As we have said before, the matters concerning belief and faith have no relation with Jurisprudence, Practice and four religious Sects.
Selefiyyun: The Wise Sufis and Muslim Saints do not accept to explain the realities of faith according to the Aristotle Logic using abstract (or partial Intellect). It was done by the Philosophers and Theologians of Islam before Religious sects of Belief had been established again during Abbasids 100 years after the Prophet.
Selef: (The Wise and Gnostics, Holy men of old)) They explain and interpret the realities of faith reported with verses, hadiths and divine sayings. They do not attempt to set up beliefs using Logic and reason rationally as the theologians do. (1)
There is also another group of people called “Batinites” from the religious sect of Ismailiye. They claim that the Koran is Divine and it has hidden meanings and that the verses and hadiths have no exterior meanings. This is also wrong.
While interpreting the verses, the Batinites of Ismailiye Sect liken so excessively that the result of it is personification. This is also Formalism called Paganism.
The Koran has both hidden and open meanings. There are interpretations and interpreters of the exterior meanings of the Koran as well as hidden meanings.
For example: Allah mentions about His face, His eyes and His Hands in the Koran and says that He sits on the Throne.
“Errahmanü Alel arşisteva-He sits enthroned on high.” (Ta-Ha, 5)
There are many metaphorical verses similar to this. If you did not explain or interpret these verses, Allah would be given a form then.
Giving a form means paganism, for this reason, Sufis, Ghazzali and great Religious scholars agree that the Koran must be interpreted and it has spiritual and hidden meanings. The only person who is against to this agreement is Ibn-i Taymiyya.
(1) Nowadays a new religious group called as the supporters of Zahiriye Sect (The supporters of Taymiyya) say they are “Selefi (Past oriented traditionists)”. They deny all the religious sects of Jurisprudence, Theology, Philosophy and Sufism (Spiritualism). They say that the Koran and the Holy sayings of the Prophet (Hadiths) have no spiritual, hidden meanings. They are not Selefi but a kind of externalists (formalists)-Zahiriyeciler. According to Ibn Taymiyya, The Koran cannot be explained but the Arabic version of it can be read and translated.... that’s all. They deny the expounders of the Koran but they explain it themselves. It means: it is allowed to them but not to others. They try to monopolize the Knowledge.
This is accepted by Sufis, who are real Selef as well as by the People of Sunnat and the Shiite Sect of Muslims. This is what the truth is.
The Batinites and Externalists are the minorities who have exaggerated and exceeded in Islam.
The evidence of the Selefi who are Gnostics in Belief and of those who follow them, is the Koran Verses, Holy Traditions and the Divine Sayings of the Prophet. The greatest explanators of this are the Prophet and His exalted Companions and those who learned from them. They are the explanators and interpreters of belief but not the founders of it. They do not set up belief. Faith and belief depends on the Koran and Holy Traditions. They can only be explained by the Prophet, by the Wise who are the heirs of the Prophet and by the Great Saints whose intelligence and Spirit have been perfected with the Universal Intellect (the Spirit of Muhammad) through making contact between the Partial Intellect and Universal Intellect. And we can learn from them.
Belief is corroborated by Allah and His Apostle but not by others. Scholastic Theologians (Kelâmcılar) did not make the explanations of the verses and Hadiths. Yet, they made a judgement using partial intellect according to Aristotle Logic about Eternity, innovation, the Person, the Attribution and Faith theoretically. They re-set the belief.
The evidence of the Scholastic Theologians is not the Koran Verses and the Hadith. Their evidence is “Mind and Logic”. They do not explain the Belief according to Verses and Hadiths. The Sufis, who are wise saints, say that, “they cannot accept a belief that is not based on the Koran Verses and Hadiths”.
If a person reads a book about the Fundamentals of the Scholastic Theology, he sees that Scholastic Theologians do not behave in accordance with the Verses and Hadiths but they use reasoning. He sees that they are not interested in the verses and Hadiths about the realities of belief and faith and they do not explain them. They are interested in Existence (Presence, the Person of God), self-existence (whose existence is a necessity), one whose existence is possible, non-existence, existing, eternity, the one that comes into existence afterwards, evident, one that is not self-existent but existed from another essence, atom, space, imagination, the Person and His Attributes, actions, fate etc... They try to explain and prove these matters using reason and partial intellect and through the rules of Aristotle Logic (deduction and induction)... Various religious sects of belief emerged (arose) due to it...
Those subjects had existed in the Greek Philosophy even before the Christ. The Principles of Aristotle Logic passed to Islam Scholars during Abbasids and the Umayyad. They have no relation with the Koran and the Hadiths (Sunnats).
All the realities of Faith and metaphysical matters exist in the Glorious Koran and in the Works of the Prophet. There is no need to seek them in Scholastic Theology and Philosophy.
The danger is: Although Mu’tazile (mostly Shiites) and the Scholars of Sunnat (mostly the followers of Ashary and Maturidy) should have kept these rational and theological judgments suitable with the Koran and the Hadith, the Scholars of Madrasa, who were their supporters tried to suit the verses and hadiths concerning faith to the views of rationalist and scholastic founders of the religious sects.
