The esoteric self (Batin) of a person enclosed in physical body is a living being. It demands attention just like physical body. Just as proper food is necessary to provide energy to physical body, this esoteric self (Batin) also needs nourishment which gives it peace, energy and strength. In the Holy Qur'an Allah says:
Man suffers loss in this world and the hereafter because of his negligence towards invocation (Zikr) of Allah's name; because without Zikr his soul will not get the strength to tear the veils of ethereal personalities of self (Nafs) in order to obtain Allah's Vision (Deedar) and Gnosis (Marifat). In the Holy Qur'an Allah says:
Since invocation of Allah's Personal Name (Zikr-e-Ism-e-Allah Zaat) is the basis to attain Gnosis (Marifat) of Allah,the destination of man's creation, that is why the first order and revelation from Allah to Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam was to invoke Allah's name:
Surah Muzamil, Surah Al-Ala, Surah Waqiah, Surah Al-Airaf, Surah Kahaf, Surah Taha, were revealed in Makkah before obligatory prayers were ordered. In all of them Allah has ordered the Muslims to invoke Allah's Personal Name (Zikr-e-Ism-e-Allah Zaat) and has also described the proper way of invocation (Zikr).
Meaning: Glorify the Personal Name of your Allah, the most high. (Al-A'la-1)
Meaning: And establish prayers for the sake of my invocation. (Surah Taha-14)
Then He describes the proper and desired way of invocation.
Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam said; "The person who invokes Allah's name is alive (spiritually) and who doesn't is dead" (Bukhari – Muslim).
Soul of the person, who invokes Allah's Personal Name, is alive and dead for those who don't. Now a days majority of the Muslims don't find it necessary to invoke Allah's name and feel that mere physical prayers are more than enough to develop their relationship with Allah, and those who do, invoke it loudly only with voice not with heart and soul. Some people claim that they invoke Allah's name with heart but for them heart means the cardiac muscle placed in the left side of chest. They hold their breath and recite Allah's Name loudly and try to shake this cardiac muscle. When this physical heart starts reciting " ", they think that their soul has become alive. This cardiac muscle is just an organ like other organs of the body, meant to pump blood in the body. After the physical death, this heart will also decay, like the other body parts, in the grave. Soul is not material; its strength lies in invocation (Zikr) of Allah's Name secretly and continuously as Allah says:
People, who consider their physical heart as their soul and invoke Allah's Name connecting their heart beat with breath and do this practice only in fixed timings and not continuously, can neither possess spiritual life nor can they reach near Allah and recognize Him.
Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says about such people:
- How ignorant are those who have no knowledge about soul and their intrinsic being. They concentrate upon their muscular organ 'heart' while invocation and assume that this is the invocation of their soul. Sometimes, they connect their heart beat with their breath and name it 'sacrificial invocation' and sometimes, they imagine this physical heart as their soul during meditation and consider it "invocation of illuminous presence," and they name this "The Sultani Zikr of the soul". All these people are wrong. All these considerations are just satanic illusions. (Qaleed-e-Tauheed- Kalan)
- Your heart is just a physical organ beating in the left side of your chest (it is not the soul) this muscular heart is possessed even by non Muslims''. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- I am really amazed by those ignorant and foolish people who loudly invoke " " day and night but do not recognize real self of Allah. Their heart remains full of vicious desires so at last they are retracted.
To invoke by physical heart is the prayer of the physical body just like the other physical prayers and has no connection with spiritual life. It is the soul which reaches and recognizes Allah, not the physical body. The invocation (Zikr) by physical heart can provide no energy or power to the soul as soul is superior to this material body, although exaltation of soul can improve and rectify the physical deeds. So, as invocation (Zikr) by physical heart neither brings a person close to Allah nor helps in Recognition (Pehchan) of Allah, it is completely useless. The invocation of Allah's Personal Name ( ) through breathing (Pass-Infass) is the real and truly fruitful Zikr which empowers the soul.