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Friday, January 20, 2017

How to see ones Pir/Sheikh/Murshid

When one takes the hand of a Murshid then he must know that the Sheikh is guide to the path and not the purpose of the path. The purpose of the path is to reach Allah (the Exalted) not to reach the Sheikh. 

The Sheikh will have his favorite students and this should not upset you. 

Pushing everyone out of the way to reach the Sheikh does not mean one is close. He is as far as one could be.

You cannot love a Wali and not be like them, unless you are making claims. Like students that love a teacher but are not like him at all. Many students make claims but have no reality.

Your Sheikh will aid you like a father, on our journey to Allah (the Exalted). His words and state will move you to excellent moral conduct and correcting yourself. What he is not there is to give you new rulings upon matters that are agreed upon in fiqh and Aquida. Nor is he there for you to look at like a priceless ornament that you do not touch but admire from far away. 

The Sheikh should not oppose the sacred law and if he does then the Murids should never follow. The hadith is, "There is no obedience to creation by disobeying the creator." You cannot obey the Sheikh by opposing the sacred law. It is better for the sheikh that you disobey him. Anyone can slip up from time to time because we are all human but it should not be constant. If he is not aware of the sacred law then this negates his fellowship in all matters. This happens frequently with people who not qualified to take students. The Sheikh should be bothered about his student's welfare. Rather than brush them off as if they do not exist or never make any effort with the Murids. Leaving them without guidance and help for years and claim, he is their Murshid. 

The murid must know that others may oppose his Sheikh. This could be from things that he has written or said. There are two types of things that Murids should be aware of: 1. Difference of opinion and 2. Actual criticism. If it is upon a disagreed matter then there are going to be disagreements and that is normal. There is no sin upon a person who disagrees as long as he remains within the limits and does not go to the actual criticism. If it is actual criticism of the Sheikh himself then this is not welcome and its slander. He should not act like a wounded animal and attack the criticiser. Rather, he should accept it as the person's opinion and not fight him. The Sheikh should not be concerned by those who oppose him. Its normal for people to disagree with each other, especially in this modern age.

Sometimes, a kashaf/disclosure can be misunderstood and then be transmitted. Other things are specific for his Murids and not for public consumption. Therefore, the murid should beware of spreading information to those who will not understand it. Also, know that the instructions that the Sheikh gives are for his murids only and not meant for others. So do not spread these instructions because it may cause people to ridicule the Sheikh. 

Unfortunately, most people worship their pirs and look unfavorably at criticism of him. They will often act like a gang, or even tag team, and attack others. This is very sad and very silly to see. It makes the Murids look childish and petulant. Guess what, your Sheikh can be wrong and he is a human being. All human beings can make mistakes and you as a murid should not argue about what you do not have any knowledge of. Imam Malik (may Allah show him mercy) said, "Everyone opinions can be accepted or rejected except the owner of this grave." This was in the field of knowledge and the owner of the grave is the blessed Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him). Yet, most Murids are doing this on a regular, and some, on a permanent basis. 

Most Murids are the worst advert for the Sheikhs and that applies to every path that I have seen. You should love your sheikh but that should not make you insane by slandering and backbiting others.

When a murid thinks that his Pir is the pinnacle of everything, then he can be veiled. Veiled because he considers his Pir akin to a idol. A murid is on the cusp of this when he will not accept criticism of his 'idol.' A murid will not benefit from the path when he 'worships' his Sheikh.

The sheikh is not divinely protected from sin because that is only the rank of the prophets. The murshid is protected from kufr but he can commit sins like anyone else. If the Wali commits kufr then know he was not a Wali in the first place but a liar. Junaid al-Baghdadi (may Allah show him mercy) was asked if a Wali could commit a sin (illegal fornication) and he recited the Quran verse, "The decree of Allah is apportioned." Meaning it is possible but it is hoped that the Pir will repent from sin. If it is in public then in public and if in private then in private. 

Also, know there are fake stories about Awliyah of the past. Any story, which breaks the law, should be ignored. There was a story reported to me about a great Wali, which was fake, but when I explained why it was fake, the students did not accept it. Why, did I not accept the story? Because it was against the sacred law and any story that is against the sacred law is rejected. Neither could the story be verified. Aquida Al-Tahawiyyah point 124, "We believe in the miracles of the Awliyah that are verified by trustworthy narrators." Books contain things are valid and things that are not.

One recent book on salawat states a hadith from a Jinn in which the action of salawat can save one from hell. This hadith contradicts other hadith in which the person cannot change their final destination, heaven or hell, its already written. Though, we do not know where we will go and this should not put one off from doing good actions. Nor, can we verify the contents of the hadith nor chain etc. So this hadith would be left matruk and shaad, because it opposes stronger hadith. Because people will read this hadith they will think its true. Hadith that cannot be verified are left and no ruling can be given to them. Imam Shafi does not accept hadith that are mursal - missing a companion (except by five conditions). This hadith is missing names for centuries!

How to benefit

Taking a Sheikh who lives in another country is not a problem, as long as there is frequent contact. How is this contact? Through the works and lectures of the Sheikh. The murid must follow up on as many lessons as possible. However, it is not about listening to as many lessons as possible. It is about taking something on board, changing yourself and then finding something else to work on. Listening carefully to his instructions and applying it to yourself. Without concern if it applies to others or not. 

The best thing is to have weekly physical contact. Otherwise, daily contact with the Sheikh by the means of recorded lectures is a good substitute. 

If it is not possible to reach the Sheikh then it should have been considered before taking bayah.

However, the real problem of the Murids is that they are not honest enough to admit their faults. Until they are honest enough to admit their faults, they will not make any progress. It is as simple as that. One of the Habiab of Yemen said that Allah looks at a servant with pleasure when the servant looks at himself in displeasure.  

Your Sheikh is a human being and can make mistakes. So refer to other scholars of outward knowledge for matters he is not trained in. Matters that he is not trained in with other than his father.

See your Pir as someone who has reached a great rank by great divine assistance and that he could not reach Him without it. All he is doing is treating the illnesses of your heart like a doctor. You are the patient and should not fight with others or you will lose the chance to take medicine. Know, that it takes time for medicine to take effect and if its not taken as prescribed, then it might not have any effect at all.

The next time someone criticises your Pir, take a step back and try to understand his point of view. Because if it is another teacher then it might be genuine. Rather than try to defend someone, realise that it might be you that has misunderstood, not them.

Know, that there are many fake peers who make money from their murids and do things against the sacred law. Some of the stories that I have heard will make your hat curl. One pir had illegal marital relations with someone he was not lawfully married to. Or make the females expose themselves and so forth. Such people often claim to be Ahl Al-Bayt and are lairs. They lie on behalf of Allah and his Messenger (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him). So do not be surprised that they are lying about being Ahl Al-Bayt too.

A Sheikh/pir/ wali who does not follow the sacred law is an imposter and a lair. Your bayah is not valid and you should flee, never to return. The true one teaches his students and cares for them. He does not take his female murids to do unlawful activities to them, to remove black magic or similar. If this is the case then leave such a person because they are a lair and you have wasted your time with them.

You should respect and love your Sheikh, this is the main pillar of the path. But your love should make you hate, slander or attack others. If it does, then its not love at all. 

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