf is part of Islam is stated clearly in The history of the Wahabi’s, Ibn Taymiyah himself was a Qadiri Sufi and Died a Qadiri Sufi, his Major work majmool al Fatawa, which is 37 volumes, the 11th Volume is entitled al Tasawwuf in which he teaches the science of Tasawwuf, he has an essay in it called al-Sufiyya wa al-fuqara. In his commentary Ibn Taymiyya stresses that the primacy of the Shari`a forms the soundest tradition in tasawwuf, and to argue this point he lists over a dozen early masters, as well as more contemporary shaykhs like his fellow Hanbalis. In his al-Risala al-safadiyya, Ibn Taymiyya defends the Sufis as those who belong to the path of the Sunna and represent it in their teachings and writings.
In his treatise on the difference between the lawful forms of worship and the innovative forms, entitled Risalat al-`ibadat al-shar`iyya wal-farq baynaha wa bayn al-bid`iyya, Ibn Taymiyya unmistakably states that the lawful is the method and way of “those who follow the Sufi path” or “the way of self-denial” (zuhd) and those who follow “what is called poverty and tasawwuf”, i.e. the fuqara’ and the Sufis: The lawful is that by which one approaches near to Allah. It is the way of Allah. It is righteousness, obedience, good deeds, charity, and fairness. It is the way of those on the Sufi path (al-salikin), and the method of those intending Allah and worshipping Him; it is that which is travelled by everyone who desires Allah and follows the way of self-denial (zuhd) and religious practice, and what is called poverty and tasawwuf and the like.
Ibn Taymiyah says about Tasawwuf: Regarding Shaykh`Abd al-Qadir’s teaching that the salik or Sufi wayfarer should abstain from permitted desires, Ibn Taymiyya begins by determining that Abd al-Qadir’s intention is that one should give up those permitted things which are not commanded, for there may be a danger in them. But to what extent? If Islam is essentially learning and carrying out the Divine command, then there must be a way for the striver on the path to determine the will of Allah in each particular situation. Ibn Taymiyya concedes that the Qur’an and Sunna cannot explicitly cover every possible specific event in the life of every believer. Yet if the goal of submission of will and desire to Allah is to be accomplished by those seeking Him, there must be a way for the striver to ascertain the Divine command in its particularity.
Ibn Taymiyya’s answer is to apply the legal concept of ijtihad to the spiritual path, specifically to the notion of ilham or inspiration. In his efforts to achieve a union of his will with Allah’s, the true Sufi reaches a state where he desires nothing more than to discover the greater good, the action which is most pleasing and loveable to Allah. When external legal arguments cannot direct him in such matters, he can rely on the standard Sufi notions of private inspiration (ilham) and intuitive perception (dhawq):If the Sufi wayfarer has creatively employed his efforts to the external shar`i indications and sees no clear probability concerning his preferable action, he may then feel inspired, along with his goodness of intention and reverent fear of Allah, to choose one of two actions as superior to the other. This kind of inspiration (ilham) is an indication concerning the truth. It may be even a stronger indication than weak analogies, weak hadiths, weak literalist arguments (zawahir), and weak istisHaab which are employed by many who delve into the principles, differences, and systematizing of fiqh.
Ibn Taymiyya bases this view on the principle that Allah has put a natural disposition for the truth in mankind, and when this natural disposition has been grounded in the reality of faith and enlightened by Qur’anic teaching, and still the striver on the path is unable to determine the precise will of Allah in specific instances, then his heart will show him the preferable course of action. Such an inspiration, he holds, is one of the strongest authorities possible in the situation. Certainly the striver will sometimes err, falsely guided by his inspiration or intuitive perception of the situation, just as the mujtahid sometimes errs. But, he says, even when the mujtahid or the inspired striver is in error, he is obedient.
Appealing to ilham and dhawq does not mean following one’s own whims or personal preferences. In his letter to Nasr al-Manbiji, he qualifies this intuition as “faith-informed” (al-dhawq al-imani). His point is, as in the commentary to the Futuh, that inspirational experience is by nature ambiguous and needs to be qualified and informed by the criteria of the Qur’an and the Sunna. Nor can it lead to a certainty of the truth in his view, but what it can do is give the believer firm grounds for choosing the more probably correct course of action in a given instance and help him to conform his will, in the specific details of his life, to that of his Creator and Commander.
