The Perfect Spiritual Guide
( Murshid Kamil Akmal )
Invocation (zikr) and contemplation (tasawur) of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and Ism-e-Mohammad can lead to Allah only if done under the guidance of perfect spiritual guide (Murshid Kamil) who knows the path of union with Allah (visal-e-Illahi). Whenever one wants to travel an unknown destination, he certainly seeks guidance. Just like a person who wants to learn a skill or get education, seeks an instructor. Similarly, esoteric path of Faqr is unknown to the devotee. Moreover, Satan like a brigand, lies in ambush to deceive and mislead so that one may never reach Allah. In the Holy Quran Allah says:
اَلشَّیۡطٰنُ یَعِدُکُمُ الۡفَقۡرَ وَ یَاۡمُرُکُمۡ بِالۡفَحۡشَآءِ
Meaning: Satan forbids you to (join the way of) Faqr and enjoins you to commit indecent acts. (2:268)
Our Holy Prophet said:
مَنْ لَّاشَیْخَ یَتَّخِذُہُ الشَّیْطَان
Meaning: Verily, Satan surrounds the one who is not led by spiritual guide.
Certainly, if seeker does not acquire company of perfect spiritual guide, Satan can easily mislead him. Only the perfect spiritual guide can save him from scams of Satan and temptations of innerself (nafs). Eventually, takes him to the destination. Without spiritual guide, no matter how pious and devoted one is, one can never attain gnosis (marifa) of Allah.
The Holy Prophet further said;
اَلرَّفِیْقُ ثُمَّ الطَّرِیْقُ
Meaning: Find a companion first and then set on a journey.
Perfect spiritual guide is the one who completely knows the path to Allah. Hence, his company and guidance is inevitable on the path to Allah.
COMMAND TO FOLLOW A SPIRITUAL GUIDE IN QURAN
In Quran, Allah also emphasizes to follow such spiritual guide who is accomplished in invocation;
فَسۡـَٔلُوۡۤا اَہۡلَ الذِّکۡرِ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ۔
Meaning: So ask the people of invocation if you do not know. (21:7)
Here, Allah has not ordered to seek guidance from the people of knowledge of religion but the people of invocation. People of knowledge refer to religious scholars while people of invocations are Sufis i.e. the perfect spiritual guides. Since knowledge is diverse, hence it leads different people to different perceptions. Thus, the scholars analyze the religion according to their own compass of information and approach. Eventually, ending nowhere but sectarianism. No doubt! Today sectarianism among Muslims is because of different approaches of different scholars towards the knowledge of religion. As a result, everyone is following his own version of the right path. Though there is nothing but one path.
Allah says in the Quran:
وَ اعۡتَصِمُوۡا بِحَبۡلِ اللّٰہِ جَمِیۡعًا وَّلَا تَفَرَّقُوۡا ۔
Meaning: Hold unto the single rope of Allah and do not make sections among yourself. (3:103)
Religious scholars are themselves divided into sections, how they can show path of Allah to others! Contrarily, Sufis follow the soul of religion. Moreover, spiritual guides are spiritual successors of Holy Prophet as well as custodians and heirs to his treasure of Faqr. Hence, are on his path i.e. the straight path (as-sirat al-mustaqim). They are always present in world to perform obligation of connecting men to Allah.
IMPORTANCE OF SPIRITUAL GUIDE
The spiritual guide is to a devotee, a guide, a teacher and a companion. He is also like a physician who cures the spiritual diseases like lust, vanity, greed, wile, malice, hypocrisy, arrogance etc. So as to make the seekers’ soul pure and strong enough for journeying the path of Faqr without arduousness. He cleanses their esoteric self (batin) according to the way of our Holy Prophet. As mentioned in the Holy Quran;
ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ بَعَثَ فِی الۡاُمِّیّٖنَ رَسُوۡلًا مِّنۡہُمۡ یَتۡلُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمۡ اٰیٰتِہٖ وَ یُزَکِّیۡہِمۡ وَ یُعَلِّمُہُمُ الۡکِتٰبَ وَ الۡحِکۡمَۃَ ٭
Meaning: He (Allah) is the One Who sent a Messenger among ignorant people from themselves who recites to them His revelations. He purifies (their soul) and teaches them the Book (true meaning of Quran) and wisdom”. (62:2)
In the same manner, perfect spiritual guide purifies the soul of seeker. Then, by continued invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, under the guidance of perfect guide, seeker’s soul attains ultimate sanctity. Consequently, becomes eligible for Divine vision and closeness. Hence, he performs his worships in the state of Divine presence. As the Holy Prophet said, “Salat is Miraj for a true believer.”
Spiritual guide also unfolds upon him the Divine secrets as well as hidden meaning of verses of Quran and Hadith. Thus grants him gnosis of Allah which is not written in books of outward knowledge. In short, perfect spiritual guide is the one who leads the seeker on path of betterment in both the worlds.
TEACHINGS OF SAINTS REGARDING PERFECT SPIRITUAL GUIDE
SHAIKH ABDUL QADIR JILANI
- Endeavour to join the assembly of perfect spiritual guide because it blesses with accomplishment in religion. In their celestial company and assembly a person’s inward is filled with pure love of Allah. (Ghunyat-ul-Talibeen)
- O people of Allah! You live in material world of ways and means, hence you need a medium. So, ask your Holy Lord for a spiritual doctor (spiritual guide) who would cure the diseases of your soul. Furthermore, ask Him for a healer who would give you the remedy you require. Seek such a guide who holds your hand and leads you towards the true path of salvation. (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani, Malfoozat-e-Ghausia)
- You are (spiritually) blind, find the one (perfect spiritual guide) who holds your hand. Moreover, you are ignorant, find a man of intellect. Thus, when you find one, stay in his company, follow his words and seek the rightful path from him. When under his guidance you reach the rightful path then remain there and achieve gnosis of Allah. (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)
- It is necessary for disciple to have a guide and custodian because this world is like a jungle. Here, there are many dangerous snakes and scorpions, horrible wild animals and many other kinds of disastrous dangers. The perfect spiritual guide will save him from all the catastrophes and show him the safe ways. If disciple will travel through this jungle without a guide, he will surely be harmed. (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)
- You must know that Allah is within you just like the kernel is in nut. Certainly, the perfect spiritual guide takes the true seeker to the Divine presence in a moment. Hence, blesses him with vision of Allah in such a way that he never separates from Allah during life or death in any condition. (Nur-ul-Huda).
- True spiritual guide is like a shady tree. That is to say, he endures severity of weathers himself and provides shade and comfort to those sitting under it. However, the spiritual guide should be against the (attractions of) world and the perfect follower of religion. While the seeker should trust him and should not hesitate to sacrifice wealth and life for him. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Undoubtedly, the spiritual guide is like a vigilant and skilled captain of the ship. Hence, he is aware of all the hazards of way and knows all the methods to overcome them. Without the captain, ship would surely sink. For a seeker, perfect spiritual guide himself is the ship as well as the captain. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Perfect spiritual guide is one who grants authority upon both worlds to true seeker of Allah on the very first day through Divine presence gained by contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. So that the seeker attains inward powers and satisfaction and retains his state (of Divine love). Moreover, you must know that such a powerful and comprehensive spiritual guide is only the Sarwari Qadri. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed)
SULTAN-UL-FAQR VI SULTAN MOHAMMAD ASGHAR ALI
- Perfect spiritual guide shortens the path of Faqr and gets the distance of years covered in days. No doubt, whoever travels this path without spiritual guide goes astray and never reaches the destination throughout his life. A Hadith tells “The person who does not have a Shaikh (spiritual guide) his Shaikh is Satan.”
- People who claim to have vision and closeness of Allah without the guidance of perfect spiritual guide are liars. They should not be trusted because in history of mysticism, no one ever reached Allah without guidance of spiritual guide.
- 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.
- The company of perfect spiritual guide creates Divine love in the inward of seeker.
- Perfect spiritual guide of Sarwari Qadri order is omnipresent and all powerful. However, the seeker ought to be sincere and true.
- Although a person can gain reward and spiritual ranks through worships done without the guidance of spiritual guide. However, it is impossible to gain the Divine presence, recognition and closeness of Allah without his guidance.
SULTAN-UL-ASHIQEEN SULTAN MOHAMMAD NAJIB-UR-REHMAN
- Attaining true knowledge of the Book (Quran) and wisdom is not possible without the guidance of perfect spiritual guide. It is he who saves a devotee from the scams of Satan and the inciting innerself. Eventually, takes him close to Allah, the ultimate shelter. Common people have not even heard the name of this mystic way and knowledge let alone becoming adept in it.
- In the path of Faqr, guidance of the perfect spiritual guide is pivotal. However, one should be aware of thug and fake guides. Those who set to the journey with sincere intention to search Allah are safeguarded from fake guides. Allah, in Whose search they have set out, Himself protects them, and those protected by Allah Himself cannot be misguided.
- In maelstrom of ignorance surrounding both the world and hereafter, perfect spiritual guide is beacon of hope for seeker. He steers the wobbling boat of seeker’s life, overcoming the odds and ferocity, safely to shore (destination of Divine closeness). Without the guidance of perfect spiritual guide, attaining to the stations of annihilation in Allah and being immortal with Him (Fana Fillah Baqa Billah) is mere imagination and conceit.
- Possessor of Trust of Allah, who is the man of Divine Essence, is in fact the perfect spiritual guide. He is the light of Divine guidance. If a seeker finds such spiritual guide, then it is not hard to reach the extreme level of Faqr.
Allama Iqbal said;
اگر کوئی شعیبؑ آئے میسر
شبانی سے کلیمیؑ دو قدم ہے
Meaning: Spiritual elevation from a common man to the one who converses with Allah, like Prophet Moses, is not difficult. However, the only condition is to find the perfect spiritual guide whose blessing and beneficence is everything. He is to the seeker as Prophet Jethro (Shoab) was to Moses.
In short, it is to say;
اللہ اللہ کرنے سے اللہ نہیں ملتا
یہ اللہ والے ہیں جو اللہ سے ملا دیتے ہیں
Meaning: One cannot reach Allah only by invoking His name or through physical prayers. However, the special men of Allah i.e. the perfect spiritual guides can easily lead the seeker to Him.