Speaking in United Kingdom sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) said,
I would warn the younger Muslim generation about the wrong interpretation of Sufism.
It has been widely propagated in the Western world by non-Muslims. They coined the term Sufism. They praise Sufism. They preach sufism. They propagate Sufism. One may think that they do this in service to Islam. However, the reality is that the Sufism propagated by Western writers is quite contradictory to the Shariah. It is quite contradictory to the real essence of Tasawwuf and tariqat.
A high ranking western offical visited the Darul Uloom, Karachi. After having a detailed tour observing the teaching activities he commented that he did not see anything about Sufism being taught.
It was inquired that what did he mean by Sufism.
He replied that Sufism is something related to one’s soul and what pleases one’s soul. For example, playing music, dancing, having ectasy (wajd) and qawwali,etc..
The poor individual restricted Sufism to these kinds of activities.
The real problem is that when Western world speaks of soul as against the physical life they assume that they are speaking of the spirit or spiritual things. There is a big difference between soul and spirit.
In fact soul is what is called the nafs in Tasawwuf. That is the (lower) desires of the heart. Tasawwuf does not have realtion to soul in that meaning.
Tasawwuf realtes to the spiritual qualities- the human instincts (reforma tion of the moral characteristics – thus becoming a better human being & Real Muslim).
Turath lecture, 23rd June 2012