The Science of Taṣawwuf | Part One
With Allāh ﷻ is the success for whatever I say, and He is the Guide to the Straight Path.
Sufism [taṣawwuf] is a science possessing a definition [ḥadd], a subject matter [mawḍūᵓ], a founder [wāḍiᵓ], a name [ism], a derivation [istimdād], a legal status [ḥukm], particular issues [masāᵓil], an excellence [faḍīla], an attribution [nisba] and a fruit [thamara]. Aṣ-Ṣāwī said: “It is incumbent on every person who would pass a judgment on a discipline [fann] to first know (these) ten basic principles.” One of the scholars put this in verse:
The definition and the subject matter, then the founder
And the name, the derivation, and the ruling according to the Sacred Law
The development of particular issues, the excellence
And an attribution, (and) a sublime benefit [fāᵓida]
All are a right on the student, knowing that understanding
Is comprised in these ten, the distinction in which he is entrusted
He must know them before beginning to seek knowledge
So that he may keep his sight on what he is seeking.
Excerpt: Kāshifuᵓl-ilbās ʿan fayḍatiᵓl-khatm Abīᵓl-ʿAbbās [Aḥmad at-Tijānī] (The Removal of Confusion concerning the Overflowing Grace of the Seal of the Saints, Aḥmad at-Tijānī) by Shaykh al-Islām al-Ḥājj Ibrāhīm ibn al-Ḥājj ʿAbd Allāh Niāsse al-Kawlakhī at-Tijānī (©2010, 2001 Fons Vitae Publishers)