The ways of real faith, the ways that our Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sal) showed us
    through Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (ral) and Seyyidina Ali (ral) and which were passed down
    through the Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet Muhammad  (sal) and Awliya
    (saints) to us are known as the Way of the Tariqats. While Shariah teaches us
    worship, Tariqat teaches us the way to keep Adab (good manners) with our Lord and
    to attain to His Divine Presence.

    There are two kinds of Iman, faith. One is real and the other is imitative. The real
    brings light to the heart of a person, until then he is only imitating faith. The signs of
    real faith are three. The first is the ability to listen to the tasbih ( Zikr – paying praise
    and respects to their Lord) of all creatures. According to Quran there is nothing in
    existence that does not do tasbih (glorify the Lord), not even inanimate objects. The
    second is Allah’s opening of his heart to the fountain of wisdom, giving knowledge of
    all things in existence, their position and their purpose. Thirdly, there are no more
    veils between him and Barzakh, the heavenly worlds. He may meet anyone – any
    Prophet or Saint from Barzakh without hindrance. Until these three signs appear know
    that you are veiled and not open to the light of Iman. Tariqats are preparing Murids
    (follerwers) for real faith. The meaning of Murid is one who is asking for real faith.

    The Prophet (Sal) said to keep religion in this time is more difficult than keeping
    burning coal in one’s hand. We must be patient in the face of adversity. Allah gives to
    those who are enduring disliked trials, endless reward. This is the way of real faith,
    like the way of Prophets and Awliya, to endure the badness of people.

    There are many veils between us and our heavenly positions. The training that a
    Murid undergoes at the hands of his Sheikh is to prepare him for the Divine
    Presence. As the Murid passes each trial, veils are removed by his Sheikh until finally
    all veils are removed and the Murid is in the Divine Presence.

    Only someone who has attained to the Divine Presence and has been authorized by
    the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sal) has the knowledge to remove these veils.
    Therefore, in Order for one to attain to the Divine Presence, one must give allegiance
    to the Sheikh of a Tariqat by taking Bayyath (Connection or Oath of Allegiance) from
    him and follow his teachings. When a Murid obeys his Sheikh’s every command, in
    doing so he would be passing all the trials given to him and thereby achieving a
    position of trust with his Sheikh. When the Sheikh finds the Murid trustworthy, he
    rends the veils between the Murid and the Divine Presence. When each veil is
    removed the Murid is treated to a new experience where new horizons of knowledge
    are made available to him. With the removal of each veil also comes Certainty
    (yakeen). The Murid’s faith becomes established in this manner and continues to do
    so until he completely submits to the will of Allah Almighty.

    All Tariqats are ways to the Divine Presence. The Sheikh of a Tariqat is able to
    communicate with his Sheikh who is able to communicate with his Sheikh and so on till
    the end of the chain where the first Sheikh of the Tariqat is in communication with the
    Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sal). The Sheikh is also directly in communication with the
    Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sal). In addition to this, in attaining the Divine Presence the
    Sheikh was given higher and secret knowledge. By this method the Sheikh has
    perfect guidance in everything. We are in darkness and in need of lights, the light of
    Prophethood to inform us what is ahead generally, and the light of Sainthood to guide
    us to our personal destinations.

    Our destination is Heaven. We can’t see it unless by a distinguished Order from Allah
    and His Prophet (sal). Reality is a precious thing, not given to many. In this time, for a
    real connection to the Prophet Muhammad (Sal), the only way open is through the
    Naqshabandi Tariqat. The Holy Prophet (Sal) said of the last times that, the only gate
    open would be the gate of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (Ral) which is the origin of the
    Naqshabandi Tariqat.

    During the Hijra (migration) of the Holy Prophet (Sal) he was accompanied by Abu
    Bakr as-Siddiq (ral) to Medina, they took refuge in the cave of “Thaur” from their
    antagonists. While in the cave, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (ral) in utmost fear for the plight of
    Islam, said to the Holy Prophet (sal) “our enemies are so many and we are only two”.
    The Holy Prophet (Sal) replied “No, we are three”. He meant that apart from the two of
    them there was also Allah Most High. At which instant was heard a myriad of voices
    saying “Allahu Allahu Allahu Haqq” which is the Oath of Allegiance to the
    Naqshabandi Tariqat. This was the birth of the Naqshabandi Tariqat.

    At this moment Abu Bakr as Siddiq (ral) summoned the spirits of all those who were
    chosen on the Day of Promises to be the 7007 Imams of the Naqshabandi Tariqat into
    the cave. They in turn summoned the souls of all those who were chosen to be their
    Murids on the Day of Promises into the cave. The myriad of voices in the cave
    belonged to the souls of all future followers of the Naqshabandi Tariqat and who were
    with Allah Most High at that instant. Only those who were present in the cave of
    “Thaur” on that day would be destined to become followers of the most distinguished
    Naqshabandi Tariqat from that time till “Qiyama”.

