The Preoccupations of the Aspirants of the Path

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is taken from Qawa’id at-Taswawwuf by Shaykh Ahmad az-Zarruq (q.s.).

Any aspirant of this path who inclines toward the following preoccupations will perish: horseback riding; general self-interests; occupation with changing social wrongs or with fighting in military jihad while neglecting the acquisition of personal merit and virtue believing that he is in no need of rectifying his own soul or that he can obtain all of the virtues; seeking out the faults of his brothers and others; excusing himself by claiming abandonment of the world; spending all of his time in religious devotion; spending a good deal of time in public gatherings or seeking company, not for teaching or learning but simply for human companionship; inclining toward the people of wealth, claiming he is doing so for religious reasons; preoccupying himself with spiritual matters of the heart before learning the basis of sound transactions or the rectification of his faults; thrusting himself forth as a spiritual teacher without being appointed by a true spiritual master, scholar, or Imam; mindlessly following anyone who says, 'follow me,” whether his words be true or false, without ascertaining the details of his state; belittling someone who is among the people of Allah (s.w.t.), even if he should deem that person insincere based upon some proof he has; inclining toward dispensations and interpretations; putting the inward before the outward; being satisfied with the outward to the detriment of the inward; extracting from one what contradicts the other; being content with knowledge devoid of action or with action devoid of an inward state or knowledge; believing that an inward state suffices without the other two; or having no principle to which he has recourse in his actions, knowledge, states, or religious practices from the accepted principles in the books of the a’immah, such as the books of Shaykh ibn ‘Atha’illah (q.s.) concerning inward matters, especially at-Tanwir, and, concerning outward manners, the book of Shaykh ibn al-Hajj (q.s.), Madkhal, and those of his shaykh, Shaykh ibn Abi Jamrah (q.s.), as well as of others who follow the same path from among the realised masters.

Any aspirant who is of the above mentioned types is in fact ruined and has no salvation on this path, but whoever holds to the Book and the prophetic practice will be safe and Godspeed arrive.  Protection is from Him Alone, and success is by Him.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) said something to this effect:  In the Tablets of Abraham (a.s.), it is written, “An intelligent person should know the age in which he lives; he should hold his tongue and mind his own business.  An intelligent person should have four portions of his day for the following: a portion to take his soul to account, a portion to converse with his Lord, a portion to spend time with his brothers - meaning those who help him to see clearly his faults and direct him to his Lord, and a portion to indulge in his own personal recreation from the permissible appetites of man.

May Allah (s.w.t.) Provide us with that and Help us to fulfill it.  May He always Maintain us in a state of grace, for we cannot survive without His Bestowal of grace and prosperity.  Allah (s.w.t.) is enough for us, and is the Best of Protectors.  May prayers and peace be upon our master, Muhammad (s.a.w.) and his family and his companions.


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