Islamic spirituality and mysticism: Path & destination

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“That which God said to the rose and made it laugh into full blown beauty, He said to my heart and made it hundred times more beautiful. ” Rumi

SUFISM is sincere inner directedness to wards God to understand the soul. It is an experience, which transcends the rational theoretical concepts of philosophers, theologians, esotericism and outward knowledge of the world.

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Everything corrodes or oxidizes including the heart and the polishing of the heart is by Zikr-Allah (Remembrance of God).

The people who practice Tausawaf follow the Sunnah, get inspiration and guidance from Quran, inculcate in themselves Prophetic qualities and practices, which ultimately leads them to spiritual psychosis i.e. disciplining the soul, purification/illumination of the heart.

Tausawaf is something, which God bestows into the hearts of some people, whom he loves and they receive the blessings of purity from Him.

God says in Quran, “I cannot fit into Heavens and Earth, but the heart of my loving servant suffices me.

” “It’s a heavy load not everyone can bear it,” says Abul Hassan Kharqani.

When the light of divine grace flashes into the heart and overwhelms every human faculty in its dazzling beams, there are no words to describe it, that is why Rumi says, “Those who know God stammer,” and Hajveri says, “Those who know God are dumb.”

Among the great Mystics of Islam, Rabiais generally regarded as the person who introduced the element of selfless love into the austere teachings of the early ascetics and gave Sufism the hue of true mysticism.

Rabia was followed by Dhu’l-Nun who said, “O God, publicly I call Thee ‘My Lord,’ but in solitude I call Thee ‘O my Beloved,” which shows how the early mystics would refer to God in illusions rather than direct language.

” Yahyaibn Muadh says, “One mustard seed of love is better than seventy years of worship without love.

” Religion was for him, hope in God, Whose mercy is infinite and Who listens to the prayer of the human heart. Junayd sees in Sufism a way of constant purification and mental struggle.

The mystical life meant for him, the permanent striving to return to one’s origin, that origin that was in God and from which everything proceeds, so that eventually the mystic should reach the state “in which he was before he was,” i.e. the state of the primordial covenant (Sura 7:171) when God was alone and what is created in time was not yet existent.

Hallaj famous words, “Kill me, O my trustworthy friends, for in my being killed is my life,” words that have been repeated by mystics throughout the ages, as a basis for their meditations and celebration of death as means of meeting with a friend.

Bayazid expresses this longing more strongly, “If eight paradises were opened in my hut and the kingdom of both world were given in my hand, I would not give for them that single sight, which arises at morning time from the depth of my soul in remembering my longing for Him. ”

Attar warns us it is a difficult valley and until you go there and taste it, you will not know it. Hajveri says, “It is the custom of God to let the hearts of those who love him have a vision of Him always, in order that that the delight thereof may enable them to endure every tribulation and they say in their orisons, “We deem all torments more desirable than to be veiled from thee.

When thy beauty is revealed to our hearts, we take no thought of affliction. ” El-Ghazzali tells us that this is all science, experimental science; you want the results, just replicate the experiment and you will get the same results.

You want to know God, here is the path, I have mapped it out for you, start on the journey and I promise you will arrive.

He tells us that the destination is real, because he experienced it Himself. The book maps out the journey from the eyes of people, who experienced it and as Fakharuddin Iraqi says, “The Sufi tradition is like a vast garden in which are cultivated many flowers of different scent and colours each sweet and beautiful each reflecting one aspect of garden of paradise.

”Dr Qibla Ayaz, Chairman Council of Islamic ideology writes, “This book defines the dynamics of Sufism, the path/destination and advancement through spiritual ascent.

It outlines the spiritual direction and the paths of this spiritual journey through the eyes of the Mystics who experienced it.

The Sufi Masters from Junayd, Attar, Ibn ‘Arabi, Rumi and others have enriched this tradition impacting socio political and literary life of the Muslims Communities.

It tells you how to get into Presence of barakah or Grace, which flows in the veins of the Universe, a moral perfection/beauty of the soul, presenting true image of Islam, a religion of peace, compassion, love and kindness.”

“As you go through this book, you will be impressed by the scholastic knowledge and pains taking research undertaken by Tahir in compilation of this book, I am sure the book will prove a worthy sequel to Farid-ud-din Attar’s ‘Tadhkaratul–Auliya’ written in the 11th century, which I am sure, was the inspiration behind this book, writes Dr Mazhar Hammed MD National Book.

The author says, “Whereas, I admit of my limitations of writing a book of this nature, but I made an unconditional resolution, that I would carry this undertaking with full dedication and sincerity.

When anyone begins an enterprise with the sincerity of intentions, he may be excused, if imperfections appear in his work.

For this reason the Prophet (May peace be upon him) said, “The believer’s intention is better than his performance.

” A good intention, therefore, is preliminary to the due performance of every act and my intention was to pick up these pearls and bring it to all those, who need to see these and correct their path.”

At a time when when intolerant, inflammatory and prejudiced narratives are stroking racial and religious fears, Islam phobia has emerged as a particularly alarming development.

There is a need for effective steps to counter this with the true nature of Islamic religion to promote peaceful, inclusive and just societies, not only in Islamic world, but also in the whole world.

This book will prove a stepping stone in that direction and will remove many misunderstandings about Islam and show it in the correct light as a religion of peace, mercy, generosity, forbearance, harmony, compassion, patience and gratitude, which Allah mentions in Quran.

If you see a sanctified human being, you will see all these qualities manifesting in him merely by his presence.

Let us join General Tahir when he says, “May Allah Most High accept our humble efforts in His path and give us the blessings of His adoration.

” Gauhar Zahid Malik – Executive Editor Pakistan Observer

 

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