The Perfect Spiritual Guide

(Murshid Kamil Akmal)

MEANING OF MEDIATOR AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE IN SHARIA

In the Holy Quran Allah says:

يٰۤاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ وَابۡتَغُوۡۤا اِلَيۡهِ الۡوَسِيۡلَةَ

Meaning: O believers! Fear Allah persistently and keep looking for a mediator to (approach and get closer to) Him. (Al-Ma’idah 35)

In this holy verse, Allah has given two orders. One is to acquire piety and the second is to search for a mediator to be close to Allah.

 

What is piety?

Literally, piety means to have fear of Allah, abstain from sins and adopt pious deeds but conventionally, it is the state of inward closeness to Allah. The more a person’s inward is close to Allah the more he will be pious. Hence, it is an esoteric state which ultimately heights to Divine vision. A Hadith endorses this fact that once Prophet Mohammad was asked about piety, he pointed towards his chest and said,

“Piety is here.” (Sahih Muslim 6541)

 

What is a mediator?

Mediator refers to the conspicuous path. Moreover it is such a source which takes to the destination. It should be so helpful that all the desires are fulfilled and one is completely satisfied by obtaining all the goals of his life. Lisaan-ul-Arab (volume II-page 725) defines mediator (vaseela) as:

“By means of which closeness to something is achieved.”

According to sharia, mediation means to find closeness to Allah through a person who is Allah’s beloved and is already close to Him. One who has travelled the mystic path and knows its ups and downs. In mysticism, such person is Murshid, Pir or Shaikh i.e. the spiritual guide. A true spiritual guide is the one who perfectly knows the way to Allah. He has crossed the way stations of Faqr reaching the realm of Divinity (al-alam al-LaHoot). Moreover he is now fully proficient to guide the common people who do not know the Divine way. The perfect spiritual guide saves them from the satanic illusions, distractions of the inciting innerself and all the other obstacles of the path towards Allah. Now, one can understand the aforementioned verse as:

“O believers find the perfect spiritual guide to reach Allah.”

 

Be eager to find the perfect spiritual guide?

Every true Muslim should eagerly find the perfect spiritual guide. A guide who would sanctify him by his spiritually effective sight and celestial company. So that all his esoteric and exoteric deeds are corrected and purified. Then, by making the seeker desirable in the court of Allah, he takes him to the destination of the Divine vision and union.

اگر کوئی شعیبؑ آئے میسر

شبانی سے کلیمی ؑ  دو قدم  ہے

Explanation: The spiritual elevation from the level of a common man to the one who converses with Allah, like Prophet Moses, is just a negligible distance away. The one condition to oblige by is to find the perfect spiritual guide who is the Prophet Jethro of the present era. It is his blessing and beneficence which is everything.

اللہ اللہ کرنے سے اللہ نہیں ملتا

 یہ اللہ والے ہیں جو اللہ سے ملا دیتے ہیں

Explanation: One cannot reach Allah only by invoking His name superficially or silently and through physical prayers but the perfect spiritual guide can take seekers there because he is the Universal Divine Man.

 

No one ever became a Saint without taking oath from the spiritual guide

No one ever accomplishes to the level of a Saint, had supreme gnosis (marifa / marifat) of Allah and His vision without the spiritual training of the perfect spiritual guide. Al-Ghazali became renowned after he left teaching the religious lessons to experience mystical states under the spiritual guidance of Yusuf al-Nassaj. Rumi became legendary after coming in servitude of his spiritual teacher Shams of Tabriz. Iqbal became a famous Sufi poet after he received spiritual beneficence from Rumi. Briefly said, no one has ever reached Allah, in the history of Faqr and spirituality, without a spiritual guide.

 

The perfect spiritual guide and Hadiths

Prophet Mohammad has also ordered to search for a spiritual guide in the following Hadiths:

اَلرَّفِیْقُ ثُمَّ الطَّرِیْقُ

Meaning: First find a companion (the perfect spiritual guide) and then set on (the spiritual) journey.

لَا دِیْنَ لِمَن لَّا شَیْخَ لَہٗ

Meaning: One who does not have a spiritual guide has no faith.

مَنْ لَّاشَیْخَ  یَتَّخِذُہُ الشَّیْطَان

Meaning: Verily, one who is not guided by a spiritual guide, Satan surrounds him.

مَنْ مَّاتَ وَ لَیْسَ فِیْ عُنْقِہٖ بَیْعَۃٌ مَاتَ مَیْتَۃً جَاھِلِِیَّۃً

Explanation: One who died in a state that he had not sworn oath of allegiance at the hand of a perfect spiritual guide, he died in complete ignorance.

 اَلشَّیْخُ فِیْ قَوْمِہٖ کَنَبِیٍّ فِیْ اُمَّتِہٖ

Meaning: A spiritual guide is among his disciples just like a Prophet is among his nation.

 

OATH OF ALLEGIANCE IS A SUNNA

For some Sufis oath to piety is obligatory but to others and general public it is a Sunna. It is from the time of Prophet Mohammad sall’Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam.

 

THE PERFECT SPIRITUAL GUIDE’S METHOD OF SPIRITUALLY ELEVATING A DEVOTEE

The perfect spiritual guide spiritually educates and makes seekers of Allah cross several mystic destinations following the same pattern as was that of Prophet Mohammad for his sacred Companions. Quran describes this pattern as;

 يَتۡلُوۡا عَلَيۡهِمۡ اٰيٰتِهٖ وَيُزَكِّيۡهِمۡ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الۡكِتٰبَ وَالۡحِكۡمَةَ

Meaning: Who (My beloved) recites to them His revelations and cleanses and purifies them (outwardly and inwardly) and teaches them the Book and wisdom. (Al-Jumu’ah 2)

In the aforementioned verse of sura al-Jumu’ah Prophetic calls of Prophet Mohammad mentioned by Allah Almighty are as follows: (1) Recite verses unto them, that is, invite them towards Islam and convey commands of Allah; (2) purification of innerself and (3) bestow wisdom through inspired knowledge.

Nowadays Muslim scholars do the same. They recite verses before people, invite them to Islam, convey the meaning of the Quran and persuade to follow what it says. Then why masses followed accepting Islam in the age of Prophet Mohammad but none in front of them.

 

Reason why many people accepted Islam in the age of Prophet Mohammad

The reason is that he had immeasurable spiritual powers hence he raised spiritual ranks of people who visited him by the efficacy of his sacred company or through his words. Before accepting Islam, Salman the Persian had met spiritual leaders of Jews, Christians and fire worshippers. Yet no one could influence him but as soon as he reached the Holy Prophet, he recited creed upon seeing his sacred face. Likewise, Islam prospered in the sub-continent due to the accomplished Sufis.

 

Instructor is prerequisite with a book

Instructor is prerequisite with a book to make a person absorb and learn it, similarly, prescription requires a doctor. Those who object, “Why need a spiritual guide in the presence of the Quran?” To them I ask, “Why Prophet Mohammad was sent with the Quran?” If sacred Companions needed Prophet Mohammad, we face a similar need of a spiritual guide. Like guidance was not possible without Prophet Mohammad, similarly, in every age, guidance is not possible without a representative of Prophet Mohammad. It is astonishing to find that Muslim scholars, who only have apparent knowledge of the religion, feel their need among people but do not feel the need of such a perfect spiritual guide. The guide who has reached closest to Allah and have the honour of achieving His gnosis after manifold devotional prayers and spiritual and mystic endeavours than scholars.

