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Inam Hasan,
Gudri Shah Baba V


The Key to Sufism
 

Head of Gudri Shahi Order, Gudri Shah Baba V  answers to the questions about sufism and sufi path.

Questions are divided into categories:

Questions-Answers last updated on 29.10.2007

 


QUESTIONS - ANSWERS
SUFISM AND RELIGION

Q1:

What is Mysticism?
Ans.: Mysticism is the knowledge of the Inner World, which reveals the vision of God.
Q2: Who all come into the folds of Mysticism?
Ans.: The mystics of all religions.

Q3:

What is Sufism?
Ans.: Sufism is the knowledge of the heart (Ilm- e- Seena) of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (birth 20th April ‘571 AD -died 25th May ‘634 AD).
Q4: What is the difference between Mysticism & Sufism?
Ans.: Mysticism is like a cup & Sufism is its wine. The wine of mysticism from any religion can fill the cup.

Q5:

What is the aim of Sufism?
Ans.: The aim of Sufism is to make people godly, means, the Friend of God by uplifting their outer and inner knowingness with purity.
Q6: Is Sufism only for Muslims?
Ans.: No, Sufism is like a tavern with free entry to anyone who wishes to get the free wine of Tauheed (Unity of God).

Q7:

What is Tauheed?
Ans.: According to Hazrat Imam Ghazali (d.1111 AD), it is “...to make all (as) One, to see all (as) One, to know all (as) One and to count all (as) One.” Sufism is based on Tauheed.
Q8: Is Sufism a part of Islam?
Ans.: Yes. Just as everything has two sides to it, in the same way even religions have two sides – the outer & the inner. Sufism is the inner knowledge of Islam.

Q9:

What is Islam?
Ans.: Literally means: Submission to God.
Q10: What is the knowledge of the heart?
Ans.: That which will fill the heart with Noor-e-Elahi (Light of God) and then everything will be seen clearly.

Q11:

How can I get the knowledge of the heart?
Ans.: By erasing all doubts.
Q12: From where has the word ‘Sufi’ come into Islam?
Ans.: Ashab-e-suffa (companions of the Platform). This group of lovers of the Holy Prophet would wear a thick coat of soof (wool) and sit on a platform outside the house of Prophet Mohammed, in exclusive devotion (yaksui). The Holy Quran has described it thus: 

“Remember thou, the name of Thy Lord, and devote thyself, unto Him with an exclusive devotion”. {Para 29 : Ayat 8} 

They were pure & so much mad in love of the Holy Prophet that they would wait endlessly outside his house for his one glance.

Q13:

Why did the Ashab-e-suffa use the long coat of soof?
Ans.: Because the Holy Prophet used to wear the long, white woollen soof dress. Symbolically, it is also represents wafa (faithfulness).
Q14: Why did the Prophet use this particular kind of dress?
Ans.: It is comfortable to wear in the Arabian climate. It also hides the external physical movement of the body. And, in this long dress, a person looks like Alif, which represents ‘one’ - the one God.

Q15:

Is there a symbolic description of the word soof.
Ans.: Yes. The word soof is made from three letters: Su’wad, Wa’oo and Fay. According to Hazrat Junaid of Baghdad (d.910 AD): 

Su’wad represents sabr (patience), sidq (sincerity), safa (purity) 
Wa’oo represents wu’du (friendship), wird (practice), wafa (fidelity) 
Fay represents fard (detachments), faqr (poverty), fana (annihilation)
Q16: Who is the first Sufi?
Ans.: Hazrat Ali (d.661 AD).
Q17: Can I become a Sufi?
Ans.: Yes, if you will follow the way of Hazrat Ali. The Holy Prophet has himself said thus about Hazrat Ali: “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate”
Q18: What is the way of Hazrat Ali?
Ans.: To follow the Holy Prophet with Istiqamat (constancy).

Q19:

Why only Ali when the Prophet has very many disciples?
Ans.: Because Hazrat Ali has made his own Nafs (Self) the same as the Nafs of the Holy Prophet. Therefore, he is also called Ham Nafs-e-Rasool (being of the same Nafs as that of the Holy Prophet). The Holy Prophet himself once remarked:

“ Whoever takes me as a master, Ali is his master too.”

