The Scholars of the Sufis
They are the Genuine Followers of the Salaf
Translated by Suraqah Abdul Aziz
First Edition 2011
Sunni Publications, Rotterdam
Paperback, 216 pages, 255 grams
Written by the erudite scholar, Sufi educator, ascetic, and author of many books, Sayyidi al-Shaykh ʿAbd al-Hadi b. al-Hajj Muhammad b. Salih al-Kharsa al-Dimashqi al-Salihi al-Shadhili al-Hanafi
The translation and publication of the present book, ʿUlamaʾ al-Sufiyya Hum al-Salafiyya al-Haqiqiyyun is a welcome event for seekers of spiritual guidance and self-purification in our time. This praiseworthy effort offers to the English-speaking public a contemporary explanation of the immutable principles of Sufism, which are one and the same with the three principles of Religion: submission [islam], faith [iman], and excellence [ihsan]. The book contains Shaykh ʿAbd al-Hadi’s carefully presented anthology of the wisdom of the Sufi masters of old and their summations of doctrine [ʿaqida] and of the various spiritual diseases and spiritual stations and states of the wayfarer. They were gleaned from the bio-sapiental classics of the genre such as Tabaqat al-Sufiyya, the Lumaʿ, the Risala, the Ihyaʾ, and can be found in later works such as Tabaqat al-Awliya and al-Kawakib al-Durriyya fi Tarajim al-Sufiyya.
The vehemence of the title—shown in the emphatic-exclusive personal pronoun and translatable as ‘The Scholars of the Sufis: [Only] They are the Genuine Followers of the Salaf!’—is a reminder of the tireless efforts of the last two hundred years of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamaʿa scholarship demonstrating the Islamic orthodoxy of tasawwuf and denouncing the heresy of Wahhabism and pseudo-Salafism.
It is its unique gems that make ʿUlamaʾ al-Sufiyya stand out such as, for example, the title’s emphasis on knowledge: it is never about the Sufis at large but about their Gnostics; as for would-be-Sufi [mutasawwif] claimants who are nescient of the Shariʿa or not even concerned by it: they are also heretics and completely undesirable no matter how big they grow their beard, turban, jubba, or voice! This is a theme stressed by many of our salaf al-salih [pious predecessors].