Narcissism means arrogance, vanity and self-admiration. Allah has bestowed some qualities to every human being. Allah confers some with knowledge, some with beauty while some with perseverance. Narcissism or egotism is when a person loves his own qualities so much that he ignores the qualities of others. That person is so infatuated with his qualities that he sees others as inferior and imagines himself as the best. His habit to flaunt himself intensifies so much that it turns to arrogance.
Narcissism is one of the evil attributes. It is a spiritual disease which ceases the power of thinking. It grows in the inward of man, it is one of the tools that Satan uses to mislead people. To be blessed with Divine closeness it is crucial to liberate our inwards from narcissism.
Shaikh Syed Ali al-Hujwiri (Dātā Ganj Bakhsh) says:
Narcissism or egotism produces from:
- The respect and praise received from people.
- Admiring one’s own attributes.
In the former, people start appreciating the qualities of the person which in turn produces arrogance in him. While in the latter, that person sees beauty in his evil attributes. That is why he indulges in arrogance and self-admiration. (Kashf-ul-Mahjub)
Actually narcissism includes arrogance which ceases Divine guidance. So, when the Divine guidance ends, that person’s downfall starts which in turn disgraces him in both the worlds. Our Holy Prophet says:
“Narcissism is such an evil that it destroys all the good deeds done over seventy years.” (Daylmi)
Allah says in Risala-al-Ghausia:
Risala al-Ghausia is a record of conversation between Allah and Ghaus al-Azam. In this treatise Allah says:
- O Ghaus-ul-Azam, I am away from the one who performs devotions and then becomes arrogant upon them.
He further says:
- Submissiveness is the fount of Divine light while arrogance and vanity is the origin of heathenism and paganism.
Sultan Bahoo says:
- The worships of a devotee are not endangered by anything except narcissism.
- The obedience and devotion polluted with arrogance is just a sin, the disobedience with a proper excuse is better than such devotion. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Arrogance, vanity and pride is the heritage of Satan, Pharaoh and Korah while submission is the heritage of Prophets. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says:
- The person who is submissive to Almighty Allah never goes astray from the path of righteousness while an imperious is the first one to be deluded. Satan can cause no harm to a modest person.
- The seeker’s real weapons (against Satan and innerself)are modesty, sincere intentions and truthfulness.
- Fair use of power is not possible unless a person is sincere and modest. If a person gets arrogant on getting power, then sooner or later he loses it.
- The more submissive and sincere a person is in the court of Allah, the more rapid is his leap to His proximity and the more he is blessed with closeness of Allah, the humbler he becomes, provided he has sincere intentions.
Sultan Bahoo relates an admonitory incident in his famous book Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan:
- Once a pious man was going somewhere. Suddenly an infidel passed by, who had wasted his whole life in ignorance, impiousness and dishonour. The pious man looked upon him with vanity and said:
“O my Lord! Do not join me with this sinner.”
Meanwhile the sinner looked towards his ever-forgiving Lord with helplessness and tried to count his good deeds but there were none, he started crying and said:
“O my Lord! Please have mercy upon me as I have no one except You.”
A voice came from heavens that said: “I have accepted both prayers. As the infidel has begged for My mercy with submission and hope, I have blessed him with forgiveness. As for the worshiper, he has looked upon this humble man with contempt and narcissism which is fatal for the inward. Therefore he has added himself amongst the rejected ones who consider themselves better than others.”
Allah says whoever regards himself superior to others, He rejects all his deeds. The good deeds that become infected with narcissism hold no value in the court of Allah Almighty. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Humility on the Path of Faqr
As human beings, we are all equal. For someone to consider another person inferior and lesser in the court of Allah is not allowed. This is an act of pride and arrogance which the Sharia prohibits.
On the path of Faqr, it is very important for the seeker to stay away from arrogance and pride. Arrogance is the opposite of humility which is the basis of all progression on the path of Faqr. Holding one’s innerself accountable is an attribute of true believers. A believer is always conscious of his innerself and keeps striving to rid the innerself of its diseases. This is because, it is only Allah Almighty who knows about an individual’s inner weaknesses and flaws or the individual himself. Other people do not know about these hidden ills. Going after unnecessary wishes and desires is not only harmful for an individual but this habit also leads to damaging the society.
Perfect Sarwari Qadri Spiritual Guide is on the footsteps of Holy Prophet
Only the perfect spiritual guide has the power to cure the ills of the inward. The perfect spiritual guide who is on the footsteps of the Holy Prophet nurtures his disciples’ spiritually in his company just like the Holy Prophet (pbuh) nurtured the inwards of the Companions and cleansed them of the ills of the inciting innerself. Whenever the spiritual guide sees any of such evil habits sprout up in the inwards of his disciples, he eradicates them immediately through his spiritual powers. The perfect spiritual guide pleads in the court of the Holy Prophet and gains forgiveness for his disciple and therefore the disciple’s journey towards Allah continues.
