Before you read: Remember, you don’t need to be a zealous ‘Salafi’ (of the hizbi type) to oppose and call out the falsehood and heresies of deviants who masquerade as traditionalists. Salafi-burnout has caused some to fall into other extremes. Be aware and don’t become a tool.
Many if not most forms of Sufism (pseudo-Sufism really) today have nothing in common with the Sunni ‘Tasawwuf’ of the Salaf and no learned Muslims – including myself – let alone the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah wa al-Athar deny the Sunni type of ‘Tasawwuf’.
‘Tasawwuf’ of the Salaf: Purification of the self (Tazkiyah al-Nafs) from all that is other than the remembrance and obedience of Allah; the realisation of Ihsan (spiritual excellence) and Zuhd (asceticism) based on the Qur’an and the Prophet guidance of the Sunnah.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah explained the practices and customs of Sufism in multiple Fatwas. He gathered all these Fatwas in one volume entitled Kitab al-Tasawwuf (the book of Sufism). In his fair and balanced approach, he praised the Sufis for their good and critiqued their deviancies.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
With regard to the word Sufiyyah/Tasawwuf (Sufism), it was not known during the first three generations, rather it became known after that. [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 11/5]
This is why many – if not most – Salafi/Athari scholars reject the term, however, nobody rejects its correct and intended meaning.
Tasawwuf’s/Sufism’s evolution (to the worse) resembles that of Rafidism (Tashayyu’/Shiism). Shiism, like Sufism, started innocent (political alliance to ‘Ali/Bani Hashim), however into devolved into a cocktail of heresies of the worst kind, a separate religion really like in the case of Imamism (‘Ja’fari Madhhab/school of Ahlul-Bayt/Twelverism that is nothing but paganism with a thin guise of Islam).
Heretical forms of Tasawwuf are anything but rare, from Morocco to Indonesia you can find Batini (esoteric) grave/tomb/shrine obsessed pseudo-Sufi indulging in all forms of ridiculous and foolish rituals under the pretext of ‘traditional Islam’, ‘spirituality’, and of course anti-Wahhabism.
The khurafi Sufis of Hijaz
Muhammad ibn ‘Alawi al-Maliki (died 2004) was a Sufi of Moroccan descent and was one of the remaining open callers to Sufi khurafat and heresies in Hijaz, Saudi Arabia. He belonged to one of the Sharif clans of Makkah just like al-‘Awni and was regarded as one of leading imams of the Sufis during his lifetimes.
The Sufi (there are Ahl al-Sunnah Hashimis) ‘Sharif’ clans of Arabia are bitter for obvious reasons; ever since the rise of the blessed da’wah of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab, they have been put into place and their beloved money and khurafah factories i.e. shrines/mausoleums have been razed to the ground, an unforgivable sin. This is one of the main reasons why they hold a deep grudge for the ‘Wahhabis’ and Hatim the haqid al-‘Awni is one of them even if he differs with them on some matters.
Waging war against the Najdi ‘Wahhabis’ whilst sparing the polytheistic Rawafid and their ilk
Hatim al-‘Awni is known for his grudge against the Najdi da’wah. He cleverly confuses the gullible masses with a mixture of legitimate criticism of modern-day Salafi da’wah and trivialisation of heresies such as du’a to other than Allah and grave veneration (like kissing and touching of the graves where he misuses a statement of Imam Ahmad. A shubhah picked up by grave-kissers in the West who also peddle as ‘Atharis’ just like al-‘Awni).
Of course, he’s on good terms with infamous enemies of Ahl al-Sunnah from amongst the Sufi Asha’irah with whom he visited the Ash’ari ruler, an absolute madman and passionate hater of Salafis.
While Hatim al-‘Awni was socialising with his Sufi brothers in faith under the shade of a conference that was organised by a vile minion of the crusader Putin, the Russian army was waging one of its heaviest campaigns on Syria. Khamenei and Bashar were proud of the Ash’ari Sufis.
This man is whom the likes of Yasir Qadhi look up to as great scholars.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg as Al-‘Awni argues that literally praying to saints doesn’t constitute shirk unless one literally believes that one’s favourite saint is an ilah as in operates independently from Allah i.e. not ‘with the permission of Allah’ (get-out clause of all Quburis).
And of course Yasir Qadhi is parroting this rhetoric:
Here al-‘Awni having a friendly meeting with Rawafid (not to refute their falsehood, of course, the only thing he’s concerned about is refuting ‘Wahhabism’).
The Qadhi manhaj is nothing but a for the West catered version of the ‘moderate Sufis’ who are harsh on the Najdi ‘Wahhabis’ and friendly with the most vicious heretics such as the Rafidah. This is why we see Qadhi sounding like Rafidi clerics who dismiss every legit criticism of their heretical sect as ‘Shiaphobia’ and stepping stones to genocide.
And there is much more to say and to write about the Awnists and their spiritual fathers, the Quburi Batini Sufis of Hijaz and those upon their creed like many Asha’irah Sufis and the disturbed London-based Saudi al-Mis’ari who instead of fighting the excessive veneration of the graves and Awliya/Ahlul-Bayt by the Quburiyyah, claims that Quburism itself is a khurafah (!) and hallucination of the ‘Wahhabis’.
I’d love to take this deluded man one day on a Rafidi tomb/shrine pilgrimage tour and see if he’d still have the audacity to claim such nonsense that is far from reality and can be debunked by every person who once lived the Quburi life (like myself). but that’s another story for another time.
For those who understand Arabic, I recommend watching the following refutations of Hatim al-‘Awni and more refutations in the English language are apparently in progress by some brothers.
And here a recently released refutation in English of Yasir Qadhi (who is upon the ‘Aqidah of al-‘Awni) by Shaykh Abdul-Rahman Dimashqia: