Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen | The Great Leader
If we look at the vast pages of history, many reformers and conquerors accomplished great feats and proved themselves. Many brave warriors won everyone’s love through valor. Personalities shook the world with innovative thinking and guidance. We find numerous advocates of moral virtues and founders of diverse religions. However, the scope of achievements of all such personalities is limited and remained within the limits of a particular class or era. But the great personality whose role is best and ideal in any chapter of life, be it political or economic, religious or spiritual, moral or social, individual or collective, private or international. Even today, despite the passage of 1400+ years, his impact on people is still profound. Indeed, this personality is the Holy Prophet (pbuh), a rare gem of greatness and crown of both worlds.
The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History
The great achievements that the Holy Prophet accomplished during his lifetime are admirable. So are those of his companions after his departure from this world. Author Michael Hart listed the Holy Prophet as number one in his book “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History”. He acknowledged his charismatic personality and the fact that he was a great leader.
- We see that the Arab conquests of the seventh century have continued to play an important role in human history, down to
the present day. It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history. (The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History)
No doubt, the Holy Prophet is a great leader and the Universal Divine Man. Someone is a great leader only if he follows the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, there must be a great leader in every era for the welfare and guidance of humanity by Allah’s Will, one that is the Holy Prophet’s successor and follows his footsteps, someone whom he himself chooses for the Divine Trust i.e. the trust of Faqr. That vicegerent and possessor of the Divine Trust in the present era is Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. His every act accurately follows the Holy Prophet’s Sunna and every step he takes is in his footsteps.
- Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen was born in Bukhshan Khan, Tehsil Chishtian, District Bahawalnagar, Pakistan. He was born on August 19, 1959 (14 Safar 1379 AH) Wednesday at 4:30 a.m. His father named him Najib-ur-Rehman. The Divine light of Truth radiated from his forehead. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s spiritual guide, Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali used to say to him “Allah has inscribed good fortune on your forehead.” (Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen)
- Sultan ul Ashiqeen’s mother relates that a Dervish often visited her house every couple of months. Once he came to the house and said after seeing the baby “Your son is a leader. Wherever he lives, he will lead. More so, Allah will humiliate, denounce and deprave the people who hold grudge and enmity against him.” (Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen)
Praise to Allah! What glory Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen has. From his childhood, there were clear signs of leadership in his personality. Certainly, he is the chief of Divine lovers, leader of the era and perfect spiritual guide. Describing his great personality in one article is like placing a river in a jar. However, some of his personality traits as a great leader are presented for the readers.
Similarity to the Holy Prophet
In Faqr, a great leader is the one who trains his disciples exactly like the Holy Prophet trained his Companions.
A Hadith Says:
اَلشَّیْخُ فِیْ قَوْمِہٖ کَنَبِیٍّ فِیْ اُمَّتِہٖ Translation: A spiritual guide is among his people as a Prophet is among his nation.
Similar to how the Holy Prophet started outward and inward training, preaching and taking pledge of allegiance for the welfare of the Muslim umma, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen also regularly preaches by Allah’s command. And following the Messenger, started taking pledge of allegiance for his disciples’ training on 14 August 2005 AD (7 Rajab 1426 AH). From the day he adorned the throne of Divine guidance, he strives every moment for the great mission of calling towards Allah.
Allama Iqbal says:
ہے وہی تیرے زمانے کا امامِ برحق
جو تجھے حاضر و موجود سے بیزار کرے
دے کے احساسِ زیاں تیرا لہو گرما دے
فقر کی سان چڑھا کر تجھے تلوار کرے
Explanation: The righteous Imam of your era who deserves this title is the one who diverts your attention from the material world (towards Allah) and makes you disgusted by the short-lived pleasures of the world. He should make you realize that the time you have spent without the desire and struggle for the Divine vision and union is wasted, thus making you eager to achieve them. For this, he leads you on the path of Faqr and makes you strong like a sword i.e. you renounce everything for Allah and cross every hurdle with perseverance and strength. (Zarb-e-Kalim)
Evidently, one of the distinguishing characteristics of a great leader is that he has an extremely attractive and inspiring personality. He has a unique aura and charisma and people automatically go towards him. They try to be like him. If we study Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s personality, it is a true reflection of this. To date, he himself has not insisted any disciple to perform duties for the organization. Every disciple aspires for his closeness. They always offer themselves for his service in order to be close to him.
