Soofee type of Zuhd opposes the essence of true Zuhd laid down in the Qur’aan, authentic Sunnah, and as understood by the Salaf – Dr. Saleh as Saleh

FAQ : Clarifications – The Zuhd of the Salaf and That of the Mystic Sufis

SourceSufism : Origin and Development – Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (e-Book)

The call for Zuhd in Islam is to lead a pious life devoted to Allaah (Azza wa Jal) taking the least that is sufficient of the lawful things of life. It does not mean to abandon lawful means of earning, property, children, etc. nor exaggerating in performing acts of worship. Allaah, the Most High, says:

O Children of Adam! Take your adornment [by wearing your clean clothes] while praying and going round [the Tawaaf of] the Ka’bah, and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He [Allaah] likes not the extravagants.

Say [O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم]: “Who has forbidden the adoration with clothes given by Allaah, which He has produced for his slaves, and At-Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halaal things] of food?” Say: “They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, [and] exclusively for them [believers] on the Day of Resurrection [the disbelievers will not share them].” Thus We explain the Aayaat [Islamic laws] in detail for people who have knowledge. [Qur’aan, Soorat Al-’Araaf, 7:31-32].

He (Azza wa Jal) also said:

But seek with that [wealth] which Allaah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world, and do good as Allaah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily Allaah likes not the Mufsideen [those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischiefmakers, corrupted people]. [Qur’aan, Soorat Al-Qasas 28:77].

When Sa’d Bin Abee Waqqaas [33] asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) whether he can will all of his property in charity, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) told him to give only one third of it and said:

“One third is too much. It is better for you to leave your inheritors wealthy than to leave them poor, begging from others.” [34]

He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) invoked Allaah (Azza wa Jal) to grant abundant wealth to Anas Bin Maalik :

Narrated Anas : My mother said, “O Allaah’s Messenger! Please invoke Allaah on behalf of your servant (i.e. Anas ).” He said: “O Allaah! Increase his wealth and children, and bestow your blessings on whatever you give him.”35 There are many other texts in the Qur’aan and (or) Sunnah which teach the medium course of this Deen in its acts of worship as well as in its codes for living this life in the way that pleases Allaah (Azza wa Jal).

In contrast, we find that the Soofee type of Zuhd opposes the essence of true Zuhd laid down in the Qur’aan, authentic Sunnah, and as understood by the Salaf, mainly that it is a renunciation of that which is of no benefit in the Hereafter. Consider, for example, some of the so-called Soofee Zuhd:(2)

(2) Poverty, hunger, abandonment of lawful things and of Hadeeth, and other strange things:

A Soofee master said, “I like for the beginner not to make his heart busy with the matter of earning (i.e. a living), otherwise he would change.” [36]

Another master said, “I have attained this state (of Soofee knowledge) by means of a hungry stomach and a naked body.”37(!)

A call to abandon marriage and the seeking of hadeeth−knowledge is attributed to the “Soofee master” AlJunayd.[38]

Al-Ghazaalee also related the same saying of AlJunayd: “I like for the starting Mureed (Soofee disciple) not to occupy his heart in three things, otherwise his condition will change (he then named them as): (1)-Seeking to gain sustenance, (2)-Seeking knowledge of Al-Hadeeth, and (3)- Marriage.”[39]!

Within Soofee sources we find the following statement: “Hunger is the food of the Zaahideen!” [40]

‘Abdul Wahaaab Ash-Sha’raanee, an authority on Soofism in the eyes of the Soofis reported that Rabaah Bin ‘Amr AlQayeesee said: “A man would not attain the levels of the Siddeeqeen [41] until he leaves his wife as if she was a widow, his kids as if they were orphans, and takes refuge in dog houses!” [42]

According to Ash-Sha’raanee, Ibraaheem Bin ‘Usayeefeer was, “A man having a great deal of Kashf …He used to come to the town riding a wolf or a hyena, and to walk on water having no need for a boat; his urine was as white as milk…Most often he slept in a church, and he used to say: the Christians, unlike Muslims, do not steal shoes in the church.”[43]

He invalidated the fasting of the Muslims who ate chicken and mutton meat. Only those who, like the Christians, do not eat mutton meat, their fast is correct as far as ‘Usayeefeer is concerned! [44]

A story of another “Soofee”, Ibn Al-Kurainee, the teacher of Al-Junayd in which he says that he subdued himself into humiliation for twenty years until it became like that of a dog! [45]

According to the Soofee sources, Abu Yazeed, an example for many Soofis, devoted himself to Allaah and he had the determination to restrain himself from drinking water and from sleeping for one year! [46]

Ash-Sha’raanee also reported that one of the celebrated Soofee so-called Awliyaa’ by the name of ‘Abdur Rahmaan Al-Majthoob, “Cut off his own private part in the beginning of his Jathbah (a mystic Soofee state of Jathb)”! [47]

He also reported that another Soofee mystic by the name of Yaaqut Al-‘Arshee (d.707 AH/1307 C.E.) married the daughter of his sheikh Abul ‘Abbaas Al-Mursee. She stayed with him for eighteen years but he never touched her being shy from her father. He left her while she was still a virgin! [48]

These are only few cases presented in order to expose this early deviation in Soofism.


