The Chishti shaykh Hamidoddin Naagawri (d. 1276) spoke about these eight stages of the path:
1. KNOWLEDGE: Without it you cannot go straight.
2. WORK: Without it you cannot produce intention.
3. CORRECT INTENTION: Without it work becomes worthless.
4. SINCERITY: Without it love does not become manifest.
5. LOVE: Without it meditation does not become correct.
6. MEDITATION: Without it progress on the path is deficient.
7. PROGRESS: Without it you cannot open the door of the divine abode.
8. THE OPENING OF THE DOOR: Without it the goal of the traveller will not appear.
The goal is that you every day recite:
Everything upon it is perishing,
But the face of your Lord.
Next to this you should apply the following quatrain to yourself:
There is a work beyond knowledge, realise that, go!
Do not work to get jewels, be the mine, go!
The heart is a temporary abode, leave it and come!
The soul is the final abode, realise that, go!
It sounds thus in Persian:
Kaarist waraai ‘elm raw aanraa baash
Dar bande gohar mabaash raw kaan raa baash
Del hast maqaame gaah begozaar o biaa
Jaan manzele aakherast raw jaan raa baash.
Bear the pain
I asked that my work might be fruitful, but no!
That the Friend may repent of His cruelty, but no!
I asked that my times might be more favourable, but no!
That I might influence my adverse fate, but no!
The Chishti shaykh Qotb-e ’Alam (d. 1415) wrote these sad words:
Goftam magar keh kaar besaamaan shawad, nashod
Yaar az jafaaye khish pashimaan shawad, nashod
Goftam magar zamaane ‘enaayat konad, nakard
Bakht setize-kaar beh farmaan shawad, nashod
This is what the same shaykh tells us about the Sufi path:
“The shaykhs of old had set 99 stages for the completion of the spiritual quest. The shaykhs of our silsila have fixed on 15 stages, of which this faqir has selected 3:
1. Taking account of yourself before God demands an account from you.
2. Whoever thinks he has been righteous for even a day has deceived himself.
3. The true worship of the faqir is to repel thoughts of other than God.
If you act according to these 3 principles – God willing – you will complete the work of the traveller”.