 

Having knowledge of sharia and knowing Allah Himself are different things

People knew Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal for his disapproval of mysticism and Sufis. Afterwards true faith entered his inward and soul through the blessed company of Bishr al-Hafi. Then he would answer queries about sharia himself to the inquirers but would refer the seekers of Truth and Reality to Bishr al-Hafi. Seeing this, students of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal felt embarrassed and asked him why he would refer people to a Sufi when he himself was a great scholar. He replied that he only had knowledge of sharia and Bishr al-Hafi knew Allah Himself. Therefore he directed seekers of Allah to him.

 

Soul wasted without the company of the perfect spiritual guide

Bahlool (Wahab Ibn Amr) was apparently a Majdhub* but is also famous as one of the spiritual guides of Imam Abu Hanifa. One is surprised that what the great imam would have been learning from him! The imam himself was affluent in all of the branches of knowledge such as Fiqh, Hadith, syntax, Islamic principles etc. Certainly, he visited Bahlool for the purity of innerself and for the ardent love of Allah. If a person looks up the biography of Imam Abu Hanifa he will find the name of Bahlool at the top of the list of his spiritual guides. It is the saying of Imam Abu Hanifa, “If I had not remained in the blessed company of Bahlool for two years as I did, my soul would have been wasted.”

* Majdhub ( مجذوب ). In the aforementioned lines it means lost in Divine meditation. Majdhub generally means that the seeker could not tolerate the effects of theophanies and loses his senses. Hence, due to his lost and absorbed state, does not follow sharia properly, neither progresses on the spiritual journey.

 

Who helps when Satan plots and scams?

In short, attaining true knowledge of the Book (Quran) and wisdom is not possible without the perfect spiritual guide. It is he who maneuvers a devotee from the scams of Satan and inciting innerself and takes him close to Allah, the ultimate shelter. Common people have not even heard the name of this mystic way and knowledge let alone become adept in it.

 

An important note

The Holy Quran Allah emphasizes to approach such a guide who is accomplished in invocation (Dhikr / Zikr).

فَسۡـئَلُوۡۤا اَهۡلَ الذِّكۡرِ اِنۡ كُنۡتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ

Meaning: So, (O people,) if you do not know (yourselves), ask the people of invocation. (Al-Anbiya 7)

If one ponders over this verse, one will quickly understand a very important point that Allah has not ordered, “Ask the scholars” ( فَسۡـئَلُوۡۤا  اَھْلَ الْعِلْمِ ) rather “Ask the people of invocation” ( فَسۡـئَلُوۡۤا اَهۡلَ الذِّكۡرِ ). Those who have knowledge can go astray because intellect comes from brain which can mislead while the real invocation of Allah arouses from the inward which never deceives. Knowledge is recorded in brain whereas invocation affects and gets imprinted inwardly.

 

SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT SPIRITUAL GUIDE

When the seeker of Allah starts his journey towards Allah, the first step is to find the perfect spiritual guide. The truthful men, Fakirs and Saints are heirs to the caliphate by Allah in the world and are religious successors of Prophet Mohammad. To have proximity of Allah, it is inevitable to come in their servitude, take oath of allegiance on their sacred hands and have beneficence of their company. Rumi said:

اندرین عالم نیرزی باخسے

تانی آویزی بہ دامانِ کسے

Explanation: You do not have any worth in this world unless you get associated with the perfect spiritual guide.

 

To know the reality of the perfect spiritual guide is difficult

  • However, the problem is how to recognize the perfect spiritual guide. Abdullah ibn Abbas narrates, “Gnosis of Allah is easy but gnosis of the reality of a Saint (perfect spiritual guide) is difficult. For the simple reason that Allah is known for His perfection and marvels but the Saint is a human. Therefore, obtaining gnosis of a human by a human is difficult as he is also bound by sharia like others. However esoterically he is forever with Allah.” (Tafsir Ruh Al-Bayan)
  • Suhayl ibn Amr said, “Everyone sees their (the perfect spiritual guide’s) appearance but no one knows their reality. A fortunate few come to know their reality, who will become successful. Only if they venerate them according to their prestige but if they make the mistake to oppose them, be disrespectful or insolent to them, no matter how minute in nature it is, they will be destroyed and their hereafter will be ruined.” (Tafsir Ruh Al-Bayan)

 

Arguments bifurcate the path

Every seeker or disciple does not have the ability to recognize the Fakir who is annihilated and immortal with Allah and is the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide possessing the light of Divine guidance. This is because every seeker or disciple does not truly seek Allah Almighty. Many are the seekers of the material world and hereafter.

The call of the perfect spiritual guide is to show the path of Allah to its travellers. As well as simplify it for them as he is their leader and guide on this way. Only those can recognize the reality of spiritual guide who have set out to the journey with pure intention to seek Allah Almighty.

Everyone cannot recognize the perfect spiritual guide. Firstly because of their imperfect wisdom. Secondly because outwardly he appears to be an ordinary human like them. It is impossible for the seekers of world to recognize his reality with their limited intellect. Since he apparently lives like common people. Intellect cannot reach his reality because it is always busy in finding flaws and arguments. If you will try to identify him with mere intelligence, you will be left with arguments only. (The incident of Prophet Moses and Khidr related in sura Kahf is an enlightening lesson for the seekers of Allah that arguments bifurcate the path).

 

THE REASON TO SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT SPIRITUAL GUIDE IS TO REACH CLOSE TO ALLAH

If the search for a spiritual guide is to gain proximity to Allah and His recognition, then the seeker should be assured that he will find the perfect spiritual guide because Allah says:

وَالَّذِيۡنَ جَاهَدُوۡا فِيۡنَا لَنَهۡدِيَنَّهُمۡ سُبُلَنَا ؕ

Meaning: And those who strive hard (and struggle against the inciting innerself vehemently) for Our cause, We certainly guide them to Our ways. (Al-Ankabut 69)

In mysticism, seeker is directed towards a spiritual guide according to his longing. Every devotee is inclined towards a spiritual guide who is in accordance to his desires and disposition. Allama Iqbal says;

ہست این میکدہ و دعوت عام است اینجا

قسمت بادہ باندازہ جام است اینجا

Explanation: This world is a tavern and everybody is invited to drink (taste the wine of Divine vision). Everyone’s wine will be up to the size of his cup (according to his desire to seek Allah).

 

GUIDANCE TO AVOID AN IMPERFECT SPIRITUAL GUIDE

A sinful Muslim, due to his vile acts, cannot represent Islam. Correspondingly, a fake and imperfect spiritual guide cannot represent Faqr and mysticism. It is not in sharia that a person gets punishment because of the wrongdoings of his neighbour. Likewise, it is not right to blame a pure religion Islam due to sinful acts of a few groups of Muslims and impute Sufis of pure disposition with the undertakings of fake spiritual guides.

