The Essence of Tariqa

By Sheikh/ Mohammed El-Hafiz El-Masry

The Prophet said, “The men of learning are heirs of the Prophets and, the Prophets did not leave behind a Dinar or Derhim (wealth) for inheritance, but they did leave knowledge as an inheritance. So whoever acquires it (knowledge), he acquires a full share in abundance”.

No doubt that part of the knowledge the Prophets passed on as inheritance is the knowledge of ridding the soul and inner self of layers of darkness, purifying it from the turbidity of the matter, and guiding it to the spiritual world, to the abstractness of the higher kingdom of Allah, until the soul becomes so pure that no matter can have an effect on it; but rather its purity refines the thick; and its secret revives the lifeless when it flows into it. The Lord aids the soul with His divine light and illuminates its vision and powers so that it sees, hears, settles, moves, knows, takes, and lets under the divine guardianship of Allah the Exalted. There, Allah chooses the soul, purifies it, loves it, and draws it closer to Him. That is the special lovingness and sublime proximity!

Those heirs are doctors and healers of souls and inner selves; Allah has taught them the disease and the remedy.

And it is one of the many graces of Allah to this Mohammedan Ummah that no time is short of them till the hereafter: it is authentically reported that the Prophet said, "Some of my followers will remain victorious (on the right path) till Allah's order (Last Day) comes".

We are commanded to purify, tame, and refine ourselves. Allah, the Exalted said, “By the soul, and the proportion and order given to it; and its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right. Truly he succeeds that purifies it; and he fails that corrupts it", chapter 91, verses 6-10.

And the Prophet has drawn our attention to the benefits of good companionship and its favorable effect on self-purification: he told us the story of the repentant man who killed hundred persons and consulted a man of learning who advised him to go to such and such land, where there are people who worship Allah. He asked him to join them in worshipping of Allah, and never return to his homeland because it is an evil land. He started off his journey; and died on half way. A dispute arose between the angels of mercy and the angels of torment: the angels of mercy said that he has come as a penitent turning his heart towards Allah; the angels of torment said that he had never done a good deed. So the distance was measured; he was found closer to the land of worshippers. Therefore the angels of mercy took him.

The Prophet also told us, “The case of a good companion and that of a bad companion is like that of one who has musk and of one who blows a furnace (an ironsmith). The owner of musk might give you some as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As regard the other, he might set your clothes afire, or at least you will find bad smell from him".

Companionships are degrees, the highest of which is the companionship of soul to soul, as they blend in the worlds of purity and holiness: they meet in their way to Allah, love each other for the sake of Allah, by the spirit of Allah, and in the cause of Allah and His obedience.

This is the spirit and essence of the Prophet’s Sunnah; it is the pathway to Allah the Exalted, which all the rightly guided people of Allah have concurred to. It is the way that all the sophists have embraced, without exception, regardless of the differences in their walk: as some of them are fast, and others are slow; some are overwhelmed by the Beauty and others by the Majesty; and yet others by both. Different states that originate from the same source and drive: the journey to Allah and fleeing to Him from all the ‘other’; the endeavor towards perfection of servitude to His Majesty, and towards fulfillment of the divine rights of His Lordship.

This is a summary of the essence of every tariqa in the walk to Allah, the Exalted, including the Tidjaniyah tariqa. And he who does not adopt this approach with that objective in mind, his affiliation to the tariqa is invalid and in vain.

No one should deceive himself by allowing it to indulge in the darkness of disobedience, away from Allah and the righteous ones. He should cure himself by accompanying the truthful and rightly guided men. Among those, undoubtedly the most deserved to follow are the healers of souls, the chosen ones whom Allah has qualified and bestowed them with that kind of knowledge, out of mere favor.

Those who do not believe in patrons of Allah and in the special endowments and miracles that Allah has honored them with, in both knowledge and deed, in life and death, should consult the Qur'an, the books of authentic Hadith, and the various commentaries of the scholars. There are a lot of Hadith traditions and literature confirming that.

However, the words here are for the one whom Allah has opened his heart to know the truth, and intended to get emancipated from the prison of the matter to polishing the mirror of his heart and opening the blacked-out eye of his soul. Such a person needs only to be truthful in following any of those doctors that he may chooses, as all the tariqas of the people of Allah are guiding to His Majesty. Example to this is such that whoever enters through one of the many doors of the holy mosque in Makkah, he enters into the 'Presence' of His Majesty, Allah the Exalted.

The companionship of these doctors has been tested: there were many dissolute selves became calm and righteous, and many stray souls brought back to the light of righteousness. Both friends and foes have conceded to these results.

The highly venerable masters in this tariqa have stated that the Tidjaniyah tariqa has the highest standing amongst all, and every sophist way of education is included in it. It is well-known to those who know the ways of the people of Allah that some of them educate by seclusion, others educate without, some others educate through performance of dhikr in secret, and yet others educate through loud performance, and some people attain through recitation of prayers upon the Prophet. Likewise, 'promotion' could be by a glance, or an aim, or a Name, or ecstatic attraction, etc. Thus, every dhikr or particularity that is known in other tariqas does perfectly exist in this tariqa. In it gather all the good traits of other tariqas; and it does stand alone with what is specially endowed to its adherents. Allah said, "That is the bounty of Allah; which He gives unto whom He will. Allah is of infinite bounty", chapter 62, verse 4.

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