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(Heart). If the eye sees something beautiful, a beautiful flower, a lovely picture, the Qalb(Heart) also feels delighted; if it sees something ugly, the Qalb(Heart) also feels distressed. If the ear hears something good or bad, or if the tongue indulges in noble or loose talk, the Qalb(Heart) feels their effect. Similarly, the thought process of the brain also affects the Qalb(Heart). When, it is advised to close the eyes during Zikr(Remembrance), 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(Heart). If the Qalb(Heart) is distracted, it will divide its attention and consequently its connection with Zikr(Remembrance) Allah will be lost. It means the Qalb(Heart) 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 focusing 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.
1. Acceptance of the Faith is an act. Remembrance of Allah-swt is present in it, hence it is Zikr(Remembrance).
2. Acquisition of knowledge about the Deen is an excellent act and it contains the Remembrance of Allah, hence it is Zikr (Remembrance) .
3.(a). Every action whether it is a Farz (Obligatory), Wajib (Necessary), Sunnah, or Mubah (proper/permissible), includes the Remembrance of Allah, and is therefore Zikr (Remembrance) . This covers everything from worship to worldly affairs, and is known as Zikr-e Amli (Practical Zikr). It also includes Zikr-e Lisani (Oral Zikr), as recitation during Salah(Prayer) and Tasbihaat(Recitals) are Zikr-e Lisani. Similarly, studying and teaching Deen, Tableegh (preaching) are all included in Zikr, because Remembrance of Allah-swt is present in all of them. (b). The next form is Zikr-e Lisani; Tasbihaat, Darood Sharif and Recitation of the Quran are all included in Zikr-e Lisani.
(c). Further, the third form is Zikr-e Qalbi(Remembrance of Heart). Qalb(Heart) is a subtle body placed within the lump of flesh about which the Holy Prophet-saws reportedly said, „There is a lump of flesh in the body; if that is healthy the whole body is healthy, and if that is sick the whole body is sick. Know that it is the heart (Qalb)‟, (or as said by the Messenger-saws of Allah-swt). Divine Injunctions about this (Zikr-e Qalbi) are also present, so much so that the author of Tafseer-e Mazhari has written that acquisition of Zikr-e Qalbi(Remembrance of Heart) is mandatory for every Muslim man and woman, and he has presented just two references of Divine Commands: 1) The command of Allah-swt, when dispatching Hazrat Musa-as and Hazrat Haroon-as to Fir„aun (Pharaoh): And slacken not in keeping Me in Remembrance. (Ta Ha: 42)…meaning My Zikr (Remembrance) should not become secondary in your attention. Now, every cell of a Prophet‟s body is not only a Zakir (engaged in Allah-swt‟s constant Zikr) in itself, but it is a Zakir-maker, as anything that touches him also becomes a Zakir. Therefore, it is not possible for a Prophet‟s greatness to be ever unmindful of Zikr. However, to invite Firaun(pharoah), a cruel despotic ruler and a self-proclaimed god, possessor of pomp and splendor, and grandeur and might, to accept the Unity of Allah-swt – that too, from a position of want and poverty; this task could only be undertaken by a Prophet of Allah-swt . It was emphasized (by Allah Kareem) that even in that situation, the primary attention should be focused towards His Zikr (Remembrance) , and the conversation with Fir„aun be consigned a secondary status. This state can be none other than Zikr-e Qalbi.
2) The other reference is found in Surah Muzzammil(Chapter of Quran): the Holy Prophet-saws is addressed: Remember the Name of your Rabb and devote yourself to Him wholeheartedly. (Al Muzzammil: 8) That is, keep on doing the Zikr (Remembrance) of your Rabb‟s Name, keep repeating „Allah Allah Allah‟ to such an extent that there remains no other awareness except that of Allah-swt. Here, the Command to recite the Quran has already been given separately. Therefore, this reference is only to the Zikr (Remembrance) of the Personal Name and to Zikr-e Qalbi. Yes, it is with Allah-swt, to grant the capacity to understand this.
Indeed in the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the alternation of the night and day are signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth; our Lord! You have not created all this in vain. Hallowed be You! Save us You from the torment of the Fire. (3:190-191)
Apparently, the world is touching the zenith of advancement, but does material progress, beautification of the body, abundance in food and wealth represent the pinnacle of human excellence? Is man just the name of a body alone? No, not at all! Man is a magnificent creation of Almighty Allah. The human body has a role in worldly affairs only, while the reality lies within this visible form. It permeates every cell of the body and is called the Ruh (spirit) – a wonder of Divine creation. When the holy Prophet‑SAWS was questioned about it, the reply was given by Almighty Allah, Say: the Ruh is by my Lord’s Command. (17:85). Command is an Attribute of Allah. How then was the Ruh(Soul) created from this Sublime Divine Attribute? Was it created through its image or reflection? In response, it was said, And of knowledge you have been given but a little. – 17:80. It is beyond human intellect to comprehend this point, you haven’t been granted the ability to understand it.
The real human dwells inside this body, a body which is made from the earth and its clothing, food and medicines all come from the earth. It can sustain itself even with the minimum of provisions and can live on ordinary food, cheap clothes and cheap shelter. But can it survive if its connection with the earth is totally severed? The Ruh (Soul) is a creature of the Realm of Command. When its connection with the Realm of Command breaks, it resembles a body whose connection with the earth is severed; it cannot remain alive. When the Ruh (Soul) of a person is not alive…what is the life of the Ruh? The body gets its life when the Ruh(Soul) flows into it. Similarly, the Ruh (Soul) gets its life when the light of Faith flows into the Qalb(Heart). The Ruh (Soul) of a person is dead whose heart is without this light or is filled with Kufr. If you watch a Kafir, he would be more like an animal and less like a human being. He would be selfish, immoral, wicked and be inclined, like a snake, to bite and destroy fellow creatures. If we look at our society the question becomes, ‘Why has everybody turned against each other, why is it that everyone is out to harm others?’ The basic reason is that the Ruh (Soul) has died.
Prophets were sent to teach human qualities to the children of Adam-AS. The word insan (human) is derived from uns (love). When life flows into Ruh, it generates love and kindness. One starts thinking about the good of Allah’s creation: how can I help a human being, how can I benefit others? This is the difference between the life and death of the Ruh (Soul) . When the Ruh (Soul) is given life, a special consciousness develops, the thought process is modified, horizons of perception are broadened and one’s conduct is reformed. This extended perception does not remain confined to this world only, even the Last Day can be perceived. When the Ruh (Soul) becomes unconcerned with the apparent form of deeds and instead envisions their consequences in the Hereafter and on the Day of Judgement, it certainly reforms its conduct. But what keeps the Ruh (Soul) alive, healthy and strong? The holy Quran has emphasised on numerous occasions that your most common action in life should be Allah’s Zikr(Remember): Perform Allah’sZikrmost frequently. – 33:41. Now taking food is an act, earning livelihood is an act, going about is an act, maintaining relations and doing business are also acts, but there are other actions that we keep on doing throughout our lives. We breathe without interruption and our hearts beat without a break – life halts when these stop. If we have to perform ‘most frequent Zikr’, we will have to do it more than our breathing and more than our heartbeats – but how is this possible?
It is a living miracle of the holy Prophet-SAWS that he made possible this ‘impossibility’. When those people who attended his blessed company and came to be known as the Companions went to him, the light reflected by his blessed Qalb(Heart) instantly illuminated each cell of their bodies – Then mellowed their skins and hearts towards Allah’s Zikr. – 39:23. The reflection of Prophetic lights infused them, from the outermost to the innermost parts of their bodies, with Allah’s Zikr(Remembrance) and each cell of their bodies began performing Allah’s Zikr (Remembrance) . Now, one can only breathe once at any given moment, but at that same moment, there would be billions of cells performing Allah’s Zikr(Remembrance) . This way, Allah’s Zikr(Remembrance) would accordingly exceed respiration. Similarly, the heart may beat only once in a moment, but the billions of cells that it is made of, alongwith the countless cells of the rest of the body, would be performing Allah’s Zikr(Remembrance) . Within that one heartbeat, the body would perform Allah’s Zikr(Remembrance) zillions of time. But there is only one way – only one: attain those blessings from the holy Prophet Muhammad-SAWS! Allahsays there are signs in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of days and nights, for a person with the Light of Faith, the one whose nature is still pure, who hasn’t yet turned into an animal and still retains some human qualities.
