Sohbat Sheikh (Part Two)Sheikh-e-Silsila Naqshbandia Owaisiah Hazrat Ameer Abdul Qadeer Awan (MZA)

Sohbat Sheikh (Part Two)

Munara, Chakwal, Pakistan

The Light of Faith, the blessings of Prophet-hood ﷺ, the feelings of the Cognizance of Allah (سبحانہ وتعالی), the pleasure of closeness to Allah (سبحانہ وتعالی); these are blessings that have no similitude and are incomparable. Such that if one can comprehend even an iota of their significance and magnitude, then one would cling onto the bearer of these Barakah, with such an intensity that he would be willing to forego the entire world for it but not let go off him.

چنیں میدے کہ یابی خاک او شو
اسیر حلقہ فتراک او شو

If such a man is found, I would turn into dust before him,
(Moreover) I would choose to remain captive within his circle of influence

The way Deen-e-Islam is the one and only reality, similarly, its rationale are also extremely rare and matchless. When Allah Kareem taught humans the societal-norms, He placed the highest value and respectability to this most priceless, strong, beautiful and sensitive relationship (between a Sheikh and disciple).

The relationship between the Prophet ﷺ and a Muslim while being extremely strong and eternal, yet it is equally fragile and sensitive. As he isthe ‘Hadi-e-Barhaq’ (Guide to the Truth) and is the one who not only shows his followers, with utmost love and tenderness, the path leading to the Court of Allah (سبحانہ وتعالی), but also escorts them to it. The Personality that allows mankind to reach the epitome of heights of its excellence, how respectable and worthy of honour is he in the eyes of his people; that the Creator, Himself is teaching man the etiquettes to follow in the presence of the Prophet ﷺ:

يٰٓاَيُّہَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا لَا تُـقَدِّمُوْا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللہِ وَرَسُوْلِہٖ وَاتَّقُوا اللہَ ۰ۭ …

O believers! Before gaining (the permission of) Allah and His Messenger, do not initiate (conversation), accordingly, remaining in awe of Allah... [49:1]

Those Companions (رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ) who sacrificed their homes, lives, left their relatives, endured tortures; Allah (سبحانہ وتعالی) addresses them:
يٰٓاَيُّہَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا لَا تَرْفَعُوْٓا اَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ وَلَا تَجْـہَرُوْا لَہٗ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَــہْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ اَنْ تَحْبَطَ اَعْمَالُكُمْ وَاَنْتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُوْنَ O believers! Do not raise your voices higher than the blessed voice of the Messenger; likewise do not speak openly with him as you talk freely (informally) among yourself; lest your deeds are annihilated while you do not even perceive. [49:2]

After this revelation Hazrat Omar Farooq (رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ), who inherently had a loud voice, would speak in hushed tones in the presence of the Prophet ﷺ. It was the frailness of this revered relationship that in the five initial ayaat of Surah Hujraat and at many other citations in the Quran, its etiquettes were taught. Respected readers! Leaving aside the delicateness of this bond, but it was the realization of its greatness that whosoever attained this company even once, returned with the urge to revisit again and again. Likewise, some were fortunate such that once they arrived they never returned. At times, when one hears that “one should not stay close to the Sheikh as the chances of suffering a loss increase”, thereupon along with ayat number 2 of Surah Hujraat “…lest your deeds are annihilated…” another ayat, ayat 69 of Surah Nisa also comes to mind.

وَمَنْ يُّطِعِ اللہَ وَالرَّسُوْلَ فَاُولٰۗىِٕكَ مَعَ الَّذِيْنَ اَنْعَمَ اللہُ عَلَيْہِمْ مِّنَ النَّبِيّٖنَ وَالصِّدِّيْقِيْنَ وَالشُّہَدَاۗءِ وَالصّٰلِحِيْنَ وَحَسُنَ اُولٰۗىِٕكَ رَفِيْقًا

Accordingly, those who obey Allah and the Messenger (on Dooms-Day) will be with the people whom Allah has (exceptionally) rewarded, (such as) with the Prophets and the Truthful and the Martyrs and the Righteous; essentially, excellent are these companions! [4:69]

