Ishq e Haqeeqi (Divine Love)

What is Ishq e Haqeeqi?

Meaning of spiritual love (Ishq e Haqeeqi)

Ishq e Haqeeqi or Divine Love is the love for Allah which burns everything except the beloved. Ishq e Haqeeqi is the feeling in which the lover (the seeker) is ready to proffer everything for the Beloved (Allah).

Allah says in the Holy Quran:

وَالَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡٓا اَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّٰهِ

Meaning: But those who believe, love Allah the most. (Al-Baqarah 165)

Man loves his relatives and things. For example, he loves Allah and the Holy Prophet, he loves his parents, wife, children, sisters and brothers, friends, home, land, property, city, the tribe, kith and kin, business etc. The love for Allah when becomes so intense and ardent, it dominates all other loves is called Eternal love or Divine love. Moreover in Arabic it is called Ishq عِشق . This love turns all the other loves into ashes and overpowers them. As the Holy Prophet says:

“None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.” (Bukhari 15)

Love and God

Allah considers the passionate love for Himself. It is an attribute of the true believers and it is innate to the very nature of the human soul.

Allah created everything because of Ishq e Haqeeqi (Divine love)

The Essence of Allah was secret and hidden, an intense passion to be recognized aroused in the Essence. This desire was revealed with such severity that Sufis interpreted it as Ishq e Haqeeqi (true spiritual love). In the very passion of Divine love, Allah created Mohammadan light from His own. Then the souls of entire creation were created from the Mohammadan light. It is a saying of the Holy Prophet, “I am from the light of Allah and the entire creation is from mine.”

Sultan Bahoo stated:

Know! When the Divine light of Ahad (the One; it is an attributive name of Allah), coming out of His isolated Oneness, intended to manifest Himself in multiplicity, He graced (all the worlds) with the splendid sight of His pure Divine beauty. Both the realms started burning like a moth on the candle of His blazing beauty. Then the light of Ahad ( احد ) concealed in the veil of M ( م ) of Ahmad ( احمد ; attributive name of Prophet Mohammad) and manifested Himself as Ahmad. (Risala Roohi Sharif)

This statement implies that when Allah adorned His court, first of all He revealed Mohammadan light from His own Essence. Then, He created the souls of the whole creation and this is the reality of Prophet Mohammad. This universe is for Prophet Mohammad’s revelation

Iqbal endorses the fact that everything came into being because of Ishq e Haqeeqi

Revelations of Ishq e Haqeeqi


As the great poet of the east Iqbal said:

اے کہ تیرےؐ وجود پر خالقِ دو جہاں کو ناز

اے کہ تیراؐ وجود ہے وجۂ وجودِ کائنات

Meaning: O beloved Mohammad! The Creator of both the worlds is proud of your existence. Surely, you are the reason behind the creation of this universe.

Several Hadiths and traditions of the Holy Prophet reinforce this reality.

Allah told the Holy Prophet:

لَوْ لَاکَ لِمَا خَلَقْتَ الْاَ فْلَاکْ

Meaning: I would never have created the universe if your birth was not intended.

The Holy Prophet said:

کُنْتُ نَبِیًّا وَّ اٰدَمُ بَیْنَ الْمَآءِ وَ الطِّیْنِ

Meaning: I was the Prophet even at the time when Prophet Adam was between soil and water. It means in the process of creation.

He also said:

اَنَا مِنْ نُّورِ اللّٰہِ وَ الْخَلَقُ کُلَّہُمْ مِنْْ نُّورِیْ

Meaning: I am from Allah’s light and the entire creation is from mine.

That is to say, he is the very first in creation and the last in descent. Therefore he is the first as well as the last.

Prophet Mohammad, the first and the last

Ibn Arabi has beautifully illustrated Prophet Mohammad being the first and the last by the following example:

A trader wraps a carpet over his treasure and layers it with several cloths. When he opens the carpet, the cloth which he had put first, will come out last.
In his writing Shajrah-tul-Kaun, Ibn Arabi said, “Same is the situation of the descent of the Holy Prophet that his sacred soul came into being first of all but he was descended last of all. That is why, he is called the First and the Last.”

نگاہِ عِشق و مستی میں وہی اوّل ، وہی آخر

وہی قرآں، وہی فرقاں، وہی یٰسٓ، وہی طہٰ

Meaning: In the rapture of Divine love, he is the First and the Last. He is the Quran and Furqan and he himself is Ya-Sin and Ta-Ha meaning he is the Whole as well as the part.

This is the status where he is the totality.

اَلْکُلَّ فِیہِ وَ مِنْہُ وَ کَانَ عِنْدہٗ۔

Meaning: Everything is within him (the Prophet), from him, was from him and will be from him. (Insan-e-Kamil, written by Abdul Karim al-Jili)

لوح بھی تو قلم بھی تو، تیرا وجود الکتاب

گنبدِ آبگینہ رنگ تیرے محیط میں حباب

Meaning: You are the Guarded Tablet and the Pen and you are the real Quran. The crystal colored dome (the sky) is just a bubble as compared to your Divine self. Since everything is created from the Mohammad light, it is a small particle compared to his great self.

Prophet Mohammad’s reality is Divine light

The Mohammadan light descended in human form in the world at its fixed time and it was his human existence. Allah says about it:

اَ صْطَفٰی وَ ا حِدًا مِّنْ خَلْقِہِ ھُوَ مِنْھُمْ وَ لَیْسَ مِنْھُمْ

Meaning: Allah chose one from His creatures. He appears to be one of them but in reality, he is not.

His manifestation took place with perfection in this world of matter.

قُلۡ اِنَّمَاۤ اَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثۡلُكُمۡ

Meaning: Say: I look like you only (by virtue of my visible creation) as a man. (Al-Kahf 110)

His reality of Divine light was perfectly there but his physical being became a veil for some beholders. They could not see his reality behind his human appearance.

وَتَرٰهُمۡ يَنۡظُرُوۡنَ اِلَيۡكَ وَهُمۡ لَا يُبۡصِرُوۡنَ

Meaning: And you see these as if they were looking at you, whereas they do not see. (Al-A’raf 198)

The lustrous and elegant beauty of the manifestation of the light of Allah molds in the incarnation of being of Prophet Mohammad. Rumi uttered:

مصطفےٰؐ آئینہ رُوئے خدا ست

منعکس در وے ہمہ خوئے خدا ست

Explanation: The Holy Prophet is the mirror to the Face of Allah, The Essence and all the attributes of Allah reflects through him.

Human souls inherited Ishq e Haqeeqi

Conclusively, the origin of the universe is Ishq e Haqeeqi. Hence the creation of man is for the sake of the Ishq e Haqeeqi. When the souls were created from the Mohammadan light, the exclusive essence of Ishq e Haqeeqi was inherited by the human souls from the Prophet. The passion of Ishq e Haqeeqi must arouse in the inward of the seeker for the vision of Allah. In fact, the relation of the soul and Allah is that of Divine Love. Without Divine Love neither the soul is awaken nor can it find ‘the vision’ of Allah.

Ishq e Haqeeqi is present in the form of a seed within the human being. Although it is dormant but as soon as it starts to awake in the soul by the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and by inscribing the name of Allah on body and the attention of the spiritual guide, the passion, the longing and the attraction for Allah start increasing. The perfect Fakirs have stated that Divine Love is essential for the vision of Allah and faith is imperfect without Divine love.

Ishq e Haqeeqi leads to the vision of the Reality

The Divine love helps the seeker to have access to the court of Allah like a ladder. Ishq e Haqeeqi takes man ahead by adopting the spiritual path. That is the path closer than his ‘jugular vein’. Only Divine Love makes the man intimate enough to the Divine Essence within his own being. Moreover this burns the flame of urge in the soul to meet the Beloved Allah. Only Ishq e Haqeeqi keeps the souls restless and anxious day and night for beholding and meeting Him. It intensifies the fire of separation and leads to the vision of the Divine Reality.

Allah deals with his lovers ( the one whom Allah has choosen for Ishq e Haqeeqi) differently than scholars

The most respected lord of the universe, the Prophet stated about the lovers:

It is a hard luck of the lovers of Allah, if they have to live in paradise without the vision of His beauty but if the eager lovers find the hell along with His union, it is their great fortune and luck.
Allah’s relation with his lovers is entirely different from all others. He deals with the so called religious scholars differently. While the lovers are specially dealt with. Divine Love leads to the observation of Divinity and possesses the essence of true mystic knowledge but the intellect has superficial knowledge only.

What lovers asked?

Sultan Bahoo has explained it in this way:

It should be clear that the Divine love path is not in the books on religion or community. It means the Lord of Lords (Rab-ul-Arbab, that is to say God is Love Himself). When the Prophet returned blessed from Miraj first of all the lovers of Allah asked the Holy Prophet:

“Did you see Allah”?

He replied:

مَنْ رَانِی فَقَدْرَایَ الْحَق

Meaning: Whoever saw me, in fact he saw Allah.

Afterwards the ulema and scholars asked:

“Did you see Allah”?

Since the verse mentioned below had revealed in his favour:

وَ مَا یَنۡطِقُ عَنِ الۡہَوٰی۔ سورۃ النجم ۔3

Meaning: The Prophet does not speak out of his (own) desire. (An-Najm 3)

He replied (by the will of Allah)

تَفَکَّرُوْافِیْ اٰیٰتِہٖ وَلَا تَفَکَّرُوْافِیْ ذَاتِہٖ

Meaning: Meditate upon His signs but not about His Entity. (Mohabbat-ul-Asrar)

Sufi Ishq in words of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani

Love defined by God

Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani stated in his booklet Risala Al-Ghausia:

  • I saw Allah. Then I asked, “O God! What is meant by Divine Love?” He replied, “O Ghawth al-Azam! Love Me, love for Me and I am Love Myself and get your inward and actions free from everything other than Me. When you have recognized the outward love, it is essential for you to surpass the stages of (esoteric) love. As love is also a veil between the lover and the Beloved. Hence, it is necessary for you to go beyond everything else other than Allah because everything other than Allah is a veil between the lover and the Beloved.

Ishq e Haqeeqi in words of Rabia of Basra

Rabia of Basra said:

سجدہ مستانہ ام با شد نما ز

درد دل با او بود قرآن من

Explanation: To prostrate before the Beloved madly, is the real salat of the lovers. Furthermore the sadness of their passionate inwards is their recitation of the Holy Quran.

Rumi and Ishq e Haqeeqi

According to Rumi:

عشق آں شعلہ است کہ جوں بر فروخت

ہر کہ جز معشوق باشد جملہ سوخت

Explanation: Love is the flame, when flares up, burns everything except the Beloved.

Khawaja Hafiz Shirazi and Sufi Love (Ishq e Haqeeqi)

Khawaja Hafiz Shirazi stated:

“The person who is not in Divine love, surely all his prayers are in vain, deceitful and full of hypocrisy.” (Deewan-e-Hafiz)

Bulleh Shah says about Ishq e Haqeeqi

Bulleh Shah said in his poem Ne mein hun sunya ( نی میں ہن سنیا ):

The religious scholars and theologians cannot even think about the spiritual elevation at which the lovers of Allah reach. They reach by crossing all the levels of knowledge and wisdom.

Mian Mohammad Bakhsh and Ishq e Haqeeqi

Mian Mohammad Bakhsh said:

جنہاں عشق خرید نہ کیتا عیویں آ بھگتے

عشقے باہجھ محمد بخشا کیا آدم کیا کتے

Explanation: Those who do not possess Ishq e Haqeeqi, their life is useless and worthless. Without Ishq e Haqeeqi, there is no difference between a man and dog.

جس دِل اندر عشق نہ رچیا کتے اس تھیں چنگے

خاوند دے گھر راکھی کردے صابر بھکے ننگے

Explanation: Dogs are better than the people who do not cherish Ishq e Haqeeqi. This is because they watch their master’s house patiently even when the master does not feed them and kicks them out. No matter what they continue serving their master.

Ishq e Haqeeqi and Iqbal

Iqbal like all Mystics declared ‘faith’ as incomplete without Ishq e Haqeeqi

عقل و دل و نگاہ کا مرشدِ اوّلین ہے عشق

عشق نہ ہو تو شرع و دیں بت کدہ تصورات

Explanation: The first and the foremost spiritual guide of inward, wisdom and insight is Ishq e Haqeeqi. Without Ishq e Haqeeqi, the interpretation one derives from the religion is completely an idol temple of one’s own thoughts and ideas.

Iqbal does not consider a person Muslim if he is not a lover of Allah. Rather according to him a non-lover is a pagan.

مسلم ار عاشق نباشد کافر است

Explanation: If a Muslim is not an ardent lover of Allah then one should not consider him a Muslim. Rather he is an infidel.

از نگاہ عشق خاراشق بود

عشق حق آخر سراپا حق بود

Explanation: A single glance of Ishq e Haqeeqi can even break the rocks. The love of Truth itself becomes a complete incarnation of Truth at its ultimate stage.

Oneness (Tawhid توحید ) is in Ishq e Haqeeqi

True Oneness of Allah is Ishq e Haqeeqi and without Ishq e Haqeeqi, Oneness is like an empty girdle.

عاشقی؟ توحید را بر دل زدن

وانگہے خود را بہر مشکل زدن

Explanation: What is Divine Love? Divine Love is to foster the Oneness of Allah in the inward. Then encounter every difficulty coming in the way of the Truth. So that the Oneness becomes mature in the true sense in one’s inward and soul.

Sultan Bahoo And Sufi Love (Ishq e Haqeeqi)

Divine lovers reach the court of Allah

According to the philosophy of Faqr Sultan Bahoo opines that Ishq e Haqeeqi is the key to eternal success and only Ishq e Haqeeqi conveys one to the court of Allah.

عاشق بیچارہ را جان باجاناں است

کہ ہر دم شوق خوش ترانہ آمد

Meaning: The poor lover is always engrossed in the Beloved. Therefore he ecstatically sings beautiful songs in His love. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

Ishq e Haqeeqi kills one’s innerself (nafs)

عشق دانی چیست؟ کشتن نفس خویش

روز و شب سوزش بود دِل را ریش

Meaning: You know what is Divine Love? It is to kill your ‘innerself’. Due to the intensity of Divine Love the lover is ever suffering from the pangs of the passion. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)

Liberate from the desires of innerself (nafs) to adopt Ishq e Haqeeqi

1-  تاتو در عشق ز خود باخبری

ہمہ در معرضِ خوف و خطری

2۔ چوں ز خویشت نہ بود ہیچ خبر

ز آب و آتش نہ بود  ہیچ ضرر

3۔ چوں کہ از ہستی خود وارستی

روکہ بہ دلبر خود پیوستی


1- As long as you remain conscious of yourself in love, you would be in fear and danger.

2- When you start loving Allah madly, you will become unconscious of yourself. Moreover nothing can harm you.

3- When you will liberate from your own self, you will find union with the Beloved.

  • The lovers of Allah are neither afraid nor frightened of anybody’s reproach. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)

Ishq e Haqeeqi (Divine Love) burns the veil of innerself (nafs)

The most precious asset of life of a true believer (Momin / Mumin) is his ‘faith’ but for a lover it is only a waystation. The true destination of the lover is ‘union with the Reality’ which is gained through Ishq e Haqeeqi.

When the fire of Divine Love becomes intense, the lover painfully feels separated from the Beloved Allah. The demand and yearning for meeting the Beloved keeps increasing. This fire of separation keeps the lover anxious and restless day and night for union with the Beloved. When the fire of Divine Love burns the innerself (nafs), which is a veil between Allah and the soul of a man then one attains the destination of the vision of Allah.

Vision of the majestic beauty of Allah makes the lover more passionate and his urge for meeting Allah increases. Fire of love then burns the innerself of the lover. He annihilates in the light of Allah, approaching the destination of annihilation in Allah and then he finds the blessing of union of Allah. Thus he finds the secret of Oneness of Allah.

