Sultan ul Ashiqeen
The Manifestation of Divine Essence
Hadiths of the Holy Prophet sall’ Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam state that
اَلۡمُوۡمِنُ مِرۡآۃُ الرَّحۡمٰن
Meaning: The true believer (Mumin) is the mirror of the most Compassionate (Rehman).
اَلۡمُوۡمِنُ مِرۡآۃُ الۡمُوۡمِنۡ
Meaning: The true believer is the mirror of the true believer.
In the explanation of this Hadith, Sufis say that the true believer mentioned first in the Hadith denotes Allah because Mumin is one of the attributive names of Allah while the one mentioned second represents the sacred self of the Universal Divine Man, the Holy Prophet.
In pre-existence when Mohammadan light (Nur-e-Mohammad) was separated from the Divine light, Allah beheld His Own reflection in it due to its absolute subtlety and pellucidity.
Similarly Divine light also became a mirror of the Mohammadan light, but Mohammadan light while not seeing his reflection saw his Lord. He bowed in front of Allah while negating his being and exclaimed:
لَآ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ
Meaning: There is no one worthy of worship but Allah.
The ultimate level of Faqr
In the path of Faqr, the highest and final station of Mystics is to perish their being and annihilate in the Divine Essence. This final station of Faqr is called station of annihilation in Hoo, Unity, annihilation in Allah and becoming immortal with Allah or union with Allah.
In general terms, one who reaches this station is known as the Universal Divine Man (al-Insan al-Kamil).
As the Holy Prophet said:
اِذَا تَمَّ الۡفَقۡرُ فَھُوَ اللّٰہ
Meaning: When Faqr is accomplished, there is Allah.
The Universal Divine Man is the esoteric successor of the Holy Prophet
- When a seeker reaches the ultimate stage of Faqr, he acquires the status of the Universal Divine Man by attributing with all the attributes of Allah.
- Prophet Mohammad sall’ Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam is the most perfect and pre-eminent of all humans and is the successor of Allah. After the Holy Prophet, his successors achieved this status through his medium.
- There is always a person in the world who follows the footsteps of the Holy Prophet. This person is the Universal Divine Man, possessor of the Divine trust, representative of Allah, and an esoteric vicegerent of the Holy Prophet. Allah runs the system of the universe through him. At this spiritual level, the difference of me and you vanish, and the Universal Divine Man acquires such state of oneness with Allah that there remains no duality.
- Allah says in a Qudsi Hadith:
وما یزال عبدی یتقرب الٰی بالنوافل حتٰی احبہ فاذا احببتہ کنت سمعہ الذی یسمع بہ و بصرہ الذی یبصربہ و یدہ التی یبطش بھا ورجلہ التی یمشی بھا۔
Meaning: My slave keeps on coming closer to me through voluntary prayers to the point that I begin to love him. Thus I become his ears and he hears from them. I become his sight through which he sees. And I become his hands with which he holds, and I become his feet with which he walks. (Bukhari 6502)
The Universal Divine Man is the ultimate Divine Essence
- The Universal Divine Man is the representation, countenance, and reflection of Allah. He is the ultimate Divine Essence.
- The entity of the Universal Divine Man grants the HaHooiyat (Incomparable and Unknowable) of Allah the physical existence of ‘I’. That is to say, before the existence of the Universal Divine Man, the name Hoo for Allah was present but there was no existence whom He could address as ‘I’. Thus the existence of the Universal Divine Man is the self of Allah. For this reason, Quran uses words like hands of Allah, and face of Allah even when he has no hands, feet, and face either. At the realm of Incomparable and Unknowable He is just a light (an-Nur). In fact, rather transcendent than light Who cannot be exemplified by anything else. As the verse below states:
لَیْسَ کَمِثْلہٖ شَیْئٍ
Meaning: He cannot be likened to anything.
Hence the existence of the HaHooiyat of Allah is in fact the being of the Universal Divine Man. His hands are Allah’s hands, his feet are Allah’s feet, his face is Allah’s face, his speech is Allah’s speech and the discourse about him is in fact the discourse about Allah. (Mirat-ul-Arifeen)
Allama Iqbal expresses about the level of annihilation in Faqr
ہاتھ ہے اللہ کا، بندہ مومن کا ہاتھ
غالب و کار آفریں، کارکشا کارساز
خاکی و نوری نہاد، بندہ مولیٰ صفات
ہر دو جہاں سے غنی، اس کا دل بے نیاز
Explanation: The hand of a true believer (the Universal Divine Man) is in fact, the hand of Allah. As a matter of fact he is predominant, the authoritative, problem solver and the ultimate help and favour. Although his existence is combination of soil and Divine light (Noor / Nur) but he possesses all attributes of Allah. Like Him, he holds all the treasures and riches of both the worlds, yet his is indifferent to everything.
Thus the Universal Divine Man is an exact manifestation and a reflection of Allah. He reflects the theophanies of Divine Essence, attributes, and His names. The Universal Divine Man acquires all attributes and virtues of Allah.
