Miraj meaning in English to ascend. It is derived from the Arabic word “Araj” which means “to ascend”. It is that level of Divine closeness and the last level of human ascension where there neither remains any veil between Allah and man nor any distance. Miraj is the journey of man from the realm of the physical world to the realm of divinity (his initial level or his truth) i.e to Allah. (Al Risala-tul-Ghuasia)
سرِلامکاں سےطلب ہوئی ،سوئے منتہیٰ وہ چلے نبیؐ
کوئی حد ہے ان کے عروج کی،بلغ العلیٰ بکمالہٖ
Meaning: Allah called Prophet Mohammad to the realm of Divinity, the Prophet (pbuh) went towards the final boundary (of the universe). Prophet Mohammad is on that spiritual level where no one can reach. He reached the highest station through his perfection.
Miraj is the levitation of the miracles of Prophet Mohammad. On the night of Miraj, Allah Almighty blessed infinite closeness and union to the seal of Prophets, the one without whom the world would not have been called out of non-existence, the pride of everything in this world and the hereafter, Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
At the utmost level of Qaab-a-Qausain, Allah blessed Prophet Mohammad with Divine conversation and unveiled vision. It was in such a way that on one hand, Allah was the Hearer and Observer of His beloved Prophet Mohammad and on the other hand, Prophet Mohammad was the hearer and beholder of Allah. There was no veil between them.
ہوئی ہے کس قد رارزانی مےِ جلوہ
کہ مست ہے تیرےکو چے میں ہر درودیوار
Explanation: The wine of the vision of Your beauty became so popular that every seeker in Your gathering is intoxicated by it.
The Miraj of a believer
After granting His vision and closeness to Prophet Mohammad, Allah opened the pathways of His vision and closeness for the umma of Prophet Mohammad too. For this purpose Allah granted the gift of salat to the umma so that they can have the vision and closeness of Allah through it. It is a Hadith that:
- Salat is the Miraj for the believer.
The point to ponder is that salat is Miraj for the believer, not the Muslim.
Who is a believer? And what is the meaning of being a Muslim?
Once, Prophet Mohammad was distributing the war wealth among the sacred Companions. Some Bedouins came (who had just accepted Islam). They asked Prophet Mohammad:
“Master! We are also believers. Please grant us too from which you are granting other believers.”
Prophet Mohammad hadn’t said anything to them when the revelation came:
- The Bedouins say: ‘We have believed.’ Say: ‘You have not believed. Rather say: We have accepted Islam. And the belief has not yet gone into your hearts. If you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not decrease anything (in reward) for your deeds. Surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.’(49:14)
From the above verse, it is clear that reciting the Kalimah doesn’t make a person a believer but only a Muslim.
Faith is related with the inward. Until faith enters the inward, one cannot become a believer.
Allah says in a hadith:
- “Neither the earth nor the heavens can contain Me whilst the inward of My believer can.” (Muslim)
This verse means that the Muslim affirms the Oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Prophet Mohammad by tongue, whilst the believer affirms it by his inward. A Muslim only believes in Allah whilst the believer obeys Allah. A Muslim believes that only Allah is everywhere whilst the believer has only Allah in his inward. Thus, he observes the fact, “So whichever direction you turn to, there is the presence of Allah”. Hence the salat of a believer and a Muslim has a big difference.” The salat of a Muslim is just an outward devotion whilst the believer connects with Allah inwardly during his salat. Thus, it makes him the embodiment of humility.
Salat is amongst the outward devotions and is a way of connecting with Allah. Among all the devotions, it is the most favourite devotion near Allah. Salat and faith are inseparable. Faith is unaccomplished without it. Prophet Mohammad says:
“Salat is a pillar of Islam.” Sunan ibn Majah
Salat – The path to closeness and gnosis of Allah
Salat is a way to connect and share secrets with Allah. Therefore Allah has ordered repeatedly in Quran to perform it. Allah says:
- “Verily, I am Allah. There is no God other than Me. So always worship Me, and establish Prayer for the sake of My remembrance.” (20:14)
Prophet Mohammad said:
- Worship Allah as if you see Him.
- Salat is a medium to connect with Allah.
Salat is a Quranic term. In the dictionary, Salat means invocation and obedience to Allah. According to the jurists, Salat is that particular devotion in which one gets the closeness and gnosis of Allah.
In Risala tul Ghausia, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jillani says:
- I said, “Oh! Lord, which Salat is closest to you.” Allah said, “The Salat in which there is no one except Me, even the person offering the Salat is esoterically absent from it”. (Risala Al-Ghausia)
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says:
“Salat is a form of worship of Allah that teaches a person to be permanently engaged in obedience to Allah.”
