|MANUSCRIPTS||PHILOSPHY||PRACTICES||SUFISM IN INDIA||QURANIC WORDS|
THE HISTORY OF THE EVOLUTION OF SUFISM-
In Islam, there is the PROPHET, then his friends (Ashab-e-Rasool), his followers, their followers and sub-followers who took pride in having the proximity of the PROPHET. People got divided into many sects after the death of the PROPHET, and each group started calling itself Ahl-e-Sunnat (the real followers). Then came Hazrat Maulana Abdul Qadir Jilani and Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty and other great persons who called themselves Sufis. Thus Sufism was establishment before the third century A.H. There was great opposition to Sufis from narrow minded and dogmatic religious leaders who referred to them as non-believers. The Sufis established their Khanqahs and renounced the world. In their quiet corners they started their teaching and service to mankind, and finally a large number of enlightened people became their followers.
THE MOST IMPORTANT AIM OF SUFISM-
It is very important for a sufi to have inner qualities of goodness as well as outer qualities of piety. This helps him to become a true disciple of God (Abdul Allah). A sufi teaches that man by conquering his ‘self’ can reach a state where nothing but the love of God remains. A true sufi needs three essential qualities to reach God: to purge his heart of all doubt, to have good conduct, and not to become negligent. Through these three virtues man can achieve proximity and love of God. Then his heart will be purged of all evil values to lust, greed, falsehood and ill feelings towards fellow beings and he can be content. He thus has a self which is perfect and in tune with God’s will. Hence we see that Sufism is the real essence of shariat.
THE SOCIAL SIGNIFICANCE OF SUFISM-
If Sufism had not bestowed the true code of conduct and moral values to humanity and familiarized people with ethical and moral qualities in simple terms, there could not have been any love, unity and amity among people of different faiths, religions and denominations. The benediction of Sufis is bestowed equally on all people, no matter what their color, creed or status.
The Sufis have their own distinctive characteristics. They imbibe in themselves the qualities of conduct and the moral values that they teach. This is done with beauty and perfection, and it not only becomes exemplary but leaves a great impact on the heart and mind of men, so much so that everyone believes it be his or her own idea. These Sufis are the real followers of the PROPHET, and are necessary for civilization, otherwise there could be total neglect of religion, a great deal of strife, and the lack of any moral code. There are many examples in history of the good deeds of Sufis.
It is imperative in the world today to follow the principle and teachings of these Sufis. Only by following their example and advice about unity, brotherhood, godliness, and service and their criteria of good conduct, can we ever hope to develop goodwill and love among people and nations in the world.
SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS OF SUFISM
A SUFI IS NOT JUST ONE WHO WEARS WOOLEN CLOTHES. HE DOES NOT RENOUNCE THE WORLD. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT HE POSSESSES THE QUALITIES OF A DURVESH RATHER THAN THE APPEARANCE OF ONE. IT IS HIS WAY OF THINKING WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT RATHER THAN HIS WAY OF LIFE. SUFISM IS A COMPLEX PHENOMENON WHICH GATHERS VOLUME BY JOINING THE TRIBUTARIES FROM MANY LANDS. ITS ORIGINAL SOURCE IS THE QURAN AND THE LIFE OF THE PROPHET. SUFISM INDEED WAS A RELIGION OF INTENSE DEVOTION, LOVE WAS ITS PASSION, POETRY, SONG AND DANCE ITS WORSHIP AND PASSING AWAY IN GOD ITS IDEAL.
IMAM ABU BAKR BIN ABU ISHAQ SAYS, ‘SUFIS ARE THOSE WHOSE HEARTS ARE CLEAR FOR GOD TO LIVE IN IT AND THE REWARD HE GETS FROM GOD IS A SPIRITUALLY CLEAN OLD AGE’. A SUFI IS NEITHER A MASTER OF SOMEONE NOR IS A SERVANT OF ANYONE. WORLDLY PLEASURES HAVE NOT MADE HIM THEIR SLAVE. MYSTIC EXPERIENCE IS PRESENT IN ALL RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD. IN SUFISM, CHARACTER BUILDING IS IMPORTANT. IT IS AN EFFORT TO END THE CONFLICT BETWEEN WHAT YOU SAY AND WHAT YOU DO; WHAT YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU PROJECT. LASTLY, IT TRIES TO END CONFLICTS THAT HAVE ARISEN DUE TO CASTE AND CREED.
A SUFI DERIVES HIS STRENGTH FROM THE MEDIUM OF LOVE. IT IS A PENANCE OF A VERY HIGH ORDER. IT LEADS TO THE WAY OF ENLIGHTENMENT. HAZRAT USMAN BAGDADI SAID THAT SUFISM IS LIVING AND DYING OF GOD. HAZRAT DHUNNOON MISRI SAID, A SUFI IS ONE WHOSE SPEECH REFLECTS TRUTH. IN HIS SILENCE, EACH AND EVERY POSE OF HIS BODY SHOULD REFLECT HIS RENUNCIATION FROM WORLDLY PLEASURES. IMAM ABUL HASAN HAS SAID THAT SUFISM IS THE NAME OF A PARTICULAR CHARACTER. IT MEANS THE ABILITY TO CONQUER GREED, SLAVERY AND LUST. SUFISM DEALS WITH THE INNER LIFE AND THE HEART IS ITS SYMBOL OF LOVE. SUFIS DO NOT CONSIDER THE SOUL TO BE TEMPORARY OR MOMENTARY; IT IS EMBODIED IN EVERY PARTICLE OF THE UNIVERSE. THE QUESTION IS TO TRAVERSE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE SOUL AND THE UNIVERSE.
A SUFI SEES GOD IN EVERYTHING. WHATEVER WE SEE, FEEL, AND TASTE IS ALL TEMPORARY. IT IS GOD WHO IS SUPREME, THERE IS NOTHING OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE OF GOD. TO LEAD THE LIFE OF A SUFI, ONE SHOULD HAVE THE PATIENCE AND ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND GOD. ONLY THEN WILL ONE BE ABLE TO DEFEAT THE FEELING OF PRIDE AND JEALOUSY. SUFIS NEVER BOAST ABOUT THEIR PERSONALITY. THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN TAKING; ONLY IN GIVING WHATEVER ALMS COME TO THEM. THEIR SHARE IS VERY SMALL. MOST OF ITS DISTRIBUTED AMONG ORPHANS, RESTITUTES AND THE PEOPLE WHO VISIT. THEY ONLY WANT TO SPREAD, AMONG THE PEOPLE, THE INTERNAL LIGHT AND THE GODLY STRENGTH THEY HAVE ACQUIRED.
THE METAPHYSICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUFI STATIONS
THESE STATIONS ARE NOT MERE CONCEPTS IN THE MIND OF THE SEEKER, BUT SOLID STATE OF REALIZATION. THEY ARE STATES OF BEINGS, OR DEGREE OF CONSCIOUSNESS. THUS, THEY LEAD THE SUFI, BY STAGES TO THE ULTIMATE UNION WITH DIVINITY. ONE CAN SEE IT AS A VOLUNTARY DEATH OF WORLDLY DESIRES, PASSION, AND A RE-BIRTH IN A NEW DIVINE LIFE- TO BE RESURRECTED BY GOD HIMSELF. THIS IS THE HIGHEST STATE ONE CAN ACHIEVE.
IN SUFISM, MAN IS CONSIDERED AS THE MOST PERFECT MANIFESTATION OF GOD. HE EMBODIES IN HIS SELF ALL THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES AND PERFECTION. HE IS THE INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN GOD AND HIS CREATED ORDER. MAN IS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. HE SHARES ALL THE NAMES OR ATTRIBUTES OF GOD, BUT WHERE AS GOD IS PERFECT, MAN ACQUIRES PERFECTION. THE ONLY ATTRIBUTES THAT SEPARATE GOD FROM MAN, IS THE INTRINSIC SELF SUFFICIENCY OF GOD, AND THE DEPENDENCY AND POVERTY OF MAN. THIS THEOMORPHIC NATURE OF MAN (MAN MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD) ALLOWS HIM TO SHARE KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, AND OTHER ATTRIBUTES OF PERFECTION WITH GOD, BUT GOD IS THESE PERFECTION, AND MAN HAS THEM.