Ishq e Haqeeqi is a subtle passion

Divine Love Definition:
Sultan Bahoo said:

Ishq e Haqeeqi is a subtle passion which arouses in the inward from the hidden and does not find peace from anyone but the Divine Beloved. (Mohkim-ul-Fuqara)

Divine lover is not afraid of death

The invocation done with Ishq e Haqeeqi takes high flight. A fly can never approach to the heights attained by a falcon. Even if it tries hard and soars thousand times. Similarly, an ascetic can never find the Divine secrets even if he goes through hard ascetic discipline. Any teacher or any institution cannot teach the lesson of Ishq e Haqeeqi because it is a grand trust.

The tradition of Ishq e Haqeeqi is to be indifferent to the whole world. An ardent lover of Allah always seeks death so that he spiritually reaches the station of no station. As death of a lover means union with the Beloved. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

Two kinds of Fakirs

You must know that there are two kinds of Fakirs. One are the spiritual travellers while others are the Divine lovers. The spiritual travellers are the men of mystic struggle and endeavors. While the lovers are the men of Divine secrets and observations. The final level of a spiritual traveller is just the beginning of the Divine lover. This is because the nutrition of lovers is the spiritual endeavors and their sleep is the Divine observation.

The Holy Prophet said about the Divine lovers;

اَجْسَامُھُمْ فِی الدُّنْیَا وَ قُلُوْبُھُمْ فِی الْاٰخِرَۃِ

Meaning: Their bodies are in the world but inwards are in the hereafter. (Mohkim-ul-Fuqara)

Ishq e Haqeeqi distinguishes between genuine and fraudulent ones

Ishq e Haqeeqi is like a skillful jeweler who checks and identifies the pure gold as pure and the impure as impure. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

Ascetics are the laborers of paradise

Listen O ascetic, the laborer of paradise! The nutrition of lovers of Allah is all Divine light. Their stomach is like burning stove and their sleep is actually the Divine union and presence. (Mohkim-ul-Fuqara)

Identity of a lover

He explains the identity of the lover as:

باھوؒ عاشقاں رارازاین است ذکرِ’ھُو‘ گوید دوام

دم بدم ذکر ھُو گوید کارِآں گردد تمام

Explanation: O Bahoo! The secret of lovers is that they ever remain engrossed in the invocation of Hoo ( ھُو ). They reach their destination by invoking Hoo ( ھُو ) with their every breath. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

Sultan Bahoo and Ishq e Haqeeqi as in Risala Roohi Sharif


Sultan Bahoo stated about the Ishq e Haqeeqi in Risala Roohi Sharif:

When I reached the ultimate destination of Faqr, the Divine decree came from the majestic court, “You are My lover.” I submitted, “My humble self is incapable of the love of the Majesty.” Then He commanded, “You are My beloved”. On this, I kept quite. (Risala Roohi Sharif)

Die before death

The seekers of the path of Truth know it very well that to sacrifice one’s life is not a difficult task in the way of the Truth. The real task is to stay alive and kill the ego and personal wishes and remain happy and satisfied with Allah’s will. It is to say, ‘die before death’. It means to kill your own wishes and submit to Allah fully and completely which is very difficult to attain but love makes it easier for the Divine lover, as it gives him the courage to annihilate his innerself and sacrifice everything belonging to him to please his Allah and find His closeness, vision and union.

Sultan Bahoo says about the blessing of Ishq e Haqeeqi


باھوؒ عشق را بام بلند است اسم اللہ نردبان

ہر مکانی بی نشانی می برد در لا مکان

Explanation: O Bahoo! The roof of Divine love is very high. The ladder to reach it is the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. It will take you to every waystation, even to the station of no station. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

Allah is incorporeal then how we can be blessed with Ishq e Haqeeqi

Now the question arises how the hidden passion of Ishq e Haqeeqi awakens in ourselves? As our love is for the things and the people whom we see. While Allah is incorporeal. How can we love Him? According to the perfect Mystics, we can attain Ishq e Haqeeqi by means of metaphorical love which is the love for the spiritual guide. Usually people think of metaphorical love to be for a man by a woman and for a woman by a man which is actually lust and a devilish game. The sharia does not allow it. On the path of Faqr, ‘the metaphorical love’ means love for the spiritual guide.

How one acquires metaphoric love?

For the love of the spiritual guide, method adopted in all the spiritual chains and paths is that the guide advises the seeker to contemplate his image. Nowadays in some of the chains, the spiritual guides give their pictures for this purpose. The seeker remains absorbed in imagining and thinking about his spiritual guide. This method is deceptive. As the contemporary age is full of deception. This method is a form of idol worship and polytheism. As it is the human nature to develop love for the one in whose imaginations or thoughts he ever remains absorbed and lost, then this love turns into an ardent love.

In Sarwari Qadri way the spiritual guide does not give the seeker this method. As it is wrong. Instead, the metaphoric love or the love of spiritual guide grows through the contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. When the seeker starts contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, he gets the image of his spiritual guide first. Hence in this way the passion of love for the spiritual guide begins. This method has two advantages: One is that there is no deception in it because it has been gained through Ism-e-Allah Zaat and whatever is gained through the name of Allah can never be deceptive; and since this image is gained through the contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, thus it is confirmed to the disciple that his spiritual guide is the perfect one and he is on the straight path.

Metaphorical love for the perfectly accomplished spiritual guide turns into Ishq e Haqeeqi

The aforementioned love turns into the Ishq e Rasool and after that transforms into Divine love. Hence the seeker climbs up to the destination of annihilation and immortality with Allah.

In other spiritual chains, one performs the meditation of annihilation in the self of the spiritual guide. Then the meditation of annihilation in the Prophet. Hence at the end one follows the annihilation in Allah by means of Ism-e-Allah Zaat which one meditates upon. Every chain has its own way. This process demands a long time but in the Sarwari Qadri way the spiritual guide grants the contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat on the very first day. That is why, it is famous that the extreme point of other chains is just the beginning of the Sarwari Qadri way.

Love of spiritual guide:

Shams Al-Tabriz

عشق معراج است سوئے بام سلطان ازل

از رخ عاشق فرد خواں قصہ معراج را

Explanation: Only Ishq e Haqeeqi can provide access to the court of Allah. If you want to know the Truth behind Miraj then fix your eyes on the face of a Divine lover (perfect spiritual guide).

Jami said:

غنیمت داں اگر عشق مجا ز یست

کہ از بہر حقیقت کار ساز یست

Explanation:  If you are destined for the love of your spiritual guide, consider it your good fortune. As only this is the source of finding the blessing of the love of the Reality.

Metaphorical love is the fountainhead of Divine love according to Bulleh Shah

According to Bulleh Shah, metaphoric love is the fountain head of Ishq e Haqeeqi. From the former generates the latter.

جے چر نہ عشق مجازی لاگے

سوئی سیوے نہ بن دھاگے

عشق مجازی داتا ہے

جس پچھے مست ہو جاتا ہے

Explanation: A person can never ascend to the love of Allah without the love of his spiritual guide. Just like a needle cannot sew without a thread. Similarly one cannot receive Ishq e Haqeeqi without metaphoric love.

The perfectly accomplished spiritual guide takes to Ishq e Haqeeqi according to Mian Mohammad Bakhsh

Mian Mohammad Bakhsh expounded:

میں نیواں میرا مرشد اچا اسی اچیاں دے سنگ لائی

صدقے جاواں انہاں اچیاں توں جِنہاں نیویاں دے نال نبھائی

Explanation: I am a very humble and ordinary person. I am proud that my spiritual guide is perfect and supreme. Moreover he blessed me according to his grandeur. He always kept me under his true guidance and protection and took me to my destination, Ishq e Haqeeqi.

Sultan Bahoo And Ishq E Haqeeqi

Sultan Bahoo also considers the love of the spiritual guide as the means of ascending to Ishq e Haqeeqi. A lot many Punjabi couplets of Sultan Bahoo solely relate to Ishq e Haqeeqi as given below:

Learn to follow the customs and rules of Divine love to find the Beloved

الف اللہ صحی کیتوسے جداں‘ چمکیا عشق اگوہاں ھو

رات دیہاں دیوے تاہ تکھیرے‘ نِت کرے اگوہاں سوہاں ھو

اندر بھائیں اندر بالن ،اندر دے وِچ دھوہاں ھو

باھوؒ شوہ تداں لدھیوسے‘ جداں عشق کیتوسے سوہاں ھو

Explanation: When the reality and the secret of Ism-e-Allah Zaat revealed upon me, the fire of Ishq e Haqeeqi flared up within me. Due to its intense heat, the anxiety and restlessness for meeting the Beloved is increasing. This fire of Ishq e Haqeeqi is forcing me to step further in the path of Faqr towards the next waystation. When I learnt to follow the customs and rules of Ishq e Haqeeqi properly, I found the real Beloved.

Faith or the ardent Divine love

ایمان سلامت ہر کوئی منگے‘ عِشق سلامت کوئی ھو

منگن اِیمان شرماون عشقوں‘ دِل نوں غیرت ہوئی ھو

جس منزل نوں عشق پچاوے‘ اِیمان نوں خبر نہ کوئی ھو

میرا عشق سلامت رکھیں باھوؒ، اِیمانوں دیاں دھروئی ھو

Explanation: Everyone wants to save his faith. No one wants to have the treasure of Ishq e Haqeeqi. It can only be the desire of a true seeker of Allah. The seekers of the world and heaven are pseudo seekers who only wish the safety of their faith and are afraid of seeking the love of Allah because this is not an easy way. In my heart the esteem of Faqr and Ishq e Haqeeqi is springing up. In fact the destination of Divine closeness to which only love has access, faith is not even familiar to it. “O my perfect spiritual guide! Please save my love and grant me perseverance upon it because my love is endearer to me than my faith.”

Enthusiasm and sorrow of Ishq e Haqeeqi

اکھیں سرخ موہیں تے زردی، ہر ولوں دل آہیں ھو

مہا مہاڑ خوشبوئی والا، پہونتا ونج کداہیں ھو

عشق مشک نہ چھپے رہندے، ظاہر تھین اتھاہیں ھو

نام فقیر تنہاندا باھوؒ، جنہاں لا مکانی جائیں ھو

Explanation: The passion for the lovely view of the Beloved has intensified by the enthusiasm of Ishq e Haqeeqi. My body has turned pale, eyes had filled with sorrowful tears in the separation of the Beloved. Moreover in this state a painful sigh of Divine passion exhales with my every breath. It is true that love and fragrance can never hide and my plight reveals to everyone. Fakir is the one whose station is of no station (LaMakan).

People cannot change their Inherent nature without the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat

بے ادباں ناں سار ادب دی، گئے ادباں توں وانجے ھو

جیہڑے ہون مٹی دے بھانڈے، کدی نہ ہوندے کانجے ھو

جیہڑے مڈھ قدیم دے کھیڑے، کدی نہ ہوندے رانجھے ھو

جیں دل حضور نہ منگیا باھوؒ، گئے دوہیں جہانیں وانجے ھو

Explanation: The ill-mannered and uncultured people are not aware of the respect and regard of the greatly venerable ones. Because of their wretchedness they are unfortunate.

Although their inherent nature is not changeable without the invocation, contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and the guidance of the perfect spiritual guide. Those who are eternally unfortunate and damned cannot become the fortunate ones. As the earthen pots do not turn into those of the porcelain. The disrespectful people, whether they are disregardful towards Allah, the Prophet, the Companions, the People of Cloak (Ahl al-Bayt), the Fakirs or the spiritual guide, remain deprived of the gnosis of Allah in both the worlds. As a proverbial saying means ‘The respectful one is successful while the impudent turns wretched.’ The one who did not seek the Divine presence became empty handed in both the worlds.

Kill the desires of innerself (an-nafs) with the sword of ‘no’

تدوں فقیر شتابی بندا، جد جان عشق وِچ ہارے ھو

عاشق شیشہ تے نفس مربی، جان جاناں توں وارے ھو

خود نفسی چھڈ ہستی جھیڑے، لاہ سِروں سب بھارے ھو

باھوؒ باجھ مویاں نہیں حاصل تھیندا، توڑے سے سے سانگ اتارے ھو

Explanation: Fakir accomplishes when he sacrifices his life for love and ends the desires of his innerself (nafs) with the sword of ‘No’. He auctions his house, wealth, family even his own being. Then he annihilates burning himself in the fire of Ishq e Haqeeqi. Bahoo addresses the seeker and advises to renounce his self-conceit and frivolousness of life so that he may start travelling the path of righteousness or Truth with singleness of mind. As one does not find the union with Allah without dying before death whether one performs a lot many prayers and struggle apparently.

Absorbed in Ishq e Haqeeqi

ثابت عشق تنہاں نوں لدھا، جِنہاں ترَٹی چوڑ چا کیتی ھو

نہ اوہ صوفی نہ اوہ صافی، نہ سجدہ کرن مسیتی ھو

خالص نِیل پرانے اُتے، نہیں چڑھدا رنگ مجیٹھی ھو

قاضی آن شرع وَل باھوؒ، کدیں عشق نماز نہ نیتی ھو

Explanation: Only those find the blessing with Ishq e Haqeeqi who sacrifice all their possessions to have the eternal pleasure of closeness to Allah. The passionate lovers of Allah are neither concerned with ranks and spiritual status. Nor do they try to be much pious by remaining busy in prayers in the mosques. Rather they drown in the vision of Allah by being absorbed in Ishq e Haqeeqi. Their love for Allah is so strong that the pleasures of the world and hereafter do not affect them. While the religious scholars always advise to follow the principles of sharia only. They keep themselves and the umma restricted only to the prayers of sharia and never move ahead to the true and intrinsic prayer of the Ishq e Haqeeqi.

Rocks are better than those void of Divine love

جیں دل عشق خرید نہ کیتا، سو دل درد نہ پھٹی ھو

اس دل تھیں سنگ پتھر چنگیرے، جو دل غفلت اٹی ھو

جیں دل عشق حضور نہ منگیا، سو درگاہوں سٹی ھو

مِلیا دوست نہ انہاں باھوؒ، جنہاں چوڑ نہ کیتی ترٹی ھو

Explanation: The soul which has not bargained for Ishq e Haqeeqi and been wounded by the love of Allah is deprived of the pangs of Divine passion and grief. The rocks are better than such oblivious soul and the inward that has not sought for the Divine presence is damned. Union with Allah is not the destiny of those who do not sacrifice their homes for the path to Reality.

Arena of intense Divine love (Ishq e Haqeeqi)

جیں دل عشق خرید نہ کیتا، اوہ خسرے مرد زنانے ھو

خنسے خسرے ہر کوئی آکھے، کون آکھے مردانے ھو

گلیاں دے وِچ پھرن اربیلے، جیوں جنگل ڈھور دیوانے ھو

مرداں تے نمرداں دِی کل تداں پوسی باھوؒ، جداں عاشق بنھسن گانے ھو

Explanation: The people who have not traded for the Divine love are either feminine or eunuch. How can they be true men? As they are living in the world like animals and beasts. The difference between a seeker of Allah (manhood) and the seeker of the world (eunuch) would be known after the success in the arena of Divine Love when Allah bestows upon the lover with His meeting.

Thoughts and reflections only for Allah

جس دِینہہ دا میں در تینڈے تے، سجدہ صحی ونج کیتا ھو

اس دِینہہ دا سر فِدا اتھائیں، میں بِیا دربار نہ لیتا ھو

سر دیون سِر کھولن ناہیں، ایسا شوق پیالا پیتا ھو

میں قربان تنہاں توں باھوؒ، جنہاں عشق سلامت کیتا ھو

Explanation: The day since I corrected my prostration in the court of my perfect spiritual guide drinking the goblet of Divine Love’s wine, my thought and reflection stay focused on Allah. The secret of the Beloved which I found from the perfect spiritual guide is the exclusiveness of the Divine lovers. He is between me and my Beloved. The confidants sacrifice by beheading instead of disclosing the secret of the Beloved. I sacrifice my life for those who have found the secret of Ishq e Haqeeqi as well as cherished it carefully.

