Questions and Answers about Tasawwuf
Questions of Ahbab
His Eminence Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan
Shaikh Silsilah Naqshbandiah Owaisiah
Q 1: Does Zikr by breathing cause any harmful effect to a person’s brain, heart or lungs? Surely, when breathing is done unnaturally, there should certainly be some effects, good or bad.
A 1: There are a number of methods of Zikr, all of which were adopted during the Quroon-e Oola (Earliest Period). The Sahabah (Companions) also did Zikr. However, with a single glance from the Holy Prophet-saws, their whole bodies had become Zakir (i.e. resonated with Allah’s name); the Holy Quran confirms this fact. One of the attributes of an ideal Muslim stated by the Holy Quran (the Companions being the ideal Muslims of the Holy Quran) is that when he hears Allah’s Zikr or HIS Ayaat (Verses), his head, his heart and the cells of his skin to the core of his heart also feel its effect and resonate. Then, each cell of his body becomes a Zakir, from his outermost skin to the innermost recess of his Qalb. This was the state of the Companions, however, they didn’t have to make any effort to acquire it. One single glance from the Holy Prophet-saws did the job. The Taba‘in also didn’t have to make any effort, for in the company of the Sahabah, every visitor became a Taba‘i. Similarly anyone who met a Taba‘i became a Tab‘a Taba‘i.
Performing Zikr in the company of a Shaikh is proved from even the Sahabah. Zikr in the presence of the Holy Prophet-saws, or together in a Halqah (Circle) in Masjid-e Nabvi-saws is proven from them. Zikr, up to now, has also been curing ailments of the head and heart. This is also our personal observation and we have read and heard of past incidents of patients getting cured by Zikr Allah. I myself have been doing Zikr for the last half a century (and that’s a long time) and have not experienced any ill effects.
Hadhrat ul Mukarram-rua spent more than eighty years in this world. Till the last day of his life, his mind and heart were better and stronger than those of other people. His memory was vivid and his organs were functioning normally. He spent a lifetime in Zikr, even now thousands are doing Zikr in the same manner without the slightest of ill effects.
As far as breathing unnaturally is concerned, if walking is natural, why will walking quickly or running become unnatural? Similarly, if breathing is a natural activity, why will breathing rapidly be called unnatural? Yes, it can be difficult, but why unnatural? This is just lack of understanding and a wrong choice of words! If the theory of probability is considered, there is a probability of some ill for every action. There is a probability of falling sick after drinking or eating, a probability of the roof collapsing while sleeping or the probability of an accident while driving. Shall we then forsake all worldly activity for fear of some fatal probability?
Q 2: Is there any reference of doing Zikr by breathing either in the Holy Quran or in Ahadith?
A 2: If the Holy Quran gives details of the ways and means to be adopted for Hajj whilst giving the Command to perform Hajj, then all forms and methods of Zikr would also be mentioned in it. Where in the Holy Quran is given the order to draw water from a river or a rivulet for making Wudhu? The Holy Quran gives the aims and objectives only, not the means and methods. There is only one restriction for the means and methods: they should not be against the Shari‘ah. Let’s say we require water for making Wudhu for Salah, should we take it from a person dying of thirst? No. Rather, we should perform Tayyemum. The Holy Quran and the Ahadith don’t discuss specific means and methods, they mention only the goals and objectives. Building a mosque can be an objective, it is for you to decide whether the walls should be of brick or of stone, will they be whitewashed or not, will the plaster be of cement or of mud, will the roof have iron bars or wooden logs. It is childish to ask for the reference of a reinforced-concrete-cement roof in the Holy Quran or Ahadith.
The Holy Quran has clearly and repeatedly commanded, Do Allah’s Zikr frequently. Of all that you do in life, Zikr Allah should be the most frequent act. Do it in any manner under all circumstances: Those who remember Allah standing, sitting and reclining. The Holy Quran has not placed any restriction whether someone is breathing fast or slow, but has emphasised the importance and superiority of doing Zikr with the Qalb. Don’t obey (follow) the one whose heart WE have made unmindful of OUR Zikr. It is a punishment for some fault or sin that a Qalb forfeits its capacity to do Zikr. In this verse, the Holy Prophet-saws is being instructed not to pay any attention to such a person. Had he been of any worth, then why would WE take out OUR Zikr from his Qalb, such a person is not worthy of attention.
The sayings of the Holy Prophet-saws are recorded in al Bukhari but al Bukhari was not there during the times of the Holy Prophet-saws. Where will anyone find the authentic reference for al Bukhari and al Muslim themselves? Our present schools of religion (Madaris) teach Quran and Ahadith. If we wish to search for their references during the times of the Holy Prophet-saws, we won’t find a single school where one teacher taught grammar only, the other taught only Ahadith, whilst the other taught only Tafseer and yet another taught the memorization of the Holy Quran. We don’t find such departments during that time. We find only one school, with only one teacher-saws. Battle training was also imparted there, Quran and Hadith were also taught there, all this happened at one place. Why have different departments been organised today? Where is their reference?
All these are means and methods and require no reference. The fact that they are not considered unlawful by the Shari‘ah is sufficient for their adoption. Authentic reference is needed only for goals and objectives and these should be separated from means and methods. As I have mentioned before, performing Hajj is an objective. The person, for whom it is an obligation, must perform it. However, the Holy Quran is not concerned whether someone travels on a horseback, on a camel, by road or by air. His reward will not increase if he travels by air, nor will it decrease if he goes riding a horse, nor will it increase if he goes on foot. In reality, such concepts are the by-products of ignorance. It is Allah’s Grace that HE keeps providing for newer means and resources. Similarly, the objective is to perform Zikr Allah; one can adopt any form and method (permitted by the Shari‘ah).
No scholar of religious knowledge can accomplish literary works with so much of care, logic and authenticity as has been done by Sufis and Mashaikh. The religious scholars have only one source of knowledge, the documentation; while the Sufis have two sources, the documents as well as their acumen or insight. If they happen to take a step against the Sunnah, their Qalb is affected and they immediately stop, realizing it was wrong. In the writings of Sufis, you find that many things that are considered lawful by religious scholars, are regarded unlawful by the Sufis. There are Ahadith about which the Sufis opine that these are not authentic because these don’t reflect Prophetic blessings.
Q: 3 It is quoted in Dalael us Sulook that the breathing of the Holy Prophet-saws became fast during reception of Divine Revelation, but there is no mention of Zikr in it.
