If someone has been appointed as the shaykh of a certain Tariqa, but he is not a doctor in Islamic jurisprudence (shari’a) and says things like “wearing a beard for men or a hijab for women is not important; it’s the condition of your heart which matters” or he says “don’t ask me about shari’a, I’m not here to talk to you about that. You’re supposed to know all that. My job is to help you get closer to God by a constant remembrance of Him.”… in that case, is that shaykh to be considered as such? In his Tariqa women and men are not segregated because they say, ” once we enter this room, we are no longer men and women, but spiritual beings.”
Tariqa is the vessel navigating the ocean of shari’a in order to reach haqiqa. If the vessel has holes, as shown by such statements, the journey will not be successful. Haqiqa is the heart of shari’a and the latter is indispensable as agreed upon in all Tariqas.
Hajj Gibril Haddad