Submit consent for the Beloved

جنگل دے وِچ شیر مریلا، باز پوے وِچ گھر دے ھو

عشق جِیہا صراف نہ کوئی، کجھ ناں چھوڑے وِچ زر دے ھو

عاشقاں نیندر بھکھ ناں کائی، عاشق مول نہ مردے ھو

عاشق جِیندے تداں ڈِٹھو سے باھوؒ، جداں صاحب اگے سر دھردے ھو

Explanation: The Divine lover is like a lion and falcon. So the jackals and wolves of desires and the demonic birds cannot harm him. Divine Love is a better goldsmith, as a goldsmith purifies the gold from every impurity, similarly Ishq e Haqeeqi purifies the seeker of Allah from all his negativity. The lover does not care for his sleep and hunger. His every breath enlivens by the invocation of Allah. Lovers are apparently sleeping or eating and at times are busy in other matters but every moment are engrossed in the theophanies of the Divine Essence. The Divine Love becomes immortal only when the lover surrenders and submits his will to the consent of the real Beloved.

Soul is always invoking the name ‘Allah’

جنہاں عشق حقیقی پایا، مونہوں نہ کجھ الاون ھو

ذکر فکر وچ رہن ہمیشاں، دم نوں قید لگاون ھو

نفسی، قلبی، روحی، سری، خفی، اخفیٰ ذکر کماون ھو

میں قربان تنہاں توں باھوؒ، جیہڑے اِکس نگاہ جواون ھو

Explanation: The seekers of Allah who have found the Divine Love do not remember Allah by tongue. Rather always remain absorbed in the invocation and contemplation within their souls. Their every breath inhales and exhales by invoking Ya Hoo ( یا ھو ) and their beings remain engrossed in the physical, inward, spiritual, secret, hidden and concealed invocation. I sacrifice myself for such a perfect and accomplished spiritual guide who enlivens the dead souls by a single spiritual sight.

Company of Divine lovers

درد منداں دے دھوئیں دھکھدے، ڈردا کوئی ناں سیکے ھو

اِنہاں دھواں دے تأ تکھیرے، محرم ہووے تاں سیکے ھو

چِھک شمشیر کھڑا ہے سر اتے، ترس پوس تاں تھیکے ھو

ساہورے کڑئیے اپنے ونجناں، باھوؒ سدا نہ رہناں پیکے ھو

Explanation: When the fire of Divine Love burns in the lover, no one can sit along him. To be near the lover of the Essence is equal to destroy one’s home. Hence the theologians also avoid the company of the lovers because they want paradise and houris. In the lover’s inward the warmth of love increases every moment and only that one can be his company who is his confidant. The fear of separation from the Beloved is always lurking in the lover. It disappears only on meeting with Allah which is by His kindness, if He grants. O seeker! Be sensible and annihilate yourself in the Ishq e Haqeeqi because you are not supposed to live here forever. Rather you have to return to the world of souls at last.

Burn everything inwardly except the love of Allah with the fire of ardent Divine love


درد منداں دا خون جو پیندا، کوئی برہوں باز مریلا ھو

چھاتی دے وِچ کیتس ڈیرا، جیویں شیر بیٹھا مل بیلا ھو

ہاتھی مست سندوری وانگوں، کردا پیلا پیلا ھو

پیلے دا وسواس نہ کرئیے باھوؒ، پیلے باہجھ نہ ہوندا میلا ھو

Explanation: Ishq e Haqeeqi has occupied my soul as if a lion occupies a jungle. It is sucking my blood like a bloody hawk. It has burnt all the loves except the love of Allah. As if a crazy elephant attacks and devastates everything. Though, one should not fear or bother about its attack because without it one cannot attain the union with Allah.

Churn the fire of love in the pot of body


ددھ تے دہی ہر کوئی رِڑکے، عاشق بھاہ رِڑکیندے ھو

تن چٹورا من مدھانی، آہیں نال ہلیندے ھو

دکھاں دا نیترا کڈھے لشکارے، غماں دا پانی پیندے ھو

نام فقیر تنہاں دا باھوؒ، جیہڑے ہڈاں چوں مکھن کڈھیندے ھو

Explanation: Sultan Bahoo compares the plight of the seekers of the world and the lovers here. The worldly people love peace and tranquility as they only churn milk and yogurt. While the lovers churn the fire of Ishq e Haqeeqi in the pot of their body with the shaker of their inward for the union with the Beloved. They pull the rope of sorrows and woes with stinging sighs and painful cries to move the manual shaker. Alongside mix the water of their tears into it too. The perfect Saints are those who churn out butter of the Divine gnosis from the bones of their bodies.

Engage in the observation of lights and theophanies of the Divine Essence in Ishq e Haqeeqi


دردمنداں دیاں آہیں کولوں، پہاڑ پتھر دے جھڑ دےھو

درد منداں دیاں آہیں کولوں، بھج نانگ زمین وِچ وڑدے ھو

درد منداں دیاں آہیں کولوں، آسمانوں تارے جھڑدے ھو

درد منداں دیاں آہیں کولوں باھوؒ، عاشق مول نہ ڈر دے ھو

Explanation: The lover of the Reality has accepted the Trust of Divine love. Every object of the earth and the sky denied to carry this Trust. The Trust has turned the lovers in such condition that by their sigh the rocks are broken into pieces, snakes hide into the earth and the stars fall from the sky. Only the lovers of the Essence are not afraid of their cries and sighs. As they themselves are engaged in the observation of lights and theophanies of the Essence and always raise the slogan of ھَلْ مِنْ مَّزِیْد “Is there any more?”

Annihilate in Divine Essence in Ishq e Haqeeqi


ذکر فکر سب ارے اریرے، جاں جان فدا ناں فانی ھو

فدا فانی تنہاں نوں حاصل، جیہڑے وسن لا مکانی ھو

فدا فانی اونہاں نوں ہویا، جنہاں چکھی عشق دی کانی ھو

باھوؒ ھو دا ذکر سڑیندا ہر دم، یار نہ ملیا جانی ھو

Explanation: Invocation and reflection are insignificant in love. Actually the purpose is to give your life and annihilate yourself. Annihilation in the Divine Essence is possible by the perfect Mystics who afterwards become immortal with Allah and resides in the station of no station. Moreover they have achieved such a high status and station wounded by the arrow of Divine love. By invoking the king of invocations ‘Hoo’( ھو ), the longing and anxiousness of meeting the Beloved are intensified. As long as the seekers do not find the real Beloved, the separation keeps them desperate and restless every moment.

Secret of Oneness reveals from Ism-e-Allah Zaat


راتیں نین رت ہنجوں روون، تے ڈیہاں غمزہ غم دا ھو

پڑھ توحید وڑیا تن اندر، سکھ آرام ناں سمدا ھو

سر سولی تے چا ٹنگیونے، ایہو راز پرم دا ھو

سدھا ہو کوہیویے باھوؒ، قطرہ رہے ناں غم دا ھو

Explanation: Ishq e Haqeeqi in the form of Ism-e-Allah Zaat (invocation granted by the spiritual guide) has occupied the inwards of the lovers. Moreover, this secret of the Beloved makes them cry at night with the tears of blood and keeps them wounded by affliction. Ever since the secret of Oneness revealed from Ism-e-Allah Zaat within my inner, calm and peace is impossible even for a moment. The same secret of Oneness when disclosed by Mansur Al-Hallaj, he was hanged. To reveal the secret is against the principle of Ishq e Haqeeqi. So it must not be unfolded even if be hanged. The very principle of Divine Love is to be slaughtered and hanged every time concealing it in the inward. Only this is the true submission and surrender. When the Divine consent is achieved sorrow and fear end.

Liberate from innerself (an-nafs)


رات اندھیری کالی دے وِچ، عشق چراغ جلاندا ھو

جیندی سِک توں دل چا نیوے، توڑے نہیں آواز سناندا ھو

اوجھڑجھل تے مارو بیلے، اِتھے دم دم خوف شیہاں دا ھو

تھل جل جنگل گئے جھگیندے باھوؒ، کامل نینہہ جنہاندا ھو

Explanation: The innerself in the form of devil and worldliness has dominated the man. The dark and deep night enlightens by the Divine love. Furthermore when love prevails over the inward, no sound comes. During the journey of mysticism only those can be successful who liberates from lust, sensual appetites, spiritual calamities, worries and darkness and last but not the least who have a perfect spiritual guide and possess Ishq e Haqeeqi.

