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Sayyid ’Abdulhakîm Effendi (rahmat-Allâhi ta’âlâ ’alaih), who was the mujaddid of the fourteenth century of the Hegira, the refuge of the lovers of al-Haqq, the treasure of the zâhirî and bâtinî knowledge, the indisputable proof of awliyâ’, the master of ’arîfîn, the leader of muhaqqiqîn, the elect of ’ubbâd, the guide of râsikhîn, the apple of Muslims’ eyes, the expert in tasawwuf, the heir of Rasûlullâh (sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam), and whose books are documents and whose speeches were full of wisdom, wrote very concisely the definition, history, subject and terminology of tasawwuf in his Turkish work Ar-riyâdu ’t-tasawwufiyya[1]. He wrote in the preface:

“Since there is no superiority more honourable and more valuable than having attended the suhba of our Prophet (sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam), those who had attained to that honour were called the Sahâba.Those who came after them were called the Tâbi’ûn because they followed (tâbi’) them in practice, and those who followed them were called Atbâ’ at-Tâbi’în. After them, those who excelled in religious affairs were called zuhhâd and ’ubbâd. Thereafter, bida’ increased and every group called their leader zâhid and ’âbid. Those who were in the group of Ahl as-Sunna protected their hearts from ghafla (forgetfulness of Allâhu ta’âlâ) and secured the obedience of their nafses to Allâhu ta’âlâ. This state of theirs was called tasawwuf while such a Muslim was called a sûfî (Persian Sôfî). These terms were first used at the end of the second century of the Hegira. The first one who was called a sûfî was Abu Hâshim Sûfî of Kûfa (rahimah-Allâhu ta’âlâ). He was engaged in irshâd (enlightenment, initiation) in Damascus and passed away in 115. He was the ustâdh (master) of Sufyân ath-Thawrî (rahimahAllâhu ta’âlâ), who passed away in Basra in 161 (778 A.D.). Sufyân said, ‘If Abu Hâshim Sûfî had not been, I would not have known the Rabbânî (Divine) realities. I had not known what tasawwuf was before I saw him.’ The first tekke was constructed for Abu Hâshim in Ramlah city. The saying, ‘Breaking mountains into dust using a needle is easier than removing haughtiness from the heart,’ belongs to him. He frequently said, ‘I take refuge in Allah from useless knowledge.’

[1] Published by the Harbiyye Mektebi Matbaasi in Istanbul in 1341 (1923 A.D.)