Q. What is Faqr?
Faqr is the only way, which leads Muslim to closeness (Qurb) of Allah. Faqr blesses seeker with vision of Allah (Deedar-e-Elahi). Like, Prophet Mohammad got blessing of vision of Allah on the night of Miraj. In short. Faqr is the actual Sunna of the Holy Prophet. One can ponder over high station of Faqr by following Hadith of Holy Prophet:
الفقر فخری والفقر منی
Meaning: “Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me”.
It is worth mentioning that Holy Prophet never felt pride for anything throughout his life other than Faqr. Thence, it is clear sign of exalted station of Faqr.
Only after following this path, the salat or devotion of a Muslim becomes Miraj. As narrated in Hadith, that “Salat is Miraj for a Mumin (believer).” i.e offer prayer while seeing Allah.
Q. Can we see Allah?
Indeed! Anyone can see Allah but first one should seek Allah. As Allah says:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الۡاِنۡسَانُ اِنَّکَ کَادِحٌ اِلٰی رَبِّکَ کَدۡحًا فَمُلٰقِیۡہِ
Meaning: O man! You sustain rigours to reach your Lord, ultimately you will see him.
Hazrat Jareer bin Abdullah relates a Hadith that the Holy Prophet said;
You will soon see Allah with your eyes” (Sahih Bukhari 7435)
Hazrat Ali (Ali ibn Abi Talib) says:
“I do not pray Allah unless I see Him”.
Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani says:
“How can a person pray Allah unless he recognizes Him.”
Most importantly, recognition is possible only after seeing Him.
Q. How can a person see Allah?
In the Holy Quran Allah says:
وَ فِیۡۤ اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ ؕ اَفَلَا تُبۡصِرُوۡنَ ۔
Meaning: “I am within you, can’t you see.”
So, Allah is in the esoteric self of a person. In fact, person is unable to recognise and see Allah because of veils of nafs or innerself. These veils include arrogance, pride, vanity, greed, jealousy, lust etc. Perfect spiritual guide (Murshid-e-Kamil) of Sarwari Qadri order has power to remove them from a person. Thus, he purifies inciting innerself of a person with invocation (zikr) and contemplation (tasawur) of Ism-e-Allah Zaat (Allah’s personal name). Ultimately, sanctified soul can see Allah without any veil.
Q. What is Ism-e-Allah Zaat?
Ism-e-Allah Zaat is a key to the door of the esoteric world, which leads to Allah. Moreover, Sultan Bahoo (ra) has disclosed it upon the world, as previously only Saints knew it. In fact, Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the printed name of Allah اَللّٰہُ and then framed. Moreover, spiritual guide gives it to disciples for invocation and contemplation in a special manner. As, it has very special effects on the soul of the devotee.
Q. What are the special effects of invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat?
In the Holy Quran Allah says:
اَلَا بِذِکۡرِ اللّٰہِ تَطۡمَئِنُّ الۡقُلُوۡبُ
Meaning: “Certainly, in the invocation of اَللّٰہُ (Ism-e-Allah Zaat) lies the satisfaction of soul”.
In fact, soul is a living thing and like every living thing, it requires food for strength and life. In short, invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat is a food for soul. Thus, the more we invoke and contemplate Ism-e-Allah Zaat, stronger will be the relation. As Allah says:
فَاذۡکُرُوۡنِیۡۤ اَذۡکُرۡکُمۡ وَ اشۡکُرُوۡا لِیۡ وَ لَا تَکۡفُرُوۡنِ
Meaning: So remember Me, I shall remember you. (2:152)
In fact, soul belongs to the (alam al-Amr) universe of Command. That is why, food of material world cannot strengthen soul. As soul belongs to Allah, therefore, only Ism-e-Allah gives power to soul. So, it empowers the soul to reach to Allah in universe of Command.
Q. How does invocation effect the soul?
When the invocation is done with the inhale and exhale of breath (zikr-e-pas anfas) it effects soul. As breath is directly connected to the soul. For example, when the soul enters the body, it starts breathing. Conversely, when it leaves the body, it stops breathing. As food eaten by mouth gives strength to the whole body. Similarly, invocation by breathing gives strength to soul. However, one can get the desired effects only if a perfect spiritual guide grants this invocation.
Q. Why perfect spiritual guide is compulsory to reach Allah?
Although the invocation strengthens the soul but it needs a guide to find the way. There should be guide a who is fully acquainted with the ups and downs of this way. In fact, Murshid teaches to fight with the tricks of Satan who has sworn to mislead everyone. Murshid Kamil is also like a spiritual doctor who cures the spiritual diseases like lust, pride, jealousy, malice, vile etc. As soul is a living thing, it surely gets ill just like all other living beings. It can never reach Allah without getting rid of these diseases i.e. purification of innerself.
Q. Can we not reach Allah without Murshid Kamil?
Except Prophets, no one has ever reached Allah without a Murshid. Even the born Saints (Auliya) needed a spiritual guide to reach Allah. For example, al-Ghawth al-Azam (Ghaus-ul-Azam) Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Data Ganj Bakhsh Ali ibn Usman al-Hajveri, Hazrat Sultan. Then how would a laymen like us reach Allah without a Murshid. Even, we cannot reach a house in our next street unless someone guide us. Then how could we reach Allah without someone telling us the way. We surely need someone who exactly knows the way.
Q. What do you mean by "reaching Allah" when Allah is within ourselves?
Undoubtedly, Allah is within everyone but Satan and nafs are also within everyone. Moreover, they always mislead us from Allah and seducing us to commit sins. In the Holy Quran Allah Says:
فَفِرُّوْ اِلَی اللّٰہِ
Meaning: “Run towards Allah”.
Although, Allah is within us but we have to run and reach to Him. Therefore, it will be possible only after crossing the hurdles created by Satan and inciting innerself. Our religion Islam is a Sirat-e-Mustaqeem i.e a straight path. Where does this straight path lead? Obviously, to Allah. Although Allah is within everyone but one has to get close to him through this right path / straight path.
Q. How do we know whether we are close to Allah or away from him?
If one can see Allah within oneself, meet Him, talk to Him then he is close to Him otherwise not. The Prophet Mohammad said:
Meaning: “Every true believer (Mumin) will talk to Allah directly without any meditation or interpreter”.
Since soul is a living being, it has the capability of seeing, talking, thinking etc. However, it is possible when soul gets strength by the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. It also purifies, rectifies and sanctifies our inciting innerself. Consequently, one can have the vision of Allah in the clean mirror of innerself. If anyone have this vision then he is close to Allah.
Q. What is the difference between Sharia and Faqr?
Sharia deals with the actions and deeds of body. Whereas Faqr is related to actions and deeds of the soul. In fact, Faqr is the soul of sharia and has the same importance as soul has inside the body. As body is lifeless without soul, similarly, sharia cannot benefit you alone unless coupled with Faqr. Faqr is loving Allah and dedicating ourselves to Him. Whereas sharia relates to the actions that we take to show this love and dedication. That is to follow His orders completely with an intention to find His closeness and vision (Deedar). Faqr is intention, sharia is action, and for Allah intention is more important than action.
Q. Why is it important to recognize Allah?
In a Qudsi Hadith Allah Says:
کُنْتُ کَنْزاً مَخْفِیًا فَاَ حْبَبْتُ اَنْ اُعْرَفَ فَخَلَقْتُ الْخَلْق
Meaning: “I was a hidden treasure, I desired to be recognized. Thus I created all the creatures for my recognition (only)”.
Therefore, the main purpose behind the creation of man and the essence of all the prayers is His recognition. After death the first question that will be asked in the grave is (Insert Arabic) “Who is your Lord (Rub)?” What will be the answer of those who have not gained recognition of Allah? Those who do not gain recognition of Allah do not fulfil the purpose of this creation. Therefore, they will have to face the wrath of Allah on doomsday.
