Shaykh Muhyiddin Ansari
Advice for People of the Path
Bismillah er Rahman er Rahim
The following excerpts are from archives of writings of Shaykh Muhyiddin Ansari
Obey Allah's guidance and avoid what He forbids.
Protect yourself from things which are contrary to the teaching of the sharia and tariqa.
Remain steadfast in your commitment to your religion.
Work on material related to the sharia and tariqa.
Do not look down on anyone.
Do not try to shame anyone or pry into the flaws which they are trying to hide.
Be merciful and generous to those who are needy.
Quit your useless and bad manners.
Accept and obey your Shaykh's advice.
Sunnas of Tariqa (Path of Sufism)
Sunna is the observed behavior of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
There are four gateways on the Path: Sharia, Tariqa, Haqiqa, Marifa. Each door has 10 levels:
The Door of Sharia (the body of Islamic religious canons)
- To recite the word of shahada (witness): La ilaha illallah (There is no god but God)
- To pray five times each day
- To pay the zakat (poor due; alms)
- To fast during Ramadan
- To make the pilgrimage (hajj)
- To make a halal (religiously legal) living
- To stay away from the haram (forbidden)
- To protect your eyes from the haram
- To get married
- To encourage the right and discourage the wrong
The Door of Tariqa
- To make tawba (repentance) for your bad manners and actions
- To change your bad manners into good
- To be present for duty before the Murshid-i Kamil (lit., Perfect Guide; Shaykh)
- To ask general forgiveness in humility
- To fear Allah, which results in not doing bad actions
- To move away from serving the dunya (material world)
- To leave everything except Allah
- To know that the good will of the Shaykh is the good will of Haqq (Truth; Allah)
- To not stop reading your verd (litany) and saying your zikr
- To act with the knowledge of "yawma la yanfa'u malun wa la banun illa man ata Allaha bi qalbin salim (the day on which neither wealth will be of any use, nor children, (and when) only he (will be happy) who comes before God with a sound heart)," and obey the advice of your Shaykh. (Sura 26:88-89)
The Door of Haqiqa (the state of knowing absolute Truth)
- To be modest
- To not discriminate but to see yourself as the same as others
- To dedicate oneself to the service of other people, rather than to be selfishly thinking of oneself only
- To be no threat to all of creation
- To not break anyone's heart
- To stay on the Path of Allah
- To act with the command, "Al faqru fakhri aftakhir bihi ("Poverty is my pride; by it I receive honor)."
- To see the universe as a sign of Allah, as something to learn from
- To use one's ability to get closer to the knowledge of Allah, the secrets of Allah and the knowledge of Haqq
- To be repentant, humble and praising Haqq in one's heart at all times
The Door of Marifa (direct knowledge of Allah)
- To have good manners and to be tactful
- To kill your nafs (egoistic or animalistic nature)
- To stop seeing your nafs as being right
- To prefer solitude
- To believe and surrender to the words of the shaykhs
- To have a sense of shame
- To be generous
- To be able to discern between true and false
- To be soft and to not be disobedient
- To constantly strive to get closer to the Truth (Haqq)
As in sharia, the Tariqat-i Ali (Path of Ali [may Allah be pleased with him]) has fardz, wajib, and sunna.
The fardz (compulsory actions and attitudes) of Tariqa are six:
- Tawba (repentance)
- Taslim (surrender)
- Kana'a (contentment)
- Irada (spiritual aspiration)
- Riyaza (diet)
- Uzla (solitude)
The wajib (necessary actions and attitudes) of Tariqa are six:
- To do good deeds
- To be charitable
- To have a generous heart
- To keep away from love for the dunya
- To fear Allah
- To be enthusiastic, diligent and hard-working
The sunna (following the example of the Prophet [pbuh]) of Tariqa are six:
- Marifa (direct knowledge of Allah), to learn all about the commands of Allah
- To feel a relationship to Allah
- To be loyal (sadiq)
- To have tawakkul (trust) to surrender to Allah
- To contemplate
The Arkan (accepted procedures) of Tariqa are also six:
- To attain knowledge
- To be soft and serene
- To be courageous
- To accept with happiness the decrees of Allah
- To be sincere
- To have a beautiful character
Advice from Our Shaykh Abdul Qadir al Geylani to His Murids
This is some advice from our Shaykh Abdul Qadir al Geylani for those who want to mature themselves and control their nafs (egoistic or animalistic nature):
Do not lie, either jokingly or seriously. Once your tongue avoids lying, Allah The Most High enlarges your chest and purifies your understanding and ilm (knowledge). One who does not lie becomes as if s/he does not know what a lie is; everything becomes truth to him. When s/he hears other people lie, the dervish should pray for them to end this behavior.