Ibn Taymiyah a Sufi, Attempted to reform Tasawwuf he never said it is haram and not part of Islam and many other ullumah did the same thing with different Groups of Aqeedah and Fiqh it is common in our History that the ullumah attempt to reform groups that have gone to extremes. So his words and criticism of parts of Tasawwuf in reference to a specific group or groups living in his time should not be misrepresented in such a way to make people think he was Talking about the entire science of Tsaawwuf because this is a Lie against him, he would have stopped practicing it himself and not dedicated an entire volume to it in his work.
Today, Islam is taught only with words by people who do not care to practice it purely nor to purify themselves in practice. This unfortunate devolution was foreseen in many ahadith that state, for example, “They will order people and not heed their own warning, and they are the worst of people.” Similarly, the Prophet (s) said, “I do not fear for you only the anti-Christ.” They asked, “Then who else are you afraid of?” He said, “The misguided scholars.” The Prophet (s) also said, “What I fear most for my nation is a hypocrite who has a scholarly tongue.” Such was not the way of the Companions including the People of the Bench (Ahl as-Suffa), concerning whom the following verse was revealed:
And restrain thyself with those who call upon their Lord at morning and evening, desiring His countenance, and let not thine eyes turn away from them, desiring the adornment of the present life; and obey not him whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance so that he follows his own lust, and his affair has become all excess. (18:28)
Meaning he only follows the acts of Islam and does nothing about the state of his heart untill everything he does he does out of lust and he becomes all excess, when the heart isn’t purified Allah says Lust will increase in it, the Middle way of islam is about Balance, and that balance is done by Balancing the heart which is regulated by acts of Tazkiyah an nafs.
This way of excess and outward acts only, was not the way of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r), about whom the Prophet (s) said, “Abu Bakr does not precede you for praying much or fasting much, but because of a secret that has taken root in his heart.” Nor was this the way of the Successors (tabi`een) such as Hasan al-Basri, Sufyan al-Thawri, and others of the later generations of Sufis who looked back to them for models. Al-Qushayri relates that al-Junayd said, “Tasawwuf is not the profusion of prayer and fasting, but wholeness of the breast and selflessness.” in the Quran Allah calls this, Basharun Sawiya, Perfected Human Being, 19:17.
Nor was this the way of the Four Imams who emphasized doing-without (zuhd) and true god-fear (wara), above the mere satisfaction of obligations. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal composed two books with those two qualities as their respective titles. He placed the knowledge of saints above the knowledge of scholars, as is shown by the following report by his student, Abu Bakr al-Marwazi:
I heard Fath ibn Abi al-Fath saying to Abu Abd Allah (Imam Ahmad) during his last illness, “Invoke God for us that He will give us a good successor to succeed you.” He continued, “Who shall we ask for knowledge after you?” Ahmad replied, “Ask Abd al-Wahhab.” Someone who was present there related to me that he said, “But he does not have much learning.” Abu Abd Allah replied, “He is a saintly man, and such as he is granted success in speaking the truth.”
This State is similar to Umar (r.a) and is the state of the Sidiqin, Allah gives them a rank after the Prophets and Ahead of the Shuhadah in the Quran and in the Akhira, “Whoso obeyeth Allah and the messenger, they are with those unto whom Allah hath shown favour, of the Prophets and the Saints (Siddiqin, the steadfast affirmers of truth) and the martyrs and the righteous. The best of company are they!” (4:69)
Abu Dharr said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Truly Allah has placed the truth upon the tongue of `Umar, it speaks by him.
Abu Hurairah said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Truly Allah has placed the truth on the tongue of `Umar and (in) his heart.’
Ubayy ibn Ka`b said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Jibril said to me, “Let Islam weep over the death of `Umar.”‘ Abu Sa’id al-Khudri said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Whoever is angry with `Umar is angry with me. Whoever loves `Umar loves me. Allah glories in the people on the evening of `Arafah generally, and He glories in `Umar particularly. Allah has not sent a prophet except that he put among his ummah an inspired man and if there is one such in my Ummah then it is `Umar.’ They said, ‘Prophet of Allah, how inspired?’ He said, ‘The angels speak by his tongue.’
