and reaped it. They saw beings as the mirrors of the Divine Names, and gazed on them yearningly. As for the transience of the world, that is its transitory face, which looks to man’s base desires.
THIRD QUESTION: The sufi paths are the ways of reality. Some of the heroes and leaders of the Naqshbandi Order, which is claimed to be the most famous, the most elevated, and the highway among the sufi ways, defined its basis as follows. They said: On the Naqshbandi way four ‘abandonings’ are necessary: abandoning the world, abandoning the hereafter, abandoning existence, and abandoning abandoning. That is to say, on the Naqshi way one has to give up four things: both give up this world; and, on account of the soul, not make even the hereafter one’s true aim; forget one’s existence; and in order not to become vain and proud, not think about these acts of renunciation. That means true knowledge of God and human perfections are attained through giving up what is other than God?
THE ANSWER: If man consisted of only a heart, it would be necessary to give up everything other than God, and to leave behind even the Divine Names and attributes and bind one’s heart to the Divine Essence alone. But man possesses many senses and subtle faculties charged with duties, like the mind, spirit, soul, and others. The perfect man is he who, driving all those subtle senses towards reality on the different ways of worship particular to them, marches heroically like the Companions in a broad arena and rich fashion towards the goal, with the heart as commander and the subtle faculties as soldiers. For the heart to abandon its soldiers in order to save only itself and to proceed on its own is the cause not of pride, but of distress.
FOURTH QUESTION: Where does the claim of the Companions’ superiority spring from? And who put it forward? Why should this matter be made the subject of discussion at this time? Also, why is there this claim of equality with the great interpreters of the law?
THE ANSWER: There are two groups who say these things. Some are the sincere religious scholars and men of religion who, seeing certain Hadiths, open up such discussions in order to encourage and hearten the pious and the upright at this time. We do not have anything to say to them. They are anyway few and are quickly made aware. The other group, however, consists of most fearsome, conceited people who want to spread their denial of the schools of law by claiming equality with the great interpreters of the law, and to further their irreligion by claiming equality with the Companions. Because firstly, those people of misguidance have become depraved, and have become addicted to depravity, and cannot carry out the obligations of the Shari’a, since they form an obstacle to their depravity. In order to find a pretext for themselves, they say: “These questions may be interpreted. The schools of law are opposed to each other in these matters.