Sufism is the method or mode of worshipping God without barriers of religion. This confirms that God almighty is only one. All Sufis say that the only goal of life is to accept God as the sole power. To reach this goal one has to adopt ways and methods mentioned by Sufi saints. These methods are as follows:
- Be clean by body and heart because only a clean heart can do ibadat.
- Talk less because talking more kills the heart.
- Don’t indulge in bad habits and bad deeds because they divert brain and one cannot concentrate on ibadat.
- Eat less because eating more makes one lazy. Eat only as much as is necessary for living.
- Sleep less as more sleep keeps one away from Simiran. Sleeping time is just to relax and rejuvenate the body.
Stages: Progress towards Spiritual Life
For living a good life as human beings and progressing towards spiritual life; one has to pass through the following stages:
For reaching all the above stages, the most important thing is to not associate with the hypocrites, liars and imposters. Alas, one’s nafs is untruthful and lustful and one needs to oppose it and not obey it. One should uproot it by asceticism and not ignore it or let it be. One should not allow it to overpower oneself; else, it will simply slaughter us. Why should one not rout ones nafs when God is with us? The next world is where one experiences spiritual secrets in the heart.
- Shairiat: This is the first step described by nabies and auliyas (messengers and friends). One should behave reasonably good and fair with all persons whether they are family, friends, business associates or people generally around us. One should never give unreasonable decisions which are in one’s hands. One should never be impolite when one is supposed to appreciate one’s opponents. One should never be cruel by act or by words with weak persons around, dependent on us. These are the social and individual norms of life. One should always rely on one’s inner voice since consciousness is always correct.
- Tarikat: This is the second step towards spiritual path whereby one has to observe disciplined living which is laid down by spiritual master, the murshid.
- Marifat: This is the third step which involves awakening of one’s inner conscience towards the path of truth and reality. It is a state of comprehension which develops our capacity for understanding. With the blessing of murshid and after sincerely moving through the above two stages, one can move up the spiritual ladder. Without preacher/ murshid, one cannot reach the Great Master.
- Hakikat: This is the final stage. It is the merger with transcendental truth and reality. It is an experience; not knowledge or a mathematical calculation. It is an affirmation and confirmation of existence of God that happens only by personal experience.
One should step out of the desert of relationship with material things and living beings. Only then does one reach the sea of knowledge of trust in God, knowledge of spiritual truth, giving up the material things, the means and searching for the maker of these things and means. On one’s journey, one’s faith makes one bold when one reaches the middle of the sea and says ‘The being who has created me will give me guidance. When fears and feelings become overwhelming, then God, the great, showers on ones heart the rain of his mercy and opens up the gate of the next world to him. This is the true quest of God.