Shaikh Ahmad Zarruq said that fake spiritual guides are people of lust. One should reject their sayings and disregard their actions. However, due to their presence in the circle of mysticism, one should not renounce true Mystics. Good and bad people are present in every field of life and this will continue till the Judgement Day. All the Islamic jurists, teachers, judges as well as traders, rich people and leaders are not the same. Likewise are the Sufis. Islamic scholars also have two categories: vicious savants and true scholars. One cannot renounce the true scholars because of vicious savants. In Sufism also, some gets the appointment at highest spiritual stations and others are fake spiritual guides. This fact is so obvious that everyone knows it and there is no room for doubt. A person should first of all recognize his Lord so that he can distinguish His people.

 

Standard of the spiritual guide and the seeker set by Sultan Bahoo

Sultan Bahoo has set the standard for the seeker that he is the one who seeks only the Divine Essence and for the spiritual guide that he has supreme authority over Ism-e-Allah Zaat. He must grant the seeker on the very first day the sultan of invocations (Hoo ھُو ), contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, method to inscribe Allah’s name on body and take him to the paramount level. He said:

  • One should get religious instruction and persuasion only from a perfect spiritual guide. Also seeker should leave imperfect and false spiritual guide as soon as possible. How can a person recognize whether the spiritual guide is perfect or imperfect? The perfect spiritual guide grants the seeker invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and also orders him to practise inscribing Allah’s name on body. He takes the seeker to the Divine presence by his spiritual attention. While, the imperfect and false spiritual guide just makes false promises. (Nur-ul-Huda Kalan)

 

Sultan Bahoo warns those who play game opposite to Divine love

Sultan Bahoo said:

آپ نہ طالب ہین کہیں دے، لوکاں نوں طالب کر دے ھو

چانون کھیپاں کر دے سیپاں، قہر اللہ توں ناہیں ڈر دے ھو

عشق مجازی تلکن بازی، پیر اولے دھر دے ھو

اوہ شرمندے ہوسن باھوؒ، اندر روز حشر دے ھو

Explanation: In order to become a spiritual guide and to accede to the throne of Divine guidance and persuasion it is compulsory to first become disciple of one who is perfect and accomplished in it.

Sultan Bahoo admonishes imperfect guides in this couplet. He says that they could not attain to the level of a seeker who only desires Allah, failed in Faqr, never took oath of allegiance on the hands of the perfect spiritual guide or were never granted permission from him to guide and persuade others yet call themselves ‘spiritual guides’. It is a self-deception that their forefathers were guides hence they hold the same title and that spiritual guidance is inheritance. These fakes have made it a business and sell gnosis and succession hence taking oath on their hands is proscribed and forbidden. No guidance can come from imperfect ones. They are playing a dangerous game opposite to Divine love therefore on the Judgment Day they will be disgraced.

 

Sultan Bahoo warns of imperfect spiritual guides

پیر ملیاں جے پیڑ ناں جاوے، اُس نوں پیر کی دَھرناں ھو

مرشد ملیاں ارشاد نہ من نوں، اوہ مرشد کی کرناں ھو

جس ہادی کولوں ہدایت ناہیں، اوہ ہادی کی پھڑناں ھو

جسے سَر دِتیاں حق حاصل ہووے باھوؒ، اُس موتوں کی ڈرناں ھو

Explanation: Break an oath of allegiance from a guide who fails to grant union with the Almighty. Avoid them if it comes to the point that one does not feel peace or guidance inwardly. Do not take oath or follow those who have failed to guide and cannot lead on the straight path. However if you come across the perfect spiritual guide who can bless with Divine vision then do not hesitate even if you have to trade your very life.

 

Quotes of Sultan Bahoo on imperfect spiritual guides

Sultan Bahoo said:

  • The perfect spiritual guide is like the pure soul. Whereas imperfect spiritual guide is like a dog. (Majalisa tul Nabi Khurd)
  • The spiritual guide who does not grant the contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat is not worth guiding. (Nur-ul-Huda)

Here he has mentioned ‘contemplation’ and not ‘invocation’. In Sultan Bahoo’s order, he has conjoined the contemplation and invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat.

 

Allama Iqbal’s few verses on imperfect spiritual guides

Allama Iqbal exhorts to get associated with the perfect spiritual guide. This is so because without him one cannot uncover the secrets of Faqr. His poetry also persuades people to avoid the company of superficial fake spiritual guides. As well as shrines caretakers because they have nothing but verbosity and altercations. According to his teachings one should protect oneself from these hunters and their traps. If the seeker once misguided by them can even lose his faith instead of accomplishing in it. The great poet seems disappointed from both madrasas and khanqahs of the contemporary age. He said:

اٹھا میں مدرسہ و خانقاہ سے غم ناک

نہ زندگی، نہ محبت، نہ معرفت، نہ نگاہ

Explanation: I left the fake khanqahs, as there was no life for spiritual self, recognition, gnosis, proximity and vision of Allah. As well as no spiritual sight to alter inward.

مکتبوں میں کہیں رعنائِی افکار بھی ہے؟

خانقاہوں میں کہیں لذتِ اسرار بھی ہے؟

Explanation: In the modern educational institutes there is no effort towards creating ardent love for Allah among the youths. Neither any lessons regarding Divine gnosis nor for the embellishment of their thoughts. On a similar note there is no one in fake khanqahs for seekers of Allah to spiritually train them. There were once present Sufis, Saints and Fakirs who acquainted them with the secrets of Allah.

 

Allah Himself is the Protector if a person’s intentions are to find Him

In short, in the path of Faqr, guidance of the perfect spiritual guide is pivotal. Also one should be aware of thugs and fake guides. Those who set out to the journey with sincere intention to search Allah are safeguarded from the frauds. Allah Himself is their Protector in Whose search they have set out. Moreover those protected by Allah Himself cannot be misguided.

 

SELECTING THE PERFECT SPIRITUAL GUIDE

A seeker will find no difficulty in selecting the perfect spiritual guide after acknowledging the prerequisite to one. A beginner cannot measure the spiritual powers of the perfect spiritual guide neither it is required. A seeker or devotee as a beginner should keep in view the following matters while deciding a spiritual guide:

The effects of the assembly of the spiritual guide on the seeker

  • Present oneself in the assembly of a Saint and observe whether during that duration, minimum occurrences of satanic apprehensions and evil suggestions ensued or not inwardly? Moreover did he experience love and fervour for Allah and Prophet Mohammad? It does not matter if on leaving the assembly of the Saint, his state returned to what it was before meeting the Saint. It is important to notice whether he experienced even a minor change in him or not during his stay in the company of a Saint.

Saint’s previous devotees have changed for the better or not?

  • That Saint’s devotees or some of the devotees have improved or not. Before they became disciples what were they like and afterwards what kinds of changes transpired in them.

Saint’s words were a source of guidance or not?

  • As long as the seeker sat in the Saint’s company, did the Saint utter any words related to his state or not. Such words from which he received guidance and felt spiritual assistance for solving any of his confusion or tenacious problems.

The invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat has affected him or not?

  • According to the teachings of Sultan Bahoo a spiritual guide should not only himself be accomplished in the contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat but should also instantly after oath of allegiance grant the disciple invocation of Hoo ( ھُو  ) and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. If there ensues no spiritual development from the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat then he is not the perfect spiritual guide. Perfect spiritual guide is the one from whom a disciple feels spiritually benefitted, his views and ideas start to alter and he inwardly renounces world and becomes absorbed in Allah.

