Observations of a wannabe Sufi.
History has often times been intertwined with the supernatural. The paranormal experiences and unseen ‘doings’ as it were. From the beginning of time the pages of history are filled with notations of ‘encounters of the third kind’. People claiming to have received messages from the dead. To have predicted the future and to be in constant contact with the people from the ‘other side’. The earliest period of human record to that of present times. Human beings have always been mesmerised with the ‘other-worldly’ feats of spectacle. Be that the oracle of delphi or the many ‘mahdis’ that have apparently been a medium of communication to the other side. Islam is no exception to this, more explicitly the Sufis. – A group who are frequently living in parallel worlds to that of reality. At times completely oblivious to the current events and happenings of the world. Only preoccupied with the feats of supernatural experiences. It amazes me to see that those who adamantly and are at the forefront of promoting the notion that ‘paranormal experiences are not the “be-all-and-the-end-all” of the sufi way, are nonetheless easily swayed. They are the first ones eager to be at the centre of attention; the centre of the action that is. Wishing they are the person through which these extra terestrial experiences happen. Who are the only ones receiving messages from the pious of the past or, that of the prophets.
Having associated myself with a aesthetic and esoteric Sufi group (and continue to do so) who are strict on the shari’ah & sunnah. Nonetheless, it can be seen clearly that the students are always awaiting the next moment of paranormal encounter. – To write the next page of the book of supernatural experience. They are focused only on this and attend many of the ‘spiritual gatherings’, if not all, in hope that in the event of the gathering an supernatural occurrence may occur. That a message may be relayed. So that it will enable them to experience the ‘other-worldly’ feelings they conceitedly wish to experience. The gatherings of the Sufis seems to revolve around the paranormal. A group of people Whom are always eager to experience and be at the forefront of the ones who recieve messges from the unseen. Have powerful trances happening to them. Etc.
Modern Sufi groups seems to have gone one step ahead. In all if not
most of their gatherings, An unexpected account of a spiritual experience has to occur. It is as if, it is an integral part of the gathering. It won’t be a far fetched idea to say that many times the gatherings are similar to the mystics. Where mediums are used to transfer messages to the participants in the gathering.
Likewise often times one of the student is chosen within the appointed gathering, to ‘experience’ the message which is later related to others. In order to hold the audience in complete devotion and dedication to their (group’s) cause. Wether that be to grow their power and influence in a community or bring about a new form of group within the ummah. Supernatural experiences are used to curb the masses into belief of their originality & authencitiy, and take-to-heart the message of the leader. It can be often times seen that they will proclaim to recieve direct messages. Messages from the great masters of the past, coupling it with messages from prophets and other saintly people adding effect and apparent higher spiritual backing to their cause.
To safe guard oneself from such falicy and misguided ways an individual can continually do self checks. That is, make sure there is no teachings being spewed out that is contradictory to the shariyah and sunnah. Even if the visionaries (those that are claiming to know/have the experiences) within the gatherings are relating undeniable realities of life. It nevertheless remains to be seen what the teachings are being relayed. Heavy emphasis on the devotion to ‘the’ group or complete adherence to ‘A’ teacher should be taken with a pinch of salt. – Who goes on to say he is free to do all and none can question him!
We have seen far to many so called “well-wishers” end up robbing the people of their property, dignity, honour, and self respect. Blindly by the belief that they are following the supernatural messages. People end up devoting their complete beings to becoming slaves of one individual. Who In turn then savagely takes advantage of the nieave ‘student’.
To end with this, all I say is, people are always subconsciously sucked into the supernatural. Many people throughout the human civilisation have been led to their doom with their interest in the supernatural turning into an obsession. This is what I want to leave with you. Visions and dreams are a commendable thing. Especially if it is a good dream/vision/premonition. However the danger lies in when it becomes an obsession. When we seek out ways and every means to experience that supernatural feeling. Or, to hear another’s dream/vision. I have seen far to many ‘wannabe Sufis’ who are plunged into this vicious circle of endless passion and abysmal hunt. The hunt to want to experience for themselves the paranormal. The ‘other-worldly’ vision/dreams they constantly hear. This obsession is detrimental for several reasons: When an individual begins to claim in receiving direct messages and then goes on to relate
this to others. The fine line between what is established by the shari’ah and sunnah as opposed to what is merely a message within a vision, is irradiated permanently from the minds of those who are the recipients. Over time people begin to put the obligations of islam/ the commands and the messages from the visions of people on the same level of playing fields. The lines begin to be blurred. Therefore when a command of islam will neglected they (the people) begin to treat it as if it we’re only ‘another command from message that was related’. Which means it will not merit any punishment. If the command is neglected. The reverence and awe which was once held is completely obliterated. The barrier between the fard (obligations) of islam and the nafl (optional) are submerged together in the minds of the confused and novice Sufi.