Teachings of Imam Mehdi

What is a Sufi and What Should be His Lifestyle?

Sunday, February 02, 2014

The following is an excerpt from His Holiness Younus AlGohar's speech in response to feedback received on an article published by Free Malaysia Today.

It is very sad and very unfortunate that people who feel inspired by Tasawwuf (Spirituality), have great respect for Sufis and admire Sufis have very little knowledge about Tasawwuf. They know very little abut a Sufi lifestyle. Most people think a Sufi should be very simple and he should not be using modern technology. He should not wear jeans and he should not be driving a car. 

They think a Sufi should be a half-naked Faqir; he should wear a Dhoti without a shirt on top, like Gandhi. This is their concept of a Sufi, but that’s not true; a Sufi is one who has purified his souls, and he has cleansed his Ego and his Nafs. He is connected with God and he is able to communicate with God.  

If he is connected with God and he has purified himself, and he is driving a car, wearing a pair of jeans, wearing Gucci glasses and Davidoff perfume, what is wrong with it? If he is travelling and he buys something from a duty-free shop, what is wrong with it? 

People say, 'This man calls himself a Sufi, but look at his lifestyle; it’s very colourful.' Do you think he shouldn’t be using an iPad? What’s wrong with using an iPad?

The reason why all those Sufis did not use this facility is because it was not available! The last Sufi who came to live among human beings was maybe 400 years ago.  

Was there any concept of an iPad? There was no internet, there was no YouTube. I don’t think there were any airplanes 400 years ago.  There was no Aramis perfume, was there? There may have been perfume oils (Attar). The reason why you do not find Sufis using an iPad in the books of Sufis is because all these Sufis are prehistoric. Even if they wanted a modern lifestyle, the world was not that modern at the time. Today if you see somebody wearing a pair of jeans, Gucci glasses or Ray-Ban’s, wearing a nice perfume, driving a BMW, do you think that person cannot be a Sufi? Why, what’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with having a colourful lifestyle? It’s not Haraam (Prohibited).  Using an iPad or laptop and wearing perfume is not Haraam? Wearing perfume is Sunnah (Custom of the Prophet). Prophet Mohammad (saw) used perfume oils; it is not my fault that at the time of Prophet Mohammad there was no French perfume available. Just imagine that this is the age of Prophet Mohammad and Prophet Mohammad is living in Medina, Saudi Arabia and you are living in New York or London. You want to visit Prophet Mohammad and you bought a new iPad, and you are carrying the iPad through customs. They ask you, 'Why are you bringing in a new iPad?' You say, 'I want to gift it to my beloved Prophet Mohammad.' Do you think they would say, 'Come on, a prophet cannot use an iPad'? Why not? Do you think there was a possibility that the Prophet would use it or would he say, 'No, shirk'?

Sufism or spirituality does not mean you disconnect from this world, it simply means you become purified. You cleanse yourself from everything non-God.  

I am using this laptop to spread our mission of spirituality - what is wrong with it? Prophet Mohammad used to ride on a horse, but some Muslims today have inappropriate relations with a horse. It’s the usage. Somebody is having intercourse with an animal but it does not mean you cannot use that animal for a good purpose.

The Sunni of Dawat-e-Islami used to claim that photographs were Haraam. Now they have opened their own TV channel and they use it to sit and gossip, not to propagate the religion. They will sit and talk about a clay bowl for hours. They have made a complete mockery out of the religion. If they had prohibited their followers from watching television and labelled it as Haraam, then why have they changed their mind? Television is a moving picture, is it not Haraam! Even the Saudi Ulema (clerics) say, 'TV is Haraam,' and then they do Taraweeh (prayers) live on TV. The Ulema said to the Saudi Royals, 'You travel in luxurious planes and according to Islam, Ulema are worthy of respect.' Then the Saudi Royals arranged for luxurious planes for the clerics to travel in to Europe and America. Somebody should ask them, 'Did Prophet Mohammad travel in airplanes? Then why do you do it? You already live in Mecca and Medina, why do you need to leave from there?'

Just because you are a Sufi does not mean that you cannot wear jeans or a shirt. In the beginning Prophet Mohammad, told his followers to keep a beard so that they could be identified.

Similarly the Dervish used to wear clothes made out of stonewashed cotton. In those times, the Sufis used to wear stonewashed cotton clothes so that they could be easily identified and would not be asked to pay religious taxes (Zakat) - because in those times, the Sufis would not work; they would only engage in Dhikr (Remembrance of God). 

People were honest then and only those wore stonewashed cotton who truly were Sufis. Being a Sufi is related to the purification of the heart, the cleansing of the Ego. 

A Sufi is one who has a great character, one whose presence has a positive effect on those who sit in his company. He is one who can strengthen another’s connection with God.  

Laptops, iPads, the internet are facilities to use. It is because of this laptop and YouTube that our message has reached and benefited the people of Malaysia, without it, it would not be possible. England and Malaysia are on opposites sides of the globe. 


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