Faqr and Stages of Certainty
Certainty in Quran
Allah Almighty says in Quran:
وَ اعۡبُدۡ رَبَّکَ حَتّٰی یَاۡتِیَکَ الۡیَقِیۡنُ ﴿٪۹۹﴾
Meaning: And worship your Lord till you attain to the station of certainty of faith. (Al-Hijr 99)
What is Certainty?
Firstly, dictionary defines it as confidence, assurance, certitude and truth.
Sayyid Mohammad Zauqi Shah states:
“Certainty has no space for doubts. Therefore, the strength of faith is Divine vision which is beyond arguments and rationality.” (Sirr-e-Dilbaran)
Sultan Bahoo and Certainty
Sultan Bahoo says in Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan:
یقین قرآن برو اعمال کردن
یقین آنست خود باحق سپردن
Explanation: Certainty means to follow the entire teachings of Quran and entrust oneself to Allah. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
یقین سرمایۂ ایمان نورش
یقین با معرفت قربِ حضورش
Explanation: Certainty is the asset and light of faith, it grants the gnosis and closeness of Allah. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Sultan Bahoo further writes in Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan:
Get to know that certainty is the foundation of love, gnosis and desire for Allah as well as of all the levels of invocation, reflection, Divine presence, inward inspirations, closeness of Allah, annihilation and immortality.
اصل یقین است یقین گر شود
کار تو از ہفت فلک بہ گزرد
Explanation: Certainty is the basic requirement, if you have it, your matter will surpass the seven skies. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani
Certainty is light of faith. Importantly, a seeker with this light accomplishes proximity to Allah. Contrary, one with weak certainty gets entrapped into the clutches of innerself (an-nafs) and Satan. Hence, this leads him to depths of dismay.
Al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani says:
“After accountability (of innerself) hold tight to certainty because this is the base of faith. Without it neither obligations of world are fulfilled nor hard endeavours. (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani – Malfoozat-e-Ghausia)
Types of Certainty
Sultan Bahoo defines types of certainty as:
باھوؒ یقین از سہ یقین و سہ مقامش
ز ہر سہ یک شود ختمی تمامش
Explanation: O Bahoo! Certainty is accomplishment when one achieves its three levels and stations. Furthermore, when all three become one, certainty becomes perfect. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Types in words of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says about the types of certainty:
It has three types:
Knowledge of certainty (ilm al-yaqin)
Eye of certainty (ayn al-yaqin)
Truth of certainty (haq al-yaqin)
Knowledge of certainty
This is the first level of certainty. Knowledge of certainty is the knowledge gained through profound thinking and reflection as well as the intellectual and logical arguments. In simple words, it is knowledge by listening, studying, reasoning, argument, thinking and reflection. To summarize, a Saint once said that knowledge of certainty is the state of separation and discord. It is due to this form of knowledge that sects have become common.
Eye of certainty
This is the second level of certainty. It is knowledge through unveiling and witnessing. Here, certainty is not only felt but also seen. ‘Ayn’ عین literally means ‘eye’ i.e. the knowledge which can be trusted after it is seen. However, it is important to mention that this may involve satanic deception because many pseudo spiritual guides are at this level and consider themselves to be elevated men of miracles due to their deceptive witnessing which is actually the outcome of their lustful worldly desires. They use their power of witnessing the hidden as a medium to attract people towards themselves.
Truth of Certainty
This is the most comprehensive and unparalleled knowledge which one can not only see through the eye but whose reality understood as well. Moreover, when the mirror of one’s inward cleanses, no obstacle remains in witnessing Allah and one achieves union with Allah. Then all the veils and layers are removed, hence, the ultimate stage of trust is achieved called truth of certainty.
Once a Saint stated that truth of certainty is the most comprehensive form of Divine Oneness. In the words of Shaikh Junayd of Baghdad, “Truth of certainty is that knowledge which is verified through the eye and the person witnesses the unseen happenings the way he witnesses things with his eyes. Then he becomes able to inform about the unseen and whatever information he gives is true.” This is the perfect and complete stage of the gnosis of Allah. (Shams-ul-Fuqara)
Let us assume, you have not seen fire burn and someone tells you that fire burns so this knowledge is the stage of knowledge of certainty. Then that person lights fire in front of you and you witness with your eyes that fire burns which elevates the stage to make it eye of certainty. However, the stage of truth of certainty is that you get in contact with the fire, allow it to burn you and feel it burning you.
Faqr and Certainty
The way of Faqr is the way of Divine vision which one can accomplish only by certainty. It is human nature to trust what can be seen and heard or simply outward actions. Whereas, Faqr is esoteric way and esoteric change leads to exoteric change.
What is Faqr?
