Talb (seeking) means having the desire and determination to acquire something special. Talb is a strong passion which motivates a person to do anything to achieve his goal and fulfill his desire. The one, who strongly wishes to get Pehchan (recognition), Deedar (Vision) and Marifat (mystical knowledge) of Allah, his desire is called Talb-e-Maula (desire to find and see Allah) and he himself is called Talib-e-Maula (seeker of Allah) and is also referred to as Saalik (traveller of the mystic path), Talib or Murid (disciple).
There are three categories of people in this world on the basis of their wishes and intensions:
1. Taliban-e-Dunya (Seekers of the World)
- Those who use their knowledge and skills, expertise and main and might to attain the worldly success and pleasures, and consider this the aim of their life to the extent that even the aim of their invocation and contemplation, prayers and devotion, recitals and all other mystic exercises is to acquire and increase worldly assets and respect, and for them the gain of worldly respect and pleasures is the real success.
2. Taliban-e-Uqba (Seekers of Paradise)
- Their aim is to make their life of the hereafter happy. For them, the real success is to get rid of the fire of Hell and to get hold of houries and the bounties of the paradise. All their devotions, mystic exercises, piety, fasting and prayers, Hajj, Zakat, invocations and glorifications are meant only to gain a happy life in the hereafter. For them, this is the only objective of life and the true success.
3. Taliban-e-Maula (Seekers of Allah)
- All their prayers and struggles are meant only to seek Deedar (vision), Qurb (closeness) and Visal (union) of Allah. Neither are they the seekers of pleasures of this world nor of bounties of Paradise. They are the seekers and lovers of Allah only. They give up desires of both the worlds for their desire of Deedar-e-Elahi.
Arifeen (knowers) always advise to become the seekers of Allah.
- The status of these three groups have been described in the following Qudsi Hadith:
Meaning: The seeker of this world is bisexual (She male); the seeker of heaven is a woman (female) and the seeker of Allah is the man (male). It means that the seeker of the world is good for nothing, while seeker of heaven is weak like women but the seeker of Allah is strong like a Man and is a true Man of Allah.
- Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says: Who is called Mard-e-Muzakar (The Man)? He is the one whose heart seeks Allah only and nothing else. The desire of the luxuries of this world and all pleasures of heaven i.e. houries, castles, delicious food, buraq (lightning horse) etc. are all trash and useless things in the eyes of those who seek Allah because in their hearts is engraved Ism-e-Allah Zaat and they are drowned in the enchantment of Ism-e-Allah Zaat since eternity. Those who made Ism-e-Allah Zaat their body and soul, became free from grieves and sorrows of both the worlds. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam has said about the Talib-e-Maula (Seeker of Allah):
Meaning: The person who desires a material thing, finds no betterment in it (because it is immortal) but the person who desires Allah, finds everything.
Meaning: The one, who seeks the world, gets it; the one who seeks Uqba (the hereafter), gets heaven but the one who seeks Allah, gets everything. (Asrar-e-Qadri)
Meaning: The pleasures of the world are forbidden for the seeker of Uqba (hereafter), pleasures of the hereafter are forbidden for the seeker of the world, whereas, pleasures of the world and the hereafter, both are forbidden for the seeker of Allah. He, who gets Allah, gets everything. (Shams-ul-Arifeen)
A special attribute of the seekers of Allah has been described here:
Meaning: Their bodies are in this material world but their hearts are in the Divine world. They offer eternal prayer in their hearts. (Asrar-e-Qadri)
- Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam said:
Meaning: "He, who becomes Allah's, Allah becomes his."
- Hazrat Imam Ahmed bin Hambal Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh relates that Hazrat Fazeel Bin Ayaz Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh once said, "Talib-e-Dunya (seeker of the world) gets oppressed and insulted." (Chapter 10 Tazkra-tul-Auliya)
- Ghaus-ul-Azam Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu says about Talib-e-Maula: "Most of the people are the seekers of the world, the seekers of Heavens are less, whereas the seekers of Allah are very few but because of their rarity, their status is of Akseer (Alchemy), as they have the ability of transforming bronze into pure gold. They are rarely found in our surroundings. They serve as a protection for common people who live in this world. It is because of them that curses are rebounded from the creation of Allah. Only by virtue of them, rain showers and earth gives birth to minerals and fruits. In the former state, they wander from one town to another or from one deserted place to another and when they get known at one place, they move from there. Then, there comes a time, when Divine forts are built around them. Allah's graciousness descends upon their hearts. The armies of Allah take them into their protection. They become respected and safe. Now, it becomes obligatory for them to focus on humanity. They become spiritual doctors, and treat the creation of Allah, but all these things are beyond your perception and intellect. (Al-Fatah Rabbani)
- Sheikh Akbar Mohiyuddin Ibn-e-Arabi Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says: "Only he is worthy of Divine knowledge and meeting Allah who is strong enough to be a seeker of Allah only, neither is he a seeker of the world nor of the hereafter. (Sharah Fasoos-al-Hakam)
- Allama Iqbal Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh in his work, directly speaks to the seeker of Allah. He considers, expecting reward in exchange of prayers, as a form of business and advises to act and worship selflessly for Allah only:
Meaning: "The best desire is to seek Allah and the best Zikr (invocation) is of "" (Ism-e-Allah Zaat)."
Hazrat Ali Karum Allah Wajhul Kareem says:
"I do not worship Allah for the desire of the Heaven or out of the fear of the Hell. I worship Allah because only He, is worthy of worship".
- Oh negligent! Prayer is not a trade or business with Allah, pray Him sincerely, without expecting any reward.
- Oh sermonizer! When you will completely quit every desire of yours, you will surely find the destination. It is good that you have left the pleasures of this world but you must also quit the desire of pleasures of the hereafter.
