Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 3 years ago

Thank you for your question. It is a very wide topic and to capture all of its facets within a short answer is not easy.

If I was to summarise it in one concept I would say that true irfan according to the school of Ahl al-Bayt is the perfection of the intellect. Not the calculative intellect but the intellect through which God is worshipped and heaven is attained. That perfection starts when someone completely distances themselves from their base wants and desires. The first stage is to realise the reality of this finite world and to turn to God, after which there are many other stages of the combat with the self before the doors of witnessing are opened and the intellect moves on to become more and more refined. It is a path of knowledge, faith, patience, sincerity, kindness, submission and devotion and obedience to them, which are all expounded on in detail in the Quran and the sayings of the Ahl al-Bayt. It is both an intellectual and practical journey and it is a way of life. It is not a way of seclusion or a way of worldliness but it is a balanced way.

May you always be successful.

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