A: 3 Revelation of the Divine Word was accompanied by Divine Refulgence. When Divine Lights descended on the noble Qalb of the Holy Prophet-saws, the blood became hot, the Qalb started beating faster and the breathing became rapid. Someone has written a book on the life of Abu Hanifah-rua. Summarising the whole discussion, he concluded that the people who criticise him are not blameworthy. His approach and ability to comprehend and express religious issues is so high that a common man cannot access it and thus starts passing verdicts against him. In the end he has quoted a poetic verse to illustrate his point, ‘Your enlightenment is like darkness to me.’ The same is the case here. There is such a clear and strong reason in Shaikh ul Mukarram’s inference, and you have not been able to see any logic in it! It requires someone's company to develop an understanding for such discourse. Whenever the Holy Prophet-saws was receiving a new Divine verse, he was overwhelmed by the same state. He-saws is the source of light, the centre of Divine Refulgence; yet, whenever he received fresh revelation, he experienced the same condition, that is, more heat was generated in his blood, his noble Qalb started beating faster which was reflected in his rapid breathing. Spiritual teachers have reversed this principle, that is, if you breathe faster you will increase your heart rate, invigorating the blood which will, in turn, help in the absorption of Divine Lights (by the Qalb) that are descending on it through the Tawajjuh (spiritual attention) of the Shaikh.
Q: 4 Sufis conduct the Zikr of ‘Allah Hoo’, while this phrase does not exist in the Holy Quran. Phrases like ‘Allah-o La Ilaha illa Hoo’ or those containing the pronoun, like ‘Lahoo Mulk as-Samawaat-e wal Ardh’ do exist in the Holy Quran. Similarly, the pronoun ‘Hoo’ in ‘Qaulohoo’ refers to its preceding word. I don’t understand how an erroneous phrase can become Zikr Allah. What is the use of such Zikr when even the Personal Name of Allah is not recited properly? If you remove the ‘Hoo’ after the word Allah, it will be pronounced as ‘Allah’, which will be correct. Otherwise, according to the rules of grammar, it is a flawed composition.
A: 4 ‘Allah Hoo’ becomes a complete sentence, meaning ‘HE is Allah’. When the pronoun ‘Hoo’ is combined with the word ‘Allah’, it becomes a complete sentence: ‘HE is Allah’. Understand a simple grammatical principle that this is a complete sentence. The pronoun ‘Hoo’ gives it the meaning ‘HE is (exists), Whose name is Allah’.
Q: 5 Is the ‘power of concentration’ related to the brain or the Qalb?
A: 5 There are five senses, one of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing associated with the human body; there is yet another, a sense of thought also. The information processed by them directly affects the Qalb. If the eye sees something beautiful, a beautiful flower, a lovely picture, the Qalb also feels delighted; if it sees something ugly, the Qalb also feels distressed. If the ear hears something good or bad, or if the tongue indulges in noble or loose talk, the Qalb feels their effect. Similarly, the thought process of the brain also affects the Qalb. When, it is advised to close the eyes during Zikr, lock the tongue, move the body slightly and focus the mind on ‘Allah Hoo’, all these steps are aimed at reducing the external effects on the Qalb. If the Qalb is distracted, it will divide its attention and consequently its connection with Zikr Allah will be lost. It means the Qalb can remain attentive to only one thing at one time. The ‘power of concentration’ is, in fact, one of the yoga practices and worship of Hindus. These are exercises of the brain that are similar to telepathy. This power is attained by focussing the entire mental energy at one point. Such people start with constantly gazing at the flame of a candle for five minutes in the beginning and gradually extend this time to several hours. Those who become experts can continue gazing at the sun for hours at a time. They do this to attain the ability to focus the entire mental energy at one point. Having attained it, they use this ability to transfer their thoughts to other people’s minds or to read their minds to some extent. During these times, you are using machines for similar purposes.
You can watch on TV, a game being played on the other side of the world. A person who has learnt the art to concentrate may see it even without a TV; it is possible. You can converse with someone across the globe though a telephone, while such a person may be able to communicate without a telephone. There still exists a tribe in Africa, where this concentration of attention is regarded as worship. Their religion dates back to the prehistoric period. One of them informs the other of his plan to communicate at a particular time. The other person also concentrates at the same time and they are able to communicate even if they are hundred of miles apart. It is possible, because anything that can be perceived through material means can also be perceived by concentration of attention, because the brain is also a material entity. However, it is not possible to observe the angels, facts of Barzakh or the realm above the heavens or the Divine Refulgence, through concentration of attention.
Q: 6 How can the effect caused by the lack of attention and concentration on Kashf and Maraqbat be removed?
A: 6 Our reason for attention and concentration is to guard the Qalb against external disturbances. Our real object is the Qalb. If the concentration is inadequate, the mind starts thinking of something else. If you open you eyes and start looking at something or start listening to a song, it will disturb the attention of your Qalb. For this reason, our Qalb does not absorb the spiritual states. Now the question: how to overcome this weakness? The best cure is frequent meditation. Meditate for long duration after Zikr. If Maraqbat-e Thalatha (the Three Meditations) are your lessons, meditate about Aqrabiyyat when going to sleep. If you are doing Lata‘if and Rabitah (Connection - the basic meditation) only, concentrate on your Qalb while going to sleep. If you find some time to meditate, sit down and meditate. Frequent meditation strengthens the Qalb.
Q: 7 How can one achieve constancy in Zikr?
A: 7 Constancy is achieved through concentration, and concentration is achieved through frequent Zikr. It is a condition achieved by performing an act continuously. If you observe those who indulge in worldly activities like gambling, drinking or bird-fighting, they become so engrossed that their minds, tongues and hands remain occupied in their hobbies, whether they are driving, cooking or doing anything. Similarly, the blessing of constancy is achieved through frequent Zikr.
Q: 8 What is meant by ‘confirmation by the Qalb’?
A: 8 If this confirmation by the Qalb is absent, one may be included in Muslim lists, but is not considered a Muslim by Allah-swt. Allah-swt accepts his Islam only when his Qalb accepts Islam. If a student loses faith in his teacher after obtaining an education, he doesn’t lose that knowledge, but for the acquisition of Prophetic blessings, it is obligatory to place complete faith in the Holy Prophet-saws. The Deen, in reality, denotes the strength of relationship with the Holy Prophet-saws, the stronger this relationship, the stronger the Faith! Secular knowledge comprises mere words, but Prophetic blessings comprise both words and feeling that suffuse the character of a believer. You may keep teaching about honesty to a student, but you cannot make him honest, yet when the Holy Prophet-saws describes honesty, it shall become the second nature of a listening believer. And this is the distinguishing greatness of Prophets!
Q: 9 What is meant by the illumination of the Lata‘if and what is its indication?
A: 9 When the Lata‘if are illuminated, a person develops hatred for sin and feels a wave of delight passing through the body by doing a noble act. This is the real indication. If one is blessed with Kashf (spiritual observation), one can also detect the increase and decrease in the lights of Lata‘if.
