Importance of a Good Shaykh, from Shaykh Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani (ra)
Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani (ra) said:
must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door
of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the
company of a Shaikh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge [`ilm]
of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way
toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If
a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge
into practice [`ulama `ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by
the rooster and the mother hen.
the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth
(Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night
has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is
get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer
[yusalli rak`atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your
righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and
make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is
necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of
guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible!
You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the
someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go
to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din],
just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face,
your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness?
You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Prophet
believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].
the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures.
They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the
mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What
is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah
(Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already
have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and
more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if
you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are
answered [da`in mujab].
[da`wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor
reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You
must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do,
and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry
about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it
will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times,
whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.
people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any
prayer of supplication [du`a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg
[in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages.
Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes
for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they
utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi
endow us with good behavior in Your company under all
the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat],
remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta`at] become second nature
to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from
Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint
of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on
this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he
travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and
Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the
shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of
nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain
times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures,
while his relaxation is with the Creator.
Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath
ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing,
Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
Article Reference: www.livingislam.org