The creation of the heavens and earth, the days and nights, the unending process of creation that produces innumerable forms of life on earth every moment, fruits that ripen, trees that bloom, crops that grow and the blades of grass that take root, all of these contain visible signs. Nobody can count the things that are being created or destroyed each moment. The continuous process of change, creation and extinction contain magnificent signs of Allah’s Greatness for the wise. Who are these wise men? The holy Quran explains, ‘Wise are … those who remember Allah standing, sitting and reclining’; that is, they remember Allah at all times, in all the states, not even a moment is spent without Allah’s Zikr (Remembrance) – they are the wise! When this constant Zikr (Remembrance) is achieved, the vision is broadened ‘and they reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth.’ They acquire wisdom and reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth, the systems supporting the universe, life and death, and the phenomenon of ‘rise and fall’. The sun rises pale, turns into a fireball at noon and turns pale again as it sets. Similarly, the seeds sprout, grow into huge trees and finally fall to become firewood. Crops grow and sway in the fields like waves, to finally dry and perish. It is a cycle, permanent and continuous, without the slightest bit of deviation. The world has been in existence since time immemorial, yet if only a single ray of sunlight had been extinguished everyday, by now the sun would have become cold and the solar system frozen; if only one ray (of sunlight) had been increased each day, the solar system would have been incinerated by now. But there is someone…someone who has kept in check everything under His Command, so that nothing happens before or after its appointed time. These are signs for the wise, they will reflect, they will understand; the faculty of contemplation would develop with them; but how… ‘those who remember Allah standing, sitting and reclining.’ Zikr(Remembrance) is a vast term and in plain words it means ‘to remember’. All of our actions that are in accordance with Shari’ah comprise Allah’s Zikr (Remembrance) . That is Zikr (Remembrance) by deeds or practical Zikr (Remembrance) , whether it be earning a livelihood, doing business, maintaining relationships, carrying out Jihad, fighting on the battlefield or living within the family. If our verbal communication is in accordance with the Shari’ah, it is oral Zikr (Remembrance) . We may read Darud Sharif(Salutations on Holy Prophet SAW), engage in Allah’s Tasbeeh, recite His Book, worship or may talk about Him, etc, all of this is included in oral Zikr (Remembrance) . But there are times when all deeds get suspended. Man is a strange machine, he requires as much time to rest as he does to work. He works during the day and rests at night for the natural maintenance of his body. A loss of energy due to work is recouped; bones, flesh, veins and nerves are refreshed and toned up again and when he gets up in the morning, he is ready to work again. Now during this period of rest, he has not done any Zikr(Remembrance) by way of deeds. Therefore, practically, constant Zikr(Remembrance) by deeds is not possible. Even for oral Zikr (Remembrance) , it is not possible that all of his talking during the day comprises Allah’s Zikr(Remembrance) . If we write down all that we say during the day and review it in the evening, we would realize how we have wasted our day because there may be only a few sentences of any worth or value. Then, when we go to sleep, oral Zikr (Remembrance) also stops but the breathing continues and so does the heartbeat. Similarly, if one gets sick or falls unconscious, the tongue may get tied, eyes may close, hands and feet may stop working but even then, the breathing would continue and so would the heartbeat.
The Prophetic way of beneficence was that, anyone who went to the holy Prophet‑SAWS with the light of Faith was immersed in an ocean of light, each organ and cell of his body started performing Zikr(Remembrance) . These blessings were there during the time of the Companions and anyone who went to them became a Tab‘i. They were distributed in a similar manner during the time of the Taba‘in and anyone who attended their company came to be known as a Taba‘ Tab‘i. These three periods are known as Khair ul-Quroon – the best of all times. The holy Prophet-SAWSsaid, ‘My time, the time that follows it and the time after that are, respectively, the best of all times.’ After Khair ul-Quroon, religious knowledge was categorised, righteous scholars compiled and then organised the traditions of the holy Prophet‑SAWS – the Ahadith, and the Book of Allah was translated into the native languages of the countries that it reached. Scholars fulfilled their duty of spreading religious knowledge to the masses in a most befitting manner and are discharging their blessed duty even today – may Allah forevermore keep this nation under their patronage! It is their favour that they expound Allah’s Message and the holy Prophet’s‑SAWS traditions to people. There was another category that also came into being which, alongwith knowledge, strove to acquire Prophetic blessings and spent a lifetime in absorbing Prophetic lights, radiated by the blessed bosom of the holy Prophet-SAWS into their bosoms. They came to be known as Sufis and Mashaikh. Such people were rare because the commodity they possessed was extraordinarily precious. You can find a grocery store around the corner of every street but if you want to buy diamonds, you won’t find them at every store, even in big towns there won’t be many jewellers. These Prophetic lights and blessings that radiated from the blessed bosom of the holy Prophet‑SAWS were incomparably more precious than diamonds and therefore were very rare. Fortunate were those who searched across the globe for their bearers and acquired these blessings from them.
