Ya Hussain Ibn Ali ! – Rare Kalam

December 23, 2009 - Leave a Response

Surah Al-Kauthar and Hazrat Bibi Fatimah (AS)

December 22, 2009 - Leave a Response

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Assalamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

ASALATU WASALAMU ALAYKA YA RASULLALLAH

You should never think that you have more than someone else, because there might come a time when that person has more than you. Remember it is through the blessing of Allah that you have what you have.

Bibi Fatimah Zahra ( Radi Allahu anha) was born to Bibi Khadija ( Radi Allahu anha) and the Prophet ( Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam). Before her birth, the Prophet ( Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam) had had two sons, Qasim Radi Allahu anhu and Ibrahim Radi Allahu anhu, but both boys had died when they were babies.

The Prophet ( Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam) had started teaching the message of Islam and had made many enemies. As a result, some of the unbelievers began to make fun of him at the death of his sons, calling him “Abtar”.

The word Abtar means an animal that has no tail – and was meant to say that the Prophet ( Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam) was tail-less because he had no children to carry on his family.

Thus, when Bibi Fatimah ( Radi Allahu anhu) was born, the following Sura of the Holy Qur’an was revealed:”In the Name of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, the most Kind, the most Merciful. Verily (O Muhammad Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam),We have given you Kauthar. So pray to your Lord and give sacrifice. Verily, your enemies will be Abtar.” Surah al-Kauthar, (108:1-3)

When the Noble Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam) ( Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam) was asked what Kauthar meant, he replied that it was a stream in heaven and the man who would give water from that stream to the believers was Imam Ali ( alayhis ‘salam). He then said that Kauthar also meant abundance, and the birth of Bibi Fatimah ( Radi Allahu anhu) signified that, through her, his descendants would be in abundance.

The promise of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala was certainly true because today, there are countless descendants of the Prophet ( Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam), (Sayyids) while there is nobody who claims to be a descendant of the Quraish. Thus the enemies of the Noble Prophet (Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam) ( Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam) were those who became truly “Abtar”.

This Surah in the Holy Qur’an is thus a reference to Bibi Fatimah ( Radi Allahu anhu).

Sama/Qawwali – Mystical Music

December 18, 2009 - Leave a Response

Sama falls into that legal classification of acts which are technically called ‘Mubah’, which mean that they are Permitted by the Shariah, but have no religious value or significance. For a good purpose it is legally permissible, but if it is used for an undesirable or an evil purpose, then it becomes forbidden.

In other words, Sama or Qawwali falls under the neutral category. There are four situations of sama:

1. First is the situation where Sama/Qawwali is held only for the sake of entertainment and pleasure. It is not correct, legally speaking, according to the Shariah or otherwise to hold that Sama is haram or forbidden only because it pleases the heart and one gets pleasure and happiness from it, for the reason that not all pleasant and pleasurable things are made haram, forbidden. Only those pleasurable things which contain hidden potential for evil are the ones that are made haram. Pleasant songs and voices of the birds, tasty foods, pleasant sights of natural panoramas and gardens and enticing fragrance of flowers are all permissible. So it is that it is not haram to watch entertaining dance and listen to melodious songs to please our hearts. I refer to two sound Traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) i.e., Sahih Ahadith to make this point clear.

Once, on an Eid day, some Abyssinians were giving a song and dance performance right on the premises of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medinah. Bibi Aisha . r.a. narrates that the Prophet asked her if she would like to watch it. She agreed and both she and the holy Prophet watched it for quite a while.

Another hadith, also by Haz. Bibi Aisha, r.a. — on the Day of Eid, two slave girls were singing with the accompaniment of duff drums, right in front of her and in her own apartment, when the Prophet (pbuh) entered the house, passed by them and laid down on his bed with his face turned the other way. Haz. Abu Bakr r.a. also happened to enter later and chided them for doing such devilish things in the Prophet’s own house. Whereupon the holy Prophet urged Abu Bakr r.a. to let them do it because after all it was the Eid day.

2. The second situation is where the listener of Sama has some undesirable thoughts on his mind or evil passions in his heart eg. love of some beautiful woman to whom he is not married and listens to sama music in front of her, or in her company. It is obvious that this would only increase the pangs of his love or the passions for the carnal desires for her. With the mind occupied with such thoughts in such a manner, such a Sama would be haram.

3. The third situation is the reverse of the second.

Here, in this third situation, the heart and mind of the listener is not polluted with evil thoughts and passions. Instead good and praiseworthy thoughts and intentions for doing good prevails. In such a case Sama would enhance the good qualities of his heart and influence him to pursue his intented course of good actions e.g. (1) going for Hajj or for Jihad or fulfilling any other obligatory duties such as Salat, etc. or (2) It could be for the purpose of enhancing the consciousness and acute awareness of the regrets of one’s own sins and transgressions so that the melancholy feelings will bring tears to his eyes and cause him to ask for forgiveness of the sins; or (3) hold Sama on festive or pleasant occasions such as weddings, walima feasts, Aqiqah or to celebrate occasions of return from journeys, etc. Sama would enhance the joys and further increase the enjoyment of such pleasures, resulting from the blessings and favours of Allah ta’ala. The best authority or precedent is that on occasions of the Holy Prophet’s return to Medinah from journeys, people of Medinah used to welcome him by singing songs with the accompaniment of Duff drums. So it is that Sama is permissible on occasions of Eid and other festive occasions or just for friends and relatives to get together out of mutual love and affection and comradeship, share food and eat together in order to enhance the happy moment and make the happy moments even happier, more pleasant and more enjoyable in the company of the dear ones.

4. The fourth kind of Sama/Qawwali actually deserves to be termed the real Sama/Qawwali. This relates to the situation where love of Allah Ta’ala has reached the point of an ardent love (Ishq).

In this case, Sama is not only permissible, but it becomes extremely necessary for such a person.

Every thing or act that increases the friendship or love of Allah Ta’ala obviously becomes the object of a plenitude of spiritual recompense and this is why the Sufis’ attach so much importance to it.

Sama/Qawwali is, in reality a means of increasing the brightening light of the burning flame of the love of Allah and it has a tremendous spiritual effect on the listeners. Many a Sufi undergoes a state of unveiling of spiritual divine mysteries. When such states coming from the world of the unseen thus become overwhelming, the Sufis experience a particular kind of spiritual state of transformation which is called ‘wajd’ or spiritual ecstasy.