Clarity of Vision
A true leader is one who has a clear vision of his goals and lays the foundation of a movement or system to realize his objectives. He selects the best people to achieve his goals and instills the vision and courage to work towards a common goal in the team he assembles.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman has set his goals very clearly. To achieve these goals on Friday October 23, 2009 AD (3 Dhu al-Qa’dah 1430 AH) he founded ’Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr’. The objectives for which he founded Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr are listed in its manifesto.
On one occasion, he talked about his duties and purpose as a perfect spiritual guide. He said that his objectives include consolidating the teachings of Sultan Bahoo, revealing to the Muslim umma the true leaders of Sarwari Qadri Order, building a center of Faqr i.e. a center from which the blessings of Muhammadan Faqr can be conveyed to people. He achieved his goals in an unparalleled manner due to his brilliant strategy and plan of action. Everything he has done to promote the truth proves him as the best and greatest leader of the present century.
Reviver of Religion and Man of Insight
ہزاروں سال نرگس اپنی بے نُوری پہ روتی ہے
بڑی مشکل سے ہوتا ہے چمن میں ’دیدہ ور‘ پیدا
Explanation: For years, Narcissus (Muslim nation) cries for the Divine light (of the Universal Divine Man). A visionary is born once in ages (who alters the fate of mankind). (Bang-e-Dara)
A true spiritual leader is the reviver of religion. He renews it according to the requirements of his era. Moreover, a true leader diagnoses the reason for deterioration of his era for the revival of religion. He transforms his disciples into honorable people and unites them by spiritually healing them. Undoubtedly, these qualities are prominent in Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s personality. He revived the religion and acquainted people with the true spirit of Islamic teachings. It was these efforts that got him the title of Shabeeh-e-Ghaus-e-Azam (The Reflection of al-Ghawth al-Azam). He was given this title because he worked day and night to revive the religion like Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani.
The Rashidun Caliphates and Saints had the same objective: to show the Muslim umma the right path and to encourage the seekers of truth towards eternal journey of spiritual training by confronting the fitnah and challenges that arose in their times. During Abu Bakr Siddiq’s caliphate, the biggest fitnah was false claims of prophethood and refusal to give Zakat. He ended these fitnah superbly. Umar ibn al- Khattab’s caliphate was a golden era in terms of governance. Muslim rule had spread to faraway areas. Likewise, in Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s era, sectarianism was at its peak. He rid Muslims of this fitnah by training them religiously and spiritually.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen has repeatedly diagnosed the fitnah and spiritual afflictions of this era. He also advises his disciples to stay safe from these fitnah. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen deems hypocrisy, materialism and superficiality to be the major fitnah of this age. Diligently, he invites towards spiritual purification to be safe from inner diseases (desires of the self) and illuminates his disciples’ inwards with Ism-e-Allah Zaat’s light. Introducing Sultan Bahoo’s teachings in this era of materialism is Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s greatest favor for the Muslim umma.
دنیا کو ہے اُس ’مہدیِ برحق‘ کی ضرورت
ہو جس کی نِگہ زلزلۂ عالمِ افکار
Explanation: The world direly needs that righteous guide whose sight creates an upheaval in the seeker’s thoughts and spiritual being. He diverts his attention away from this world towards Divinity. (Zarb-e-Kalim)
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s Khalifa Sultan Mohammad Abdullah Iqbal verifies his role as a great leader saying:
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman has revolutionized the world of Faqr and Sufism. The method of Sufis was of a different nature before him, which was the traditional style. He established an organized system “Tehreek Dawat-e- Faqr” to spread the Divine beneficence. Moreover, he has modernized it, which is the characteristic of a reviver.
Definitely, this efficacy is at utmost prominence in my spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. The passion with which he sacrificed his life and wealth in the path of Allah reminds one of Abu Bakr Siddiq. His excellence in knowledge, intellect and wisdom is reminiscent of Umar ibn Khattab. His generosity shows the beneficence of Usman ibn Affan. It is certain that his Faqr is the same trust of Faqr that transferred from Ali ibn Talib to Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and then to Sultan Bahoo. Now Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is their spiritual heir.
Due to his personality, character and the steps he took for the revival of true religion, it is commonly acknowledged that today the essence of Islam exists is in the form of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen.
The Khalifa Sultan Mohammad Ahsan Ali says about Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s leadership skills:
My perfect spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad
Najib-ur-Rehman holds unparalleled leadership skills. He recognizes disciples’ hidden abilities and gives them responsibilities accordingly on the path of Faqr. Along with that, he further improves these qualities with his spiritual sight so that they may utilize their abilities effectively. It is a miracle of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s company that disciples also start developing leadership skills within themselves. The best leader has the ability to develop leaders.
A great leader is the one who not only plays the ideal role but also prepares leaders. So that when needed, those under him can properly run the system he established. They will spread the vision whose candle their great leader has lit within them. In fact, an ideal leader (perfect spiritual guide) transfers his attributes into his disciples. He trains their inwards such that they can prove their abilities to the world and continue his mission to perfection. One can find great leadership in the Holy Prophet’s life. The Holy Prophet’s impeccable training made his Companions spread Islam in every corner of the world. They achieved such great victories that even today non-Muslim powers fear Muslim unity.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen trains his sincere and loyal disciples, brings out leadership skills in them and appoints them for Khilafat. This proves that his every step is in the Holy Prophet’s footsteps. And that every style of his training is exactly a reflection of the Holy Prophet’s Sunnah. Truly, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s Khalifas are continuing his mission perfectly and they are running each department of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr effectively.
Allama Iqbal says:
وہی ہے صاحبِ امروز جس نے اپنی ہمّت سے
زمانے کے سمندر سے نکالا گوہرِ فردا
Explanation: Universal Divine Man is the ruler upon time. He, with his ability takes pearls out of the ocean of time. He is the man of today who not only foresees tomorrow but also prepares for it beforehand. (Bal-e-Jibril)
True Leader is a Role Model
The Holy Prophet presented himself as role model for practical observation of every act, whether it was facing the hardships of preaching or digging a trench in the Battle of Trench. The Companions tied a stone to their stomachs to control thirst. But the Holy Prophet was so parched he tied two stones to his stomach.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen made this attribute of the Holy Prophet the base of his leadership. Be it sacrifice, service of spiritual guide, courage, generosity or hard work! He set the best example. From the day he founded Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr his style is as follows. First he researches and does the work himself. Afterward, he forms a team dedicated to the work. He trains them outwardly and inwardly so they may perform best and progress. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen has upheld his role as a true leader.
Allama Iqbal said:
نگہ بلند، سخن دِل نواز، جاں پُرسوز
یہی ہے رختِ سفر میر کارواں کے لیے
Explanation: He (the Universal Divine Man) is the leader of the caravan (of seekers of Allah) whose belongings are high determination, winsome speech and a passionate soul. (Bal-e-Jibril)
Living among the Public
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman has been bestowed with great titles such as Shan-e-Faqr (Glory of Faqr) and Aftab-e-Faqr (Sun of Faqr). He is the knower of the hidden truth, lover and beloved of Allah and the Holy Prophet. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is Imam and reviver of this era and Qutb of all Qutbs. His spiritual status is ever increasing because of the steps he took for the religion. Even with the highest status, he is so humble that he always shows himself as an ordinary man. He has been among common people and has treated their sorrows and sufferings. Every Sunday he blesses everyone with his celestial company at Khanqah Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. We see that if someone gets a high position, he becomes so arrogant he dislikes interaction with common people. Contrarily, Khanqah Sultan-ul- Ashiqeen is always open to everyone to be blessed with Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s celestial company.