Q: 10 A member of the Order, who visits us to conduct Zikr once remarked that these meditations are only abstract and conceptual. Please explain this.
A: 10 This is not correct. This is the concept in Hindu yoga. The meditations in Islamic Tasawwuf are real and actual. There is no room for any imaginations, nor are such imaginations taught.
Q: 11 What should be imagined during Ahadiyyat, Ma‘iyyat and Aqrabiyyat?
A: 11 My brother, there is not need to imagine anything. Whenever you are blessed with Ahadiyyat, you will get one of the two things through the Tawajjuh of either the Shaikh or a Sahib-e Majaz. You will either get Mushahidah (spiritual observation) and see Ahadiyyat or observe its Lights or see your Rooh standing there. Some lucky ones may be able to see all three things while some may observe only two. It is possible that if one doesn’t get Mushahidah, one may get Wajdan. One does get either of the two blessings. Although the person blessed with Wajdan doesn’t observe anything, he is fully convinced that he is standing there and all these things are also present there. The indication of Wajdan is that it is such a strong inspiration from Allah-swt that no intellectual reason can override it. No one can convince him that it is not correct. Although he is not seeing anything, yet he is observing everything. Wajdan is more reliable than Mushahidah. There is the possibility of an error in Mushahidah; although Shaitan cannot go above the heavens, he tries to colour the lights going up and tries to paint his image in them, which is very difficult to detect. However, in Wajdan, the lights are descending onto the Qalb, if Shaitan tries to interfere with them, the hair stand at their ends and the Qalb immediately realizes that there is something wrong. Wajdan is, as such, more reliable. However, HE doesn’t deprive anyone and certainly blesses everyone. If this blessing takes time or is received immediately, it is timed by HIM, because HE knows what should be granted to whom and at what time. Your duty is to make an effort; our job is to give Tawajjuh and work with you, and it for Allah to reward our efforts.
Q: 12 What should be thought of during Maraqbat (meditations)?
A: 12 Nothing should be thought of during Maraqbat. My brother, when you are fully concentrating on ‘Allah Hoo’ during Zikr, there is no need to think of anything else. Full attention should remain focussed on ‘Allah Hoo’ in this part. The Rabitah (connection) is the first Maraqbah during the meditation part. In this Maraqbah, lights rise up from the Qalb to the 'Arsh (The Divine Throne). Again, full attention should remain focussed on this. Those who have been blessed with other Maraqbat should concentrate on their respective meditations.
Q: 13 Are the Lata'if and Maraqbat affected if a Zakir eats the market food or the food prepared by someone who doesn’t offer Salah?
A: 13 Even if such food is Halaal (permitted), a certain type of Nahusat (impurity, inauspiciousness, impiety) is produced in it for remaining in the market. Being Halaal is one aspect while being Tayyib (pure, clean) is another. It will be Tayyib, only if the cook is Tayyib and the hands preparing it are also Tayyib. If the food is Halaal but not Tayyib, then the soot of its impiety will also affect the Qalb and Lata'if. Every human being radiates the effect of his/her persona. Whenever a person who doesn’t offer Salah or a greedy, hungry or an impious person looks at the food in the market, it transfers his/her effect to the food. This radiation is like soot. When, in the beginning, there were only a couple of us, doing Lata'if, Shaikh ul Mukarram-rua advised us, ‘You must offer Salah with Jama‘at (congregation) in the Masjid, but only the Fardh Salah. Offer the Sunnah Salah in your home, before going to the Masjid and offer the remaining Salah back at home. If you have to offer the remaining Salah in the Masjid, separate yourself from others offering Salah. Their effect is enough to block your Lata'if.’ The influence of those who forsake Salah is even worse. Even those who offer Salah but their hearts are not illuminated, are overwhelmed by worldly thoughts and the soot of worldly concerns. The Lata'if are influenced by offering Salah with them, even if they don’t indulge in any conversation. Visiting the market for the sake of window-shopping or passing time is plainly detrimental, such activities are simply harmful.
Q: 14 Is the seventh Latifah ‘Sultan al-Azkaar’ a Latifah of the body or of the Rooh or of both?
A: 14 My brother, Lata'if are essentially from ‘Aalam-e Amr and are elements of the Rooh. Not only the seventh, but all Lata'if belong to ‘Aalam-e Amr. Mujaddid Alif Thani-rua has written in his ‘Maktoobat’ that a human being has not been raised from five elements (clay, water, fire, air and the Nafs that comes into being with the combination of these four elements), but from ten elements that also include Qalb, Rooh, Sirri, Khaffi and Akhfa. Lata'if are elements of the Rooh. The Rooh permeates the body, therefore the body is directly affected by the illumination of Lata'if. And when this light spreads through the body, each cell of the body is illuminated and also becomes a Zakir. The Holy Quran mentions, ‘Then soften their skins and their hearts towards Allah’s Zikr’. The fact is that unless the organs of the body become a Zakir, a person cannot ward off neglect. Even a pious worshipper cannot experience a state of ‘Presence’, and remains neglectful even during his worship, and the possibility of his experiencing this state outside worship is remote. For this reason, Qazi Thana Ullah Panipatti, in his ‘Tafseer-e Mazhari’ has graded performance of Zikr-e Qalbi as ‘Wajib’ (obligatory) for every Muslim male and female.
Q: 15 What will be the effect of Maraqbat in the life of Barzakh (life of the Hereafter)?
A: 15 Maraqbat are the currency of Barzakh. They will have exactly the same effect as that of a currency in its own country. The righteous scholars opine that, after Fardh and Sunnah worship, Maraqbat are superior to Nawafil worship. The accomplished Mashaikh also advise frequent Maraqbat.
Q: 16 What is meant by the Rooh’s ability to fly?
A: 16 There is a method of Zikr known as ‘Pas Anfas’ (guarding the breath), which has been adopted by our Silsilah. After doing Zikr on the Lata'if, the meditation of Rabitah (connection) is taught. When this connection grows strong, the Rooh flies through it to higher spiritual stations. This is known as ‘Flight of the Rooh’.
Q: 17 How does the body remain alive, when Rooh goes to spiritual stations during meditations?
A: 17 If you don’t have the meditations, how will you understand how the body remains alive when the Rooh ascends to spiritual stations? If the sun doesn’t explode after dissipating light to the whole world, similarly the body doesn’t die when the Rooh leaves it to go to spiritual stations. It retains its connection with the body during meditations; however, this connection is severed at the time of death. The state of death is different, while the states of meditations are different. Consider this tiny, material eye. When you look towards the sky or the moon and sun, the sight reaches there in an instant. Does the eye explode when the sight leaves and returns? If the material eyes possess this capacity, you cannot imagine the strength and capability of the Rooh.
Q: 18 Is the Rooh disfigured into the form of an animal because of evil deeds?
A: 18 This is correct. If the form of the Rooh changes into that of a Halaal (permitted, acceptable) animal, in accordance with Hadith, that person can hope for Salvation. Due to weaknesses and shortfalls in deeds, the Rooh doesn’t retain its human form (because that person has fallen below the human level). If the Iman (Faith) is not lost, it remains in the form of a Halaal animal with a possibility of Salvation in the Hereafter. But, if the Iman is also washed away, it is disfigured to assume the form of a Haraam (prohibited, impious, despicable) animal. In the beginning, Shaikh Allah Yar Khan-rua used to conduct the meditation of ‘Observation of Forms’ regularly; later he stopped it. If this meditation is conducted with due attention, it can be observed how many people of a city retain their human form and how many have fallen below the human level and have turned into pythons, pigs, bears and monkeys. If those people whose Rooh have been disfigured don’t repent before death, they will be thrown into Jahannam (Hell) in the same form. They will not be granted the human form, because the human form is the distinction of those slaves of Allah who attain to Salvation and of the dwellers of Jannah (Paradise).
Q: 19 What is the remedy for evil whispers occurring during Maraqbat (meditations)?
A: 19 There is only one remedy for such whispers and that is to pay them no attention. There is just no other remedy for Wasaawis. The Shari‘ah also attaches no importance to Wasaawis and instead gives importance to certainty. For example, you made Wudhu; then a thought crosses your mind that the Wudhu has broken. But it will be the certainty of making Wudhu that shall be taken into account and not the mere thought of its breaking. Therefore it will be proper to offer Salah with that Wudhu. Let’s say a man is offering Salah and is sure that he has prayed four Rak‘at (cycles), but becomes unsure that he has prayed only three. He will need to act upon his sureness and not on his thought. It is the Yaqeen (certainty) that is important and not the Waswasah (stray thought).
Q: 20 It is my utmost effort to spend time in noble deeds, by Allah’s Grace. However, evil thoughts keep occupying the mind. What is the way to get rid of evil thoughts?
A: 20 Only one! Don’t give them any importance at all, and they will, Insha Allah, subside by themselves. What happens is that Satan induces a whisper and we, due to our weakness, start thinking about it. Then it doesn’t remain Satan’s whisper any more, it becomes our own illusion and thought. If Allah grants the strength and a person rejects it, doesn’t care about it, ignores it and doesn’t assign any importance to it, then it vanishes by itself. This is the only way. You may start reciting ‘La Haula wa La Quwwata illa Billah’ or Darood Shareef. Keep reciting Darood Shareef; that is the best remedy.
Q: 21 What should a Salik do, when the devil induces evil thoughts in the Qalb, about the Shaikh?
A: 21 My brother, if Shaitan doesn’t try to instigate, will he advise a Salik to remain in the company of a good person? Shaitan should try to instigate, that is his job. If he doesn’t do it there should be a complaint. But he doesn’t try this trick with every one. The Holy Prophet-saws said ‘Shaitan leaves that way from where Umar-rau is coming’. Shaitan knew that his trick won’t succeed and he will receive a thrashing. We have spent a lifetime with our Mashaikh. They were human beings, better than many and not better than some. They also had feuds with people, faced cases in the courts and encountered all the ups and downs of life. But Shaitan never had the nerve to instigate us against our Shaikh. I had once remarked ‘Whether we remain in this Silsilah or not, is a separate issue, but it is a sure fact that this is an absolutely true Silsilah’. Such problems are the results of our own weaknesses; when we don’t make the proper effort, don’t devote time and don’t pay attention, Shaitan will most certainly avail himself of the opportunity. If we two brothers fight, a third person will come over to me to backbite my brother, because he knows that now I want to listen to ill about my brother. Shaitan is also a great opportunist; he will talk to only those, where he sees a chance. He will try to incite only those who are indulging in evil deeds, forsaking Salah and Zikr, and weakening the relationship with their Shaikh. If you don’t provide him the opportunity, he won’t talk against the Shaikh.
Q: 22 Please mention some attributes of an accomplished Murshid (spiritual guide), so that I can easily recognise him and attach myself with him.
A: 22 The attributes of a real Murshid are of two types: for him and for others. Those related to him are that he must possess the mandatory religious knowledge, should abide by religious injunctions and should follow the Sunnah. Those related to other people are that he should possess the ability of teaching religion and of reforming them. Both attributes are such that a common man cannot judge anyone by these standards. Therefore, a common measure is the positive change in the belief and conduct of those associated with him, such that an onlooker should see that their practical lives reflect the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet-saws.
Q: 23 Leaving the view of the ignorant aside, what is meant by deriving beneficence from the Rooh of the Aulia, and how can a Salik get this Faidh (beneficence)?
A: 23 The word ‘Faidh’ is used in Shari‘ah to describe the blessings of the Holy Prophet-saws. Although his-saws teachings (knowledge) are also a Faidh, but this word has now come to be used specifically for his-saws blessings. If someone conveys even a single sentence of the Holy Prophet-saws, that also is Faidh and enlightenment but, at times, some phrases get reserved for specific meanings. The word Faidh has similarly been reserved in Tasawwuf for the states of the Qalb, for inner blessings, for a condition that causes a positive change within the heart and for that journey which denotes going from darkness to the Light. The departure from darkness to the Light, from ignorance to knowledge, from non-cognition to cognition and from inactivity to positive activity is known as Faidh. However, in the view of the ignorant, Faidh denotes acquisition of worldly benefits. ‘We visited that tomb and were blessed with a son. We delivered the Niaz of that Wali and recovered from the illness.’ All such beliefs are un-Islamic, against the Shari‘ah and have been borrowed from Hindu customs.
To pray is the right of a human being, he should pray to Allah. The place does make a difference. If one prays in a Masjid, the Barakah will be more. Similarly, if one prays while in the company of a man of God, the status of the prayer will change because of his Barakah, making it more acceptable. But, in any case, the prayer will be made to Allah only. It is up to HIM to accept or reject it. The entombed Wali can have no say in it. People have, due to ignorance, equated Faidh with worldly benefits. On the other hand, if you read about the men of God, you will find that due to their thought of the Hereafter, they remained engaged in this concern most of their time. They could not adequately attend to worldly issues and thus kept facing problems. After enduring these hardships for a whole lifetime, when they finally escaped to Barzakh, why would they stick their fingers in your worldly problems? These are all superstitions, more so in the Indo-Pak subcontinent, resulting through the interaction of Hindu and Islamic civilizations, especially during the period of Akbar the Great. It was the mixture of these civilizations, cooked during his time, which has cast such effects. Islam is a very simple religion that places a man before Allah; now, it is between him and his Lord!
