Every human being has the quality to carry out the duties for the generation ahead. In a similar way, he can go reverse by connecting to the links of a sufi order. In a sufi order there are various stations (muqam). When a seeker (talib) follows his spiritual guide (Pir-o-Murshid) with devotion, the love of the spiritual guide transforms him and the various stations of Reality are revealed to him. He passes through many stations of Fana (annihilation of the Self). The first is Fana-fil Murshid where the seeker’s own will merges with the Will of his spiritual guide. Another station is Fana-fil-Ali where the will of the seeker merges with the Will of Hazrat Ali. At this station, nothing of the seeker remains and all that remains is the Will of Hazrat Ali. From here, he may proceed through the station of Fana-fil-Rasool (merging of the seeker’s own will with the Will of the Holy Prophet) till he may reach the station of Fana-fil-Allah, where the seeker has nothing of his own will and all that remains is the Will of the Almighty. While there is the station of Fana (annihilation of the Self), there is also the important station of Baqa (subsistence in the Truth). Upon reaching the station of Baqa, you reach the Original Existence (That which has existed forever, even before any creation).
Having reached the state of Fana-fi-al Shaikh, some Muslims reach all the stages of [the station of] Fana-fi-al Ali (annihilation in Hazrat Ali), through the chain of their Pirs. According to Shah Wali Allah Dehlevi Radi Allahu anhu, Hazrat Ali alayhis ‘salam was the first Sufi, the first Majzub and the first Arif among the followers of Mohammed Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam. He is the Emperor of saints, the leader of all the Sufis and Walis (friends of Allah).
Thus, having passed through the states of Fana-fi-al Rasul (annihilation in the Noble Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam) Mohammed) and Fana-fi-Allah (annihilation in God), they obtain the rank of Fana-fi-al Baqa (Annihilation in the station of Subsistence in God). At this stage they become the perfect manifestation of the essence [dhat] and the qualities [attributes] of Almighty God. Their acts of hearing, seeing, seizing with hands, walking and moving about is all done for the sake of God.
Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti alayhis ‘salam of Ajmer writes in the book ‘Ganj-e-Asrar’: “Unless a Salik follows Hazrat Ali and unless he has a true [genuine/deep] relationship with him in his heart and soul, not even a thousand years of austerity and efforts to subjugate his carnal self will give him even an ounce of gnostic knowledge, except those whom Almighty God might favour with His Grace.”
Khwaja Mohammed Parsa Radi Allahu anhu writes in ‘Fazl-ul-Kitab’: “Hazrat Khwaja Junaid, of Baghdad, says that Ali Ibn Abu Talib is our forerunner on the path of mysticism, for he is the one who has showed us the way to that [spiritual mystery] which dwells in the heart. He is the one who, after the days of our Nabi, [Mohammed Salla Allahu ‘alayh, the Prophet of God], has pointed to God’s Truths.”
Maulvi Ismail Radi Allahu anhu writes in his book ‘Sirat-e-Mustaqim,’ “Hazrat Ali’s [Sufic] rank is superior, and this superiority is evident from the large number of his followers. All the stations [stages and states] of Wilayat (saintship), even the states of Qutbiyat, Ghausiyat, Abdaliyat and similar functions, have been attained from his day and will remain attainable until the end of the world only through his authority and his mediation. The kingship of kings and the power and authority of all the powerful leaders of the world are in his hand. This is well known to those who enjoy [the ability to sojourn through and learn about the mysteries of] the world of Malakut.”
Imam Fakhr-ud-din Razi Radi Allahu anhu says in ‘Arba’ in fi Usul-al-din’: “In the matter of gnostic knowledge (inner knowledge of mysticism), the ascending spiritual genealogy [family tree] of all mystics end with the final link to Hazrat Ali.”
Shah Wali Allah Muhaddis Radi Allahu anhu of Delhi writes in his ‘Dur-e-Shaheen’: “Among the followers of Mohammed, Hazrat Ali is the first Sufi, the first Majzub and the first Arif.”
Almighty God is the Lord-Sustainer of the whole universe, the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. Mohammed Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam is His Messenger (Rasul) and a source of blessings for the whole universe. Through his Messengership, his light and his blessings have benefited the two worlds. Hazrat Ali alayhimus ‘salam is the greatest sign of the Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous powers. Hazrat Ali is the emperor [prince] of all the saints and the leader of all the Sufis who are all under his command. From him originates the chain of the fourteen holy families, the seven orders and the four Pirs of the Sufis. Whatever happens in the world happens through his mediation.
Hazrat Ali alayhis ‘salam is the spiritual ruler of the inner [unseen] life. For all the people of the earth, he is the fountainhead of Peace and Protection [for both the inner and the outer life].
(He is the Qutb Madar, which means that the administration of all affairs [spiritual and temporal] depends upon him. He is the Ghaus al Saqalain, which means that he responds to the cries for help coming from [the inhabitants of] both the worlds.
A Qutb al Aqtab or Ghaus-e-Azam always performs the functions as his deputy in the physical world; three saints are always appointed to the office of Naqba. After their death, the line of succession continues by the appointment of new ‘Naqba’. To this day, this functional spiritual grace of Imam al Auliya Ali exists in the world and it will continue until the Day of Resurrection. Every Ghaus, Qutb, Naqba, Autad, Abrar, Abdal and Akhyar is performing his administrative duties under the command of Hazrat Ali and they will continue to be appointed in the future through his grace.
The Spiritual Sovereign of India, Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin alayhis ‘salam of Ajmer, the Ghaus al Saqalain of Iraq, Shaikh Muhyuddin Abdul Qadir Gilani alayhis ‘salam, the Spiritual Sovereign of Egypt, Hazrat Sayyed Ahmed al Badawi alayhis ‘salamand many more saints are his physical and spiritual descendants.