Frequently Asked Questions
( FAQs )
Q. What is Faqr?
Faqr is actually the course or way which leads a true Muslim to ultimate closeness of Allah. Whereby, one attains the greatest blessing of universe that is the Divine vision (deedar-e-Ilahi). As Prophet Mohammad sall Allahu alayhi wa’allihi wasallam attained on the night of Miraj. Hence, it is the greatest Sunna and pride of the Holy Prophet. He says:
اَلۡفَقۡرُ فَخۡرِیۡ وَالۡفَقۡرُ مِنِّی ۔
Meaning: Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me.
Only after following this path, salat of a Muslim becomes Miraj according to Hadith, “Salat is Miraj for a Momin”. It is to say, he prays Allah while actually seeing Him and feeling His closeness.
Q. Can we see Allah?
Yes! A true believer can certainly see Allah. Many Hadiths and sayings of Saints prove it.
- Jarir ibn Abdullah narrated: The Prophet said, “You will definitely see your Lord with your own eyes.” (Sahih Bukhari 7435)
- Jarir ibn Abdullah narrated: We were in the company of Holy Prophet on a fourteenth night (of moon). He looked at the (full) moon and said, ‘You will see your Lord as you see this moon. Certainly, you will have no trouble in looking at Him”. (Sahih Bukhari 4851)
- Umar ibn Khattab said, “My inward saw Allah through His light (light of Ism-e-Allah Zaat)”. (Sirr al-Asrar, section 9)
- Ali ibn Abi Talib said, “I do not pray Allah Almighty unless I see Him”. (Sirr al-Asrar, section 9)
- Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani says; “No doubt! Our Allah is Omnipresent and can be seen.” He further says مَنْ لَّمۡ یَعۡرِفُہٗ کَیۡفَ یَعۡبُدُہٗ۔ meaning: “How can a person worship Allah without seeing and recognizing Him.” (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)
Verily, recognition is possible only after seeing.
Q. How is it possible for a person to see Allah?
In order to find Allah one has to search inside his soul as Allah says:
وَ فِیۡۤ اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ ؕ اَفَلَا تُبۡصِرُوۡنَ
Meaning: And (I am) in yourselves. So do you not see? (Al-Dhariyat 21)
Meaning: Neither the earth nor the skies can contain Me but the inward of a true believer can. (Qudsi Hadith)
No doubt! Allah is in the inward of true believer but strong veil of innerself (nafs) is the hindrance in His vision. Sultan Bahoo says:
- You must know that there are neither any mountains or walls nor a long distance between Allah and His slave. Rather, there is only the veil of innerself. It can be removed by contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and attention of spiritual guide who is man of Divine secrets. If you come, you will find the doors open for you and if you do not, then Allah needs none. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani clearly tells how a true seeker of Allah can see Him;
For every true believer who has gnosis of Allah, there are two physical eyes and two spiritual eyes. With his physical eyes he can see the world and its dwellers. While, with his spiritual eyes he can see the dwellers of the unseen world. Then, all the veils from his soul raise up and he can behold Allah without any doubt and material medium. Thus, he becomes closest to Allah and His beloved. (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)
Q. What is Ism-e-Allah Zaat?
Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the key of door to the esoteric world which leads to Allah. Personal Name of Allah اَللّٰہُ , printed in gold and then framed is Ism-e-Allah Zaat. The perfect spiritual guide gives it to disciples for invocation (zikr) and contemplation (tasawur) in a special manner. It has very special effects on the soul of the devotee. Sultan Bahoo says;
- Ism-e-Allah Zaat is exactly the Divine Essence. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Without the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, neither the inciting innerself dies nor the soul vivifies. Even if a person keeps reciting the Holy Quran for his whole life or keeps learning lessons of Islamic laws. Because the sanctification of inward only lies in eternal invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Sultan ul Faqr sixth Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali says;
- Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the greatest name of Allah i.e. the Ism-e-Azam. It affects only when seeker acquires it from the perfect spiritual guide who is the possessor of Divine secret.
- Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the key to one’s soul. (Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali-Life and Teachings)
Universal Divine Man of the era Sultan ul Ashiqeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says;
- Everyone has a name which is different from his essence. But since Allah has no partners, therefore, He is one in His name and Essence.
- Sustenance for human soul is the luminosity of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. When soul gains this sustenance, it acquires the sight to have Divine vision.