Q: 24 What is meant by a connection with the Shaikh?
A: 24 Allah Kareem pours Divine Lights from the Qalb of the Shaikh, even without his knowledge into the Qalb of a seeker, according to his sincerity with the Shaikh, and this process continues at its own. The Shaikh is not a knower of the unseen. The Knower of the unseen is the One Who grants these relationships. You can only present purity and sincerity from your side and nothing else. Even the Shaikh cannot judge the level of this sincerity. Yes, the Shaikh is a sure source, because he contains that blessing in his Qalb, which is poured into the Qalb of a seeker who brings in sincerity and true and pure longing. The Granter of this blessing is seeing it Himself. He will respond in accordance with the level of this sincerity and will accordingly convey it to him. Shaikh Maulana Allah Yar Khan used to say, ‘Many a time I wished to conduct the Maraqbat of a seeker but he was unable to get these even in years; while, at times, a seeker who comes and sits by, attains those Maraqbat, even without my knowledge. It is an extraordinary phenomenon! Allah Alone knows the conditions of the Quloob; how pure is a seeker’s Qalb and how much can he gain in so much time; it is only HIS decision!
Q: 25 What is meant by ‘the Company of the Shaikh’?
A: 25 ‘The Company of the Shaikh’ means to spend the maximum time with the Shaikh; it doesn’t necessarily mean sitting next to him. You are present here, if you happen to meet the Shaikh, get the opportunity of performing morning and evening Zikr with him, this is also ‘the Company of the Shaikh’. Doing Zikr alone, even for years, though it increases the capacity of Rooh but it cannot initiate spiritual progress. When a seeker joins the company of his Shaikh, he instantly progresses to the highest level of his spiritual capacity, because his Qalb has to draw the lights from the Qalb of his Shaikh. This is common to all Salasil. However, in this Silsilah, a seeker may attain to a level, where his stay anywhere in the world is similar to his physical presence in the company of his Shaikh and he keeps ascending to higher spiritual stations. However, because of the distance, his spiritual condition will not be as strong as it would be in the company of the Shaikh.
Q: 26 Is it necessary to take a formal Bai‘at to join the Silsilah or is a person considered to have joined the Silsilah if he does Zikr by your method?
A: 26 We haven’t placed a Bai‘at as a precondition. Whosoever does Zikr by this method has joined the Silsilah and can acquire all blessings. Taking Bai‘at is a Sunnah and Sunnah has its own blessings. The blessings acquired by a Bai‘at seeker are many times more. However, this is a personal decision. We don’t differentiate whether a seeker has taken Bai‘at or not.
Q: 27 After meeting the Shaikh once, when again should a seeker meet him?
A: 27 My brother, I have a very vivid experience of this feeling. When we met the Shaikh, we felt the same saturation as a thirsty person feels after drinking water to his full. Gradually, this feeling of fullness started decreasing and led to a stage, where it became impossible to withstand the spiritual thirst anymore. How does someone feel? It depends upon his individual connection with his Shaikh. Love is not measured in terms of time, but in terms of the intensity of feelings. Every soul has its own state, how deeply is someone overwhelmed by love! It is the strength of the relationship, the love and the connection with the Shaikh that matters. Every moment spent in the company of the Shaikh has its own value. Men of God have to seize these moments from the hustle and bustle of life. They have to strive to earn this time, in the same way that a student works hard for his examination or a businessman strives to develop his business. To remain in the company of the Shaikh with sincerity and absorb his Tawajjuh is the real objective. The company of the Shaikh denotes absorption of his direct Tawajjuh during Zikr with him. However, if one doesn’t have enough time, then just seeing the Shaikh, meeting him and remaining in his company for some moments can also satiate the spiritual thirst to a great extent. The company of the Shaikh has its strange effects, here hearts communicate with hearts.
Q: 28 Is there any difference between performing Zikr on the Internet and in Dar ul Irfan?
A: 28 One of the difference between doing Zikr on the Internet and in Dar ul Irfan is that of physical nearness. Then, the Masjid and area of Dar ul Irfan has its own Barakah; whoever did Zikr here, whoever visited here and whose Barakah are present here, Dar ul Irfan thus enjoys a unique distinction. Just by coming in the Masjid, without even doing Zikr, one starts experiencing spiritual feelings. Even those people who don’t do Zikr and seldom offer Salah, express that upon entering the Masjid, they also experience a different state, while they are neither Zakireen nor belong to the Halqah. Although one gets full Tawajjuh during Zikr on the Internet, because it is direct, online Zikr, but it is second to the Zikr in Dar ul Irfan.
Q: 29 Even in Dar ul Irfan, we tend to make mistakes, usually unconsciously, though, at times, deliberately. What is remedy for this?
A: 29 This is the indication of being human. If a human being does not make mistakes, he is an angel and not a human being, though HE hasn’t created us as angels. It is not the omission, but the sincerity for Allah’s obedience that is important. At times, a person feels so pained by his omission and repents so sincerely that he earns greater reward for this repentance than for the good deed that he had omitted. The criterion defined by the Holy Quran is ‘They don’t insist on what they have done’. If the slaves of Allah commit a mistake, they don’t make it a hobby or profession; it rather perturbs them, they repent and seek forgiveness from Allah and beg HIS pardon. As far as making a mistake is concerned, to err is human; no one other than Prophets is immune from errors. Only they are innocent and no one else. Even when someone is granted a high spiritual status, he may receive Allah’s protection, but he can’t become innocent. Zikr attracts Divine protection, but still small errors and mistakes do remain an integral part of human nature. A human being remains a human being!
Q: 30 Can women be taught Zikr Allah?
A: 30 Just as women acquire knowledge from men, in all walks of life; they can similarly learn Allah’s Zikr, while remaining within the limits of Shari‘ah.
Q: 31 Can we conduct the Zikr of a non-Muslim?
A: 31 All human beings are Allah’s creation. If a non-Muslim does Zikr, he gets blessed with Islam. You can only teach him the method, but cannot conduct his Zikr. He should do it alone. It is enough for him till he accepts Faith.
Q: 32 Does the person conducting Zikr have to keep in mind some special considerations while conducting the first Zikr of a beginner?
A: 32 No. Just teach him the method of Zikr, sit him beside you and start the Zikr. Allah Kareem knows, HE will take care of everything.
Q: 33 Hadhrat, what is difference between Tawajjuh and Ilqa and what is the technique of giving Tawajjuh?
