A Listing of Notable Sufi Warriors

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ 

Brother Khuram Zaman wrote in an article on Sufi mujahidin, more often than not, the term “Sufi” invokes images of twirling dervishes lost in ecstasy, strange people who engage in exotic practices that seem antithetical to Islamic legal traditions, or apolitical mystics fixated in meditation.  In addition to the misconception that Sufism is inherently heterodox, perhaps the greatest misconception is that it is passive and apathetic towards jihad.  In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.  First and foremost, it is necessary to establish the orthodoxy of Sufism by pointing out the sheer number of eminent scholars who have been Sufi.  As taken from Imam Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Miswri (r.a.) from “Reliance of the Traveller”, we have the following from the various madzahib.  The translation was by Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller. 

Amongst the Hanafi ‘ulama, we have Mulla Nur ad-Din Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Sulthan Muhammad al-Hirawi al-Qari (q.s.), Imam ‘Abd al-Ghaffar an-Nablusi (q.s.), Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi ibn ‘Abd al-Ahad as-Sirhindi (q.s.), and Shah Quthb ad-Din Ahmad Wali’ullah ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahim al-‘Umari ad-Dihlaw (q.s.).  From the Maliki, the following ‘ulama were Sufi: Shaykh Taj ad-Din Abu al-Fadhl Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Atha’illah as-Sakandar (q.s.) and Shaykh Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ajiba (q.s.).  However, Imam Taj ad-Din Abu Naswr ʻAbd al-Wahhab ibn ʻAli as-Subk (r.a.) concluded that Shaykh ibn ‘Atha’illah (q.s.) was more Shafi’i.  The Hanbali had Imam Abu al-Faraj ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Jawz (q.s.), Shaykh ‘Abd al-Karim ibn Ibrahim al-Jil (q.s.) who was the great-grandson of Shaykh Muhyi ad-Din Abu Muhammad ibn Abu Swalih ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.), and Imam Zayn ad-Din Abu al-Faraj ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Ahmad ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (q.s.).  Shaykh ‘Abd al-Hakim Murad Timothy John Winter also mentioned this in his article, “Islamic Spirituality: The Forgotten Revolution”.  Shaykh Muhyi ad-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Arabi (q.s.) was of the Zhahiri madzhab.  The Shafi’i madzhab, too, had a plethora of Sufis as some of its most prestigious scholars: Imam Abu al-Qasim al-Junayd ibn Muhammad al-Baghdadi (q.s.), Hakim Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn ‘Ali at-Tirmidzi (q.s.), Shaykh Abu ‘Ali Hasan ibn ‘Ali ad-Daqqaq (q.s.), Imam Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahman Muhammad ibn al-Husayn as-Sulami (q.s.), Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali (q.s.), Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahhab ibn Ahmad ash-Sha‘rani (q.s.), Imam Abu al-Qasim ‘Abd al-Karim ibn Huzan al-Qushayri (q.s.), Imam ‘Izz ad-Din ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abd as-Salam ash-Shafi’i (q.s.) who in addition to his outstanding works in Islamic law, he is also known for his harshness with Muslim rulers who did not fight against the Crusaders vigorously, Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya ibn Sharaf an-Nawawi (q.s.), and Imam Abu al-Fadhl ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuthi (q.s.). 

It should also be noted that even Shaykh Muhammad Hayyat ibn Ibrahim as-Sindhi (r.a.), the hadits teacher of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi (q.s.), who introduced him to the works of Shaykh Taqi’ ad-Din Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Halim ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), was from the Naqshbandi thariqa’.  There is much debate over whether or not Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) was a Sufi of the Qadiri Order.  Interestingly enough, the great Indian scholar and Sufi, Shah Wali’ullah ad-Dihlawi (q.s.), was a student of another great Sufi scholar, Shaykh Burhan ad-Din Ibrahim ibn Hassan al-Kurrani (q.s.), who happened to also be the teacher of Imam Muhammad Hayyat as-Sindi (r.a.) and Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf al-Maqassari (q.s.) who later lead a jihad against the Dutch in Indonesia.  Aside from the select few of Sufi scholars that were briefly mentioned above, there are countless others who have not been mentioned.  Although it does not give the subject justice, it should be clear that the roots of Sufism have always had its roots firmly entrenched in orthodoxy.


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