THE TECHNICAL TERMS OF SHARIAT AND TAREEQAT
The fountain of all Islamic teaching is the Qur'aan and the Sunnat. The inception of this teaching was in the Majlis (gathering) of Nabi Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam . It was the initial stage of Islam which was present in its headquarters. It had a confined number of adherents, hence all branches of Islaamic instruction - Tafseer, Hadith, Fiqh and Tasawwuf - were imparted at one venue, the Madrasah of Nabi Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. Separate departments did not exist. However, in this Madrasah of Nabi Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam there was a permanent group of lovers of Allah and devotees of Rasulullah Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam who were at all times engaged in the purification of the nafs, and the reformation of the Baatin by, means of practical education-This group is called Ashaab -e- Suffah, later when Islam acquired an universal status, the Ulama of the Deen formulated the teachings of Islam into separate departments. Those who rendered service to the Knowledge of Hadith are called the Muhadditheen; those who undertook the responsibility of Tafseer are called the Mufassireen; those who specialized in Fiqh are called the Fuqaha while those who took custody of the department of Islaah -e- Baatin (purification of the nafs) became known as the Mashaaikh Sufiya. Hence, not a single one among the great authorities of former times ever divorced the Shariat from Tareeqat. On the contrary they also held Tareeqat in subservience to the Shariat.
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