- One, whose prayers and actions are fully sincere without any expectation, is rewarded by Allah in a very special way, so you must leave behind the desire of having castles, heavenly fairies and goblets of wine in the hereafter.
- The soul of the lover of Allah which longs to meet Mehboob-e-Haqeeqi (the Supreme Beloved, Allah) cannot sustain in paradise.
- The Heaven of Mulla (seeker of Paradise) is the one that has various drinks, houries and lots of servants, whereas the Heaven of the lovers is to remain always busy in Deedar-e-Elahi (Vision of Allah).
- The Heaven of Mulla comprises of food, drinks and other pleasures while the heaven of a lover is the Vision of the Supreme Beloved, Allah.
- According to the Mulla, the Day of Judgment is the day when graves will open up and the dead will rise on Soor-e-Israfil (trumpet of Angel Israfil) but a lover sees the Doomsday before it actually comes (when he sees Allah).
Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh has thoroughly discussed the matters of the seekers of the material world, the hereafter and Allah. According to his point of view common people of this world are the seekers of the material world i.e. Taliban-e-Dunya, special people like the pious worshippers and devouts are seekers of hereafter i.e. Taliban-e-Uqba and the most special ones like the Prophets, saints, faithful and virtuous ones are the true seekers of Allah.
Meaning: As Allah says: "Wherever you are, Allah is with you and Allah monitors best what you do." (Al-Hadid-4) (Sultan-ul-Waham Khurd)
Meaning: The Seeker is independent and indifferent to this world and everything that is in it.
It is also said:
Meaning: The Seeker is indifferent to his own self (also). (Sultan-ul-Waham Khurd)
Meaning: As Allah says: "Without doubt! Allah is (always) with those, who observe patience." (Surah Al-Baqrah.153)(Sultan-ul-Waham Khurd)
Meaning: "Zakir (invoker of Allah's Name) is he, who leaves everything apart from Allah." As Allah points out in the Holy Quran "Remember your Rub (Sustainer) so much that you forget yourself." (Al-Kahaf-24) (Sultan-ul-Wahm Khurd)
- O' seeker! If you wish for the Vision of Allah then come beheaded (sacrifice your inward and outward self).
- Only those, who are beheaded (so passionate that they sacrifice everything for Allah) are the ones, who can reach the heights of Deedar-e-Elahi as the Divine secret of Oneness guides them towards Allah.
- Only the seeker who sacrifices his will and inward and outward self for Allah is crowned and then he stays in Eternal Meraj (Ascension to Allah).
- Such beheaded seekers keep busy in travelling through the Noor (sacred Light) of Zaat (Divine Self) and they always remain engrossed in the Zikr-e-Khafi (hidden invocation of the heart).
- The seeker, who sacrifices his life in the True Path (path towards Allah), only he, succeeds to get the Vision of Allah, otherwise, no one has seen Allah with open eyes. (Noor-ul-Huda Kalan)
Meaning: Develop in your heart, the desire for Allah because, without the desire for Allah, you will remain undesirable. (Mehek-al-Faqr Kalan)
Meaning: O' seeker of Allah! become mad (in the love of Allah) in batin (inward) but be sensible in the zahir (outward) and while seeking Allah, be the one, who seeks only the Vision of Allah. (Mehek-al-Faqr Kalan)
Meaning: The seekers of Allah are always in search of their Desired One i.e. Allah. The mirror (reflection) of their pure heart places their 'desire' right in front of them. (Mehek-al-Faqr Kalan)
Meaning: There are very few seekers who search for the Divine Secrets of Allah and constantly remain drowned in meditation and invocation of the Divine Secrets of Oneness. Whoever, becomes Talib-e-Hoo (seeker of Allah) becomes a friend of Hoo (Allah). Pride and vanity are removed from his existence and he becomes worthy of seeing Allah Almighty. Whoever becomes the seeker of Allah, reaches Him and then he does not look at anyone except Allah. (Mehek-al-Faqr Kalan)
Meaning: The seeker who, despite being a human, keeps a clean heart like angels, only, he is worthy of the presence in the Assembly of Nabi Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
O' seeker! Be a true and sincere seeker and be full of praise for your Murshid. Annihilate yourself in the Zaat of your Murshid. Invoke the Kalma-e-Tayyaba. Achieve the eternal purity by negating everything except Allah, affirming the Divine Self only and finding the deep secret of the reality of Muhammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. When you will annihilate yourself in Ism-e-Allah Zaat (Personal Name of Allah), then, Allah Almighty will remove all kinds of inward and outward impurities from you and will make you pure and clean.
O' seeker! Allah has made you for His Qurb-o-Visal (proximity and unification). Life is short. Before, your life ends, get the objective of your life i.e. Pehchan (recognition) of Allah, His Marifat (gnosis) and Qurb (nearness) or else you would be full of regrets at the time of death. Death is always at your doorstep. May Allah, the Supreme Beloved, be happy with you but the world, Nafs (baser self) and Satan have grouped together and taken over your life. Only the blessing and favour of Allah can make you successful.
- The seeker of this world is never free from two attributes, either, he is a hypocrite or deceitful.
- The world is evil and the seekers of this world are evil-doers.
- The world is a place of vices and tribulation and the seeker of this world is the cause of this tribulation and vice.
- The world is full of hypocrisy and its seeker is a hypocrite.
- The world is a lie and the seeker of this world is a liar.
- The world is polytheism (act of believing in other gods with Allah) and the seeker of this world is a polytheist.
- The world is a filth and an absolute impurity and the seeker of this world is filthy and impure.
- The world is a curse and its seeker is accursed.
- The world is ignorant and its seeker is Abu Jahal (the father of Ignorance).
- The world is a prostitute and the seeker of this world is her pimp husband.