When Allah says he will join those who are like the companions with them in the Akhira, “Along with others of them who have not yet joined them.” (62:3), it means they would have to earn a similar rank to them in there lives on earth, this can only be achieved by Allah showing them the same favour he gave to the companions in order for them to earn a place with them as they use those favours in this life. For this reason The Ullumah have said Umar (r.a) is not the only person in this Ummah who Allah inspired and the Angels spoke the truth through, Rasul Allah (saws) was pointing out one of the first people in the ummah to be given such a thing. This is why the verse “of the Prophets and the Saints (Siddiqin, the steadfast affirmers of truth) and the martyrs and the righteous” (49:6) is speaking in general terms about the entire Ummah of Muhammad (saws), there would be Sidiqqin throughout this Ummah’s entire History on earth and this is their place in the Akhira, after the Prophets (saws).
People speak according to their nature, the more purity (Tahara) you have achieved in your life the more pure your heart has become and the more you grow. This is why the Ullumah focused on clearing their minds and purifying their hearts of all that would distract them, because it impacted on the hearts ability to perceive and understand real Knowledge,”Which the True Spirit hath brought down, Upon thy heart, that thou mayst be (one) of the warners,” (26:193-194), Allah mentioned this connection in the Quran when he (Azza wa Jall) said about knowledge and the Quran, “Indeed, it is a noble Qur’an, In a Register well-protected, None touch it except the purified” (56:77-790) The context of these verses is that the Quran’s knowledge is protected and isn’t given to anyone except those who are pure people, for a scholar or person wishing to understand the Deen this is important, and it is from this understanding the ullumah said, the first step is that none should touch the Quran except those who Have wudu. Wudu is a spiritual purification primarily and a physical one secondarily you can be free from dirt and filth but still not have wudu, it’s primary purpose is to wash away the sins from you body on a daily basis, as our prophet (saws) mentioned (Riyad al Salihin).
Imam Malik placed the same emphasis on inner perfection in his saying, “Religion does not consist in the knowledge of many narrations, but in a light which God places in the breast.” Ibn `Ata Allah quoted Ibn `Arabi as saying, “Certainty does not derive from the evidences of the mind but pours out from the depths of the heart.”
This is why many of the Imams of religion cautioned against the mere thirst for knowledge at the expense of the training of the ego.
One of the early Sufis and the greatest of the huffaz, or hadith masters, of his time, Sufyan al-Thawri, sounded the same warning. He addressed those who use the narration of hadith for religion, when he said, “If hadith was a good (by itself), it would have vanished just as goodness has vanished (A Sign of the hour, mentioned by the messenger of Allah (saws)). Pursuing the study of hadith is not part of the preparation for death, but a disease that preoccupies people.”
Dhahabi comments: By God he has spoken the truth. Today, in our time, the quest for knowledge and hadith no longer means for the hadith scholar the obligation of living up to it, which is the goal of hadith. He is right in what he said because pursuing the study of hadith is other than the hadith itself.
“It is for the hadith itself,” for the purpose of living up to the Sunnah of the Prophet (s) and the Holy Quran, that the great masters of self-purification forsook the pursuit of science as a worldly allurement (they said it is love for Dunya, this world), and placed above it the acquisition of ihsan, or perfect character. This is in accordance with the well-known hadith of Aisha (r) concerning the disposition of the Prophet (r). When asked about the Prophet’s (s) character, Aisha (r) said, “His character was the Quran.”
The Study of the Hadith Sciences is not Deen, it is not more than a Qualification in History and the point of it is to be more accurate in Deen by verifying the narrations, then you practice what you have verified. But people stop at the science because they are satiated and satisfied with the knowledge they have gained up to this point, their hearts are full.
Both Ihsan (Human Perfection) and the process that leads to it (“His character was the Quran.”), Tazkiyah an nafs are known as tasawwuf, In a hadith Qudsi Allah has Said, “O children of Adam, only by remembering and contemplating Me with your whole being are you truly faithful to Me. Whenever you forget Me, you are unfaithful.”, this is a literal hadith, The Messenger of Allah (saws) said “Ihsan is That you worship Allah as if you see Him, for if you don’t see Him then truly He sees you”. Sahl ibn `Abdallah said, “The life of the heart is in the knowledge of God alone (not of another).” Abu `Uthman al-Hiri and Abu Turab al-Nakhshabi said, “One who is ignorant of God’s decrees (ahkâm) cannot be one knowledgeable of God.”
