It is a Hadith:
اَلشَّیْخُ فِیْ قَوْمِہٖ کَنَبِیٍّ فِیْ اُمَّتِہٖ ۔
Meaning: A spiritual guide among his disciples is just like a Prophet among his nation.
It means that the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide trains his disciples in the same way as the sacred Companions were by the Holy Prophet.
It is another saying of the Holy Prophet:
The last era of my umma shall receive guidance just like you are receiving it from me. (Muslim)
Method of Guidance of the Holy Prophet
What was the method of guidance of the Holy Prophet?
Did he engage the sacred Companions in daily rounds of recitals?
We can find its answer in the following verse of Quran:
ھُوَ الَّذِیْ بَعَثَ فِی الْاُمِّیّٖنَ رَسُوْلاً مِّنْھُمْ یَتْلُوْا عَلَیْھِمْ اٰیٰتِہٖ وَ یُزَکِّیْھِمْ وَ یُعَلِّمُھُمْ الْکِتَابَ وَ الْحِکْمَۃَ
Meaning: “It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses. And (Messenger) purifies them (with his perfect spiritual sight) and teaches them the Book and wisdom (the inspired knowledge)”. (62:2)
This verse proves that the Holy Prophet first used to educate his sacred Companions about the Quran. Then with his perfect spiritual sight, he purified their souls. So that the sanctified souls become capable of absorbing the Divine light of Quran. Purification of the inciting innerself (nafs), automatically cleanses the soul and reflects the sight of Reality clearly upon its mirror. This Divine sight is so tranquilizing that it makes his inward restless to want more.
In fact, this restlessness is basically the beginning of Divine love for Allah. And only the sacred company of beloveds of Allah ignite this spark of love.
Different states of our Faith
Hanzala Ibn Abi Amir narrates that once Abu Bakr Siddiq met him and inquired about his well-being.
Abu Bakr said; “O Hanzala, how are you?”
He replied, “Hanzala has become a hypocrite.”
Then Abu Bakr asked, “What are you saying?”
On that Hanzala explained, “When we are in Prophet Mohammad’s company, he talks about heaven and hell. Then we feel like we are watching it all with our own eyes. Also, the state of faith in our hearts is such that we do not remember anybody except Allah. Moreover, at that moment it seems like he filled our hearts with love for Allah. In contrast, when we are not anymore present in the company of the Messenger, our minds divert. Our minds deflect towards home, family and wealth etc. Then at that time the feeling or state of heart is not the same as in the company of Prophet”.
Upon hearing this Abu Bakr agreed that he feels the same way.
How to Achieve the Perfect Faith?
Abu Bakr and Hanzala went to see the Holy Prophet.
There, Hanzala stated, “O Prophet of Allah! Hanzala has become a hypocrite?”
The Holy Prophet asked “How?”
He replied, “O Messenger of Allah! When I am present in front of your eyes the condition of my heart is different. However, as soon as I leave and indulge in my chores, my inward loses that same state of faith.”
The Holy Prophet responded, “I swear by Allah Who has control over my life. If your inward state remains perpetual, whether you’re with me or not then the angels will shake hands with you. They will send blessings while your rest or travel. But O Hanzala! This moment is a rare blessing.” (it manifests upon you only when you are present with me or in front of my sight).
Prophet’s Spiritual Attention Sanctified the Inward of the Companions
The beneficence of the all-powerful spiritual sight and company of the Holy Prophet eradicated the faults in the sacred Companions. Not only that but also it made them the reflection of his perfect personality. Once Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) told Umar Farooq;
“None of you can have a perfect faith unless you love me more than your life, wealth and children”.
Upon hearing this, Umar replied, “Your Highness! I do not feel such sentiment in my inward.”
The Messenger placed his hand on Umar Farooq’s shoulder and asked, “What do you feel now?” Umar Farooq within a fraction of second spoke up, “O Prophet! Now I feel that your existence is dearer to me than any other thing in the entire universe.”
Indeed, this is how spiritual attention sanctifies the innerself and esoterically elevates the levels.
Who can sanctify our filthy souls after Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)?
After Holy Prophet, the Tabi’un (contemporaries of the Companions) achieved sanctification of soul from the company of the sacred Companions. Next, the generation after them called Tabi al-Tabi’un got purgation from Tabi’un. This chain of beneficence is continued to date. Now, their spiritual successors sanctify the souls of the seekers of Allah in the same manner.
Undoubtedly, the Prophethood of Allah’s Messenger will last till the Day of Judgement. Therefore, till then his spiritual successors as the scholars of truth, Mystics and Saints will be present in every age. Certainly, all these sacred personalities inherited method of guidance, knowledge, morals, piety, faith and spiritual powers from the Holy Prophet.
Al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani has said:
Now the Holy Prophet is not physically present for you to follow. Therefore, follow the sacred men (i.e. perfect spiritual guides) who are his perfect followers and have always obeyed him steadfastly. Indeed, it is as if you followed the Holy Prophet and seeing them is like seeing the Holy Prophet.
(Al-Fath ar-Rabbani, Section-14)
Al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani has said:
The perfect Saint (spiritual guide) possesses the Sainthood of the Holy Prophet which is the spiritual part of his Prophethood. And the Holy Prophet himself grant it to that Saint as a Trust.
(Sirr al-Asrar, Section 5)
Sanctification of Soul by the Perfect Spiritual Guide
Whoever sits in the company of the perfect and accomplished Saints with sincerity and pure intentions his soul gets enlightened. Not just that but the perfect Saint also blesses the physical and spiritual self of that seeker. In fact, the Holy Prophet himself passes his Divine light to the Saint, who then penetrates it in seeker’s soul.
There are many such examples in front of us. Like, when the spiritual sight of al-Gawth al-Azam was set on the bandits, every member of that group sought repentance. Afterwards, they reached the exaltation of Sainthood. Also, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal came to know the reality only when he reached the court of Bishr al-Hafi. Abu Hanifa opted for the company of Bahlool (Wahab Ibn Amr) only then he exalted from a scholar to Saint. In short, nobody leaves the company of the Saints empty handed. As said in a Hadith:
They are the people by virtue of whom their associates will not remain unfortunate. (Muslim)
What is the best way to Sanctify the Soul?
In this materialistic age, people do not have the kind of time to perform hard mystic struggles. They can’t perform daily rounds of recitals to free themselves from sensual desires. The truth is that such exercises, if performed in excess, can make the innerselves (nafs) of man filthier and stronger. Therefore, instead of purification of the soul, they build arrogance. Then what is the best way to get rid of such filth and sanctify soul?
Per Sultan Bahoo the best and easiest way to sanctify the soul is the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat.
Where to Achieve Ism-e-Allah Zaat?
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the Sarwari Qadri spiritual guide. Among all, he is the first one to grant the king of invocations Hoo ( ھُو ) Ism-e-Allah Zaat. Additionally, he grants this greatest name of Allah to all the seekers on the first day of pledge of allegiance. He grants the invocation, contemplation and mashq murqoom-e-wajudia (inscribing Allah’s name on body) of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. It then becomes easy for his disciple or the seeker of Allah to reach the exaltation of Faqr.
ذکر تصور اسم اَللّٰہُ دا، سلطان العاشقین کولوں جیہڑا پائے
ھُو دے تصور وچ رہے ہمیشہ، ذاتی اسم او کمائے
مشقِ مرقوم وجودیہ دے نال‘ اپنے تن نوں او پاک کرائے
سلطان نجیب صادقاں عاشقاں نوں، اللہ دے نال ملائے
Explanation: Those who are granted the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat by Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen remain engrossed in Hoo ( ھُو ). This is because they reach the Divine Essence. They purify their selves by doing mashq murqoom-e-wajudia (inscribing Allah’s name on body) of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. Indeed, Sultan Najib takes the sincere Divine Lovers and seekers of Allah to His proximity.
How to Reach the Destination of Faqr?
