Only the travellers in the path of truth are able to reach the right destination. The greatest of all assets – satisfaction of Allah is achieved through this path.
This is the path to Islam. The holy prophet (sm.) described elaborately the outlines of this path during his long twenty three years of prophethood. Hazrat Mohammad (sm.) is the messenger of Allah for all ages- past, present and future. He is also the prophet of all prophets- of zins and angles too. In fact, he is the prophet of all creations of Allah.
Prophet Mohammad (sm.) is the darling of Allah- His most loving and dearest beloved. Success in both in this world and the next is subject to following him earnestly and devotedly. There is no other alternative path to reach Allah except through the path introduced and prescribed by him. The only wise is he who dedicates himself unto death in the pursuits of his ideals totally and unconditionally.
Islam is a complete religion- a perfect code of life. This is such a perfection that it neither requires nor has any scope of any addition, substitution or renovation. This faith of Islam originating at the time of Hazrat Adam (as.) grew, developed and prospered through the ages by the other prophets and saw its culmination at the time of our noble prophet. The Almighty Allah spoke thus “This day I grant perfection to your faith.”
The sole purpose of our mortal life is to reflect on and fully practise this religion in our life. This is also the command of Allah as He declares, “Oh, Believer! embrace Islam firmly and rigidly.”
This was also emphasised by the holy prophet during his last address to the faithfuls and implored thus, “Adhere strictly to two things after my departure from this world. You shall only then protect yourselves from distortion and distraction. These two things are the Holy Quran and the Hadith”(sayings and doings of the holy prophet).
We should seek the essence of our faith only from these two sources. There is no further scope to devote our heart and soul beyond these sources as dictated by the noble prophet. We are to accept only those interpretations and elucidations of the Quran and the Hadith as enunciated and propounded by and derived from the leaders of Ahle Sunnatul Jamat (devout and staunchest followers of the prophet). This is so as other astrayed groups like Shia, Motajila, Khawreji, Kadiani and Maududee also draw analogy, put up logic and evidences from the Holy Quran and the Hadith in support of their views and substantiate their contentions. Their commentary and interpretations of the Holy Quran and Hadith are devoid of truth and an outcome of their ill passions and mundane desire. Only the devout followers of the prophet strive to understand correctly and interpret the Holy Quran and Hadith fully and perfectly. The education, training and teachings of these followers are in complete accord with that of the revered companions of the holy prophet (sm.). They are also shining example of the follower of Salfe Salehin. This group is the leader of the human race in guiding them to the path of Allah. They are also the emancipated. Therefore, the most essential (farz) thing for every muslim is to correct, rectify and strengthen his basic creeds (Akida) in the light of this Jamat (Sunni jamat).
A short but precise account of these fundamental tenets and beliefs are given as under:
1. Allah is self existent. All others owe their existence to Him.
2. He is unique in His Essence (jaat), divine Attributes (seefat) and Actions (afwal). He shares these with none in any manner.
3. Like His Essence, His divine Attributes and Actions are without equivalent. As for an example, let us consider the attribute of Elm(knowledge). From the inception till the end of this world this Elm is endless, indivisible and having no substitute. All knowledge form dawn to doomsday emanate form this attribute. Allah knows everything in a single moment all the different aspects and manifestations of things both collectively as well as partly. His knowledge is free from any splitting or fragmentation and safe from being analogous to other beings. Similar is the case with other divine attributes and be considered as such. Another example is His attribute of Kalama (expression). This Seefat too is indivisible, unparallel and a lone entity. He expresses Himself in a single expression from beginning until the end of the world. Whether it is His commands, injunctions or pronoun-cement or even narration of anything –all are part of the same lone expression. Holy books like the Taurat, the Engil, the Jabbur and even the Quran, all are part and parcel of that single expression. The remainder of the divine attributes of Almighty Allah are one, indivisible, inseparable and has no parallel like His Essence(Jaat). Similarly the activities (Afwal) of Allah are one, indivisible, incomparable and unique and All His activities (creation, destruction, life, death, rise and fall) eversince the beginning to the end of this world are the manifestation of this quality.
4. Allah is neither from within nor from without anything. He encompasses, pervades and prevails in all things without associating with anyone. The concept of such association is beyond any normal human comprehension and perception. He is beyond all imagination and above any conception within the contingent world.
