The Baboons’ at Rumi’s Cave, London.

In a small nondescript street in the heart of Kilburn, London, exists a tea-shop sized ‘spiritual’ center one might at first look think of it as the last remaining vestige the mid 60s sweeping hippie movement. They call is the Rumi’s Cave. What an insult to the honorary name, dragging it through the muck and then forcibly inflicting fatal blows to all the authentic teachings and decency he stood for. For centuries people have looked towards the teachings of Mawlani Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (ra) to safeguard their spiritual lives from the increasingly dangerous and chocking growth of secularization. Seeking solace from his spiritual teachings in hope of rebuilding the relationship between the servant and his lord; What is more damaging and catastrophic is to lose the life of the eternal for the moments of confusion and delusion here on earth. Although long passed into the eternal embrace of the life after death, Mawlani Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī has been at the helm of guiding people to the correct methodology of the sufiya and the ways of the people of serenity. Not only a man of the gnosis of Allah but also a poet, jurist and theologian, among many other salient qualities of the shaykh. Iranians, Turks, Afghans, Tajiks, and other Central Asian Muslims as well as the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy in the past seven centuries.

The people at the ‘Rumi’s cave’ are using the honour of the great shaykh to clothe the many unIslamic and frankly speaking, hippie sing-along hold-hands type gatherings which take place there often. Using the guise of Islāmic spirituality and ecstasy of the love of God there are women in their ‘spiritualist’ gatherings who sing using guitars and tambourines and dance, albeit only swaying, to the tune of the burdah. (As the video shows below).

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This sort of twisted idea of spirituality is the very examples which are often used as the definition of Sufism by those who are against the traditionally held teachings of the sufis, or people of tazkiyah for more of a better word. In essence, this is what sufism, or spiritualism as it is referred to nowadays, is to the like of these people, nothing more. With no applicability or practicality to lives in the 21st century; If applied correctly Tassawuff can be the greatest anti-depressant drug for people by connecting them back with God. For many, like the folks at Rumi’s cave, Sufism is only a rouse used to relax and celebrate almost all the non-islamic practices like women singing, men dancing among the room full of women. In all actuality these are a group of people who are looking for opportunities to do everything under the sky and get away with it under the cover of sufism, or islamic “spiritualiy”. In other words ‘halalify’, to coin a new word, their haram actions and intentions. It is people like these who have literally suffocated the life out of authentic spirituality in Islam. Many people now only see it as a class of sing-along poetry sessions replete with drinking mint tea served in eastern style tea cups whilst reclining on comfortable far-eastern style cushions made from Chinese duck feathers! A ceremony to celebrate the peace, love and harmony of all things high, chuckle.

In the minds of the folks at Rumi’s cave there is a complete alienation of the concepts of struggle and sacrifice of the self, to endure the trials and misfortunes along with others, to the idea of spiritualism they understand as. The afromentioned values of authentic spirituality are an integral part whole ethos of Tazkiyah. The awliyah were at the for front of seeking the welfare of people in this world and the next. They were not idly sitting by singing love songs, beating drums and plucking flowers to weave in their hair. Nor were they a group of people care free, living life to the full, listening to psychedelic music, embraced in sexual revolution, to explore altered states of consciousness. The real Rumi (ra) and what he stood to represent was not a man nor a group of people who were tying to establish a sophisticated; currently fashionable; fully up-to-date sense of identity which the insolent fools are Rumi’s cave are trying to promote without, for the time being, much success.

There have always been a fringe group of people in all cultures and religions and the baboons at Rumi’s cave are no different. What is alarming to note, is the rate at which they are winning admirers. The popularity of these neo-cons, new-age type of people who like to present a restriction-free, and a pluralist version of Islam is more popular than ever before. Rumi’s Cave is only a new line of the shaytanic brand which is out there on the high street (no pun intended). The devil is always fashioning his tricks under new guises and appearances. The most dangerous ones out of all are the trappings which are apparently clothed in the looks and feel of religiosity; in the clothes of Juniad Bagdadi and Mawlani Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (ra’nhum) as it is the case literally in this example. Muslims who are sincerely seeking to find ways to connect with Allah and mend their relationships which have been lost to the ramblings and pit holes of life should avoid at all cost the minions at Rumi’s cave. They are the people who have completely redefined egotistically what is means to follow the path of the righteous people; to Sing, dance, drink and praise the lord! – Astagfirullah!

May Allah guide people to the true way of the righteous people and save us from destruction at the hands of our own doing. Amin.

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