Please advise me on the personality of Ibn Arabi, the one who wrote Al Fotohat Al Makkya. Is he a Nasibi? Is he a Sunni? Is he a Shia? What is the ruling on someone who appreciates his ideas and follows his conclusions?
Mohammed Ibrahim Al Ibrahim
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
Ibn Arabi is a Nasibi and a heretic. Whoever appreciates Ibn Arabi and other Sufis becomes according to Ahl Al Bayt (peace be upon them) an enemy of them. When Imam Al Sadiq (peace be upon him) was asked about the Sufis, he said:
They are our enemies. Whoever is inclined to them, is of them and will be gathered with them on Judgement Day. There will be people who claim that they love us, but will be inclined to the Sufis; they will resemble them; they will use their titles; they will replicate their words. Whoever is inclined to them, is not of us. We reject those ones; whoever denies them and responds to their words will be granted the status of striving with the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family)
Safinat Al Bihar, by Al Qumi, volume 2, page 57.
There is not an act of worship in authentic Islam or a pathway that is called Sufism. Sufism is an innovation that was encouraged by despots and rulers to keep religious people away from participating actively in running the general affairs of the land. They encouraged people to isolate themselves. Otherwise, their active presence would represent a danger that could rattle the stability of such tyrannical regimes. Those regimes aimed to suspend the rationale of those religious people and delude them that seeking personal nearness to Allah by using Dhikr (verbal remembrance of Allah) and other acts of worship whilst living in isolation within the society, would enable them to reach a sublime position.
Those regimes will subsequently be safe from any religiously motivated uprising against the ruling elite. Initially, that was what happened. That was how Sufism first started. Sufis fell in the trap. They forgot that Allah Almighty made it dutiful for every believer to strive and establish the truth, justice, enjoin Good and forbid Evil. Throughout time and due to their isolation and wool wearing habit, new ideas and conceptions started to circulate among them. The source of that was evil. It blew in their hearts such trends due to their isolation and loneliness.
It is a disliked act to isolate oneself from his immediate surroundings. Additionally, sticking to practical acts of worship only, such as prayers, fasting and supplications, is equally disliked. Faith should be a holistic condition. You need both practical and contemplating acts.Said the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family)
One hour of contemplation is more worthy than a year-long of practical worship
Al Tuhfa Al Sunnia, by Al Jaza’airi, page 72.
Among the Satanic convictions and beliefs that emerge within the Sufis is the belief of the Unity of Existence and the Unity of Existents, i.e. the Unity among Allah and his whole creation. They also moved on to a belief in the pointlessness and meaninglessness of acts of worship like prayers, fasting and pilgrimage when a human attains a spiritual degree of Certainty. Also, at that stage, they consider it allowed to practice acts of vice, provided the Certainty is attained.
This pathway started among the ‘Sunnis’ first. It leaked to those among us who were unfirm in their belief structure. Once it took the name of Sufism; another it took the name of ‘Irfan’; Mysticism. Both are two sides of the same coin.
Imam Al Sadiq (peace be upon him) said:
They, Sufis, are our enemies. Whoever is inclined to them is of them and will be gathered with them on Judgement Day. There will be people who claim that they love us, but will be inclined to the Sufis. They will resemble them; they will use their titles; they will replicate their words. Whoever is inclined to them, is not of us. We reject those ones; whoever denies them and responds to their words will be granted the status of striving with the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family).
Safinat Al Bihar, by Al Qumi, volume 2, page 57, and Mustadrak Al Wasail, volume 12, page 323
Imam Al Ridha (peace be upon him) said:
Whoever is mentioned before him, the Sufis, and he did not deny them by speech or in private, does not become of us. Whoever rejects them, will be granted the status of striving with the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family).
Safinat Al Bihar, by Al Qumi, volume 2, page 57, and Mustadrak Al Wasail, volume 12, page 323
Imam Al Sadiq (peace be upon him) indicated that some Shias claim that they love him, but will be inclined to the Sufis, that they will resemble them, use their titles, replicate their words, defend them and justify the sayings of the Sufis. All that took place in our time to the extent that one of those who claimed to be a Shia, glorified Ibn Arabi. Khomeini, dedicated his life to comment on the books written by Ibn Arabi. He also praised Al Halaj in verses of poetry, even though Al Halaj was adjudged as accursed by the noble seal of our Imam (peace be upon him). The Imam of our Time (peace be upon him) himself issued a verdict of dissociation from Al Halaj (may Allah’s wrath be upon him).
