Zaydān writes about the essence of religions and worships from a sūfī perspective.
In this article Zaydān writes about the essence of religions and worship from a sūfī perspective. He conveys the ideas and views from his book about ‘Abd al-Karīm al-Jīlī, the sūfī Muslim philosopher who died in 928 AH, and his philosophy on the essence of religions. Al-Jīlī depicts the sūfī as someone who raises his sensitive feelings up over the evanescent manifestation of shapes and pursues a deeper sight to feel as if the endless universe is extended before the eyes of the heart. Hence, sūfīs feel that all beings praise and worship God. So, according to the sūfī view, no creature only worships God through status, words or actions. Regarding the existence of different religions and denominations, al-Jīlī believes that God created all creatures to worship him and he sent many prophets to preach to people who varied in their beliefs, thus forming religions and denominations. As some people did not believe and forgot God, they became disbelievers who were divided into many non-celestial religions. Some of them worshiped idols and those are pagans. Others worshipped planets and were called the Sabeans. He refers to those who were dazzled by the capabilities of the human mind and worshiped the four natures, heat, cold, dryness and wetness, which are the origin of the universe. He mentions those who worshipped light and dark and were called the dualists. Other people worshipped fire and were called the magi. Others deserted worship completely and they are atheists. Al-Jīlī also believes that some followers of these denominations and religions are in paradise and others are in hell, each according to his good or evil deeds as long as they had not been preached to by the prophets. He points out that those worshippers limited God’s majesty to the shape of their own god.
Al-Jīlī then talks about Jews who worship the true God but have strayed because they ignored some commandments and kept the ones they favored. Also Christians sin when they say that Christ is God. He points out that if Christians say that God is Christ, they are not at fault because God cannot be limited to someone because he contains everything. Zaydān adds at the end that he did not want to write about Christianity and Judaism in detail in order to avoid narrow-minded people.