Spiritual Path

I seek refuge with Allah, from Shaitan the Outcast. With the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is for Allah-swt, the Creator of the Universe and the Source of all knowledge. He-swt, Who has concealed so many mysteries in every particle that no creature can claim to know everything, this (claim) suits His Majesty alone. Creation can know only as much as He-swt grants to whomsoever He-swt wills. Man is the masterpiece of His creation. Every straw, leaf and particle houses countless secrets within itself and each secret is a witness to Allah-swt Greatness. The more the revelation of such mysteries to a person, the more he acknowledges the greatness of Allah-swt, provided his human nature has not been corrupted. However, if his nature has been contaminated, every medicine will produce the opposite effect and the revelation of each mystery will mislead him and inflate his ego. May Allah Kareem grant protection from this malady! By Allah-swt Grace, I wish to put across some basic points. Possibly these may serve as a guide for a true seeker and help in the attainment of Salvation. I have no capability except that granted by Allah-swt . Tasawwuf(Sufism) and Sulook(Spiritual Path) is a subject that is as important as it is unique. It deals with the feelings of faith and belief and the inspirations on the Qalb(Heart). Many scholars have written that these people (the Soofis) wore woollen clothing (soof) and thus came to be known as Sufis. However, my opinion is different. In my view, Tasawwuf(Sufism) is the Persian translation of the Quranic word ‘Tazkiyah’(Purification), which means cleansing of the heart, it is included within Prophetic blessings and, in reality, something one cannot do without. I don’t want to write anything as its proof, since beginning with the Companions and the Khair ul Quroon, countless scholars have written about Tazkiyah(Spiritual Purification) and have proved it as the essence and the most important part of the Deen. If someone isn’t convinced by their writings, then what is my position and what difference will my writing make to him? The present day situation is reflected in the letter of a friend from India. He wrote that he visited Dar ul Uloom Deoband but did not find anyone there who knew about Zikr-e Qalbi(Remembrance by heart); I was shaken when I read this letter. The scholars, who laid the foundations of this institution, were all, till the very recent times, Sufis. However, their successors have shelved their works that not only contained the evidence of Sulook(Spiritual Path), but also contained substantial material on different methods of Zikr(Remembrance) and on guidance for seekers. From Hadhrat Nanotvi to Maulana Thanvi, which scholar was not a Zakir and a teacher of Zikr(Remembrance), and who did not write about the various forms and methods of Zikr? Our Shaikh ul Mukarram-rua himself made a valuable and worthy contribution to this resource in the form of Dalael us-Sulook. I wish to mention just a few of the books that are available in the library of Dar ul Irfan (as the whole list would be very lengthy). In addition to this, every Mufassir and Muhaddith has written about it in his works on Tafsir or Hadith. The few words that I wish to pen down here deal only with the feelings of the Lata‘if(Spiritual Organs) and the Maraqbaat (meditations), their effect on practical life and the ways to find or determine the reality of the Lata‘if(Spiritual Organs) and the Maraqbaat(Meditation). It is a very delicate subject and has probably never been addressed in this manner before. Every age has its own requirements and probably this hasn’t been a requirement of the previous times. When we learnt Sulook(Spiritual Path), we would not dare to even speak to Shaikh ul Mukarram-rua. Rather, at times, when two of us realized a spiritual feeling differently (although the difference was only in its detail and interpretation, not in its essence), we kept to our individual version for the rest of our lives, but wouldn’t dare to ask the Shaikh-rua(Spiritual Teacher). Today, the time and its people have changed. They want to know the logic and the reason behind everything and ask for its interpretation and explanation. This change occurred in front of us and we have to put up with it. Therefore, with Allah’s Grace, this Faqeer (humble soul) is trying to write, to an extent, about those feelings. The purpose is not to convince those who deny, but that the travellers of this Path may be guided and enabled to understand the feelings of their Qalb(Heart) and their effects. A list of books is attached for those who want proof; they can benefit. Those are only a few tittles of the books in the Dar ul Irfan library; indeed, there should be many more treatises on the subject. Along with the above, is a topic that requires much attention and that is about Kashf and Mushahidah (spiritual visions and observations). These (spiritual visions and observations) are not integral or necessary elements (of Tasawwuf), but belong to the category of rewards bestowed by Allah-swt. It someone is blessed with Kashf, he should consider it a Divine blessing and not an indication that his Zikr(Remembrance) is being accepted. Indeed, it is the feelings and effects noticed in one’s practical life that are the criteria for acceptance, since the results of an effort that is accepted, which in turn depends upon one’s sincerity of intention and purity of faith, most certainly become visible in one’s conduct; and this is a special Divine Favour. Some friends remain under the misunderstanding that as they have not been blessed with Mushahidah(Spiritual Vision), their Lata‘if(Spiritual Organs) are not illuminated; this is not the right impression. What is essential is that the effect of the Lata‘if(Spiritual Organs) and the Maraqbaat(Meditation) is reflected in one’s character.

Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan

Sultan al-Azkaar (Spiritual Organ)

After this the seventh Latifah (Spiritual Organ) is Sultan al-Azkaar. Here, every cell of the body becomes Zakir(Infused with Divine Lights) and the Divine Lights descend on it. According to the scientists there are about 2.5 trillion cells in a human body. Imagine a body that houses 2.5 trillion lamps illuminated with Divine Light, and every cell chants ‘Allah, Allah’ several times in each breath and beat. Such a body receives Divine Protection and is blessed to adhere to the Shari‘ah during its whole life. It is something altogether different that, those not conversant with the Shari‘ah or of its obligations may criticize him as a habit; yet, by Allah’s Grace he is granted the capacity to do righteous deeds. His sleeping or awakening, earning or eating, friendship or enmity, on the whole every aspect of his life conforms to the Shari‘ah. All of this is the wonderful effect of the Nisbat (connection) with an accomplished Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher). It is for this reason that, the Sufis have greatly praised the Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher), both in their poetry and prose. Even then, the fact is that, an accomplished Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher) cannot be praised enough. If this is the standing of an accomplished Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher), then how exalted will be the status of the Holy Prophet-saaws! And Masha’ikh (Spiritual Teachers)pride themselves with being compared to the blessed dust on his-saaws shoes. When all seven Lata‘if (Spiritual Organs) are illuminated the body turns into a walking treasure trove of Divine Lights and Refulgence. After doing this Latifah(Spiritual Organ), the whole Tawajjuh(attention) is directed back to the first Latifah(Spiritual Organ), the Qalb(Heart).

Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan (RH)

