Praise be to Allaah.
The aayah which you are asking about is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whoso obey Allaah and the Messenger (Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allaah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddeeqoon (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!” [al-Nisaa’ 4:69]
Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his Tafseer:
This means, whoever acts in accordance with the commands of Allaah and His Messenger, and keeps away from whatever Allaah and His Messenger forbid, then Allaah will give him a home in the abode of His generosity, and cause him to be in the company of the Prophets and those who come after them in status, the Siddeeqoon, then the martyrs, then the rest of the believers, who are the righteous who do righteous deeds secretly and openly. Then Allaah praises them, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And how excellent these companions are!” [al-Nisaa’ 4:69]
Al-Bukhaari narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “There is no Prophet who fell sick, but Allaah gave him the choice between this world and the Hereafter.” When he fell ill with his final sickness, his voice became very hoarse, and I heard him saying, ‘in the company of those on whom Allaah has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddeeqoon (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq), the martyrs, and the righteous.’ Then I knew that he had been given the choice.”
(Tafseer Ibn Katheer).
Then he (Ibn Katheer – may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned something about the reason why this aayah was revealed. Then he said:
Greater than all of this is the glad tidings which were reported in the books of Saheeh and Musnad, etc., through mutawaatir isnaads from a number of the Sahaabah: that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about a man who loves some people but cannot catch up with them – i.e. he cannot attain the same level as them in doing righteous deeds. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “A man will be with those whom he loves.” Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Muslims never rejoiced as much as they did when they heard this hadeeth. I love the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and I love Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both), and I hope that Allaah will resurrect me with them even though I did not do what they did.
So, as you can see, there is nothing in this aayah that justifies the Sufis and their madhhab.
If the Sufis are sincere, then let them obey Allaah and his Messenger and adhere to His Sharee’ah – as commanded in this aayah – so that they will be among the victorious. As for their claims that the awliyaa’ (“saints”) have knowledge of the Unseen (al-ghayb), which no one knows but Allaah, and their doing Tawaaf around graves and praying to the dead as a means of worship and drawing closer to Allaah – all of this in fact means that they are seeking the help of someone other than Allaah and this is kufr and shirk. They say, “Allaah inspires us with things which He casts into our hearts in addition to what is in the Qur’aan and Sunnah”; and they say that the “elite” do not have to adhere to the Sharee’ah of Islam which is obligatory for the “masses”; and they invent adhkaar (phrases remembering Allaah) which they repeat regularly, which are not in the Qur’aan or in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him… and after all this, they want to be among the victorious, with the Prophets and Siddeeqoon. On the contrary, they will be with the shayaateen (devils) and mushrikeen. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. May Allaah bless us and you with the love for His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him and love for his noble companions, and gather us with them in the place of honour with Him, for He is the Sovereign, the One Who is able to do all things.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid