It may be seen from this just how profitable it is to try to follow as far as is possible the practices of such a person, and how advantageous for eternal life, and how beneficial for worldly life.
Actually following to the letter every aspect of the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices is only bestowed on the highest of the elite. If it is not possible to follow them in practice, everyone can seek to do so by intention, purpose, and by supporting them and being biased towards them. In any event one is compelled to follow the obligatory and compulsory sorts. And even if there is no sin involved in giving up the practices which are ‘recommended’, it results in considerable loss of merit. And if they are changed, it is a great error. When the practices are followed in habitual actions and dealings, such acts become worship. While if they are not followed, it is not to be reproved, but the benefit from the light of the daily conduct of God’s Beloved (UWBP) is less.
New creations in the ordinances concerning worship are innovation, and since innovations are opposed to the verse,
This day have I completed for you your religion,(5:3)
they are to be rejected.1 However, the recitations and invocations of the Sufi way are not innovations, on condition they originate in the Book and Sunna, and even if they differ in form and manner, their basis and principles do not oppose the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices or change them, they are not innovations. Certainly some scholars classed a number of these as innovations, but called them “commendable innovations.”2 Imam-i Rabbani, the Regenerator of the Second Millennium, (May God be pleased with him) said:
“On my spiritual journeying, I saw that words narrated from the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) were luminous, shining with the rays of his practices. But when I saw invocations and states not narrated from him, there was no light on them, even if they were brilliant and powerful. The most brilliant of them was not equal to the least of the first sort. I understood from this that the rays of the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices are an elixir. Also, for those seeking light, the practices are sufficient; there is no need to seek light outside them.”
See, Bukhari, I’tisam, 5; Buyu’, 60; Sulh, 5; Muslim, ‘Aqdiyya, 18; Abu Da’ud, Sunna, 6.
See, al-Iji, Kitab al-Mawaqif, i, 159; al-Ghazali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din, ii, 256; Ibn Rajab, Jami‘ al-‘Ulum wa’l-Hikam, i, 267; Ibn ‘Abidin, Hashiyya, i, 390.