Presence in the Holy Assembly
It was the night of 12th April 1997, Sultan Muhammad Najib-ur-Rehman had finished offering Tahjjud (late night) prayer. Now he was reciting Durood (sending peace and blessings upon the Holy Prophet). Suddenly, his spiritual self enlightened and he found himself in the Mohammadan Assembly. There he saw the eternal Divine light, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) sitting in the middle. Seated on his right side were Ali al-Murtaza, Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn. While on his left were Abu Bakr, Umar ibn Khattab, Usman Ghani and the leaders of the four spiritual orders. Among them, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen remained stunned with awe and majesty of the Assembly. Perhaps, he was about to collapse with surprise and fear. Meanwhile sacred Ali al-Murtaza stepped ahead and held him by taking his hand in his own hand.
Granted with Holy Prophet’s Legacy
Respected Ali al-Murtaza presented him before the Holy Prophet, letting him sit by the sacred feet of the Prophet. Then he said to the Prophet, “Hazoor! (respectfully addressed) he is Najib-ur-Rehman. He is your slave and is the spiritual son of your dear daughter (Fatimah tuz-Zahra). Additionally, she has selected him to grant her legacy (of Faqr). For your approval, she has presented him to your court”.
Listening that, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen bowed at Prophet Mohammad’s sacred feet who is indeed the beloved Lord of both the worlds. After that the Holy Prophet acknowledged that his dear daughter has recommended him. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) added that; “I have accepted him as well”. Then he said, “Now he is our spiritual son but the legacy of which son may be granted to him?” Imam Hasan requested him “Respected grandfather! My mother (Fatimah tuz-Zahra) has asked for granting him my legacy”.
Thereafter, the Holy Prophet, held Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen from his shoulders and lifted him from his feet. He (pbuh) then said;
“You are my spiritual son and heir. Verily, one day you will benefit a whole era. Also, we would make you our manifestation. As you have pleased my dear daughter, thus, I am pleased with you.”
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s Spiritual Oath of Allegiance at the hands of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)
While sitting in the Mohammadan Assembly, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen was in the moment of astonishment. Meanwhile the Holy Prophet stretched his hands towards him for oath of allegiance. In response, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen held the sacred hands of the Prophet and took oath of allegiance. Afterwards, the Holy Prophet looked at the spiritual guides of the four orders. He said to al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, “You have his spiritual legacy.”
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen handed over to al-Ghawth al-Azam
After the oath of allegiance, the Holy Prophet handed him over to Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. Prophet ordered him;
“He is our darling daughter’s spiritual son. Now he is our spiritual son too. I have entrusted him to you for spiritual guidance”.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is a Sarwari Qadri
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen describes that he was in an awe-inspiring moment at such a great blessing. (But truly, he had now become a Sarwari Qadri.) Therefore, he kissed the feet of the people of cloak present there and also those of the four Rashidun Caliph. Everyone congratulated him and caressed his head. Later, al-Ghawth al-Azam having permission of the Holy Prophet came back along with Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen from the Mohammadan Assembly. From there onwards he started his spiritual training.
Who is a Sarwari Qadri?
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen says that the whole event of his presence in the Mohammadan Assembly took place only within a few moments. For the materialistic people of the present era perhaps it is unacceptable. This is because of their limited intellect restricted to the physical world only. However, it is not strange at all for someone who is aware of the magnificent ranks of the Sarwari Qadri. Now the question arises that who is a Sarwari Qadri?
Well! the true Sarwari Qadirs are those who take oath of allegiance at the sacred hand of the Holy Prophet. Then Prophet Mohammad himself assigns them to Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani for spiritual training.
Definition of Sarwari Qadri per Sultan Bahoo
Sultan Bahoo explains Sarwari Qadri as follows:
- Sarwari Qadri take oath of allegiance at the sacred hand of Holy Prophet. Then immorality disappears from his being. Eventually, he is destined to have the Divine favour of following the Islamic law (sharia). (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
- Some Sarwari Qadir’s have such elite status that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) directly bless them with his kind benevolence. After that he assigns them to Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. Next, he blesses them in such a way that they do not apart from him even for a single moment. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Definition of Sarwari Qadri per Sultan-ul-Faqr VI
Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali explains:
Sarwari means to take oath of allegiance at the hand of Sarwar. And the Holy Prophet is the Sarwar (meaning ‘the leader’) of the universe. More so, Qadri means that Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani is the spiritual instructor. Hence, such is the exalted status of a Sarwari Qadri. (The Spiritual Guides of Sarwari Qadri Order).
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s Spiritual training by al-Gawth al-Azam
After this spiritual experience, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani started the spiritual training of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. He enriched him with his benevolence. First of all, he granted him the knowledge of all the beautiful attributive names of Allah. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen recited every beautiful name of Allah lacs of times.
Blessed with the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat
In December 1997, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani blessed him with the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat (the personal name of Allah). Particularly, he ordered him to do the invocation five thousand times every night. Hence, every night after the Tahajjud (late night) salat, he followed the order. Describing this experience, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen says that the longing for Ism-e-Allah Zaat increased in him with every passing day.
Blessed with Ilm-e-Dawat
Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani also blessed him with ilm-e-dawat (the knowledge of communicating with the souls of shrines). After gaining ilm-e-dawat, he daily went to a shrine in the graveyard of Iqbal Town, Lahore. There he communicated with Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani by reciting dawat at the shrine. One day al-Ghawth al-Azam ordered him to go to the shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh (may Allah bless him). Consequently, every evening at the time of Asr (afternoon prayer) he started to go to that shrine. Here he recited dawat sitting near the seclusion closet of Moinuddin Chishti. Data Ganj Bakhsh also blessed Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen with his spiritual beneficence a lot.
Search for The Living Spiritual Guide
Shaikh Abul Qadir Jilani ordered Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen to search for a living spiritual guide in January 1998. For this purpose, he visited different places and met a lot of guides. Not only he travelled within Lahore but he also went outside Lahore. Although, nothing satisfied him.
Signs of Spiritual Guide in His Dream
In February 1998, he saw a very attractive man with an enlightened face in his dream. The man said to him, “Come my son, I am waiting for you”. On waking up, Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman was surprised and started his quest for that awe-inspiring face. It became a main part of his routine to roam about in this search. Many days passed by but his search could not meet the destination. In spite of that, He did not receive any signal even from al-Ghawth al-Azam and Data Ganj Bakhsh.
Later on, in March 1998, he dreamt about the same spectacular face (of Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali) again. However, this time that enlightened man opened an old box from which a golden Ism-e-Allah Zaat emerged high. Then it started shining near his sacred head like the bright sun. He said, “Son! You have struggled a lot and suffered through many hardships. Now come to me”. Additionally, while pointing to the Ism-e-Allah Zaat, he said, “I have this trust of yours. And I have been waiting for you for long to entrust it to you”.
Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Handed him to Sultan Bahoo
After all the struggle and hard work, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s quest remained the same. As to where could he find that enlightened face? He did not give up and started his struggle again. Typically, his routine was that after offering his Friday prayer he used to recite Durood till the Asr (afternoon) prayer. On 10th April 1998, as soon as he started offering Durood sitting on the prayer mat, his inner condition became extremely restless. Soon he started sobbing. He pleaded in front of Allah, “Please Allah show me my destination now. If I do not meet my destination for a few weeks more, I would retreat to my previous life style. As it is your word that you do not test anyone beyond his courage.”
Later, he slept crying on the janamaz (a Muslim prayer mat or rug). Indeed, it was nothing less than a blessing that he saw Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani in his dream. He had comforted him and said, “The Holy Prophet has assigned me your responsibility. Surely, I would not let you part from me”. Then he ordered, “I have handed you over to Sultan Bahoo. Now your Murshid (spiritual guide) will finish the last part of your training. Just visit the shrine of Sultan Bahoo”. After that Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani put his hand on his chest. When he woke up, he felt peace and was composed enough.
Visit to the Shrine of Sultan Bahoo
Early morning on 12th April 1998, he reached the shrine of Sultan Bahoo. There he submitted, “Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani has sent me to you.” Then he recited dawat sitting on the head side of Sultan Bahoo’s grave. Whole heartedly, he pleaded him to fulfill his promise. The promise he had made in the piece of poetry written outside his shrine:
ہر کہ طالب حق بود من حاضرم
ز ابتدا تا انتہا یک دم برم
طالب بیا! طالب بیا! طالب بیا
تا رسانم روزِِ اوّل باخدا
Meaning: I am available for all who truly seek Allah. Since, I can elevate them to the extreme level from beginning. O seeker come! (asks again) O seeker come! O seeker! Come, so that I may take you to Allah on the very first day.
There was moment silence for a little while. No response came even through waham (spiritual conversation with Allah). After some time, Sultan Bahoo spiritually commanded, “You are my beloved as well. Just go to Sultan Mohammad Abdul Aziz’s shrine. There you will find your spiritual guide Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali. He is the one you were looking for”. Then he said, “Go! Your spiritual guide is waiting for you. Have your legacy from him”.
Visit to the Shrine of Sultan Mohammad Abdul Aziz
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman reached the shrine of Sultan Mohammad Abdul Aziz (situated near Sultan Bahoo’s shrine). There he found a huge crowd outside the room of Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali. After waiting a little he got the permission of meeting. As soon as he entered the room, he saw the same charming face of his dream. Momentarily, he felt as if he had found the treasure of both the worlds. Seemingly, a moment covered the distance of centuries and there remained no question unanswered.