Truth Of Tariqat And The Naqshabandi Order
The ways of real faith, the ways that our Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sal) showed us through Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (ral) and Seyyidina Ali (ral) and which were passed down through the Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet Muhammad (sal) and Awliya (saints) to us are known as the Way of the Tariqats. While Shariah teaches us worship, Tariqat teaches us the way to keep Adab (good manners) with our Lord and to attain to His Divine Presence.
There are two kinds of Iman, faith. One is real and the other is imitative. The real brings light to the heart of a person, until then he is only imitating faith. The signs of real faith are three. The first is the ability to listen to the tasbih ( Zikr – paying praise and respects to their Lord) of all creatures. According to Quran there is nothing in existence that does not do tasbih (glorify the Lord), not even inanimate objects. The second is Allah’s opening of his heart to the fountain of wisdom, giving knowledge of all things in existence, their position and their purpose. Thirdly, there are no more veils between him and Barzakh, the heavenly worlds. He may meet anyone – any Prophet or Saint from Barzakh without hindrance. Until these three signs appear know that you are veiled and not open to the light of Iman. Tariqats are preparing Murids (follerwers) for real faith. The meaning of Murid is one who is asking for real faith.
The Prophet (Sal) said to keep religion in this time is more difficult than keeping burning coal in one’s hand. We must be patient in the face of adversity. Allah gives to those who are enduring disliked trials, endless reward. This is the way of real faith, like the way of Prophets and Awliya, to endure the badness of people.
There are many veils between us and our heavenly positions. The training that a Murid undergoes at the hands of his Sheikh is to prepare him for the Divine Presence. As the Murid passes each trial, veils are removed by his Sheikh until finally all veils are removed and the Murid is in the Divine Presence.
Only someone who has attained to the Divine Presence and has been authorized by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sal) has the knowledge to remove these veils. Therefore, in Order for one to attain to the Divine Presence, one must give allegiance to the Sheikh of a Tariqat by taking Bayyath (Connection or Oath of Allegiance) from him and follow his teachings. When a Murid obeys his Sheikh’s every command, in doing so he would be passing all the trials given to him and thereby achieving a position of trust with his Sheikh. When the Sheikh finds the Murid trustworthy, he rends the veils between the Murid and the Divine Presence. When each veil is removed the Murid is treated to a new experience where new horizons of knowledge are made available to him. With the removal of each veil also comes Certainty (yakeen). The Murid’s faith becomes established in this manner and continues to do so until he completely submits to the will of Allah Almighty.
All Tariqats are ways to the Divine Presence. The Sheikh of a Tariqat is able to communicate with his Sheikh who is able to communicate with his Sheikh and so on till the end of the chain where the first Sheikh of the Tariqat is in communication with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sal). The Sheikh is also directly in communication with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sal). In addition to this, in attaining the Divine Presence the Sheikh was given higher and secret knowledge. By this method the Sheikh has perfect guidance in everything. We are in darkness and in need of lights, the light of Prophethood to inform us what is ahead generally, and the light of Sainthood to guide us to our personal destinations.
Our destination is Heaven. We can’t see it unless by a distinguished Order from Allah and His Prophet (sal). Reality is a precious thing, not given to many. In this time, for a real connection to the Prophet Muhammad (Sal), the only way open is through the Naqshabandi Tariqat. The Holy Prophet (Sal) said of the last times that, the only gate open would be the gate of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (Ral) which is the origin of the Naqshabandi Tariqat.
During the Hijra (migration) of the Holy Prophet (Sal) he was accompanied by Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (ral) to Medina, they took refuge in the cave of “Thaur” from their antagonists. While in the cave, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (ral) in utmost fear for the plight of Islam, said to the Holy Prophet (sal) “our enemies are so many and we are only two”. The Holy Prophet (Sal) replied “No, we are three”. He meant that apart from the two of them there was also Allah Most High. At which instant was heard a myriad of voices saying “Allahu Allahu Allahu Haqq” which is the Oath of Allegiance to the Naqshabandi Tariqat. This was the birth of the Naqshabandi Tariqat.
At this moment Abu Bakr as Siddiq (ral) summoned the spirits of all those who were chosen on the Day of Promises to be the 7007 Imams of the Naqshabandi Tariqat into the cave. They in turn summoned the souls of all those who were chosen to be their Murids on the Day of Promises into the cave. The myriad of voices in the cave belonged to the souls of all future followers of the Naqshabandi Tariqat and who were with Allah Most High at that instant. Only those who were present in the cave of “Thaur” on that day would be destined to become followers of the most distinguished Naqshabandi Tariqat from that time till “Qiyama”.
