THE SIGNS OF SHAIKH-E-KAMIL (QUALIFIED SHAIKH)
A Shaikh is one who has full knowledge and experience of spiritual sicknesses (amraadh-e-batinah), attributes of vice and virtue (akhlaq-e-razeelah and akhlaq-e-hameedah), their characteristics (khawaas) and their effects (ta’theerat).
He should further be able to distinguish between their similarities and he must have the ability in providing prescriptions for the acquisition of the attributes of virtue and the elimination of the attributes of vice.
He has to be aware of the progress and retrogress of these attributes. He must be well versed in the tricks of the nafs and Shaitaan, the intuitive senses and feelings pertaining to the angels and the Divine Being. He must be able to distinguish these various intuitive and extra-sensory feelings and perceptions. (In other words, he must be able to distinguish between what are Divine and angelic thoughts from those thoughts which resemble such inspirations but are not actually as such.)
It is therefore imperative that the Shaikh of Tareeqat be one who is qualified in this knowledge, be a Mujtahid in this field and possesses natural ability and inherent propensity (malakah).
If he has acquired the Tareeq by a mere self-study of books on Tasawwuf or by hearsay, he will destroy the mureed whom he is attending, because he will not be in position to correctly diagnose the various states of the mureed.
The mashaaikh briefly summarize the signs of a Shaikh-e-Kamil (the perfect and qualified Shaikh) to be three. He should have:
1. Deen resembling the Deen of the Ambiya.
2. Prescribe like the physicians.
3. Management and control like that of kings.
The exposition of the above summary is as follows:
1. He should possess the necessary knowledge of the Deen which he must have acquired by either academic pursuit of such knowledge or from companionship with the Ulama-e-Muhaqqiqeen (scholars of in-depth research in the Islamic sciences).
2. He must be a deputy (Khalifah) of a Shaikh-e-Kamil attached to an authentic Silsilah.
3. He should be righteous and pious.
4. He derived spiritual benefit by remaining for an adequate period of time in the company of the Shaikh. Such “companionship” is either by means of correspondence or by physical presence in the association of the Shaikh.
5. The people of knowledge (i.e. the Ulama) hold him in high esteem, and refer to him.
6. The effect of his companionship (suhbat) is increase in the desire for Aakhirat and Divine love as well as disinclination for the love of the world.
7. The majority of his mureeds are followers of the Shariat, their conditions conforming to the demands of the Shariat.
8. He is devoid of greed and desire (for worldly gain and benefit).
9. He engages in zikr and devotional practices.
10. He does not leave his mureeds loose, but reprimands them when the need arises. He treats everyone according to their respective abilities.
The one in who has these qualities is worthy of being a Shaikh and he should be considered a wonderful alchemy. His companionship and service to him are in fact priceless treasures. Once these attributes or perfection are found in a Shaikh, one should not be concerned about karamaat (miracles) and kashf (divine inspirations). It is not necessary that these states exist in the Shaikh-e-Kamil nor is it necessary that he be one who does not earn livelihood.
This rectifies the erroneous belief that a Shaikh must not have anything to do with the world and earning a halal livelihood. Rather the mureeds must support and look after his needs. This is not necessary. If there were Ambiya such as Dawud (Alaihis salaam), Zakariyya (Alaihis salaam), etc. who earned livelihood, why cannot a “Shaikh” earn a living?
Extracted from Shariat and Tareeqat of Maulana Maseehullah Khan Sahib (Senior Khalifah of Hakimul-Ummah)
An Important Note
By Maulana Tameem Sahib (DB)
Khalifah Mujaaz-e-Bay’at of Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Akhtar Sahib (DB)
After reading the above mentioned qualities, it might come in the mind of a person as to where in the world such a Shaikh exists! But the reality of the matter is that Allah Ta`ala has promised that He will preserve His Deen; and undoubtedly Ihsaan and Tazkiyah is an important branch of the Deen.
Just as Deen will be preserved, all the branches in relation to it must also be preserved. Otherwise the Deen will remain incomplete and deficient, and it is impossible for Allah Ta`ala to leave his Deen deficient.
Once this has been understood, it is essential to know that if one does not find all the above-mentioned qualities in a Shaikh, then one could suffice with one major criterion and prerequisite in the acquisition of a Shaikh and that is: He should be a deputy (Khalifah) of a Shaikh-e-Kamil attached to an authentic Silsilah. This requirement will suffice for all the other prerequisites because the Shaikh will not qualify someone who is unfit for this great responsibility.
A good example for this is a new doctor who has just qualified. It is a known fact that he is not at the level of the SURGEON GENERAL, but this does not mean he cannot provide services to the ailing and sick. Rather in dire medical emergencies, a person will not wait for the SURGEON GENERAL to come and see him; instead he will run to the closest emergency in order to save his life. We even see, in the practical world that the paramedics and nurses are not qualified doctors, but they are trained to see to patients and help them.
I have heard from my beloved Shaikh, Hazrat Hakeem Akhtar Sahib (DB) saying, “Many people do not become connected to a Shaikh because they say, “Oh there is no such person today who fits the criteria of a Shaikh-e-Kamil, there are just these people who have no karamaat, they don’t walk on water, they don’t float in the air…They are nothing like Junaid Baghdadi and Abdul Qadir Jilaani… so what’s the use of being bay’at to them?”
But what these people fail to understand is that if a person is critically ill, does he wait for the SURGEON GENERAL to come down from his office across the country and then check him up? No, because his life is precious to him. He will not want to remain in that state of illness and take chances with his life. He will immediately rush to the nearest hospital and get immediate help. Now similarly, if a person’s Imaan and Aakhirat was just as valuable as his physical health, he would likewise run to the nearest qualified Shaikh whom he has compatibility with and present to him his spiritual ailments so that he can get cured and saved from spiritual death.”
Another point we should understand is that Allah Ta`ala makes the Mashaikh of the time in accordance with the people and students of the time. If Allah Ta`ala would have given us Junaid Baghdadi in this time, do we think we would be loyal mureeds? If Hasan Basri told the Tab’ut-Tabe’een that if the Sahabah were to see them they would think them to be hypocrites and if they were to see the Sahabah they would think them to be madmen, then what would be our condition if we would see the Mashaikh of the past?
How have we valued those Junaid Baghdadi’s and Abdul Qadir Jilaani’s whom Allah has granted us? If this is our condition that we cannot even recognize and value the living Auliya around us, then what would we do if Junaid Baghdadi pays us a visit? The main thing is that we should ask Allah Ta`ala to grant us those eyes and hearts to recognize His Auliya, because this is where the problem lies. They are around us and amongst us, but we do not have the eye of the heart to perceive them.