Sainthood is a proof of Divine Messengership; the Sufi path is a proof of the Shari‘a. For the truths of belief which Messengership preaches sainthood sees and confirms with a sort of witnessing of the heart and illumination of the spirit at the degree of ‘the vision of certainty.’
Its confirmation is a certain proof of the truth of Messengership. Through its illuminations and unfoldings and through its being benefited from and effulgence being received from it the Sufi path is a clear proof of the truths and the matters which the Shari‘a teaches; that they are the truth and that they come from the truth.
Yes just as sainthood and the Sufi path are evidence and proof of Messengership and the Shari‘a so too they are a perfection of Islam and a means to its lights and through Islam a source of the progress and prosperity of humanity. Despite the great importance of this vast mystery certain deviant sects have denied it.
They have been deprived of those lights and they have caused others to be deprived. The most regretable thing is this: making a pretext certain abuses and faults they have seen among the followers of the Sufi path some externalist scholars from among the Sunnis and some neglectful politicians who are also Sunnis are trying to close up that supreme treasury indeed to destroy it and to dry up that source of Kawthar which distributes a sort of water of life. However there are few things and ways and paths which are without fault and are altogether good.
There are bound to be some faults and abuses. For if the uninitiated undertake a matter they are sure to misuse it. But in accordance with the accounting of deeds in the hereafter. Almighty God shows His dominical justice through the weighing up of good deeds and bad deeds. That is to say if good deeds preponderate and weigh heavier. He rewards them and accepts them; whereas if evil deeds preponderate he punishes for them and rejects them. The balancing of good and evil deeds looks not to quantity but to quality. It sometimes happens that a single good deed will weigh heavier than a thousand evils and cause them to be forgiven. Divine justice judges thus and reality too sees it to be true. Thus the evidence that the good deeds of the Sufi path —that is the Sufi paths within the bounds of the Practices of the Prophet— definitely preponderate over their evils is that those who follow them preserve their belief at the times they are attacked by the people of misguidance.
A sincere ordinary follower of the Sufi path preserves himself better than a superficial externalist person with a modern scientific background. Through the illumination of the Sufi path and the love of the saints he saves his belief. If he commits grievous sins he becomes a sinner but not an unbeliever; he is not easily drawn into atheism. No power at all can refute in his view the chain of shaykhs he accepts with a strong love and firm belief to be spiritual poles. And because no power can refute it his confidence in them cannot be destroyed. And so long as his confidence is not shaken he cannot accept atheism.
In the face of the stratagems of the atheists at the present time it has become difficult for one who is not connected with the Sufi path and whose heart has not been brought to action to preserve himself completely even if he is a learned scholar. There is another thing; the Sufi path may not be condemned because of the evils of certain ways which have adopted practices outside the bounds of taqwa and even of Islam and have wrongfully given themselves the name of Sufi paths.
Quite apart from the important and elevated religious and spiritual results of the Sufi path and those that look to the hereafter it is the Sufi paths which are the first and most effective and fervent means of expanding and developing brotherhood a sacred bond within the World of Islam.