Priority of islah over bay’a

In response to an aspirant’s request for taking-pledge (bay’a), Hakim al-Umma Hadhrat Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi (may Allah sanctify his secret) said,

Rectification of actions (islah e a’mal) has priority over taking-pledge (bay’a), excessive remembrance (dhikr) and spiritual exercises (shugal).

To do this rectification it is essential to study forty or fifty of my printed discourses (mawaiz), the booklets ‘Islah ur rasoom’, ‘Adab ul masharat’ and ‘Tahzib us salikeen’. Without this essential reading all excessive remembrance (dhikir) and spiritual exercises (shugal) are useless. Therefore, complete this before proceeding.

It is best to do things in an organized way. Otherwise, if the foundations of a building are weak it is most likely to collapses easily.

Tarbiyat us Salik, volume 1, page 94