Khalid Zaheer
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i
MORE Q/A

Is mysticism Islamic?

Question:
What does Islam say about mysticism? Also, what do you say about Rumi's view, keeping in mind that Iqbal (whose poetry and views are quoted by every scholar or atleast, every Muslim scholar) was also influenced by Rumi?

Response:
Mysticism in the sense that our Sufis follow has serious problems from an Islamic point of view. Tasawwuf has conflicts with the original messsage of Islam, in its belief system, as well as in the way it advises its adherents to achieve salvation. And the meanings of salvation also differ in the two religious systems.

Sufis are the Muslim mystics, and mysticism is a religious way that transcends all religions. So we have Hindu mystics, Chrisitian mystics, Jew mystics, and Buddhist mystics. They share quite a few things in common. The differences in their approach is because mysticism is adaptable to the local conditions and customs. However, because many Muslim sufis, especially the ones who haven't read tasawwuf academically, may actually be following that aspect of it which is not in conflict with Islamic teachings. Many Sufis do criticize un-Islamic tasawwuf. However, tasawwuf in its true, original,
academic colour as found in the writings of Imam Ghazzali, Shah Waliullah, Abu Ismail Harwi, and Ibne Arabi is the mysticism that has little to with Islamic teachings. In fact, it seems to offer an understanding of religion parallel to the Islamic understanding. And Allah knows best.

As for Rumi and Iqbal, I want know which aspects of their views you're enquiring about.

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