Constant Zikr/ Dhikr (Remembrance) and the Taste of Association

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 AllahSay: 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-SAWSAllahsays 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-SAWSAllah 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.

The Need for Zikr / Dhikr (Remembrance) for Inner Peace

Human beings have been blessed with two types of knowledge which make them superior to the other creatures. The first type relates to the physical body and every human being whether good or bad, believer or a disbeliever can acquire it. The second type is related to the Divine Being which cannot be acquired through intellect or experi­ence but is granted by Allah Himself to Prophets and then acquired by their followers. Its seat is the human Qalb (heart). The Divine Word was similarly revealed unto the heart of the holy Prophet (Sall Allah-o Alaihi wa Sallam). But only those people whose hearts were illuminated with the light of Faith could benefit from him. Although every believer and disbeliever saw him-saw alike, yet the holy Quran asserts that the disbelievers did not see him … looking toward thee, but they see not – 7:198. They saw him with physical eyes; their hearts being devoid of Divine love, they tried to judge him with mundane intellect and as such failed to perceive his real self. They saw him as Muhammad-saw – the son of Abdullah and not as Muhammad-saw – the Messenger of Allah.

Arwah Bin Masood Saqfi (who had not accepted Islam till then) was representing the Makkans during the Truce of Hudaibiyyah. While writing the truce document, Hadhrat Ali (Radhi Allah Unho) inscribed ‘Muhammad – the Messenger of Allah’ in the opening sentence. Arwah instantly reacted and said, “That is the only dispute between us. If we accept him-saw as Allah’s Messenger, then why would we block his way to Allah’s House? His name should be written as Muhammad-saw – the son of Abdullah.”: he was right, in his own way. Unless the heart is revived and its faculties fully restored, it cannot discern reality. Also, this knowledge is beyond the realm of the intellect which can con­firm only what it receives through its physical senses, it cannot perceive the intangible.

This earth has seen many periods of material progress; there have been great scien­tists, scholars and intellectuals of high eminence before our time and the process of amazing discoveries and miraculous inventions has continued all along. The other day, scientists discovered the remains of an ancient civilisation under the sea bed where they unearthed houses, utensils, bones and skulls. The design and beauty of those old houses even excel the present standard of our construction. It was a continent once, but those people were probably seized by Divine punishment and buried underwater. This world has witnessed many turns of time; it has seen nations rise, fall and perish forever. But despite all of the material progress and development, the intellect has only discussed a very small portion of human life, that which starts from birth and ends at death. Nobody could disclose anything about his remaining eternal life of the Hereafter, nor could provide any information about his Ruh (The Spirit). No philosopher or thinker could claim any knowledge about the Divine Being, His Attributes or the nature of His relation­ship with man. This aspect of knowledge is beyond the access of the  human mind and intellect. There has been only one group, that of Allah’s Messengers and Prophets, who provided sure knowledge about the transcendental truths. They were blessed with knowl­edge from the Divine Presence and their hearts were its treasure-houses.

My friend, if the intellect acquires knowledge while the heart is dark, it works more for human destruction than for its peace, it generates more distress than comfort. If you analyse the Western society, it is devoting more funds for armament research than for medicine. But if the heart comes alive, it starts guiding the human intellect. It works for the betterment of humanity and not for its destruction. It consciously migrates from vice to virtue. The life of the heart (Qalb) is related to Allah’s remembrance. Man has only to implant Allah’s Name firmly in his heart, what follows is really amazing. Although the eyes cannot see Him, yet the belief becomes surer than visual observation. The hands cannot feel Him, the mind cannot grasp Him but the heart recognises Him vividly. It can­not describe Him but it discerns Him, hears Him, establishes a relationship with Him, entreats Him, obeys Him and acts according to His Will.

This is an abstract state which cannot be verbalised. If you ask a lover about love, how will he describe it? Similarly, if a person who has never remained hungry asks about hunger, how can he be told? Keep him hungry for sometime and he would understand it himself. Similarly, ask the person who wants to know about love to start loving, he would himself taste love and discover its logic. We ourselves experience these natural instincts quite often. Similarly, faith is also an arcane state of the heart. It can be experienced only after it is professed. The holy Prophet-saw has said, “Worship Allah as if you see Him”. Now, to conceive an impossibility is naturally impossible. If you ask a man to imagine giving birth to a child, he would never succeed even after years of mental effort. The holy Prophet-saw has commanded the believers to worship Allah as if they see Him, while according to Quran, the human sight cannot encompass Allah. It signifies that there must be some other way to perceive His Transcendence. This is achieved through the esoteric state of Qalb(Heart), which discerns Him and assures man of His Omnipresence.

