Role of Allah's vicegerents Who are Saints (Fakirs)
Saints or Fakirs are those men of Allah who attain exalted spiritual rank in His court through devotions and piety. The literal meaning of ‘wali’ or Saint is friend of Allah, one who is closer to Allah and one whose inward is filled with Divine love. The emotion of love that makes the seeker so engrossed in obeying Allah that he or she does not commit even a smallest of sins.
Saints are those men of Allah who attain the station of اَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ (the path of those upon whom Allah bestowed His favours). They are blessed with inspired knowledge, filled with love of Allah and love of His beloved, they truly follow the teachings of Quran, live pious life and adopt the path of Faqr.
The Saints are true to their word and actions. Because of their firm faith in Allah their intentions are very strong. How can they vanish from history when Allah keeps their names alive?
Allah sent prophets and messengers for the exoteric and esoteric guidance of mankind. When the prophet-hood ended upon Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), the task of guiding mankind was assigned to two groups. The scholars were appointed for the exoteric training of people whereas for esoteric guidance the Saints were appointed. The scholars inculcate the knowledge of sharia whereas the Saints teach how to develop sincerity in deeds that leads to their acceptance in the court of Allah. Thus, the Saints are the students of scholars, however, on the other hand the scholars become disciples of Saints.
Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi
At the time of his death Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi exhausted all his arguments against Satan. His spiritual guide, Khawaja Najm ad-Dīn Kubra who was hundreds of miles away from him, saw all this and saved his disciple by inculcating him to say that he believes in Allah without any arguments. This saved his faith and he left this world with faith.
How to recognise Saint (Fakir)?
Shaikh Bayazid Bastami says, the Saints or Fakirs are like a bride. Only a Saint can recognise them or those whom they benefit (spiritually).
According to Shaikh Abu al-Aas, recognising Allah is easier than recognising Saints. This is because Allah is different in His Essence and attributes from the creation. Whereas, a Saint is like common men. (Aulia Allah Ka Maqam)
Hafiz Ibn Kathir says, Saints are those who have attained faith. Their outward being is engrossed in piety and devotion. The more one is pious, the higher his rank near Allah. They remain fearless of everything. They have no fear of the hardships of the day of Judgement. And they never feel any sorrow on worldly loss.
Abdullah ibn Masood and many distinguished Sufi Saints have said, Saints are those pious men of Allah whom when someone sees reminds them of Allah. Ibn Abbas has related that once someone asked the Holy Prophet (pbuh) about Saints, he replied: “They are the men of Allah whom when one sees reminds them of Allah Almighty”. (Sunan al-Kubra, Al-Nasai).
Saints – The beloveds of Allah
The inwards of Fakirs are filled with piety. That is why Allah loves them. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said:
Allah loves His men who are pious, indifferent and nameless. (Muslim, Musnad Ahmad)
Allah loves the Saints. He then induces their love in the hearts of the people of the world. Abu Hurairah related a Hadith from the Prophet: When Allah loves a person, He calls Angel Gabriel and says to him: Verily, I love this person so you should love him too. Then Gabriel loves him and announces in the heavens, saying: Allah loves this person and you should love him too. Thus, the dwellers of the heavens love him and he is honoured on the earth. (Bukhari and Muslim)
Allah accepts the prayers of Saints immediately. Anas ibn Malik related a Hadith from the Holy Prophet (pbuh):
Indeed, there are some men of Allah (Fakirs), when they swear upon something, Allah fulfils that for them. (Bukhari)
In another Qudsi Hadith that Abu Hurairah related, Allah said:
If he (Saint) asks Me for something, I definitely grant him that. If he asks for refuge from something, I provide him refuge. (Sahih Bukhari)
Saints and Intercession in the Hereafter
The pious people and Saints will intercede on the day of Judgement and Allah will accept their intercession. Allah has also clarified about those who claim to be closer to Him but do not fulfil the requirements of being a Saint:
Say: ‘O Jews, if you think that, leaving all other people, you alone are the friends of Allah (i.e., Awliya’), then long for death (because His Awliya’ will not fear in the grave and the Hereafter) if you are true (in your thinking).’ (62: 6)
The aforementioned verse proves that Saints of Allah are those who when are asked to sacrifice in the way of Allah and instructed to refrain from certain things, they accept this wholeheartedly. However, those who are deprived of this blessing or claim it falsely refuse to fulfil this ask and turn away.
In the next verse Allah says:
And these people will never long for it due to (the rejection of the Messenger and disbelief) which they have sent forward. And Allah knows the wrongdoers well. (62: 7)
The Saints are those believers who get closer to Allah Almighty through adopting piety. Allah says about them:
Beware! Verily, the friends of Allah will not have any fear, nor will they grieve. (They) are the people who believe and (always) remain Godfearing, committed to piety. (10: 62-63)
What are the qualities for one to become a Saint?
