Delusions of Would be Sufis…

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem, Allahuma solli wa sallim wa baarik ‘ala Sayyidina Muhammadin wa ‘ala aalihi wa sohbihi ajma’in.
I remind myself and others especially those in the various Thuruq…

The deluded among them are of various types. Some are deluded by the dress, terminology, or demeanor of the Sufis. They imitate the sincere Sufis externally, but do not tax themselves with spiritual struggle or self-discipline. Rather they pounce upon and quarrel over wealth (it may not always be wealth though…) that is unlawful, doubtful, or from rulers, rending each other’s honour whenever they are at cross purposes. The delusion of these is obvious. They are like an old woman who hears that the name of the courageous, valiant soldiers are inscribed in the official roster and they are ceded whole tracts of land. Feeling a longing within herself, she dons hauberk and helmet, learns a few heroic stanzas and the details of their apparel and characteristics, and then sets out for the camp. Her name is duly entered in the lists, but when she reports for inspection, she is ordered to take off the helmet and armor to see what is underneath, and to be tried in combat. When she complies, it turns out that she is a feeble old crone, and she is told, “You only came to mock the king and his court! – Take her away and throw her under the elephant’s feet.” And she is flung under it to be trampled. … Thus will be the state of pretenders of Sufism on the Day of Judgement, when they stand revealed and are brought before the Supreme Judge, who looks at hearts, not patched clothes or Sufi dress.

…Other students of Sufism proceed on the right path, engage in spiritual struggle, begin to actually travel in the way, and the door of gnosis, contemplative knowledge of the Divine, opens to them. But when they sniff the first traces of this knowledge, it surprises them and they exult in it and are pleased by the strangeness of it, until their hearts become fettered with turning to it and thinking about it, and how it was disclosed to them but not others. And all of this is delusion, for the wonders met with in the Path of Allah Glorious and Exalted are endless. If one stops with a particular marvel and becomes enamored with it, one’s progress falters and one fails to reach the goal. Such a person is like someone going to see a king, who notices a garden at the palace gate with flowers in it, the like of which he has never seen, and who stops to look at them until there is no longer time to meet the king…

excerpts from Reliance of the Traveller, Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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