Despite innumerable handicaps Hazrat Shaikh ul Islam by the dint of his labour, became, an acknowledged teacher of Quran, Fiqh Hadith and Arabic literature and all their subjects. Hazrat has himself referred in his famous Qasida the extent of knowledge acquired by him. He says I acquired knowledge to such an extent that I became a Qutab and reached perfection through the grace of Allah.
Once Ajami swore that he would divorce his wife if he could not, for a short time, be engaged in worshipping Allah in such a manner that none else on earth could do likewise. The learned men of Iraq were questioned as to what the man was to do, so that he might not have to divorce his wife. No one could devise a suitable plan. The question at last was referred to Hazrat and he said that such a person should instead go to Mecca and get the Mutafe Kaaba vacated and make seven circuits around it. In this manner also could his vow be fulfilled, because no one on earth at that time will be engaged in worshipping Allah in that manner in that holy spot.
One of his Murids, during the course of a discussion between dervishes said Hazrat Shaikhul Islam Ghousul Azam was bestowed with the superior spiritual rank than Hazrat Ba-Yazid Bustami, He was so confident about his assertion that he swore that if his assertion was wrong he would divorce his wife. Divorcing ones wife was considered the greatest penalty for any wrong committed, as such a course would deprive the person concerned of the blessings of a truly married life.
He came and narrated to him about his vow regarding his superiority over Hazrat Ba-Yazid Bustami. He questioned his Murid the wisdom of taking oath to divorcing his wife, lest he went wrong. The Murid replied that it was due to his extreme love and reverence for his Shaikh that he could not accept the superiority of anybody else. Hazrat then replied you need not divorce your wife. Your belief on my superiority over shaikh Ba-Yazid is borne our by the following facts.
- Hazrat Ba-Yazid Bustami had not under taken preaching of the faith and had not rendered any service towards Fiqh and had given any Fatwas; Whereas I had done; all these.
- He had not reach that stage of spiritual advancement and perfection in a married state to comply with Sunnah, whereas I have done so.
There are many other points of distinction but for the purpose of our oath he said, I confine to these two reasons only.
Questions on the law of Shariat were addressed to him from all parts of the Muslims World and he would answer them promptly. Saiyidena Ghousul Azam devoted his time to many religious works, of which the following are known.
AL GHUNYA LITIALIBIN. Comparison of Sunni laws with those of other schools of Muslim law mainly relating to prayer. Fasting, Haj, Zakat and such other subjects.
AL FATH RABBANI A collection of 62 sermons delivered by him during the period 545-546 Hijri
FATUH AL GHAIB. A collection of 78 sermons on various subjects complied by the Shaikhs son, Seyed Abdul Razak, followed by his dying deposition and his pedigree from his father and mothers sides. (An English translation of this by Maulvi Aftab-ud-Din Ahmad has been published by Maktaba Nawai Waqat Lahore, West Pakistan) Extracts of this translation appear in the chapter on Preaching and Teaching in particular and the other chapters in general.
HISB: BASHAIR AL KHAIRAT. A collection of mystical prayers.
and held and plat the Hazrats foot on his (Ali Bin Hitis) neck. All other persons present there stepped forward and bent down their necks.
When Saiyidena Ghousul Azam made this declaration, the Walis all over the World heard it spiritually and they too bent down their necks simultaneously in submission and in acknowledgement of His superiority and leadership. Three hundred Walis and 700 Rijal-il-Ghaibs (hidden persons) some of whom while dwelling on earth could even fly about in the air, also bent down their necks. On this declaration the Walis of the World saw with their spiritual eyes the flag of the rank of Qutub planted in front of him with the crown of Ghouse placed on his head. They also saw him making the aforesaid declaration, donning a robe, which denoted a higher spiritual rank. The robe, embroidered with flowers, symbolised Shariat and Haqiqat. As he was making the declaration, divine halo appeared to shine from the heart of Ghous-ul-Azam.
When the Walis had bent their necks acknowledging Hazrats sole suzerainty, their hearts too appeared to glow brilliantly than before; signifying that their knowledge and status had become higher on account of their submission and acknowledgement. Sultanul Hind Khawaja Moin-ud-din Chishti was at the time in a cave in the hills of Khorasan, when he too heard this declaration with his spiritual ears. He said that the feet of the Ghous-ul-Azam were on his eyes and head as well. For this particular submission; Hazrat Khawaja Miunuddin became the spiritual head of India (vide Tafrith-ul-Khatir).
For those in doubt it should be clarified that there is not the slightest tinge of egoism in the aforesaid declaration. Hazrat had completely mastered his lower self and by his conduct, sermons and writings to wean mankind from all low desires and passions, he could not have for a moment think of self exaltation. It was the manifestation of Divine will that he was obliged to make this declaration so that the Walis in particular and the mankind in general may know to whom to turn for guidance in spiritual advancement.
The stages of spiritual advancement and Human conciousness are divided into three categories rising upward in the scale of evolution.
- Nafs Ammara.-Un-ruly animal self.
- Nafs Lawwama.-Struggling moral self.
- Nafs Mutmainna.-Composed Allah realised self
In the first stage Ammara man is animal-like, restless with bestial urges, impatient of restrictions and indifferent to any pricking, of concience. By a systematic course of religious training, of which obedience to command and Prohibitions is the chief feature, he develops a sense of propriety and impropriety and repents for falling into error each and every time. This if THE LAWWAMA state That. State which begins with a faint dawning of the moral scnse and ends in a complete surrender of the animal ego in man, is the third and the highest stage viz Mutmainna. The struggle between the lower and the higher self having now ended, the pilgrim enters a condition of perfect peace, of purity, of rectitude and of knowledge. To indicate the experience starting from the thresh old of this stage, further on, the Sufis have coined three more terms.
FANA. A COMPLETE SUBJUGATION OF THE ANIMAL SELF.
At this stage, man ceases to be disturbed by an urge of desire. The only urge left in him, is prayerful surrender of his whole being. BAQA. This means a restoration of the self to a new consciousness this time not of the flesh, but of the spirit. The urges of the self are no longer from animal passions, but from the controlled spiritual region of Allah, invariably beneficial to humanity and creation. LIQA. This is the stage wherein mans spiritual knowledge rises to such a high pitch that the rewards for his faith, sincerity and devotion no longer remain a matter of belief, but becomes a palpable certainty and an experience, as if he had undergone them already. His faith in Allah reaches a point wherein it appears to him that he is seeing Him face to face. Such a man becomes free from all fears of the nature and from all sorrows of the present and past.
In such a state, man is free from all hesitation and obscurity of judgement and doubts and misgivings. In this state, the devotee feels tinted by the attributes of Allah in the manner of a piece of iron, eventually the colour transforming to that of fire if retained there at long enough. In moments of commotion such a mans feelings assimilate Divine powers, so much so, that this rapture produces the pleasure and blessings of Allah or his displeasure brings in the wrath and curse of Allah. Events seemingly contrary to the laws of nature occur through his action. Having received such powers from Allah, he could even possess a power of creation. He could create events and even determine the course of history.
After a pilgrim had entered the state of Fana which in the language of the Quran is called ISTI-QAMA, the next two stages of BAQA and LIQA follow as a matter of course. The reason is that, when a person becomes completely void of attachment to creation and desires and personal will, he automatically enters the state of BAQA.
As long as a man is not confirmed in the state of Fana self annihilation and his surrender to Allah does not become a spontaneous act, he cannot be deemed to be in the state of BAQA; which requires that all acts of devotion and surrender should become natural acts, not needing any effort. When such a state is attained, the man feels that all that belongs to him are really Allahs. While other people of the World may enjoy the satisfaction of their personal desires, such a person would relish the worship and remembrance of Allah.
Thus, when the pilgrim is confirmed in this state of BAQA and it becomes the warp and woof of his very being, a light would appear to descend from heaven and the mist of uncertainty would altogether be lifted from his heart, and filled instead with sweet feelings of love never experienced before. This would be accompanied frequently by a highly pleasant shower of divine communication diffusing a heavenly sweet aroma and atmosphere of coolness like that of spring breeze.
At this stage, the devotee would become so immersed in ecstacy that he would be prepared to sacrifice his all for the sake of Allah even his honour and very life. His heart becomes so much filled with light Divine that it would appear as if he is experiencing the effect of the rays of the midday sun within his bosom, and as if Allah himself had descended on his heart with all His glory. These are the signs of the state of LIQA. It should also be remembered that, while attainment of FANA is the result of Human effort, the two higher stages of BAQA and LIQA are the gifts of Allah proceeding from His grace.
The pilgrims spiritual struggle takes him up to the stage of FANA only. Thereafter, Divine grace takes him by the hand and carries him to the higher planes.
There are four varieties among men, One is who has no tongue and no heart, and he is a man of ordinary position, dull and lowly, who does not count with Allah and one who has nothing good him. He and people like him are like chaff which has no weight, unless Allah covers then with His mercy and guides their hearts towards faith in himself and moves the organs of their body in obedience to Himself. Beware that you do not become one of them nor entertain them nor yet stand among them. These are the people of chastisemont and wrath of Allah; they are the inhabitants of Fire and its inmates. Let us seek refuge of Allah from them.
You should, on the contrary, endeavour to be equipped with Divine knowledge and to be among the teachers of good and guides of religion. So beware that you should approach and invite them to obedience to Allah and warn them sinning against Allah. You will, then be a fighter in the cause of Allah and will receive the rewards of the Prophet and the messengers of Allah. The Holy Prophet (may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said to Hazrat Ali If Allah gives guidance to one person through your guiding him, it is better for you than that on which the sun rises.
The other kind of person is he who has got a tongue but no heart; he speaks wisdom, but does not act according to it. He calls people to Allah but himself flees from him. He abhors defects in others but he himself persists in having similar defects in himself. He shows to others his piety, but contends with Allah by committing major sins. When he is alone, he is like a wolf in clothes. The Prophet has warned and said The thing to be most afraid of and which I am afraid of in respect of my followers is the learned men who do evil. We normally seek the refuge of Allah from such learned men. So you should keep away from such a man and turn away from him, lest you should be misled by the sweetness of his talk contaminated by the fire of his sin, which will consume you, and the filth of his heart, which will smother you.
There is a third category of man who has a heart but no tongue but he is true believer. Allah has screened him away from his creation and hung around him His curtains to provide him and insight into the blemishes of his ownself, and enlightened his heart to make him aware of the mischief in mixing up with people and of the evil of talking and speaking and in ensuring safety in silence and retirement in a corner in keeping with what the prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said, Whoever kept silent attained salvation. Surely the service of Allah consists of ten parts, nine of which are in the silence. Thus this man is a friend of Allah in his secret, and is protected and possessed of safety and abundant intelligence. He is the companion of the Beneficient Allah, and is blessed with his favours.
So mind you, you must keep company with such a man and with him and endear yourself to him by fulfilling the needs which he may want. If you so do, Allah will love you and choose you and include you in the company of His pious servants and shower His blessings, if it pleases Him.
The fourth category of man is one who is invited to the World invisible, clothed in dignity, as it is related in the Hadeeth. Whoever learns and acts upon his learning and imparts it to others, is invited to the World invisible and made great. Such a man is possessed of the knowledge of Allah and his sign; and his heart becomes the repository of the rare secrets of His knowledge kept hidden from other to be released only to those whom He has selected. He is drawn towards Himself and expands his heart for the acceptance of these secrets in order to make him a worker in His cause to invite Allahs servants to the path of virtue and to act as a warner against chastisement of evil deeds as a guide and accepted intercessor who verifies the truth of others.
Such a person achieves culminating point of perfection among mankind and there is no station above this, excepting that of prophethood. Therefore, it is your duty to be aware that you do not oppose such a person and be averse to him or to keep away from him. Do not be hostile to him or avoid accepting him. Be attentive to what he says and admonishes.
When you find in your heart any hatred or love for a person, examine his actions in the light of the book of Allah and the practice of the Prophet. Then, if these are not in accord with these two authorities, be happy to seek refuge in Allah and His prophet. But if his actions are in accord with them but you are opposed to him, then realise that you are opposed to your law desires. You are hating him on account of your low desire unjust to him on account of your hatred towards him and thereby rebelling against Allah, the Almighty the Glorious and His Prophet and opposing both the Quran and Hadith.
Turn therefore towards Allah repenting for your hatred and ask Him for love for that man and the others and from the friends of Allah and His Walis and the pious among His servants. You would then please Allah.
Make your life after death your capital investment and your worldly life its profit. Spend your time, first of all, in acquiring your life after death. Then if any surplus time is left, spend it in acquiring worldly life, and in seeking your livelihood. But do not make your wordly life your capital investment and your life after death, your profit, trying
to utilise any surplus time left, to obtain your life after death by fulfilling obligations of five prayers, like putting different things all together in a single melting pot, and thereby upsetting the order of various obligations and the intervals of fulfillment lying between them you become so exhausted and agitated, you resort to sleep neglecting your duty of prayers, like a dead body at night and make use of the day to serve your animal self and desires, and Satan. It is tantamount to your selling youre hereafter in exchange for your worldly life, having become a slave of your animal self.
You are commanded to ride your animal self and discipline it, to exercise and traverse on it towards the paths of safety. Thus is the way to life eternal and submission to its Lord. But you act otherwise by succumbing to its urges and handing over to it, its own reins to follow its low desires and enjoyments. You thereby allign yourself with its passions and miss the best things of this life and of the hereafter. You enter on the Day of judgement the poorest of men and a great loser.
On the other hand if you correctly, traverse the path of the hereafther as your capital investment you will gain in your wordly life as well as in the hereafter. Your destined portion of this worlds life would have come to you with all its pleasantness and you would have been secure and respected. Thus, the prophet has said, Surelly Allah gives facility in this Worlds life on the intention pertaining to the hereafter, whereas the felicity of hereafter is not given on the intention pertaining to this worlds life. Intention for the hereafter is submission to Allah because such intention is the very soul of Allah because such intention is the very soul of service.
So when you obey Allah with obstinacy both in life and in seeking the abode of hereafter, you are among the choosen ones of Allah loving Him and yearning for the life hereafter. Paradise and nearness to Allah will be your reward. The world will be at your service and the portion allotted to you therein will in full measure because everything is subordinate to its Creator and Master. But if you become engrossed in worldly life and turn your face away from the hereafter; The Lord will be displeased with you. You will lose the hereafter and the world will be disobedience to you in that you will encounter trouble and difficulty in obtaining your allotted portion that emanates from Allah. The truth of the saying of the Prophet "The world and the hereafter are two co-wives. If your please any of the hereafter are two the other become angry with you establishes itself Allah the Mighty Glorious says Surcly there are among you, who desire this worlds life and some other are among you, who desire the hereafter. Safety lies in following the book of Allah and the practice of the prophet, and destruction, in what is besides them. With the help of these two, the servant of Allah rises towards the state of Wilayath.
IT IS INCUMBENT ON A BELIEVER THAT HE SHOULD FIRST FULFIL THE OBLIGATROY DUTIES. WHEN HE FULFILS THEM, HE SHOULD OBSERVE SUNNA THE PRACTICE OF THE PROPHET. IT IS ONLY WHEN HE HAS COMPLIED WITH THESE,THAT HE SHOULD EXTEND TO OBSERVE OPTIONAL AND EXTRA DUTIES. SO WHEN, ONE HAS NOT PERFORMED HIS OBLIGATORY DUTIES, BUT ENDEAVOURS TO OBSERVE SUNNA, IT WILL BE FOOLISHNESS AND STUPIDITY. IF HE OBSERVES SUNNA AND NAFAL OR SUPEREROGATORY DUTIES BEFORE HE HAS PERFORMED HIS OBLIGATORY DUTIES, THESE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FROM.
His example is like that of a man who is asked by the king to serve him. But he does not go to the king but stays to serve the chief, who is under the king, and his power and sovereignty. It is reported by Hazrat son of Abu Talib (Allah be pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said, THE INSTANCE OF A MAN WHO SAYS SUPEREROGATORY PRAYERS WHILE HE IS IN ARREARS WITH REGARD TO HIS OBLIGATORY PRAYERS, IS LIKE THE INSTANCE OF A PREGNANT WOMAN WHO CARRIES THE BABY WITH HER BUT WHEN SHE APPROACHES THE TIME OF DELIVERY, ABORTION TAKES PLACE. THUS SHE NO LONGER REMAINS PREGNANT NOR DOES SHE BECOME A MOTHER. SIMILAR IS THE CASE OF THE PRAYING MAN FROM WHOM ALLAH DOES NOT ACCEPT SUPEREROGATORY PRAYERS SO LONG AS HE HAS NOT PERFORMED HIS OBLIGATORY PRAYERS. It is similar to the business of a man who thinks that he can not have any profit, unless he has first laid his hand on the capital, similar to the supererogatory prayers of one, which will not be accepted unless he has first fulfilled to his obligatory prayers.
Similar is the case of one who discards the Sunna but takes to supererogatory Prayers outside the obligatory duties. Among the obligatory duties the discarding of unlawful things, of associating any thing with Allah, of taking exception to His dispensation and decrees, of responding to peoples voice and following their wishes and of turning away from the commandment of Allah and from obedience to Him. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) has said No obedience is due to any man where sinning against Allah is involved.