First of all, we should know that Tasawwuff has
nothing to do with Islam; I therefore am afraid that my response will be devoid
of any reference to the Qur’ān and the Hadīth literature. Tasawwuff is in fact a
philosophy which revolves around the concept that we are but a part of God and
ultimately we shall merge with Him. God is not a physical entity; therefore we
need to transform ourselves into beings which are devoid of physical attributes
and transcend flesh and matter. In other words, we should emancipate our souls
from the desires of flesh and the yokes of whatever is material. For this
purpose, the mystics have designed some exercises which vary from nation to
nation, religion to religion and individual to individual.
The followers of almost all religions have borrowed this
philosophy from the Hellenic schools originally and have adapted it according to
their taste, circumstances and local conditions. Similarly, the mystics, who
present themselves as followers of Islam, have produced plenty of literature on
Tasawwuff and innovated beliefs as well as practices to accomplish their
self-perceived goal. However, the point to note is that their notions have
nothing to do with—rather are contrary to—the real teachings of Islam based on
the Qur’ān and Sunnah.
The underlying objective of Islam is purification of the
soul. To achieve this objective, Islam has already given certain guidelines. Its
followers therefore need not tread the path of Tasawwuff for salvation, if
salvation is what they yearn for.