Presence of inward in Salat
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
Certainly, the believers have attained their goal. Those who become most humble and submissive in their Prayers. (23:1,2)
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman says:
- The presence of inward (Huzoor-e-Qalb) means disengaging or becoming indifferent from the creation and bonding with the Divine Essence. This is also called station of unification with Allah. The Divine presence means to observe the Divinity with the inner eye.
Prophet Mohammad has explained the condition of presence of inward in these words:
“There is no salat without the presence of inward.”
It is clear from this Hadith that the purpose of salat is to have the Divine vision, closeness, and gnosis. One cannot succeed in this purpose unless he completely engrosses in the yearn of Allah during salat, and becomes indifferent from everything other than Allah.
Allama Iqbal says:
زاہد! کمالِ ترک سے ملتی ہے یاں مراد
دنیا چھوڑ دی ہے تو عقبیٰ بھی چھوڑ دے
Meaning: One can gain the purpose of life only by renouncing his desires. Leave the hereafter as you have left the material world.
Salat is the name of supplication i.e. submitting oneself humbly before Allah, and its centre is heart. When heart becomes oblivious to Allah, it invalidates the esoteric as well as exoteric salat. Because heart is the major organ of the body and all other organs are subject to it, both physically and spiritually.
As Prophet Mohammad said,
“Undoubtedly, there is a piece of flesh in the existence of descendants of Adam, if it remains correct, whole existence (of man) is correct but when it gets impaired whole existence of man becomes impaired. Be careful! That piece of flesh is Heart”. (Sir-ul-Asrar)
Only that Salat is acceptable which has presence of inward in it. The devout is absorbed in the feeling of closeness of Allah so much so that only Allah is there and that person is not present (esoterically).
Such a salat is only possible when the person is free from all the evils and pleasures of worldly desires and the dangers of inward and is elevated to the level of the realm of Divinity, is annihilated in Allah and has gained immortality. So, unless man is not free from duality he cannot perform this salat.
Sultan Bahoo says about establishing salat:
Establishing salat means having presence before Allah in the heart. The salat of pure men who are blessed with presence before Allah is that their body organs are busy in bowing and prostrating, tongue is reciting the verses, but heart is engrossed in the remembrance and vision of Allah. Unless they are blessed with the Divine presence and vision of Allah during salat while recitation of Quranic verses in the standing position, they do not bow, and unless they are blessed with the Divine Presence and vision of Allah while bowing position they do not raise their head and bend for prostration and unless they are blessed with the Divine presence and vision of Allah while first prostration they do not raise their head and go for second prostration. (Sultan-ul-Waham)
He says on another account:
The seeker who does not behold Allah while offering salat and doing other jobs and does not even recognise Allah nor remains present before Him eternally, has not achieved his objective. He is still a seeker of Allah and not the lover of Allah. (Sultan-ul-Waham)
Once someone asked Shaikh Abu-Sa’id-Al-Kharaz “How to perform salat?” He said: “Stand before Allah in such a way that there is no medium between you and Him and you perform supplication. But you should keep in mind that you are standing before the king of both worlds. (Awarif-ul-Maarif)
The zenith of Miraj is that when man becomes indifferent of everything other than Allah, he reaches the utmost level to closeness to Allah. So, that is why Prophet Mohammad denoted salat with Miraj and it is the way to connect with Allah. It is that connection in which man’s esoteric senses rule over exoteric senses. Man is absorbed in the vision of Allah elevating from everything other than Allah. That is why Allah has said:
“He has not performed salat who has not achieved Miraj. Rather he is deprived of it.”
The salat without the presence of inward and its warning in Quran
Salat is the medium of Miraj for the believer. The salat which has no Miraj (vision of Allah) is without the presence of inward. This kind of salat is the way to doom in the world and the hereafter. That salat which has no humility is the reason of depravity individually and is the cause of destruction unitedly. Allah has sent warning for those men who are deprived of presence of inward.
So, woe unto those devouts who are unaware of their Salat (i.e. the soul of Salat) and those who show off. (107:4-6)
It should be noted that these verses are for those people who offer their prayer, not for those who leave it. It has been made clear that such people who offer their Salat without knowing its true soul and for the sake of pretense are in a great trouble. (The spiritual reality of Salat)
جو میں سربسجدہ ہوا کبھی توزمیں سےآنے لگی صدا
تیرادل تو ہے صنم آشناتجھے کیا ملے گا نماز میں
That is, how you will achieve the level of Miraj without the presence of inward during salat? As your inward is the abode of idols of desires.
