All praises are for Allah alone who is the Lord of all realms, the Creator of all creations and the Sustainer. He is eternal and immortal. There is nothing in both the worlds except the Divine Essence nor is there anyone else worthy of worship. Thousands of praises and salutations upon the leader of everything. Hence, he is the reason of creation, the pure existence of Holy Prophet pbuh, his sacred progeny, his companions and his devotees whose following is obligatory upon every Muslim.
CREATION OF MAN
Every created thing is the manifestation of a Divine attribute but man is the best of creation because the infinite Essence with its countless theophanies is within him. When Allah came out of Oneness to multiplicity, He first manifested the Mohammadan Light from it. Then from the Mohammadan Light, He created all the souls. These souls beheld Allah in preexistence and claimed Him to be their Lord. Further, Allah dressed them with physical form and sent them to the realm of creation which is an arena of trials. Hence, the outward of a man is a realm whose reality is mortal like the world whereas his inward is a separate realm where the Divine Essence exists and is immortal. Hence, while staying in this physical form and removing all the spiritual veils to recognize the true Lord, to behold Him, to reach Him is the sole purpose of life.
LOVE IN LIGHT OF QURAN
The beginning of this journey is from desire and Divine Love. The Divine vision is only possible through Divine Love and only the fire of Divine Love burns all other loves to ashes. Therefore, it is this love that gives refuge in both this world and the hereafter. Allah has called loving Allah intensely or Divine Love (ishq/ عشق ) as the attribute of true believers (Momins). The seed of love is present in every human being. Allah says:
وَالَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْٓا اَشَدُّ حُبًا لِّلّٰہِ۔(البقرہ165)
“…But those who believe love Allah the most (far more intensely than anyone else)…” (165:2)
This proves that faith upon Allah means to love Him intensely.
LOVE IN LIGHT OF HADITH
Man loves a lot of people and things in his life. Allah has placed all these loves in man’s heart such as that for mother, father, wife, husband, children, brother, sister, other relatives and friends, house and property, business and job, etc. However, the real love is only for Allah and His beloved Prophet Mohammad pbuh. According to a Hadith:
“Your faith does not get accomplished until I am dearer to you than your life, wife, children, house and everything else.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
Divine Love dominates all other loves. Divine Love is madness and passion, loyalty and sacrifice and place of annihilation. Further, it is to erase one’s existence and annihilate in the beloved’s existence. This ends the difference between ‘you’ and ‘I’. The beginning of creation is Divine Love. Furthermore, the creation of man was for Divine Love. The existence of Allah was a hidden and concealed treasure and then a desire of recognition arose in it. The desire of recognition within the Divine Essence was so intense that it manifested in the form of Divine Love. It was Divine Love and the desire to be loved that made Oneness spread into multiplicity from its solitude. In this passion of Divine Love, Allah created the souls of the entire creation from the Mohammadan Light.
CREATION OF LOVE
As Prophet Mohammad pbuh says:
“I am from the Light of Allah and all other creation is from my Light.”
Hence, the transfer of Divine Light to the human souls through the Mohammadan Light, was similar to the distribution of Divine Love. Unfortunately, after coming into this world, man wastes this love upon material relations instead of Allah and His prophet who are its rightful owners. In other words, the passion was for the closeness and vision of Allah was to succeed in hereafter.
LOVE IN TERMS OF SHARIA
In terms of Sharia, it is necessary to fulfill the needs of one’s relations and work for livelihood but it is utter injustice that one gets so involved in these that he turns his back towards Allah. The true seekers of Allah understand this reality and hence, following the footsteps of the Holy Prophet pbuh, they work upon their relation with Allah alongwith managing worldly responsibilities.
However, the pivot of their attention and thoughts as well as the direction of all emotions is only towards Allah. Their innerself, inward and soul is always igniting with the fire of Divine love. Hence, this fire is their life. What fear would they have of hell-fire as they have burnt in the fire of Divine love to the extent that they have converted into fire itself?
SULTAN BAHOO RA AND DIVINE LOVE
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo RA says in his book Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan:
- O ascetic! Why do you scare me by the fire of hell? I have that fire of Divine Love igniting within me whose single drop can burn down hell itself.
- If a spiritual state overpowers the lover and heaves a sigh of fire of Divine love, or puts a glance of wrath, its intensity would burn each and everything from east to west.
- O Lord! Grant me the passion of Divine love as it your greatest gift. If someone fears it, then grant it to me.
- Divine lover is always in the Divine vision and if he, out of his pain of true Divine love and strong overpowering passion, heaves a sigh, its intensity would burn each and everything from east to west. There will not remain anything on earth.
- The Mystics do not appreciate to speak or listen about anyone else because as they are always burning in wonders and fire of Divine love.
- The gnosis of the love of Allah is the destiny of the Divine lovers.
- Divine love means to kill your ‘self’.
- Passion means to burn yourself in the fire of Divine love.
SULTAN BAHOO RA’S ADVICE TO THE SEEKERS OF ALLAH
Sultan Bahoo RA advises the seekers of Allah:
- In the field of gnosis, become the companion of your beloved. If you have intellect and passion then annihilate in the gnosis of Allah, as this is the way of dying for lovers.
- The spiritual worship of lovers is to drink their own blood i.e. they are ever-struggling and in pain of Divine love. Do not focus upon their outer state.
- Lose yourself and annihilate like a moth in your love for Allah.
- In the arena of Divine love, take step with courage and love. Do not stop even if you get behead during it.
ASCETICS AND LOVERS
In addition, Sultan-ul-Arfieen Sultan Bahoo RA says in his book Mohkim-ul-Fuqara:
- There are two kinds of Fakirs; the spiritual travelers and the Divine lovers. The spiritual travelers are the men of mystic struggle and endeavors while the lovers are the men of Divine secrets and observations. The final level of a spiritual traveler is just the beginning of the Divine lover because the sustenance of lovers is the spiritual endeavors and their sleep is the Divine observation.
عشقت بتن آمد اکنون چہ کنم جان را
زیر آنکہ نشاید یک ملک دو سلطان را
Meaning: Since your love has obsessed my being, I have no idea what I should do of my own self because two kings cannot rule one kingdom.
- The lovers of Allah are neither afraid nor frightened of anybody’s reproach.
- Listen O ascetic, the laborer of paradise! The food of lovers of Allah is all Light, their stomach is like burning stove and their sleep is actually the Divine union and presence.
- Divine love is a subtle passion if arisen in the heart from the hidden and does not find peace from anyone but the Divine Beloved, neither ever turns towards the creation.
- The day when Allah, owing to His knowledge of Nature, desired to manifest the men of His Divine love in the world of creation, first He created the earth and put a glance of love and passion upon the soil of earth. By the effect of the theophany of that glance, the secrets of Divine love got embed in the soil and it gained life. Instantly, it started dancing in ecstasy and implored;
اَنَا اَلْمُشْتَاقُ فِی لِقَآ ءِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِیْن
Meaning: I am passionate to behold my Holy Lord.
FIRE OF DIVINE LOVE
From that soil, Allah created the bodies of His lovers, who remain in the state of Divine ecstasy and drowned in the ocean of Divine love till eternity. When the heart of a lover of Allah heaves a sigh out of pain of love, it extinguishes the hell fire because no fire is more intense than the fire of Divine love.
فَوَادُ قَلْبِیْ نَارٌ لِلْجَحِیْم ھُوَ یَبْرُدُھَا
Meaning: The hell fire is cooler as compared to the fire (of Divine love) burning in my heart.
The heart which is not burning in the fire of Divine love will burn in the hell fire.
مرا شد چنان آتش منزلم
کہ آتش گرفتہ ز آتش دلم
Meaning: Such fire of love blazes in my heart that eventually my heart has become fire itself. Now, everyone is catching the fire of Divine love from my heart.