    The Naqshabandi Order originated in the Heart of the Prophet Muhammad (sal), and
    its authority was passed down through Abu Bakr (ral) from one Master to the next in
    an unbroken chain of succession reaching into our time. To the heart of Abu Bakr
    (ral), the first Khalipha, the Prophet passed on the full inner truth of his teachings.
    Since Abu Bakr, among all the Prophet’s (sal) companions, was the only one to
    receive the full inner truth from the Prophet’s heart, the Naqshabandi Order inherits
    the fullest and finest of these Prophetic teachings. For as the Holy Prophet, in a well-
    known tradition, said: “Everything that has been poured into my heart I have poured
    into the heart of Abu Bakr”. Abu Bakr (ral) was called “Siddiq” or “The Completely
    Veracious One”.

    The station of “Siddiq” is the highest of all stations after the Station of Prophethood.
    Whoever receives his spiritual education through the teachings of the Naqshabandi
    Order may hope to reach, finally, to the Station of “Siddiq”, the Station of Absolute
    Truthfulness. In every religion this Station of “Siddiq” is the utmost horizon of devotion
    to the Truth, particularly in Islam. We thank Allah Almighty for His leading us toward
    that level, towards a brightness that is like the most shinning planet in the sky, Venus,
    among the other stars and planets. We are yet beginners seeking to reach that level
    and we pray that our Lord will not look at our shortcomings but grant us His Divine
    Help so that we may reach that distant goal.

    Therefore, the Tariqat-an-Naqshbandiyya, (as it is passed down through Abu Bakr As-
    Siddiq), activates the souls of the Murids to whatever extent the Murid can bring his
    desires to accord with the desires of his Sheikh. The first step though is to start on
    the lowest level, using the way of the four Imams. If you do not come down to the
    lowest level you can’t reach higher levels.

    Mowlana Sheikh Nazim (qad) says, “I am someone who has been authorized as
    guidance on that perfect way of the distinguished Naqshabandi Order. The
    Naqshabandi Tariqat is like a sky covering the whole world. No-one can escape out of
    it because it includes all the ways, it is perfect and it is the shortest”.

    “I have been ordered to make clear to you, that anytime when anyone is losing control
    over themselves and is in a difficult position, they can be in contact with my heart
    immediately, if they just think about me, they will make a relation with me immediately.
    They just need to remember me, and that will make me look at him or her. That
    connection will make a power run through you quickly and you will be protected from
    falling into a dangerous situation. It is not my spiritual power, but I am in connection
    with a chain that is connected to our Lord through Saints. I am the last part of the
    chain which reaches you. It is like a plug which you can connect with electricity.”

    The ‘Naqsh’ is a tattoo or an impression. If we haven’t been patience enough to have
    this tattoo made, what about the “Naqsh” on the heart? The ‘Naqsh’ of the heart is
    “Allah”. Whoever wants that “Naqsh” on his heart will come to the Naqshabandi Way.
    It is the highest way in all religions. Once that tattoo is made, man will be always with
    his Lord. At that time his mortal personality will be effaced and he will be a
    representative of his Lord among Mankind. He will leave his ego behind and become
    a pure, purified, “private” servant of his Lord. No more personality, his heart is
    stamped, “Allah.”

    The Seal of Prophets, Muhammad, (Peace be upon him) taught his companions,
    above all else association, by taking them as his companions, by entering them into
    association with him. Accordingly, the Inheritors of the Prophet, the Naqshabandi
    Masters, stress the importance of “Sohbet”, association with the Sheikh, as the
    essential pillar in the training of seekers. Shah Naqshaband, the illustrious Imam of
    the line of Masters that we follow, the Imam after whom the Path is named and without
    whom there would be no Naqshabandi Tariqat, always used to repeat in his
    assemblies: “Our Way is Sohbet, association, and all good things result from

    He furthermore stated that if anyone attended an assembly of this way even for five or
    ten minutes, he would derive such immense spiritual benefit from that brief encounter
    so as to outweigh the benefits that would be gained by seven years of supererogatory

    Another important point to understand is that whenever any group of our brothers or
    sisters meet for the sake of Allah Almighty, unanimously joining their hearts with the
    Masters of this way, that meeting will attain to the level of an association with the kind
    of beneficial effects just described. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the only
    beneficial meeting is the one where the Sheikh is physically in attendance. When our
    brothers or sisters meet, one of them must be the channel for inspiration to come
    from the Sheikh, one must speak and the others listen; one must take from the Sheikh
    and the others, through him from the Sheikh.

    The Naqshabandi Way is the Sufi Path adhering most closely to the practices of the
    Holy Prophet (Sal), and association in this manner was his way, and the way of his
    companions, as he always appointed a leader to preside in his absence.

                                                        The End


Sheikh Nazim