A’uzubillahi minashaitonir Rojeem, Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem, Allahuma Solli wa Salleem ‘ala Sayidina Muhammmadin wa aalihi wa sohbihi ajama’in…
Seclusion from people is avoiding association with anyone a person does not need to associate.Particularly the affairs of the common people that involves disputes and inclinations to falsehood (vain, useless talk and activities). Thus one should choose his/her companions well and also limit the time spent with those whom they need to keep company to that which bring benefits. For instance, people whom which they seek aid from in order to perform their permitted tasks well or to encourage someone who is doing good deeds to continue doing so. Also to bring a sinner to repentance or to explain the beauty of Islam to a non-muslim. Bringing the person closer to understanding Allah’s religion.
A person should choose the company that increases his/her faith and certitude and this is the highest degree or the best companions one can have. Then the company of those who increase their knowledge and understanding of the Religion and the Sacred Law. Then comes the person who assist him/her in performing good and avoiding wickedness. And how excellent is the companion whose state elevates one(‘s state) and their speech directs one to Allah ta’ala. Disciplining the soul, spiritual retreats and all objectives and stations are only obtainable in the hands of a gnostic shaykh. Just as the basis of faith does not occur without affirming the truthfulness of the Messenger peace and blessings be upon him and his family and becoming attached to Allah s.w.t. and His Messenger.
Similarly becoming realized in the meaning of faith and ihsan can only occur through a bond with that Messenger s.a.w. What poured forth from the heart of the Messenger and the hearts of the companions – those knowledge that they took from him this – persisted and was inherited and passed on through the ages by those shaykhs/guides that are being referred to here. Every person who wanted to train or instruct himself spiritually by his own strength this is not possible and they would not reach the spiritual realities. The meaning of doing by himself or his nafs is the feeling of independence, of being able to do on one’s own.
As for a motivation that came from within and an aspiration and resolve and having a true aspiration, facing himself to Allah, these are absolute necessities for success. and these are causes for reaching success accordance to their attachement to the shaykh. Through this we know what was the condition of those predecessors among the Companions, the pious of past (salafussoleh) in their good attachment to their shaykhs. Every one who rose above the impurities of blameworthy attributes, and adorned praiseworthy qualities, they entered into the sphere of being referred to as the Perfected Human.
The Gnostics said, ‘No man is perfected save those who kept the company of the men of Perfection.’ Imam al-Haddad said, ‘It is a necessity that he has a shaykh who directs him in his travel to Allah ta’ala from (among) the people of purified souls.’ Habib ‘Ali al-Habsyi said, ‘Someone who did not in his life keep the company of a shaykh who is a gnostic (and) who is firmly grounded, he would be considered among the bankrupt!’ The shaykhs have come to a consensus on this point over the ages.