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Where Does The Word Tasawwuf Originate From?


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Assalam Alaikum Brothers,I am curious to learn from the Quran and the Hadeeth of our beloved Prophet, Salla Allah Alaihe wa Sallam, where did this term : Tassawuf originate and who practiced it amongst the early 3 generations that the Messenger of Allah, Salla Allah Alaihe wa Sallam, testified to be upon the right path. Jazakum Allah Khair Wa Assalam




In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.


As-salāmu `alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


Brother in Islam,


There are different interpretations as to how the word “Tasawwuf” originated. Some have said that the word “Tasawwuf” is derived from the Arabic word “Soof” meaning “wool”, thus, the donning of “woolen garments” is referred to as “Tasawwuf”.#


There are various other explanations as to how the word Tasawwuf originated.


Nevertheless, Tasawwuf is synonymous with Tazkiyah al- Nafs. Tazkiyah al- Nafs is proven from the Qur’an and Hadeeth.


Tazkiyah is synonymous with many other terms like Islaah e Nafs, Tasheeh al- Akhlaq, Ilm al- Adab, e.t.c. (Fatawa Mahmudiyyah, Vol.6, Pg.220, Maktabah Mahmudiyyah)


One of the main responsibilities and duties of Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was Tazkiyah and Islaahe Nafs. (Al- Qur’an, 2: 129)


The Sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) sat in the company (Suhbat) of Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam), that is why they are called Sahabah. The Sahabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) had many other distinguishing and unique attributes with which they could be identified. However, they were specifically distinguished by their Suhbat with Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). Suhbat is an integral part of Tasawwuf and Tazkiyah.


All the silsilah’s (spiritual chains) of Tasawwuf reach Hadhrat Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu) and from him, it reaches directly to Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam). (Fatawa Mahmudiyyah, Vol.6, Pg. 285)


Many Taabi’een like Hadhrat Hasan al- Basri (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), Tabe Tabi’een and other great Masha’ikh right until the present day and age have practiced on Tasawwuf and Tazkiyah.


And Allah knows best.


Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Dar al- Mahmood

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