The Shaykhs of the Path and Tarbiya 1

The Shaykh of the Tariqa, the Imam of the people of Shari’a, and the Paragon of the People of Haqiqa, sayyidi al-shaykh al-imam al-Azhari, Salih al-Ja’fari al-Husayni, said in his book Al-Ilhaam an-Naafi’ li-Kulli Qaasid (The Beneficial Inspiration for Every Seeker):

Know my brother, may Allah guide you and guide us: That that shaykhs of the path say: “Obedience brings us together, and disobedience separates us”.

And what greater catastrophe is worse on the murid then separation between himself and his shaykh?

For the shaykh is the door to the Prophetic Presence (al-Hadra an-Nabawiyya), and the Prophetic Presence is the door to the Holy Presence (Al-Hadra al-Qudsiyya), and he who knows both doors, enters into the presence of both.

[Sayyidi al-shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari, radi Allahu anhu, has said about that]:

فبابك للمختار شيخك يا فتى * به الوصل بالمختار في حضرة القرب

وبالسيد المختار ترقى إلى العلا * ويدنيك من رب الوجود بلا حجب

Your door to the Chosen One is your Shaykh, young man!

Through him is your connection to the Chosen One, most near!

And by the Master, the Chosen One, you rise up high

And he brings you close to the Lord of Existence, without veils!

Important Note:

What I meant by the Shaykh, is the Shaykh of the Tariq who is in the Barzakh. As for the one from whom you took the awraad, he is your door to the Shaykh of the Awrad, and without him arrival becomes very difficult/impossible. And it is enough in him the uprightness (istiqaama) of his outward, in doing what is obligatory and leaving what is forbidden, because his  obedience (to Allah) does not benefit you, and his disobedience (to Allah) does not harm you.

And the connection of your actions, sayings, and this figurative shaykh of yours is only to your real shaykh, who has authorization from the Prophet (salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam).

A Beneficial Story:

( A long time ago) I saw in my sleep while I was in the noble Azhar a man coming to the Azhar, and a sign appeared to me from sayyidi al-sayyid Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, radi Allahu anhu, to receive him. After the vision, the man came. He was from Algeria, 60 years old, and wearing a worn out Maghrebi cloak. I had brought a white thobe from the Sudan that is called a Shiqqa and taken it to the tailor, and told him to make a Maghrebi cloak from it, but he stalled for two months. But when I took this man with me to the tailor, he said to me: “This is the owner of the cloak, not you!” Then he finished it on the same day, and I gave it to him. Then I said to him: “What is your name? He said: Ahmad al-Jilani.” I said: “What is your tariq?” He said: “Qadiri.”

He stayed in the Azhar months, fasting the day, and worshiping at night, and sitting by himself, separating himself from the people. I entered upon him once, having made the intention in my heart to seek some secrets from him, and found him sitting facing the Qibla, repeating the name “Allah” silently and stretching it, and his tears coming out of his eyes. So I sat to his right side. He turned to me and looked at me with anger and said to me: “Because you honored me, and served me, you want me to give you a secret from the secrets of Allah? I have nothing to give you, there is no authorization.”

Then his anger quietened and he said to me: “My son, because you honored me me I will guide you to something greater than the secret that you want:

Know that the shaykh of every path has authorization from sayyidna Rasool Allah (salla Allahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam), and so the madad (spiritual sustenance, support) for his murids is in his awraad. Stick to the awraad of the shaykh to whom you are affiliated, because the madad is in them, not in any other. Do not seek a shaykh or a wird other than his.”

And the Principles of the Sufis are confined in these words:

1- Fanaa’ in the shaykh.

2- If he saw that from you he would take you/present you to the Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam.

3- If the Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, saw from you fanaa’ in him, salla Allahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, he would take you/present you to Allah Most High.

This man then traveled to al-Madina al-Munawwara and stayed in it a while, then returned to his country, and died there around the year 1370 A.H., Allah’s mercy and pleasure be upon him.

It is a great catastrophe for the murid to deny his immediate shaykh, or his shaykh who is in the Barzakh, and he should have complete acceptance/surrender.


  1. Aslm Alykm I Just wanted to thank you I really appreciate your posts may Allah increase and reward you, I had found the old riyadahadithna blog a couple of years ago and was sad when it stopped working, I just recently came across this blog and was so pleased alhamdulilah. I am quite a novice in Tariqah (suleymani naqshabandi of Turkey) and this post has helped me a bit with some of my questions with regard rabita and the role of the sheikh in barzakh. I have a cellphone full of the madaaih of Shaykh Salih (rahimhullah) that never fail to lift my spirit.

    • wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

      Do you by any chance mean Shaykh Sulayman Hilmi Tunahan? I just returned from a visit to Istanbul two weeks ago, and was walking around exploring the Karacaahmet cemetery, hoping to find the tombs of ancient awliya. I saw bus after bus after bus unloading people to go visit a maqam. So I went and asked one of them, who are they visiting? He said to me: a mudarris.

      I said: I am looking for awliya.

      He said: He is murshid kamil!

      I said what is his name?

      He said: Sulayman Hilmi Tunahan.

      so alhamdulillah I stood with them and read Fatiha and made dua in that blessed place. I consider it a gift from Allah ta’ala that I was there at the same time those buses were arriving and all those people were visiting, so that I could visit this blessed shaykh. Maybe the shaykh invited me to visit him because you liked my old posts!

      • Yes mashaalah it is him, he has thousands of madressahs in Turkey and around the world. He worked tirelessly for preservation of Islamic scholarship during the Kemalist years.
        His students, probably the busloads you saw, are daees. In South Africa where I am they have set up many madressa’s in Just 15 years or so empowering and serving the local people.
        I was there in Turkey for the first time in May Alhamdulilah and we visited his turba.
        That may indeed be the reason, his students tell us that everything in this path is a karamat.
        We have a small write up on his life, if you’re interested I can email it to you.

  2. mashaAllah! please do either send me your email here, and i will email you back and delete the comment showing your email, or just post the whole write up here! It deserves to be put online somewhere anyway! So even if you just start a new blog somewhere just to post this one write up and never write any other posts, that would be a great service for us all!

  3. Reblogged this on Salawaat Durood / Salawat Durud.


  1. […] Role of the Living Shaykh and the Role of the Shaykh of the Barzakh: Part 1, Part […]

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