Sheikh-mureed Relationship

Hakim al-Umma Shaykh Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“The relationship between a Sheikh and a mureed is exactly like that between a physician and a patient.

If a person acknowledges being a patient of a certain physician and that physician agrees to it, would this contract by itself result in cure of all ailments of that person?


Therapeutic intervention will be needed.

Its method is to inform the physician of the illness in detail (get diagnosed and receive treatment).

It can not be achieved by just sitting in the company of physician silently for few hours daily without informing him of the illness and getting a prescription.

No one does this.

Moreover, people repeatedly tell the physician in specific details their condition. Even if the doctor acknowledges understanding them, they insist to repeat the details fearing some vital information may have been missed.

But it is distressful for the miserable Sheikh. No one tells him regarding their batini (esoteric) ailments (requesting treatment). It is assumed that he himself will tell what diseases you suffer from and treat them without your request. …….. Even if he were to have kashaf (unveiling) without you asking for treatment specifically, he will never impose it on you. Why would he care if you show such an attitude. You need his services (for cure), he does not need you.”

Waaz: Rahat-ul-quloob; Mawaiz e Ashrafiya volume 22, page 261