Prestige and Genealogy
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
Meaning: O people! We created you from one man and one woman. And then divided you in nations and tribes, so that you may recognize one another. Undoubtedly the nobler amongst you is he who is the most pious in the sight of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. (49:13)
The above verse verifies that all the humans are equal based on being Adam’s children. However, the standard of distinction and nobility is piety.
Division of Humans
It is obvious from the verse above, that the human’s division in nations and clans is per Divine will. As a matter of fact, this division is ultimate and not unreasonable at all. Rather, a lot of wisdom is implicit in it. One reason is the recognition of the individual by his specific clan.
How is a Man or Clan recognized?
Recognition of a man or clan does not mean merely knowing his name, profession or the names of his ancestors. Instead, many factors are involved in ‘recognition’. For instance, which moral values does the respective community holds? Which traditions are related to his ancestors and which achievements his clan attained? In which fields of life have they been excelling and performing marvelous deeds. Such achievements and traits of the ancestors are the cause of recognition of the new generation. Furthermore, they also become the reason of their brought up and guidance per their splendid traditions.
Importance of Genealogy or Family Background
The achievements of the forefathers not only pride the new generation but also persuade them to perform great marvels. For sure, such values of ancestors inspire a thriving nation. On this basis, genealogy or family background hold great importance among the civilized and intellectual societies. However, now numerous forms of development are in place for the vastly spread population. The modern era does not emphasize much on genealogy, like the era two to three hundred years back.
Tribe or Clan of Prophet Mohammad
The Prophet Mohammad belonged to Banu Hashim the clan of Quraysh tribe. This tribe is the best of all the genealogies of the universe.
Hadiths about Quraysh Tribe
- Prophet Mohammad said about his clan and tribe,
“Allah made Kinanah the most respectable among the progeny of Prophet Ishmael. Quraysh were prestigious among the children of Kinanah. And Banu Hashim were the most honorable among Quraysh” (Muslim, Bukhari).
- It is related by Abu Huraira that Prophet Mohammad said,
“When Allah created the creatures, He sent Angel Gabriel who divided the people into two types. One of them was Arab and the other was non-Arab. Among these, Arabs were Allah’s selected people. The Arabs were of two kinds, Yemen and Mudhar. These led to another type, Quraysh. In Quraysh were Allah’s chosen people and then I was born in the best of the Quraysh. I am (the best) among them”. (Tabrani).
Prophet Mohammad was Born in the Best Clan
Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) was an Arab. He was undoubtedly born in the best clan or tribe. One of his Hadith states;
“Allah created the creation and sent me in the best of all their groups. Then he chose for me the best of the best tribes and the best of the best families. Thus, I am the best among them regarding my soul, existence and origin”. (Tirmidhi).
- Abdullah ibn Umar relates that he heard that the Holy Prophet said,
“The faithful never fosters grudge against the Arabs.” (Tabrani)
Difference Between Prestige and Genealogy:
Genealogy is actually the origin, race or bloodline of a person. It denotes whose progeny he belongs to. For instance, the progeny of Prophet Mohammad’s grandfather Hashim was ‘Banu Hashim’ whilst his brother Abd Shams was ‘Banu Omayyad’. Therefore, both the progenies made a separate clan. Enlargement and spread in progeny of one person forms a genealogy. In other words, we can say every genealogy trace back to one individual.
Genealogy of Prophet Mohammad
The genealogy or lineage of Holy Prophet connects back to Prophet Ishmael. Hence, he is from the nation of Ishmael, also known as ‘Bani Ishmael’ or ‘sons of Ishmael’. This nation originated from Prophet Ishmael’s brother Prophet Isaaq, of which Prophet Moses, Christ and other prophets came.
Prestige refers to the honour or greatness of a certain individual in a nation which lasts forever or till a few generations. It could be his wisdom, piety, knowledge, empire, wealth, prophethood, Faqr and mysticism or some other sagacity.
Prestige per Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun describes how family prestige changes over time in third and forth generation. He writes:
Prestige usually demolishes in the fourth generation because over time offspring cannot hold strong onto the values of their ancestors. The founder of the family regards the effort and struggle he has made to gain such status, esteem and respect. Therefore, he does not let lose those values and qualities that gave pre-eminence and famous background to family. Then the son, who has seen the ways of his father, also protects and values those qualities and achievements. He tries to pursue them to a large extent. Still the difference between father and son is the same as is between a performer and an observer. In other words, the difference between a proficient and a learner. (We can also say its just like difference between the truth of certainty i.e. haq al-yaqin and the knowledge of certainty i.e. ilm al-yaqin).