The majority of the early Muslims belonged to a poor class who were slaves of the Makkans through generations. They were tuned towards instinctive and unqualified obe­dience of their masters. When they professed Islam, the Makkan masters employed all means of torture to dissuade their helpless and destitute slaves. Through inhuman perse­cution, they demanded their slaves to renounce the Absolute Unity of Allah. The newly converted Muslims replied that it was not possible for them to comply because they knew for sure that Allah was actually, absolutely One. Their hearts had achieved that state where they perceived Allah to be present before them. Had their hearts been veiled from Divine Presence (as ours have been) they could not have resolutely withstood that suf­fering and may have succumbed to it – may Allah forgive us! Our hearts are so unmindful of Him that we sin, steal and lie, right in His Presence. On the other hand, we never sin in the presence of other human beings, even children, due to fear of disclosure and subse­quent humiliation. If we are equally convinced that our Lord is ever Present with us, we would never dare to sin. This conviction is absent from our faith because even when our intellect accepts this fact, our hearts remain void of Divine observation. Hearts that perceive Divinity, behave differently!

I read in the biography of Ba Yazid Bustami-rua that once he went for Hajj. Travelling was difficult during those times; people went on foot or on camels and horses. Now, air travel has reduced the time and increased the comfort, and the House of Allah always remains full of pilgrims, day and night, throughout the year, like in the Hajj season. However, during earlier times it was possible to get a moment of solitude in the Inviola­ble Precinct. Ba Yazid Bustami-rua went there at night hoping to worship alone. As he entered, he heard the Angel’s shout, “Get out of My House!” He froze with fear and thought that it was he, who was the target of Divine retort. But, he instantly observed a man, going round the K’abah and frantically crying “I am present, O my Lord! I am present”. After a few moments, he again heard the angel shout, “Get out, don’t pollute My House, don’t make any noise here!” When that man passed in front of Ba Yazid-ruahe was shivering from top to toe. Ba Yazid-rua held him by the arm and said, “Why are you bent upon getting the whole world destroyed? Don’t you hear the Divine reprimand?” The man replied, “Isn’t it me who is being addressed? If you can hear it, why can’t I?” Ba Yazid-rua said, “Then, why don’t you get out? Why are you inviting destruction for the whole area?” The man said, “I would leave but I know of no other door to go and cry at! Whether He accepts or rejects, He is the Only One for me; there is nobody else!” Ba Yazid-rua saw that as soon as the man uttered these words, he was instantly covered by Divine Refulgence and blessing.

An illuminated heart always turns towards Allah, whether He accepts or rejects. But a gloomy heart declines His call for prayers five times every day. That indeed is a great dif­ference. We hear His call, accept it mentally but do not answer it on one pretext or the other. At times we claim that we have more important business to attend or that our clothes are not clean for the prayers or that we feel indisposed. But when the heart is alive, Allah Himself grants it the strength to worship. Then He proudly presents such slaves before the angels who have said that man would work corruption on the earth. “Look at My slaves!” He says, “If there are corrupt ones, well there are good ones like these too! Where can the devil take them? Even when I reproach them, they do not leave My door.” He had similarly addressed Satan on the First Day, Lo! As for My slaves, thou have no power over any of them – 15:42. That is, ‘You have no power over those who be­come My slaves but if anyone chooses to be your minion, I do not care about him.’

The life of the heart, its light and peace depend upon Allah’s Zikr (remembrance). How can it be acquired? There is a fundamental difference between knowledge given by Prophets and knowledge given by others. A non-Prophet offers only words, but a Prophet also distributes certain invisible feelings along with his words. The beneficence of Prophethood comprises two distinct divisions of knowledge and blessings. Recites His verses unto them and makes them grow (spiritually) and teaches them the Book and Wis­dom – 62:2. The religious preaching is followed by purification of the hearts and subse­quently knowledge of the Book and Wisdom. Unless the heart is purified, the mind can only remember words but cannot assimilate these feelings. A gloomy heart would defi­nitely command the mind to devour prohibited things and perform sinful acts.

The teachings of the holy Prophet-saw contained so much strength, that even after fourteen centuries, anybody who professes Islam can still discriminate between right and wrong. It is indeed an extremely strange phenomenon that a person who lives in a jungle, far from civilisation, can instinctively differentiate between lawful and taboo, and between virtue and vice. But then why doesn’t everybody act according to his knowl­edge? It is because knowledge influences the mind, but the mind cannot transform knowledge into practice. No positive change can occur unless the Qalb(Heart) realises that the Divine Word is addressing it directly. This is through the beneficence of the holy Prophet-saw. As far his teachings are concerned, both direct and indirect recipients were equally benefited. But his blessings were only available to those who found his august company. His blessings instantly elevated everyone who accepted Islam and came to him-saw to the status of Companionship notwithstanding the misdeeds and gross misconduct of his past life. Companionship is not just a label – it denotes the highest level of piety and morality after Prophethood. During the present times, it has become a custom to criticise the Companions we grade them as our equals (or even lower) and criticise them without any reservations. This happens when we are completely ignorant of the exalted status of Companionship; as stated earlier, it denotes the acme of human excellence. The dust raised by the shoes of a Companion is more valuable in the sight of Allah than the collective sainthood of the entire Ummah. Someone asked Imam Abu Hanifah-rua about the relative status of Hadhrat Amir Muawiyah-rau and ‘Umar Bin ‘Abdul Aziz-rua. He replied that Hadhrat Muawiyah-rau was decidedly better. The questioner was amazed and submitted that ‘Umar Bin ‘Abdul Aziz-rua was a Tab’a Tab’i and the holy Prophet-saw had prophesied that he would be the best person of his time in the whole World. The Imam-rua replied, “Millions of such ‘Umar Bin ‘Abdul Aziz-rua can be sacrificed for the dust gathered in the nostrils of the horse which Hadhrat Muawiyah-rau rode while in the company of the holy Prophet-saw – he was a Companion!”