Q. What are the special effects of invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat?
In Holy Quran Allah says:
اَلَا بِذِکۡرِ اللّٰہِ تَطۡمَئِنُّ الۡقُلُوۡبُ ط
Meaning: Surely in the invocation (zikr) of (Ism-e-Allah Zaat) اَللّٰہُ do inwards find peace. (Al-Raad 28)
That is to say, soul finds peace in invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat because it provides nourishment and strength to it. Our soul is living creation of Allah and like every living creature it requires food for its strength and life. Since, soul is related to the Divine world, so nothing of this material world can give it strength. It actually needs strength to break the cage of physical body and travel to Allah. Hence, only the invocation of Allah’s name can give it the required strength.
Sultan ul Faqr sixth Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali says;
- Contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat removes rust from the mirror of inward, eventually making it bright and clear.
- A person gets self-realization and recognition of Allah only through Ism-e-Allah Zaat. No other invocation, meditation or devotional prayer can unlock the closed door of his soul. (Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali-Life and Teachings)
Q. How the effects of invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat reach the soul?
Allah says in the Holy Quran;
وَ اذۡکُرۡ رَّبَّکَ فِیۡ نَفۡسِکَ تَضَرُّعًا وَّ خِیۡفَۃً وَّ دُوۡنَ الۡجَہۡرِ مِنَ الۡقَوۡلِ بِالۡغُدُوِّ وَ الۡاٰصَالِ وَ لَا تَکُنۡ مِّنَ الۡغٰفِلِیۡنَ
Meaning: And invoke your Holy Lord’s personal name اَللّٰہُ with your breath. With humility and tearful submissiveness and secretly and without loud voice, morning and evening and be not among the neglectful. (Al-A’raf 205)
In this verse ‘invoke secretly’ means to invoke within oneself i.e. through breathing. Allah ordered to invoke His name with breaths because breath is connected to soul. As soon as soul enters body, it starts breathing and when it leaves, breathing stops. So invocation through breathing is source of strength for the soul. Just as eating from mouth is source to provide energy to the whole body. Following Hadith also prove that invocation with breath is source of spiritual life;
Meaning: Every person has counted breaths; every breath which leaves the body without invocation of اَللّٰہُ is lifeless.
Q. Why perfect spiritual guide (Murshid Kamil) is necessary to reach Allah?
Although, invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat strengthens the soul to travel to Allah. However, soul needs a guide who could show it the way and teach how to fight against tricks of Satan. Spiritual guide (Murshid Kamil) not only guides and saves the seeker from world and Satan but also cures the inner diseases. Since soul is a living creature, it surely gets ill just like all other living beings. It can never travel to Allah unless it gets rid of these diseases. Thus, spiritual guide is also spiritual doctor who cures seeker (Talib) from spiritual diseases like lust, pride, jealousy, malice, vile etc.
Q. Can’t we reach Allah without the perfect spiritual guide (Murshid Kamil)?
Except Prophets of Allah no one has ever reached Allah without a spiritual guide. Even the eminent personalities like Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhsh, Sultan Bahoo who were born a Saint took oath of allegiance to spiritual guide. How could laymen like us reach Allah without spiritual guide! We surely need someone who exactly knows the way and can save us from troubles and obstacles of the way. The Holy Prophet said;
اَلرَّفِیْقُ ثُمَّ الطَّرِیْقُ
Meaning: First find a companion then set on a journey.
لَا دِیۡنَ لِمَنۡ لَّا شَیۡخَ لَہٗ۔
Meaning: One who has no Shaikh (spiritual guide) has no faith.
مَنْ لَّاشَیْخَ یَتَّخِذُہُ الشَّیْطَان
Meaning: One who has no Shaikh, Satan surrounds him.
Q. What do you mean by “Reaching Allah” when Allah is within ourselves?
No doubt! Allah is within everyone but Satan and inciting innserself (nafs) are also within everyone. They are always diverting us away from Allah and seducing to commit sins. In the Holy Quran Allah says; فَفِرُّوۡآ اِلَی اللّٰہِ۔ meaning: “Run towards Allah”. Allah is within us but we have to run and reach him by crossing hurdles created by Satan and nafs. Our religion Islam is sirat-e-mustaqim i.e. straight path. Where does this straight path lead to? Obviously to Allah. So, although Allah is within everyone but one has to get close to him by travelling upon this straight path.
