Pir Babas - Are They to be Followed?
  • Question:

    My friend and I got in a debate over “pir babas”. My friend is adamant that there is no mention of them Quran and hadith. Could you please shed some light on their existence and validity in Islam.


    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    I believe you are referring to Islamic leaders or mentors by the term ‘pīr babas’.

    The answer to your question is that if such leaders guide, mentor and advise according to the Qur’ānic teachings, then having such mentors is praiseworthy and acceptable. However, if such leaders advise and instruct actions or practices that entail disobedience to Allāh and His Prophet (peace and blessings upon him), then associating with them and particularly following them would be prohibited.

    “The Day their faces will be rolled in the fire, they will say, “Oh, would that we had obeyed Allāh and obeyed the Messenger!”. And they will say, “Our Lord, we obeyed our chiefs and our elders, and they made us to go astray from the path. Our Lord, give them twice the punishment, and send a curse on them, an enormous curse.”(Qur’an: 33:66-70)

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah Institute
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