Correct Islamic Faith is an essential requirement for Salvation. In Allah's (SWT) court on the Day of Judgment people will be treated as per their faith. If their basic faith is not correct, it is most likely that they will be summarily thrown into hell fire.
It is very difficult to find the straight path of Islam by reading Islamic books because translations and interpretations of Quran, Ahadith and other religious books available in the market have been written by scholars of different sects who misinterpret Quranic verses and Ahadith to prove their beliefs as truthful. Da'wa campaigns of these sects lead Muslims to faithlessness in the name of Islam.
We need to change our attitude and come out of the fatal illusion that"what we are doing is right". If we set aside sectarian passions and remove egoistic lenses from our eyes, we will be able to see the facts and find the straight path of Islam.
Do you know the chilling fact that less than 1% of Muslim population in the world today could probably be on the straight path of Islam. The majority, more than 99% stand to loose on the Day of Judgment.
Everyone of us thinks that he belongs to that 1% class.
How could this be true?
Let us read the writing on the wall which is telling us bluntly that our chances of salvation could be really very very bleak.
Do not treat this issue lightly as we may have to repent for this lax attitude and pay dearly in the World After Death.
Let us identify the people who are on the straight path of Islam so that, in their company, we can also proceed to secure our most cherished objective, ie., salvation (Najah) in Hereafter.
Quran declares that Awliya Allah (the friends and favorites of Allah (SWT) are on the straight path of Islam.
It is in Quran - "Behold the friends of Allah -SWT! On them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. These are they, who have believed in Allah-SWT and are mindful of (close to) Him and (have consequently abstained from everything evil). To them tidings come (from Allah -SWT) of a happy life both in this world and in Hereafter. The word of Allah -SWT is never revoked. This in itself is a great felicity (Younus - 62-64).
The entire Muslim Ummah unitedly accept Sufi Shaikhs as Awliya Allah.
All Muslim sects are also united (in agreement - Ijma) that the real Sufi Shaikhs are pious Muslims.
The problem is with certain 'look alike Sufi Babas and so called Murshids who are the subject of criticism. We also condemn all those who mislead people in the name of religion and take advantage of innocent people.
The above are irrefutable and conclusive facts that confirm Sufi Shaikhs to be on the right path of Islam.
As per Hadith (Tirmizi) of 73 Sects, Awliya Allah are the people who will insha-Allah get salvation and rewards on the Day of Judgment.
What is the straight path of Islam?
It is in Quran - " (O' Our Lord) Lead us to the Straight Path of Islam. The path of those who are bestowed with your grace (whom you have favored) and not of those who have gone astray." (Fateha - 6-7).
It is in Quran - And whosoever obeys Allah (SWT) and the Messenger (Mohammad -SAWS ), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah (SWT) has bestowed His Grace; like Prophets, the Siddiqun ( like Abu Bakr Siddique -RU ), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are.’ (An-Nisa – 69).
It is in Hadith - " Allah's Messenger (SAWS) drew a line with his hand and said, "This is the straight path of Allah". He then drew lines to its right and to its left and said: "These are the other paths, which represent misguidance and at the head of each path sits a devil inviting people to it." He then recited: (this verse of Surah Al-An'Aam - 153) "And verily, this is My straight path, so follow it, and follow not other paths, for they will separate you away from His path". (Musnad Ahmad, narrated by Abdullah Ibn Masud).
It is in Hadith - Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) said that out of 73 sects of Muslims, only one will be on the right path and the rest will be thrown into Hell Fire on the Day of Judgment (Tirmidhi).
The above Quranic verses and Ahadith clearly show that the path of Awliya Allah / Sufi Shaikhs is the only straight path of Islam. All other paths lead people to Hell Fire.
Some people claim that there are no Awliya Allah or real Sufi Shaikhs in the world today.
This kind of claims constitute direct, unequivocal denial of Quranic verses and Sahih Ahadith. Denial of Quranic verses and Sahih Ahadith is Kufr. If someone really believes that there are no Awliya Allah / Sufi Shaikhs in the world today, he will be technically out of Islam. The people who claim this, are Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Qayyim and Ibn Abdul Wahhab, their followers and their like minded groups.