As per Sharia, atonement and retribution for a wrongdoing is a must. Therefore, according to the gravity of the wrongdoing, the spiritual guide takes the seeker through certain trials and struggles. At times the seeker himself remains unaware of them. These are the times when perseverance is paramount. The spiritual guide judges a seeker for his/her forbearance and sincerity of claim through such circumstances. Only those seekers remain steadfast who have firm belief upon their spiritual guide. In short, rise and fall, good and bad are all from Allah Almighty. Sincere seekers of Allah show humility in good times and when the times are not so good, they ask for forgiveness and Allah’s mercy.
Sultan Bahoo (ra) relates
Satan said: “I worshipped you.”
Voice from hidden (from Allah) said: “I rejected you.”
Adam said: “O Allah, I have committed a sin.”
Allah replied: “I have forgiven.” (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Shaikh Syed Ali al-Hujwiri (Dātā Ganj Bakhsh) says:
“Allah Almighty, through His favour and benevolence (perfect spiritual guide), makes the good deeds of the seekers of Allah look unattractive to them, thus saving them from narcissism and arrogance. Therefore the commonalty dislikes people, beloved in the court of Allah Almighty. Allah does not inflict hardships upon those who keep themselves busy in mystic struggles. (Kash-ul-Mahjoob)
For today’s fast paced and busy age, Sultan Bahoo has prescribed a remedy for narcissism. However, the condition is that a perfect spiritual guide grants it. He says:
“Whosoever wants that his innerself remains obedient despite enjoying all the worldly comforts and amenities, he remains indifferent to the desires of the world and the innerself, his inward is cleansed of all sorts of esoteric ills, then he should engrave Ism-e-Allah Zaat on his inward through contemplation. This will make his heart indifferent to everything and he will indeed be bestowed with the presence in the Mohammadan Assembly.” (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
As with everything, there are limits that one needs to abide by. Similarly, a seeker should keep humility to a limit. The humility should not go to a level where, heaven forbid the seeker may knowingly or unknowingly lose hope in Allah or go astray. When Allah blesses someone with something, for example knowledge, wealth, beauty, devotion etc. and that person remains anxious about that benediction being taken away. That person will not be called narcissist. On the other hand if someone feels happy over a particular benediction for it being a blessing of Allah, that person will also not be classed as narcissist. However if someone boasts on a particular attribute as being due to his own effort then that would be clearly narcissism and therefore not permitted.
May Allah grant us perseverance on the right path and save us from every undesirable attribute. Ameen.
This is an English translation of the Urdu article عجب ۔ خود پسندی that appeared in the February 2020 issue of the monthly Sultan-ul-Faqr Magazine. Faiza Gulzar Sarwari Qadri has penned the original Urdu article. Zainab Moghees Sarwari Qadri has translated this into English.
Celebrating 11th Rabi al-Thani
Death Anniversary of Ghaus-e-Azam
Al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s grandeur and splendor in the world of Sufism and Faqr does not require any introduction as his dignity and honor is brighter than the sun, and his attributes and virtues are countless. He is famously known in the world as al-Ghawth al-Azam (Ghaus-e-Azam) and also with numerous other titles such as
- Sayyid-ul-Kaunain (Leader of the Worlds)
- Sultan-ul-Faqr (The King of Faqr)
- Sultan-ul-Auliya (The King of the Saints)
- Mehboob-e-Subhani (The Beloved of Allah)
- Qutb-al-Rabbani (The Divine Pole)
- Ghaus-e-Hamdani (The Saint of Hamadan)
- Shahbaz-e-Lamakani (The Falcon of the Station of no Station)
- Pir Dastagir (The Guide who Patronizes)
- Piran-e-Pir (The Spiritual Guide of Spiritual Guides),
- Noor-e-Mutlaq (The Absolute Divine Light)
- Mash’hood al-Haq (The Witness of the Truth)
- Haqeeqat al-Haq (The Divine Reality)
- Qutb al-Kaunain (Saint of the Worlds)
- Qutb-ul-Aqtab (Saint of all Saints)
- Ghaus al-Saqlain (The Saint of both the Worlds)
- Al-Ghawth al-Azam (The Supreme Helper)
- Muhiyuddin (Reviver of the Religion).
