A check list for selecting a Shaikh


Shaikh Shah Kamal ur Rehman Qasimi (Allah preserve him) said,

My father (Shah Sufi Ghulam Mohammad Hyderabadi, Allah have mercy on him) use to say that there seems to be a connection in the worldly matter of marriage and the religious issue of baiyah. They share the important issue of selection (of the right individual).

In worldly matters the criteria for selection (of a groom or bride) include piety, financial status, (physical) beauty and perfection (of manners & behavior).

Similarly, in religion the ideal criteria for selecting (a Shaikh for baiyah) must include,
1. His state (halaat)
2. His time management (awqat)
3. The blessings (barkat) (of being associated with him)

1. His state (details include)
A. What are his instructions?
B. How close are they to the teachings of Quran and Hadith?
C. What is the state of adherence to the teaching of Quran and Hadith in principle (usooli) and peripheral issues (farui)?
D. How close is he in following the morals and practices of Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)?
E. From what silsilah did he receive the authorization?
F. What is the state of the freshly authorized individuals of this silsilah?
G. What was the state of the recent predecessors of this silsilah?
H. Was the authorization given after formal completion of receiving instruction and training or was it inherited in family tradition?

2. Time management
A. How does he spend his day and night?
B. Has he mastered time management?
C. Is he ibnulwaqt or abulwaqt? That is, if there is time he does remembrance and reflection (zikr o fikr) or when he wants to do zikr o fikr he can find time to do so.
D. How conscientious is he of offering the faraidh on time?
E. Does he have a practical schedule for propagating the truth (in his circle of influence)?
F. What is his state in regards to (tahajjud and other) involvement at the end of night timings?

The blessings (barkaat)
This criteria is being mentioned thirdly, however, a seeker must give priority to it.
A. What are the general blessings of his silsilah?
B. What is the state of individuals attached to him?
C. What are the blessings of Shaikh in particular?
D. Is he genuinely authorized? 

E. Is the training in this silsilah quick or slow?
F. What are the particular manifestation of (Divinely) love (in those attached to this Shaikh)?

These clear criteria are presented to make the selection (correctly).

A important reminder is that the real thing that facilitates receiving spiritual benefit from Shaikh is our congeniality (munasbet) with him.

If there are two flowers with similar color and fragrance pick the one closest to you.

Moreover, never forget that main thing is to receive instruction and be trained.

To recieve this instruction and training baiyah is not an essential enrollment criteria.’

Baiyat, page 30-1

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