Faqr – The soul of Islam
Sultan Bahoo has neither called his teachings mysticism nor spirituality, rather he titled them as Faqr.
Faqr is famous among the masses as poverty, destitution and hard times. Literally Faqr meaning in English is indigence but more important is that Mystics describe it as the purpose of a person’s life about which the Prophet said:
الفقر فخری والفقر منی
Meaning: Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me.
اَلْفَقْرُ فَخْرِیْ وَالْفَقْرُ مِنِّیْ فَافْتَخِرُّ بِہ ٖ عَلیٰ سَائِرِ الْاَنْبِیَآءِ وَالْمُرْسَلِیْنَ
Meaning: Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me and Faqr is the reason of my superiority over all the Prophets and Messengers. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
اَلْفَقْرُ کَنْزٌ مِنْ کَنُوْزِ اللّٰہِ تَعَالیٰ
Meaning: Faqr is one of the treasures of Allah.
Faqr is that spiritual level at which a man becomes indifferent to all kinds of needs. Moreover he only keep in view Allah’s will. For this reason, in every condition he maintains conformity with the foreordainment. Thus he neither asks for anything from Allah than His proximity nor does he desire or need anything from other than Allah. Such a person considers it a sin to interfere in Allah’s will. Hence, submits to it and other than proximity and presence in the court of Allah he has no aim or request.
Faqr e Iqbal
- The national poet of Pakistan and the great Mystic, Allama Iqbal, says about Faqr:
کسے خبر کہ ہزاروں مقام رکھتا ہے
وہ فقر جس میں ہے بے پردہ روحِ قرآنی
خودی کو جب نظر آ تی ہے قاہری اپنی
یہی مقام ہے کہتے ہیں جس کو سلطانی
یہی مقام ہے مومن کی قوتوں کا عیار
اسی مقام سے ہے آدم ظلِ سبحانی
Explanation: Very few know, in fact who knows, about the jewel of all jewels that is none other than the Divine Essence Himself. Moreover the Essence is unveiled at the final station in the way of Faqr. When the soul of a devotee reaches the peak of its potential then this is the rank where Divinity blesses him with the esteemed title of Sultan. To clarify Sultan is that final station which is the zenith of the strengths of true believers. It is this station due to which a man becomes, al-Insan al-Kamil, the Universal Divine Man, a true reflection of Allah Almighty.
لفظ اسلام سے اگر یورپ کو کد ہے تو خیر
دوسرا نام اسی دین کا ہے فقرِ غیور
Explanation: It does not matter if Europe resents the word ‘Islam’. Indeed another name for the same religion is ‘Faqr’, the most honoured.
اک فقر ہے شبیریؓ‘ اس فقر میں ہے میری
میراثِ مسلمانی‘ سرمایہ شبیریؓ
Explanation: Faqr is from Husayn ibn Ali razi Allah anhu which gives strength of jihad against false forces, be it exoteric or esoteric. Truly such Faqr makes one leader in the world. Moreover it is the heritage of true believers and the asset of Husayn ibn Ali.
FAQR ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS OF SULTAN BAHOO
Sultan ul Arifeen Sultan Bahoo says the following about Faqr:
Faqr is exactly the Divine Essence. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Bahoo who is a Fakir, exhorts that whoever wants to have the Divine vision and proximity, must acquire Faqr. Moreover it is the way of invocation, meditation, love and gnosis of Allah (marifa / marifat). (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Faqr is the secret of Allah and Allah is the secret of Faqr. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
I am the scholar of knowledge of vision of Allah and I behold His light everywhere. Hence, except the knowledge of Divine vision, I do not study any other knowledge. Neither I do nor I know any other kind of invocation, reflection and meditation. As every knowledge is in fact for the sake of vision of Allah (which I already have). (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
I am proficient in the knowledge of Divine vision and study its lessons only. As a matter of fact I have attained these ranks by the benevolence of the sacred company of the Prophet, his Companions and the People of the Cloak (Ahl al-Bayt). (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
Faqr is the eternal life. (Nur-ul-Huda Kalan)
Faqr is the secret of Allah. (Mohabbat-ul-Asrar)
The Holy Prophet, the ultimate granter of Al Faqr
Sultan Bahoo further says:
You must know that all the Prophets requested for Faqr but Allah did not grant their request. Actually, Allah bestowed Faqr upon Prophet Mohammad sall’Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam who entrusted it to his umma. Moreover this Al Faqr of Prophet Mohammad is his pride and Faqr is the ultimate beneficence. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
All the Prophets humbly requested for Al Faqr in the court of Allah Almighty. Additionally to be the umma of Prophet Mohammad but Allah did not grant their request. Whosoever is blessed with the presence in the Mohammadan Assembly, he associated himself with the Faqr of the Prophet because neither is there and nor there will be any station beyond and worth more pride than Faqr. Also it is eternal life. (Nur-ul-Huda Kalan)
Miraj in words of Sultan Bahoo
On the night of Miraj, the Prophet mounted al-Buraq and Archangel Gabriel escorted him. By the same token the whole universe decorated and eighteen thousand worlds adorned and presented before him. Then from there onwards, Gabriel stopped advancing (as he could not go beyond the realm of power (alam al-jabarut عالم جبروت ) for it is only the destiny of human beings). In spite of all aforementioned arrangements, the Prophet remained engrossed in beholding Allah, nothing drew his attention away. Hence Allah said:
مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغٰی
Meaning: His sight neither turned aside nor was overbold. (An-Najm 17)
When the Prophet reached the utmost boundary of creation (Sidrat al-Muntaha), he beheld the Face of Faqr and enjoyed the status of Sultan ul Faqr. There he absorbed the resplendent light of Faqr and then was honoured by proximity and union with Allah at the point of ultimate nearness (Qab Qausain). Allah blessed him with the honour of having conversation directly with Him. Then he advanced to the ultimate stage of Faqr which is to annihilate in Allah and became the companion of Faqr being One with the Essence. Thus acquired all the virtues of love, gnosis, intense longing and yearning for the Beloved, intellect, tolerance, kindness and generosity
تَخَلَّقُوْا بَاَخْلَاقِ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی
Meaning: Let yourself be possessed by the attributes of Allah.
Entire ocean of Oneness gathered in the Prophet
Sultan Bahoo continued describing the incident of Miraj as follows in his book Mehak-ul- Al Faqr Kalan:
When the entire ocean of Oneness gathered in the Prophet’s self on reaching the final stage of Faqr, he said, “Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me.” When he returned to his sacred Companions and the reality of Al Faqr manifested from his sacred self, a great number longed for it on hearing about the ecstasies of gnosis of Al Faqr from him. On this, Allah said to His beloved Prophet, “O Mohammad! Keep your attention towards these Fakirs because they are the ones who are always engrossed in the invocation of Allah.”
Then the Prophet said, “Praise be to Allah! Now, I will obey this order of Allah at every moment.” (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat
The inception of Faqr is contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
The special way to reach Allah by contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the way of Faqr. (Kaleed-e-Jannat)
What Faqr means?
One must know that pursuing Faqr is in fact seeking Allah and His Prophet. Hence, it is following the sacred Companions and Saints. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
The three levels of Faqr (Stations of Sufi path)
There are three levels of Faqr. First is annihilation, negating existence of any other God (لَآاِلٰہَ). Second is becoming immortal with Allah ( اِلَّا اللّٰہُ ) and third is the final level to be the guide for people by becoming one with Prophet Mohammad ( مُحَمَّدٌرَّسُوۡلُ اللّٰہِ ). Thus, Fakir is One with Allah and stranger to everyone else. In short whosoever attaches with the world detaches from Allah, as attachment and detachment cannot occur at the same time. Until one annihilates, one cannot become immortal. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Perfect spiritual guide is compulsory for pursuing Faqr
It is not an uncomplicated undertaking treading the path of Faqr, inwardly. As there are countless ordeals at every station of the different strata of the Divine Essence and the attributes. Additionally it is the path pursuing which thousands of seekers were lost. In this path, the association with the perfect spiritual guide is compulsory. In fact, the perfect spiritual guide never lets a seeker go astray keeping him under his perpetual attention, inwardly as well as physically. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Initial and supreme levels of Faqr
Initial stage of Faqr is:
مُوْتُوْا قَبْلَ اَنْ تَمُوْتُوْا
Meaning: Death before dying.
One achieves it by the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. The supreme level of Faqr is that by the contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat a seeker annihilates in Allah becoming light. Hence he becomes the secret of the Prophet and finds the blessing of presence in the court of Allah. His presence is the station of:
مَعَ اللّٰہِ وَقْتٌ لَّا یَسْعُنِیْ فِیْہٖ مَلَکٌ مُقَرَّبٌ وَ لَا نَبِیٌّ مُرْسَلٌ
Meaning: There are times of such closeness with Allah when neither any Prophet nor any angel can come between us.