How much did people strive for these blessings…this you can comprehend from a small incident. There is a tomb of a saint near our lands here and in the 6th century he travelled to Baghdad on foot, as no other means of transport were available then. There, he became a student of the grandson of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani-RUA. He stayed there for many years, learnt Allah’s Zikr (Remembrance) , initiated his Qalb(Heart) and body with Zikr (Remembrance) and finally returned after an arduous journey of an indefinite period. During that time there were no telephones, telexes or televisions, it was impossible to know where to find such a person. People would set out in their pursuit from village to village and if they found someone they would stay, else they would carry on to the next village and then the next. He went from here to Baghdad on foot and returned on foot – isn’t it strange? But these people are somewhat different. He had built a small mosque near here and though centuries have passed by, nearby inhabitations have vanished and generations have gone by, nobody knows who had ever lived there, since there is no one to tell, yet the mosque still stands. Someone would just come and repair it. The mosque in which he remembered Allah is still there.
So my brother, Zikr (Remembrance) is important for the reason that without Zikr (Remembrance) , without constancy in Zikr (Remembrance) , it is not easy to reform one’s conduct and deeds. It is not easy to keep the Ruh(Soul) alive and retain the spiritual qualities that make a human being humane and generate humanity. You were enemies (of each other), and he (My Prophet) joined you hearts together. – 3:103. We who beg door to door for a piece of bread and endure insults while seeking a livelihood; shouldn’t we try to knock on a door where this Divine favour is available – the blessings of the holy Prophet Muhammad-SAWS? Shouldn’t we look for someone who gives us Allah’s Zikr (Remembrance) , suffusing us in the same way as water saturates each particle of a flowerbed? These blessings should not only illuminate the Qalb(Heart) and the whole bosom, but also initiate Allah’s Zikr(Heart) in every cell of the body, in every piece of flesh, skin and bones and in every drop of blood. If one gets to this level of Zikr(Heart), it is only then that he starts to understand the reality of human life and humanity. Vision is diverted towards the creation of the heavens and contemplation is stimulated. One starts recognising Allah, according to one’s capacity, and feels like prostrating before Him and starts enjoying worship, one likes being in the Divine Presence and starts enjoying it. One feels like undertaking Jihad in His Cause and takes pleasure in getting his throat slit and his chest slashed. Such pleasure is the lot of a believer only and has shaken the Western world, they cannot understand why a Muslim sets out of his home only to die. It is strange. People join wars to capture booty, to get a salary and to earn money, for as the saying goes, ‘It is better to die rich than a pauper.’ But this army is strange, they say, ‘Take everything from us, just let us fight and let us die, our goal is to die.” What do they get in death? The West cannot understand this philosophy, because they don’t believe in Allah, they don’t know His beloved Prophet-SAWS. Allah says, ‘It is not death, it is the death of death! It is eternal life for the dead.’ Do not call those slain in Allah’sCause as dead. – 2:154. The interpreters have explained that those ‘people of God’, whose hearts and bodies get saturated with Allah’s Zikr(Remembrance) , those who achieve continual Zikr(Remembrance) , may meet death in any form but they are granted the status of Shahadat (martyrdom) and they achieve eternal life. This is because their total effort in life is devoted to Allah, seeking His Good Pleasure. They are the ones who have lost their lives during life. They can lay down their lives, but they cannot neglect Allah’s Zikr (Remembrance) . They can die but cannot leave HisZikr (Remembrance) .
