The Shaykhs of the Tariq and the Tarbiya of the Murid:
The Shaykh of the Tariqa, the Imam of the people of Shari’a, and the Paragon of the People of Haqiqa, sayyidi l-shaykh al-imam al-Azhari, Salih al-Ja’fari al-Husayni, said in one of his Friday lessons in the noble Azhar mosque:
Know that the founders of all the Sufi tariqas are now in the Barzakh, in the other world. And because of that, each has as much knowledge of his mureed as the knowledge of his khalifa in the world, multiple times over. This tarbiya (upbringing) from the Barzakh is a spiritual tarbiya, and it is a type of the miraculous. As for when the shaykh is still alive on the Earth, then his tarbiya is real: He commands him to do the Salaat, Zakaat, and acts of obedience: “Pray!” “Give Zakaat!” “Do this and that”, and “Don’t do this or that!” And the first way goes further/takes one further than the second. The mureed can perceive the normal, real, tarbiya of the shaykh. And when his soul becomes stronger and he has a connection with his shaykh who is in the Barzakh and sees him in his sleep, then he will guide him to Qiyam al-Layl and the rest of the acts of obedience. And if his soul becomes even stronger, he will see him in the waking, and sit with him, and talk to him. His shaykh will come to him and tell him of things that will happen to him in his life, and command him to have patience over them, and forbid him to do ugly acts.
One time I wanted to go somewhere I was walking after Isha in the house, and there was a staircase there. A man came to me and said: Go back! My grandfather was buried in a far away place and when he died was 80 years old, and this man who came to me was 40 years old. But it fell into my heart that he was my grandfather, so I went back, and didn’t ask. And this is from the spiritual kind of tarbiya.
I used to know a shaykh in the Husayn neighborhood, and I was sitting with him once, and said to him: “We want to do a hadra”, so he said: “No! You are here in a country where, if you have one blanket over you then put another one on top of it. But do a hadra and we will come to you!”
Twenty years after the man died, a Moroccan man came from Fas, and stayed in the riwaaq (hall in the Azhar), not speaking to anyone for a month. Praying and not speaking to anyone, leaving the hall to eat outside the Azhar, and so on.
One day I found him at a man who makes tea near the wall, drinking a cup of tea. I said to the tea seller: The price of this tea is with me, tell this man not to pay any money. This man used to not accept that anyone pay anything for him, and would get angry if anyone paid anything for him. But my shaykh came and appeased him and said to him: “Accept it from him”. And I didn’t see any of that.
So the man said to me: “This white-haired man – meaning my shaykh- gives you his salam!” Then he turned to me and said again: “This white-haired man gives you his salam and says to you: ‘Remember what I said to you before: ‘You are in a country where, if you have one blanket over you, then put another one on top of it.’”
And I had not yet reached the level of seeing him awake.
There was a good shaykh called Salih from Latakiya, and was one of my students, he always came to attend (my) lesson. Shaykh Husayn al-Kurdi was alive and he was one of the awliya, and he used to wear a black cloak with a button. When he was about to die, he put his turban on shaykh Salih, and gave him the trust , the secret. But after he died, the state of shaykh Salih changed so much that shaykh Saleem al-Mufti would go visit him, and he no longer came to attend the lesson.
One time I was sitting in the Abbasid Hall, and I met him and greeted him, and asked him: Why don’t you come to the lesson? He looked to his right and then said: “The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa aalhi wa sallam, says to you: You will succeed and receive the Aalimiyya (PhD at the Azhar) and be hired.” Then he turned again and said to me: “You do salaat on him in which way?” I said: “I took the Ahmadiyya [Muhammadiyya] tariqa.” So he looked to the right again then said to me: “The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, says to you to do salaat on him in such and such a way.”
Look how this student of mine’s state changed! But he died two years later.
Shaykh Muhammad Hasanayn Makhloof al-Adawi said: The wali who has arrived can be in Sham, while his soul is upbringing the mureed in Egypt. And the scholars of tasawwuf said that as well, and their evidence for that is that Jibreel, alayhi assalam, used to come to the Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, in the shape of a man. As one scholar said: Jibreel, alayhi assalam, is in the sky, and has 600 wings, but his soul takes charge of this body and speaks through it, and likewise the wali who has arrived, while he is in Sham, his soul can take charge of the mureed as sayyidna Jibreel, alayhi assalam, took charge of affairs while he was in the sky.