Divine Essence is beheld everywhere

رحمت اس گھر وِچ وسے، جِتھے بلدے دیوے ھو

عشق ہوائی چڑھ گیا فلک تے، کتھے جہاز گھتیوے ھو

عقل فکر دِی بیڑی نوں، چا پہلے پور بوڑیوے ھو

ہر جا جانی دِسے باھوؒ، جِت ول نظر کچیوے ھو

Explanation: The blessing and bounty dwells in that house where the lamps of Ishq e Haqeeqi lights. The river of Divine Love has risen up to the ocean of Oneness. Where can I now anchor the ship! The boat of wisdom and reflection should sink at the very inception of travelling the path of Ishq e Haqeeqi. Now the state of affairs is that wherever my sight approaches I behold the Divine Essence.

Divine lovers perform ablution with the blood of heart for Ishq e Haqeeqi

عشق موذن دتیاں بانگاں، کنیں بلیل پیوسے ھو

خون جگر دا کڈھ کراہاں، وضو صاف کیتوسے ھو

سن تکبیر فنا فی اللہ والی، مڑن محال تھیوسے ھو

پڑھ تکبیر تھیوسے واصل باھوؒ، تداں شکر کیتوسے ھو

Explanation: The Divine Essence delivered the call of love on the day of pre-existence. Hence when my ears listened to the call, I did my ablution with the blood of my heart for the Divine Love meditation. Then it was difficult for me to return from the salat of love on hearing the initial words of annihilation in Allah ‘Allah is the greatest’. Reciting it, I became one with Him and was grateful to the real Beloved on this kindness.

Those without Divine love remain empty handed in both the worlds

عاشق دا دل موم برابر، معشوقاں ول کاہلی ھو

طاماں ویکھ کے تر تر تکے، جیوں بازاں دی چالی ھو

باز بے چارا کیونکر اڈے، پیریں پیوس دوالی ھو

جیں دل عشق خرید نہ کیتا باھوؒ، دوہاں جہانوں خالی ھو

Explanation: The hearts of the Divine lovers are soft and delicate like wax and are eager to meet the Beloved. Moreover they ever remain restless and perturbed for it. They are always waiting for the beneficence of His vision with their eyes full of unrequited emotion because they themselves are caught in worldly bounds so the secret cannot be disclosed. He who has not earned Ishq e Haqeeqi remains empty handed in both the worlds.

Only Faqr has got the true glory and honour for Ishq e Haqeeqi

عاشقاں ہِکو وُضو جو کیتا‘ روز قیامت تائیں ھو

وِچ نماز رکوع سجودے‘ رہندے سنج صباحیں ھو

اَیتھے اوتھے دوہیں جہانیں‘ سبھ فقر دِیاں جائیں ھو

عرش کولوں سے منزل اَگے باھوؒ، پیا کم تنہائیں ھو

Explanation: The passionate lovers of Allah have taken their ablution with the love of Allah since the day of Divine covenant which will last till the Day of Judgment. They remain lost in bowing and prostrating at the Divine door. Only Faqr has got the true honour and glory in both the realms. Therefore, the station of Divine lovers is far ahead of the Throne.

The game of Divine love leaves one full of surprises

عشق دی بازی ہر جا کھیڈی، شاہ گدا سلطاناں ھو

عالم فاضل عاقل دانا، کردا چا حیراناں ھو

تنبو کھوڑ لتھا وچ دل دے،چا جوڑیوس خلوت خاناں ھو

عشق امیر فقیر منیندے باھوؒ، کیا جانے لوک بیگاناں ھو

Explanation: Every type of people have played the game of love in the world. Love is such a game which surprises the theologians, scholars and intellectuals. Now Ishq e Haqeeqi has encamped in my inward and has made it a closet of seclusion ousting everything from it except the Beloved. Everyone whether rich or poor admits it but the dark inwards do not know this secret.

Indifferent to intellect and reasoning

عشق اسانوں لسیاں جاتا، لتھا مل مہاڑی ھو

ناں سووے ناں سون دیوے، جیویں بال رہاڑی ھو

پوہ مانہہ دے وچ منگے خربوزے، میں کتھوں لے آواں واڑی ھو

عقل فکر دیاں بھل گیاں گلاں باھوؒ، جداں عشق وجائی تاڑی ھو

Explanation: Love has attacked my feeble being vigorously and has dominated it to the extent that neither does it sleep in the aspiration of the vision of the Beloved nor does it let me sleep. Without passing through trials and customs of the path of love it wants union as soon as possible. Whereas this destination or station is still far away but when Ishq e Haqeeqi guided me I became indifferent to the intellect and reasoning.

Station of belovedness

عشق دی بھاہ ہڈاں دا بالن، عاشق بیہہ سکیندے ھو

گھت کے جان جگر وچ آرا، ویکھ کباب تلیندے ھو

سر گردان پھرن ہر ویلے، خون جگر دا پیندے ھو

عاشق ہوئے ہزاراں باھوؒ، پر عشق نصیب کہیندے ھو

Explanation: Ishq e Haqeeqi is the fire that burns everything except the Beloved. Burning in this fire the lover also becomes fire. His bones burn too and his heart and soul are roasted. Such lovers of Allah remain wandering all the time in madness and sadness and become restless and distressed but among thousands of lovers a fortunate one gets the station of belovedness.

Allah Himself chooses for His love

عشق دیاں اولڑیاں گلاں، جیہڑا شرع تھیں دور ہٹاوے ھو

قاضی چھوڑ قضائیں جاون، جد عشق طمانچہ لاوے ھو

لوک ایانے متیں دیون، عاشقاں مت ناں بھاوے ھو

مڑن محال تنہاں نوں باھوؒ، جنہاں صاحب آپ بلاوے ھو

Explanation: Ishq e Haqeeqi is very unique thing which takes to the path of Faqr getting away from sharia. If a scholar, theologian or researcher is enflamed by Ishq e Haqeeqi, he joins the crowd of lovers leaving all his degrees of knowledge and research. The ignorant preach for the easy path of worship and prayers advising the lovers to renounce love but lovers do not pay any heed to them. Those whom the Lord Himself chooses for Ishq e Haqeeqi, their return from this path is very difficult rather impossible.

Sultan Bahoo’s love for Divine lovers

عاشق شوہدے دل کھڑایا، آپ وی نالے کھڑیا ھو

کھڑیا کھڑیا ولیا ناہیں، سنگ محبوباں دے رلیا ھو

عقل فکر دیاں سب بھل گیاں، جد عشقے نال جا ملیا ھو

میں قربان تنہاں توں باھوؒ، جنہاں عشق جوانی چڑھیا ھو

Explanation: The poor lover lost his heart as well as himself in the love of the Beloved. He was lost forever, never to return and was included in the beloveds’ group. I forgot all wisdom and reason ever since I met the Divine Love. May I sacrifice myself for those whose love has approached its peak and have found the Beloved!

Ghawth/Qutb or Divine lovers

غوث قطب سب اُورے اُوریرے‘ عاشق جان اگیرے ھو

جس منزل تے عاشق پہنچن‘ اُوتھے غوث نہ پاون پھیرے ھو

عاشق وِچ وصال دے رہندے‘ جنہاں لامکانی ڈیرے ھو

میں قربان تنہاں توں باھوؒ، جنہاں ذاتوں ذات بسیرے ھو

Explanation: Although the Ghawth and Qutb hold high ranks yet they can never reach the stage of closeness to Allah with which the true and passionate Divine lovers are always blessed. They dwell in the station of no station and always remain one with Allah. I sacrifice myself for the lovers who have reached the station of annihilation in Allah obliterating their own beings.

