Monday, April 21, 2008

rules of shari’ah for all

The duties of the Shari’ah are for the novice as well as for the accomplished. In this matter an ordinary Muslim and the most perfect Gnostic are one. It is the amateur Sufis and unworthy heretics trying to throw away the yoke of the Shari’ah who say that the rules of the Shari’ah are for the laity.

In their view, what is required of the Sufi is to attain gnosis (ma’rifat), just as what is required of the amirs and the sultans is to rule with justice. They say that the purpose of obeying the Shari’ah is to gain knowledge; consequently, when knowledge is gained the duties of the Shari’ah decline.

In support of this they cite the verse of the Qur’aan: ‘Serve your Lord till you get yaqin,’ taking yaqin to mean God, following the interpretation of Sahl Tustari. That is to say, the duty of serving God comes to an end when one gets to know Him.

But if Sahl takes yaqin in the sense of God, what he apparently means is that the feeling of obligation in serving God disappears when one comes to know Him truly; he does not mean that the service itself drops.

To be sure, that would be sheer heresy and infidelity.

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