The basis of our teaching rests upon the concept of the seven meems, both in seeking knowledge and in journeying along the path to knowing God. This framework is derived from the works of the great scholars of our past such as Hujjatal Islam Imam Al-Ghazzali and forms a concise yet comprehensive foundation to our methodology.
The seven meem framework is so called because the term for each step begins with the Arabic letter meem.
The 'seven meems on the path to knowing God' are:
- Murabata: heart linking
- Musharata: conditions
- Mura qaba: constant awareness
- Muhasaba: checking oneself
- Muaqaba: being firm on oneself
- Mujahada: to struggle against oneself
- Mu'ataba: not to be content with oneself
The first meem is the most crucial, meem Murabata. It is the establishing of a link with one's teacher and, through the teacher's spiritual chain, a link to all the pious people back to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and so to God Himself. Its concern is the hearts focus, which is the essence, of the path to knowing God.
In forming the heart link, naturally the meem Musharata will emerge. This relates to the conditions one will place upon oneself as a result of the heart's connection.
At this stage meem Muraqaba and meem Muhasaba will be necessary to ensure that Musharata and Murabata are accomplished. Muraqaba, the constant awareness of God in one's consciousness is the third meem. It is closely tied to meem Muhasaba, the fourth. Muhasaba is the monitoring of the self, it is the soul bringing itself to account for its actions.
If one finds through their Muhasaba their deeds are lacking, then naturally this will generate a feeling of being dissatisfied with ones shortcomings. This state of dissatisfaction is called meem Muataba.
At this point the student makes a conscious decision to be firm in bringing about a change in their state. This is called meem Muaqaba and is achieved by being stricter in upholding the conditions (Musharata) that they have placed upon themselves.
Implementing this will require the final meem, meem Mujahada. This is the struggle involved in improving ones state in journeying towards God.
One of the key conditions on the path to God is seeking knowledge. Traditionally this had involved the implementation of another set of seven meems. These are Muhafadha (to memorise), Muraja'a (to revise/individually review), Mudhakara (group discussion), Musa'ala (to question in order to clarify), Mudawama (to be consistent), Mutaqana (to gain a profound understanding) and Musabara (to be patient).
These sets of meems are concise and easy to remember, and yet thoroughly comprehensive, so as to be applicable to all situations a seeker may encounter on his path.