Alhamdulillah, I was delighted to see Abuya's photo in the local newspaper today. Abuya is Al-alamah al-muhaddith Prof. Dr. Sayyid Muhammad bin Alawi al-Maliki (1944 - 2004) - a highly esteemed ulama from Makkah al Mukarramah.
You know it is not easy for Sufis or ahlul tassawuf to be given coverage in the mainstream media. Not that they need it but there has always been a lack of awareness and acceptance on sufism or sufi ulama on the part of media practitioners. Anyhow, I don't mean to limit Abuya's authority or credibility to tassawuf/sufism only, because he in fact mastered many branches of Islamic knowledge as can be seen from his titles. So credit must be given to Yayasan Sofa for being granted a column in one Malay newspaper which will feature a review on one of Abuya's publications.
Abuya had written a kitab called Mafahim Yajib an tusohhah.
A direct translation (which I do reluctantly given its limitations) means 'Understanding that requires rectifications'. Mafahim loosely translated into English, means understanding. It means one's comprehension, awareness, knowledge, cognizance or grasp of a particular subject. What Abuya is saying in the book is that some of our understandings or knowledge need to be corrected.
We all have different ideas, perceptions and world-views or rather religious-views. Our mastery of certain religious-views may or may not be correct. One as 'aleem (knowledgable) and 'areef (intelligent/gnostic) like Abuya is in the position to show us which of our understandings need rectifications.
The book has received plenty of acknowledgements from prominent Islamic scholars such as Shaykh Hasanain Makhluf (former mufti of Egypt) and Shaykh Prof. Dr. Muhammad al Toyyib al-Najjar, to name but two. Abuya was a respectable scholar who traveled far and wide, hence obtained a lot of recognition and support from many parts of the world including India, Pakistan and the rest of Asia.
The book is divided into three parts:
i. aqidah (religious stance) e.g. takfir, bidaah, tawassul and shaffaat.
ii. nabawwiyah (on the special ranking of the Prophet s.a.w and tabarruk or seeking barakah from his stature)
iii. other topics e.g. life in the barzakh, celebration of auspicous events etc.
Those topics are common and recurring issues that require clarifications as we may not realize that some of our understandings on certain beliefs may not be so accurate. Abuya was saying, misconceptions ought to be corrected and his sayings carry much authority as he spoke from the tongue of his ancestors, none other than Rasulullah s.a.w, the Prophet, the beloved of Allah.
Sallu alan Nabi!
Reference: Yayasan Sofa column - read the original Malay article here
To be continued InshaAllah.
To be continued InshaAllah.