The Point of Taswawwuf is True Sincerity

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The point of taswawwuf is true sincerity, which is to feel no self-satisfaction at anything done so as not to aggrandise the nafs.  It was Imam Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi’i (r.a.) or one of his students who said, “an-Naas halik illa al-amin.  al-Umana’ halik illa al-‘alim.  al-‘Ulama halik illa mukhalis. This translates roughly as, “All mankind is doomed for destruction, except the one who has faith.  The ones who have faith are doomed for destruction, except the one who has knowledge.  The ones who have knowledge are doomed for destruction except the one who is sincere.”  “The one who is sincere” is in the singular while the ones “doomed for destruction” is in the plural, a literary device to highlight the rarity and elevated state of the truly sincere.

Such a level of sincerity, where the self is not even aware of its existence requires the annihilation of that self, such that nothing exists except Allah (s.w.t.), “Laa ilaha illa Allah.”  Whilst it is not for everybody to arrive at that state, we are all compelled to try for it, and that is the true jihad of the believer, jihad an-nafs.


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