Prophet Mohammad says:
“Most of the men are those who achieve nothing in salat except tiredness and pain.”
This is the namaz of that man whose body parts only are performing salat, so they achieve only tiredness and pain. However, there is no tiredness and pain in the salat of Divine presence because there is the pleasure of vision of Allah.
Sufyan Sauri says:
“He who doesn’t perform salat with humility (Divine presence) has not actually performed salat.”
Sultan-ul-Faqr second, Hasan of Basra says:
“The salat who is missing the Divine presence is equivalent to the torment.”
Despite all the clear messages, we do not consider the salat without Divine presence and prostrating hurriedly, a mistake. The worth and inward reality of salat is vanishing from our inwards. That is why we are declining in every level of life. The day we would understand the reality of salat and will prioritise it on every level of life while performing it with Divine presence, we will become the deserver of consent of Allah.
Allama Iqbal says about the salat without Divine Presence:
بے حضوری ہے تیری موت کا راز
زندہ ہوتوبے حضورنہیں
Explanation: Your soul is weak because it is void of Divine presence. Once it gains life, it will surely attain eternal pleasure. (Bal-e-Jibril)
باجھ حضوری نئی منظوری،توڑےپڑھن بانگ صلاتاں ھُو
روزے نفل نماز گزارن،توڑے جاگن ساریاں راتاں ھُو
باجھوں قلب حضور نہ ہوندے ،توڑےکڈھن سَے زکاتاں ھُو
باجھ فنارب حاصل ناہیں باھُوؒ،ناں تاثیر جماعتاں ھُو
Explanation: That worship is not acceptable in the court of Allah which does not have presence of inward whether it is azan, salat, fast or zakat. If fasts are kept through the days and supererogatory prayers are offered at nights, still presence cannot be achieved, but only through the purification of the self and inward. If a person does not annihilate himself, then union with Allah, His vision and Divine presence are not achieved.
How to achieve Divine presence
وہ سجدہ ،روح زمین جس سے کانپ جاتی تھی
اسی کوآج ترستےہیں ممبرومحراب
Explanation: The prostration offered by our pious ancestors shook the very soul of earth. Such prostration is what a mosque seeks now.
Allah says in Holy Quran:
“He is Most Kind. (O aspirant to His gnosis!) Ask of Him someone who has attained to His awareness.”(25:59)
Which people recognize Allah, have Miraj in their salat and have the Divine presence?
Sultan Bahoo says:
Explanation: Salat is in fact Miraj in which the devotee beholds Allah. Allah blesses the Arifs with ultimate closeness of Allah during salat. (Ameer-ul-Konain)
He further says about these Fakirs:
One must know that the heart and soul of the Arifs are always offering the salat. Their salat is secret and they share secrets (with Allah) during salat. (Ameer-ul-Konain)
Al-Ghawth al-Azam says:
“Adopt the company of such a spiritual guide who knows all the commands of Allah and the inspirational knowledge and tells you its way. One who does not follow the successful ones will not be successful. Adopt the company of that person who has adopted the company of Allah.”
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo further says about the salat of the friends of Allah:
It is related that one day Shaikh Junaid Baghdadi and Shaikh Shibli went out of the city to a desert. When it was the time of salat, they performed ablution to offer the salat. In the meantime, a woodcutter came there, he put down the bundle of woods that he was carrying, performed ablution and joined the Shaikhs. Due to their insight, they recognise that the woodcutter was a Saint. They made him their imam. During the salat, he prolonged the bowing and prostrating than usual. After completing the salat, they asked him the reason for prolonging bowing and prostrating. That Saint replied, “When I glorified Allah while bowing and prostrating, I did not raise my head unless I heard a reply of (I am here My slave) from my Lord, that is why they were prolonged.”
It is proved that the friends of Allah recognise Him through Divine presence.
Prophet Mohammad says:
“He who does not spiritually recognize the imam of his era, surely dies the death of an ignorant.”
Here the imam is not that imam about which Iqbal has said:
قوم کیا چیز ہے، قوموں کی امامت کیا ہے
اس کوکیاسمجھےدو رکعت کاامام
Explanation: What is a nation and how to lead it towards Allah? How could the imam who only knows to lead the salat, have this power and knowledge! (Zarb-e-Kalim)
Rather Iqbal says:
تیرا امام بے حضور تیری نماز بے سرور
ایسی نمازسے گزر ایسے امام سے گزر
Explanation: You do not have Divine presence during Salat as you are following the imam who himself is deprived.