Q20: What is Nafs?
Ans.: The Self or the desires of the Self.

Q21:

Why Ali is called Ham Nafs-e-Rasool?
Ans.: Because he has no desires of his own. He has surrendered his own will to the will of the Holy Prophet and you already know that the Holy Prophet has surrendered his will to the Will of God.
Q22: In one of your question you have mentioned ‘the Tavern’ and ‘the Wine of Tauheed’. Who is the cupbearer (Saqi)?
Ans.: The cupbearer is the spiritual guide (Pir-o-Murshid), also referred to as the Pir-e-Maikhana (Tavern Keeper).
Q23: If the spiritual guide is the cupbearer, then what is the position of Hazrat Ali, the Holy Prophet and God?
Ans.: Hazrat Ali allots the Goblet (surahi). He is called Qasim-e-Kausar (the one who allots the fountain of Paradise). The Holy Prophet Mohammed is called the Saqi-e-Kausar (the cupbearer of the fountain of Paradise). God is the owner of all the Taverns of all the different faiths. He is called Saqi-e-Alam (the cupbearer of the Universe).
 
Q24: What is a proper word for the Tavern in Sufism.
Ans.: Khanqah.
Q25: What is a Khanqah?
Ans.: Literally, it means a convent.

There are actually two sounds hidden in the word Khanqah.: the sounds of ‘Kha’ and ‘Qah’. ‘Kha’ is for khana which means ‘a house’ or ‘a place’ and ‘Qah’ reminds us of Qana’at or contentment. Which then means that a Khanqah is a House of Contentment. Where there is contentment there is satisfaction. Where there is satisfaction, there is mercy, and where there is mercy there is peace. For the holy souls peace is very important. The sufi’s are content with what is granted to them and with their contentment, they make Palaces of Peace. As a result, all the connected holy souls begin to come to this Palace of Peace. Those who visit such a place are showered with blessings. In blessings there is peace.

Q26: Who is the successor to the Saqi or Pir?
Ans.: A practical (ba amaal) Sufi who can pour with generosity (sakhawat).
Q27: Does a Sufi order have to be run by blood relations?
Ans.: No, it does not. However, if the children have the desired qualities of running the Sufi Order (silsila) and the higher authorities of the order decide so, then the order may be run so.
Q28: Who nominates the successor?
Ans.: The higher spiritual circle of the order and the connected spiritual alliances (Nisbat) nominate the successor (sajjadanashin).
Q29: Is there is a scale by which a successor is nominated?
Ans.: The Nafs (self).
Q30: How can they nominate the successor by assessing the nafs?
Ans.: The Nafs is like mercury in a thermometer, which increases and decreases.
Q31: How can we reduce our nafs?
Ans.: By willfully controlling the desires that originate from our self (nafsani khuwahishat).
Q32: And how can we control the desires of the self?
Ans.: By being content (qana’at).
Q33: How can we get contentment?
Ans.: Follow the formula of Hazrat Dr. Zahurul Hassan Sharib, Gudri Shah Baba IV (d. 1996 AD):

“What He has done, done the best,
What He is doing, doing the best and
What He will do, do the best”

Q34: Can I follow the practices of other mystical faiths along with Sufi practices?
Ans.: According to Hazrat Nawab Khadim Hasan, Gudri Shah Baba III (d. 1970 AD):

“To mix other mystical practices with Sufi practices is as tasteless as chun-chun ka murabba (a tasteless jam of fifty four fruits).”

