The Golden Chain

The Golden Chain of the Sufi Masters

Taken from the introduction…

12falak14I say and success is with Allah, Abd ‘l-Wahaab ‘s-Sha`rani says in his Madaarij ‘s-Saalikeen,

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:

 [1] the attainment of relationship by means of their mediation;

[2] the blessings of having a interconnection with them; and

[3] 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

wa jalla.

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.”

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4 thoughts on “The Golden Chain

  1. The Shehu did not practice it because he was the last of an intergenerational network of Qaadiriyya sufis going back through the Kunta, the merchant scholars of Tuat, the sage scholars of Agadez, the institutions of Timbuktu, Jenne and ancient Djia, the murabituun and the ancient Takrur whose main emphasis in the Path were personal asceticism and erudition. There existed in these sudanic societies people who for reasons of entertainment, celebration, training and exercise; sang and danced. This was the same cultural drive which was the causative factor behind every sound unbroken chain of transmissions where public singing and dancing were involved during the time of the Prophet. They were always identified as African, Sudanese or Abyssinians.

    However, these Black Muslims did not see what they were doing in the Prophet’s masjid or his home as an act of worship. It was intended as entertainment foir others during times of lawful celebrations; and it was used by the Africans as a means of exercise, martial training and mock combat. It was a form of what a samurai would call kata/kumati. In most cases where Africans did this performance in the presence of the Prophet drums and other instruments were used. As we get closer to the 20th century, there is an increase, especially in the city of Kano, of sufic gatherings with the hadra. Then in the 20th century there is an open link between the Qaadiriyya of Kano and the Sammaniyya of the Nilotic Sudan. These elements among the Qaadiriyya are some of the most entertaining and energizinig gatherings that I have witnessed.

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