5. No changes or transformation take place in His Jaat (essence), Seefat (divine attributes) or Afwal (actions).
6. Allah is affluent without bounds and He is above all wants. He is so in all respects i.e. in His Jaat, Seefat, and Afwal (essence, attributes and actions respectively). He is independent of all things and depends on none. He is also absolute in all spheres i.e. existence, qualities and actions.
7. Allah is free from the clutches of harm or novelty. He has no physical existence and free from and above the influence of time, space and place. He is complete in Himself in all entirety in respect of everything.
8. Allah is without beginning and end. None qualifies or equals Him in these qualities.
9. Allah is Almighty and all wilful. He is absolutely free to exercise His will power. He is free from any compulsion. All creations are dependent on His will and power. He Himself brought all things into beings from absolute non-existence. Therefore creations are dependent on Him in respect of their existence, sustenance as well as for permanency and stability.
10. As all creations are created by Allah, so also the causes and effects in them. Let us consider the burning power of fire or curative potential of medicine. Here Allah created fire and its effect-the power of burning. In general, it is imperative to acknowledge the different potentialities inherent in matter. In the same breadth, we should assume that without the will of Allah; neither the things can exist nor their causes, effects or actions.
11. Deriving benefit from properties of matters or creations is not contradictory to the principle of absolute reliance on Allah (Tawakkal). Rather it is in the very nature of the wise to do so. As an illustration of this concept-the use of medicine to cure a disease, efforts to procure armaments to win a war or say earning to raise a family-all these are not opposed to the concept of total reliance or dependence on Allah.
12. Allah is creator of both good and evil. He is pleased with good thing and evil earns His displeasure. Human beings can only cherish and yearn. When a man wishes to do good or bad work, Allah only creates either of these according to his desire. So the act of creation is related to Allah but the choice of selection of any act depends on the free will of a man.
13. Faith in takdir (fate) is mandatory (farz). Takdir means pre-destination. Since Allah is omniscient, He certainly knows the consequences and outcomes of all actions and recorded them in advance. Advance records of consequences of all His known things are called Takdir.
14. Heaven and hell do exist. In order to be qualified for heaven, it is essential to be a true believer. In fact, entrance into heaven is dependent on the magnanimity and generousity of Almighty Allah. And true faith is His greatest gift of mankind.
15. Kufr (rejection of truth) leads to hell. Allah forgives a believer committing sin by punishing to undergo worldly sufferings. Or He pardons him by causing him to suffer at the time of death for his sins. If there is any sin after his death, He may punish him in his grave. Even after this if there remains any, Allah condones him through suffering on the day of Resurrection. If this does not suffice, man will be allowed to enter heaven after undergoing punishment proportionate to his commissions. But one who is a disbeliever or makes partner with Allah or Ahle ketab-like idolators, Jews, Christians etc. will suffer in the hell till eternity.
16. Believers will have vision of Allah in the next world. But such a vision will take place without reference and relation to any direction, illustration and conceptual bearing. Since Allah is above and beyond our apprehension so is our conception of His vision with us. Like the concept of Allah His audience with us also is beyond our comprehension and perception.
17. Advent of prophets and messengers are blessings from Allah. Men have been able to distinguish right from wrong through them. Divine communications with them are real. Anything disputing or contradicting divine revelations are nothing but self deception and amounts to kufr.
18. Prophets and Rasuls (prophets with divine books) are the chosen personalities of Allah. In all eventualities they are protected and guarded by Allah Himself against committing any sin. If by any chance a mistake is committed or wrong is done, Allah amends and remedies the same. They are never left out in mistake for good.
19. Hazrat Mohammad (sm.) is the last prophet. There is none to follow him.
20. The punishments in the grave is true. Questioning inside the grave by the two angels Mankir and Nakir is true.
21. Resurrection is true. All the creations will perish with the blowing of whistle by Israfil (as.). Everybody will come to life with another whistle and gather at a place of final deliverance.
22. Allah will take accounts of men at the time of Last Judgement (hasar). Every good and evil acts will be weighed in a balance called Mizan. All will be ordered to cross a subtle but real bridge called Pulseerat.