MAN, IN THE SUFI VIEW, IS THE TOTAL MANIFESTATION OF DIVINE ATTRIBUTES, AND SO IN HIM KNOWLEDGE BECOMES TOTAL. THE SUFI PATH CAN BE DESCRIBED AS THE UPWARD JOURNEY OF THE TOTAL SOUL THROUGH DIFFERENT STATIONS OF REALIZATION TO THE ULTIMATE UNION WITH GOD. THUS THE TWO SEMI-CIRCLES OF DESCENT OF MAN AND HIS ASCENT THROUGH SUFI PATH BECOME JOINED THROUGH HIM. AT EACH STATION OF REALIZATION OF MAN ACQUIRES ONE MORE ATTRIBUTES , OR NAME OF GOD. BUT GOD AND MAN HAVE TWO DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS VIS-À-VIS THESE ATTRIBUTES OR NAMES. MAN ACQUIRES OR PERFORM THESE ATTRIBUTES AND GOD RECEIVES THEM OR IS THEM.
NOW WE COMT TO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SUFI STATIONS i.e. THEIR SPIRITUAL VIRTUES. A SPIRITUAL VIRTUE IS THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF A REALITY. THE METAPHYSICAL FOUNDATION OF A SPIRITUAL VALUE IS NOT CONFINED TO THE INTELLECT BUT IS REFLECTED IN ACTION AT THE PLANE OF HUMAN WILL. INTELLECT, KNOWLEDGE AND THE WILL TOGETHER CONSTITUTE THE METAPHYSICAL FOUNDATION OF SPIRITUAL VIRTUES- WHICH ARE NOTHING BUT DIVINE QUALITIES REALIZED IN US.
FOR EVERY BASIC TRUTH THERE IS CORRESPONDING ATTITUDE OF WILL. TO KNOW IS TO BE. THE IMPORTANT FOUNDATION OF SPIRITUAL VIRTUES IS REALLY THE INTERACTION BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE AND WILL. SINCE THESE METAPHYSICAL TRUTHS ARE THE DIVINE QUALITIES, THIS MEANS THAT THE SPIRITUAL STATIONS IN SUFISM ARE INSEPARABLE FROM SPIRITUAL OR DIVINE VIRTUES. MORE EVER, VIRTUES ARE NOT EXTRANEOUS ACCIDENTS OF THE SOUL, BUT THEY CONSTITUTE THE VERY ESSENCE OF A MAN AND BY THEIR ACQUISITION ONE’S SELF IS TRANSFORMED INTO A HIGHER STAGE OF REALITY. ACQUIRING A SUFI STATION IS ACQUIRING A VIRTUE, WHICH MANIFESTS A DIVINE QUALITY. IT TAKES ONE INTO A HIGHER STATE OF PERFECTION TILL SUCH TIME THAT HE REACHES THE HIGHEST AND ULTIMATE STATE WHICH IS UNITY WITH GOD.
THERE IN NO
CONSENSUS ABOUT ENUMERATING THE DIFFERENT STATION OF SUFISM AND THEIR ORDER
OF SUCCESSION. IT IS SAID TO VARY FROM SIX TO ONE HUNDRED. BUT IN THE
ULTIMATE ANALYSIS THERE ARE THREE LEVELS OF ONE’S BEING THE SOUL, THE HEART
AND THE SPIRIT. THE ULTIMATE AIM OF TRAVERSING ALL THE VARIOUS STATION OF
SUFISM IS TO FREE ONE’S HEART TO ELEVATE THE SOUL FROM THE WORLDLY OR CARNAL,
AND TO ACHIEVE THE SPIRIT’S ASCENT TO ULTIMATE UNION WITH GOD.
|MANUSCRIPTS||PHILOSPHY||PRACTICES||SUFISM IN INDIA||QURANIC WORDS|