THE IMPORTANCE OF A PĪR
There are two types of worlds:
[a] ‘Ālam-e-amr: This is the world in which the Creator of the Universe says: ‘KUN’ [BE] and everything ‘fayakun’ – [SO IT BE] comes into existence. There is no need for any physical means or causes to take effect. [asbāb or ‘ilal]. For example the rūh is from the amr of Allāh, subhānahū wa ta’ālā.
[b] ‘Ālam-e-khalq: This is the world of means and causes. Everything in this realm is created by means and causes, contrary to ‘Ālam-e-amr. All humanity came into being through the means, wasīla of Ādam and Hawā’, ‘alayhumā as-salām.
It is determined by Allāh, subhānahū wa ta’ālā, to make things happen through asbāb [sing.Sabab]. The need of means to acquire knowledge by means of a teacher. Upbringing by means of parents. To the extent that even for eating and drinking water in one’s social life, everything is done by means of a wasīla, nothing happens directly. Allāh, the Almighty, Himself states in the Qur’ān;
“O You who believe, fear Allāh and seek wasīla [means] to reach Him.”
By these Words of the Lord – Allāh, it is clear that when reaching and approaching Allāh by means of a wasīla is fard [compulsory] then what can man – the two legged animal achieve without the wasīla [means]?
Salāh [namāz] is a wasīla [means] of drawing closer to the presence of Allāh the Almighty and wudū being the wasīla [means] for Salāh and water being the wasīla [means] of wudū.
We need to have food for survival, to cook the food we need the means of pans or pots. The Pot receives heat from the fire and thus food is prepared. Without such means for food preparation the world will remain without cooked food. Alas! What would happen if there were a few wanting to enter paradise without the wasīla of the Messenger of Allāh, salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. How is this possible?
Allāh the Almighty, orders:
“O Believers! Fear Allāh and remain in the company of the truthful.”
In another statement Allāh, subhānahū wa ta’ālā, says:
“And on that Day We will call them with their Imāms [Mentors, Shaykhs].
From these Words it is evident that Allāh the Almighty orders that you seek means – wasīla. Seek association [suhbah – companionship] of the Truthful and We will call upon you by yourImāms [Shaykhs] whom you followed. Thus we learn that the means and association of a mentor is the best means of gaining closeness to Allāh.
- Mawlānā Jalāl ud-Dīn, Rūmī (Alaihi Al Rehma) says, “Search for your Shaykh for without a Shaykh this journey is full of tribulation, fear and dangers.”
- Mawlānā Jalāl ud-Dīn, Rūmī (Alaihi Al Rehma) states in his Masnavi, “Butter cannot be acquired without milk, as recognition of Allah (ilm-e-baatin)cannot be obtained without a spiritual guide or Murshid.” And he further states, “Whoever travels without a guide needs two hundred years for a two day journey.”
- Regarding the importance of a Shaykh, Mawlānā Rūmī (Alaihi Al Rehma) says: “Without the shade of the Shaykh one cannot annihilate the self [nafs] thus hold firm to the sleeve of a perfect Pīr if you seek annihilation of the inner base self [nafs].”
- Khwājah Bahā’ud-Dīn (Alaihi Al Rehma) said: “My son, love of Allāh is not obtainable without a perfect Pīr –Kāmil Shaykh paving your way.”
- Mawlānā ‘Abd al-Rahmān Jāmī (Alaihi Al Rehma), referring to the author of the famous ‘Mathnawī Sharīf,’Mawlānā Jalāl ud-Dīn Rūmī (Alaihi Al Rehma), says: “The Scholar of Rūm could not become a Master up until he became the slave of Shams Tabrez.”
- Hafiz al-Shirazi (Alaihi Rehma) affirms this advice saying, “Do not take a step on the path of Love without a guide. I have tried it one hundred times and failed.”
Sayyidina Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani (Alaihi Rehma) said, “The heart is the plantation for the Aakhira (hereafter). Sow the seeds of Imaan in your heart. Irrigate, fertilise and mature it with regular good deeds. If there is kindness and energy in the heart, it will be fertile and an abundant harvest will result. Should the heart be harsh and contemptuous, the soul becomes infertile, barren and no crop will be able to grow.Learn this art of farming by its farmers/experts, the Awliya Allah. Do not think your opinion to be sufficient. Our Prophet ﷺ says, ‘Seek help in every field from an expert in that field.’” [Al-Fathur Rabbani, pg. 202]