If a person develops a positive view regarding aforementioned matter, then he should take oath of allegiance. He should fully trust that Saint, because he cannot find anyone better than him (as far as his spiritual development is concerned).

 

RULES FOR RENEWING OATH OF ALLEGIANCE

Oath of allegiance is likened with marriage and provisions of oath is corresponding to provisions of marriage that is as long as the husband lives, it is prohibited for the wife to consider any other man her husband. Similarly, to refer to another spiritual guide in the life of one’s perfect spiritual guide is forbidden. However, one can take oath again or renew it in following conditions:

Conditions on which oath of allegiance (bayat / al-bayah) is breakable

  • If after oath, a devotee comes to know: the spiritual guide is imperfect. Moreover he is not from a Sufi order and he does not have abilities of the perfect spiritual guide. Also he is not a spiritual successor of any perfect Saint. The disciple took oath of allegiance for proximity and union with Allah but he achieved none. Hence, he did not find the straight path and his soul did not vivify. He also did not feel spiritual transformation. That is he remained the same before and after the oath. In any or more of such cases the devotee has the right to break the oath of allegiance. If spiritual guide is imperfect and is not spiritually linked to any spiritual order then there is even no need to break the oath as there was no oath to begin with.

Nowadays, as per inheritance law, caretakers of shrines are from the family of the Saint. They get to possess this seat through courts if needed. These categories of fake Saints come under the aforesaid types. If a person pledges allegiance at their hand then according to spirituality no oath has happened.

At demise of spiritual guide

  • The spiritual guide has passed away and the disciple could not accomplish the pathway of Faqr as long as he lived. Now his journey is in cessation. Moreover he is incompetent to further progress in Faqr through the beneficence from the grave of the late Sufi. Then it is not only right but obligatory to pledges allegiance again.

Oath taken in childhood

  • One took oath of allegiance in childhood, on the accord of parents or someone else’s persuasion, without adequate understanding. Then in adulthood or maturity the person is free to pledge allegiance on a spiritual guide’s hands towards whom he feels inclined.

Spiritual guide remains indifferent

  • The spiritual guide neither blesses nor trains the seeker spiritually and continuously remains indifferent towards him. Then he can recourse to another spiritual guide. It would be right for the perfect spiritual guide to take oath of allegiance from him and spiritually train him.

Spiritual guide goes missing

  • One can take oath again if spiritual guide is missing. Moreover the disciple could not stay in connection even spiritually. Neither the seeker knows the whereabouts of the spiritual guide.

Unaccomplished Saint

  • If an unaccomplished Saint was given spiritual succession and the right to take oath of allegiance on the condition that he will complete the way of Faqr. Moreover he would accomplish whatever remains unaccomplished. Then even after the opportunity, he could not achieve it, then his disciples have the right to break the oath of allegiance.

According to the teachings of Sultan Bahoo, the perfect spiritual guide is the one who gives the seeker (disciple) sultan of invocations (Hoo ھُو  ), Ism-e-Allah Zaat for contemplation and the practice of inscribing Allah’s name on body to purify his innerself. A spiritual guide who cannot do this then one should not follow him and oath should be broken. Then one must pledge allegiance at the hands of a spiritual guide who possesses contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and can grant it to his disciples too.

 

SULTAN BAHOO AND THE PERFECT SPIRITUAL GUIDE

What the perfect spiritual guide is like and what he does as in the words of Sultan Bahoo written in Ain-ul-Faqr

The questions

One must know that who is worthy of being called the perfect spiritual guide? What qualities and attributes does he possess? How does he submerge the seeker in the Divine Oneness and bless him with presence in the Mohammadan Assembly? What one can acquire from the spiritual guide? What is his own status and rank?

Possessor of Divine powers which kills infidel innerself (nafs)

Spiritual guide possesses Divine powers as he is the Fakir who annihilates and becomes immortal with Allah. Spiritual guide is the giver of life (to the soul) and death (to the inciting innerself) and is indifferent to all the needs.

The perfect spiritual guide is like the philosopher stone

He is like the philosopher stone and also a touchstone. His glance is beneficent like the sun which changes all the bad qualities of the seeker into good ones.

آہن کہ بپارس آشنا شد

فی الحال بصورتِ طلا شد

Explanation: The iron which touches philosopher stone, at once turns gold.

The perfect spiritual guide is like a dyer

He is like a dyer (who changes the inward colour of seeker by diverting his attention from worldliness to Allah).

The perfect spiritual guide is like a betel leaf chooser

Spiritual guide is a well informed person and is aware of all the qualities of a seeker just like a betel leaf chooser is aware of the qualities of betel leaves.

The perfect spiritual guide loves the seeker of Allah more than his own life

The spiritual guide is virtuous like Prophet Mohammad and is more kind than one’s parents. He is the great leader and guide on the way to Allah, bestowal of jewels just like a mine of diamonds and gems, a wave of munificence like an ocean filled with pearls, patron for every destination like a key for every lock, indifferent to worldly wealth and free of any kind of greed. He loves the seekers of Allah more than his own life. Spiritual guide is the Dervish having none of material luxuries.

The perfect spiritual guide is like a corpse washer

Spiritual guide is like a corpse washer. He is always in search of a seeker whose inciting innerself is dead and who wishes to reach the stage of ‘death before dying’ ( مُوۡ تُوۡ ا قَبۡلَ اَنۡ تَمُوۡتُوۡا ). It is where his soul becomes alive and material body dies. Only such a true seeker can suffer the hardships on the way of Faqr. While the disobedient seekers are stubborn and follow their own will.

The perfect spiritual guide is like a potter

Spiritual guide is also like a potter who makes pots out of earth. The earth does not dare to object before the potter in whichever way he holds or moulds it.

گل راچہ مجال است کہ گوید بکلال

از بہر چہ سازی و چرا می شکنی

Explanation: How can the earth dare to ask the potter what he is doing with it and what he is making out of it?

The perfect spiritual guide is the gnostic of Allah

The spiritual guide must be the gnostic of Allah and the seeker should have complete trust upon him. Spiritual guide is the real companion of the seeker, about whom the Holy Prophet said:

اَلرَّفِیْقُ ثُمَّ الطَّرِیْقُ

Meaning: First find a companion, then set out on the journey.

The true and fake spiritual guides

باھوؒ! مرشدانِ این زمانہ زر بگیر

ہر کہ نظرش زر کند آن بینظیر

Explanation: O Bahoo! The (fake) spiritual guides of this age want to grab more and more wealth and on the other hand the perfect spiritual guide whose glance can turn soil into gold (a common person into a lover and beloved of Allah) is rare.

باھوؒ! مرشدانِ این زمانہ زر پرست و زن پرست

زن پرست و زر پرست و دل سیاہ و خود پرست

Explanation: O Bahoo! The (fake) spiritual guides of this age are the lovers of wealth and women. They are lewd, egoistic, arrogant and dark inwardly.

باھوؒ! مرشدانِ واصلانِ حق عشق سوز

ہر ساعتی ہر دم بسوزد شب بروز

Explanation: The true spiritual guides unified with Allah, burn in the fire of His love every moment day and night.

