Love for the saints
Shaikh Abul Fawaris Shah bin Shujah (Rahmatullah Alayh) says: ¡°No Ibaadah is better than to have love for the saints of Allah, because love of the Auliya is a sign of being loved by Allah.¡± (Nuzhatul-basateen).
Hence I earnestly beseech and advise you to love the Auliya dearly. I sincerely hope that you will accept this advice of mine.
O my friend beloved, harken to my advice;
For the righteous youths,
Consider the advising words of the elders
More precious than their lives.
In numerous reports Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said: ¡°A man shall be raised up (after death) in the company of those for whom he bore love.¡± A certain Sahabi (Radiallahu anhu) once asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam): 0 Messenger of Allah, a man loves a certain group of people, but unfortunately cannot reach up to them (in deeds or to meet them). How shall he be? Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: ¡°A man is considered to be of those whom he loves.¡±
Another Sahabi (Radiallahu anhu) once asked Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam): ¡°When will Qiyamat come?¡± Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied: ¡°What have you prepared for that day that you are so eager to know of its coming?¡± He replied: ¡°I have nothing except that I love Allah and His Rasool.¡± Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi
Wasallam) then said: ¡°You will be with those whom you love.¡±
Sayyidina Anas (Radiallahu anhu) said that on hearing this Hadeeth the Sahabah (Radiallahu anhum) became so filled with joy and pleasure as nothing else would have pleased them. (Mishkat)
This report has been quoted numerous times in those sections of books where love for the friends of Allah is advocated and where warnings are given against friendship with irreligious folk. To have love and good conditions with the ahlullah is a thing most valuable, which will benefit us here and in the Hereafter. Align yourself to the sleeves of the saintly ones, And have no fear; For what fear is there for him. who accompanied Nooh in the Ark.
Cultivate devotion for the friends of the Lord
Befriend them and fear not at all.
For what fear is there for him.
Took refige with Nooh in the Ark.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also said: ¡°The likeness of a righteous companion is like a person with musk on him. Even if one does not acquire thereof you surely do smell the fragrance. And the likeness of an evil companion is like a person holding a smoking furnace. Should any sparks fly, it will burn the body or clothes and even if the sparks do not fly around, then still the smoke and smell thereof will reach you.¡±(Bukhari and Muslim)
Hazrat Luqman the Wise once told his son: ¡°0 my Son, sit in the circles of the righteous ones and through that you will join in receiving righteousness. Never set foot in the circles of the evil-doers for there shall be no righteousness to which you may reach. And should any wrath or punishment descend upon them, you will be a recipient thereof.¡± (Durr Manthoor Vol. 5 no. 164).
Therefore, I say, stay away from the company of the evil-doers and look upon the company of the saintly ones as an opportunity of great value. The company of those saintly ones is the cause of spiritual progress and good deeds.
However be warned, that just like we make a definite distinction between what is real and artificial, and between truth and falsehood, so also should we here watch out so that we are not deceived by pseudo-saints.
¡°Many are the Shaytaan appearing in the form of Adam, the Nabj, So take care that you place not your hand in the trust of everyone.¡±
Should you make the mistake of looking upon evil as good, you will be doing yourself a great disservice. Be careful indeed!
The criterion to judge a true saint from a false one lies in the teachings of the Shariah, and how these are being acted upon. When a person.s beliefs are correct, free from shirk and bid.at (innovations) and he is conscientious and punctual about his Salaah, Zakaah, Fasting as well as all the rest of the commandments of the deen, he may be looked upon as being a righteous man. But no man, by acting contrary to the tenets of the Shariah can, in any .way, ever become a saint. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said:
¡°None of you will ever be able to be a true believer until such time that he moulds his passions in accordance with that (religion) which I have brought.¡± (Mishkat)
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is also reported to have said: .The best of you is that person, whom, if people see him, Allah is remembered, and from whose words an increase of knowledge is effected and on seeing his actions a desire for the Hereafter is acquired.¡± (Jami-us-Sagheer)
Therefore it is of the utmost necessity that before a person attaches himself to any allegedly saintly personality as a mureed, he should take a careful look at the facts about the .master. in order to ascertain his devotedness and diligence in his obligations to Shariah. One should never become a mureed of such a person about whom it is not known for sure whether he is an ardent follower of Shariah or not. Similarly, one should avoid becoming attached in allegiance to such a person whose actions and spiritual devotions one is completely unaware of. But then, on the other hand, it is unfair to pass judgement against anyone on the basis of hearsay evidence. One should avoid attacking anyone or criticising him merely on the grounds of rumours flying about.
Sayyidina Anas (Radiallahu anhu) reports: Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) advised me: .0 son, if it is at all possible for you not to harbour any malice in your heart against anyone, then do so. This is my path. Whosoever loves my path, loves me and whosoever follows my path will be my companion in paradise.. (Mishkat)