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is practically the exegesis of these words of Sultan Bahoo:
- Their (the perfect spiritual guide’s) sight is the absolute Divine light of Oneness and the alchemy of honour. On whosoever he casts the reflection of their hidden Reality, his whole being transforms into the absolute Divine light. Moreover, they do not need to engage their disciples in the struggle of apparent daily recitals and mystic exercises. (Risala Roohi Sharif)
This is also the reality that only such a seeker reaches the highest levels of Faqr who truly seeks recognition of Allah Almighty. He wants nothing but His vision and eternal presence in the Mohammadan Assembly. Spiritual guide does not bless hypocrite and deceitful people. Also, seekers of the world and seekers of the paradise (whose endeavours are for paradise) remain deprived of the aforementioned.
طالب بن کے عاجزی نال ‘ سلطان العاشقین کول جیہڑا آ جاوے
سوہنے مرشد دا لڑ پھڑ کے‘ ازلی نصیبہ فقر او پا جاوے
جیہڑا تینوں بھُل جاوے‘ شیطان مردود نوں او بھا جاوے
سلطان محمد نجیب الرحمٰن روپ اللہ دا اے‘ جو جانے فقرِ محمدیؐ پا جاوے
Explanation: Those who seek Faqr with humility, under the leadership and guidance of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen surely reach their destination in Faqr. However, those who negate him entangle in the web of the cursed Satan. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the manifestation of the Divine Essence and all His attributes. The seeker who recognizes him accomplishes in Faqr of the Holy Prophet.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is a Strict Follower of Sharia
Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman strictly follows sharia (Islamic law, also spelled sha’riah). Similarly, he guides towards it along with invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. His method of guidance for his disciples is to offer prayers regularly, fast, recite Islamic creed and send salutations upon the Holy Prophet (Durood).
The Holy Prophet started guiding the sacred Companions from the house of al-Arqam (the first Islamic school). He taught them the knowledge of the Quran and wisdom. Also, he made them cross different trials and gave them different kinds of responsibilities. He spiritually enlightened the sacred Companions after they passed through spiritual and physical ordeals. Instead of forty days worship in seclusion and rounds of recitals, his spiritual attention purified their souls.
Since, being perfectly on the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen guides and instructs his disciple in exactly the same manner.
Establishment of Khanqah
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman has established khanqah, which is based on al-Suffah. It is there for people to come from all over the world, meet him and gain his blessings and beneficence. Some seekers of Allah perform physical duties there like upkeeping khanqah, cooking and serving food for disciples, composing books etc. Those seekers who cannot perform physical duties on account their business and family commitments contribute financially. As its the saying of Allah Almighty;
“Never will you attain the good (reward) until you spend (in the way of Allah) from that which you love” (Sura al-Imran 3:92)
Services of Sultan ul Ashiqeen in the Way of Allah
The seekers can contribute in any department of the organization created by Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. Contributing this wealth is entirely to spend in the way of Allah. Apart from aforementioned duties Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen has given responsibilities to the educated seekers of Allah accordingly. Some among them are on the social media wing or write articles based on spirituality and mysticism. Others translate books of the spiritual guides of Sarwari Qadri order from Arabic, Persian and Punjabi to Urdu and English. This is a way to get the point and knowledge across of gnosis of Allah. Also, this is striving in the way of Allah by pen.
Physically seekers of Allah perform such tasks while spiritually they engross in the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. During physical and spiritual endeavours they find their innerselves sanctified by the spiritual sight of their perfect spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. These seekers of Allah clearly feel this sanctification as they notice change in their inward. Indeed, his blessed company and spiritual sight releases them from the traps of the world, inciting innerselves and Satan. The seekers are then set on the path towards Allah.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s Method of Guidance in the Way of Allah
Different questions arise in the mind of the seeker when the theophanies of Ism-e-Allah Zaat descend upon his soul. These also make him restless. But, if he concentrates upon them, they help him to gain Allah’s gnosis. If seeker does not pay attention these very questions become a hurdle in his way. Being a perfect spiritual guide, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is aware of the spiritual states of his seekers. Hence, he answers all the questions in their minds in simple words in the light of Quran and Hadith. Moreover, he gives reference from the sayings, ways and traditions of the perfect Saints.
Wonder lies in the fact that his concise yet comprehensive conversation guides the seeker according to his spiritual station. Every seeker often finds that it was his unasked question which Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen answered while replying someone else. Also, through his books and the monthly magazine titled Sultan-ul-Faqr, he conveys knowledge of Faqr to seekers of Allah. Sometimes a seeker cannot understand any important point through conversation or reading magazine and books. In that case, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen inculcates it in his inward through inspiration and inward communication. He also creates such means that the seeker always acts according to the will of Allah. This is the method of guidance of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen for his disciples.
