There is no doubt that Imam Ibn Qayyim (may Allah have Mercy on him) was one of the greatest scholars who followed the way of the pious earliest scholars, and one of the revivers of their way in his time, following his teacher Imam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have Mercy on him) in so doing.

The most important task these two Imams devoted themselves to was to refute the innovations in creed (belief) which had spread due to philosophical and rhetorical (kalaam) tendencies. A lot of such un-Islamic concepts had seeped into the Sufis and their books. They also sought to correct the practical manifestations of worshipping Allah and remove the innovations in actions and spirituality which has spread due to the innovated forms of Tasawwuf and the tariqahs (Sufi orders) which did not adhere to the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Anyone can look into the books of these great scholars – Ibn Taymiah and Ibn Qayyim – and see the reality for himself. The most important of their works are: Ighathat Al-Lahfan min Masaaid Al-Shaytan, Tareeq Al-Hijratain, and other beneficial books. In fact, this list should also include Madarij Al-Salikeen, in which Ibn Qayyim (may Allah have Mercy on him) pointed out in a number of places the mistakes that Sufis fall into in terms of creed and behavior. Ibn Qayyim (may Allah have Mercy on him) was the farthest of people from the innovate Sufi orders.

If what was claimed is that Ibn Qayyim wrote about the actions and conditions of the heart and spirituality. His teacher, Imam Ibn Taymiah preceded him in that as well, but these issues are not specific to Sufism and writing about these matters does not make one a Sufi!

If Sufis like Ibn Qayyim’s writings, let them take from it his call towards the correct beliefs and following the way of the pious earliest scholars of Islam in actions and speech, and let them leave any innovation that he may have had.

Allah knows best.


Translated for Islam-QA