November 14, 2009

Tasawwuf Without Law Will Lead One Astray

"People ask about those who engage in a great deal of remembrance yet
neglect or ignore the obligatory rites of worship as if they have transcended
the need for these rites. This is unmitigated ignorance. The first and foremost
obligation on every human being is to gain knowledge. A human being is nothing
until he has learned what is obligatory on every individual (fard 'ayn). Without
this, a person has no rank or standing with regard to God, and nothing is more
consequential to a person other than his or her standing with God. When God
created us, He gave us accountability and the means and ability to carry out
our responsibilities. Anyone who does not care to learn the first order of
knowledge is living the life of a farm animal, a creature that does nothing
but graze in this life, which is entirely insufficient in God's sight.

Shaykh Ould al-Khadim has mentioned the names of many renowned scholars
of the past who were learned in the outward and inner sciences, the latter being
tasawwuf. These scholars say that before tasawwuf, there must be Sacred Law.
Tasawwuf without law will lead one astray.

There is a confused sense of spirituality in which one feels he or she can
attain to the Reality without tending to the responsibilities and obligations
of the Shari'a. This is a misleading phenomenon that spreads because of its
appeal: spiritual sensation without any moral obligation. A person on this path
may do as he or she wills and take solace in pseudo-sensations. This virulent
trend seizes people and whisks them away from the truth, although they feel
quite content. Islam does not call people to unreasoned faith. It demands that
a person learn authentic knowledge, which buttresses true spiritual growth. This
real spirituality is protected by the Shari'a, just as a shell protects its fruit.
If one removes the husk, the ear is exposed and it begins to rot. A person who
tries to attain spirituality without the Shari'a will eventually destroy his soul
and become, in essence, a false person. There are people who outwardly don the
mantle and comportment of spiritual enlightenment, but who are filled with
diseases of the heart."

excerpted commentary of Chapter 'The Root of All Diseases of the Heart',

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