Continuous Struggle and Persistence
Whatever field of life, continuous struggle and perseverance are indispensable for success. Persistence is specialty of Sultan-ul-
Ashiqeen’s personality. Certainly, his life is a continuous struggle. He devoted his life to Faqr ever since he adorned the throne of Divine guidance. The outward and inward training of disciples, responsibilities of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr, compiling or authoring of books, he does not waste a moment. The system he established through Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr in a few years shows his distinguished quality of being a great leader. He utilized continuous struggle and persistence to reach this position and rank.
Wisdom and Insight
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is blessed with Divine wisdom. He makes decisions with patience and wisdom. And he solves complex problems in such a way that amazes the intellect bound in time and space. Even with his adversaries, he settles matters with such wisdom that they become persuaded by his wisdom.
Ever since Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen adorned the throne of Divine guidance, forces of evil are active against him. But he has always faced them with mountain-like courage. What can be a better example of his great courage than that he started his work as a single person from a small room? Today, due to his high spirit, there are thousands of his disciples and devotees in many countries around the world.
میں اکیلا ہی چلا تھا جانبِ منزل مگر
لوگ ساتھ آتے گئے اور کارواں بنتا گیا
On a few occasions, employees of some powerful organizations opposed Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen while using their powers illegitimately and illegally. He showed such great courage that they panicked and fled, then they did not dare to disturb him.
His personality is just like this stanza of Allama Iqbal:
ہو حلقہٴ یاراں تو بریشم کی طرح نرم
رزمِ حق و باطل ہو تو فولاد ہے مومن
Explanation: In a group of friends, a true believer is compassionate and soft as silk. While in the battle of good and evil, he is strong and firm like iron. (Zarb-e-Kalim)
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen believes in living a disciplined life. Evidently, his life is a great example of discipline. He does everything on time. Sleeping and waking up, eating, reading, writing, monitoring the departments of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr, meeting disciples, etc.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen says about the value of time:
- Strive in life such that when you look back tomorrow, you will not regret that you wasted a moment of your life.
Importance of Slogan:
The greatness and foresight of any leader and the importance of his ideology can be gauged by his edicts or his slogans. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen introduced two great slogans for the welfare of Muslim umma.
Sayings of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen:
- Spread love and stop hate. Connect people, not tear them apart. Respect others’ honor, do not dishonor them.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s presence proves that Allah is still sending Saints as great leaders for the good of His creation. May Allah bless him with a long life and keep us under his protection forever. (Ameen)
Some qualities of a great leader are:
- Attractive Personality
- Clarity of Vision
- Leadership Skills
- Struggle and Persistence
- Wisdom and Insight
- Great Courage
Abu Bakr Siddiq, Umar ibn Khattab, Usman ibn Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib are some examples of great leaders in Islam. The greatest example of a great leader is clearly the Holy Prophet (pbuh)
- Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen made the attributes of the Holy Prophet base of his leadership. Be it sacrifice, service of spiritual guide, courage, generosity or hard work! He set the best example. He researches and does the work himself. Afterward, he forms a team dedicated to the work. He trains them outwardly and inwardly so they may perform best and
- Even with the highest status, he is so humble that he always shows himself as an ordinary man.
- Persistence is specialty of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s personality. His life is continuous struggle. He devoted his life to Faqr ever since he adorned the throne of Divine guidance.
This blog is English translation of an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the month of August, 2023. The title of the Urdu article is:
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman Madzilla-ul-Aqdas Azeem Rahnuma (سلطان العاشقین حضرت سخی
سلطان محمد نجیب الرحمٰن مدظلہ الاقدس عظیم رہنما).
Originally penned by Fatima Burhan Sarwari Qadri from Lahore is translated in English by Mohammad Bin Moghees Sarwari Qadri.