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September 2002



Below are nineteen observations (some already available on the Internet, some new) on the creed of one of Sufism's modern day exponents, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani. Also described are teachings promoted by Kabbani's spiritual mentor, Shaykh Nazim al-Qubrusi, from whom Kabbani has a "license to teach Islamic spirituality". Both are adherents of the Naqshbandi Sufi sect. At the site, founded by Kabbani, Nazim is known as the "Owner of the Throne of Guidance" and that "Seekers circle the Kabah of His Light". At least one of the works cited below was co-edited by GF Haddad, who writes extensively for Hisham Kabbani's web site and describes Kabbani as "my teacher and the light on my path" and Nazim as "our teacher Mawlana al-Shaykh Nazim".

There will always appear in the actions of those who have strayed from the Prophetic way something which acts as a clear indicator that all is perhaps not right. This is so that Allah may allow us to differentiate between His true allies and those who mimic some of their characteristics. One should not, therefore, be duped by the apparent orthodoxy of some of what Hisham Kabbani and GF Haddad preach. Such orthodoxy is rarely found in other works they've authored. Kabbani's work Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety is littered with outlandish beliefs (see below) and fabricated hadith. This work was co-edited by GF Haddad. Haddad turns a blind eye and has no qualms about his own teachers citing spurious and baseless hadith and presenting bizarre ideas in the name of Islam yet he can't help but lambast (through his Internet articles and newsgroup posts) anyone and everyone, young or old, that happens to disagree with their views.

In a work co-edited by GF Haddad, Kabbani teaches that all Sufi groups were in the presence of the Prophet (s) and Abu Bakr (r) when they stopped in the cave during their migration from Makkah to Madinah; all Sufi saints and their followers were called spiritually to that cave (Ali ibn Abi Talib [r] was also summoned). Among other things Allah commanded the Prophet (s) to order each saint to put his hand over the hands of his followers; Abu Bakr (r) and Ali (r) placed their hands
over all the Sufis; the Prophet (s) then placed his hand and finally Allah placed His Hand last of all! This, Kabbani claims, is the secret meaning of Surah al-Fath, verse 10, and that in fact Allah Himself recited this verse at the time of this incident and all of them were "hearing God's own words".

You will find this on pp.39-40 of Kabbani's book Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety.

The next day when the Prophet (s) and Abu Bakr (r) continued the journey to Madinah, all of them, Kabbani and all other Sufi followers, migrated with the Prophet (s) and Abu Bakr (r)! (ibid, p.41).


Kabbani believes there have been 124,000 Adams (as) and that the Adam (as) we know of is the last of the 124,000. Likewise there are 124,000 Sufi saints presently on earth and along with their followers they have accompanied each of these 124,000 Adams (as)! (Kabbani, Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety, p.46)


Kabbani teaches that the Prophet (s) ordered the Companion Ali (r) to project himself outside of the earth's atmosphere to combat alien life forms! He writes:

"There are powers that stand outside human nature... Imam Ali was the only one permitted to use these powers. He was ordered by the Prophet (s) in every given period of time to project himself outside the limits of our earth. If such a power had not been in existent in Sayyidna Ali, the earth would have been erased from existence because of other creatures existing out of the limits of this world and desiring to bring our planet under their control... Sayyidna Ali was ordered to defeat these creatures by using miraculous powers he was given and conquering the other planets so that they would not bring their tyranny to this earth. Were it not for him, we would have been in the powers of other planets a long time ago." (Kabbani, Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety, pp.86-87)


Kabbani's and Haddad's teacher, Nazim, writes: "Grandsheikh told me that one day Sayyidina Ali said to Sayyidina Omar, regarding the secret knowledge that had been opened to him: 'Oh Omar, if i would speak to you from the secret knowledges which have been opened up to us, you would instantly cut my head off with your sword; you wouldn't be able to let me get up from my seat if i told you from the secrets of the Way, the creation, the religion, prophethood and the secrets of Allah Almighty - you can't even listen.'" (Nazim, Mercy Oceans' Hidden Treasures, p.36)


