Understanding ‘Sufism’& ‘Tawhid’
[ September 04, 2015 ]
Sufism, Islam’s inner dimension, is the best way to achieve tawhid. The Islamic creedal statement shows that all muslims believe in absolute divine Unity: La illaha illa Allah (there is no deity but Almighty Allah). Sufism seeks to free people from the prison of multiplicity, to remove any mental processes or physical actions that divert their ego-centers toward temporal and sensual desires, and to eradicate hypocrisy.
In short, it seeks to make people whole, for only such people can become holy. People profess faith in Almighty Allah but live and act as if there were many deities, and so are guilty of polytheism and hypocrisy. As Sufism seeks to bring such a condition into the open and cure the afflicted person, its goal is to integrate each person at every level of his or her existence. Such an integration is brought about by harmonizing all bodily, mental, and spiritual faculties, not by negating the intelligence, which so often occurs with modern religious movements. Sufism bases its methods upon observing the Shari‘a and, in particular, the daily prayers, which are a most powerful means of integrating people’s psychic faculties and harmonizing them with their corporeal being. Sufism’s main method is continuous prayer. This is done in both quantitative and qualitative terms through invocation (dhikr), in which all otherness and separation from the divine is removed and tawhid is achieved. Invocation, when combined with the appropriate forms of meditation (fikr), causes the emergence of an integrated pure and whole gold-like soul. After this, people use invocation to offer their souls to Almighty Allah so that they may return to Him in ecstasy. Those who achieve this integration possess certain characteristics that anyone can see, for it leaves its imprint even upon their outer appearance, which necessarily reflects their inner state. Such people are cured of all spiritual illnesses by having their tensions and complexes removed, as their need for the transcendent has been met and satisfied, and not through modern psychoanalysis. Moreover, they do not compartmentalize their lives, for their thoughts and actions issue from a single center and are based on a series of immutable principles. They realize the Islamic ideal of unifying contemplation with the practical and so do not act or think “normally,” for their contemplation and meditation are combined in the purest and most intense activity.
Death does not destroy our internal or external sensory faculties, but rather refines and sharpens them. It only severs the conscious ego’s direct relationship with the outer material world, to which it is connected through the external senses.
As a result, they reflect divine unity and become the total theophany of the divine names and qualities. They act and live in such a manner that all of their actions and words exude a spiritual fragrance and beauty. They are somehow in touch with that divine grace running through the universe’s arteries. Such people have reached the goal of their lives and have no fear, which is so destructive to modern people. They see death not as total annihilation, but as a shift from a state of lesser sensitivity to a higher one. All of us belong to Almighty, and the holy Qur’an states that each person and society moves toward Almighty. Therefore death is only a shift and a change from one stage of existence to a higher one, and ultimately terminates with Almighty Allah. Death does not destroy our internal or external sensory faculties, but rather refines and sharpens them. It only severs the conscious ego’s direct relationship with the outer material world, to which it is connected through the external senses. As material life veils human senses and consciousness, death sharpens all human faculties by removing this veil. A Prophetic tradition confirms this: “People are now in a state of sleep. They will awake when they die.” So death is actually an ascension, a gate opening upon higher realities and pleasures of existence, not something to be feared by sincere muslims. It is a transference from the dungeons of worldly life to the gardens of Paradise, from the world of labor and trouble to the abode of rewards.