islam

Say To My Servants That They Should Only Say Those Things That Are Best. For Satan Doth Sow Dissension Among Them.” For Satan Is To Man An Avowed Enemy.” (Quran XVII: 53), According To The Muslim Faith, When The Almighty God Created Adam (The Father Of The Human Progeny) Out Of A Lump Of Clay, And Commanded The Angels To Greet Him With a ‘SIJDA’ (Prostration In Humility), The Satan Hesitated To Obey And Accept Adam As His Superior Because He Claimed His Own Superiority Over Adam By Virtue Of His Age Long Devotion To God And Creation Out Of Fire. His Reluctance To Obey And Bow Before Adam, However, Resulted In His Condemnation And He Was Therefore, Eternally Banished From The Pleasure Of God. Under This Great Humiliating Disappointment, The Satan, However, Pleaded With God That He And His Progeny (The Satan Belongs To The Progeny Of The Genii) May Be Granted An Everlasting Opportunity To Mislead Mankind Into Error And Sin In Order To Test The Devotion Of Adam And His Progeny To God. This Request Was Granted By The Almighty God With The Commandment That Whosoever Followed The Satan’s Path Will Forfeit His Pleasure And That His Abode Will Be In The Fire Of Hell Eternally. To Accept Either Of The Two Options For The Creation Adam And His Progeny, Would Not Have Been In The Best Interests Of Mankind Just Like Illness And Health, Blindness And Clear Vision, Night And Day, Heat And Cold, Good And Evil, And So On.

The First Treacherous Act Of Satan Under This Arrangement Started With The Beguilement Of Adam Himself In The Well-Known Episode Of Eve And The “Forbidden Fruit” Which Resulted In The Banishment Of Both Adam And Eve From The Heavenly Paradise As A Punishment Against God’s Pleasure And Thus The Treachery Of Satan, The Avowed Enemy Of The Progeny Of Adam, Has Continued Throughout The Ages Causing Perpetual Misery Among The Best Majority Of Those People Who Succumb To His Mischievous Allurements In Defiance Of The Commandments Of God, In This Respect There Are Two Kinds Of People In The World, Those Who Follow The Commandants Of God, And Those Who Are Susceptible To The Beguilement Of Satan. There Has Always Been A Mighty Struggle Between The Followers Of Satan And The Believers Of God Ever Since The Creation Of Adam In Which The Latter Have Always Vanquished The Former.

According To The Holy Quran, Those Who Follow The Satan’s Enticement Are Rebels Of God. They Will Have To Render An Account Of Their Misdeeds And Sins On The Day-Of-Reckoning And Suffer Punishment In Hell For They Acted Against The Pleasure Of God, But Those Who Defy Satan And Stick Steadfastly To The Path Of Righteousness And Truth As Ordained In The Holy Quran And Preached By Prophet Mohammed, Are Promised Salvation And Eternal Bliss In Paradise. This Is One Of The Principal Articles Of Faith In Islam.

The Pages Of The History And All Religious Books Of The World Are Full Of The Terrible Stories Of God’s Retribution Upon Those Past Rebellious Generations Of Mankind Who Defied The Teachings Of His Prophets And Apostles Under The Mischievous Influence Of Satan. There Have Also Been Numerous Bloody Wars Between The Forces Of Evil And Good, Truth And Falsehood, The Followers Of Satan And The Devotees And Believers Of The Almighty God In Which The Latter Few Have Always Vanquished The Over – Whelming Many. As Stated Above Again And Again God Has Sent His Prophets And Apostles To All Races And Nations Of The World In Order To Warn And Keep Them On The Right Path Of Truth. As It Happened, After Their Death People Forgot Their Sacred Lessons And Became Victims Of Satan’s Treachery Only To Forfeit The Pleasure Of God And Earn His Retribution. This Is A Divine Decree Which No Civilizations Or Modern Progress Can Change In Spite Of All Our Scientific And Material Advancement.

