This consists of three points.
F i r s t P o i n t : Among the ways of sainthood, the finest, straightest, richest, and most brilliant is following the practices (Sunna) of the Prophet (UWBP). That is, to think of the practices in one’s actions and deeds, and to follow and imitate them. In conduct and dealings with others, it is to think of the rulings of the Shari‘a and take them as one’s guide.
When followed in this way, daily conduct, dealings, and habitual acts become worship, and thinking of the practices and Shari‘a in one’s actions, recalls the injunctions of the Shari‘a. This causes a person to think of the Shari‘a’s owner. By thinking of him, it brings to mind Almighty God, and that induces a sort of sense of His presence. This may transform all the moments of the person’s life into worship in the divine presence. This great highway is the highway of the Companions and the righteous of the first generations of Islam, who received the legacy of prophethood, the greater sainthood.
S e c o n d P o i n t : Sincerity is the basis of the ways of sainthood and of the branches of the Sufi path, for through sincerity a person may be saved from implicitly associating partners with God. One who does not obtain sincerity cannot travel those ways. The most powerful force of those ways is love. Yes, love does not seek pretexts for its beloved and does not wish to see the beloved’s faults. It looks on frail signs of its beloved’s perfection as powerful proofs, and always takes the part of its beloved.
It is because of this that those who are turned towards knowledge of God with the feet of love, do not give ear to doubts and objections; they are easily saved. Even a thousand satans can not negate a hint of their true beloved’s perfection. If they do not possess such love, they would struggle desperately in the face of their souls and Satan and the objections of the outside devils. They would have to have heroic fortitude and strength of belief and an attentive gaze in order to save themselves.
It is because of this that in all the degrees of sainthood, the chief leaven and elixir is the love arising from knowledge of God. But love leads to an abyss, which is this: it jumps from beseeching and self-effacement, which are the essence of worship, to complaint and claims and to imbalanced actions. When regarding things other than God, a person ceases to see how they point to their Maker and starts to see them as signifying themselves alone, so while being the cure, love becomes poison. That is to say, although when loving things other than God, the person should fix his heart on them for God’s sake and in His name and because they are mirrors