Essence of Islam
لفظ اسلام سے اگر یورپ کو کد ہے تو خیر
دوسرا نام اسی دین کا ہے فقرِ غیور
Meaning: It does not matter if Europe resents the word ‘Islam’. Indeed another name for the same religion is ‘Faqr’, the most honoured.
Allama Iqbal elucidated in the above verses that if Europe has enmity with the name of Islam then another name of Islam is Faqr and this is the true Islam.
What is Faqr?
What is Faqr? It is the real legacy of Prophet Mohammad. Its beginning as well as accomplishment lies in sharia.
Sultan Bahoo says:
- The true and perfect man is the one who never steps out of sharia whether he has been experiencing the spiritual states of spiritual intoxication, spiritual frenzy, spiritual contraction and spiritual expansion since eternity or he is an eternal Divine lover and a man of Divine secrets. If he will do so, all his special ranks will be confiscated and he will be left perplexed in a rapturous state. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Faqr is to Islam as soul is to body
Indeed, Faqr is the soul of Islam. As human body is dead and worthless without a soul, likewise Islam is nothing without Faqr. Similarly, Faqr is like the nut of almonds whose chief substance is under a cover. In brief, the outer cover of Faqr is sharia. Moreover, Faqr is similar to sun; as sun provides energy and food to the plants and illumines every part of the earth, in the same way Faqr illuminates Deen.
Faqr is a sun
Sultan Bahoo says about Faqr:
گر آفتاب گم شود عالم خراب
فقر فیض و فضل بخش آفتاب
Meaning: If sun hides, it will cause desolation in the universe. In fact, Faqr is the sun which imparts blessings and bounties. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Golden words of Prophet of Islam
The Lord of the universe, Holy Prophet says:
اَلۡفَقۡرُ فَخۡرِیۡ وَالۡفَقۡرُ مِنِّیۡ
Meaning: Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me.
اَلْفَقْرُ فَخْرِیْ وَالْفَقْرُ مِنِّیْ فَافْتَخِرُّ بِہ ٖ عَلیٰ سَائِرِ الْاَنْبِیَآءِ وَالْمُرْسَلِیْنَ
Meaning: Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me and Faqr is the reason of my superiority over all the Prophets and Messengers. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
اَلْفَقْرُکَنْزٌ مِنْ کَنُوْزِ اللّٰہِ تَعَالٰی
Meaning: Faqr is one of the treasures of Allah.
Faqr in the light of a perfect Fakir’s teachings
Golden words of Sultan Bahoo
Sultan Bahoo says about Faqr:
- Faqr is exactly the Divine Essence. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Faqr is in fact the knowledge of Divine vision. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Whoever wants to have Divine vision and proximity, must acquire Faqr. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Faqr Is Pride of Prophet Mohammad
- One must know that pursuing Faqr is in fact seeking Allah and His Prophet. Hence, it is following the sacred Companions and Saints. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
- You must know that all the Prophets requested Faqr but Allah did not grant their request. Actually, Allah bestowed Faqr upon Prophet Mohammad who entrusted it to his umma. Moreover, this Faqr of Prophet Mohammad is his pride and Faqr is the ultimate beneficence. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
- Faqr manifests from light of Allah because the universe manifests from light of Faqr. In fact, it is guidance. Moreover, Faqr is a countenance which is beautiful to such an extent that both the worlds love it. However, Faqr does not pay heed to anything but by the Divine order and permission of the Holy Prophet. (Taufeeq-ul-Hadayat)
Golden words of Sultan ul Faqr VI
A few sayings of Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali about Faqr:
- Faqr is the real legacy of Prophet Mohammad. Therefore, the heir to this legacy is his true heir.
- Faqr is the path of loving Allah only and ardently.
- Faqr is actually the knowledge of Divine vision and the presence in Mohammadan Assembly.
- On the ultimate destination of Faqr the worldly wealth and riches, ranks and dignity, pomp and show, peace and luxury, life and prestige, the appetites of this world and the hereafter, rather everything parishes in Divine love. Man becomes indifferent to both the worlds in His love.
Faqr- The Straight Path
- The real straight path is the Holy Prophet himself. One who has reached his assembly covering the stages of Faqr, has found the straight path.
- All the way stations and levels in the path of Faqr are covered by the spiritual sight and inward attention of the perfect and accomplish spiritual guide, by the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and by inscribing Allah’s name on body. Hence, there is no source to reach the height of Faqr other than this.
Golden words of Junayd of Baghdad
Junayd of Baghdad says in Ma’ali al-Himam:
- Faqr is vacating innerself from delusions (everything other than Allah).
