In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Imaam Ibnul Jawzi [rahimahullaah] said: There were people amongst them who did not eat meat, to the extent that some of them said, “To eat a Durham (worth) of meat hardens the heart for forty mornings”.
There were those amongst them who fabade all good and lawful things, and they used the fabricated hadeeth as proof, “Make good food forbidden for yourselves, for indeed it gives shaytaan strength to run in the veins” [Ad-Da’eefah Number 1879]
Amongst them there was one who forbade himself from drinking pure water and one who forbade himself from drinking cold water, so he drank hot water [instead].
Amongst them was one who punished himself by abandoning water for a prolonged period. [Ref 1]
Indeed, Iblees went very far in his deception of the early soofees, so he commanded them with (eating) very little food and the rough (part) of it, and he forbade them from drinking cold water. And when he reached those (soofees) who came after (the early soofees), he took a rest from toil and preoccupied (them) with self-amazement due to their abundant foodstuffs and comfortable lifestyles. [Ref 2]
Shaikh Abdullah Bin Humaid [rahimahullaah] said: The path of safety is the path of the Messenger and his companions, and not the path of the Nashqbandiyyah, the Rifaa-iyyah, the Tijaaniyyah, the Khaatamiyyah and other than them; rather the (true) path is the path of the Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam]. Allaah said:
ٱتَّبِعُواْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ مِن دُونِهِۦۤ أَوۡلِيَآءَۗ قَلِيلاً۬ مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ
Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord (the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah), and follow not any Auliya’ (protectors and helpers, etc. who order you to associate partners in worship with Allah), besides Him (Allah). Little do you remember!”[Soorah Al-Araaf: Ayah:3]
Allaah revealed this Qur’aan as an explanation of everything. (It is) a mercy, a guidance, a remedy, a proof and a (source) of safety for the one who acts upon it and follows it. Therefore, the correct path-the path leading to Allaah’s [Pleasure] -is the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.
Allaah (The Most High) said:
قُلۡ تَعَالَوۡاْ أَتۡلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّڪُمۡ عَلَيۡڪُمۡۖ أَلَّا تُشۡرِكُواْ بِهِۦ شَيۡـًٔ۬اۖ وَبِٱلۡوَٲلِدَيۡنِ إِحۡسَـٰنً۬اۖ وَلَا تَقۡتُلُوٓاْ أَوۡلَـٰدَڪُم مِّنۡ إِمۡلَـٰقٍ۬ۖ نَّحۡنُ نَرۡزُقُڪُمۡ وَإِيَّاهُمۡۖ وَلَا تَقۡرَبُواْ ٱلۡفَوَٲحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنۡهَا وَمَا بَطَنَۖ وَلَا تَقۡتُلُواْ ٱلنَّفۡسَ ٱلَّتِى حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا بِٱلۡحَقِّۚ ذَٲلِكُمۡ وَصَّٮٰكُم بِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَعۡقِلُونَ
وَلَا تَقۡرَبُواْ مَالَ ٱلۡيَتِيمِ إِلَّا بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ حَتَّىٰ يَبۡلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ ۥۖ وَأَوۡفُواْ ٱلۡڪَيۡلَ وَٱلۡمِيزَانَ بِٱلۡقِسۡطِۖ لَا نُكَلِّفُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَاۖ وَإِذَا قُلۡتُمۡ فَٱعۡدِلُواْ وَلَوۡ ڪَانَ ذَا قُرۡبَىٰۖ وَبِعَهۡدِ ٱللَّهِ أَوۡفُواْۚ ذَٲلِڪُمۡ وَصَّٮٰكُم بِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَذَكَّرُونَ
وَأَنَّ هَـٰذَا صِرَٲطِى مُسۡتَقِيمً۬ا فَٱتَّبِعُوهُۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ ٱلسُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمۡ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦۚ ذَٲلِكُمۡ وَصَّٮٰكُم بِهِۦ لَعَلَّڪُمۡ تَتَّقُونَ
Say (O Muhammad): “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to Al-Fawahish (shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, and kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law). This He has commanded you that you may understand.
