Definition of Shariah, Tariqah, Haqiqah & Ma’rifah & their mutual Connection, By Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

Collected & Compiled By: Mufti Umar Anwar Badakhshani

“Shariah” is the sum total of rules and regulations that we are required to follow. This includes apparent and hidden both. In earlier times this way was called “Fiqh”. Imamul-Aazam Abu Hanifa defines Fiqh thus:

معرفة النفس ما لها و ما عليها

(Marafatun-Nafse ma laha wa ma alaiha) recognizing the good and bad things of self. Later on “Fiqh” was the apparent deeds of “Shariah” and the hidden deeds were called “Tasawwuf”.

The procedures of these hidden deeds is called “Tariqah”, then by the correction of these deeds on the heart is created light and cleanliness specially between Allah and His servants and is called “Haqiqah”.

This knowledge is called “Ma’rifah” and the person is called “Arif” or researcher. These are all parts of Shariah, And this statement that Shariah is concerned with apparent rules only is not said by any learned scholar (At-Takasshuf).

The true principles of Tasawwuf are mentioned in Qur’an and Hadith. Those who say that Tasawwuf is not in Qur’an and Hadith are entirely wrong. Ignorant Ulama say Salah and Fasting is proven from Qur’an and Hadith. Let’s do it. The ignorant Sufis say Qur’an and Hadith deal with apparent deeds and Tasawwuf deals with hidden deeds. One group left. Qur’an and Hadith and other group left Tasawwuf.

Please listen carefully that there are five parts of Shariah:

(1) Beliefs: to accept from heart and tongue that whatever Allah and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) have informed is true to be found in the book of belief

(2) Worship: like Prayers, fasting, Zakah. Hajj and the like.

(3) Dealings are Transactions: rules of marriage, divorce buying and selling, service agriculture. This does not mean that Shariah teaches how to do business of but that do not transgress, do not go wrong, what is permissible and what is not permissible.

(4) Way of life: standing, sitting, meeting, being a guest, how to go somewhere, what are its rules, how to treat wives, children, relatives, strangers, servants etc.

(5) Tasawwuf or self-Reform: People think by mistake that for Tasawwuf you have to leave children, wife, worldly way of life. This is entirely wrong. This is what ignorant Sufis say, the combination of these five is Shariah and religion. If something is missing that much religion is missing.

Enquire all the parts of religion, beliefs, worship, dealings, habits, way of life, morals, keep correcting them and keep enquiring what you do not know. Before doing anything, first enquire with the Shariah and learned scholars but not those who put their selfish desires and non-religion. They are really ignorant people. Don’t ask them or they will destroy you also. It would be wrong to say where can you find true learned scholars. By searching them you will find them. (Basaire Hakimul Ummat).

Maulana Thanwi says that he has written two books “Haqiqatut Tariqah” and “Masailus Sulook” in which the rules of Tasawwuf are derived from Hadith and Qur’an respectively, consequently all the rules of Tasawwuf are derived from Qur’an and Hadith. I have derived some 2000 rules and could have derived additional 2000 rules. (Basaire Hakimul Ummah).

Derived From: Shariah & Tariqah by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

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