Q: Are the sufi practices of Moulana Rumi such as the whirling Zikr acceptable in Islam and can he be considered to be a Wali (saint)?
A. Moulana Jalaaluddeen Rumi (Rahmatullaahi Alayh) was a Wali of a very high ranking, an Aalim and a master of Tasawwuf.
To attribute the ‘whirling Zikr’ to him is wholly incorrect. He never did this. This has been attributed to him by people who are unaware of him and his teachings.
Mufti Siraj adds:
The Sufis of old had a practice called Simaa’. This was a gathering of Sufis who were all 40 years of age or older, in which they would recite poems in Praise of Allah Ta’aala and His Rasool (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). Due to their strong Love for Allah and His Rasool, these poems would have an extremely invigorating and inspiring effect on their hearts and souls, and would enhance their spiritual effulgence tremendously. In this gathering there were no dancing, or any musical instruments. Moulana Jalaaluddeen Rumi and his contemporary Sufis participated in this Simaa’.
However, later on this Simaa’ was modernized to include dancing and music, thus giving rise to the concept of “whirling dervishes”. This is a Bid’ah and is not the creation of orthodox Sufism.
Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked by: Mufti Siraj Desai