Dictionary / Arabic - Turkish Terminology


طريق - طريقة


Literally: A  way. A path. A road. A track. A streak. Line. Band. A hierarchy. A ma’nawî path.

Tarîqah is the plural of the tarîq.


Question: What is tarîqah?

The Answer: As a result of a ma’nawî journey of the rûh, with the feet of the heart, under the shadow of the mi’raj of Ahmad (asm), it is being honoured with the haqiqahs of îmân and the Qur'an through zawq and ecstatic states and, to a degree, shuhûd, by aiming the ma’rifat and the unfolding of the haqiqahs of îmân; it is an elevated human mystery and a perfection of mankind called tarîqah, tasawwuf.

Yes, since man is a comprehensive index in this universe, his heart is a ma’nawî map of the thousands of ‘âlams. Just as innumerable human sciences and fields of knowledge show that man's mind in his head is a sort of ma’nawî centre of the universe like a telephone and telegraph exchange for innumerable lines, so too, the millions of luminous books written by innumerable people of walâyah show that man's heart in his essence is the place of manifestation for innumerable haqiqahs of the universe and is their source and seed.

Thus, since the human heart and mind are at this centre, and comprise the equipment of a mighty tree in the form of a seed, and the tools and wheels of an eternal, majestic machine of the âkhirah housed in it, certainly, Al-Fâtir of the heart willed the heart to be worked, brought out from the state of capacity to a state where those capacities are unfolded, developed and put into action, so He created the heart that way. Since He willed it this way, the heart will certainly work like the mind, and the most effective means of the heart’s working is to turn it towards the haqiqahs of îmân on the way of tarîqah path through the dhikr of Allah in the degrees of walâyah.

The Twenty-Ninth Letter-First Allusion


In Maktubat, Imam-i Rabbani (Radiallahu ‘anh), the hero and a sun of the Naqshbandi Order, said: "I prefer the unfolding of a single matter of the haqiqahs of îmân to thousands of azwâq, ecstasies, and instances of karâmât."

He also said: "The final point of all the tarîqs is the clarification and unfolding of the haqiqahs of îmân."

He also said: "Walâyah is of three sorts: one is the 'lesser Walâyah,' which is the well-known Walâyah. The others are the 'middle Walâyah' and the 'greater Walâyah.' 'Greater Walâyah' is to open up by way of the legacy of nubuwwah a direct way to haqiqah without entering the barzakh of tasawwuf."

He said also: "The ma’nawî journeying on the Naqshi way is with two wings." That is, "Through having a firm belief in the haqiqahs of îmân and carrying out the religious fardh. If there is a defect in these two wings, the way cannot be traversed." In which case, the tarîq of Naqshi consists of three 'veils':

The First and most important is direct service to the haqiqahs of îmân; Imam-i Rabbani (ra) travelled this way in his later years.

The Second is service to the religious fardh and Glorious Sunnah under the veil of the tarîqah.

The Third is to work to eliminate the sicknesses of the heart by way of Tasawwuf and to journey with the feet of the heart. Of these, the first is the equivalent of fardh, the second wâjib, and the third Sunnah.

 The Fifth Letter


Third Question: Tarîqahs are the ways of haqiqah. Some of the heroes and imams of the tariq of Naqshbandi, which is claimed to be the most famous, the most elevated and the greatest highway among the tarîqahs, defined its foundation as follows. They said:

دَرْ طَرِيقِ نَقْشِبَنْدِى لاَزِمْ آمَدْ چَارْ تَرْكْ

تَرْكِ دُنْيَا تَرْكِ عُقْبَى تَرْكِ هَسْتِى تَرْكِ تَرْكْ

That is to say, on the tarîq of Naqshî, it is necessary to abandon four things. To not make one’s true aim both this world and even the âkhirah on account of the nafs; to forget one's own existence; to not think about these abandonments in order not to become vain and proud. It means that true ma’rifatullah and perfections of man are attained through abandoning the mâsiwâ1 ?

The Answer: If man consisted of only the heart, it would be necessary to abandon the mâsiwâ and to leave behind even the Names and Attributes and bind the heart only to the essence of Janâb-i Haqq. But man possesses many senses, feelings and subtle faculties like the mind (aql), rûh, sirr and nafs, which are charged with duties. The perfect man is the one whose heart goes heroically like a commander with its subtle faculties soldiers towards the aim in a broad circle and rich fashion like the Sahabah by directing all those subtle faculties towards haqiqah on the different ways of ‘ubûdiyyah particular to each of those subtle faculties. Otherwise, if the heart abandons its soldiers in order to save only itself and goes on its own, it is not the cause of pride but the consequence of being compelled.

The Addendum to The Twenty-Seventh Word


Q-What is your request from the shaikhs of today?

A-I request the ikhlas which is the subject of their consistent turmoil; also the great jihad and abandonment of iltizâm of the nafs which they are devoted themselves in the ma’nawî barracks called takka and the spiritualised military service called tarîqah; also the abandonment of personal benefit which is their shiâ’r and the meaning of zuhd2 ; also the love which they constantly claim and is the essence of Islam’s disposition. Or they should banish the obstinacy, ghiybah and partisanship amongst themselves.

Münazarat (75)



1 (Everything other than Allah, i.e., the world, the nafs, the vanities of life.)

2 (Zuhd: A practising asceticism. Ascetic abstinence. Retreating on one’s own from the worldly pleasures and desires of the nafs, and adhering to the religious works and ‘ibâdah.

Zuhd of the heart: The heart’s disengaging its connection with the world and turning toward the pleasure of Allah.)

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