Importance of Purification of Innerself by a Spiritual Guide
Purification of innerself is one of the most important rituals that one should perform in order to be successful in both the worlds.
Why Purification of Innerself is Important?
Each human being is born on Divine nature. Later on, tricked by the distractions of the material world and satanic apprehensions. Resultantly, relation of his soul with Allah becomes weak due to a veil on his innerself. Human brain always remains engrossed in different thoughts and imaginations including permissible and impermissible. Since every child is born on Divine nature and nature cannot be changed. However, purification of innerself (tazkiyah al-nafs) is possible.
In this world the desires of nafs and lusts are in abundance. Some people seek abundant livelihood, some wish for beautiful woman, some pray to increase wealth and property and some are running after ranks, fame and worldly respect. If a man is drowned in desires of nafs and lust or even in any one desire of them, he keeps thinking about it and strives to achieve it. This desire and lust becomes his god. Success lies in purification of innerself from fake adornment and desires of the world. In general we call this process of cleaning everything other than Allah from the innerself, the purgation or purification of innerself.
Allah says in Quran:
اِنَّ النَّفۡسَ لَاَمَّارَۃٌۢ بِالسُّوۡٓءِ ﴿۵۳﴾
Meaning: Certainly, the self commands much evil. (Al-Yusuf: 53)
Purification of Innerself from Inciting to Innerself at Peace
Allah Almighty called inciting innerself (an-nafs al-ammarah) to evil commanding nafs. During the process of purification it elevates from inciting to repenting (an-nafs al-lawwamah) then inspiring (an-nafs al-mulhimah). Afterwards when the innerself is further purified and succeeds inwardly, it becomes ‘innerself at peace’ (an-nafs al-mutmainnah).
Purification to Attain the Purpose of Existence
Purification of innerself is important so that one can fulfill his purpose of existence i.e. Divine closeness and marifa. For gnosis of Allah, one must pass through the stations of sharia, mysticism, reality and gnosis.
The Holy Prophet said:
Mysticism is my actions, station of reality is my esoteric state and marifa is my secret.
In the light of saying of Prophet Mohammad pbuh inviting people towards mysticism is in fact following the sharia.
Purification for gnosis and Divine Proximity
Most of the people keep themselves busy in following the exoteric deeds of sharia. A few people wanted to walk through the path of mysticism and reality. It is because only those people can travel on this path who have a habit to meditate. Moreover, sincerely want to recognise and be close to Allah.
Allah says in sura Al-Naziat:
وَ اَمَّا مَنۡ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّہٖ وَ نَہَی النَّفۡسَ عَنِ الۡہَوٰی ﴿ۙ۴۰﴾ فَاِنَّ الۡجَنَّۃَ ہِیَ الۡمَاۡوٰی ﴿ؕ۴۱﴾
Meaning: But as for him who feared standing in the presence of his Lord and forbade (his ill-commanding) self its appetites and lusts, Paradise will surely be (his) abode. (Al-Naziat: 40-41)
In the above mentioned verse Allah says that one who will follow sharia strictly; differentiate between halal (permissible and lawful under religion) and haram (forbidden and punishable according to Islamic law); offer salat, fast in the month of Ramadan, perform hajj and pay zakat etc. will enter into paradise. But Allah will deprive him of His vision and he will never enter into Mohammadan Assembly. According to the teachings of perfect Fakirs, Divine vision and presence in the Mohammadan assembly are two highest ranks of Mystics. Moreover, these two ranks are only in the destiny of those who submit themselves for purification of innerself.
Purification of Innerself and Spiritual Guide
As told earlier, it is not possible for everyone to reach at the stations of Divine vision and eternal presence in Mohammadan Assembly. However, only perfect spiritual guide (Murshid), who himself is stationed at the highest spiritual level of Mohammadan Assembly can take his disciples to this level. It is possible only by traveling on the path of Faqr. Faqr does not mean indigenous, poverty and destitution as is famous among masses. However, it is spiritual heritage of the Holy Prophet at which he feels pride and he entrusted it to his umma to attain Divine nearness.
