Objectives of The Path (Tareeqah)
This can be split up into two levels; obligatory and optional
Obligatory (1st three stages of the Tareeqah)
The order is as follows:
- Aqaid - rectification of beliefs and misconceptions and bring it in accordance to that of the beliefs of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jammah [Pre-condition of the Tareeqah]
- Fiqh – to learn the Islamic jurisprudence, for example, the massail’s of wudhu, ghusl, salah etc. [Pre-condition of the Tareeqah
- Discharge the rights of Allah – to offer the fardh parts which are due upon a servant, for example, to offer qadha salah, hajj, zakaat, fast. Basically one is paying back what was due right of Allah Azzawajal. [Pre-condition of the Tareeqah]
- Discharge the rights of the Messenger of Allah Sydina Muhammad (Sallaho aliahi wa salam) by,
- Loving Him more than anything and everyone which includes oneself, desires, family etc.
- Honouring and respecting and having His greatness of status (Azmah) in one’s heart.
- Obeying Him and following Him in one’s entire life from birth to death and morning to evening and abandon the way of life which is against the Sunnah and Prophetic life.
- Conveying the message of His Deen and Sunnah (Religion and way of life) to all
- Making effort and endeavouring to establish the Deen of Islam in the world starting from your own body, mind, heart and life.
If these rights of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) have been violated in the past. Repent immediately and ask forgiveness from Allah, the Most forgiving and from the Beloved of Allah Syyidina Muhammad (Sallaho aliahi wa salam) [Pre-condition of the Tareeqah]
- Discharge the rights of Creation in relation to wealth, life and honour – either fulfil the rights of creation or ask forgiveness if one cannot do it. If they don’t then Rasulullah [Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam] has said then you should beg them to forgive you. [Pre-condition of the Tareeqa].
- Tawbah – repent from sins and perform tawbah then one embarks on the Path to the pleasure of Allah, the Exalted. Stages one, two and three of our Tareeqah fall into this step of the sulook (journey). Tawbah means to stop and turn back, thus, with all our sensual organs, mind and heart we are turning back towards Allah. [Pre-condition of the Tareeqah]
- Purification of the exterior – to purify oneself from the sins of the outer sensual organs such as lying, backbiting, stealing, adultery etc and to adhere to fulfilling the rights of Allah (swt) and the rights of the creation, which are commandments of Allah (swt) [1st stage of the Tareeqah].
- Purification from the evil traits - to purify the heart from evil traits such as hypocrisy, jealousy and ostentation, and to attain good akhlaaq [morals/character], for example, sincerity, thankfulness, humbleness [3rd stage of the Tareeqah].
- Convey the message of truth to the mankind commencing with your self, family, relatives, friends and then the entire humanity.
- A person should never think they have been completely purified and have attained all the good traits but rather think I am trying to attain the purification and good traits.
- To die while practising the above mentioned deeds and practices is the purpose of life for a human being. Thus this person can have hope of salvation through the divine grace (Fadl) and Mercy (Rahmah).
Optional [4th Stage of Purification]
The optional level is to engage the sensual organs in optional ibaadah that is, positive usage of the sensual organs of the body whilst internally keeping the awareness of Allah [subuhaanahu wa ta’ala] and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) continuously. Every type of worship in Islam consists of two forms, the outer form (the body) and the inner form (the spirit). The latter is the true essence of the worship and where the true benefit lies. Every act that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) performed consisted of these two forms.
However in the beginning, the seeker is trained firstly to adopt the outer form of that worship e.g. salaat (prayer), which the obligatory part. Only when the seeker has remained steadfast he/she is taught how to perform the salaat (prayer) inwardly i.e. with the spirit and the prayer of the spirit is never rejected by Allah (azzawajal). There are different degrees or levels of the inward worship. The higher the level one attains, the more the person resembles the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and through this he gains His love and nearness.
The wise men of this Ummah have said that the spirit or actual fruit of mujahada (striving) and ‘amaal-e-saliha’ (good deeds) or Tareeqah a person is following should be the Qurb (closeness) and Ridha (pleasure) of Allah the Exalted. What does closeness to Allah the Exalted entail? This consists of two dimensions: physical and spiritual. The Physical dimension is the obedience of the whole body to the commands of Allah (the Exalted) and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) in the most perfect manner. The Spiritual dimension means to have the awareness of Allah the Exalted; he or she is conscious of Allah’s existence and aware of His Presence. The more prolonged this state is, the more closeness the person has to Allah.
This is what we mean when we say ‘reality’ or ’haqqiqat’ of the Tareeqah (perfection of inner and the outer). It is to decorate and adorn ones spiritual and physical aspects with goodness. The outward self should be adorned with righteous deeds [i.e. purification of sensual self]. With regards to the inner, it is to adorn oneself with praiseworthy traits to the highest level and to continually advance in the ma’rifat (recognition) and Hudoor (awareness) of Allah (Swt). So if you are strictly acting upon the Sunnah, discharging your Faraidh and Wajibaats, performing your acts of worship (ibadaat), fulfilling other’s rights, and at the same time immersed in the remeberance of Allah the Exalted and His Messenger (Peace be upon him) you are close to your fruit which is your objective. This will be dealt in more detail in the chapter on the 4th stage of the Tareeqah.
The seeker should focus wholeheartedly on trying to attain the rewards of the Hereafter, the closeness to Allah and the Pleasure of Allah. He should fix his or her vision on whether they are trying to practise the deeds which lead to the pleasure of Allah, the exalted or not. This is within a person’s choice, power and ability. Allah does not charge a person with what is not within their choice, which they cannot attain.
The seeker should be saying to himself or herself:
If a person who engages himself in the optional parts and because of this the obligatory part is being affected or he becomes neglectful of it, then to be engaged in the optional part will not be commended. In fact it would be prohibited for him to continue and he should fulfil and address the obligatory part immediately. No matter how much ibaadah he does, he will not get any closeness of Allah, but rather, he will be further away from Allah [subuhaanahu wa ta’ala].
- Am I being obedient to Allah?
- Am I giving priority to the commands and prohibitions of Allah by acting on the commands and abandoning the prohibitions?
- Are my deeds resembling the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him), so that Allah (swt) will love me? Because Allah loves that person who follows Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him).
- Am I living my life as though I am seeing my Lord or at least He is watching me.
- Am I fulfilling the rights of creation?
- Am I conveying the message of truth to others?