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adviceforSufiMureeds-Qushayri

adviceforSufiMureeds-Qushayri

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Published by: Syed Madar on Mar 15, 2012
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05/06/2014

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-------H......
VLJ.l._..1V"\.-!!lU
L
SpiritualadviceforSufinovices
(wasaya
Ii'
I-muridin)
Themasterandimam[al-Qushayri]said:"AfterwehavementionedSomeepisodesfromthebiographiesofthe[Sufi]folkandcomplementedthiswithchaptersonthestations[oftheSufi]path,wewouldliketocompletethisepistlewithsomespiritualadvice
(waslyyaf'
for[Sufi]novices.WeaskGodMostHighthatHehelptheminproperlyexecutingthisadvice,thatHenotpreventthemfromfulfillingit,andthatHenotuseitasanargumentagainst
US.
825
Thefirststepofthe[Sufi]noviceonthis[Sufi]pathrequiresthathebesincere,sothathecouldbuildonasoundfoundation.Sufimastershavesaid[aboutthis]:"Theyweredeprivedofthearrival[inGod'spresence]
(wusuf),
becausetheyneglectedthefoundations
(usul)."
Likewise,IheardthemasterAbuCAlial-Daqqaqsay:"Thebeginning[oftheSufipath]requiresasoundbeliefthatbindstheservantandGodMostHigh-onethatisfreefromuncertaintyanddoubt,devoidofdelusionandinnovation,andderivedfrom[irrefutable]proofsandarguments."Itisrevoltingifthenoviceshouldespouseateachingthatdoesnotbelongtothis[Sufi]path.IfaSufihappenstoadheretoateachingofthosewhodeviatefromtheSufipath,!
1477
thisisbutaresultofhisignoranceoftheteachingsofthefollowersofthispath.Fortheirargumentsinsupportoftheirbeliefsareclearerthananyoneelse'sandthefoundationsoftheirteachingsarefirmerthanthefoundationsofanyotherteaching.People[belongtotwoclasses]:theyareeitheradherentsofreceivedknowledge
(naqf)
andtransmittedreports
(arhar),
orsupportersof[rational]knowledge
(Caql)
andspec.rlation
(jikr).
Themastersofthiscommunity
(ta'ija)
haverisenabovethemall.Whatothersconsidertobeunknownisbutamanifest[truth]torthem.TheknowledgethatotherpeoplecanonlyaspiretoisrenderedrealtothembyGod_praisebetoHim.Theyarethosewhohavearrived[inthepresenceofGod],whiletherestareguidedbyargumentativereasoning.Theyareasthepoetdescribedthem:
823Or"Simak".822ThecelebratedfemalemysticfromBasra,whofiguresprominentlyintheSufilore;shediedin
1851801;
see
Ii'vl,
pp.26--32.824Thistermcanalsobetranslatedas,forexample,"instruction","bequest"and"counsel".R25Thatis,incasetheyprovetobeincorrect.
 
MynighthasturnedtodawnthankstoyourfaceWhileitsdarknessspreadsitselfamongpeopleTheyareenvelopedwithdarknessWhereasweroaminthebrightshineoftheday.TherehasneverbeenanageinthehistoryofIslamwithoutamasterofthiscommunitywhowasproficientinthescienceoftheoneness[ofGod].TherehasneverbeenaleaderoftheSufis
to
whomthegreatestscholarsofhisepochwouldnotsubordinatethemselvesandpayobeisanceandseekblessingof.Hadtheynothadthedistinctionandspecialqualitiestothem,thiswouldnothavebeenso.Once,asAhmadb.Hanbalwassittingwithal-Shafi<i,826Shaybanal-Ra'i'"cametothem.Ahmadsaid[toal-Shafi'i]:"AbucAbdallah,I'dliketodrawyourattentiontohislackofknowledge.f"sothathewouldbusyhimselfwithacquiringsomeofit."Al-Shafi'iexclaimed:"Don'tdothis!"However,IbnHanbaldidnotdesist.HeaskedShayban:"Whatcanyousayaboutsomeonewhoforgot[toperform]oneofthefive[canonical]dailyprayersandcannotrememberw~ichofthemheforgot?Shayban,whatdoyouthinkheshoulddo?"Shaybanreplied:"Ahmad,thatisaheartthatwasneglectfulofGodMostHigh.Therefore,itmustbeeducated[ingoodmanners],sothatitwouldnevereverbeneglectfulofitsMaster."[Onhearingthis]Ahmad[b.Hanbal]fainted.Whenhecame~o,al-Shafi-i-mavGodhavemercyonhim-said:"Didn'tItellyoutoleavehimalone?!"Shaybanal-Ra'iwasanilliterateman.IfanilliterateSufilikehimha.dsuchastature,onecanonlyfathomwhattheirleaderswerelike!/