Iqbal also persuades to pledge to that imam who possess the Divine presence and cleanses the self of the seeker of Allah, thus makes him the believer from a Muslim.
Prophet Mohammad says:
“The Prophets and the friends of Allah perform Salat in their grave the same way they performed it in their home during their life.”
They keep themselves busy performing salat with their alive inwards. When the esoteric and exoteric salat unite, the salat is completed. The reward for this kind of salat is spiritually the closeness of Allah and physically is the heaven. The devout is the real worshiper physically and the arif (Mystic) spiritually.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen says about Divine Presence in salat:
We can accomplish the Divine presence through perpetual invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat because unless and until inciting self dies, inward is not vivified and it is this enlivened inward which leads to presence. A time comes when inward gains eternal presence through invocation and then the seeker of Allah experiences this state:
So whichever direction you turn to, there is Divine countenance. (2:115)
The Divine presence and vision of Allah is achieved through the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat on the condition that it is given by the perfect spiritual guide. A perfect spiritual guide knows the path of Divine presence. All our prayers performed in the desires of the world and pretense would not give any benefit to us in the world and the hereafter. We would achieve nothing but shame.
Practice of Inscribing Ism-e-Allah Zaat
Today, it is necessary for us to understand the real cause of our decline, which is debarment from the Divine presence, and seek this blessing, irrespective of all prejudices. We can achieve the Divine Presence only by the beneficence of the perfect spiritual guide. The sign of perfect spiritual guide is that he grants Ism-e-Allah Zaat to his disciples and its inscribing practice (Mashq-Markoom-e-Wajudia).
One who adopts the company of the perfect spiritual guide with sincerity of intentions, enlightens his inward with the Divine light. He rectifies the exoteric and esoteric self and thus performs every salat with the presence of inward.
The imam of this era and the perfect spiritual guide is Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. He is the only one who grants the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and the king of invocations “Hoo” on the very first day of pledge. Apart from this, he grants the practice of inscribing Ism-e-Allah Zaat so that the seeker’s esoteric self as well as exoteric self purifies. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’s company and spiritual sight makes one capable of vision of Allah by cleansing the rusty inward of the seeker of Allah.
ذکر تصور اسم اللہ دا، سلطان العاشقین کولوںجیہراپائے
ھُودےتصور وچ رہے ہمیشہ، ذاتی اسم کمائے
مشق مر قوم وجودیہ دے نال، اپنے تن نوں او پاک کرائے
سلطان نجیب صادقاں عاشقاں نو، اللہ دے نال ملائے
Explanation: Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen grants the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat to the seeker of Allah and the seeker becomes engrossed in the contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. Through the practice of inscribing the personal name of Allah, his innerself is sanctified. Being a Sarwari Qadri perfect spiritual guide, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen blesses the seeker with the vision and closeness of Allah Almighty.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is the living paradigm of these words of Sultan Bahoo:
Their sight is the Absolute Noor of Oneness and the alchemy of honor. On whomsoever the reflection of their hidden Reality is cast, his whole being is transformed into the Absolute Noor. They do not need to engage their disciples in the struggle of apparent daily recitals and mystic exercises. (Risala Roohi Sharif)
A hadith tells about these friends of Allah:
“One who adopts the company of these people never becomes unfortunate.” (Muslim)
We invite you to come and gain the company of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman and enlighten your inward so that our every deed and every worship may become acceptable in the court of Allah and becomes a source of gnosis and closeness of Allah. (Ameen)
What is the difference between Muslim and believer?
The Muslim affirms the Oneness of Allah and The Prophethood of Prophet Mohammad by tongue whilst the believer affirms it by his inward. A Muslim only believes in Allah whilst the believer obeys Allah. A Muslim believes that only Allah is everywhere whilst the believer has only Allah in his inward, thus he observes that “So whichever direction you turn to, there is the presence of Allah”. The salat of a Muslim is just an outward devotion whilst the salat of a believer connects with Allah inwardly and thus it makes him the embodiment of humility.
Why salat is called the Miraj of the believer?
Miraj meaning in English to ascend. It is derived from the Arabic word “Araj” which means “to ascend”. It is that level of Divine closeness and the last level of human ascension where there neither remains any veil between Allah and man nor any distance. Miraj is the journey of man from the realm of the physical world to the realm of Divinity (his initial level or his truth) i.e to Allah.
The believers perform the salat with presence of Allah in it. There is nothing but Allah in their inward while performing salat. Hence they achieve the vision and closeness of Allah inwardly. Therefore they experience Miraj in the salat. That’s why the believer’s salat is called Miraj for the believer.