This is an extract from a letter addressed to a young woman who Shahab sahib had graciously taken under his wing for instruction in the spiritual path.
Do not follow the example of Imam Ghazali (RA) in tasawwuf. He is one of the few people who adopted a particular method and lifestyle upon the Path are turned a “knowledge” into a”science”. For the rest there is only one example to be followed and that is in the life of the Holy Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace). Poor sinners like us must endeavor to follow in his footsteps as best as we can for in that lies complete harmony between the Deen (religion) and the Dunya (world).
One should not allow one’s enthusiasm for tasawwuf to lead one to renounce the world or be renounced by it. Real perfection lies in leading an outwardly normal life whilst inwardly being alone with God. One’s outer should not give news of one’s inner, as far as possible.
You say: unless one retreats into solitude concentrated wholly upon God the doors of kashf (unveiling) and ilham (inspiration) will not open to one. Please note that opening the doors of kashf and ilham is not the goal; the true goal is the ma’rifa (experiential recognition) of God. For that there is no need to turn away from the world. It is present and attainable everywhere as long as the Huqooq Allah (rights of God) and the Huqooq al-Ibaad (rights of creation) are fulfilled and provided one makes a little extra effort according to one’s capacity and circumstances…..was-Salaam!
In need of your prayers,