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

Expelling pride with excrement

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem, Alhamdulillahi wa solatu wasalaamu ‘ala Rasulillahi wa aalihi wa sohbihi ajma’in…

Here is an excerpt from the book, ‘The Darqawi Way’, a series of letters of Shaykh Mawlay al ‘Arabi al Darqawi radiyallahuanhu. May we derive benefit from it. Amin.


Know, may Allah have mercy on you! that the first benefit that I had from my master, may Allah be pleased with him, is that he took two baskets filled with excrement and put them in my hands. He did not put them on my back like my fellows. It was very hard for my self (ego) and so difficult that I became terribly constricted by it. I was violently shaken and alarmed. I was put into very great turmoil so that I nearly wept because of it.

By Allah I wept because of my humiliation, absement, and degradation since myself rejected what was happening and had never accepted it. I was not aware of its pride, arrogance. malignancy, and pigheadedness. I did not know whether it was proud or not. No scholar of the outward sciences had given me any understanding about it, not among all of those with whom I studied Qur’an – and I studied Qur’an with a lot of people.

While we were in that bewilderment and distress, suddenly a shaykh from the people of great unveiling ( ahlul kasyaf) and clear secrets was there before me. My pride was unveiled to him as well as my bewilderment and distress. He came to me and took the two baskets from my hands and put them on my back like my fellows who had a better exterior and a better state than me. They were not concerned with themselves, and they were not proud, arrogant or malignant. When he put it on my back, he said to me, “This is a good measure so that you can expel something of pride.”

At that, the door (of inner knowledge and understanding) was open to me and I was guided to correctness by it. I recognised the people of pride from the people of humility, the people of earnestness from the people of jest, the people of knowledge from the people of ignorance, the people of sunnah from the people of bid’ah/innovation, and the people of knowledge and action from the people of knowledge without action.

End of Excerpt.

Indeed, the genuine shaykhs possess the spiritual insight with which they know the spiritual state of their students and then they provide the remedy by commanding certain acts. Some students are made to serve people, while others are made to clean public toilets and baths. And these training can go on for years depending on how sick the heart is with diseases such as pride etc. The seeker will then gain futuhat/openings inner understanding just like in the story above.

 May Allah aid us all. Amin! 

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