Paramountcy of Shari'ah
Another indecorous thinking that had gained popularity among certain mystics of the day was that the established religious institution could be brushed aside by them, for, according to them, one needs to follow the commandments of the Shari'ah up to a certain stage; but when he reaches the stage of acquaintance and attains the fellowship of Divine Essence, he could reject the demand for external conformity to the shari'ah. The wide diffusion of this erratic idea had given reins to many illiterate and misguided mystics who, acting as impious ministers of evil, were spreading infidelity and irreligiousness among the superstitious masses.
Even certain educated persons had started citing the Qur'anic verse: 'And worship thy Lord until there cometh death'. to support this contention.
(Q.XV:99 –almost all the eminent commentators of the Qur'an hold the view that the word Yaqin, in Arabic means death in this verse while certain mystics interpreted the word to mean spiritual enlightenment)
They argued that the shar'iah need be followed in letter and spirit until one attains the stage of certitude of the transcendental truth, but once one reaches that stage the chains of law fall to pieces for him. Makhdum Yahya Maneri raised his voice in defense of the authentic religious view and demonstrated the fallacy of the antinomian practitioners of Sufism.
He set forth arguments to show that whatever stage or station may be attained by a traveler of spirit, he has to follow the rules of Shari'ah to the end of his life's journey, for they are never suspended or superseded by the elevation of the spirit.
The following quotation from one of his letters will show that Makhdum severely taxed those who opposed the authority of the established religious institution finding expression in the laws of the Shari'ah.
"Brother Shams udd-din ought to be aware of the subtle ways of the Devil who sometimes makes the mystics believe that the object of renouncing sin is to weaken the natural human desires and inclinations so that the remembrance of God overcomes them and cleanses the heart of its impurities.
The whole endeavor is meant, the Devil tells them, to attain the perfection of Divine Knowledge , and so is also the shari'ah a means to arrive at the same goal. Thus, if a man already reaches that destination, what has he to do with the luggage and means of transport.
The prescribed forms of liturgical service would then become a veil for him. one already beholding Eternal beauty needs no prostrations, devotions and orisons as these are the aids for attuning the strings of one's heart with the melody of Divine Essence. They claim that they find themselves engulfed by celestial glory and the reign of spirit – But, in truth and reality, they give expression to what Satan had felt when he was asked to prostrate before Adam.
Being aware of his station he thought that nothing would he gain by bending low before a being lower than him. God has not referred to this story as a myth or fable but to serve as a warning for those who are given to the ruses of Satan.
God wanted to tell them that nobody should dare flout His law. Verily, the precursors of faith have correctly emphasized that the path chalked out by the shari'ah is the only way to attain the fellowship of God.
"Here Satan has kept an important point concealed from the view of this misguided group. He has persuaded them to believe that the only purpose of Shari'ah is to attain proximity of the lord. But this is wrong for the Shari'ahis meant for a lot more than that.
Take for instance , the prayers prescribed for five times a day; these are the five poles supporting a canopy of human perfection; if the poles are taken away, the canopy will fall to the ground as Iblis himself fell from his exalted postion.
Now, if you want to know how the prayers lend their support to make a man virtuous ; My brother, this something beyond your limited intellect to conceive.
These are the properties or characteristic qualities of medicines or other substances, or the attracting power of the magnet but nobody can find out the reason why these properties have been embedded in these substances"