DISEASES OF THE SOUL

Various diseases affect the soul. A perfect Murshid can only treat them. We should study ourselves and upon finding ourselves affected by any of these ailments, seek a remedy from a perfect Murshid.

The diseases of the soul are: (1) Showing off (2) expirty (3) jealousy (4) hate (5) pride (6) love of praise (7) love of status (8) love of showing off (9) love of fame (10) reverence of the rich (11) disrespect of the poor (12) following desires (13) flattery (14) ingratitude (15) greed (16) stinginess (17) desire too much (18) thinking ill (19) hostility against truth (20) persistence in falsehood (21) convenience (22) rationalizing laziness (23) breach of trust (24) laziness (25) hard heartedness (26) greed (27) reliance on creation (28) forgetting the Creator (29) forgetfulness of death (30) committing sins openly and not fearing Allah (31) hypocrisy (32) obeying Shaitaan (33) self worship (34) inclination to idle matter (35) sloth (36) lack of fear of Allah (37) impatience (38) lack of humility (39) self – wrath in which case the anger could be used in the Path of Allah (40) being lax in Allah’s commands and prohibitions, etc. (Fatawa Afriqa by A’la Hazrat, pg. 129)

TYPES OF BAI’AT

There are two types of Bai’at – Bai’atul Barakah and Bai’atul Iraadah:

Bai’atul Barakah (Allegiance of Blessing):

One pledges Bai’atul Barakah by joining a Sisilah (spiritual order) for attaining Barakah (spiritual grace). Bai’atul Barakah is more widely pledged. However, one must be absolutely sincere in pledging to this Bai’ah. For the Bai’atul Barakah to be complete, it is necessary that the four conditions of a Sheikhul Itisaal be met. (The four conditions has been explained). This Bai’ah is also very auspicious. To be amongst those who are loved by Allah Ta’ala and linking to their spiritual order is an honour itself.

Bai’atul Iraadah (Allegiance of Devotion)

In Bai’atul Iraadah one pledges to detach oneself completely from one’s self-will wholly, and unconditionally place oneself in the hands of the Murshid such that one may be moulded through the ways of Tariqah (the path to Allah through spiritual training). No action or decision may be taken without the consent and approval of the Sheikh. This Bai’ah is pledged and carried out by the Saalikeen (Travelers on the path of Tasawwuf), hence it is also called Bai’atus Saalikeen. It is also the purpose of the Mashaa’ikh and a conveyance to Allah Ta’ala. The Holy Prophet Muhammed (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) took this Bai’ah from the Noble Sahabah (radi Allahu anhum).

The Noble Companion, Abaada Ibnu Saamit Al Ansaari (radi Allahu anhu), narrates: “We pledged Bai’ah to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in all our matters of good and misfortunes, in all trials and tribulations. We pledged to consult the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in all our matters and to unflinchingly follow his orders and not to query his commands”. (Fatawa Afriqa by A’la Hazrat, pg.135)

From this discussion one can deduce that Bai’ah should be done on the hands of such a person who is worthy and meets with the criteria of a Murshid.

MEANING OF BAI’AT (PLEDGING ALLEGIANCE)

“Bai’at” means “to be sold”. When one becomes Mureed of a Murshid, he sells his heart, life and wealth to his Murshid. After this sale he no longer has a say in these matters nor can he do as he pleases.

A’la Hazrat, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) writes that it is mentioned in “Suba Sanabil” that a person was sentenced to death by an Emperor. As the executioner unsheathed a sword to behead the person, the person faced the grave of his Murshid. The executioner said, ” At times like this you should face the Qiblah.” The person answered: “Do your duty, I have faced the Qiblah. It is true that the Kaaba is the Qibla of the body, and the Qibla of the heart and soul is the Murshid.” This is real Iraadah (to become a disciple). If one persists with one’s Sheikh with this kind of sincere devotion then benefits will definitely be received.

If the Sheikh is lacking, the Sheikh’s Sheikh may not be inadequate. Otherwise, Ghausul A’zam (radi Allahu anhu), who is the source of spiritual grace and fountain of lights, will provide you with grace as long as the Silsilah (spiritual chain) is authentic. (Malfoozaat A’la Hazrat, pg.189)

A’la Hazrat (radi Allahu anhu) has mentioned that people regard Bai’at as a custom and do not really comprehend it’s meaning. A good example of Baiat is that of a certain Mureed of Sheikh Yahya Munayri (radi Allahu anhu). This Mureed was about to drown when Khizr (alaihis salaam) appeared to him and said, ” Give me your hand so that I can rescue you”. The Mureed replied, “I have already given this hand to Sheikh Yahya Munayri. Now I will not give it to anyone else”. Khizr (alaihis salaam) disappeared and Sheikh Yahya Munayri (radi Allahu anhu) appeared and rescued him from drowning. (Malfoozat A’la Hazrat, pg.164)

TYPES OF SHEIKHS

Mashaa’ikh are of two categories, that is, Sheikhul Ittisaal and Skeikhul Isaal.

