Bayah

I’ve felt drawn to tassawuf since I converted.  Well, perhaps more accurately, I’ve felt that there was something lacking in the way I was learning Islam – introductary books and articles on Islam focus mainly on fiqh.  And, while getting down the halal and haram are absolutely essential to tread the straight path, I was missing something.  I wanted to develop my relationship with Allah (swt).   Not in the cheesy “God is my homeboy” protestantish way I taught as a camp counselor.  No, I wanted to KNOW Allah (swt), to love Him, to worship Him in my every action.

Up until this point, I’ve been dabbling in tassawuf informally – doing random wirds, reading, making lots of dhikr, things that I think good sufis should do.  But, I don’t think it’s enough.  I’m getting to the point where I want to develop a relationship with a sheikh, to make bayah and to be guided in my spiritual development.  But before I get to that point, there are a few things I have to deal with:

1.  The husband.  Despite the fact that his grandfather (or was it his great grandfather?) was a sufi sheikh, the husband is not a fan of sufism, to put it lightly.  He’s ok with my dabbling in the area, and even jokingly refers to me as a sufi, but he doesn’t feel that it’s necessary to give bayah and to follow a sheikh.  So, to that end, I need to…

2.  Understand sufism in the context of Islamic history and development.  While I am convinced that there is a sufism that is not bidah, etc etc etc, I’d like to be able to convince my husband of that as well.  And since he is well read, I need to be well read in this area as well.  This would all be so much easier if I had his support 100%.  This is not to say that he’s being unsupportive, just skeptical.

3.  Give 110% in ibadah.  I still struggle with salat, although I’ve greatly improved in recent months.  I need to get as close to perfecting it as I can on my own, before I seek to formally study sufism.

4.  Actually find a tariqa/sheikh.  How does one do this?  There are no sheikhs in my area, heck, no sheikhs in the US that I know of that I would like to follow.  There are two sheikhs who’s writings I really like, and who teach a sunnah approved sufism – Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad of the Naqshbandi Mujaddidi tariqa and Shaykh Nuh Keller of the Shadhili Tariqa.  I know that there are some mureeds of Shaykh Nuh out there in cyberspace, and inshaAllah I’m going to see if I can get in contact with some sisters to find out more.

5.  Take the Introduction to Islamic Spirituality courses at Sunnipath.  This would allow me a chance to correspond with Shaykh Nuh, as well as get the basics down.

All right, there’s probably more I should do, but for right now, 5 things are probably enough to work on.

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3 thoughts on “Bayah

  1. subhanAllah, I feel much the same as you do.
    I also like the writings of Shaykh Nuh.
    You mentioned Shaykh Zulfiqar, then I’m sure you’ve heard of Shaykh Husain Abdul-Sattar in Chicago? He has ijaza from Sh. Zulfiqar. Shaykh Husain is very inspiring and an excellent scholar. His talks have benefited me a lot. And if I’m not wrong I think he gives bayah too.

  2. Sawan – no, I haven’t heard of him. Thank you very much for bringing him to my attention. I’m not commiting to any tariqa at the moment, although I’m leaning towards Shadhili. I definately need to explore and learn about other tariqas and how they compare before I take any bayah.

    Khadija – thanks and may Allah (swt) guide you where you need to go :)

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