23. Angels are created by Allah. They are innocent and free from acts of omissions and commissions. They neither eat nor drink. They are neither male nor female. They are pioneer in terms of closeness to Allah. But not so in respect of prophethood. Prophethood (Nabuwaat) is superior to Belayet (nearness to Allah). Belayet-e-chhogra (of saints), Belayet-e-Kobra (of prophets), Belayet-e-Uliya (of angels) are like a drop of water in a vast ocean compared to prophethood. Nay! it is even less than said above. By virtue of being honoured with the exalted position of prophethood, outstanding personalities are superior to distinguished angles.
24. True faith (iman) means believing wholeheartedly whatever has been correctly reported to us in respect of religion. It also means to testify openly and prove it through deeds.
25. Iman (perfect faith in religion) does not increase or decrease quantitatively. But it does qualitatively and so in respect of brightness. For instance, the Iman of the prophets are of superlative degree and considered the brightest, that of saints brighter compared to ordinary persons. The true faithfuls should emphatically assert and proclaim aloud “ I am a true believer (imander)”.Thus spoke the great Imam Abu Hanifa (ra.).
26. The supernatural acts (Mozeza) of prophets and similar feats of the saints (karamat) are true. Mozeza is prerequisite to prophethood. But karamat can not claim as such. Rather, karamat is secondary derivative of Mozeza and is obtained as a reflection of the same.
27. The order of superiority of the greatness of the viceregents of the prophet (four principal companions of the prophet) are according to the order of their regime. As for example, Hazrat Abu Bakar (ra.) is superior to Hazrat Omar Faruq (ra.). Hazrat Omar Faruq (ra.) is superior to Hazrat Osman Ghani (ra.). He is superior to Hazrat Ali (ra.).
28. Only the best meanings and interpretations of the disputes and infightings among the noble companions of the holy Prophet are to be accepted. Quarrels and disputes among them were not committed out of whims and caprices or passions. These incidents occurred owing to misunderstandings among themselves. An interpreter earns a single reward for his wrong exposition and commentary but rewarded doubly for doing so correctly. The noble companions and followers of the holy prophet were free from mundane passions and all evil aspirations through their long and close association and prolonged companionship with the prophet (sm.). The greatest of all saints can never match or be equal to the lowest ranking companion (sahaba) of the noble prophet. Only the most vicious and wicked people engage themselves in criticising the revered companions of the greatest of all prophets.
Having set aright the basic articles of faith, it is necessary to occupy our minds for the implementation of shariah in our daily life. Success both in this as well as in the next world lies in the strict adherence and compliance of the dictates of shariah.
Three principal elements constitute shariah. These are Elm (knowledge), Amol (practice), and Ekhlas (sacred intention). These three elements are complementary to each other. Discarding one of these, make the others superfluous and redundant. It is imperative therefore to try and gain mastery over all these elements.
Let us now describe precisely all the components one by one.
Elm : Knowledge is the light while ignorance is darkness. The prime objective of knowledge is to eliminate darkness of falsehood and guide mankind to the enlightened path of truth. Education in Islam is mandatory (farz). This education is to acquire the knowledge of religion and shariah. The greatest prophet declared, “ Education is compulsory for each muslim man and woman” (Ebne Ma-aza).
Every Muslim man and woman are required to know the commands and sanctions of Allah. Acquiring knowledge on halal (recommended), haram (prohibited), farz (mandatory) and wazeb (obligatory) are also necessary. Mention has been made in the Hadith (sayings and deeds of the prophet) that knowledge is of two kinds. They are exoteric (worldly) and esoteric (spiritual) knowledge. The Holy prophet only mentioned knowledge as Farz. He did not specify any particular type. It transpires therefore that since knowledge is of two types-both the types ate compulsory to acquire. Before that we should have a clear idea on the line of demarcation as regards a thing becoming farz.
We all are aware that Islam is founded on five principal articles of faith called five pillars. These are kalema (admitting the sacred sentence : La ilaha illallahu Mohammadur Rasulullah), salat (five times prayers), siam (fasting), Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), and Zakat (charity). To be able to emulate and practise the fundamental concept of Islam in our daily life it becomes imperative to learn and acquire clear and correct knowledge on these principal aspects of our religious. Let’s elaborate it with an example. If a man has no means there is no binding on him to perform Hajj or to give away Zakat.
