MOST DIRECT AND SAFEST WAY TO GOD
the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
many ways leading to Almighty God; all of these true ways have
been derived from the Qur’an, but some of them are safer, and
more comprehensive and lead to the destination more directly
than others. The way I have derived from the Qur’an by my own
defective understanding, depends upon a man’s perception and
confession of his helplessness and poverty before God’s Might
and Riches, and upon affection and reflection.
perception and confession of his helplessness is a way as sure
as the way of love of God, or even safer than that, since it
elevates a man so as to be loved by God on account of sincere
devotion to Him. Man’s perception and confession of his
poverty or inadequacy leads to the Divine Name, the
All-Merciful, Affection is more effective than love and leads to
the Name, the All-Compassionate. Reflection is more bright and
comprehensive than love and leads to the Name, the All-Wise.
of ours is unlike some Sufi Orders which have conceived ten
steps to purify and sharpen ten outer and inner senses or
faculties of man, and whose members prefer silent recitation of
God’s Names. It is equally unlike others which have adopted
public recitation and seek to enable man to purify himself from
all the defects contained in the seven stations of the soul.
consists of four steps, and, rather than being a tariqa, it is
Shari’a, or the truth itself. The fundamental principles of
this way consist in following the Sunna, performing the
religious obligations, avoiding the heinous, major sins, and in
performing the five prayers properly, and in reciting litanies
of praise to God after every prayer.
first step of
this way finds its expression in the verse, Do
not justify and hold yourselves as sinless.
is indicated by the verse, Be not as those who forget God and
so He caused them to forget their own selves.
is pointed to by the verse, Whatever good visits you
is from God, whatever evil befalls you is from yourself.
final step is
shown by the verse, All
things perish except His Face and His good pleasure.
following is a brief explanation of these four steps:
never regard himself as infallible, and sinless, since he loves
himself first on account of his commanding self, thus he will
sacrifice anything to satisfy it. He praises himself as though
he were a god, and holds himself to be free from every defect.
He endeavors to prove himself free from guilt and defends
himself with so much insistence that you would think him full of
self-love. Furthermore, he exploits the faculties entrusted to
him for giving praise and thanks to God, to the glorification of
his own self, and thus becomes referent of the verse, who
takes as his god his own desires and fancies. He praises
himself, relies upon himself, and admires himself. A man can
purify himself in this step only by regarding himself as
fallible, liable, even susceptible, to error.
verse, Be not as those who forgot God (and so He caused them
to forget their own selves teaches, man is oblivious of
himself, and is not aware of himself. He will never want to
remember death, although he will always consider others to be
mortal. He holds back at the time of bearing hardships and
rendering services, but considers he should be the first to
receive the reward at the time of collecting fruits. A man can
purify himself at this step by discharging his responsibilities,
and being prepared for death, and by forgetting any reward he
verse, Whatever good visits you is from God, whatever evil
befalls you is from yourself teaches, the evil-commanding
soul always ascribes good to himself and feels conceited,
whereas in reality he should perceive his defects and
insufficiency and give thanks to God and praise Him for whatever
good he is able to do. According to the meaning of the verse, Prosperous
is he who purifies it, his purification at this step is
possible by knowing his perfection to lie in confession of his
imperfection, his power in perception of his helplessness, and
his wealth in acceptance of his essential poverty and
verse, All things perish except His ‘Face’ and His good
pleasure teaches, man under the influence of his
evil-commanding soul considers himself to be completely free and
existent in his own right. Furthermore, he goes so far as to
claim divinity for himself and rebels against his Creator, Who
alone deserves to be worshipped. He can save himself from this
perilous situation only by perceiving the truth that everything
is, with respect to its own self, essentially non-existent,
contingent, ephemeral and mortal, and that only on account of
being a mirror reflecting the Names of the Majestic Maker and
responsible with various duties is man existent, experiencing
purify himself in this stage by perceiving that his existence
lies in confession of his essential non-existence. He must know
that when he considers himself to be self-existent, he falls
into the darkest pit of non-existence. In other words, if he
relies upon his personal existence, ignoring the Real Creator,
then his ephemeral, firefly personal existence becomes drowned
in the infinite darkness of non-existence. If, on the contrary,
he abandons pride and egoism, and recognizes that he is nothing
but a mirror in which the Real Creator manifests Himself, then
he attains to infinite existence. Thus, because he has
discovered the Necessary Being, the manifestations of Whose
Names cause all things to come into existence, he is counted to
have found everything.
is the method of affection and reflection, and the
individual’s recognition of his own incompetence and insufficiency.
leads to its objective rapidly since it is the easiest and most
direct way, and consists of four stages only. A man’s
recognition of his incompetence leads him to rely upon God
alone, once he has succeeded in freeing himself from the
influence of his commanding self. Love, which is regarded
as the quickest route, can lead to the true Beloved only after
it is freed from the false ephemeral beloved.
method is safer than other ways, since instead of leading a man
to utter boastful words, and make false claims, it obliges him
to recognize his incompetence and to ascribe all his defects to
is a main ‘highway’, much broader and more universal. For,
in order to attain to a constant awareness of God’s presence,
it requires neither the denial nor the ignoring of the actual
existence of the universe, as is demanded by those who believe
in the ‘Unity of Being’ (Wahdat al-Wujud) or ‘Unity
of the Witnessed’ (Wahdat al-Shuhud). Instead, it
admits the actual existence of the universe as proclaimed in the
Qur’an, by ascribing it directly to the Majestic Creator. It
considers all things as mirrors in which manifestations of the
Divine Names are reflected, and does not consider the creation
as self-existent and self-perpetuating but as manifestations of
His Names and accordingly devoted to His service. It saves man
from heedlessness to make him always aware of God’s presence
by opening up a way to Him through everything.
This way considers beings as neither existent nor working on
their own behalf, rather, beings function, according to this
way, as signs and officials of God, the All-Mighty.
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Last Updated on November 14, 2000