These stations are of a Fakir annihilated in Allah who drowns in the Oneness and the Divine light. Moreover he is engrossed in beholding Allah and finds the blessing of proximity with Allah. He is Allah’s beloved and spiritual confidant. (Israr-e-Qadri)
Faqr begins with tears and concludes at extreme adoration. First stage of Faqr is contemplation and final stage is possessing the authority. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Grandeur of Faqr
1- نظر فقرش گنج قدمش گنج بر
فقر لایحتاج شد صاحبِ نظر
2- فقر بگزرد از ہر مقامِ خاص و عام
شرطِ شرح فقر را کردم تمام
3- عین با عین است عین از عین یافت
عین را با عین عارف عین ساخت
Explanation: (1) One glance of Faqr is full of treasures because Faqr has them all in its custody. Still, Faqr desires nothing except Allah. (2) The magnificent status of Faqr is far and above all the honourable stages and ranks and this most dignified position of Faqr explains it completely. (3) Faqr is the way in which a person acquires the Essence from the Essence becoming One. Hence, when a Mystic becomes Allah’s exact manifestation he perfectly manifests His Essence as well as His entire attributes. (Nur-ul-Huda Kalan)
1.فقر رحمت راز وحدت نور حق
زیر پائے فقیر باشد ہر طبق
2.ہر کہ بیند فقر را عارف شود
فقیر را از فقر وحدت می شود
3.فقر یک نظر است نظرش باخدا
فقر یک سخن است سخن از مصطفیؐ
Explanation: (1) Faqr is the supreme blessing and the secret of Oneness with the eternal light. Fakir has all the layers of earth and heavens under his feet. (2) One who observes Faqr becomes Mystic immortal with Allah. A Fakir gets the honour of the status of Oneness with Allah due to Faqr. (3) Faqr is the glance by Allah, Faqr is speech by the Prophet. (Miftah-ul-Arifeen)
What letters of word Faqr mean?
Faqr has three Arabic alphabets: ف (FA), ق (Q) and ر (R). First letter ف (FA) means Allah is imparting beneficence, mercy and benevolence on His seeker. Second letter ق (Q) means not to neglect doomsday inwardly and becoming empowered and dominant over innerself due to contentment and proximity with Allah. Lastly, the third letter ر (R) is not to wish any designation in Faqr but the Divine will. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Faqr has three Arabic alphabets; ف (FA), ق (Q) and ر (R). First letter ف (FA) is annihilation of innerself. Second letter ق (Q) is remembering death and lastly the third letter ر (R) is spirituality. Correspondingly, Faqr means, ‘death before dying’. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Faqr is servitude and devotion
Faqr of the Prophet and gnosis of Oneness of Allah are total servitude and devotion. On the other hand, worldly levels of respect and honour are nothing but filth. Fakirism and Dervishism is Sunna of Prophets. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Annihilation in Allah
Faqr begins with passion and longing and concludes at annihilation in Allah. Hence, Faqr starts with simple knowledge but its accomplishment lies in attaining to the level of:
عٰلِمُ الۡغَیۡبِ وَ الشَّہَادَۃِ ۚ ہُوَ الرَّحۡمٰنُ الرَّحِیۡمُ ﴿۲۲﴾
Meaning: The Knower of the unseen and the seen. He alone is the most Kind and Ever-Merciful. (Al-Hashr-22)
The beginning of Faqr is:
فَفِرُّوۡۤا اِلَی اللّٰہِ ؕ
Meaning: Run towards Allah.
Its peak is:
قُلۡ ہُوَ اللّٰہُ اَحَدٌ ۚ﴿۱﴾
Meaning: Say! Allah is One. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
What are the initial, middle and final stages of Faqr?
Faqr commenced before pre-existence and will sustain even after eternity. In the beginning of spiritual journey of Faqr, one adopts silence and then on reaching its final stage one experiences intense pain (of love and fear of Allah). In the beginning of this journey, the inward of the seeker is filthy and impure while at the final level it is sanctified and subtle. Furthermore the beginning of Faqr is to find the blessing of the rank of a Saint and its peak is to reach beyond infinity. The first stage of Faqr is renouncing (the world), middle stage is detachment (from creation) and final stage is to drown in Oneness of Allah.
The first stage of Faqr is seeking, middle stage is achieving and final stage is overcoming the innerself where the inward dominates the outward being. In the beginning the seeker is veiled, then he becomes mad in the love of Allah and finally he becomes His beloved.
The reality of secret of the secrets of Faqr is in the book of inward which one cannot obtain without the help of the spiritual guide. This secret is not in any word of any sentence on any page of any book nor by just invocation, meditation or by drowning in ecstatic spiritual states. Initial level of Faqr is annihilating, middle level is separation from both the worlds and final level is becoming One with Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Three kinds of scholars
Know that there are three kinds of scholars. One are those who are people of the world and give its information. Second are the scholars of hereafter who inform about the houris, castles, blessings and pleasures of the paradise. Third are the Fakirs who impart knowledge about Allah Himself. The lusts of the world at last lead to perdition.
For the seeker who has reached the final level of Faqr, worrying about his life in the hereafter is also a veil. Hence, he must abstain from both, worldly lusts and worries of the hereafter, this is the right approach. Firstly he should free himself from the chains of worldly relations and then try to discover the Truth and Reality. For the Fakirs, drowning in Divine Oneness for a moment is better than achieving the rank of Prophet Moses who had the honour to converse with Allah and know His secrets because drowning in Divine Oneness is the honour of Prophet Mohammad. Faqr is the final Miraj for me as I have forbidden the world as well as the hereafter upon myself. Beginning of Faqr lies in slavehood while accomplishment grants Lordship. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Three levels of certainty (yaqin) and Faqr
True Fakir is the one in whose being sharia is. Even if he is spiritually frenzied and stationed in the Divine world since eternity. Initial level of Faqr is the knowledge of certainty (ilm al-yaqin), middle level is the eye of certainty (ayn al-yaqin) and final level is the truth of certainty (haq al-yaqin). Now the beginning of Faqr is to find blessing of the spiritual insight and accomplishment is in annihilation and ‘death before dying’. When one dies, he is detached and absolved of everything.
