When a person gives his hand in the hand of a learned [Kāmil] perfectly accomplished Pīr and makes a pledge [initiate a pact], this connection reaches the Blessed Prophet, salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s, presence – this is because each Pīr or Shaykh has a Pīr – the Seeker has a spiritual relation, a bond with his Mentor [Murshid] who in turn is connected to his Mentor – thus making a chain of succession [silsilah] which finally reaches the Prophet Muhammad, salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Murīds heart is fortified by the blessings running through him like currents from the power house. When it is produced it flows through the cables and from the cable to the town, from thereon to the house and from the house into the bulb, thus, illuminating the entire house. Let us consider some examples :
- In “Silsilah Owaisi”, the current of ‘faizān’ emerges from Madīnah al-Munawwarah to Yemen and from Yemen to Kāshirā, Kupwārā (Kashmir) and from Kāshirā to each individual home (belonging to Silsilah Owāisi) – consequently illuminating the dark hearts.
- In “Silsilah Qadriyya” , the current of ‘faizān’ emerges from Madīnah al-Munawwarah to Baghdād and from Baghdād to Ajmer and from Ajmer to each individual home (belonging to Silsila Qadriya) – consequently illuminating the dark hearts.
It is an obligation [Fard] upon every individual to have faith [Īmān] and after Īmān there is a need for action [good deeds]. Thereafter, there is another requirement which is the need for a private Pīr [Shaykh].
Imām Fakhr ud- Dīn Rāzī, rahimahu Allāh, who was one of the great Scholars, author of the popular and monumental commentary [Exegesis] of the Noble Qurān, i.e. Tafsīr al-Kabīr, in which he has written a commentary consisting of 350 pages on Sūrah al-Fātiha alone. One day Imām Fakhr ud-Dīn Rāzī announced, “I can adduce 1200 legal cases from the Bismillāh alone. And if I wanted let alone 1200 I could even adduce 12000 legal rulings.”
When death approached this great Scholar of his time, the accursed Devil – Shaytān came and stood beside his side and began a debate with him on the Tawhīd [Uniqueness – Oneness] of Allāh, subhānahū wa ta’ālā. The accursed devil Satan asked Imām Rāzī as to how he believed that Allāh is One. Imām Rāzī gave the proof but the devil rejected that proof. Imām Rāzī gave further proof but Iblīs rejected that too. Imām Rāzī continued to give evidence after evidence but Shaytān also continued to reject each proof and argument the Imām made to the extent that now the treasures of proofs and evidences began to dry. At the same time, Imām Rāzī’s Spiritual Guide, Shaykh Najm ud-Dīn Kubrā’, sitting thousands of miles away called out to the Imām and said, “O Rāzī! Say that you believe in the Oneness of Allāh without [the need of] proof.” The Shaykh calls out to the Imām, hisMurīd thousands of miles away which reaches him and is repeated by Imām Rāzī. The devil,Iblīs having no answer to this faith rendering answer was silenced and in anger ran away. It is hence established that even after acquiring knowledge of the Dīn [Islām] one still needs to have a Shaykh to protect one’s faith and remain steadfast. In our world, wherever there is a war, the fighting soldiers need a commander, without one there is no war. Whether the war lasts for 2 to 4 days or 4 years, a commander is necessary.
Similarly, man and his war with the devil and with his inner base self [nafs] is not merely for 2 to 4 years rather is at constant war and this is a greater war. Once, upon returning from a battle the Messenger of Allāh, salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:
“We are setting forth towards a greater Jihād [struggle] from the lesser Jihād”
Meaning: the war – struggle against the wishes of the inner base self [nafs] is a war with the devil. This is a more gruesome war and therefore the commander required for such a gruesome war requires a powerful, wise and able mentor – a Shaykh or Pīr.
Therefore, it is a Sunnah for every Muslim to make a pledge with Allāh in the hands of a perfect Pīr [Shaykh-e-Kāmil] so that he may be guided throughout his life in his struggle to elevate himself, fight his nafs and become a true servant of Allāh, subhānahū wa ta’ālā. A person who does not have a Shaykh, the devil himself is free to become his Pīr, since he has no spiritual guard protecting him from such influence.