Neo-Sufism

Do We Deem Believers in the Oneness of Being (Wahdat al-Wujud) Excommunicated from Islam?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

Question

Should a believer of Wahdat al-Wujud be excommunicated?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate

Walaikum assalam,

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah. 

Oneness of Being (wahda al-wujud) is a term referring to a range of beliefs.

What Is Unacceptable?

What is unacceptable is any notion that creation is Allah Himself. This is outright disbelief. But it is inconceivable that anyone who affirms the Testification of Faith—‘There is no god but God’ (la Ilaha illa’l Llah) would affirm this.

Allah is our Eternal Lord (Rabb). This Existence is absolute, beyond time. We are Allah’s creation (khalq), His servants (`abd), and are in no way one with Him.

One Absolute Existent—Other Existing Things Limited, Dependant, Needy

As for the belief that there is only one true, absolute, independent existent—Allah—and that the existence of anything else is, in comparison akin to non-existence, because it is relative, dependent, needy, and limited, this isn’t at variance with fundamental beliefs. Rather, this is mainstream Islamic belief. [Bajuri, Tuhftat al-Murid `ala Jawharat al-Tawhid]

Nuances and Terminology

Whether or not such terms should be used, and the nuances of this matter have been the subject of debate among Muslim theologians (mutakallimin), jurists (fuqaha), and the Sufis.

While people get passionate about their positions, it is a nuanced matter where there is difference of opinion, and the balanced mainstream doesn’t deem the individuals they differ with to be disbelievers in such matters.

Regarding “Excommunication”

Islam doesn’t have a concept of “excommunication,” unlike some other religious traditions.

Specific beliefs may be considered misguidance (dalal), corrupt (fisq), or even disbelief (kufr).

But there are many conditions to the application of these rulings to individuals. In general, blanked declarations of misguidance or disbelief isn’t done on individuals.

Don’t get immersed in such discussions. Learn your beliefs and practice soundly through qualified, mainstream, scholars—and then strive to purify your heart-relationship with Allah, and strive for excellence in devotion to Allah and service to His creation.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation. 

 

Wassalam,

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani 

 

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus and Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), and his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.