Safety Stage & the Tactic of Blindfolding
Blindfolding is a tactic sometimes used by those who lead people along terrifying mountain paths, a technique which insures the safe arrival of that traveler. Those guides know the areas they are leading their people through to be so high and dangerous that, were their eyes not blindfolded, they would be overcome with fear and fall down. The mountain guides, however, are so skilled and experienced and it is no trouble for them to cross those precipices and to lead others as well. After those dangerous paths have been successfully traversed in this condition, the guide removes the blindfold, and the traveler looks back in amazement, saying: “Did I really cross that?”
We have such terrifying crossings to make on our way. Therefore, it is also a tactic of the Guides of this Path – the Naqshabandi Path – to keep the follower’s eyes closed until he reaches “safety step”. Only when that point has been reached the full reality becomes clear to him. But, as of yet, there is no need of letting you see extraordinary things, indeed it would be dangerous to your continued development. Grandsheikh knows when you have made your “safety step” and removes the blindfold.
In order to progress toward the point of unveiling you can do nothing except to follow your Guide: his orders, his example, his manners. If you concentrate on following him you will proceed along the Path with him: to follow is important, nothing else.
Even if you can only manage to connect to and remember your Sheikh once a day, that will be enough for you to be written as his follower; it means that you have boarded that “train” and are still riding on it. As long as the train continues on towards its destination you will move towards yours as well. Even if you are not working as hard as you should for your spiritual life, it doesn’t matter so much, for you are still aboard the train – and be you asleep on the floor of the third-class car: the train is moving and you are on it.
What is important is to take a train.
Yes, even if you are asleep day and night you may progress, if you just keep up your connection with your Sheikh. Pointing to this fact is the saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (sal)that on the Last Day everyone will be raised up with his loved ones.
So, the more you love your Sheikh, the more you should be able to follow his orders and his example in obedience to Allah Almighty and His Prophet. But even the laziest follower will not be left behind until he reaches his station. For if he is asleep, the conductor will come and wake him up, saying: “Wake up, wake up, we have arrived at your station.” Then he will groggily reply: “What? Have we really arrived?” “Yes, take your baggage and go.”
He Almighty knows your destination, and He leads you there by means of His beloved servants, servants who have been dispatched for your guidance and who must, therefore, know your destination as well. Allah’s Prophet (sal) knows, Grandsheikh knows, the chief inspector knows and the conductor knows as well.