Allah in the Quran refers to those who Follow Islam by three names, these names give us the three levels of People in Islam. He (Azza wa Jall) calls People in the Quran “Muslim”, this is the first level and the lowest. Then He (Aza wa Jaal) Calls People in the Quran “Mu’min”, Wal Muslimun, Wal Muslimat, Wal Mu’minun Wal Mu’minat, this is the second level and is higher than the first because he is calling them by the strength of their Iman. He (Azza wa Jall) then calls People in the Quran “Muhsin”, this is Higher then a Mu’min because he is calling them by the perfection of their selfs, Muhsin, means one who does Ihsan.
“Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate (in the past), if they fear Allah, and believe and do righteous good deeds, and again fear Allah and believe, and once again fear Allah and do good deeds with Ihsan (perfection). And Allah loves the good-doers (Muhsinnun), 5:93. and this is the highest level, the word Muhsin is derived from the word Ihsan and means those who perfect themselves.
Allah gives us the steps and formula for becoming these people in Ayah 5:93, he says, First believe and do Good deeds, then fear Allah, then again Believe and do Good deeds and Again Fear Allah, and once again fear Allah and do good deeds with Ihsan (meaning perfect the deeds you are doing), then after that Allah will love you.
This is a Tariqa (method or path) for achieving Ihsan and becoming one of the Muhsinuun, those who perfect themselves, because to Fear Allah you have to be aware of him in your life, see and know the thing you are to fear and for that you need to know why you should fear Him. So when Allah says “fear Allah and once again Fear Allah” He is saying to you Be aware of Allah and then again increase that awareness, the aim of this awareness in reality is to stop you from reverting back to a lack of perfection in your self, and not back to a state of sin, because if you have reached this point in the Tariqah/path Allah mentioned you would have rid your self of your sins at the start and began the process of perfecting your Life, doing good deeds with ihsan (perfection), this is the path of Ihsan, and What Jibril (hs) took the form of, in order to show Maryam (hs) what a person at the end of this Path looked like, He took the form of a Basharun Sawiya, Perfected Human (19:17).
This is general though as there are people whose sins become fewer and fewer through out this Tariqa, Path, and only one still remains towards the end and Allah (Azza wa Jall) still brings them nearer and nearer, as He says in a Hadith Qudsi, “Go, do what you wish for I have forgiven you”, he protects them from the Evil of his Sin.
The Prophet (saws), from among the things he reports from his Lord (mighty and sublime be He), is that he said:
A servant [of Allah’s] committed a sin and said: O Allah, forgive me my sin. And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for them. Then he sinned again and said: O Lord, forgive me my sin. And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for them. Then he sinned again and said: O Lord, forgive me my sin. And He (glorified and exalted be He) said: My servant has committed a sin and has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for sins. Do what you wish, for I have forgiven you. (It was related by Muslim and al-Bukhari).
Sources: This work uses a number of Sources which I have not mentioned so as to not interfere with the flow of reading and to keep the focus, it was written Fi sabillilah.
Since writing this article some years ago i have written a number of books on this subject, the Issue of sufism or tassawwuf in our time of science and knowledge should no longer be a question because all the mysteries of the universe have been opened for us, just as Allah promised in the Quran, and everything the scholars of tasaawwuf have ever said has proven to be scientifically true, my work The Islamic Journal and “Who Was al Khidr” look into these subjects and prove this.
Allah said in the Quran, “In time We shall make them fully understand Our messages [through what they perceive] in the utmost horizons [of the universe] and within themselves, so that it will become clear unto them (mankind) that this [revelation] is indeed the truth. [Qur’an 41:53]
Meaning Allah will show man the mysteries of space and the self, including his physiology, to prove to man this religion is the truth, once we see how these areas of science can prove religion is the truth, it then becomes astonishing to know that the two subjects should be related but that is exactly the case, because in man’s body exists the full spectrum of matter from the subatomic world that allowed man to understand space, to the physical one made from atoms, molecules and compounds.
This study, how these subjects are related has always been the domain of the scholars of Tassawwuf, as Imam ibn Arabi and many others said, man is a copy of the greater form, the Universe, but modern scientific terminology is entirely different than what Islam’s scholars employed.
It becomes clear that this promise in the Quran has been fulfilled when we look at the subject matter each field of Islamic science dealt with and see that their is an equivalent field of science for it today. Aqeedah, Islamic creed and theology, is the most important science in Islam because it defines the core beliefs of our religion, if a person has wrong Aqeedah this can take him out of Islam entirely. This science not only deals with Allah and His existence but it also deals with the nature of the Universe, how it was created, and what He created in it, today physics has solved many Islamic questions that are still held among people and in fact if we look at the old Islamic arguments we will find scholars very often used the physics and science they understood in their time to answer many questions.