Where in the former ayat the etiquettes of staying in such company of the Prophet ﷺ are taught to the Companions, thereupon in the latter ayat one is made to realize the value and exaltedness of this Companionship. Accordingly, such an insight was granted, of the pleasure of being in the attendance of the company of the Prophet ﷺ, that not only the world but also even paradise lost its significance. A Companion (رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ) on realizing that due to the heights and the status of the leader of the Prophets ﷺ and thus apprehending that he may become inaccessible in Paradise, he denounced it saying that he did not want paradise. Accordingly, it was because of this anguish that earned the Momineen the glad tidings of the companionship of the Prophet ﷺ in paradise as well. It is these blessings that if a disciple engages in Zikr-Allah the whole year round by himself he acquires the potential to move forward, however, is unable to ascend further, yet conversely in the company of the Sheikh, in a split second one ascends to spiritual heights according to one’s respective potential. The fact of the matter is, as explained by Qasim-e-Fayoozaat (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ) that “the company of the Sheikh should not be considered a gathering of friends sitting at a get-together, café or restaurant that one is there for small talk or casual conversation etc. Instead, on reaching the company of the Sheikh, one should sit with absolute devotion remaining focused on attaining the Barakat-e-Nabvi ﷺ with utmost sincerity.

Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ) says, “It is amongst the etiquettes of the disciples that they must not speak before the Sheikh, needlessly. If a question is put forth to the Sheikh, he must remain quiet, despite being well aware of the answer. Even if the Sheikh falters in the reply the disciple should not criticize and speak up in the presence of the Sheikh”. Someone asked Sheikh Abu Mansoor Maghrabi (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ) that, “how long did you stay in thecompany of Sheikh Osman (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ)?” he replied “I remained in his service not in his companionship because one stays in the companionship of his spiritual brothers or ones similar to himself whereas a disciple only serves a Sheikh” (as he cannot enjoy the same level of spiritual exaltedness as his Sheikh, and thus cannot be a friend or a companion; but only in the service of receiving the honour of the Sheikhs presence and spiritual attention).

Imam Kaseeri (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ) before visiting his Sheikh kept a fast and performed ghusal (obligatory bath). Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ) commenting about a disciple of Hazrat Abu Hafs Neshapuri (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ) mentions that the disciple had exhausted two lac dirhams on his Sheikh’s mission, while often remaining his service. Yet however, the Sheikh did not permit him to speak, hence it was observed that he perpetually remained in a state of silence. Hazrat Hasaanuddin Haisi (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ) was one of the exceptional disciples of Maulana Rumi (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ), holding such distinction that Maulana Rumi (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ) himself treated him with respect, yet however, in the ten years that he spent in the service of his Sheikh, he never performed ablution in the Sheikh’s wuzu-khana (area of ablution). Mujadid-e-Tareeqat Hazrat Maulana Allah-Yar Khan (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ) asserts that a Sheikh is duty bound, in accordance with his connection to the Prophet ﷺ to do the spiritual training and cleansing of the disciples, whereas it is the duty of the disciples to receive the blessings in accordance to the compliance of the Sahaba (رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ).

That is why in Sufism these exact norms of respect (like the respect of our Prophet ﷺ) are considered the authentication and certification. The reality is that the purpose of a Momin’s life is to achieve eternal success, effectively the destination of this success, is paradise. The highest pleasure of which, amongst all others is beholding Allah (سبحانہ وتعالی), laqa-e-bari (meeting Allah) and the nearness of Allah (سبحانہ وتعالی). To achieve these, Allah ﷺ gave humans favours such as the Reflections of Prophet-hood ﷺ and blessings received in the company of the Prophet ﷺ. The Trustees of which are the Mashaikh-e-Uzam (the honourable Spiritual Sheikh), nevertheless, the benefits can only be attained through observing the prerequisite etiquettes i.e. “Respect is the first and foremost etiquette of the etiquette of love”.Hazrat Qasim-e-Fayoozat (رحمۃ اللہ علیہ) mentions that if upon hearing of the Trustees of these Barkat-e-Nabovat ﷺ (Blessings of Prophet-hood ﷺ), one searches for such people with their due respect and love in his heart, his entire life thereupon passing away, thus this is sufficient for his salvation in the hereafter. However, if someone finds them, but is neglectful towards them, while giving priority to worldly affairs and schedules, thereupon he shall never be able to attain these blessings likewise even on the Day of Judgement, he will not be able to justify this Kufran-e-Naimat (rejection of Divine Blessing). Meaning that deliberately delaying or being neglectful is against the etiquette of respect of a Sheikh. Moreover, this attendance is extremely valuable, as it is also the cause of further enhancement of the outwardly teachings of Islam.

مولوی ہرگز نہ شد مولائے روم
تا غلامِ شمس تبریزی نہ شد

Rumi did not become the Spiritual Sheikh of Turkey,
Until he became the disciple of Shams Tabrizi.

Silsila Naqshbandia Owaisiah, Naqshbandiah Owaisia, Tasawuf, Sufi meditation, Rohani tarbiyat, Shaikh, Ziker Qalbi Khafi