Spiritual companionship

The living model [1]

God says in the Quran: “O you who believe! Fear Allah and be with the truthful” [2]. And He said: "The Merciful, therefore ask someone knowledgeable about Him (expert)" [3].

And in another verse, God (exalted be He) says: "The most intimate friends are enemies of one another this day except the pious people" [4].

Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, reports: the prophet may the peace and blessings of God be upon him said: "man follow the religion of his intimate companion, that each of you take heed to him whom he takes for a friend” [5].

Abu Mûsâ (may God be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The virtuous companion and the evil companion are respectively comparable to the seller of musk and the blacksmith. The seller of musk gives or sells it to you, or there is a pleasant odor from him, while the blacksmith risks burning your clothes or giving off a foul odor "[6].

1] He is also called the "Mujaddid": (the one who ensures renewal): alluding to the well-known hadîth: "God sends to this community at the head of each century someone who revives their religion for them" Hadîth sahîh: reported by Abû Dâwud in his Sunan (n ° 4291), Al-hâkim in his Mustadrak 4/522, Al-bayhaqî in ma'rifat as-sunan wa al-âthâr 1/28/422 and by others . This concerns both exoteric scholars who answer current questions from the community regarding jurisprudence or otherwise, as well as esoteric scholars (the knowers of God who help the disciples to purify and reform their hearts in the environment and the context of each era).[2] Sura Tawbah, verse: 119.[3] Sura 26, verse 59: the walis or the elect or even "experts in God: khabîr, plural: khubarâ" exist and will exist as long as the sun shines on this earth: Abu Hurayra reports that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said: "Allah said: He who shows hostility towards one of my walis (friends, saints, elect) I declare war on him. My servant does not draw near to Me by anything more pleasing to Me than the accomplishment of what I have prescribed to him and, My servant never ceases to draw near to Me by supererogatory works to the point that I love him . And when I love him, I am his hearing by which he hears, his gaze by which he sees, his hand with which he grasps, and his foot with which he walks; if he asks Me, assuredly I will answer him; if he seeks asylum near Me, assuredly; I will give it to him. "Reported by Al-Bukhârî.[4] Sura 43, verse 67.[5] Reported by At-tirmithî in his Sunans (Kitâb Az-zuhd) and Abû Dâwûd in his Sunans (kitâb al-adab).[6] Reported in the Sahîh al-Bukhârî: Hadîth 1926 (p 823) the book of animals to be slaughtered and game: in "the summary of sahih al-bukhârî" Volume II, by Imam Zein Ed-Dine Ahmed ibn Abdul-Latif A-Zoubaidi.Ibn ‘Abbas, may God be pleased with them both (Ibn‘Abbas and his father), reports: “Someone asked: 'O Prophet, who is the best person to sit with? He said, "The one whose sight reminds you of God, whose words add to your knowledge, and whose deeds remind you of the Hereafter. ""Abû Sa'îd reports that the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "There are among my community those who intercede in favor of troops of people (Al-fiâm), those who intercede in favor of a tribe, those who intercede on behalf of a group and those who intercede on behalf of a person, until they return to Paradise ”[7]The relationship between master and disciple, and between disciples, is a relationship of respect and love in God. Abu Hurayra relates that the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "God said on the day of resurrection: where are those who love each other in Me (in My majesty), I put them under My shadow, on this day when he there is no shadow except My shadow ”[8].Companionship is an important pillar for all Muslims who seek to improve their religion, character and behavior. For, companionship brings countless benefits and that is why at all times, companionship has been and has remained the main pillar for any sincere person who seeks to walk on the way of God.  Ibn 'Atâ Allah Al-Iskandarî (of Alexandria) said in his wisdoms (Hikam): "Glory to Him who guides certain aspirants to His friends (that is to say the Saints of God), only because these are the guides towards Him, and who only sends to them those whom He wants to make reach Him. " He also said: "Do not take for a companion the one whose condition does not stimulate you and whose words do not show you the way of God. The stimulation of the state occurs when the disciple connects with God by detaching himself from creatures and all passionate urges. 

Through companionship, the disciple's state is encouraged to be oriented to God. Gradually he becomes aware of the power of his Lord, he relies only on Him in his requests, and he realizes the inability of creatures to reach him. Thus, the disciple begins to act in accordance with Divine Law in a complete and balanced manner. This is the characteristic of the People of Unity (muwahidîn) and the Knowers (‘ârifîn).

[7] Reported by At-tirmithî in his sunans (Kitâb sifat Al-qiyâma wa ar-raqâiq wa al-wara ‘).[8] Narrated by Muslim (Kitâb Al-birr wa As-silla wa al-âdâb).

[9] Idhn is a subtle notion which involves a prodigious competence of the living master and a light from God to carry out his noble mission of teaching and spiritual education. Several facts from the sîra (biography of the Prophet and his companions) bear witness to the existence and authenticity of the Idhn.

