Contents > Chapter 8: Worship in Islam > The Concept of the Sufis with regards to Worship


The concept of the Sufis with regards to worship

Sufi concepts with regards to worship suffer from both innovation and extremism. This is apparent in the entire Fazaail-e-Aamaal, whether in the chapter of virtues of Salaat or Sadaqat or Darood. But in this chapter, we shall focus our discussion on Dhikr and Sufi concepts related to it, in order to analyze the gross misunderstanding of the Sufis in issues of Ibaadah.


Dhikr - Remembering Allah, the Exalted

Dhikr or remembrance of Allah has been used in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah to refer to the prayer, the Friday prayer, supplication, good advice, the Qur’aan and even the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).  Thus, just like Ibaadah, Dhikr too is a comprehensive term that refers to those actions of the tongue that please Allah. This is apparent from the Hadeeth of Allah’s Messenger, “The world and all that it contains is cursed, except for the remembrance of Allah and what supports it, and a scholar and a student.”[1]


Dhikr is also used to refer to the practice of glorifying Allah by mentioning His Names, saying ‘Subhan Allahi wabi Hamdihi Subhana Rabbiyal Adheem’, the Shahadah, the Tasbeeh after the Salaat as has been prescribed in the various Ahaadeeth of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Other highly recommended forms of Dhikr include the recitation of the Qur’aan, sending blessings (Darood) upon the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), and Du’aa (supplications) from the Sunnah.


The believers have been commanded by Allah to remember Him much, “O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.”[2], because conscious and attentive remembrance of Allah keeps a person aware of Allah, increases the faith, bestows Taqwa (fear of Allah) and brings tranquility to the heart. “Indeed, the believers are none other than those whom when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur’aan) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).”[3]


“Those who believed and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”[4]


These Qur’aanic verses show the virtues and effects of Dhikr.


The Sufis, however, have their own concepts with regards to Dhikr, whereby at times, they exaggerate greatly in the prescribed forms of Dhikr whilst at others, they simply utter ‘Hu, Hu’ that means ‘He He’, which is neither from the prescribed Dhikr nor does it have any meaning on its own.  They also add conditions with regards to the place, posture and breathing during Dhikr.


Even the effects that the Sufis claim from their Dhikr is in no way similar to the effects of the Dhikr prescribed in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Sufis at times due to the intensity of the Dhikr loose their sanity and utter the weirdest statements.

[1] Sunan Ibn Majah (no.4112) and authenticated by Shaikh al-Albanee in Saheeh al-Jamee (no.3414).

[2] Soorah al-Ahzab (33): 41.

[3] Soorah al-Anfaal (8): 2.

[4] Soorah ar-Rad (13): 28.