The Sixth Latifah, Nafs/Ego (Spiritual Organ) – Exposition

This Latifah(Spiritual Organ) is located in the forehead that is placed on the ground when performing Sajdah (prostration). The human body has been created from clay, fire, water and air. Nafs(Ego) comes into being out of these four elements. Since it is created through the combination of material elements, therefore, it is basically inclined towards material pleasures. However, if one is blessed with Faith, his Rooh(Soul) becomes alive, and as the Rooh(Soul) grows stronger, the condition of the Nafs(Ego) also undergoes a corresponding change. (Good) Deeds are necessary for (maintaining) Iman (Faith), and sincerity and obedience to the Holy Prophet-saws are necessary for (acceptance of) deeds. This strengthens Iman, and as Iman continues to become stronger, the condition of the Nafs(Ego) also improves. The Quran has mentioned its three degrees: First: Nafs-e Ammarah. It is indifferent to the concept of Deen and Iman(Faith), goodness and sin and remains lost in worldly pleasures. Without caring about the legal or illegal (permitted and prohibited) aspects, it sets up the attainment of pleasure and wealth as its sole objective. This usually happens while in a state of Kufr(Disbelief). Second: Nafs-e Lawwamah. When blessed with Faith, one also receives the ability to distinguish between good and bad, and the Nafs(Ego) tries to do good but due to its intrinsic nature it also indulges in evil, but after doing wrong it realises the mistake and reproaches itself and repents. Now, it could be argued here that some Kuffaar also do good deeds, like constructing hospitals or water reservoirs or helping people, but here it is important to remember that they neither believe in Allah-swt nor in the Holy Prophet-saws and nor in the Hereafter. So the object of whatever apparent good they do, is to acquire the world (worldly benefits), whether it be wealth or fame. Sometimes they believe that their good acts will repel some worldly affliction. Thus they do not deliberately do good per se because their Nafs is Ammarah. However, if a person possesses Faith, and is not a Muslim simply for demographic purposes, he can certainly distinguish between right and wrong. He considers the doing of good as obeying the Command of Allah-swt and the Holy Prophet-saws and for (his future benefit in) the Hereafter. If he falters, he reproaches (scolds) himself and regrets his action. This regret is called Taubah (Repentance), which prevents him from further evil. Third: Nafs-e Mutma‟innah. Faith, obedience and adherence inculcate sincerity and the Nafs(Ego) advances to become Nafs-e Mutma‟innah, meaning that a man feels afraid of sinning and inclines more and more towards doing good. His worship and recitation (of the Holy Quran) increase, and with great enthusiasm and zeal he conducts his affairs in practical life. He not only does good himself, but because of him, thousands of lost and wayward people find guidance, they repent and turn towards righteousness. And that is the (real) purpose of life. There is a misconception that the Aulia Allah(Friends of Divine Being) renounce the world, live in seclusion in jungles and do no work at all. This is incorrect. Actually, having noticed some very special and highly elevated Aulia Allah(Friends of Divine Being) surrounded by the multitude, the rulers of the day banished them from cities and prohibited all meetings with them. Some very great names like Bayazid Bustami-rua are also included in these. But people started considering every useless lunatic as a Wali Allah(Friend of Divine Being), otherwise the amount of work the Aulia(Friends of Divine Being) and Sufis do in their lifetime cannot be achieved by others, as blessings pervade their courage and work potential and these blessings emanate from the Holy Prophet-saws and are reflected down through the breasts of the Sahabah-rau, the Taba‟een, the Tab‟a Taba‟een and arrive at the Masha‟ikh, from where they reach the hearts of the sincere seekers of truth. Divine Lights descend on this