Sultan Bahoo says:
“What is Faqr? It is the station which is so high that the great Saint Makhdoom Jahanian had the spiritual flight of fourteen spheres to attain to Faqr but he could not reach there. Important to mention is that the accomplishment of Faqr lies in anonymity. Ibrahim ibn Adham renounced his kingdom, sacrificed his relations and remained wandering in perplexity, then he reached the levels of Faqr. Moreover, Bayazid Bastami performed hard mystic exercises whole of his life and crushed his innerself completely even then he could not approach Faqr. Shaikh Bahauddin and Shah Rukn-e-Alam also could not approach the station of Faqr even after striving the hardest but Rabia of Basra (was such a beloved of Allah that she) directly reached the highest stations of Faqr while sleeping.
The greatest of all the Saints, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani was blessed with Faqr in the womb of his mother. Moreover, he revived the true sharia of Prophet Mohammad and became the beloved of the people of Faqr and was entitled as ‘the Fakir Mohiyyuddin’.
So, the station of Faqr is infinitely high, it makes one the master of universe and it cannot be found by gaining high ranks in sainthood or by achieving the power of miracles and unveiling. Importantly, Faqr is exactly the Divine Essence and it is the greatest blessing of Allah, on whomsoever He bestows it, becomes independent of hunger and satiation.” (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Importance of Faqr
Sultan Bahoo says in Nur-ul-Huda Kalan:
“All the Prophets entreated Allah for Faqr and to be a follower of Prophet Mohammad but their wish was not granted. Whoever followed Prophet Mohammad perfectly, made the Mohammadan Faqr his companion. Moreover, neither there is, nor there will be any station higher and worth more pride than Faqr. As, Faqr is the eternal life.” (Nur-ul-Huda Kalan)
Certainty has immense importance in Faqr. Further, it is incumbent on the seekers to trust the marvels of the perfect spiritual guide because this takes to the next level of Faqr. As, certainty takes to the honourable levels of Divine vision and the Mohammadan Assembly. Contrary, when a seeker does not believe the marvels of the spiritual guide then how will he bestow on the seeker another of his beneficent glance? In other words, one who does not believe in the spiritual guide cannot walk on this esoteric path.
Sultan Bahoo says:
- Initial level of Faqr is knowledge of certainty, middle level is eye of certainty and final level is truth of certainty. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Fakir Bahoo says that if all the wealth, gold and silver of the world is gathered along with all the good deeds of the worldly people like performing hajj, giving zakat, reciting Quran, donating alms, learning the laws of religion and whatever is in both the worlds is collected, it would be nothing as compared to one breath of the lovers of Allah which they take in the love for Allah and indigence of Faqr. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Importance of spiritual guide
Firstly and most importantly, the base of Faqr is utmost trust in the spiritual guide. My spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says:
“In the path of Faqr, guidance of the perfect spiritual guide is pivotal.” (Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen)
Sultan Bahoo says:
“Perfect spiritual guide (Murshid) is the one who takes the seeker to the realm of Incomparable and Unknowable and then returns him to the “emanation point”. Now what is this “emanation point?” It is the point where the light (of Mohammad) initially separated from Allah. Listen with true devotion! Only the perfect spiritual guide can take the seeker to the emanation point and grants him immortality. One who understands, will understand.” (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Importance of tasks given by spiritual guide
In the path of Faqr, certainty is enlightened insight and light of faith which comes in the share of a disciple by the blessing of the perfect spiritual guide.
Now, the sign of a seeker of Allah is that he does not uses his limited intellect to raise questions against the actions and words of the perfect spiritual guide. Instead, such a disciple performs every task given to him with utmost sincerity to please the spiritual guide.
A seeker cannot perform the task given with perfection unless he has firm belief that his spiritual guide is omnipresent and watchful of his actions. Further, a seeker does not find the blessing if he has doubts for the perfect spiritual guide. Even if he performs devotional exercises all his life. Hence, the key to success is belief in guide and such a belief is by the ardent love for Almighty Allah. As, without love one is weak spiritually.
What are the signs of a perfect spiritual guide?
- The perfect spiritual guide is one who grants both the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat.
First, seeker of Allah should find a guide then set on the journey towards Allah. Second, he should have firm belief in his guide and be humble. The seeker should not turn back and must adopt slavehood if he wishes to reach the destination (Allah Almighty).
Sultan Bahoo further elaborates:
- Have firm belief that when the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide grants Ism-e-Allah Zaat to the seeker of Allah, he at once elevates and takes him to the Essence. Moreover, he does not put him in unnecessary attributes (stations). As stations are polytheism once one has submerged into the ocean of Oneness.
The guidance of perfect and accomplished spiritual guide is necessary to reach the level of Oneness of Allah. Presently, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is blessing the seekers of Allah with the treasure of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. Moreover, Allah opens the doors of his compassion on the seeker who believes in his pure self.
I pray to Allah for Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s long life and health and may He make me among his slaves with all the truth and sincerity a disciple must have. Ameen!
This blog is English translation of an Urdu article of the magazine ‘Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore’ for the month of June, 2019. The title of the Urdu article is:
فقراور یقین | Faqr aur Yaqeen
Originally penned by Anila Yaseen Sarwari Qadri from Lahore is presently in English by Sahibzadi Muneeza Najib 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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