Unquestioned adherence to the holy Prophet-saw is obligatory for the believers. His blessed company purified the beliefs and conduct of his followers to the highest conceiv­able level. It is the singular distinction of his Companions that their adherence has been made obligatory for the entire humanity for all times to come. And the first to lead the way, of the Muhajirin and the Ansar and those who followed them in goodness – 9:100. There are only two groups in Islam – the group of the Companions and of those who fol­lowed them in earnest – there is no third group. The point which merits consideration is that the Companions were neither Prophets, nor they were innocent – then why have they received so much importance? That is because they had completely submitted themselves before the holy Prophet-saw – they represented his will and pleasure. Once someone asked the holy Prophet-saw, “After all, they are human beings and they would interpret your instructions according to their different levels of intellect. What should be done in case of their difference of opinion?” The holy Prophet-saw replied, “Follow any one (of them) and you would be rightly guided.” That is, even with different opinions they would follow the truth and would not go astray and their adherence would lead you to eternal salvation. Their mutual difference is a blessing which provides various courses for the remainders to follow – anyone can adopt the course of his choice.

After the Battle of the Trench, the holy Prophet-saw was commanded to attend to Bani Quraizah. The Companions had not yet laid down their arms when the holy Prophet-saw ordered them to offer their ‘Asar (afternoon) prayers at the location of this tribe. They were hurrying towards their destination which was about six or seven miles away when the prayer time came. Some opined that the prayers should not be delayed because the holy Prophet-saw had only desired them to reach their destination immediately. The other group maintained that the holy Prophet-sawhad explicitly ordered them to offer their prayers at the destination and that they would obey him in letter and spirit even if it delayed their prayers; each group acted according to its interpretation. Upon reaching the destination, the issue was placed before the holy Prophet-saw, he ruled that both groups had acted correctly. Their illuminated hearts were brim with sincerity for Allah and His Messenger-saw; therefore, their actions were not governed by worldly motives or personal impulses. The blessed company of the holy Prophet-saw had granted them this honour. The Quran has described their condition in a strange manner: So that their flesh and their hearts soften at Allah’s reminder – 39:23. It means that each cell of their bodies, from the outermost skin to the innermost compartment of the heart, was constantly engaged in His remembrance. This blessing was naturally available, distributed and acquired in the company of the holy Prophet-saw.

Khawajah Owais Qarni is famous for his piety, abstinence and love for the holy Prophet‑saw, who had desired that someone should meet him and requested of him to entreat Divine forgiveness for his-saw Ummah and so he directed Hadhrat ‘Umar Faruq-rau to convey his greetings to him. It was a great honour for Owais Qarni and in pursu­ance of the orders of the holy Prophet-saw, Hadhrat ‘Umar-rau searched for and met him. But despite this singular honour and his special relationship with the holy Prophet-saw, he could not become a Companion because he was unable to physically meet the holy Prophet-saw. These blessings did not fade during the Companions’ times, anybody who accepted Islam and came to them became a Tab’i. The Taba’in also enjoy a distinguished status within the Ummah. Then, all those who found their company became Tab’a Taba’in. Companionship was the greatest blessing but it was distributed without any discrimination. Everybody who accepted Islam and came to the holy Prophet-saw became a Companion; his further attainments depended on his subsequent endeavour and effort but they all commonly shared the title of Companionship. Again there was no precondi­tion to become Tab’i except to attend the august company of a Companion. Similarly the Tab’a Taba’in had only to go to a Taba’i to acquire this status.