A: 33 The technique of giving Tawajjuh is that the person who is conducting Zikr should think that the Divine lights are descending on his Qalb (first Latifah), are also going to the Quloob of those who are doing Zikr with him; this thought will divert the lights. Ilqa is the reflection and Tawajjuh is the thought that this reflection is taking place. If an Imam makes Niyyah (intention) of leading the Salah, then the Salah of all those who join him is accepted. However, if the same Imam starts offering his individual Salah, then the Salah of none of those who join him later will be accepted, because the Imam had not made the Niyyah in the first place. If he makes the Niyyah, the Salah of all those joining him will be accepted whether they are ten or a hundred thousand. Tawajjuh is akin to making this Niyyah, while Ilqa is the process of reflection caused by this Tawajjuh. As far the technique of giving Tawajjuh or Ilqa is concerned, you have only to think that you are conducting their Zikr. The connection of Lata‘if with the Prophets-as is like that of your body with the four elements. A man appears to be made of muscles and skin, we see no clay in him, but he has actually been raised from clay, air, water and fire. Similarly, Allah Kareem has made each Prophet the symbol of a particular relationship and feeling. All these relationships converge at one centre, the Holy Prophet-saws! The lights coming on the first Latifah are of Prophet Adam-as, descend from the first heaven and are yellow in colour. The lights coming on the second Latifah are from two Prophets, Prophet Nooh‑as and Prophet Ibraheem-as. The lights coming on the third Latifah are from Prophet Musa-as. On the fourth Latifah the lights come from Prophet Isa-as, descend from the fourth heaven and are deep yellow in colour. The lights coming on the fifth Latifah are of the Holy Prophet-saws and descend from the fifth heavens. On the sixth and seventh Lata‘if descend the Divine lights. Their colour and state cannot be described; they are like lightening that flashes and disappears. When someone is conducting Zikr, he should think that the lights descending on his Lata'if are also going to the Lata‘if of others; the Ilqa will start.
Q: 34 Is the flow of Lights interrupted if eyes are opened for a couple of seconds during Zikr?
A: 34 It is not the opening or closing of eyes, but the focussing of attention that is important. An open eye looks around and thus disrupts the attention. There is no harm if the eyes get opened unintentionally like a wink, but if that causes distraction, one should be careful.
Q: 35 What is the reason that even after the illumination of Lata‘if and performing Salah, Tasbeehat and Zikr for forty years, a Sufi doesn’t understand Sufic expressions and cannot comprehend their meanings?
A: 35 It is not possible to learn Tasawwuf without knowledge. If he doesn’t possess knowledge, he may walk the Path with the help of a religious scholar. Illumination of the Lata‘if does bring piety in conduct, but it is necessary to formally learn the phrases and their meanings. There may be one Sufi out of millions, blessed with ‘Ilm-e Ladunni (Knowledge from Divine Presence), who may understand the expressions and comprehend their meanings without formal learning.
Q: 36 Are high spiritual stations a prerequisite for accessing the Court of the Holy Prophet-saws or can a person with lower spiritual stations also seek access?
A: 36 When a seeker is blessed with nearness, his/her spiritual stations are also elevated. It is just like asking, ‘is good health necessary for wrestling?’ It is but obvious that only a healthy person will wrestle; how can a sick person undertake this activity? If the spiritual stations of a seeker, who has attained access to the Court of the Holy Prophet-saws are not high, whose spiritual stations will then be high? To be in the audience of the Holy Prophet-saws is the root cause of being raised in spiritual stations. However it is not necessary that a seeker will automatically attain to higher spiritual stations. His spiritual progress will take place in the normal manner. Yes, the spiritual capacity of such people is definitely enhanced. If another seeker requires Tawajjuh of a whole year to attain to a particular station, such a person may require only a single Tawajjuh to reach that station; however the spiritual path will be traversed according to the normal procedure. Those, who receive spiritual education directly in the Court of the Holy Prophet-saws, are very rare, one in a century or probably one in a millennium. Such people serve as the building blocks of great revolutions. This is a unique honour, known only to those who are blessed with it. In any case, Deen denotes the relationship of an adherent (follower) with the Holy Prophet Muhammad-saws. His capacity to obey the Holy Prophet-saws will depend on the purity and sincerity of this relationship. The three tributaries of obedience, respect and trust, keep saturating the Qalb of a believer and lead to his spiritual growth. May Allah Kareem grant this to everyone!
Q: 37 It was observed this evening that during the meditation of Spiritual Bai‘at, you (spiritually) stood up from your chair, stood in front of the Holy Prophet-saws and presented the Ahbab for Spiritual Bai'at. This doesn’t happen normally.
A: 37 It is not necessary to stand up during normal attendance, but there is a great difference between normal attendance and the presentation of Ahbab for Spiritual Bai'at. For this, one has to appropriately present one’s self before the Holy Prophet-saws.
Q: 38 What is the ultimate outcome of Mushahidat (spiritual vision)?
A: 38 Mushahidat are the source of gaining access to further explanation and elucidation of Divine Commands. Observation of wondrous phenomenon is not their real purpose. Their real achievement is that, those phenomena, which cannot be understood by people even after extensive reading, can be comprehended easily (with greater detail) if they are viewed through Mushahidah. It is like teaching a person the theory of a machine for five years and then showing him the machine and its workings for just one day. His practical knowledge of a single day will be greater than his theoretical knowledge of five years. Mushahidah is a great source of acquisition of knowledge. The Prophets-as were blessed with Mushahidat; they neither attended any school, nor visited any teacher, while Rabb-e Kareem (the Gracious Lord) facilitated their acquisition of knowledge through Mushahidat. Mushahidah is not meant to be used for worldly aims, like identifying thieves. If someone tries to use Mushahidah for such purposes, it is withdrawn. Mushahidah is a favour from Allah, a great blessing from HIM! May Allah grant it to everyone! Its real utilization is to develop the ability to understand Divine Commands.
Q: 39 What effect can a talisman or a charm have on Rizq (Divine provisions), children, age and adversity? Can anyone decrease them with an evil spell?
A: 39 It is a matter of one’s own belief. One may get an amulet for an increase in provisions and health, but at the same time, one should also arrange for medical treatment. An amulet and a ‘blowing on’ are prayers (D‘ua) and a D‘ua is related to actions. One should take appropriate action and also make D‘ua to Allah for good results. Fate is of two types: fixed and suspended. The fixed fate has been decided and cannot be changed. Suspended fate is connected with a man’s conduct; if he does this, he will get into this trouble, and if he does this, he will get this blessing. Now, it is for him to choose the path. An amulet and a ‘blowing on’ show their effects, by Allah’s leave, with regards to the suspended fate only. Same is the case for protection against evil spirits. Magic spells and charms cannot affect fixed fate; however they affect the suspended fate in a way that they influence the human mind, driving a man to do things that bring him trouble. Remember one basic principle about magic and evil spells; they cannot influence a person, who is not afraid of them.
