Who Is Sufi
Hadhrat Hasan Basri (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: The person who wears wool to debase himself for Allah Most High, Almighty Allah increased the radiance of sight and the heart for that person and the person who does so for pride, etc. will be thrown into hell along with the rebellious folk.
Hadhrat Hasan ‘Ali Kharraz (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) explains this in a very concise, eloquent and ardent way: Sufi is a person who gains comfort from Almighty Allah and has handed over all his affairs to Almighty Allah, who doesn’t pay attention to anybody other than Allah, who when in embroiled in difficulties doesn’t pay any attention to the secret within it, who when he (or she) turns to Allah Most High doesn’t turn away ever again and calamities don’t have any effect on that person.
A Sufi is the one who doesn’t see any nonexistence after existence, whose existence is present & whose attributes are their veil. The heart being free of all hostility is also Tasawwuf.
In the opinion of Hadhrat Ghouse Azam Shaykh ‘Abdul Wadir Jeelani (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) Tasawwuf is to have a relation with Allah Most High which is rooted in truthfulness (Sidq), one should treat people kindly, the Book of Allah Most High and obedience to the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) are the 2 wings with which one can fly towards Almighty Allah. One should desist from the calamities and blameworthy actions of the Self (Nafs). The person who has been purified by Allah Most High is a Sufi. Tasawwuf is beyond poverty (Faqr), poverty is also included in Tasawwuf. One should practice poverty only for the sake of Almighty Allah and it should be reap reward.
Hadhrat Shibli (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) defines Tasawwuf as: Tasawwuf is to keep the heart clear of any thoughts of anyone/anything other than Allah. A Sufi is a person who is cut off from the creation and attached to the Lord Almighty.
Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad bin Khafi Shirazi (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: There was a time that Satan was under control of the Sufis. Now the times are such that the Sufis are under control of Satan. A Sufi is the one who follows the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) in all details and generalities and whose inward aspect is immersed with Almighty Allah……..
Hadhrat Najmuddin Kubra (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: The Sufis are those who traverse the path of Almighty Allah. Their lives are the best lives, their path is the straight-most path and their manners are the most cultivated and loved. If the intellect of the intellectuals, the wisdom of the wise and the knowledge of the scholars of the Shariah all combine to get something better than the life and etiquette of the Sufis, the friends of Allah Most High, it is not possible for them to. All their outward and inward actions are drawn from the niche of Prophethood and there is no radiance on the earth from which one can draw illumination better than the radiance of Prophethood.
Hadhrat Bishr bin Al Haarith Al Haafi (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: Tasawwuf is the name given to 3 things: First, the radiance of the gnosis (Ma’arifah) of the gnostic (A’arif) should not overshadow the radiance of his piety, secondly, nothing of the kind should be said in terms of the mystical sciences that the normative sciences, the Book of Allah and the Sunnah negate and thirdly, miracles should not rend the veil of what Allah Most High has proscribed.
Hadhrat Abu ‘Umar Dimashqi (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: Overlooking everything flawed is Tasawwuf so that one can have the vision of the One who is free of flaws i.e. Almighty Allah.
Hadhrat Abu ‘Ali Ahmed bin Muhammad Roodbaari (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: Tasawwuf is wearing wool, mortifying the Self, renouncing the world and following the Sunnah. He also said: A Sufi is a person who is not ungrateful to Almighty Allah even after 10 days of starvation. He also said: To sit at the door of Allah Most High and abandon every other door is Tasawwuf and a Sufi is a person whom Almighty Allah turns away from His door a 100 times and he still goes there.
Hadhrat Shaykh Abul Hasan bin Ibrahim Misri (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: A Sufi is the one who has abandoned the creation for the Creator and has gained His closeness and has thus been rendered free of the closeness of the creation.
Hadhrat Junaid Baghdadi (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: Tasawwuf is that you remain with Allah Most High without any other attachment. When you see a Sufi polishing his outward aspect, understand that his inward aspect is ugly. He also says: Tasawwuf is based on 3 attributes:
He also said: Tasawwuf is to have dealings with Almighty Allah and its essence is to turn away from the world.
Hadhrat Abul Hasan Noori (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: A Sufi is the one whose life is free of the darkness of humanness, who have been delivered of the desires of the flesh by purification from the afflictions of the Self, who derive comfort from seeing Almighty Allah and who run away from everything other than Allah.
Hadhrat Hadhrami (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: Tasawwuf is to keep the heart and the mind clear of the filth of opposing Almighty Allah.
Hadhrat Muhammad bin ‘Ali (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) says: Tasawwuf is good nature – one with Almighty Allah and the other with the creation. With Almighty Allah, it is to be acquiescent to His will and with creation, it is to bear the burden of the companions for the sake of Almighty Allah.
[Excerpted from Mawaaiz-e-Hasana, Vol. 2 of Hadhrat Muhaddith-e-Deccan Abdullah Shah Naqshbandi Alairahma]