Jumat, 13 November 2009

Komentar Imam Ibnul Jauzi terhdap Sufi

Imam Jawzi on Sufism:


Ibn al-Jawzi was, in his early youth, influenced by abstentious Sufism, which left him with illness for several years, until he decided to abandon it.[28] His experience with Sufism, which by then had vastly drifted away from the sacred law, transformed him into one of the fiercest critics of the Sufis.

His austere anti-Sufi stance was clearly demonstrated in his sermons and many of his works. Although, he was never a detractor of the ascetics amongst the early Muslims, his criticisms were mainly directed towards the deviant and abnormal tendencies that took root amongst the ascetics, and by his time, became known as Tasawwuf.

Ibn al-Jawzi says in Talbis Iblis, whilst commenting on the origins of Tasawwuf:

“The Sufis are generally from the ascetics (zuhhad). Although, we have already mentioned the devil’s deception of ascetics, except that the Sufis varied from the ascetics by having specific qualities and states, and became known with certain characteristics, and hence, we had to single them out with criticism. Tasawwuf is a path (tariqa), the beginning of which was complete asceticism; however, later its followers permitted the enjoyment of songs and dancing.

“At the time of the Prophet, the attribution was only to Iman and Islam, and hence it was said: so-and-so is a Muslim, or a Mu’min. Then the terms ‘zahid’ (ascetic) and ‘‘abid’ (worshipper) were introduced. Then, there came a people who adhered to asceticism and worship, gave up the worldly life, devoted themselves to worship, and embraced a unique path and character.”[29]

Some have argued that despite Ibn al-Jawzi’s cynicism towards the Sufis, he did not discredit Sufism as a genre. To the contrary, they claim, he was in favour of Sufism, and this is reflected by a number of his works, such as his abridgement of Hilyat al-Awliya by Abu Nu’aym, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din by al-Ghazzali and various laudatory biographies of early ascetics, such as Hasan al-Basri and Ma’ruf al-Karkhi.

The above conclusion is not quite accurate, for while Ibn al-Jawzi undoubtedly paid great importance to asceticism, morals and manners, yet he did, nevertheless, regard the entire genre of Tasawwuf to be other than zuhd, and moreover, foreign to Islam and an absurdity. This is clearly reflected in his criticism of Abu Nu’aym’s Hilyat al-Awliya, where the latter considers the early generation of Muslims, including the Prophet’s companions and the four Imams, to be from the Sufis.

Thus, Ibn al-Jawzi states, while listing his objections against Hilyat al-Awliya: “The seventh objection comes against the ascription of Tasawwuf to the senior masters, such as Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, al-Hasan, Shurayh, Sufyan, Shu’ba, Malik, Shafi’i, Ahmad, whereas they had no knowledge of Tasawwuf. If one were to say: [Abu Nu’aym] meant by that, abstentious worldly life (zuhd), since they were all zuhhad. We say in reply: Tasawwuf is a school well-known amongst its followers, which is not simply restricted to zuhd. Rather, the school has particular qualities and disposition, known to its masters. If Tasawwuf was not something further added to zuhd, there would not have been narrations from some of the aforementioned in condemnation of Tasawwuf. In fact, Abu Nu’aym himself narrated in the biography of al-Shafi’i – may Allah be merciful with him – that he said: ‘Tasawwuf is built upon lethargy. If a person were to practise Tasawwuf in the morning, he would not reach the noon, except that he has become obtuse.’ I discussed Tasawwuf extensively in my book called: Talbis Iblis. (Devil’s Deception)”[30]

Indeed, Ibn al-Jawzi dedicated two-thirds of his book Talbis Iblis to his scathing criticism of Tasawwuf. His abridgment of Hilyat al-Awliya, and summarisation of Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din by al-Ghazzali, is not a proof for his Sufi tendencies. On the contrary, it is an illustration of his deep antagonism towards Tasawwuf. The sole purpose of abridging such works was to purge, what he considered the unorthodox content from such works, to make them conducive to the intellectual wellbeing of the masses. Ibn al-Jawzi’s criticism of Tasawwuf did not spare the famous and respected ascetics, such as al-Junayd, Bishr al-Hafi, and even his co-Madhabist, ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani, in censure of whom he wrote Dhamm ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani (Censure of ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jaylani).

Ibn al-Jawzi’s criticisms of the Sufis were directed at several fronts. He criticised them for the prevalence of pantheism amongst their ranks, and to that end he wrote Al-Qati’ li Muhal al-Lijaj bi Muhal al-Hallaj censuring al-Hallaj, the famous pantheist who claimed to be God, and was subsequently executed by the agreement of the jurists.[31]

He attacked the Sufis for demeaning all aspects of worldly life, such that they would wilfully and unwisely give away their belongings to remain poor. Ibn al-Jawzi states: “What the ignorant amongst the ascetics call ‘reliance’ (tawakkul), that is to spend all that one owns, is not legislated in religion. For the Prophet said to Ka’b b. Malik: Keep some of your wealth.”[32]

The Sufis were characterised by their deriding attitude towards the sacred knowledge, in favour of asceticism. Ibn al-Jawzi criticised them saying: “From the amazing ways in which the devil plays his tricks, is by beautifying abandonment of knowledge. Yet, they [the Sufis] did not simply stop at that, but also engaged in insulting those busy with knowledge. This, only if they understood, is tantamount to insulting the Shari’ah; for the Messenger of Allah said: ‘Convey from me’”[33]

Ibn al-Jawzi’s remarks, ridiculing the early ascetics, only underline his rigid anti-Sufi attitude. He says about the early ascetics: “I saw most of them in confusion. Those of them with good intentions are also not following the mainstream path in most of their affairs. A number of early ascetics wrote various books for their followers that are crammed full of abominations, and inauthentic reports, in which the authors instruct with that which is at odds with the Shari’ah; such as the works of al-Harith al-Muhasibi or Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Tirmidhi, Qut al-Qulub by Abu Talib al-Makki, or al-Ihya of Abu Hamid [[[al-Ghazzali]]] al-Tusi. If a beginner were to open his eyes and desire to tread the path through these books, they would have led him to blunders, for they based their works on awkward narrations.

“I saw most of the people deviating from the Shari’ah, to whom the words of the ascetics became the Shari’ah itself. Hence, it was claimed: Abu Talib al-Makki said: ‘From the Salaf were those who would weigh their daily intake against fresh branch-ends from palm-trees and notice it decreasing everyday!’ This practise was not known by the Messenger of Allah nor his Companions, rather they would eat but not to their fill.

“The life of the Messenger of Allah and his Companions was not like that of the ascetics of today. For the Messenger of Allah would laugh, joke, choose the best of things, race with ‘A’isha – may Allah be pleased with her. He would eat meat, love sweet dishes and water will be sweetened for him to drink. This is also how his companions were, until the ascetics discovered paths (tara’iq), as if it were the beginning of another Shari’ah.”[34]

It is also vital to bear in mind that the remarks above were directed to a very small minority of the Sufis. As for the vast majority, for them Ibn al-Jawzi had the following to say: “As for those who had incorrect intentions, from the hypocrites and the pretentious ones, for the sake of worldly gains, and for their hands to be kissed out of respect, then there is no discussion with them, and they are the majority of the Sufis!”[35]

Link: http://www.hanbalis.com/index.php/Ibn_al-Jawzi#Sufis