The Inseparability Of Sharia & Tariqa
ISLAMIC LAW AND PURIFICATION OF THE HEART
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In the name of Allah; the Mosl Gracious, the Mosl Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds; and peace and
blessings be upon the mosl Honorable of Messengers, Muhammad,
and upon his family and companions, and all those who follow them
in righteousness, until the Day of Judgment.
Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are all for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds…
In Shari’a and Jhriqa, Shaikh Zakariyya strives to raise awareness of the ignorance and liberal mindedness that has become entrenched in Muslim society and that has become a part of mainstream Islamic thought in our times. He attributes his own upbringing amongst god-fearing and pious people as having saved him from the mindset common in the present day, in which many Muslims feel no compunction in objecting against the pious and learned. It is not uncommon to have heard someone we know personally questioning the character of the Companions tife. and raising objections about the internal conflicts between them.
The introduction discusses the names, lives and time periods of the great scholars who helped build the sheikh’s own character and iman. He explains through his personal example why the Din is not learned through books or scholars alone; instead, it is learned through good examples and pious company. Many of the objections raised about the Companions jSjjt, the question of taqlid, and other subjects discussed in Shari’a and Tariqa are essentially due to both the lack of pious company and a lack of the qualities which such company produces, such as taqwa (piety), sincerity, humility etc. As Shaikh Zakariyya himself says in another chapter, ‘One of the main reasons for sending prophets was that they embodied the meaning of their revealed books and demonstrated it in their practical life.’ In other words, Allah $& could have revealed the books directly upon the people and left it to them to read and apply it in their lives. Instead, He sent prophets and in doing so showed us that the method of gaining Din is not in reading books but in keeping pious company. The understanding of Din that is gained from the company of the god-fearing eliminates doubt in the heart, lack of iman, and insincerity which gives rise to objections, argumentation, and indifference towards the Din. This is why Allah 0i emphasizes sitting in the company of the pious. He says,
O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are true [in word anc.
In the first and second chapter, Shaikh Zakariyya reveals the ignorance of modernists and the reason for the rise of many deviated sects in our times. In narrating the fields that are necessary to master before one can be qualified to interpret the Quran and Sunna, he makes it clear that many of those who lay claim to spreading the Quran and Sunna, and who hold gatherings where the Quran is translated and explained, do not in fact fulfill the prerequisite conditions. It is easy to understand then how such people are ignorant and are following their own desires in the guise of the Quran and Sunna.
In succeeding chapters, Shaikh Zakariyya turns his attention to one of the most controversial issues of our times. Many have called for a need for dialogue on this issue, but Shaikh Zakariyya explains that following an imam in our time is more important now than in the preceding centuries. It is only ignorance of our own lack of knowledge which leads us to think that we can lead life as practicing Muslims without following an imam. In the past, Muslims recognized their own ignorance and the importance of following an imam was clear to them. Shaikh Zakariyya speaks passionately and at length on this subject, drawing from all of the critical sources to prove his argument: Quran, Sunna, scholars, history, personal experiences, and anecdotes.
With the main areas of Shari’a discussed, he takes the reader through a detailed analytical study of Tasawwuf. Again, he addresses many of the misunderstandings arising from an ignorance of Tasawwuf and provides detailed evidence of the meditative devotions and exertions used in Tasawwuf, upon which he then ends the book. He also establishes the middle ground between the two groups who fall into excessiveness [ifrat] and remissness [tafrlt] in this matter. One group rejects Tasawwuf outright and considers it a blatant innovation in the Din. The second group downplays the importance of Shari’a and thinks the spiritual states and ecstatic experiences of Tasawwuf are themselves the ultimate objective.
Throughout his discourse, he switches between evidence, anecdotes, scholarly discussion, experience, and knowledge, helping the reader to stay engaged in what is a difficult but extremely important subject.
One of the main themes of this book, as one will note [with the author consistently referring to past recent scholars, history, and the pious predecessors] is that the community [umma] cannot turn its back on the tradition of the pious predecessors and draw new patterns of following the Quran and Sunna; it must hold on to the ways of the pious predecessors in order to stay on the straight path.
HOW TO READ THE BOOK
To derive full benefit and enjoyment from this book it is important to understand many of the terms that are used repeatedly [some more, some less] throughout the book. Though many new terms are introduced in Shari’a and Tarlqa, the terms listed below are different in that they are essential to understanding the purpose of the book. The example of these terms is like how the oneness of Allah 0* and the prophethood of the Blessed Prophet j§& are essential to understanding Islam. We ask that the readers familiarize themselves with these terms and include them in their vocabulary before they begin reading Shari’a and Tarlqa.
The Inseparability Of Sharia & Tariqa
By Shaykh Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhelvi (r.a)