A Critical Study of The Issue of Shari’a, Tariqa, Haqiqa with A Focus on Imamiyyah Teachings

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Department of Islamic Knowledge, University of Medical Sciences, Alborz

2 PhD student in Islamic Knowledge, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran


The issue of exoteric path, esoteric path and mystical truth (sharī’a, ṭarīqa, ḥaqīqa respectively), is a matter of debate between Shia and the Gonabadi Sufism. Islamic and Shiite views not only do not lead to negation of exoteric path and jurisprudential decrees, but also strengthen adherence to them, both at the beginning and continuously. The Gonabadi Sufis are like Shia in the beginning, but, although in some of their words they also deem it indispensable to adhere consistently to the exoteric path, there is a contradiction of this view in some of their other words. Furthermore, in practice they do not treat as indispensable permanent and consistent adherence to exoteric path. This is why theosophy and Shiite jurisprudence regard as unacceptable some of the viewpoints of Gunabadi Sufism on the issue. The aim of this article is to set out Shia criticisms of the Gunabadi Sufism through examination of the latter’s viewpoint. First it differentiates the three above mentioned categories, and then shows the necessary connection among them, the stages of spiritual wayfaring (sūlūk)and the position of each of the three. Meanwhile, the position and role of qūtb in exoteric path will be elucidated. This basic research was conducted using the documentary research method by reference to books, internet bases and software.


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