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What are the steps to reach makrifah?



Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

First Level:

The steps to reach makrifah is as the following:

Direct the desire for makrifah and a strong will to reach Allah SWT. It will be completed through the following steps:

  • Only remember Allah SWT, through zuhud and tawaduk.
  • Subjugate evil thoughts and desires, such as nafs, desire, lust and anger. This can be done through fasting, restraining nafs (desire) and lust, and increasing worship and contemplation.
  • Develop the mind to accept conceptualizations using logic. The application of this is through contemplation and research. Thus, can be achieved through lessons, mujahadah and teachings and guidance from religiously knowledgeable syeikh.

Second Level:

Make the best effort in keeping the worldly matters away from one’s heart through detachment and solitude (tajarrud). Believe in Allah SWT and His sovereignty and assume only the best from Him.

Third Level:

Gain understanding (الإشراق) and a clear acceptance in one’s heart regarding the reality of God (التجلي). This understanding becomes whole through the contemplation of the heavens and the earth, the change of night and day and through the remembrance of Allah through one’s heart. This is in accordance with the statement of Allah SWT:

إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لآيَاتٍ لأُولِي الأَلْبَابِ ﴿۱۹۰﴾ الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَاماً وَقُعُوداً وَعَلَى جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذَا بَاطِلاً سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding. Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], "Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”

Sural Ali-Imran (190-191)

Fourth Level:

The level of the purification of the heart (التزكية), where a knowledgeable person will forget about everything including himself, he is not affected by any existence except for Allah SWT. This level is known as Maqam al-‘Irfan.

May Allah SWT bless us with understanding in our religion.