Islam and Mysticism


A few years ago a Christian sister wanted to revert to Islam and she gave the reason for reversion that she was fascinated by mystic Sufism. Since I was a student of Salaf i was reluctant to help her in this regard and humbly but state forwardly wrote to her that Sufism is considered as a deviated sect of Islam and she should think about sunnathul jamah to which she stopped corresponding then onwards.

If we look in the past, history shows that mysticism is a part of  religion as well, people have time and time experienced these phenomena to which salafis have limitations.

There’s a hadith of Bukhari in which Prophet Muhammad صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم says that out of 46 parts of prophecy only “mubashirat” will be left till the Day of Judgment. Mubashirat in the form of good dreams or basharat: Dreams that make you happy, dreams that makes you fear Allah, dreams that guide you, dreams that give you foreknowledge of what’s going to happen. In summary dreams that benefit the dreamer cannot be from Satan. I feel Satan is weak and timid, otherwise Allah would not have commanded them to bow down to Adam and told that Adam and his progeny will be ashraful makhlukhath (the best creatures)! He is invisible and makes us fear him instead Allah. Bandagi/ibadah comes out of fear. That’s why Allah says in surah fathir 28 ayath. Only those who have knowledge fear Allah!

Once we were sitting in a park in Niagara falls waiting for my kids to return from a boat ride. Some people were walking their dogs and I am scared of dogs. Something from behind touched me and I let out a huge scream, to my sarcasm it turned out to be a small toddler who got me mistaken for her mom!

Whenever I have to teach my kids about Satan this analogy comes to my mind: That Satan is weak but plays with fear and that’s why we on that day will say is this the one we were listening to.

Allah communicates to you through dreams and wahi also, not the wahi of prophecy but when we ask Him He answers. like when my mom died I prayed to Allah that the grave is such a nasty place of burial, unclean and people have to stay in that till qayamah! and something struck to me at that movement. Allah speaks in silence and that silence has a spiritual language! no we have provided a better place than you. when you people take care of travellers and to travel from one place to another and you could build good comfortable transit stays at airports then I am Allah I have provided much better for the transit souls with clean comfortable place! this analogy struck my mind. Quran is full of such analogies.

My point is worshippers always experience such mysticism we shouldn’t be skeptical about it and shun it out of fear of satanic.

Brother Nazir most of your work is in Urdu and if they are in English will be more beneficial to the readers.

secondly i am not from any school of thought just a seeker of right knowledge, salafism appeals me because of their pure monotheistic approach!


Wa alaikum us salam wa Rahmatullah

There are many issues to be discussed in your mail. So let them discuss one by one:

1. Many people in the West are attracted towards Islam for spirituality i.e. some sort of Kashf (mystic experience) and related experiences. In the true message of the Quran and Sunnah, there is little content for them as the Da’wah of the Quran and the Sunnah is purely based on intellect. The Quran invites us to use our intellect rather than make experiments to view the Absolute Reality through dreams or daydreams. Such people are usually more satisfied with mystic religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and even Sufism and find what they were looking for.

2. You’ve given correct definition of Mubasharat. The Satan has little control over us, as he can only tempt us to do something wrong. I agree with you on the interpretation of the Hadith. By all means, we should present our dreams / kashf on the Quran and Sunnah to verify its truth. One major point about the Hadith is that such dreams are from Allah. It is not possible that we start dreaming them by ourselves through exercises and practice. The difference between approach of Sufis and Salaf is that former perform some spiritual exercises to get this experience while the later had such dreams from the Almighty without any intentional exercises.

3. Thanks for your suggestion about writing in English. The Islamic Studies Course I’m working now will both be in English and Urdu. Now a day, I’m working hard to improve my English up to the literary standards of West. Please pray for my success.

4. I also like Salafi’s approach towards monotheism and refutation of Bid’aat. I differ with some of them on certain attitudinal issues e.g. zero tolerance for anything different. In my opinion, everyone has a full right of selecting the way he/she likes based on his/her own judgment. We are supposed to convey the message of God according to our own understanding with positive arguments in a decent way, and that’s all. The matter of accepting / rejecting the right path is something between him/her and Allah. We should neither force someone to follow our understanding of Islam nor should use witty and satirical language for others. Rather whatever we understand to be true, we should present it in a decent and humble way and be respectful for others despite of our differences. This approach will be useful for Islam. Sternness and rigidity is counter-productive and contributes nothing except to make our audience stricter on his/her wrong practice.


Muhammad Mubashir Nazir

Don’t hesitate to share your questions and comments. They will be highly appreciated. I’ll reply as soon as possible if I know the answer. Send at

Islam and Mysticism
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