From the Archive
Fatwas: Part Twenty-Nine
Two fatwas about Afghani people
ÊÑÌãÉ ÝÑäÓíÉ áãÞÇá : ÏÚæÉ áÅÍÇáÉ ÔíæÎ ÇáÇÑåÇÈ Çáì ÇáãÍßãÉ ÇáÌäÇÆíÉ ÇáÏæáíÉ
Great Comments Sent by Mr. Mohamed Mahmoud
Fatwas Part Seventy
The arrest of 3 suspects in Sharqia on charges of reviving the "Quranic" movement in Egypt (details)
Othman Ibn Affan Was the Spy Who Betrayed Muhammad and the Believers before the Battle of Badr
The Metaphysical Realm of Barsakh and the Day of Gathering Which Is the Day of Resurrection
The Very First Friday Congregational Prayers for Quranists in the USA on Friday 1/1/2016
The Faults of Islam
Introduction of : Religious freedom between Islam and fanatic Muslims
My Lord Onions!
Breaking news: exclusive new information on the Boston terror plotþ
The International Quranic Center Denounces the Arrest of the Yemeni Quranist Writer Mr. Abdul-Wahab Al-Nawary by the Houthis
Pondering the Battle of Uhud within A Quranist Vision
The Falsehood of Al-Aqsa Mosque of Jerusalem
Is Mingling between the Two Sexes Prohibited or Permissible in Islam?
Undeniably, the Sufi Religion Is the Offshoot of the Shiite Religion

Undeniably, the Sufi Religion Is the Offshoot of the Shiite Religion


Published in April 26, 2018

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy



 The researcher Mr. Haytham Al-Sheikh has sent us a long message via email to protest against the fact, expressed and irrefutably proved in our writings years ago, that the Sufi religion is the offshoot of the Shiite religion. We quote below parts of his message followed by our reply based on our memory without quoting from our many previous writings on Sufism.

Firstly: parts of the message:

 (... Dear Sir,... I've always noticed that within your writings, you assert that Sufism is directly linked to the Shiite religion or that the latter is the root and primary source of the former ... Because you are not specialized in Shiite culture, you do not know that most books of Shiite authors within the Middle-Ages criticize, attack, and disown Sufi notions and curse Sufi sheikhs/leaders; Shiite authors declare them as apostate and infidels/heretics because of their notion of unity of existence (i.e., the universe and its creature overlap with the Lord God) ... Let me give you examples of what I'm referring to ... In the booklet of the response of the Twelver Shiite sect to refute Sufism, it is mentioned that all Shiite holy imams disown and harshly attack Sufis in several books; they are described as misguided enemies (or Nawasib) of the members of the household of Muhammad ... Shiite authors refute the ideas of Sufis like Hassan Al-Basry, Sufyan Al-Thawry, and Al-Ghazaly who followed a false doctrine of Satan and they will follow Satan's footsteps into Hell later on in the Hereafter because they are not Muslims ... Another Shiite author wrote that all Shiites everywhere must disown and deny Sufis within their hearts and tongues; this is a form of jihad similar to fighting alongside with the Prophet Muhammad against the polytheistic enemies ... Another Shiite author asserts that Sufism is a conspiracy plotted by enemies of Islam to destroy the tenets and dogmas of the Islamic faith; he assumes that Sufism is derived from some Judeo-Christian traditions; he declares as apostates the famous Sufi sheikhs: Hassan Al-Basry, Al-Shibly, Maaruf Al-Karkhy, Taoos, Al-Jeineid, etc. ... Shiites are advised to avoid being present with Sufis in one locality or in the same mosques, because Sufis are abominations and evil persons who deceive the ignorant, illiterate masses and distort God's Religion to earn ill-gotten money by festivals of dancing and singing as if these things were 'signs' of expressing love towards God instead of performing acts of worship commanded by God and refused by Sufis ... Shiite authors assume that those who visit Sufis are visiting devils or Satan to indulge in pagan practices and the worship of pagan idols and that this is akin to siding with enemies of the caliber of Mu'aweiya and Yazeed ... Many Shiite authors in their books assert that Sufism is synonymous with atheism, polytheism, and disbelief in God, even if Sufi hypocrites declare in pubic their being Muslims; they are worse than Jews and Christians because they assume that God resides in nature and creatures, and this falsehood is refuted in the Quran ... Another Shiite author refutes the ideas of the polytheistic Sufi author named Ibn Araby and urges Shiites to disown and reject his heretical views of self-deification ... Al-Kulayni, the most famous Shiite author and collector of hadiths, asserts that most Sufis declare falsely that they are Sunnites of Al-Ashaary sect to deceive and attract the masses, but they never apply any Sunnite or Shiite notions or practices at all ... He mentions that the Shiite holy imam Al-Baqir attacked Abou Hanifa, Al-Ghazaly, Sufyan Al-Thawry, and Ibn Araby as charlatans and thieves who distorted Islam and are therefore cursed by God ... Another Shiite author cursed Sufis as polytheists who assume that God manifests Himself in their deeds and bodies/hearts and who verbally abuse Prophet Muhammad and his family/household members ... Another Shiite holy imam named M. Ibn Jaffer declared Sufis as heretics/apostates even if they claim overtly that they are Muslims, because they are the arch-enemies of Islam and they reject its sharia laws ... Another shite author refutes in detail the notion of the Sufi order named after Al-Halaj, whose followers pretended to be Shiites and Sunnites to attract the masses but they imitate the ways of the Mages, Zoroastrians, and Christians in their old traditions, because Sufis are in general self-deified disbelievers who allow and indulge in all prohibitions and sins ...).