The perfect spiritual guide is the beacon in the path of Ishq e Haqeeqi

گند ظلمات اندھیر غباراں، راہ نیں خوف خطر دے ھو

مکھ آبِ حیات منور چشمے، اوتے سائے زلف عنبر دے ھو

مکھ محبوب دا خانہ کعبہ، جِتھے عاشق سجدہ کر دے ھو

دو زلفاں وِچ نین مصلے، جِتھے چاروں مذہب ملدےھو

مثل سکندر ڈھونڈن عاشق، اک پلک آرام نہ کر دے ھو

خضر نصیب جنہاں دے باھوؒ، اوہ گھٹ اوتھے جا بھر دے ھو

Explanation: The path of love is full of dangers as one passes through arduousness and darkness where at every step he faces shadows of fear. The innerself, worldliness and devil are the bandits of this way. Although my perfect spiritual guide has introduced the reality to me. The face of my spiritual guide is the enlightened fountainhead of vital water and the Kaaba of the inwards as well as the place of prostration for the lovers. When the veils from my inward removed by his spiritual sight I came to know that the true religion is only the union with Allah.

In this context the four schools of thought Hanafi, Maliki, Hanbali and Shafii have a mutual consent. The true lovers remain upset in search of the company of spiritual guide and are restlessly striving for it every moment. Those who found a drop of vital water from him got the immortal life.

The fire of contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat burns from head to toe

گودڑیاں وچ جال جنہاں دی، اوہ راتیں جاگن ادھیاں ھو

سِک ماہی دی ٹِکن نہ دیندی، لوک انھے دیندے بدیاں ھو

اندر میرا حق تپایا، اساں کھلیاں راتیں کڈھیاں ھو

تن تھیں ماس جدا ہویا باھوؒ، سوکھ جھلارے ہڈیاں ھو

Explanation: The lovers of the Essence remain awake till midnight longing for the vision of the Beloved. Ishq e Haqeeqi does not let them be peaceful but the spiritually blind are unable to understand their plight and keep cursing them. Ishq e Haqeeqi has created within me such a passion and anxiety that I have passed several nights in restless condition. The fire of contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat burns me from head to toe in such a way that the flesh parts the bones but the superficial people are oblivious of the inner state.

Go where Divine Essence is beheld

گیا ایمان عشقے دے پاروں، ہو کر کافر رہیے ھو

گھت زنار کفر دا گل وچ، بت خانے وچ بہیے ھو

جس جا جانی نظر نہ آوے، اوتھے سجدا مول نہ دئیے ھو

جاں جاں جانی نظر نہ آوے، باھوؒ کلمہ مول نہ کہیے ھو

Explanation: Ishq e Haqeeqi is the highest status in faith. If faith is lost due to Ishq e Haqeeqi, instead of giving up love, better to be a pagan because one attains union with Allah by Ishq e Haqeeqi. If wearing cross thread of paganism, one has to sit even in a temple for the sake of Divine union, one should never hesitate. Where one does not behold the Divine Essence them one must neither prostrate nor recite the Islamic creed.

The path of Ishq e Haqeeqi is not an easy one

لَہُ ھو غیری دھندے، ہک پل مول نہ رہندے ھو

عشق نے پٹے رکھ جڑھاں تھیں، اِک دم ہول نہ سہندے ھو

جیہڑے پتھر وانگ پہاڑاں آہے، اوہ لون وانگوں گل وہندے ھو

عشق سوکھالا جے ہوندا باھوؒ، سبھ عاشق ہی بن بہندے ھو

Explanation: When one finds the blessing of the vision of Allah by the warmth of Ishq e Haqeeqi, there is no need of invoking Lahoo Hoo ( ھُوْ , لَہُ ). As the seeker of Allah absorbs in the vision, hence the invocation and reflection end here. Love is such a gale that has dislocated the strong trees (men) of firm intensions and beliefs. It has its own dwelling. By love the men of rock melt like salt but it is also a fact that if the Divine love had been so easy, everybody would have become a lover.

Trials are inevitable for Divine union

لوہا ہوویں پیا کٹیویں، تاں تلوار سڈیویں ھو

کنگھی وانگوں پیا چریویں، تاں زلف محبوب بھریویں ھو

مہندی وانگوں پیا گھوٹیویں، تاں تلی محبوب رنگیویں ھو

وانگ کپاہ پیا پنجیویں، تاں دستار سڈیویں ھو

عاشق صادق ہوویں باھوؒ، تاں رس پریم دی پیویں ھو

Explanation: Sultan Bahoo explains the trials and tribulations which one faces in the path of Ishq e Haqeeqi through examples and similes. Iron is beaten on getting hot to prepare a sword. The wood is cut through to form a comb then it is honoured to touch the Beloved’s lock of hair. Henna is ground on the stone and then decorates Beloved’s palms. Cotton becomes a turban after passing through the pressing machine and is decorated on the Beloved’s head. O seeker! If you are a true lover and want union with Allah, you will have to face problems, trials and hardships, then the Divine union is destined to you.

Choose Ishq e Haqeeqi renouncing worldliness and the hereafter

ناں اوہ ہندو ناں اوہ مومن، ناں سجدہ دین مسیتی ھو

دم دم دے وچ ویکھن مولیٰ، جنہاں قضا نہ کیتی ھو

آہے دانے تے بنے دیوانے، جنہاں ذات صحی ونج کیتی ھو

میں قربان تنہاں توں باھوؒ، جنہاں عشق بازی چن لیتی ھو

Explanation: The religion of lovers of the Essence is only Divine Love. Neither are they Hindus nor believers, nor do they remain prostrated in the mosques like the insipid worshippers and superficial devotees. Lovers know the actual reality and always remain lost in observing the Essence. They never miss their eternal prayer, skipping the physical prayers is out of question. The intellects who have entered the field of Ishq e Haqeeqi become crazy in people’s eyes on getting gnosis. I sacrifice my life for those who have chosen Ishq e Haqeeqi renouncing the worldliness and the hereafter.

Smear with the colour of Ishq e Haqeeqi

ہر دم شرم دی تند تروڑے، جاں ایہہ چھوڈک بلے ھو

کچرک بالاں عقل دا دیوا، مینوں بِرہوں انھیری جھلے ھو

اجڑ گیاندے بھیت نیارے، لکھ لعل جواہر رلے ھو

دھوتیاں داغ نہ لہندے باھوؒ، جیہڑے رنگ مجیٹھی دھلے ھو

Explanation: When the seeker drowns in Ishq e Haqeeqi, it makes him bold and fearless breaking all limits. When and how can I lighten the lamp of wisdom? As in my inward thundering storms and hurricane of separation from the Beloved are blowing. The secrets of this path are very unique as thousands of pearls and gems (seekers of Allah) are hiding themselves from the world, who have been smeared with mature colour of Ishq e Haqeeqi that cannot be faded even with much effort.

According to the teachings of Sultan Bahoo, Ishq e Haqeeqi is the spiritual passion which unites the creation with the Creator. Only due to Ishq e Haqeeqi, a seeker annihilates himself into the Essence of Allah by renouncing the pleasures of his innerself, satanic suggestions and all the minor and major sins. The seekers of Ishq e Haqeeqi (Divine Love) must know that it only originates from the metaphoric love.


ism-e-allah zaat teachings of sultan bahoo

How is God love different from human love

The source of wisdom is brain while the center of Ishq e Haqeeqi is inward. The inward is the manifestation of Allah. The base of all the worldly knowledge is intellect and wisdom. All the material knowledge is gained through wisdom and in return it increases the intellect or wisdom as well. Human intellect and its knowledge are limited as they form their bases on the information received within the dimensions of time and space, so they keep the man bound within the limitations of time and space.

Human brain does not have the capability of thinking beyond these dimensions. While Allah is beyond these limitations and man cannot get the recognition of Allah on the basis of intellect and knowledge. When a man enters the realm of Ishq e Haqeeqi after crossing the boundaries of his knowledge and intellect, then the power of Ishq e Haqeeqi takes him to the station of no station by crossing all the boundaries of time and space where he meets and sees his Beloved Allah.

Rumi says about intellect or Divine love

Rumi expounded:

“We can never describe Ishq e Haqeeqi by intellect and knowledge.”

He further stated:

عِشق آمد عقل خود آوارہ شد

شمس آمد شمعِ خود بیچارہ شد

Explanation: When the passion of Ishq e Haqeeqi aroused in my being, the poor intellect became useless. As candle is no more required when the sun rises.