اَلْفَقْرُ فَخْرِیْ وَالْفَقْرُ مِنِّیْ
Meaning: Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
It is a fact that general people who focus on exoteric deeds cannot walk on this path. Even religious scholars with superficial knowledge are not aware of the reality of this path. That is why they didn’t let people to walk on it. Moreover, all those who adopt Faqr, did it by hiding themselves from the eyes of religious scholars with superficial knowledge. These scholars issue fatwas on those who walk on this path and shoot arrows of satire. Whereas, seekers of truth are acquainted with the secrets of Allah Almighty.
Purification of Innerself is Crucial for Divine Vision
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
وَ مَنۡ کَانَ فِیۡ ہٰذِہٖۤ اَعۡمٰی فَہُوَ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ اَعۡمٰی وَ اَضَلُّ سَبِیۡلًا ﴿۷۲﴾
Meaning: And whoever remains blind (to the truth) in this (world) will be blind in the Hereafter as well, distracted from the path (of deliverance). (Al-Isra: 72)
It means that whoever remains blind to Divine vision in this world will be blind in the hereafter as well. Only those who want gnosis of Allah are willing and eager for purification of innerself. They do not consider themselves perfect and accomplished and always strive for self-improvement. All those who consider themselves perfect do not make effort for innerself purification. Even they do not feel need for it. Therefore, they spend their whole life in exoteric worships and austerities without an experienced guide. Hence, could not gain marifa despite of performing all the religious obligations i.e. salat, fast, zakat and hajj.
Importance of Spiritual Guide
Perfect and accomplished spiritual guide is stationed at the level of ultimate Divine closeness therefore he never let his disciple who completely submits himself to his Murshid, go astray. A spiritual guide always protects his disciple from sins and expurgate him by the beneficence of his company and alchemic sight. Resultantly, the Divine seeker continues to move on the right path and reaches to his destination.
مَنْ لَّاشَیْخَ یَتَّخِذُہُ الشَّیْطَان
Meaning: Verily, one who is not guided by a spiritual guide, Satan surrounds him.
What Sultan Bahoo, the King of Arifeen, says about Spiritual Guide?
Sultan Bahoo says in his Punjabi quatrains:
مرشد وانگ سنارے ہووے، جیہڑا گھت کٹھالی گالے ھو
پا کٹھالی باہر کڈھے، بندے گھڑے یا والے ھو
Explanation: The goldsmith melts raw gold in a crucible and then alters it into many forms of jewelry giving it a lustrous look. Such should be the case of a spiritual guide, for the perfect is the one who burns the seeker in the kiln of ardent Divine love and moulds his innerself with Ism-e-Allah Zaat to purify it from the love of other than Allah. Old habits and wishes are altered giving the seeker such a form which is acceptable in the court of Allah. He does not indulge his disciples in forty days seclusion or unnecessary endeavours and struggles. Rather he purifies his intentions and creates sincerity in him by the efficacy of his spiritual sight. He also elevates him to the level of haq al-yaqeen (truth of certainty) and enlightens him with the truth of tawhid. This is what Allah teaches us in sura al-Fatiha:
اِہۡدِ نَا الصِّرَاطَ الۡمُسۡتَقِیۡمَ ۙ﴿۶﴾ صِرَاطَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ۙ۬ غَیۡرِ الۡمَغۡضُوۡبِ عَلَیۡہِمۡ وَ لَا الضَّآلِّیۡنَ ٪﴿۷﴾
Meaning: Show us the straight path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your favours, Not of those who have been afflicted with wrath, nor of those who have gone astray. (Al-Fatiha: 7)
The path and method of perfect spiritual guide is the path and method of those on whom Allah has bestowed His favour. The well-being and success lie only in following and obeying Murshid or guide.
The Holy Quran invites Man to Ponder
An important point to consider here is the method and way of our forefathers is not necessarily correct. Therefore, it is not obligatory to follow it generation after generation. However, it is compulsory that we must strive to understand the reality of religion and seek the truth so that we may not return empty-handed form this world.
Allah says in Holy Quran:
وَ اِذَا قِیۡلَ لَہُمُ اتَّبِعُوۡا مَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰہُ قَالُوۡا بَلۡ نَتَّبِعُ مَاۤ اَلۡفَیۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ اٰبَآءَنَا ؕ اَوَ لَوۡ کَانَ اٰبَآؤُہُمۡ لَا یَعۡقِلُوۡنَ شَیۡئًا وَّ لَا یَہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷۰﴾
Meaning: And when it is said to them (the disbelievers): ‘Follow that which Allah has sent down,’ they say: ‘(Nay) we shall rather follow the same (path) on which we found our ancestors,’ even though their ancestors had neither any sense nor any guidance. (Al-Baqarah: 170)
Nowadays, it is the condition of Muslims that there are many who recite the Holy Quran but few who understand it and very few who practice its teachings. Unless we get familiar with the reality and know which path is the path of truth and which rewarded people we have to follow, we cannot get gnosis of Allah and His proximity through the study of the Quran.
