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How Does One Find a Shaykh/Spiritual Mentor?

Answered by: Shaykh Ahmed bin Mohamed Umarji


I need some advice. I am currently reading about tasawwuf, I would like to know how does one find a Shaykh/spiritual mentor? A few brothers have given me the names of Shuyukh to contact, however, they have not replied to me.

A brother I work with is part of the Shadhli tariqa and he has given me some books to read, which I have. I do not feel comfortable with concepts such as ‘hadra’ and celebrating the mawlid. I have also been reading about tasawwuf from the Ulama of Deoband, I feel more comfortable with this. However, I do not know how to find a suitable Shaykh, please advise?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


May Allah Ta’ala bless you in your path to spiritual reform (Tasawwuf) and Tazkiyyah.

Tazkiyyah is one of the fundamental missions of The Prophet P.B.U.H, as Allah Ta’ala says:

هُوَ ٱلَّذِى بَعَثَ فِى ٱلْأُمِّيِّـۧنَ رَسُولًۭا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا۟ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ مُّبِينٍۢ

He is the One Who raised for the illiterate ˹people˺ a messenger from among themselves—reciting to them His revelations, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and wisdom, for indeed they had previously been clearly astray—1

Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) made dua for a messenger that would serve multiple roles, including purifying the believers:

رَبَّنَا وَٱبْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًۭا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ

Our Lord, and raise up among them a messenger, from among themselves, who will recite to them Your revelations, and teach them the Book and wisdom, and spiritually purify them. You are the Almighty, the Wise.2

Allah Ta’ala accepted this prayer, sending The Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H with the following functions:

كَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولًۭا مِّنكُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْكُمْ ءَايَـٰتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُوا۟ تَعْلَمُونَ

Just as We sent to you a messenger from among you, who recites Our revelations to you, and spiritually purifies you, and teaches you the Book and wisdom, and teaches you what you did not know.3

The importance of finding a Shaykh and being around those who will spiritually uplift others is highlighted in the verse:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَكُونُوا۟ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ

O, believers! Be mindful of Allah and be truthful.4

With regards to finding a Shaykh, we would advise seeking a Shaykh that you can conveniently connect with and relate to. Often times there are giants in our midst’s who may not be popular. If you need help connecting with a Shaykh please send us an email and we will try connecting you with a Shaykh

Only Allah knows best

Written by Shaykh Ahmed bin Mohamed Umarji

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

1 Surah al-Jumu’ah, Verse 2

2 Surah al-Baqarah, Verse 129

3 Surah al-Baqarah, Verse 151

4 Surah at-Tawbah. Verse 119

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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