Most homes have a family doctor, a man qualified in the medical field whose medical advice they value and trust implicitly. From a boil on the chest to cardiac arrest, he is the man they consult in their hour of need.

If our physical health is a priority, then our spiritual health holds paramount importance. Hence, it is vital for us to attach ourselves to a family ‘doctor’ who will see to our spiritual health. These spiritual doctors are none other than the rightly guided ‘Ulama and Mashaayikh.

Just as the layman is unable to treat anything greater than common ailments – such as a cough or headache – on his own, the layman is similarly unable to determine what it is that Allah Ta‘ala wants from him in certain situations. Without consulting the family ‘aalim, he will most probably make the incorrect decision, thus harming his own Deen and the Deen of his family.

Adhere to the following guidelines when choosing the family ‘aalim:

– He must have sound, adequate Islamic knowledge.

– He must be experienced and have wisdom.

– He must adhere strictly to the sharee‘ah and the sunnah in every aspect of his life.

– He must be a personality who is accepted and endorsed by the other senior ‘Ulama and personalities of the time.

– He must be a personality whose only concern is your Deeni progress and he does not have any worldly motive.

– He must strictly observe the laws of purdah when interacting with women.

Once we have chosen this ‘aalim, we should constantly refer to him for guidance relating to all departments of our life. If our children are rebellious, if we are lax in performing salaah and do not know how to rid ourselves of the laziness, if a proposal arrives for our child and we are unsure as to whether we should accept, if there is a death in the family, if we come across some attractive literature and wish to read it, if we meet a person whose beliefs clash with what we learnt – no matter what the situation, at every turn, be it a moment of adversity or prosperity, such an ‘aalim will be there for us and will show us the straight path, assisting us to easily traverse our journey through the danger-filled dunya and reach Jannah.