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  First Steps On The Way
   From WIE's Spiritual Roadmap (_e105)

Man's first duty:

(1) To become thoroughly grounded in tawhîd,
and the use of the Quran, the Sunna, and the consensus of the pious men of old.* * to the extent of appreciating the sound doctrine of the congregation of orthodox Muslims.

If God - Allah helps him (her) to higher achievement than this,
that he may drive away all doubts of glance (at other than God - Allah) or thought that come upon him, it is well.**

Towards right conduct:

The first step to right conduct is to know the sciences thereof.

It is to know the legal prescriptions* of all those matters which affect human life which God has laid down and described as indispensible.
*consisting of the principles of law (fiqh) governing prayer, fasting and other religious duties, as well as the social sciences (the sciences of methods of conduct) regulating marriage, divorce, commercial transactions, etc.

These are the sciences acquired by learning:
It is a man's first duty to strive to seek after this science and its rules, as far as he is able to the limit of the capacity of his nature and intellect, after being thoroughly grounded in (1).
** ... but even if he (she) turns away from evil thoughts by seeking protection
of the sum of knowledge which he (she) possesses, and shuns the glance (at other than God - Allah) which vies and contends with him and keeps him far (from God), that is ample provision for him, if God wills; for he is occupied in the employment of his knowledge, and practices according to what he knows.

What is necessary to know first of all:

It is first of all necessary that he should know:

- the vices of the soul (nafs),
- to be thoroughly acquainted with the soul,
- its education
- and the training of its character.

He must also know:

- the viles of the Enemy (Shaytan),
- the temptations of the world (dunya)
- and how to eshew them.

This is the science of wisom (hikmah).

When the soul is properly addressed,
+ and its habits amended,
+ when it is schooled in divine manners
+ reigning its members and guarding its fingers
+ and all its senses;

Then it is easy for a man ( a woman) to
+ amend its character and
+ purify its outward part, so that it is
+ no more occupied with its own affairs, and
+ shuns and turns away from this world (dunya).

Adapted from: Kitab al-Ta'arruf li-madhhab ahl al-tasawwf; Abu Bakr al-Kalabadhi; ch. 31



WIE: World Islamic Empathy, in affiliation with * LivingIslam - IslamicTradition *


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latest update: Wed, 7 Jan 2009
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