The Door to Doors:
Shaykh al-Ja’farī taught that everyone who follows a spiritual path should consider the founder of that path – the one who composed its litanies – as his shaykh; the founder of the path and the author of its litanies would have been authorized as a spiritual guide by the Prophet himself.
In most cases, that founder’s soul was now in the intermediary realm (barzakh), which is connected to this physical world. As for the living Shaykh from whom one takes the path, the seeker must respect him, obey him, and think well of him, for he is the door or link to the founder of the path, and without him arrival becomes extremely difficult.
All that is required of the living Shaykh is that he is upright in acting upon the law – he does what is obligatory and abstains from what is forbidden. If this Shaykh errs or commits a sin, as any human is capable of sinning, it will not harm the seeker. The real guide for the soul for the seeker however, is the Shaykh who founded the path.
Shaykh Sālih al-Ja’farī in Reassurance for the Seeker, translated by Sidī Samer Dajani.
This book is available at Wardah Books
Photo above is Shaykh Sālih al-Ja’farī, may Allah bless him