The Miftahu’l-Wird, or ‘Key to the Source’, is the name of the collection of portions of the Qur’an and Du’a collected together by Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib al-Idrisi al-Hasani for his fuqara.
Wird can mean a part or section but here, as the title suggests it is a means of arriving at water for the thirsty. It also has the meaning of arriving at water after having been without it and an element of time as in the watering of animals at particular times of day. This relates also to the traditional daily gathering of the fuqara after Subh and Maghrib to recite it together. For the people of the path it is literally a quenching that revives and fortifies. It has the power that water does for the man parched by the sun.
Source also indicates the place where what we need to survive is accessible and uncontaminated by addition or admixture. We have gone upstream, left the villages behind and climbed the slopes to a high point where none come except those who desire this purity. This may be picturesque but the analogy is meant to indicate the reality of the event of the wird.
It being the ‘key’ to the ‘source’ also relates to the Shaykh directly, in that it is what connects the murid to his source –his Shaykh, and this is the fuqara’s most direct meaning. It is the stream of pure knowledge that emanates from the one in Allah’s and His Rasul’s presence; what other source is there? The one who performs the wird in word, state and heart will find him or herself in that pure presence.
All this is saying is do not take the wird for granted; do not let the daily recitation become a mindless habit but go to it with expectation and awe as you do when you enter the presence of your Shaykh, for this is its reality. Approaching it in this manner will make it a means for the faqir and faqirah to see the world and their own existence differently; it will banish indifference and awaken insight into the importance and fullness of each moment. The one who attends it in this manner never leaves empty-handed, again in the same way as when you leave the company of the man of Allah, even if you do not understand what is in your possession.
The wird has resonance literally and in meaning. It is an Arabic resonance and for those of us from non-Arab backgrounds, it has to be learnt in its original form. Much of course is directly from Allah’s book and is well known; other parts have been handed down by the men of Allah over centuries and its great Du’a are from Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib himself. It is not enough to just recite it along with others in a group without knowing what it is you are saying, and I mean in Arabic or your own language. If you understand Arabic, all well and good; if not then you must know what the Arabic means as you recite it because the meanings are the cups of its states and the resonance I am talking about is upon the heart. It is good for the fuqara to go over it together line by line and to study it individually until satisfied that it has been understood by the intellect as a precursor to its grasping the heart with its meanings.
It is not something other than Qur’an; indeed it is all from it and is a great assistance for the faqir to the greatest of Books and Recitations. To understand more profoundly what it is refer to Shaykh ibn al-Habib’s own commentary on it in his Diwan.
With the Miftahu’l-Wird in the heart the faqir will never grieve nor fear.