Certainty | The Light
The main goal of Allah’s worship is to attain complete certainty that He is the Creator, Lord and Provider. And that He is omnipotent and watching every physical and inward deed of man. Allah commands his people in the Holy Quran:
- And worship your Lord till you attain to the station of certainty of faith. (15:99)
Just like the stability of any relationship is based upon trust, the relationship with Allah is based upon certainty. The relationship with Allah is just as strong as the perfection of this certainty since it is faith. Certainty has such importance in Islam because faith is linked to the hidden in Islam. It is hard for man to have faith in the hidden because he, in the physical realm, believes in something after seeing, hearing, tasting it or using his other senses.
It is a hard task to reach the hidden and have certainty about it. And being certain about it without reaching it is weak faith. The Holy Quran is a physical book that is read and understood with physical senses but its guidance is only for those who have certainty about the hidden. Allah has clearly stated in the beginning of the Holy Quran:
(This is) the glorious book in which there is no chance of doubt. (It is) a guide for those who guard against evil and fear Allah. Only those who are certain in the unseen have its guidance. (2:2-3)
Physical Senses and the Heart
So guidance is for pious people who are certain in the hidden. It is impossible to be certain about the hidden using the physical senses. Rather, information gathered through the physical senses is usually considered impure as long as the inward does not confirm it. Similar to how often things seen by the eyes and heard by the ears cannot be trusted until the heart is not content on believing in it. Betrayal is also always given through the physical senses and not the spiritual senses. Hence being certain about anything whether it is a physical thing, a relationship or the hidden is a task for the heart or the inward. No organ other than the heart can perform this task.
Another ability of the heart is that it does not believe in anything until it examines it. When it does, the trust is weak and breaks even with the slightest change. Faqr is the path that confers perfect certainty in the hidden to Allah’s pure men after the complete affirmation of their heart. It gives them Divine Vision through their spiritual eyes after taking them to the Realm of Divinity. Then they believe in Him by heart after knowing, recognizing, seeing Allah and trust in His existence, nature and attributes. Recognition increases as Divine Closeness increases, trust increases with recognition, and with trust faith and relation to Allah strengthens. Such a strong relationship provides patience and steadfastness in hardships and problems, power of sacrifice and forgiveness and above all it provides Divine Closeness and pleasure.
Hence certainty is the foundation of faith, steadfastness, patience, Divine Closeness and pleasure. And the strength of these prerequisites determines the value of certainty in existence of Allah’s Essence.
Mohammadan Light is Reality
Certainty is a light whose reality is Mohammadan Light in the realm of Divinity. Similar to knowledge, love, trust and faith, certainty is also light. All of these lights are connected and their reality is same; Mohammadan Light. Increment in one light causes increment in others. The more the knowledge, the more love, certainty, trust and faith. All of them gush out of the realm of Divinity because it is the beginning, source, and finale of all lights. The Mohammadan Light manifests through every soul according to its level of Divine Closeness. Souls trapped in the physical realm get the least amount because they are very far from their real world; the realm of Divinity. Rather it would not be wrong to say that most souls in the physical realm are completely lost in darkness, deprived of this light.
The souls that are blessed by Allah to follow the shariah correctly reach the angelic realm and these lights significantly increase for them. They can travel the journey ahead with help of these lights. Provided that they do not get lost in the beautiful scenery of angelic realm. The lights aggrandize on reaching the realm of power whereas on reaching the realm of Divinity and staying there steadfast they become extremely perfect. And then Mohammadan light blesses with the power of waham (inward communication with Allah) and Divine Vision.
How to Keep Certainty Strong?
The seeker who is blessed with Divine inspirations through proximity to Allah and who becomes acquainted with the spiritual voice, even then if he does not believe in these messages, neither has he faith upon Ism-e-Allah Zaat nor he believes the words of his Murshid, then it is evident that he is self-conceited, trapped in desires of his nafs and is not finding the way to spiritual sanctity. Such a seeker is disobedient and immodest rather he is unfortunate and deprived of gnosis of Allah. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
So if anything that can take a person away from Divine Closeness that was gained after extreme struggle, it is uncertainty. And if anything makes it stronger then it is certainty.
Attaining certainty is imperative for gaining gnosis of Divine Essence, but it is also crucial in normal life and worldly affairs. If someone does not believe that Allah is the bestower of all blessings, he cannot adequately thank Him. The one who does not believe that he came from Allah and to Him he must return and be answerable to Him, neither does he try to stay away from evils nor inclines towards good deeds. In that fashion a person who does not believe that it is possible to see and speak to Allah, neither do they desire for Divine Vision nor try for it. Hence stay deprived of this blessing.
What Happens to Someone Who is Uncertain?
The one who does not believe that the Holy Prophet’s life is eternal, and he listens and answers to our greetings, exalts us with his sight and helps his umma. His greetings are incomplete. Love and respect for the Holy Prophet are impure. Hence, faith is impure. Just like the person who does not believe that Holy Prophet will intercede sinners on the Day of Judgement. They are also deprived of this blessing. So certainty is such a wonderful asset that whoever has it, is as if they are the richest person. And those who are deprived of it, may have worldly possessions and worship in abundance, but in fact are the poor ones. Sultan Bahoo says:
- Understand that certainty is the foundation of love, gnosis and desire for Allah as well as of all the levels of invocation, reflection, Divine presence, spiritual inspirations, closeness of Allah, annihilation and immortality.
اصل یقین است یقین گر شود
کار تو از ہفت فلک بہ گزرد
Explanation: Certainty is the basic requirement, if you have it, your matter will surpass the seven skies. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Just like the light of knowledge, certainty is obtained gradually and it is impossible to gain it instantly. There are three stages of certainty:
- Knowledge of Certainty
- Eye of Certainty
- Truth of Certainty
Knowledge of Certainty
Knowledge of Certainty is the first and weakest level of certainty. It means that man believes in something simply by hearing from others and not through research. In this case his certainty becomes very weak. Just like how ordinary Muslims believe that Allah exists simply because people told them. And due to this weak certainty they cannot escape sins and cannot worship Allah properly. This level can be right when after hearing news about something, a man develops curiosity to see it for himself. If this does not happen, then that means the man has not even reached the first level of certainty. He does not give any importance to knowledge related to Allah and has committed negligence.
Eye of Certainty
Eye of certainty is when a person sees some reality for himself. In this case his level of certainty increases significantly. His heart will research about whether the given information is true or false. This is a better level of faith when a Muslim recognizes, knows and worships Allah by seeing Him. He finds Allah close to him and watching him, and therefore tries his best to refrain from committing sins.
Truth of Certainty
Truth of certainty is not only to see the reality but to go into its depths and identify every aspect. Learn every detail of those aspects by mind and heart not only through observations but also experience. The person becomes the informant due to his reach to profundities of reality. The one who reaches the truth of certainty is the Momin who has recognized Allah within himself. He feels Allah’s reality within and knows that real doer is only Allah just like Abu Bakr Saddiq.
The three stages of certainty can be explained with one example. Someone who does not know about the ocean, no matter how much knowledge you give him about the size and depth of the ocean he will never be able to comprehend it. His knowledge about it will be completely poor. If he is intelligent and wise then he will definitely be curious to see the ocean after obtaining the knowledge. He will try to see it. When he will see the ocean he will be able to understand what the ocean is. Only then will his knowledge about the ocean’s size and depth will turn into affirmation. His heart will confirm that what was told to him was reasonably true but when he will go inside the ocean only then his knowledge will be complete.
He will know that it is much deeper than it seems from the outside. The deeper he goes, the more he discovers the hidden about the ocean. Then he will be able to convey knowledge about it to others. This is the highest level of certainty where only lovers of Allah, those who annihilate themselves in Him, Allah’s friends and Saints reach.
Importance of the Three Levels
If these three levels are in correct direction, they play a key role in the spiritual life of the seeker. Rather correction of knowledge of certainty which is considered to be the lowest and weakest level is most important. If one’s knowledge of certainty is correct, his eye of certainty is correct and truth of certainty is correct. It is like the first step of the ladder. If it is not correct and strong, reaching the top is impossible. Hence seeker should prioritize correction and strengthening of his knowledge of certainty. Accurate and authentic knowledge of Allah and Deen (Islam) should be obtained from the Holy Quran, Hadiths and sayings of Saints. Knowledge should be confirmed because not everything written in books is true.
We should never give space in heart and mind to misleading words that weaken certainty. When certainty towards Allah reaches maximum knowledge, then observations about this knowledge begin to occur. The intelligent people start getting observations very often. Certainty provides affirmation that Allah knows all about that is in the heart. He is the one who gets me out of difficult times. Provides me with food. My heart is in His hands, He gives me peace or restlessness whenever He wants. Endless observations like this increase the light of certainty and take to the level of knowledge of certainty. In the journey from knowledge of certainty to truth of certainty, man observes the real existence inside him, Mohammadan Light. He gets convinced of the fact that he is like a wave of the ocean which is Mohammadan Light. His end is to return to this ocean otherwise he will perish.
