Why is there a rivalry or misunderstanding between Salafism and Sufism? Can there be peace between them as Muslim brothers?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Many people in my country follow the teams of Sufi and Ahl al-Hadith madhhabs. However, there is always a rivalry between them. Can we do something to bring about peace and harmony between them and to live together like Muslim brothers?

- If those who are under the control of Wahhabism, known as Salafism today, accuse Sufi people of polytheism, it is not possible to bring them together. In this respect, first of all, those who say they are salafis must accept the principles accepted by Ahl as-Sunnah such as intercession and karamah.

It is a big mistake to call true Sufism polytheism by using personal mistakes made in the name of Sufism as an excuse; it is necessary to abandon it.

- There is no contradiction between true Salafism and true Sufism.

- The way to reconcile Muslims who think differently is possible by following these principles:

1. To act positively, that is, out of love for one’s own outlook, avoiding enmity for other outlooks, not criticizing them, interfering in their beliefs and sciences, or in any way concerning oneself with them.

2. To unite within the fold of Islam, irrespective of particular outlook, remembering those numerous ties of unity that evoke love, brotherhood and concord,

3. To adopt the just rule of conduct that the follower of any right outlook has the right to say, “My outlook is true, or the best,” but not that “My outlook alone is true,” or that “My outlook alone is good,” thus implying the falsity or repugnance of all other outlooks,

4. To consider that union with the people of truth is a cause of divine succour and the high dignity of religion,

5. To realize that the individual resistance of the most powerful person against the attacks through its genius of the mighty collective force of the people of misguidance and falsehood, which arises from their solidarity, will inevitably be defeated, and through the union of the people of truth, to create a joint and collective force also, in order to preserve justice and right in the face of that fearsome collective force of misguidance,

6. In order to preserve truth from the assaults of falsehood,

7. To abandon the self and its egoism,

8. And give up the mistaken concept of self-pride,

9. And cease from all insignificant feelings aroused by rivalry. (Nursi, 20. Lema, 2. Sebep)

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