Important to realize is that Fakir is the one who fulfills all obligations, whether eternal or daily, monthly, seasonal and yearly. The foremost obligation is to consider Allah Omnipresent and all-Seeing while the greatest Sunna is to sacrifice your every possession in the way of Allah. Faqr begins with right faith, sincerity and belief in the spiritual guide. While it accomplishes on finding the blessing of the company of Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
The Universal Divine Man is under the command of the Prophet
Listen! The existence of Fakirs is the symbol of power of Allah. One can describe their power by the incident that when the Prophet prayed for defeat of the infidels by saying:
Meaning: Let their faces be mutilated.
It happened as he uttered (so the power of Fakirs is that whatever they order, is done). Additionally, the secret (level) of Fakirs is beyond the utmost boundary of creation. Bahoo who is also Fakir says that the level of Fakir annihilated and engrossed in Allah is more distinguished and dignified than the level of all the pious, successful and honourable ones as well as all the Saints of Sufi hierarchy. Moreover it is more distinguished and dignified than Shaikhs, ascetics and worshippers. He is above them all because he is the ruler of the realm of Divinity (alam al-LaHoot لاھوت ). By the grace of Allah, the Universal Divine Man (Fakir) is only under the command of the Prophet whose ultimate closeness with Allah is in Quran as:
فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوۡسَيۡنِ اَوۡ اَدۡنٰى
Meaning: Then a distance measuring only two bow-length was left (between Allah unveiled and His esteemed beloved) or even less than that (in extreme nearness). (An-Najm-09)
His dignified title is ‘the light of guidance’. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
What is accomplishment in Faqr?
What is the sign of station of accomplishment of Faqr? It is the station which is beyond intellect, recitation, invocation and meditation. Moreover where there is absolute Divinity, there is only the (soundless) voice of secret of the Divine Essence (Hoo ھو ). Where there is the king, no one can shout or make noise because the kings do not like noise. So, where there is the Eternal, there isn’t any noise or fault. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Faqr and knowledge
Sultan Bahoo said:
فقر چیست؟ یعنی خود فنا
از علم خود می شود کبر و ریا
Explanation: O Bahoo what is Faqr? It is to annihilate oneself. On the contrary, knowledge boasts arrogance and hypocrisy.
Station of no station (la makan)
Sultan Bahoo said:
باھوؒ فقر دانی چیست دائم در لاھوت
فقر را بہتر بود ہر دم سکوت
Explanation: Bahoo what do you know about Faqr? It is the name of ever residing in station of no station and for this a devotee needs eternal silence.
The person accomplished in Faqr is indifferent to both the worlds
فقر شاہے ہر دو عالم بے نیاز وباخدا
احتیاجش کس نہ باشد مدِنظرش مصطفٰیؐ
Explanation: The person accomplished in Faqr is a king, who because of proximity with Allah is indifferent to both the worlds. Hence, he has no inclinations as he remains in the sight of the Prophet. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Run towards Allah
راہِ فقر فیض است فیض عام
راہِ دنیا شرک است مطلق تمام
ترکِ دنیا وہ بیا راہِ خدا
فقر راہِ ہدایت ہادی مصطفٰیؐ
Explanation: The way of Faqr is the ultimate bounty for everyone. While the ways of the material world are absolute infidelity. Therefore you must leave this world and turn towards Faqr, the righteous way to Allah, which the Prophet himself guides. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Fakir is independent
جاودانی التجائی بافقر باشد تمام
احتیاج از کس نہ باشد فقر لایحتاج نام
Explanation: When one perfects Faqr there remains absolutely no need to implore or beseech. Hence, he has no drives from anyone, to say he is independent, for Faqr has no needs. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Faqr is being independent of all but Allah. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan, Ain-ul-Faqr)
Faqr is Divine light (Nur)
فقر از نور است نور از نور شد
قلب قالب نور و جان مغفور شد
Explanation: Faqr is the Divine light. Its light converts the seeker into light as well. As a result his physical and spiritual beings transform into one and is pardoned completely. (Qurb-e-Deedar)
Faqr is secret of Allah
فقر سری از خدا اسرار راز
با حضوری قلب قالب بانماز
Explanation: Faqr is one of the great secrets of Allah which grants Divine presence to the body and soul of seeker during salat. (Qurb-e-Deedar)
Faqr, Divine Trust and Oneness
1-فقر سِرّ از رازِ وحدت حق نظر
فقر خاص الخاص از حق باخبر
2-نیست فقرش با زمین و آسمان
فقر را فقرش شناسد از عیان
3-فقر بحرِ فیض و فضلش کرم و جود
روز و شب فقرش بود باحق سجود
4-باھوؒ ! برکاتِ فقر از ذاتِ جو
ہر چہ باشد غیر حق از دِل بشو
Explanation: (1) Faqr is the secret of Oneness of Allah and is always attentive towards Him. That is why, Faqr has complete gnosis. (2) The skies, earth and mountains cannot bear the Trust of Faqr. Only a Fakir recognizes another Fakir due to the evident signs of Faqr. (3) Faqr is an ocean of Allah’s kindness, generosity and bounties. Faqr remains prostrated before Allah day and night. (4) Bahoo! To seek the blessing of Faqr from Allah Himself, removes everything from your inward except Allah. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Faqr imparts blessings and bounties
گر آفتاب گم شود عالم خراب
فقر فیض و فضل بخش آفتاب
Explanation: If sun hides it will cause desolation in the universe. Al Faqr is the sun which imparts blessings and bounties. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Try to achieve Faqr in one step
فقر را دریاب بہ یک دم قدم
ابتدا و انتہا فقرش ختم
Explanation: O seeker of Allah, attain the treasure of Al Faqr in one moment and in one step because the initiation and exaltation of Faqr is achievable in a moment. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Which is the highest rank of a Fakir?