Knowledge Leads to Observations
Henceforth his knowledge gives birth to observations and observations give him strength to return to the reality. Finally, he fully gains reality of the ocean by annihilating in it in the form of a drop. He reaches the level of truth of certainty which is infinite. From this explanation we know that knowledge of certainty is the level of struggle, eye of certainty is the level of observation and truth of certainty is the level of annihilation.
Data Ganj Bakhsh (Ali Hujwiri) says in Kashf-ul-Mahjub:
- Knowledge of certainty is the level of scholars of the nation because they persevere in obeying orders of Allah. Eye of certainty is the level of Divine knowers as they are always ready for death (death before dying). Truth of certainty is the level of annihilation of friends of Allah because they have rejected every creation. Hence knowledge of certainty is gained through hard work, eye of certainty is gained through Divine Love and truth of certainty from true observations. One of these (knowledge of certainty) is common, another (eye of certainty) is special and the last (truth of certainty) is most special. (Kashf-ul-Mahjub)
Certainty is Knowledge
Sultan Bahoo says about these levels:
- Certainty is knowledge as a knowledgeable person is blessed with certainty while the ignorant is deprived of it. There are three stages of certainty which have their respective titles. First is knowledge of certainty which is the station of scholars who gain certainty through their knowledge. Second stage is eye of certainty which is the station of majdhub who behold exact Divinity and become unconscious of themselves, then they do not observe anything else in the universe. Third is the stage of truth of certainty which is to experience the amazing states of Divine closeness and becoming the beloved of Allah. The seekers of Allah who reach the station of truth of certainty and find the Truth, achieve all their objectives. They observe the truth through the Truth, achieve and learn everything through it annihilating and removing themselves from in between. (Aqal-e-Beydar)
Allah has expressed intense sorrow for those with impure certainty towards Him in Surah Al-Takathur:
- Your greed for massive wealth and the superiority complex has made you negligent (of the hereafter), until you go down to the graves. No indeed! You will soon learn. Again (you are warned.) No! Never! You will soon learn about (your end). Yes indeed! Would that you knew with the knowledge of certainty. You will surely see Hell. Then you will certainly see it with the eye of certainty. Then on that Day, you will certainly be questioned about the bounties. (102: 1-8)
All Saints have inculcated Muslims to reach these levels of certainty towards Allah level by level. So that their faith becomes perfect.
Going Towards Certainty
- After researching, definitely grasp certainty because it is the real faith. Without certainty, there will be no duties performed and no struggle to go through in the world.
- Attain the reality of Islam so you can reach faith. And then clench it as hard as you can so you reach certainty. So you will start witnessing what you could not before. You will see the reality of everything. The news will become a scrutiny. This certainty will take the inward to Allah and will show that everything points to Him.
- When your faith becomes certainty and your gnosis becomes knowledge, you will become a servant of Allah.
Sultan Bahoo’s Poetry about Certainty
Sultan Bahoo states while explaining certainty:
عبادت حق ببر تا وقتِ مردن
یقین شد از یقین ایمان بردن
- Explanation: Worship the Lord till the end of your life and attain certainty because certainty guarantees perfection in faith.
یقین قرآن برو اعمال کردن
یقین آنست خود باحق سپردن
- Explanation: Certainty means to follow the entire teachings of Quran and entrust oneself to Allah.
یقین سرمایۂ ایمان نورش
یقین با معرفت قربِ حضورش
- Explanation: Certainty is the asset and light of faith, it grants the gnosis and closeness of Allah.
یقین از یک پدر یک پسر باشد
دوئی شیطان را از دل تراشد
- Explanation: Certainty should be as strong as a son is certain about his father. Such certainty ends the evil duality from the inward.
یقین دیدہ بچشم خویش بیند
کہ صحبت عارفان باہم نشیند
- Explanation: Certainty is gained when one beholds Allah with one’s own eyes. This felicity is obtained by the company of Mystics.
یقین از حق شود حق رازِ اللہ
خطی درکش بگرد لاسویٰ اللہ
- Explanation: Certainty about Allah leads to the Divine secrets. To gain certainty, exterminate everything from the inward except Allah.
یقین ببرد حضوری بے ریاضت
یقین شد از یقین صاحبِ اجازت
- Explanation: Certainty carries one to the Divine presence without any struggle. It can be acquired only from the man of certainty (the perfect spiritual guide).