And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he (or she) attains the age of full strength; and give full measure and full weight with justice. We burden not any person, but that which he can bear. And whenever you give your word (i.e. judge between men or give evidence, etc.), say the truth even if a near relative is concerned, and fulfil the Covenant of Allah, This He commands you, that you may remember.
And verily, this (i.e. Allah’s Commandments mentioned in verses 151 and 152 of Soorah Al-An’aam) is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).” [Soorah Al-An’aam: Aayaat: 151-153]
This is the path of Allaah that is obligatory to follow and hold unto. It is what safeguards from destruction and the hellfire. It is what leads to paradise, and not the Tijaani path, the Rifaa’ee path or the path of such and such. Ref 3]
[Ref 1: Source: An Excerpt from ‘Talbees Iblees, page 238 with the checking of Shaikh Zaid Bin Haadi (rahimahullaah). slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: An Excerpt from ‘Talbees Iblees of Imaam Ibnul Jawzi page 234- with the checking of Al-Allaamah Zayd Bin Haadi (may Allaah preserve him)]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt from ‘Al-Fataawaa Wad-duroos Fil-Masjidil Haraam’- by Shaikh Abdullaah Bin Muhammad Bin Humaid: page: 135-136]
Criteria of An Upright Leader In The Religion: [Food For Thought For Those Who Attach Themselves to The Leaders of The Soofee Paths]
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said:
إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَانِتًا لِّلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Verily, Ibraaheem was an Ummah [leader], Qaanitan [obedient], Haneefan [one who worshipped Allaah alone], and he was not one of the Mushrikeen [polytheists and those who associate partners with Allah in worship]. [Surah An-Nahl. Aayah 120]
Ibraaheem [alayhis salaam] is the Imaam of the Hunafaa [i.e. Leader of the people of Tawheed- those who single out Allaah in worship] and this is why Allaah said to him: [إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا – Verily, I am going to make you a leader (Prophet) of humankind]. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 124].
It is a customary habit of the people that they do attach themselves to the great personalities, especially those whom they hold in high esteem. Therefore, if a person utilise as proof that the one he follows is an Imaam [An Upright Leader], then there is no Imaam [for humankind] greater than Prophet Ibraaheem [i.e. after Prophet Muhammad], and Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] stated about Prophet Ibraaheem: [وَمَن يَرْغَبُ عَن مِّلَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِلَّا مَن سَفِهَ نَفْسَهُ – And who turns away from the religion of Ibraaheem (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) except him who befools himself?] [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 130]
If a person addresses someone else with the statement, ‘My Shaikh’ in connection to a Soofee Tareeqah [i.e. a Soofee Path] or in connection to affairs of misguidance in the name of following someone he considers an Imaam [Upright Leader], then indeed Prophet Ibraaheem is the Imaam of the people who worship Allaah alone [i.e. the greatest Imaam of Tawheed and perfect example after Prophet Muhammad]. If a person utilises this as his proof [i.e. that the one he follows is an Imaam], then examine the Aqeedah [Islamic Creed] of this person whom he gives the status of Imaam and judge it based on the Qur’aan to establish whether he is from the people of Tawheed. If a person seeks to use the station of Imaam as proof, then indeed this should be the proof [i.e. examine the Aqeedah of the one given the status of Imaam and judge it based on the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah to establish whether he is a person upon Tawheed].
Also, Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said about the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam]:
لَّقَدۡ كَانَ لَكُمۡ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ۬ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرۡجُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلۡيَوۡمَ ٱلۡأَخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرً۬ا
Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much. [Surah Al-Ahzaab. Aayah 21]
An Excerpt from ‘Sharh Kitaab At-Tawheed’. Lesson 1- By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr [hafidhahullaah]. Slightly paraphrased