Sufism lays great stress on the respect for the spiritual leader - the Murshid. A letter written by Hazrat Shah Madani (Q) to his son Hazrat Imam-ul-Aulia (Q) amply emphasises the reasons and spirit behind this admonition. Following are the excerpts from the letter:
"The sight of kindness of Hazrat Rehmatul-lil-Aalamin (Merciful for all
the Worlds P.B.U.H.) is the same upon all the saints of the world and this son
(Hazrat Imam-ul-Aulia (Q). Diffidence is negligence to you. Absolute destination
will be achieved if negligence disappears from the midst. See! The sight of
favour, besides its own kindness and mercy, is enough, rather more than enough,
logic of the obedience of this (my) son. A seed from Transcendent Entity, which
is Divine Reality that is Actual Entity, has been planted in your soul, during
implanting Tawwajjah (commandment), which is from the Status and Depths of the
Entity. That seed will not go waste. Though, today you do not understand it
because of negligence, but a flame of Real Fire gives the colour of inferno
to the mound of twigs. The Noor that has been endowed in your heart be sought
in meditation. The appellation of that Indefinite Light is 'Allah' to whom you
"Same as, the visage of spiritual guide is the river of that Transcendent
Luminance and is the Face of Allah. The visage of the spiritual guide should
be assumed as Transcendent Luminance and the meaning of the Appellation of Allah
be seen in his (spiritual guide's) visage. Apparently, the body of the spiritual
guide seems but in fact, he has no body. The body of the spiritual guide comes
as imagery to the eyes of the seers according to their certitude. The spiritual
guide, who has acquired Fana (coalescence into Allah), is invisible and intangible.
The Holy Prophet Peace Be Upon Him was seemed like a sun to some of his companions
and like a moon to some, due to (their) beliefs and the damned, Abu Jehl, used
to say that the worst face (may Allah protect us) is of Muhammad (P.B.U.H.).
Thus, this feeling is (everybody's own) convicted visage.
"Allah exalted says: (means) "And you see them that they are looking
at you but they have no idea." (Al-Araf - Verse-198).
"And Muhammad (P.B.U.H.), is mortal and sans visage. Same is to the spiritual
guide; who has no body. Everybody has his appearance as to their conviction,
what he (the seer) takes to home with himself. On the seat of commandment, he
has one convicted visage that appears.
"When disciples assaulted Bayyazid Bustami Qudus Sarhu with swords, small
daggers, knives, the one who stabbed in his holy face, got his face injured.
And the one, who struck his sword on his shoulder, got his shoulder cut off
from his body. No harm was done to Bayyazid (Q). That was not the body of Bayyazid,
but to the viewers, this body was (their) conviction and Bayyazid was evanesced,
therefore, nothing happened to him.
"The face of the spiritual guide is the face of Allah, which should be
placed in heart, so that one can live mannerly and respectfully. And respects
"The first respect: The first respect is that the spiritual guide, for
sure, be assumed and be seen with ownself in his appearance or disappearance
and also respects be paid to his unpresent audience. The reality of spiritual
guide is the Noor of Allah's Entity, which cannot have portions. And that light
is placed in the heart of the disciple at the time of commandment. So (in this
way) the spiritual guide is with him and God is with him and the Prophet (P.B.U.H.)
is with him, one should be remained respectfully to them by observing modesty.
When this virtuous intention and conviction will take place only then the visage
of the spiritual guide would accompany him.
"The second respect: The second respect is that all attention be focused
on the face of spiritual guide; except his face no heed be paid to anything
else. It is not permissible that the disciple's focus is seated in his heart
and he, the negligent, settles in exterior milieu (negligence). Diffidence should
be observed (from doing this).
(Persian couplet) "The hand of the Pir (spiritual guide) which is invisible
to him, is not short. His hand is nothing but the occupation of Allah.
"This is the perpetual heartily recitation of the focus on the face (of
the spiritual guide). At that time the entire blessing of the spiritual guide
reflects upon the disciple and the disciple becomes exactly (like) the Pir.
This is the preamble of Fana-fil-lah (coalescence into Allah).
"The third respect: It be considered that all the blessings are emanated
from the spiritual guide. Although those blessings, in fact, are proceeding
from the Prophet of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) regardless, the purported knowledge
is acquired from other (sources) - whether from Prayers or from worship.
"Though the elegance is in complete manners, (and) that in real sense is
all the obvious elegance of the spiritual guide, though may be envy to him (the
spiritual guide) but are manifestations of spiritual guide.(This means that)
the particles of the elegance of the spiritual guide are appearing in the houses
of acrimony (of the heart) and Allah knows the reality.
"The fourth respect: The fourth respect is to establish the certitude that
the Holy Entity of Exalted Allah is such a hidden treasure that cannot be hinted
at, nor it can be named, and in his Exalted Attributions, Entity can't be distinguished.
Those revealed down in Maqam-e-Wahdat (status of Oneness) and Attributions are
distinguished from the Entity and every attribution, by distinguishing in the
chamber of the knowledge of the truth, is known to Allah. That the name of the
stature of downward revelation of knowledge of distinguishing the entity has
been Haqiqat-e-Muhammadi (blessings attributed to the appellation Muhammad)
and that Haqiqat-e-Muhammadi remains forever and by 'Muhammad' and the soul
of Muhammad means that 'Holy Entity' that lives forever and that significance
of 'Muhammad' first revealed upon Adam (A). The initial Halo of Realisation
was Adam and sequence by sequence revealed upon prophets and the centre and
focus of the halo is the existence of the entity of Muhammad (P.B.U.H.). The
dependence of all the haloes are on that entity and half of that halo are the
poles of Muhammad's (P.B.U.H.) nation (Aqtab-e-Ummat-e-Muhammad), who own the
reality and sense of Muhammad, rather exactly the same as Muhammad (P.B.U.H.)
though they are not apostles.
"Khwaja Abdul Ahad (Q) says: 'It is impossible that this house remain vacant.
If one leaves, the other will ferment like Mansoor (R).' The example of Mansoor
means those who bear Haqiqat-e-Muhammadi. Makhdoom Abdul Rahim (Q) says: 'Definitely,
the Erector of both the worlds; (like) the sun in the universe is apparent;
sometimes in Adam (A), sometimes in Ahmad (P.B.U.H.) and sometimes in Muhammad
"Hence, this faith should be established that my spiritual guide is the
bearer of Haqiqat-e-Muhammadi i.e., Elaborated Entity just like the Entity of
Omnireal (Allah) and as Muhammad. After this belief the doors of benefaction
will open and without this, it is eradication of thorns.