What is the Sharee‘ah ruling on the acts done by contemporary Sufis such as twirling, swaying the head as if the wind is blowing against a tree? Some of them insert needles or iron threads in their bodies. Is this a sort of magic?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Swaying heads and twirling is a religious innovation which contradicts the methodology of the righteous predecessors. The Companions used to sit calmly with the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as if there were birds over their heads. Inserting needles and iron threads into the body is a sort of magic called the “magic of the eye”. It is done by the quacks to deceive people and make them think that they have supernatural powers and that iron does not harm them.
Al-Qurtubi said in his book of Tafseer (exegesis) that he asked Abu Bakr At-Tartooshi saying:
What is the opinion of our scholar of Fiqh on the school on Sufism? It should be known that some men gather and remember Allaah and His Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, frequently. Then, they beat the drums with sticks. Then, some of them dance and start screaming and shaking until they faint. They bring something to eat. Is it permissible to attend their gatherings? Please advise, may Allaah reward you!
May Allaah have mercy on you! The ideology of Sufism is ignorance, falsehood and deviation. The religion of Islam is nothing but the Quran and Sunnah. On the other hand, dancing, screaming and shaking were first introduced by As-Saamiri when he made a statue of calf having a lowing sound, people danced around it. So, it is the way of the disbelievers and worshippers of the calf. The stick and drum were first used by the hypocrites in order to distract the Muslims from the Quran. When the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, sat with his Companions, they used to be calm as if there were birds over their heads out of gravity. The ruler and his deputies should prevent those people from gathering at mosques and other places. It is impermissible for every person who believes in Allaah and the Last Day to attend their gathering or help them practice their falsehood. This is the opinion of Maalik, Abu Haneefah, Ash-Shaafi‘i, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and other Imaams of the Muslims. Success is only from Allaah.
Allaah Knows best.
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