As is the Hadith of the Holy Prophet:
قَلْبُ الْمُوْمِنْ عَرْشَ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی
Meaning: The inward of a true believer is the throne of Allah.
Allah says in a Qudsi Hadith:
لَا یَسْعُنِیْ اَرْضِیْ وَلَا سَمَآئِیْ وَلٰکِنْ یَّسْعُنِیْ قَلْبُ عَبْدِ الْمُؤْمِنْ
Meaning: Neither the Earth can possess me nor the skies but the inward of a true believer can possess me.
Imam Husayn writes about the Universal Divine Man
Imam Husayn razi Allah anhu writes in his book Mirat-ul-Arifeen:
- The entire Holy Quran is in sura Al-Fatiha. Sura Al-Fatiha is in Bismillah (بسم اللہ) and Ism-e-Allah Zaat is present in the inward of the Universal Divine Man. This is why, the Universal Divine Man is both the compact as well as the detailed form of all the attributes of Allah and His Essence.
- Thus because of this resemblance the Universal Divine Man is a complete and pure reflection of Allah and the Divine Essence is manifested in the Universal Divine Man comprehensively and abridgedly.
- As the way one cannot recognize one’s own face without seeing the mirror. Similarly Allah did not recognize Himself until He created a His mirror in the form of Universal Divine Man. Also a mirror holds no reality unless one holds one’s countenance in it. Hence face and a mirror are part and parcel of each other. A mirror is what it holds. This mirror is the Universal Divine Man and the countenance reflected from it is that of Allah Almighty. Allah creates this mirror with His theophany then holds his countenance in it by casting His theophany. The mirror gains the existence from Divine theophany and grants Allah’s vision to Him. Thus the mirror is exactly a Divine theophany and the Divine theophany is exactly the mirror. The Universal Divine Man is the countenance of Allah. That is both are exactly the same. (Mirat-ul-Arifeen)
The Universal Divine Man in words of Abdul Karim bin Ibrahim al-Jilli
The Universal Divine Man is the one who truly deserves to possess all the names and real attributes of Allah as per order of the Divine Essence. For Allah he is like a mirror. As the way one cannot watch one’s face without a mirror, the Universal Divine Man also cannot see his real being without the mirror of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, as it is his mirror. The same way, the Universal Divine Man is like a mirror to Allah. As a matter of fact, Allah has made it necessary upon Himself to see all His names and attributes only in him. (Insan-e-Kamil)
Every manifested being sees whatever is manifested in his own being
The Holy Prophet says in a Hadith:
I am the pellucid mirror of the Divine Essence. The reality of everything as well as the manifestations of attributes of Divine beauty and majesty are expressed through me. Every manifested being sees in me whatever is manifested in his own being. Hence, Abu Bakr Siddiq sees in me whatever is in him (i.e. beauty, compassion, marvels, kindness etc.) that is why Abu Bakr says about me:
ومارایت احسن صور صورۃ منک
Meaning: I have not seen anyone as beautiful as you.
While the cursed Abu Jahl sees in me whatever is in him (i.e. depravity, denial, evil) and says about himself:
فارایت اقبح صورۃ منہ
Meaning: I have not seen any face uglier than his.
Hence Abu Bakr Siddiq saw himself in me and described his own beauty while Abu Jahl also saw himself in me and beheld his own depravity and ugliness. However, neither I am this nor that, though I reflect everyone according to his attributes. (Mirqat-ul-Salikeen exegesis of Mirat-ul-Arifeen)
The Universal Divine Man of the present era
Since the purpose behind the creation of this universe is the expression of Divine Essence and His attributes, hence it is impossible that there does not exist an entity who is a complete reflection of Divine Essence and His attributes and a representative of Allah. In the present times that perfect entity is the sacred being of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is the sole bearer and a spiritual heir of Divine trust bestowed to him by the Holy Prophet. This is not in view of a verbal talk, but a fact based on the observations as well as personal experiences of all the disciples that the sacred self of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is the perfect manifestation of all Divine attributes and Divine Essence.
One needs the light of insight to recognize the Universal Divine Man
One needs to possess the light of insight to understand the reality of the Universal Divine Man. An ordinary man tangled between the chains of inciting innerself cannot recognize his reality. This recognition comes after self-recognizing oneself, only then Allah reveals His secrets.
