Firstly, I would like to clarify that Islam is not divided into any sect like Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Wahabi etc. But Muslims are divided among themselves due to lack of knowledge on Quran and Hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad- Peace be upon him)
Sufis and Wahabis are sub-sect of Sunni Islam.
Sufis are also known as Barelwi or Momedeans and Wahabi are commonly known as Tableeghi (Deobandi) and Salafi (Ahle hadith):
So what’s the diff between them…?
Though they all believe in Allah, Muhammad (Peace be upon HIM), Quran and Hadith (sayings and teachings of Prophet), basic difference is in interpretation of Aqeeda (faith and practice).
Below are the few major differences:
a) Dargah: Sufi (Barelwi, Momedeans) sect believe that we humans are sinners and do sins like telling lies, disrespecting others, backbiting, gossiping, jealousy etc; that’s the reason our duas (supplication) is not answered by Allah; as a result they go to saint like Ajmer dargah, Haji Ali dargah, Mahim dargah or Nizamuddin auliya dargah and invoke them as Allah will listen to their prayers and duas.
Whereas Wahabis disagree with them and claim that theseAqeeda (faith and practice) is unislamic as Allah will not fulfill your wishes and listen to your duas and prayers unless and until we improve ourselves and stop committing sins and quote Quran verse “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” (Chapter 13:11). Also Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon HIM) did not taught such kind of ideology and bowing to anyone to fulfill wishes is considered an act of Ibadah (worship) which is only for Allah.
b) ilm-e-gaib (knowledge of unseen and Omniscient):
Sufi (Barelwi, Momedeans) believes that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon HIM) has ilm-e-gaib (knowledge of unseen andOmniscient)
Wahabis disagree with them and claim that these Aqeeda (faith and practice) is unislamic and claim that only Allah (GOD) has knowledge of unseen (omniscient); and quote Quran verses “I do not say to you that with me are the Treasures of Allah, “Nor that I know the Ghaib (unseen); “nor do I say I am an angel, (Chapter 11:31)
c) Noor-e-Bashar (Created from noor-light):
Sufi (Barelwi, Momedeans) believes that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon HIM) is Noor-e-Bashar (Created from noor)
Wahabis again disagree with them and claim that these Aqeeda (faith and practice) is unislamic and claim Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon HIM) is human being and only angels are created from Noor (light) and quote Quran verses “Say (O Muhammad): “I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God i.e. Allah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.”(Chapter 18:110)
d) Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon HIM) is Immortal:
Sufi (Barelwi, Momedeans) believes that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon HIM) has not died but alive.
Wahabis disagree with them and claim that these Aqeeda (faith and practice) is unislamic. As per Quran “Everyone shall taste the death. Then unto Us you shall be returned.” (Chapter 29:57). We have grave of prophet in Medina and none is immortal in this universe.
e) Wahdatal Wajood (Only GOD exists and nothing else):
Sufi (Barelwi, Momedeans) believes in the concept of Wahdatal Wajood (Only GOD exists and nothing else)
Wahabis (Salafi or Ahle Hadith) disagree with them and claim that these Aqeeda (faith and practice) is unislamic as this concept is from Hindu Philosophy and not from Islam as neither Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon HIM) nor his companions nor four famous Imam of Sunnis nor his disciples believed and taught this concept and no Muslims believe in this except people from Indo-Pak region due to influence of Hindu philosophy.
Moreover, Wahabis claim that Hell and Heaven too exists and will not be destroyed during world end and is forever.
World is not an illusion but real. All our deeds, good and bad will be counted and will be judged accordingly on the Day of Judgment. We all have feelings and emotions and that is real and not an illusion.
f) Calling Saint as Ya Ghouse kar madad or Ya Khwaja Garib Nawaz kar madad:
Sufi (Barelwi, Momedeans) believes that its ok call Saint and say Ya Ghouse kar madad or Ya Khwaja Garib Nawaz kar madad whereasWahabis disagree and claim that we must only say Ya Allah kar madad as only Allah has power to help and fulfill our wishes and not any human or animal or inanimate objects and consider this act asSHIRK in Asma-wa-sifaat (giving attributes of Allah to any human or animal or inanimate objects)
“I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.”(Chapter 2:186)
“You (Alone) we worship, and you (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).” (Chapter 1:5)
g) Is Allah is Omnipresent?