It is therefore, not farz for him to acquire knowledge on these subjects. As a matter of fact, acquiring knowledge becomes contingent on the applicability of the dictates of shariah on individual requirements for practising the same in this lifetime.
Nor it is required for every muslim to memorise the Quran (Hafez), to become a Muhaddis (Hadith specialist) or to be a commentator of the Quran (Mufassir). In the similar manner it is not Farz to acquire knowledge to become Kutub, Gaus, Abdal, Aotad or Mujadded (These are different administrative positions in the supernatural world. Depth of wisdom makes eligible for different posts).
Education is only compulsory to the extent required to drive away from heart all affinities and attractions for material objects other the love for Allah- till the soul (kalb) turns placid and serene. Allah declares thus “None of your wealth or offspring will benefit you on the day of Resurrection save a calm and serene soul ” (Sura Suarah).
The soul (kalb) attains this sublime state only when enlightened with the zikir (remembrance) of Allah. Nothing else but constant zikir of Allah can and will achieve such peaceful and placid state. Allah Almighty declares “ kalb is salvaged and emancipated only through zikir of Allah” (sura-Raad).
Exoteric knowledge is acquired by enrolling in a religious school and studying therein. A teacher will teach a student who has no knowledge of alphabets. In similar manner, a man aspiring for spiritual knowledge needs to approach a man whose kalb burns with the fire of zikir (remembrance) of Allah. To derive maximum benefit from his association he must completely submit himself to his morshed. The incessant cosmic ray that falls on the kalb of the morshed (peer) is directed on the kalb of the disciple (murid) through deep and passionate attachment and unstinted love and adulation and ignite the kalb of the disciple with the zikir of Allah. The kalb only then turns sublime and emancipated. A man specialised in the art of such divine knowledge is called a peer (spiritual guide). One should devote oneself in the pursuit of spiritual knowledge concurrently with general education. Otherwise he will be responsible for non-compliance of his farz.
Amol : One should practise (amol) proportionate to his learning. The objective of learning is to practise. Without amol learning becomes meaningless unless applied, exercised and worked-out.
We are slaves of Allah. Our primary duty is to fulfil the demands of and meet obligations of a slave. We should acquire knowledge in pursuits of this divine obligation and objective. Practise as we learn and earn should be our prime motto.
Ekhlas : Ekhlas means acquiring unalloyed intention or honest motive behind any action (niyat). Niyat is nothing but pure determination or fair resolve. Intention or a firm resolve should be fair, honest and holy. For whatever degree of knowledge is acquired and amol done it is worth nothing unless intended for the sole purpose of carrying our the orders and achieving complete satisfaction and pleasure to Allah. Ekhlas being of such fundamental importance to our religious concept, we shall discuss briefly the ways and means to achieve sacred intention (niyat).
The seat of origin of any sacred design (niyat) is soul. Expressing intention aloud is not mandatory. But to resolve in our hearts is definitely an act of farz. It is necessary to intend any resolve in our hearts before performing salat. Further it is mentioned in the Hadith that “Amol (act of practice) is judged by its intention ”(Bokhari).
Kalb is the seat of all activities both good and evil. The Satan (devil) has an abode there. The Satan our enemy provokes us to commit misdeeds from there. No sacred or honest intention can be conceived so long Satan sits in and exercises control over our kalb. The kalb is tarnished with the presence of Satan occupying it. As a sequel, the niyat (intention) of an impure soul is bound to be other than sacred and holy. The Satan has to be driven off from our heart in order to sanctify our soul. It will only then be possible to attain holy intention. It has come in the Hadith that, The seat of Satan is deep rooted in our heart. The Satan runs away from the soul with the zikir of Allah. But as soon as our kalb is negligent or oblivious of zikir, Satan makes a come back and provokes us to commit evils or sins (Bokhari).
The Satan is most active during prayer and vehemently resists and diverts our mind at the time of performing salat. He (Satan) is conscious of the fact that he can not counter the strength bestowed on us by Allah and developed through devoted prayers.
