I don’t know why we travel thousands of miles to Yemen, Syria, Turkey and Pakistan to sit at the feet of a sheikh with problems of his own, thinking he will help us master our nafs, when we have the best tariqa right here, before us: marriage and raising children.
No spiritual master has the insight to reform your soul as your children do. No great sheikh can teach patience and restraining your tongue like bickering and squabbling kids. We may wake up petitioning ourselves to patience, but in a moment, utterly ignored, we simply explode. Bang! I failed.
As parents, we often think our job is to bend and mould them into shape in our image, whereas in fact Allah is trying to mend and shape us. Daily we fail, of course, because we just get ground down by these unceasing tests.
But eventually we will have to recall, “Do they think they will be left to say ‘We believe’ and will not be tested?”
This is the best tariqa, if only we could see it for what it is.