Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sharia, Tariqa, Haqiqa and Marifa | The WAY of Islam

The Tao of Islam, meaning the WAY of Islam really consists of four ways (or stations). These four ways are:
1. Sharia (sacred laws)
2. Tariqa (sacred path)
3. Haqiqa (divine reality)
4. Marifa (gnosis or certain knowledge of God)

According to Prophetic tradition (hadith):
. Sharia consists of the words of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace,
. Tariqa consists of the actions of the Prophet,
. Haqiqa consists of the state of the Prophet, and
. Marfia consists of the secrets of the Prophet.

These four ways are very closely linked together and cannot be separated one from the other.

The Kalima (the sacred mantra of Islamic faith, La ilaha illallah) has four meanings according to these four ways.

According to Sharia the meaning is:
"There is nothing in the world that can be worshipped with certainty except Allah."

According to Tariqa the meaning is:
"There is none that can do a thing except Allah."

According to Haqiqa the meaning is:
"There is none who is sought after except Allah."

According to Marifa the meaning is:
"There is nothing existent except Allah."

- quoted from Fathud Dayyan Fi Fiqhi Khairil Adyan (Opening Towards understanding the best of religions) by Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Lebbai, translated by Saifuddin J. Aniff-Doray.

From sufistic point of view: Sharia is the divine and sacred law of Islam. It makes one distinguish between right and wrong, between forbidden and permissible actions. Tariqa is the beautification of the Sharia' whereby whatever one has understood in Sharia' is made firm in one's heart under strict spiritual discipline. In this stage one has to have complete trust in God and also have lots of patience in whatever condition God keeps him in. This is the stage where one's soul is cleansed to receive God's divine attributes.

Haqiqa is the zenith of Spiritual Perfection. In this stage the attributes of God, the Most Perfect begins to manifest itself in one's self. Marifa is the goal to recognise our creator (God), or to become God-conscious in every state and action. In this state, there is no "time-space". Here only purity exists and only the pure can come close to God. In this state the seeker does not forget that he (or she) is still a servant and no matter how high he may progress spiritually he still remains the created and God the Creator. This state cannot be expressed through our very limited human faculties.
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