Q. How do we know whether we are close to Allah or away from him?
If you can see Allah within yourself, meet Him, talk to Him then you are close to Him otherwise not. The Holy Prophet said:
مَا مِنۡ عَبۡدٍ اِلَّا وَسَیُکَلِّمُہٗ رَبُّہٗ لَیۡسَ بَیۡنَ الۡعَبۡدِوَالرَّبِّ تَرۡجُمَانٌ وَلَا وَاسِطَۃٌ۔
Meaning: Certainly, every Momin would converse with Allah. At that time, there would neither be any interpreter nor any intermediator between Allah and His slave. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Hazrat Sultan Bahoo says:
- Prophet Moses had to go to Koh-e-Tur to converse with Allah. But for a true follower of Prophet Mohammad, his own existence is Koh-e-Tur. Because he listens to the words of Allah inside his existence. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Since soul is a living being, it has the capability of seeing, talking, thinking etc. But only when it vivifies by the attention of spiritual guide and invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. Afterwards, it also gains the felicity of vision of Allah. Hence, if the seeker has this vision, he is close to Allah.
Q. What is the difference between Sharia and Faqr?
Sharia applies upon the actions and deeds of physical body. While, the actions and deeds of soul are Faqr. Faqr is, in fact, the soul of sharia and possesses same importance as soul has for body. Physical body is lifeless and useless without soul, similarly sharia cannot benefit alone unless united with Faqr. Faqr is loving Allah and dedicating oneself to Him while sharia relates to the actions that one does to show this love and dedication. That is, to follow His orders completely with an intention to find His closeness and vision.
Actually, sharia and Faqr are inter-knitted. Without following sharia completely with true intention, a seeker cannot attain any level of Faqr. While, without following Faqr, understanding the reality of sharia is impossible.
Sultan ul Ashiqeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says;
- Without following the sacred sharia absolutely, one cannot reach any station in the way of gnosis of Allah. All levels of Faqr are gained by the blessing of sharia.
The beginning and finality of Faqr is sharia. The renouncer of sharia cannot even get close to the fragrance of Faqr.
Q. Why is it important to recognize Allah?
Allah says in Qudsi Hadith:
کُنْتُ کَنْزاً مَخْفِیًا فَاَ حْبَبْتُ اَنْ اُعْرَفَ فَخَلَقْتُ الْخَلْق لِاُعۡرَفَ۔
Meaning: I was a hidden treasure. I desired to be recognized, thus I created all the creatures for my recognition.
Hence, recognition of Allah is main purpose behind the creation of universe. Specially the human beings because being the best of all creations, Allah manifested Himself the most in humans. In the Holy Quran Allah says:
وَ مَا خَلَقۡتُ الۡجِنَّ وَ الۡاِنۡسَ اِلَّا لِیَعۡبُدُوۡنِ
Meaning: I have created humans and jins just for My worship. (51:56)
In the explanation of this verse Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas writes:
Meaning: In the verse “I have created humans and jins just for My worship”, (for worship) in fact means (for My recognition or gnosis).
Failure in fulfilling this purpose of life would obviously result in wrath of Allah. As He has declared in the Holy Quran;
وَ مَنۡ کَانَ فِیۡ ہٰذِہٖۤ اَعۡمٰی فَہُوَ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ اَعۡمٰی۔
Meaning: And whoever remains blind (to Divine vision) in this world will be blind in hereafter as well. (Bani Israil 72)
اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیْنَ کَفَرُوْ بِاٰیٰتِ رَبِّھِمْ وَ لِقَآئِہٖ فَحَبِطَتْ اَعْمَالُھُمْ فَلَاْ نُقِیْمُ لَھُمْ یَوْمَ الْقِیٰمَۃِ وَزْن
Meaning: It is those who have denied the signs of their Lord and His vision, so all their deeds are ruined. And We shall not give any weight or (even) any worth to them (and their deeds) on Day of Rising. (Al-Kahf 105)