Man, or rather man’s spirit has a special connection and affinity with the celestial world of spirits. This connection and relationship is a mystery. It is the Sama which moves and activates this mystical element in man in such a way that it makes the listener totally unaware of his surroundings in this phenomenal world to some other reality. The man thus becomes completely unaware of this world, its surroundings and the effects of the corporeal universe. Sometimes the effect of Sama becomes so intense and severe that all the energy and strength of the listener’s limbs becomes suspended and he loses his consciousness. One who remains intact and manages to stay on his original position even after passing through such a state of deep ecstasy reaches and attains to very high spiritual positions indeed!

SAMA – Sufi Poetry

It is said that the very essence of Sufism is poetry and the Sufi’s are never tired of speaking or writing at great length on the ‘Ishq’, or ‘love of Allah’.

The Mathnawi of Maulana Rumi teaches in the sweetest strains that all nature abounds with love divine. The works of the celebrated Jami and the lyric odes of Hafiz are so full of ecstatic rapture that these works together with the moral lessons of Sa’di may be termed the scriptures of the Sufis in the Persian language.

In their poetry, the Sufi’s often exchange the external features of all things for the internal, the corporeal for the spiritual, and thus give an imaginary significance to outward forms. They behold objects of a precious nature in their natural character and for this reason, the greater part of their words have a spiritual and figurative meaning.

For instance, when, like Hafiz, they mention wine, they mean a knowledge of God, which figuratively considered, is the love of God; wine, figuratively viewed, is also love.

The tavern or the wine-shop, with them, means the murshidul Kamil, or spiritual director, for his heart is said to be the depository of the love of God.

The wine-cup (Jam) is the TALQIN, or the pronunciation of the name of God in a declaration of faith, as “There is no God but Allah” or it signifies the words which flow from the Murshid’s mouth respecting divine Knowledge, and which, when heard by the disciple or salik (one who pursues the true path), intoxicates his soul, and divests his heart of passions, giving him pure spiritual delights.

The sweetheart/beloved means the excellent preceptor, because when anyone sees his beloved, he admires her perfect proportions, with a heart full of love. The sweetheart is the object of a worldly affection, but the preceptor of a spiritual attachment.

The salik/disciple beholds the secret knowledge of God which fills the heart of his spiritual preceptor, or Murshid, and through it receives a similar inspiration, and acquires a full perception of all that he possesses, just as the pupil learns from his master. As the lover delights in the presence of his sweetheart, so the salik rejoices in the company of his beloved Murshid, or preceptor.

The curls or ringlets of the beloved are the grateful praises of the preceptor, tending to bind the affections of the disciple.

The mole on her face signify that when the pupil, at times, beholds the total absence of all worldly want on the part of the preceptor, he also abandons all the desires of both worlds — he perhaps even goes so far as to desire nothing else in life than his preceptor.

The furrows on the brow of the beloved one, which they compare to verses of the Qur’an, mean the light of the heart of the Murshid. They are compared to the verses of the Qur’an, because the attributes of God, in accordance with the injunction of the Prophet: “Be ye endued with divine qualities” are possessed by the Murshid.

SAMA – Rules of Etiquette

It is necessary to bear in mind that three things are essential for Sama/Qawwali gatherings: —

1. Time: It is not appropriate to hold sama at a time when salat/namaz is to be offered or when food is usually served. If sama is held at a time when the heart is occupied with other things and other thoughts, sama would be ineffective and useless.

2. Place: Should not be held on a street or thoroughfare where people usually pass through or travel. It should not be held in any dark or unpleasant place, nor should it be held in the house of a person who is known to be a cruel and unjust person.

3. People: It should be held in the company of people who are sophisticated and capable of observing the importance of the rules of good conduct and etiquette. If people who object to or believe that holding Sama is not permissible under the Law, or people of proud nature and worldly pomp and show are allowed to attend, then the Sama sessions are likely to be tainted by frequent hypocritical ecstatic outbursts and showy dance performances of such undesirable people.

Similes of Hadrat Ali

December 18, 2009 - Leave a Response

Hadrat Ali had the peculiar skill to explain things by giving appropriate similes. In his various addresses and sermons, we come across many instances of his brilliance of expression that brings home the truth through these interesting examples.

The world: The world is like a serpent which is outwardly very soft skinned but poisonous within.

Falsehood: Like the feathers of a peacock, falsehood might look very attractive, but is as ugly as [as are the] feet of a peacock. Falsehood has no legs to stand upon.

The unbelievers: Unbelievers are like bats who can see in the dark, but who are blinded by daylight and [so] cannot see.

The people who did not respond to his call: When Hadrat Ali exhorted the people of Iraq to respond to his call for war against Muawiyah, they did not respond to his call. He said, “You are like a pregnant woman who undergoes the ordeal of childbirth, but gives birth to a dead child.”

The people of Basra: When the people of Basra, who had originally taken the oath of allegiance to him, [yet] later chose to fight against him, Hadrat Ali said that these people were near the water but far from the sky.

People of the age of ignorance: Referring to the people of the age of ignorance in the pre-Islamic era, Hadrat Ali said that they were like an egg which has broken in the nest.

The people of Kufa: Addressing the people of Kufa, Hadrat Ali said: “When I invite you to fight, your eyes begin to move in their sockets as if you [were] in the agony of death. You are like camels whose herdsmen have disappeared, and when these animals are collected on one side, they scatter on the other side.”

Mughira b. Shu’aba: Mughira was regarded by the Quraish as a wise man. When Mughira favoured Muawiyah, Hadrat Ali said, “Mughira has profited from Islam only to the extent of seeking worldly gain. He is oblivious to the Hereafter.”

The people who run after the world: About the people who run after the world, Hadrat Ali said, “Those people who chase after the world are like beasts who lunge at one another, with the strong oppressing the weak.”

The people who are not deceived by the world: About the people who are not deceived by the world, Hadrat Ali said, “Those who have understood the deceptive character of the world, do not feel distressed on death. They are like the people who migrate from a famine-struck land to a land of plenty.”

Hadrat Ali’s complaint against the Umayyads: During the caliphate of Hadrat Uthman, Hadrat Ali had a complaint that the Umayyadds were was holding from him what was due to him. He said, “The Umayyads are withholding what is due to me, just like the camelman who milks the she camel withholds milk from the young one of the camel.

Falsehood of Muawiyah: Referring to the falsehood of Muawiyah, Hadrat Ali said that falsehood had appeared in his case like the horns on the head of a young goat.

Shedding of sins through prayer: In a sermon, Hadrat Ali said that through prayer the sins of men were shed just [like] a tree sheds its leaves.

Cleanliness and prayers: In another sermon, Hadrat Ali said, “Prayer is like a hot spring of water which flows at your door and provides you with the wherewithal for cleanliness.”

Crumbs after meals: In a sermon, Hadrat Ali said that the world had run its course, and nothing had been left of it except the crumbs after the meals.

The people who did not respond to his call: Hadrat Ali compared the people who did not respond to his call to a camel who ran away from the herd shrieking with pains in its belly.

Hearts of the people: Hadrat Ali prayed for the hearts of the people to melt at the mention of the God’s words, just like salt [is] dissolved in water.

Ignorant persons: Hadrat Ali said that ignorant persons were like persons riding on beasts of burden who could not see. He deplored that such ignorant people dealt with the injunctions of Islam as wind scattered straw.

Ashas b. Qais: Hadrat Ali said that among his companions, Ashas b. Qais was what Abdullah b. Abi Sahi was in the time of the holy Prophet.

Patience and faith: Patience and faith bear the same relation in a human being. Like a head is attached to the body (and a body cannot be without a head) so there can be no faith without patience.

Disease and sins: Disease sheds sin just [like a] tree sheds its dead leaves.

Death of the virtuous: Hadrat Ali compared the death of the virtuous to the migration journey of the people from a famine-struck land to a land of plenty.

Days of life: The days of life pass like clouds in the sky.

Devotion to the world: Those who are devoted to the world are like barking dogs and ferocious animals who lunge at one another and where the strong devour the weak.

Seekers of the world: Those who seek the world are like a loose camel roaming about causing mischief.

Virtue of silence: Hadrat Ali advocated the virtue of silence by advancing the simile that water can be preserved in a waterskin only when its mouth is tied.

Thirsty camels on a water pond: When the people flocked to him and urged him to accept their allegiance, Hadrat Ali compared them to thirsty camels who flocked to a water pond when their harnesses were untied.

The caliphate of Hadrat Umar: When Hadrat Abu Bakr died, Hadrat Umar became the Caliph. Hadrat Ali held that the second Caliph was like a person riding a camel, whose reins, if tightened would injure the camel, and if loosened would endanger the rider.

Umayyad use of the Bait-ul-Mai: Referring to the appropriation of the funds of the Bait-ul-Mai by the Umayyads for personal ends during the caliphate of Hadrat Uthman, Hadrat Ali held that they ate away the public funds, just as the camel eats away the grass.

Withholding the milk of the she camel from its young: Hadrat Ali had the complaint that during the caliphate of the Hadrat Uthman, the Umayyads withheld from him what was his right, just like the camelman who, while milking the she camel, withholds its milk from its young one.

Handle of the grinding stone: When Hadrat Abu Bakr became the Caliph, Hadrat Ali held that Hadrat Abu Bakr had assumed the mantle of the caliphate forcibly while he knew that he (Hadrat Ali) was as essential for the caliphate as a handle was necessary for turning the grinding stone.

The simile of a sinner: A sinner is like a person riding on an animal [of] which he had no control, and which is running fast to hurl him into a precipice.

Drops of rain: The injunctions of God descend like drops of rain.

Summer clouds: When the people of Kufa did not respond to the call of Hadrat Ali to meet the challenge off Muawiyah, Hadrat Ali said that he longed for warriors who in their action and speed would be like summer clouds.

The goat and the lion: Addressing the people of Kufa, Hadrat Ali said, “I want you to tread the path of the truth, but you run from it like a goat runs away when hearing the roar of the lion.”

Taking the thorn out of the foot with a thorn: On another occasion Hadrat Ali said that the people of Kufa were like a person who picked out [a] thorn from his foot with a thorn.

Solution of salt in water: With reference to the people of Kufa, Hadrat Ali prayed “O God, melt their hearts like salt dissolves in water.”

Bull with crooked horns:When Talha defected after taking the oath of the allegiance to him, Hadrat Ali compared him to a bull with crooked horns.

Shaking plants: Referring to the piety of the Companions of the holy Prophet, Hadrat Ali said that they shuddered at the mention of the Hereafter [like] plants shake when a strong wind blows.

Pregnant woman separating from the child: Addressing the people of Kufa, Hadrat Ali said that they were not dependable and that they were likely to leave him like a pregnant woman is separated from [her] child at childbirth.

Households of the holy Prophet: Hadrat Ali described the household of the holy Prophet to be like stars, in that if one star sets another star rises.

Foaming waves of the sea: While addressing Hadrat Uthman, Hadrat Ali said that treason was likely to rage like the foaming waves of the sea.