Q: 40 Is Darood Shareef also included in Zikr Allah or not?
A: 40 You talk of Darood Shareef, while every act that is performed in accordance with Sunnah is included in Zikr. There are three types of Zikr. Abiding by the religious injunctions is Practical Zikr. Recitation of Tasbeehat, Darood Shareef and the Holy Quran is Oral Zikr. Third is Zikr-e Qalbi (Zikr by the heart) like Pass Anfas, which has been adopted by our Silsilah.
Q: 41 Should one recite ‘Salaat-o Salaam’ (as-Salaat-o as-Salaam-o ‘alaika ya Rasool Ullah) or the Darood Shareef of the Silsilah during Maraqbah of Raudha-e Athar?
A: 41 My brother, he can recite any Darood Shareef of his choice, but one thing is certain, no Darood Shareef coined by him can match the greatness of the ones mentioned by the Sunnah. There are many Darood Shareef, mentioned in the books of Seerat, that have been taught by the Holy Prophet-saws himself, their words have also been mentioned by him-saws. Of these is the one adopted by the Mashaikh of our Silsilah. It contains two Barakah, one from the Sunnah and other from the Mashaikh.
Q: 42 Is it proper to recite ‘as-Salaat-o as-Salaam-o ‘alaika ya Rasool Ullah’?
A: 42 ‘As-Salaat-o as-Salaam-o ‘alaika ya Rasool Ullah’ is one of the Daroods. If a person recites it with the intention that my Darood reaches the Holy Prophet-saws, or that the Angels carry it to him-saws, there is no harm. The Holy Prophet-saws doesn’t listen the way Allah listens, nor did he ever claim that he was like Allah. On the other hand, it was his blessed mission to negate such claims. But, if a person believes that the Holy Prophet-saws is listening to his recitation as if he-saws is physically present, how can he recite it loudly through a loudspeaker? The Holy Quran has forbidden raising of voices above the voice of the Holy Prophet-saws. Therefore, it is not just prohibited to speak loudly in front of the Holy Prophet-saws, but such action is enough to destroy all good deeds of a whole lifetime. When you shout at the top of your voice ‘as-Salaat-o as-Salaam-o ‘alaika ya Rasool Ullah’ through a loudspeaker, believing that the Holy Prophet-saws is himself present, you have indeed wasted the good works of your entire life. Masnoon (adopted in the Sunnah) Darood Shareef have great importance. Just to illustrate, if a person keeps reciting various Awrad throughout the day, they won’t benefit him as much as will a single Tasbeeh prescribed by the Shaikh. You can thus imagine the greatness of something endorsed for recitation by the Holy Prophet-saws. Therefore, the best Darood Shareef are those proven from the Holy Prophet-saws, they are mentioned in Ahadith and are in the hundreds.
Q: 43 You have mentioned in your booklet ‘Noor and Bashar’, that one Noor (light) is Allah’s Personal Noor; other is the Noor that HE created, from which HE made HIS creation of light. Human beings have also received a portion of this Noor according to their status. Kindly explain whether the phrase ‘Noor from the Noor of Allah’, mentioned in ‘Darood-e Taj’ is right or wrong?
A: 43 If it is believed that of all the Noor created by Allah-swt, the Holy Prophet-saws is the most superior, this exactly is our belief. The term, ‘Noor from the Noor of Allah’ means that the Holy Prophet-saws was created as light by Allah-swt, and after Allah-swt, the light of the Holy Prophet‑saws is the most superior of all lights existing in the universe. However, if he-saws is considered as part of Allah, it will amount to Shirk (polytheism). It depends upon the person reciting this phrase, which meaning he has in mind.
Q: 44 If the Azan (the call for Salah) is given during Zikr, should one recite Darood Shareef when the name of the Holy Prophet-saws is mentioned?
A: 44 One should not respond to the Azan under certain circumstances: during Salah, while in the washroom, intimacy with the spouse, while listening to religious sermon or while learning religious knowledge. Such people should recite the response to the Azan after being free, if it’s not too late. It is permitted to recite the response to the Azan while eating, but it is not mandatory. Similarly, one shouldn’t respond to the Azan during Zikr.
Q: 45 You have said that every person should try to propagate religion, even if s/he has only one Latifah. On the other hand the religious scholars maintain that making effort for the Tazkiyah of others is Fardh-e Kifayah.
A: 45 My brother, how many people are attending towards this Fardh-e Kifayah? Have you ever pondered how many people like you do Zikr out of the total world population of about six billion? If you also forsake it, who else will do it? A Fardh remains Fardh-e Kifayah as long as some persons out of a community fulfil that obligation, otherwise it becomes Fardh-e ‘Ain and the entire community is held accountable for forsaking a Fardh. The funeral Salah of a Muslim remains Fardh‑e Kifayah only if some members of the community offer it and the obligation is deemed to have been fulfilled by the whole community; however, if none from that community offers this prayer then all of them are held accountable for having forsaken a Fardh-e ‘Ain. You can count yourself, how many members of the human race are fulfilling this Fardh-e Kifayah. Dear, this is a matter of one’s own choice. This blessing increases when it is distributed freely. If someone doesn’t want to teach others, he won’t do us any harm but will certainly decrease his own reward. You read this instruction of the jurists that it is Fardh-e Kifayah, why do you forget the directive of the Holy Prophet-saws ‘Convey from me to other Muslims, be it only one sentence’? And why do you forget this Divine injunction, ‘You are the best Ummah, raised for mankind’? Don’t you think you will be questioned with reference to this Ayah about your contribution for others?
Q: 46 Shah Wali Ullah has written that he learnt the Holy Quran from the Holy Prophet-saws. Can every Wali seek the guidance from the Holy Prophet-saws in this manner, when required?
A: 46 Yes, he can. However, nothing new will be obtained today. The Holy Prophet-saws left the world only after giving us the complete Deen. Nothing can be added to it nor subtracted from it, now. There is, usually, more than one aspect and interpretation of a religious instruction. The Aulia seek his-saws guidance only to request which of those aspects is more blessed or more suitable for their times. This is the type of guidance that is sought from him-saws. Neither does he-saws give any new instruction nor can anyone receive any new instruction from him nor is there any such requirement. The Holy Prophet-saws left this world only after he had completely and explicitly conveyed every major and minor Command of the Religion. When the Ayah ‘This day I have completed your Deen, and have perfected My Favours upon you and have chosen Islam as the Deen for you’, was revealed, it signified that the requirement for the Holy Prophet-saws to stay in this world had been fulfilled. After its revelation, the Holy Prophet-saws remained in this world for about eighty-three days. No new instructions can be received by any Sahabi, Wali or Sahib-e Kashf (a person blessed with spiritual observation), because the Deen has been completed and fully conveyed by the Holy Prophet-saws.
