By birth I am a Hanafi_Barelvi from my mother’s side and Deobandi from my father’s side. However, as I have grown older and learnt about various schools, I find myself inclined towards Salafis in practicing Islamic rites.
Whereas Barelvis and Deobandis have followers of different Sufi turuqs, Salafis look down upon Sufism as they find it Bid’a. May be because they don’t understand it and I will be first to admit that I find it much easier to comprehend Prophet’s and his companions’ practices and teachings than the teachings of different Sufis.
Then I came upon the below passage. Though it didn’t convince me of utility of Sufi practices yet at least made the best and most concise justification of why Sufism is hard to reconcile with Salafism.
Ibn Mansur al-Hallaj (d. AD 922), is one of the three or four outstanding Sufis whose names are familiar to Westerners interested in mysticism.
Al-Hallaj was executed in Baghdad for expressing himself too freely — in the manner of the ‘drunken’ mystics — although there may also have been political factors involved in his condemnation. His statement أنا الحق unveiled as a naked assertion — without qualification and without explanation — was clear heresy so far as the religious authorities were concerned. This statement, ‘I am the Truth’, means in effect “I am God”. Whatever the “I” in question might be for al-Hallaj —and so far as he was concerned it was God Himself, not the mortal man, who spoke these words through him — the I is, for most of humanity, including the majority of believers, the human ego, and for the ego to say ‘I am God’ is the ultimate sin or the root of all sin.
In this context Jalaluddin Rumi remarked to his disciples: ‘Take the famous utterance, “I am God”. Some men reckon it as a great pretension; but “I am God” is in fact a great humility. The man who says “I am the servant of God” asserts that two exist, one himself and the other God. But he who says “I am God” has naughted himself and cast himself to the winds. He says, “I am God”: that is, ”I am not, He is all, nothing has existence but God, I am pure non-entity, I am nothing”. In this the humility is greater.’