Several quotes on shari’a, tariqa and haqiqa
The great Persian scholar, poet and sufi/mystic “mawlana” Rumi, may Allah have mercy on him, said in his majestic Masnawi, on islamic law:
“Islamic law (shari’a) is like a candle. It sheds light and shows the way one can’t reach the destination solely by taking the candle in the hand, but one can’t start walking down the path without taking the candle in hand either. Once you start walking on the path in the light of islamic law, your walking is the Way (tariqa). And when you reach your destination, then that is the Truth (haqiqa). Therefore, it is said that if the truths were revealed, the Laws would have been invalidated. Indeed, if copper is turned into gold with alchemy, then there remains no need for alchemy. In other words, the processing of copper according to alchemy is not needed anymore. It is for this reason that they said: It is inappropriate to seek a guide after one has reached a destination under guidance. But it is also inappropriate to abandon the guide before reaching the destination for which one needs a guide.”
Shaykh al-‘Arusi, may Allah have mercy on him, said in his marginalia titled Nata’ij al-Afkar al-Qudsiyya (Bulaq, 1920/1873):
“Religion (al-din) is an orchard of which the fence is the Law (al-shari’a), the inner grove is the Path (al-tariqa), and the fruit is the Reality (al-haqiqa). Whoever has no Law has no Religion; whoever has no Path has no Law; and whoever has no Reality has no Path … ”
According to ‘allama Qutb ad-Din Shirazi, the Sufi shaykhs tread on the paths of Shari’a (the Sacred Law), Tariqa (the Path) and Haqiqa (the Truth) and they establish true relationship with the Prophets by their knowledge, words, deeds and ahwal or ‘mystic states’. This is not done by the formalists among the ‘ulama, the ‘learned class’. (Source: dr. M. Valiuddin, Contemplative Disciplines in Sufism, pag. xiii)
Shari’a, tariqa and haqiqa eventually – insha’Allah – lead one to gnosis: ma’rifa. Gnosis of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.