When The Holy Prophet Of Islam Hazrat Mohammed (May Peace And Blessing Of God Be Upon His Soul) Appeared On The Scene Of Arabia In 750 AD, Satan Had Virtually Established His Devilish Kingdom Over The Arabs Who Were Steeped Into Abysmal Ignorance And Sin. What Was The Actual Condition Of Arabia Before The Birth Of Holy Prophet Mohammed? According To The Holy Quran, “It Was On The Verge Of Fiery Abyss.” The Barbarous Arabs Were Completely Submerged Under The Evil Influence Of Satan. They Were Soaking In Superstition, Ignorance, Cruelty And Idolatry And Were Torn Asunder By Internecine Feuds And Wars. They Had No Settled Government And Lived A Nomadic Life. Wine, Women And Every Kind Of Vice And Crime Summed Up Their General Attitude Towards Life. Even The Jews And The Christians Had Forgotten The Teachings Of Their Prophets Moses And Jesus, And Had Become Idolaters. Writing About The Condition Of Christianity In The 7th Century Was Itself Decrepit And Corrupt. It Was Disabled By Contending Schisms And Had Substituted The Peculiarities Of Superstition Of The Pure And Expansive Faith Of The Early Ages. The Teachings Of The Prophet Of Islam, However Wrought A Dynamic Transformation In The Sinful Life Of The Arabs Within Only A Few Years Despite All The Worst Type Of Oppression, Insults And Persecution By The Evil Forces Of Satan In Order To Stick To Their Devilish Ways Of Life. But, In Spite Of All These Obstacles, Prophet Mohammed Succeeded And Succeeded Triumphantly In Completely Routing The Forces Of Satan And Religion Of Peace And Prosperity Happiness Of The Whole World As Well.

The True Purpose Of Islam Religion Is That Human Beings Should Follow The Right Path According To Divine Teachings. But Before Asking People To Follow These Teachings, It Is First Necessary To Explain The Teachings And Whose Teaching They Are: Secondly, About The One Who Is Preaching Them, And Finally, The Great Benefit That Will Be Derived By Following Them. These Are The Fundamentals On Which Religions Are Formed. To Have A Comparative Study Of Islam In The Light Of The Teachings Found In Other Sacred Books, Is To Know What A Comprehensive World Religion Islam Is Pointing Out Also How The Author Of Such A Religion Was Decidedly The Last Great Prophet, There Being Consequently No Further Necessity At All For Another Prophet To Rise. “The Quran Is The Final Revealed Book Of God” And “Mohammed Is The Last Prophet”.

As A Matter Of Fact, Islam Which Means Peace And Which Represents The Divine Code For A Disciplined, Contented And Harmonious Life Of Man On Earth Already Existed In One Or The Other Form Long Before The Advent Of The Holy Prophet Mohammed. It However Needed A Revival In An Up To Date Form Because Due To Individual And Political Intrigues, Certain Abuses Had Crept Into It. The Preceding Generations Had Altered The True Spirit And Version Of The Former Holy Scriptures To Suit Their Own Selfish Ends And Conveniences. Thus Mutilating The Original Commandments Of God And Bringing An Ugly Slur On The Fair Name Of Religion. These Unauthorized Intrusions And Mutilations Therefore Necessitated Up To Date ‘Divine Code’ In Its Pristine Glory And That Is Why A Final And Perfect Religion In The Form Of Islam Was Revealed Through The Holy Quran And Prophet Mohammed With The Explicit Warning That No More Prophets Were To Come After Him. Islam Is Therefore, A Perfect Religion For All Humanity And For All Time, And Not For The Muslims Alone, Whether The World Accepts This Divine Claim Or Not.

Unlike The Past, Islam Is Now Preserved In Its Up To Date Perfection In The Holy Quran And Because The Past Generations Proved Themselves Incapable Of Preserving The Original Commandments Of God In Theory And True Perspective Had, As Stated Above, Tampered With Them To Suit Their Own Intriguing Conveniences, Therefore The Almighty Allah Promised In The Quran To Be Its Preserver Himself This Time. One Of The Living Instances Of This Jealous Guardianship Is That Millions Of Muslims Easily Commit This ‘Book Of God’ To Memory- A Feature Unique In Its Own Way Which Is Nothing Short Of A Miracle. There Is No Instance In The Living Memory Of Mankind To Show That Any Of The Ancient Religious Books Or Any Other Kind Of Book Of Such A Voluminous Nature As The Holy Quran Is, Was Ever Committed To Memory. This Fact Alone Proves That God’s Original Words Have Been Preserved As He Willed, And That There Has Been No Tampering Whatever With Them After The Death Of The Holy Prophet Mohammed Through Whom The Quran Was Delivered.

There Are Many Unique Virtues Of Islam And Its Holy Prophet As Compared With His Predecessors. While The Preceding Prophets Were Endowed With Only One ‘Divine’ Virtue To Help Them To Make Their Mission Successful, Prophet Mohammed Had The Exclusive Distinction Of Possessing All Those ‘Divine’ Virtues In Him Which Were Bestowed Upon His Predecessors Individually. For Instance, Prophet Mohammed Was Endowed With The Exemplary Patience Granted To Prophet Ayub, The Miraculous Virtues Possessed By The ‘Staff’ Given To Prophet Moses, The Healing Spell Possessed By Prophet Jesus, The Perfect Human Beauty Bestowed Upon Prophet Yusuf And The Supreme Faith Owned By Prophet Abraham.

Further, No Prophet Ever Since The Creation Of Adam, Had The Unique Distinction Of Being Succeeded By Illustration Saints And Divines Among His Followers As The Prophet Of Islam Had A Venerable Line Of Religious Teachers And Saints Who Shunned All Pomp And Show Of The Material World In Order To Serve The Cause Of Islam And Humanity Selflessly And Faithfully. Both Morally And Spiritually They Were Pictures Of Perfection And Stood Out Alone In The Multitude Of Intelligentsia, Never Deviating From The Teachings Of The Quran Or The Tradition Of The Prophet. Their One Paramount Aim Of Life Was The Selfless Service Of Mankind, Strictly In Accordance With The Teachings Of The Holy Quran Both, In Letter And Spirit These Holy Teachers Of Islam In The Garb Of Sufi Dervishes Continued To Keep The Banner Of Islam Flying For A Period Of Nearly 900 Years After The Death Of The Holy Prophet Mohammed By Their Matchless Zeal, Abstemious Character And Amazing Spiritual Powers And It Is Due To This Unique Dedication To The Service Of Mankind That There Are Today 90 Crores Of Muslims Spreading All Over The World Whose ‘Faith’ In Their Religion Remains As Staunch And Unshakable As It Has Ever Been In Spite Of All The Political And Social Revolutions Of The World Ever Since The Death Of Prophet Mohammed.

One Of The Strangest Facts In Today’s World Is That Islam, A Religion Which In Many Ways Is Almost Identical To Christianity And Judaism, Should Be So Poorly Understood In Europe And America. Since There Are Millions Of Muslims In The World, And Since They Control Many Strategic Areas Of The Earth It Is Essential That We Understand Them Better. Mohammed, The Inspired Man Who Founded Islam, Was Born About 570 AD At Mecca. Orphaned At Birth, He Was Always Particularly Solicitous Of The Poor, Needy, Widows, Orphan, Slaves And The Downtrodden. At 20 He Was Already A Successful Businessman And Soon He Became The Director Of Camel Caravans Of A Wealthy Widow. When He Reached 25, His Employer Recognizing His Merit Proposed Marriage. Even Though She Was 15 Years Senior, He Married Her And As Long As She Lived, He Remained A Devoted Husband. By 40 This Man Of The Desert Had Secured For Himself A Most Satisfying Life, A Loving Wife, Fine Children And Wealth. Then, Muslims Believe, In A Series Of Dramatic And Terrifying Events, He Began To Revive Through Archangel Gabriel A Revelation Of God’s Word. Like Almost Every Major Prophet Before Him, Mohammed Fought Shy Of Serving As The Transmitter Of God’s Word, Sensing His Own Inadequacy. But The Angel Commanded, ‘Read’. So Far As We Know, Mohammed Was Hardly Able To Read Or Write, But He Began To Dictate Those Inspired Words Which Would Soon Revolutionize A Large Part Of The Earth; “There Is But One God”.

Mohammed’s Message Infuriated Those Rich Arabs Whose Faith Required Many Idols, And He And His Few Followers Were Driven From Mecca, His Home. Forced Now To Fight In Defense Of The Freedom Of Conscience Which He Preached, He Became An Accomplished Military Leader. He Repeatedly Went Into Battle, Out-Manned And Out-Speared As Much As Five To One, He Won Some Spectacular Victories. Later He Became Head Of The State, And The Testimony Even Of His Enemies Is That He Administered Wisely. The Wisdom He Displayed In Judging Intricate Cases Became The Basis For The Religious Law That Governs Islam Today. In His Final Years, He Was Invited To Become A Dictator Or A Saint, But He Rejected Both Temptations, Insisting That He Was An Average Man To Whom God Had Sent Another Of His Periodic Messages To The World. By The Force Of His Extraordinary Personality, Mohammed Revolutionized Life In Arabia And Throughout The Middle East. He Preached A Religion Dedicated To One God And He Lifted Women From The Bondage In Which Desert Custom Held Them And Preached General Social Justice. Muslims Think It Particularly Ironic When Mohammed Is Charged By Western Writers With Having Established A Voluptuous Religion. Especially Considering The Fact That He Abolished Alcohol So That Even Today All Good Muslims Are Teetotalers. He Ordered Individual Prayers Five Times Each Day. In A Nation That Reveled In Feasting He Instituted A Most Rigorous Daytime Fast Lasting A Full Month Each Year.

 

Western Critics Have Based Their Charges Of Voluptuousness Mainly On The Question Of Women. Before Mohammed, However Men Were Encouraged To Take Innumerable Wives, He Limited Them To Four Only And The Quran Is Explicit That Husbands Who Cannot Maintain Strict Equality Between Two Or More Wives Must Confine Themselves To One. A Widespread Misunderstanding Arises From Mohammed’s Promise Of Paradise. In A Land Of Blistering Drought And Sandstorms He Predicted That Evil Men Would Suffer The Tormenting Fires Of Hell. Whereas Good Men Will Experience Cool Breezes, Comforting Streams And Beautiful Hours. Western Imaginations, Unfamiliar With This Last Word Hour, Defined It By Analogy With One Of The Ugliest Words In English And Jumped To The Conclusion That Mohammed’s Paradise Was To Be A Sexual Debauch. They Were Wrong. A Hour Is A Fair-Skinned, Blacked Woman Created From Musk And Spices, Incredibly Beautiful And Perpetually Virgin.

In All Things, Mohammed Was Profoundly Practical. When His Beloved Son Ibrahim Died, An Eclipse Occurred, And Rumours Of God’s Personal Condolence Quickly Arose. Whereupon Mohammed Is Said To Have Announced An Eclipse Is A Phenomenon Of Nature. It Is Foolish To Attribute Such Things To The Birth Or Death Of A Human Being. At Mohammed’s Own Death An Attempt Was Made To Deify Him, But The Man Who Was To Become His Administrative Successor Killed The Hysteria With One Of The Noblest Speeches In Religious History. “If There Are Any Among You Who Worshipped Mohammed, He Is Dead. But If It Was God You Worshipped, He Lives For Ever.” These Things Explain Why People Who Follow The Religion Of Mohammed Do Not Like To Be Called “Mohammedan”

The Quran Is Probably The Most Often Read Book In The World, Surely “ The Most Often Memorized” And “Possibly The Most Influential” In The Daily Life Of The People Who Believe In It. Unlike The New Testament, Which Is Written In An Exalted Style, It Is Neither Poetry Nor Ordinary Prose, Yet It Possesses The Ability To Arouse Its Hearers To Ecstasies Of Faith. Its Rhythms Have Been Compared To The Beat Of Drums To The Echoes Of Nature And To The Chants Which Are Common In All Early Societies. It Is Written In Arabic, And Devout Muslims Have Often Insisted That It Must Not Be Translated Into Any Other Language. One Might Expect That Such A Wish Would Have Limited The Spread Of Islam. On The Contrary, All Over The World Men Have Laboured To Learn Arabic, Not An Easy Language Just To Be Able To Read Their Holy Book And Pray In The Original.

The Quran Was Revealed To Mohammed Between The Years 610 And 632 AD In The Cities Of Mecca Medina. Devoted Scribes Wrote It Down On “Scraps Of Paper, Bark And The White Shoulder Blades Of Animals. The Early Revelations Were Dazzling Assurances That There Was Only One God, Merciful And Compassionate He Is Allah, The Creator, The Maker, And The Fashioner. Whatever Is In The Heavens And The Earth Declares His Glory And He Is The Mighty, The Wise. It Was This Message That Inspired Men To Revolutionize Their Lives And Their Nations. In Later Years, When Islam Began To Penetrate Large Areas Of Arabia And Had Acquired Much Power, The Revelations Dealt With The Organization Of Society Its Laws, Procedures And Problems.

The Christian Or Jew Who Reads The Quran Finds Himself On Familiar Ground A Good Deal Of The Time. Many Revered Names From Christianity And Judaism Appear In The Quran. For Example, Five Of The Important Chapters Are Entitled Noah Jonah, Joseph, Abraham, And Mary. Lacking Specific Chapters Of Their Own, But Playing Quite Important Roles Are Jesus, Adam, David, Goliath, Job, Moses, Lot And Solomon. Islam Is Partly Founded On The Words Of Four Prophets Who Lived Before Mohammed; Jesus, Noah, Abraham, Moses. The Quran Does Not Acknowledge That Jesus Was The Son Of God And That He Suffered Death Upon The Cross. If Jesus Were Acknowledged The Child Of God, Muslims Believe It Would Compromise God’s Oneness, The Belief Which Is The Cornerstone Of Islam. It Would, Moreover Be Difficult Thereafter To Contend That Mohammed Was The Bearer Of The Final Perfect Revelation As Muslims Do. It Is This Dedication To One God Plus Practical Instruction That Makes The Quran Unique. Each Islamic Nation Contains Many Citizens Who Are Convinced That Their Land Will Be Groaned Well Only If Its Laws Conform To Quran.

Mahatma Gandhi, The Greatest Apostle Of Nonviolence And Religious Toleration Of Our Time Said About The Holy Prophet And The Islam. “I Become More Than Ever Convinced That It Was Not The Sword That Won A Place For Islam In The Scheme Of Life. It Was The Rigid Simplicity, The Utter Self-Effacement Of The Prophet, The Scrupulous Regard For Pledges, His Intense Devotion To His Friends And Followers, His Intrepidity, His Fearlessness, His Absolute Trust In God And His Own Mission.”

“In Its Glorious Days, Islam Was Not Intolerant. It Commanded The Admiration Of The World. When The West Was Sunk In Darkness A Bright Star Rose In The Eastern Firmament And Gave Light And Comfort To A Groaning World Islam Is Not A False Religion. Let Hindus Study It Reverently, And They Will Love It Even As I Do.”

Sir Bernard Shaw, The Learned Philosopher And Great Novelist Of England, Predicted: I Believe The Whole Of The British Empire Will Adopt A Reformed Mohammedanism Before The End Of Its Wonderful Vitality. It Is The Only Religion Which Appears To Possess That Assimilating Capacity To The Changing Phases Of Existence Which Can Make It Appeal To Every Age. The World Must Doubtless Attach High Value To The Predictions Of Great Men Like Me I Have Prophesied About The Faith Of Mohammed That It Would Be Acceptable Tomorrow As It Is Beginning To Be Acceptable To The Europe Of Today. The Medieval Ecclesiastics Either Through Ignorance Or Bigotry Painted Mohammedanism In The Darkest Colours. They Were In Fact Trained To Hate Both The Man Mohammed And His Religion. To Them Mohammed Was Antichrist He Must Be Called A Savoir Of Humanity. I Believe That If A Man Like Him Were To Assume The Dictatorship Of The Modern World, He Would Succeed In Solving The Problems In A Way That Would Bring It The Much Needed Peace And Happiness. Europe Is Beginning To Be Enamored Of The Creed Of Mohammed. In The Next Century It May Go Still Further In Recognizing The Utility Of That Creed In Solving Its Problems, And It Is In This Sense That You Must Understand My Prediction.

