Khanqah | An Important Institute For Society
Khanqah is not a new concept; it came into being with the advent of Islam. The present era is the era of science and technology. Man has progressed so much that he is unveiling the mysteries of the universe. But unfortunately he is becoming so oblivious to his reality. He pays little or no attention towards his self-improvement, purification of innerself and the real purpose of life.
Common Flaws In Today’s Society
Each of us always keeps an eye on the faults and shortcomings of others, but do not see our own. We equip our children with worldly knowledge; also teach them how to deal well with worldly problems. Moreover, we consider it our success if we are able to deceive others and do tit for tat.
We consider such person distinguished who can perfectly cheat others. Not only this, we think it is permissible to tell a lie for our own benefit. For the sake of our progress and happiness we can ruin others.
Is this the real progress? Ignorant of us. Ignorant of our moral values and above all of Our Creator… Struggling for worldly and outward achievements but oblivious to spiritual and inward progress…
Khanqah Is Important To Seek The Best In Life
We seek the best for ourselves, but the standard of the best is different for everyone. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) declared that to seek Allah is the best desire. But we think wealth in abundance is best for us. In this age of turmoil and selfishness, there is a dire need of training our youth on the same pattern on which the Holy Prophet (pbuh) trained the Companions. Is it not?
It is the need of hour that we should educate our youth and give them awareness that peace of mind is not in the abundance of blessings and comforts but in the remembrance of Allah. Make them realize that before publicizing the faults and shortcomings of others, we should focus on our correction and self-accountability. We are answerable for our acts and deeds and not of others.
Khanqah Provides An Atmosphere Of Self-Accountability
It is only possible if we provide them an atmosphere that can make them a better human. An atmosphere, where they should have opportunities of self-accountability and purification of innerselves. Along with the correction of exoteric-selves, they should also focus on the correctness of inward. If the soul and heart are pure, then the exoteric-selves will also perform good and pure deeds and actions in following it.
One can find such a pious and spiritual environment only in the company of a perfect saint. Only a perfect and accomplished spiritual guide, following the footsteps of the Holy Prophet pbuh, purges the innerselves of the Divine seekers by the beneficence of his spiritual sight. Therefore, perfect Fakirs establish khanqahs, an institute where they focus on purity and improvement of esoteric self.
Khanqahs Are Producing Divine Seekers Since Early Days Of Islam
In the early days of Islam, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) himself laid down the foundation of a similar institution on the platform of al-Suffa. Those who stayed there and were trained are known as companions of al-Suffa. There they found seclusion from the worldly distractions and remained engrossed in the dhikr of Allah.
Even after the time of the Holy Prophet pbuh, the Sufis and Saints kept alive the tradition of establishing khanqahs. With the passage of time, the concept of khanqahs changed in the eyes of the people due to the fake Saints. Perfect Saints establish Khanqahs to invite people towards Allah and to save them from worldly distractions. Unfortunately, after the sad demise of perfect Saints and Fakirs, the illegitimate acts of their selfish shrine caretakers badly affected the grandeur of khanqahs in the eyes of people.
Words Of Iqbal RA About Fake Khanqahs
Allama Iqbal says:
اٹھا میں مدرسہ اور خانقاہ سے غمناک
نہ زندگی، نہ محبت، نہ معرفت، نہ نگاہ
Explanation: I left madrasas and fake khanqahs as there was no life for spiritual self, no Divine recognition, gnosis, proximity and vision as well as no spiritual sight to alter inwards. (Bal-e-Jibril)
The following are some of the key factors that play an important role in the training of the disciples and the Divine seekers in the khanqah shareef.
Training System Of Khanqah
From time to time, the Divine seekers used to come in the company of Murshid Kamil Akmal to seek the truth and to gain the permanent presence in the Mohammadan Assembly. Hence the perfect spiritual guide enlightens their innerselves by the efficacy of his spiritual company and guidance. But most of the time, these changes are of temporary nature. For permanent improvements in religious and social lives, a Divine seeker should stay in khanqah.
Just as it is compulsory to enroll in a school, college or university for the study of worldly sciences, in the same way it is must for a Divine seeker to stay in khanqah for his spiritual training, even if it is only for a short time or a few days.
- The environment of the khanqah is of paramount importance where the Divine seeker finds seclusion from the worldly lusts and distractions. Hence, this environment diverts his attention from other than Allah to Allah.
Divine Seekers Also Gain Moral Training In Khanqah
- In khanqah, people from different areas and backgrounds stay for training. Differences in their habits and lifestyles also affect other Divine seekers living there. While living together, one has to endure the bitterness of temperament and harshness of speech. On the other hand, one also sees examples of brotherhood. One also has to endure the love and hate of each other. Collectively all these differences prove to be a great source of moral training of seekers.
- All Divine seekers are of different educational and spiritual levels. When they sit together and discuss different topics of Faqr (Sufism) according to their level of understanding, it opens up new ways of thinking. Whereas living and engaging with worldly people increases the love for wealth and other worldly lusts.
- During their stay in khanqah, Divine seekers have to undergo various duties. For example, cleaning of khanqah, preparation of langar and other matters including publication of books, magazines etc., preaching and invitation duties. When a seeker performs all these duties with utmost sincerity he gains a purified self. He also gets rid of veils of lusts and worldly desires.
Khanqah connects Divine Seekers With Allah
- In khanqah, dancing, music and smoking are prohibited for the Divine seekers, as these things badly distract a person’s thoughts and ideas. Hence, they have ample time for invocation. So they remain busy in the invocation (dhikr) of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. By the virtue of this spiritual environment, they find inner peace in other acts of worship too. Invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat not only save them from spiritual diseases but also instill in them Divine attributes and the attributes of Prophet Mohammad pbuh i.e. patience, self-accountability, modesty, taqwa and Divine love etc.
- During his stay in khanqah, the seeker gets ample time for self-accountability. So he put efforts in his outward and inward corrections. Resultantly, he abandons all those immoral acts which cause the anger and wrath of Allah Almighty.
Khanqah Provides Opportunities To Meet Spiritual Guide
- When a Divine seeker stays in khanqah he gets more opportunities to meet perfect spiritual guide. Due to the beneficence of enlightened companionship of perfect Fakir, the love of the world leaves the esoteric self of the seeker and the love of Allah and His Prophet pbuh is bestowed. Such intensity of Divine love creates a spirit of serving Allah and His Prophet and the religion Islam.
- During his stay in the khanqah, a Divine seeker gets acquainted with the traditions of the Saints and Fakirs. When he comes to know about their struggle for the right path and Divine nearness, the same passion and love is created within him. So his longing for Divine proximity and nearness increases more vigorously.
- While staying in khanqah, the Divine seeker gets rid of psychological and spiritual diseases such as hatred and envy, jealousy and arrogance, lies and backbiting etc. Moreover he also gets rid of evil thoughts and satanic whispers about others. Ultimately, he tends towards positive thinking.
In short, in spite of the notorious activities of these so-called Sufis, in every era, perfect Fakirs have established khanqahs and the seekers of truth have always found them. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the 31st perfect spiritual guide and the present Imam of Sarwari Qadri order. He has established khanqah sharif maintaining the same spirit as it was in the era of Holy Prophet pbuh and the other Saints who came after him.
At first, for the spiritual training of the Divine seekers, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman established the “Khanqah Sarwari Qadri”. It is located in Education Town, Wahdat Road, Lahore. Over time, due to the increasing number of disciples, khanqah silsila Sarwari Qadri became insufficient for the disciples. In view of this need, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman, the Founder and Patron in Chief of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr started a grand project of Khanqah Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen at the end of 2019. By the grace of Allah Almighty this project completed in a short period of about a year. After completion of this project, on 1st August 2020 at the auspicious occasion of Eid al-Adha, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen laid down the foundation stone of ‘Masjid-e-Zahra’. It is adjacent to Khanqah Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen.
Khanqah Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen – The Center Of Faqr
After the completion of Khanqah Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, Khanqah Sarwari Qadri has now become the Central office of all the departments of Tehreek-e-Dawat-e-Faqr. While the Khanqah Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen has become a spiritual center of Sarwari Qadri order. Here Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman purifies the innerselves of the Divine seekers by the beneficence of his enlightened company. A large number of disciples are permanently living in Khanqah Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. They have dedicated their lives for the path of truth. At the same time, a large number of disciples from local and remote areas also visit Khanqah Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen for esoteric training.
Invitation To All Divine Seekers
It is an open invitation for all the seekers to come and stay in khanqah sharif to get beneficence from the spiritual company of perfect spiritual guide. The khanqah is the only blessed and spiritual place where the dirt and rust from inward is removed and filled with Divine light. The moral and spiritual upgradation of a seeker is possible only by staying in the khanqah. For the sake of our employment and business we can easily travel from one corner of the world to another. Unfortunately we find it hard to adopt a company of spiritual guide for spiritual training. So take the first step to enlighten your innerself by staying in the company of spiritual guide and gain the gnosis of Allah and His proximity. It’s time to act! Succeed in both the worlds. Stop political thought and go for spiritual progress.
An Important Announcement
The management committee of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr has prepared a complete and comprehensive plan for the permanent shifting of all the offices of Khanqah Sarwari Qadri to Khanqah Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. Under this project, offices of all departments will be constructed in Khanqah Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. This project will be completed under the supervision of Deputy Patron in Chief of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr Sahibzada Sultan Mohammad Murtaza Najib. (In sha Allah). A Construction Committee has also been formulated for this project. It is a humble request to all the Divine seekers and donors to contribute generously for this noble cause and be a part of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr’s mission:
ففروا الی اللّٰہ
Run towards Allah.
Q1: What is the role of khanqah in reformation of society?
The khanqah in Islam is a place of knowledge and worship that played an important religious, social and cultural role in the life of a Muslim since beginning. The environment of the khanqah is of paramount importance here the Divine seeker finds seclusion from the worldly lusts and distractions. Hence, this environment diverts his attention from other than Allah to Allah. It provides an atmosphere, where the Divine seekers have opportunities of self-accountability and purification of innerselves. Along with the correction of exoteric-selves, they focus on the correctness of inward. They know that if the soul and heart are pure, then the exoteric-selves will also perform good and pure deeds and actions in following it.
Q2: What are the characteristics of a khanqah?
A Khanqah is most of the time, but not always, adjacent to shrines of Saints. Food is served there to the public without discrimination. The facility of residence is also available there. The soul of a khanqah is perfect spiritual guide. This is because he is blessed with beautiful attributes and spirituality of Holy Prophet (pbuh). Hence, his spiritually effective and inspiring personality attracts non-Muslims towards Islam and Muslims towards betterment of character. Other institutions are mostly led by scholars who only have outward knowledge of religion. They can only inform about dos and don’ts of religion through sermons. Contrarily, Saints inculcate desirable traits replacing undesirable habits through their spiritually empowered sight. Scholars only prescribe remedies of spiritual diseases whereas Saints actually cure them.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says;
- In madrasah, Allah is known through knowledge whereas in khanqah Allah is recognized through Divine love.
Q3: How is khanqah related to Sufism?
Khanqah is an inclusive institute of sharia and Sufism (a method for spiritual elevation and purification) which provides a platform for the Divine seekers. Khanqah is also an educational institute for the thirst of religious knowledge which serves the public with the facility of free education.
Moreover, khanqahs provides persuasion of highest purpose i.e. closeness to Allah through spiritual elevation. Here, the spiritual guide blesses his disciples with purgation of innerself and enlightenment of soul. Resultantly, their inward illuminates and relation with Allah strengthens so much so that angels envy them. Its outward effects are character elevation, enhancement of unity and goodwill and elimination of evil from society.