The Universal Divine Man is the manifestation of Allah and descendant of the Holy Prophet, how could spiritually blind people lacking the light of insight recognize him? Only those seekers reach such a perfect spiritual guide who come out with the desire of gaining the gnosis and vision of Allah and a presence in assembly of Prophet Mohammad. The ones with pure inward see the reflection of Allah in him. For others he is merely a reflection of their own inward. That is to say, the one with true inward sees the truth in the Universal Divine Man. In contrast, the one with false inward only sees false in him.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen manifests Divine Essence and all His attributes
The esoteric self of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is a mirror to Allah and his exoteric self is the Divine light about which Allah says:
نَوْرٌ عَلٰی نُوْرٍط یَھْدِیْ اللّٰہُ لِنُوْرِہٖ مَنْ یَّشَآءُ ( النور۔35)
Meaning: (So it) is light upon light (i.e., the light of Prophethood upon the light of the Divine Essence). Allah takes to (the gnosis of) His light whom He wills. (An-Nur 35)
The perfect and matchless personality of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen possesses and reflects all the attributes of Allah which are observed perpetually by his disciples. These attributes reflect from his enlightened inward like a beam of light. However, it needs is an eye of observation. Below we describe some of his Divine attributes observed by his disciples.
The giver of tranquility
Indeed it is one of the Divine attributes of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. A true seeker after joining the company of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen clearly feels to have arrived in security. He finds himself safe from the tricks of Satan and the deceptions of inciting innerself. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen protects his disciples from the troubles and worries of the world. If a disciple does face a problem, he finds comfort by feeling the proximity of his spiritual guide every moment and gains salvation from it sooner with the beneficence of his spiritual guide.
The all-hearing and the all-aware
Sultan Bahoo writes in Risala Roohi Sharif:
عارف کامل قادری بہر قدرتے قادر و بہر مقام حاضر
Explanation: The perfect Mystic of Qadri order (spiritual guide of the Sarwari Qadri order) is empowered to do everything and is present everywhere. He is omnipotent and omnipresent.
Sultan Bahoo further writes in Ain-ul-Faqr:
A perfect spiritual guide knows every stage and waystation of the inward way. He is a problem solver of every esoteric problem. A perfect spiritual guide is the one who is aware of all states, words, deeds, acts, level of gnosis and closeness to Allah, thoughts, arguments, and also the considerations of the seeker.
Indeed it is a mutual observation of all the disciples of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen that they always feel his proximity. They feel his presence and his sacred self being aware of their situations. It is to the point that if a thought occurs inwardly or in mind of a disciple in the enlightened gatherings of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, he finds a perfect and comprehensive answer to it right there and then. Through this, the seeker gains a perfect belief that his spiritual guide is well informed of the inward states. Thus, the seekers of Allah, whether present in Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s gatherings or are living in any corner of the world, they gain equal beneficence of his beneficial spiritual sight.
The problem solver
In his book Ain-ul-Faqr, Sultan Bahoo says:
A true spiritual guide is like a shady tree, he endures the severity of weathers himself and provides shade and comfort to those sitting under it. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen helps his disciples every moment both exoterically and esoterically and takes them out of every difficulty. Many disciples observe their problems getting solved instantly with his beneficence and the favour of Allah. Be it a depression, an incurable disease, a financial hardship, restlessness, detachment from Allah and the Holy Prophet, disappointment or not having kids.
The intelligence and wisdom of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen are second to none. His knowledge is remarkable not only in religious and spiritual matters but also in worldly matters. The writings and conversations of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen reflect his ultimate knowledge. His perfection especially in the knowledge of inspiration (ilm al-Laduni) is unmatchable. When people present their exoteric or esoteric problems, he guides them with extreme intelligence and wisdom.
All the disciples have a common impression and observation that if someone makes a mistake, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen instantly forgives them. He never afflicts anyone. If there is ever a need to correct someone, he does so very affectionately and uses polite but effective words. Resultantly the person corrects his mistake without feeling embarrassed.
The one free from all needs and the most loving
As Sultan Bahoo writes in Risala Roohi Sharif, the Fakirs are honoured and exalted with the crown of
اَلْفَقْرُ لَا یُحْتَاجُ اِلٰی رَبِّہٖ وَلَا اِ لٰی غَیْرِہٖ
Meaning: Faqr demands nothing from Allah or anyone other than Allah.
The Fakirs do not desire for anything. They are indifferent to all needs.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen has no desire for himself. Whatever condition Allah puts him in, he remains submissive. His generosity is to the point that he has spent everything in the way of Allah. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is the truly an embodiment of the quote of Sultan Bahoo:
A spiritual guide is an embodiment of kindness and a confidant of Divine secrets. He is more kind than parents, a guide in the path of Allah and is a perfect guide. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen loves his disciples indefinitely. He especially shows affection towards kids. They also come running to him on his arrival in gatherings.
As a poet once expressed:
ساقی خدا کا شکر مجھے عشق کے لیے
بندہ بھی وہ ملا جو مولا دکھائی دے
Explanation: I am so grateful to have found a man for ardent love who possesses the Divine attributes.
Indeed Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is an exact manifestation of Divine Essence and His attributes. One who does not possess the attributes of Allah cannot be a Universal Divine Man. The Universal Divine Man is the one who manifests Divine Essence all His attributes.
آئینہ رحمٰن is an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the month of August 2019. Originally penned by Arshia Khan Sarwari Qadri is presently in English by Sofia Sultan Sarwari Qadri exclusively for the website. Do not forget to visit the original article to which you only have to click the link:
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