What is the ultimate level of gnosis of Allah for a scholarly Fakir and which is the highest rank of a Fakir? Is it to possess authority upon every common and special creation of eighteen thousand worlds? No! I am not wrong when I call it an imperfect level. As the extremity of Faqr is to surpass the desires of innerself, annihilate in Allah becoming immortal with Him and immerse in the Divine vision and observations which make the inward replete with Divine light. This is the rank of the Fakir who has approached the truth of certainty and finds the blessing with ultimate station of Divine presence and closeness. The irreligious seekers who are men of inciting innerself know nothing of these levels. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Faqr is experience
The ranks of Faqr are only known to a person who has reached Faqr, acquired and experienced Faqr and has seen Sultan ul Faqr with his eyes. (Asrar-e-Qadri)
Faqr and Truth
Faqr is the Truth and world is falsehood. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
What is commencement of gnosis of Faqr and what is its peak?
What is the commencement of gnosis of Faqr? And what is its peak? The beginning is mostly the levels of invocation, reflection, meditation, unveiling, destination, stations and miracles. Though they also relate to the theophanies of Divine light and to cross these stages is harder than facing countless pains and afflictions however this is just the start of gnosis. Hence, to cross the stations of spiritual contraction, expansion, intoxication and sobriety; facing intense trials; becoming engulfed in love only for Allah; yearning for Allah; being restless and perturbed; staying disturbed all night just to have a glimpse of Allah; to long for union with Allah by wishing death because of the promise of having His vision on the doomsday and to wish to sacrifice one’s life etc. are all the initial conditions of gnosis of Allah.
The highest point of Faqr is to witness Oneness by drowning in the light of Allah. It is thus to annihilate in Allah completely and engulfed in Oneness out of extreme passion to have His union. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Al Faqr and livelihood
Fate is of four types; Fakir’s fate is that whatever they eat or drink converts into light of gnosis. Their livelihood comes from trust upon Allah. This trust is the one from whichever way they receive it they consider it from Allah Himself. Some think that livelihood comes from a profession while others acquire knowledge to earn it and several take it by force i.e. through tyranny and transgression. The offices of felicity, dignity and honour are in the treasure of Faqr only. Allah bestows the greatest rank of Faqr upon those who become One with Allah. Those away from Allah remain deprived of Faqr. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Denier of Faqr is disgraced in both the worlds
If you have got the sight of Faqr, then turn towards the vision of Allah otherwise do not object upon the people of Divine vision and Faqr nor deny their grand status. It would destroy and disgrace you in both the worlds. (Qurb-e-Deedar)
Whoever considers Faqr of Prophet Mohammad useless, goes empty handed from this world. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
او نہ بیند فقر را آں زرد رو
زانکہ او را زر کشد با خجل سو
Explanation: The disgraced ones who run worriedly after the pale gold do not turn towards Faqr. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Lesser and greater jihad
It is the saying of the Prophet that Faqr is the greater jihad as it is to fight against innerself. The jihad with disbelievers is a lesser jihad and we are moving from the lesser Jihad to the greater one. He also said, “Every prophet has a calling and I have two callings one calling is Faqr and the other is Jihad. Who loved them, loved me and who held grudge against them, held grudge against me.” (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
What is Faqr?
