Ruling on honoring the people of Bid'ah
I would like to inform you that I work in the Province of Badr in Al-Madinah Al-Nabawiyyah. There, we found many young men who were guided, by Allah’s Grace, and others who tended to draw nearer to the Sufis there to earn some money or acquire subsidies. They thus tend to honor these Sufis, prepare banquets and celebrations for them on the pretext that they make a lot of charitable acts in favor of the district.
Your Eminence; young men have become divided into two parties: one party is in favor of revering the Sufis to acquire the mentioned benefits; the other party denounces such acts even if the result will be the loss of such subsidies or donations provided for the district.
Moreover, some people have started to warn against attending these gatherings claiming that they are prohibited. They have also started to desert those who revere the Sufis or draw nearer to them, even if they do not belong to them. Your Eminence: Young men here have split between the two parties; they ask for your direction in this regard. Is it permissible to honor the Sufis and draw nearer to them for the benefits they offer to the district? It is permissible to attend these honoring sessions? What is the ruling on avoiding anyone who honors them and seeks their friendship? I hope that the answer will be prompt and detailed so as to be reassured. May Allah reward you and grant you success.
After the Committee had studied the inquiry, it answered that Sufism is a Bid’ah (innovation in religion) in Islam, and every Bid’ah is a means of going astray. This could also lead to Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) and Kufr (disbelief) if it leads to holding exaggerated views about the Sufi shaykhs, believing that they, rather than Allah, can cause harm and bring benefit, seeking the support of the dead and slaughtering for them and believing that those who follow the Sufi orders acquire their religion directly from Allah and are in no need to follow the Messenger (peace be upon him). Moreover, they prescribe some acts of worship and Adhkar (invocations and remembrances said at certain times on a regular basis) that have no proof in what Allah revealed.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If anybody introduces a practice which is not authenticated by me, it is to be rejected.”
Therefore, it is not permissible to associate with the Sufis or attend their gatherings. It is not permissible either to honor or encourage them; rather, they should be censured and prohibited from performing their Sufi practices and spreading them among people. They should be deserted and people should be warned against them.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family and Companions