Latifah(Spiritual Organ), which sometimes illuminate both worlds and sometimes nothing can be perceived. It is impossible to describe, verbalise, or pen their character (essence) and associated feelings. These can be perceived by only those who have been granted this blessing. Yes, their effect in practical life is that disobedience starts tasting bitter, and if due to human nature, some mistake is made the regret is enormous; and righteousness becomes the desired goal. Owing to a great Divine Favour, man is not a slave of his habits like animals, but possesses the ability to effect changes in his habits and character according to the likes and dislikes of his Qalb(Heart). When his Qalb(Heart) receives Divine Lights and is acquainted with the everlasting pleasure of Divine Nearness, then his personal preferences become subservient to the preferences of the Holy Prophet-saws and this change in personal preferences initiates a very beautiful transformation in his character and habits. Although he does not become an angel, for he is after all only a human being, nor becomes innocent (free) from making any mistakes, because innocence is the attributes of Prophets only; yet, these blessings protect him from making mistakes as he is granted Divine Protection from sin, and he is constantly turning to Allah-swt and remains concerned about the betterment of his Akhirah(Hereafter). Thus he is blessed with success in this world and the next, and this is a very great favour of Allah Kareem. Keep in mind that all knowledge granted to man, whether pertaining to this world or to the Hereafter has been received through the Prophets-as. Therefore, the beneficence bestows not only the aptitude for knowledge, but its treasure troves are also laid open for him. In fact, success in the Hereafter is related to Iman and fulfilling all worldly affairs in accordance with the Sunnah of Holy Prophet-saws and in the manner advised by him, and the Nafs-e Lawwamah proceeds in this direction, and if by Divine Grace it acquires the status of Nafs-e Mutma‟innah, then Subhan Allah, (his lives in) both worlds are ameliorated . Fortunate indeed are such people, in this world as well as in the next. May Allah Kareem Grant this wealth to all Muslims! Ameen! It is a strange concept: it is believed that the Aulia Allah(Friends of Divine Being) are some different type of human beings. According to the Book of Allah every believer possesses a degree of Wilayah(Friendship with Divine Being), and so basically, every believer is a Wali Allah(Friend of Divine Being). Allah is the Friend of the Believers. (Al Baqarah: 257)(Chapter of Holy Quran). Allah is the Wali(Friend) of every believer. Now, effort and righteousness polish this Wilayah(Friendship with Divine Being) even more. Some people achieve such greatness that they become the means of illuminating thousands of other souls. Without doubt, their status is very great; however, basically every believer does receive a part of this wealth. Then some unfortunate ones lose it by their bad deeds, but remember that when this virtue is lost then Iman(Faith) does not remain safe either, and such people join some erring sect and lose their Faith. May Allah-swt keep us under His Protection from such situation! Ameen! Since this Latifah(Spiritual Organ) receives Refulgence from Allah Kareem, neither their colour nor their state (condition) can be determined. It is but a Noor (Light) that sometimes illuminates everything and every side, while sometimes nothing is perceived at all; yes, the light and warmth can surely be felt. The shining light of guidance Also the heat of activity The vigour and the dynamism With men true, you will ever see But, the mean, the lowly, the inactive Will coin excuses, shamelessly Meaning, if the Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher) is real and accomplished, then one receives light and warmth, but if the Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher) is not accomplished, then there will be no feelings: all he will do is fob off with shameless excuses.

Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan (RH)

The Fifth Latifah, Akhfa (Spiritual Organ) – Exposition

This is located in the centre of the chest where the sternum (breast bone) meets the stomach; that is, in the centre of the first four Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs). The lights and beneficence on this Latifah(Spiritual Organ) come from our Illustrious Master, Hazrat Muhammad-saws. These descend from the fifth Heaven and are green in colour. Subhan Allah! How much can anyone ever calculate, as all the favours, blessings, knowledge, miracles received by all Prophets, from the first to the last, were received through the Holy Prophet-saws, because he-saws is the Prophet of the Prophets and is their Leader! The scattered pearls of Yousuf’s beauty Isa’s breath and Musa’s(Moses’s) bright hand In a lone necklace are strung together Around You-saws like a lustrous band Therefore the blessings received from the Holy Prophet-saws cover all these excellences. However, every man has a specific natural potential and he progresses more in that line, but he does not remain deprived of the other virtues also. The first and the most valuable point: All Prophets possess the same beliefs. They have the same singular belief in Divine Unity, Messengership, the Books, the Hereafter, the Angels, Accountability, and Heaven and Hell. So, an excellent reformation of the seeker‟s belief most certainly takes place. I spent twenty five years in the company of my Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher); Hazrat Ji-rua not only possessed unbounded knowledge, but he was also a debater of high calibre. Debaters usually have an investigative and critical disposition, but Hazrat Ji-rua never asked anyone who came to him about his tenets, or about his adherence to (religious) deeds or about his environment. He-rua (just) gave his Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs) Tawajjuh(Spiritual attention) and instructed him to be regular. It is my personal observation that thereafter a quest would be born within him and he would embark on self-reformation. He would start fulfilling his religious obligations regularly and would even start offering Tahajjad; and walking out of clubs and dancing halls he would become part of a Masjid‟s congregation. These blessings are of the Tawajjuh(Spiritual attention) and Prophetic lights of the Holy Prophet-saws. The Holy Prophet-saws is the Leader and Messenger for the whole of mankind, for all times, and in all matters. The impression of his blessed footprints can be traced upon all worldly affairs and in every aspect of life, and they not only guide us but also facilitate our lives and guarantee us one hundred percent success. In addition, the success in Akhirah(Hereafter) is granted as the reward for such worldly affairs. Therefore, a person gains great success in whichever department of life he may be associated with, because he acquires the proficiency to do the job well and also does it with full sincerity. One thing more, he is not only granted acumen and wisdom but also due competence and capacity to do the job. Meaning that; This Garden of Life also enhances The fruit basket you may carry For you to pluck and relish Its harvest, forever, endlessly Allah Kareem grants a seeker the proficiency and ability to work, and these people are the most successful in this world and the next. It is impossible to enumerate the blessings of the Holy Prophet-saws and it is also impossible to count the grants of Allah-swt, yet what is so amazing is that the claimants of these blessing have also been seen to go astray. The reason is that the attainment of all beneficence has been linked to sincerity, and this blessing has been left to the decision of one‟s heart. He guides to Himself those who turn to Him. (Ash-Shura: 13)(Chapter of Holy Quran) It means that, Allah Kareem guides the one who seeks with the sincerity of heart. This sincerity is a wealth higher in greatness than a lofty mountain, yet more delicate than fine crystal; if pure, it develops the quest for truth, and Allah Kareem guides the person to those of His slaves where hearts are illuminated through attainment of Prophetic lights, and this Noor(Spiritual Blessings) keeps on increasing. But man is human after all, and his own Nafs(Ego) and Shaitan(devil) are also lying in wait. They had, until now, been working to keep him away from this blessing and to keep him engaged in worldly pleasures, but when man realises, changes his direction and is blessed with this wealth, they also modify their strategy. Now, they try to make him believe, „You have turned very pious and have attained a high status; not only is your Dua(Prayer) accepted, but every word that you utter also stands fulfilled‟. The rest is made up by the fawning public‟s obsequious behaviour. They kiss his hands, bend to touch his knees and at the same time request his prayers, for which they shower him with money. However, this is a very delicate matter and demands the acknowledgement of the Greatness of Allah-swt only, and is based on the belief of self-negation. Now, when man wants to swing from self-negation to self-promotion due to the promptings from Shaitan(devil), Nafs(Ego) and the public, a hairline crack develops in this relationship which is loftier than the mountains yet more delicate than crystal, and then his path sways towards the abyss of ignominy. May Allah Kareem preserve us from this! Ameen! Therefore, its wealth and stock is conviction and sincerity, which according to me are two names of the same feeling. What happens when one receives this wealth? This can only be felt but cannot be verbalised nor inscribed. Anyone with a longing can try it for himself. But one thing can be