/478
It
IS
relatedthattheteachingcircle'"ofthegreatjuristnamedAbu'Imranusedtoassemble[inthemosque]nexttoal-Shibli'steachingcircle.Wheneveral-Shiblispoke,themembersofAbu'Imran'scirclewouldmigratetohim.[Oneday]themembersofal-Shibli'scircleaskedhimaquestionaboutmenstruation
III
order
to
embarrasshim.[Inresponse]al-Shiblimentioned[all]theteachingspertainingtothisissueaswellasdisagreementsoverit.[Onhearingthis]Abu'Imranstoodupandkissedal-Shibliontheheadsaying:"AbuBakr,IhaveheardtenstatementsaboutthisissuewhichIhavenotheardbefore.Outofthatwhichyousaid[aboutthisissue],Iknewonlythreeteachings!"ThejuristnamedAbu)1-CAbbasb.Surayj'"waspassingbytheteachingcircleofal-]unayd-mayGodhavemercvonbothofthem-andheardhimspeak.Someoneaskedhimwhathethoughtaboutthatspeech.Heanswered:"IdonotunderstandwhathesaidbutIfeltinhiswordsthestrengththatanidletalkercanneverproduce."
826Bothwerethemostdistinguishedscholarsandjuristsoftheirage,whofoundedlegalschoolsnamedafterthem.827Thatis,Shayban"theShepherd".828IbnHanbalapparentlyimpliedtheknowledgeofthetransmitted[prophetic]reportsandjurisprudence..829Beforetheemergenceofreligiouscolleges
(madrasa)
eachdistinguishedscholarconductedhisteachingsessioninamosque,surroundedbythe"circle"
(halqa)
ofhisdisciples.830AdistinguishedShafi-ischolarwhodiedin
306/918.
ABU'L-QASIMAL-QUSHAYRI405
Someoneasked<Abdallahb.Sa'idb.Kullab:"Youhavedebatedtheteachingsofevery[scholar]youhaveheard.Thereisamannamedal-]unayd.Goandseeifyoucanchallengehim."<Abdallahattendedal-]unayd'scircle.Heaskedal-]unaydaboutGod'soneness
(tawhid).
Whenal-]unaydresponded,<Abdallahbecameconfusedandaskedhimtorepeatwhathehadsaid.AI-]unaydrepeatedthesamepointbutuseddifferentwords[toexpressit].cAbdallahtoldhim:"Iamunabletograspthis;canyousaythisagainforme?"AI-]unaydrepeatedthistohimusingdifferentexpressions.'Abdallahtoldhim:"Iamunabletograspwhatyousay.Canyoudictatethisforme?"AI-Junaydsaid:"Ifyou[arereadyto]traverseit,"lJIwilldictatethistoyou."cAbdallahstoodup,recognizedhis[al-]unayd's]superiorityandacknowledgedhisexaltedstatus.Thefoundationsofthiscommunityarethesoundestfoundation,itsleadersarethegreatestanditsscholarsarethemostlearnedofmen.Thereforethenovicewhohasfaithinthem,
if
hetravelsalong[their]pathandaspirestowardtheirgoals,willshareintheunveilingsoftheunseen[thattheywitness]andwillhavenoneedinthemeddlingofanyonewhodoesnotbelongtothiscommunity.Ifheaspirestothepathof[pious]precedentandisnotindependentinhisspiritualstate,ifhestrivestodepartfromthedomainsofblindimitationinordertoarriveatthetruerealization
(tahqiq),
thenhemustfollowinthefootstepsofitsfoundersandtreadthepathofthisgeneration[ofSufis],fortheyarebetterthananyoneelse.IheardShaykhAbucAbdai-Rahmanal-Sulamisay:IheardAbuBakral-Razisay:Iheardal-Shiblisay:"Whatdoyouthinkaboutknowledgecomparedtowhichtheknowledgeofthelearnedmayseemdoubtful?"IalsoheardMuhammadb.(Alib.Muhammadal-Mukharrimisay:IheardMuhammadb.<Abdallahal-Farghanisay:Iheardal-]unaydsay:"HadIknownthatGodhascreatedaknowledgeunderthesun/
/479