It is in Hadith - "(Prophet - SAWS said)After me, a scholar will appear every hundred years. He will strengthen my religion." (This Hadith is mentioned in many authentic Ahadith books). Naturally this scholar will be one of the greatest Wali Allah / Sufi Shaikh. Their appearances may probably end on Hazrat Imam Mahdi (Alaihis Salam) who will appear as a last Imam before Qiyamah. In addition to these great Imams, there will, insha-Allah be many many Awliya Allah spread over the entire globe. When there is no Wali Allah in the world, Allah (SWT) will call it a day and Youmul Qiyama (the end of this world) will happen. The world is there and we are living here, it shows that Awliya Allah / the real Sufis are there in the world, though their numbers may be less as compared to earlier times.
It is in Hadith - The Prophet said that "those among his Ummah who would hold fastidiously to his Sunna at the end of time (meaning close to Qiyamah) would each be given the reward of fifty of his Companions." This is narrated in Tirmidhi (book of Tafsir al-Qur'an), Abu Dawud (book of Malahim), Ibn Majah (book of Fitan), al-Tabarani in al-Majma` al-kabir (17:117), al-Khatib al-Baghdadi in his TarikhTafsir (3:208), Ibn Kathir and others.
It is in Hadith narrated by Anas (RU). The Prophet (SAWS) said: "The similitude of my Community (Ummah) is as the rain: it is not known whether its greater good lies in its beginning or in its ending". This Hadith is in Sunan (book of Amthal), Ibn Hibban in his Sahihfrom `Ammar ibn Yasir (#2307), Ahmad in his Musnad in several places (cf. 3:143, 4:319), Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna (1:405), Tabarani in his Kabir, Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir (7:493), al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad(11:114), Abu Ya`la, al-Daraqutni, al-Bazzar, and Ibn `Abd al-Barr".
It is in Hadith - Narrated by Abu Hurayra (RU) "The Prophet (SAWS) came to the graveyard and said: "Peace be upon you, O' abode of a people of believers! We shall certainly join you, if Allah will. How I long to see my brothers! "They said: " O' Messenger of Allah (SAWS), are we not your brothers?" He replied: "You are my Companions! As for my brothers, they are those who have not yet appeared." They said: "How will you recognize those of your Community who had not yet appeared (in your time) O'Messenger of Allah (SAWS)?" He replied: "Suppose a man had horses with shiny white marks on their foreheads and legs: would he not recognize them among other horses which are all black?" They said: "Yes O'Messenger of Allah (SAWS)!" He continued: "Verily, they (my brothers) shall be coming with shiny bright foreheads and limbs in view of their ablutions, and I shall precede them to my Pond." (Muslim, Nasa'i, Malik, and Ahmad).
It is in Hadith - It is reported that Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) once said after the salat - " O ' People! Listen to this, understand it and know it. Allah (SWT) has servants who are neither Prophets nor martyrs and whom the Prophets and martyrs yearn to be like, due to their seat and proximity in relation to Allah (SWT)". One of the Bedouin Arabs who came from among the most isolated of people twisted his hand and said-"O' Messenger of Allah (SAWS)! people from human kind who are neither Prophets, nor maryrs and yet the Prophets and martyrs yearn to be like them due to their seat and proximity in relation to Allah (SWT)! Describe them for us"
'The Prophet's (SAWS) face showed delight at the Bedouin's question and he said - " They are of the strangers from this and that place. They frequent this or that tribe without belonging to them. They do not have family connections among themselves. They love one another for Allah's (SWT) sake. They are of pure intent towards one another. On the Day of Resurrection, Allah (SWT) will place for them pedestals of light upon which He will make them sit, and He will turn their faces and clothes into light. On the Day of Resurrection the people will be terrified but not those. They are Allah's friends (Awliya Allah) upon whom fea comes not, nor do they grieve".
The above Hadith is related through several chains by Abu Dawud, Ahmad. Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna, al-Hakim in the Mustadrak, Ibn 'Asakir, Ibn Abi al-Dunya in Kitab al-Ikhwan, Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Mardawayh, and others. Haythami in Majma'al-Zawa'id says: 'Ahmad relates it, and Tabrani relates something similar, and all the men in its chain of transmission have been declared trustworthy" .
I am positive that after reading this information insha-Allah no one in the world will ever have any doubt in his mind about the functioning of "The World After Death" and no one will ever question or associate shirk with the visiting of Muslim Graves.
Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qader Jeelaani (RU) is the well known greatest Sufi Shaikhs of 6th century AH.
Look at what Ibn Taymiyyah, the founder of Salafism has written about Shaikh Abdul Qaader (RU) in his book "Majmu`at al-fatawa al-kubra(Shaykhuna) and "My Master" (Sayyidi). ". He calls him as "Our Shaykh"
Look at what Al-Dhahabi in his book Siyar a`lam al-nubala' says about Ghousul Azam (RU).
QUOTE - "al-Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir (al-Jilani): The Shaykh, the Imam, the Scholar, the Zahid, the Knower, the Exemplar, Shaykh al-Islam, the Distinguished one among the Awliya... the Hanbali, the Shaykh of Baghdad... "I say there is no one among the great shaykhs who has more Spiritual States and Miracles (karamat) than Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir"UNQUOTE"
From above Ahadith and quotes, the importance and continuance of Sufi Shaikhs is established beyond doubt. Those who accuse Sufi Shaikhs, make fun of them and deny their existence, are literally at war with Allah (SWT) and His Apostle (SAWS).
Who else are on the right path of Islam?
Those who are on the path shown by Prophet Mohammad (SAWS), his Sahabah and Awliya Allah are on the right path. Read the following statements of various Imams/scholars.
Sufi Shaikhs are pious and knowledgeable. They help in purification of minds of the people (tazkia nafs), correct people’s notions, educate them in inner values and significance of Islam and draw people’s attention towards Divine signs and secrets in the cosmos. They follow Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWS) foot steps in propagation of Islamic teachings.
It is very difficult to identify them among masses because they keep away from the crowd and hide their good deeds from people. If we find them, we should try to associate with them and learn Islamic teachings and practices in their company.
It is in Quran – ‘ O’ you who believe, Be afraid of Allah (SWT) and be with those who are truthful (Muslims) (At-Tauba – 119).
The best way to find these "human gems" (Insaan-ul -Kamil) is to judge them by their Correct Islamic Faith and exceptional Islamic character.
There is a famous saying - 'a man is known by the company he keeps'. Therefore, if you be in the company of a truthful Shaikh, you will also walk on the right path of Islam.
Since, it is difficult to identify them among masses, we should pray Allah (SWT) to find such teachers for every one of us.
For this purpose, sit quite for 10 minutes during the day or night after one of your Salah, close your eyes, leave all your inhibitions and apprehensions and concentrate towards Allah (SWT). Consider He is looking at you and listening to whatever you are saying.
Pray with all sincerity, seeking His beneficence to guide you to right path of Islam and to find you a good teacher, a Sufi Shaikh of Ihsan, in whose company you can learn Islam.
Continue this practice until you find this teacher. Insha-Allah you will find him soon. When you find him, your heart will testify that this is the teacher you were looking for.
Do not fall victim to the preachers of Muslim sects; do not get overwhelmed with their outward religious appearances, fluency of their tongue, effective use of multimedia; their memorization techniques, polemic (debating) skills, oratory and their money power and dominance in Muslim society; as making use of all their expertise, they will instill faithlessness in your hearts that will lead you to go astray.
The beliefs of these sects consist of the following principles.
It is in Hadith - Prophet (SAWS) said - What I fear for my community is every hypocrite (Munafiq) with a skilled tongue" narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad.
My dear bothers and sisters, save yourself from these people because Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) have warned Muslims about them.
It is in Hadith - Hazrat Abu Sa'eed Khudri (RU) and Hazrat Anas (RU) report(Mishkat, p. 308). that the Prophet (SAWS) stated: ‘My Ummah is destined to differ and be divided. So a group will rise whose talks will sound very good but their character will be misleading. They will read the Quran but it will not descend below their throats (meaning they will not understand its meanings). They will leave Deen just as an arrow pierces and goes right through the prey. They will not return to Islam. They are the worst of creation because of their nature and constitution. They will call the people towards the Quran and Deen whilst in reality they will have nothing to do with Islam. Whoever will confront them, he will be the most beloved servant of Allah. The Sahaba inquired: "Ya Rasoolullah, (SAWS) what is their sign?" He replied: "Sitting in Halqa (circles).
O’ Allah (SWT), kindly reveal the facts of things, as they are, and keep us Muslim while dying and unite us with the group of righteous people for the sake of the happiness of your beloved Prophet (SAWS). Ameen.