When the seeker strengthens in the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen grants him Ism-e-Mohammad. It is the invocation of the sacred name of Prophet Mohammad. This takes the seeker from eye of certainty (ayn al-yaqin) to the final level of truth of certainty gained through experience (Haq al-yaqin). Thus, these lead to pleasant effects on the spiritual self of the seeker. Eventually, it becomes easy for him to understand and act on the complicated points of Faqr and gnosis of Allah. He becomes from seeker to desired, from Muslim to faithful (Momin) and from Allah’s lover to His beloved.
Pays Attention on Seekers’ Inward
Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman changes the thoughts and ideology of his disciples instead of altering their physical appearances and life styles. He changes their focus from the world to Allah Almighty. Moreover, enlightens their spiritual self first rather than reforming them physically. The reason behind this is the soul can reach Allah but the physical self cannot. He constitutes the spiritual personality to the worthiest of presence in the court of Allah and the Mohammadan Assembly. A seeker achieves this only by virtue of the beneficence of his sacred company.
Meeting Seekers of Allah
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen meets his disciples and the seekers of Allah on every Sunday at the khanqah of Sarwari Qadri order. Here, he listens to their problems and guides them accordingly on both material and spiritual matters. Additionally, he takes keen interest and also give orders on the ongoing projects and programs of his organization ‘Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr’. He in the presence of his wife also meets with female seekers of Allah at his residence on Sundays only. Then, he guides them on complex spiritual matters and prays for them. On these Sundays he also listens and discusses matters with those women who work for the organization. They are involved in the services like translation of books, social media, writing spiritual articles spreading Faqr, etc.
Moreover, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen travels to other cities for those seekers who live out of Lahore and cannot visit him regularly. He also gives time and beneficence to the seekers who live abroad via phone. Hence, none of his seekers either living in far flung areas or within vicinity are kept from his beneficence.
The arrangements done by the disciples living in other cities and their hospitality upon his arrival is their trial. Indeed, for that Allah blesses them accordingly.
Entitled Shabeeh al-Ghawth al-Azam
Al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani has said:
- When my seeker is sincere, he is in my sleeve (i.e. under my protection). While, when he does not remain sincere then I am in his sleeve.
It means that he stops a sincere seeker from sins. The Mohammadan Assembly attributed Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman as Shabeeh al-Ghawth al-Azam (meaning: living portrait i.e. reflection of al-Ghawth al-Azam). Undoubtedly, like a shady tree he provides shelter and protection from all evils. Also, he is an affectionate father, exemplary friend and a great teacher for his disciples. He forgives their mistakes and shortcomings as he is the most generous. Not just that, he also veils their faults and forgives them even on dreadful mistakes. Provided, that disciple repents sincerely and remains true to it.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s method of guidance is affectionate to an extent that every seeker feels that he cares for him the most. He also does not differentiate among them on the basis of wealth, education and status in society. As such material things do not matter to him. Like the rule of Allah and His Messenger, for him exaltation comes with piety (taqwa). Similar to the sun he equally showers his beneficence among his disciples. It is the land of inward which receives beneficence and becomes fertile according to its competence.
Humble Nature of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen
Allah has blessed Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen with such an exalted status that one cannot estimate it. Despite this he presents himself as a simple man. He also trains his seekers such that humbleness becomes their distinctive trait. As Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen says:
“Humbleness is the biggest weapon against Satan.”
Whenever anyone asks him for Faqr, sincerely, he blesses him with this treasure without making him cross hardships or endeavours. He does this not withstanding the fact that he belongs to which religion class or sect. However, oath of allegiance is obligatory for it.
عنایت تو دیکھو میرے کامل مرشد کی یارو
کہ جس نے مجھے پل بھر میں لاھوتی بنا دیا
Explanation: The blessings of my spiritual guide are marvelous. He took my soul to our original homeland within blink of an eye. Here the original homeland refers to the realm of Divinity (alam al-LaHoot) where souls achieve their purpose.
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