Salat (prayer) is the essence of all worships. When performed with devotion, it abstains us from all evils and wrong doings. Almighty Allah declared, “ Surely salat refrains men from all wrong doings” (Sura-Ankabut). Salat performed with ablution, clean dress and calm mind solely for the entire satisfaction of Allah maintaining correct sequence of all rituals considered perfect and accepted by Him.
Allah is most hallowed and sacred. No one but a most pious man is able to worship Him befittingly and successfully. Purity or sanctity both physical and mental are essential pre-requisites. Ablution or bathing makes a man externaly clean but zikir of Allah causes to turn the kalb submissive and sublime.
It is expedient for the kalb to be absorbed in zikir of Allah and continue always to do so. If kalb abstains from the zikir, Satan takes over the control of our kalb and destroys all good intentions of amols and also ruins the concentration of salat (prayer). It has come in the Hadith that “Salat performed without concentration of mind is futile.” Almighty Allah declares “ Establish salat for the sake of my remembrance.” (Sura Ta-ha)
We must find a way out of this precarious situation. We shall have to approach a spiritual guide (peer) to realise that goal. We should search for a peer who is able to kindle our kalb(heart) with the ceaseless zikir of Allah. A genuine peer specialises in the art of such knowledge.
Understandably the clear objective of adopting to the prevalent schools of Sufism is to acquire ekhlas. Most of our people flock around a peer to fulfil material gains. Many of these peers also indulge in and are found to encourage such perverted aims and desires of these people which by any standard is outside the purview of any genuine mystic school of thoughts.
In the light of our short discussion and brief deliberation, it is now crystal clear that Elm, amol and ekhlas,- all these three constitute essential elements of true faith. Without one, the other two are valueless. As for instance, a man having only elm means nothing without having achieved amol (practice) and ekhlas. In similar way a person with elm and ekhlas but having no amol to his credit it worth nothing.
It is therefore understood that one has to be a follower and member of one of the different tarikas to be able to practise shariah fully. Based on the consideration of these facts and views tarika is regarded as a step forward towards shariah.
Now there may definitely arise some queries regarding the tarika to be adopted and practised. The prime aim of all tarikas is one and identical. But Tarika-e-khas Mojaddedia has tremendous advantage over others in respect of suitability and appropriateness and suits to the modern age. Unlike other Tarika it is not necessary to work very hard to achieve spiritual development in this tarika. Allah likes both hard as well as easy religious exercises (amol). Life now is very complicated and complex. Time too is very short. In view of all these it is imperative to adopt and practise a tarika as simple as possible.
In Tarika-e-khas mojaddedia (a school of mystical thought propounded by Hazrat Mojaddede Alfe sani (rh.), a murid (disciple) attains with ease complete spiritual development and progress as noor (beam of concentrated light) is reflected from the kalb of peer to that of murid and illuminates the innerself of the later. This process of propagating and transmitting noor from the kalb of peer to the kalb of murid is achieved instantly i,e as soon as a disciple surrenders and submits himself fully to the will and discretion of the Peer and maximum time required may be forty days. The next stages and phases of advancement in this spiritual process that follow are also very rapid and accomplished very easily and quickly.
It should however be borne in mind that tarika itself does not carry anyone to destination. Tarika is a vehicle and peer is its guide. The fact is that the peer carries one to destination not the carrier itself. However majestic and grand a tarika may be only accomplished peer can steer his disciples to ultimate goal through his sheer spiritual potentials.
Nevertheless, in the absence of above stated qualifications or abilities or the peer, mere surrendering to him will fail to produce the desired objectives.
We are muslims. Let us recall the verses of Allah “ Kullu muslimun Ekhwatun ” “All muslims are a brotherhood.” We shall not forget another Hadith “Ummatun Oahedatun ”. “My followers are an unity.” Muslims now-a-days are in great distress and calamity. We are subjects of hatred, neglect and oppression all over the world. Notwithstanding the fact that we should have been the leader of all races and nations like our prophet Mohammad (sm.) who was the leader of all prophets.
But what do we find in reality ? We are subjected to the worst oppression and humiliation all the world over whether in a muslim majority or minority country. In some places our worldly passions and greeds ate set ablaze by the affluence of newly found wealth. Whereas in most of other places the reverse is true i.e. repression, oppression, illiteracy all as a by-product of proverty or being a minority have become a stark reality.