About Uthman ibn Affan (r), their spiritual guide, Nazim, says:

"Grandsheikh was saying about the third Khalipha, Othman, that he was of a very high degree among the Sahaba and was the most modest of the Prophet's companions... In spite of this, Othman didn't attain the spiritual ranks attained by Abu Bakr and Ali because he sometimes held firmly to his own desires instead of putting them completely in line with the Prophet's. This was also one reason for his martyrdom: misfortunes befell him as a result of his not being able to totally leave his own desires behind." (Nazim, Mercy Oceans' Hidden Treasures, pp.38-39)

Concerning Umar ibn al-Khattab (r), they say: "Yet, despite these most admirable characteristics of Sayyidina Omar, he did at times set his will against the will of the Prophet. Often Omar would be quick to unsheathe his sword and ask permission to decapitate hypocrites, but the Prophet would say: 'No. Omar, put away your sword.' This sort of thing may happen a few times, but the effect is that the soul is kept from awakening, it remains passive." (ibid, pp.43-44)

So we are told that Uthman ibn Affan (r) didn't attain the spiritual ranks of Abu Bakr (r) and Ali (r) because "he sometimes held firmly to his own desires instead of putting them completely in line with the Prophet's" and that Umar ibn al-Khattab (r) "did at times set his will against the will of the Prophet" and as a result the soul is "kept from awakening, it remains passive".

Perhaps this is why out of the four Khulafa Kabbani mentions only Abu Bakr (r) and Ali (r) when he said: "We ask Allah to guide all Muslims in their belief and to bring all who have strayed back to the truth... back to the guidance of Abu Bakr and Ali..." (Kabbani, Islamic Beliefs :Doctrine According to Ahl al-Sunna, Vol.1, p.3).

What happened to the guidance of Umar (r) and Uthman (r)?

Elsewhere, Kabbani unnecessarily draws attention to how Umar (r) and 1Uthman (r) were excluded from certain key events. He writes:

"Before leaving Mecca for Madina, the Prophet (s) put someone in his bed because the ignorant people came to his door intent on killing him. He put Sayyidna Ali in his bed, which means that he made Sayyidna Ali his representative. He did not put Sayyidna Umar, he did not put Sayyidna Uthman, none of the sahaba, but someone of his own blood and his flesh. And he took with him as company that other image, sayyidna Abu Bakr, to the cave." (Kabbani, Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety, p.32).

Is it really necessary to keep repeating what Umar (r) and Uthman (r) didn't attain?


Nazim wrote: "This lecture about Satan and Adam, and about the Sahaba was given by Grandsheikh after the morning prayer, and in the afternoon on the same day Grandsheikh told me: 'Oh Nazim Efendi, this morning's lecture has been heard by the companions of the Prophet in their graves, and they were very pleased with it, as we have been given a miraculous favour from the Lord that if we notice an incompleteness on the part of anyone, and point it out, it will become complete. When i was pointing out that some of the Sahaba were sometimes using their own wills and not putting their desires in line with the Prophet's thus causing their incompleteness, at that moment Allah Almighty completed for them their development there in the grave, and so, they are very happy indeed." (Nazim, Mercy Oceans' Hidden Treasures, pp.66-67)


Nazim has said: "As we know of the Holy Prophet himself, his ego appeared to him as 'Buraq', the heavenly winged steed that bore him from Earth to Heaven." (Nazim, Mercy Oceans' Endless Horizons, p.61).

