An Examination Of The Salafiyyah Scholars Discourse On Sufism

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Tașawwuf is the process of realising the ethical and thespiritual ideals of Islam. The practice of Sufism has been generating controversies among various Islamic scholars including the Salafiyyahadvocates,who uphold that Islam should be practised the way it was in the first three generations of Islam. There is, therefore, the need to clear the air in order to liberate the Muslims from the wilderness of doubts occasioned by these disagreements. The aim of the study was to examine the discourse and the submissions of some of the Salafiyyah scholars on Sufism with a view to appraising their arguments on Sufism and determining their objectivity and faithfulness to the primary sources of Islam. The objectives of the study were to: (i) determine whether Salafiyyah should be understood as a Madhhab or Manhaj; (ii) determine the level of compliance of the Salafiyyah advocates in the modern time with the teachings of the classical Salaf; (iii) evaluate the discourse of Salafiyyah scholars on Sufism; (iv) evaluate the discourse of the scholars on the concept of Bid‘ah (innovation) in Islam; and (v) assess the relationship between the Salafiyyah and Şūfī adherents and their impacts on the Nigerian Muslims. rnThis work adopted historical, exegetical and empirical methods. Since the contentious issues between the two groups have a strong historical base in Islam, historical method assisted in tracing the accounts of both of them. The exegetical method was used to analyse doctrinal issues in their works. Also, the empirical method availed the study the opportunity to conduct interviews, where necessary, to substantiate the facts that are contained in the works of each of the two groups. rnThe findings of the study were that:rni. theSalafiyyah is better understood and conceived as a Manhaj and not Madhhabas being demonstrated by the modern Salafiyyah scholars;rnii. manySalafiyyahadvocates in the modern time are not in absolute compliance with the teachings of the classical Salaf; rniii. there are many irreconcilable disparities between the submissions of the classical and the modern Salafiyyah scholars on Sufism;rniv. Bid‘ah (innovation) is not a concept that is absolutely rejected in Islam and its divisibility is inevitable; andrnv. the relationship between the Salafiyyah and the Ṣūfī adherents in Nigeria is sour and this causes disunity among the Muslims with little or no move from anybody to address it.rnThe study concluded that some Salafiyyah scholars are not objective in their criticism of Tașawwuf because many of their submissions are based on assumptions and over generalisations. The study recommended a re-examination of the positions of the modern Salafiyyah scholars on Sufism by themselves, and that theSufi should sanitise their members and get rid of pseudos in their midst. A further research to determine the similarities or otherwise between Sufism and groups like Shicah and Tablīgh Movements among others, is equally recommended. This will reduce misconceptions among the Muslims.

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An Examination Of The Salafiyyah Scholars Discourse On Sufism

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