Q. How can we find a true Murshid in this age of fraud?
It is not correct that no one can find a true and perfect Murshid. Moreover, a perfect spiritual guide is always present in every age to guide the true believers (Mumin). Therefore, he guide devotees how to get closeness of Allah. In fact, problem lies within us, as we never wish to find Allah. Rather we always demand the pleasures of this world and the heaven. Therefore, everyone finds a Murshid according to his/her intentions. Those who truly want Allah are never misguided because Allah has promised to guide them Himself. As Allah says:
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ جَاہَدُوۡا فِیۡنَا لَنَہۡدِیَنَّہُمۡ سُبُلَنَا ؕ وَ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَمَعَ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ
Meaning: “And those who struggle (for my closeness), I certainly guide them (Myself) in my way”.
So the first step while finding a spiritual guide is to purify one’s own intentions. Secondly, the disciples of a spiritual guide are the proof and witness to the status of spiritual guide. If they claim that they have found Allah then it is a proof that their Murshid is perfect.
Q. What references do we get about Oath of Allegiance ( Bayat ) from Quran and Sunnah?
We get many authentic references of bayat from Quran and Sunna. As In the Holy Quran Allah says:
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ یُبَایِعُوۡنَکَ اِنَّمَا یُبَایِعُوۡنَ اللّٰہَ ؕ یَدُ اللّٰہِ فَوۡقَ اَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ ۚ فَمَنۡ نَّکَثَفَاِنَّمَا یَنۡکُثُ عَلٰی نَفۡسِہٖ ۚ وَ مَنۡ اَوۡفٰی بِمَا عٰہَدَ عَلَیۡہُ اللّٰہَ فَسَیُؤۡتِیۡہِ اَجۡرًا عَظِیۡمًا
Meaning: (O Beloved!) Indeed, those who pledge allegiance (al-bayah) to you in fact pledge allegiance to Allah alone. Allah’s hand is over their hands (in the form of your hand).
لَقَدۡرَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ اِذۡ یُبَایِعُوۡنَکَ تَحۡتَ الشَّجَرَۃِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ فَاَنۡزَلَ السَّکِیۡنَۃَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ
Meaning: Surely, Allah was well pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you.
The Holy Prophet says:
لَادِیْنَ لِمَنْ لَّاشَیْخَ لَہ
Meaning: “One who has no Shaikh (Murshid / Spiritual Guide) has no religion.”
مَنْ لَّاشَیْخَ یَتَّخِذُہُالشَّیْطَانَ
Meaning: “One who is not guided by a Shaikh is verily guided by Satan”.
Whenever a non-Muslim accepted Islam, it was obligatory for him to swear allegiance upon the hands of the Holy Prophet. Therefore, the Prophet was a spiritual guide for them who showed them the way to Allah. So bayat is an obligation as well as a Sunna.
Q. What are the qualities of a Murshid Kamil?
In fact, perfect spiritual guide is Insaan-e-Kamil (accomplished). Moreover, there is always one perfect spiritual guide who is present in every era. In addition, Allah assigns him the responsibility of establishing the esoteric aspect of Islam. Most importantly, he is at the footsteps of Hazrat Mohammad (pbuh). Therefore, he guides his disciples according to the teachings of the Holy Prophet. Furthermore, a perfect spiritual guide never indulges his disciples in excessive physical devotions. Rather he lays emphasis on strengthening esoteric relationship with Allah. Moreover, he invite people toward invocation and contemplation of ism-e-Allah Zaat. As the more you remember Allah the closer, you get to Him. Moreover, a Murshid-e-Kamil never burdens devotees with hard mystic exercises. As Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo says:
“Murshid Kamil is the one who gives his disciples the invocation of personal name of Allah (Ism-e-Allah Zaat). He blesses them with it on the very first day of swearing allegiance”. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Q. Have you found the perfect spiritual guide / perfect Saint of this era?
Indeed! We and the other disciples of our perfect spiritual guide Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman bear witness that he has all the qualities and signs of an Insaan-e-Kamil. Moreover, he is unique in his spiritual status in this age. In short, he is truly on the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad. Through him, many devotees have found Allah.