Islamic Aqeedah dealt with other subjects like subatomic particles and atoms and the nature of time, these subjects have also been answered by physics and chemistry.
Tsawwuf, sufism, traditionally dealt with how to purify mans self but it also looked at the science behind how man connected to the unseen world (ghayb) through this purification, in other words the mechanism behind revelation and inspiration that the Prophets and Awliyah received, Allah in the Quran says He revealed the Quran from the unseen (ghayb) to the prophets heart, but the heart isnt a persons ear so how did that knowledge get from the prophets (saws) heart to his mind so He (saws) could recite it.
Biology, Chemistry and Physics have answered these questions, because this is all a question of how human physiology works and how our consciousness (self or nafs) is created from our senses, what we see, touch, smell, hear, taste and feel, which combine together to make up our experience in this world and who we are.
Once we see that Allah’s promise has been fulfilled many verses in the Quran that previously could not be understood become very clear, that Allah 1400 years ago taught man how He inspired him and gave him revelation, surah al Shams (91), al Rahman (55) and the verse of Light (24:35) are just a few examples of Allah teaching mankind how He inspired them through the Universe, in scientific terms.
So the question is no longer, is tasawwuf correct or part of Islam ? but how scientifically accurate where the scholars in their understanding of the universe, because opinions varied according to each scholars understanding of science.
Physiology and Ghayb (the unseen) has been at the heart of tassawwuf for 1400 years, and science today is proving what it said true, nothing makes this more clear than the fact that scholars have long ago identified what ghayb is, and modern science has studied this part of the universe for over a hundred years now. Scholars like Imam al Ghazali and Ibn Arabi said Ghayb is the world we experience when we dream and the world we see when we imagine things whilst awake, today many people get confused by the term “world” thinking we go to a different place not of this universe because they don’t know how to put the picture together, while science today has established that our consciousness and imagination, the images we see in our head, are made of matter or small particles and they are subject to the same laws of physics we are.
So then it becomes very clear that Ghayb, the unseen world that Allah often talks about in the Quran, is the quantum or subatomic part of our universe, all those tiny particles smaller than an Atom flying through space. This becomes even more clear if we consider the fact that the Angels in charge of the Unseen world are not made from atoms like we are but subatomic particles called photons, in plain terms Light. The unseen world is entirely made from these very small particles which is why it is unseen, our body interacts with it because it needs and relies on these particles to survive, the body for example can not function properly without light (photons), but we cant see all these particles we can just sense them when they are bunched together (in a field) like a ray of sunlight, quantum mechanics is the physics of subatomic particles, while physiology and physics answer how the human body interacts with the unseen world (quantum universe), today this science is called biophysics.
So then shouldn’t science be able to put all these question to rest?
The answer is a clear yes, but the obstacle isn’t how can science answer all the old questions, rather people no longer know how to understand the words of the classical scholars to see where modern science fits in. Modern people hold goofy beliefs about ghayb, miracles, what the scholars said and where they got their information from when the scholars were the most rationale of people employing the science of their time to answer questions, science has moved on and become more accurate in answering questions but now people look at their words like they are mysterious and accuse them of fabricating miracles to justify what they said, all because they are clueless about how they arrived at these conclusions, the answer is in the science of the old world and what they built upon that foundation.
The research notes in my book “Who Was Al Khidr” show just how accurate Islams scholars where in describing the quantum universe, most of them belonged to sufi tariqahs that looked at how man through his physiology and senses connected with ghayb, the quantum part of our universe.
It is very significant that Allah takes one of the most important oaths in the Quran to emphasis and state that this reality is the truth, (surah al Shams 91), that the human body is connected with ghayb (the quantum universe) for it’s inspiration and sustenance and this fact leads to the ultimate purpose of life, “To a happy state shall indeed attain he who causes it (the soul) to grow, and truly lost is he who buries it [in darkness]”(91:9-10).
My articles “Human Physiology and It’s Relationship To Baraka“, and “What is the Unseen World and Where Is It: Explaining the Technical Terminology of the Scholars“, help explain this further, they are part of my book “The Light Of Allah In The Heavens and The Earth” which is a tafsir to the verse of Light (24:35), i have also written a tafsir to Surah al Shams (91) in the Islamic Journal.