Secondly: our reply:

 The pioneer thinker and author Ibn Khaldoun, in his famous book titled (The Introduction), was the first one to note the direct link between the Sufi religion and the Shiite religion; we discuss this link in detail within our book about analyzing this seminal book of Ibn Khaldoun. The link between Sufism and the Shiite religion is also discussed at length within a known research, published and translated into several languages, and, by the way, it took the world of academia in the Arab world by storm, done by the late Iraqi researcher Dr. Kamel Mustafa Al-Sheiby. We have proven within our PhD thesis (and in later articles, researches, and books of ours) that Sufism is the offshoot of the Shiite religion. Let us assert the following points.  

1- Maaruf Al-Karkhy, the first Sufi pioneer, was a Christian man who converted to the Shiite religion; he established the first tenets of Sufism and he strove to make the Sufi religion gradually separate itself from the Shiite religion by discarding the political call and stances of Shiites so that Sufis would be spared from the persecution inflicted by Sunnites on Shiites during the Abbasid Era. Yet, later on after the death of Al-Karkhy, many Sufi pioneers were persecuted during the reign of the Abbasid caliph Al-Motawakil who sided with extremists of the Sunnite Hanbali doctrine who incited the caliph to persecute the Shiites, the Sufis, Al-Mu'tazala thinkers, and the People of the Book (i.e., Jews + Christians) within the Abbasid empire. Because of the persecution inflicted on Sufis and the general prejudice against them at the time, the Sufi leader/sheikh Al-Jeineid (who headed a certain Sufi order) employed the Shiite Taqiyya (i.e., concealing one's real faith and pretending to follow the dominant Sunnite religion) out of fear. Many Sufi hypocrites followed the footsteps of Al-Jeineid in his Taqiyya; thus, the Abbasid persecution was manifested in frank Sufis who were previously Shiites such as Al-Halaj who was put to death, and this coincided with the threat of the armed rebellion of Shiite Qarmatians who fought the Abbasids. Of course, the extremists Hanbali scholars and sheikhs controlled streets of Baghdad for a very long time when the Sufi trend gained momentum and many supporters joined Sufi orders out of hatred of Hanbali Sunnite extremism. Sufism attracted the masses as it allowed them to indulge their different whims and desires: fornication, homosexuality, smoking hash or hashish, and dancing/singing in groups, as such practices are the Sufi religious rituals. Besides, Sufism accommodated so many ignoramuses among the masses and allowed them to be sheikhs/leaders while assuming to receive 'divine' knowledge or revelation directly from God to deceive their gullible disciples. This spread of Sufism drove the Seljuks (among other sultans and rulers) to sponsor and support Sufism to make it replace the Sunnite Hanbali extremism, because Hanbali sheikhs interfered in political life and authority way too much and sometimes posed a threat to rulers who did not take heed of their views. Sufis raised the motto of never protesting against anything in life; this was an alternative which was welcomed by rulers who desired to control Sunnite Hanbali extremists who imposed their motto/hadith of changing 'vice' by force. Of course, Sufi sheikhs who got nearer to rulers and sultans heaped praises on them and supported their policies and made people submit to them; in return, rulers and sultans sponsored and financed the building of Sufi mosques and institutions and gave many gifts of money to sheikhs of Sufi orders; hence, Sufism