Sufi self-help for the soul

ByGhulam Rasool Dehlvi

The Naqshbandi sufi order focuses on the inner purification of an individual applying the influence of the Quranic exhortations on his/her soul and heart. Based on the primary sources of Islam, Quran and Sunnah (the Prophetic traditions), it fosters universal values and essential messages of the divine. Immersed in lofty spiritual inclinations, Khwaja Bahauddin Naqshbandi emerged in Bukhara as one of the most prominent spiritual masters. His teachings continue to guide humankind transcending faith, creed and caste.

Among the redeeming features of this spiritual lineage is getting along with all others overflowing with the divine love. It imbibes a firm belief that the world is a cradle of brotherhood. Therefore, Naqshbandi sufism is deeply altruistic in its basic precepts and practices.

All Naqshbandi luminaries have been primarily concerned with the delight of other beings rather than their own. They had a wider embrace of compassion, spiritual care and kindness for the world at large. They were able to discern the sorrows pent up the in the hearts of people through their facial expressions, and would cure them with no gain in return.

According to Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, the present sufi master of the Naqshbandi sufi order, saints are not responsible for the malpractices of those who falsely claim to be adherents of Sufism.

All actions are to be judged against the moral and spiritual trajectories of the Holy Quran and the Prophets Sunnah. Shaykh Kabbani has contributed a fair share in stimulating keen interest in Sufism in the 20th century, most notably in the West. His sufi teachings comprise the spiritual and universal message of Islamic faith, calling for pluralism, unity in diversity, unconditional love, tolerance and acceptance. His ideas are also relevant today for strengthening global peace and rejecting hardcore views, violence and extremism.

Naqshbandi sufis attached paramount importance to certain spiritual traits. Most notably: understanding the deeper meanings of the entire existence through divine insights; using God-gifted intellect and adhering to a spiritual masters instructions. Thus, they introduced the sufi science of self-realisation, stressing the need for self-help with the attainment of self-understanding, which is the most complex realm of knowledge.

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani has beautifully explained this: The foundations of modern science rest upon an understanding of the inter-relatedness of the soul and the world… Even Newton, the icon of modern science, based his studies in alchemy, the traditional science linking the microcosm of the soul to the macrocosm of the elemental cosmos.

Besides universal, scientific and spiritual matters, Naqshbandi sufis also address the contemporary issues and deep problems that todays people grapple with. With an indefatigable energy, todays man is waging a desperate struggle with corruption and incompetence in every walk of life. One such struggle is faced with the rampant corruption in the noble task of education.

As a result of commercialisation our education systems have become stagnant, unproductive and largely heedless. In this regard, the Naqshbandi sufi view is a guiding light.

It opines that when education is used as a tool in the hands of the ignorant and oblivious, pupils suffer the most. They dont learn anything new. Rather, they waste precious time. Citing an instance Shaykh Kabbani relays this message: Not everyone can study physics and understand. If this is so, then why are we forcing all the children to study physics? Being forced paralyses the talents of children. Each child has a unique capability.

Extracted from newageislam

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