The fact that the Nimatullahi Sufi order became so widespread and popular during the time of Shah Nimatullah is due primarily to his approach to Sufism and his charismatic personality. Succeeding masters of the Nimatullahi Order have continued to maintain his practice of integrating the social and the spiritual life.
The important social and ethical aspects of the order, together with some rules and regulations for the management of the spiritual centers (khaniqahs), are as follows:
- Rejection of seclusion, with preference for inward retreat in the company of others. There are, however, certain exceptions, such as when an individual may be asked to spend time in retreat by way of therapy, in order to regain his or her psychological health.
- Stern disapproval of the use of hashish and addictive drugs of this nature.
- Requirement of constructive activity on the part of sufis, with discouragement of idleness.
- Wearing of conventional clothing, so that one may not stand out as an object of attention or be subject to affectation.
- Warm respect for persons of every faith and ethos, while one's life is devoted to kindness towards God's creatures.
- Acceptance and guidance by the master and the Shaikhs of the Order of all seekers who are worthy, turning no one away.
- Emphasis on the practice of dhikr in the heart in gatherings of the Order, rather than vocal dhikr.
- Advocacy of peace, community and equality on the part of the sufis of the Order, no distinction being made, for example, between men and women.
- Non-attachment to money or other material goods.
- No requirement for payment, mandatory contributions or fees by disciples.
- Equality of all sufis in the khaniqah. The personal freedom of every sufi must be observed and respected in the khaniqah, for each darvish has his or her own way, state, rapture and universe.
Excerpt taken from The Path: Sufi Practices by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh
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The spiritual method of the Nimatullahi Order is based on four principles: remembrance of God (dhikr), contemplation (fikr), meditation (muraqiba), and self-examination (muhasiba).
Principles of the Path
The fundamental principle of the sufi path is founded on the experience of Reality, which from the sufi point of view may b described as Absolute Being, Absolute Light, Absolute Beauty or Absolute Love.
The Nimatullahi Order is based on fraternity and equality of all human beings, with a genuine respect for all religions of the world, as well as love and service to all humanity, regardless of creed, culture or nationality.