This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Islamic initiation in the absence of a living guru

One instance in which the collective work combined with a spiritual influence takes the place of a living guru might be drawn from Islam. Here certain turuq are not directed by a true Shaykh as Spiritual Master, but only by Khulafa, who simply act as ‘transmitters’ of the influence; yet here the barakah of the founding Shaykh of the tariqah may for certain individuals make up for the absence of the living Shaykh, simply by the individual’s affiliation with the silsilah. The important point is that the ‘inner guru’ which is the Self is always present and capable of conferring whatever realization is appropriate to the case, whether the context is one of collective work undirected by a living guru or under the active direction of one living.

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