Iqbal and Universal Divine Man
Allama Iqbal was a famous Sufi saint, poet, philosopher, mystic, thinker and lover of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). He mentioned Faqr (soul of Islam) and Universal Divine Man in his poetry. Only a person with enlightened inward can truly understand the writings of an Arif (saint). In this regard, Sultan Bahoo says:
عارف دی گل عارف ہی جانے، کیا جانے نفسانی ھوُ
Explanation: Only an Arif (saint) truly understands the teachings of another Arif.
Allama Iqbal’s speech is universal. People of every age and time derive meaning from it according to their inner potential. The exact explanation of this is that despite the passage of so much time, new research on the literary work of Allama Iqbal is coming to the fore as time passes. Check out his universal poem:
بمصطفیٰؐ برساں خویش را کہ دیں ہمہ اوست
اگر بہ او نرسیدی تمام بولہبی است
Explanation: Strive to reach the holy assembly of Prophet Mohammad (Mohammadan Assembly) as that is complete religion. If you do not reach there, then your whole religion is the religion of Abu Lahab.
Allama Iqbal made many topics a part of his literary work but one point around which all his words seem to revolve is the love of prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and that all his thoughts are in accordance with the teachings of Holy Qur’an and the sunna of the prophet. One of the subjects of Allama Iqbal’s thought is the believer or Universal Divine Man which he has described in the light of Quran and Hadith. Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri writes, “Allama Iqbal has presented the idea of ’believer’ in his literary work.
Universal Divine Man is True Believer
Other Sufis and Fakirs have also used the terms ‘Universal Divine Man‘ and ‘perfect Fakir’ for the believer. In terms of Faqr, a believing man, a Universal Divine Man, a perfect Fakir, a Qalandar means a being who is endowed with all the attributes of Allah and is enlightened in it, is the vicegerent of the Prophet Mohammad, and guides men of Allah on the right path. The status of a Universal Divine Man is the highest position in Faqr. There is no one higher than him. It would not be out of place to say that this status is the sum of all levels. Of all human beings, the most perfect and Universal Divine Man is Holy Prophet (pbuh). After him, his deputies get this status through his medium.
Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the Universal Divine Man of today. The attributes of a believer described by Allama Iqbal in light of Quran and Hadith are all characteristic of his personality. He purifies the inwards of seekers and enlightens their souls.
Attributes of Believer (Universal Divine Man) and Today’s Age
Some of the attributes of a believer described by Allama Iqbal are mentioned here. Iqbal says:
ہزاروں سال نرگس اپنی بے نوری پہ روتی ہے
بڑی مشکل سے ہوتا ہے چمن میں ’دیدہ ور‘ پیدا
For a thousand years the narcissus awaits its blindness; after a long wait there arises the one who has true vision (enlightened inward – Perfect Fakir or Universal Divine Man).
It is by the grace of Allah that on 19th August, 1959, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen appeared in this world. He healed every sorrowful heart and enlightened the innerself with the blessing of Faqr.
عمر ہا در کعبہ و بت خانہ می نالد حیات
تا ز بزم ِ عشق یک دانائے راز آید بروں
For years of life, sometimes in the Kabah, sometimes in the idol house, then a wise secret (Universal Divine Man) comes out from the veil of love.
The Imam of the lovers, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, is the wise man who knows the source of true love and is enriching the people with the blessing of Faqr.
Conquering life and conquering the universe:
According to Iqbal
مردِ میدان زندہ از اللہ ھوُ است
زیر پائے او جہان چار سو است
The Universal Divine Man is alive by Allah Hoo and the whole universe is under his authority.
کوئی اندازہ کر سکتا ہے اس کے زورِ بازو کا!
نگاہِ مردِ مومن سے بدل جاتی ہیں تقدیریں
It is the attribute of the Universal Divine Man that he is the Imam of the time with the power to conquer the universe. The reins of time are in his hands. He is the creator of new world.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman took over the throne of Sarwari Qadri order on December 26, 2003 after the passing of his Murshid Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali. Then on August 14, 2005, he began to induct seekers of Allah into the Sarwari Qadri order. The steps he took for the revival of Islam and to invite Mohammadan umma towards the true Faqr have revolutionised the spread of teachings of Faqr. He is highly accomplished Sarwari Qadri Murshid. Sarwari Qadri Murshid is acquainted with Divine attributes, has complete authority over time and space. Regarding Sarwari Qadri Murshid, Sultan Bahoo says:
عارف کامل قادری بہر قدرتے قادر و بہر مقام حاضر
Perfect Sarwari Qadri Murshid has complete authority over everything. He is omnipresent (due to being completely annihilated in Divine Essence).