Prestige in Third Generation
According to Ibn Khaldun, the third generation adopts the path of forefathers merely to emulate. The glamour of the family honour is still intact though. Apparently, there seems no difference between grandfather and grandson but now the family prestige and eminence are superficial, not practical.
Prestige in Fourth Generation
At last, in the fourth generation there remains no family fascination as well. This generation does not account their elder’s struggle for the family prestige rather they consider it as an eternal spontaneous distinction. In this misapprehension they consider themselves above the family, clan, and community. They ultimately forego the qualities because of which once their family used to be honoured. The fourth generation is mentioned here broadly, otherwise certain families turn wayward even before this time.
Contrary to that, sometimes fifth and sixth generations may also maintain their family prestige.
Education on Genealogical Science
In the times of Holy Prophet every educated person used to get education of genealogical science. Umar Bin Khattab was one of the forty educated persons of Arab. His family was known for expertise in the science of genealogy. In that period, it was essential to keep every person’s genealogical record safe. Although nowadays, it is not important to keep genealogical record. Even then, people of several nations consider association with their community as a cause of their pride after religion.
Sultan Bahoo’s Pride on his Clan
Sultan Bahoo particularly mentions his clan ‘Awan’ in most of his writings because it is a reason of pride for him. This is because, Awans are the progeny of Ali Ibn Abi Talib from his wives other then Fatimah bint Mohammad. Therefore, to be proud of one’s community on the basis of traditions, values and achievements of forefathers is not non-Islamic or unfair. Although the element of vanity, arrogance and disgust for other communities is wrong. It makes the person of high race look down upon the people of low race and consider them worthless.
Islam looks down upon Arrogance on Genealogy
- Abu Huraira related that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said,
“People should not feel arrogant over their ancestors otherwise Allah would humiliate them more than the dung worm.” (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi)
- Related from Ahmad ibn Hanbal is the saying of the Holy Prophet,
“My nation possesses four attributes of the age of ignorance; (1) to be proud of one’s prestige and genealogy, (2) to taunt others for their genealogy, (3) to associate rain to stars, (4) to moan on dead body.
Iman Ghazali writes in Ihya ullum al-Din (Revival of Religious Sciences Vol III);
- It is arrogance that a prestigious and genealogically high person considers the person with a lower genealogy, valueless and lowly. Even if the latter is more educated, intellectual and pious than the former. Some people are so arrogant upon their genealogy that they think of others as their slaves. They hate to socialize or keep any relation with them. Often, they utter the notion of being arrogant upon their prestige. They look down upon other’s genealogy and consider it low or of worthless origin. They brag of being a son or the grandson of a noble man. To their credulity no one can dare to raise their voice or eyes in front of them.
Arrogance upon Genealogy is a Hidden illness
Arrogance upon genealogy is such a hidden illness in the innerself (nafs) that most people with a high genealogy suffer from it. Even the educated, intellectually strong or religious scholars seems to suffer from this inner ailment. In normal circumstances they tend to conceal it very well. As soon as the moment of anger and rage hit their nobility, they lose wisdom and manifest their self conceit.
Holy Prophet condemns Conceit on Genealogy
The following Hadith condemns such arrogance;
- A companion asked the Holy Prophet, “O Prophet! Is it a prejudice to love one’s community?” The Holy Prophet answered, “No! Rather prejudice is to help one’s community in committing oppression.” (Sunan Ibn Majah).
- Versala ibn Ashfa asked, “O Prophet! What is prejudice?” He replied, “To be helpful to the community in atrocity.”
It is related in Sunan Abu Dawud that the Holy Prophet said, “He who invited (people) for racism does not belong to us.”
The Islamic Concept of Prestige and Genealogy
Islamic concept of genealogy is that all humans are the progeny of one father Adam and one mother Eve. Genealogically, all human beings are equal, nobody is superior or inferior to other. The base of superiority and greatness is the prestige earned by a person himself and not his bloodline. The fact is that the value of man is due to his skill and talent not because of his genealogy. However, if one possesses skill, talent, prestige and high genealogy simultaneously then it adds to the greatness.
Ali Al-Murtaza, who is the gateway to Faqr says:
اَلنَّاسُ مِنْ جِھْۃِ التَّمْثَالِ اَکْفَائِ اَبُوْھُمْ آدَمُ وَالْاُمُّ حَوَّا
Meaning: Physically, all the human beings are equal, their father is Adam and mother is Eve.
