lslam and asceticism
When the Rasool of Rahmah was informed about this plan of the holy companions , he said to Sayyiduna ‘Usman Bin Maz’ oon , ‘I have come to know of such and such information. You inform me, what is the matter?’ Sayyiduna ‘Usman Bin Maz’ oon presented himself in the court of the Beloved Rasool along with other companions and said, ‘Ya Rasoolallah , the information you have received is absolutely true. The purpose behind this plan is none other than earning virtues and righteousness.’
Hearing this, expressions of disapproval reflected from the blessed countenance of the Beloved Rasool and he said, ‘The religion that I have brought does not impose such commandments. Listen! Your bodies in some days and eat and drink in rest of the days. Awake in some part of the night for worshipping Allah and take rest in rest part of the night. Witness that I, being the Rasool, observe fasts in some days and on other days, I do not. I eat meat, fats and ghee as well. I also wear good clothes and keep relations with my wives too. I do apply fragrance as well. This is my Sunnah and the Muslim who deviates from my Sunnah will not be on my path and will not be among my followers.’
After this, the Beloved Rasool assembled a huge gathering of the holy companions and delivered a very effective sermon in which he openly mentioned, ‘Listen! I do not order you to become ascetic and live like monks. It is not part of my religion by any means to stop eating meat and other delicious foods, refraining from women and to completely cut ties with all worldly issues, staying in a cottage or in the cave of a mountain or wandering in the earth. Listen! The tourism [travelling] of my Ummah is in Jihad. So, instead of wandering in the earth, take part in Jihad, worship Allah abiding by Salah, fast, Hajj and Zakah and do not put your souls in troubles because, before you, the people of the previous nations who lived in asceticism putting their lives into hardships, Allah descended very tough commandments for them afflicting them with adversity. These people could not abide by these tough commands and ultimately they transgressed the commands of Allah and hence, suffered disaster.’ (Iafseer Jamal ‘ala/ ]alalayn, vol. 2, pp. 267; part 7, Surah Al-Mai’dah, Ayah 86)
It was after this sermon of the Rasool of Rahmah that the following blessed Ayahs of Surah Al-Mai’dah were revealed:
0 believers! Do not make unlawful such pure things which Allah has made lawful for you, and do not exceed the limit; indeed Allah dislikes those who exceed the limit. And eat whatever sustenance which Allah has given you; lawful, pure. And fear Allah in Whom you believe.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)J (Part 7, Surah Al-Mai’dah, Ayah 87-88)
We get the lesson from these Quranic Ayahs that Islam does not allow asceticism. Refraining from fine foods and good clothes, discarding spouse and children, confining in a cottage or rambling in forests or in deserted areas is not in accordance with the Islamic teachings at all. One must know that all such monkish people who live this kind of life, sitting in cottages or open fields making advert of their so-called piety and false piety entrapping the ignorant people into their falsehood have nothing to do with Islamic teachings. On the contrary, the true Islam is that which is consistent with the blessed Sunnah and teachings of the Holy Rasool . Therefore, the person who is leading a life holding firm to the Sunnahs is in reality leading an Islamic life and same was the way lifestyle of our Sufi progenitors.
Understand this fact that any pattern of life which is deviating away from the
Sunnah of the Beloved Rasool is neither an Islamic way of life nor is it a dervish mode of life of the respected Sufis. Thus, nowadays, those aged men who have adopted such monkish way of life do not have any connection with Islamic sainthood. The Muslims should remain careful as regards to such people who have laid their attractive snares to trap the innocent and simple Muslims for meeting their carnal desires. Revealing the truth and pronouncing the facts is binding upon us, the scholars of Islam, which we are doing.