Someone asked a question through an email the other night, ‘Doesn’t one practically remain in Allah’s Zikr (Remembrance) all of the time? One utters His Name every now and then, during work one would say, ‘God willing, this would be done’, one would remember Allah when meeting friends or parting with them. That way, one always remains engaged in Allah’ Zikr (Remembrance) in some form or the other.’ Basically the contention is correct; belief in Allah is also a form of Zikr (Remembrance) . All deeds within the framework of Shari’ah also constitute Zikr (Remembrance) , but performing Zikr(Remembrance) that gives a taste of acquaintance is something totally different. Spending one’s life is one thing, but to enjoy the pleasures of life is something else. Reciting Allah’s Name every now and then is one thing, but the simultaneous vibration of billions of cells with His Zikr (Remembrance) , that transform a human being into an ocean of Divine Refulgence is something absolutely different – it is an experience in itself! The one who tastes this does not differentiate between life and death, wealth and affluence lose their charm. The concept of union or separation loses its meaning and each moment of his life remains in the Divine Presence; every breath whispers a saga of Divine Greatness. This pleasure is known only to him who has tasted it- by Divine Grace.
So in my opinion, my brother, from what I have understood from the Book of Allah, the traditions of the holy Prophet-SAWS and the knowledge of a lifetime granted by Allah, life without Zikr (Remembrance) is no life, it is only a pastime. The real taste and pleasure of life is in Allah’s Zikr(Remembrance) . My suggestion, for the one who wants to know more, is that he should start performing Zikr (Remembrance) himself. The Mashaikh(Spiritual Teachers) have defined numerous ways of performing Zikr (Remembrance) , and all of the methods that are not contradictory to the Shari’ahare permitted. Nevertheless, being permitted is one thing, the method that draws more lights, blessings and beneficence is another matter. When someone asks us, naturally we would talk about and teach him our method that we have adopted for a lifetime, but he may perform Zikr (Remembrance) by any other method that he likes – performing Zikr (Remembrance) is mandatory. However, no restriction has been laid on the method of Zikr(Remembrance) either by Allah or by His holy Prophet‑SAWS. Therefore, no one can impose any such restriction by one’s own opinion. Learn it from any Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher), learn it from any ‘man of God’, but my earnest recommendation is that if you really want to enjoy life, you must learn Allah’s Zikr (Remembrance) . You will be able to taste its pleasure once it gets absorbed into your being and you would also understand how tasteless life is without Zikr(Remembrance) .
May Allah favour everybody to do His Zikr (Remembrance) . May He illuminate our hearts, bosoms and bodies, and forgive us our mistakes and sins.
Our method is called Pas Anfas, which, in Persian, means guarding every breath. Zikr(Remembrance) is performed with the heart using breath as the medium. Sit down facing the Qiblah (direction of Mecca; in case the direction is not known then any direction is alright), fully attentive towards Allah and close your eyes. Recite the Ta’awwuz and Tasmiah and start the Zikr(Remembrance). When you breathe in, imagine that the word Allah penetrates the depths of your heart and when you breathe out, the word ‘Hu’ strikes the heart or the Latifah(Spiritual Organ) on which the Zikr(Remembrance) is being performed. (The beginners may only do Zikr[Remembrance] on the Qalb[Heart]). Do Zikr(Remembrance) on each Latifah(Spiritual Organ) for suitable duration. When all seven Lata’if(Spiritual Organs) have been covered, return to the Qalb(Heart). After doing Zikr(Remembrance) on it for some more time, start the meditation. The body should now be relaxed and the mind set at ease. Concentrate on the Qalb(Heart) and imagine that the word ‘Allah’ rises from Qalb(Heart) and the word ‘Hu’ rises upwards to Allah’s Sublime Throne. This is the first meditation; it is known as Rabita (contact), it illuminates the Path for the Ruh(Soul) and facilitates its flight toward Allah’s nearness in subsequent meditations.
Remember that no worthwhile progress can be made without the Tawajjuh (spiritual attention) of a Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher), because the Barakah(Spiritual Blessings) that initiate a seeker along the Sufi path are transmitted only through him. The Companions got this blessing from the holy Prophet-SAWS and transmitted it to the Taba’in, who in turn passed it on to the Taba Taba’in. The Aulia (men of God) acquired this wealth of Barakah(Spiritual Blessings) from them, and it has similarly been transferred through the generations. Allah willing, this process will continue forever, and every believer, regardless of race, caste or gender can acquire these Barakah(Spiritual Blessings). Sound beliefs and sincerity are the only prerequisites for this acquisition. Constant Zikr(Remembrance) reforms the heart and initiates the journey from vice to virtue, from anxiety to contentment and from a lost life to Falah – success in this world and the Hereafter.
