Sufi Tariqahs and charlatanism

Q 1: There are many followers of Sufi Tariqahs (orders) these days who perform questionable acts, such as hitting the sick with Al-Shish (a thin iron stick) to cure them, eating glass, and piercing themselves with daggers. What is the legal ruling on these acts, bearing in mind that they claim to be Allah's Awliya' (pious people) and consider such acts as Karamahs (extraordinary events performed by a pious people)?


A: These acts are charlatanry or magic, and are used as means to deceive people; they are therefore Haram (prohibited). It is obligatory for those in authority, whether they are scholars or rulers, to renounce and put an end to these things. These odd activities are not Karamahs produced by Allah (Exalted be He) through his believing Awliya' to honor them, nor are they indications of the righteousness of those who produce them. This is because the Awliya' of Allah are those who have Iman (Faith) and Taqwa (fear of Allah as He should be feared) and are known for their obedience to Allah and His Messenger. As Allah (Glorified be He) says: No doubt! Verily, the Auliyâ’ of Allâh [i.e. those who believe in the Oneness of Allâh and fear Allâh much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which he has forbidden), and love Allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve. Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism), and used to fear Allâh much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds). (Part No. 1; Page No. 642) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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