We conclude, therefore, that whoever followed such a void path or got himself close to it, does not become a follower of Ahl Al Bayt (peace be upon them). Mysticism and Sufism are the two sides of the same coin. They both share the same platforms, the same tastes and the same inclinations. They glorify one another. The so-called mysticists who dress up in Shia looking religious garments do glorify Ibn Arabi and Jalal Al Deen Al Roumi. Those two are major, if not the main icons, of the Sufis.
While we were standing, a group of Sufis came into the mosque. They sat in a corner of the mosque and began saying ‘There is no God but Allah’. Imam al-Hadi (peace be upon him) turned towards his companions and said to them:
Do not pay attention to these deceivers, for they are allies of the devils and destroyers of the foundations of religion. They become ascetic to relieve their bodies and watch to hunt cattle… They do not practice rites except to deceive people, and do not decrease food except to cheat the fool. Their acts of worship are but dancing and clapping, and their praises and tributes to Allah Almighty are but singing and chanting. None follows them except the daft and harebrained, and none believes in them except the loopy. Whoever went to visit any of them, alive or dead, is as if he went to visit Satan and idolaters, and whoever supported any of them, is as if he supported, Mu’awiya, Yazid, and Abu Sufyan.’ Then one of the companions said: ‘Even if he acknowledges your rights?’ Imam al-Hadi (peace be upon him) scolded him and shouted: ‘Do not say that. He who acknowledges our rights, does not disobey us. Do you not know that they are the worst group of Sufis?! Though all Sufis are dissent to us and their way is contrary to ours. They are but Christians and Zoroastrians of this nation. They do their best to put out the Light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will perfect His Light, though the unbelievers are averse.
Hadiqatul Shia, by al-Ardabili, page 602, taken from al-Mufid.
Imam Al-Askari (peace be upon him) said to Abi Hisham Al Jaffari:
Oh Abi Hisham! There will be a time when people seem to be happy, but their hearts are full of distress. The true Sunnah among them is described as an innovation; an innovation among them is called a Sunnah. A true believer among them is humiliated; a known heretic among them is highly respected. The ones who rule them are tyrants. Their scholars walk towards the gates of darkness. The wealthy people among them steal from their poor ones. The young ones are more esteemed than the elderly. Any ignorant will be taken as an expert scholar. People will not be able to distinguish between the faithful and the unfaithful. People will not be able to distinguish between human wolves and human sheep. Their scholars are the worst of Allah’s creation ever because they are inclined towards Philosophy and Sufism. By Allah! Those are the ones who bring aggression and corruption into Islam. They take our Shia astray. If they secure a high position, they will not get enough from corruption; if they do not, their acts of worship are nothing but pretence. They are the bandits on the ways of the believers. They are the ones who call for the path of the disbelievers. Beware them! Keep your faith secure from them! Safeguard your faith from them! Oh, Abi Hashim! This had been told to me by my forefathers, so keep what I told you safe and reveal it appropriately.
Safinat Al Bihar, by Al Qumi, volume 2, page 58
Mysticism and Sufism are verily the two sides of the same coin. One of the main distinguishing factors found in both Mysticism and Sufism is their exaltation of the symbols and chief icons of Sufism, such as al-Halaj, Ibn Arabi and Jalal al-Din Roumi. As predicted by our pure Imams (peace be upon them), the Mysticism known today is verily a Satanic approach that claims the possibility of reaching the very essence of God through unlawful methods, such as so-called Kashf (mystical or miraculous experiences), Shuhud (direct experiential knowledge) and the so-called ‘Four Spiritual Voyages:
- Min al-Khalq ila al-Haq (journeying from the creation towards God)
- Min al-Haqi Ila al-Haq (journeying along with God within Him)
- Min al-Haqi Ila al-Khalq (journeying from God to the creation)
- Min al-Khalq Ila al-Khalq (journeying along with the creation within the creation)
As you may realize, they have no connection whatsoever with Shari’a and the teachings of Ahl Al Bayt (peace be upon them). Most dangerously, this Satanic approach leads its followers to believe in the concept of ‘Wahdat al Wujood Wal Mawjood’, i.e. Unity of Existence and Unity of Existents, Pantheism, and therefore implies polytheism.