Standard of Superiority in Islam
The base of superiority in Islam is not genealogy, rather it is piety. Prophet Mohammad said in his farewell sermon:
“O people! Beware and listen carefully! Your Lord is one and listen carefully! Your father is one. Listen and pay close attention! An Arab is no superior over a non-Arab, nor a white over a black (merely because of lineage, community, country or region). Superior is only the one who is man of piety (i.e. the possessor of Faqr).”
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) also said:
مَنْ سَلَکَ عَلٰی طَرِیْقِیْ فَھُوَ آلِی
Meaning: Whoever followed my path (Faqr), is my progeny.
Allah says about the people of Faqr:
* فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَھُ
Meaning: We granted superiority to some over others (17:21).
وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَھُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجٰتٍ . الزخرف۔32
Meaning: We raised the grades of some upon others. (43:32)
Genealogical Tree of Prophet Mohammad
Before discussing further, it is necessary to elaborate the genealogy of Prophet Mohammad. Some scholars have described the Prophets’ genealogical tree from his father Abdullah upto Adam. Contrary to that some described it from Abdullah to Prophet Abraham. However, the authentic saying is that the record of his ancestry from Abdullah to Adnan is undoubtedly correct. Moreover, whenever the Holy Prophet described his genealogical tree, he ended it upon Adnan and never proceeded ahead. Umar ibn Khattab also used to describe his lineage upto Adnan. Though, all the researchers and historians agree that the ancestor of Adnan is Prophet Ishmael, son of Prophet Abraham. We also start the genealogical tree of the Holy Prophet from Adnan.
Markedly, Islam permits to know and describe one’s prestige and genealogy in the best words. Numerous Hadiths verify it as a Sunna (ways and manners) of the Holy Prophet. Only if it is a feeling of pride in a positive way and without any arrogance. It is also a way of being thankful to Allah on being born in a good nation.
Prestige and Genealogy of Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman
We elaborated the prestige and genealogy of our spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. Although, he does not believe in racial pride. We have discussed his family background and other details, so his disciples and devotees may get to know him better. He never affixed title of his caste or community with his name. His creed is only piety. Whenever he is asked about his community or sect, the answer is always the following verse of Bulleh Shah;
بلھے شاہ دی ذات نہ کائی
میں شوہ عنایت پایا اے
Meaning: Bulleh Shah has no caste, I am the same as my spiritual guide Inayat is. My honour and status is only because of my relation to him.
The Prestige of Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is ‘Faqr’
Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman belongs to the greatest prestige of the universe i.e. Faqr. Faqr is the best blessing of the universe and the greatest standard of prestige and eminence. Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman has himself earned the prestige of Faqr for his family. Faqr is the unique spiritual legacy of Holy Prophet. Therefore, he belongs to this sacred spiritual progeny. The following Hadith of Prophet verifies it;
مَنْ سَلَکَ عَلٰی طَرِیْقِیْ فَھُوَ آلِیْ
“Whoever followed my path (Faqr), is my progeny”
Lineage of Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is ‘Arain’
As regards of lineage, Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman belongs to the Arain caste. Several pious men of this community have been honoured of sainthood. Bulleh Shah’s spiritual guide Inayat Hussain, Sher Mohammad (Sharaqpur) and Karam Elahi also belonged to Arain caste. Apart from them, countless Saints belonged to this community (For detail, consult Saleem-ul-Tawarikh and other books upon Arain history). After migrating from Arab to India (Sub-continent), this community settled in the regions of Multan and Uch (District Bahawalpur). Even today, hundreds of graves and shrines of its Saints are present there. On this basis Uch is called Uch Sharif (the esteemed Uch) out of respect. In short, Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is noble not only in lineage, but also in regard to genealogy. As he belongs to the great community of Arain that is among the blue blood castes.
Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman did not Inherit Faqr
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s elders, especially his great grandfather and father were eminent in asceticism and possessed high levels in mysticism. Nonetheless, in the present era, he is the perfect and accomplished Mystic of the Arain community. He is the source of eminent pride for it. He did not inherit the wealth of Faqr. Rather he attained this blessing due to his unprecedented struggle, sincerity and ardent love for Allah, Allah’s Prophet and his spiritual guide. He did not find inner peace despite of having all the worldly wealth. This led him to the search of the Divine Truth. He successfully passed all the hardships and trials in Faqr. Eventually, he reached at the exalted level of the perfectly accomplished spiritual guide of the present era.