Does being a zaheed means living in a cave?

In today’s world Muslims face many challenges, some are vitally dangerous to our faith. One of these challenges is the “issue of compatibility of Islam and modernism”. Like many of these so-called “issues”, the issue of compatibility of Islam and modernism is a fake one, and such construction has obviously has its roots in orientalism. It is clear that these kind of “issues” have been fabricated by the critics of Islam and used as a weapon to attack the foundational belief system of Islam as if there is a mandatory prevention in Islam against technological advancements or scientific achievements.

In 17th century Mecca, for instances, or in any part of the Anatolian peninsula, there had lived many sufis belonging myriad number of “tasawwuf orders” and none had the problem of adopting to “modernity” nor faced the challenges of finding out how to be compatible with modernism while being sufis, or zaheeds or areefs. It is not even clear that many Muslims of that era considered such labels for themselves when describing about their social-positions in their lives.

Did they have to? Does being a sufi means giving up worldly possessions and all of that for once and for good?

Does worldly possessions mean only the “stuff we can buy at markets”?

Or can it also mean “every kind of notion constructed by mankind”?

A sufi will want to establish an epistemological link between himself and his Creator. In doing so, he will follow a prime example, Prophet Muhammad(saw). This prime example has only one “guide book”, Holy Quran, as he mentioned several times in his life that his ethical manners are based on Holy Quran.

None of these teachings will tell you to go leave in cave. However, Modernity will “paint and promote” sufism as something too difficult to achieve in today’s world for Muslims, like a pre-emptive strike.

Being a zaheed doesn’t mean living in a otiose world, marked by laziness.

In order to find an excuse to be attached to “mundane and modern” worldly possessions, many Muslims automatically build a defensive wall the moment they are reminded of “sufism”. They exclaim immediately “But I can’t go live in cave?”

They respond to call to prayer in a lazy manner because they are too busy with their tweets or they are superfluously waiting for their friends’ status update on facebook.

Or their hands are busy with their latest smartphone as if a simple “what’s up?” text message from their friends will act like a divine call for their inner-self.

In today’s world, the western media and world of academics won’t miss a chance to perturbate a Muslim by tempting the idea that “Islam can’t be compatible with modern world.”

Muslims will fail to respond properly and correctly if the believe the created-illusion that modernism=techno bubbles that surrounds us.

One of the best response is to equip ourselves with proper amount of knowledge Islamic philosophy, which benefits deeply from tasawwuf.

Simply put, regardless of one Muslim madhab or the fact that he follows or doesn’t follow any sufi order, being a zaheed means the best manifestation a Muslim can carry and declare to modern world without being detached of social life.

In summary, we believe that we don’t have to live in a cave to be a “master of sufi” but at the same time we can’t be a zaheed if we check “social media” every 5 minutes.

We can start by contemplating on concept of zuhd in tasawwuf, on our journey to become zaheeds if we’re inclined.






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