Islamic Creed | Correct Aqidah

Creed of Islam. Pillars of Iman. Tauhid. Eman. Tawhid. Touheed. Thowheed

36. Fanaa or Nirvana – The Union of Man With God

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A look at various lists of the most prominent so-called saints, reveals names like that of al-Hallaaj who claimed divinity in his infamous pronouncement “Anal-Haqq” [I am the Reality] when Allaah already said

(Quran Chapter 22. Al Hajj ayat 6)

That is so, because Allaah is the Reality and it is He who gives life to the dead, and it is He who is able to do All things.

What led this individual to make such a pronouncement was his belief in a principle very similar to the ultimate state of being in Buddhism known as “ Nirvana”[Sanskrit term meaning “blown out”]. In this state, according to a branch of Buddhist thought, the ego disappears and the human soul and consciousness are extinguished.

This concept also forms the core of a philosophy known as “mysticism”. Mysticism is defined as an experience of union with God and the belief that man’s main goal lies in the seeking that union. Plato wrote Symposium in which mention is made of various ladders of ascent. A parallel concept can also be found in Hinduism’s identification of Atman (human soul) with Brahman (the impersonal Absolute). St. Pachomius (290-346 CE) established the first set of rules for Christian monasticism and founded nine monasteries in the Egyptian desert.

A group of Muslims who didn’t like the Sharee‘ah (Islamic Law), developed a parallel system which they named the Tareeqah (the way). Just as the ultimate goal of the Hindu was unity with the world soul and of the Christian mystic union with God; the ultimate goal of this movement became Fanaa, the dissolution of the ego, and Wusool, the meeting and unification of the human soul with Allah in this life.

A series of preliminary stages and state which had to be attained were defined. They were called Maqaamaat (stations) and Haalaat (states). A system of spiritual exercises was also designed for the initiate in order to bring about this “meeting.” These exercises of Dhikr often involved head and body movements and sometimes even dance, as in the case of whirling dervishes. All of these practises were attributed to the Prophet through chains of narration in order to validate them, but there does not exist any authentic support for them in any of the classical books of Hadeeth.

A multiplicity of systems evolved, and orders, similar to those among Christian monks, appeared named after their founders, like the Qaadiri, Chishti, Nakhshabandi, and Teejaani orders. Along with that, volumes of legends and fairy tales were spun around the founders and the outstanding personalities of these orders. And, just as Christian and Hind monks chose special isolated structures (i.e. monasteries) in which to house their communities, the Sufi orders developed similar housing schemes called Zaawiyahs (lit. corners).

Thank Almighty, Now you know where the concepts and practices of Tareeqa came from. The bottom-line is tareeqas have nothing to do with the Islam the Prophet taught. The unislamic practices don’t become Islamic just because they wear a cap or have a beard. BTW, orthodox Jews have longer beards and wear caps all the time.

For more info on Sufism and Burdah, please click here. Please note that i haven’t read all posts in that blog, nor necessarily agree with all the contents of that blog.

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  1. Salaamu Alykum
    Jazakallahu khairan. I already knew about fanaa through Bilaal Phillips’ IOU Diploma course. Alhamdulilaah a VERY useful course…even for born Muslims like myself. Just wanted to remember the exact definition because I’m reading a book that takes fanaa lightly. This angers me of course because people who are swept away with the romance of this book may not realize the shirk involved.

    To be specific: Love in a Headscarf by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed. Pages 199 & 202. Otherwise, mashallah, it’s a pretty relatable book. 🙂

    Rukia Haji

    Feb 14, 2014 at 10:01 pm

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