His Eminence Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan (May his blessings remain forever) is the present Shaikh of the Silsilah Naqshbandiah Owaisiah. He was chosen by Hadhrat Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan-rua as his successor and Shaikh-e Silsilah. Previous to his succession, Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan served as the Nizam-e ‘Aala of the Silsilah and the Head of Al-Ikhwan and Al-Ikhwat, the Brother/Sisterhood of the Silsilah.
Shaikh Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan was born on 26 March 1973, in Munarah, District Chakwal, Pakistan. He received his initial education at the Siqarah Academy, Dar ul Irfan, and his higher education at Siqarah College, Lahore.
The son and the most illustrious student of His Eminence Hadhrat Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan-rua, one of the exceptionally distinguished Sufi Masha’ikh of our times, Hadhrat Abdul Qadeer Awan spent 44 years in his exalted father’s company from whom he directly acquired religious knowledge and received spiritual training, and who transformed him into an accomplished Sufi and nominated him as the Successor-Shaikh of the Silsilah Naqshbandiah Owaisiah.
In an Owaisiah Silsilah, physical presence of a Salik (seeker) before his Shaikh is not essentially required for transfer of Faidh (spiritual beneficence). He receives the blessings of his Shaikh in the same manner in which Hadhrat Owais Qarni-rua had received the Prophetic blessings without ever meeting the Holy Prophet-saws.
The Naqshbandiah Owaisiah Silsilah is distinct for initiating a seeker directly onto Zikr-e Qalbi (Zikr within the heart). A unique distinction of this Silsilah is that, after illuminating the Lata’if of the seeker and conducting him to the various stages of the Path, the Shaikh finally conducts him to the Court of the Holy Prophet-saws for a Spiritual Bai’at. The seeker can attain the highest stations of the Sufi Path, according to his capacity and effort, under his Shaikh’s Tawajjuh (Attention) and guidance.
Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan delivers daily lectures during the forty-day spiritual retreat, the Annual Ijtema, held every summer at Dar ul Irfan, the Markaz of the Silsilah, which is attended by the Ahbab from all over the world. The primary focus of these lectures is the spiritual education of the students, but they also cover a wide range of other topics related to the Deen. Similarly the ten-day I’tikaf Ijtema at the end of Ramadhan, the monthly Ijtema and his weekly Friday sermons are a source of immense spiritual knowledge that guides the seekers in their spiritual education and progress.
Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan is the Dean of the Siqarah Academy. This Academy employs a system of education that integrates both religious and standard academic syllabi thereby enabling its students to not only excel at the academic level but to also become exemplary and enlightened Muslims. He holds the distinction of being among its first students.
As the Patron of the Al-Falah Foundation he oversees the provision of humanitarian support to people in the rural, urban and disaster-affected areas of Pakistan.
Since 2010 Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan has been undertaking international tours to carry forward the mission of Tazkiyah-e-Nafs (purification of one’s inner self) assigned to him by his beloved father and illustrious Shaikh. His annual itinerary includes frequent travels abroad to Europe, America and the Middle East, as well as local travels within Pakistan. He reaches out to his students continuously to guide them in their quest for spiritual awareness and conducts Zikr sessions over the Internet every day. He responds to the Seeker’s queries through email and is also available to those who come to visit him daily at his office.
Along with his busy schedule, he retains ties to his writing commitments. He is the Patron and the Editor–in chief of the monthly journal ‘Almurshid’ and authors its monthly editorial.
Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan’s mission is to further the cause of True Deen and to instil truth, sincerity and loyalty in one’s relationship with Allah-swt and His Holy Prophet-saws. He confers special attention to character building of the youth. Following in the footsteps of his honourable father and beloved Shaikh, Hadhrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan is making a definite and positive contribution for the betterment of the society as a whole.