What is Faqr? And where does it come from? Faqr manifests from light of Allah because the universe manifests from light of Faqr. In fact, it is guidance. Moreover, Faqr is a countenance which is beautiful to such an extent that both the worlds love him. However, Faqr does not pay heed to anything but by the Divine order and permission from the Prophet. (Taufeeq-ul-Hadayat)
Bounties of world are temporary whereas Al Faqr is never ending Oneness
Faqr has all the Divine treasures. Important to realize is that worldly treasures will decline and world is like a dream. However, the treasure of Faqr is gnosis and never ending Oneness which is real Divine union. Furthermore, bounties of physical world are for a few days, eventually you are accountable to Allah Almighty. (Taufeeq-ul-Hadayat)
Perfect spiritual guide the granter of Al Faqr
فقر را دریافتم از من فقیر
فقر حاصل گشت با فقرش نظر
Explanation: I have achieved Al Faqr by accomplishing in it. In fact, I received this honourable designation of Al Faqr from the perfect spiritual guide who is its exact embodiment. (Miftah-ul-Arifeen)
Al Faqr as in Sultan Bahoo’s book Kashf-ul-Asrar
Faqr is beneficence, Faqr is kindness, Faqr is compassion, Faqr is righteousness, Faqr is sainthood, Faqr is needlessness, Faqr is annihilation, Faqr is immortality, Faqr is surrendering and submitting to Allah’s will, Faqr is the Divine power, Faqr is accumulation of all (outward and inward) levels, Faqr is the Divine beauty and majesty, Faqr is knowledge, Faqr is the secret of all secrets, Faqr is the light of Divine presence, Faqr grants the whole intelligence and wisdom, Faqr is the beloved of Allah, Faqr is the master of the universe and king of the Solomon empire, Faqr is the treasure of authority over the alchemy and Faqr is life and death. (Kashf-ul-Asrar)
A person who accomplishes Al Faqr becomes Allah’s beloved. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
For the people of Al Faqr every day is requital of the Day of Judgement
فقر را ہر روز شد یوم الحشر
با حسابش عرصہ گاہی در نظر
Explanation: For the people of Al Faqr, every day is the doomsday. Therefore, they always keep in view the requital of the Day of Judgment. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Faqr is Divine Trust
فقر بار بس گران و ز جاودان
فقر را برداشتن فقرش بجان
Explanation: Faqr is the grandest and everlasting Trust. Only the one whose soul finds the blessing with it eternally, the Fakir, has the courage to bear it. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Different levels and ranks
You must know that every rank has a title and different levels such as levels of scholars, levels of Saints, levels of invokers, levels of men of meditation, unveiling, accountability and inward fight, levels of Mystics, levels of men of Divine union, levels of proximity with Allah, levels of Divine observations, levels of Divine light, levels of Divine presence, levels of Dawat, levels of Abdals, levels of Autads, levels of Akhiyars, levels of Ghawth, levels of Qutbs and the levels of Dervishes. All these levels relate to the spiritual flight of different spheres and the desires of innerself.
However none of these levels is equivalent to even the initial level of a Fakir, as Fakir surpasses all these levels of desires of innerself and drowns in the Divine Oneness. Actually, one attains this level by the beneficence of the powerful spiritual sight of the Mystic immortal with Allah. Only those know the actual level of Faqr who have acquired the Mohammadan Faqr and have drowned in the extremity of Divinity. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Faqr is countenance
O Bahoo what is Al Faqr? It is a countenance which is beautiful beyond any apprehension. It is the right path. Moreover this countenance is pure from all that is except Allah. Both the worlds are ardent to see this exquisite countenance. Whoever saw, found Allah. (Mohabbat-ul-Asrar)
Faqr and perseverance
Only that seeker remains steadfast upon Al Faqr who considers the hidden Divine treasures better than the treasures of the king of this world. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
An advice from Sultan of Mystics, Sultan Bahoo
Whatever you see in the way of Faqr other than Allah, is a brigand. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Sultan Bahoo says, “My words are according to my experience.”