 The sincere disciple does not seek to unravel the mysteries which are veiled from him but he seeks the company of the master who indicates to him the faults which are hidden from him. Thus, he deals with his faults and not with the faults of others and unnecessary judgments. The nature of the human soul is to be imbued with whomever it takes as a model. If the model is good, the soul tends to be good. The whole secret of companionship is there. The disciple, thanks to the presence of a true Spiritual Master, adorns himself with the qualities of his Master, such as sincerity of orientation towards God, good character towards God and His creatures, love of God and of his Prophet. - be upon him peace and salvation - and mercy towards all creatures. Conversely, associating with those who do not have an exemplary sincerity of heart, who are still marked by apparent and / or hidden vices, can only bring to the one who accompanies them the acquisition and the persistence of the same defilements. . Some Sufis wrote: "Take for a companion only the one with whom the esteem he has for you does not increase according to the goods that you have, and with whom the esteem he has for you does not decrease because of the harm you do. It is all for you or against you, and you are always the same for him. "Others said, "Either with the people of this world with respect, or with the scholars of the hereafter with science, and either with the Knowers of God as you see fit. That is to say, using whatever feels right towards them, showing them all the good and all the respect that you can give them. ‘Ali - may God be pleased with him - also said:" The worst companion is the one who tires you with the work. "For the people of God, the best companion is the one who points out to you the work that will purify you from the vices of your soul and remind you of God, and not the means of tiring you unnecessarily. This is the role of the spiritual Master who advises practices which are of immense benefit. Because of the secret of the authorization (Idhn [9]) (his spiritual pedagogy) which he possesses from God, he indicates the shortcuts towards the divine presence and towards the annihilation of the carnal soul for the benefit of the soul appeased and pacified.  The Sufis are the custodians of divine truths and knowledge that no one else has equaled. Thanks to their company, the profit of whoever joins them is realized. An analogy can be made with the perfume merchant. When a passer-by stops at his store, he is bound to be touched by the good smells and he keeps that scent with him, even after he leaves. The company of the people of God perfumes the disciple and adorns him with all the nobility, the beauty of a radiant heart, so he gets rid - little by little and as and when this company - of vices and passions. This companionship and closeness transforms the heart and behavior even more profoundly than supererogatory prayer or fasting. Sidi Abû Al ‘Abbâs Al Mursî - may God be pleased with him - exclaimed:" What to do with alchemy! By God, I have been in the presence of men who, when they pass in front of a dry tree and point to it, the tree comes to life and soon gives fruit. "He also said: “By God! It only takes one look between me and a man to enrich him. "His Master, Sidi Abû Al Hassan Ash-Shâdhilî - may God be pleased with him - said:" Abû Al ‘Abbâs, he is the perfect man. By God, a Bedouin comes to him who still urinates on his legs, and when evening comes he has already sent it to God. " Other words of the Saints on the company of the spiritual Master: Sidi Ibn 'Abbad de Ronda wrote in his explanations of the Wisdom of Ibn' Ata Allah Al-Iskandari - may God be pleased with them both -: "It is indispensable for the disciple, in this path, to accompany an accomplished spiritual Master who guides him, who has completed the education of his own soul and who has got rid of his passions. Let him surrender his soul to him and force himself to accomplish what he asks and let him come to him without doubt, neither interpretation nor hesitation. The Sufis said, "He who has no Master, Satan is his Master." " Abu 'Ali Al-thaqafî - may God be pleased with him - said: "Even if a man begins to collect all the sciences and to rub shoulders with all categories of people, he will not achieve what the Men of God have achieved only through spiritual exercise in the company of a spiritual Master and Imâm or an educator who can advise him. And the one who does not take his education from the one who orders good and forbids evil, who corrects the faults of his actions, the vices of his soul and who will be his faithful mirror, he cannot be taken as an example for the purification of states. "Sidi Abû Madyan - may God be pleased with him - said: "Whoever does not get the right education from educators, the one who follows him dies.” The author of Latâif al Minan said: "The example must be taken from the Saint whose existence God has shown you and whose secrets of his heart and of the place he has shared with you. by his side. By this, God has placed your gaze beyond his human envelope, in the presence of the secret of his election. So you were able to surrender to him, he made you walk the paths of wisdom and spiritual maturity. He knows you with all the traits, the characteristics of your soul, what it contains. He teaches you union with God and alienation from all that is other than God. He accompanies you on the path until you manage to guard yourself against all the reprehensible choices that your soul would be tempted to make. By knowing your soul, you will be able to move away from it and not follow it in its wanderings; by knowing the gift of God, you will have the will to return to Him and be grateful to Him and to agree to remain long hours in His Presence. The same author also wrote: "Your Master is not the one from whom you have heard words, your Master is the one from whom you have taken. He is not the one speaking to you, he is the one whose hint is flowing through you. He's not the one who got you to the door, he's the one who lifted the veil between you and him. The Master is not the one whose words reach you, your Master is the one whose state stimulates you. It was he who brought you out of the prison of your passions and brought you into the Presence of the Lord. He is the one who continuously polishes the mirror of your heart until the Lord's Lights are reflected in it. He took you to God and you went to him, he took you until he got you to him. He stays by your side all the time, until he puts you back in His Hands. He then immersed you in the Lights of the Divine Presence and said "Here you are and your Lord".


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