What is Irfan and why should I study it?
Irfan is a ‘gnostic’ discipline and study of how man can reach higher heights in the realm of spirituality within the domain of Islam. It is a systematic method of gaining the knowledge, skills and tools to build the ‘self’ in this world for the benefit of the Hereafter.
Irfan is a study of how man can make better sense of the realities of this world and beyond, to capitalise on the abundant blessings poured down upon man in this world. This then awakens the student in a world where people are still asleep, to get up, prepare for the journey and begin the path as a traveller travelling towards the absolute Al-mighty Allah (swt).
Urafa (those emersed greatly in this discipline) believe that there are certain obstacles in our life in this world that prevent one from fully realising and achieving their ultimate goals. By studying Irfan, one gains the vision to see these obstacles and the means to avoid them at the same time taking maximum advantage of what has been provided by Allah (swt) in this path. For example, pleasing an animal by feeding it for the sake of Allah (swt) the Lord of the Worlds would help untie problems and ease our journey.
All in all, whatever we do, even by just breathing we are indebted to Allah (swt). So one must practise appreciation and gratitude for the infinite blessings bestowed on man and his environment which has been made subservient to him. There are two supplications, which are highly recommended:
1. Thikr of Musaii ( As expressed by Prophet Moses): “Rabbi Shrahli Sadri Wa Yassir Lee Amree”. (O My Lord! Expand for me my capacity and ease my task for me.) This invocation is recommended to say in Qonoot of our Salah.
2. Thikr of Yunusi (as expressed by Prophet Yunus): “La Ilaha Illa Ant, Subhanaka Innee Kontu Minal Dthalemeen”. ( There is no diety but You, glory to you. Indeed I was a wrogn doer.) It is very recommended to say this Thikr in the status of prostration as many times as possible, specially in the last Sajdah of our Salah.
We are travellers in a journey towards Allah (swt)
Allah (swt) has created man, alloted a time for his stay in this world and in time all will be returning to him. So in effect so long as we are living and breathing we are travellers. But where are we heading to?
To answer this question one needs to understand and appreciate where they came from, and where they are now. In short, we are creatures of Allah (swt)’s creation. Where you are now is relative to the boundaries you limit yourself in. Lets just say that we are all on the path of spiritual awakening so as we can begin the study of Irfan on a common platform and benefit as much as possible from this valuable study.
You have probably come to read this because of a nudge from a friend or an interest in this field or for some other reason. You could have been at another place at another time and not come across this material so whilst you are conscious of this you are invited to take the life long journey as a traveller in this discipline of ‘practical irfan’ from an Islamic perspective. Your stumbling across this may be the results of a prayer of a dear friend or family member. Be appreciative of this as you begin the mystical journey towards Allah (swt).
Your soul has been created to go back to Allah (swt) – by living as a Salik (traveller) and a student of Irfan you are on the way towards returning towards your Lord in a state of purity, piety and perfection. Be fair to your soul and help it reach Allah (swt) in the best of shapes to reap the benefits of eternal bliss in the Hereafter as well as the joy of being close and near to Allah (swt).
Remember that as you learn the methods of travelling in this journey ensure that you are in a state of spritiual cleanliness by making Wudhu or Ablution as it is called in the English language.