Furthermore, the below verse also indicates the rank of Saints in the court of Allah:
There is for them the good news (of honour and recognition) in the life of the world, and (also of forgiveness and intercession) in the Hereafter. (Or there are blessed spiritual visions in this world in the form of pious dreams, and in the hereafter in the shape of effulgent disclosures of Allah’s absolute beauty and sight.) The commands of Allah never change. That is the colossal achievement. (10: 64) Allah has described five attributes of Saints or Fakirs:
They have no fear
They have no sorrow
There is happiness for them in the world
And glad tidings for them in the hereafter
They are the successful ones
The Saints are not afraid of anything because they have complete trust in Allah. Neither they are worried about reduction in sustenance nor losing respect or being condemned. This is because everything is within the power and control of Allah Almighty. Sustenance is set and it does not change during a person’s life. However, Allah can make even a little, sufficient through His blessings and if He lifts His blessings, a lot becomes insufficient.
Allah Honours and Humiliates
Respect and dishonour is all from Allah. As per the verse of Quran:
You confer honour on whom You will, and You dishonour whom You will. (3: 26)
Those who for the sake of Allah kill their (inner) self, according to the Hadith ‘die before death’ have no fear of death.
It is narrated in Tasfir Ruh ul Bayan:
The perfect Fakirs (Saints) are in fact vicegerents of Allah upon earth. They are the Qutb and Autad of the world. The earth and skies exist because of them. They keep the soul of Islam alive and they will always be present in the world until the day of Judgement. (Tafsir Ruh ul Bayan)
Then the one who had some knowledge of the (heavenly) Book submitted: ‘I can bring it to you before your vision turns back to you (i.e., even before the twinkling of an eye).’ So, when (Sulayman [Solomon]) saw it (the throne) placed before him, he said: ‘This is by the Grace of my Lord so that He may put me to the test whether I thank (Him) or not. (27: 40)
The aforementioned verse refers to Asif ibn Barkhiya who had some knowledge from Torah or the Gaurded Tablet because of which he had attained the rank of Sainthood. He was a student as well as vizier of Solomon. The outward knowledge does not provide such power that enabled Asif ibn Barkhiya to move the throne of Queen of Sheba from hundreds of miles away and present it to Solomon in a blink of an eye. When Solomon saw this, he thanked Allah. This proves the spiritual power and authority of a Saint. Asif ibn Barkhiya did not enquire anyone about Queen of Sheba. He identified her location through the inspired knowledge and spiritual powers that Allah had granted him and brought her throne in front of Solomon in no time.
This is the level of spiritual power of a Saint from Bani Israel, what would be the rank of the Saints of Mohammadan umma. For Prophet Solomon to thank Allah indicates that Sainthood is true and their miracles are also true and those who deny them are depraved.
How can you purify your heart - Best Devotion
Like the doctors treat physical diseases, for inward diseases we need to seek help of spiritual doctors (Saints). They purify the inwards of seekers through their spiritual sight.
یک زمانہ صحبت با اولیا بہتر از صد سالہ طاعتِ بے ریا
Explanation: One moment spent in the company of Saints is better than hundred years spent in sincere devotion.
Allama Mohammad Umar Naeemi writes in his book ‘Aulia Allah Ka Maqam’:
Once, a dacoit came to steal robe from Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani prayed to Allah for him and as a result he became a Saint. A single glance of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani did what that person would not have achieved even after worships of whole life.
This means, like we need a guide on a journey, similarly on the inward journey, we need a guide who knows the ups and downs of this path. Unfortunately, these days people do not believe in following Saints. Thus, Satan becomes their guide. (Aulia Allah ka Maqam)
Once Shaikh Shafeeq Balkhi and Shaikh Abu Turab Balkhi came to visit Shaikh Bayazid Bastami. At meal time, one of his disciples was also present there. Shaikh Shafeeq Balkhi asked him to come and join them but he said he was fasting. Then Shaikh Abu Turab said come and join us and you will receive reward for one year’s fasting. He denied again, upon this Shaikh Bayazid Bastami said leave him alone as he has been rejected in the court of Allah. A few days later, he was caught stealing and his hands were cut. (Khazina Karamat e Aulia)
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is the medium for us to reach Allah Almighty and the perfect Fakirs are the medium for us to reach the Holy Prophet. The sacred Companions received spiritual beneficence directly from the Holy Prophet. From the Companions, this Divine light transferred to Tabiun, then the Saints who followed then and so on. The inwards of the Saints are the mirror that reflects and spread Mohammadan light in the world during their time. So, those who take bayah at their hands receive this beneficence from them. However, those who do not believe in them remain deprived of this light. That is why they do not believe in the eternal life of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and end up in waywardness.
