Modern age has seen drastic changes in the life of humanity. Present day consumerism, facility of credit cards and easy availability of loans from banks has opened flood gates for every individual to rush for filling their houses and apartments with modern gadgets and to fulfill their desires and dreams. Life has become bohemian with pleasures and joys surrounding individuals and materialism gripping their minds. The age old traditions, culture and spirituality is waning in the thin air. The family life is seeing turmoils with break down of culture and domestic happiness, juvenile delinquency, homosexuality, lesbianism promiscuity. There is outbreak of deadly diseases like Aids, hepatitis, cancer, mental diseases, mental breakdown, stress, strain and break of large scale epidemics.
On the other side, we see the effect of globalization and large scale migration of people to different parts of the world and there is intermingling of culture and societies. The world peace is equally threatened with invasion by western powers in Middle East, Afghanistan and ugly head of terrorism raising its head in every nook and corner of the world. In a situation like this one, faced by man, can religious dogmas be forcibly enforced through policing (Mutawwas) as is being done in Saudi Arabia curbing pursuit of independent search for spirituality, knowledge, freedom of thought and expression? There can be no two opinions to stop the dissiparious tendencies of drug abuse, extramarital sex and crime to humanity. But the question is; can an authoritative, dictatorial and religious regime prohibit freedom of religious practice as per Islam among Muslims as is done in Saudi Arabia? The Ulamas (religious scholars) of the Government of Saudi Arabia have declared Sufism or Tasawwuf or Irfan, its study and practice as Polytheism i.e. shirk and as not being within the tenets of Islam. Nothing can this be shorter than a lie. This charge has been met by scholarly writings down the centuries by eminent saints and scholars of Ahl e Sunnat wal Jama’at. Sufism has not drawn its practices from Greeks or Vedanta. If there is any similarity, it is purely coincidental. Several great religions have similar teachings and all aim at reaching the Truth through various methods. Sufism or Tasawwuf or Irfan has totally arisen from Holy Quran, percepts of Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam and from the lives of his companions. In the Modern world due to the advent of materialism, wars, conflicts of cultures and disarray, there is a need for man to return to spirituality and it is the need of the hour. Sufism or Tasawwuf or Irfan teaches man to live a perfect and ideal life sans tensions and free from hatred, greed, hypocrisy and other human weaknesses without giving up the rigmarole of daily life.
This work is an attempt to expound and show that, there are no contradictions in the teachings of Islam and Tasawwuf or Sufism. Both teach humanism and calls up mankind towards love, peace, and brother-hood to achieve higher thoughts through its practices.
The aim of the International Sufi Center (Regd.) Bangalore is to create awareness among Muslims about the truth of Sufism or Tasawwuf or Irfan as part and parcel of the beliefs of Ahle Sunnat wal Jama’at and that its practices are as per Holy Quran and percepts of Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam and lives of his sahaba companions raziallahum alaihim ajmaeen. International Sufi centre is aware of several persons claiming to preach Sufism but deviating from basic and fundamental teachings of Tawheed (Monotheism) as preached by Islam. Saints of Islam have depreciated such deviations as Bida’h. ISC (International Sufi Centre) does not encourage such Bida’ats and shirks. In one voice such actions and beliefs are discouraged and ISC calls for their corrections.
All Muslims cannot be called Sufies or Muttaqeens. Holy Quran itself classifies the followers based on their beliefs and practices viz. Muttaqeen, Saddiqeen, Saabireens, Shakireen, Mukhliseen, Mutahhareen, Zaahideen etc. etc.
It is hoped that ISC will prove useful as a guide to all Muslims to understand the basics of Sufism or Tasawwuf or Irfan. Sufism is nothing but true humble and sincere following of Islam as preached by Holy prophet sallallahu alaih wasallam and his sahabas (companions) rizwanallahum alaihim ajmaeen.