کسی را شد یقین حق بحاصل
رسد حق الیقین عرفان واصل
- Explanation: Whoever is blessed with certainty, acquires the truth and becomes the Mystic one with Allah reaching the truth of certainty. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Sultan Bahoo also says:
- Know that the infidels, enemies of Islam, dissenters, kharijites and hypocrites are deprived of certainty. Certainty is purity and is related to the Truth while these wretched people are against the Quran, its injunctions, Hadiths and the Sunni way. Their belief is based on falsehood because they trust the false and filthy carrion world. While the true followers of the Holy Prophet who belong to the Sunni sect are so certain about their faith that if they do not have sustenance even for a day and someone offers them one lakh gold coins, they would never retreat from their faith because their certainty about Mohammadan faith blesses them with gnosis and closeness of Allah. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
- The Arabic word for ‘certainty’ is یقین transliterated as yaqin which has four alphabets; ی (Y), ق (Q), ی(Y), ن (N). By the alphabet ی (Y), certainty makes one with Allah. With the alphabet ق (Q), certainty grants closeness of Allah. By the second ی (Y), certainty makes one with Allah. With the alphabet ن (N), certainty annihilates the inciting innerself making it naught and purifying it from the lust and sensual desires. Certainty makes one completely resigned to the will of Allah conforming to the verses;
Meaning: Enough for me is Allah. (9:129)
Meaning: And Allah is Sufficient. (33:39) (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Real Certainty and Fake Certainty
It is very important to know after learning the importance and levels of certainty that not every certainty is real certainty and not every light is real light. Rather, most certainties cannot even be counted as real certainties and it would be better to call them misconceptions. These are the certainties or misconceptions that the Jews, Christians and infidels have on their religions and beliefs. No doubt, such certainty is absolute darkness and misguidance. Similarly, Muslims also get misguided by their own beliefs. For example, the misconception that Allah resides in one of the seven heavens. The misconception of ignoring the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) spiritual reality and focusing on his humanity. Believing their devotions. Trusting their beliefs so much that they do not care to listen to the truth. Such misconceptions are counted as egotistic actions and take them away from the reality. Sultan Bahoo says:
- If the imperfect people claim that their certainty has carried them to the Throne, Chair, Guarded Tablet and the Pen then they are wrong. Their certainty carries them away from the gnosis and Oneness of Allah. The certainty of the truthful and Mystics engrosses them in the observation and gnosis of Allah and confers eternal presence of Mohammadan Assembly upon them. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Finding True Certainty
He says while talking about the levels of certainty:
- Whoever attains certainty, instantly achieves Divine union while the one deprived of certainty achieves nothing. There are two kinds of certainty; one is the escaping certainty that is the certainty of idol worshippers, infidels and pagans who are people of hell. Other is the affirming certainty that is to affirm لَآ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰہِ (There is no God but Allah, Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah). Verified certainty is that which a man of verification attains through Divine persuasion. This kind of certainty is firm like a mountain, neither it shakes nor wavers or tumbles. Certainty is an attribute and form of Faqr which helps the humble seekers. It is called the sultan of One whose existence is adorned with certainty, elevates from the level of faithlessness.
Real certainty is light and light takes to Allah, how is it gained? Sultan Bahoo says:
اصل یقین است یقینِ مصطفیٰؐ
اصل یقین است یقینِ مرتضیٰ
Explanation: True certainty is that which takes you to the Holy Prophet and Ali ibn Abi Talib and grants their perfect recognition and belief in them.
یقین باشد خلاف نفس دائم
یقین با زندگی دل ہست قائم
Explanation: Certainty is gained by going against the innerself and is maintained by having the enlivened inward. (Shams-ul-Arifeen)
- The certainty that the Holy Prophet gained during Miraj at the station of two-bow length (qab qausain), the same certainty is bestowed to the immortal Mystics through the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. (Aqal-e-Beydar)
Sincerity and Verification of Certainty
- Hence, everything depends upon the sincerity and verification of the inward (certainty). How can this sincerity and verification of the inward be acquired? Through the inward invocation. And from where this invocation is obtained? From the spiritual guide who has found Divine unification. What is the quality of a perfect spiritual guide? He enlivens the inward and kills the innerself. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
What is Important for Certainty?
So, the light of certainty that connects with Allah is neither found through extreme worship nor recitals. Rather the first most important thing is awakening of love for Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) which is the life of faith. Then it is important to kill the innerself for the gain of Miraj i.e Divine Vision by attaining eternal life under the following of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Killing the innerself is killing its desires. The perfect spiritual guide helps the seeker in the fight against innerself. He not only purges his innerself but also grants him eternal life by giving invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. Hence, four things are need for light of certainty: love for the Holy Prophet (pbuh), company of perfect spiritual guide, invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and getting rid of inner desires.