The dervish must keep his promise at all times unless s/he has a very certain excuse. The dervish should avoid breaking his promise because this is in the same class as lying. As long as the servant of Allah tries to keep his promise and avoids breaking it, the generosity-door and modesty-windows open to him, loyal lovers of Allah love him, and he gets to a higher place in Allah's presence.
The dervish should avoid cursing and torturing the created (from bugs to jinns [unseen beings similar to humans], including human beings), because avoiding these actions is a characteristic of the good and loyal friends of Allah. If a person is like this, Allah protects him, his end will be good, and s/he will attain high levels in Allah's presence. Allah rewards that person with being a blessing to human beings and being close to Allah's essence.
Even if a person has tortured or wronged him, the dervish should not pray badly about that person, curse him, or damn him with either words or actions (s/he should not give a reply). The dervish should put up with the wrong and be patient for Allah's sake, because this virtue takes the owner to high levels in this world and in the next. Everyone will feel love for him.
The dervish should not accuse other believers of attributing partners to Allah, of disbelief, or of causing trouble or fights between people. This attitude is close to mercy; it will make the owner of this attitude reach high levels.
The dervish should not sin, either from the inner (heart) or outer, should avoid eating things that are not halal (permitted), and should protect all the organs of his body from sin. This will give a person beautiful results in his eternal life and is the best thing one can do for his heart and organs during this life to prepare for eternal life. May Allah give all of us this beautiful state and bless us with these good deeds and take the lust out of our hearts.
The dervish should earn her own livelihood and not be a burden on people who are not responsible for her. Because of this virtue, the fear of Allah will make the dervish's worship complete and honorable.
The dervish should not expect anything from people or want what belongs to other people. The biggest honor and wealth, the highest levels, and what is most useful is to put one's whole trust in only Allah. Only with this attitude can the dervish be pious; worship matures with this attitude. This is the action of those who give themselves to Allah.
By having a humble heart, the dervish reaches high levels and remains at these high levels. With humility, one's place in the presence of Allah and human beings ripens. This is the basis of goodness and the highest level of goodness. With this virtue, when the servant is troubled, Allah's lovers stay with her (the pirs [spiritual ancestors] and walis [protecting friends; saints] visit him in the unseen and give her help). Humility is seeing everybody one meets as higher than her and thinking that they might be closer to Allah than her. If the person the dervish meets is younger, he should say, "She did not rebel against Allah, I did. I am sure she is better than me." And if the person the dervish meets is older, "That person has worshipped Allah longer than I have; he might have reached levels I have not been able to reach. Maybe Allah has let him know things I have not been allowed to know yet." If the person you meet is ignorant, then the dervish says, "This person rebelled against Allah because she was ignorant, I rebelled against Allah knowingly. I do not know what is going to happen to me or to her in the end." If the dervish meets a disbeliever or agnostic, the dervish says "Maybe one day, this disbeliever will become a Muslim and do better deeds than me. He might end up in a better place than I, and I might be misled and end up in a worse place." If a person acts with humility like this, Allah The Most High saves him from hardships and allows the dervish to attain the level of those who give advice for Allah's sake. He will be the closest friend of Allah the Most Merciful.
Intentionally or unintentionally, telling the truth or telling a lie, by mistake or on purpose, one should not take Allah's name in vain or swear anything in the name of Allah. A dervish should not get her tongue accustomed to swearing. Allah will open a door where she will be known among her friends as truthful, honest, and having good character, and his neighbors will say what a good and helpful person she is. She will be respected among human beings.