The Sayings of Hadrat Ali

December 18, 2009 - Leave a Response

Hadrat Ali, haider e karar was the embodiment of knowledge and wisdom. Some of the Sayings of Hadrat Ali, which breathe wisdom and have attained the dimension of aphorisms are on record. Some of these are:
Fear God and you will have no cause to fear anyone.
Resignation to the Will of God is the cure for the disease of the heart.
The Word of God is the medicine of the heart.
Lead such a life that when you die people will mourn you, and while you are alive they long for your company.
The days of your life pass away like clouds, so do good while you are alive.
Of all follies, the greatest is to love the world.
Opportunity is swift of flight, but slow to return.
The most happy is he to whom God has given a good wife.
He who knows himself knows God.
Do not sell your conscience for anything but heaven.
The disease of the heart is worse than the disease of the body.
To fight against one’s desires is the greatest of all fights.
The strongest among you is he who subdues himself.
Wealth and greed are the roots of all evil.
Riches without faith are the greatest poverty.
A man’s worth depends upon the nobility of his aspirations.
Knowledge enlivens the soul.
The learned lives although he dies.
The sum total of excellence is knowledge.
To respect the learned is to respect God.
Generosity hides shortcomings.
The wealth of a miser is as useless as a pebble.
Desire is one’s most inveterate enemy.
Those who walk on the surface of the earth shall one day be interred in it.
Every breath of man brings him nearer to death.
People are asleep as long as they live. They are awakened when they die.
Patience is the fruit of faith.
Virtue never dies.
A man’s glory from his virtue is greater than the glory of his pedigree.
No shelter is safer than piety.
A man’s behaviour is the index of his mind.
Courtesy costs nothing but buys everything.
Clemency graces power.
Jealousy devours virtue as fire devours fuel.
He that lends a listening ear to reproach is one of those [who] deserves reproach.
Forgiveness is the crown of greatness.
Carnal appetites are nets spread by the devil.
Every arrow does not hit [its] mark, nor is every prayer granted.
Ostentatiousness spoils prayer.
Fear none but your sins.
He who praises you murders you.
A man who praises himself displays his deficiency of intellect.
Honour your parents and your sons will honour you.
A man is hidden under his tongue.
The tongue of a wise man lies behind his heart.
The tongue pierces deeper than [a] spear.
He who purifies his heart from doubt is a believer.
The opinion of a wise man is [like] an oracle.
To seek council is to go to the fountain of guidance.
Association with a fool is tyranny to the soul.
God hastens the fall of tyrants.
Tyranny leads to moral cowardice.
A tyrant’s success is his moral defeat.
It is better to die than to beg.
When a man begs, he loses his faith.
Hajj is the jihad of every believer in faith.
A wise enemy is better than a foolish friend.
Silence is the best reply to a fool.
The best speech is one that is short and reasonable.
Speech is like a medicine, a small dose will cure but an excess will kill.
He that has no courage has no religion.
His grief is long whose hope is short.
The right of freedom of speech consists in speaking the truth.
Repentance washes away sin.
Folly is an incurable disease.
To assist the wrong is to oppress the right.
Sinning is a disease, repentance is its medicine, and abstinence from it is a sure cure.
Sorrow makes a man old before his time.
Pride impedes progress and mars greatness.
To forgive is the crown of greatness.
He who understands humanity seeks solitude.
Right is the best argument.
Misrepresentation spoils narration.
As a man’s wisdom increases so his desire to speak decreases.
He who seeks to do justice with men, let him desire for them what he desires for himself.
The greatest sin is the sin which the sinner considers to be ordinary.
Contentment is an asset which is never exhausted.
Governments are a trial for man.
He who fights against the truth, the truth will defeat him.
Finding fault with others is one’s greatest fault.
Haste is a [kind] of madness.
Greed is perpetual enslavement.
He who does not know his own worth, is doomed to destruction.
The best investment is one with which duties are performed.
Anger is a fire kindled, he who restrains anger extinguishes the fire; he who gives vent to it is the first to be consumed by it.
Jihad is the highway of prosperity.
None is more solitary than a miser.
Knowledge is the ornament of the rich and the riches of the poor.
Knowledge is the sum total of excellence; he who teaches you a letter binds you with a fetter of gratitude.
As long as we do not hope we do not fret.
He who indulges in jokes and loose talk loses a part of his wisdom.
Truth [may be] bitter, but it’s a result is sweet; falsehood appears to be sweet but it is poisonous in its effect.
Miserliness is the root of many evils.
Knowledge and practice are twins, and both go together for there is no knowledge without practice, and no practice without knowledge.
He who dissembles, plays with his honour.
When God wants to humiliate a person, He deprives him of knowledge.
When your power increases, decrease your desires accordingly.
He who listens to a backbiter loses a friend.
It is not justice to decide a case on mere conjecture.
He who does not know his own worth is shameful.
He who practices thrift will never be in want.
He who does not know should not be ashamed to learn.
Patience is to faith what the head is to the body. When patience goes, faith goes [and] when the head goes, the body goes.
The grace of God is the best guide.
A good disposition is the best companion.
Wisdom is the best friend.
Good breeding is the best inheritance.
There is nothing more hateful than pride.
Be among men like a bee among birds.
Mix with the people with your tongue, but be separate from them in your deeds.
Be generous, but do not be a spendthrift.
Do not run after the world, let the world to run after you.
A wise man is he who does not despair of the bounty and mercy of God.
He who is aware of his own faults is oblivious to the faults of others.
What the eye sees the heart preserves.
The vision of the eye is limited; the vision of the heart transcends all barriers of time and space.
Do not be misled by appearances for these are apt to be deceptive.
Do not have too many irons in the fire; concentrate on one thing at a time.
What you do not like for yourself, do not like it for others either.
Contentment is the treasure which is never exhausted.
The advice of old men is dearer than the bravery of young men.
That knowledge is superficial which is merely on the tongue; that knowledge is real which demonstrates itself in your practice.
To waste time is one’s greatest loss.
He who knows to keep his secret, knows the way to success.
Foresight is the way to safety.
No relationship is stronger than the relationship that exists between man and God.
Enlighten the heart with prayers.
Strengthen your heart with faith.
Suppress all lust with piety.
Do not sell the Hereafter for the world.
Do not speak in a state of ignorance.
Refrain from unnecessary talk.
Do not tread the path from which you can apprehend the danger of running astray.
In the affairs of God, do not be afraid of the accusations of evil mongers.
In all that you do, seek the protection of God.
Do not covet what is undesirable.
If you seek the truth, neither stray from the right path nor be assailed by doubts.
Do not become a slave to your desire.
That wealth is no wealth which brings dishonour.
Whatever harm accrues of silence can be remedied. But whatever harm is done because of speech cannot be remedied.
It is better to restrain your desires than to stretch your hand before others.
A little that is burned because of honest labour is better than a larger amount gained through dishonest means.
Guard well your secret.
He who seeks more than what is necessary indulges in error.
To oppress the weak is the worst tyranny.
Do not bank on false hope, for that is the capital of the dead.
A wise man takes a lesson even from a minor lapse.
Overpower desire and suspicion by patience and faith.
He who does not take the middle course strays.
A stranger is he who has no friends.
When hopes are frustrated despair becomes the way of life.
He who trusts the world the world betrays him.

Hadrat Ali, The Gate of Knowledge

December 18, 2009 - Leave a Response

Hadrat Ali, The Gate of Knowledge

Hadrat Ali (AS) was the most learned man of the age. He was a living encyclopaedia of knowledge. The holy Prophet said, “If I am the City of Knowledge, verily Ali is the Gate of it.” He was the first person to have learned the Holy Qur’an by heart. He possessed a prodigious memory and he was a keen observer; he was a deep thinker; he had an enlightened mind and he carried a vast storehouse of knowledge in his brain. He was a versatile genius and he exhibited extraordinary talents in all disciplines of knowledge. He was a master of philosophy and rhetoric. He was a distinguished poet. He was a great teacher and preacher. His knowledge extended to such disciplines as logic, mathematics, physics, astronomy, medicine and history.

His concept of Knowledge

Hadrat Ali held that the principal aim of knowledge was the inculcation of virtue, promotion of faith, and understanding of God. He held that knowledge enlivens the soul, for it kills ignorance. He defined knowledge as the sum total of excellence. He held that the pursuit of knowledge is better than the pursuit of riches, that knowledge is the ornament of the rich and the riches of the poor and that knowledge is better than riches. He held that the learned live even after their death. He maintained that the learned were the living ones in the dead mass of ignorance. He observed that to respect the learned was to respect God. With regards to the respect of the teacher, he held that one who teaches you a letter binds you with the fetter of gratitude. He maintained that the talk of the learned man carried within it the fragrance of the garden of Paradise.