Every Muslim is blessed with a heart that can perform Zikr(Remembrance). The Quran and the holy Prophet-saw have repeatedly exhorted the believers to keep performing Zikr
(Remembrance) . The Quran has enjoined Zikr
(Remembrance) alongside every worship like Salah, Hajj and Jihad. The holy Prophet was himself commanded, “So remember the Name of thy Lord and devote thyself with a complete devotion.” – 73:8. This blessing was similarly distributed down through the ages. Some religious scholars devoted their lives for Tafsir (interpretation of the Quran), some dedicated themselves for Hadith and some others attained excellence in Fiqh (juris­pru­dence). But despite their diverse fields, all scholars of Tafsir, Hadith and Fiqh used to perform Zikr
(Remembrance) and had acquired this blessing. If you look back only fifty years, you would discover that every religious scholar, after completing his education, went to some spiri­tual master to learn Allah’s Zikr
(Remembrance) . It was only after acquiring this blessing that he set out for religious service. This has been their common practice, without exception. The objec­tion that Zikr
(Remembrance) is not necessary is the product of our time only. In reality, the life of the Qalb(Heart) is dependent upon Allah’s Zikr
(Remembrance) , “Verily, in Allah’s remembrance do hearts find rest.” – 13:28. This Divine Verse asserts that the hearts can find peace only in Allah’s Zikr
(Remembrance) and nowhere else. The holy Prophet-saw has said that the best provision is the one which just suffices, where one neither borrows nor accumulates and it is sufficient for his needs; and the best Zikr
(Remembrance) is the hidden Zikr
(Remembrance) and that which illuminates the heart. “There is a cleanser for everything and the cleanser for the heart is Allah’s Zikr”, he-saw is reported to have said.

Religious scholars have spent their lives in the company of those whose hearts per­formed Zikr
(Remembrance) . They ardently endeavoured to absorb these lights in their own hearts and subsequently distributed them to other Muslims, that was the beginning of Shaikhdom in our religion. Most of the present day concepts which ascribe worldly powers to a Shaikh (spiritual guide) are outrightly false. The belief that anyone without a Shaikh would be subjected to distress and affliction is equally unfounded. A Shaikh is also a human being and also undergoes worldly trials and tribulations. How can he alleviate the miseries of others? A real Peer (Shaikh/spiritual guide) is the one who strives to acquire this light of the heart from an erudite spiritual guide and spends his life in total submission to Allah according to the Sunnah of the holy Prophet-saw. Allah grants him the strength to illumi­nate the hearts of those who come to seek his spiritual attention, such a seeker is called a Mureed(Spiritual Seeker) and the spiritual mentor is known as a Peer (Shaikh)(Spiritual Teacher). If there is no transfer of blessings, then this relationship is unnecessary and of no consequence whatsoever.

In the present time, Jews, Hindus and even atheists, who do not believe in Allah and His Prophet-saw rule countries, possess wealth and property. If everyone else can have all these worldly facilities and comforts, why can’t a Muslim get his basic provisions of life without a Peer? Allah Himself has proportioned the worldly provisions of everyone and a Peer has absolutely no say in this matter. If someone adopts virtue, Allah arranges his provisions from lawful and permitted means; but if some choose to adopt a sinful life, He directs his provisions through unlawful and wrong ways. But in both cases, each person gets only that which has already been divinely destined for him.

Hadhrat Ali-rau used to visit different areas during his caliphate. One day he was passing through a village when the time for ‘Asar (afternoon) prayers drew near. He arrived at the mosque slightly late, when people were coming out after offering their prayers, so he requested a passer-by to hold his mule so that he could offer his prayers in the mosque. While coming out, he decided to pay two dirhams to the man for this service, but when he came out he found the man missing along with the reins of his mule. He walked to the market to buy another set of reins, where he found the reins of his mule at a shop. “Would you sell them?” he asked the shopkeeper. “Of course, yes!” was his reply. Hadhrat Ali asked, “For how much?” The shopkeeper said, “For two dirhams.” After he purchased the reins, he asked the shopkeeper wherefrom he had procured them. “A man has just sold them to me for one dirham and I sold them to you for two.” Hadhrat Ali-rau said to himself, “I had decided to pay two dirhams to the wretched thief but he chose the wrong way and still got one. This shopkeeper told the truth and earned a lawful profit of one dirham.”

If someone decides to change the course of his life, his decision cannot increase his divinely ordained provisions, only the means of its acquisition are modified according to his new course – he still gets only that which has already been destined for him. A Peer or a religious scholar has simply no say in this matter. A Peer is the one whose own heart is illuminated and he can illuminate the hearts of others. The indication of an illuminated heart is the reformation of one’s belief and conduct and not the mere observation of Divine lights. If the heart rejects unsound belief and conduct, it has come alive and has started doing Zikr
(Remembrance) ; otherwise it is still dead. The association with such a Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher) is a sheer waste of time, one should immediately search for another Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher) who is capable of reviv­ing his heart. The speech and conduct of a Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher) should not be oriented towards self exaltation but towards acquisition of Divine Pleasure. He should not covet others’ riches but should earn his sustenance through lawful means. His conduct should corroborate his firm belief in the Omnipresence of Allah. His countenance should reflect Divine Lights and when he bows his head before his Rabb(Lord), the earth should quake with the grandeur of Divine Refulgence. If these blessings are available, this institution of Shaikhdom is of immense value.

The Gracious Lord has given complete freedom of choice in the method of Zikr
(Remembrance) , “Such as remember Allah, standing, sitting and reclining.” – 3:191, “And remember your Lord when you forget.” – 18:24. Various Mashaikh(Spiritual Teachers) have adopted different methods of Zikr
(Remembrance) for the common aim of illuminating the hearts; there may be many means of trans­port to reach the same city. Similarly, all these different methods aim at acquiring the Prophetic blessings that were transferred from one bosom to the other and can only be acquired in the company of their custodians. However, this freedom can be exercised within the limits prescribed by the holy Prophet-saw. The adoption of any method prohib­ited by the Shari‘ah would be incorrect under any pretext.