The following narration of our Master, Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him), is one of the useful ways to refute this concept:
God is Independent of all His creatures, and all His creatures have absolutely nothing in common with Him. To whatever the expression ‘thing’ is applicable, is a creature, except for God, and God is the Creator of everything. Blessed is He, nought is as His likeness, and He is the All-Hearing and All-Seeing
al-Kafi, volume 1, page 82
The definition of ‘Irfan’ that the Sheikh views as appropriately Islamic had been derived from a narration recorded in Tafseer Al Ayashi True Islamic ‘Irfan’ can be identified in the words of our Imam al-Baqir (peace be upon him). He explained it in his reply to several questions directed at him by Abu Hamza al-Thumali, a known figure who is considered to be one of the loyalists among the loyal to our Imams (peace be upon them)
Al-Ayashi narrated that Abu Hamza said:
Abu Jaffar (peace be upon him) told me: ‘Oh Abu Hamza, whoever knows Allah will worship Allah. As for those who do not know Allah, they will worship other than Allah and as such become astray.’ So I said: ‘And what is ‘Irfan’ (knowledge) of Allah?’ (In the Arabic text: “What is the ‘Irfan’ of Allah?”) He replied: ‘To believe in Allah Almighty and to believe in His Messenger, Mohammed (peace be upon him and his pure family) and in the Divine Authority of Ali and the Imamate of Ali, taking Ali as his Imam and accepting the Imams of Guidance after him, as well as declaring dissociation to Allah from their enemies. That is the ‘Irfan’ (knowledge) of Allah’. “ I said: ‘What matters shall I do, if I have done them, I will attain the Truth behind Belief?’ He said: ‘Declare befriendship to the Vice-regents of Allah and declare enmity to the enemies of Allah, and as such, you will be with the Truthful Ones as Allah has ordered you to do.’ I said: ‘Who are the Viceregents of Allah? And who are His enemies?’ He said: ‘Mohammed, the Messenger of Allah, Ali, Hassan, Hussain, Ali, son of Hussain, then it came down to me.’ Then he pointed with his blessed forefinger to his son Jaffar and said: ‘Whoever takes them and recognizes their Divine Authority, has befriended Allah and become with the Truthful Ones as Allah commands.’ I said: ‘And who are the enemies of Allah?’ The Imam replied: ‘The Four Idols’. I said: ‘And who are they?’ The Imam said: ‘Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman, Muawyah and whoever followed the creed, rules and notions of the Islam they created. Whoever makes himself an enemy of those four idols, has become an enemy of Allah’s enemies.
Tafseer al Ayashi, volume 2, page 116.
If one pays close attention to the narration, one must underline the phrase stated by our Imam (peace be upon him) who defined ‘Irfan of Allah’ as belief in Divine Authority and belief in dissociation. In short: the ‘Irfan’ of Allah is to believe in Allah, in His Messenger, Mohammed (peace be upon him his pure Family), in and what he, the Prophet (peace be upon him and his Family) ordered with regards to the Divine Authority of Ali and the Imamate of Ali, taking Ali as his Imam and accepting the Imams of Guidance after him. Therefore, to complete your ‘Irfan’ of Allah, Imam Al Baqir (peace be upon him) added that declaring dissociation to Allah from their enemies makes one’s ‘Irfan’ intact: and that as such, is the ‘Irfan’ of Allah. That is the truth behind faith, as our Imam Al Baqir (peace be upon him) declared.
This is a pure, clear, wholesome and clean definition of ‘Irfan’. This definition is fixed to or associated with the truthfulness of an individual’s practical appliance of befriendship and dissociation, no more no less. To be candid, we have become fed up responding to questions related to those deviant and deviating figures and clarifying what they represent.
Take it as a rule: If you know anyone who is inclined to Sufism, Mysticism or Philosophy, then he is out of the domain of authentic Shiism. A true Shia disassociates and distances himself from individuals like that.
Remember that Imam Al Ridha (peace be upon him) said:
Whoever is mentioned before him, the Sufis, and he did not deny them by speech or in private, does not become of us. Whoever rejects them will be granted the status of striving with the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family).
Sufism entered the world of Shiism under the name of ‘Irfan’ (Mysticism). Many fell for it and many more will fall as well in that ditch. We seek refuge in Allah Almighty from that!
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib