Oh, you who believe! Fear Allah, and seek a means of access to Him, and struggle on His way; perhaps you will succeed! (Koran 5:35) Commentary: . . . God commands believers to practice the fear of Him. This corresponds to what is called . . . the "station of repentance" which is the basis of all progress on the Way and the key which permits one to arrive at the "station of realization". . . . After that God says to us: "And seek a means of access to Him" . . . There is absolute unanimity among the People of Allah on the fact that, in the Way toward Gnosis, a "means of access", that is to say, a master, is indispensable. However, at the beginning of the Way he can be satisfied with books which deal with pious behavior and with spiritual combat in its most general sense. "And struggle on His Way": this is an order to do battle after having found a master. It is a matter of a special holy war (jihad), which is carried out under the command of the master and according to the rules which he prescribes. One cannot have confidence in a spiritual combat carried on in the absence of the master, except in very exceptional cases. . . . The dispositions of beings are varied, their temperaments are very different one from another and something which is profitable for one can be harmful for another.
Source: The Spiritual Writings of 'Abd al-Kader, 1995, Kitab al-Mawaqif, 197, pp. 49-50
Contributed by: Zaady