The Reviver of Islam in Present Era – Sultan ul Ashiqeen
The reviver of Islam Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman received Divine Trust from his spiritual guide, Sultan ul Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali (ra). He transferred the Divine Trust on the blessed day of 21st March 2001 whilst they were present at the sacred tomb of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in Madina. The Divine Trust was transferred after the permission of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). And thus, Sultan ul Ashiqeen was elevated to the rank of perfect and accomplished Spiritual Guide.
Sultan ul Ashiqeen is Saint by birth. Allah has blessed him with the highest rank of Sainthood. The Fakirs, Saints, scholars, seekers of Allah and Sufis turn to him for guidance. He possesses inspired knowledge. The dwellers of the esoteric world, from the realm of angels (alam al-malakut) to the realm of Divinity (alam al-LaHoot) sing his praises.
He covers the shortcomings of his devotees, guides the mankind to the righteous path and indeed is the Divine light for the seekers of Truth. He is fully accomplished in Faqr, the leader of all the saints of his time, the bearer of Truth, the possessor of Divine secrets, the one who blesses seekers with Divine union, highly exalted and brave, the one who spread the beneficence of Faqr throughout the world, the reviver of Islam, the confidant of Sultan ul Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali (ra) and the Sultan of all Divine lovers. The fact is that, it is simply not possible for someone to adequately express his attributes and exalted spiritual status. Allah has manifested Divine attributes through him and made him the sovereign of His treasures.
Sultan ul Ashiqeen's Titles
Sultan ul Ashiqeen reached such heights in Divine love that Mohammadan Assembly awarded him with the title of Sultan ul Ashiqeen – The Sultan of Divine lovers. He revived the essence of Islam such that he received the title of Shabeeh-e-Ghaus al-Azam (the reflection of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani). He spread the blessing of Divine vision in such a way that he proved the Hadith of Holy Prophet (pbuh) in which he said, soon you will witness your Lord (Allah) as you see the full moon (at night). On this basis he was given the title of Aftab-e-Faqr (the sun of Faqr).
He spread awareness of Divine Trust such that he was granted the title of ‘Shaan-e-Fqr’ – the glory of Faqr. It is the treasure of Faqr, for which the prophets of previous ummas expressed their desire to be part of umma of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). The Ism e Azam for which the Saints of past used to spend their lives searching, Sultan ul Ashiqeen grants that Ism e Azam to his disciples on the very first day of bayat. For this, he is known as Sultan ul Zakireen – the king of invokers of Hoo.
Explanation: I have no desire left in my heart. The only thing I wish for is the pleasure of my beloved – Spiritual Guide. Because it is the spiritual glance of a perfect spiritual guide that rids one’s innerself of its evil attributes and replaces them with Divine attributes. Hence, enlightening the soul and eventually blessing the seeker with presence in Mohammadan assembly and annihilation and union with Divine Essence.
ساغر کی آرزو ہے نہ پیمانہ چاہئے
بس اک نگاہِ مرشدِ مے خانہ چاہئے
Types of Miracles
It is common practice that when people talk about a Saint (in this case Sultan ul Ashiqeen), they usually have his miracles in mind. And this is how they try and gauge a Saint’s spiritual rank and authority. However, the correct approach is that along with miracles, people should also study and learn the other aspects of the Saint’s life. They should try and understand what has been their role in literary, social and political work and welfare of the society.
This article will review Sultan ul Ashiqeen’s services for Islam through the aforementioned aspects. Fact of the matter is that it would not be possible to completely cover every aspect of Sultan ul Ashiqeen’s services for the revival of Islam. To keep the article short, only two aspects will be discussed here i.e. miracles and literary work.
Miracles of Sultan ul Ashiqeen
Sainthood and miracles are linked i.e. it is inevitable to see miracles manifest from a Saint. They vindicate a Saint’s sainthood. However, it is important to bear in mind that miracles are of two types: esoteric and exoteric. The esoteric miracles are more authentic and a source of guidance. Sultan ul Ashiqeen’s miracles are numerous. However, because he keeps himself away from show-off as Allah likes this, therefore, he does his utmost to avoid exoteric miracles. But there are times when it is the will of Allah and it is then when exoteric miracles manifest through him.
As the esoteric self is related to the hidden, therefore the esoteric miracles largely remain unknown. Only those who have enlightened inward can recognise them according to their spiritual rank. It is worth pointing out that the exoteric miracles can be wrapped behind various esoteric veils and vice versa. To keep the article short, only one exoteric and one esoteric miracle of Sultan ul Ashiqeen is being mentioned here. A subtle sign is enough for the sage and those who believe. And those who are inwardly blind, they are like donkeys. No matter how many books are put on their back, they remain deprived.
Ever since Sultan ul Ashiqeen took charge as the present Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri order and as a perfect Spiritual Guide, there has been many revolutionary changes in the path of Sufism.
One such example is the provision of online bayat – oath of allegiance whereby the seeker pledges allegiance to the perfect Spiritual Guide in order to begin his / her inward journey. Previously, it was mandatory for a disciple to meet the Murshid (spiritual guide) in person and pledge allegiance. However, Sultan ul Ashiqeen waived this pre-requisite. This made it possible for countless seekers of Allah who for many reasons were unable to attend in person. Since then, a large number of seekers of Divine path both from within and outside the country have pledged allegiance and have received spiritual beneficence from Sultan ul Ashiqeen. This is a testament to his very exalted spiritual status and his spiritual powers and authority.
Incident of an International Disciple of
Sultan ul Ashiqeen
It would be prudent to mention an esoteric miracle of Sultan ul Ashiqeen here in this regard. This occurred to a seeker who is based in Bangladesh when he pledged his allegiance to Sultan ul Ashiqeen. He narrates:
“I had been in search of perfect spiritual guide. I had read in the books of Sultan Bahoo that presence in Mohammadan Assembly and Divine vision are a conferral of a perfect Murshid. My basis of search was this very purpose i.e. to attain presence in Mohammadan Assembly and the blessing of Divine vision. I found a so called Murshid in my native land and pledged allegiance to him. I followed all his instructions and did all the mystic endeavours but in vain. My inward remained dark as it ever was.
This feeling of not getting closer to Divine Essence was making me restless. One day, I prayed to Allah in a state of ardent passion and asked for His guidance. The very same day, I came across the photo of Sultan ul Ashiqeen which revitalised me from within. This is because it was the same sacred countenance that I had seen in my dreams many times previously. Now, the next thing was how could I pledge allegiance as Sultan ul Ashiqeen is based in Pakistan. However, my anxiety turned into joy when I found out that Sultan ul Ashiqeen has provided the online bayat facility. I completed bayat without further delay.
As I completed the bayat, it enlightened my inward. I saw myself standing in Masjid e Nabawi in Madina where it was about time for prayer. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) was to lead the prayer. All the Shaikhs of Sarwari Qadri order were standing behind the Prophet (pbuh) in rows. I was astonished to see that my Murshid (Sultan ul Ashiqeen) was also present there. He stood me next to him and thus I completed the prayer with my Murshid in the lead of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). As soon as the prayer concluded, I returned to my normal state.
This esoteric miracle of Sultan ul Ashiqeen is a testament that his spiritual beneficence is same for people who pledge allegiance in person or whether they do this remotely. This proves that Sultan ul Ashiqeen has revived the soul of Islam.
Exoteric Miracle of Sultan ul Ashiqeen
It probably will be an esoteric trial for many to disclose the fact that Masjid e Zahra and Khanqah sultan ul Ashiqeen will become the centre of Faqr in future and will play a pivotal role in the revival of Islam. The informed ones (those with enlightened inward) already know this but the naysayers will always remain deniers. Their stubbornness will lead them further away from the Truth. Therefore, it is important to err on the side of caution but at the same time it is imperative to mention the truth briefly. So that the sincere seekers of Divine path can benefit.
When materialism and waywardness will prevail, the seekers of Truth will turn to Masjid e Zahra and its incumbent i.e. Sultan ul Ashiqeen. As this will be the only place from where they will be able to receive true spiritual beneficence. The following miracle took place at Masjid e Zahra and a lot of people are eye witness to it.
Construction of Masjid e Zahra and Khanqah Sultan ul Ashiqeen
The completion of the grey structure of Masjid e Zahra was in final stages. The roof was about to be laid. It was monsoon season. It was imperative to complete the laying of roof before the onset of rains. This is because the rains would not only have stopped the work but it would have also been detrimental to the whole structure.
The day when laying of roof began, the same day the local Met office said heavy rains were about to begin and they would continue for a week. The contractor was very concerned that the rains would cause a lot of damage. On the other hand, the construction committee (which consists of the disciples of Sultan ul Ashiqeen who oversee the construction work) were worried about the stability of the whole structure. The contractor came to Sultan ul Ashiqeen, explained the whole situation and expressed his concerns. Sultan ul Ashiqeen asked him how many days he needed to complete the work. He replied, we needed three days. Sultan ul Ashiqeen paused for few moments and then said, “Ok, continue the work, you have five days.”
When the contractor arrived back at Masjid e Zahra, the whole area was covered in dark clouds. It started raining from that evening. Surprisingly, despite heavy clouds around Masjid e Zahra, not a single drop of rain landed within 1 kilometre. Beyond that, heavy rains continued for five days. The contractor, the construction committee and the locals witnessed this miracle for five days.
Literary Work of Sultan ul Ashiqeen
Sultan ul Ashiqeen is a revolutionary personality. We need to understand his teachings.
The books that Sultan ul Ashiqeen has authored have a special place in Sufism. If one ponders over his teachings, they would learn that Sultan ul Ashiqeen has written books on all those issues that led to the downfall of Muslim umma. Below is an overview of his literary work:
The fount of all guidance is the inward. The exoteric self without its esoteric counterpart is nothing but waywardness. To ignore the esoteric self is to turn away from the righteous path. Those who claim to have enlightened inwards are in fact void of it. When those who portray themselves as spiritual guides turn out to be fake, then this gives rise to waywardness. Sultan ul Ashiqeen is the Universal Divine Man of this era. He is not only a fully accomplished spiritual guide but one who enlightens others’ inwards with Divine light. Allah said in Quran, salvation is for those who cleansed their inwards. The purgation or cleansing of the innerself is in fact enlightenment of the inward. That is why Allah said in Quran salvation is not possible without enlightenment of the inward. The reality is that today’s so called scholars are completely void of this blessing.
The Prophetic Way of Purgation of Innerself
The one who spread the teachings for inward enlightenment amongst the so called scholars in today’s materialistic age is none other than sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman. It would be unreasonable to restrict his teachings to a particular age or place. One of his books, which has been translated and published in English as ‘The Prophetic Way of Purgation of Innerself’ is a guide for the seekers of Allah. It enlightens the inward of those with Divine light who read it with sincerity.
Purification of Innerself in Sufism
There is a Hadith that says who recognised his innerself, recognised his / her Lord (Allah). Sultan ul Ashiqeen has written a book on this topic. The English translation of this book is available under the title ‘Purification of Innerself in Sufism’. Sultan ul Ashiqeen has beautifully explained all the various diseases of the innerself in this book as well as the things that act as a veil between Allah and His men. It is a must read for the seekers of Divine path. The author has uncovered all those issues in it that become a hindrance on this path as well as clearly explained how one can get their innerself cleansed and sanctified.
The reason for the downfall of Muslim umma is indeed that they are so called Muslims. They are no longer Momins. A Muslim only has the outward deeds and rituals or in words they have the carcass whereas a Momin truly lives and breathes Islam i.e. they have the soul of Islam not just the hollow shell. Sultan ul Ashiqeen has written books on all the basic pillars of Islam and have explained their real purpose. This includes Islamic creed, five daily prayers, fasting, Hajj and zakat.
The Divine Reality of Ism-e-Allah Zaat
In today’s fast paced world, people do not have the time to engage in lengthy recitals and forty days seclusion. Sultan ul Ashiqeen has truly revived the essence of Islam by spreading the beneficence of Ism Allah Zaat (Ism e Azam). Just to put things in perspective, Syed Baha-uddin Naqshband spent sixteen years wandering about in jungles to obtain Ism e Azam (Ism Allah Zaat). Sultan ul Ashiqeen has abridged that 16 years’ of effort and struggles in his book, ‘The Divine Reality of Ism-e-Allah Zaat’.
The Perfect Spiritual Guide
In the past, the seekers of Divine path used to spend a large part of their life in search of a perfect spiritual guide. And only after finding a perfect spiritual guide their journey towards Divine Essence began. Sultan ul Ashiqeen has made it very easy for the Divine seekers by writing book whose English translation is available as: ‘The Perfect Spiritual Guide’. In this book the distinguished author has described the attributes of a perfect spiritual guide in light of Quran, Hadith and the sayings of the past Saints. This is a beacon of light for the seekers when it comes to finding a perfect spiritual guide.
Love of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)
بجھی عشق کی آگ، اندھیر ہے
مسلماں نہیں، راکھ کا ڈھیر ہے
Explanation: The one whose inward is void of the love of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). It is as if he is a pile of (worthless) ash and not a Muslim.Every Muslim has some level of love of the Prophet (pbuh) in their heart. However, it is also a fact that only few are truly blessed with this blessing. One of the reasons for those who remain deprived of this blessing is that they remain oblivious to the grandeur and glory of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Until and unless someone is aware of one’s status and grandeur, the feeling of their respect and love does not emerge in others’ hearts. Respect is the first step on the journey of love. In other words, if one is to gain the blessing of the love of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), they must understand and accept the very exalted status of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
The Mohammadan Reality
One of the condition of accepting something is that the person accepting has the knowledge of what they are accepting. Thus, it transpires that the basis of Islam and faith is the love of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). And the love of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) stems from the knowledge of his status and glory. It is this knowledge of the grandeur and status of the Prophet (pbuh) that Sultan ul Ashiqeen has described in detail in his book ‘The Mohammadan Reality’. This book uncovers some very rare facts about the status of Prophet Mohammad. On the night of Miraj, at the station of Sidra tul Muntaha, Angel Gabriel said to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that if he stepped forward even a tiny bit, he will burn away.
Sultan ul Ashiqeen has described in this book that at the point where Gabriel said he could not go any further, from there the spiritual status of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) begins. And thus, by writing a book on this topic, Sultan ul Ashiqeen has shown a way out of the present downfall of Muslim umma. The English name of this book is ‘The Mohammadan Reality’.
From the early days of Islam and throughout, there have been two groups of people. One was those people who were against the Companions. They are called Rafida. The other group is those who are against the People of the Cloak, they are called Kharijites. They were known by different names in different times. In today’s materialistic age when Muslims merely follow outward aspect of Islam, it has become very difficult to identify these groups. Moreover, in such circumstances it is very difficult to protect oneself from their evil attacks through preaching.
In order to guide the Muslim umma, Sultan ul Ashiqeen wrote Urdu book, ‘Fazail-e-Ahl-e-Bayat’. This book not only arms its readers with the knowledge to be able to protect themselves from the evils of the aforementioned two sects but at the same time kindles the love of the People of Cloak and Companions in their inwards which is a fundamental requirement for a complete faith.
Celebration of Mawlid Al-Nabi
Today, the Muslim umma is split over the celebration of Mawlid un Nabi (Birthday of the Holy Prophet – pbuh). This not only is weakening the unity of the umma but also is weakening Islam as a whole. As reviver of Islam, Sultan ul Ashiqeen has made an effort to unite the umma as well as to strengthen the foundations of Islam. In this regard he authored a book whose English name is ‘Celebration of Mawlid Al-Nabi’. In this book, Sultan ul Ashiqeen has explained through references from Quran and Hadith that the celebration of Mawlid is completely permissible and in fact is must. Not just that, but he also explained the correct way of celebrating so that people do not transgress.
Imam Hussain and Yazid
The enemies of Islam tried very hard to exploit the incidence of martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali and used this to create differences amongst Muslims. The reason, they had some success in this is because mostly people know about the outward aspect of the martyrdom. No one properly explained the esoteric aspect. In this regard, Sultan ul Ashiqeen wrote a book whose English title is ‘Imam Hussain and Yazid’ in which he not only explained the outward aspect but more importantly explained the esoteric aspect in detail.
The Spiritual Guides of Sarwari Qadri Order
The Sarwari Qadri order began from the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and reaches Sultan ul Ashiqeen through 31 steps. Sultan ul Ashiqeen wrote books documenting the life and teachings of prominent Fakirs of this spiritual order. This includes life and teachings of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Sultan Bahoo, Sultan ul Tarikeen, Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah Madni Jilani and Sultan ul Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali.
As mentioned above, the Sarwari Qadri order began from the Holy Prophet and reaches Sultan ul Ashiqeen today. Previously, people only knew this spiritual order until Sultan Bahoo and there was difference of opinion after him. Sarwari Qadri order is the original Qadri order of Shaikh Abdul Qadri Jilani. Sultan Bahoo re-organised it as Sarwari Qadri order in his time to differentiate it from many fake spiritual orders that were prevalent at the time.
Sultan ul Ashiqeen wrote a book whose English title is ‘The Spiritual Guides of Sarwari Qadri Order’ in which he proved through authentic references that after Sultan Bahoo, how Sarwari Qadri order progressed and who is the possessor of the Divine Trust in this age.
There is no doubt that Allama Iqbal invited Muslim umma towards essence of Islam i.e. the Mohammadan Faqr. However, today when people read his poetry, they only understand the outward aspect of this Sufi poetry. The majority of people are oblivious to the real meaning of this poetry. Therefore, they remain deprived of the essence of his teachings. In order to make it easy for the people to understand Iqbal’s Sufi poetry. Sultan ul Ashiqeen authored an Urdu book called ‘Faqr-e-Iqbal’. In this book, Sultan ul Ashiqeen has explained the essence of Iqbal’s teachings in simple to understand language so that people can benefit from it.
Sufism – The Soul of Islam
Finally, this section would be incomplete without mentioning Sultan ul Ashiqeen’s renowned book, ‘Sufism – The Soul of Islam’. It would not be wrong to call this an encyclopaedia of Sufism. In this book, Sultan ul Ashiqeen has explained all the stations and levels of the inward journey in detail. This equips the seeker with the knowledge that guides them on this path. People who read this book with sincerity, it acts as guide for them.
Sultan ul Ashiqeen – Reviver of Islam
A critical review of the books of Sultan ul Ashiqeen proves that the issues that he has tackled through these books, only a Mujaddid (reviver) can do that.
In summary, as per a Hadith of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), there is a Mujaddid who emerges at the beginning of each century. He re-organises and revives Islam according to the needs and requirements of that age. The people with enlightened inward know that the Mujaddid of this century is none other than Sultan ul Ashiqeen.
In light of the Hadith, Sultan ul Ashiqeen started taking bayah (pledge of allegiance) from seekers of Allah in 2005. In addition, his literary work, guiding the mankind on the righteous path, spreading the beneficence of Mohammadan Faqr and blessing the seekers with presence in Mohammadan Assembly, these are all the signs of him being the reviver of Islam in this century.
May Allah grant us the favour to benefit from his spiritual company. Ameen
This is English translation of Urdu Blog :
that appeared in March 2022 issue of the monthly Sultan ul Faqr Magazine. Sultan Mohammad Abdullah Iqbal Sarwari Qadri authored the original article. Waheed Hassan Sarwari Qadri has translated it in English.
A Mujaddid or reviver is a Muslim Saint who emerges at the beginning of each century. He is spiritually on the footsteps of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his spiritual vicegerent. He re-organises and revives Islam according the requirements of that age. The reviver of Islam of this century is Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman as discussed above.