The example

Listen! The existence of a human is like milk. Just like curd, lassi, butter and ghee are contained in the milk (as they all are obtained after processing the milk), similarly innerself, inward, soul and secret (sir’r) all are present at a particular point in the existence of humans. When one adds a little curd in the milk and leaves it overnight, the milk converts into curd. Next when that curd is churned, butter is produced which comes up and lassi is left at the bottom of the vessel. When one heats butter on fire, it removes the impurities from the butter and one obtains pure ghee.

Just as a woman completes her job by converting the milk into ghee, the spiritual guide should also accomplish his task. He should show his disciple the points of innerself, inward, soul and secret separately in his existence and should also reveal upon him the point of Divine favour and the points of knowledge of station of sharia, station of mysticism (called tariqa), station of Reality (haqiqa) and station of gnosis (marifa). He must also make the disciple aware of the points of evil, Satan and the inward diseases like greed, jealousy, arrogance etc. in his being, all separately.

Just as a butcher slaughters a goat, removes its hide, separates the veins and other useless things from the edible meat and throws them away, the spiritual guide should also separate the evil from the existence of the seeker. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

Hard toils without spirituality is a waste

When you see a (so called) Fakir who toils hard in asceticism and abstinence but is unaware of the spirituality and esoteric way to Allah, get to know that he is depraved and his end will also be among the depraved ones. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

Fakirs of exoteric and esoteric ways

There are two kinds of Fakirs. One are those who are the men of exoteric ways and others are the men of esoteric ways. Those who struggle exoterically by eating less but are unaware of the inner, will end up in falsehood. Whatever the men of esotericism eat, converts into Divine light twice as much as they eat. Hence the food of Fakirs is this light, their inner is like a stove, their inward is the heavenly Kaaba, their sleep is Divine presence and Allah forgives their end. To them, the ascetics are the labourers who struggle to get place in paradise. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

Spiritual guide blesses with union with Allah

Spiritual guides are also of two kinds; one is the spiritual guide who is a man of effective spiritual sight and other the (fake) spiritual guide who seeks wealth. Former is the spiritual guide who grants eternal union with Allah and latter is the one who demands his portion of wealth from the annual income of his disciples. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

The perfect spiritual guide is like a shady tree

True spiritual guide is like a shady tree which endures the severity of weathers himself and provides shade and comfort to those sitting under it. The spiritual guide should be against the (attractions of) world and the perfect follower of religion, while the seeker should trust him and should not hesitate to sacrifice his wealth and life for the spiritual guide. The spiritual guide should be like the messenger of Allah and the seeker should be like a friend of Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

Mediation through the perfect spiritual guide is better than mere knowledge

Mediation (of the spiritual guide) is better than excellence gained by knowledge. While committing sin, knowledge or excellence cannot stop a person but mediation (spiritual guide) can. Just as (the spiritual guide and father – Prophet Jacob) saved Prophet Joseph from the evil of Zulaikha through mediation. The Holy Prophet said:

اَلشَّیْخُ فِیْ قَوْمِہٖ کَنَبِیٍّ فِیْ اُمَّتِہٖ

Meaning: A spiritual guide (Shaikh) among his devotees is like a Prophet among his nation. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

The three kinds of Mystics in accordance with the words of Sultan Bahoo in the book Ain-ul-Faqr

Mystics are also of three kinds; Mystic of the world, Mystic of the hereafter and Mystic of Allah.

The Mystic of the world

The Mystic of the world seeks worldly wealth, fame, respect, inclination from people and wants to increase the number of his disciples. He uses the name of his pious ancestors to earn respect from devotees, builds monasteries, wanders in the earth and skies, shows miracles and supernatural acts to attract people and wishes to have relations with the kings. These are the attributes and ranks of eunuchs. The disciples of such eunuch spiritual guide are also the same.

The Mystics of the hereafter

Second are the Mystics of hereafter who worship a lot just for the sake of heaven and acquire austerity and abstinence out of the fear of hell (none of their act is purely for Allah). They are the men of outward knowledge (of religion). Their level is (inferior and weak) like that of women and their disciples are also the same.

زاہدا! از بیم دوزخ چند ترسانی مرا

آتشی دارم کہ دوزخ نزد آن خاکستر است

Explanation: O ascetic! Why do you frighten me of the fire of hell? There is such an intense fire (of love for Allah) inside me which can burn even the hell.

The Mystic of Allah

Third is the Mystic immortal with Allah who is the Mystic of Allah. He is drowned in the Divine Oneness and is blessed with presence before Allah. Indifferent to the world and hereafter, he is happily occupied with Allah. Only Allah! Everything other than Allah is just lust. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

The perfect spiritual guide has forbidden everything on himself except Allah

Who is a spiritual guide? He is one who can give life to the inward and death to the inciting innerself. When such a spiritual guide becomes angry with a disobedient disciple, he gives life to that disciple’s innerself and death to his inward by his wrathful attraction. An accomplished Spiritual guide has forbidden everything upon himself except Allah. He is an eternal pilgrim upon whom everything is unveiled. Spiritual guide is like a doctor and the disciple is like a patient. When a doctor treats a patient he gives him bitter and sweet medicines and the patient must take those medicines. So that the spiritual guide could cure him and the seeker then becomes healthy. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

The perfect spiritual guide is an embodiment of kindness

Spiritual guide is an embodiment of kindness. Also he is the confidant of Divine secrets and the granter of Divine love to his disciples.

Spiritual guide is like a sword, only that seeker may go near him who is ready to get himself beheaded. Moreover spiritual guide is like a knife, only that seeker goes near him who can slaughter himself with his own hands. Murshid (spiritual guide) is the angel of death like Azrael, only that seeker goes near him whose life is not dear to him. Shaikh (Spiritual guide) is the house of hunger, one who can bear starvation may go near him. Spiritual guide is like a gibbet, one who can hang himself till death may go near him. He is like fire, one who can burn his infidel innerself may go near him.

Moreover who comes near spiritual guide with sincerity should only keep in view the love of spiritual guide and must not judge him. Detecting good and bad is the job of spies, not of the true seekers of Allah.

باھوؒ طالبانِ این زمانہ دون بدون

طالبان را نیست طلبش بی چگون

Explanation: O Bahoo! The disciples of this age are mean and cowards, they do not want to attain closeness of Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

What is the sign of the perfect spiritual guide?

The perfect spiritual guide blesses the seeker with Ism-e-Allah Zaat on the very first day and asks him to write it on his inward and engrave it on his soul. When the seeker successfully imprints it inwardly through contemplation, spiritual guide asks the seeker by his spiritual attention to observe this Ism-e-Allah Zaat. When the seeker looks at it, it starts glowing like the sun by the theophany of the Essence (Allah). (Nur-ul-Huda Kalan)

The perfect spiritual guide grants invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat

  • The perfect spiritual guide is the one, who not only blesses the seeker with invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat but also grants its contemplation. The spiritual guide who cannot give (invocation and contemplation of) Ism-e-Allah Zaat to the seeker is not a true spiritual guide. (Nur-ul-Huda Kalan)
  • The perfect spiritual guide bestows Ism-e-Allah Zaat to the seeker of Allah on the very first day. (Kaleed-e-Jannat)
  • You must know that there are neither any mountains or walls nor a long distance between Allah and His slave. Rather, there is only a thin veil of innerself which one can easily remove by the contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and the spiritual attention of the spiritual guide who is the man of Divine secrets. If you come, you will find the doors open for you and if you do not, then Allah needs none. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
  • The perfect spiritual guide bestows the Divine knowledge of gnosis and vision of Allah upon the seeker through contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and shows him the reality of this carrion world, so that he is disgusted of its charm and repents a thousand times. The perfect spiritual guide is the one who unveils the Divine Essence through contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and then returns to Ism-e-Allah Zaat, because no status, from eternal beginning till eternal end, is beyond Ism-e-Allah Zaat and never will be. (Nur-ul-Huda Kalan)

The perfect spiritual guide is the name of the Divine favour

The perfect spiritual guide knows every path and way stations of the esoteric self and is the solver of all its difficulties. He is the name of Divine favour. One does not achieve anything without Divine favour. Without the perfect spiritual guide none of the struggle of the seeker is fruitful even if he spends his whole life in hard mystic practices because without a spiritual guide no one has ever reached Allah. Spiritual guide is like a vigilant and skilled captain of the ship who is aware of all the hazards of the way and knows all the methods to overcome them. Without the captain, the ship would surely sink. To a seeker, perfect spiritual guide himself is the ship as well as the captain. One who understands, will understand. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

First find the perfect spiritual guide

Get to know and understand it verily that Allah is in the inward of the possessor of Divine secrets (the Universal Divine Man). The Divine ocean of Oneness of Allah is present in the inward of true believers. Whosoever wants to gain the Truth and have union with Allah, must first of all find the perfect spiritual. Such a guide who is actually the possessor of all the treasures inwardly. Moreover the person who becomes the spiritual confidant does not remain deprived of the vision of Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

The perfect spiritual guide is aware of every condition of the seeker

Know that true spiritual guide is the one who is completely aware of all the states, words, deeds, acts, level of gnosis and closeness to Allah, thoughts, arguments, considerations and waham of the seeker. Spiritual guide should be so much vigilant that he ever keeps his hold upon the seeker to the extent that the seeker speaks his words and breathes with his breath. Such a spiritual guide has a thriving inward and his seekers finds him omnipresent, inwardly as well as outwardly, by the power of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and keeps perfect faith in him. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)

Single spiritual attention of the perfect spiritual guide is better than hundreds of years of devotion

If one spends his whole life in mystic struggles and keeps standing on one leg for hundred and thirty years as a hard devotion he can never know anything about the real mysticism, gnosis of the inward, vision of Allah, annihilation and immortality without the favour of the perfect spiritual guide. Moreover single spiritual attention of the perfect guide is better than hundreds of years of devotion, as it reveals the vision of Allah in a moment. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)

The perfect spiritual guide is the book of all the books

Sarwari Qadri spiritual guide is comprehensive and complete. He is such a book, inwardly as well as outwardly, which has the status of ‘book of all the books’. By reading this book, the seeker annihilates in Allah in such a way that there remains no veil before him.

طالبان را ہر مطالب خوش نما

اعتقاد صدق خواں و ز دل صفا

Explanation: The seekers who read this book with complete faith, sincerity and purity of heart, achieves all their objectives easily. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)

The perfect spiritual guide is omnipotent and omnipresent

عارف کامل قادری بہر قدرتے قادر و بہر مقام حاضر

Explanation: The perfect Mystic of Qadri order (spiritual guide of the Sarwari Qadri order) is empowered to do everything and is present everywhere. He is omnipotent and omnipresent. (Risala Roohi Sharif)

The perfect spiritual guide annihilates in Hoo ( ھُو  )

The Mystic who is a Fakir and immortal with Allah is the one who is annihilated in Allah, annihilated in Prophet, annihilated in Faqr and annihilated in Hoo ( ھُو  ). (Ain-ul-Faqr)

There are two kinds of spiritual guides of the Sarwari Qadri order

There are two kinds of spiritual guides of the Sarwari Qadri order:

Man of Recitals (Sahib-e-Ism)

He possesses only the invocation of the name of Allah and holds the status of common creation. These spiritual guides are just junior spiritual successors and their disciples spend all their lives in carving the Divine name on their inwards.

Man of Divine Essence (Sahib-e-Musamma)

He is the Fakir who annihilates in Allah and has become immortal with Him. Moreover he is the bearer of the Divine Trust, the representative of Allah and holds the status of the Universal Divine Man. Also he is the perfect spiritual guide possessing the Divine light of guidance. His disciples find the blessing of his contemplation through Ism-e-Allah Zaat.

Difference between man of recitals and man of Divine Essence

Sultan Bahoo said about man of recitals and Divine Essence in Ain-ul-Faqr:

The innerself, tongue, inward, soul and body all are creations while Ism-e-Allah Zaat is non-creation. Hence one should remember and recite non-creation through a non-creation. What is the difference between man of recitals and the man of Divine Essence?

Man of recitals is the spiritual guide who possesses only the invocation of name of Allah and man of Divine Essence is the perfect spiritual guide who submerges in the Essence. Man of recitals holds the status of general creation while of Divine Essence is above the level of creation. He holds the status of non-creation. Invocation is forbidden for the man of Divine Essence because his inward and outward are completely annihilated and always submerged in the Essence. (Ain-ul-Faqr)

The reality of man of Divine Essence

In Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan, Sultan Bahoo describes the reality of spiritual guide who is a man of Divine Essence as follows:

This way (of Faqr) does not relate to the apparent fame and respect but to the recognition of the Reality. Whomsoever Allah grants Faqr, he reaches the station of absolute annihilation in Allah and becomes the man of Essence. One cannot cover the way to recognize Allah just by verbal discussions rather Allah Himself alone confers this blessing. On whomsoever He confers it, becomes Mystic immortal with Him and only he knows and recognizes the Lord.

مسمّٰی آں کہ باشد لازوالی

نہ آں جا ذکر و فکر نہ وصالی

بود غرقش بہ وحدت عین دانی

فنافی،اللہ شود سرِ نہانی

Explanation: The status of man of Divine Essence is eternal, where there is no need of invocation, meditation or union as he is already One with Allah. When a seeker reaches this level, he annihilates in Allah and the concealed secret (of the Divine Essence) reveals upon him. (Mehek-ul-Faqr Kalan)

 

SULTAN BAHOO AND PUNJABI QUATRAINS

The perfect spiritual guide is like a laundryman for filthy inward

کامل  مرشد  ایسا  ہووے ‘ جیہڑا دھوبی  وانگوں  چھٹے  ھو

 نال  نگاہ  دے  پاک کریندا،  وِچ  سجی  صبون  نہ  گھتے  ھو

 میلیاں  نوں کردیندا  چِٹا‘  وِچ  ذرہ  میل نہ  رَکھے   ھو

 ایسامرشد ہو وے باھوؒ ‘ جیہڑا ُلوں ُلوں دے وچ وَسے ھو

Explanation: The perfect spiritual guide should be like a laundryman for he does not let even the faintest stain stick to clothes and makes dirty white. Likewise, instead of involving in forty days seclusion or unnecessary endeavours and struggles, the guide shows the path of Ism-e-Allah Zaat along with casting spiritual glance which purifies the inciting innerself (an-nafs al-ammarah) and remove the diseases of soul and inward. His marvel lies in the fact that he eradicates the love of the world from one’s inward and removes vicious desires of inciting innerself and world. He drowns a seeker in Allah’s Oneness. A worthy seeker is one who is manifestation of his spiritual guide and a worthy guide has the power to make it possible.