Sufi (Barelwi, Momedeans) believe that Allah is Omnipresent and everywhere whereas Wahabis believe Allah is not everywhere but is above seven heavens (above Arsh); Allah is where he was before creation of world and universe; they quote Quran verses “The Most Merciful [who is] above the Throne established (Quran: Chapter 20: verse 5) and ” The angels and the Spirit will ascend to Him during a Day the extent of which is fifty thousand years.”( Chapter 70:4) and ” And the angels are at its edges. And there will bear the Throne of your Lord above them, that Day, eight [of them].” (Chapter 69:17)
h) Does Allah have form or Shape?
Sufi (Barelwi, Momedeans) believe that Allah do not have shape and is formless whereas Wahabi (Salafi or Ahle Hadith) believe Allah has form but no one know the form and Allah’s form not similar to his creation.
Reason for Wahabi (Salafi or Ahle Hadith) in believing so is that they say we must not interpret Quran verses as per our views andopinions but take it as real and literal meaning e.g.: Paradise lies beneath mothers feet is a metamorphic sentence but information given is real and literal like mother is real, paradise is real and mothers feet are real.
Same way verses in Quran which talk of Allah’s hands, face, eyes etc should be taken in real sense ands also believers will see Allah in paradise and this is possible only when Allah has some form.
(Faces shining brightly [Believers] on the Day of Resurrection will look at their Rabb.) [Chapter Qiyâmah 75: 22-23]
*So God is described with several of these attributes. Now throughout the history of Islam and even up to this day there have been two main interpretations of the attributes of God, one group interpret such attributes to be metaphorical, for instance the hands of God refer to his power, the eyes refer to his knowledge and so forth, so everything is interpreted in a metaphorical way.
*The second interpretation is that you leave the attributes as they are, without adding more to them, or trying to explain how they are, you basically leave it as it is, and this is the view I myself go with as it is the safer approach.
So for instance when the verse says Allah has hands, I simply say yes he has hands, however do not imagine that his hands are anything like a human hand, do not even delve into what his hands actually are, simply leave it as it is and affirm that he has hands. The Quran makes it very clear that there is nothing like God:
And there is none like unto Him. (112:4)
So the Quran makes it quite clear that there is nothing like God, hence when you affirm that Allah has a hand, an eye, a foot, a shin, and so forth you do not in no way believe or interpret any of these attributes to be anything human like, you simply leave it as it is.
Allah alone Knows what is the exact form or shape or size of his hands and feet, eyes and ears, etc.? We must not imagine shape of Allah and any such thoughts coming to mind is from Shaitan.
i) Eid-e-Milad Nabvi: Sufi(Barelwi,Momedeans) celebrates birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon HIM) as Eid-e-Milad Nabi whereas Wahabi consider this as Bidah (innovation in religion) as neither Prophet nor his companion celebrated birthdays and as per Islam there are only 2 Eid (as festivals to celebrate) Eid-ul-Fitrknown as Ramzan Eid and Eid uz Zuha known as Bakri Eid in which Muslim go to pray whereas in Eid-e-Milad there is no prayer and is not considered as Eid by Wahabis
j) Divorce (Talaq-Talaq-Talaq):
Sufi(Barelwi,Momedeans) believes in the concept of triple talaq where a husband say Talaq thrice and talaq takes palce whereas Wahabi (Salafi or Ahle Hadith) are against this concept and term as unislamic. As per Quran talaq is three month waiting periods (Quran chapter 65:1-2 and 2:228-235)
***Wahabi (Salafi or Ahle Hadith) claim that Quran was revealed in Makkah and Medina and Muslims from these two holy places has more authentic knowledge of Islam and not Muslims from Indo-Pak as they don’t know Arabic and their interpretations are not reliable and correct
E.G its like saying, Hindu who stay in USA has more knowledge of Santana Dharma and Vedas then Hindus from holy places like Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri , Rameswaram, Kashi, Mathura, Banaras..