What, especially today, must the final station in the spiritual
In His Name, glory be to Him.
There is nothing that does not glorify Him with praise.
Imam Rabbani, inspired leader and great murshid of the Nakshbandi way,
says in his Letters: “I would prefer to make a single matter of faith known
in plain terms than attain thousands of spiritual pleasures and ecstasies,
and work miracles.”
He also says: “The final station in all kinds of the spiritual journeying
is to attain the full perception of the truths of faith.”
Three kinds of sainthood
Again, he says: “There are three kinds of sainthood. The first is the
kind known to every-body, which is the minor one. The second is of medium
degree. The third and greatest one is the major sainthood, which can be
attained through direct succession to the Prophetic message, paving the way
to the truth without entering the ‘intermediate realm’ of spiritual orders.”
He also says: “A person can progress in the Nakshbandi way by having a
firm belief in the pillars of faith and performing the religious duties.
Neglect of or deficiency in either makes this way impossible to follow.”
This means that the Nakshbandi way encompasses three kinds of mission.
• The first and greatest consists in directly serving the truths of
belief without any mediating influences. Imam Rabbani entered into such
service especially in the closing years of his life.
• The second is to try one’s hardest to perform and promote the
obligatory religious duties and the Sunna of the Prophet, upon him be peace
and the blessings of God, by following a spiritual order.
• The third kind of the Nakshbandi mission is that one follows the way in
order to be purified of the spiritual diseases.
The first of these missions is obligatory, the second necessary, and the
third is supererogatory.
That being so, if men of such rank as ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, Shah
Nakshband and Imam Rabbani, may God be pleased with them all, were living in
this age when the fundamentals of belief have been shaken in minds and
hearts and people go astray under the influence of materialis-tic and
positivistic trends, they would certainly be exerting themselves in
preaching and defending the truths of belief and the fundamentals of the
Islamic creed, since one cannot otherwise attain eternal happiness. Any
neglect in them will result in eternal torment. It is impossible for one to
go to Paradise without belief but there are many who deserve Paradise
without following an order. Following an order has the same use and
importance for man as any fruits do whereas the truths of faith are the food
essential to one’s spiritual life. One cannot live without ‘bread’ while it
is possible to subsist without fruit.
I just remembered the dictum about the principles of the Nakshbandi way:
In the way of the Nakshbandi, it is necessary to renounce four things:
• the world,
• the Hereafter,
• ‘becoming,’ or claiming that one has “become” a saintly one,
• and the idea of ‘renunciation,’ that is, recalling that one has
renounced what he has renounced..
Remembering that brought another dictum to mind: In the pure Qur’anic way
of serving belief and the Qur’an, depending on one's perception of his
nothingness, four things are necessary:
• perception and admission of one’s absolute poverty vis-à-vis the Divine
• of absolute helplessness vis-à-vis the Divine power,
• and absolute gratitude to God,
• and absolute enthusiasm in His way.