Now, the important thing is what we should have certainty upon in Faqr. Firstly, upon the perfection of perfect spiritual guide, his status and upon whatever he says whether you understand or not. Secondly, upon Ism-e-Allah Zaat that it is the key to Divine Vision and Closeness according to saying of Sultan Bahoo. Invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat with faith verifies the status of spiritual guide and opens the path of Divine Vision and Observation. Thirdly upon inward observations gained by the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and favour of perfect spiritual guide is extremely important. Moreover, he should also be certain that the changes occurring esoterically and exoterically are by the effect of perfect spiritual guide and Ism-e-Allah Zaat.
Faith and Certainty are the Foundation
When seeker gains presence in the Mohammadan Assembly by reciting Ilm-e-Dawat. And he is blessed with conversation with Allah by waham. And reaches the extreme levels of Divine Vision. It is also extremely important to be certain that this is the bestowal of spiritual guide or else uncertainty can make him lose these blessings. To believe in the inwardly orders given by Allah and to follow them is also very crucial. The more one is certain about their inward, the more progress the inward makes and Divine proximity increases. Faith and certainty are the foundation of the relation of seeker and spiritual guide. If one lacks them, neither can they hand themselves over to the spiritual guide for purgation of innerself nor will the spiritual guide bless them with his spiritual attention. Sultan Bahoo says:
- The spiritual guide should give persuasion of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and the seeker must have faith in it. Faith is established on observing the Divine presence with one’s own eyes. One who cannot elevate his disciples to this level is not aware of the calls of a spiritual guide. If the disciple is not gaining faith in his spiritual guide then the guide should show him the Guarded Tablet so that his faith in the guide is established till the Day of Judgment. (Aqal-e-Beydar)
- Every seeker who becomes an immortal Mystic and attains the status of the best of humans being blessed with evident vision of Allah learns its lesson from the perfect spiritual guide. The seeker who believes in the words of spiritual guide and follows him without questioning is the true seeker whom the spiritual guide elevates to Divine vision by his spiritual attention. (Aqal-e-Beydar)
Being Uncertain when Blessed
- If the spiritual guide blesses the seeker with the vision and closeness of Allah but the seeker does not believe it, then surely his end is accursed. If the seeker believes it and keeps faith in his spiritual guide, then he is not separated from the vision of Allah even for a moment and always remains immersed in the light of vision of Allah. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
Sultan Bahoo says about the uncertain seeker:
- If a seeker joins the company of spiritual guide but does not believe in the words of Saints, the inciting innerself in his existence acts as an enemy, everyone considers him unfortunate as he is stranger and blind to the Beloved Who is present within him. (Aqal-e-Beydar)
- Even if the insincere and uncertain seeker keeps offering supererogatory prayers day and night, his own self will become his veil. The perfect spiritual guide can grant presence of the Mohammadan Assembly through the inward mystic way but the dead-hearted fools cannot understand this reality even if they keep reading books throughout their life. If the reprobate and apostate disciple not at all believes in the words of the spiritual guide neither upon the gnosis, union and vision of Divine beauty granted by him then what is the remedy of his illness? The treatment and medicine of such an uncertain and irreligious seeker is to bless him with Divine vision and presence. If he will observes with certainty and stays firm on it, he will elevate to Divine union otherwise will be demoted and declined to the level of a seeker of the world, a henpecked, worshipper of innerself or a conceited person. Beware! Whoever steps on the path of Faqr must make his spiritual guide his mediator and leader and should make certainty the provision for his spiritual journey. (Aqal-e-Beydar)
How is certainty a light?
Ans. Certainty is a light whose reality is Mohammadan Light in the realm of Divinity. Similar to knowledge, love, trust and faith, certainty is also light. All of these lights are connected and their reality is same; Mohammadan Light. Increment in one light causes increment in others.
What are types of Certainty?
Ans. There are three types of certainty:
- Knowledge of Certainty
- Eye of Certainty
- Truth of Certainty
This blog of Sufi teachings is an English translation of an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the month of December, 2021. The title of the Urdu article is:
Noor e Yaqin (نورِ یقین).
Originally penned by Ambreen Moghees Sarwari Qadri from Lahore is presently in English by Mohammad Bin Moghees Sarwari Qadri, exclusively for websites.