thatisnoblerthanwhatwetogetherwithOurcompanionsandbrothersareteaching,Iwouldhaveaspiredandstriventowardit!"AftertheseekerhasestablishedapactbetweenhimselfandGod,heshouldobtain-eitherthroughhisownrealization
(tahqiq)
orbymeansofaskingthereligiousauthorities-theknowledgeoftheDivineLawthatallowshim
to
fulfillhisreligiousduty.Whentherulingsoflegalscholarsvary,heshouldadoptthemostcomprehensiveofthemandseektoavoidanycontroversy.Dispensationsfromobligatoryrequirements
(rukhas)
areintendedfortheweakonesandthosewhoseektoshirk[theirduties]byreferringtotheir[mundane]needsandconcerns.Asforthis[Sufi]community,theyhavenoconcernexceptforobservingtherightsofGod-praisebetoHim.Therefore,theysaythatifaSufihastakenrecoursefromtherankoftheTrueRealitytoadispensationfromtherequirementsoftheDivineLaw,hehasdepartedfromhispactwithGodandviolatedthatwhichhasexistedbetweenGodMostHighandhimselfNow,thenovicemustbeeducatedingoodmannersbya[Sufi]master.Ifhedoesnothaveone,hewillneversucceed.AbuYazidsaid:"Hewhodoesnothaveamaster,
831Thatis,theSufipath.
 
406
AL-QUSHAYRI'SEPISTLEONSUFISMABU'L-QASIMAL-QUSHAYRI
407
Satanishisleader."IheardthemasterAbucAlial-Daqqaqsay:"Thetreethathasgrownonitsownwithoutagardenerwillbringforthfoliag~,but
~ill
neverbringanyfruit.Likewise,ifthenovicehas""maste.rtotakehisre.achmgfro~breathafterbreath,thenheworshipsnothmgbuthispersonalwhimsand.willneverachievewhatheaspiresto."Ifthenovicewantstowalkalongthe[right]path,hemustseekrefugeinGodfromanyslipandaband~nallerrors-bethe?manifestorhiddensmallorgreat.Hemustseek
to
obtainthepleasureofhisadversaries,forhewhofailstosatisfyhisadversarywillnotachieveanythingonthis[Sufi]path..Thustheyhaveproceededuntiltheyhavebeguntocutalltiesandpre-occupationsofthisworld,forthispathrestsontheemptinessofth~h~art[fro~allmundanepreoccupations].Al-Shiblitoldal-Husriatthebegl.nnmgofhisnovitiate:"IfsomethingotherthanGodMostHighentersyourmindfromoneFridayduringwhichyouvisitmetothenext,youareprohibitedfromvisitingm~."Whentheaspirantseekstocuttiestothisworld,heshouldfirs~aba~don~hls]property;propertydistractsonefromGod.There'snoaspi.rantmthiSaffairofours'"whoremainsattachedtothisworld.Ifhedoeskeepthisattachment,!
1480
thenitwillsoondraghimbacktowhatheaspiredtoleavebehind.And.w~enheabandonsproperty,hemustalsogiveuphis[social]status
(jah),
forclmgmgtoone'sloveofrankisamajorobstacle.Iftheaspirantisconcerned~yotherpeopleacceptingorrejectinghim,nothing[good]willcom~outofhim',Theworstthingthatcanhappentotheaspirantisthatpeo~lebe.gmtot~kenoticeofhim[lookingathim]withanapprovingeyeand[seekinghis]blessmg.For.the[common]folkhavenoinklingofallthis,whilethenovicehasnotyetmaden.ghthisaspiration[toGod],sohowcanoneseektoobtainhisbles.sing?[Sufi]novicesarerequiredtoabandontheirrenown,foritisadeadlypoisontothem.Aft~rtheaspiranthasgivenuphispropertyandrank,~eshoul~makegoodhispactwithGodMostHighandnotopposehismaste~inan~thmg.t~at~helatterprescribes
to
him.Foroppositiontoone'smaster~ur~ngonesnovlt1at~ISagravedeficiency,becauseone'sinitialstateisthebestindicatoro~[whatWillhappentohim]duringtherestofhislife.OneconditionforsuccessISthattheresh?uldbenooppositiontothemasterinhisstudent'sheart.Ifitoccurs
to
theaspirantthathehasanyvalueorpowerinthisworldandthenext,orthat.there'sont~efaceoftheearthsomeonewhoismorelowlythanhe,hehasnonghtto[aspiretoGod].Foronemustexertoneselfinordertoknowone'sLordand~ottoseekpowerforoneself.Thereisagreatdifferencebetweenaperson,:hoa~plre~
to.
GodMostHighandapersonwhoaspirestoself-aggrandizement,elt~e~
til
thislife~rtheHereafter.Next,thenovicemustpreservehissecretfromhisIlk,excepthismaster.Ifhehasconcealedevenonebreathfromhismaster,hewillhavebetrayedhiminhisrightofcompanionship.Shouldhehappentodisagreewithwhatthemasterhascommandedtohim,hemustconfessthisinfrontofhismasterimmediately.Hethenshouldsubmithimselftothemaster'sjudgementasa
832Namely,Sufism.
punishmentforhistransgressionandobjection.Thismaybean[expiatory]journevassignedtohimbythemasteror[someother]penance,asthemasterseesfit.•Themasterhasnorighttooverlookthefailingsofhisnovices,forthisisbuttheforfeitureoftherightsduetoGodMostHigh.Aslongasthenoviceretainsanyofhis[mundane]attachments,themasterisunabletoinstillinhimthe[proper]remembrance[ofGod],forhe[themaster]mustfirsttesthim.Whenthemaster'sheartbearswitnesstothenovice'sproperintention,themastermuststipulatethatthenoviceontheSufipathshouldacceptalltheverdictsofGod'sdecree[inhisregard].Themastermustalsoestablishapactwithhim[demanding]~hathesho~ldnotdepartfromthispathdespiteanyharm,humiliation,poverty,Illnessorpamthatmayafflicthimandthathisheartnotbedivertedtoeasywaysandhaverecoursetodispensationsduringtheattacksofneedandwant.Norshouldhepreferrestorbeovercomewithlaziness,forcomingtoahaltfortheaspirantisworsethanbecominglax.Thedifferencebetweenthemisthatlaxitvmeansadepartureandforfeitureofone'saspiration[toGod],whileahaltmean~restingfromthe[hardships]oftravelinfavorofthepleasuresoflaziness,Nothinggoodwillcomeoutofthenovicewhomakesahaltatthebeginningofhisaspiration.Oncethemasterhastestedthenovice,heinstructshiminamethodofreme~br~nceasheseesfitandcommandshimtomentionacertainname[ofGod]Withhisowntongue.HethenordersthattheheartoftheaspirantrecollectGodalongsidethetongue.Hetellshim:"Keepthisremembrancewith
voul/
481constantlyasifyouwerealwayspresentwithGodinyourheart.Ndthingbutthisnameshouldflowfromyourtongue,ifyouarecapableofthis."Themasterthenordersthattheaspirantalwaysmaintainritualpurity,thatheshouldnotsleepunlessoverwhelmed[bysleep],thathereducetheamountofhisfoodbitbybituntilhehasgrownaccustomedtoit.Areportsays:"Hewhoallowshisridinganimaltoperishonajourneytraversesnodistancenorhasabacktocarry[hisgoodson]."Themasterthenorderstheaspiranttoseeksolitudeandretreatand,whileinthisstate,sparenoeffortinbanishingmundanethoughtsanddistractingpromptingsfromhisheart.Knowthatnoaspirantinthisstateatthebeginningofhisaspirationisfreefromevilwhisperingsthatmaycorrupthisdetermination,especiallywhenhepossessesanadroitheart.Fewareaspirantswhodonotencountersuchstatesatthebeginningoftheirprogress.Sucharetemptationsthattheaspirantsusuallvencounter.Whenthemasterobservesadroitnessintheaspirant,hemustdire~thimtorationalproofs,forthereisnodoubtthatonewhoaspirestoward[religious]knowledgeridshimselfbyitfromtheevilwhisperingsthataccosthim.Whenthemasterdiscernsinhisdisciplethe[necessary]strengthanddeterminationinfollowingthe[Sufi]path,heordershimtobepatientandtoconstantlyrecollect[God'sname]sothatbeforelongthelightsofhisacceptance[byG~d]wouldbegintoshineinhisheartandthesunsofarrival[inGod'spresence]wouldriseinhisinnermostself.Theserulesapplyonlytofewaspirants.Inmostcases,onehastotreatthembyreferringthemtospeculativereasoning
(nazilr)
andthewitnessingof[divine]signs,providedthattheaspiranthasacquiredthe

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