AlaHazratShariah and Tariqah (Revealed law and Observance) are not two different or opposite things. Without obeying the Shari’ah (Revealed Law) one cannot approach Allah. Revealed Law is the collection of all the commands concerning body and soul, the spirit and heart, all the divine science and the infinite knowledge. A part of Shari’ah (Revealed law) is called Tariqah. It possesses cognizance so unanimously that it is conclusive and final. So all the actions and performances of the Saints have to be judged in accordance with the Divine Shari’ah (Revealed law). If they are perfectly in accordance with the said law then they are true and acceptable, otherwise they are condemnable and unacceptable.


The practice of the great Sufis has always been their strict following of the Quran and Sunnah. They considered any deviation from this as an act of disbelief and heresy.

Imaam She’ranni (radi Allahu anhu) quotes Sayyiduna Junaid Baghdadi (radi Allahu anhu) who states that: “Our revealed book, the Holy Quran, is the most comprehensive and the most supreme of all laws and the most lofty. The path of the Sufis has become mighty with the Quran and Sunnah. That person who does not read the Quran and does not practice upon the Sunnah, then his leadership is not proper, (In other words, he should not be made a leader).”

This great Saint also used to advice his followers: Read the rest of this entry »

Sufism and Shari`ah, from Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi radi allahu anhu

The Shari`ah is of fundamental importance to the Sufi path. This point is very strongly made by the great Naqshbandi Sufi, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi (also known as Imam ar-Rabbani), in his letters. Here is a small excerpt from one of his letters, where he clarifies this topic:

The Shari`ah has three parts: knowledge, action, and sincerity of motive (ikhlas); unless you fulfil the demands of all these parts, you do not obey the Shari`ah. And when you obey the Shari`ah you obtain the pleasure of God, which is the most supreme good in this world and the Hereafter. The Qur’an says: “The pleasure of God is the highest good.” Hence, the Shari`ah comprehends all the good of this world and the next, and nothing is left out for which one has to go beyond the Shari`ah.

The tariqah [“way”] and the haqiqah [“reality”] for which the Sufis are known, are subservient to the Shari`ah, as they help to realize its third part, namely, sincerity. Hence they are sought in order to fulfil the Shari`ah, not to achieve something beyond the Shari`ah. The raptures and ecstasies which the Sufis experience, and the ideas and truths which come to them in the course of their journey, are not the goal of Sufism. They are rather myths and fancies on which the children of Sufism are fed. One has to pass over them all and reach the stage of satisfaction (rida) which is the final goal of suluk [“travelling”, i.e. the Sufi path] and jadhbah [“overwhelming love”]. The purpose of traversing the stages of of tariqah and haqiqah is nothing other than the realisation of ikhlas which involves the attainment of rida. Only one out of a thousand Sufis is graced with the three illuminations (tajalliyat sih ganah) and gnostic visions, given ikhlas and elevated to the stage of rida.

[Quoted from “Sufism and Shari`ah: A study of Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi’s Effort to Reform Sufism,” by Muhammad Abdul Haq Ansari, pp. 221-2. Originally from Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi’s letters, Vol. I:36.]  Read the rest of this entry »

Sirr al Asrar-The Secret Of Secrets by Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Sirr al Asrar-The Secret Of Secrets by Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu
Shaikh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Fourth Section

The number of the sciences [‘ulum].

Explanation of the Sacred Law [Shari’a], the Spiritual Path [Tariqa], Direct Knowledge [Ma’rifa] and Reality [Haqiqa].

Exoteric science [al-‘ilm az-zahir] consists of twelve branches, and esoteric science [al-‘ilm al-batin] likewise has twelve branches. These branches are divided among the common folk and the special élite, in proportion to their capability.

The sciences [‘ulum] are grouped in four sections:

1. The outer aspect of the Sacred Law [Shari’a], meaning the commandments, prohibitions, and other rules and regulations.

2. The inner aspect of the Sacred Law, which I have called the Read the rest of this entry »

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