Q35: Why is it tasteless?
Ans.: Because it shows lack of devotion (aqeeda). If there is a lack of devotion, then there is less attention (tawaj’joo) of the master. Everything runs with the special attention (tawaj’joo). Tawaj’joo makes a person insan-e-kaamil (a perfect person).
Q36: How can I follow the ways of Hazrat Ali when he is not physically present?
Ans.: Every human being has the quality to carry out the duties for the generation ahead. In a similar way, he can go reverse by connecting to the links of a sufi order. In a sufi order there are various stations (muqam). When a seeker (talib) follows his spiritual guide (Pir-o-Murshid) with devotion, the love of the spiritual guide transforms him and the various stations of Reality are revealed to him. He passes through many stations of Fana (annihilation of the Self). The first is Fana-fil Murshid where the seeker’s own will merges with the Will of his spiritual guide. Another station is Fana-fil-Ali where the will of the seeker merges with the Will of Hazrat Ali. At this station, nothing of the seeker remains and all that remains is the Will of Hazrat Ali. From here, he may proceed through the station of Fana-fil-Rasool (merging of the seeker’s own will with the Will of the Holy Prophet) till he may reach the station of Fana-fil-Allah, where the seeker has nothing of his own will and all that remains is the Will of the Almighty. While there is the station of Fana (annihilation of the Self), there is also the important station of Baqa (subsistence in the Truth). Upon reaching the station of Baqa, you reach the Original Existence (That which has existed forever, even before any creation).
Q37: From where do human beings get the ability to reach the Original Existence?
Ans.: From the father of all human beings – Adam. God has said for him in the holy Quran:

Indeed I am placing a khalifa (vicegerent) on the earth. {Para 1: Ayat 30}

Q38: What is Original Existence?
Ans.: The Spirit of God. According to the holy Quran:

I complete him and breathe into him my spirit (Para 14:Ayat 29)

Q39: Is this ability also present in other creations?
Ans.: No. Only human beings are called the most eminent of God’s creation (Ashraf-ul- Makhluqat).
Q40: What is Fana and what is Baqa?
Ans.: “The passing away of the attributes of self is Fana and abiding in Allah is Baqa”.

Actually, Fana is like walking in the dark night and the morning is Baqa.

Q41: How can I walk in the dark night?
Ans.: By following the path of fidelity (wafa) with the Friend.
Q42: What is wafa?
Ans.: According to Hazrat Shaikh Abul Hasan Khirqani (d.1076 AD):

“When you see yourself with the Friend, it is wafa.
When you see the Friend with yourself, it is Fana and, 
When you do not see yourself but see only The Friend, it is Baqa”.

Q43: How can I reach the stations of Fana and Baqa?
Ans.: By recognizing yourself. The Holy Prophet has said:

“He who knows his own self, knows God”

Q44: What is a Sufi Order?
Ans.: It is a chain of holy masters holding each other’s hand with yaqeen (certainty) and faith in the One, and who derive their energy from Irfan (the Divine Knowledge).

This chain is like a rosary (Tasbih). The one large bead (Imam) and the two long but smaller beads (muqtadi) of the rosary represent the spiritual stations (muqam).

The Holy masters are like the beads that represent the different names of the One God, the Almighty.

The holding of hands is similar to the stringing of many beads in one thread. It shows Unity - the Oneness of God.

Divine mercy is their energy.

Huwal Awwal, Huwal Aakhir (He is the First and He is the Last) is their yaqeen (certainty and faith).

