Initiation into the Sufi Path; the Five GHUSLS (baths)
Do not enter the ‘Tavern of Ruin’
without observing its manners,
for the dwellers at its door
are the confidants of the King.
The Five Ghusls*
In mysticism ..bathing means ridding yourself of something..a bath is a purifier.These five baths are to purify the initiate.
Before being initiated into the world of spiritual poverty (faqr), those who seek to travel towards God must first perform niyat ** and then five ghusls * in the manner described below:
1. Ghusl of Repentance (tuba)
With this ghusl, the seeker repents from his or her former misdoings and strayings. He or she also apologizes, when becoming joined to the worship of God, for the previous sin of self-worship.
2. Ghusl of Submission (taslim)
In the ghusl of submission, the seeker makes a vow (niyat) to submit to God. This means that in every moment of his life, the seeker is content with whatever situation he finds himself and considers it to be God’s Will.
3. Ghusl of Initiation into Spiritual Poverty (faqr)
To enter into the world of spiritual poverty, one must be pure both outwardly and inwardly. Thus, one performs a ghusl outwardly and cleanses the outer being so that the inner being will also incline towards purity:
Purify thyself: then proceed to the ‘Tavern of Ruin’
that it not be polluted by you.
4. Ghusl of Pilgrimage (ziyarat)
It is a tradition when visiting people deserving of respect in the world to cleanse one’s body and put on clean clothes. Similarly, when making a pilgrimage to the Perfected One, or ‘Master of the Path’ (pir-i †ariat), one should be cleansed and purified in the same manner.
First become purified, and then
Look upon that Pure One.
For this reason, the seeker performs a ghusl cleansing the outer being and puts on clean clothes before approaching the master to acquire the orders of the Path.
5. Ghusl of Fulfillment (qadha-yi Hajat)
Since the ‘supplication’ (niyaz) of the seeker in traveling along the Path is to reach the rank of the Perfected One, a ghusl for the fulfillment of this aim is performed before coming into the master’s presence.