Allah has defined the form and frequency of all obligatory worship. The rak‘at (cycles) of Salah, various recitals therein and the timings of each Salah have all been laid down. Similarly, all details about Hajj and Saum have also been defined. Allah has how­ever, not defined any form and frequency for His Zikr
(Remembrance) . There is neither any pre condition nor any time limitation, even ritual purity or cleanliness of garments is not obligatory. It is not mandatory to perform Zikr
(Remembrance) in the mosque, although ritual purity and the holy atmosphere of the mosque would definitely attract more blessings. Zikr
(Remembrance) must continue at all times, under all circumstances and conditions. It must continue in mosque, in market, standing, sitting or reclining.

However, it is not possible to perform this continuous, uninterrupted Zikr (Remembrance) with the tongue, that is, orally. Every conversation would interrupt Zikr (Remembrance) and finally, during sleep, all organs would become listless and the tongue would also be quiet. But, if someone receives the attention that was distributed in the company of the holy Prophet-saw, it would saturate his heart with Allah’s Zikr (Remembrance) . Every beat of his heart would reverberate with Allah’s Zikr (Remembrance) and his every breath would be modulated with His Name. Each drop of his blood would carry His blessings to every part of the body, So that their flesh and their hearts soften at Allah’s reminder – 39:23. The condition of continuous and frequent Zikr (Remembrance) can be met only in the company of an accomplished Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher) when his attention initiates Allah’s Zikr
(Remembrance) in every cell of the body. This is our primary need because only this atten­tion can revive our hearts, a live heart observes Divine Splendour according to its capac­ity. This observation can only be experienced – it cannot be described, words fail to translate these indefinable feelings.

My brother, I am also a simple, delinquent person of the present time – may Allah for­give me and all of us! He blessed me to remain in the company of His Aulia (sing – Wali: lit. friends) for thirty years and I declare that while sitting in the mosque, I had never thought of becoming a Shaikh – I have always been afraid of this appointment. I had gone there for my own reformation but was assigned the responsibility to teach others, it is no favour but my duty to convey this blessing to you. Now, if someone accepts this, it is his sweet pleasure and if someone rejects this, it is his own choice. You have seen policemen on duty in the markets. People abuse them, scorn them and at times pelt them with stones and throw empty bottles at them. Do they run away? Of course not, because that is their duty.

Similarly this is my duty which I must perform under all circumstances. People insult me – some pass verdicts; once I was driven out of a mosque for teaching Allah’s Zikr
(Remembrance) I do not have to care about the reaction of people nor do I have any expectations from anyone. I repose all my hopes and expectations in my Lord Who has assigned me this duty. I have learnt His name and He has so blessed me, that if you remain with me for a while and perform His Zikr (Remembrance) , you would also get these blessings – this is nothing difficult. It is incorrect to believe that only the son of a Peer can become a Peer – there is no truth in it. Every Muslim is a Shaikh and a Wali(Friend of Divine Being). If every Muslim could become a Companion, why should then Wilayah(Friendhsip with Divine Being) be the lot of a chosen few? There is no discrimination between male and female in this respect; Companionship, the highest title after Prophethood, was also achieved by men and women alike. While mentioning laudable human attributes in the Quran, the Gracious Lord concludes, And the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember Allah much. Here females have been bracketed with males because both are members of the same human race. Therefore, in our Order, every mem­ber is permitted to teach Zikr (Remembrance) to the ladies in his house, you can try it yourself. Whenever you give spiritual attention to your mother, sisters, wife or daughters during Zikr
(Remembrance) , the hearts of all of them will be illuminated. Life becomes most pleasurable when the entire family, including all of the men, women and children, perform Allah’s Zikr
(Remembrance) . At that moment even the walls, stones and bricks resound with His Name. The holy Prophet-saw has said that such houses appear like stars to the dwellers of the Heavens.

This is a blessing over which you have a claim, you have a share in it and it is your basic requirement as well. You should learn it and adopt it, for the sake of Allah, for the Hereafter and for attaining the good pleasure of the holy Prophet-saw – may Allah bless you! May He grant us His Zikr
(Remembrance) during this life, death and Hereafter! May He raise us with His Zikr (Remembrance) on the Day of Resurrection and include us in the ranks of His slaves! Ameen!

Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan (RH)

Zikr/ Dhikr (Remembrance)

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.

Zikr/ Dhikr (Remembrance) Necessary for Everyone for Inner Peace

Allah ordains every soul in the Quran to Perform Zikr(Remembrance).  This not only means reciting the Quran and Tasbeeh(recitals) but also Zikr-e Qalb(Remembrance of Heart).  It is only through Zikr-e Qalbi(Remembrance of Heart) that Prophetic Lights reach the depths of human soul and purify it from all vice and evil.  Zikr(Remembrance of Divine) infuses a realization of constant Divine Presence and a seeker feels great improvement in the level of sincerity and love towards Allah and the holy Prophet-SAWS. Such levels of sincerity, love and feelings of Divine Presence can never be obtained without Zikr(Remembrance).