Q45: You have mentioned various stations. Can I achieve them on my own without joining a sufi order?
Ans.: In this world, it is difficult to achieve on your own the various stations of Sufism because this world is called the World of Means (Alam-ul-Asbab). Here, it is important to keep an eye on the means (asbab). The sufi orders are the means (asbab) for reaching sufi stations.
Q46: How can I join a sufi order?
Ans.: By finding a spiritual guide (Pir). According to Hazrat Khwaja Moin-ud-din Hasan Chishti of Ajmer (d.1229 AD): “The knowledge of reality cannot be acquired without the direction of a perfect Murshid (Spiritual Guide).”
Q47: How can I find a spiritual Guide? Where can I find him?
Ans.: When your fondness (shawaq), demands (talab) and search (talash) will align, then your spiritual guide (murshid) will appear in front of you.
Q48: How can I join a spiritual order?
Ans.: By giving your will to the Will of the Friend – soulmate. Razi ba raza-e-Jaana.
Q49: There are many orders. How do I decide which order to join?
Ans.: You have no need to worry. Where there is your spiritual share, there you shall go.
Q50: What is intiation?
Ans.: To sell your self as a slave into the hands of the master.
Q51: Do I have to become a Muslim to be initiated?
Ans.: In initiation there is no interference of religion. Initiation means to be taken under the shelter of the blue umbrella – Sky, not under the umbrella which covers only one’s self. Initiation also takes a seeker (salik) to the roots of Original Existence by removing the curtain of cast, creed, colour and religion. Huwal Awwal, Huwal Akhir.
Q52: Do I have to live with the spiritual guide after initiation?
Ans.: Physically, it is not so important. If you are in love with your master, you can live with him all the time.
Q53: Can a spiritual guide solve all my problems?
Ans.: Actually, it is a sin to doubt that your spiritual guide can not solve all the problems! More the serventhood (obediat) increases; more the lordship (rubebiat) is generous.
Q54: Can he perform miracles?
Ans.: The Lights of God (Anwar-e-Elahi) are hidden in the spiritual guide and appear in the form of miracles. But the sufis do not want to perform the miracles, because there is the smell of self-conceit (khud parasti) in the performance of miracles. For sufis, Self-Conceit (khud parasti) is the real idol worship (buut- parasti). For the sufis, persistence (istiqamat) is higher than [the display of] miracles (karamat).
Q55: A spiritual guide will have very many disciples. How will he remember me?
Ans.: In the same way as God remembers his creation.
Q56: Why is it important to control the Self (nafs)?
Ans.: By controlling the Self (nafs), your own being (wujood) is erased and the Original Existence (Asal Hasti) appears.
Q57: How can I know that my self (Nafs) is under control?
Ans.: When you see that the following attributes (Sifat) have become a part of you then you may understand that your self (Nafs) is under control:
  • Repentance (Toba)
  • Patience (Sabr, Tahammual)
  • Contentment (Qana’at)
  • Sincerity (Ikhlas)
  • Gratefulness (Shukr)
  • Toleration (Hilm)
  • Knowledge (Ilm)
  • Hospitality (Tawaazo)
  • Certainty (Yaqeen)
  • Affection (Unsiyat, Mohabbat)
  • Truthfulness (Sidq)
Q58: Can I join more than one Sufi Order? Can I have more than one spiritual guide?
Ans.: Failed candidates always have to re-appear in examinations. So may a person who is unsuccessful in finding the murshid. The journey starts from the beginning. Such a person is called a talib (student).
Q59: Which main quality does the seeker need to have before entering the Sufi path?
Ans.: Sincere Intention (Khulus Niyat). The Holy Prophet has said:

“Verily, all deeds are dependent upon intention.”

Q61: Do you think I need a Murshid on the sufi path?
Ans.: The Holy Prophet has said:

“whoever does not have a shaikh (Guide), Satan is his guide”

Q62: I am a new arrival on the Sufi path. Please tell me how to begin my spiritual life?
Ans.: Hazrat Abdul Qadar Jilani (d.1166 A.D) has given ten points of advise to a seeker: 
  • He should not to take the oath of God under any circumstance.
  • He should always try to protect himself from speaking a lie.
  • He should always try to keep promises.
  • He should not reproach anyone.
  • He should not curse anyone.
  • He should not testify as a witness against anyone in a case of infidelity, argument or enmity. It is better to maintain silence in such a situation.
  • He should avoid seeing a thing or an act of sin and should keep away the organs of his body from any sin.
  • He should not put a burden of any kind, big or small, on any one.
  • He should not expect anything from anyone and should not make associations with people for the purpose of selfish gain.
  • He should be hospitable.
Q63: Can you please provide evidence or proof from the Quran, Sunaah or any other sources of using saints who have passed away as intercessors in the court of Allah?
Ans.: Prophets and saints are the Manifestation of God’s Help (Mazhar-e-Aun-e-Elahi).

This quality is so absorbed in their nature that they continue to serve and help even after their physical death. In sufism, the Holy Prophet Mohammed and his saints are the interval (Barzaq) between human beings and God.

The Holy Prophet has said:

“My family is like the ark of Noah. Whoever boards it, attains salvation (Nijat),
Whoever does not, drowns.”

In another place he said:

My companions are like stars, whichever you follow, you will be guided by him.”

Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (d. 693) has narrated the following tradition of the Holy Prophet:

“There are many obedient servants of God whom God has specially chosen for solving the problems of people. Therefore they (the people) go to such people to fulfill their needs.”
(Tibrani, Jama-e-Sagheer, Siyuti)

Q64: How can we satisfy our Pir?
Ans.: By surrendering your will to the will of the Pir.
Q65: What is the difference between Shari’at & Tariqat?
Ans.: To be of the outer laws of religion is Shari’at & to be lost in the thought of the Friend with knowledge & action is Tariq’at. Thus, while all of Shari’at is based on submission, the foundation of Tariqat is love.
Q66: I want to know more about Tariqat Chishtiya. I know only a little about it from a book.
Ans.: Chishti Tariqat can be learnt by attending the company of Chishti Saints, not by reading or studying. Attend the company of Chishti Saints.
Q67: I am a non-Muslim by birth, but very interested in the Sufi path. I have heard that your order welcomes such people as mureeds. What are the conditions?
Ans.: Sufism is the path of God and God is for everyone. If you want to come for God you are welcome.
Q68: Can a woman follow the Sufi path of truth like a man?
Ans.: According to Hazrat Farid Uddin Attar:

“When a woman walks in the way of God like a man, she can not be called a woman.”

Q69: What do you mean that a woman ceases to remain a woman when she follows the Sufi path?
Ans.: While a woman is famous for her beauty, man is known for his strength and power. So, when a woman follows the Sufi path, she becomes a brave warrior (Mard-e-Mujahid), because the one who follows the Sufi path, first of all, has to fight against a great enemy like the Self (Nafs).

Q70:

Is it possible for saints of one order to be blessed by the grace of another spiritual order? Is it possible for them to be included in the genealogy of that order?
Ans.: There are many orders in this world, which have been linked by Owesia Nisbat (Spiritual alliance of the nature that Hazrat Owes Qarni had with the Holy Prophet). These are the ways of love in which, when a soul connection is established, anything becomes possible. It is similar to a stream, which flows from one river into another. It is also reflective of the mutual friendship between the two as well as of the will and the secrets of Nature.

Q71:

How is Hazrat Naseer-ud-din Chiragh Dehlvi related to the Holy Prophet?
Ans.: Hazrat Khwaja Naseer-ud-din Chiragh Dehlvi is the Guard of the Holy Relics of the Masters of the Chishti Order (Pasban-e-Tabarrukat-e-Khwajgan-e-Chisht). He is a Hasani Syyed (from the family lineage of Hazrat Imam Hasan, the son of Hazrat Ali) and the name of his father is Syyed Yahya. Hazrat Chiragh Dehlvi passed away in 757 AH (1356 AD). His annual urs is celebrated on the 18th of Ramzan with great respect and magnificence at his shrine in Chiragh Delhi.

Since the Holy Relics of Prophet Muhammed, Hazrat Ali and of the Masters of the Chishti Order lie buried in his tomb, his shrine is accorded a special status different from that accorded to any other shrine in India. In fact, no other shrine in India enjoys such a special status.

Who so ever desires to visit the Holy Relics of the Masters of the Chishti Order for pilgrimage, or desires for the fulfillment of wishes, can visit the shrine of Hazrat Chiragh Dehlvi and be blessed by his Grace.

Q72: Is Fana identical to Nirvana?
Ans.:

The goal of the Sufis to achieve Fana - (merging in God by annihilation of the self). On the other side, Budhism believes in salvation, not annihilation. The word Nirvana literally means “blow out”, “become cool” or “extinct”. 

Del Byron Schneider has written thus in his book ‘Religions of the East’:  

“When he was asked by a wandering monk if it as possible to illustrate by a simile the place call Nirvana, Buddha replied,

‘If a fire were blazing in front of you, would you know that it was?’

‘Yes good Gautama’

‘ And would you know if it were to be put out?’

‘Yes good Gautama’

‘ And on its beings put out, would you know the direction the fire had gone to from here – east, west, north, south?’ 

‘This question does not apply, good Gautama.’ 

“The Budha then closed the discussion by pointing out that the question the ascetic had asked about existence after death was not rightly put either”.

