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All Praise is due to Almighty Allah, Peace and Salutations upon our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), his noble Companions and his exalted Family (radi Allahu anhum).

Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Quran: ´Undoubtedly, he attained to his goal who purified´. (Al-A’la: 14)

The body and the soul together make up a complete person. While the body belongs to this world, the soul’s origin is the realm of Divine Power. Allah Ta’ala by His Divine Power has united them and made provisions for their growth. Just as Allah Ta’ala has provided various foods for the nourishment of the body, He has also provided sustenance for the soul. This vital sustenance, which invigorates the soul, is the Remembrance of Allah.

At times the body is prone to ailments, the cure of which is available in various medicines. The soul also falls ill in which case Allah Ta’ala has provided remedies. Doctors treat the body at times of illness and Friends of Allah Ta’ala are healers of the soul. As we consult doctors for our physical ailments, we should consult the Awliya Allah for our spiritual ailments.

The body and the soul each have their particular impurities. Impurities of the body are urine, faeces, pus, and so forth. Similarly, impurities of the soul are lying, cheating, polytheism (associating partners with Allah), and any other activities that is against the Shari’ah (Islamic Law). Just as we dislike any filth to defile our bodies and if this happens we immediately remove it, it is incumbent on every Muslim to cleanse and purify his soul from any impurities. The impurities of the body are cleansed with water, and the water to cleanse the soul is sincere repentance. The tear of a repenter purges his soul and cleanses his heart.

Allah Ta’ala declares: ´Undoubtedly, he attained to his goal who is purified´. The cleanliness and purity intended in this Aayah is of a comprehensive and inclusive nature. Hence, Islam calls us to physical as well as spiritual and mental cleanliness; both outer and inner cleanliness. To realise this complete purity in a balanced manner, Islam offers comprehensive guidelines. Other religions lack this balance and symmetry found in Islam. Some religions focus only on the mind and neglect the physical dimension. However, the heart, mind and body are so interwoven that they mutually affect each other. Hence, purification of the body affects the purity of the mind and heart. In the light of this, the Holy Quran teaches: ´Glorify your Lord and keep your garments clean´ (Mudaththir: 4-5). The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) informs us that cleanliness is part of faith (Mishkaat, Book of Cleanliness, Chapter 1).

To attain purity of the soul one needs knowledge relevant to this purity. This particular knowledge is the science of Tasawwuf, which the faculties governing the conduct of the Murshid (spiritual guide) and the Mureed (disciple), and the knowledge and practice of Awraad (special prayers).

Moulana Abdun Nabi Hamidi

Imam of Sultan Bahu Juma Masjid

Mayfair. Johannesburg


Tasawwuf is the concept, which embodies the purification of the heart by sincerely, and obediently practising the lifestyle of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in all spheres of his life.

Hazrat Sheikh Data Ganj Bakhsh Ali Hajweri (radi Allahu anhu) (400-465 A.H.) narrates from Hazrat Murtaish (radi Allahu anhu). ´Tasawwuf is refined character. This refined character may be attained in three ways: Firstly, to obey the commandments of Allah Ta’ala and his Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) with utmost sincerity,

Secondly, to respect all those senior to us in age, knowledge and piety; love the young; observe justice at all times and not to expect any return for our good actions.

Thirdly, to avoid all evil desires and Satanic attractions.

By complying to the aforementioned regulations one attains piety.´ (Kashful Mahjoob, pg. 106)


Those who have devoted themselves completely to the service of Almighty Allah do not even bother to obtain a means of substance. Such people are being provided with financial help from anonymous sources. These pious people do not have hopes of material gain from people. They have complete trust in Allah. When they receive some gift from the public, they receive it with the Niyyah (intention) that Allah Ta’ala is the Giver and the donor is the means. To be of any assistance to such people is actually to do good to us.

Ghausul A’zam, Sayyiduna Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jailani (radi Allahu anhu) states that Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has recommended giving food to ascetics and pious persons and giving clothing to the Believers. By assisting such a person with worldly necessities we minimize his burden and enable him to devote himself completely to Allah Ta’ala. In this way, we will receive the reward of his good deeds since we have provided him with necessary physical nourishment and helped him furthering the cause of Allah Ta’ala. (Al-Fat’hur Rabbani, pg. 192)

The general public at times present Mashaa’ikh and Ulama with gifts. This is a good practice as it frees them from worldly trivialities, enabling them to dedicate themselves fully in the work of Allah Ta’ala.

However, there are fraudulent persons amongst the Ulama and Mashaa’ikh who are involved in sinful deeds and practice acts refuted by the Shari’ah. These people should not be given assistance or gifts since it makes the donor, if he is aware of the nature of such a person, an accomplice to the sin. The onus lies on the public to exercise discretion and judgement and decide if the person is deserving of any form of assistance.