The perfect spiritual guide is like a goldsmith as he makes the inward lustrous

مرشد وانگ سنارے ہووے‘ جیہڑا گھت کٹھالی گالے  ھو

پا  کٹھالی باہر کڈھے‘  بندے گھڑے یا والے  ھو

Explanation: The goldsmith melts raw gold in a crucible and then alters it into many forms of jewellery giving it a lustrous look. Such should be the case of a spiritual guide, for the perfect is the one who burns the seeker in the kiln of ardent Divine love and blazes his spiritual self with Ism-e-Allah Zaat to take out the love of other than Allah. Prior habits and wishes alter giving the seeker such a form which is acceptable in the court of Allah.

I wish that my entire being turns into one big eye

ایہہ تن میرا چشماں ہووے‘ تے میں مرشد ویکھ نہ رجاں ھو

لوں لوں دے مُڈ لکھ لکھ چشماں‘ ہِک کھولاں تے ہِک کجاں ھو

اِتنا ڈِٹھیاں صبر ناں آوے‘ میں ہور کِتے وَل بھجاں ھو

مرشد دا دیدار ہے باھوؒ ‘ مینوں لکھ کروڑاں حجاں ھو

Explanation: I wish that my entire being turns into one big eye so that I may behold spiritual guide to heart’s content. This might not be enough because what if it blinks! I desire lacs of eyes on every hair of body so that if few might blink I could still behold him. For a seeker the key to success is engrossment in the perfect spiritual guide. Beholding him with so many eyes is not lessening the desire rather it is intensifying making me restless. Further this restlessness is showing signs of proceeding to the next stage of Faqr. A single look at spiritual guide is equivalent to crores of hajj. May Allah bless me with this condition eternally!

Subtlety of ‘you and I’ ends

الف اَللّٰہُ  چنبے دی بوٹی، میرے من وِچ مرشد لاندا ھو

جس گت اتے سوہنا راضی ہوندا، اوہو گت سکھاندا ھو

ہر دم یاد رکھے ہر ویلے، آپ اٹھاندا بہاندا ھو

آپ سمجھ سمجھیندا باھوؒ، آپے آپ بن جاندا ھو

Explanation: The perfect spiritual guide has unveiled all the powers and secrets of Ism-e-Allah Zaat within me by first imprinting it inwardly. Now he teaches and nourishes those of my habits, states and conditions which he is fond of and are acceptable in the court of Allah. Moreover he is always showering beneficence and affection. I have annihilated to such an extent that none of the words, deeds and gestures are without his will. He himself teaches the secrets and powers of this path of Faqr. At times it is he who manifests in my being by complete annihilation. I do not exist, it is him and this is how he ends the subtlety of ‘you and I’ between us.

Invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat awakens one from the slumber of ignorance

تو تاں جاگ نہ جاگ فقیرا، انت نوں لوڑ جگایا ھو

اکھیں میٹیاں نہ دل جاگے، جاگے جاں مطلب نوں پایا ھو

ایہہ نکتہ جداں کیتا پختہ، تاں ظاہر آکھ سنایا ھو

میں تاں بھلی ویندی ساں باھوؒ، مینوں مرشد راہ وکھایا ھو

Explanation: Merely closing one’s eyes or meditating does not enlighten the inward. Rather this piece of show is for your own need and to attract audiences. Inward awakes from slumber of negligence when Ism-e-Allah Zaat is invoked and contemplated. Also one behold Allah as a result. I had gone astray and had firmly believed in the long seclusions and the mediations until my spiritual guide showed me the path of Truth and since then I had rightly understood the point.

Buy Divine love (Ishq-e-Haqeeqi) by selling faith

جتھے رتی عشق وکاوے، اوتھے مناں ایمان دویوے ھو

کتب کِتاباں وِرد وظیفے، اوتر چا کچیوے ھو

باجھوں مرشد کجھ نہ حاصل، توڑے راتیں جاگ پڑھیوے ھو

مرئیے مرن تِھیں اگے باھوؒ، تاں رب حاصل تھیوے ھو

Explanation: Where one gram of Divine love is selling better give tons of faith for it because the heights where love can take you faith is unaware. Nothing is possible without the perfect spiritual guide even if you spend your entire life studying books, in seclusions and stays up at nights. Remember! Union with Allah is not possible without ‘death before dying’.

One affectionate glance of spiritual guide is everything

جل جلیندیاں جنگل بھوندیاں، میری ہِکا گَل نہ پکی ھو

چِلے چلیٔے مکے حج گزاریاں،  میری دِل دی دَوڑ نہ ڈکی ھو

تریہے روزے پنج نمازاں، ایہہ وِی پڑھ پڑھ تھکی ھو

سبھے مراداں حاصل ہویاں باھوؒ، جداں مُرشد نظر مہر دِی تکی ھو

Explanation: I wandered in swamps and jungles but I could not accomplish my needs. I opted for long seclusions and even went to Makkah for hajj still my heart raced for the gnosis of Allah. I performed five daily salat and thirty days fast until I got tired. Importantly all my worries faded and veils had lifted by one affectionate glance from the perfect spiritual guide.

Enlightening with the secrets of Allah

عشق اسانوں لِسیاں جاتا، کر کے آوے دھائی ھو

جِتول ویکھاں مینوں عشق دسیوے، خالی جگہ نہ کائی ھو

مرشد کامل ایسا ملیا، جس دل دی تاکی لاہی ھو

میں قربان اس مرشد باھوؒ، جس دسیا بھیت اِلٰہی ھو

Explanation: Divine love found me weak and it swiftly came enfolding and overpowering me. Now wherever I turn I see theophanies of the Essence. This beatitude of my spiritual guide has enlightened me with secrets of Allah. Moreover he unsealed locks in my inward. I wish to sacrifice myself for the perfect spiritual guide who confided to me.

Perfect Fakirs are those whose graves are epitome of beneficence

کی ہویا جے بت اوڈھر ہویا، دل ہرگز دور نہ تھیوے ھو

سے کوہاں تے میرا مرشد وسدا، مینوں وِچ حضور دِسیوے ھو

جیندے اندر عشق دِی رتی، اوہ بن شرابوں کھیوے ھو

نام فقیر تنہاں دا باھوؒ، قبر جنہاں دی جیوے ھو

Explanation: Although my spiritual guide is not before me but we are close together inwardly. He lives remotely, still I see him like I am in his presence. A seeker who has love as minute as a grain will seem drunk without wine. Perfect and accomplished Fakirs are those who are immortal and their graves are the epitome of beneficence and blessings.

Significance of the perfect spiritual guide

مرشد مینوں حج مکے دا، رحمت دا دروازہ ھو

کراں طواف دوالے قبلے، نِت ہووے حج تازہ ھو

کن فیکون جدوکا سنیا، ڈِٹھا مرشد دا دروازہ ھو

مرشد سدا حیاتی والا باھوؒ، اوہو خضر تے خواجہ ھو

Explanation: In this couplet Sultan Bahoo symbolizes seeing the countenance of the spiritual guide as hajj, calls him the gateway to compassion and mercy of Allah and gives the status of circumambulating Kaaba with meeting him.

