Loyalty and Sacrifice in Islam
Faqr is the path of Divine love. Success in this arena cannot be achieved unless a seeker dedicates all that is dear to him in the way of Allah. Allah says:
لَنْ تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتّٰی تُنْفِقُوْا مِمَّا تُحِبُّوْنَ
Meaning: You can never attain to piety unless you spend (in the cause of Allah) out of that which you like the most and Allah surely knows well whatever you give away. (3:92)
The greatest Sunna is to sacrifice all belongings in the way of Allah. Allah says to Prophet Mohammad pbuh:
فَلاَ تَتَّخِذُوْا مِنْھُمْ اَوْلِیَآئَ حَتّٰی یُھَاجِرُوْا فِیْ سَبِیْلِ اللّٰہِ
Meaning: So do not make friends with (any of) them until they emigrate in the way of Allah (in order to prove their sincerity and truthfulness). (4:89)
How did the Companions practice loyalty and sacrifice?
The Companions of Prophet Mohammad faced heart-wrenching hardships after accepting Islam. The believers who belonged to poor families or the class of slaves were targeted and tortured right from the beginning. One trembles at the very thought of the physical, spiritual and financial pain inflicted upon them. Salute to their unprecedented loyalty and sacrifice. They remained undaunted through every suffering and torture.
Hardships faced by the Companions
The believers who were socially strong and respectable were lured and tempted to renounce the path of Allah. They were offered worldly luxuries and ranks but when they turned them down the infidels even terrorized and tortured them. When nothing worked, Prophet Mohammad and his Companions were boycotted socially and economically and they stayed in the Valley of Abu Talib for three years. However their perseverance is remarkable that they did not leave faith despite all the tyranny of the people of Makkah.
Faith of the Companions
A picture of their condition is given:
- All means of earning were banned for them.
- Hunger and starvation spread in their houses.
- Friends and acquaintances abandoned.
- Physical torture was used to the extent that they were made to lie on scorching sand and burning coals.
- Their ranks and powers in the tribes were taken from them.
- All their wealth was spent. Abu Bakr Siddiq, Umar ibn Khattab, Usman ibn Affan and other Companions sacrificed their entire wealth in the way of Allah.
- They had to leave their homes to migrate to Abyssinia and then towards Madina.
- There was even a time when a father and a son had to fight against each other in the battlefield.
- All the agonies could not falter the faith and loyalty of the Companions instead it only strengthened. They were always on the forefront when sacrifice was needed.
Prophet Mohammad educated his Companions in such a way that he removed all other affinities from their inwards except the love for Allah and His Messenger. They sacrificed whatever became a hurdle in their love.
Husayn ibn Ali
The second most significant example of loyalty and sacrifice is the incident of Karbala marked by the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali and his companions:
They all knew that death was right in front of them. Everyone knew that standing with Husayn ibn Ali meant helpless death and martyrdom whereas Yazid had the pleasures of this world but love for Husayn says that it is just the beginning of the eternal life. The companions chose death over worldly pleasures.
What are the essentials of Divine love?
Loyalty and sacrifice are the essentials of Divine love. Love demands that loyalty remains unchanged and when the time of sacrifice draws near, one faces it willingly.
All the Companions of Husayn ibn Ali were the followers of the path of Divine love hence were ready to fulfil their duty of loyalty and to sacrifice their lives as well. They did exactly what is done in Divine love. What amazing lovers Husayn ibn Ali had! Such lovers are hard to find for a spiritual guide. Their grandeur is unique and their height of loyalty and sacrifice is incomparable. In the game of Divine love, the intellect failed. Divine love conquered even after martyrdom, imprisonment and losing everything. Intelligence seemed to be victorious but according to the rule of Divine love, its victory is hidden in the apparent victory of intelligence. The blind hearted who lacked insight were unable to understand it.
Karbala | Divine love
The triumph of Divine love was the result of loyalty and sacrifice. In fact, the incident of Karbala is the perfect and eternal narration of Divine love. The loyalty and sacrifice of the people of Karbala made ‘Karbala’ the synonym for ‘Divine love’.