´People of Purity´, also known as ´Ahlus Safa´, are characterised as follows:-

1. SUFI: Sufi is that person who has overcome his self-ego as well as all human weaknesses, whilst at the same time being aware of the reality of all existence. Truth is the hallmark of his life. The term Sufi refers to an established and completely realised Wali Allah (Friend of Allah). In ´Kashful Mahjoob´ a Sheikh is quoted as saying ´one who is emerged in the friendship of Allah and has freed himself from all other than Allah, is a Sufi´. (Kashful Mahjoob, pg.97)

Ghausul A’zam, Hazrat Sheikh Qaadir Jailani (radi Allahu anhu) explains that until a person has not reached the rank where he is graced by the vision of Nabi Muhammed (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in his dream and is given commands and prohibitions, he cannot be regarded as a Sufi. If this fortunate incident does occur, then his heart gains promotion and his innermost being is cleansed and he attains the proximity of Allah Ta’ala while his hands are in the hands of Nabi Muhammed (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). (Al Fath-ur-Rabbani, pg. 389)

2. MUTASAWWIF: One who is striving to attain the status of a Sufi through Mujaahidah (Continuous struggle against evil desires). He follows the examples of the Sufis to better himself.

3. MUSTASWIF: One who impersonates a Sufi for monetary gain, power, and worldly honour. He does not have any of the qualities of the Sufi or Mustasawwif. (Kashful Mahjoob, pg. 98)


If a person wants to learn any art form or gain knowledge/science he will seek help from an expert in that field. Knowledge of Allah Ta’ala’s Zaat (Being) is the most difficult secret in the universe. It can only be achieved with the help of its experts, the Awliya Allah. Only these people can be accepted as Murshids (guides). The following quotation define the need and guidance of a Murshid.

Ghausul A’zam, Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qaadir Jailani (radi Allahu anhu) brings home the necessity of a Murshid in a beautiful metaphor. He says: ´The heart is the plantation for the Aakhirah (Hereafter). Sow the seeds of Imaan in your heart. Irrigate, fertilise and mature it with regular good deeds. If there is kindness and energy in the heart it will be fertile and an abundant harvest will result. Should the heart be harsh and contemptuous, the soul becomes infertile and barren and no crop will be able to grow. Learn this art of farming by its farmers/experts, the Awliya Allah. Do not think your opinion to be sufficient. Our Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) says, ‘Seek help in every field from an expert in that field’´. (Al-Fath-ur-Rabbani, pg. 202)

Ghausul A’zam (radi Allahu anhu) said: ´Arrogance, hypocrisy, egoism, are all arrows of Shaitaan aimed at your hearts. One should formulate a strategy to defend oneself from this attack. The correct strategies are explained and demonstrated by the Mashaa’ikh (Guides). You should heed to their commands and act on them. They will guide you on the path of Allah since they have already travelled on this path. Ask their advise on matters relating to the Nafs (carnal desires), cravings and other weaknesses because they have also suffered their consequences and are well aware of the dangers and harms of evil desires. They have battled these over a long period of time and can confront, control and defeat them´. (Al-Fath-ur-Rabbani, pg. 150)


Ghaus-ul A’zam (radi Allahu anhu) says: ´If a person is unable to differentiate between a true and false Murshid, he should read 2 Rakaats Nafil for achieving recognition of Allah at Tahajjud time. Then he should ask Allah to inform him of those pious people who will be able to guide him on the Right Path. He should beseech Allah to show him the person who will intoxicate him with Allah’s love and adorn the eyes of his heart with the light of Allah’s closeness and inform him of unseen happenings that he personally witnessed´. (Insha-Allah by doing so, one will receive the answer)(Al-Fath-ur Rabbani, pg.146)

If someone is unable to do this then he should seek the advise of a well versed Sunni Aalim. At times, people take advice from the ignorant and become Mureeds of Shaitaan. May Allah Ta’ala protect us all. Aameen.


The Murshid is obligated to follow the commands of Shari’ah with absolute respect and dedication. The role of the Murshid is to enlighten the path of those who are astray with righteousness and guidance. A ´Murshid´ who does not respect and follow the Shari’ah is himself in darkness and totally incapable of illuminating (rating someone else’s path or guiding them). Such people are disciples of Shaitaan and the enemies of Islam. Some Murshids go about sowing doubts in the minds of their followers. They teach that Salaah and Saum (Fasting) are outward forms of worship and should be left to the Ulama. They claim that they practice and worship with their hearts only. Such Mushids are astray and mislead their followers too. They feast in Ramadaan openly mocking the Shari’ah and Tariqah. Yet, ignorant Mureeds are convinced that these people will transport them into Jannah. It is strange that bodily requirements like eating, drinking, sleeping, taking medication and other physical activities are done promptly. It is only those physical duties commanded by Allah ...
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