By Murshid Shaykh Taner Ansari
SUFIS MUST HAVE ABOVE AVERAGE ACTIONS:
Remember that we are Sufis. This means that we are above-average people. We have to have above-average actions. It is expected of us to do the best action, not just what is expected by custom or practice or what our neighbors do. For example, it is expected for us to have compassion for our enemies. That is what our Prophet (pbuh) had. Each time they swore at him or tried to hit him, he asked Allah to forgive them because they did not know any better.
Once upon a time, you did not know any better either. Earth is a school. Everyone starts with nothing and begins learning and leaves with some degree of knowledge, that is, whatever they have accumulated during life here on Earth. But no one comes here in a perfect state. We have to tolerate every one’s incompleteness because we are in a learning stage no matter how old we are.
The Prophet (pbuh) talks about the men who used to sit on the saffa in his mosque. This saffa was a raised area or platform in the mosque. A certain group of young men used to come and sit on this saffa and make zikr. They were called the Ahl-i-Saffa, people of the Bench. These were the ones who desired to be closest to the Prophet (pbuh). In these stories they are shown to be the people who are raised up, indicating their rank in connection with the Prophet. This rank comes from following a higher order of behavior, as we have been discussing.They wanted to be closest to the Prophet (pbuh) in order to understand, to learn and to model themselves upon the Prophet’s behavior. That is what we should do too.
P. S. We are Sufis. We are expected to do above average action. This does not mean we are better than anybody else and we do not claim to be better than anybody else. as a matter of fact, we are not our target, Allah is.