Superiority of knowledge over wealth

It is related that once ten learned men approached Hadrat Ali. They wanted to know how knowledge was better than wealth and they requested that each one of them be given a separate answer. Hadrat Ali answered them as follows:

(1) Knowledge is the legacy of the Prophet, whereas wealth is the inheritance of the Pharaohs. As the prophets are superior to the Pharaohs, so knowledge is better than wealth.
(2) You have to guard your wealth, but knowledge will guard you. Therefore, knowledge is better than wealth.
(3) When knowledge is distributed it increases. When wealth is distributed it decreases. As such knowledge is better than wealth.
(4) A man of wealth has many enemies, while a man of knowledge has many friends. Therefore knowledge is better than wealth.
(5) A learned man because of his wider outlook is apt to be generous, while a rich man because of his love for money is apt to be miserly. As such knowledge is better than wealth.
(6) Knowledge cannot be stolen, but wealth is constantly exposed to the danger of being stolen. Accordingly, knowledge is better than wealth.
(7) With the lapse of time, knowledge gains in depth and dimension. Hoarded coins get rusty or cease to be legal tender. Therefore knowledge is better than wealth.
(8) You can keep account of wealth because it is limited, but you cannot keep account of knowledge because it is boundless. That is why knowledge is better than wealth.
(9) Knowledge illuminates the mind, while wealth is apt to darken it. Therefore knowledge is better than wealth.
(10) Knowledge is better than wealth, because knowledge induced the holy Prophet to say to God “We worship Thee as we are Thy servants,” while wealth engendered and Pharaoh and Nimrod caused the vanity that made them claim godhead.

December 7, 2009 - Leave a Response

Imam Ali (AS), the Father of Sufism

The Holy Prophet and Sufism

The roots of Sufism lie embedded in Islam itself. There are numerous passages in the Holy Qur’an which are of a mystical character. The holy Prophet of Islam p.b.u.h. himself displayed mystical inclinations and he very often retired to the cave known as Hirah for the purpose of devotions, meditation and contemplation. The holy Prophet was the recipient of two types of revelations, one embodied the Holy Qur’an, and the other illuminated his heart. The former was meant for all, the latter for those selected few whose hearts could be illuminated with the Divine Light. The knowledge of the holy Prophet was thus both book knowledge (Ilm-i-Safina) and heart knowledge (Ilm-e-Sina). Hadrat Ali received his heart knowledge from the holy Prophet. It is related that after the Ascension, the holy Prophet awarded a mantle to Hadrat Ali which led to the illumination of his heart.

Gnosis of God

According to Hadrat Ali the base of religion is the gnosis of God. He held: “The height of gnosis is His confirmation. The height of confirmation is tawhid. The height of tawhid is the acknowledgement of the supremacy of God in all matters. He is beyond all attributes. No particular attribute can give an idea of His exact nature. He is not bound by anything; all things are bound by Him. He is Infinite, limitless, boundless, beyond time, beyond space, beyond imagination. Time does not affect Him. He existed when there was nothing. He will exist forever. His existence is not subject to the law of birth or death. He is manifest in everything, yet He is distinct from everything. He is not the cause of anything, yet everything is because of Him. He is unique and He has no partner. He is the Creator. He creates as well as destroys. All things are subject to His command. He orders something to be and it
is.” Hadrat Ali enjoined the severance of the heart from all things save God. Hadrat Ali was asked what was the purest thing that could be acquired, and he said, “It is that which belongs to a heart made rich by God.” When Hadrat Ali was asked about gnosis, he said, “I know God by God, and I know that which is not by God by the light of God.” When asked whether he had seen God, he said that verily he had seen God for he could not worship Him unless the knew Him.

Prayers to God

When Hadrat Ali used to pray, his hair would stand on end. He would tremble and say, “The hour has come to fulfill a trust which the heavens and the earth were unable to bear.” Abu Darda an eminent Companion of the holy Prophet said, “None in this world has excelled Ali in prayer.” While praying, so great was the intensity of his
emotions that he would fall into a swoon. It is related that on one occasion, Abu Darda found Hadrat Ali lying rigid on the prayer mat, and touching his cold body thought that Ali had breathed his last. When he broke this news to Hadrat Fatima, she said that Hadrat Ali often became unconscious while praying. Abu Darda wept profusely, and then sprinkled some water on Hadrat Ali’s face and he regained consciousness. Seeing tears in the eyes of Abu Darda, Hadrat Ali said: “Why are you crying? You shed tears when you see me in this state. Imagine what will happen to me when the Angels dragged me into the presence of God, and I am forced to render an account of my deeds. They will blind me with fetters of iron, and present me before God, and those of my friends who will happen to be witnesses will be powerless to help me. They will lament my unhappy plight, but none save God will be able to help me on that day.”

Communion with God

Very often, Hadrat Ali would sob all night in his prayers to God, and God would reward him with a glimpse of Inner Vision. According to Hadrat Ali, the highest purpose of knowledge is the awakening of latent spiritual faculties whereby one is enabled to discover his true and inner self. It is to this inner self that God reveals Himself when
the self disappears in the vision of the “All Absorbing Reality.” Hadrat Ali often observed that man could have the joy and wonder of communion with God if one abandoned pride, disciplined the flash, overcame lust and submitted to the Will of God. He exhorted people in his various sermons to not indulge in gross licentiousness which had characterized Arab society in the “Days of Ignorance.” But should instead live in piety and simplicity as enjoined by Islam. Hadrat Ali
said, “Man is a wave in the boundless laceType w:st=”on”>SealaceType> of laceName w:st=”on”>GodlaceName>. As long as man’s vision is clouded by ignorance and sensuality he will consider himself to be a separate entity, different from God. But when the veil between him and God is lifted, he will then know what he really is. The wave will then merge with the ocean.” Hadrat Ali held that enlightenment is needed so that one can first get to know himself. Only then would he get to know God. Hadrat Ali held that to this end religious exercises must be practiced. The Sufism for which Hadrat Ali stood, derived its strength from the Shari’ah. Hadrat Ali preached that any form of knowledge which failed to show the Infinite Reality in man was useless, because it could not fill that vacuum in which the aching soul in every individual was so pathetically conscious. Hadrat Ali wanted men to be virtuous as virtues purify the soul, and it is only the purified soul that can be the recipient of spiritual enlightenment. This is the doctrine of Inner Light which was the
enunciated by Hadrat Ali as the core of Sufi thought. Accordingly,
Hadrat Ali is acknowledged as the “father of Sufism” and the prince of saints.