Q: 47 Who were the real inheritors of Prophetic knowledge of the Holy Prophet-saws? If you say, they were the Companions, even they had differences at that time. If you say, they are the Ulama (religious scholars), they have differences even today. If you name the Aulia (saints, spiritual teachers), each one of them has a different way. If you say that the destination of all is the same, only the paths are different, this is not acceptable to me, because the ‘Straight Path’ is only one.
A: 47 Please understand a basic principle about inheritance of Prophetic knowledge. The Sahabah (the Companions) are the only link between the Holy Prophet-saws and the Ummah. The Prophetic heritage reached the Ummah through the Sahabah. If this intermediate link is not reliable, the whole religion is rendered untrustworthy. The question is did Allah Kareem and the Holy Prophet-saws grade this link as trustworthy? And if they did, it is not correct to doubt it for any reason. More than a hundred verses of the Holy Quran verify that the Sahabah are not only reliable but also the trustees of the legacy of the Holy Prophet-saws and it is one of their duties to convey it to the Ummah. Addressing his Sahabah on the occasion of ‘The Last Pilgrimage’, the Holy Prophet-saws assured his Ummah, ‘My Sahabah are like stars; follow any and you will be rightly guided’. Now, it is for the Ummah to either trust Allah and the Holy Prophet-saws or adopt the opinion of an ordinary person.
Q: 48 Did the most Exalted Messenger-saws address any of his Sahabah as ‘Wali, Qutb, Abdal or Ghauth’? Did he assign the Wilayah of any region to someone? Did any Majzoob or Salik exist during his-saws time? Did any of his Companions experience rapture?
A: 48 The status of a Sahabi is so high that ‘Wali, Qutb, Abdal and Ghauth’ don’t match even the dust raised by his shoes. Therefore, addressing a Sahabi as Ghauth is like calling a President a peon. Experiencing or displaying rapture is a sign of imperfection. It is not possible that rapture can overwhelm an accomplished Wali.
Q: 49 What is meant by the two Sufi concepts of Wahdat al Wujood (Unity of Existence) and Wahdat al Shuhood (Unification of Observation)? Please explain.
A: 49 Sufis experience various stages, meditations and feelings. As apparent knowledge proceeds by lessons, the inner (spiritual) feelings also progress by stages. Those who have been blessed with Mushahidah must have noticed that during the meditation of ‘Fana’, everything appears to have disappeared; the whole universe vanishes, leaving behind nothing. When, after that, the meditation of ‘Baqa Billah’ is conducted, the Lights of the Absolute Being, to which everything owes its existence, are seen with everything. Absolute Existence is of Almighty Allah alone. Everything else exists because HE is maintaining its existence; it has no independent existence of its own. When the Sufis passed through this stage, they said that in reality, existence is of only One Being, that of Almighty Allah, the Eternal, the Infinite. Everything else is, in fact, equal to naught, it exists because HE maintains its existence and vanishes because HE eliminates it. This view was called Wahdat al Wujood. It maintained that ‘Being’ is only One, the Absolute. When Shaikh Mohayy ud Deen ibn-e ‘Arbi included this idea is his book and discussed it at length, it assumed the form of a definite concept. The people who came later, didn’t posses such a high level of knowledge and spiritual calibre, therefore a false notion set in with this concept. Instead of believing that everything exists because of Allah, it came to be believed that Allah exists in everything. Gradually the concept of Wahdat al Wujood started to align with the Hindu belief, which asserts the presence of Bhagwan (the Super Being) in everything that appears supernatural or formidable to them. Because of such interpolations, Mujaddid Alif Thani-rua renamed the concept as Wahdat al Shuhood, signifying that everything is a witness to HIS Oneness; the existence of everything points to the Unity of the Almighty. The concept was thus reformed and the truth refreshed. Every being has its own identity, because Allah has created it, blessed it with life, granted it consciousness and rights. It is as such a witness to Allah’s Perfect Power. The Wahdat al Shuhood concept therefore means that every being is bearing testimony to a single fact: the Perfect Power and Absolute Authority of Almighty Allah. This course was adopted to expel the false views that had crept into the concept of Wahdat al Wujood, due to the diminishing level of men’s knowledge and spiritual calibre. In essence, both concepts are correct; there is no difference in them, except of terminology. These were the topics of discussions of the scholars, those who were blessed with erudition as well as spiritual excellence. When average people discuss such subjects, they try to interpret them according to their own intellect, knowledge and understanding and thus make mistakes. The concept is one, with two names. It is a part of basic Islamic beliefs that only Almighty Allah is Eternal, everything else is ephemeral.
Q: 50 The struggle for the establishment of an Islamic state and the administration of its affairs is the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet-saws and of the Khulafa-e Rashideen (the Rightly Guided Caliphs). A person who uses authority justly and correctly can benefit mankind so much that a person without authority cannot benefit. Why is it that the Aulia and Sufis have been avoiding this way so far?
A: 50 This notion is not correct, they haven’t been avoiding this line. On the contrary, many Sufis have been men of great authority. One of the emperors of the sub-continent, Aurangzeb Aalamgeer had been a great Sufi. Similarly, Sultan Shams ud-Din Altamash was a great Wali Ullah. There must have been many more; we don’t necessarily know the names of all of them. Again, Syed Ahmad Shaheed was a great Sufi and so was Shah Ismail Shaheed. These Sufis laid down their lives in the battlefield. Those, who couldn’t go to the battlefield continued to reform fellow beings throughout their lives. By nature, every man is not fit for every task. If a person is disposed towards teaching, he will become a Sufi-teacher and not a Sufi-soldier. If a man has the ability to lead, he will become a Sufi-leader. Becoming a Sufi amplifies the natural faculties of a person. You can’t refute the fact about those Sufis, who couldn’t go out to the practical field that they also remained involved in welfare of humanity during their whole lives. On the other hand, their students brought about great revolutions. Mujaddid Alif Thani-rua didn’t take over the rule, but caused the rule to repent and reform. He was the man of this field! Had he made an effort, he could have dethroned the king, but this was not in line with his nature. His natural disposition was the strength that he stood by the truth all alone, in the whole subcontinent and compelled the king to repent. The fallacious Deen-e Ilahi was in vogue since the time of Akbar and none of the great scholars had been able to halt its practise. When a person joins Tasawwuf, his natural capacities and abilities are further polished. Sufis, most certainly, kept reforming people, propagated the idea of Islamic revolution, kept this cause alive and continued to strive for it.