More and more of the world is calling for Sufism without even knowing it. Sufism is a complete spiritual practice and way of life. It is not merely technique, but a fabric of knowledge, values, relationships. Moreover, it is not a mass-produced fabric, but one that must be woven together with the help of people who have mastered the weaving themselves.
The Quran mentions five levels for the human soul. The basic level is the one in which we are born which is called the Blaming Self (Nafs Al Lawwama). If it is neglected and left to its whims and desires it will descend to the station of the Commanding Self (Nafs Al Ammara). And if it is developed and cared for through effort and resistance to its desires it will, God willing, ascend to the highest levels of closeness, contentment, and love for Allah and His Prophet. These higher levels are three, the first one above the Blaming Self is the Secure Self (Nafs Al Muttma'ina), followed by the Content Self (Nafs Al Radiyah), and finally to the Gratified Self (Nafs Al Mardiyyah) and that is the self that reaches its natural place and station which is "the most beautiful station."
Water takes the name "wave" due to the waving of the wind; in reality, though, the wave is nothing but water. The heart's situation with the zhikr is the same. If the zhikr pervades the whole heart, it will completely become the zhikr. The zhikr expressed in words is the form of the zhikr that is within the heart. Yet, though the heart takes on the form of thiszhikr, essentially the heart is pure from any zhikr. It only takes on a form according to the thought that comes to it. It is for this reason that two ideas cannot exist within the heart simultaneously, for the heart takes on completely the form of whatever idea comes to it. The heart becomes that thought itself. Then another thought can no longer be contained within it. It is like the water of the sea: when water forms a wave, that that wave could also take the form of another wave is inconceivable. In the same moment there cannot be two waves in the same place. Understand this.
"Within the orders, a new, deeper, aspect of religion is introduced. You were doing these practices, maybe without inquiring. So let's go deeper now. These have an effect on the individual. They must bear a result, a fruit; what is the fruit? It becomes a deepening process for the individual. When one is doing this, some people say certain powers may manifest. Usually these are not favored; they are seen as a veil in front of the truth. If one can transcend these powers, if one doesn't cling to them, then one can pass to the stage of truth. If you use another terminology, one passes into objective truth, objective mind. In other words, the individual's blurred vision of the world due to the culture, the individual past, etc., drops away. The person gains a healthy vision, and one can surrender oneself to God. In such a way, one reaches the innermost joy in being free..."
Sufism has such a respect for the family that it says that unless one has a very good reason for not being married, one ought to be married. It is expressed as an obligation. Now, of course, in our society where things are so fragmented and the whole institution is challenged, a lot of people are out of that relationship.
Any form of Sufism is a graduated path. which includes certain levels of commitment and attainment. What follows is a brief description of these various degrees. . .
He is the donor of all, without conditions, without limits, without asking any benefit or return, giving everything to everyone, everywhere, always. He gives money to the poor, health to the sick, children to those who are barren, freedom to the trapped, knowledge to the ignorant.
Adab is courtesy, respect, appropriateness. Adab is not formality; it helps to create the context in which we develop our humanness. Every situation and relationship has its proper adab: between students on the path, in relation to family members and elders, in relation to one's shaikh. Every level of being also has its adab, including coming into the presence of Truth (Al-Haqq).
There was once a time, perhaps, when people felt themselves to be part of a cosmic order which offered a straight path to salvation, truth, or enlightenment. In that time before spiritual truth was relativized, God's love and mercy was extended to anyone, no matter what his or her circumstances, who fulfilled the necessary moral and religious duties. Almost every person could find in his or her own humanness the pre-condition of hope.
It has become an accepted spiritual idea that each part of the universe in some way reflects the whole. Contemporary spirituality has borrowed the holographic model from contemporary science. This notion has always existed within Sufism and is expressed, for instance, in the idea that the human being is not merely a drop that can merge with the Ocean, but a drop thatcontains the Ocean. Every divine attribute is latent within the human heart, and by the cooperation of human will with divine grace these attributes can be awakened and manifested. We human beings contain within ourselves the potential to experience completion, to know our intimate relationship to the whole of Being in such a way that we reflect this completion through ourselves. The highest spiritual attainment has been expressed by the phrase insân-i kâmil , the Completed Human Being.