The Initiatory way of Service

Further to research conducted in collaboration with the Research Institute of Human and Social Sciences for Peace Promotion, the International Sufi School proposes the Initiatory Way of Service, the path conducive to the making of figures of service.

This path can be summed up according to six essential steps:

  • To be conscious of others
  • Respect for others
  • Duties
  • Human Resource
  • Patience
  • Collaboration and Networking

1. To be conscious of others

The first requirement of a figure of service is to be in the consciousness of others and wish for others what he wishes for oneself. This is only possible once a person has transcended the bounds of individualism and blood family ties to join the global human family. For this, an agent of service must be free to make the choice of service and love, in total consciousness. He will have gone through a self-transformation process which has enabled him to come out of the limiting framework of conditioned thought, behaviour pattern and relationships. He is now free to commit himself to an ideal of love and service in total consciousness. His action is then an expression of unconditional love and compassion for the whole of humanity irrespective of differences.

2. Respect for others

All agents of service show the highest level of respect for others, irrespective of differences. Indeed they respect all forms of life - human, plants as well as animals, for they are in the consciousness that all forms of life in the universe are interconnected and interdependent. Having themselves transcended the bounds of their biological family and being in the consciousness of the global family they constantly strive towards the welfare of one and all, devoting all their energy, time, effort and resources to their ideal of service. Indeed they respect everybody for his intrinsic good for they know that everybody can be instrumental to the building of a better world for one and all. They are also in the consciousness that difference is a necessity of life and hence respect everybody beyond all forms of differences such as religion, faith, culture, social, ethnic or economic background. To them all that matters is the human being within every one, the human being which is an expression of divine love.

3. Duties

Figures of service are at all times in the consciousness of their duties to others. Such consciousness is based on love and compassion for others and enables one to work towards improving the lot of the most destitute and the socially excluded ones. Such was the consciousness of eminent figures like Mother Teresa, Sister Emmanuelle and others.

Shaykh Ahmadou Bamba teaches us that there is only form of relationship, that is, our relationship with God. We only have duties towards the Creator. Hence the attainment of divine consciousness goes through the establishment of relationships with others on the basis of our duties towards them. It is only in this form of consciousness that it becomes possible to work towards a global project for the welfare of humanity based on the concept of solidarity and sharing.

4. Human resource

An agent of service, as an embodiment of unconditional love and compassion, strives, relentlessly, with his heart and soul, to awakening consciousness among the destitute around their human capital. In building a social project with the human being at the very centre, the only capital that matters is the human capital. In this perspective the agent of service leaves no stone unturned in creating the necessary conditions and social framework to enable the less fortunate ones to engage their human capital in positive action and work towards rediscovering human dignity, irrespective of differences.

5. Patience

Patience is a virtue that one must embody in order to tread the path of service. The realisation of an ideal only happens after numerous trials and tribulations. However in the path of love these are not difficulties; rather they constitute the essential elements required to strengthen our belief and our commitment to our ideal of service. Indeed this is the transformation process that deepens our conviction and strengthens our commitment to the service of humanity. Thus, as we tread the path of love and service we must necessarily develop such qualities as humility, endurance perseverance and patience.

6. Networking and team effort

A global project for the welfare of humanity can only be realised with team effort and a network of solidarity and sharing. Eminent figures of service like Mother Teresa, Sister Emmanuelle, Wangari Mathai, Jody Williams and many others have all created a network for the implementation of their thought. When Shaykh Ahmadou Bamba returned from exile he said to his disciples that the work accomplished in his absence would not have been any better had he been with them. This illustrates that with an effective network of solidarity and sharing an ideal can be made into a living reality even in the absence of he who initiates the project. Hence the importance of team effort in a spirit of solidarity and sharing for the realisation of any project for society geared towards the welfare of one and all.