Q73: Could you please advise me on the Idrissia Silsila (order) founded by Ahmed ibn Idris?
Ans.:

I can suggest to you two books on Idrissia order of Morocco founded by Ahmed ibn Idris (1749 - 1837).  

1. Enigmatic Saint Ahmed ibn Idris and the Idrisi tradition by R.S. O’Fahey,  published by North Western University Press, Evanston, Illinois 60201  

2. The Sufi orders in Islam by J.Spencer Trimingham, published by Oxford University Press, Ely House, London.

Q74: What is the opinion of sufis about Hinduism?
Ans.: "Az yak chiragh kaba-o-butkhana roshan ast."
The same lamp illumines both the Ka aba and the Temple.
Q75: I wish to learn more about Hazrat Amir Khusrau. I am told that he has seen the reign of many emperors.
Ans.: Hazrat Amir Khusrau was a sufi, a poet, a writer, a musician, a brave soldier, a scholar of many languages, and well versed with all the finer nuances of literature. He was a devoted worshipper of his spiritual guide, free of religious prejudices, a sahib-e-sama (the one who understands the secrets of sufi music), a sahib-e-hal ( the one who is always in a spiritual state) and the one who had gained supreme control over his ego and self.
Hazrat Amir Khusrau has given a new dimension to the founding principles of the chishtiyya order namely ishq (love) and sama (music concert). His exemplary actions have proved beyond doubt that Pir-Parast (worshipper of spiritual guide) is in reality Khuda-Parast (worshipper of God). In fact, his action based thinking has formed a short-cut to the path of fana-baq'a (annihiliation and substinence).
Hazrat Amir Khusrau was born in 651 AH (1253 AD) in Patiali, in the district of Itah (Uttar Pradesh, India). His father's name was Amir Yusuf. His books are an invaluable treasure in the history of the world of knowledge. Hazrat Amir Khusrau passed away into the mercy of the Almighty on 18th.Shawaal 725H/1325AD. He saw in his lifetime the rise and fall of many emperors:

1. Naseeruddin Mahmud 1246-1266 AD
2. Balban 1266-1287 AD
3. Kaiqubad 1287-1290 AD
4. Kaiymurth 1290-1290 AD
5. Jalal-ud-din Khilji 1290-1296 AD
6. Rukn-ud-din Ibrahim 1296-1296 AD
7. Ala-ud-din Khilji 1296-1316 AD
8. Shahab-ud-din Umar 1316-1316 AD
9. Mubarik Shah 1316-1320 AD
10. Naseer-ud-din Khusrau 1320-1320 AD
11. Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq 1320-1325 AD
12. Muhammad bin Tughlaq 1325-1351 AD
Q76: What is your opinion about Mansur al Hallaj?
Ans.: Our Master Hazrat Khwaja Usman-e-Harooni says thus:
Manam Usman-e-Harooni ba yaare sheikh-e-Mansuram
Malaamat mi kunad khalqe wa man bardar mi raqsam

I am Usman-e-Harooni and a friend of Sheikh Mansur,
They revile and rebuke and upon the gallows I dance
Farid-ud-din Attar has considered Hallaj as a Martyr of Truth (Shahid-e-Haq).
Q77: Do you believe in Mansur al Hallaj’s cry of “I am God” (An al Haq)?
Ans.: The being of Hazrat Mansur had dissolved in the being of the Holy Prophet Mohammed and the being of God. Quran bears witness that Allah has made man in His image and has even ordered the angels to prostrate themselves before man. It is clearly evident from Hazrat Mansur’s teachings that just as spirit and man become one when the spirit enters the human body, in the same way, the being of God into the being of man and the being of man into the being of God can merge to become one.
Another reason for him to be crucified was his belief that man could spiritually perform the holy pilgrimage of Haj by purifying his self and cleansing his ego: that one physically did not have to go there. Even the Ka’ba could itself come to such a person and that the Ka’ba itself could circumambulate such a person.
I believe that his folly was only as much that he spoke of things which were beyond the comprehension of common people amidst common people.