The Second Circle is surrounded by the Third Circle. This is as brilliant as the sun and very grand. The effect produced from the emotions and feelings of Divine love from this (Circle), is akin to the effect the rays of the sun have on the earth‟s flora: Love of Allah pours forth from every pore of the body. What is love, what is it? How deep is its imprint? When to your will, I render, And become pliant to surrender. Every cell of the body pours out this emotion, drowning the person from head to toe in obedience. A quote of Hazrat Zun Noon-rua from the Hulyat-ul Aulia, when he was asked about the sign of a person who loved Allah-swt , replied: „He loves that which Allah-swt loves, dislikes that which Allah-swt dislikes, is not affected by anyone‟s praise, nor moved by anyone‟s propaganda. This person loves Allah-swt .‟ Hazrat Bassar Bin Assri-rua is quoted in the same book as: „The Love of Allah-swt is demonstrated by the love of His obedience and by loving the Zikr of Allah-swt .‟ Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi-rua writes without quoting a reference this time, as it was his wont to always quote a reference, „I do not remember who I heard it from: Qais was a contemporary and friend of Hazrat Hassan-rau. He fell in love with Laila. When Hazrat Hassan-rau delivered the reins of power to Hazrat Ameer Mu„awiyah-rau , and thus the Muslim Ummah was saved from discord, the Muslim conquests commenced once again and the Message of Allah-swt began spreading throughout the world, and he-rau set out for Makkah Mukarramah, Qais was one of his travelling companions. On the way, while conversing, Hazrat Hassan-rau said, „Qais, by relinquishing my government I have saved the Ummah from discord and dissension‟. Qais replied, „That right does not belong to you in the first place, nor does it suit Hazrat Ameer Mu„awiyah-rau .‟ Surprised by this statement Hazrat Hassan-rau asked, „In your opinion whom should the Power have been handed over to?‟ He replied, „To Laila! It suits her only‟. To this Hazrat Hassan-rau exclaimed, „You are Majnoon!‟ meaning „you are mad‟. Since then, Majnoon became his name. Now see; when a person loves someone, he sees only his beloved everywhere; but if someone were blessed with the love for Allah-swt, then what would be his condition! These are extraordinary people, significantly distinct! If Allah-swt grants access and attachment to such people, it causes to reform both the worlds (lives) of a person. It is a great favour of Allah-swt that one finds an accomplished Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher), and Allah Kareem grants purity in one‟s relationship with him, only then can one discern these realities. The Tasbeeh of this Circle is the same, (the seeker) should say once: „Asal, Asal, Asal, Da‟irah Asma-e Sifaat mei say oopar Nafs meiray kay‟, and then keep reciting the Ayah: „Yuhibbo hum wa Yuhibboona-hoo (Al Ma‟idah: 54). This should be rendered both in the heart and by the Rooh(Soul), and then see and savour Divine Favour: how strong his Faith grows and how easy it becomes for him to follow the Holy Prophet-saws. If one possesses Kashf and Mushahidah, it‟s a great blessing indeed; but in any case, it can be certainly felt through Wajdan (intuition). Even if one has neither, the real test is the increase in strength of Iman and the ability to act righteously. As this emotion of love gains strength, the desire for Divine Nearness takes hold, and as this desire strengthens, one‟s deeds and conduct start adhering to the Sunnah, and the depth and profundity of the heart‟s sincerity keeps increasing. The fact is that, there is no limit to Sulook as it is the attainment of Divine Nearness. This earthly life has no significance at all, even in Barzakh and also in the Hereafter which is a life eternal, the dwellers of Jannah(Paradise) will keep progressing, and there will never be an end to this progress. Yes, man can know about the Maraqbaa(Meditations)t up to a certain extent. It is possible that the Gracious Rabb has placed a limit on (acquiring) their knowledge in this world. Even then, their distances are much beyond human computation and their locations are far beyond the bounds of human knowledge. The fundamental strength to access them is derived from initial Maraqbaat(Meditations). Therefore, they require full attention and a lot of effort. The moments (of Zikr) spent in the Shaikh‟s(Spiritual Teacher) company are extremely precious indeed; and if Zikr(Remembrance) is performed along with other Ahbab, that too would be for a limited period only; therefore, in addition to these, substantial time should be devoted on one‟s own, so that these (Maraqbaat)(Meditations) take strong root and bear fruit, which as already mentioned, is that one should crave for following the Sunnah, and the attachment to the Sunnah should become even stronger than his life‟s attachment to food and water.
