The Scholars of the Sufis: They are the Genuine Followers of the
Author: Shaykh `Abd al-Hadi Kharsa/Translated by Suraqa Abdul Aziz/intro and bio by Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad
Publisher: Sunni Publication
Written by the erudite scholar, Sufi educator, ascetic, and author of many books, Sayyidi al-Shaykh `Abd al-Hadi b. al-Hajj Muhammad b. Salih al-Kharsa al-Dimashqi al-Salihi al-Shadhili al-Hanafi
The translation and publication of the present book, `Ulama’ al-Sufiyya Hum al-Salafiyya al-Haqiqiyyun is a welcome event for seekers of spiritual guidance and self-purification in our time. This praiseworthy effort offers to the English-speaking public a contemporary explanation of the immutable principles of Sufism, which are one and the same with the three principles of Religion: submission [islam], faith [iman], and excellence [ihsan]. The book contains Shaykh `Abd al-Hadi’s carefully presented anthology of the wisdom of the Sufi masters of old and their summations of doctrine [`aqida] and of the various spiritual diseases and spiritual stations and states of the wayfarer. They were gleaned from the bio-sapiental classics of the genre such as Tabaqat al-Sufiyya, the Luma`, the Risala, the Ihya’, and can be found in later works such as Tabaqat al-Awliya and al-Kawakib al-Durriyya fi Tarajim al-Sufiyya.
The vehemence of the title—shown in the emphatic-exclusive personal pronoun and translatable as ‘The Scholars of the Sufis: [Only] They are the Genuine Followers of the Salaf!’—is a reminder of the tireless efforts of the last two hundred years of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama`a scholarship demonstrating the Islamic orthodoxy of tasawwuf and denouncing the heresy of Wahhabism and pseudo-Salafism.
It is its unique gems that make `Ulama’ al-Sufiyya stand out such as, for example, the title’s emphasis on knowledge: it is never about the Sufis at large but about their Gnostics; as for would-be-Sufi [mutasawwif] claimants who are nescient of the Shari`a or not even concerned by it: they are also heretics and completely undesirable no matter how big they grow their beard, turban, jubba, or voice! This is a theme stressed by many of our salaf al-salih [pious predecessors].
- Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad