Allah says in the Quran:
وَالَّذِيۡنَ جَاهَدُوۡا فِيۡنَا لَنَهۡدِيَنَّهُمۡ سُبُلَنَا ؕ (العنکبوت ۔69)
Meaning: And those who strive hard (and struggle against the innerself self vehemently) for Our cause, We certainly guide them to Our ways. (Al-Ankabut 69)
ذَالِکَ فَضْلُ اللّٰہِ یُؤْتِیْہِ مَنْ یَّشَآءُطوَاللّٰہُ ذُوالْفَضْلِ الْعَظِیْم۔ (الحدید۔21)
Meaning: This is Allah’s bounty which He gives to whom He wills. And Allah is the Lord of infinite bounty. (Al-Hadid 21)
In Faqr, journey towards Reality, Truth or straight path all mean journey towards Allah. The Truth, the Reality is in fact Divine Essence and is the only reality which is eternal. It is Divine Essence which is hidden in all the creation. He is concealed in the veils of innerself.
Shah Sayyid Mohammad Zauqi says:
- The Divine Essence is manifested esoterically in the creation while the creation is known to be present esoterically in the Essence (Sirr e Dilbaran)
It is therefore clear that searching for Allah is to strive to reach Him (by unveiling the veils of innerself). It is a Divine favour which is bestowed upon very few souls.
Allah breathed His soul into humans
Allah says in the Quran:
وَفِيۡٓ اَنفُسِكُمْ ط اَفَلَا تُبْصِرُوۡنَ (الذّٰرِیَات۔21)
Meaning: And in yourselves (as well). So, do you not notice? (Al-Dhariyat 21)
وَنَفَخْتُ فِیْہِ مِنْ رُّوْحِیۡ (الحجر۔29)
Meaning: And breathed My (Divine) soul into (the innerself of) this (human physical) organism. (Al-Hijr 29)
As a fact, when Lord of the worlds breathed His soul into human, the flame of Divine Essence illuminated in the soul. It is this flame which is burning esoterically since pre-existence and thus provides a basis of human life. But Alas! Man has forgotten his basis and his originality. He is known to be disremembering. When he becomes oblivious to the beauty of his soul and when he ignores the glory of his esoteric self, he becomes deprived and shallow and therefore ends up running after short-lived and materialistic things.
In reality, the main cause of decadence in today’s era is that we have ignored the inward and our focus is only the outward. The man of today is lost in the universe. But if he gains self-recognition, he will then find the whole universe within himself.
Divine Essence is manifested esoterically in all humans
The Holy Quran repeatedly draws attention to the esoteric self.
وَنَحْنُ اَقْرَبُ اِلَیْہِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِیْدِ۔ (ق۔16)
Meaning: And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. (Qaf 16)
اَوَ لَمْ یَتَفَکَّرُوْا فِیْ اَنْفُسِھِمْ۔ (الروم۔8)
Meaning: Have they not meditated within themselves. (Ar-Rum 8)
In a Qudsi Hadith Allah points out to concentrate on the esoteric self.
اِیَسْعُنِیْ اَ رْضِیْ وَلَا سَمَآئِیْ وَلٰکِنْ یَّسْعُنِیْ فِیْ قَلْبُ عَبْدِ الْمُؤْمِنْ۔
Meaning: Neither Earth can possess me nor the skies but the inward of the believer (Mumin) can.
قَلْبُ الْمُؤْمِنِ عَرْشَ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی
Meaning: The inward of a believer is the throne of Allah.
Now this brings up a question that if Divine Essence is manifested esoterically in all humans then why everyone is not a true believer and is able to behold Allah.
The response to this question lies in the incident of the day of Divine covenant (roz-e-Alast) which Sultan Bahoo has mentioned in his books Shams-ul-Arifeen and Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan.
Incident of the day of Divine covenant
On the day of pre-existence when Allah questioned all the souls اَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّکُم (Am I not your Lord?) They all replied unanimously قَالُوْا بَلیٰ (Indeed, You are!). This is verse number 172 of sura Al-A’raf in Quran.
Who chose the world and who chose heaven?
Some souls became distressed at this instant confession. They were the souls of infidels, disbelievers, hypocrites, and liars. While others became cheerful and happy with their answer. Then Allah said: “O souls! ask me anything that you want, and I will grant you.” They replied: “O Lord we seek Yourself from You.” Allah then presented the world and its luxuries on the left side of souls. Cursed Satan entered the world with the help of inciting innerself and raised twenty-four calls (they were the calls of music, lust, greed, apparent beauty, hypocrisy etc.). Upon hearing these calls ninety percent of the souls went his way and followed him.
The remaining ten percent remained steadfast before Allah. Then Allah asked again with kindness. “O souls! ask me whatever you want to ask, and I will grant you.” They said, “O Allah! we want You from You.” Allah then presented heaven, houris and castles of heaven, relishes and food and beauty and elegance of heaven on the right-hand side of the souls. After seeing them, nine out of remaining ten percent went towards it. The souls who first entered the heaven were of pious ones. There they raised the call of piety. Hearing this call the souls of scholars and pious ones followed and entered into the heaven. Hence adopting perseverance on the sharia of Prophet Mohammad sall’ Allahu Alayhi wa’alihi wasallam.
The seeker of Allah are the souls who chose Him since pre-existence
The remaining one percent still stood before Allah. Their ears did not pay heed to the calls of world or of heaven. They were the souls of Mystic Fakirs drowned in the love of Allah, annihilated in Allah, immortal with Allah and ever in the obedience and assembly of Prophet Mohammad. They adopted Faqr since pre-existence and thus never asked for anything from Allah besides Allah.
It takes courage to seek Allah
Seeking Allah is a truly a matter of courage. Indeed, only those souls are striving and seeking Allah who took Divine covenant (Wada-e-Bala) at the realm of Divinity (alam al-Lahoot) and are holding onto it even after coming into the world. So, they remain inclined towards their origin i.e. Divine soul (ar-ruh alqudsi). As is stated in a Hadith:
کُلُّ شِیْئٍ یَرْجِعُ اِلٰی اَصْلِہٖ۔
Meaning: Everything returns to its origin.
Ibn Arabi says:
- The deserving of gnosis of Allah is the one who is courageous, that is, he is neither a seeker of world nor of hereafter. Instead, he is only the seeker of Allah. (Exegesis Fusus al-Hikam)
The perfect spiritual guide of the era Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says about the traveler of the journey towards Allah:
- The courage of seeker of Allah shatters even the mountains.
- The seeker of Allah does not find peace in this world. The world is peaceful only for the seeker of world. (Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen)
How to begin journey towards Allah
It must be remembered that the journey of seeking Allah begins only when one attains firm belief that everything in this world is worthless and futile and that this world is nothing but a pile of sand that any wave can destroy. Also, only that is sought which goes missing. When one disconnects with Allah by indulging in materialistic things and relations, restlessness and agitation begins. However, if the storm of passion occurs in the soul again to seek Allah, then it is an evidence that the seeker is on a journey towards the Truth and his soul is eager to meet the true Beloved. The inward then becomes disgusted of the worldly wealth, fame, and relations and the desire to gain closeness of Allah surges which is eternal.
It has always been a tradition that every seeker of Allah went on a search for Him.
Reaching Allah is not possible without a medium
Allah say in the Holy Quran:
یٰٓاَیُّھَا اَّلذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا اتَّقُوۡا اللّٰہَ وَابْتَغُوْٓا اِلَیْہِ الْوَسِیْلَۃَ۔ ( المائدہ ۔35 )
Meaning: O believers! Fear Allah persistently and keep looking for means to (approach and get closer to) Him. (Al-Maidah 35)
If obtaining the gnosis of Allah was possible on its own, then Allah would not have commanded the believers in this verse to search for a medium. Be it known here that Allah is addressing the true believers in this verse and not the common Muslims. That is to say, the souls who yearned for Allah since pre-existence and not the seekers of world or hereafter. Hence Allah orders that whoever truly yearns to seek Him must reach Him through a medium.
Who serves as a medium?
In Lisan al Arab (volume11 page 725), a medium is defined as:
“A source through which closeness to something is achieved.”
There are numerous verses in the Holy Quran where Allah commands to search and follow a perfect Mystic who has achieved closeness of Allah and whose obedience grants the seeker with Divine closeness as well. Like the Companions gained nearness of Allah through the medium of Holy Prophet sall’ Allahu Alayhi wa’alihi wasallam.
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
And follow someone who adopts the path of turning to me. (Luqman 15)
He is Most Kind. (O aspirant to His gnosis!) Ask of Him someone who has attained His awareness. (Al-Furqan 59)
Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (peace be upon him) and those (men of truth) who hold command amongst you. (Al-Nisa 59)
When a seeker begins his journey to seek Allah, the first step is to find a perfectly accomplished spiritual guide. The truthful ones, the Fakirs and the Saints are the successors of Divine Trust on Earth and are spiritual heirs of Holy Prophet. Thus, adopting their slavery, taking oath on their hands (bayat), and also joining their company is essential to gain closeness of Allah.
All mystics advised to search for a spiritual guide
اللہ اللہ کرنے سے اللہ نہیں ملتا
یہ اللہ والے ہیں جو اللہ سے ملا دیتے ہیں
Explanation: One cannot reach Allah by just invoking His name. It is the Saints of Allah who guide one to the path of union with Allah.
اندرین عالم نیرزی باخسے
تانی آویزی بہ دامانِ کسے
Explanation: You are not worth even a tiny piece of straw in this universe unless you spend life by joining the company of a perfect spiritual guide.
