Rabita is the most crucial means of a murīd’s discipline. Rabita is not a form of ibadah (formal act of worship) with its format, timing and method established in our religion. It is a way of awakening the heart and preparing it for the performance of ibādat in a state of hushū and inner peace. Rābita is a tool of ma’nawī tarbiya. Rābita is the best medication for taming an untamed nafs. Rābita is the formation of a bond between a ghāfil heart and an awake heart. Rābita is bonding with a heart which enjoys a constant flow of divine nūr and fayz, and absorbing the love and fayz within it.
The Masters have explained that the fundamentals of rabita are based on the following ayahs:
Allāh informs us:
Believers, have fear of Allāh (taqwā) and stand with those who uphold the cause of truth (sādiqs).” [at-Tawbah 9:119]
“Believers, have fear of Allāh and seek the right path to Him. Make jihād (or work) valiantly in His path so that you may be saved.” [al-Maeda 5:35]
Both āyats command taqwa (fear of Allah). In the first āyat, we are commanded to be with Allah’s pious servants; in the second ayah, we are commanded to cling to a means or agent that will propel us onto the path of taqwā, and to try every way of achieving tarbiya.
And so rābita is one way of being with ones murshid, who is a sādiq servant and a kāmil friend of Allāh Ta’ālā. Everybody who takes the murshid’s hand and makes intisāb, has taken the first step towards togetherness with him along the path of Allāh Ta’ālā. A person who undertakes tarbiya with him has initiated his zāhirī (outer, evident) togetherness. The true goal in this matter is the togetherness of hearts. The best way of reaching Allāh is to bond with the heart of a kāmil murshid. The murshid has no duty other than that of being a means and a conveyor for reaching Allāh.