The Golden Chain of the Sufi Masters
Taken from the introduction…
“Realize, O disciple, may Allah give you and us success in seeking after his pleasure, whoever does not know his fathers and grandfathers in the Path (tareeq), then he is blind and perhaps he will trace his ancestry to other than his true father. He will then be included among those about whom the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: ‘Allah curses the one who traces his ancestry to other than his true father.’
For this reason all of the righteous ancestors (as-salaf ‘s-saalih) have proceeded in teaching the disciples about the courtesies of their fathers and instructing them about their lineage. All of them are agreed upon the fact that the one who has no sound relationship with the People, then he is illegitimate and has no connection with the Path. Further, it is not permissible for him to publish anything or sit in order to guide the disciples, except after he has taken the courtesies of the Path (‘adab’t-tareeq) from a perfected Shaykh about whose eminence there is unanimous agreement.
The Shaykh then informs him about the Path and then gives unambiguous permission for guidance, instructions and then dresses him in the cloth in accordance with the prerequisites laid down by the ancestors, may Allah be pleased with them. It is necessary for you, my brothers, to seek entrance into the chain of the saints of Allah through instructions in the kalimat ‘s-shahaada and investment with the sufic cloth. The benefits for entrance into this golden chain are:
 the attainment of relationship by means of their mediation;
 the blessings of having a interconnection with them; and
 the binding of their hearts one to another until it reaches the very heart of the
Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, then to Allah `izza
The least of what will be attained by the disciple when he enters the chain of authority of the People, through instructions or by investment with the cloth; is that when the link of his soul advances, the spirits of the saints from his teacher up to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, responds to him to the very presence of Allah `izza wa jalla.
On the other hand whoever does not enter into their Path, no one will respond to him when the disconnected link of his soul advances towards something. So understand! Along with instructions in the kalimat ‘s-shahaada and wearing the sufic cloth, there must be the binding of the disciple with his teacher and surrendering to his judgment concerning his soul.”