“Already Even At The Present Time Many Of My Own People And Of Europe As Well Have Gone Over To The Faith Of Mohammed. And The Islamisation Of Europe May Be Said To Have Begun.”

The Prophet Of Islam Was An Ideal Embodiment Of Such Virtues As Mercy, Sympathy, Magnanimity, Justice, Forbearance And Forgiveness. There Is Not A Single Instance To Show That He Ever Used Force Or Preached Violence To Promulgate His Religion Or To Revenge Against His Foes That Persistently Dogged The Early Part Of His Prophetic Mission. One Of The Many Noblest Examples Of His Tolerance And Forgiveness In History Is Seen In His Peaceful But Triumphant Victory Over Mecca. It Was Not A Military Victory. It Was The Triumph Of His Magnificent Moral And Religious Character, Unparalleled In The History Of The World After Many Years Of Ceaseless Oppression And Sanguinary Wars Waged By His Enemies To Destroy Him And His Religion. In This Moment Of Great Triumph, The Prophet Remained God Fearing, Merciful And Forgiving, Magnanimously Refusing To Avenge The Quraish Tribe For Their Past Misdeeds. He Did Not Compel Even A Single Soul To Embrace Islam Under The Pressure Of His Grand Victory. Although The City Of Mecca Had Surrendered Unconditionally And Had Recognized His Authority, But All Its Inhabitants Had Not Till Then Embraced Islam Nor Had They Formally Acknowledged His Prophetic Claim. Verily The Ways Of The Prophet Were The Ways Of God. Here Is A Tribute Which Sir William Muir Pays To The Supreme And Exemplary Religious Tolerance Of The Holy Prophet: Thus He (The Prophet) Preached A Religious Toleration That Had Never Been Known To The World Before. If Religious Toleration Must Be A Necessary Article Of Faith In The ‘Religion Of Humanity’ It Is Surely Another Cogent Justification For Mohammed’s Claim To The Name Of The Ideal Prophet.

Sufism

Sufism the Life Of A Sufi Is The “Life Of The Spirit” Regulated Strictly In Accordance With Islamic Theology And Traditions. To Attain This, The First Lesson Is Unshakable Belief In The Existence Of God And Unconditional Surrender To His Will. This Entails A Strenuous Life Attended By Rigid Austerity And Self-Denial. He Has To Undergo A Course Of Training In Regular Prayers And Meditation To Attain The Divine Knowledge And Realization Of The Truth. This Particular Knowledge Is Passed On ‘In Secret’ By One Sufi To Another Having The Requisite Qualifications i.e. “One Who Does Not Think Evil” , “Does Not See Evil” , “Does Not Hear Evil” And “Does Not Speak Evil”. Without This Divine Knowledge, One Cannot Fathom The Hidden Mysteries Of The Nature And Those Of The Soul. To Sum Up The Whole Object Of Sufism Is To Attain The Highest Spiritual Perfection.

A Sufi Will Be Distinguishable From Others On Account Of His Detachment From His Parents, Children, Wealth, Power, Position And Comforts. His Ignorance Vanishes In The Effulgence Of The ‘Divine Light’ Of The Most High, The Lord Of The Entire Universe. In Such An Ecstatically Devotion There Is Neither Pain Nor Sorrow For Him As He Is Overwhelmingly Dedicated To The Will Of The Almighty God. Thus A Sufi Saint Is The Spiritual King, Far Above All Temporal Kings, Disguised In The Patched Robes Of A Humble Dervish.

There Are Certain Regulations Of Sufism Which Are Called ‘Adraak’ And ‘Ehsas’ In Sufi Parlance. They Are Also Known As ‘Arkaan Tasawwuf’ Or ‘Arkaan-Baatani’ I.E. The Rules And Discipline For The Acquirement Of The Hidden Wisdom Or Knowledge. They Are Divided Into The “Hidden Wisdom” Or Knowledge. They Are Divided Into The Following Three Categories:

(1) “Knowledge” i.e. The ‘Divine Knowledge’ Attainable Through The Rigid Discipline Of ‘Shariat’.

(2) “Amal” i.e. Action Under The Above Discipline With Unflinching Faith And Devotion.

(3) “Haal” i.e. The Resulting Reaction From ‘Amal’ Or The Action.

A Sufi Aspirant’s First Important Step To Act Upon The Above Course Is To Seek A Religious Preceptor Or ‘Murshid’ Who Should Be A Practical Master Of The Said Divine Knowledge And Its Training Experience. His Preliminary Lessons Start With,

(I) Liturgical Practices And Exercises With Unswerving Devotion To Certain Quranic Verses Which Are Pregnant With The Divine Knowledge In Order To Grasp Their Spiritual Interpretation And Values.

(II) A Rigid Control Over His Soul Called ‘Nafs’ which Starts Which Renunciation And Self-Mortification.

When A Person Decided To Become A Mystic Or Sufi, He Was Been Expected To Go To A Sheikh Or Murshid (Master) And Spend With Him As Much Time As Was Deemed Necessary By The Sheikh For His Spiritual Development. During This Period Of Apprenticeship Which, In Most Cases, Lasted A Lifetime The Sheikh Used To Instruct The Disciple To Perform Mortification (Mujahedas) So As To Gain Control Over His Appetitive Soul, i.e. ‘Nafs’. This Was Done By Performing Service Like Hewing Of Wood, Drawing Of Water From The Wells And So Many Other Menial Services In The Khanqah (The Monastery Or Chapel). Every Sufi Saint Had To Perform These Hard Services For Their ‘Pir’ Before Achieving The Robe Of Khilafat (Succession).

According To The Islamic Standard Of Judgment, The Seeker After Truth, As Stated Above Has To Pass Through Many Stages Before He Can Actually Feel Himself In Combination With The Truth Being The Ultimate Object. The Elementary Condition Is To Have An Unshakable Faith And A Firm Resolve In Doing Or Not Doing A Thing That Is Termed ‘Niyyat’ (Intention) In Muslim Theology Which Is Followed By Repentance And Penitence. The Next Stage Is Called “Mujaheda” (Probation Of Striving). When It Reaches Its Zenith Then The Revelation Process Begins Which Is Known As “Mukashfa” (The Uplifting Of Veil). At This Stage The Attainments Of The Saint (Or Sufi) Are So Exquisite That He Emerges His Identify In The Will Of God, The Creator, And The Reactions Are Visible And Affect The Code And Conduct Of Human Beings. The Effort By Which Each Stage Is Gained Is Called ‘Haal’ (State). It Is A State Of Joy Or Desire And When The Seeker Is In This Condition He Falls Into ‘Wajd’ (Ecstasy).

Early History Of Sufism Reveals That This Particular Branch Of Divine Knowledge Originated And Developed Under Conditions Of Strict Discipline Of Being Quiet, Seclusion, Renunciation And Incessant Devotion To Prayers Under The Guidance Of A ‘Murshid’ Or Spiritual Preceptor. In The Popular Sense, Sufism Is Known As Mysticism In The West But It Is Not At Par With The Conception Which The Word ‘Sufism’ Actually Carries In Islamic Parlance. One Of The Advantages Of This Cult Is That Its Follower Speedily Discovers All The Mysteries Of Nature For The Benefit Of Mankind. Its Greatest Gospel Is To Live And Let Live’ And To Bestow Undiscriminating Affection Upon All Mankind. It Caters For The Real Peace And Spiritual Needs Of The People Who Are Generally Sick Of The Material World And Seek A Spiritual Asylum. To Be Brief, Unless One Is A God’s Chosen Man Endowed With The Inherent Natural Spark Of Divine Love, Pity And Religious Devotion, And Is Also Fit For The Necessary Hard Mujahedas (Probation And Strivings) One Cannot Become A Prefect Sufi.