We shall have to find a way out of this morbid state quickly and immediately. Let us all plunge ourselves in a holy war to recover our lost glory and usurped splendour. Self analysis to free ourselves from all our shortcomings are also necessary. We should remember whether we are a farmer, a labour or a head of state that we are slaves of Almighty Allah and followers of prophet Mohammad (sm.). The duty of our head of state is to introduce Islamic rules in our country to ensure justice in the society. Let us not forget that the only perfect law is the law of Almighty Allah . Oh, head of states! How dare you practise law that opposes the faith in Allah. Remember you are sure will be accountable and held answerable by Almighty Allah in the day of Final Judgement.
The responsibility vested with the religious scholars is to imbue the general masses in the pursuits of religious education, to answer and settle problems of the contemporary world in the light of the Holy Quran and the Hadith in addition to revival and enhancement of the glorious tradition, spirit and heritage in the exercise and practise of shariah. They consider to be the heir to the noble prophet; but do they have the required quality, spirit and sacrifices? Oh, Scholars (alem)! Do you think that you are doing the duty of a representative of the prophet? Are you not competing with each other for name, fame, honour, wealth or power? Are you oblivious of the sayings of the noble prophet that “That scholar will suffer most in the day of judgement who fails to derive benefit out of his erudition and learning.”
The aims of the sufi community is to illuminate the kalb of men with the light of love for Allah. But what is the actual state of affairs? Oh, sufis! you are engaged in amassing wealth and other material acquisitions and sycophancy of the influentials has become your principal aim of life. Why do you offer and introduce yourselves as servants of religion but found engaged in opposing the faith itself overtly or covertly?
There are three categories of enemies of Islam. For instance, greedy rulers, selfish scholars and false and fake Sufis. Unless these three kinds of people are set on the right path, the glory and splendour of our faith will not shine and glow. Pious heads of states, religious scholars and accomplished Sufis can only contribute to the flourishing and glorifying our religion.
Common muslims are not directly involved in sacrilegious acts. Even then they cannot evade and shun the responsibility of distorting faith. It is incumbent upon them to find religious scholars and approach proficient spiritual guide in search of theological knowledge. Instead, they approach them for fulfilling their material objectives.
A great majority of these people are in fact trading in the name of religion to flourish self interest and to further self advancement.
On the otherhand, their exists a current of thought opposed to everything in Islam. Islam is anathema or least an conundrum to these so called intellectuals. Most of such pseudo intellectuals are submerged in the cross current of irreligious and unIslamic pursuits. They too cannot shun their moral obligations. While they spend day and night studying, reading and researching on every thing prejudicial to or repugnant to the tenets of Islam, they seem most reluctant and unwilling to spend a fraction of their time, energy and resources in the study and research of the Holy Quran. Are they not aware that the knowledge of faith and dictates of Sharia are Farz for the literate, illiterate, labours, farmers, journalists, scientists and intellectuals all alike?
Our head of states, religious scholars, spiritual leaders and socially conscious educated section- all are muslims and part of the same community. We cannot remain silent spectators or indifferent to any of them going astray. We are all but an unique entity. “ ummatun Oahedatun” (my followers are an unity). We are conscious of the fact that loss of any or damage to any of our single limb weakens our strength. So let us then contemplate and reflect in collective self criticism and ponder in retrospect :
1. Whether our creeds (Akida) are correct and flawless ?
2. Do we consider both the currents of thinking (religious education and spiritual development) equally important or not ?
3. Whether we are practising (Amol) according to our learning (Elm) ?
4. Whether we have enrolled in any school of spiritual knowledge (tarika) suitable for the modern time ?
Our own life should be adorned and equipped with the realistic answers to the questions raised above. We should then propagate the theme and motivate others and sway the general masses in all spheres of our family,. Social, national and international arena. Success in establishing religious faith collectively will only then be a reality. The demand of tablig (propagation), ekamat-e-deen and that of waging a holy war ( jehad) can then be realised.
A man without adorning deen (Faith) in personal level cannot establish the same in social and national life. It will indeed be an impossible proposition.
Oh, Brethren in Islam! Be aware! There is still time to involve ourselves to the total service to our religion with the sole purpose of establishing and practising divine faith in every sphere of our social structure and national life.
Oassalamu Awalan wa Akheran.