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Hi there,

I've became Shia recently, but have been as of two years visiting a local tariqat of a Halvatiyya Order shekh.

Can I still be Shia and consort/visit Sufi tariqat? Or is it haraam?

I know wahabis dislike sufis and vice-versa, but I don't think Sufis commit shirk. Still, I don't know the appropriate legal rulings by Shia scholars and Imams on Sufism.



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On 2/2/2018 at 1:55 PM, LatinAmericanShia1991 said:

I know wahabis dislike sufis and vice-versa, but I don't think Sufis commit shirk. Still, I don't know the appropriate legal rulings by Shia scholars and Imams on Sufism.


It is highly advised by Ahlulbayt  (as) to avoid them.



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Hi there,

I hail from Brazil.

I became Shia first after my in-depth historico-critical analysis of the first years revealed me the deep plight thru which the Imamate went, during the first centuries of Islam.

I read parts of Imam Jafar-al-Sadeeq's (AS) life.

I've also contacted my local shia Shekh - there are a couple of Shia mosques here in Brazil, one where I live, plus another in other capital cities from the main states. This shekh is a very busy man, but he studied in Qom and became shia when he was 18, then departing to study the Aqeedah when he was 21. 

He told me to read Muhammad al tijani al Samawi's opus, "Then I was Guided", which I promptly extracted from al-islam.org together with the work of a couple of ayatollah's on irfan, some works which I considered very good.

Still I need to understand Imam al Sadeeq's (AS) life better, not only from a proper Shia POV, but also taking in consideration his attitude to irfan and to Sufism in general.

I know imam al Sadeeq (AS) was quite hostile to Sufis, but still he devised many layers of meaning to the Quran.

This is what intrigues me the most - even if I'm just a random revert, lol - in Sufi tareeqat we're supposed to learn Haqiqah and its relationship to Sharia, and also proceed to Marifa. To gnosis proper, which the Ayatollah's who discuss the term approve as the broader meaning of 'irfan in general.

But how does that happen in the Shia world? I've also scratched a couple of books by Henry Corbin, and all that he told me is that Shiaism has a very different spiritual realization outside the turuq of Sunni Islam.

Is haqeeqah and marifa restricted to the Ulama in general? This is something none of my sources or my shekh - who's unavailable most of the time and is the only one who can talk to me in Brazilian portuguese - the other shekhs here only speak Arabic and barely scratch the languages I can converse in.

I'll be watching the video on Sufism and Shiaism posted here soon.

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This is a very complex question / concern - and most likely all you will get are personal opinions on this board ... a lot depends on the "order" (tariqa ) etc. ... Having said that just about all of Sufi tariqas trace themselves back through Imam Ali (as) ... and often include many of our Imams (as) ... some such as many Turkish orders (Haveleti included I think ... ) have all 12 Imams (as) as part of their lineage. I won't say yes or no to your question - but you may wish to consider your intention.  

Irfan "happens" in the Shi'a world through practice ... same as it happens amongst Sufis ... Henry Corbin suggests (and I agree with this ) that what takes place in Sufi schools amongst Sunnis - is already built in - in the Shi'a tradition. The difficulty we have especially living outside of major Shi'a centers of the world - is finding teachers who can talk with us about the deeper meanings. The Sufis are mostly Sunnis - even if they do trace their lineage through the Imams (as) - by this I mean is that they usually won't bring hadith of the Imams (as) - their lives are not central. Yet, if you do practice - it is possible that you'll be given marifa (inshallah) to begin to appreciate those words - the layers of the Qur'an etc. 

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Another hadith from the Prophet and his son Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him)

Traditional Hadiths and Sufism


2- The Prophet (peace be upon him) in the narrative of the cursing the angels informed the group, where he stated to Abū Zar during his orders:

"Or Abazar-i-ion-i-Faye-ul-Zaman, the people of Yel-Bashon-al-Sufi, in the Sifum and Shatayam,

"Abuzar is found at the end of the time , wearing woolen dresses in the summer and winter, and they regard this as a sign of piousness and righteousness; they cursed by angels of heaven and earth."

« یا اباذر یکون فی آخر الزمان قوم یلبسون الصوف فی صیفهم و شتائهم یرون الفضل لهم بذلک علی غیرهم اولئک یلعنهم ملائکة السماء و الارض.» ۱ 

It is clear that the people who are famous for woolling and Sufi cloaks and who know themselves better than others are Sufis and Dervishes. In addition to the fact that the clothes are reputable and forbidden, there is a lot of news, especially about their denial. 2This hadeeth of Sharif, which is one of the authentic hadiths and proclamations of prophecy, clearly implies that they are from the Sufi elders who wear woolen cloaks or disciples    It is the duty of wearing it and this way they consider themselves better than others, the accursed are from the heavens and the earth, whether they are from the Shi'a or the Sunnah.


3- To the correct document of Ahmad ibn Muhammad Baznaty have narrated that a man addressed to Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him). At this time a tribe has been found that the Sufis say about them? Imam responded by saying:


گویند درباره ی آن ها چه می فرمایید؟ امام در پاسخ آن ها فرمودند:

«انّهم اعدائنا فمن مال الیهم فهو منهم و یحشر معهم و سیکون اقوام یدّعون حبّنا و یمیلون الیهم و یتشبّهون بهم و یلقّبون انفسهم بلقبهم و یأوّلون اقوالهم الّا فمن مال الیهم فلیس منّا و انّا منهم  بُرَآءٌ و من انکرهم و ردّ علیهم کان کمن جاهد الکفار بین یدی رسول الله ص.» ۳

"Those" Sufis "are our enemies, so whoever wants them to be from them and will be gathered with them, and soon there will be those who claim to love us and show them willingness and self They are likened to them and they label their names and interpret their speeches. Know that anyone who wants to show them is not us, and we hate him, and whoever denies them is like someone in the presence of    The Prophet (peace be upon him) has campaigned against the infidels. "



From this narration, which is a true document to the testimony of the scholar Ardebili and others, is a few points of use.    Gets:

A. Until the time of Imam Sadeq (peace be upon him), among the Muslims, there was no title called Sufi, and from then on, according to fame   Abu Hashim Kofi has been found. Therefore, if somebody names the companions of the Prophet and the Amir al-Mu'minān as Sufis, or claim that he has been published by the Prophet (s) from the Prophet (peace be upon him) from the Companions of the Safāh, this is due to his lack of knowledge.

B- This is the news of Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) who proclaim to the naive people of the time, where they say: "They claim our love and they want our enemies" ; meaning, the seemingly Shiite Sufis It is a lawsuit from the Prophet (PBUH & HP).

C. These people put on the Sufi title and liken their attitudes and appearances to them.

D-He who said: " They interpret their speech, which is disbelief and transgression, and carry it to the truth. " For example, they say love poetry, and they are drinking wine, and then they say, "The purpose of love God is science and prayer and Imam, and they have specific language and terms.

Anyone who wants to go to them will be theirs, and the Day of Judgment will be among them.

And the Sufis claim that all this news comes from the Imams in the rejection of Sufis, the Mu'ad Sufis of the Sunni, while in the text of this hadith, emphasis has been placed on the " They claim our love "  و سیکون اقوام یدّعون حبّنا, if the morals of Sufis are Sunni, Then there was the meaning of the word "So will be" . Therefore, it should be certain that the names of the Sufis are Shiites, who claim the affection of Al-Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family).


[1] - wasayel Al-Shi'a, v. 3, p. 362- Al-Amali, p. 342- Makarim al-Khalāq, p. 246- The Hedighat al-Shi'a, p. 4- 563 - Explanation of Nahj al-Balaghah Khoyi, 13, p. 376 - Varram collection.

[2] - wasayel Al-Shi'a, v. 3, p. 362 - Hadith. 1, 2, 3 and 4.

[3] - Safinat al bahar v2,p 57  The Hedighat al-Shi'a v 3 p562 - اAlathna asharia p 32- Explanation of Nahj al-Balaghah Khoi, vol. 6, p. 304.


[1] - وسایل الشیعه، ج3، ص362- الامالی، ص342- مکارم الاخلاق، ص246- حدیقة الشیعه، ص 4- 563 - شرح نهج البلاغه خویی، ج13، ص376 - مجوعه ورّام.

[2] - وسایل الشیعه، ج3، ص362 - ح 1و2و3و4.

[3] - سفینة البحار، ج2، ص57- حدیقة الشیعه، ص3- 562 - الإثنی عشریه، ص32- شرح نهج البلاغه خویی، ج6،ص304.



Imam Hadi (as) said: "Anyone who goes on a pilgrimage to one of Sufis, whether it is alive or dead, is as if he has gone to the pilgrimage of the devil and has devoted himself to worship of idols, and anyone who helps one of Sufis is as if Yazid and Mu'awiya and Abu Sufyan (Ali al-la'nah) has helped.

Hedighat al-Shi'a, 2, p. 799



Edited by Ashvazdanghe

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1- Sufism

Among the thoughts that were found at Imam Sadiq (as) time was a dangerous and diverse Sufi flow that, with a glamorous appearance, led the people to deceive and mislead people.

The scholar of Ardabili writes about the emergence of Sufiya: According to Shi'a and Sunnis, the first person named Sufi was 'Abu Hashim Kofi', because he wore woolen coats like monsters. It was a cursed one who, like Christians, believed in reincarnation and unity. (1) and in the book of Principles of religion (uthul al dianat), it is said that he was in the appearance of Umayyad and Algebrian, and atheist . His goal was to destroy the religion of Islam. Some of the infallibles of Imam Ali (as) have entered some of the hadiths in his invective. Sufis have said that their followers were wearing  "woolen clothes". (2)

Perhaps Ardabil's scholar's intention is that the first person who was called "Sufi" in Islam was Abu Hashim Kofi, and according to Sayyid Jazairi (RA), this word was first used as a taboo of crooked and distorted scholars, then a handful of unbelievers and idolaters Hindu and Brahma were used, and after Islam, they were named after their dignitaries such as Hassan Basri, Sufiyan Thouri and Abu Hashim Kofi and their collaborators who had escaped from the viewpoint of thought and mind against the Ahlul Bayt of infallibility and purity.....





Edited by Ashvazdanghe

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OK just to settle this thread for a while, here's some useful material which I used for my search.

Introduction to Irfan by  Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari. (available over at al-islam.org)

Some interesting selections from this book:

"Of course, there's a world of difference between the tawhid of the arif and the general view of tawhid. For the arif, tawhid is the sublime peak of humaness and the final goal of his spiritual journey, while for the ordinary people, and eeven the philosophers, tawhid means the essential Unity and the Necessary Being." (*note by myself: reminds me of the Platonic Argument for the One, a very good argument made possible by natural philosophy)

"For the arif, tawhid means that the Ultimate Reality is only God, and everything other than God is mere appearance, not reality. The arifs tawhid consists in saying that that 'other than God there is nothing'. [...] Yet the urafa are convinced this the latest stage of tawhid, and that the other stages of it cannot be said to be free of polytheism (shirk)."

"The urafa do not consider the attainment of this ideal stage of tawhid to be the function of reason and reflection. Rather they consider it to be the work of the heart, and attained through struggle, through the journeying and the purifying and disciplining of the self."

"The tools of the philosopher are reason, logic and deduction, while the tools of the 'arif are the heart,spiritual struggle, purification and disciplining of the self, and an inner dynamism."

Etc.. the chapter on the Origins of the Islamic Irfan is also very informative and protects irfan from any orientalizing attempts at throwing its origins outside the Ah-ul-Bayt, the Quran, the Sunnah and the rightly guided Imams into the sphere of some historical developments focusing upon a chaotic syncretism, the kind of thing just every opponent of Shiaism likes to use against us, Wahabis included.

A very informative book which coupled with some of the more learned arguments and posts in here are clarifying it a lot for me.

Islamic Shia theology provides a kinda of refreshing and important stepstone, in particular for me who was used with only Catholic theology. Catholic theology has no access to irfan or anything resembling it, nor a body of urafa, thereby there are no such debates as on the nature of Sufism, the nature of urafa, and so on; there's only an excessive focus upon certain aspects of speculative and rational theology, turning it into a sort of ultra-rationalistic philosophy utterly dependent solely upon Aristotle to work.

In Shiaism, thanks to the body of revealed doctrines and the Ahl-ul-Bayt, there is no such problem. Which makes it more complete than anything that goes off as branches of Western Christianity. And lately it has been turning more accessible, too, despite the attempts of the Saudi Government to cloud everything by promoting only Wahabism.

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It seems to me that the most learned Wahabiyya too have little understanding beyond the mere literal aspects of the Sharia, while the Shia Ayatollahs are always busy producing works that deal especifically with the inner dimension, and its perfect connection to the outer dimension. Ergo, that means thay unlike in deviant branches of Sufism, there's a living and very precise connection between the branches of Haqiqah, Tariqat and Shariah in Shiaism, and there's no free pass for transgression once you go into the inner dimension of the faith just like what sadly happens all too often with Sufis in Sunnism.

The only problem is that despite the fact that Shiaism has been spreading more as of lately, it has always been a bit inaccessible. Qom is very far away from certain places of the world, and it's far too easy to just look one sidedly at Sunni viewpoints without knowing the legitimate Shia take on many things - such as the history of Islam, the Imamate, etc...

Still there are many ways to counter this. Thanks a lot.

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There's a very good community. In general, they tend to be less strict and more pragmatic than Wahabis, but that's good enough. That doesn't mean they are lax on their duties or their faith, God willing.

There are a lot of Lebanese, but also a lot of local converts. They all share the same spirit. There are a lot of places where arab and local imams teach aqeedah, every saturday I go to have classes on Islam (and public prayer) with my shekh, who's a brazilian born to a Sunni father and Christian mother who reverted to Shiaism when he was 18 and in 21 departed to study in Qom.

It's good enough. There are a couple of very well-built Shia mosques anyway, too, and there's no shortage of people coming to visit them.

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Assalamu alaikum, LatinAmericanShia1991, I appreciate your question and posts. I live in USA and have been a practising Muslim since 2001, al hamdu lillah. All of the masjids I have been too are Sunni, with a typically strong Salafi tendency. I, too, had explored Sufism since early 2015 for the inner dimension of Islam, but I did not get into it very deep. Since last fall, I have been studying the early history of Islam by reading several books by al-Tijani and Peshawar Nights. I do not know any Shi'a Muslims near me except for a few about 3 hour drive from here. May Allah continue to guide us to the deepest truths and to what is pleasing to Him.

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