spread among the masses and at one point became the official religion. This has been initiated when Al-Ghazaly (who died in 505 A.H.) made a reconciliation between the Sunnite religion and the Sufi religion in his seminal many-volume book (revered an sanctified by Sufi Sunnites) titled "Ehiaa Olom Eddine" (i.e., the revival of religious sciences) and this has led to the emergence of the religion known as Sunnite Sufism, which has become the enemy of the Shiite religion and the religion of Shiite Sufism which posed a threat because of the influence of the Fatimid caliphate. The Ayyubid sultan Saladin imposed Sunnite Sufism on the masses in Egypt and the Levant after he ended the Fatimid caliphate and decided to face the Shiite religion and the Shiite Sufism as well; Saladin put to death the Sufi extremist Al-Suhrawardi. Thus, for political reasons, Saladin sponsored and supervised the emergence of a 'moderate' Sufi religion called Sunnite Sufism which opposed Shiite (political and religious) notions and concealed the Sufi tenets of unity of existence (i.e., pantheism or God and nature/universe as one), God's manifestation inside human beings, and union with God. This Sunnite Sufism strikes a balance (apparently) between Sunnite sharia laws (i.e., acts of worship and the judicial system) and the Sufi notion of 'truth' (i.e., Sufi tenets of deifying and sanctifying saints/imams [esp. household members of Muhammad and Ali] and their mausoleums) without any political ambitions. Sunnite Sufism dominated as the official religion throughout the Mameluke and Ottoman eras; it dwindled when the Hanbali religion was revived as Salafism/Wahabism, and more details are found within our book about the emergence and development of the earthly religions o the Muhammadans and the emergence of Wahabism in the Najd region (in Arabia) and its spread in Egypt.                        

2- Of course, the spread of the Sunnite-Sufi religion did NOT make the Shiite political leaders forget the Shiite roots of Sufism; as a reaction, they sponsored and managed to create the religion known as Shiite Sufism. This trend of Shiite-Sufi religion has many traces which we have explored in our PhD thesis about the influence of Sufism during the Mameluke Era and within our very first book we have authored (in 1982, and it was published in Cairo, Egypt) titled "Al-Sayed Al-Badawi between Fact and Myth". The Shiite political leaders (along with their followers) established a secret movement to revive the Fatimid caliphate by pretending to be Sufis; this led to the emergence of Shiite Sufism. This secret movement stretched from Morocco to Iraq and from Mecca, in Hejaz, to Cairo, Egypt. This conspiracy failed because of the alertness and cleverness of the Mameluke sultan Al-Zahir Beibars. Centuries later, a similar Shiite-Sufi movement emerged and managed to establish the Safavid State in Persia; as a historian, we have proven that its founder, Ismail the Safavid, had the title (Al-Sufi) because he was the son of a Sufi family and his father was a leader of a Sufi order. This ruler revived Shiite Sufism and he established and founded the Safavid dynasty; he caused the death of about one million people for the sake of establishing his Safavid State in Persia. Ismail the Safavid has helped to bring about the collapse of the Mameluke sultanate; this helped Selim I, the Ottoman sultan, to easily conquer Egypt. More details about this are found in our book about the political influence of Sufism on Egypt during the Mameluke Era. Thus, it is an undeniable historical fact that Sufism is the offshoot of the Shiite religion.