REALITY OF DIVINE LOVE
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Basho RA reveals the reality of Divine Love in his book Ain-ul-Faqr:
- I am neither a pious man nor an ascetic, neither an abstainer nor a true lover or the one who keeps vigil at night. I am drowned and annihilated in Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Love is of two kinds: Divine love and metaphorical love (the metaphorical love for the manifestation of Divine Reality i.e. Murshid Kamil). Divine love is that one remembers nothing but the Divine Reality. While, metaphorical love is that the seeker passes from the ecstatic spiritual states of absorption, trance and intoxication by the invocation (of Ism-e-Allah Zaat), hence recognizes his Divine Beloved and becomes an enraptured and crazy lover. Only Allah! Everything other than Allah is lust. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
اگر در خوابم غرقِ توحید خدا یارم
وگر بیدارم باخدا یارم و ہوشیارم
Meaning: While sleeping I am drowned in the Oneness of my Divine Beloved and while awakening I am vigilantly with Him. Those who are in perfect union with Allah have His vision while sleeping as well as awakening. How can ignorants know about their states of spiritual ecstasy. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
INCIDENT OF PROPHET MOSES
- The fire of Divine love is such an intense blaze that cannot sustain except in the heart of a Dervish who is a true lover of Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Due to Divine Love, Prophet Moses desired for the Divine vision and requested Him for His vision
رَبِّ اَرِ نِیْٓ اَنْظَرْ اِلَیْکَ
Meaning: O Holy Lord! Show me (Your Beauty) so that I may savour Your splendid sight. (Al-A’raf-143)
When Prophet Moses got the theophanies of light of Divine love, his countenance illuminated with the radiance of these theophanies. Allah ordered, “O Moses! Cover your face with a veil”. All the veils that Moses put upon his face, burnt due to the intense fire of Divine love. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
IMPORTANCE OF VISION FOR DIVINE LOVE
بجز دیدارِ حق مردار باشد
کہ عاشق طالبِ دیدار باشد
Meaning: Everything is carrion except the vision of Allah, that is why true lovers seek only the vision of Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- The self which annihilates and merges in the soul, becomes one with the soul, then it worships Allah just for the sake of Allah. Allah asked Rabia of Basra RA, “Why do you worship Me? Out of the fear of hell or in the hope of heaven?” Rabia RA replied, “O’ Mighty Lord! If I worship You out of the fear of hell, do burn me in the fire of hell, if I worship You in the hope of heaven, deprive me of the heaven, but if I truly worship You for Your sake only, then please do not deprive me of the vision of Your Divine Beauty.” (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Those who are ever engrossed in Divine Love, Allah grants them their destination before the day of judgment. He adorns them with the light of His theophanies.
بیا در عشق جانی خوش بدہ خویش
کہ ہر دم می برآید جان درویش
Meaning: Come and give your life happily for the love of your Beloved. This is what Dervishes do every moment. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- An adorer Fakir is the secret of Allah. Only the men of secret know the secret behind this secret.
DIVINE LOVE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Consequently, the philosophy of Faqr revealed by Sultan Bahoo RA clarifies that Divine love is the key to success. Divine love takes one to the court of Allah. He says:
عاشق بیچارہ را جان با جاناں است
کہ ہر دم شوق خوش ترانہ آمد
Meaning: O Bahoo! The poor lover is always engrossed in the Beloved and ecstatically sings beautiful songs in His love. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
عشق دانی چیست؟ کشتن نفس خویش
روز و شب سوزش بود دِل را ریش
Meaning: You know what is love? It is to kill your ‘self’. Due to the intensity of love the lover is ever suffering from the pangs of the passion. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
زیں مراتب عاشقاں مذکور شد
ابتدا ہم نور آخر نور شد
Meaning: The status of the lovers is such that their beginning as well as their extreme stage is the Divine light. (Nur-ul-Huda)
As Allah says:
نُوْرٌعَلٰی نُوْرٍ یَہْدِی اللّٰہُ لِنُوْرِہٖ مَنْ یَّشَآءُ (النور۔35)
Meaning: Divine light is the Absolute light (light upon light). Allah blesses whom He wishes with His light. (35:24)
باھُو عاشقاں را راز این است ذکرِ ھُو گوید دوام
دم بدم ذکرِ ’’ھُو‘‘ گوید کار آن گردد تمام
Meaning: O Bahoo! The secret of lovers is that they ever remain engrossed in the invocation of “Hoo”. They reach their destination by invoking “Hoo” with their every breath. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
FAKIR AND DIVINE LOVE
Sultan Bahoo RA states about Divine Love in his book Nur-ul-Huda Kalan:
- The perfect, accomplished and comprehensive Fakir possessing the light of guidance is the beloved of Allah. The initial level of Faqr is the Divine vision. The Fakir who is the lover of Allah is the beloved of Prophet Mohammad pbuh. Whatever I say is in compliance to the following verse and not out of my own accord:
وَ اصۡبِرۡ نَفۡسَکَ مَعَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَدۡعُوۡنَ رَبَّہُمۡ بِالۡغَدٰوۃِ وَ الۡعَشِیِّ یُرِیۡدُوۡنَ وَجۡہَہٗ وَ لَا تَعۡدُ عَیۡنٰکَ عَنۡہُمۡ ۚ تُرِیۡدُ زِیۡنَۃَ الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا ۚ وَ لَا تُطِعۡ مَنۡ اَغۡفَلۡنَا قَلۡبَہٗ عَنۡ ذِکۡرِنَا وَ اتَّبَعَ ہَوٰىہُ وَ کَانَ اَمۡرُہٗ فُرُطًا ﴿۲۸﴾
Meaning: (O’ Beloved!) Stay tenaciously in the company of those who invoke their Lord morning and evening, ardently seeking (vision of) His countenance. And do not turn your eyes away from them. Do you seek the charms of worldly life (turning your attention away from these self-denying devotees)? In addition (also) do not follow him whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance and who follows the desires of his innerself, he is the one who exceeds all bounds.(28:18)
REVELATION OF DIVINE LOVE TO SULTAN BAHOO RA
In Risala Roohi Sharif, Sultan Bahoo RA revealed:
Meaning: When I reached the ultimate destination of Faqr The Divine Decree came from The Majestic Court, “You are My Lover.” I submitted, “My humble self is incapable of the Love of The Majesty.” Then it was commanded, “You are My Beloved”. On this, I kept quiet. The Sheen of Ray of Divinity submerged me into the Oceans of Divine Engrossment like a mere particle and The Divine Commandment came, “You are exactly Me and I am exactly you. With respect to haqeeqa (The Divine Reality) you are My Reality and with respect to marifa you are My Beloved and the secret of YaHoo lies in Hoo.”
On reaching this level of Divine Love, he said:
باھو عشق را بام بلند است اسم اللہ نردبان
ہر مکانے بے نشانے می برد در لامکان
Meaning: O Bahoo! The roof of Divine love is very high, the ladder to reach it is the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. It will take you to every destination, even to the station beyond all stations. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Whoever recites and learns (the reality of) Ism-e-Allah Zaat by heart, becomes the beloved of Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
LOVE FOR MURSHID AND DIVINE LOVE
In addition, Sultan Bahoo RA calls love for Murshid as the medium to Divine love. Most of his Punjabi couplets are about Divine love:
جنہاں عشق حقیقی پایا، مونہوں نہ کُجھ الاوَن ھُو
ذکر فقر وِچ رہن ہمیشاں، دم نوں قید لگاوَن ھُو
نفسی، قلبی، روحی، سرّی، خفی اخفیٰ ذکر کماوَن ھُو
میں قربان تنہاں توں باھو جیہڑے اکس نگاہ جواوَن ھُو
Explanation: The seekers of Allah who have found the real love do not remember Allah by tongue rather always remain absorbed in the invocation and contemplation within their souls. Their every breath inhales and exhales by invoking Ya Hoo ( یا ھُو ) and their beings remain engrossed in the physical, inward, spiritual, secret, hidden and concealed invocation. I sacrifice myself for such a perfect and accomplished spiritual guide who enlivens the dead souls by a single spiritual sight.
Moreover, according to teachings of Sultan Bahoo RA, Divine love is that emotion which connects the creation to the Creator. It is only Divine love, which makes the seeker get away from all inciting evils, satanic whispers and all sorts of sins to annihilate in the Divine Essence.
PHILOSOPHY OF DIVINE LOVE
Further, the beginning of Divine love (ishq-e-haqeeqi) is love for Murshid (ishq-e-majazi). The extremity of Divine love is that the lover converts into the beloved whereas the beloved converts into the lover. The religion of those who love Allah is Divine love. Neither are they customary Muslims nor like the ascetics who keep their heads bowed within mosques. The Divine lovers are those acquainted with the reality of religion and are absorbed in the Divine vision at every moment of their lives.
Furthermore, it is Divine love which shows the way to the vision of Allah. The Fakirs found the bounty of the vision of Allah only through Divine love. To start the journey of Divine love, it is incumbent upon the seeker of Allah to give his hand in the hand of his Murshid. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the Perfect Fakir of this era. Whoever wants access to the court of Allah must know that there is no other way to reach Him except this. May Allah bestow everyone with the ability to walk this path. Amen.
This article was originally published in Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore (the monthly Urdu magazine of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr) titled as ‘Ishq-e-Haqeeqi Sultan-ul-Arifeen Ki Taleemat Ki Roshni Mein’. It was originally written by Saima Wajid Sarwari Qadri and has now been translated into English by Neyn Tara Sarwari Qadri. If you wish to read the original article, please visit:
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