The Naqshabandi Order originated in the Heart of the Prophet Muhammad (sal), and its authority was passed down through Abu Bakr (ral) from one Master to the next in an unbroken chain of succession reaching into our time. To the heart of Abu Bakr (ral), the first Khalipha, the Prophet passed on the full inner truth of his teachings. Since Abu Bakr, among all the Prophet’s (sal) companions, was the only one to receive the full inner truth from the Prophet’s heart, the Naqshabandi Order inherits the fullest and finest of these Prophetic teachings. For as the Holy Prophet, in a well-known tradition, said: “Everything that has been poured into my heart I have poured into the heart of Abu Bakr”. Abu Bakr (ral) was called “Siddiq” or “The Completely Veracious One”.
The station of “Siddiq” is the highest of all stations after the Station of Prophethood. Whoever receives his spiritual education through the teachings of the Naqshabandi Order may hope to reach, finally, to the Station of “Siddiq”, the Station of Absolute Truthfulness. In every religion this Station of “Siddiq” is the utmost horizon of devotion to the Truth, particularly in Islam. We thank Allah Almighty for His leading us toward that level, towards a brightness that is like the most shinning planet in the sky, Venus, among the other stars and planets. We are yet beginners seeking to reach that level and we pray that our Lord will not look at our shortcomings but grant us His Divine Help so that we may reach that distant goal.
Therefore, the Tariqat-an-Naqshbandiyya, (as it is passed down through Abu Bakr As- Siddiq), activates the souls of the Murids to whatever extent the Murid can bring his desires to accord with the desires of his Sheikh. The first step though is to start on the lowest level, using the way of the four Imams. If you do not come down to the lowest level you can’t reach higher levels.
Mowlana Sheikh Nazim (qad) says, “I am someone who has been authorized as guidance on that perfect way of the distinguished Naqshabandi Order. The Naqshabandi Tariqat is like a sky covering the whole world. No-one can escape out of it because it includes all the ways, it is perfect and it is the shortest”.
“I have been ordered to make clear to you, that anytime when anyone is losing control over themselves and is in a difficult position, they can be in contact with my heart immediately, if they just think about me, they will make a relation with me immediately. They just need to remember me, and that will make me look at him or her. That connection will make a power run through you quickly and you will be protected from falling into a dangerous situation. It is not my spiritual power, but I am in connection with a chain that is connected to our Lord through Saints. I am the last part of the chain which reaches you. It is like a plug which you can connect with electricity.”
The ‘Naqsh’ is a tattoo or an impression. If we haven’t been patience enough to have this tattoo made, what about the “Naqsh” on the heart? The ‘Naqsh’ of the heart is “Allah”. Whoever wants that “Naqsh” on his heart will come to the Naqshabandi Way. It is the highest way in all religions. Once that tattoo is made, man will be always with his Lord. At that time his mortal personality will be effaced and he will be a representative of his Lord among Mankind. He will leave his ego behind and become a pure, purified, “private” servant of his Lord. No more personality, his heart is stamped, “Allah.”
The Seal of Prophets, Muhammad, (Peace be upon him) taught his companions, above all else association, by taking them as his companions, by entering them into association with him. Accordingly, the Inheritors of the Prophet, the Naqshabandi Masters, stress the importance of “Sohbet”, association with the Sheikh, as the essential pillar in the training of seekers. Shah Naqshaband, the illustrious Imam of the line of Masters that we follow, the Imam after whom the Path is named and without whom there would be no Naqshabandi Tariqat, always used to repeat in his assemblies: “Our Way is Sohbet, association, and all good things result from
He furthermore stated that if anyone attended an assembly of this way even for five or ten minutes, he would derive such immense spiritual benefit from that brief encounter so as to outweigh the benefits that would be gained by seven years of supererogatory worship.
Another important point to understand is that whenever any group of our brothers or sisters meet for the sake of Allah Almighty, unanimously joining their hearts with the Masters of this way, that meeting will attain to the level of an association with the kind of beneficial effects just described. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the only beneficial meeting is the one where the Sheikh is physically in attendance. When our brothers or sisters meet, one of them must be the channel for inspiration to come from the Sheikh, one must speak and the others listen; one must take from the Sheikh and the others, through him from the Sheikh.
The Naqshabandi Way is the Sufi Path adhering most closely to the practices of the Holy Prophet (Sal), and association in this manner was his way, and the way of his companions, as he always appointed a leader to preside in his absence.