Why Thariqa’

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is naswiha by Habib Muhammad Luthfi ibnYahya ash-Shadzili (q.s.).

As Muslims, we are certain that we have to pass the stages of iman, islam and ihsan.  After we have believed in Allah (s.w.t.) and His Prophet (s.a.w.), as how we say the shahadah, we also have belief in His angels, His prophets and messengers, in the Last Day and faith in Allah's (s.w.t.) Will and Determinant.  As Muslims, we also have to know and perform the shari'ah, like swalah, fasting, giving zakat and performing hajj, and also following what Allah (s.w.t.) has Commanded and leaving what He has Forbidden.  When we perform the swalah, we have to follow the rules and steps, like performing the ablution, wearing clean clothes, facing the qiblah and adhering to the rest of the rules and steps of the swalah.

Once that obligation has been done, then our job is finished.  After performing the obligatory swalah, comes the question, ‘What is the purpose of swalah?’  We get that answer in thariqa’.  The reason is because thariqa’ discloses ma'arifah behind the acts of ‘ibadah in shari'ah.  Supposedly, a person who wishes to enter thariqa’, already knows the shari'ah well.  The next step then, is the thariqa’.  The moment that a person is in need of haqiqat and ma'arifah, then begins the knowing of the purpose behind the shari'ah.  It is at that moment, that he has entered thariqa’.  And, if that knowledge is considered obligatory for him to find, it is compulsory for him to enter thariqa’.

So, thariqa’ actually is not just someone doing wirid, but the more importantly, to acquire the knowledge of ‘ibadahWirid and the other practices are forms of training so that we come closer to Allah (s.w.t.),the Dzat that Grants ma'arifah to mankind.  Human beings have to realise that they are Created by al-Khaliq, the Creator, to relate to why we engage in ‘ibadah.  It is because, besides the Command of Allah (s.w.t.), in swalah, we know that that we are the servants.  It is the duty of a servant to worship and to obey the Creator.  The core of swalah is supplication.  The servant that supplicates to Allah (s.w.t.), realises that he is a Servant, who is weak and in need of Help and Protection from Allah (s.w.t.) as the Dzat that Give Help and Protection.

It is only that human beings possess the character of forgetfulness.  Swalah and other acts of ‘ibadah such as wirid and dzikr aim to remind us of the Reality of ourselves, as a servant that was Created by the Creator.  With that, all ‘ibadah that is performed will be done with sincerity,  because of Allah (s.w.t.), and not because materialistic things reasons, power or worldly importance amongst others.


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