Those who foster enmity against the Saints, Allah declared war against them. Abu Hurairah relates a Hadith from the Holy Prophet saying:
Those who foster enmity against My Saints, I declare war against them. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Those with weak faith believe that only the outward worships are enough for success in this life and hereafter. They pay no heed to correcting their faith and hence they cannot succeed because without complete faith no worship is accepted. Therefore, such people should strive to correct their faith so that their worships are accepted. Sainthood is based on strong faith and piety. Therefore, those with weak faith can never attain Sainthood, rather they run away from Saints.
Reviver of Islam - How does Allah show his beneficence?
Allah makes Saints known amongst the people. It is like a branch that is laden with fruits. Only that branch bears fruit that remains connected with its root. The Saints are the beloved of the Holy Prophet and hence they possess the Divine light. The Prophethood ended on Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). There will be no more prophet or messenger after him. Therefore, it is the Saints who will keep the religion alive until the day of Judgement. Their miracles will continue to manifest and they will continue to enlighten people’s inwards and inculcate them the true teachings of Islam. Thus, the marvels of the Saints are in fact a miracle of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
Why should a spiritual guide (Fakir) be followed
The Muslim youth educated in science and technology criticise these Islamic beliefs. Those traditions that reached them through their ancestors, they take them as superstitions. When they hear about the various Sufi orders i.e. Qadri, Chishti, Suhrawardi etc. they enquire what are they? Why we need them? Why do we need to pledge allegiance to a Murshid (spiritual guide)? We can ask Allah directly whatever we need so why need any medium in between?
Faith has become very weak in today’s age. The so called proclaimers of oneness of Allah are against the Saints and declare their teachings polytheism and heresy. As a result, majority of people turn away from the Saints and the Sufi orders. These days people ask for justification from sharia about the Saints being a medium between Allah and His creation. Whereas, Quran clearly describes that Allah chose the Saints as a medium between Him and the creation. To reach Allah we must associate ourselves with His pious men. Their company will guide us on the righteous path.
How to Build Connection with Allah
اللہ اللہ کرنے سے اللہ نہیں ملتا
اللہ والے ہیں جو اللہ سے ملا دیتے ہیں
Allah sent prophets and messengers to convey His message to mankind. The prophets and messengers were the medium between Allah and His creation during their time. When the Prophethood ended on Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), since then this task is assigned to the Saints and this will continue until the day of Judgement. This is the Sunna of Allah. When Allah wanted to convey the message of His Oneness to the creation, He said:
(O Esteemed Messenger!) Proclaim: ‘He is Allah, Who is the One. (112: 1)
If one asks why Allah doesn’t declare His oneness Himself directly, Allah says My glory is such that I do not talk to creation directly and equally, the human cannot talk to Me directly either. As He says in Quran:And every man does not have the faculty that Allah should speak to him (directly) except by Revelation (He bestows upon some the holy status of Prophethood), or (should speak) from behind a veil (as He spoke to Musa [Moses] on Mount Tur of Sinai), or by sending some angel as a messenger to reveal with His permission what Allah may will. (In any case, the medium and mediation of the communication of Allah’s Word for mankind is none but the Prophet and his spiritual vicegerents.) Surely, He is Most High, Most Wise. (42: 51)
Perfect Fakirs are shortest way to reach Allah
The aforementioned verse alludes to the fact that Allah appoints His chosen men to carry out this task. Until the medium of prophethood continued, Allah communicated to mankind through them. After the end of prophethood, the Saints are the spiritual vicegerents of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and a medium between Allah and His creation. In today’s age, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the perfect spiritual guide, perfect Fakir and Saint. He is the 31st Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri order. He is a medium for the Muslim umma to gain gnosis and union with Divine Essence. His teaching is ‘Only Allah, everything other than Allah is lust’ and ‘Turn towards Allah’.
Whatever he does is only for the sake of Allah. He is known for piety and his inward is a reflection of Divine light. Everyone is invited to attend the weekly spiritual gathering ‘Bazme-e-Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen’ that takes place every Sunday. Those who wish to begin their inward journey of self realisation can complete bayah at the hands of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen and obtain Sultan-ul-Azkar ‘Hoo’.
Tafsir Ruh ul Bayan: Shaikh Ismael Haqqi
Tafsir ibn Kathir: Hafiz Ammad Uddin ibn Kathir
Khazina Karamat e Aulia: Yousuf bin Ismael Nabhani
Aulia Allah ki Pehchan: Abu Hamza Abdul Khaliq Siddiqui
Aulia Allah ka Maqam: Shaikh Mohammad Umar al-Din Naeemi
This is English translation of Urdu Blog. اولیا اللہ کا مقام that appeared in January 2023 issue of monthly Sultan ul Faqr Magazine. Mrs. Noreen Sarwari Qadri authored the original article. Waheed Hassan Sarwari Qadri translated it in English.