Welcome to Janathi Message

Ramadan 2008 (The Blessed Month)


What is a Pir or a Shaykh?

Pir is a Persian word that literally means old person. It is a title that is given to a Sufi master and are sometimes referred to as Shaykh which is the Arabic word for old person.

Scholars who studied the life of the Prophet (S.A.W), and spread the science of Tasawwuf (Tasawwuf is a branch of Islamic knowledge which focuses on the spiritual development of the Muslim.) understood that in order to find Allah (S.W.T) you have to abandon the common pursuits of the world. They often wore wool because of its simplicity and low cost. In Arabic the word for wool is suf and thus, those who wore it became known as the Sufis. Another derivation of the word comes from the root word safa, which means "to clean." As the scholars of Tasawwuf focused on cleansing the heart, they later became known as the Sufis.

A Pirs role is to guide his followers on the Sufi path. The path of Sufism starts when a student takes an oath of allegiance with a teacher called Bai'ath or Bay'ah (Arabic word meaning Transaction). After that, the student is called a Murid (Arabic word meaning committed one).

I Thought That All We Needs Is The Quran And The Sunnah?

It is true that the Qur’an and the Sunnah are sufficient. However, at the same time it is also true that a teacher is required to master any subject. If the Qur’an was sufficient, then Allah (S.W.T) could have easily sent the book without a messenger. However, He sent the Prophet as a model of the Quran so that people could directly learn from his example.

How much does it cost for a good Pir, Shaykh, Sufi?

Unfortunately people are exploiting and imitating these pious Wali Allah (friends of Allah) and turning it into a money making business. The prey on people who due to not having much or any knowledge about what an actual Pir is they get trapped by impostors claiming to be friends of Allah where as their only friend is money.
People with severe problems which they can’t deal with, feel hopeless and will do anything to get away from these problems This is where these so called phony Pirs, Sufi’s and Shaykhs take advantage of innocent and troubled people they charge them money by having them believe their troubles will vanish.

Sufis Teach Praying At Graves, Dancing, Music, And Other Innovations?

This is not a view held by any true Sufi or Scholar. It is true that there have been, and currently are, people who have deviated from the teachings of tasawwuf, and misrepresenting this science. This is not unique to tasawwuf. Our history is full of examples of people who called themselves scholars of tafsir, or hadith while misrepresenting the essence of these sciences. A true shaykh of tasawwuf (sufism) never breaks even the smallest commands of the Shariah and lives life in accordance with Quran and Sunnah. He sees them as the means of his progress towards his Lord. In fact, he prefers death over falling into even a minute sin.

Inshaallah, the next topic we will discuss how to recognise a true Shaykh.