Then is the third Circle, which is bigger and brighter than the first two and makes the Salik(Seeker) experience the pangs of inner love, the way this Faqeer had mentioned in a couplet: Your-saaws obedience sure induces, The joy, pleasure of life, Faqeer, The pangs of inner pain, but strike, Chords of ecstasy, intense, unique Its Tasbeeh is also the same, as the Rooh(Soul) of the Salik(Seeker) recites this Tasbeeh, it is overwhelmed by Allah’s love and views the whole world from that perspective. In actual fact, these matters are not for writing, reading or talking about, but are for practically doing, because feelings can only be realized and perceived once they actually descend. This realization is also proportional to one’s capacity, because there is definitely a difference in the feelings of every seeker about every meditation.
The seeker sees a Second circle surrounding his forehead, which is bigger and brighter than the First circle. The seeker should once say: „Asal, Asal Da‟irah Asmae Sifaat mein say oopar Nafs meiray kay‟, and then keep repeating: Yuhibbo hum wa Yuhibboona-hoo within his heart and also with his Rooh(Soul). A Hadees Sharif states that the entire universe in all its vastness, when compared to the vastness of Arsh(Divine Throne), is like a finger ring lying in an endless expanse of a desert. Therefore, if the vastness of these Circles is considered by this scale, one is left astonished. Moreover, they have their own specific colours, lights and glow. Each ray, fleck of light and colour drips with love and saturating the Rooh(Soul) it enters deep into the Qalb(Heart) of the seeker, making him devoutly obedient to Allah-swt and the Holy Prophet-saws . I have mentioned earlier, that people suffer from a misconception that the Sufis are unproductive people. Yes, pseudo Sufis may certainly be an unproductive lot, but those blessed with real Tasawwuf(Sufism) and Sulook(Spiritual Path) work much more than a non-Sufi. In practical life, no non-Sufi can match them; because they not only work much more, they also strive to base all their actions on the Sunnah. For this reason, Hazrat Ji-rua used to say that every Sufi is an Alim, if he is not himself an Alim then he attaches himself to an Alim, or he is granted Ilm-e Ladunni from Allah-swt (Knowledge from His Presence), because knowledge is essentially required for practice; how can he practice (religion), unless he has the knowledge. Hence, these people are knowledgeable about the Deen, its devotees, and practicing men of admirable character. If Allah-swt grants the company of such people, then it is one of His very great Favours. Only then does one realize the worth of such people. My personal experience is that these people can converse about every subject in the world, I don‟t know how they have the knowledge of these things; and their opinion, in all matters, is the most sound. Their talk does not stop at invitation and reformation, but they are seen to be foremost in their practice as well. Although these Circles are only the initial and founding stations of Sulook(Spiritual Path), but it is always the foundation that guarantees the strength of building, and it is again the foundation that determines the height of the building. The Lights of these Circles bestow such feelings, that a fistful of clay (i.e. Man) is filled with Allah‟s Love. Subhan Allah-e wa bi-Hamdi-hee, Subhan Allah il Azeem!
When the Salik(Seeker) sees his Rooh(Soul) here, he sees a circle of light, bright like the sun, is around his forehead. Its Tasbeeh is Yuhibbo hum wa Yuhibboona-hoo Allah loves them and they love Allah. In time, a person values something or loves someone because of its beauty or excellence. However, Allah-swt is Absolute, He-swt can neither be seen nor imagined. So, how can love, which is a natural feeling and blossoms in the heart, develop for Him-swt? Allah Kareem loves them because He sees all of them and knows all things at all times. However, love is a feeling that demands its response, and that too, is love. Let alone human beings, if you love even an animal, it also responds with love and starts growing up and flourishing… and what can compare with Allah’s Love! When it rains, it softens the soil of the Qalb(Heart), which starts blossoming the flowers of love and yielding the pearls of love for Allah. The practical effect of these Circles is that a Salik(Seeker) doesn’t consider the obedience to Allah-swt or the adherence to the Holy Prophet-saaws as a mere routine Fardh or Sunnah, but starts to love them and adheres to them with his utmost sincerity, in a passionate manner.