Ibrahim ibn Adham says, “The Beloved is not pleased with you unless you sacrifice all your worldly relations and get detached from your loved ones considering your sons as orphans and wives as widows, disgrace your ownself, give all your possessions in the way of Allah complying to the verse:
لَنْ تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتّٰی تُنْفِقُوْا مِمَّا تُحِبُّوْنَ
Meaning: You can never attain to piety unless you spend (in the cause of Allah) out of that which you like the most; and Allah surely knows well whatever you give away.
When you make Allah your sole friend inwardly and outwardly, then He will love you as He says:
یُحِبُّھُمْ وَ یُحِبُّوْنَہٓٗ
Meaning: He will love (them) and they will love Him. (5:54)
Further Allah says:
رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْھُمْ وَ رَضُوْا عَنْہُ
Meaning: Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. (98:8) (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Loyalty and Sacrifice according to Sultan-ul-Faqr VI
Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali says:
The path of Faqr is the path of Divine love. Love demands sacrifice. No success is gained on this path unless the seeker sacrifices his each and everything for the sake of Allah. In this context the seeker should remember the examples of the sacred Companions regarding their sacrifice and loyalty for the Holy Prophet. These examples are a source of inspiration for every true seeker of Allah.
A seeker should sacrifice his wealth, life and every possession to get the blessing of Faqr without expecting anything in exchange. He should not be worried or regretful about losing these things.
The seekers who sacrificed everything for their spiritual guide have attained the eternal life. They are living in the beautiful state of Divine love and spiritual intoxication.
Nearness to Allah is not achieved until the seeker sacrifices everything on the path of Allah and his loyalty towards Him is not lessened even a little bit during all the calamities and tribulations. (Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali-Life and Teachings)
The person who gains the extremity of the gnosis of Faqr (union with Allah) becomes the living example of the verse “You can never attain to piety unless you spend (in the cause of Allah) out of that which you like the most,” by sacrificing his every belonging in the way of Allah.
Sultan Bahoo states in his Punjabi poetry:
عاشق عشق ماہی دے کولوں، نت پھرن ہمیشہ کھیوے ھوُ
جیں جیندیاں جان ماہی نوں دِتیّ، اوہ دوہیں جہانیں جیوے ھوُ
شمع چراغ جنہاں دِل روشن، اوہ کیوں بالن دِیوے ھوُ
عقل فکر دِی پہنچ نہ کائی باھوؒ، اُوتھے فانی فہم کچیوے ھو
Explanation: The lovers are intoxicated by the pleasure of Divine love. The seekers who are willing to sacrifice life for the perfect spiritual guide become immortal. Those whose inwards have been enlightened with Divine love through Ism-e-Allah Zaat do not feel the need to get involved in any other form of worship. Intellect has nothing to do in the way of Faqr. The realm of Oneness lies beyond intellect and can only be reached after annihilating intellect itself.
Why is sacrifice important in Islam?
عاشق نیک صلاحیں لگدے، تاں کیوں اُجاڑدے گھر نوں ھوُ
بال موُاتا برہوں والا، نہ لاندے جان جگر نوں ھوُ
جَان جہان سب بھل گیونیں، پئی لوٹی ہوش صبر نوں ھوُ
میں قربان تنہاں توں باھوؒ، جنہاں خون بخشیا دِلبر نوں ھو
Explanation: Had the Divine lovers followed the advice of common people, they would never have sacrificed their household in the way of Allah nor would they have enlightened their inwards with the flame of love. Ever since they have tasted the pleasure of beholding Allah they have lost their senses. May I sacrifice my life for the ones who got beheaded in Divine love and did not demand anything in compensation.
