But if you are thankful, He is pleased with that in you. (Al Zumar:7)
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Sharia, the body of everything

Let me tell you this. Sharia is first. You have to have sharia. Without sharia, there can be no tariqa. Sharia is the body of everything, so we have to do it.

And now We have set you (O Muhammad) on a clear road of sharia [proper behavior; commandment; law]. So follow it, and do not follow the urgings of those without knowledge. (Al Jathiyah:18)

With knowledge, comes responsibility

Like the first time of Islam, Allah did not give you all these rules and regulations from the beginning. He did not say: “O Muhammad, now fast and give zakat and this and that.” He said, “Iqra’, Repeat after Me, I shall teach you what you do not know.” First knowledge, then action. When you have learned it, then you have to do it. That is why I cannot force you to do these things. I will teach you how to pray, I will teach you how to fast, … but it is your job to do these things. When you have the notion, when you have the desire from your heart, then do it, then it will be good. But know that you are required to do all these things. Anytime you do not do it, then you are responsible.

Sharia from the Qur’an, the foundation of din

And to you (O Muhammad) We have sent down the (Qur’an) with truth, confirming whatever came before it of the Scripture, and (We entrusted you) as a protector over it. So judge between them by that which Allah has revealed, and do not follow their desires, turning away from the truth that has come to you. For each (of the People of the Scripture) We have appointed a sharia [divine law] and have showed a way of life and action. And if Allah had wished, He could have made you one ummah [nation; community], but (He made you as you are) so that He may test you by what He gave you. So race with one another in doing good deeds. At the end, you will all return to Allah, and He will tell you (the truth) about that in which you differed. (Al Ma’ida:48)

You need to have a foundation for your din, for your Sufism, for your philosophy, for your way of life. There has to have some structure and this structure is sharia. But what sharia? This is the sharia mentioned in the Qur’an.

The obligation became so many that it is impossible to do all of it – everybody wants to do one more thing, because he is just the heroic guy of a person, so because he can do it, he thinks everybody should also do the same thing. And then you can study for years and years what Mullah “Nasir” did, what Mullah “Arif” did, what Mullah “Arif” said, and everybody has so many schools of fiqh [deduction] and etc, etc, etc.

Purifying the din

He is Al Hayy [The Alive One; The Living One]. There is no ilah [higher power] other than Him. Therefore, supplicate to Allah, making the din pure and sincere for Him. All gratitude and praise belong to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. (Ghafir:65)

What Allah wants us to do is to simplify, go back to the beginning, the basics. Stick to the basics! Do not go extreme in these things.

O People of the Scripture, do not go to extremes in your din, and do not say about Allah anything but what is true. (Al Nisa:171)

Say, “O People of the Scripture, do not go to extremes (i.e., concoct man-made rules) in your din, going against the truth, and do not follow the futile desires of the previous generations who went astray themselves, and who led many astray from the clear road that goes to Allah.” (Al Ma’ida:77)

Our focus is Allah

Say, “If you love Allah, then follow me. Allah will love you and overlook and cleanse you of your sins. And Allah is Ghafur [Absolving] and Rahim [Full of Mercy and Kindness].” (Aal-e Imran:31)

We follow sharia but our purpose and our goal is not sharia. Our focus is not sharia, or tariqa, or haqiqa or marifa. Our focus is Allah. What the tariqa/Sufism requires is to attain Allah’s love, that is all. That does not mean we are not going to teach you sharia. We are going to teach you sharia when you are ready.

In fact, Allah bestowed a favor on the mu’minin [believers] when He sent a Messenger from among themselves. He recites His ayats to them, and teaches them good manners, which will bring them closer to Allah, and teaches them the Scripture and wisdom, even though before that they were certainly in clear and obvious error. (Aal-e Imran:164)

Qur’an References

Al ‘Alaq [The Clot]

1. Iqra’ [Recite; Read] (O Muhammad): In the name of your Rab [Lord], Who created (and continues to create),
2. He created (and creates) the human being from a clinging zygote.
3. Iqra’: And your Rab is the Most Generous,
4. Who taught (and teaches) by the Pen,
5. Taught (and teaches) human beings what they did not know.

This is an edited excerpt of the Online Saturday Sohbet given on January 19, 2008 by Murshid Shaykh Taner Vargonen Ansari and published on on September 27, 2021. The translation of the Qur’an verses are also from Murshid Shaykh Taner Vargonen Ansari.

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