It would be a mistake to believe that Zikr(Remembrance) may be a requirement only for the very pious and virtuous people.  Zikr(Remembrance) provides the Prophetic blessings which are in effect the life line of every human soul.  It transforms even the most corrupted humans into virtuous souls by bringing out the best in them.

The fact is that Zikr(Remembrance) is the only way to achieve true contentment and satisfaction in life.  The holy Quran has pointed to this eternal fact that it is only through Zikr Allah(Rmembrance of Divine) that hearts can find satisfaction.  Such satisfaction and peace are the ultimate requirements of every person, regardless of religion, race and ethnicity.  Practicing Zikr(Remembrance) regularly removes all traces of anxiety and restlessness, and guides the human soul to eternal bliss and peace.

Sufi Saint – Hz Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan (Mz)

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.

Dawa’ir-e Muhabbat (The Circles of Love) – Meditation


The Dawa‟ir-e Salasah(Circles of Love) follow after the Maraqbaat-e Salasah(The Three Meditations), and are called the Dawa‟ir-e Muhabbat(Cricles of Love). The Tasbeeh is: Yuhibbo hum wa Yuhibboona-hoo (Al Ma‟idah: 54), that is Allah loves them and they love Allah. Love is an exceptional emotion in which one longs to sacrifice everything for the beloved. Love is not taking or demanding anything, rather it is the longing to shower all one has on the beloved. If the element of give and take enters a relationship, then it will not be love, but it would be apt to term it as business. Love means to give and offer everything. Like a poet has said: „The lover becomes a bonded slave of the beloved.‟ And, if that love is for Allah-swt and His Messenger-saws! The love for the Prophet-saws is the prelude to the love for Allah-swt . The love of Allah-swt is the greatest of all treasures, while the most precious wealth and asset granted to man is his limited free will or freedom of choice, and the love for Allah demands that man sacrifices this most valued possession for it. Man‟s personal likes and dislikes should submit totally to Divine Will. His practical conduct aside, even his thoughts, desires, wishes and wants should mould themselves according to Allah‟s Will. Hazrat Ji-rua used to say that, one should become as pliant before Shari„ah, as a corpse in the hands of a Ghusaal : it moves only when he moves it. Here, a question arises. Man can love the things or persons that are within the orbit of his knowledge, he can only love when he can see or know. But Allah the Creator, is beyond the bounds of knowledge of Creation, so how can man fall in love with Him? The answer is supplied in the Holy Quran: If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you. (Aal-i-„Imran: 31) That is, if you are a seeker of Allah‟s Love, then follow me (the Holy Prophet-saws), Allah-swt will start loving you. Once Allah-swt starts loving you, it will certainly sow, in response, the seeds of His love in your hearts; rather, the resulting situation will become as: Those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. (Al Baqarah: 165) That is, those who have attained Faith love Allah-swt the most, in the whole universe. Meaning that those who immerse themselves in the Love of Allah-swt, nothing remains of themselves, they remain completely immersed in His Love, under all conditions and at all times. Love follows a strange principle; even human love is not without impact. If you love someone it will produce (your) love in his heart, and if you dislike someone, then despite an apparent show of affection, he too will hate you from within. Some people think, „I love this person, but he doesn‟t love me back‟. In fact, these people don‟t have any love at all, only interests that they term as „love‟, and naturally such interests will only beget interests from the other side; meaning that a person who has some interest with you will display his love. This is a trade of self-interests and it is not right to term this as love. Love is an emotion that is always pure and selfless, and as already stated it is very potent and effective and always elicits a response. If human love is so potent, how strong would be the effect of Allah-swt‟s Love! For this reason it is stated that Allah-swt loves them and they start loving Allah-swt. How great would be the people who are loved by Allah-swt, and how pure would be the emotion with which they love Allah-swt! A poet has aptly put it: Advisor, to you about love, I say: If you wish to feel it, fall in love, The tempest‟s force you can never know, From safety of the shore above, It is an exotic intoxication: Alienating the heart to both the worlds The lasting bliss of Cognition Divine; Filling the heart with brimming joy With delight enduring and sublime Allah Allah! This excellence needs to be experienced practically, not just talked about verbally. Yes, if Allah-swt grants even an iota of it, then the purpose is achieved!

Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan

Maraqbah Aqrabiyyat (Meditation) – Exposition

This is the Third Maraqbah(Meditation); collectively, the three are known as the Maraqbaat-e Salasah (The Three Meditations), i.e. the first three Maraqbaat. This Maraqbah(Meditation) is done under the Ayah(Verse of Holy Quran): Nahno Aqrabo elaih-e min Hablil Wareed. (Qaf: 16) It means that: „We are closer to man than his jugular vein‟. It is obvious that the Creator who creates and eliminates each cell and grants life and death, is definitely nearer to man than his jugular vein, as the vein and the blood flowing through it are themselves composed of the same very cells. The Omnipotent, Who creates the cells and then forms them into blood, flesh and bones is definitely the Nearest of all, and He-swt is creating each cell and eliminating each cell. The Lights of this station are bright red; the gates and walls are red. Yes, the construction of verandas and arches is slightly different than that of Ahadiyyat and Maiyyat(Stations on spiritual path). The seeker finds himself in front of a magnificent gate through which red light is being emitted, and it is exactly similar to what has already been mentioned. If he goes in, he will find that the corridor to the right takes him to a grand stadium where countless Arwah(Souls) are honourably seated. These are those pious souls who passed away while they were at this station and they have access here while abiding in Barzakh. It must be kept in mind that only that Rooh(Soul) receives the power of flight in Barzakh, which receives Prophetic blessings in the world and attains to spiritual stations; and is granted only as much power as it had attained during its worldly life. Otherwise all other pious and noble people, scholars and ascetics who have attained salvation or have gained any high status in Barzakh, have a specific place apportioned to them (in Barzakh), which is connected to the grave. Their Rooh(Soul) can remain there; but apart from this it has no power to fly. The importance of Prophetic blessings can be realized from this, and also the greatness of the personalities known as Masha‟ikh(Friends of Divine Being) who acquire the Prophetic Lights and become the custodians of this treasure through a lifetime of endeavour, and then for Divine Pleasure, distribute them among others. The great Masha‟ikh used to tell only a very few people about this treasure, although a large number of people visited them and were reformed, taught oral Zikr(remembrance) and given Wazaif (plural of Wazifah) to recite; but only a select few were taught Zikr-e Qalbi(Remembrance of heart). The value of this treasure can also be ascertained by the fact that, they did not consider all and sundry competent enough to receive it. In our times, Maulana Ahmad Ali Lahori-rua was a very great personality. According to my knowledge, he passed away in the higher stations of the „Arsh(Divine Throne) and he was the Qutb-e Irshad of his time. There are four or, at times, three Qutb; so he was one of the four or five most eminent personalities in the world, but after his death not a single person was found to be doing (Zikr on) the Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs). I have read his statement in their monthly journal, „Khuddam ud Deen‟. He wrote: „I gained this treasure after investing 45 years of my life. If someone spends four years with me, I will conduct him to Fana Fir Rasool-saws, take him spiritually to the Court of the Holy Prophet-saws , but on the condition that he should leave his family with four years‟ worth of provisions and bring four years‟ of his personal expenses with him.‟ Sometimes I reflect that the poor do not have the capacity for this, and when have the rich been the seekers of this treasure? Yes, Hazrat Mujaddid Alif Sani-rua delivered this blessing to many Ulama but he had to suffer a lot of distress as well. Some of his unfortunate students went astray and, instead of repenting, even passed verdicts of Kufr against him – although, in the era of the Holy Prophet-saws these spiritual blessings were not only distributed, they were rained upon! Every man, woman, old, young, scholar or unlettered, rich or poor, who looked at the Holy Prophet-saws with Iman (Faith) or the Holy Prophet-saws‟s blessed glance fell on him, was elevated to the illustrious office of Companionship. Even if all the Wilayah(Friendship of Divine Being) of the world were to be collated, it would not attain to the status of even the dust of the footprints of the Companions. This Sunnah remained intact during the era of the Sahabah (Companions) and anyone who gained their company became a Tabi„i, and those who gained the company of the Taba‟een were called Tab„a Taba‟een. These three blessed periods are called „Khair ul-Quroon‟, meaning the best period of all times. Thereafter, this blessing was lifted from this world. It was only granted to those personalities who after making great effort and receiving Tawajjuh(Spiritual attention), acquired the Lights from their predecessors and after illuminating their Lata’if(Spiritual Organs), received the blessings of the Maraqbaat(Meditations); and thus the Salasil(Spiritual Orders) of Tasawwuf(Sufism) came into being. The names of some very great men of Allah Kareem are included in these Salasil(Spiritual Orders), all of whom were able to attain to Wilayah(Friendship of Divine Being), which is a very great honour. During the earlier times, most of the Ulama(scholars) also acquired it, and all of them whether they were scholars of Tafseer (Commentary), or Hadith or Fiqh (Law) were Sufis. Later, this blessing began to decrease. Basically, these days, very few fortunate ones acquire (proper) knowledge, the majority claim themselves to be Maulvis (religious scholars) on the basis of memorising only a few speeches, and then instead of making the effort to acquire this wealth, they become intent on denying it altogether. May Allah-swt protect us from this! Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlvi-rua has written that once he had to go to the court of the King of the Jinns about some matter. He explained the issue, and an elderly Jinn was also present there who was so old that he could not lift up his drooping eyelids. He lifted his eyelids with his fingers and looked at me and said, „Today, while listening to you I remembered that I was present when this issue was explained by the Holy Prophet-saws‟. Shah Sahib goes on to claim, „I am a Tabi„i as I have seen a Sahabi (Companion) Jinn‟. Two years ago, in connection with an issue related to Jinns, I found a very elderly Jinn, from the period of the Holy Prophet-saws , living in a habitation of Jinns in the mountainous regions of Kashmir. He was so old that he could hardly move and was resting on a stretcher or bed, and he was a Sahabi (Companion). I requested him to visit Dar ul Irfan. About six months later, he accepted my second request, and one evening his servants brought him to Dar ul Irfan on a stretcher. I, with his permission, got a dish of egg halva prepared for him. He drank two sips of tea from my cup and ate about six or seven spoons of halva; then after staying for a while, he left. I mixed the remaining halva from his plate with more halva and offered it to the many Ahbab. Now many months have passed since he died. There was another Sahabi Jinn, who I only heard about, but could not meet, and he too has left for his last abode. In my view there are no more Muslim Jinns from that era, still alive. Now, according to this principle, I am also a Tabii, but remember that assimilation of the Qalbi(Spiritual/Heartfelt) feelings through company of the Holy Prophet-saws is a human attribute alone. The Jinns do not have such capacity, and since they cannot attain them, the question of distributing to others does not arise. However, in any case there is certainly a „connection‟ or relationship, which is granted to the slaves of Allah-swt . So, all these are the ways of attaining the blessings. In this Maraqbah(Meditation), an amazing feeling of Divine Nearness is experienced. Feelings cannot be penned, they can only be felt; no words have been designed to describe them. How aptly it has been said by someone: I know full well that numbers and weights To measure pain are never sought Seemab, tis only on a whim that we too Are carrying the load without a thought So these can only be felt and their effects are cast on one‟s practical life. After the „Best of Times‟ the Sunnah of freely distributing Qalbi(Spiritual/heartfelt) feelings had been abandoned, but after 1400 years, Hazrat al „Allaam Allah Yar Khan-rua was granted the distinction to revive this Sunnah once again. Whosoever came into his presence was blessed with Zikr-e Khaffi Qalbi(remembrance of heart), and people from all walks of life profited from it. Men, women, young, old, scholar, illiterate, everyone left his assembly with their breasts illuminated. In our villages, usually some poor man of the village is employed for supplying water and for cleaning the Masjid(Mosque), and it is often seen that these people themselves do not offer Salah(Prayer), but even the server of Hazrat Ji-rua‟s Masjid had attained to Fana Fir Rasool-saws! Such attainment, which requires years of hard effort, was also seen to have been achieved there within days! Although I took years for my Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs), but it was also observed that a person came, stayed for a week or so in attendance, and left attaining Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs), Maraqbaat(Meditations), Fana Baqa, and even the station of Salik-ul Majzoobi. Subhan Allah-e wa bi-Hamdi-hee. Subhan Allah il Azeem. Zikr-e Qalbi(remembrance of heart) bestows inner feelings, which influence one‟s practical life. All the body parts function under the direction of the brain, but the brain itself is controlled by the heart. If the heart is dark and murky, the brain thinks evil, commands evil and the body parts indulge in evil. But, if the heart is illuminated and has been blessed a connection with Allah-swt, then it commands righteousness; the brain thinks of virtue and the body parts perform noble deeds. However, it is correct that every person has a different capacity and is affected accordingly – and the greater the effect the more positive the change. Yes, it is certain that, by the Grace of Allah-swt , every Zakir(one who remembers the Divine Being) undergoes a positive change which keeps progressing and its positive effects are reflected in his character. It is also a fundamental fact that complete submission is just not possible unless there is firm belief in Allah-swt and in His Attributes. The only way is the faith in the Messengership, and complete obedience and adherence to the Holy Prophet-saws . These feelings and blessings establish a special relationship with the Holy Prophet-saws, which is otherwise not possible (to establish), and therefore they occupy the position of a life-force for Faith and conviction. But, only those, blessed by Divine Grace can discern this. The three Maraqbaat(Meditations), Ahadiyyat, M„aiyyat and Aqrabiyyat, are called the Maraqbaat-e Salasah(The three Meditations). It is the beginning of the stations of Sulook(Sufi path of Love), and can be attained only if granted by Allah Kareem. The purpose of life is to develop the strength of Faith of a level that accords obedience and the drive to do good deeds. These Maraqbaat(Meditations) are the strongest means of achieving this. In reality, every blessing is contingent upon action and endeavour, while most people tend to talk more and act less. They find it easy to deny the blessings they cannot attain and not stopping there, they resort to criticizing the Men of Allah and causing them harm, which is a vile act. In principle, if you have not set foot in a domain, know nothing about it, and have never bothered to find out about it, then who has given you the right to pass a verdict about it or criticize it? In my humble opinion that is the height of ignorance. May Allah Kareem preserve us from this!

Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan (RH)