Birthday and Death Anniversary
Ghaus-ul-Azam razi Allah anhu was born on Friday, 1st of Ramadan 470AH (March 17, 1078) and died on Saturday after night (Isha) salat on 11th of Rabi al-Thani 561AH (February 12, 1166) at the age of 91.ij Hijra
Ghaus-e-Azam’s honorable father Sayyid Abu Salih Musa Jangi rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh was from Hasani lineage and his mother Umm-ul-Khair Sayyida Fatima rehmat-ul-Allah Alayha was from Husayni family. Therefore Ghaus-e-Azam is a Sayyid having noble lineage from both sides. The verification on this fact is present in numerous books.
Reviver of the Religion
The birth of Ghaus-e-Azam razi Allah anhu is no less than a miracle. He rose like the sun in the era of ignorance and rubbed out the evils of the world with his favor and grace. At the time of his manifestation, Muslims had been divided into 73 sects. He then brought new life to the religion of the Holy Prophet sall’Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam and thus ended all the heretical practices. Hence for this reason, he was conferred upon the title of Muhiyuddin i.e. reviver of the religion. The status of Ghaus-e-Azam is so high that whoever calls his name for help, he instantly comes to guide him, and this will continue till the doomsday.
Association of the day of 11th
Ghaus-e-Azam holds such high rank and grandeur that anything that gains association with him also achieves the same high rank. One of such associations is the honored day of 11th (Gyarween Shareef). The 11th of every lunar month is associated with the sacred self of Ghaus-e-Azam. Thus, his devotees celebrate this day by reading khatam shareef (ritual of reciting the Holy Quran and salutations upon the Holy Prophet and then sending the rewards to deceased Muslims) and performing votive offerings.
According to some traditions Gyarween Shareef is a khatam that Ghaus-e-Azam used to hold on the 11th of every lunar month to express his love and veneration for the Holy Prophet. Incidentally, his death also followed on 11th Rabi al-Thani. The khatam shareef that is held on the 11th of this month is called Bari Gyarween Shareef (grand honored day of 11th) and the one that his devotees hold on the 11th of every lunar month is called Choti Gyarween Shareef (minor honored day of 11th). (Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr)
Celebration of death anniversary
Mohammad bin Jivan rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
“The death anniversary (Urs) of all other Saints is held only once every year but it is a distinguished grandeur of Ghuas-e-Azam that scholars of religion have set his anniversary on the 11th day of every month.”
Al-Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi says:
“On the day of 11th, the king and the leaders of the city would gather at the sacred shrine of Ghaus-e-Azam. Following the afternoon (Asr) salat and till sunset (Maghrib) salat, they recited Holy Quran, eulogies, and also praises in honor of Ghaus-e-Azam. Then after sunset, the shrine caretakers (sajada nasheen) gathered in the middle and the disciples formed a circle around them, and hence the invocation began. Afterwards food (niyaz) was distributed and then people departed after night (Isha) salat.”
In view of above narrations, it is clear that even scholars, pious and the nobles celebrated the day of 11th. Above all the Saints have always continued the celebration of his death anniversary in an extremely grand manner.
Celebration of 11th by the Sarwari Qadri Saints
All the Saints of Sarwari Qadri order have been celebrating this day associated with Ghaus-e-Azam with extreme reverence and respect. The honorable mother of present Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri order Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman also used to hold khatam sahreef on the 11th of every Islamic month.
Not only Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen himself but his disciples also hold deep association with Ghaus-e-Azam. Sarwari Qadri order is Ghaus-e-Azam’s order and all the beneficence in this order is from the sacred self of Ghaus-e-Azam. Any seeker who pledges oath of allegiance in this order in fact pledges oath to Ghaus-e-Azam himself. Therefore, due to this association, khatam shareef is held in Khanqah Sarwari Qadri on the 11th of every Islamic month.
Celebrating 11th is not an innovation
Man’s life is a blend of joy and grief. Sometimes grief encircles him and the other times it’s the joy. Thus, to keep these days in memory, he sets traditions that will remind the importance of these days to his coming generations. In an exact manner, to remember the special days associated with the pious men and the Saints, and to keep the coming generations connected with religion, the devotees of the Saints celebrate these days. This is so the coming generations become aspired of these dignified personalities and their reality and hence continue to gain beneficence from them. Doing so is not an innovation.
Rituals performed in the celebration of Gyarween Shareef
Arranging khatam shareef on the honored day of 11th is the most adored act. Because here devotees perform all such deeds which are a source of Allah’s consent, blessings of Holy Prophet and the special beneficence of Ghaus-e-Azam.
Recitation of Holy Quran
The gathering of khatam shareef begins with the recitation of Holy Quran. A Hadith of Holy Prophet says about the recitation of Holy Quran:
“There are ten rewards for the reciter on reciting each letter of the Holy Quran.”