Doctrine of Preference

Hadrat Ali also enunciated the doctrine of preference. He stood for and preferred the claims of others to his own claims. He gave an outstanding demonstration of this doctrine when he slept on the bed of the holy Prophet on the night of the holy Prophet’s migration from Mecca, when the infidels were seeking to slay him. Hadrat Ali risked his life for the sake of the holy Prophet, because of the preference that Hadrat Ali gave to the life of the holy Prophet as compared with his own life. After the death of the holy Prophet, Hadrat Ali considered that he was the most deserving person to be elected as the Caliph. Yet, when his claims were overlooked and other persons were elected as Caliphs, he offered them and allegiance in pursuance of the doctrine of preference. It was this spirit of preference that motivated Hadrat Ali to plunge in the thick of battle to meet the challenge of the enemy regardless of his own personal safety. It is related that after the Ascension, when the holy Prophet gave Hadrat Ali a mantle, he asked him how he would use the mantle. Hadrat Ali said that he would use it to cover the faults of others. The true Sufi way lies in covering the faults of others.

Fasting

According to Hadrat Ali, fasting was not a mere formality or a ritual;
it was an exercise for the purification of the soul. Because of his
constant fasting, Hadrat Ali earned the epithets of “Qa’im-ul- Lait” (praying most of the night without sleep); and “Sa’im-ul- Nahar” (fasting mostly during the day). Hadrat Ali held that hunger sharpens the intelligence and improves both the mind and health. Hunger involves some affliction for the body, but it illumines the heart, purifies the soul, and leads the spirit to the presence of God.
One who cultivates a his spiritual nature by means of hunger in order to devote himself entirely to God and detach himself from worldly ties, is at a much higher level than the person who cultivates his body by means of gluttony and lust. Hadrat Ali acted on the advice of the holy Prophet, “Fast so that perchance your hearts may seek God in this world.” And indeed, because of his fasting and other spiritual exercises, Hadrat Ali did see God in this world. The holy Prophet had enjoined, “When you fast, let your ear, your eye, your tongue, your hand, and your every limb fast.” Hadrat Ali followed this advice to the letter as well in spirit. Through the discipline of fasting,
Hadrat Ali was able to subordinate the physical senses to spiritual
requirements in such a way that they could respond only to what was pure and became dead to what was impure. Hadrat Ali thus led a purified life.

Zakat

Hadrat Ali held: “Of the most meritorious acts of a believer, and one of the most acceptable things to God is Zakat. It behoves everyone to give charity, because from amongst the acts of worship, this is the most pleasing to God.” In his sermons, Hadrat Ali exhorted the people in the following terms: “O ye people, send a part of your wealth to God so that it may stand you in good stead in the next world. Do not leave your entire wealth here so that it will become a source of annoyance to you in the next
world.”
In the annals of Arabs, Hatim Tai enjoys fame for his munificence and generosity. Hadrat Ali outclassed Hatim in the matter of generosity.

Pilgrimage

Hadrat Ali was born in the Ka’bah. He had, therefore a strong emotional attachment for the Ka’bah. Hadrat Ali observed that the holy Ka’bah was located in a territory known for its stony wastes and wilderness and where no water was available. God had ordained the
Muslims to bear the hardships involved in a journey through such an inhospitable land cheerfully so that those very privations might ultimately become a source of salvation. The pilgrimage is symbolic of the fact that whatever hardship one bears in the trials of life and endeavors to fulfill the will of God, he acquires goodness and righteousness by them. The darkest thing in the world is the beloved’s house without the beloved. What is really important for a lover is the beloved and not the house of the beloved. According to Hadrat Ali the spirit of pilgrimage did not lie in a bare visit to the Ka’bah, it lay in developing the inner vision whereby one could see God, the Lord of the Ka’bah.

Jihad

Hadrat Ali held that jihad is the gateway to Paradise. He said: “God has opened this gate for His friends. It is the mantle of piety. It is the shield of faith. He who avoids it, God subjects him to disgrace.”
Hadrat Ali held that jihad did not lie in merely taking up arms in the cause of God, it means incessant struggle against falsehood it all spheres of life. Jihad is the main pillar on which Islam rests.

Repentance

The first stage in the path of Sufism is repentance. Repentance is described as the awakening of the soul from the slumber of heedlessness so that the sinner becomes aware of his evil ways and feels contrition for past disobedience. Hadrat Ali repeatedly prayed
for God’s forgiveness. His typical prayer was: “O God, forgive me my sins of which you are more aware than me. And if I commit these sins again, even then forgive me and whatever promises I have made with myself to follow Your commands that have not been fulfilled. I seek Your forbearance. If I have sought Your proximity with my tongue, but my heart has not kept pace with my tongue, then overlook my lapse. O God, forgive me for my futile talk, vain desires and lapses of tongue.”

Detachment

Hadrat Ali admonished that while living in the world, one should not renounce the world, still he should not have an undue attachment for it because detachment from the world (Zuhd) is a means of attaining God. It is related that someone begged Hadrat Ali to give him a precept. Hadrat Ali said: “Do not let your wives and children be a cause of concern for you, for if they be the friends of God, He will
look after His friends, and if they are the enemies of God, why should you take care of God’s enemies?”

Patience

In the mystic way, the traveller will meet many trials and
tribulations. God subjects His lovers to severe testing, and only he will pass such tests who his patient. Hadrat Ali was the personification patience, and for this he acquired the epithet of “Job, the Second.” In the battle of Uhud, Hadrat Ali received as many as 61 wounds on his person so that his whole body looked like one
massive wound to which the nurses were unable to dress. Although Hadrat Ali was in mortal agony, he said: “May God Grant me the patience to bear this suffering. Is it not a favour of God that He gave me the courage to stand and fight, and not to leave the field?”
About the patience of Hadrat Ali, Dr. Ata Mohyuddin writes as follows in his Ali, the Superman: “Ali used to say that at no time in his life
had he ever known peace and tranquility. From the time of infancy when he was taken into the home of the holy Prophet, Ali felt the ferment of turbulence and turmoil. The holy Prophet was constantly persecuted by the Meccan pagans. And from adolescence onwards, Ali was constantly fighting in jihad, and after the death of the holy
Prophet, he was embroiled against his wish, in the political intrigues of others. Even when elected Caliph, the implacable enemies of Islam arose and rebelled against him, yet he bore all these afflictions with patience, thanking God that he had acquitted himself well in the tests and trials to which the Almighty had thought fit to subject him.”

Hadrat Ali, The Gate of Knowledge

Hadrat Ali was the most learned man of the age. He was a living encyclopedia of knowledge. The holy Prophet said, “If I am the City of Knowledge, verily Ali is the Gate of it.” He was the first person to have learned the Holy Qur’an by heart. He possessed a prodigious memory and he was a keen observer; he was a deep thinker; he had an enlightened mind and he carried a vast storehouse of knowledge in his brain. He was a versatile genius and he exhibited extraordinary talents in all disciplines of knowledge. He was a master of philosophy and rhetoric. He was a distinguished poet. He was a great teacher and preacher. His knowledge extended to such disciplines as logic, mathematics, physics, astronomy, medicine and history.