The company of the spiritual guide is hajj for me, he is the door to Allah’s mercy and I am in constant state of circumambulating him. I recognized him when I heard ‘Be and it becomes’ (Kun Fayakun کن فیکون ). My spiritual guide is immortal and he is our guide and leader.

The perfect spiritual guide gives salvation in both the worlds

مرشد کامل اوہ سہیڑئیے، جیہڑا دو جگ خوشی وِکھاوے ھو

پہلے غم ٹکڑے دا میٹے، وت رب دا راہ سمجھاوے ھو

اِس کلر والی کندھی نوں، چا چاندی خاص بناوے ھو

جس مرشد اِیتھے کجھ نہ کیتا باھوؒ، اوہ کوڑے لارے لاوے ھو

Explanation: The perfect spiritual guide is one who gives salvation in both the worlds. He changes the perception and focus to Allah from merely the challenge of earning livelihood which has bothered man’s inward for long. He transforms radically the turbulent, noisy and inexperienced spiritual self through Ism-e-Allah Zaat into silver, that is, blesses with gnosis of Allah. A guide who fails to do all of this in physical world and could not direct a seeker of Allah on the path towards His gnosis is inexpert, a notorious liar and a cheat.

The seeker of Allah is an eternal pilgrim

مرشد مکہ تے طالب حاجی، کعبہ عشق بنایا ھو

وِچ حضور سدا ہر ویلے، کرئیےحج سوایا ھو

ہک دم میتھوں جدا نہ ہووے، دل ملنے تے آیا ھو

مرشد عین حیاتی باھوؒ، میرے لوں لوں وِچ سمایا ھو

Explanation: The perfect spiritual guide is Makkah, the seeker is pilgrim and his love is holy Kaaba. Such a seeker of Allah is unendingly present in front of divinity in the state of circumambulation out of love which is his hajj. My spiritual guide does not separates me from himself even for a moment. Moreover my heart yearns of complete union. He is like a second soul to this body.

Soul invokes Ism-e-Allah Zaat all the time

مرشد ہادی سبق پڑھایا، بن پڑھیوں پیا پڑھیوے ھو

انگلیاں وچ کناں دے دِتیاں، بِن سنیوں پیا سنیوے ھو

نین نیناں ولوں تر تر تکدے ،بن ڈٹھیوں پیا دِسیوے ھو

باھو ہر خانے وِچ جانی وسدا، کن سراوہ رکھیوے ھو

Explanation: The perfect spiritual guide has taught me such a lesson of Ism-e-Allah Zaat that my soul invokes it all the time. If I cover my ears I could still hear my soul invoking the name of Allah. My condition is that my eyes keeps on beholding spiritual guide even when I close them. The beloved guide is manifesting through my entire existence.

Intellect can never lead to Allah

مرشد باجھوں فقر کماوے، وِچ کفر دے بڈے ھو

شیخ مشائخ ہو بہندے حجرے، غوث قطب بن اڈے ھو

تسبیحاں نپ بہن مسیتی، جویں موش بہندا وڑ کھڈے ھو

رات اندھاری مشکل پینڈا باھوؒ، سے سے آون ٹھڈے ھو

Explanation: Man without the guidance of the perfect spiritual guide not only stays deprived of union with Allah but also goes astray and becomes a heathen. This is because his intellectual struggle fails to grant him Allah’s union so he believes that God never existed. In this way, he is engulfed by the darkness of self-conceit and egotism and becomes the victim of inclination of creation. Then he sits in a small chamber in the guise of a spiritual guide and makes himself known as Ghawth and Qutb. Some fashion themselves with a chaplet and sit in a mosque or a closet, like a mouse hides in a corner. All their prayers and mystic exercises are just a pretence to attract people. Without the perfect spiritual guide, no one can travel this difficult path filled with hurdles and therefore, stays in the darkness of ignorance.

Worships are void unless one finds the perfect spiritual guide

سے روزے سے نفل نمازاں، سجدے کر کر تھکے ھو

سے واری مکے حج گزارن، دل دی دوڑ ناں مکے ھو

چِلے چلیہے جنگل بھونا، اِس گل تھیں ناں پکے ھو

سبھے مطلب حاصل ہوندے باھوؒ، جد پیر نظر اِک تکے ھو

Explanation: I left no stone unturned to accomplish gnosis by performing various religious rites. I offered supererogatory prayers, prostrated in salat hundreds of times and placed my plea, performed hajj, forty-days seclusion and then wandered off into the woods to find Allah but failed due to lack of guidance of the perfect spiritual guide. I remained deprived of Allah’s gnosis unless I came in the servitude of my guide. The moment he cast his eyes upon me with beneficence then and there I accomplished in the purpose of life.

No inner peace in sectarianism

ناں میں سنی ناں میں شیعہ، میرا دوہاں توں دل سڑیا ھو

مک گئے سبھ خشکی پینڈے، جدوں دریا رحمت وِچ وڑیا ھو

کئی من تارے تر تر ہارے، کوئی کنارے چڑھیا ھو

صحیح سلامت چڑھ پار گئے اوہ باھوؒ، جنہاں مرشد دا لڑ پھڑیا ھو

Explanation: I am neither a Sunni nor a Shia as my inward has parted from them due to bigotry between sects, intolerance in different schools of thought and belligerence among them. When Allah blessed me with His union and when I dived into the vast ocean of Oneness, I found no disagreement there hence achieved the essence of religion. A person who associates himself with the perfect spiritual guide elevates from sectarianism to the level of truth.

Where Allah resides?

ناں رب عرش معلیٰ اتے، ناں رب خانے کعبے ھو

ناں رب علم کتابیں لبھا، ناں رب وِچ محرابے ھو

گنگا تِیر تِھیں مول نہ مِلیا، مارے پینڈے بے حسابے ھو

جد دا مرشد پھڑیا باھوؒ، چھٹے کل عذابے ھو

Explanation: I searched for Allah and when I found Him I came to know that He neither resides on His Throne nor in Kaaba. One cannot find Him in reading books, gaining intellect nor in mosques, niches and different places of worship. One can also not find Him by secluding into woods to perform hard devotional and mystic exercises. The place where He resides is the sacred being of the perfect spiritual guide. As he is the man who knows the Divine secrets. Since I came in the servitude of the perfect spiritual guide, all my endeavours and worries have faded away. (Abyat-e-Bahoo Kamil)

 

Concluding words

Without the leadership and guidance of a spiritual guide, who is the man of Divine Essence and possesses the light of guidance, even to ruminate the achievement to unite with Allah is among the impossibilities. In the maelstrom of ignorance surrounding both the world and hereafter, the perfect spiritual guide is a beacon of hope for the seeker of Allah to steer the wobbling boat of his life overcoming the odds and ferocity, safely to the shore (achieves the purpose of his life). Without the guidance of the perfect spiritual guide who is the man of Divine Essence, attaining to the stations of ‘annihilation in Allah and being immortal with Him’ is mere imagination and conceit.

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