I would like to make a few comments about adab, fana and our Ruhaniat.
Firstly, our Ruhaniat family has always been a raucous group of ‘dissidents’. Starting with Murshid Sam, and all those he attracted. Ram Dass called Murshid the ‘pied piper of the hippies’ and this may have been factual.
Our lack of respect of authority for it’s own sake was very unsettling to more “established” and more “traditional” sufi orders – like our brothers and sisters in the Sufi Order, and the Sufi Movement at the time (1960’s and 70’s).
But I do also recall, that we always gave proper respect to those we felt worthy of our respect: Not based upon their title or rank, but rather on their manifestation of a higher maquam. Like Joe & Guin Miller, and Frida Waterhouse who held no titles (didn’t want them) but accepted “Honorary Murshid” titles from Moineddin.
Fana is at the very heart of Sufi practice. How else, save for Divine Grace, can we be in a position to receive the baraka. To manifest fana is to manifest mureedship. All else is but the dance of the nefs.
Of course, some are much better dancers than others, but this does not necessarily indicate their rightness, nor their advanced state.
As we were all taught “and a little child shall lead them.”
To me this means that one who is in a natural state of innocence (fana) and non resistant, is more open to the baraka and Message of God than one who has already made up their mind as to ‘right and wrong,’ especially as it applies to other people and their opinions which one disagrees with.
I feel that it is not disrespectful to disagree, but rather it can be disrespectful in how one manifests ones disagreements. Is it personal? Is it about subject? Or object? And, can one disagree without negative feelings flowing through ones words.
Let us not blame and then execute the messenger. But rather look within ourselves to see where our feelings of disagreements (read separation) are coming from.
For us to reach our goals we must discipline our inner observers. Many of us have inner children who are wounded and afraid. They must be dealt with first – lovingly and carefully.
As our God Mother, Frida Waterhouse said, “Take your child to the alter of the Most High within you.” It is there that true inner peace can be manifested. And it is only from that place that we can change the world.
All the rest is the dross of dunya.