His concept of Knowledge

Hadrat Ali held that the principal aim of knowledge was the
inculcation of virtue, promotion of faith, and understanding of God. He held that knowledge enlivens the soul, for it kills ignorance. He
defined knowledge as the sum total of excellence. He held that the pursuit of knowledge is better than the pursuit of riches that knowledge is the ornament of the rich and the riches of the poor and that knowledge is better than riches. He held that the learned live even after their death. He maintained that the learned were the living ones in the dead mass of ignorance. He observed that to respect the earned was to respect God. With regards to the respect of the teacher, he held that one who teaches you a letter binds you with the fetter of gratitude. He maintained that the talk of the learned man carried within it the fragrance of the laceType w:st=”on”>gardenlaceType> of laceName w:st=”on”>ParadiselaceName>.

Superiority of knowledge over wealth

It is related that once ten learned men approached Hadrat Ali. They wanted to know how knowledge was better than wealth and they requested that each one of them be given a separate answer. Hadrat Ali answered them as follows:
(1) Knowledge is the legacy of the Prophet, whereas wealth is the inheritance of the Pharaohs. As the prophets are superior to the Pharaohs, so knowledge is better than wealth.
(2) You have to guard your wealth, but knowledge will guard you. Therefore, knowledge is better than wealth.
(3) When knowledge is distributed it increases. When wealth is distributed it decreases. As such knowledge is better than wealth.
(4) A man of wealth has many enemies, while a man of knowledge has many friends. Therefore knowledge is better than wealth.
(5) A learned man because of his wider outlook is apt to be generous, while a rich man because of his love for money is apt to be miserly.
As such knowledge is better than wealth.
(6) Knowledge cannot be stolen, but wealth is constantly exposed to the danger of being stolen. Accordingly, knowledge is better than wealth.
(7) With the lapse of time, knowledge gains in depth and dimension. Hoarded coins get rusty or cease to be legal tender. Therefore knowledge is better than wealth.
(8) You can keep account of wealth because it is limited, but you cannot keep account of knowledge because it is boundless. That is why knowledge is better than wealth.
(9) Knowledge illuminates the mind, while wealth is apt to darken it.
Therefore knowledge is better than wealth.
(10) Knowledge is better than wealth, because knowledge induced the holy Prophet to say to God “We worship Thee as we are Thy servants,” while wealth engendered and Pharaoh and Nimrod caused the vanity that made them claim godhead.

ADHERENCE TO HABITS

November 18, 2009 - Leave a Response

Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (RA) has said: “There is no greater or more awful calamity in your own existence than the adherence to habits. There is no poison deadlier than this, that you may desire to enrol spiritual disciples. The traveller in search of the truth who longs to have spiritual disciples does not reach the high station”.

Sufi travel

November 18, 2009 - Leave a Response

Travelling is of four kinds (according to Khwaja Moinoddin Chishti R.A):

· travelling with a purpose
· travelling for inner contentment
· travelling of tariqat
· travelling of haqiqat

Travelling with a purpose is done to perform one’s work, for instance to go somewhere with the purpose of trade and so on.

Travelling for inner contentment is this that one makes this travel for the sake of pleasing God. Travels of inner contentment are undertaken in a spirit of faqr (spiritual poverty) and contentment by those who do not talk…

Travels of tariqat are those which the pilgrims undertake for the sake of pilgrimage, but the real seekers do not perceive in that the perfume of the knowledge of God.

Travels of haqiqat cannot be obtained without the help of a real spiritual guide, but are acquired by the training of a perfect spiritual guide and by obedience in the way of the prophet and by preserving nearness to God.

Be a traveller and travel always,
But be careful of wells and mountains.
Travel by your heart,
As the world is not the place for covering distances.

“The heart of the momin (the one with faith) is the house of unification” and in unification of the heart is the hajj of the poor. It is not for everyone to attain the inner unification. When the inner attainment of the heart is reached, then through repeated recitations and remembrances in the heart and inner obedience the true seeker reaches the place of unification of unification. That beauty of beauties is attained in eternal unification and is the contemplation of real beauty.

O, beloved one! That prayer in which, while performing the different movements of prayer, the difference between ‘you and I’ remains, is not the prayer to God.

When absorbed deeply in the love of God,
Mere formalities of prayer are not observed.
Unless there is strong faith in the Oneness of God
Mere observance of formalities is not the means of approach to God.

That prayer is not of God which is outwardly worship of God, but is in reality of the ego.

The praying of lovers is a secret.
It is known only by those who are always praying.
The ignorant worshipper does not know,
That the soul of the lover is always in prayer.

When the lover sees the beauty of his Beloved in privacy,
No one else should come in between.

Going into retreat is of three kinds, that is to say, retreat of nasut, of malakut and of jabarut. Abdulah Ansari has said that, through the training of the murshid the real seeker reaches the nearness of God in ten years. Shibli has said that it is in three years and Dhu’n-Nun al-Mesri has said that the nearness of God can be attained in the third retirement.

A letter from Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti

November 18, 2009 - Leave a Response

In a letter to Hazrat Qotb Sahab, Khwaja Moinoddin Chishti [i]Radi Allahu anhu[/i] writes that his morshed ‘Othman Haruni once was pleased to narrate the following dialogue between a morshed and a morid:

“Hatim Asamm was a morid of Khwaja Shaqiq of Balkh. One day it so happened, that the morshed inquired from his morid: ‘Tell me, since how long have you been engrossed in my love and engaged in my service and have been hearing my talk and discourses?’
He replied: ‘For the last thirty years, morshed’.

Khwaja Shaqiq[i]Radi Allahu anhu[/i]  then asked: ‘Now, tell me, during this long period, what have you gained and what benefits and blessings have you derived?’
Thereupon Hatim Asamm submitted: ‘I have acquired eight useful and beneficial things, morshed’’

The morshed inquired: ‘What are they? Did you not enjoy and posses them before?’

He replied: It is true to say, that I did not enjoy them before. I am happy and satisfied, morshed. I do not require anything more’.

Khwaja Shaqiq exclaimed: ‘Hatim! I have spent all my life in your work and in your training. I myself do not want, that you should acquire more than what you have already acquired’.

Hatim, as a mark of expression of his satisfaction and gratitude, humbly submitted: ‘This much knowledge is sufficient unto me, for the salvation of both the worlds is circumscribed within the eight beneficial accomplishments, which fortunately I have acquired in your blessed company.