Q. What references do we get about Bait (Oath of Allegiance) from Quran and Sunnah?
We get many authentic references of oath of allegiance from Quran and Sunna. In the Holy Quran Allah Says;
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ یُبَایِعُوۡنَکَ اِنَّمَا یُبَایِعُوۡنَ اللّٰہَ ؕ یَدُ اللّٰہِ فَوۡقَ اَیۡدِیۡہِمۡ ۚ فَمَنۡ نَّکَثَفَاِنَّمَا یَنۡکُثُ عَلٰی نَفۡسِہٖ ۚ وَ مَنۡ اَوۡفٰی بِمَا عٰہَدَ عَلَیۡہُ اللّٰہَ فَسَیُؤۡتِیۡہِ اَجۡرًا عَظِیۡمًا (الفتح۔10)
Meaning: Indeed, those who pledge allegiance to you, (O Mohammad) they are actually pledging allegiance to Allah. The Hand of Allah is upon their hands. So, he who breaks his words only breaks it to the detriment of himself. And he who fulfills that which he has promised Allah, He will give him a great reward. (Al-Fath 10)
لَقَدۡرَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ اِذۡ یُبَایِعُوۡنَکَ تَحۡتَ الشَّجَرَۃِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ فَاَنۡزَلَ السَّکِیۡنَۃَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ (الفتح۔18)
Meaning: Certainly, Allah was pleased with the believers when they pledged allegiance to you (O Mohammad) under the tree. And He knew what was in their hearts. So He sent down tranquility upon them and rewarded them with an imminent conquest. (Al-Fath 18)
Since, Quran is not fixed to any time period, rather is universal, hence any action which Allah appreciates in Quran is appreciable forever. Furthermore, His warnings are also applicable on Muslims of every era.
The Holy Prophet was spiritual guide for his Companions. He guided them on path to Allah. After he left the world his spiritual heirs, whom he passed on the treasure of Faqr, executed the same duty. Their chain continued and are still present in the world to guide seekers of Allah. That is why the Holy Prophet said;
Meaning: A Shaikh among his disciples is like a Prophet among his nation.
مَنْ مَّاتَ وَلَیْسَ فِیْ عُنْقِہُ بَیْعَۃٌ مَاتَ مَیْتَۃً جَاھِلِیَّہً
Meaning: One who died in the state that he has not taken oath of allegiance to spiritual guide, he died as an ignorant.
Q. How can we find a true spiritual guide (Murshid) in this age of fraud?
It is certainly not correct that true and perfect spiritual guides are not present in this age. They are always present in every age to guide the true believers. Problem is only with one’s own intentions. Usually, people never purely want to find Allah. Rather they sometimes demand comforts of this world and sometimes the pleasures of heaven. It is the law of nature that everyone will find according to his/her intentions. Those who really and truly want Allah are never misguided because Allah has promised to guide them Himself.
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ جَاہَدُوۡا فِیۡنَا لَنَہۡدِیَنَّہُمۡ سُبُلَنَا ؕ وَ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَمَعَ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ
Meaning: And those who struggle for My Closeness, I certainly guide them in My way. (Al-Ankabut-69)
Sultan-ul-Faqr sixth Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali says;
I have heard that these days true spiritual guides are rare. Instead, fraudulent and cheats are available everywhere in the guise of spiritual guides. Well! If you will seek world or heaven instead of Allah then you will be definitely deceived by such people. However, the true seeker who really wants proximity of Allah never becomes victim of such people. Because his protector is He (Allah) in whose search he has set out. (Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali-Life and Teachings)
Q. What are the qualities of a perfect spiritual guide (Murshid Kamil)?
Perfect spiritual guide is infact the Universal Divine Man (al-Insan al-Kamil) who is present in every era. He is only one in his era to rectify the religion of heresies which people add in it. In other words, he is the reviver of religion. He is at the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad and guides his disciples according to the teachings of Holy Prophet. His most prominent feature is that he never indulges his disciples in excessive physical prayers. Rather he lays emphasis on strengthening spiritual relationship with Allah through invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat.
Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo describes the qualities of perfect spiritual guide in all his books. He says;
- Listen! Perfect spiritual guide is one who gives beautifully written Ism-e-Allah or Ism-e-Mohammad to seeker of Allah and shows him Reality. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
The perfect spiritual guide is one who never indulges his disciples in lengthy recitals, invocations and reflections. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Q. Have you found the Universal Divine Man of this era?
Yes! All disciples of Sultan ul Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman bear witness that he has all qualities and signs of Divine Universal Man (Insan e Kamil). He is undoubtedly unique in his spiritual status in this age. He grants his every disciple Sultan-ul-Azkar Hoo and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat on first day of allegiance. Moreover, he never involves his disciples in lengthy physical devotions. In addition, he is dedicatedly spreading the true religion and rectifying it of heresies through his books and other media. These all are signs that he certainly is the perfect spiritual guide possessing Divine light of guidance. As well as the reviver of religion in this age. Furthermore, his every attribute proves that he is truly at the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad. Through him many seekers of Allah have found vision of Allah and presence in the Mohammadan Assembly.