Wasif Ali Wasif says:
The search of Allah takes man to a man who acquaints him with Allah. Like it took Bulleh Saha to Shah Inayat and Nizzamuddin Auliya to Fariduddin Ganjshakar. Similarly, Fariduddin Ganjshakar went to Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki and Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki went to Usman Harooni. Rumi became legendary after coming in the servitude of Shams Tabrizi, and likewise, Allama Iqbal gained spiritual beneficence from Rumi. That is to say, joining the company of spiritual guide is of utmost importance in order to reach Allah.
Barkat Ali Ludhianwi says:
Do not search for Allah, search for a guide. Allah is found easily but finding a guide is difficult.
Now the common Muslims consider prayer, fasting and Hajj a way to reach Allah. But they remain unaware that these worships provide a path and not the destination. Only a perfect spiritual guide can take the seeker to the destination.
Allama Iqbal says:
صحبت پیر رومؒ سے مجھ پہ ہوا یہ راز فاش
لاکھ حکیم سر بجیب، ایک کلیم سر بکف
Explanation: The company of Rumi revealed this secret upon me that one man conversing with Allah inwardly and fighting with the inciting innerself is better than thousands of philosophers drowned in the ocean of wisdom to find the secret of Allah.
حدیث ِ دل کسی درویش بے گلیم سے پوچھ
خدا کرے تجھے تیرے مقام سے آشنا
Explanation: Ask about the ardent Divine love from a mystic Fakir who does not possess worldly riches. May Allah grant you with the awareness of your grandeur.
How to accomplish success after achieving the company of spiritual guide
Once the company of perfect spiritual guide is achieved, the secret to success on this path is then the sincere obedience of spiritual guide and staying associated with him in every situation with perseverance. Therefore, never presume evil about him and never disobey him. In short, the key to success is in the earnest submission to perfect spiritual guide.
Sultan-ul Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali said:
- A Sarwari Qadri perfect spiritual guide is present everywhere and keeps an authority on everything. A seeker just needs to be true to his desire.
Even the Saints of highest grandeur went on a search for Allah like
Abdul Qadir Jilani
The sainthood of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani was known everywhere even before his birth. Despite this fact he searched for Allah and put his innerself to all kinds of trials.
Sultan Bahoo was a born Saint, chosen since eternity. His mother Bibi Rasti was herself a perfect Mystic. Still Sultan Bahoo says that he remained in search of a spiritual guide for thirty years but could not find one of his standing.
Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah
Another example is of Abdul Ghafoor Shah rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh whose ancestral link goes back to Prophet Mohammad’s uncle Ameer Hamza. Despite of his high genealogy he searched for a spiritual guide. One day when he went in the service of Pir Abdulla Shah, he assigned him the task to level the mud at the well in the mansion. While leveling the mud, his hands started bleeding. Despite the wounds, he kept on working. After some time, Abdullah Shah called him. Seeing his hands, he asked for an ointment and said “Your hands are so soft and delicate why did you hurt them? He replied:
“Hazoor I have set out to search Allah, I don’t care even if my hands are cut in this journey.” (Mujtaba Akhar Zamani)
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman
The current shaikh of Sarwari Qadri order and the spiritual heir of Sultan Bahoo, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen struggled hard in search of Allah and thus travelled length and breadth of the country to find a spiritual guide. As a seeker he faced many trials and challenges and proved himself true in the sphere of ardent love. He won all outward and inward trials with his strength of ardent Divine love and continued his journey with persistence, patience, and courage. For this reason, his spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh chose him as his spiritual heir and thus transferred him the Divine Trust (Amanat-e-Elahiya).
Open invitation to all humans to seek Allah
Today Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is spreading the benevolence of his spiritual guide among the common people. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is the man of Divine Essence, perfect and accomplished, and the absolute light of guidance. He is the Fakir who is the master of realms and whose alchemic sight has no boundaries. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is the guide and a companion to the travelers of the spiritual journey. He has fed the wine of ardent Divine love to thousands of seekers. Innumerable seekers have found their destiny due to his beneficence. He sanctifies the filthy inward with his perfect spiritual sight and enlightens the soul with the gnosis of Allah.
نگاہِ ولی میں وہ تاثیر دیکھی
بدلتی ہزاروں کی تقدیر دیکھی
Explanation: I saw the efficacy of the spiritual sight of a perfect Fakir altering the destiny of many.
The lost and the forgetful seekers of the path of Allah fulfil their desires from his court.
Come! And begin the journey of seeking Allah by taking oath of allegiance on the sacred hands of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. Sanctify your inwards with the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat resulting in the unveiling of spiritual veils and Divine observation. May Allah grant the seekers of Truth the ability to continue this journey with persistence and truthful intentions. Ameen
تلاشِ حق is an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the month of June 2019. Originally penned by Arshia Khan Sarwari Qadri is presented 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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