The Murid’s Attention to His Shaykh

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Mahmud ibn ‘Ali al-Qashani (q.s.) wrote, in Miswbah al-Hidayah wa Miftah al-Kifayah, “The Lamp of Right Guidance & the Key to What is Sufficient,” that the murid should give an attentive ear to the words of his shaykh.  The murid should wait and be attentive in regard to everything that comes from the lips of his shaykh.  He should see his tongue as a means of expression of the Speech of Allah (s.w.t.) and be convinced that his shaykh speaks by means of Allah (s.w.t.) and that his speech does not stem from his own desire and that he has reached the station of “He is Speaking by Me.”  We should see his heart as a boisterous sea, filled with all kinds of pearls of knowledge and precious gems of gnosis, a sea which every now and then - because of the blowing of the winds of pre-eternal providence - may cast some of these pearls and precious stones on the shore of the tongue.  We should, therefore, take care and be attentive, so that we are not excluded from anything from the words of our shaykh, which may be useful and beneficial to us. 

We should also try to harmonise every word of our shaykh with our own state.  We should imagine that we are formulating a request for our well-being at the Door of Allah (s.w.t.) with a receptive tongue and in the measure of our receptivity, a speech coming from the unseen descends to us.  When we are speaking with our shaykh, we should keep away from our own ego, we should be far away from hypocrisy by showing our own knowledge and gnosis and by presenting ourselves as beautiful and perfect.  Because when we try to speak ourselves and when we are waiting for the opportunity, then we remove ourselves from the position of a murid and the ear of our heart will become deaf to the words of our shaykh.  In their explanations of the reason that the following Qur’anic verse was Revealed: 

سُوۡرَةُ الحُجرَات

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تُقَدِّمُواْ بَيۡنَ يَدَىِ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ‌ۖ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ۬ (١) 

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

O you who believe!  Be not forward in the presence of Allah and His Messenger, and keep your duty to Allah.  Lo!  Allah is Hearer, Knower. (Surah al-Hujraat:1) 

Some commentators have written that there have been people in the company of the Messenger of Allah (s.w.t.) who, when someone asked him a question, developed the habit to give their own opinion, this until Allah (s.w.t.), by means of this verse from the Qur’an Made it clear that this was wrong and Forbidden.


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