[33] Sa’d Bin Abee Waqqaas, one of the early sahaabah who accepted Islam and one of the ten companions whom the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) brought good news that they would enter Al-Jannah. He shared in the battle of Badr and Uhud and was one of the six members of the Shoora counsel which ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab chose to appoint the new Khaleefah after ‘Umar was stabbed. He was the first to shoot an arrow at the Mushrikeen in Jihaad. He lead the Muslims in taking over ‘Iraaq from the Persians after defeating them in the battle of Al-Qaadisiyyah in the 15th year of Hijrah (634 C.E.) He died in 55th year of Hijrahh (675 C.E.). [See Tahtheeb Siyar ‘Alaam An-Nubalaa’, V. 1, #5.] 34Agreed upon hadeeth. [See Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree, V. 4, Hadeeth #5.]
[35] An agreed upon hadeeth. [See Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree, vol. 8,Hadeeth #355.]
[36] See Abu Taalib Al-Makki’s Qutul Quloob fi Mu’amalat AlMahboob wa Wasf Tareeq Al-Mureed ila Maqam At-Tawheed (Cairo, Egypt: Al-Matba’ah Al-Masriyyah, 1932), vol. 2, p. 168.
[37] Attributed to Abu Yazeed Al-Bustaamee, a master in the Soofee path. Ibid vol. 2, p. 168.
[38] Ibid vol .1, p. 267.
[39] Ihyaa’ ‘Ulumid-deen, vol. 4, p. 239, published by Daar Al-Ma’rifah, Beirut.
[40] Soofee sources attributed this statement to Abu Muhammad ‘Abdullaah Al-Kharraaz, a master of the way. See Ihsaan Elaahee Thaheer’s At-Tasawwuf, Al-Mansha’ Wal Masdar [Lahore, Pakistan: Idaarat Turjumaan As-Sunnah, (1st edition), 1406 AH/1986 C.E.)], p. 100. Ihsaan quoted the text from Tabaqaat Ash-Sha’raanee, 1:7, printed by Daar Al-’Ilm Liljamee’ and Al-Matba’ah Al-’Aamiryyah Al-’Uthmaaniyyah, Cairo, 1305AH/1887 C.E.. This print of the Tabaqaat will be referred to as Tabaqaat-I.
[41] Siddeeqeen (Sing. Siddeeq): One who eminently, or always, accepting, or confirming the truth in his saying, belief, and deeds.
[42] At-Tasawwuf, Al-Mansha’ Wal Masdar, p. 58, quoting from Tabaqaat-I, 1:46.
[43] They may not steal shoes, but they steal something far greater−creed!
[44] Ibid, p. 90, from Tabaqaat-I, 2:140.
[45] Qutul Quloob, vol. 2, p. 74. This is contained in the “most influential book” of Abu Taalib Al-Makki, as some Soofis refer to it. In Qutul Quloob (V. 4, p. 71) there is the story of “special people” in Basra who if they “would ask Allaah to hold off the establishment of the Hour, He would do so!” Al-Ghazaalee commented: “In themselves these are conceivable matters!” Reported in his Ihyaa’, vol. 4, p. 356.
[46] Ibid, vol. 2, p. 70 and Ihyaa’, vol. 4, p. 356
[47] Ibid, from Tabaqaat-I, 2:142. Jathb (Lit. attraction): A Soofee term referring to the Soofee being in a state of “attraction” in which Allaah (Azza wa Jal) attracts the Soofee to His Presence. See Mu’jam Al-Mustalahaat As-Soofeeyyah by ‘Abdul Mun’im Al-Hafnee, p. 27, published by Daar Al-Maseerah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1407 AH/1987 C.E.
[48] Ibid, p. 60, quoting Al-Akhlaaq Al-Matbuliyyah by Ash-Sha’raanee, V. 3, p.179, checked by Dr. Manee’ ‘Abdul Haleem Mahmood. Published by Daar At-Turaath Al-’Arabi, Cairo, 1974.


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