Q78: What are the teachings of Hazrat Mansur al Hallaj?
Ans.: It is difficult to explain all his teachings here in short, but the founding principles of his teachings are as follows:
  1. Hazrat Mansur stressed that it is by the breath and actions of the Holy Prophet Mohammed that this world is alive and prospering. The Holy Prophet is a source of brilliant illumination and that the light of the Holy Prophet is in fact the Eternal Light, that is, it was always present and will remain forever. All knowledge flows from this source of illumination.
  2. He stressed that by correctly training the self (ego), man can unite to become one with the Being of the Almighty (zaat-e-Ilahi), that is to say that man has the potential to merge and dissolve in the Being of the Almighty (zaat-e-Ilahi).
  3. The principles of Ittihad (unity) and Ittifaq (agreement) are clearly evident in the teachings of Hazrat Mansur. He stated that all religions are religions of God and that it in the acceptance of any particular religion by man, is hidden the will of God.

Q79: What is wahdat al wujood?
Ans.: Wahdat means ‘unity’. Wujood means ‘existence’ or ‘being’. Sufis who believe in wahdat al wujood (unity of being), view unity in diversity and diversity in unity. In other words, they see all in One and One in all. There is but one being (wujood). The being of Man and the being of God are one and the same being. To understand the secret of wahdat al wujood, one must remove the veils of dualiy. This journey begins with worldly love (ishq-e-mijaazi) and the love for God (ishq-e-Ilahi) is its final station. This path goes all the way to the stations of Fana-Baqa (annihilation-subsistence), thus implying that there is no difference between the Creator (Khaliq) and His creation (makhlooq). Hazrat Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi was the founder of the ‘wahdat al wujood’ school of thought.

Q80: How should I remember Allah? What should I do to please Him and to obtain His nearness?
Ans.: I am reminded of an anecdote pertaining to Hazrat Ibrahim ibn Adham, when he was an emperor and had nothing to do with the spiritual path. He bought a slave and asked him a few questions. The answers so impressed him that he freed the slave and submitted himself to the path of God. He eventually became a spiritual King and obtained nearness of God. The nature of the conversation is reproduced below:
Hazrat Adham: What will you eat?
Slave: Whatever you will feed me.
Hazrat Adham: What will you wear?
Slave: Whatever you will give.
Hazrat Adham: What is your name?
Slave: Whatever you wish to call me will be my name.
Hazrat Adham: What would you like to do?
Slave: Whatever you will command me to do.
Hazrat Adham: Do you have any desire?
Slave: What does a servant have to do with desires?
The answer to your questions is hidden in this conversation.

Q81: What is your opinion about the holy books from the Hindu Religion?
Ans.: A renowned dervish of Delhi, Hazrat Mirza Mazhar Jaan e Jana ,Shaheed (Mayrty) used to say, “the Vedas are Divine (Ilhami) books.” The saints of the Gudri Shahi order have studied the Bhagvad Gita in great depth and have benefited from it.
Q82: What is wuzu (cleansing, ablution)?
Ans.: Wuzu is one good way of seeking repentance (tauba).
Q83: I wish to acquire spirituality (ruhaniyat) within me…
Ans.: Spirituality is present from birth itself in every human being, only you need to enhance it.
Q84: How can one enhance spirituality?
Ans.: By reducing the ego (nafs).
Q85: What is an easy way to erase ones own existence?
Ans.: Listen to a lot of qawwali (a form of mystical music).
Q86: What is the benefit of erasing ones own existence?
Ans.: Original Existence (asal hasti) becomes apparent.
Q87: How can listening to qawwali make original existence (asal hasti) apparent?
Ans.:

When one listens to qawwali, the layers of ignorance are lifted one after another and all thoughts get centered. Weeping, crying, and incessant tears, often accompanied by hitting or thumping ones self, restlessness and at times, screaming are pointers to his condition – a condition very dear to Allah – is termed by Sufis as haal (literally ‘state’ – of absorption or of forgetting ones self).

If someone is under the influence of evil forces or djinns, such a condition gets revealed with the effect of qawwali.

In short, qawwali is like a cleansing cream that helps to purify ones self of the dirt and grime of the world and is very useful in making the original existence apparent.


However, all this is possible only if one listens to qawwali in the correct way prescribed by the sufis, observing all the limits and not crossing the boundaries set by them, or else, it can have an inverse effect on the listener!

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