3- It is natural that some Shiite sheikhs in their books would readily declare explicit Sufis (esp. extremists like Al-Halaj) as infidels/heretics; the reasons of this stance are listed in the points below.

3/1: The Shiites hate very much the Sunnite Sufism established theoretically by Al-Ghazaly and imposed and applied by force by Saladin; Sunnites and Sunnite Sufis have described Shiites by the pejorative terms (Rawafid) and (Rafida), and both terms literally mean: those who refuse the 'truth'. The Shiites have described Sunnites by the pejorative terms (Nawasib), (Nasabi), and (Nasiba), and the three terms literally mean: those who declared enmity to the household members (or progeny) of Ali.

3/2: There are deep-seated enmity and schism among all followers of earthly religions, especially within the Christians and within the Muhammadans. The Muhammadans suffer bloodbaths now because of such enmity and schism; see our subtitled-into-English video about this schism: (

3/3: Of course, schism and enmity are found within doctrines and sects (or sub-sects) of earthly religions; for instance, the four Sunnite doctrines differ in many things and their conflicting views entailed that four judges who were representative of each doctrine had to be appointed in every court within the eras of most caliphates; each doctrine had its imams in congregational prayers and in the annual pilgrimage seasons. Similar schism and enmity are found within Shiites sects; for instance, between the Twelver sect and Ismailism and the Ismaili Fatimids and the Qarmatians. Of course, within such schism and enmity, followers of each sect would declare others outside their sect as apostates, heretics, and infidels.     

3/4: Schism, rivalry, and divisions within Sufi orders are even bigger, because Sufi orders and their laws are based on whims and desires of the leaders/sheikhs of these orders. Sufism is divided mainly into two branches: theoretical, philosophical Sufism and practical Sufism (within the orders and their followers). Of course, hundreds of Sufi orders emerged in every village and city; they dispute and differ even over trivial issues; e.g., the color of banners and uniform as well as the Sufi recitations and prayers they vomit on a daily basis.   

3/5: The Sufi leaders who feigned being 'moderates' to please/deceive Sunnites attacked explicit extremist Sufis like the likes of Al-Halaj; for instance, this is done by the Sufi author Al-Qosheiry in his booklet titled "Al-Risala Al-Qosheiriyya", as he attacked the ways, notions, and practices of explicit extremists of Sufism of his era; yet, he endorsed all Sufi tenets (unity of existence, union with God, etc.) within other lines of this booklet. Al-Ghazaly did the same in his books titled "Ehiaa Olom Eddine" and "Mishkat Al-Anwar"; i.e., he attacked extremist Sufis who were explicit in showing their tenets and shocked the Sunnite masses, and yet, he endorsed all Sufi tenets by deliberately misinterpreting decontextualized phrases of some Quranic verses and twisting their meanings and also by fabricating many hadiths. The same is done by Al-Shaarany, the most famous Egyptian Sufi sheikh/leader and author during the last decades of the Mameluke Era and the early ones of the Ottoman Era; he attacked explicit Sufi extremists within the introduction of his book titled (Al-Tabakat Al-Kobra) while endorsing all typical Sufi tenets within other parts of the book; more details are found in our book about the Sufi influence on religious notions during the Mameluke Era in Egypt.     



 What we have written above based on our memory is enough for us to prove our point; we invite and urge the researcher Mr. Haytham Al-Sheikh to read the entirety of our archive of writings published on our Quranism website, especially about refuting Sufism and about its history, emergence, authors, the development of its notions, and how it has been heavily influenced by the Shiite religion and other sources among the other pagan polytheistic religions as well.

The views and opinions of authors whose articles and comments are posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of IQC.