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Meaning and objective of tasawwuf

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

Question

I am interested in Tasawwuf. From what I understand, it is a branch of Islamic knowledge which focuses on the spiritual development of a Muslim. I have been on the ‘tasawwuf.org’ website but a friend of mine suggested I get information from your institution first. Tell me; is it possible for you to shed some light on the topic for me? How do I begin with some sort of training? What guidelines are there from Darul Uloom for people like me who are seeking closeness to Allah in this respect, through zikr and salaat? Can you offer any assistance on the topic for me, please?

Answer

Tasawuuf basically refers to reforming oneself in order to be a good Muslim in the sight of Allah. Hence, it is sometimes called self reformation or ‘Islahun Nafs’.

The main objective of this is to teach the Muslims that they are the servants of Allah, and they need to be fully obedient and submissive to him. This is the duty and the mission which the Prophet (SAS) has been sent with. When a believer becomes true in his faith then he gains closeness to Allah, and he becomes beloved to Allah. This closeness then brings about a joy and happiness in his heart, and changes the entire self of the person. He becomes incline to good deeds, he begins to dislike sins and wrongdoings, he finds pleasure in performing acts of worship, and he feels motivated to do acts of piety and righteousness.

On account of his inner feelings, he becomes contented and satisfied with what Allah Has decreed for him, and he finds himself living to please Allah. To him, gaining Allah’s pleasure is the greatest thing. This brings ‘peace, comfort, solace and tranquility to him, and he finds that his manner of speech, conduct, and behaviour, changes to that which is good. He sees things in a different way, and he is happy to be a servant of Allah.

In order to achieve these states, many great scholars from among the righteous ones have devised ways and means which are different from each other, but yet they are all in accordance to the blessed teachings of the Prophet (SAS) Hence, the only way to gain nearness to Allah, and to achieve his love is to follow the blessed teachings of the Prophet (SAS). This will certainly take one closer to Allah. As such, one who wishes to thread the path of spiritual elevation and self reformation, must first of all, obey all the laws and commandments of Allah and refrain from all the prohibitions. He should also be obedient to the Messenger of Allah (SAS) and follow his blessed Sunnah. He must also avoid all that the Prophet (SAS) has asked him to stay away from. Along with this, he should be punctual in the optional Salaah which the Prophet (SAS) himself practiced, like that of the Tahajud, the Dhuha, Awwabeen Salaah. He should recite Quran everyday along with glorifying, and praising Allah by doing the Zikr of Allah. He should also make Istighfaar everyday, send Darood upon the Prophet (SAS) and frequently make duas (supplicate to Allah). In this way, a person should continue to implement the teachings of the Prophet (SAS) by adopting his conduct, manners and traits on all aspects of his life.

Insha Allah, if one practices upon this guideline with sincerity, it is hoped that Allah will bless him to be His true and beloved servant.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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