Manifest and Hidden Knowledge Three fundamentals of Sufism which are innovations not sanctioned by the Qur'an or the Sunnah:
- The division of knowledge into exoteric, or manifest, esoteric, or hidden;
- The division of Islam into shari'ah (religious sciences) and the sciences of truth; and
- the addition to Islam of the Sufi order as the path leading to the truth.
"The practicing or upholding innovations in religion leads to Hell-Fire." He also said, "He who introduces into our religion unwarranted things shall be rejected."(72)Sufis support the innovative dichotomies by citing the abnormal things done by al-Khidhr when Musa was in his company, such as making a hole in a ship, killing a boy and restoring a falling wall, as chronicled in surat al-Kahf (18.60-82). They justify Musa's objections to al-Khidhr's deed on the grounds that Musa had acquired exoteric or manifest knowledge only, while al-Khidr was one of the elite possessed esoteric or hidden knowledge. The Sufis do not realize that whatever al-Khidhr did was in accordance with Divine revelation, nor do they know that Musa's objections were due to the fact that his Divine Laws were different from al-Khidhr's. That is why al-Khidhr responded to Musa by saying,
"I have knowledge given to me by Allah which you do not know, and you have other knowledge given to you by Allah which I do not know,"whereupon Musa acquiesced.(73) The Message of Islam makes no distinction between exoteric and esoteric, because they are the same. It abrogated all previous messages and religions. Those who founded Sufism and introduced it to Muslims as pure Islam meant to turn the Muslim nation into a static, dependent, indifferent and ascetic nation, living in poverty and degradation. They have opened the door to a host of clandestine and secretive sects to promote their perverse dogmas. They use esoterism as a pretext for misinterpreting the Qur'an and Sunnah, in order to drive Muslims away from sound religious knowledge, as indicated by some Sufi zealot, who consider knowledge as a hindrance in the way of the murid and a curtain which blocks his vision, "I prefer that the beginner (murid) does not occupy his mind with these three things: earning his living, seeking the Prophetic traditions or learning how to read and write, so that his worries may be confined."(74) What does it mean when a Muslim does not read or write? It means he does not learn, and if he does not, how, then, can he worship Allah in the manner that would qualify him to become His constant servant and His favourite? Al-Junaid's assertion actually means that the murid is to be kept ignorant and "pure" enough to occupy himself with dthikr or wird (See #11), so that he may join the ranks of those who receive "direct revelation from God," i.e. esoteric knowledge. Thus the murid becomes content with esoteric knowledge in lieu of exoteric, and with knowledge of the hidden "truth" in lieu of Shari'ah, and therefore lives in both ignorance and apostacy, without piety or iman.
Footnotes: 71. Sh. al-Djaza'iri 72. Muslim 73. Bukhari 74. sh. al-Djaza'iri