Part Nineteen of Six Answers by Shaykh Hisham Kabbani
The Relationship Between Shari’ah and Haqiqat
We give here an example for explaining what we said here about the relationship between Shari’ah, known as Science of Jurisrudence (Fiqh), known as the Science of Ihsan or Tasawwuf. Take prayer for example. It is obligatory to offer the prayers with all its requirements in the movements, its essentials and rules, as mentioned in the Shari’ah, according to the Science of Fiqh. This is known as jassad as-salaat, the body of the prayer. On the other hand one of the essentials of the prayer is to keep the heart in Allah’s Divine Presence and to know that Allah is looking at you, during the entire salaat. That will give you the Reality and Essence of the prayer. And we can know from the practice of the salaat, that people might do the outward essentials of salaat, but their hearts may not be present. What we mean by the state of Ihsan is to keep the heart pure and clean from bad manners and attachment to the distractions of the dunya. the Prophet (s) was practicing that way, because he said that he came to take people away from the attractions of dunya and its distractions.
So we see here that the external form of the salaat is its body, and the humility and self-effacement (khushu’) is its soul (ruh). So what is the benefit of the body without the soul? If salaat is movement without presence, then it is like a zombie. As the soul needs the body to be alive in it, so too does the body need the soul to give it life.From here we find the true relationship between Shari’ah and Haqiqa, is like the relationship between body and soul. The perfect believer who has reached the state of Ihsan is the one who can cojoin Shari’ah and Haqiqat. This is the essential understanding of Tasawwuf–to combine soul and body, to combine Shari’ah and Haqiqat.
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America