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Email of the Month - Iqra Islamic Publications: Sufi Tradition and Christianity

Sufi Tradition and Christianity

Sufi Tradition and Christianity

What is the compatibility between Sufism and Christianity?

Kate Harrigan

Thanks for the question Kate.

It needs to be clarified at the very beginning that we invite people to Islam so that they experience the joy of being a Muslim, and gain a chance of receiving everlasting salvation.

Once they have accepted Islam, we then naturally would love that they get associated with sufi masters and join the sufi tradition so that they become more devout and practicing Muslims.

In some respects, Islam and Christianity are compatible and in some respects, they are not. For example, Islam is based on five pillars which do not exist in Christianity. I will now explain about these five pillars. I will also explain how someone in the sufi tradition becomes a more practicing Muslim.

To become a Muslim, a person believes in his heart and declares:

Laa Ilaaha Illallah
Muhammad u’r Rasulullah

None is to be worshipped but Allah
Muhammad is the Prophetic Messenger of Allah

This is a Muslim’s basic dhikr (remembrance of Allah). In the sufi tradition, you do more and more dhikr.

In the same way, as Muslims, we pray the fard or obligatory Prayer five times a day. In the sufi tradition, we perform the obligatory prayers, as well as the optional prayers.

Muslims give zakah (the obligatory annual alms-due). To become a more devout and practicing Muslim, you are also encouraged to give sadaqa (charity) on a continuous, perhaps daily basis.

Muslims fast during the day in the month of Ramadan. In the sufi tradition, you are encouraged to observe optional fasts as well, in other months.

It is obligatory on Muslims to go on Hajj (Pilgrimage) to Makka once in a life-time if they can afford it. And if you are lucky to get a chance to perform Hajj with a Wali Allah (Friend of Allah, sufi master), the joy, the spiritual openings and the barakat (blessings) are immense. In the same way, even if you do dhikr of Allah with a sufi shaykh for a little while, your life might be transformed so that you become a devout and pious Muslim, in the worshipful service of Allah, and the useful service of humanity, with salawat and salams, greetings of peace on our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam, on your lips.

Hence the call to non-Muslims to accept Islam and seek out a sufi master who becomes your heart’s physician and purifies your heart of all base qualities and fills it with the spiritual light of all good qualities so that you become the delight of the eyes of all the people. Allah in His Love and Mercy, removes from you all the pretence and the pretentious to piety.

Muslims love all the Prophets ‘alayhimussalam (peace be upon them), and especially Nabi ‘Isa (Jesus, peace be upon him) whom we consider to be one of the five greatest prophets, and one of the five greatests persons in the whole of humanity.

Muslims love Sayyidatina Maryam ‘alayhassalam (the Blessed Virgin Mary, peace be upon her) whom we consider to be one of the four greatest women in the whole of humanity.

This brings us to the issue of the compatibility and peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians.

There have been long periods of human history when Muslims and Christians have lived in peace. At other times, Christians have waged crusades against Muslims and Muslims have waged jihad against Christians.

To know more about Muslim beliefs, please see these web-pages.

1) Allah, The One and Only God

2) The Hadith on Nabi ‘Isa ‘Alayhissalam

3) Five greatest persons in all human history

4) Twenty-five Prophets mentioned in the Qur’an

5) The four greatest women

6) The write-up about Sayyidatina Maryam ‘alayhassalam (the Blessed
Virgin Mary, peace be upon her) in the Dictionary of Islam in the
letter m

7) The Muslim Declaration of Faith and Its Meaning

With best wishes, and a prayer that may Allah open the hearts of all the non-Muslims to Islam, Amin.


Masters Thesis on Ratib al-Haddad

Now, I want to continue my studies at master level. My research is focused about Ratib al-Haddad in Terengganu, Malaysia.

So, I hope you can help me about that, especially literature reviews, books or something relevant.

Thank you.

Assalamu ‘alaykum Akila,

We are naturally very glad to know that your studies at masters level will focus on Ratib al-Haddad.

Mabruk, InshaAllah.

Perhaps you should begin by going through Sharh Ratib al-Haddad by Imam Ahmad bin al-Hasan bin ‘Abdallah al-Haddad, published by Pustaka Nasional in Singapore in 1417/1997.

Dr. Mostafa Badawi has translated the Ratib, and written an introduction to it in The Prophetic Invocations, published by the Starlatch Press in the year 2000.

Dar al-Mustafa in Tarim
may be able to give you more information.

Their e-mail address is:

Please also see its translation at and its appreciation at

With salaams and du’a

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