CATEGORIES OF AHLUS SAFA (PEOPLE OF PURITY)

�People of Purity�, also known as �Ahlus Safa�, are characterised as follows:-

1. SUFI: Sufi is that person who has overcome his self-ego as well as all human weaknesses, whilst at the same time being aware of the reality of all existence. Truth is the hallmark of his life. The term Sufi refers to an established and completely realised Wali Allah (Friend of Almighty Allah). In �Kashful Mahjoob� a Sheikh is quoted as saying �one who is emerged in the friendship of Almighty Allah and has freed himself from all other than Almighty Allah, is a Sufi�. (Kashful Mahjoob, pg.97)

Ghausul A�zam, Hadrat Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jilani (alaihir rahmah) explains that until a person has not reached the rank where he is graced by the vision of Nabi Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in his dream and is given commands and prohibitions, he cannot be regarded as a Sufi. If this fortunate incident does occur, then his heart gains promotion and his innermost being is cleansed and he attains the proximity of Almighty Allah while his hands are in the hands of Nabi Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). (Al Fath-ur-Rabbani, pg. 389)

2. MUTASAWWIF: One who is striving to attain the status of a Sufi through Mujahidah (Continuous struggle against evil desires). He follows the examples of the Sufis to better himself.

3. MUSTASWIF: One who impersonates a Sufi for monetary gain, power, and worldly honour. He does not have any of the qualities of the Sufi or Mustasawwif. (Kashful Mahjoob, pg. 98)

SUPPORTING THE CAUSE OF TASAWWUF

Those who have devoted themselves completely to the service of Almighty Allah do not even bother to obtain a means of substance. Such people are being provided with financial help from anonymous sources. These pious people do not have hopes of material gain from people. They have complete trust in Almighty Allah. When they receive some gift from the public, they receive it with the Niyyah (intention) that Almighty Allah is the Giver and the donor is the means. To be of any assistance to such people is actually to do good to us.

Ghausul A�zam, Sayyiduna Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jilani (alaihir rahmah) states that Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has recommended giving food to ascetics and pious persons and giving clothing to the Believers. By assisting such a person with worldly necessities we minimize his burden and enable him to devote himself completely to Almighty Allah. In this way, we will receive the reward of his good deeds since we have provided him with necessary physical nourishment and helped him furthering the cause of Almighty Allah. (Al-Fat�hur Rabbani, pg. 192)

The general public at times presents Mashaa�ikh and Ulama with gifts. This is a good practice as it frees them from worldly trivialities, enabling them to dedicate themselves fully in the work of Almighty Allah.

However, there are fraudulent persons amongst the Ulama and Mashaa�ikh who are involved in sinful deeds and practice acts refuted by the Sharee�ah. These people should not be given assistance or gifts since it makes the donor, if he is aware of the nature of such a person, an accomplice to the sin. The onus lies on the public to exercise discretion and judgment and decide if the person is deserving of any form of assistance.

WHAT IS TASAWWUF

Tasawwuf is the concept, which embodies the purification of the heart by sincerely, and obediently practising the lifestyle of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in all spheres of his life.

Hadrat Sheikh Data Ganj Bakhsh Ali Hajweri (alaihir rahmah) (400-465 A.H.) narrates from Hadrat Murtaish (alaihir rahmah). �Tasawwuf is refined character. This refined character may be attained in three ways: Firstly, to obey the commandments of Almighty Allah and his Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) with utmost sincerity. Secondly, to respect all those senior to us in age, knowledge and piety; love the young; observe justice at all times and not to expect any return for our good actions. Thirdly, to avoid all evil desires and Satanic attractions. By complying to the aforementioned regulations one attains piety.� (Kashful Mahjoob, pg. 106)

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