Definition of a Sheikhul Ittisaal:

When a person pledges Bai’ah to him he is able to connect the person to a spiritual order leading to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). He is a key link in the chain. A Sheikhul Ittisaal meets the following fourd conditions: –

1. The Sheikh’s spiritual link to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is true and real. There should be no discontinuity or termination at any stage in the spiritual chain from his Murshid to Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Some people accept a Mureed without actually being authorized and having the capacity to do so. They may themselves have pledged Bai’ah to a Sheikh or be from progeny, but lack the authority and spiritual capacity of taking Mureeds. Such Bai’ah can under no circumstances attain Ittisaal – Linking one spiritually to the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

2. The Sheikh has to be a Sunni, holding correct beliefs. To follow a misguided Sheikh will lead one directly to Shaitaan, instead of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Many disbelievers, agnostic and enemies of the Awliya Allah like the Wahabis are openly practising Tariqah and pledging Bai’ah, creating confusion and bringing disrespect to this noble art. Sultaanul Aarifeen, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (radi Allahu anhu) affirms that the way of Ahlus Sunna wal Jama’h is the way of Allah Ta’ala and those not on this path are astray. The Holy Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) path is the Path of Allah and those deviating from it or against it are misguided. (Mihakul Fuqara, pg. 233)

3. The Sheikh must be an Aalim educated in the Shari’ah. He must be well- versed with the beliefs of the Ahlus- Sunnah wal Jama’h and be able to distinguish between the straight path of Islam and misguidedness and Kufr.
Without these qualities there is always the possibility of him faltering. There are several words and deeds, which lead one to Kufr. An ignorant person, when saying such words or doing such deeds, is unaware that he is committing an act of Kufr, hence repentance will not be forthcoming from such a person.

4. The Sheikh must not be an open sinner (Faasiq Mo’lin). While it is compulsory to revere the Murshid it is obligatory to oppose a sinner. It would be impossible to apply two conflicting approaches to one person.

Definition of a Sheikhul Isaal:

Sheikhul Isaal must have the four qualities of the Sheikhul Ittisaal. In addition to these, the Sheikhul Isaal must also be aware of the evils of the Nafs, the many tricks of Shaitaan and the seduction of desires. He should be able to guide his Mureeds with fatherly affection and advising them of their weaknesses and cures to them. The Sheikhul Isaal should solve whatever difficulties the Mureed faces in the path of attaining the realisation of Allah. It is in the hands of such a Murshid that Baitul Iradah is taken. (Fatawa Afriqa by A’la Hazrat, pg. 123)

MIRACLES – AF’AALE KHAARIQAH

Saints perform miracles at times, however miracles are not necessary a condition of Sainthood. The Saints (Awliya) regard obeying the Shari’ah conscientiously as the biggest miracle. Ghaual A’zam said: “The miracle of a Wali is his complete compliance to the teachings of Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)”.

Sheikh-e- Akbar, Muhayyuddin Muhammed Ibnul Arabi (radi Allahu anhu) explains the phenomenon of miracles. One type of miracle is the Hissi (apparent) miracle, that is, it is evident and clearly seen by the general public. For example, flying in the air, walking on water, fore-telling the future, traversing hundreds of miles in one step. Another type of miracle is the Ma’nawi (spiritual) miracle, which can only be seen and perceived by special people. For example, control of carnal desires, adopting virtues by Divine Guidance, refraining from bad habits, practicing all Waajibaat (compulsory acts) punctually and diligently. These types of miracles do not contain any connivance while it is probable those Hissi miracles to contain connivance. (Futuhaate Makkiyah, Vol. 2, pg. 488)

The steadfast adherence to the Shari’ah is the best Karaamat. A true Saint is righteous and follows the path laid down by Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

Hazrat Bayazid Bustaami (radi Allahu anhu) cautions us: “If you see a person sitting cross-legged in the air, don’t be fooled by his act! Observe his approach/attitude to the compulsory acts (Fardh, Waajib) and prohibited acts (Haraam, Makruh Tahreemi) and detestable acts (Makrooh) and other restrictions and etiquette’s of the Shari’ah”. (Risaalah Qushayriya, pg. 81)

SALAASALE ARB’AH (4 SILSILAHS)

1. Qaaderi Silsilah – Imam of which is Hazrat Sayyiduna Abdul Qaadir Jailani (radi Allahu anhu)
2. Chishtia Silsilah- whose protogonist is Hazrat Khawja Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri (radi Allahu anhu)
3. Soharwardi Silsilah – founded by Khawja Shahaabuddin Suharwardi (radi Allahu anhu)
4. Naqshbandi Silsilah – established by Hazrat Khawja Bahaauddien Naqshbandi (radi Allahu anhu)

These Silsilahs originate form Quran and Sunnah and are motivated by the Shari’ah. Their purpose is to uphold the Quran and Hadith. Islam is like the ocean and these four Silsilahs are like canals, which originate from the ocean and finish into it. The Silsilahs are linked to their founders

THE ONE WITHOUT A MURSHID HAS SHAITAAN AS ONE’S MURSHID

Murshids are two types:
A. Murshid Aam (General Guide,) and
B. Murshid Khaas (Specific Guide)

The Murshids Khaas comprises of the Sheikhul Ittisaal and the Sheikhul Isaal.

The Murshid Aam comprises of the Quran, Hadith, the writings of the Jurists, the Murshids, authorities of Tasawwuf, the writings of the scholars, and the writings of the people of guidance and righteousness. The guide of the general public is the Kalaam (Speech and Writings) of the Scholars. The guide of the Ulema or Scholars is the writings of the Imaams of Fiqh. The guide of Imams of Fiqh is the Sunnah and Hadith of Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). The guide of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is the Quran/Speech/Revelation of Allah.

From this it can be seen that the Murshid Aam is an absolute necessity. A person without guidance of both the Murshids, i.e. Khaas and Aam is under the reign of Shaitaan. It is in this sense that A’la Hazrat, Moulana Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi (radi Allahu anhu) writes that Sayyiduna Baayazid Bustaami’s (radi Allahu anhu) declaration in “Awaariful Ma’arif” that those without a Murshid (Khaas and Aam) have Shaitaan as their guide. (Fatawa Afriqa, pg.124)

%d bloggers like this: