The Principle of Swuhbah in the Naqshbandi Order

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is extracted from the first Volume, 72nd letter of Maktubat, the “Letters” of Imam Muhammad Ma’swum ar-Rabbani (q.s.), the son and spiritual successor of Imam ar-Rabbani wa Mujaddid ats-Tsani, Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi as-Sirhindi (q.s.).

Attaining a high spiritual station requires a strong and affectionate attachment to the elite of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah.  A true devotee, owing to his affection towards the murshid, receives the faydh, spiritual emanations, coming from the murshid's heart.  Gradually, he becomes like the murshid.  In other thariqa’, there are mandatory practices such as dzikr, recitations from the Qur'an at stated times, physical hardships and going into forty-day seclusions.  Strong attachment to the murshid is not a condition.  This thariqa’, however, is the way of the swahabah.  In this Order, ifadhah and istifadhah, receiving and giving faydh, takes place by way of reflection from heart to heart.  Attending the murshid's swuhbah, company, will do, provided that one observes the adab.  Dzikr, recitations from the Qur’an and doing pious deeds will be helpful.

Attending Rasulullah’s (s.a.w.) swuhbah, only on the condition that they had iman, submission and obedience, was enough for the swahabah to attain perfection.  For this reason, the Naqshbandi path leads to perfection faster.  In receiving faydh from the Perfect Guide, it does not make any difference whether a person is young or old or an infant or dead.  Also the perfections given at the end in other thuruq are given in the beginning in this thariqa’.

The riyadhat, spiritual exercises, to be performed in this thariqa’ is to hold fast to the sunnah and to avoid harmful innovations. Khwaja ‘Ubaydullah al-Ahrar (q.s.) stated, “The belief held by the disciples making progress in this path is the belief of Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah.  Their riyadhat is to obey the shari’ah.  People who do not perform ‘ibadah will not receive any faydh nor will they make any progress.  The end of this path is to forget about creatures and to attain permanently to the Divine Presence.  This happiness cannot be attained without excessive affection and jadzbah, attraction.  The most powerful vehicle that will make one attain this blessing is the murshid's swuhbah.”

Man, a helpless being, is bogged down in worldly pleasures and the desires of the ego.  He is unaware of the desires of heart and soul.  It is impossible to receive Faydh from Allah (s.w.t.) without a connecter.  Allah (s.w.t.) Sends His Faydh through Rasulullah (s.a.w.).  A murshid al-kamil, a perfect guide, through his masters, receives the faydh continuously streaming out of Rasulullah's (s.a.w.) blessed heart and scatters it around himself.  What connects one's heart to the murshid's heart is a strong affection, love one has for him.  This love necessitates observing the rules of adab and adapting oneself to one's murshid in ‘ibadah, habits and manners.

A person who wishes to attain love of Allah (s.w.t.) must be sincere.  He must wish only His Love, find a murshid who will make him attain Him, and attach himself to that murshid.  The bigger the number of people he is attached to, the farther will he get from unity in his wish, in knowledge and love and the more badly will he be deprived from the real Wahid. Oneness.  The farther he gets from katsrah, multiplicity, the closer will he be to the real Unity.


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