To be constant in maintaining a bond (of the heart) with one’s spiritual guide is a very important condition on the path of tazkiyah (spiritual purification). In Islam, there is a spiritual dimension and knowledge passes from heart to heart. Spirituality is gained through the relationship one has with one’s spiritual guide; the more clean and transparent this relationship is, the more a person will benefit spiritually. This relationship is like a water-funnel; if it is clean and pure the emerging water will be clean and pure, whereas if it is contaminated the emerging water will be impure i.e. he will not be able to benefit spiritually. Furthermore, actions in the physical world have a reaction in the spiritual world. This can be best understood by the following incident:
Once Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم led salaah, however he became confused in his recitation. After salaah, he turned to the companions and explained that the reason he became confused in his recitation was because some members of the congregation had not performed their wudhu properly.
This incident illustrates that people who do not perform their wudhu properly adversely affect the Imam’s recitation – this is the spiritual dimension. Similarly, the manner in which a person behaves and conducts himself with his spiritual guide affects his relationship with him and thus determines how much he will benefit spiritually.
[This short excerpt is based on a brothers’ majlis (gathering for spiritual training) held by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq on 29th April 2000]