“Thereupon shaykh Shaqiq asked Hatim Asamm [i]Radi Allahu anhu[/i] to describe them and he answered thus:

‘Morshed, the first thing is this, that when I saw the people of the world minutely, I found then that everybody has foolishly made someone his beloved. These so-called beloveds are of such a type and trait, that some are with you during your illness, some are with you till your death and some accompany your funeral to the grave. There is none, who may go with you inside the grave and partake of your sorrow and affliction therein and there is none, who may serve as a lamp in your grave.

Seeing this I thought to myself, that (s)he is indeed a good beloved, who may be prepared to go with you inside the grave and be sympathetic to you and be a bright lamp there in the grave and enable you to overcome hardship and cross the hurdles. Then I understood, that the beloveds capable of helping thus are no other than good actions! So I made them the focus of my attention and treated them as my beloved and took them as my pleader, so that they may stand by me in the grave and serve as a bright lamp therein, be with me at every stage, intercede for me and may never desert me’.

“Hearing this Khwaja Shaqiq of Balkh said: ‘Hatim, you have done very well indeed. Now describe the second thing’.

Hatim then began to describe the second thing thus: ‘The second thing is this, that when I saw the people of the world minutely, I found them to be the followers of lust and the devotees of greed and obeying their own self. I pondered over the verse of the Qur’an 79:40-41, which says:

But he who feared standing before his Lord
And restrained his self from vain desires,
His place is in heaven.

By thus meditating over the aforesaid verse, I realised that what the Qur’an said, was true. Consequently I equipped myself to oppose the self and placed it in the fireplace of asceticism. I refused to fulfil any of its desires. This unflinching obedience to God conferred upon me peace, confort and tranquility’.

Khwaja Shaqiq of Balkh thereupon expressed his joy and said: ‘May God, the Almighty, give you blessedness in your pursuit. You have done well and very well. Now proceed with the third’.”

The morid answered: ‘The third benefit is this, that when I studied carefully the condition of the people of the world, I realised that everybody runs after the world. After undergoing sorrow, trials and tribulations one is able to derive some benefit from the officials of the world. One feels happy therefrom.

Subsequently I pondered over the verse 16:96 of the Qur’an which runs thus:

Whatever you have is transient and not lasting
And whatever is with God is everlasting.

The effect of the aforesaid verse was, that whatever I had hoarded, I voluntarily spent it in the way of God and surrendered myself to God, so that it may last there in the presence of God and may thus become a means of sustenance for me in the world hereafter’.

Khwaja Shaqiq of Balkh, on hearing this, said: ‘May God bless you! You have done very well indeed. Now tell me the fourth’.

‘The fourth thing is this, that when I looked minutely into the condition of the people of the world, then I reached the conclusion that some people take a large family as the standard of honour, prestige and greatness and they feel proud of it. There are others who are of the opinion that honour depends upon wealth and children and this constitutes to them the hallmark of glory. Subsequently I thought over this verse 49:13 of the Qur’an:

Surely the noblest of you
In the sight of God
Is the most pious.

I was led to believe that the verse contained the truth and what the people thought was false and frivolous. Consequently I took to piety, so that I might become the one accepted by God.

Khwaja Shaqiq of Balkh thereupon said: ‘You have done very well. I’d like to hear about the fifth benefit’.

Hatim Asamm [i]Radi Allahu anhu[/i] then narrated thus: ‘Fifthly, when I scrutinised the people, I came to know that due to jealousy they bear enmity with each other and talk ill of each other. And… they are jealous of wealth, prestige, honour and knowledge. Then I pondered over the verse of Qur’an 29:62 that follows:

God expands the sustenance
For whomsoever He wishes of His servants
Or restricts it.

I was led to believe that since the day of eternity they have received their share and none can interfere in it, then of what use it is to be jealous. Consequently I avoided jealousy and became at peace with all’.

Khwaja Shaqiq of Balkh again remarked: ‘You have done very well. Now describe the sixth’.
And his morid thus proceeded: ‘Sixthly, when I saw the world closely, I found that some bear enmity with each other and are at loggerhead with each other to achieve a certain object. Then I studied the verse of Qur’an 35:6 minutely which gives this warning:

Satan is an enemy of yours.

This verse dispelled all doubts and led me to believe, that the word of God was true and that there could be no doubt that Satan was our enemy. I made up my mind neither to follow nor to obey Satan. I wanted to obey and worship God and God alone. And this is as it should be, for God has said in Qur’an 36:60-61:

Did I not exhort you,
O Children of Adam,
Not to worship Satan!
For he is a manifest enemy of yours.
And worship Me,
For this is a straight path.

Khwaja Shaqiq [i]Radi Allahu anhu[/i], on hearing it, said: ‘You have done well. And what is the seventh?’

Hatim Asamm [i]Radi Allahu anhu[/i] answered: ‘And seventhly, when I saw the people of the world minutely, then I came to know that everybody tries his utmost for his sustenance. For this reason he becomes diffident and doubtful. He brings upon himself humiliation. I then contemplated on Qur’an 11:6 which tells:

On the face of the earth there is no creature,
Whose sustenance is not the responsibility of Allah.

I realised that the word of God was true. I am myself a creature. Since then I took to the service of God and I felt sure, that my sustenance will come from Him, because He Himself has taken the responsibility for it’.

Khwaja Shaqiq of Balkh [i]Radi Allahu anhu[/i] then said: ‘You have done very well. Now narrate the eighth and last thing by which you are benefited’.

Hatim Asamm finished his story by telling this: ‘When I saw the people of the world minutely, I found them reposing their trust in gold, silver, wealth and in material acquisitions. Then I pondered over Qur’an 65:3 which says:

Whosoever reposes his trust in God,
God will be sufficient for him.

Since then I reposed my trust in God. He is sufficient unto me and He is a very good Pleader.

Khwaja Shaqiq of Balkh [i]Radi Allahu anhu[/i] was delighted to hear the aforesaid things and he said thus: ‘May God in His infinite grace and mercy enable you to pursue assiduously the things aforesaid. I have studied carefully the Old Testament, the Bible, the Psalms of David and the Qur’an and I have acquired from these four books the very things that you have mentioned. Whosoever acts upon these eight things, described by you, follows and acts upon the aforesaid four books in fact!’

Khwaja Mo’inoddin Chishti [i]Radi Allahu anhu[/i] concludes his letter to Hazrat Qotb Sahab [i]Radi Allahu anhu[/i] thus: ‘By this narration you have come to know that much knowledge is not needed or required. What in fact is called for is purposeful practice’.”

You may remember how the letter of Khwaja Moinoddin Chishti [i]Radi Allahu anhu[/i] to Qotb Sahab ended. He wrote: ‘By this narration you have come to know that much knowledge is not needed or required. What in fact is called for is purposeful practice