Translated Speech of
His Eminence Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan
Shaikh Silsilah Naqshbandiah Owaisiah
The Prophet hood of the holy Prophet Muhammad-saw remains as effective until the last day of this universe as it was on the first day of his appointment. The beneficence emanating from him consists of his teachings which form the basis of religious knowledge. This knowledge generates faith and is subsequently translated into conduct. Along with these teachings, he also radiated invisible blessings which cannot be described in words. These blessings charged the hearts of the believers with firm belief and enlightened them forever. Those who partook, both from these teachings and blessings were indeed perfect Muslims. They received this beneficence directly from the holy Prophet-saw and therefore occupy a unique status within the whole Ummah. His teachings and his blessings will be preserved in their pristine purity until the end of this world. Nobody has any right to change the code of permission or prohibition defined by him. Similarly, in the realm of Faith, his is the final word.
Nowadays people demand every reference from the Quran, without appreciating the source through which it has reached us. After all who told us that it was the Divine Word and who read it to us? In fact, the Quran is the perception of Divine Revelation by the holy Prophet-saw alone. Nobody else can claim that he ever heard Revelation or saw and recognised the angel Gabriel. The holy Prophet-saw is the only one to certify that the Quran is the Word of Allah and not his own. His explanation and interpretation of the Quran is known as Hadith. The Quran states:
Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. 53:3.
It asserts that the holy Prophet-saw did not speak a single word through the whisper of his soul. His conversation was always based on Divine Revelation. In the case of the Quran, both the words and meanings were revealed by Allah, while the meanings of Hadith were inspired by Allah and verbalised by the holy Prophet-saw. This explanation has the approval of the holy Prophet-saw himself. Therefore, it is not correct to demand the reference of everything from the Quran. On the other hand, it is equally improper to interpret the Quran without reference to the Hadith. Only that meaning of the Book would be considered authentic which was given by the holy Prophet-saw and adopted by his Companions. On this subject, he-saws is the final authority.
Just as the teachings of the holy Prophet-saw still continue to benefit mankind, so do his blessings. In the past, when the blessings of earlier Prophets waned with the passage of time, the faith of their followers weakened and they renounced their religion. This necessitated the raising of a new Prophet to illuminate the hearts of people with his blessings once again. The blessings of the holy Prophet-saw would neither wane nor fade but will stay forever like his Prophethood, because no new Prophet will be raised after him. Therefore, when Prophet Jesus-as (who is a born Prophet), returns to this world, he will not preach his own Prophethood but will follow the holy Prophet Muhammad-saw and would also invite others to do the same. Till the return of Prophet Jesus-as, the responsibility of preaching and preservation of Islam in its pristine purity has been entrusted to the Aulia of this Ummah. Therefore, like his teachings, the blessings of the holy Prophet-saw must also be and, in fact, have been preserved, from bosom to bosom, under a Divine arrangement. Just as one has to go to an institution or a scholar to learn his teachings, one has to similarly seek an audience with a person carrying Prophetic blessings. But there ought to be a yardstick or a criterion to determine the authenticity of a particular institution or person. The answer lies in the simple method of comparison of one's condition with those who received these blessings from the holy Prophet-saw directly. His company completely reformed their lives, illuminated their hearts and infused in them the love of virtue and hatred for vice.
These were the Companions, the most pious group in the entire Ummah; piety and companionship are synonymous. They stand at that acme of human excellence where all virtues of a non-Companion pale into insignificance. They transmitted his-saws blessings down the line and a chain of transmission is established in the Ummah until today, and will so continue until Doomsday. The company of any saint in that chain should produce a positive change within us. Not only should our outward practical life be reformed but our inner self (heart) should also experience hatred for vice and love for virtue. We should feel pleasure in doing good acts, and if due to any human weakness, we commit a sin, it should divest us of inner peace and tranquillity. Only that person, whose company initiates such transformation by Allah's grace, would be a true saint. This indeed is the difference between a true and a pseudo saint. If one discovers an accomplished Wali, one should stick to him like his shoe lace. Therefore, the criterion is neither the increase of wealth and status nor the acquisition of material benefits.
The universe and all of its systems have been designed by Allah since antiquity. The total providence of every human being, encompassing all of his worldly requirements, has also been divinely proportioned. No one can consume anyone else's portion, nor can he leave this world before completely consuming his own. Allah may increase someone's provisions to see if his wealth attenuates the clarity and strength of his relationship with his Provisioner. Similarly, He may straiten the provision of someone to see whether he returns to his Creator in adversity or seeks recourse to others. While He may alternate someone's condition between prosperity and adversity, His system is so perfect, smooth and flawless that it simply does not have any room for our suggestions. Human visitation to this world is ephemeral, whereas His system has been operating since time immemorial and only He knows how long it will continue to function. It is the permanent, perfect system which affects the temporary visitor, not vice versa.
Therefore, it is incorrect to presume that we acquired wealth or health or worldly comforts in the company of Hadhrat (Rahmat Ullah Alaihi). These mundane benefits are of no consequence because Allah has given these to even those who do not believe in Him, His Prophet-saw and the Aulia. They also enjoy the fruits of this life. So, it is not justified to identify truth with material gains. A retired captain from a nearby village renounced Islam and converted to Shiaism. Once, a friend of ours asked him the reason for this absurdity at the fag end of his life. He replied: “I won the local election and became its chairman due to the blessings of my new religion.” An elderly lady, passing by, heard the dialogue and remarked: “Rather, you should have become a Hindu, to succeed Indira Gandhi. If the flower of this world is a fruit of religion, you should become Hindu to get greater benefits.” Wealth or comforts of this world are not the criteria of truth. The holy Prophet-saw is reported to have said: “If this world had weighed equal to the wing of a gnat, Allah wouldn't give a non-believer a drop of water to drink. It carries no value with Him.” All of its comforts and miseries are temporary and momentary. But the states that descend from Allah on the hearts and the blessings which are acquired through the holy Prophet-saw are everlasting and guarantee success both here and in the Hereafter. This should be viewed from two angles. First, we should identify the process of the reformation of the heart initiated as a result of our association with any person, institution or school of thought. Second, if someone belongs to a category of people who do not get easily influenced, he should see others associated with that institution or person and look for any positive changes resulting from that association. If he finds that they have been reformed but he himself remains unaffected, then he should critically analyse himself. Probably some of his failings preclude him from receiving those blessings. But if he finds no change in anyone, it is better to quit immediately. It will be a sheer waste of time to continue an association where sincerity of purpose, love of virtue and hatred for vice are missing. One has very little time, death is chasing everyone born in this world. To die in search of truth entitles one to Allah's mercy, because according to a Divine declaration, anyone who migrates towards Allah will receive his reward whether he reaches the destination or dies enroute.
So first of all, one should purify one's intention and purpose. He must then set out in the cause of Allah and in search of truth and piety. If received, worldly comforts are insignificant by-products of this journey and should not be taken note of. The real valuable achievement is a firm belief in the Divine Unity, the Prophethood, and life of the Hereafter. A practical life increasingly influenced by these beliefs will be an indication of the acquisition of blessings and beneficence from the holy Prophet-saw. One should not waste one's time with an association which does not lead to this achievement.
May Allah accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and to do good! Ameen!