The following words are from Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee (d.795H) from his splendid book, Fadlu ‘Ilm-is-Salaf ‘alaa ‘Ilm-il-Khalaf (The Superiority of the Knowledge of the Predecessors over the knowledge of the Successors, Al-Ibaanah Book Publishing).
Another form of innovated knowledge is speech concerning the hidden sciences, such as deeper awareness (of Allaah), actions of the heart and all the notions that fall under that, which are based on one’s opinion, personal taste (dhawq), and self-illumination (kashf). There is great danger in this, and the distinguished scholars such as Imaam Ahmad and others have condemned it.
Abu Sulaymaan would say:
“One of the remarks of the people would come across me and I would not accept it without (first consulting) two just witnesses: the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.”
“This knowledge of ours is restricted to the Book and the Sunnah. Whoever doesn’t read the Qur’aan and record the Hadeeth should not be followed in this knowledge of ours.”1
The opening to this door has widened and the people in it have fallen into the various types of heresy and hypocrisy. They claim that the close-friends (awliyaa) of Allaah are better than the prophets or that they have no need for the prophets. And they belittle the laws that the prophets brought and (instead) incline towards hulool and ittihaad or to the belief of wahdat-ul-wujood2 as well as other sources of disbelief, sinfulness and disobedience, such as the claim that what the religious laws have prohibited is in fact allowed and permissible.
They have introduced into this avenue many things that are not part of the Religion at all. They claim that some of these things allow them to achieve the softening of the hearts, such as singing and dancing.
And they claim that other things are meant for training the souls, such as lusting after and looking at forbidden images.
Other things, they claim, are needed in order to break down and humble the souls, such as craving for garments and other things that the Legislation did not bring.
Some of these things prevent one from the remembrance of Allaah and from prayer, as is the case with singing and looking at the forbidden. So by this, they resemble those who took their Religion as a means of play and amusement.
1 Reported by Abu Nu’aim in al-Hilyah (10/255) and through the same path, Al-Khateeb (7/243), and its chain of narration is authentic (saheeh).
2 Hulool: Lit. Entering – the belief that Allaah dwells within a particular human, i.e. incarnate within him, such as a Sufi shaikh, a prophet, etc.
Wahdat-ul-Wujood: Lit. Unity of Existence – The belief that all existence is a single existence and that everything we see is only aspects of Allaah’s existence.