Passion of love:
دیارِ عشق میں اپنا مقام پیدا کر
نیا زمانہ، نئے صبح و شام پیدا کر
Create your place in the realm of love. Create new times, new mornings and evenings
Only ardent Divine lovers have the power to conquer the universe and life. Allah Almighty has hidden this blessing in Divine love. Only those who annihilate themselves in Divine Essence gain the ability to uproot evil forces and spread righteousness. Only through them, spreads the light of Mohammadan Reality that enlightens the inwards of men of Allah. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the Sultan of Lovers. In the path of Faqr, the outward and inward sacrifices that he made to serve and obey his spiritual guide and to spread the beneficence of Faqr throughout the world are an example for the seekers of Allah. Recognising the passion and love, his spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Faqr VI said, “Najib bhai says yes to whatever his Murshid asks him to do (regardless of how big the sacrifice may be) “.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen performed every duty his Murshid assigned him in a very cheerful manner and never hesitated to make any sacrifice. He showered his lifelong savings upon his Murshid and even today he is always engaged in the mission of his Murshid.
Maulana Rumi is the spiritual guide and leader of Allama Iqbal. He also said that love is the key to the path of Faqr. No battle can be won without love. Only true love leads to the eternal journey of knowledge of the Almighty. Without passion, life and death are equal. Faith is not complete without passion.
Ardent Divine Makes Deeds Pure and Acceptable
Allama Iqbal beautifully describes adent love and says:
اگر ہو عشق تو ہے کفر بھی مسلمانی
نہ ہو تو مردِ مسلماں بھی کافر و زندیق
عقل و دل و نگاہ کا مرشد ِ اولیں ہے عشق
عشق نہ ہو تو شرع و دیں بت کدہ ِ تصورات
Ishq (ardent Divine love) is everything. If there is no (Divine) love then the outward deeds of Muslims are a mere pretense and hold no value.
Allama Iqbal has described the attributes of a believer. The believer is the embodiment of true love. Love is his religion, love is his life and love is his motto.
صدقِ خلیل بھی ہے عشق، صبر ِحسینؓ بھی ہے عشق
معرکۂ وجود میں بدر و حنین بھی ہے عشق
توڑ دیتا ہے بت ہستی کو ابراہیمِ عشق
ہوش کا دارو ہے گویا مستی تسنیم عشق
The sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim and Imam Husayn ibn Ali was all because of ardent Divine love. Similarly, the companions who fought in the battles of Badr and Hunain were only because of love of Allah and His beloved (Prophet Mohammad).
Embodiment of Exemplary Character
The believer is a model of good morals. ‘Wrath and Mercy’ are the attributes of Allah and the more one absorbs the light of nearness and gnosis of Allah, the more these attributes become prominent in him. Iqbal says:
ہو حلقہ یاراں تو بریشم کی طرح نرم
رزمِ حق و باطل ہو تو فولاد ہے مومن
The believers are soft hearted like the silk when amongst each other. But when they are in the battle field fighting with the enemies of Islam, they become strong like steel.
ان کی ہر ہر ادا سنتِ مصطفیؐ
ایسے پیر طریقت پہ لاکھوں سلام
In this couplet, Iqbal expresses the attributes of Perfect Fakirs (spiritual Guides). He says, their every act is in complete accordance with the sunna of the holy Prophet. Countless salutations upon such spiritual guides (as they are the medium to reaching Mohammadan Assembly and gaining gnosis of Allah).
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman’s character is a reflection of the character of the holy Prophet (pbuh). The book ‘Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’, beautifully describes his personality and his high character.
Sultan ul Ashiqeen
Reflection of Prophet Mohammad’s Character
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is a perfect example and reflection of the Prophet’s morality and is a reflection of the fact that he is fully on the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Honesty, forbearance, humility, patience, perseverance, faithfulness, modesty, understanding, high morale and endurance are the salient attributes of his personality. ‘Karam’ is another name for the sight of his spiritual sight, the word ‘compassion’ is not enough to describe his kindness. (Sultan Al-Ashiqeen)
The attributes of his personality that have been described can, of course, belong only to the believer. In fact, he is a manifestation this poem of Allama Iqbal:
ہر لحظہ ہے مومن کی نئی شان، نئی آن
گفتار میں، کردار میں، اللہ کی برہان
یہ راز کسی کو نہیں معلوم کہ مومن
قاری نظر آتا ہے حقیقت میں ہے قرآن
جس سے جگر ِلالہ میں ٹھنڈک ہو، وہ شبنم
دریاؤں کے دل جس سے دہل جائیں وہ طوفان
Iqbal describes the grandeur of Universal Divine Man here. Every moment they are under a new theophany of Allah. The Universal Divine Man is a complete embodiment of attributes of Divine Essence. Whatever he says or does is from Allah.
