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Disturbing remarks of Shaykh Nazim Al Haqqani

Several months ago Shaykh Nazim Al Haqqani, who is held by many to be a highly god – conscious man. A man who has perfected the inner and the outer sciences of Islam and is therefore seen be the epitome of ‘excellence’. Caused out cry when he allowed many of his female students or more rightly ‘mureeds’, to kiss his hands. Now, i like to stay clear of controversies and conspiracy theories surrounding influential individuals. Over the past number of years i had seen and heard many surprising and simply shocking news about the ‘shaykh’ and thought better of it. From holding mixed Hadra gatherings to private consultation sessions with female students. But, unfortunately, this has gone to an all time low. I was asked by a person to highlight some of the issues that are increasingly growing within the circles of ‘shaykh’ Nazim. Having tried to stay clear of jumping into the band wagon, i have no option but to finally open the lid and show people the contents of the box. When it comes to highlighting the truth and standing shoulder to shoulder, as it were, with the established sources of Islam. I will always use whatever little ability Allah has given me to draw people to a clear and sound understanding of Islam. Which is based on authentic, strongly grounded and solid sources. I will not shy away from mentioning issues which needs attention, no matter who they are. Something which i have learnt to do from the teachings of my beloved shaykh. May Allah give him a long life amin.

To cut straight to the point, no one is allowed to ‘kiss’, shake hands with, or meet anyone if they are not mehrams! (related close female family members; daughters, mothers, sisters etc). No matter who the individual is. Let alone allowing female mureeds to kiss the hands of the shaykh, generally speaking, we as Muslims are not even allowed to shake hands with a non – related muslim female! So, the question of allowing female students to kiss the hands of a shaykh does not even deserve an answer. When Shaykh Nazim Al Haqqani was questioned about this, this was his reply:

Q: But not only men are kissing your hand, but women too. Is that allowed in Islam?

S.N: Do they have evidence on that? If that was prohibited we would not be allowed to approach our women. They have no fiqr. (Quran, Surat 4, Ayat 43 and Surat 5, Ayat 6). You may touch.

Q: For the mahram, or…?

S.N: …an Nissa, is alif lam a sign for all women, or just for some? There is a secret reality there: You can touch a lady, but if your ego awakes with a bad desire it is prohibited. A person may touch his daughter or his mother and it is not prohibited. He may touch his wife and it could be prohibited. Nothing awakes in a person with his mahram, but if it is not a mahram it is dangerous. That is why the Shariah prevents you to touch without a reason. Otherwise a doctor couldn’t touch the body of a woman. No-one objects to the millions of ladies who every day go to the doctor and show everything. It did not exist at the time of the Prophet*. When they give birth they show themselves completely! How can that be? Why do people not complain about that? Instead they come to me, a person who is 80 years old!

Being blunt and frankly speaking, this is simply silly and shows a lack of understanding! Complete utter nonsense! The prophet (saw) was never alone with a non – mehram women or even touched a non – mehram woman! How can you equate halal interactions with mehrams as being the same as non – mehrams? Secondly, the example he uses of doctors being allowed to ‘see’ is totally wrong. The situation in which this is allowed is when there are no other alternative available of female doctors or, in dire needs and circumstances male doctors can be used to seek help and remedy of problems. The way ‘shaykh’ Nazim is presenting the situation seems like every Muslim woman is willfully undressing herself in front of doctors!. (Astagfirullah)

Remember, no matter how big a shaykh may be. He or she, for that matter, do not have, in any way shape of form, the legal right to see, meet, or even touch non – mehram women/men. The rules of the shariyah are for everyone. It is the same for an 80-year-old man as it is for a 15-year-old teen who is in his full bloom of adolescence. The prophet (saw) predicted there will be numerous people who emerge near the end of time. Who will try to bring in subtle changes to the dheen/shariyah. Changes which in the eyes of many would seem normal and quite acceptable. ‘we have to change with the times’ will become the motto of the day.
But, these would be great affront in the court of Allah and his rasul (saw).
Syyiduna Ali (R.A) narrates that once he was in the presence of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam when the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam questioned, “Tell me what is the most worthy act of a woman?” Upon hearing this all the Companions of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam remained silent. Syyiduna Ali (R.A) further reports that when I returned to my house I forwarded the same question to Hazrat Fatimah (R.A). She replied, “A woman should not see any man nor should a man see her.” Syyiduna Ali (R.A) says, “I then related this to the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and he stated that Fatimah is my beloved child, for this reason she has understood properly.” (Musnad-e-Bazzaar)

If the blessed companions, who were from the best generations to have ever come forth on earth. Were commanded to lower their gazes and protect themselves from unnecessary interactions and being alone with non- mehram women. Which sufi can say he or she has more taqwa than them? or, that he has reached such a stage in which if women kiss his hands, there is no inclination of sexual desires! Know that no sufi can reach the level of taqwa to the level of the dust beneath the shoes of the companions of the prophet (Saw). If they were told to do lower their gazes and not to touch non – mehram women. Then who on earth has the right to come along several centuries later and change this ethos to suit his twisted ‘sufi’ ways? This is an example of the wrong Sufism which unfortunately, exists.

If anyone wants to follow the true sufiyah then the companions were the pinnacle of the very word ‘sufi’. They were the very essence of what tasaawuff teaches and preaches. These sorts of statements and actions by the Pseudo-sufi/neo-sufi camp are destroying the very teachings of the real tassawuff. Giving ammunition to the right-wing extremists within the ummah. Also known as the salafiyah.

    I can see why the western convert communities, – the neo sufi camps favour such ‘sufi shaykhs’. – Whom are popular with the likes of Yusuf Islam and Muhammad Ali. Simply put, it compliments their idealist ‘liberal’ attitudes towards Islam. Where ‘live and let live’ and ‘free love’ is the theme in their minds. A version of Islam which is free from traditional constraints and boundaries of interactions. As we near the end times, and see the demise of more of God’s friends from earth, these sorts of egoistic excuses will become more rampant and common amongst even the so-called ‘scholarly’ communities. This is because these ‘scholars’ will be void of the spiritual essence of Islam. Whom will only have the outer shell and no inner substance.

Why is this not allowed? i hear you say. well, for a start when we open the doors to this then there is no knowing what will happen next. Lets say this WAS allowed. That, a woman could kiss the hand of her 80-year-old shaykh. Who is to say once he dies the next in line will not lower this age limit to 70? or even 60?. A solution to a problem is, to cut the root of it before it begins. Likewise, the shariyah does this for everyone’s sake. It stops problems arising before it is even thought of. So, if the leader of a group says ‘he is all pure and free from desires’, then the next in line may not be, and in turn later begins to abuse this legality.

I am well aware, this article will cause some discomfort amongst the lovers of the shaykh and more importantly his students. But, we must remember one thing. Which is, no man, save the prophets, is free from error of judgement. Even if he is seen as the ‘sultanul Awliyah’ – King of saints.

Further reading:
Neo-Sufi Conservatism