Example: How the internal moral states form the basis of our bodily worship?

As mentioned earlier the purpose of Tasawwuf is to develop and cultivate the praise worthy(PWMS) and remove the blame worthy internal moral states(BWMS) (iklaq e batini).

Why is this important?
Isn’t practicing shariah commands itself sufficient?

This is a very intelligent question and if one understands the answer he will not have any doubts regarding the necessity of Tasawwuf.

Try to understand this by means of an example;

Shariah commands that each and every Muslim should pray five times daily on appropriate time, with the method according to Sunnah.

A Muslim, who is unaware of the importance of rectifying the internal moral states and has not worked to develop and refine them in his every day life, may fall into following traps;

  1. Some times he may skip the prayer all together, maybe out of laziness or being busy in worldly affairs. This is reflective that he does not have the love of Allah swt (PWMS) and instead has love of this world (hubb e dunya)(BWMS).
  2. Sometimes he prays to show his fellow Muslims that he is regular in his prayer or a pious person. At other times he thinks that his praying will make him outstand in his community. These are showing off (riya) (BWMS) and mark the absence of sincerity(ikhlas) (PWMS) .
  3. Even if he prays, he does so hastily, without the proper demeanor. This is reflective of absence of love of Allah swt (PWMS) and occupation in worldly affairs (BWMS) .
  4. Sometimes the demeanor of his prayer changes if he notices that someone is watching him. This is show off (riya)(BWMS) .
  5. And when he prays on time and in proper manner, his inner self is absent from that prayer. He is busy thinking about some worldly affair. This is reflective of absence of khashoo (awe/internal quiteness) (PWMS).
  6. At other times he demeanor does not reflect humility before his Lord. This is arrogance (kibir)(BWMS).
  7. Sometimes when he prays he feels he is superior to the other fellow mussalis. This is self praise (ujub)(BWMS) .
  8. At other times he is thinking of his own superiority plus the inferiority of others which is arrogance (kibr)(BWMS).
  9. At times when he see someone better than himself, he thinks that he himself was more deserving of this better trait and whishes that this may go away from that person. This is envy (hasad) (BWMS) .
  10. During his prayer he can not comtemplate that he is standing before his Lord and He is watching him. This is absence of slavehood (ihsan & uboodiyah).
  11. After praying he may boast to others that he prayed or feel superior to them. This is a arogance (kibr)(BWMS) .
  12. Or he may feel dejected by the poor concenteration he had during salah and become disappointed. This is disappointment (yaas)(BWMS) .

This is just a quick list of deficiencies.

We should take a moment and think, where do we stand?

If we do not have these qualities, then is our worship up to the mark of being accepted by Shariah’s standards?

Indeed, these internal moral states are the very soul of bodily or physical form of worship making it capable of being accepted and rewarded.

Two units of an A’rif (a Muslim who has realized and mastered these internal moral states) is better than 100,000 units of an ordinary Muslim.

wa ma taufiqi ilabillah

Next: Methodology of Tasawwuf