Report: Waqar Ahmad Sarwari Qadri, Senior Editor Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore.

Every year, Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr enthusiastically celebrates a grand Mawlid on 21st March as the day of transference of Divine Trust. To make the readers understand the importance of the day, it is essential to shed light upon its background. So that it is highlighted why it is a distinguishing day not only for Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr but also in the history of Mysticism.

The Context

Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali rehmat-ul-Allah alayh was the 31st Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri order. He perfectly possessed all attributes of Sultan-ul-Faqr as Hazrat Sultan Bahoo has described in his Sufi treatise ‘Risala Roohi Sharif’. Hence,  holds the status of sixth Sultan-ul-Faqr. Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali dedicated his entire life to spread the beneficence of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. He blessed lakhs of people with purgation of innerself and enlightenment of soul.Thus made them desirable in the court of Allah. Though he had huge number of followers yet none among them was capable enough to become his spiritual confidant and hold the Divine Trust of Faqr. Most of his disciples who claimed to be his ardent lovers could not meet the desired criteria. Their worldly desires would not let them remain true to their claim.

Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali performed Umrah for consecutive three years in 1995, 1996, 1997 with his chosen disciples. So as to present them in the court of Holy Prophet for selection of the next heir of Divine Trust. However, none came up to the standard. Afterwards, Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali chose two persons in Pakistan and even granted khilafat (spiritual succession) to one of them. Alas! He could not fulfill the requirements of outward khilafat, hence proved incapable to hold the Divine Trust.

Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman- Heir of The Divine Trust (Faqr)

Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman reached the court of Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali on 12th April 1998 (14 Zilhaj, 1418 H). Immediately on taking oath of allegiance at the hand of Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali, he became his true slave and the most ardent lover. Thereafter, he served his spiritual guide with utmost dedication with all his abilities. He even sacrificed his entire wealth to serve his spiritual guide. Eventually, he annihilated in his spiritual guide to the extent that he became his exact reflection. When Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali had outwardly as well as inwardly tested this most loyal, dedicated and submissive disciple, he decided to perform Hajj. Hence, in February 2001, he went to Makkah to offer Hajj with Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. Few other disciples and members of his family also went along.

After performing Hajj, they went to Madina on 18th March, 2001. At last, on 21st March, the blessed day came for which Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali had been waiting since years. He presented his beloved disciple Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen in the court of Holy Prophet for selection as the heir of Divine Trust. His years’ long efforts were answered when the Holy Prophet happily approved Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman as the next possessor of the Divine Trust of Faqr. Thus, he transferred the Trust of Faqr to Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman there and then at the tomb of Holy Prophet in Madina on 21st March 2001.

Celebration of Mawlid on 21st March

Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr commemorates the blessed day of 21st March by arranging grand Mawlid every year as a symbol of gratitude in the Divine Court. Disciples of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen from all over Pakistan as well as from abroad attend this Mawlid with great zeal. Every department of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr puts great efforts to make this event successful. A brief account of contribution of each department is given;

Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications

For the blessed day of Mawlid, Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications published two books on very important topics; Bayat ki Ahmiat or Zaroorat (Importance and Need of Oath of Allegiance) and Khanqah Silsila Sarwari Qadri (Khanqah of Sarwari Qadri Order). Both the topics hold great importance in the world of Sufism. Team of Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications researched hard to gather content on these topics and elaborated both topics persuasively in the books. On the day of Mawlid, these books were available on the stalls of Sultan-ul-Faqr publications.

Moreover, the monthly magazine of Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr also published articles based on the importance and grandeur of the day of transference of Divine Trust. Furthermore, this department also printed beautiful flexes containing open invitation to the event. Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr displayed these flexes at all the important public points in Lahore. The regional organizations of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr also adorned the flexes in their respective areas.

Social Media Department

In the contemporary era, role of social media is inevitable in every field.  It is the most effective medium to convey message to youth. Keeping in view the requirement of modern era, the Social Media Department of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr is utilizing its every medium like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. to call commonalty, specially the youth, towards the true path to Allah. This department played a great role in enlightening people about the importance of 21st March as the day of transference of Divine Trust. Moreover, it also highlighted the importance of perfect spiritual guide as well as difference between the possessor of Divine Trust who is the Universal Divine Man of his era and the caretakers of shrines. It convincingly spread the message based on well-researched matter through all social media.

Sultan-ul-Faqr Digital Productions

Youtube and Dailymotion are the fastest means of propagating any news worldwide and getting news from all over the world. Sultan-ul-Faqr Digital Productions uploaded many audios and videos on these websites elaborating the importance of Mawlid on 21st March and inviting the masses to attend this celestial gathering.  It also ran the videos of Mawlid celebrated in previous years which attracted a lot of attendees.

Preaching Department

As the name depicts, this department calls the masses towards gnosis of Allah. It preaches the importance of taking oath of allegiance at the hand of perfect spiritual guide and doing invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat under his guidance. Members of this department visited different areas of the country. They introduced people with the importance of 21st March as well as invited them to attend the Mawlid. They also answered questions regarding transference of Divine Trust in the light of Quran and Hadith.

Khanqah of Sarwari Qadri Order

The venue for celebration of Mawlid was Khanqah of Sarwari Qadri order at 4-5 Extension Education Town, Wahdat Road Lahore. Hence, decorating the khanqah and making arrangements for the guests were extremely important matters. Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr decorated the khanqah with colourful lights and buntings many days before the event. Different flexes were also hung inside and outside the khanqah with beautiful pictures of Sultan-ul- Ashiqeen and invitation to masses.

Disciples of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen from all over Pakistan and from abroad started to gather at khanqah a day before the event. Tehreek Dawat-e Faqr had made vast arrangements for dine and stay of respected guests.

Alongside khanqah, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen house was also decorated beautifully with colourful lights. It felt as if the stars have surrounded the blessed house. There was a big flex with invitation of Mawlid outside the house.

In addition to these main departments, other departments of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr, rather each and every disciple of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen was contributing his best to make the event successful. Avoiding lengthy details, let us discuss the highlights of celestial ceremony.

Welcoming Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen

Time for arrival of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen at the khanqah for celebration of Mawlid was set as 10:00 am. The guests at khanqah had started preparations from early morning. New guests from all around the country had also started arriving. They all were anxious to behold their beloved spiritual guide and were enthusiastically preparing to welcome him. The management of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr had already made plans and arrangements for his warm welcome. As the time for his arrival was approaching nearer, their restlessness to meet him was increasing. A squad of security guards reached Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen house to escort Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman to khanqah with due honour and splendour.

When Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen and his respected son Sahibzada Sultan Mohammad Murtaza Najib came out of their house, the security guards efficiently presented them salute of honour.  Then, the guards escorted their cars towards khanqah where anxious disciples were waiting for them standing in rows at both sides of road with petals. As soon as their awaiting eyes caught glimpse of ride of their beloved spiritual guide, they started chanting loudly ‘Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Zindabaad’, ‘Imam-e-Mobeen Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’, ‘Mujadid-e-Deen Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’. When his ride approached nearer, they frenziedly tossed petals. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen waved at them to answer their chants which further excited the devotees. When Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen and Sahibzada Sultan Mohammad Murtaza Najib stepped out of their cars, Mohammad Abdullah Iqbal Sarwari Qadri and Husnain Mehboob Sarwari Qadri presented them bouquets. Before gracing the seat of honour, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen again answered chants of his lovers by waving at them.

Commencing the Ceremony     

The Chief Executive of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr Malik Mohammad Naeem Abbas Khokhar hosted the ceremony. First of all, he gave few important instructions to the attendees regarding etiquettes of ceremony and respect of spiritual guide. Then he formally started the ceremony after having permission from perfect spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen and invited Molana Mohammad Aslam Sarwari Qadri for recitation of Quran. He recited few verses of Quran and also presented their meaning in Urdu.

خدا کا ذکر کرے، ذکرِ مصطفیٰ نہ کرے

ہمارے منہ میں ہو ایسی زباں، خدا نہ کرے

Meaning: May Allah save us from having such a tongue which praises Allah but does not praises his beloved Prophet Mohammad sall Allahu Alayhi wa’allihi wasallam.

After recitation of Holy Quran, Mohsin Raza Sultani came on stage to present the encomium ‘Hr Zamana Hazoor da ay’ (Every era belongs to the Holy Prophet). His beautiful voice and passionate lyrics of encomium filled the hearts of audience with extreme fervor for the Holy Prophet.

Then Malik Naeem Abbas Khokhar again invited Molana Aslam Sarwari Qadri to shed light upon the sacred attributes of the Holy Prophet and his true legacy i.e. Faqr as well as discuss the importance of Divine Trust of Faqr. Molana Aslam elaborated all the points in such an easy to understand manner that touched the hearts of audience.

Eulogies in the honour of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen

After the speech of Molana Mohammad Aslam, the host invited Mohammad Ramazan Bahoo to present eulogy in the honour of perfect spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. Here, it is important to inform the readers that Mohammad Ramazan Bahoo has got the honour to get all 201 quatrains of Hazrat Sultan Bahoo recorded in his beautiful voice. It only owes to the favour of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. As, before this none could record complete 201 quatrains of Sultan Bahoo despite efforts. When Ramzan Bahoo recited the eulogy “Murshid Najib Sayeen” in the honour of his beloved spiritual guide, the audience applauded his beautiful voice and expression.

Meanwhile, guests kept arriving and the venue was overcrowded. Management of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr had made arrangements for attendees outside khanqah as well because of expected large number of guests. They had displayed large SMD screen showing the live proceedings of ceremony to those sitting outside.

Then Ata-ul-Wahab Sarwari Qadri also presented an extremely beautiful eulogy in the honour of perfect spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. It touched the hearts of audience who praised it tremendously.

Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, The Center of Faqr

Afterwards, Mohammad Farooq Zia Sarwari Qadri delivered a thought provoking speech on the topic “Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, The Centre of Faqr”. He elaborated how the Divine Trust reached Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen from Hazrat Sultan Bahoo through different spiritual leaders of Sarwari Qadri Order. Furthermore, he shed light upon the hard efforts of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen to spread Faqr, the veritable heritage of Prophet Mohammad. Due to these efforts, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen has become the center of Faqr till the doomsday. His extremely elevated spiritual level, grandeur and efforts prove that he is the Reviver of religion in contemporary era.

Mohammad Farooq Zia additionally explained the difference between custodian of shrine (Sajada Nasheen or Gaddi Nasheen) and the perfect Fakir. The perfect Fakir possesses entire spiritual powers to rectify the innerselves of seekers of Allah and lead them to Allah. While, custodian of shrine is merely the caretaker of shrine. Mohammad Farooq Zia is popular for his narrative style and enthusiastic speeches. This enlightening speech was also much admired by the audience.

Before concluding the ceremony, Malik Naeem Abbas once again invited Mohsin Raza  on stage. He presented a beautiful eulogy in the praise of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. Then Ramazan Bahoo recited the Si Harfi “Ghaus vi aye Qutb vi aye”. Commendable performance by the reciters and orators kept the audience captivated till the end.

Concluding the ceremony, the host introduced two new books which Sultan-ul-Faqr publications had specially published for this esteemed day.

Stall of Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications

Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications had set its stall outside the khanqah. All the books of Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications were available on the stall. The attendees visited the stall and expressed great interest in the books on Mysticism by Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. Latest books of Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications, “Bayat ki Ahmiat or Zaroorat” and “Khanqah Silsila Sarwari Qadri” attracted the most attention. In addition to new books, Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications had also printed new bags with name of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr on them. The attendees appreciated this effort as well.

Important Announcements By Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen

On the auspicious occasion of Mawlid on 21st March, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen made a few very important announcements. First of all, he took his turban off his head and made Mohammad Abdullah Iqbal Sarwari Qadri wear it. And announced that he has granted Abdullah Iqbal his khilafat  (spiritual succession) owing to his loyalty, dedication, perseverance and ardent love for spiritual guide. Then, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen wore another turban, took it off his head and made Doctor Husnain Mehboob wear it. Thus announced to grant him khilafat. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen himself wore a new turban. He praised the entire family of Doctor Husnain for their perseverance and loyal companionship over a number of years.

These announcements overwhelmed the devotees with joy and they raised the chants Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Zinda Baad ‘Long live Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’.

Distribution of Ism-e-Mohammad        

The founder of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib -ur-Rehman is the perfect spiritual guide and the present spiritual leader of Sarwari Qadri order. Every year on the occasion of Mawlid on 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal, he grants Ism-e-Mohammad to the fortunate disciples who have progressed spiritually. Since his disciples are increasing day by day, from this year onwards he has started granting Ism-e-Mohammad on the blessed occasion of Mawlid on 21st March as well. Hence, he granted Ism-e-Mohammad to a number of disciples who were chosen purely on the basis of inner purity as well as their efforts to build strong relation with their spiritual guide through the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and by performing different services for him sincerely and devotedly.

When all the chosen disciples had received Ism-e-Mohammad, Molana Aslam Sarwari Qadri recited the Khatm Sharif. Mohammad Farooq Zia made supplication for all the attendees. Mohsin Raza Sultani and Mohammad Sajid presented salutations in the court of Holy Prophet. Then, Molana Aslam again made a soulful prayer for solution of all esoteric and exoteric problems of everyone present in the gathering. The attendees were all tears during the supplication. It felt as if the Divine light is showering on them and each word of the prayer is being accepted in the Holy court.

Oath of Allegiance (Al-Bayah)

After the prayer, a large number of new disciples took oath of allegiance at the sacred hand of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. He grants his disciples Ism-e-Allah Zaat written in gold for contemplation on the very first day of oath alongwith its inscribing practice on body.  It is the special favour of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen upon seekers of Allah that he grants the king of invocations Sultan-ul-Azkar Hoo (ھو ) to his disciples immediately on taking oath. Sultan-ul-Azkar Hoo (ھو ) is the final stage of invocation which takes the seeker to Allah most quickly. There isn’t any level of invocation higher than this. The devotees who want to acquire invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat without oath of allegiance, get the first stage of invocation i.e. Allahu Hoo (اللہُ ھو).

After taking oath from the disciples Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen told them the importance and beneficence of invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. He also prayed for their spiritual elevation and instructed them to invoke and contemplate Ism-e-Allah Zaat regularly. Senior disciples explained the method of invocation, contemplation and inscribing practice of Ism-e-Allah Zaat to the new disciples.

Offering Dhuhr Prayer and Departure From Kahnqah

Hafiz Nasir Majeed Sarwari Qadri called Azan for Dhuhr (afternoon) salat (Namaz). Molana Mohammad Aslam Sarwari Qadri conducted the salat as imam and all the attendees offered salat. Afterwards, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen met all the disciples individually. Before leaving the gathering, he specially met the team who prepared the sacred meal (Langar) for the guests. It was indeed a great effort to prepare food for such a massive gathering. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen commended their effort and embraced each one of them.

The efficient security guards escorted Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen to his house where the female disciples were holding the ceremony.

Serving the Langar

The management of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr had prepared grand meal for the gathering. When Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen left the gathering, the langar department started serving the meal. The attendees sat in lines and the members of langar department served the meal with great discipline so that everyone could get the food. Everyone enjoyed the food.

Mawlid Ceremony by Female Disciples

Just as in the physical world, the females are contributing in every field equivalent to males; likewise in the world of Sufism the participation of ladies is not at all lesser than the gents. The female disciples of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen are as devoted as the male disciples. They also held the Mawlid ceremony at Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen house on 21st March under the presidentship of his honourable wife. The number of female attendees was far more than expected and they were extremely enthusiastic for the ceremony. It started with recitation of Holy Quran. Then encomiums and eulogies were presented. A speech highlighting the grandeur of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen as the center of Faqr and his struggle to spread Faqr was delivered. At the end, they presented salutations in the court of Holy Prophet and offered prayer. Then, members of female management wing served the sacred meal.

On the arrival of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, all the female devotees welcomed him with great zeal. When he graced the seat, a large number of disciples took oath of allegiance at his hand and got the blessing of Ism-e-Allah Zaat from him. Furthermore, he also granted Ism-e-Mohammad to many of his fortunate female disciples.

The female disciples had also arranged the stall of books of Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications. They additionally distributed the two new books “Bayat ki Ahmiat or Zaroorat” and “Khanqah Silsila Sarwari Qadri” free among the audience.

Conclusion

Dear readers! It is very fortunate to reach the court of perfect spiritual guide and take oath of allegiance at his hand. However, real success lies in regularly doing the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat under his guidance.  As the seeker progresses spiritually by invoking and contemplating Ism-e-Allah Zaat, the veils of innerself remove and he gains closeness and gnosis of Allah.

This spiritual journey is not difficult provided the seeker is true to his desire for Allah. By the grace of spiritual guide, Divine secrets reveal upon the seeker and he eventually gains presence in Mohammadan Assembly. It only results from ardent love of perfect spiritual guide. The real Miraj of true believer and his success in the world and hereafter lies in travelling spiritually from this physical world to the realm of Divinity. Hence, become desirable in the court of Allah by having His vision and presence of Mohammadan Assembly which are the highest spiritual stations.

May Allah bestow upon us His special favours to travel the path of Faqr with utmost sincerity and perseverance. May He also bless our beloved spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman with success in his mission to spread Faqr. Amen

Note:

This report is published in April 2019 issue of monthly magazine Sultan-ul-Faqr, Lahore. The translation is penned by Mrs. Ambreen Moghees Sarwari Qadri. For study in Urdu please click the link:

https://www.mahnama-sultan-ul-faqr-lahore.com/april-2019-tehreek-dawat-e-faqr-news/

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