Recently it was mentioned that in Tasawwuf error and misguidance is most of the time because of a delusional state resulting from lay public admiration and following.
Hakim al-Umma Shaykh Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) elaborated this very nicely in an anecdote.
There was an individual who owned a horse. This horse was of no use to him. It was a huge, lazy, stubborn and stolid creature. He ate a lot , defecated and farted much. And was totally unproductive. Involving him in any chore led to more trouble than ease in effort of the work. The owner tried everything possible to make him useful. However, neither reward nor punishment worked. He even resorted to amulets and wazifas. All in vain. Exasperated by this irritating creature the owner decided to get rid of him.
He went to the local market to sell this horse. He was approached by a shrewd professional agent who offered his services for selling in return for a decent commission. They agreed on it after some haggling.
The agent brought the animal on the exhibition stall and proceeded with his introduction to draw in customers. In his smart and domineering style he spoke about the noble ancestry of this Arabian stallion. He elaborated on the physical beauty of the animal. Stressing that this steed was worth a fortune. An appropriate gift for a prince. Exalting his enormous strength and stamina. Exaggerating enormously that how economically he ate and how well trained and sharp he was. A life time bargain for sale at a nominal price. He started the bidding.
The horse owner stood mesmerized at the agent’s artful speech. Before anyone else could utter a bidding price he rushed towards the agent and told him that he had changed his mind. He did not want to sell such a magnificent horse with so many qualities. He felt honored to own it.
Similar is my condition. I am well aware of my shortcomings, sins and gross transgression of Shariah,however, the kind comments, praise and admiration of others lead me to believe that there must be something special about me.
This is the self delusion.
It is very common in the religious elite.
A complete antithesis to the teachings of Tasawwuf!