The Origin Of The Term Sufi Is Rather Complex, But In General It Signifies One Who Wears The Garment Of ”Suf” i.e. Wool. In The Beginning It Was A Mark Of Personal Penitence Though Some Early Muslims, Like Ibn Sirin (Died 729 AD) Criticised The Ascetics For Wearing Suf In Imitation Of Jesus Christ. He Said, “I Prefer To Follow The Example Of The Prophet Who Dressed In Cotton.” In The Second Century Of Islam A Particular Group Of Ascetics Of Kufa Were Generally Called Al-Sufiya Due To Their Dress. But, By 4th Century Wearing Of Woolen Garments Became The Recognised Badge Of The Sufis Of Iraq And Hence The Term Was Commonly Applied To All Muslim Mystics. In The Same Century, Groups Of These A Sites Used To Assemble To Recite Aloud The Holy Quran And Other Religious Pieces Which Practice Gradually Took On A Liturgical Character Called “Zikr” Evolving Into Spiritual Concerts Named “Sama” (Now Popularly Called Qawwali In India) With Their Attendant Perils Of Extreme Ecstatic Nervous.

Gradually A Change Was Coming Over The General Character Of Sufism. Its Basis Was “Fear Of God And His Wrath To Come” With The Mystical Element Of Love And Adoration. According To A Woman Saint, Rabia Al-Adawiya (Died 891 AD) The Mainspring Of Mysticism Is Love. She Said, “Love Of God Had So Absorbed Me That Neither Love Nor Hate For Any Other Things Remains In My Heart.”

From Iraq And Persia, Sufism Perpetrated Into India, Where It Found A Very Congenial Soil To Prosper After Some Stubborn Opposition. With Its Advent A Large Number Of Sufi Saints Sprang Up All Over The Land, Doing Invaluable Service By Their Solacing Influence To The Afflicted Humanity Irrespective Of Caste Or Creed. It Was This Indiscriminating Service To The Cause Of The Suffering Humanity And Peace That Won The Hearts Of The People Of India And Made The Sufis Highly Popular Among All Classes Of People From A Peasant To The Prince. Not Only This But Even After Their Death, They Are Still Held In High Reverence, A Thing Which Is Unknown In Other Countries. This Unflinching Devotion Is Of Course Not Without Any Reason; There Must Be “Something” Very Real And Serious To Come And End It?

Sufism Implies “Iqtida” i.e. To Adhere Strictly To The Laws Of Shariat. It Means Highly Pious And Enlightened Way Of Life Which May Be Expressed In Conformity With Thought And Action As Explained Below:

(A) “Qualan” i.e. Expression Through “Shariat” Or The Divine Law (Ordained For The Harmonious Conduct Of Man In This World With Promise Of His Salvation In The Next.)

 

(B) “Failan” Or “Tariqat” i.e. Expression Through Human Activity And Discipline Under The Said Divine Law Or Shariat.

(C) “Haalan” Or Haqiqat i.e. The ‘State ‘ Acquired By Acting Upon And Passing Through Qualan And Failan Stages Reaching The Zenith Of The Spiritual Perfection.

While The Qualan And Failan Stages Can Be Analysed Or Expressed Through The Human Faculties, The Expression Of Haalan ‘Haqiqat’ Or ‘Reality’ Is Beyond The Scope Of All Human Conception And Is Therefore Inexpressible And Indescribable Because Human Intellect Or Faculties Are Restricted To A ‘Limit And Transcend No More. This Is The Highest And Final Stage Of Sufism In Which The Aspirant Is Face To Face With The ‘Divine Light ‘ And Ultimately Merges His Identity With God Supreme. It Is Therefore A State, The Secrets Of Which Have Never Been Divulged To The Humanity At Large Without Sufism Entitles. A Persian Couplet Describes This ‘State’ As Follows “Aan Raa Ke Khabar Shud Khabarash Baaz Nayamad” i.e. Nobody Ever Heard Of Them Who Dived Deep Into The Secrets Of God Or The Mysteries Of Nature.