Process of Purification Requires Great Courage
For the purification of innerself one must have great courage. It is because when he begins his journey on the Divine path his near and dear ones strongly oppose him and start creating hurdles in his way. Besides Satan also tries his level best that no one seek refuge of perfect spiritual guide that is why he tries to entangle true seekers in the idea that mere study of Quran and Hadith is enough and there is no need of any source, teacher or guide to understand the reality of religion. To achieve this motive he misleads true disciples in the form of his beloved ones including relatives, family and friends. Only that seeker succeeds who has sheer grit, unwavering determination and sincerity of intention. One who seeks only Allah does not resent the taunts and grievances of the world and worldly people, but walks on Divine path with perseverance.
Spiritual Guide is Like a Doctor
One cannot do his own purification. As a doctor cannot treat himself or perform his own surgery likewise we also need a specialised doctor and guide for the purification of our innerselves. The reason behind is both good and evil are inside the man. A person cannot distinguish between good and bad without purification of innerself. That is why, until he do not purify himself he always remain confuse at the time of doing anything whether his inner conversation is a Divine revelation or a satanic one.
Therefore, it is said that company a perfect spiritual guide for a few hours is better than the worship of seventy years. Since spiritual guide is aware of all the ups and downs of Divine path so he safely leads his disciple through this path.
Quotes of Rumi
Verbal knowledge is learned from teachers and books, crafts are learned by living with its expert. For example, art of jewelry can be learned by sitting with a goldsmith. Third knowledge, mysticism or Faqr (Sufism) is connected with purification of innerself and it can be gained by the beneficence of a spiritual guide or accompanying a man of inward. If a person has knowledge and good deeds but does not have the company (of a spiritual guide), then he cannot attain any higher rank of Faqr. (Soz-o-Saz-e-Rumi)
The above quote of Rumi shows that one can never attain highest rank of religion without purification of innerself.
Pharaoh is a manifestation of inner baser-self
Pharaonism is a manifestation of inner baser-self. When people hear the story of Pharaoh, they say evil about Pharaoh, even though there is a biggest Pharaoh inside them. (He further says) you are helpless. If you were given what was available to Pharaoh, you would see what kind of Pharaoh you are. A man cannot perform his own purification that is why he is in need of perfect spiritual guide who can purify his innerself. Otherwise, he remains as Pharaoh. (Soz-o-Saz-e-Rumi)
Knowledge is Nothing Without Practice
Purification of innerself thereby is important because after getting knowledge very few people change themselves. Whereas, perfect spiritual guide purifies his disciple by practical actions. He passes him through different spiritual stages which strengthen his faith. If knowledge had benefit without action, Satan would have been and he would not have gone astray. Satan acquired knowledge for fifty thousand years and taught knowledge to the angels for fifty thousand years, but this knowledge created arrogance in him and due to his arrogance he became one of the disbelievers.
To sum up, one can neither improve his innerself nor habits and characteristics just by acquiring knowledge or reading books. To gain marifa and Divine nearness by adopting these methods is a far cry. Self improvement and purification of innerself are very important for the recognition and gnosis of Allah and for this it is compulsory to have the company of perfect spiritual guide.
Invitation for Self Purification
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the Universal Divine Man of present era. He has blessed millions of people all over the world by his beneficence. His spiritual sight is beyond limit. Therefore, he is well aware of inner states of his disciples even if they are miles away from him. Hence, purifies them. He spread the beneficence of Ism-e-Allah Zaat among men and women to the extent that no one in the history has done so far. It is the height of efficacy of his spiritual sight that he converts seekers of the world into Divine seekers. Moreover, he enriched many seekers of world with the treasure of Divine love. His unprecedented beneficence is still continued by the grace of Allah.
It is an open invitation for all the Divine seekers if they want self improvement and purification of innerself so that they can achieve success in both the worlds, so they must visit Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman with purity of intention.