Three meditations of Khwaja Mo’inoddin Chishti
The real wine in a clear heart is the sign and symbol of moving about in Allah and refers to the virtues and qualities, and to the way of life to be molded according to the attributes of Allah.
The pure and purifying wine is this, that the divine grace may descend upon the heart of the faithful witness of the truth.
The real tavern is the heart. But without the guidance of the perfect spiritual guide the absorbed traveler on the way cannot understand it.
God gave to all that was non-existing such existence, that He created from the four elements four existences, likewise He created four beings and when God desired to see Himself and to see Himself and to manifest His own Self, then God, the Almighty created these four spheres which were like four pillars.
(Then a drawing is given in the midst whereof is a small circle which is surrounded by four rectangles which enclose each other).
After separating these from God they had a tripod shape and four elements, that is to say
- fire, which is related to love
In the same way as there are four seasons in the created world, there are in the existence of man childhood which is like the sowing of seed, youth which is like Spring, the age of decline which is like the beginning of Autumn and old age which is like Autumn.
- From the heart the tongue takes
water, which is sweet,
Intellect is from the brain, modesty is in the eyes, understanding is in the ear, knowledge is in the breast and thought is in the heart.
God has created four spheres, the first is fire, the second air, the third water and the fourth is earth. In heaven is the height of mystery and under this mystery is the seat of mystery itself, under the height fire is like air, under the height air is like water and under the height water is like earth and these are the downfalls and the rises. From the height of the earth is the vegetable kingdom and from the height of the vegetable kingdom is the animal kingdom and from the height of the animal kingdom is the human kingdom, and the purification of man is Noor-e-Muhammadi (the light of Muhammad) and this is the whole and sole reason of the truth. The details of this are many, but what is indispensable for the seeker has been described here.
With respect to the khirqa of the dervishes, all those who have inner knowledge are unanimous. In the “Kashf al-Mahjub” (The Revelation of the Veiled, the oldest treatise in the Persian language about Sufism) it says that the persons worthy of these robes are only those belonging to two groups, one are the extinct ones and the other the ardent longer for God. And among the great mashaykh the tradition is, that when some morid in connection with renunciation is drawn to them, then admonition is given to him (please also read: she) in three matters:
- the first is service to mankind
Hence for the sake of service to mankind he should make sure that he considers himself the servant of all, that he regards all people as his masters, that without distinction he considers them all better than himself and that he considers it reasonable that they are above him.
And in the service to God it is necessary that he should renounce the pleasures of this world and the next world and that he should perform special prayers to God.
And for meditation it is necessary that his mind should remain collected and all distractions be discarded from the heart.
When those three conditions have been obtained and the morid has become accomplished in those three matters, then he is considered to be worthy of the path of religious observance and it is befitting for him that he be clothed with the khirqa.
It has been explained that a person may receive the khirqa (the frock of the dervishes) for three reasons: the first is service to mankind, the second is service to God and the third is meditation in the heart.
That person deserves to be clothed with the khirqa who is steadfast in God. According to the traditions Saifuddin, the author of the ‘Qusus-ul-Adab’, the origin of the khirqa is the black sheet which the prophet gave to ‘Ali. He writes that shaykh Najmuddin Kubra has copied from the ‘Akhbar-e-Sahih’ that the real khirqa is the cloak which the prophet bestowed on ‘Ali and by him it was bestowed on the great mashaykh and by them it was bestowed on several persons. He said that the truth about the khirqa is this that God on account of spiritual purity bestowed the khirqa. In short the prophet made the khirqa the bestowed of the secret truths of the prophet and invested ‘Ali with the khirqa. In the ‘Rahat-ul-Qulub’ and ‘Siyar-ul-Auliya’ and various other books of the great ones on the path it is written that the dervish mantle was bestowed by God on the prophet in the night of the me’raj (his heavenly journey). That khirqa was a black garment.
But this tradition is not proved according to the authentic hadith. On the contrary the authors of these traditions have explained this as untrue and void… But as to the khirqa in reality its benefit is that it used to be the garment of the prophet and this is unquestionable and clear that the tradition of the khirqa, as has been described above, was that the pure sufis who existed from the earliest times, used to bestow this khirqa and initiation after intimate friendship, learning and discipline. This being a test of the refining of the qualities of the ego. This custom of the khirqa was made known in the time of shaykh Junayd of Baghdad and after him this custom of initiation arose.
The 23rd way
of ma’refat (gnosis)
The first stage is that of
helpers, which refers to Adam.
If a dervish with the help of the teaching of the morsheds is not aware of the above mentioned stages he is only a beginner
Persuasion to serve your morshed
Turning towards Hazrat Qutub al-Aqtab he said: “When I joined the Shaykh al-Islam Sultan al-Mashaykh Hazrat Khwaja Uthman Haruni (on whose grave is the light of God) and when the honor of bayat (initiation) bestowed on me was received with absolute sincerity, then for eight years I did not give myself a single moment of rest in the service of my morshed. Wherever he traveled this humble servant, carrying his bedding and luggage on his head, remained in his company.
Pir-o-morshed, after seeing such service and devotion from me, gave me such a gift as is beyond limits. Then he said: ‘Whoever received, received through service and devotion’. It is incumbent upon the morid not even slightly to diverge from the order of the morshed. Whatever the morshed has ordered in the way of prayer and wazifa give full attention to it do according to it so that you reach that stage where the pir is the beautifier of the morid. When a pir suggests to his morid to do something, it is for the sake of attainment of perfection for the morid”.
Outward infidelity is this that on account of numerous deeds, customs and habits one be desirous of fame and praise among the people; that is to say that one considers the people, without the intermediary of God, as the source of the fulfillment of desires and may have the hope of success from them. As this fact is ungodly, therefore such considerations in the heart are idols. The sincere people of the inner path call this outward infidelity.
Someone asked shaykh Sa’di what is initiation and what is being a pir and what is being a morid. He said: ‘Initiation is this that you grasp the hand of the pir and act according to his guidance. The refraining from habits is called initiation, that is to say, keeping aloof from former habits and accepting the pir’s advice and always remembering God. Being a morid is this, that you always, in presence and in absence, are in obedience and respect for the morshed and that you are always with heart and soul present in the company of the pir, that you abstain from treacherous deeds, that you remain in permanent union night and day in remembering God according to the order of the morshed…’.
‘Abdullah Ansari has said: ‘To bestow initiation, to cut the hair on the head of the morid, to make a morid, to guide and to help the morid to reach God is a great task. Without the training of a perfect morshed the beginning morid cannot attain the nearness of God’.
Khwaja Shibli has written that spiritual exercises are of two kinds, real and outward. Outward religious exercises consist of eating little, speaking little and remaining away from the world, but the real spiritual exercise is to polish the mirror of the heart through the secret remembrance.
The memorisation of the Qur’an is of two kinds, one unreal and one real. To memorize the Qur’an without understanding its meaning is unreal memorization and the real memorization is that of reciting the Qur’an in the heart.
Unity is also of two kinds, one unreal and one real. The unreal union is this, that in the world of jabarut and lahut, through the secret remembrance, the true seeker with the service of remembrance in his heart will with heart and soul attain the intoxicating effect of love. Only after achieving perfection in the unreal union can one reach the real union. The real union consists in this, that the real seeker, leaving aside self-seeking, self-seeing and his own existence, reaches the state of union with God. As long as the seeker looks at himself he will not see God. When the seeker does not see himself in between, he will reach the perfect union with God.
The eighteenth way of ma’refat
Shaykh Sultan Ibrahim Adham said: “I have for years together remained in prayer, idle deeds, the practice of the customs, recitation, the use of the rosary and I spent my whole life in the company of the learned ones, the ascetics and the saliks who are not majzub. However I did not attain even the perfume of the knowledge of God, but when I stayed in the company of Hazrat Khwaja Fuzayl Ayaz I reached the perfect goal.
It is said that Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi was the leader of the scholars of Islam. He had in his library 2954 books and he had 976 pupils. He used to hold discussions with these scholars, he was involved in self-love and arrogance and he considered himself as having reached union with God. But when he got attached to the Qutb (the pole) of the Auliya (friends of God), Shams Tabrizi, he left books, paper and lectures and through the company and the spiritual training of the Shaykh, he, after acquiring nearness to God attained unity in God.
For knowing God there are
fourteen famous kinds of knowledge:
13. The knowledge of haqiqat,
that is to say the knowledge of the world of jabarut.
The following is taken from the twenty-fifth way of ma’refat:
One day shaykh Abdullah Ansari
asked God: ‘O, God! What is the first thing and what is its end,
that is to say, what is its result?’
Then he asked: ‘What is
annihilation, fidelity and permanent existence?’
am unconscious and intoxicated by the wine of Your love,
The fifteenth way of ma’refat
“Ahmad al-Ghazzali [he is the brother of the more famous Muhammad al-Ghazzali – d. 1111] has said: “One who has no shaykh, has no faith, who has no faith has no illumination, who has no illumination has no feelings, who has no feelings has no love…” The saints are under my cloak, others cannot recognize them.
When the morid has obtained the nearness of a mushid, but has not received the khirqa, then his [her] intentions are not right…
There are two groups of dervishes. One groups abstains from possessions and positions and also avoids being shaykhs… The second group after renunciation chooses satisfaction and resignation. This group is recognized as being worthy of sitting as spiritual superiors, of giving initiation, of giving training and spiritual education to others. But the first group after abstaining from this idea, adopts retirement in loneliness and contentment, as there is the element of distraction and carelessness in being in the company of the people of the world. When the people of the world come to these people and present something, although it is lawful, even so these people do not accept it and keep away from the world just as people run away from a tiger.
[There are of course more types. Some may retire in lonely places, others however ‘hide’ in the big cities. Some have no direct value for their fellow humans, others who do not wish to be shaykhs can be of service to others in several ways; ]
[Khwaja Mo’inuddin Chishti] said:
“The angel Gabriel asked the prophet Abraham, the friend of God:
“Do you need anything?”
[Khwaja Mo’inuddin Chishti] said: “I have heard from my brother, shaykh Shahabuddin Umar Suhrawardi that in the world there are two things which are good as a rule of conduct. First being in the company of a faqir, secondly respecting the friends of God (awliya)”.
He said: “The messenger of God has said: ‘He is weakest who does not keep true to his word’.”
He said: “When Adam was expelled
from Paradise, everything except gold and silver wept about the
condition of Adam.
“Gharib Nawaz says that if one
wishes to protect oneself from the hell-fire, one should try to
discharge one’s duties of worship and prayer to God. It should
be remembered that there is no better thing before God than
Generosity in almsgiving
Such was the condition of his (Khwaja Mo’inuddin Chishti’s) generosity that whenever there came a beggar or a needy person, the latter did not go from his door without having received some help. Hazrat Qutb Sahab said: ‘I have remained in his company for a long time, but I have never seen any beggar or needy one go from his door unhelped’.
Persuasion not to omit the repetition of the names of God and wazifas
He (Khwaja Mo’inuddin Chishti) said: “If you have voluntarily undertaken to do the repetition of a sacred name of God, you should do it daily. If you cannot do it during the day, do it during the night, but you must definitely fulfill it because in the hadith it is written that the abstainer from repetition is cursed”.
Then in connection with this occasion he narrated as follows: “One day Mawlana Raziuddin fell from his horse and his foot was hurt. When he came home he thought: ‘How did this misfortune befall me?’ He recalled that he used to recite the Sura YaSeen after the morning prayers, but on that day he had not done it”.
Then in connection with that occasion he narrated as follows: “Khwaja Abdullah Mubarak on a certain occasion failed to perform his wazifa. At that moment there came a voice from the unseen saying: ‘O, Abdullah! Perhaps you are oblivious of the promise you have given as you have not performed the wazifa to-day”.”
Then he said: “Whatever has been mentioned by our spiritual leaders in the way of repetition of sacred names of God, that I do, you too should perform the same.