Renunciation of the world
مال تے جان سب خرچ کراہاں، کریئے خرید فقیری ھوُ
فقر کنوں ربّ حاصل ہووے، کیوں کریئے دلگیری ھوُ
دُنیا کارن دِین ونجاون، کوڑی شیخی پیری ھوُ
ترک دنیا تھیں قادری کیتی باھوؒ، شاہ میرا دِی میری ھوُ
Explanation: Fakirism (Faqr) can only be earned by sacrificing wealth and life. Therefore its seeker should not think twice before or after sacrificing. Many pseudo guides mislead their disciples out of lust and make them useless for this world and the hereafter. Only the followers of Qadri order have the courage to renounce the world for Allah because Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani is the king of the kingdom of Faqr.
وحدت دے دریا اُچھلے، ہک دِل صحی نہ کیتی ھوُ
ہک بت خانے واصل ہوئے، ہک پڑھ پڑھ رہے مسیتی ھوُ
فاضل چھڈ فضیلت بیٹھے، عشق بازی جاں لیتی ھوُ
ہرگز ربّ نہ ملدا باھوؒ، جنہاں ترٹیّ چوڑ نہ کیتی ھُو
Explanation: The unfortunate could not gain beneficence from the eternal ocean of Divine Oneness. Recitals and prayers in mosques do not purify the inward hence you remain veiled. For the gnosis of Allah, you must submit yourself to the perfect spiritual guide. Many dignified men have given up their status and excellence in the game of Divine love. Union cannot be achieved unless one sacrifices entire household for Allah.
Death before dying
ونجن سرتے فرض ہے مینوں، قول قَالُوْا بَلٰی دا کر کے ھوُ
لوک جانے متفکر ہوئیاں، وِچ وحدت دے وڑ کے ھوُ
شوہ دیاں ماراں شوہ وَنج لیساں، عشق دا تلہ دَھر کے ھوُ
جیوندیاں شوہ کسے نہ پایا باھوؒ، جیں لدھا تیں مر کے ھوُ
Explanation: Allah asked on the day of Divine covenant, “Am I not your Lord?” All the souls replied in yes. Now it is obligatory to remain steadfast upon this promise. To fulfil my promise I have made Divine love my core and absorbed myself in the Oneness. People are surprised and worried to see my state. I have complete faith in Divine love that it would take me to the depth of Oneness. Union with Allah cannot be achieved in this life without giving up everything and annihilating oneself i.e. death before dying.
ہسن دے کے رووَن لیوئی، تینوں دِتا کس دلاسا ھوُ
عمر بندے دِی اینویں وِہانی، جینویں پانی وِچ پتاسا ھوُ
سوڑی سامی سٹ گھتیسن، پلٹ نہ سکسیں پاسا ھوُ
تیتھوں صاحب لیکھا منگسی باھوؒ، رتی گھٹ نہ ماسا ھُو
Explanation: O imperfect seeker! You have happily exchanged the Divine love for the world and paradise. Whose advice did you follow for this trade which has brought nothing but loss? How much life do you have! This worldly life would end soon and you would be thrown into the suffocating prison of grave where you would not be able to even turn sides. You have lost both, faith and the world. The Lord would take strict accountability and you would be held answerable for every single moment and action of your life.
ہکی ہکی پیڑ کولوُں کل عالم کوُکے، عاشقاں لکھ لکھ پیڑ سہیڑی ھوُ
جتھے ڈَھہن رُڑھن دا خطرہ ہووے، کون چڑھے اُس بیڑی ھوُ
عاشق چڑھدے نال صلاحاں دے، اُونہاں تار کپر وِچ بھیڑی ھوُ
جتھے عاشق پیا تلدا نال رَتیاں دے باھوؒ، اُوتھے عاشقاں لذت نکھیڑی ھُو
Explanation: The worldly people tremble and complain upon even a minute grief but the lovers conceal intense pain within them without uttering a word. The ship of Divine love is surrounded by dangers and storms which is why people refrain from it. The Divine lovers are fearless and aboard this ship happily. In the court of Allah even a little love is more valuable than all the jewels and gems. It is the lovers who put everything at stake to get such a valuable treasure. (Abyat-e-Bahoo Kamil)
The closeness of Allah cannot be achieved unless the seeker sacrifices his household and everything in the way of Allah and does not retreat from his loyalty and sincerity towards his perfect spiritual guide in the times of difficulty.