The following is a summary of the Ihya Ulum-Uddin class on 07/06/2021, written by one of our students.
Ulema consider true Ilham (divine inspiration) as being almost impossible to receive. It’s extremely rare for someone to cut themselves off entirely from the world, and rarer still to maintain such a state. Moreover, the heart is vulnerable to waswasa (evil whispers), so its experiences are not always reliable. Someone may think they are receiving Ilham when really its misleading whispers. Indeed people who choose to pursue a spiritual path are in danger of self-delusion. They could develop false beliefs, mistaking it for true guidance. This is why its important for everyone to get a basic level of Islamic knowledge, even if they want to devote their lives to the Sufi path. This will protect against misleading whispers and delusions from the nafs and shaytan, about Allah (s.w.t) and His religion. As the rightly guided Sufis said, “there is no spiritual truth without Shariah”.
Most believers exist in a state of Nafs-al-Lawwama, meaning the reproachful/guilty self. This means they go back and forth between resolving to be good and then slipping up, then repenting and trying again. Most believers also exist in a state of Qalaq, meaning restlessness. Only very few achieve the state of Nafs al-Mutamainnah, meaning the tranquil soul, in this world. However all believers will attain this tranquil state in the next world, before entering Jannah.