The most dangerous attempt was: they tried to accept the verses, which were contrary to their beliefs and they abolished and ignored the Holy Sayings of the Prophet.
They accused the Gnostics and the Wise who did not explain the Verses and the Hadiths related to belief according to Ashary, Maturidy and Jubai (Mutazila) for going astray or for being crazy in a very strict, scholastic way.
Whereas; the verses and the Holy Sayings of the Prophet existed even 150 years before Scholastics, Ashary, Maturidy , Jubai (Mutazila) and similar rationalist founders of belief.
Unfortunately, the belief confirmed by the Koran and Hadiths was given up and the remarks of the so-called rationalist scholars were accepted as belief by both the Scholars of Madrasa of the Shiites and Sunnis.
In fact, Sufis are not against the defense of the Existence of Allah, the presence of Spirit and the metaphysical realities by the Philosophers and Scholastic Theologians. On the contrary, they support it and they do the same if necessary. They support whoever struggles for this.
Yet, they are against the philosophical and theological opinions about Allah, His Person, His Attributes, His deeds and qualities.
Defending the Existence of Allah and putting forward ideas about the Attributes of Allah are different matters.
The Knowledge about God and the Reality of God as well as His attributes are reported by the Koran and the Hadiths. Belief is corroborated by Allah and His apostle. The greatest person to explain it is our Most High Prophet, the Family of the Prophet (Ahl al Bayt) the scholars of his Companions and Sufi saints who are all wise people. They are the righteous predecessors.
Farabi, Ibn-i Sina, Kindi, Ibn-i Rushd, the scholastic theologians of Mutazila: Ashary, Maturidy, who all developed belief using rational evidence, put themselves in the place of Allah and His Apostle because the realities of faith are reported by the Koran, by the Holy Traditions and by the sacred saying of the Prophet.
Sufis even support the Western Philosophers, who defend Allah and religion, as well as the Islam Philosophers and theologians mentioned above. They support Dehri, Descartes, who argue with materialist Philosophy, Spinoza, Kant, Hugo, Goethe and Hegel. Supporting (it is the duty of all the believers to defend God) and accepting a belief formed by Mutazila, Ashary and Maturidy are different things.
The Wise Saints explained the realities, concerning belief, reported by the Koran and Sunnat. Then, the belief of others even the Shiites or the people of Sunnat except the belief of Sufis (the predecessors who are Sufi) is not the belief of Muslims.
However, the Scholars of Madrasa from the people of Sunnat accepted the religious sect of Selefiye in belief. For instance, we are in sympathy with Ashary and Maturidy but we do not accept their belief. We accept Selefi belief but not the belief formed by reasoning. We believe as the righteous predecessors believe. We believe how the experts of Sufism believe.
The religious leader (Pir) of Sufis is Hazrat Imam-ı Hasan al Basri. He acquired Sufism from Hazrat Ali (K.V.) who is the leader of Spiritual Guidance. The Sufis who are the righteous predecessors and Hz. Ghazzali deny the rational methods of Maturidiye and Ashary, they do not deny their judgments which are in accordance with the Book, Sunnat and the belief of Selef-i Salihin (Holy Men of old). They claim that forming up a belief by reasoning and most of their judgments will be contrary to the Book and Sunnat. The great Gnostics who follow the belief of righteous predecessors do not refuse all the statements of Maturidy and Ashary. We also agree with this opinion.
Sufism (Tasawwuf) as known and mentioned in details above is the branch that deals with realities of faith. It is to learn the Koran by means of making contact with the Spirit of the Prophet (A.S.W.), to learn the subjects related to belief and faith such as: Divine Knowledge, Divine Person, His attributes, His Deeds, His works, Fate, spirits, Angels and the journey of the Spirit of men from physical world to beautiful, pleasant world (seyr-i sülûk (progress on the spiritual world) etc... not the knowledge of Jurisprudence.
The Prophet Muhammad (A.S.W.) taught Sufism to Hz. Aliyyel Murtaza and Hz. Abu Bakr Sıddık. The History of Sufism is the witness of this.
Sufism also concerns the Knowledge of God and Love. The experts of Sufism enable some of their adherents to encounter their Lord again by shining their hearts with love and through (with) the Knowledge of God. They impart the secrets of Fenafi Resul (Annihilation in the Prophet), Fenafillah (Annihilation in Allah), Bekabillah which means remaining and abiding in God. They also teach them the realities of faith called “Men Araf” “Men arafe nefsehu, kad arefe Rabbehu- He who knows himself knows his Lord”. (2)
(2) See Binbir Hadis by Şemseddin Yeşil, 1983, Ist. p. 212 and others.
Sufism exists in the Prophet (A.S.W.) Himself and in the Koran because Sufism concerns Faith and Gnosis. The only aim of the Prophet is to increase Divine Knowledge and faith for Allah.