Some people just know the name of Faqr. Whereas some just reach the level of inspiration of Al Faqr and some approach only its initial level. Moreover, some use it to earn worldly progress and honour, make disciples, build khanqahs and become popular. Among thousands, only one accomplishes in Al Faqr by the grace and help of the Prophet Mohammad. My words are according to my experience that perfect and scholarly Fakir accomplished in all fields is one who has authority over the eighteen thousand worlds and who possesses the attributes of kindness and mercy. Allah says;
اِنَّ اَکۡرَمَکُمۡ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ اَتۡقٰکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلِیۡمٌ خَبِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۳﴾
Meaning: The noblest amongst you near Allah is the one who is the most pious. (Al-Hujrat 13) (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Only one out of thousands is accomplished in Faqr
What is the final level of Faqr? Whatever I say is according to my own experience and the knowledge of Allah is sufficient for me. Those who claim to possess high levels in Faqr are braggarts and liars. Some of them know Faqr just verbally, some have experienced its one or few states and some just know the deeds and teachings of Al Faqr. Only one out of thousands acquires the real gnosis of Sultan ul Faqr by attaining to the union of exact Divine beauty, being blessed with highest levels of Al Faqr and witnessing it personally. Most of the people just guise themselves as its people. Only one out of thousands accomplishes in Faqr. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
FAQR AND SULTAN BAHOO’S PUNJABI COUPLETS
Sultan Bahoo says in Punjabi couplets:
Fire of Divine love
خام کی جانن سار فقر دی، جیہڑے محرم ناہیں دل دے ھو
آب مٹی تھیں پیدا ہوئے، خامی بھانڈے گِل دے ھو
لعل جواہراں دا قدر کی جانن، جو سوداگر بِل دے ھو
ایمان سلامت سوئی لے ویسن باھوؒ، جیہڑے بھج فقیراں مِلدے ھو
Explanation: Incompetent seekers who fail to become spiritual confidant are clueless to the Divine secret, hence are utterly unaware of the way of Al Faqr. Moreover they are like raw earthen pots which have not become uprighteous and steadfast by burning in the furnace of Divine love. Furthermore they are the merchants of glassware and do not know the status and value of ruby and gems, the seekers of Allah, who have reached Oneness travelling the path of gnosis (recognition of these gems i.e. seekers of Allah is the attribute and marvel of the Universal Divine Man). Only those people will return with faith to the hereafter who perseveringly stayed in the companion of Fakirs in this temporal world.
Death before dying
راہ فقر دا پرے پریرے، اوڑک کوئی نہ دِسّے ھو
ناں اُوتھے پڑھن پڑھاون کوئی، ناں اُوتھے مَسلے قصّے ھو
ایہہ دنیا ہے بت پرستی، مت کوئی اِس تے وِسّے ھو
موت فقیری جیں سِر آوے باھوؒ ، معلم تھیوے تِسّے ھو
Explanation: The path of Al Faqr is very far and I find its journey eternal. One accomplishes Al Faqr at the realm where Allah is all alone where there is no knowledge or education, no sharia to answer queries and no storytelling. Important to realize is that this physical world is nothing but idol worshipping and should not be trusted. One accomplishes Faqr after:
مُوْتُوْا قَبْلَ اَنْ تَمُوْتُوْا
Meaning: Death before dying.
Fakirism is neither in intellectual conversation nor in solving problems or in storytelling. In fact, this is the path of love with only Allah and drowning in His Oneness. Therefore, the one who accomplishes in Al Faqr, only he knows about its value and spiritual states.
Without perfect spiritual guide no veil of innerself (an-nafs) is lifted
علموں باجھ فقر کماوے، کافر مرے دیوانہ ھو
سے ورہیاں دِی کرے عبادت، رہے اللہ کنوں بیگانہ ھو
غفلت کنوں نہ کھلیس پردے، دِل جاہل بت خانہ ھو
میں قربان تنہاں توں باھوؒ، جنہاں ملیا یار یگانہ ھو
Explanation: An exegesis of this couplet is that a person who adopts the path of Faqr without its true knowledge becomes a madman and an infidel. This is so because without the perfect spiritual guide, even if a person prays for hundreds of years he cannot have gnosis of Allah. Moreover despite all the praying, veils from his inward cannot be removed and he will remain ignorant. Last verse is the same in which Sultan Bahoo expresses his love for the seekers of Allah who have gained union with Allah and have reached the destination in Al Faqr. (Abyat-e-Bahoo Kamil)
FAQR AND SULTAN MOHAMMAD ASGHAR ALI
A few sayings of Sultan ul Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali about Faqr:
- Faqris the real legacy of the Prophet. Therefore, the heir of this legacy is his true heir.
- Faqris the path of loving Allah only and ardently.
- Al Faqris actually the knowledge of the vision of Allah and the presence in the Mohammadan Assembly.
- The Holy Prophet said, “Faqris my pride and Faqr is from me.” Hence, it is an obligation on his every follower to acquire his pride ‘Faqr’ from him, as he only distributes it from his sacred court.
- Al Faqris the greatest treasure of all the treasures of Allah and the Prophet distributes it. (Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali Life and Teachings)
COMPULSIVE FAQR AND CHOSEN FAQR
Compulsive Faqr (Faqr-e-Iztarari)
Some people adopt Faqr untruthfully only to deceive others. Moreover such are the people who could not accomplish anything in their life nor attain a single triumph in any domain, they just with the intention of having success, riches, wealth and basic necessities enter in the circle of a Saint who is accomplished in Faqr. Hence their intention is not to behold Allah but is attainment of this mortal temporal world. Such persons also adopt Faqr either being terrified on account of facing some worldly nuisance, pain or illness or due to momentary emotions.
