Monday, September 17, 2007

Eight principles of the spiritual path of the ’ulema of Makkah (Tariqah Ba - Alawiyah)

1. Commit yourself to be at the feet of the ‘ulema and learn the subjects needed as extensively as you can. Also practice reciting the Quran as much as you can.

2. Personally connect yourself to a Shaykh. Confide in him and he will prescribe a wird for you. Eg. Reciting Laa illah ha illallah 100 times at a certain time on a daily basis. (NB. Do not expect your image of a Shaykh to be found in that person. Respect your Shaykh(s)

3. It is discouraged to read from a kitaab on your own that will lead to confusion e.g. Books about Metaphysics or Cosmology related to Islam.

4. It is preferred to attend gatherings purely for the sake of Allah. We are prohibited to hold large gatherings, be it for religious, social or any customary practise, with the purpose of gaining reputation, name, and fame or solely to make money for our personal use. Although, holding fundraisers to help support religious activities is highly encouraged, refrain from creating status around you at those gatherings. There are some examples in the time of the Nabi Muhammad (saw) where money was raised for good causes.

5. Stay away from ghurur and takabbur. Stay away from self deception, thinking too highly of yourself, or advertising the level of your station that you have reached. Stay away from praising yourself.

6. Find a balance between the doenya (worldly) life and the eternal life. Practice self restraint in your doenya pursuits so that it does not interfere with your spiritual practices.

Doenya pursuits should be maintained at a moderate level, according to the level of your spirituality and the needs of your life requirements. (as you grow, the spiritual philosophy will slowly interact and interplay with the Doenya pursuits and slowly minimise its importance in favour of the truly beneficial spiritual practices, and being more aware of Allah in our daily lives.)

7. Do not be fanatical or aggressive regarding your opinions and do not impose it upon others. Rather be merciful and kind towards the khalq of Allah.

8. There is no way to attain nearness to Allah, except if you are willing to open yourself up to the truth. If the very definition of kibr is to reject the truth, then become humble. Humility underlies the opening of the truth in your heart. This truth with illuminate any inconsistencies that you may have and help you correct it. The result is fairness in your comments and judgements under all circumstances.

Glossary of terms used in this article:

’Ulema – The authorised scholars and teachers of Islamic knowledge eg. Shariah, Tassawuf

Tariqah - The general way and behaviour of a group of people on the sufi path.

Tariqah Ba – Alawiyah - The tariqah of the Shaykhs of Makkah.

Wird – A spiritual exercise performed on a regular basis. Awraad is the plural for more than one wird.

Ghurur – To mislead or deceive.

Takabbur – To consider yourself superior to others in attributes of excellence.

Doenya – worldly (pursuits)

Khalq – the creation of Allah.

Kibr – argue with or reject the truth, look down upon people

* This is a mere introduction to the spiritual path of the ‘ulema of Makkah and is not limited to these 8 points.

Article by Fatima Kriel

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