Home > Sufism > The Extremist Sufis and the Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood]

The Extremist Sufis and the Unity of Being [Wahdatul-Wujood]

Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab

Al-Albani: All of you must have heard of a group called the Sufis, and of a [type of] knowledge, or Sufi spiritual path [sulook] known as tasawwuf.


The people who ascribe themselves to this tasawwuf are of differing ranks, some of them have overstepped all limits and left Islaam in the name of Islamic Sufism, left Islaam just as a strand of hair is pulled out of dough [i.e., totally].  Why?


Because their interpretation of aayahs from the noble Quraan [is so incorrect that it] and philosophy and apostasy are one and the same. In the eyes of the scholars of the Muslims they are known as the people who believe in Wahdatul-Wujood [lit: the unity of existence], the ones who say the same thing as the atheists, but their wording differs from that of the atheists, they say, ‘There is nothing except one.’ So [according to them] the universe that we see is Allaah. For this reason they are called people who believe in Wahdatul-Wujood.



The Muslims say that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah [Laa ilaaha illallaah], in this sentence there is an affirmation and a negation. There is a negation of whoever might interpret falsely (the presence of another god), then the affirmation that Allaah is the one and only God, the Most High.



As for those Sufis, then they say, ‘There is no He but He.’ They then paraphrase it and make it a form of remembrance which they repeat for themselves, [saying], ‘He, He …’ This is a dangerous deviation as you can see, i.e., a denial of the true existence of Allaah, and following on from that, a denial of the legislation, no Islaam … no Judaism, no Christianity–because there is no [differentiation between the] slave and the Lord, a Lord who obligates others to worship Him and a slave who is obligated to worship. For this reason one of them said:


God [Rabb] is man and man is God
How I wish to know who the one ordered (to perform worship) is

If you say man (is the one ordered), then that is a denial (of the presence of a God, based on the concept that God is man and man is God!)
And if you say God, how can He be obligated?!

[According to them] there is no He but He. So in the end: He is He!


There are words that emanate from Muslims who bear witness [by saying] Laa ilaaha illallaah Muhammad Rasulullaah, these people are not atheists but they will sometimes utter words which lead them to that false aqidah. This is something very dangerous and hardly any but a few are safe from it.



Now in our normal gatherings [you will hear] one of them say whether on a particular occasion or not, ‘Allaah is present in all that exists,’ [this statement of theirs] equals, ‘There is no He but He.’


You will hear [this statement] many times, ‘Allaah is present in all that exists,’ and after close scrutiny of its meaning and purport and what it entails one can see that it equates to the saying of the Sufis–the extremists amongst them obviously–who openly declare that, ‘There is no He but He.’


There are Two Existents Not One

Because if we were to ponder over the declaration of truth which is when a believer truly says, ‘None has the right to be worshiped except Allaah,’ [then we will find] that it establishes two existences.


‘None has the right to be worshiped except Allaah,’ negates the false deities which are worshipped other than Allaah, and they are present [as is mentioned, for example,] in the Quraan in the statement of Noah to his people, “And they have said, ‘You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor Yaghuth, nor Ya’uq, nor Nasr.’” [Nooh 71:23] These were idols worshipped instead of Allaah, for that reason when Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, sent Noah عليه السلام to his people he ordered them to worship Allaah alone.


So, ‘None has the right to be worshiped …’ is a negation of the false deities which are present. ‘… except Allaah,’ is an affirmation of the existence of the Truth, i.e., Allaah the Blessed and Most High.


So there are two existences.  It is not possible for a Muslim who, firstly, understands his Islaam and who, secondly, believes that Allaah created him, not to affirm two [separate] existents.


The scholars of tawheed refer to the First Existent, i.e., that of the Creator the Most High, He exists in His Essence, i.e., is eternal, having no beginning. So His existence is termed as being the necessarily existent [Waajibul-Wujood].


As for the other existent then it is [called] the contingent or possible existent which is mankind and all creation. Allaah the Mighty and Majestic said to it, ‘Be!’ And it was. So it was preceded by nonexistence in contrast to the existence of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic–for He is the First having no beginning, as you all know.


Thus, when a heedless Muslim says that Allaah is present in all that exists he will intend one of two things by it, and they are totally contradictory: the true existent, i.e., Allaah, and the possible existent, i.e., the creation. If he intends this meaning, then he has fallen into a creed other than wahdatul-wujood, i.e., [he has fallen into] hulool [divine indwelling].


You know, for example, that some Islamic groups believe that Allaah enters/dwells within certain esteemed–according to them–personalities.


You will see these Alawites or Ismailis for example, maybe you have read a lot about the Ismailis whose leader is the Aga Khan, every year he would be weighed in gold in America.


So they believe that the one worshipped transmigrates into him, indwells in him; this is called hulool.  It is less than wahdatul-wujood which we just spoke about.


Wahdatul-Wujood is referring to something which cannot be separated one from the other, in hulool Allaah is separate and distinct from His creation as the scholars say but, according to them [i.e., the extremist Sufis] obviously, He has indwelled and transmigrated into a person.


So when this person who says that Allaah is present in all that exists means that there are two existents, then that means that one of them entered the other, instead of entering a person He entered the entire universe. This, of course, is disbelief and absolutely no Muslim doubts that it is.


And if by [the statement], ‘Allaah is present in all that exists,’ he intends the first meaning, i.e., there is no Creator or created, there is only one thing, then this disbelief is much more severe.



You see these Muslims who fast and pray along with us and we pray behind them etc., if you were to say to one of them, ‘‘[Your statement that] Allaah is present in all that exists,’ does it mean one of these two meanings?!  Does it mean the total unity of existence that the Sufis refer to, i.e., that there is no Creator or created, or does it refer to indwelling [hulool], i.e., that Allaah created the creation then entered it?’–I do not think that a Muslim can believe such a creed as either of these.



So, why do you use this statement?  Why don’t you emulate the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم who said, ‘None of you should say, ‘My soul has become evil [khabuthat],’ but he should say, ‘My soul has become remorseless [laqisat].’  The meaning of [the Arabic word], ‘khabuthat’ is the same as ‘laqisat,’ ‘laqisat’ means ‘khabuthat,’ but the Prophet wanted us to talk about ourselves with kind words even though the meaning is the same.



So what is wrong with us? When we talk about our Lord the Blessed and Most High it is not allowed for us to say a word which can give an impression of disbelief or misguidance.


In reality, when such topics are discussed and most of the people present take heed [of the point being made], as though some of them had hitherto been in heedlessness, some of them will say, ‘We don’t mean that Allaah the Blessed and Most High has entered all of His Creation Himself,’ and we didn’t say that they did intend that, for if they had–and this is another topic–it would be disbelief, but the point being discussed now is about refining the terminology [being used].


So, [we ask these people], ‘What do you mean by, ‘Allaah is present in all that exists?’ [They reply, saying,] ‘His Knowledge.’

How beautiful!


Without doubt, Allaah has encompassed all things in His Knowledge, He has encompassed all things, the Blessed and Most High–but the wording used is incorrect.


You want to talk about Allaah’s Knowledge, then say, ‘Allaah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.’ [Talaaq 65:12], a text from the Noble Quraan [itself], ‘Allaah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.’ [Say], ‘Not a secret in the earth or the heavens is hidden from Him.’ [But] don’t say that Allaah, the One who is worshipped and possesses every characteristic of perfection and Who is free from every shortcoming–don’t say that, ‘Allaah is everywhere,’ [or] ‘Allaah is present in all that exists,’ instead say, ‘He surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge.’

Categories: Sufism
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