This is commonly observed that if something is not found in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, it is labeled as Bid’ah (innovation), though it does not necessarily mean anything that is not found in these two holy sources is religious innovation. But Bid’ah or Innovation means any new thing that is against the spirit of Sunnah and the Holy Quran. This is not right that every new thing is accursed (Bid’ah). Due to this generalization, at the one hand good actions are under attack with the sword of Bid’ah and at the other the reality and truth and reality ofTasawwuf and Sufia are seriously questioned. Where have these Sufia come from? How has Tasawwuf come in to being? These are the questions that are frequently posed to belittle and malign Tasawwuf and Sufia. Besides this, by listening the words ‘Pir’, Murshid’ or ‘Sheikh’ these people start showing their despise and dislike, though the word ‘Pir’ is from Persian language that means sage or the man who is week visa vie Allah, and this is in fact a quality of any truthful man. My dear fellows, this spate of bias and hatred may not lead us to a point where the same word, if used in the Holy Quran by Allah Almighty starts appearing displeasing to us. This travesty of Nafs may not ruin our faith. The meaning of ‘Murshid’, ‘Rushd’, and ‘Rasheed’ are the one who shows the right path, the one who teaches and leads to the right path.Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:“…To whom Allah leaves to astray; for him will you find no protector (Murshid) to lead him to the right way.” (18:17)
This holy verse shows that there is a need of Murshid or Wali for a man who is fated to the path of Righteousness. These Aulia Ikram, with the command of Allah, show the right path and call the people toward Truth (Rushd).
This thing can be further explained by bringing in a parable. A teacher who teaches his students expects love and respects from them. If somebody does not give him his due respect, he will not like that student. Similarly, these men of Allah, whose pious company afford us a real taste of Iman; who are an epitome of knowledge and practice and are friends (Wali) of Allah Almighty, giving them respect and love can not be called ‘Shirk’ (polytheism). Apparently anyone who gives respect to any other person not because he is his ‘Mehbood’ (Lord) but he is man of Allah and a Wali of Him. One can not have control over one’s inner self. Deen Islam teaches us to give respect to parents, teachers and Ulema. The greater among them is the one who is more pious and God fearing.
These are the personalities who lit the candles of Iman and love of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم in the darkness of disbelief and Kufr. These candles of Noor and Iman further spread this Noor from heart to heart. The company of these blessed souls engenders care and heedfulness for Hereafter. This affords hate for what is sinful and brings sincerity in obedience to Allah Almighty.
You do not call them ‘Sheikh’, ‘Murshid’ or ‘Pir’ but sit in their company with intention of Self-Purification and winning pleasure and fear of Allah Almighty. Give them respect and take them as your guide and teacher. A few days’ company of these Salehheen (pious people) will generate in you, care for Hereafter, fear of Allah and desire for performing good deeds.
Do we not know, how did the companions of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم took Bait (Bayah) of Prophet of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم and showed respect to our beloved Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم?. When these blessed companions of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم used to talk to their beloved Rasool Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم they would say, ‘ may our parents be sacrificed on you O Prophet of Allah! صلى الله عليه و سلم .’ Many companions of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم did not dare look in the face of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم out of respect for him. They would sit while keeping their eyes lowered. This was the spirit of reverence and respect that the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم transferred to next generations of Muslims. Hazrat Abu Darda (radiyallahu anhu) says that he along with Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (radiyallahu anhu) came to the company of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم Out of forgetfulness he put his foot ahead of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (radiyallahu anhu). The Beloved of Allah Almighty صلى الله عليه و سلم said, ‘O Abu Darda! Don’t put your foot ahead of Abu Bakr.No mother has given birth to such a child; after prophets, there in none nobler than Abu Bakr.’Allah Almighty has given us the same lesson in these holy verses: “Show us the straightway, the way of those on whom You has bestowed Your Grace.” .At another place Allah Almighty informs us about His choosen beings:
“..Are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah, – of prophets, the Sincere, the martyrs, and the Righteous… (4:69) Sincere (Salaheen) are those men of Allah who in these times of selfishness and materialism give us the lesson of love and fraternity.
It is a strange logic that we accept and recognize the piety and holiness of Hazrat Imam Basri (radiyallahu anhu); the scholarship and Godliness of Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa (radiyallahu anhu); the religious services of Hazrat Sheikh Abdual Qadir Jillani (radiyallahu anhu), Ali Ahmad Hijwari and Hazrat Ahmad Sirhandi (radiyallahu anhum), who became a veritable deterrence against religious innovations in the times of Emperor Akbar, and imparted to the people such colour of Tauid (Oneness of Allah) that has not fainted even to the present time. But when it is said that these towering personalities had taken Bai,ah of some pious men of Allah, accepted them their spiritual guide or Murshid and achieved purity of Self by following the teaching and practices of these holy men, who named this knowledge as Tasawwuf; the colour of the face quickly changes, the eyes follow the suit and answer comes, ‘Dear brother, this Piri- Muridi is Shirk (against the Oneness of Allah), and Tasawwuf is a Bida,h (Innovation).’
Were these Imams (religious leaders) of the time and such great Muhaddas (the one who masters Hadith) were Mushrik (the one who does Shirk) and innovators? As for as this humble person has thought about this point, the people who revile Tasawwuf and Aulia Allah, lead astray people by referring towards Sikri (Trans-emotional) states of these holy saints and by giving examples of those fake votaries of Tasawwufwho have no connection to Islam whatsoever. These are the people who name themselves ‘Murshid’, ‘Sheikh’, ‘Pir’and dupe innocent and gullible people. Do we not know that there can be a counterfeit and copy of any original thing? People did not spare even the prophets of Allah Almighty and claimed false and fake prophethood. There is a rampant deception in sale and trade. Do we abandon our worldly business because of this forgery? No of course not. We leave one liar aside and search for some other honest and truthful person. Then what does this slackness’ mean in matter of Deen then?
It is commonly heard that the word Tasawwuf is not found in the Holy Quran and Hadith hence, it is nothing but a Bid’ah (Innovation) This humble person will not take this thing as a matter of discussion and would say some words for those, who are really in search of Truth. If someone does not want to know and understand, there is no solution to this problem then.
Who doesn’t know that Hazrat Usman Ghani (radiyallahu anhu) was Hafiz (has memorized the holy Quran) of the Holy Quran, but we don’t say Hafiz Usman Ghani (radiyallahu anhu). Similarly, Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (radiyallahu anhu) and Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas (radiyallahu anhu) and many other companions of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم used to give Fatwa (religious judgment) on many questions. But neither we hear people saying Mufti Abdullah bin Abbas (radiyallahu anhu) and Mufti Abdullah bin Umar nor any book tells us this fact, although they were an authority on Fiqa. We don’t call any companion of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم Faqi although all the latter books on the subject owe guidance of these noble men. In the time of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم there was no title nobler than ‘Sahaba’ (the Companion) and they are still called the blessed companions of Rasool Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم.
A Momin becomes prayer going by offering prayer, the one who gets knowledge of Fiqa becomes Qazi and the one who fights in the way of Allah becomes Ghazi, but all this doesn’t make him ‘Sahabi’ (the companion of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم) This should be clear that the nobility of Company over other things is beyond any doubt. Whosoever, in the state of Iman, sat a few moments in the company of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم became ‘Sahabi’ (the companion). No pious and prayerful can emulate least of these companions of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم.
The object of the arrival of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم in this world was not only to teach humanity the apparent and outward injunctions of the Holy Quran but to purify the inner spiritual self besides sincerity and truthfulness. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:“Allah did confer a great favour on the Believers when He sent among them a Messenger themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs of Allah, purifying them, and instructing them in Scripture and Wisdom… (3:164)The knowledge of Shariah has been divided in to two parts. The first part consists of injunctions that have been commanded to perform, e.g. Prayer, Fasting, Zakat and Hajj etc. The second part consists of those injunctions that forbid things like adultery, falsehood, calumny, backbiting, theft and murder etc. Similarly, the knowledge ofTasawwuf in Tareeqat is also divided into two aspects that are related to man’s inner self. These are patience, thankfulness, sincerity, truthfulness and pleasure of Allah Almighty etc. There are some inner practices that have been forbidden for example envy, hypocrisy, pride, arrogance, love of material world, love of rule and wealth etc. Do all these things not make up the spirit of Islam? About these spiritual diseases, Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:“In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease…” (2:10)
The Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم says about these inner diseases in these words;
“Beware! There is a piece of flesh in body, that if it is reformed, the whole body gets reformed. And if there appears corruption in it, the whole body gets corrupted. Beware! It is the heart.”
If one needs to learn Salat (prayer), there are religious schools and scholars that are imparting religious education. But let me know the name of that school or scholar who teaches that prayer, about which the Holy Quran says, “Verily, Prayer restrains from shameful and evil deeds.”
If we want to learn about Hajj, Fasting and Zakat, we approach the doorstep of religious scholars. Then why is it not necessary to search for such scholar and teacher who can guide us so that, our Fast may not become a futile exercise that yield nothing but hunger and thirst, but make it, in the words of Hadith Mubarak, ‘ Fast is a Shield’. It does not mean that these religious schools and teachers have become centers of soulless education. The object is to make it understand that if this spirit is not absent, it is a rare for sooth.
After the demise of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم from this world, the companions of Rasool Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم came in the fore front to serve Deen Islam. The blessed Caliph was not only the guardian of outward rights of Muslims, but he was also aware of spiritual states of Muslim masses. When this political government turned in to autocracy, these men of Allah (Aulia Ikram) took this responsibility on their shoulders and served Deen with best of their abilities. The famous western philosopher Hiti could not help saying: “We defeated political Islam many a time but could never defeat spiritual Islam.” Whenever faced with difficult time, these men of Allah arose to the occasion and became a formidable force against unbelief and protected Islam from impending dangers. The forged Deen-e-Ellahi of Akbar, with all its manifestations of error, died of its own death in face of resistance posed by Hazrat Mujadid Alf Thani ر حمة الله عليه. The Russian Fascism raised its head, and the great exponent of Silsila Naqshbandia Hazrat Imam Shamal (may Allah be pleased with him) nipped it with such force that it licked its injuries for the whole half century. It was the same Imam Shamal who led and trained the forces that defended Chechen Muslims against Russian aggression. It was the same men of Tasawwuf, who say Allah! Allah! and arrange Zikr congregations of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, checked