Q8: What is the Islamic ruling on Tariqahs? Some of the scholars I asked regarding this issue said that establishing or following a Tariqah is not permissible in Islam, while others said it is neither Fard (obligatory) nor Haram (prohibited). Kindly give me a clear answer on this, may Allah grant you success.
A: This question about Tariqahs is general and vague. If the inquirer means Tariqah which is a Sufi order, this is Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Shari`ah and Muslims of sound intellect), some Tariqahs are Kufr (disbelief), while others are Bid`ah (rejected innovation in religion) and not Kufr, as the only path that must be followed is that of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Allah stated,And verily, this (i.e. Allah’s Commandments mentioned in the above two Verses) is My Straight Path, so follow it… (Surah Al-An`am 6: 153)Allah also says,And this is a blessed Book (the Qur’an) which We have sent down, so follow it. (Surah Al-An`am 6: 155).He also stated, And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). (Surah Al-Hashr 59: 7).
It is obligatory on Muslims to follow the Way of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and to take his life and religion as a model. Allah stated, Say (O Muhammad [peace be upon him] to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.” (Surah Al-`Imran 3: 31).
The Straight Way of Allah is that with which our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent, and it is the way of those who are granted Allah’s Grace that are mentioned in the Ayahs (Qur’anic verses),Guide us to the Straight Way. The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace.(Surah Al-Fatihah, 1:6-7) They are the prophets, the truthful, the martyrs, and the righteous people mentioned in the Ayah, And whosoever obeys Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqun (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq may Allah be pleased with him), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are! (Surah Al-Nisa’ 4: 4).
This is the Straight Way, while Sufi Tariqahs lead to Shirk (associating others in worship with Allah) and its acts such as worshipping some of the Sufi leaders, appealing for their help, and neglecting to acquire knowledge of the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet). Some of them say, “My heart speaks to me regarding my Lord…” This can further lead to ignoring the Shari`ah (Islamic law) with which Muhammad (peace be upon him) came and to many other Bid`ahs.
Their deviance becomes more evident when a Sufi leader orders his followers to surrender to him completely with no opposition at all; rather to be as submissive to him as a corpse in the hands of those who wash it for burial. All of these orders are Fasid (corrupt) and misguided.
Yet, if the inquirer means by the word “Tariqah” lines drawn on the earth, as in the case of sorcerers and geomancers as a means of divination, this will be another Munkar and an impermissible act which is deemed Shirk Akbar (major Shirk). Anyone who draws lines in the ground as a means of divination to trick people, his act falls under the category of Shirk Akbar, for in so doing he is claiming to have knowledge of the Unseen. May Allah protect us. Allah stated, Say: ýNone in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (Unseen) except Allah.ý (Surah Al-Naml 27: 65).
– Shaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah)