Alif is first Arabic letter. However, in mysticism it means Allah and if we dive into the depths of Sufism then it is important to mention here that Alif is often used by Sultan Bahoo to mean Ism-e-Allah Zaat (Alif / Alif Allah) and it is translated as the personal name of Allah.
Ism-e-Allah Zaat is given in Sarwari Qadri order for invocation and contemplation to reach the most elevated heights of Sufism. To name these stations is often received with criticism yet one must not hesitate in speaking the truth. Ism-e-Allah Zaat (Alif / Alif Allah) leads to Divine vision (Deedar-e-Elahi) and presence in the Mohammadan Assembly but one condition to oblige is that it must is provided by the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide.
In this article you will find repetition of words Alif and Alif Allah but I must assure you that it is for clarity of concepts. Without further ado let’s dive into ‘Alif Allah’ the blog.
Alif Allah the Quatrain
الف اللّٰہُ چنبے دی بوٹی، میرے من وچ مرشد لائی ھُو
نفی اثبات دا پانی ملیس، ہر رگے ہر جائی ھُو
اندر بوٹی مُشک مچایا، جاں پھلاں تے آئی ھُو
جیوے مرشد کامل باھُو، جیں ایہہ بوٹی لائی ھُو
In aforementioned quatrain, Sultan Bahoo has likened Ism-e-Allah Zaat with jasmine. First and foremost, he is the pioneer Mystic who has used the metaphor of jasmine for Ism-e-Allah Zaat. Its seedling is planted in the earth, it grows slowly into a plant laden with flowers whose fragrance envelops surroundings. Similar to it, when a spiritual guide bestows the seeker with contemplation and invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, he plants a seedling into the seeker’s inward and in the care of spiritual guide the light of Ism-e-Allah Zaat gradually envelops the whole being of the true seeker enlightening it.
Sultan Bahoo says:
May Allah bless my spiritual guide with a long life who has bestowed me Ism-e-Allah Zaat and has opened all its Divine secrets with his perfect spiritual attention as he is boundlessly merciful, kind and affectionate! Firstly, he has revealed the reality of لَآ اِلٰہَ which means there is no God, hence negated everything within me except Allah and removed all the idols from my inward. Secondly, he also taught me the reality of اِلَّا اللّٰہُ which means ‘only Allah’ by affirming the Divine Essence in me and elevated me by the recognition of Essence through the name.
Now this Divine secret has penetrated my entire existence. Ism-e-Allah Zaat has enveloped whole of my being making me witness all its secrets and mysteries and now I wish to disclose it before the entire world. However, these Divine secrets are for the special ones and cannot be opened on the commonality. It has become hard to live because I am bearing these magnificent secrets and mysteries. Now wherever I turn my eyes I see only Ism-e-Allah Zaat, not only spiritually but physically as well. My condition resembles the Quranic verse:
“So, whichever direction you turn to, there is Divine Countenance.” (2:115)
لَآ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰہِ
Meaning: There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah.
Recitation of shahada along with inward verification is faith and the first part of shahada ‘There is no God but Allah’ is declaration of His Oneness which is pillar of Islam. Accepting it makes one fortunate and vice versa.
Holy Prophet said in Sahih Muslim:
“Two things makes two things compulsory.”
A companion asked, “O Prophet! Which two things make two things compulsory?”
Holy Prophet said, “One who associate partners with Allah will go to hell and one who does not will go in heaven.”
Another Hadith goes as:
The Holy Prophet said, “One who recites, ‘There is no God but Allah,’ (makes it his religion and stays firm on these words) and dies, he will go to heaven.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
Negation and affirmation in spirituality
In spirituality, the reality of shahada is that the words ‘there is no God (لَآ الٰہَ) mean ‘the station of mysticism’. The words ‘but Allah’ (اِلَّا اللّٰہ) is the ‘the station of reality’ and ‘Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah’ (مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰہِ) is ‘the station of sharia’.
Another explanation is that the words ‘there is no God’ (لَآ الٰہَ) mean ‘negation’ and the words ‘but Allah’ (اِلَّا اللّٰہ) is ‘affirmation’.
What is negation?
Negation is to kill all the inward and outward idols with the sword of ‘No’ (لَآ) and to make no partners with Allah and it is to declare that one has broken all the idols for Allah and to accept no one equal to Him. He is the one who bestows and He is the one who loves the most.
Allah provides the sustenance and protects from all kinds of evil. One owes his life to Almighty. He is omnipresent and forgiver of sins. Allah is enough and one should only worship Him. To negate one’s innerself (an-nafs), relations and every other things for Allah is negation (لَآ الٰہَ) but only with tongue rather actions as well. Otherwise one is a hypocrite. Negation is first step and second is affirmation. One declares on reaching the station of affirmation that Allah is the most beautiful and perfect in His Essence and attributes that no one is worthy of worship but He. He is omnipresent. One must see that everywhere is His manifestation. He holds command over everything.
Reciting shahada sincerely
The Holy Prophet said:
اِقْرَارٌ بِالِلّسَانِ وَتَصْدِیْقٌ بِالْقَلْب
Meaning: Recite from tongue and accept from inward.
It is of utmost importance to inwardly accept which leads to negation and affirmation. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said:
قَائِلُوْنَ لَآ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ کَثِیْرًا وَالْمُخْلِصُوْنَ قَلیْلٌ
Meaning: There are many who recite shahada verbally but only a few recite it sincerely by inward.
Sultan Bahoo says;
“If one’s inward does not verify the shahada, then reciting it by tongue merely will not benefit him.” (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali says:
“Shahada is the foundation of a Muslim. It should be noted that when a common person recites shahada, he declares just by his tongue that there is no one to be worshipped except Allah and Mohammad is the Prophet of Allah. By saying this, he becomes a Muslim. While the blessed ones say it with inward verification (after having the observation) but the Mystics actually experience it by reaching its core.” (Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali Life and Teachings)
Sultan Bahoo’s poetry
زبانی کلمہ ہر کوئی پڑھدا، دل دا پڑھدا کوئی ھُو
جتھے کلمہ دل دا پڑھئے، اوتھے ملے زبان ناں ڈھوئی ھُو
دِل دا کلمہ عاشق پڑھدے، کی جانن یار گلوئی ھُو
ایہہ کلمہ مینوں پیر پڑھایا باھوؒ، میں سدا سوہاگن ہوئی ھُو
Explanation: It should be noted that everyone can recite shahada verbally but there are few who verify inwardly. Additionally, when lovers find its reality then there remains no need to recite with tongue because that is the station of Divine vision. Only the lovers of Divine Essence can recite shahada in this way. Alternatively, people with verbiage are unable to understand its secret. My perfect spiritual guide has taught me to recite with inward verification, so I have become fortunate in the world and the hereafter. (Abyat-e-Bahoo Kamil)
لَآ اِلٰہَ گل گہناں مڑھیا، مذہب کی لگدا سالا ھُو
اِلَّا اللّٰہُ گھر میرے آیا، جیں آن اٹھایا پالا ھُو
اساں بھر پیالہ خضروں پیتا باھُوؒ، آب حیاتی والا ھُو
Explanation: Importantly, I have nothing to do with any sect because the secret of negation has been revealed upon me. As well as the reality of affirmation is that no one is worthy of worship but Allah. All kinds of fears have evaded my inward when I came to know of both negation and affirmation. Therefore, I have become eternal by drinking from the goblet of elixir of life. (Abyat-e-Bahoo Kamil)
From whom to obtain guidance
Without guidance man cannot reach at the station of inward verification. Therefore, one requires the guidance of an exalted personality to reach Oneness crossing the station of negation and affirmation. That personality is the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide. About him the Holy Prophet has said:
“First find the companion then set on the journey.”
If we look at the age of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) then he was the guide of sacred Companions. Unquestionably, what Companions accomplished it was solely due to the company and guidance of the Holy Prophet. Moreover, a sacred personality is present in every age who is on the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad. Who guides seekers of Allah and purifies them according to the Prophetic way. He takes them to the core of shahada and crux of faith.
Sayings of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen
To reach the station of Oneness of Allah (Tawhid), it is important to be indifferent from the love, desire and fear of everything other than Allah. Being indifferent from everything besides Allah is Oneness.
- It is important to sanctify the soul and purge the inciting innerself to bear inward verification of shahada.
- Undoubtedly, the Divine Oneness means that only Allah exists in the inward and the outward.
- Tawhid or the Divine Oneness for the believer (Mumin) is that he annihilates and then becomes immortal with Allah. He must be One with Allah.
This is the age where people follow innerself more than inward. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen the present spiritual guide of Sarwari Qadri order is guiding people on the straight path. Likewise, His seekers verifies shahada inwardly and reach its core by his blessing. Last but not least, Tehreek Dawat e Faqr gives open invitation to everyone who wishes to receive these blessings.
This blog is English translation of an Urdu article of the magazine ‘Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore’ for the month of October, 2019. The title of the Urdu article is:
نفی اور اثبات | Nafi aur Asbat
Originally penned by Noreen Abdul Ghafoor Sarwari Qadri from Sialkot is presently in English by Sahibzadi Muneeza Najib Sarwari Qadri exclusively for the website. Do not forget to visit the original article to which you only have to click the link
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