Complicating the simple

JK Bank

Kashmiri men offering prayers.

“Beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone. O, people, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore O people and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.” – Sahih al Bukhari (The last sermon of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)


[O]ur unrelenting society of Kashmir has yet again succumbed to the Bidda’h (innovations) and an-harafat (deviations) of our religion. The onslaught of the rapist dervish is not the end of our miseries, this vicious cycle of the faith-healers has existed from times immemorial and it will not cease to exist. It will perpetuate silently in our valley, it has sustained with such an ease in the past that it is almost next to impossible to eradicate this plague from our society now.

The sectarian divide of the major Sufism followers and the non-Sufism followers has not only been the talk of the town but it has attracted the attention of the parties with vested interests. They are hell bent on defending this sect in the valley, come what may. I have heard people talk of Sufism as if it were directly ordained from Allah and the prophet and they speak of it more than they speak of Islam itself. For someone like me, a layman, a Sufi is someone who loves Allah and the prophet more than he loves himself and strives day and night in prayers.

Every sect has certain fundamentals that may or may not be followed but remain inalienable nevertheless. More often than not, most of us do not know what the fundamentals of Sufism are. Sufism for one strongly propagates the knowledge of the unseen, Ilm-al ghaib, that apparently only Allah knows and a Sufi wishes to seek this knowledge under the pretext of getting close to Allah and the prophet. This is clearly a deviation if not an innovation. Seeking the knowledge of the unseen will deviate any person from the righteous path.

The second fundamental of Sufism is the mysticism, and the most abominable is the saying that Allah dwells and is incarnate within His creation (Huloool) and the saying that everything in existence is in reality Allah (wahdatul-wujood). Sufi Muslims believe in mysticism and a lot of it is prevalent in the urban and rural areas of Kashmir. We call them “Fanna fillah’s or “khoda dos”. I have seen a couple of them myself and I have always been unable to understand if these people are unable to perform their daily worldly tasks or the obligatory religious tasks how on earth is it possible for us to believe that they carry something with them that we don’t or that they are better than us. I have nothing against them but giving them a ‘darjah’ of someone carrying some kind of intercessory power is but a farce. These faith healers have taken everybody for a ride, they have claimed to be learned and have spread this epidemic especially in the rural areas where the innocent uneducated women and men fall prey to their honey dripping quotes that they mis quote from the Quran and the Sunnah.

Then it is a fact that all sects of the Sufis have gone beyond bounds in veneration of their shaykhs and in complete submission of the follower (mureed) to his teacher (shaykh); to the point that the follower gives full and unrestricted obedience to his shaykh, not showing the slightest resistance, so that he becomes like a dead body beneath the hand of the person washing it.

The soothsayers and the faith healers will screw up your soul further by providing you amulets and talismans which again leads to shirk and kufr. These Sufi peers will claim to walk on coals, talk with supernatural, boast of miracles. It’s simple the more they boast the more wicked and wretched they are and the more they are deviated from Islam. There is no such thing as Peer and his mureed in Islam, our Prophet never advocated it nor propagated it.

Yet another Sufi trait is that of, Zuhd (Abstemiousness) “Monkery(rahbaaniyyah) which has been forbidden by Islam. A person would live in a cave as a hermit, pray day and night but his body would give away and he would die of starvation. Suicide is a major crime in Islam. The worshippers amongst the Muslims used to turn all their attention to avoidance of the worldly life and to cutting themselves off in order to worship. This first began in the lifetime of the Prophet when some of the Companions decided to spend the night striving in Prayer and abandoning sleep. Others decided to fast every day without fail. Others decided to cease having marital relations with women. So when that reached the Prophet, he said:

What is wrong with people who say such and such. But rather I fast and I refrain from fasting, I pray and sleep, and I marry women. So whoever turns away from my Sunnah, then he is not from me  – reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim

I as a regular Muslim am confused about people who give up all the pleasures for Allah, commit an intentional suicide. I am confused because I don’t know where to put it.

According to me a Sufi is foolish if he believes that renouncing the world, giving up on food and water and living as a hermit to pray day and night, will guarantee him jannah. He is arrogant because he wishes to be better than our prophet who neither gave up on the worldly affairs nor lived as a hermit throughout his life.

Why have we complicated our religion so much that the Quran and the Sunnah seem to be more complicated than the sects themselves?


  1. Islam was meant to be a religion of simplicity and our prophet as well his companions never preached these new school of thoughts which are being followed by these new sects . The best way to show ones love for Allah is to follow the religion in the way it was meant to be followed. Kudos to the writer for bringing up the issue which has been haunting the muslim society from ages now.

  2. well written,keep it up Rahella,but my expectations are henceforth not satisfied. Could have been better but is enough to wash away the myths that we blindfoldedly follow under the shadows of faith.May Allah show us all the right path.Aameen

  3. Its with article like these that religious intolerance begins.And calling a Sufi a foolish is not only the evidence of the lines of bigotry that the writer is treading, but also that her heart and mind can never accept another path. A Sufi lives like a beggar by choice, and to paint a black portrait of a Sufi is very much a sign of bigotry. By writing such articles the author is trying to eradicate the last threads of evolution/renaissance that Islam produced and which have existed in the valley. It seems that the writer is working for the Wahhabi lobby coz’ she did not take on the peer who was involved in a scandal but the entire sect of Sufism which has produced many gems. It just breaks my heart when I read such articles.Probably next time the writer will speak ill of the entire Shia sect if she is a Sunni, who knows. She should refrain from writing such articles.

      • @ Gulzar Khan

        I am honoured to see that you missed my presence. I was off internet for a week.

        Notwithstanding, I would not comment on matters pertaining to a religious community unless the affected include people from outside that community.

        I disapprove of your vile attempts to misuse my known views on J&K issue to depict me as some kind of an enemy of Islam.

        I am, however, certain that your mission will turn out to be fruitless.

        • Sanjeev..This is not directed at you but to those that read your comments.

          You need not reply, having said that you surely may. Be it denouncing these retorts as spam or any other jest you try. It will just get repeated over & over & over & over…catch my drift.. :)

          If you are a regular on this site. You know these people like Sanjeev (& the like) as a craven sods that perpetuates the propaganda and agenda of India.

          Their purpose is to coerce and deceive the outsider who doesn’t follow the Kashmir conflict with vigor.

          Thus far they have abused, fueled hatful attacks both virtually and on ground.

          Please take their responses with a grain of salt & ask yourself why the voice of the Kashmir walla is repeatedly attacked by these hate mongers.

          I ask the reader to also consider the beauty of Kashmirwalla to allow them their voice as erroneous it may be. Regardless take this as your warning & please do your research on the Occupied region of Kashmir before coming to any conclusions.

          The voice of the voiceless must carry on, wether being attacked by the likes of mentioned or gaged by agencies on the ground.

          Truth must prevail, no matter how often and powerful the spin masters try to sabotage our attempts to putting it forth.

          Best Regards,

          A Humble supporter of the Kashmiri Cause.

  4. There was a group of prophet’s beloved followers, popularly called Ashaab-e-Suffa, who had renounced the world and had dedicated their lives to prayer and recitation of the Holy Qur’an day and night. They lived in an annex to the Prophet’s mosque and did not marry; those who married among them had to leave the group. For their livelihood, they depended entirely upon the benevolence of Allah on the Qur’anic promise of “providing for every creature on earth.”

    Sometimes the Ansars would bring in a bunch of dates and hang it in the roof of the mosque. When the ripened fruit fell to the ground, these ascetics would pick it up and eat. They lived in strict austerity and looked after all their necessities of life by themselves. They drew water and picked up firewood from the jungle to sell and make their living.
    Further this rigid codification of Islam is very recent. Ahmad Ibn Fadlan was a “faqih”, an expert in Islamic jurisprudence and faith, in the court of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Muqtadir. His travelogues in 13th century are well documented and there is evidence that during Ibn Fadlan’s era, the Islamic religion had not yet been codified or frozen into formal modes of law, “…and the seal of finality had not been set upon further thought and development in theology or philosophy.
    For the writer to presume that they can impose a judgement on 1400 plus years of Islamic history is juvenile at the best. Quran is the light by which we see but what does – alif laam mim, alif laam raa stand for among many other ayat! Anyone who has read the poetry that is Quran will be mindful of the deeper meaning associated with each ayat- which can only be improved by the knowledge of events that were occurring at the time the ayats were revealed.
    The hadiths were collected 200 years after prophet -saw, and obviously the close family had been martyred by then.
    I am not saying I am right or the author is wrong- that will be juvenile. We don’t know everything and we should not berate Sufis because u have a rapist acting as peer, there are so many quacks in Kashmir practicing medicine does that mean we should lose faith to consult a real doctor.
    Allah did mention in the Quran that he will judge among people among what they disagreed and with him alone is the true knowledge. So please stop pointing fingers at others and concentrate on your Iman rather then trying to modify other people’s belief!

  5. The issue at hand is apart from the writers personal biases. The issue is pertaining to a schism. Things got confusing after The Rashidun unfortunately. Who will pass the judgement of Bid’ah with a true heart among us? How will Allah judge you?

    “Whoever is mainly concerned about the Hereafter, Allaah will make him feel independent of others and will make him focused and content, and his worldly affairs will fall into place. But whoever is mainly concerned with this world, Allaah will make him feel in constant need of others and will make him distracted and unfocused, and he will get nothing of this world except what is decreed for him.”
    (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2389; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6510).