Salutations and Blessings
Devotees send salutations and blessings on the Holy Prophet on the day of 11th. Countless Hadiths indeed state the virtues of salutations and blessings. For example, the following Hadith mentions:
“Whoever sent salutation on the Holy Prophet once, Allah will write ten rewards for him. He will also forgive his ten evils, will increase his rank ten times and will return his salutation upon him.” (Musnad Ahmad 5709)
Allah says the following in the Holy Quran:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ وَ مَلٰٓئِکَتَہٓٗ یُصَلُّوْنَ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ ط یٰٓاَیُّہَا الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا صَلُّوْا عَلَیْہِ وَ سَلِّمُوْاتَسْلِیْمًا۔ (سورۃالاحزاب۔56)
Meaning: Verily, Allah and His angels send blessings and greetings on the Holy Prophet. O you who believe! Invoke blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation of peace abundantly (and fervently). (Al-Ahzab 56)
Na’ats and Manqabats
Before the khatam shareef, devotee recite naats (poetry in praise of Holy Prophet) in honor of the Holy Prophet. Then they sing manqabats (poetry in praise of Saint) in the honor of Ghaus-e-Azam.
Speeches and Lectures
In the khatam shareef of 11th, the scholars of religion deliver speeches to acquaint the Muslims of today with the grandeur and the sacred self of Ghaus-e-Azam. These saintly men of Allah will become a source of salvation on the day of judgement for those who hold devotion with these pious men.
Isaal-e-Sawaab (act of performing virtuous deeds and sending rewards to alive or deceased)
The rewards of all the virtuous acts performed in khatam shareef on the honored day of 11th are sent to all Momins (true believers) through the medium of Holy Prophet and Ghaus-e-Azam. This way these gatherings become a source of forgiveness and exalted ranks for others.
Mulla Ali al-Qari narrates a Hadith about isaal-e-swaab:
“It was the third day of death of Holy Prophet’s son Ibrahim when Abu Dhar came in Holy Prophet’s court. Abu Dhar carried dried dates, camel milk, and grain bread. He placed them in front of the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet recited surah al-Fatiha once and surah al-Ikhlas three times, then he recited salutation and prayed. After that Holy Prophet told Abu Dhar to distribute them so that its reward would go to Ibrahim.”
Therefore, the aforementioned Hadith substantiates that reciting khatam on food and distributing it among people is the Sunna of Holy Prophet.
Why would the devotees of Ghaus-e-Azam not celebrate the Gyarween Shareef in his remembrance when he protects them every moment! He is a guide, and a problem solver to them in their difficulties and will even help them in the throes of death and also on the doomsday.
Love of Sultan Bahoo for Ghaus-e-Azam
Sultan Bahoo writes in his book Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan:
My spiritual guide is Shah Muhiyuddin who is the successor of the Holy Prophet. He (Ghaus-e-Azam) says:
“My disciple will not die but in a state of faith.”
Ghaus-e-Azam further says:
“O my disciple fear not, as Allah is my Lord.”
On the day of judgement when all prophets will worry about themselves and the Holy Prophet will worry about his umma, then at that time Ghaus-e- Azam will worry about his disciples. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
The foot of Ghaus-ul-Azam is on the neck of Saints
Sultan Bahoo states a tradition in his book Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan that the Holy Prophet said to Ghaus-e-Azam:
“O Muhiyuddin! My foot is on your neck and your foot will be on the neck of all the Saints.”
Hearing the revelation, all Saints came in the court of Ali ibn Abi Talib and said:
“The Holy Prophet have declared this announcement. What are your impressions about it?”
When Ali ibn Abi Talib requested the clarification from the Holy Prophet, he said:
“O Ali! Mohiyuddin is my progeny and your descendent. It is not strange if a man lifts his noble and worthy son on his shoulders and puts his feet on his neck.”
On this Ali ibn Ali Talib gave Shaikh Abdul Qadir the honor first, then all the Saints accepted his foot on their neck and thus gained the honor of beneficence, sainthood, and guidance. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Thus, in summary, whoever keeps love and affection for Ghaus-e-Azam, gains his beneficence and whoever keeps malice against him and his disciples, ruins himself in world and hereafter.
May Allah grants us the favor to understand and act upon the truth. Ameen!
Note: The translation of this article is done using American English vocabulary.
This article was published in Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore (monthly Urdu magazine of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr) titled as سیّدنا غوث الاعظمؓ اور حقیقت ِگیارھویں شریف in the issue of December 2019. It was originally written by Mariam Gulzar Sarwari Qadri and is now translated in English by Sofia Sultan Sarwari Qadri. To read the original article, please visit: