Excrepts from
KASHF-AL MAHJUB
Translated by Reynold A.
Nicholson
SUFISM
Abu Sa'id has said, "Sufism is the subsistence of the heart with
God without any meditation." This alludes to contemplation
(mushahadat), which is violence of love, and absorption of
human attributes in realizing vision of God, and their
annihilation by the everlastingness of Him.  (p. 167)
As posed in question by Abu Sa'id to Ali-Hujwary, Sufism is
learning the true meaning of Sufism and the nature of the
'stations' of the Sufis, and being able to understand their
doctrines and sayings, which cannot be accomplished
without comprehending their mystical allegories, and
feeling the nature of Divine Love the way it is manifested
in human hearts. It is also knowing why intellect is unable
to reach the Essence thereof, and Why the soil recoils from
the reality thereof, and Why the spirit is lulled in the purity
thereof; and mastery means being able to explain the
practical aspects of Sufism which are connected with these
theories."
Sufism and its Pitfalls
Know that in this time the science of Sufism is obsolete, especially in this
country. The whole people is occupied with following its lusts and has turned
back on the path of quietism (rida), while the ˜ulama' (scholars) and those who
pretend to learning have formed a conception of Sufism which is quite contrary
to its fundamental principles.   
High and low alike are content with empty professions: blind conformity has
taken the place of spiritual enthusiasm. The vulgar say,
"We know God", and
the elect, satisfied if they feel in their hearts a longing for the next world, say,
"This desire is vision and ardent Love." Everyone make pretensions, none
attains to reality. The disciples, neglecting their ascetic practices, indulge in idle
thoughts, which they call
"contemplation".
Ali b. Uthman al-Jullabi, al-Hujwary (ra) may God have mercy upon him has explained thus:
The knowledge of Sufism is to
encounter false pretensions
    Some false pretenders picked out passages here and there in order to
    deceive the public, while they erased and destroyed the rest; others did
    not mutilate the books, but left them unread; others read them, but did
    not comprehend their meaning, so they copied the text and committed it
    to memory and said: "We can discourse on mystical science." Now a
    days true spiritualism is as rare as the Philosopher's Stone (kibrit- i
    Ahmar); for it is natural to seek the medicine that fits the disease, and
    nobody wants to mix pearls and coral with common remedies like
    shalitha and dawa al misk. (1)
Rumi says:
The Royal falcon is sure to get
its wings clipped when it
perches on the wall of an old
woman's cottage.
    Hazrat Ali Hujwary has also said, "Our contemporaries give the
    name of "law" to their lusts, pride and ambition they call"honor
    and learning", hypocrisy towards men "fear of God",
    concealment of anger "clemency", disputation "discussion",
    wrangling and foolishness "dignity", insincerity "renunciation",
    cupidity "devotion to God", their own senseless fancies "Divine
    Knowledge", the motions of the heart and affections of the
    animal soul "Divine LOVE", heresy "poverty", skepticism
    "purity", disbelief in positive religion (zandaqa) "self-
    annihilation", neglect of The Law of Prophet "The mystic path",
    evil communication with time servers "exercise of piety".
    Abu Bakr al-Wasti has said, "We are afflicted with a time in which
    there are neither the religious duties of Islam nor the morals of
    Paganism nor the virtues of Chivalry"(ahlam- i Dhawi `l-murrawa).
    Mutanabbi records the same effect. (2)
"God curse this world! What a vile place for any camel-rider to alight in!
For here the man of lofty spirit is always tormented."
Notes
(1) An electuary used as a remedy for paralysis of
tongue or mouth.
(2) Mutanabbi, ed. By Dieterici, p.662, l.4 from foot.
More on History of Sufism
More on  Sufism
pages 6-9
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Who is a Sufi?
    Abul Hassan Ali ibn Jafar Al-Kharqani, the great
    Naqshbandi Master, may Allah sanctify his soul & bless his
    secret has said:

    "The Sufi is not the one who is always carrying the
    prayer rug, nor the one who is wearing patched clothes,
    nor the one who keeps certain customs and
    appearances; but the Sufi is the one to whom everyone's
    focus is drawn, although he is hiding himself".