Understanding Tasawwuf Part 1

PART 1 – INTRODUCTION

Surah Ash-Shams:

  • Wash shamsi wa duhaha … qad afhlahaman zakkaha … wa qad khaba man dassaha …
  • Allah SWT uses many of His Uslook or rhetorical devices in the Quran. One of them is qasam (oath). Allah SWT swears by something in His creation.
  • Allah SWT has used the greatest number of consecutive qasams in Surah Ash-Shams.

Purpose of Qasam:

  • The purpose of qasam is emphasis.
  • Allah SWT employs the use of qasam when He wants to make the hearts of the believers extremely attuned to the importance of something.

The Nafs:

  • The nafs is the 7th and final of the creations that is mentioned.
  • Allah SWT invokes Himself as the Being who fashioned that nafs.
  • He placed inside the nafs the propensity, possibility and potential for evil.
  • He also placed in it the propensity and possibility for righteousness and virtue.

The Successful & Depraved:

  • Subsequent to all these oaths, Allah then makes the point for which all of these oaths were taken.
  • The point being that: successful and happy will be those who do Tazkiyah of their nafs; those who purify themselves.
  • Also, Allah SWT goes on to say – wa qad khaba man dassaha. And surely, depraved and at an utter loss will be that person who is stunned by his nafs. The one who fails to purify his/her nafs.
  • This is the importance that Allah SWT has given to Tazkiyah in the Quran.

Different Names:

  • Islamic spirituality and purification has taken on different names in the Quran and is also referred to as tazkiyah, ikhlas, taqwa or sidq.
  • It is also referred to as ihsan in the Ahadith.
  • Later on in the Muslim ummah it came to be known by tasawwuf and suluk.

Transcribed version of a 2009 Workshop on Understanding Tasawwuf by Shaykh Mufti Kamaluddin Ahmed Naqshbandi (DB). Full 27-part audio can be found at the following link: Understanding Tasawwuf.

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