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December 16, 2019

Throwing Money at Naat Recitors & Corrupt Sufism


The distasteful practice of showering or throwing money at religious poem (naat) recitors still exists in some parts of the Indo Pak sufi community. I was surprised to find the following passage from Imam Ibn al-Jawzi from centuries ago describing a very similar practice of the corrupt Sufis of his time.

Imam Ibn al-Jawzi said in his Sayd al-Khatir pg 662 onwards:

I did not find anything more harmful for the believers than mixing with those of a low spiritual state. This is because peoples natures/spiritual states impact on others, so if you do not end up imitating them or are influenced by them you will none the less end up lessening your religious practice.

He then goes on to highlight the fraudulent sufis of his time as being of those with low spiritual states who harm others, saying:

Likewise listening to music and mixing with the Sufis whose only concern in these times is to amass wealth. The have no concern where the wealth is from and will accept it, having no qualms about taking it from an oppressor.

They do not have the fear (of God) like the earlier Sufis. For example Sarri al-Saqati would weep the whole night and was extremely careful regarding matters. These folk (the Sufis of Ibn al-Jawzi’s time) do not have the scrupulousness of Sarri nor do they possess the level of worship of Junayd.

Rather they are engaged in dancing, time wasting and listening to the singing of beardless young boys.

To the point a person whom I trust said: I attended the gathering of a senior figure who is regarded as a Shaykh of a lodge. I found their singer to be a beardless young boy and the Shaykh standing and placing a dinar on his cheek.

Their claim that listening to these things calls towards the afterlife is worse than a lie!

However one should not be astonished with them, the real astonishment should be with the ignorant folk who are mislead but still spend on them.

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Saleh Abu Hashim

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