Piety and humility:
The attribute of a believer is piety and humility.
إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ
Surely the most honorable of you in the sight of Allah is the one who fears Him. (49: 13)
This attribute of a believer can be clearly seen in the personality of Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. He is supreme example of piety and greatness. Despite having a very high status, he is always very humble. It is a sign of his great humility that in spite of being honoured with the status of ‘Sultani’, he used the title of “Khadim Sultan-ul-Faqr” to express his love and humility towards his Spiritual Guide. This title remained a part of his name for almost thirteen years after the demise of Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali. Recognising his ardent Divine love, Mohammadan Assembly bestowed him with the title of Sultan ul Ashiqeen in September 2012 and now this title is a part of his name.
Inward of a Believer:
The inward of a believer reflects Divine theophanies and attributes. The holy Prophet (pbuh) said:
اَلْمُؤْمِنُ مِرْاٰۃُ الرَّحْمٰنِ
The believer is a mirror of the Most Gracious Allah).
Every sincere and loyal disciple of Sultan ul Ashiqeen will testify this fact. The inward of the Spiritual Guide is like a mirror in which the seeker sees his own inward state. Allama Iqbal put this beautifully:
خاکی و نوری نہاد، بندہ مولا صفات
ہر دو جہاں سے غنی اس کا دل بے نیاز
The Outward of Believer:
Just as the inward of a believer is light (Noor), so is his outward being. The Almighty says:
نُورْ عَلٰی نُورِِ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُوْرِہٖ مَنْ يَشَآئُ
Light upon light. Allah guides whom He wills to His light. (24: 35)
“Indeed Sultan ul Ashiqeen’s inward and outward is completely in accordance with this verse.
Allama Iqbal says:
ہاتھ ہے اللہ کا، بندۂ مومن کا ہاتھ
غالب و کار آفریں، کار کشا کارساز
The hand of the believer is in fact the hand of Allah. This means whatever a believer does is with the command and consent of Allah. So Allah’ favour is with him in every situation.
The attribute of a believer Allama Iqbal described in this verse can be explained in light of the below hadith:
I fall in love with my servant when he gets close to me through supererogatory prayers. So I become his ears with which he hears, I become his eyes with which he sees, his hands with which he grasps and his feet with which he walks. (Sahih al-Bukhari: 963)
Character of Believer:
A believer’s every action is to seek pleasure of Allah.
مردِ حر از لَآ اِلٰہَ روشن ضمیر
می نہ گردد بندۂ سلطان و میر
The Universal Divine Man is complete Oneness due to his complete faith in La Ilaha (there is no one but Allah), there is complete monotheism. He does not bow to any sultan or influential person.
That is, his faith and trust in Allah is so strong that he does not bow before anyone except Allah. Sultan ul Ashiqeen inculcates this great lesson to every one of his disciples. He passes them through the stages of purification and nafs (innerself) and leads them to the enviable station of complete trust upon Allah.
قُلْ اِنَّ صَلاَ تِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَاءَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالِمِينَ
Say: Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the worlds. (6: 162)
Seeker of Allah:
اے طائر ِلاھوتی اس رزق سے موت اچھی
جس رزق سے آتی ہو پرواز میں کوتاہی
The soul of a believer flies from realm of Physical world, realm of Angel, realm of Power to the realm of Lahut (Divinity). In fact, his position is even higher. One of the signs of a believer which Allama Iqbal mentions is that the status of a believer is special yet he livesamong the people like a normal human being. Although he interacts with people, his heart and mind are always engaged in the remembrance of Allah. In the Holy Quran, the Almighty has instructed about this attribute:
وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعاً وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ
And remember your Lord in your heart with humility and tearful submissiveness and fear and repentance and also by calling in low tones. (Persevere with His remembrance) morning and evening (7: 205)
Zikr is the source of energy for the soul. The last and most elevated level of dhikr is dhikr of ‘Hoo’, which is called Sultan-ul-Azkar, meaning the Sultan of all dhikrs. The height of this dhikr takes the seeker to the station of no stations. Immediately after the pledge of allegiance, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen grants the invocation of ‘Hoo’ to his disciples.
Allama Iqbal says:
می نگنجد آں کہ گفت اللہ ھوُ
در حدودِ این نظام چار سو
Those who perform the invocation of ‘Allah Hoo’ (under the guidance of a Perfect Spiritual Guide). Their grandeur is so exalted that it goes beyond the boundaries of this universe.
One of the titles of Sultan ul Ashiqeen is ‘Sultan uz-Zakirin’ which means the Sultan of invokers (people who remember Allah).
