the student of Mawlana al-Shaykh Khalid al-Baghdadi(qs)(d.1242.Damascus):
"Do know, O you who are seeking to know Allah the Most High, may Allah guide us all, that the belief of our Naqshbandi masters, may AllahSanctify their pure sara'ir (innermost souls), is that of the group of Sunna, and that their Way is built upon adhering to the rules of the pure Shari`a (Islamic Law),
as thus said our Imam ,al-Ghawth al-Samadani al-Qutb al-Rabbani, renovator of the second millenium, Shaykh Ahmad al-Faruqi al-Sirhindi quddisa sirruh,concerning adhering to the Shari`a:
"Know that conforming to anyone among the manners (adab) prescribed by Islam, or refraining from a non-recommended action (makruh), even if tanzihi1, is countless times better than dhikr (mention of Allah in the heart or with the tongue),fikr (meditating about the greatness of Allah), muraqaba (watchfulness over one's own actions and thoughts) and tawajjuh (turning the heart toward Allah).
Yes if he groups these matters together with this adherence, then he has succeeded greatly indeed."
[Shaykh.G.F.Haddad with thanks to Sh. Orfan Rabbat ]
Khwaja 'Ubaid-Allah al-Ahrar (rahmat-Allahi 'alaih) said:
'Nafila salat can be performed any time,
But our sohbat will not be found again!'
"Somebody was recommended to attend the sohbat of Bayazid al-Bastami.'I am always in my Allah's sohbat,' he said. "Bayazid's sohbat is more beneficial for you,' was replied.
It was meant that he would receive faid from Allahu ta'ala proportional to his own talent and to his relation with Him, whereas he would attain faid proportional to Bayazid's high degree [of wilaya] in Bayazid's sohbat.
'Never talk with a bad companion,
He is worse than a poisonous snake!
It will not take away your life alone,
He will take away your life and faith!' "
Kwajah Muhammad Mathum al-Faruqi s-Sirhindi, the 3rd son and Khalifa of Imam-i-Rabbani Mujaddid e Alif Thani Shaykh Ahmad Sirhidi(Qaddasallahu Asrarahum) explained tasawwuf briefly in the 177th letter of the first volume of his Maktubat:
"Do not rely upon kashfs and ru'yas (dreams)! The very things to be trusted and that will save men from Hell are the Book and the Sunnat. Cling tightly, with all your power, to Allah's Book and the Prophet's Sunnat! Be very cautious in doing all your affairs compatibly with these two!
The dhikr, too, is one of Allahu ta'ala's orders. Perform the dhikr constantly! Busy your every moment with the dhikr!
"Men of Allah have unanimously reported that the highest status in this way is the virtue of marifa (knowing Allahu ta'ala), which means one's annihilation in Allahu ta'ala. That is, 'knowing Allahu ta'ala' means comprehending that only He exists and everything else is nonexistent. Then, tasawwuf is the way that leads to marifa, to such comprehension.
A couplet says:
'Know that you are nonexistent,
this is the very perfection,
Be annihilated in Him,
this is the way to union!'
"This annihilation is called fana'.
There are two kinds of fana'.
Oneof them is fana' al-qalb, in which the heart (qalb) forgets everythingbut Allahu ta'ala. He cannot remember anything other than Him howeverhard he tries. The heart does not know or love anything but Allah. The second kind is fana' an-nafs. This is the annihilation of the nafs; one becomes unable to say 'I' for himself. The 'arif himself and his indications disappear. He cannot recognize or love anything other thanAllah. There remains no connection with himself or with others. The most fatal poison which leads men to ruin is being fond of something other than Allahu ta'ala. The iman of such an 'arif is like a bright mirror. His every deed is consistent with Islam. It is very sweet and easy for him to obey Allahu ta'ala's orders and prohibitions. There isno evil quality left in him such as 'ujb (admiration of one's 'ibadat)or riya' (hypocrisy). There is ikhlas in his every deed and 'ibada;that is, he does them only for the sake of Allahu ta'ala. The nafs,though it was formerly disobedient and hostile to Allahu ta'ala'sorders, attains to itminan (tranquillity) and becomes real, perfectMuslim.
"The purpose of progress on the way of tasawwuf is to know oneself as non-existent and become an absolutely faithful servant of Allahuta'ala. The progress on this 'way' is called sair and suluk. The end ofthis way is fana' and baqa', that is, forgetting everything but Allahuta'ala and recognizing that only He exists. The one who attains fana'and baqa' is called an 'arif, who is able to be servant as perfect as a human being can be. Laziness or slackness caused by the nafs has disappeared in him. Following the way of tasawwuf is not for the purpose of avoiding being a servant of Allah, nor to make oneselfsuperior to others, nor to see souls, angels, genies or nurs. What is the use of searching for such things while there are enough well-designed, beautiful, and lovely things that everybody can see through the eyes? Both the former ones and the latter ones are beings created by Allah ta'ala. All of them were nonexistent and have beencreated recently. Meeting Allahu ta'ala's Audience and seeing His Jamal will be possible only in the hereafter, in Paradise. It cannot happenin this world. This fact has been unanimously reported by the 'ulama'of Ahl as-Sunnat and the great leaders of tasawwuf. It is only iqan that one can obtain in this world.
"Progress on the way of tasawwuf is intended to attain complete[obedience to] Islam in this world.
Islam consists of three parts:'ilm, 'amal and ikhlas. Tasawwuf is the means of attaining the third part. It will be possible only in the hereafter to meet Allahu ta'ala,to join His Audience and to see Him. Therefore, you should hold tightly onto the footsteps of Muhammad ('alaihi 's-salam) with all your power!Make it a habit to perform al-amru bi'l-maruf wa 'n-nahyu 'ani'l-munkar. Try to restore the sunnas which are forgotten! [Muslimsshould not arouse mischief (fitna) while teaching a forgotten sunna. Itis haram to start fitna. One should not commit the haram while tryingto teach a sunna, but be careful not to make the matter worse.]
Do not rely upon dreams! Is it worth anything to dream of oneself as the rulerof a country or as a qutb? These two positions are valuable if they areobtained while awake. Is it a real perfection to be a ruler even when awake and even if every being on the earth is at one's service? Does ithelp one to be saved from the punishments in the grave and after theResurrection? A wise, fore-sighted person does not set his heart onsuch things but tries to perform everything that Allahu ta'ala approvesand likes. He tries to attain the state of fana'."
[as translated by Shaykh Huseyn Hilmi Isik an Naqshbandi(rah.d.1422.AH.Istanbul.Turkey)]