In order to become perfect, it is necessary to have the company of perfect human beings
In order to attain any form of perfection in the world, it is necessary to remain in the company of someone who has already attained that perfection. In order to learn the smallest craft or artisanship, or even the most common tradesman ship, the guidance of an adept and expert teacher in the field is necessarily accepted by one and all. One cannot attain expertise in any field merely through one’s own intellect without a competent and qualified teacher. Be it engineering or medicine, in every field and for every occupation a teacher is required to guide the intellect. Since it is necessary to adopt the company of an expert in the sciences and arts established through human intellect, how can independence be adopted when it comes to attaining the knowledge of Nubuwwat, the deeply rooted wisdom of the Anbiya and the realities of Shariah without a guide and teacher? It should be understood that this knowledge is beyond the bounds of intellect and perception. It has reached the Ummah through revelation from Allah, and it is through heavenly nurturing and divine guidance and instruction that this chain is maintained.
Then again, for attaining this divine knowledge, more than words, the spiritual attention and practical companionship of the guide and nurturer are required. More than teaching, the nurturing of the mind and thoughts along with nurturing actions is necessary. Therefore, the longer the companionship lasts, the more perfection one will be blessed with, the more perfect the guide and nurturer is, the one will benefit and reach perfection.
Relying on your individual intellect and opinion and its consequences
Along with this, the aim and objective of prophetic knowledge is guidance and instruction of the creation of Allah, there is great apprehension of Devil the accursed, enmity and miss-guidance. When it comes to worldly attaining perfection in worldly matters, he sits back at ease and has no need to interfere, shown any enmity. On the other hand, as soon as it is a matter of the next world, the hereafter and Deen, Devil becomes restless to display his mischief. He uses his full strength through different avenues in order to transform guidance into deviation. Since Devil, the accursed is such an expert at trickery whereby he blends truth and falsehood in a very subtle manner as a result of which something which is outwardly good, he with respect to reality, makes it evil. Thereafter, the ploys of the Nafs of mankind are over and above this. Vanity and pride, show and love of fame, love of renown are in the very nature of mankind. These are such severe spiritual ailments which even after years of intense struggle and spiritual effort are not fully cured. This is why, in order to be safe from the ploys of Nafs and Devil, a lengthy period of time in the company of some perfected soul. When the grace and bounty of Allah is present, one’s rectification takes place. Otherwise, a person will wander aimlessly in the wilderness of knowledge and intellect. After studying the history of the world, it becomes totally clear that all Fitnas that sprang up came into existence due to the intelligentsia. In the domain of knowledge, most Fitnas crept in through the avenue of knowledge. In fact, many intellectuals within the fraternity of the Ulama-e-Haq, on the basis of their brilliance adopt a stance apart from the rest of the Ummah as a result of which they fall prey to incorrect thoughts and points of view. In most of these cases, the fact of the matter has been their falling into the ailments of vanity based on their opinion and pride in their knowledge along with depending on their depth of knowledge and level of intelligence. They were not exposed to much companionship as a result of which how far they have fallen away.
During our era too, there are many examples present. Since these people definitely are intelligent, they at times say something very good or write something even better as a result of which Fitna spreads even more. Those individuals who have not received much companionship and have not been favored with depth in their knowledge, very quickly become their devotees who then subscribe to their view which varied from those of the Ummah, which are novel and unknown. Devil is at all times occupied with his work. Thus, that personality who could have been an asset to the Ummah in terms of guidance counseling becomes a means of deviation and diversion. Such personalities are to be found during every era. Imam Ghazali has written in The Refutation of The Philosophers (Maqasid ul Falasifah):
“On seeing the correct knowledge of the Greek philosophers with respect to mathematics, engineering, etc, people have become their devotees and accept all their knowledge. By subscribing to their view with respect to physics and divinity, they have gone astray.”
This is an amazing observation of Imam Ghazali and is totally true. In such cases, Devil has an excellent opportunity to deviate people. Nonetheless, when people of such high levels of intellect, people who so adept in the field of knowledge can fall prey to such Fitnas what is the case of people whose accomplishments in the field of knowledge is very meager but who are very adept at using the pen but who have deprived themselves of the company of the perfected souls, who are intelligent and mentally capable, they very quickly fall prey to the dangerous ailment of the vanity of the Nafs as a result of which. they deride and look down upon the rest of the Ummah and laugh at the accomplishments of the pious predecessors. They fall into the deep chasm of criticism and finding fault with one and all from beginning to end as a result of which they become a means of deviation for the entire generation.
Source: Daur e Hazir kay Fitny aur un ka Ilaj, By Maulana Syed Muhammad Yusuf Banuri