All sin and connections other than those with Allah Ta’ala are the bandits along the Path of Sulook, However, there are several things from which the Saalik has to abstain. This is vital. If the Saalik does not rigorously abstain from these aspects, his efforts and struggles will be utterly wasted. These fatal impediments strewn along the Path of spiritual progress are:

1. Opposition to the Sunnah:

Alas! In the present age, customs and innovations are in great prevalence. Nowadays such innovatory customs are being regarded as Tasawwuf. Rasulullah (saws) said:

“Soon there will dawn an age over people when there will remain of Islam nothing but its name, and of the Qur’aan there will remain nothing but its script.”

2. Inadvertently becoming the mureed of an irreligious peer and in spite of the error in this bai’t, clinging to him life-long. When the peer himself is not Waasil, how will he cause the mureed to become Waasil?

3. Association with females and lads and casting lustful glances at them. It is narrated in Jawaahir-e-Ghaibi that a man once while making Tawaaf of Baitullaah was uttering.

“O Allah! I seek Your protection from Yourself.”

Someone enquired from him the meaning of this. He replied:

“Once I cast a lustful glance at a handsome lad when lo, a hand from the unseen (ghaib) appeared and slapped me causing the of my eye.”

Yusuf Bin Husain said:

“I have observed that the calamities of the Sufis are in association with young lads, in companionship with impious persons and inclining tenderly towards females.”

Lust for lads is worse than lust for women. Nowadays such unnatural practices of lust with lads are very prevalent. The act of sodomy is in the severest degree of prohibition, hence Rasulullah (saws) said:

“I greatly fear for my people the practice of the nation of Loot.”

In another Hadith, Rasulullah (saws) said: “The curses of the Angels of the sewn heavens descend on seven types of sinners. The intensity of this la’nat (curse) is sufficient to destroy the mal’oon (the accursed).

(The first of the seven types) is one who practised sodomy.”

Nabi-e-Karem (saws) repeated the above warning thrice. In another Hadith it was said:

“Allah Ta’ala abhors looking at a man who commits sodomy.”

Some people although not committing acts of lust are involved in the malady of gazing with lust. It .should be borne in mind that the eyes also commit zina (fornication). Few people exercise caution in this respect despite the fact that staring with lust is a stepping-stone to fornication. According to the principle of Fiqh, the means and agencies of haraam are likewise haraam. So remember this, and understand it well.

4. Evils of the tongue. Speech in abundance and claiming excellence and virtues as well as speaking disrespectfully of the Shariah or Allah Ta’ala are among the greatest of impediments along this Path. Some jaahil (ignorant) peers indulge in such evil use of the tongue.

5. To engage in mujaahadah of one’s own making in addition to the ta’leem (instruction) of the Shaikh. Such unauthorized prescription by the mureed is detrimental. Within a short while, the Mureed will become frustrated and discard even the little which he was instructed to do by the Shaikh. This calamity has befallen many a mureed. It was because of this pitfall that Rasulullah (saws) instructed the adoption of only that much a’maal (righteous practices) which will nor weary one down producing frustration. Rasulullah (saws) said in this regard that Allah Ta’ala will not “weary” and be “frustrated” as long as you do not become weary and frustrated.

6. Haste in expecting the fruits of mujaahadah. This is also a great obstacle. The Mureed sometimes in his haste and impatience feels that even after having made much mujaahadah for a while, he has not derived the fruits thereof. The consequence of this attitude is that the Mureed either loses confidence in his Shaikh or he neglects his mujaahadah. This is indeed a great calamity which can befall the Mureed. It is imperative that the Mureed realizes that nothing is achieved overnight. The selfsame person at one stage was an infant. Only after a considerable lapse of time did he attain youthood. At first he was ignorant and only after some time had passed did he become a learned man. Similar then is the case of spiritual progress along the spiritual journey.

In short, haste and expectation (for the effects of mujaahadah to become manifest) are by inplication demands which the Mureed puts to his Shaikh. Such demands are very harmful. This type of mureed does not remain contented with his Shaikh. He turns to all and sundry for remedies. He is like a vagrant along this Path and he in consequence loses the grace and favour of the Shaikh. The Mureed in the final analysis loses in entirety what he had initially desired so impatiently. His frustration and worry multiply. Outwardly and inwardly he becomes engulfed by harm.

7. Introducing defect in one’s confidence and love for the Shaikh. Of greater calamity than even this, is to hurt the feelings of the Sheikh and to harm him. Such action and attitude bring about the total destruction of munaasabat (congeniality) between the Shaikh and the Mureed.

Munaasabat or congeniality is the relationship of affinity which the Mureed has with his Shaikh. This bond should be of such a degree that the Mureed entertains no rejection or dislike for any statement, act or condition of the Shaikh. This should be a physical condition of attachment in one’s disposition. However, if one’s munaasabat has not reached this degree of physical congeniality, it is necessary that it exists at least on the intellectual plane (Aqli Munaasabat). The Mureed should find all acts and statements of the Shaikh likeable and acceptable.

This Munaasabat is conditional for Bai’t. Great care has therefore to be adopted in this matter. Minus such Munaasabat, all devotional practices such as mujaahadah, riyaadhat, muraaqabah and mukaashafah will come to nought. They will be devoid of benefit. In the absence of a tab’I (natural and physical) munaasabat, the mureed should inculcate an Aqli Munaasabat. Spiritual benefit to the Mureed rests on the existence of munaasabat.

In view of the overriding importance of munaasabat, one should not enter into the Bai’t allegiance if such munaasabat is lacking. The Bai’t will prove of great benefit after love and munaasabat have been cultivated.