The Prophet (A.S.) is the greatest Gnostic. He is the teacher of the Universe. This characteristic (specialty) exists in other Heavenly Messengers too.
Sufism teach the realities of Angels, Spirit, Prophetic Mission, Sainthood, Prophecy, the Realities of Revelation and Speech, the Purest Person, Self-existence of Allah, the Word of Allah, the Attributes of Allah, His beautiful Names etc... Sufism involves all these matters.
Sufism did not emerge afterwards.
The Prophet (A.S.W.) taught this to the King of Sainthood “Hz. Ali” and to “Hz. Abu Baqr Sıddık.” He trained them. These two great men are the Doors of our Prophet. He also taught it to the skillful ones among his Companions.
Provided that there had been other paths from his other companions, they were either forgotten or ceased. Sufism is still continuing in Hz. Ali and Hz. Abu Baqr because Spiritual Knowledge does not end.
It is said that Sufism is not only a spiritual state but also “Keshf-Divine Revelation or intuition”. When the Spirit encounters the Prophet and Allah, he is taught divine Knowledge from Allah and His Prophet. The realities of faith and real faith-belief are taught to him. The certain Knowledge of faith is taught by God.
When the works of Abdulkadir-i Geylani, Hz. Rufai, Muhyiddin-i Arabi, Maktul Suhreverdi, Mawlana, Hadji Beqtash, Yunus, Sheikh Hasan-ı Shazili, Hz. Bedevi, Hz. Dusuki, Ahmed Yesevi, Muhammad Bahaeddin, Ahmed Faruk Serhindi and Hz. Ghazzali are read and studied, it is seen that Sufism exists particularly in the Prophets, in our Most High Prophet, Al-i Aba, in the Four Caliphs, the Twelve Ahla-l Bait Imams and in the great personalities such as Hasan al Basri, Junayd-ı Bagdadi, Maruf-u Karhi, Sırri Sakati... Hasan al Basri was one of the students of Hz. Ali. He imparted Spiritual Caliphate personally from him.
Sufism is the Divine Knowledge of Allah and Divine Love of Allah. It has two manifestations. He is encountered God either through Love or by Divine Knowledge depending on the talent of the student or adherent.
One of our Sufi Poets says:
“Do not think that your task is over with fasting and prayer,
The union for devotee is the Remembrance and Knowledge...”
Allah says: “Remember Me often.” Sufism means remembering Allah very often and numerously. Remembrance is Love and it causes Love.
“Ya eyyühellezine âmenüzkürüllahe zikren kesira-The Believers! Remember God abundantly!” (Al-Ahzab, 41)
“Vezkürullahe kesiren lealleküm tüflihün-Remember God always so that you may be saved!” (Al-Jumah, 10)
“Elâ bizikrillahi tetmeinnül kulûp-Surely, the remembrance of Allah comforts the hearts.” (Rad, 28)
So, how is the heart comforted? It is comforted with the Remembrance or Ziqr of Allah. What happened to the heart, which is not comforted? It is not in peace.
“Fezküruni ezkürküm-Remember Me (God) so that I will remember you!” (Al-Baqarah, 152)
It means: Remember Me, Call Me consciously and meaningfully. Our Prophet has already said: “The best remembrance (the most superior) is: La ilahe illallah-There is no God but Allah.”(3)
The Most High Allah says:
“Fezkur isme Rabbike-Remember the name of your Lord!” (4)
“O Muhammad, Praise Allah!” (5)
There is a command (Allah orders) to all the Prophets, to our Prophet and to Believers: “Praise Allah morning and evening.”(6)
“Vele Zikrullahi ekber-The foremost duty is to remember God.” (7)
Ritual Prayer-salat means praying, begging. There are also verses about worship, bowing down and prostration in the Koran. What does Allah say about them?
(3) From Jabir (R.A.), Thirmizi, “Riyazüs Salihin, Diy. İşl. Bşk. Public. 1976 Vol.3, p. 39
(4) Muzammil, 8
(5) Ahzab, 42
(6) “Ve tüsbbihûhü bükraten ve asîla.” (Fetih, 9)
(7) Ankebut, 45
“Ve akimüsselâte, innesselâte tenha ani’l fehşâi ve’l münker-Be steadfast in prayer, Perform your ritual prayer. Prayer fends away indecency, evil and adultery.” (8)
But what does He say at the end of this verse? “Vele zikrullâhi ekber-But your foremost duty is to remember Allah”.Remembrance of Allah is the greatest. The remembrance comforts the heart.
“Our Lord Allah says that Remembrance is the greatest duty by separating Remembrance from Ritual Prayer saying: “But remembrance is...”
Remembrance is related to faith. First, “Allah” will be recited then ritual prayer can be performed. Ritual prayer cannot be performed without remembering Allah.
“Allahu Ekber-Allah is the most great.” It means to exalt Allah.
“O Muhammad, Remember Me in the morning and in the evening!.” (9)
“Praise Me day and night!” (10)
(8) Ankebut: 45
(9) A’raf: 205
(10) Tâ-Hâ: 130