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Regulation and Practices

Sufi laws are known as ‘Adraak' and ‘Ehsas' in Sufi terminology. which are the norms and discipline for acquiring hidden wisdom or understanding. They are classified as "hidden wisdom" or "knowledge." They are classified into the three groups listed below:

  • "Knowledge," i.e. "divine Knowledge" attained by the strict discipline of "Shariat."
  • “Amal,” which is an action done in accordance with the preceding discipline with unwavering trust and dedication.
  • “Haal,” which is the effect of ‘Amal' or the activity

The first vital step for a Sufi aspirant to do in order to follow the foregoing route is to find a religious preceptor or ‘murshid' who is a practical master of the stated Divine Knowledge and its training experience. His initial lessons begin with,

  • Liturgical practices and exercises with unswerving devotion to certain Quranic verses which are pregnant with the Divine Knowledge in order to grasp their spiritual interpretation and values
  • A rigid control over his soul called ‘Nafs’ which starts which renunciation and self-mortification.

Training In Sufism

When a person desires to become a mystic or Sufi, he was supposed to see a Sheikh or Murshid (teacher) and spend as much time with him as the Sheikh felt necessary for his spiritual development. During this phase of apprenticeship, which may be a lifetime in most circumstances, the Sheikh would urge the pupil to undertake mortification (Mujahedas) in order to obtain mastery over his appetitive soul, i.e. ‘Nafs.' This was accomplished by completing menial tasks such as hewing wood, collecting water from wells, and a variety of other menial tasks in the Khanqah (the monastery or chapel).

Stages of Mysticism

According to the Islamic norm of judgement, the seeker seeking Truth, as indicated above, must go through several phases before he may feel himself in combination with the Truth as the final object. The fundamental need is to have unwavering faith and a solid decision in doing or not doing anything, which is referred to as ‘niyyat' (intention) in Muslim theology and is followed by remorse and penitence. The following stage is known as "Mujaheda" (probation of striving). When it reaches its peak, the revelation process, called “Mukashfa,” begins (the uplifting of veil). The effort required to reach each step is referred to as ‘haal' (state). It is a state of delight or desire, and when the seeker is in this state, he enters ‘wajd' (ecstasy).

Sufism's early history demonstrates that this specific branch of Divine knowledge started and grew under the discipline of quietism, isolation, renunciation, and unending dedication to prayers under the direction of a 'Murshid' or spiritual preceptor. Sufism is sometimes referred to as mysticism in the West, however, this is not the same as the meaning that the term "Sufism" bears in Islamic usage. One of the benefits of this religion is that its adherents quickly uncover all the mysteries of Nature for the benefit of humanity. Its most important message is to "Live and Let Live" and to show unconditional love to all people.

Divine love was the next major aspect of Sufi doctrine. Since the reign of Rabia Al-Adawiya (died 801 AD). It had entered the mainstream of Sufism, and it had also become the primary characteristic of India's popular Bhakti movement. They said that love was both the source and the result of gnosis. Only when a person possessed devotion to God was he likely to obtain gnosis as a consequence of divine blessing. A person who had attained gnosis, on the other hand, could not help but be overwhelmed and dominated by cosmic feeling (jazba) and divine love. According to them, love was the emotional power of existence, the raison d'être

Mystic faith in gnosis and love is generally accompanied by distinctive ethics. Before Islam arrived in India, the Sufis had thoroughly adopted and systematized many ethical precepts. Although the degree of emphasis differed, Indian Sufism simply rehashed these teachings. The Sufi attitude is founded on the belief that the Veil that conceals Reality from people is that of Bashariyat (creaturehood). Man's nature comprises of sensuous, intellectual, and spiritual characteristics. Intellect, according to them, served a certain purpose. The Qalb (heart) or the Rooh was the center of spiritual existence (soul). They were thought to be ethereal in nature and hence capable of communicating with God. This role, however, could not be accomplished until the heart was cleansed of the dirt of the sensuous or lower self, known as the nafs in Sufi parlance (appetitive soul). As a result, one of the primary priorities of the Sufis became the fight against nafs, which were seen as completely wicked. This entailed renunciation, penitence, asceticism, poverty, self-mortification, and quietism—in other words, otherworldliness. This other-worldliness was never precisely understood, and the Chishti advised more of a viewpoint on another-worldliness than really leaving society.