Or after the death of the Saint the shrine caretakers are also among them. In fact, most of these people are from his children and customarily they have no idea what Faqr is. Now their aim of life is limited to the income of the shrine or the receipt of offerings from the disciples of Saints whose shrine they hold. Or their ambition is realization of nobility by becoming Shaikhs. Such Faqr is ‘compulsive Faqr’ and Allama Iqbal said about it:
میں ایسے فقر سے اے اہلِ حلقہ باز آیا
تمہارا فقر ہے بے دولتی و رنجوری
Explanation: I seek refuge from compulsive Faqr. As in compulsive Faqr one does not get the bounties and blessings of the true Faqr and such people become miserable in the hereafter.
Chosen Faqr (Faqr e Ikhtiari)
On the other hand, Faqr which is chosen ardently is one in which the seekers of Allah, whether monarchs, leaders, eminent in world or unknown and poor, put at stake everything to adopt Al Faqr, to behold Allah. Hence their prerequisite is nothing other than the Divine vision. Thus, they leave everything and befriend the perfect spiritual guide saying ‘Allah is all for us’. Moreover they ask for Allah from Allah. In fact, they are Fakirs near Allah. Allah says about them:
وَ اللّٰہُ الۡغَنِیُّ وَ اَنۡتُمُ الۡفُقَرَآءُ ۚ
Meaning: Allah is munificent and you are Fakir. (Mohammad 38)
For chosen Faqr, it is important to not incline one’s inward towards world and aspirations related to it.
There are radical differences between compulsive Faqr and chosen Faqr. In fact, compulsive Faqr results in death of soul whereas chosen Faqr vivifies the soul. Moreover in compulsive Faqr a person is disgraced and dishonoured but chosen Faqr bestows upon a man such grandeur and strength that whole of the universe is given at his disposal. Prophet Mohammad declared this Faqr as his pride.
Sultan Bahoo and the two kinds of Faqr
Sultan Bahoo says:
There are two kinds of Faqr. First is the chosen Faqr about which the Holy Prophet said:
الفقر فخری والفقر منی
Meaning: Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me.
It has two levels of which the first is to gain complete authority over the esoteric treasures of inward as well as all the treasures of the world and then become sated of it, whereas second is to gain perfect righteousness, gnosis and proximity of Allah. Furthermore, the other kind of Faqr is compulsive. In fact, the person who adopts compulsive Faqr begs from door to door (i.e. he is always seeking material wealth and respect from people rather than seeking Allah). He is disgraced and deprived of spiritual satiation, so he is ever complaining about his poverty. Hence, the compulsive Faqr brings disgrace, about which the Holy Prophet said:
نَعُوۡذُ باِ للّٰہِ مِنۡ فَقۡرِ الۡمُکِبّ
Meaning: I seek refuge of Allah from the Faqr that brings disgrace.
The foundation of chosen Al Faqr is contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat which blesses with proximity of Allah and recognition of the Divine Essence through the Divine name. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
Reprobate Fakirs and True Fakirs
There are two kinds of Fakirs, one kind is of those who are free from lust and materialistic wishes and have become friends of the most Compassionate, Allah. Therefore, their status is unexplainably splendid. Such Fakirs possess Al Faqr which is the pride of the Prophet. Thus, they are his beloved followers who have found eternal presence in the Mohammadan Assembly. Moreover they do not expect anything from anyone, because they have the greatest asset of light of Al Faqr. Important to realize is that they are the problem solvers and guide to common people in the way of Allah.
Whereas, the other kind of Fakir is reprobate who is shameless and has nothing to do with Divine knowledge and the way to Allah. Therefore, this Faqr brings disgrace and is compulsive Faqr because such Fakirs do not follow the sharia and are not on the footsteps of the Prophet. It is the saying of Prophet Mohammad:
نَعُوۡذُ باِ للّٰہِ مِنۡ فَقۡرِ الۡمُکِبّ
Meaning: I seek refuge of Allah from Faqr that brings disgrace.
Such Fakirs have two signs. First that they are always talking about worldly wealth because they are misers and insincere with their fellow Muslims and secondly, they are always complaining to Allah about poverty. One who shuns disgracing Faqr finds the just opposite, the Faqr which is loveable and desirable. What is this desired Al Faqr? In fact, it is to respect and follow the orders of Allah completely and submissively, be kind to all the creatures of Allah and to possess all the attributes of Allah. (Nur-ul-Huda Kalan)
What letters of Faqr mean for chosen and compulsive Faqr?
Al Faqr has three Arabic alphabets, ف (FA), ق (Q) and ر (R). ف (FA) makes the seeker free from the worries of both the worlds after annihilating of the inciting innerself. Moreover, the second letter ق (Q) gives proximity with Allah obliterating the said abhorring inciting innerself. Third is ر (R) which is the straight path and grants eternal engrossment in Allah. For the one who achieves these levels but again returns towards the contemptible world leaving the Mohammadan Faqr then the letter ف (FA) means he is disgraced. Second letter ق (Q) is for torment and wrath of Allah upon him and lastly ر (R) refers to that he is rejected and cursed like Satan. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)