Golden words of Nizamuddin Auliya
Nizamuddin Auliya describes the splendour of Faqr as:
- Faqr is a key to perfect annihilation from this world and the hereafter.
In the words of Allama Iqbal
Allama Iqbal also termed Faqr, the real Islam. As per him Faqr is real legacy of Prophet Mohammad.
Golden words of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen
The present Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri Order, the Reviver of Religion and perfect spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen says:
- Faqr is patience.
- Perfect submission to Divine will is Faqr.
- Faqr is sacrifice.
- The greatest reward in the path of Faqr is Allah Himself.
- Faqr is that spiritual path which takes the slave of Allah to Allah.
Divine Closeness Is Possible In Faqr Only
- Faqr is the most elevated spiritual level where a person becomes indifferent to all kinds of needs. He is only concerned about Allah’s will. Hence, he always adapts himself to fate destined to him by Allah. Moreover, he asks for nothing except the closeness of Allah and does not purport of anything other than Allah. At this point interference in Allah’s ordain and will is a sin to him. Indeed, he demands nothing from Allah except His Divine Self.
Faqr Is the Way of the Pious
From these golden sayings it is as clear as sun that Faqr is in fact the essence of Islam. It has been the way of perfect Saints and our righteous ancestors to gain Divine closeness. But contemporary scholars and westernised classes, due to their ignorance of this Divine knowledge, have shifted the attention of the masses from this path to superficiality. Resultantly, common people have forgotten the relation of the soul and Allah. They have tangled themselves in physical deeds and external prayers. Our Holy Prophet has declared Faqr his pride. It is ironically sad that nowadays, Muslims are as ignorant and unfamiliar to Faqr as Non-Muslims.
Allah had blessed the Holy Prophet with innumerable marvels, qualities and virtues. But he never expressed pride on any of his virtues; neither on faithfulness, justice, piety or beauty, nor on munificence, renunciation of the world and submission to the Divine will except Faqr.
Holy Prophet said it from his own sacred tongue:
- “I am the beloved friend of Allah but I did not proud of it.”
He further said,
- “Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me.”
Faqr is a gift
Nowadays how can a Muslim understand the reality of Faqr, the soul of Islam? Whereas, he considers offering prayers five times a day, fasting in the month of Ramadhan along with other outward prayers as complete religion, and keeps discussing his small good deeds. While the Holy Prophet has narrated this fact:
- In the world Faqr is a gift (of Allah) for a true believer.
Faqr & the pillars of Islam
The veritable reality of sharia is gained only by treading the path of Faqr. Veils of baser innerself can only be removed by travelling through it and true seeker gains proximity and Divine vision. Only then he would offer his prayers with true essence. In fact every worship is relishing and a source of tranquility only after Divine proximity and vision. One can achieve this level only treading the path of Faqr.
Oneness of Allah (Tawhid)
Oneness of Allah is the fundamental principle of Islam. Its meanings are very simple and facile for masses whereas Mystics have their own deep meanings. One who is reciting shahadah by tongue could be a Muslim but not a Mumin. Because confessing with the tongue that there is no god but Allah, but to keep the love for wealth, relatives and family in heart is not true faith. Whereas, Faqr is to turn away from everything and turns toward Allah whole heartedly. Moreover, it is reciting shahada by heart as well.
Saying of Ali ibn Abi Talib:
Ali ibn Abi Talib said,
- I do not pray Allah Almighty unless I see Him”.
Prophet Mohammad says:
اَلصَّلٰوۃُ مِعْرَاجُ الْمُؤْمِنْ
Meaning: Salat is the Miraj of a Mumin.
The word used in above mentioned hadith is Mumin not just a Muslim. Faqr is a path of becoming a mumin through spiritual Miraj.
In the words of Holy Quran:
Allah says in Holy Quran:
قَدۡ اَفۡلَحَ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ۙ﴿۱﴾ الَّذِیۡنَ ہُمۡ فِیۡ صَلَاتِہِمۡ خٰشِعُوۡنَ ۙ﴿۲﴾
Meaning: Certainly, the believers have attained their goal. Those who become most humble and submissive in their Prayers. (Al-Mu’minun: 1-2)
The Holy Prophet says:
- Offer Salat as if you are saying goodbye to somebody.