رہ عقل جز پیچ در پیچ نیست

رہ عاشقاں جز خدا ہیچ نیست

Explanation: The path of intellect is very complicated but the path of the lovers is none other than Ishq e Haqeeqi.

Knowledge and intellect are hurdles in the path of Divine love

Sultan Bahoo stated:

Knowledge and intellect are a great hurdle in the path of Ishq e Haqeeqi. There is such a pleasure and ecstasy in Ishq e Haqeeqi that if an excellent scholar finds a little bit of it, he will be lost in it forgetting all his knowledge. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)

He outburst in his Punjabi couplet:

عشق سمندر چڑھ گیا فلک تے‘ کتول جہاز کچیوے ھو

عقل فکر دِی ڈونڈی نوں‘ چا پہلے پور بوڑیوے ھو

کڑکن کپڑ پوون لہراں ‘جد وحدت وِچ وڑیوے ھو

جس مرنے تھیں خلقت ڈردی باھوؒ ،عاشق مرے تاں جیوے ھو

Explanation: The river of passionate Divine Love has reached the fathomless ocean of Divine Oneness. Faqr is simply the path of Divine Love, intellect has nothing to do with it. Therefore by drowning the useless boat of wisdom and intellect, save yourself from it since it is the very inception of your Divine love. When the seeker enters the ocean of Unity, he has to encounter many apprehensions, troubles, and calamities. The masses are frightened of these troubles and death but the passionate lover of Allah is destined to be perpetuated even after his physical death.

Ishq e Haqeeqi takes to Allah’s gnosis


Allama Iqbal
Allama Iqbal expounded about wisdom and love.

گزر جا عقل سے آگے کہ یہ نور

چراغِ راہ ہے منزل نہیں ہے

Explanation: Go beyond intellect because it is only a beacon of the Divine path. Moreover it can only show you the way to Allah. Allah is beyond wisdom and one cannot access Him by intellect. Ishq e Haqeeqi takes you to the destination that is gnosis of Allah which is impossible by wisdom. As it is unable to encompass Him.

Ishq e Haqeeqi leads to beholding the Beloved and the Mohammadan Assembly

The game of Divine Love is such a unique thing, which is played by the restless, eager and the true lovers of Allah by getting out of the boundaries of intellect, putting their lives and wealth at stake. If they prove the truth and sincerity of their passion, the presence in the Mohammadan Assembly and the vision of Allah are granted to them. As Allah Almighty does not let anybody’s struggle go in vain. One must understand that only Ishq e Haqeeqi opens the door to the vision of Allah. Otherwise, thousands of caravans of intellect ruined in trying to understand the quiddity of the Essence but could not get to it. Though Fakirs got the blessing of Divine vision and found the secrets of Allah through the path of Ishq e Haqeeqi.

Ancient battle between soul and intellect

Allama Iqbal said:

تازہ مرے ضمیر میں معرکۂ کہن ہوا

عشق تمام مصطفےٰؐ، عقل تمام بو لہب

Explanation: The ancient battle between the soul and intellect is reenacted in my inward. The whole existence of Prophet Mohammad is Ishq e Haqeeqi. His intense love took him to Allah on the night of Miraj out of the bounds of time and space. While Abu Lahab thought about the status of the Holy Prophet according to his wisdom and could not recognize the Prophet’s reality and considered him merely a human being. On the other hand the Companions understood the Divine reality of Prophet Mohammad by the power of their love and found him as the manifestation of Reality. Even today the same predicament prevails.

Ishq e Haqeeqi does not deceive

Allama Iqbal

عقل عیار ہے، سو بھیس بنا لیتی ہے

عشق بے چارہ نہ ملا ہے، نہ زاہد، نہ حکیم

Explanation: The intellect is clever and wicked and adopts hundreds of guises. While Ishq e Haqeeqi is never as clever as to become a theologian, worshiper or a scholar to deceive. The wisdom does care for the loss and profit but Ishq e Haqeeqi is beyond such things.

Prophet Abraham and Divine love

Allama Iqbal

بے خطر کود پڑا آتشِ نمرود میں عشق

عقل ہے محوِ تماشائے لبِ بام ابھی

Meaning: Ishq e Haqeeqi is so daring and bold that Prophet Abraham fearlessly jumped into the pyre which Namrud had lighted to burn him while intellect is still watching the show and is confounded. Thus the intellect thinks of advantages and disadvantages while Ishq e Haqeeqi jumps into the fire abruptly.

صدقِ خلیلؑ بھی ہے عشق، صبرِ حسینؑ بھی ہے عشق

معرکہ وجود میں بدر و حنین بھی ہے عشق

Meaning: The truthfulness of Prophet Abraham and belief in the Oneness of Allah were reasons to put him into fire but the fire turned cool. His belief was firm due to his love, so the courage to jump into the fire was also derived from Divine Love.

Battle of Karbala and Divine love

In the battle of Karbala the patience of Husayn ibn Ali was also due to Ishq e Haqeeqi which took him to the highest station of surrender and submission (Tasleem and Riza).

In the battle of body and soul, either the body and its desires get domination or at times the soul and its wishes try to be dominant. This battle ensues from Ishq e Haqeeqi. Those who do not foster Divine Love, never experience such battle because their body always remains dominant over their soul.

Battles of Badr and Hunain and Ishq e Haqeeqi

In the battles of Badr and Hunain the Companions following the Holy Prophet fought in the love of the Prophet and became victorious.

Knowledge and intellect as hurdles in the path of Divine love

Iqbal has declared the knowledge and intellect as the hurdles on the path of love in his Persian writings as well.

عشق صید از زور بازو افگند

عقل مکار است و دامے می زند

عقل را سرمایہ از بیم و شک است

عشق را عزم و یقیں لا ینفک است

آں کند تعمیر تا ویراں کند

ایں کند ویراں کہ آباداں کند

عقل چوں باداست ارزاں در جہاں

عشق کمیاب و بہائے اوگراں

Explanation: Spiritual Love hunts by its own power but the intellect is inherently wicked and keeps spreading snares of its deceptions. The entire asset of intellect is fear, doubt and suspicion. On the contrary, determination and faith cannot be set apart from the Divine love. Whatever is constructed by intellect, its consequence is desolation and ruin but Ishq e Haqeeqi devastates with the purpose of constructing permanently. (Here the attribute of the spiritual guide is referred as he forms a new personality of the seeker eliminating his old one).

Questions about Ishq Haqeeqi

What is the meaning of Divine Love?

Divine Love is the Love which burns everything other than Allah and nothing remains in the inward of the seeker except Allah, the One, the Eternal. Divine love is such a feeling in which the lover (the seeker) is ready to sacrifice everything for the Beloved (Allah).

Sultan Bahoo opines that Divine Love is the key to eternal success and only Divine Love takes the seeker to the court of Allah.

عاشق بیچارہ را جان باجاناں است

کہ ہر دم شوق خوش ترانہ آمد

Meaning: The poor lover is always engrossed in the Beloved. Therefore he ecstatically sings beautiful songs in His love. (Ain-ul-Faqr).

Ishq e Haqeeqi kills one’s innerself (nafs)

عشق دانی چیست؟ کشتن نفس خویش

روز و شب سوزش بود دِل را ریش

Meaning: You know what is Divine Love? It is to kill your ‘innerself’. Due to the intensity of Divine Love the lover is ever suffering from the pangs of the passion. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)

Why love of the spiritual guide is important?

As, Allah is incorporeal i.e we can’t touch or see Him then how to love Him? As our love is for the things and the people whom we see and touch. According to the perfect Mystics, we can attain Ishq e Haqeeqi by means of metaphorical love which is the love for the spiritual guide. Usually people think of metaphorical love to be for a man by a woman and for a woman by a man which is actually lust and a devilish game. The sharia does not allow it. On the path of Faqr, ‘the metaphorical love’ means love for the spiritual guide.

Metaphorical love for the perfectly accomplished spiritual guide turns into the love of Allah. The aforementioned love turns into the Ishq e Rasool and after that transforms into Divine love. Hence the seeker climbs up to the destination of annihilation and immortality with Allah.

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