Apparently, Nazim's and Kabbani's teacher, Grandsheikh, also rode the same Buraq that carried the Prophet (s). In his biography Grandsheikh is quoted as saying: "Then I sat in meditation, connecting myself through my Shaykh, my uncle, to the Prophet. I saw the Prophet coming to me with 124,000 Sahaba (Companions)... Then I saw the Prophet hugging me and I saw myself disappearing in him. As soon as I disappeared in him I saw myself ascending from the Dome of the Rock, the Bait ul-Maqdis, from which the Prophet ascended in the Night Journey. I saw myself astride the same Buraq which carried the Prophet and I saw myself carried up in a true vision, to the Station of Two Bow-lengths, where I could see the Prophet but not myself. I felt myself to be a part of the entirety of the Prophet. Through that Ascension I received the Realities that the Prophet poured into my heart from what he had received on the Night of Ascension... I heard a voice coming from the Divine Presence saying, "Approach, O my servant, to My Presence." As I approached through the Prophet, everything disappeared, even the spiritual reality of the Prophet disappeared. Nothing existed except Allah, Almighty and Exalted... Then I felt my uncle shaking my shoulder, saying, 'O my son, it is time for Fajr prayer.'" (see biography below)


Nazim says: "The Naqshabandi Order teaches the very highest good manners, manners which make its followers lovely to their Lord and to all good people. It gives them subtle and exact perception which enables them to arrive at the very essence of any matter; that is the level of the Holy Prophet himself." (Nazim, Mercy Oceans' Endless Horizons, pp.85-86).


Nazim says:

"Allah Almighty is greatest. He is timeless, ever ready, without beginning. He is king. And yet you cannot find a king without a kingdom. Without subjects his kingship has no meaning. Just as there can be no meaning for a prophet without an ummah (nation). Therefore, Allah was ready without beginning, and his servants also were ready without beginning. If there were no people, to whom was He Allah? Was it to Himself? No! A hadith relates: 'I was a secret treasure and wanted to be known.' His people were part of this treasure... When people come to this world, they have the appearance of beginning, but in reality they were with Allah always, without beginning." (Nazim, Mercy Oceans: 1980, p.13)

What Nazim cites here as a hadith (see also Kabbani, Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety, p.23), namely, "I was a secret treasure and wanted to be known...", is not at all from the words of the Prophet (s) as ibn Hajr, az-Zarkashee and as-Suyuti confirmed centuries ago. Ali al-Qari al-Hanafi includes it in his collection of fabrications (al-Asrar al-Marfu'a, #353) and says its meaning is correct based on Qur'an 51:56 but he was opposed by Muhammad as-Sabagh in his footnotes to the
same work. Al-Ijluni adds: "This saying occurs often in the words of the Sufis who have relied on it and built upon it some of their principles." (Kashf al-Khafa, #2016).

Nazim goes on to say on p.82 of the same book:

"A disciple commented, 'You gave us a good lesson, Maulana, when youv told us that there is no king without a kingdom, no prophet without an ummah, no creator without creatures. Allah is uncreated, and servants are also uncreated. But when we come to this life, we forget.' 'Yes', replied the Shaykh. 'It is enough. You cannot go too deep without sinking!'"

Mankind is uncreated? Without subjects Allah's kingship "has no meaning"?


Well, according to Kabbani they don't: "In Montreal, Muslims are now taking their names out of directories, because tablighi people come knocking at their doors! Ulama like to run after people to bring them to their classes because they don't have anything. But saints have everything and therefore come one time." (Kabbani, Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety, p.57)


Haddad unashamedly passes over hadith fabrications in Kabbani's works, yet attacks with a vengeance any hadith that might support an opponent's point of view. But why does he even bother to ascertain the authenticity or weakness of any hadith ascribed to the Prophet (s)? His teacher, Nazim, has already declared that:

"If a trustworthy Alim says or writes in a book that such and such is a hadith, you must believe... If you find any learned man in whom your heart believes and trusts, you must believe any hadiths he tells you. This is the way of students and also of common people. But Awliya, to whom Allah Almighty has given light, are different... when Awliya are reading, they may see those hadiths which are exact, shining from the page. They are the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him), coming with light, filled with light. When a man can see this, he is not in need for the opinions of another as to which hadith is strong and which is weak. So many Alims are denying this or that hadith while Awliya say that those hadiths are all right... Also, if any book has hadiths from the Prophet (peace be upon him), we accept it out of respect for the Prophet (peace be upon him). If it is an incorrect hadith, there is no responsibility for us if we accept it. This is a high adab, or good manners. If someone says, 'This is a hadith', we believe it out of respect to our Prophet (peace be upon him)." (Nazim, Mercy Oceans, p.117).

The approach that Haddad's teacher outlines is devoid of any objective reasoning and reduces hadith science to personal whims, having no principles and reference points. Perhaps this is why Haddad's own articles are often supported with baseless and questionable hadith. But then why, when defending his own and his teacher's creed, does Haddad highlight that his adversaries have used, in his opinion, weak or fabricated hadith or that their chains contain discredited narrators? By his teacher's own standards Haddad is not respecting the Prophet (s) if he questions the validity of any hadith, since even if the hadith happens to be incorrect it should still be believed and accepted.


This is the chain of shaykhs through which the Naqshbandi secrets and tariqat have supposedly been handed down from one generation to the next. It is often mentioned at the back of most of Nazim's books and can also be seen at the site.

The chain is actually broken in at least two places. Jafar as-Sadiq is listed as the 5th shaykh in the chain. We are told that he lived between 83-148 A.H. and that he "passed on the Secret of the Golden Chain to his successor, Tayfur Abu Yazid al-Bistami." The site mentions that Abu Yazid al-Bistami was "over seventy years old" when he died in 261 A.H. (actually, from al-Bistami's statement at the end of his biography it is clear that he was 74 years of age when he died). This means that al-Bistami wasn't born until around 187 A.H., some 39 years after Jafar as-Sadiq had already passed away.

The other break relates to al-Bistami's successor, Abul Hassan al-Kharqani. We are told that the "secret of the Golden Chain was passed from Bayazid al-Bistami to Abul Hassan al-Kharqani". Al-Kharqani died in 425 A.H. and we have already seen that al-Bistami died in 261 A.H. Their dates of death are therefore separated by 164 years. It is impossible that al-Kharqani physically met al-Bistami unless al-Kharqani himself lived for over 164 years.

The Naqshbandi's attempt to gloss over these defects by suggesting that the secrets were passed on beyond the grave in the world of spirits.

The Naqshbandi tariqat gets its name from the 17th shaykh in the chain, Muhammad Baha'uddin Shah Naqshband. According to the site he died 791 A.H., yet his successor, Ala'uddin al-Bukhari al-Attar, apparently wasn't born until 18th of Rajab, in the year 802 A.H. Even more confusing is that the sites gives al-Attar's date of death as "20th of Rajab, 802 A.H." a mere two days after his birth. No doubt this is an oversight.

See the chain here


On one occasion, Nazim claimed: "I was intending to speak on a different subject altogether but this lecture came instead. This is proof that i don't speak as i would like to but as inspiration comes to me from Allah by means of spiritual transmission. He Almighty instructs His Prophet, the Prophet instructs Grandsheikh and Grandsheikh relays the message to me - even now from the other world. Yes, my Grandsheikh directed me to deliver such a talk and it contains what is not to be found in books. It is 'new news'." (Nazim, Mercy Oceans' Endless Horizons, p.91)

Elsewhere, Nazim writes: "Now i shall speak, God willing, as my Grandsheikh inspires me to speak upon this topic; and he and his Grandsheikh bring me these inspirations from the heart of the Prophet..." (ibid, pp.33-345)

If Kabbani's and Haddad's teacher's lectures are directly inspired by Allah through the "heart of the Prophet" does this mean that Kabbani and his ilk are beyond reproach? Apparently so, since Nazim wants from his followers that: "... the Murid shall put his belief in the one who is his Shaikh and Guide, and should proceed as indicated by him. The Murid may not ask his Shaikh any question referring to anything which he may order him to do." (The Naqshabandi Way: A Guidebook for
Spiritual Progress [Preface and Commentaries by Sheikh Nazim] 2nd Edition, p.19).


Kabbani wrote concerning Nazim: "Mawlana Sheikh Nazim can control you from where he likes because he received custody of your spirit when you took initiation from him." (Kabbani, Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety, p.113).


Nazim teaches: "You may take a shower. Then pray 2 rakats, clear your
heart and ask for the presence of a holy person. If you do this
excercise for 40 days, one of them must reach to you. Don't be afraid
if they touch you!" (Nazim, Star from Heaven, pp.41-42)


Nazim wrote: "May He Almighty cause us to benefit from Grandsheikh's
blessings and teachings, and from his spiritual care for us even from
his grave. We derive our spiritual power from his heart center. If he
cuts us off we are stranded. Every breath that our Grandsheikh turns
towards us from his spiritual breaths is like a warm breeze which
blows on the bare branches of trees, causing buds and blossoms to
burst forth... Therefore, we seek our Grandsheikh's support by saying:
'Meded Ya Sayyidi, Support, oh my Master.' You must call upon your
Grandsheikh in such a manner when you are in need of support, then
that support may reach to you. The more you feel yourself to be weak
and in need of support, the more support he will extend to you."
(Nazim, Mercy Oceans Divine Sources, pp.9-10)


Nazim was asked: "So do you think that the outside appearance is more
important than the condition of the heart?" He replied: "We are not
prophets, so we cannot look at what is going on inside, but we see the
outside and it does not make me happy..." (Nazim, Power Oceans of
Light, p.94)

Nazim rightly affirms that humans are unable to see into people's
hearts (though he makes an exception for Prophets). This is
contradicted by Kabbani: "There are one-hundred and twenty-four
thousand saints on this earth, running here and there to look into
people's hearts, to bring them back to God." (Kabbani, Mercy Oceans
Short of Safety, p.4)


In some specific instances, Kabbani and Nazim have placed Saints and
Prophets on the same level.

Saints, like Prophets, are able to speak about the future (Kabbani,
Mercy Oceans Short of Safety, p.25)

Only Saints and Prophets have "entered the ocean of knowledge of Allah
Almighty". (Kabbani, Mercy Oceans Short of Safety, p.89)

The Prophet Muhammad (s) said that he who saw him in a dream has in
fact seen him because Shaytan cannot assume the Prophet's (s) form
(Bukhari). In the same way, Nazim writes that: "The sheikh may give
his orders by dreams, as it is prohibited for jinns and devils to
appear in the form of the Prophet or the sheikh." (Nazim, Mercy Oceans
Book 2, p.20)

Allah has prohibited the earth from consuming the bodies of the Prophets (Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i). Likewise, says Nazim: "The earth is prohibited from devouring the bodies of the Prophets and Saints." (Nazim, Mercy Oceans' Endless Horizons, p.134). See also Kabbani's Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety (p.54).


Nazim said on April 22nd 1978 in London: "Allah Almighty will send to each camp a head, a leader. In our books we call one of them (one of such leaders) Mahdi, who will lead man to Allah Almighty... Before this camping will be a great war... The greatest war that history will witness will ensue... These signs that have been given us indicate that the last day is coming, is nearly exactly now. I don't know if this will happen today or tomorrow, this month or next month, this year or perhaps the second year. We shall witness that great event within two years." (Mercy Oceans: Serendib Edition: Part One, pp. 18-19)

History was to prove otherwise. The greatest war that mankind would witness, and during which the Mahdi would appear, did not occur "within two years."

Some years later in 1986 in Cambridge, England, Nazim said: "There must be a Great War between East and West... This year it will not be because this year is not Hadj ul-Akbar... And 1988 will be the year when Israel is 40 years. We do not think that they will be more than 40 years old. During the war Mahdi Alehi Salam will come... In these next 2 years dangerous and big things are expected." (Nazim, The Secrets Behind the Secrets, p. 142)

Nothing happened. Actually, Nazim believes the Mahdi has already been born, sometime between 1930 and 1940 (ibid). That would already make him between 62 and 72 years of age. Nazim tells us that he met the Mahdi some years ago. The Mahdi, he says, presently resides in a "big, deep cave" protected by jinn who electrocute to death anyone who approaches that cave (ibid, p.132-133)

More dates were given years later. Nazim again said about the year in which the War would occur: "It can come in 1996, or in 1997, or in 1998 or in 1999. It will not wait for the year 2000." (Nazim, Secret Desires, p.116)

Later he sounded a little less certain and said: "Another world war will maybe come before the 21st Century." (ibid, p.134)

When asked at which time Jesus (as) would come back, Nazim replied:
"He will come soon. In a few years. The year 2000 will not be completed. It is impossible for the year 2000 to be completed. He will be with us before then." (Nazim, The Secrets Behind the Secrets, p. 22)

Jesus did not come before the year 2000. Did he? Kabbani also draws attention to the year 2000: "All saints now are waiting for the year two thousand. The ones who have passed away knew that in two thousand some great event would occur on this earth." (Kabbani, Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety, p.11)

Finally, Nazim predicted that the Day of Resurrection would occur in the 21st Century. He categorically stated: "The Day of Resurrection will be in the 21st century." (Nazim, Secret Desires, p.42 and p.83)


Is there any justification for the beliefs outlined above? Is this heterodoxy cloaked in an ultra-thin orthodox garment? Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know (Qur'an 16:43).



Kabbani, Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety. Haqqani Islamic Trust,
Michigan, USA, 1993

Kabbani, Islamic Beliefs & Doctrine According to Ahl al-Sunna Vol.1.
As-Sunna Foundation Publications, California, USA, 1997

Nazim, Mercy Oceans' Hidden Treasures (Teachings of Sultan ul-Awliya
Sheikh Abdullah ad-Daghistani An-Naqshbandi), no date or publisher
See here

Nazim, Mercy Oceans' Endless Horizons. Sebat Offset Printers, Konya,
Turkey, 1982

Nazim, Mercy Oceans. No publisher given, 1980

Nazim, Mercy Oceans (Book Two). Sebat Offset Printers, Konya, Turkey,

The Naqshabandi Way: A Guidebook for Spiritual Progress (Preface and
Commentaries by Sheikh Nazim). Sebat Offset Printers, Konya, Turkey,
2nd Edition, 1988

Nazim, Star from Heaven. Zero Productions, London, UK, 1996

Nazim, Mercy Oceans' Divine Sources. Sebat Offset Printers, Konya,
Turkey, 1984

Nazim, Power Oceans of Light. Zero Productions, London, UK, 1995

Nazim, Mercy Oceans: Serendib Edition, Part One. Arafat Publishing
House, Sri Lanka, 1987

Nazim, The Secrets Behind the Secrets Behind the Secrets. Duru Offset
Print, Berlin, Germany, 1987

Nazim, Secret Desires. Zero Productions, London, UK, 1996

Ali al-Qari al-Hanafi (d. 1014 A.H.), Al-Asrar al-Marfu'a fi al-Akhbar
al-Mawdu'a. Maktaba al-Islami, Beirut, 1986

Al-Ijluni, Ismail ibn Muhammad, Kashf al-Khafa (2 volumes in 1).
Cairo, n.d.


Hisham Kabbani

Nazim al-Qubrusi

Grandsheikh, Abdullah ad-Daghestani


  1. Assalamua'laikum warahmatullah

    Where was this write-up taken from? You mentioned you found this? From where please? Please state the source of this refutation. We do not want people to think that you were the one who wrote this.

    Abu Hafs al-Madani

  2. و عليكم السلام,

    It's quite obvious that this article is not my writing, I've read it about ten years ago but failed to find its original source now. All credits to the original author. Jazaahullahu khairan.