It means that we are saying goodbye to our inner baser self because to meet Allah and have His Divine Vision, the soul should be as pure as it was when Allah sent it into this materialistic world. Allah is the One and only, so He wants to be loved the way He is, the Perfect One. So Allah doesn’t stay in that heart which is already occupied by somebody else. When a Mumin offers his Salat he says goodbye to all the worldly desires and meets his ultimate Love. His heart and soul are completely present and he submits himself before Allah Almighty humbly. This spiritual state can only be gained after treading on the path of Faqr.
Fasting in the Month of Ramadhan
Similarly, the reality of fasting in Faqr is different for a believer and traveler of the path of Faqr. Fasting is not merely controlling hunger and lusts. The Holy Prophet says:
- There are many people who observe fast and gain nothing from it except starvation and thirst.
That is why, it is said that there are many people who apparently observe fast but actually they do not and there are many who are outwardly not in the state of fasting but inwardly they are i.e. they refrain themselves from the acts that are forbidden in sharia and also refrain physically and spiritually from all the diseases of inner baser self i.e. pride, arrogance, vanity, greed, malignance, prejudice, narcissism and conceit etc.
Allah says in a Qudsi Hadith:
- Fasting is for Me and I am its reward.
Only true seekers of Allah are the ones who sacrifice not only hunger and thirst for Divine closeness, but also all the desires of the inner baser self. They control the lusts of inner baser self not only during the month of Ramadhan, but also throughout their lives. Hence, they spent their whole life in the state of fasting.
Similarly, the esoteric meaning of Hajj is different which is revealed only after treading on the path of Faqr. The purpose of performing Hajj is not that the pilgrim returns home after seeing the Holy Ka’aba and visiting the holy sites. Instead, its real aim is to be blessed with the Divine presence and observation. Hajj is a journey exclusively performed for the sake of Allah. It is spending one’s time and wealth and reaching at those sacred places where there are present the signs of Allah. It is necessary to break all the idols of the innerself before going into the outward Ka’aba and perform the rituals. At the site of the Jamarat, besides stoning of outer devil it is necessary to kill inner lusts and devil inside.
In Faqr, spending money in the way of Allah for the sake of Allah results in the death of inner baser self and inward purity. It is a great virtue. The literal meaning of zakat is to purify. We should keep in mind the examples of sacred companions of the Holy Prophet while spending money. The heart of Abu Bakr Siddiq was free from the worldly desires so that he gave away his wealth, possessions and slaves in the way of Allah.
In the words of Holy Quran:
وَ یَسۡـَٔلُوۡنَکَ مَا ذَا یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ ۬ؕ قُلِ الۡعَفۡوَؕ کَذٰلِکَ یُبَیِّنُ اللّٰہُ لَکُمُ الۡاٰیٰتِ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَتَفَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۲۱۹﴾ۙ
Meaning: And they also ask you about what they should spend. Say: ‘(Spend) whatever is surplus to your needs.’ Thus does Allah make His commandments clear to you so that you may meditate. (Al-Baqarah-219)
Faqr & Its True Heirs
Faqr is a form of spiritual training. It is a pure sentiment and is not the legacy of any sect, group or lineage. It is Allah’s bounty and He gives it to whom He wills.
ذٰلِکَ فَضۡلُ اللّٰہِ یُؤۡتِیۡہِ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ ذُو الۡفَضۡلِ الۡعَظِیۡمِ ﴿۲۱﴾
Meaning: This is Allah’s bounty which He gives to whom He wills. And Allah is the Lord of infinite bounty. (Al-Hadid-21)
Shaikh abd al-Qadir Jilani, Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo, Sultan-ul-Tarikeen Sultan Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah Madni Jilani, Sultan-ul-Faqr Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali and all the perfect spiritual guides of Sarwari Qadri Order have spent their whole life in spreading the teaching of Faqr and its beneficence to general public.
In the present age of materialism, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman, the present Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri Order is struggling hard day and night for spreading the beneficence of Faqr in every nook and corner of the world. He is using all available resources to spread the teachings and beneficence of Faqr. All his efforts to promote the teachings of Faqr show that he is on the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad. He advises all his disciples to follow sharia. Through his spiritual attention and persuasion, he is filling the hearts of the seekers with Divine light. This proves that he is the treasure of Faqr. May Allah give us the strength to walk through the path of Faqr with great courage and strength. Amen
فقر اساسِ اسلام is an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the month of October, 2019. Originally penned by Arshia Khan Sarwari Qadri is presented in English by Faiza Gulzar Sarwari Qadri exclusively for the website. Do not forget to visit the original article to which you only have to click the link: https://www.mahnama-sultan-ul-faqr-lahore.com/october-2019-faqr-asas-e-islam/