Assalamu Alaykum Dear Shaykh,
Bismillahi rrahmani rraheem
Could you please tell about the authenticity of a practice which is called by the name of Rifaee Ratheeb or so, which is prevalent in South India especially Malabar. They claim it is a Sufi practice and connected with the Sufi saint Rifai who lived in Iraq. The leader of this ratheeb is a person from the Ahlu Bayt. Their main activities are piercing the tongue, the ear and stomach with iron rods and blood flows but they don’t have any pain as they say they are in the highest spiritual level and when their leader touches the wound, it heals. It is performed by only those who received “ijazath” from his “sheikh”.These people invoke the names of Allah, the Prophet and other Sufis during the practice.
The Wahabis consider it as a dark innovation (bid’ah).
Is this acceptable?
See my reply entitled “Why do some Sufis pierce themselves, eat fire, & other such things?”
Hajj Gibril Haddad