Centre of Faqr:
The Universal Divine Man has the status of the centre of Faqr. Allama Iqbal says:
فقر کے ہیں معجزات تاج و سریر و سپاہ
فقر ہے میروں کا میر، فقر ہے شاہوں کا شاہ
Faqr is indifferent to everything. The possessor of Faqr is more powerful than the kings as he is annihilated in Divine Essence.
The possessor of Faqr is the centre of Faqr. Whoever gets the treasure of Faqr after the permission of the holy Prophet (pbuh) gets it from the centre of Faqr. In present era, Sultan ul Ashiqeen is the Centre of Faqr. Under his supervision the team of Tehreek Dawat e Faqr is striving to spread the message of Faqr throughout the world.
The holy Prophet (pbuh) has spiritually inculcated Sultan ul Ashiqeen through Mohammadan Assembly to build a physical Khanqah that would serve as the centre of Faqr for the seekers of Allah. In order to fulfil this, Sultan ul Ashiqeen launched the construction of Masjid e Zahra and Khanqah Sultan ul Ashiqeen in Rangeelpur village (near Lahore, Pakistan) which will be a source of blessings and the centre of Faqr for the Muslims for many centuries to come.
The Glory of the Believer (Universal Divine Man):
ہر زماں اندر تنش جانی دگر
ہر زماں او را چو حق شانی دگر
Every moment there is a new life in his (Universal Divine Man) being and every moment he has a new glory (Divine Theophany).
The Universal Divine Man inculcates only the love of Allah to his disciples.
ہے وہی تیرے زمانے کا ’امامِ برحق‘
جو تجھے حاضر و موجود سے بیزار کرے
Universal Divine Man is that who cleanses the inwards of his disciples and makes them completely indifferent to everything other than Allah.
Universal Divine Man – The Possessor of Quran
Allama Iqbal points to another sign of Universal Divine Man that he is the possessor of Quran i.e. he understand the true meaning of Quran. All the mysteries and secrets of the Quran are revealed in his inward. An incident of Allama Iqbal in this regard is recorded in the book “Iqbal and Quran” that:
When Iqbal was still studying in Sialkot, he used to recite the Holy Quran after the morning prayers. One day, at the same time, his father came to him and said, “When reciting Quran, if you don’t feel the light of Quran descending on your inward, like it did to the holy Prophet (pbuh), then you have not really done justice to reciting the Quran”.
Allama Iqbal put this beautifully in Bal-Jibril as follows:
ترے ضمیر پہ جب تک نہ ہو نزولِ کتاب
گرہ کشا ہے نہ رازی نہ صاحب ِکشاف
Until and unless you have a sanctified inward that can absorb the essence of Quran and its Divine light, there is no point reading it superficially.
The attributes of Universal Divine Man, whether it be high morals, glory, motto, principles or Divine teachings, all these qualities are present in the personality of Sultan Al-Ashiqeen. It is as if he is the exact manifestation of them. He cleanses the inwards of the seekers through his spiritual attention. He awakens them from the sleep of ignorance. Gradually, the seekers get to their destination under the guidance of Sultan ul Ashiqeen i.e. presence in Mohammadan Assembly and Divine vision.
How can one Identify a Universal Divine Man
In every age, there is a saint who is on the footsteps of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and attains the status of a Universal Divine Man through the Holy Prophet (pbuh). In order for someone to identify the Universal Divine Man, it is necessary for them to be sincere in the desire to attain closeness and gnosis of Allah. Whoever seeks the straight path with sincerity of intention, Allah guides him to the Universal Divine Man of the era. Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the Universal Divine Man of the present age. On the very first day of pledging allegiance, he grants Ism Allah Zaat to the seeker, by the practice of which the soul of the seeker enlivens and the heart enlightens, and through it the seeker recognises the reality of the Universal Divine Man.
We pray to Allah to grant us the ability to be faithfully and sincerely remain attached to Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. (Ameen)
This is English translation of Urdu blog اقبال کا مردِ مومن اور دورِ حاضر which appeared in November 2021 issue of the Mahnama Sultan ul Faqr Magazine, Lahore. Mrs. Fatima Burhan Sarwari Qadri wrote the original article. Dr Waseem Akram Sarwari Qadri has translated it in English.
What is the Universal Divine Man?
The Universal Divine Man is a saint that is above all other saints of that era. Every saint is on the footsteps of a Prophet but the Universal Divine Man is on the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). He is stationed at the station of ‘When Faqr accomplishes’ that is Allah. This means that he becomes the complete embodiment and manifestation of Divine Essence.
Who is the Universal Divine Man of this era?
Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman is the Universal Divine Man of present era. He is the 31st Shaikh of the Sarwari Qadri order.