The Importance of a Guide

                All Praise is for Allah who saved us from sins and brought us to His dhikr in His House. When Allah showers His mercies and blessings upon someone, then Allah plants love for the Deen in the heart of that person. His hearts desire to perform good deeds and refrain from wrong. Allah makes it easy for him to walk the path of Deen. It is a Sunnah of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) to pray and supplicate to Allah to make it easy for us to practice the Deen. The journey on the Path is a very dangerous one. This is because the greatest enemy, the accursed Shaytaan is present and he has permission and power from Allah to try and mislead mankind.This is a Straight Path. But it is so hard to travel on this path that people find it extremely difficult. Whenever a person goes on a journey, whether it is to another town or country, he needs some guidance. And with a guide the journey becomes much easier to undertake. The life of a human being is also a journey, and has been described in that way by Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) . This journey starts from the moment that a person is born and ends at the time he dies. We have the Qur'aan, the Ahadeeth and the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) to guide us. But in the light of the Qur'aan and Ahadeeth we will find that we also need a guide of another kind.My Friends, I would like to warn you that until a person finds a true guide for this journey of life, he is in great danger of being led astray by the incitements of Shaytaan. Nobody past or present has ever reached the true destination without this guidance. They all needed someone to show them the way.So it is very important that a person finds a friend of Allah and sits in his company. No matter what status you have in society, whether you are a scholar, Haafiz or a Qaari, it is essential for you to have a Shaykh, because if you do not have a guide you will lose your way and come off the Path. May Allah grant us such a guide who leads us along this Straight Path of Allah .Once a person sits in the company of a friend of Allah, he finds it easy to refrain from those sins that he once saw as huge unavoidable obstacles in his path. This is because when a person sits in the company of a friend of Allah, he loses the company of the accursed Shaytaan. And when he comes out of the influence of Shaytaan, then all the impure properties that reside in his heart begin to leave.By sitting in the company of the friends of Allah, the Noor of Allah comes into a person's heart, and he finds it easy to carry out Allah's commands. A person should seek a guide who is not too far away from him, so that he can go and sit regularly in his company.I would also like to say that, there are a few different types of Nisbat (link) with a Shaykh. One is that you sit in the company of a friend of Allah, solely for the purpose of attaining blessings. The other is when a person sincerely repents to Allah from his sins, at the hand of a friend of Allah. And this is also called Bay'ah. In this second case it is much better for a person to be in close proximity of his Shaykh. A person gains so much when he sits in the company of his Shaykh.And of course repentance is something that is done by someone who commits sins. You don't do tawbah after doing a good deed do you? A person should never think to himself 'I shall wait until I am good and then I will go and sit in the company of a friend of Allah.' This is a deception. The reality is that the more unclean a person is, the greater is the need for him to bathe and purify himself.There is a cure in the gaze, talk and company of a friend of Allah. At first there is much anxiety but this is because a person thinks that getting rid of sins from his life will be hard. Considering that Shaytaan tries his utmost to mislead a person and discourage him from leaving sin, it is indeed a very great thing that a person does not succumb to Shaytaan and sits in the company of a friend of Allah and repents from his sins.He should try to gain as much as he can from the company of his Shaykh. He should learn the lessons of dhikr, listen to what the Shaykh has to say, and then try his best to practice upon what he hears. It is important that before we go and sit in the company of a friend of Allah, we should make the intention that we will act upon whatever we learn from him.A person does not make Bay'ah just so that he can go around telling people which silsilah he belongs to. He must change his life, for that is the only way he will get benefit. This way the journey of life for a person becomes easy, otherwise he will find it extremely difficult to fight Shaytaan and escape from sin. If a person does not have any weapon to fight his enemy then he will be unsuccessful. A person needs weapons for every battle and this battle against Shaytaan is a continuous one. And the greatest weapon for this is the company of a Pious Man of Allah. When a person sits in the company of a friend of Allah, then Insha'allah he remains safe from the evil of Shaytaan.

May Allah give us the strength to act upon what we have read.