categorically stated without any fear of contradiction, that the seeker who has all five Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs) illuminated, achieves success in all affairs of this world and the next. This is the greatness of Allah‟s Messenger-saws, the reflection of whose blessings convert base metal into pure gold. Just reflect on the blessed life of the Holy Prophet-saws. Orphaned in early childhood, he-saws remained without parental or apparent material support, then in adolescence the death of his-saws grandfather Hazrat Abdul Muttalib, he-saws then came under the guardianship of his-saws uncle Abu Talib, who was himself in such straitened circumstances that the Holy Prophet-saws herded sheep and gave the income to him. Upon his-saws marriage to Hazrat Khadija-tul Kubra-rau , for sharing his uncle‟s burden, he-saws asked his uncle to give him one of his sons, to bring up. Then, on the proclamation of his-saws Prophethood, equipped solely with Divine Help, he-saws stood firm against the unbelief, polytheism, oppression and tyranny exiting in the whole world; and finally, his-saws Migration. The Quran states, The Messenger‟s duty is only to preach the clear Message.‟ (Al-Noor: 54)(Chapter of Holy Quran) But as the Message began to find acceptance, he-saws gave people further guidance. Finally, when the need arose for a free piece of land and an independent state for the multitude ennobled by Islam, he-saws migrated to Madinah Munawwarah. Leaving behind their homes, friends, relatives, property and wealth, the Migrants sacrificed everything and went to settle in Madinah Munawwarah, and a free and new state was founded. The ten years of the Holy Prophet-saws‟s life in Madinah Munawwarah entailed constant and on-going endeavour, commensurate only with the greatness of the Holy Prophet-saws , for in these ten years, the number of just the Ghazwaat and Sarayah totalled over eighty. Then came all the affairs of the State: formulating and implementing laws and procedures that should occupy the status of the final reference and authority not just for this small state, but for all humans inhabiting the earth until the Day of Qiyamah(Day of judgement). Then the entire Arabian Peninsula being absorbed into the Islamic State and taking head-on the forces of Caesar and Persia, and the implementation of a system of justice and equality against all systems of tyranny and injustice prevalent throughout the world. This effort and endeavour cannot be comprehended by a Peer who lives off his devotees, neither by a politician; for how will he change the present system, when he cannot even adopt an Islamic appearance for the fear of non-Muslims? The Holy Prophet-saws committed this duty into the charge of those self-sacrificing devotees, whom he-saws had personally prepared, and in just a quarter century they not only spread the Message of Truth throughout the world, but also established an Islamic republic that stretched from Spain to West India and China and from Russia to Africa, and was a shining example of the Islamic system of governance. Sall Allah-o Alaihi Wa Sallam! When this Latifah(Spiritual Organ) is illuminated, the seeker no longer depends upon any worldly support; he keeps striving constantly, day and night, for the practical interpretation and implementation of the Deen and assumes a revolutionary personality. Not only does he follow the Deen himself, but also a great multitude receive blessings through him and are inspired to follow the religion practically. Such is the Bounty of Allah, which He bestows on whom He wills. (Al-Jum„ah: 4) The grant of these five Lata‟if(Spiritual Organ) is a great Divine Favour and a blessing beyond expectation. Hazrat Ji-rua used to tell us, „I was called to Laiti village to arbitrate on an issue of Nikah. To get the version of the woman concerned, it was necessary to speak to her in private, so I asked them to send an elderly and pious person with me so I may get to know the facts in his presence. They made Qazi Sahib to sit by me. The matter was discussed and the verdict given. When I departed from there, Qazi Sahib accompanied me to the Bus terminal. On the way he told me, „Hazrat I do Allah Allah (Zikr), Hazrat Sahib of Dandah Shah Bilawal-rua, who is from the progeny of Hazrat Shah Bilawal-rua, started teaching me Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs). He would teach a Latifah(Spiritual Organ) in approximately two years. So I took ten years to complete my five Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs), and al-Hamdo Lillah, all my five Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs) are illuminated and I am continuing my effort on them. The issue is that I reside on my lands outside the village, but whenever I visit the village and view it from the high ground, it appears that the village is inhabited by beasts, snakes and pythons.‟ Hazrat Ji-rua used to say „I understood that this was the „Maraqbah Rooyat-e Ashkal‟ – (the Meditation in which the Rooh(Soul) is seen in its real form) which is taught only formally, but his Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs) were so luminous that occasionally he could get a glimpse of it.‟ A human being keeps sinning to such an extent that the Rooh(Soul) gets disfigured into the form of a beast. If some Iman (faith) is retained, it looks like a Halal animal, but if by continuous sin the Iman is also lost, then it assumes the form of a harmful animal and beast. Usually, it is disfigured into the form of a beast that has similar habits. Outwardly, he remains a human being but his conduct becomes beastly. Hazrat Ji-rua would say, „When I explained the matter to him (and found the student exceptionally diligent), Qazi Sahib said, „My Hazrat has passed away and he used to tell me that there were seven Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs). If only there was a Man of Allah who could teach me the seven Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs).‟ Hazrat Ji-rua replied, „Qazi Sahib, what if I become that man for you?‟ Hazrat Ji-rua was highly famed as a religious scholar, a legist and a debater. Whither a debater and whence Tasawwuf! So Qazi Sahib was greatly surprised, but he immediately caught hold of his mantle. The (spiritual) stations of Qazi Sahib‟s Shaikh were at Salik-ul Majzoobi, beyond Fana Baqa, which are very high stations, but through the Spring of Beneficence that Qazi Ji-rua became associated with, by Allah-swt‟s Grace, (he attained to) Fana Baqa, Salik-ul Majzoobi, the „Arsh, the nine „Arsh and beyond, covering many Circles of „Aalam-e Amr, he had reached very high stations at the time of his passing away, which are attained by a counted few in centuries. The students of today shouldn‟t think that although all their Lata‟if(Spiritual Organs) have been illumined in just one sitting, they are not similarly blessed (as Qazi Sahib-rua). It is stated that these states depend on effort; firstly Halal food, secondly speaking the truth, thirdly constant Zikr(Remembrance of Divine Being). Let someone try and he will see for himself. We do not spare even 24 minutes for Zikr out of (our) 24 hours, what Kaifiyaat (spiritual states) can we achieve? Yes, it is a matter of thanks that at least our Belief remains sound and our Faith remains solid. However, effort must be made for it, because the time we are expending only to gain the world, is also the time to gain the Hereafter. May Allah Kareem make it easy for us! Ameen! The miracles of the Holy Prophet-saws cannot be enumerated nor can be his-saws blessings! But the point that I would like to emphasise is that there is only one sentiment likeable and laudable with Allah Kareem and that is love. Ordinarily, love is a very common word and is much overused, but in reality this emotion is very scarce. People give the name „love‟ to the relationships they forge for their personal interest, for example, parents love their children but if the children fail to provide for their parents then this „love‟ vanishes. Now, if this be the state of love between parents and their children then it is useless to discuss other forms of love. Yes, if there exists really some spark of love, then the lover thinks not of himself but only of his beloved, and ever remains desirous of the beloved‟s pleasure under all conditions. „The lover becomes the slave of the beloved‟, and sacrifices his hopes and desires at the altar of his beloved‟s approval. Although Faith and submission are sufficient for attaining salvation, but for attaining Divine Nearness love is the necessary requirement; and again, submission is the only way leading to it. If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you. (Aal-e Imran: 31). This statement from the Quran is enough to assert that sincere obedience to the Holy Prophet-saws develops the love for Allah-swt . Love is a feeling, and feelings are born by seeing, hearing and knowing. But Allah-swt is beyond the horizon of a man‟s knowledge, so when human knowledge (perception) cannot reach (encompass) Him, how can He-swt be loved? The answer was supplied by the Holy Prophet-saws, he stated: „Follow me, then Allah-swt will start loving you, and in answer to His love, your heart too will brim over with love for Him, and this is the objective. ‟ Those of Faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. (Al Baqarah: 165)(Chapter of Holy Quran). That is, a believer loves Allah-swt with boundless intensity‟. This is one way. The other way is a heart-felt love for the Holy Prophet-saws, which is born through an association or a relationship. A relationship with the Holy Prophet-saws, based purely on sincerity of heart, not tainted by any personal desire, arouses a storm of love. Man is human after all and possesses a heart; but a pillar of Masjid-e Nabvi, against which the Holy Prophet-saws used to lean during his Khutbah (address, sermon): its relationship with the Holy Prophet-saws was confined solely to being in contact with the blessed body, yet that contact filled the piece of wood with such intense love that when a pulpit was constructed for the Holy Prophet-saws and he-saws sat over it (for delivering his Khutbah), the pillar could not bear the separation of only a few feet and started crying loudly. Oh, the wailing of Hananah On separation from the Messenger-saws A dry wooden pillar‟s sobbing grief Like the lamentation of perceptive men The wooden pillar, called Hananah, on separation from the Holy Prophet-saws, wept loudly as if it were alive! The Holy Prophet-saws went up to it and comforted it, caressing it with his hand to console it. The Sahabah Karaam-rau (the Companions) state that the pillar did not quieten down instantly, but rather like a crying child, kept up with sobs and sighs before finally quietening down. It was only a piece of dried wood and ever remained as wood, but became overwhelmed by the emotion of love. Whereas man is an accountable creature and possesses the capacity of emotion, if he were to become truly associated with this Holy Mantle, how intense would his love be? The seeker gets a share of all these blessings on the Fifth Latifah(Spiritual Organ), the only condition is that the Shaikh(Spiritual Teacher) should be accomplished who can give Tawajjuh(Spiritual attention), and the seeker accepts the Tawajjuh(SPiritual attention) with a pure and sincere heart. He then becomes a symbol of unshakeable belief, continuous endeavour, and love that can conquer the world. And this is a great favour of Allah-swt .

Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan (RH)

Latifah Akhfa (Spiritual Organ)

The Fifth Latifah(Spiritual Organ) is Akhfa. As the name suggests, it is even more concealed than Khaffi. Beneficence from Hadhrat Muhammad-saaws descends on it and the colour of its lights is green. The sum total of the Treasure of Knowledge that has been granted or will be granted to those arriving before or after, the knowledge that has been granted to all the Prophets, all of that and as much more as Allah-swt desired, has been granted to the Holy Prophet-saaws. His-saaws personality has been declared as the ‘Mercy for the Universe’; therefore, the mysteries of Akhfa(Spiritual Organ) are correspondingly as deep and subtle and in it continue to flow oceans of mysteries, which saturate every Zakir(One who remembers the Divine Being) according to his capacity as per his sincerity and effort. As well, this Latifah(Spiritual Organ) overwhelms and illuminates the remaining four Lata‘if(Spiritual Organs) also. When Latifah Akhfa(Spiritual Organ) is illuminated, amazing mysteries are unfolded, which a person can only feel but cannot describe. Firstly, it is not within everyone’s ability to describe the feelings and secondly, people do not have the capacity to listen these secrets. When people do not possess the capacity to listen, then it is futile to expect them to understand. The seeker with this illuminated Latifah(Spiritual Organ) takes care of even minor acts that are normally overlooked, such as, not spitting in the direction of the Qiblah, taking care to put on the shoes or socks right foot first and remove them left foot first. How can such minor points draw attention in an environment, where people neglect even their five-time Fardh (obligatory) Salah? However, the realization of the increase and decrease of lights and feelings obliges a Zakir(One who remembers the Divine Being) to be mindful. Thus, by Allah’s Grace, he strives to abide by the Shari‘ah with his heart and soul, mind and body. It is no small achievement, because a lifetime of education and exposure to external knowledge cannot bestow that sincerity and resolve to a seeker, which are inspired by the illumination of the five Lata‘if(Spiritual Organs) by the Tawajjuh (Attention) of a Shaikh(Spritiual Teacher).

Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan

Latifah Qalb (Heart)

The Qalb (Heart) is the first Latifah (Spiritual Organ), it is a Divine subtlety placed inside the heart. On it descends the beneficence from Hadhrat Adam-as and the colour of its lights is yellow. This is the Latifah (Spiritual Organ) that governs. Here desires originate, needs arise and from here instructions are transmitted to the brain for their fulfillment, which in turn deputes the entire body for their accomplishment. Along with these qualities, it possesses yet another attribute, that if it accepts the Faith, it can become the centre of Divine Lights and can attain excellence in worldly affairs by obeying the Divine Commands and following the teachings of the Prophets -as. The accomplishment of his Akhirah (the next world) is based on this foundation. This subtlety is placed inside the Qalb (Heart). Allah-swt has granted man the right to accept or reject the Faith. Many external factors also influence this decision. The foremost factor is Rizq (livelihood, earnings, food, provisions), that he should avoid unlawful Rizq. Then it is the company that he keeps and the environment in which he has been brought up. However, regardless of any of this, the real decision is his to make. If he is lucky to accept Faith, all evil effects are washed away and he embarks upon a new and pleasant phase of life. Mere verbal acceptance of Iman (the Faith) is not enough; confirmation by the Qalb (Heart) is essential for it. This confirmation illuminates the Latifah Qalb (Heart) and it starts shining. A ray of light emanating from the Qalb (Heart) of the Holy Prophet-saaws connects to his Qalb (Heart) and thus his Iman-filled Qalb (Heart) establishes a connection with the noble Qalb (Heart) of the Holy Prophet-saaws. Thereafter, pious company and Halaal (lawful) Rizq strengthen his adherence to the Shari‘ah. However, if he finds the company of an accomplished Shaikh (Spiritual Teacher) , with just one look by the Shaikh (Spiritual Teacher) , he becomes so strong that his capacity to adhere to the Shari‘ah is enhanced and his practical life is reformed. This is what Tasawwuf (Sufism) is! Tasawwuf (Sufism) does not denote trickery. On the contrary, it signifies the attainment of high (spiritual) stations and consequently the reformation of conduct and achievement of Taqwa (piety). The foundation of all this excellence is the Latifah Qalb (Heart). This is also the sign of an accomplished Shaikh (Spiritual Teacher) that the Qalb (Heart) is illuminated in his company, bringing about the reformation of one’s conduct.

Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan