Please click the Button to continue reading…
Faqr (Al Faqr) literally means indigence; usually taken for poverty, pauperism, destitution and the like. In Islam ‘Faqr’ is the way or course that removes all the veils between Allah and man, hence, bestowing him with His Deedar (Vision) and Visal (Union). Indeed ‘Faqr’ is the soul of true Islam. Modern scholars and occidentals, being strangers to this way of our great sufi saints and pious predecessors, have diverted people at large, to superficial values and acts. Hence, they have forgotten their connection with Allah and soul, and have been entangled into the rituals and physical prayers solely. Today Muslims are as strangers to the word ‘Faqr’ and its reality as the non-Muslims are. Even though, our Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam declared Faqr (Al Faqr) as his pride and attributed Faqr especially to his Holy Self. He Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam said:
Meaning: Faqr (Al Faqr) is my pride and Faqr (Al Faqr) is from me
Allah the Greatest has bestowed our Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam with countless marvels and virtues but he took pride in none of them. Neither on truth, justice, piety, generosity, patience, bravery, nor on his abdication, trust in Allah, eloquence, honesty, dignities and truthfulness, not even on his family lineage. Even, it is stated in Mishkat-al-Musabih that the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam said “I am Habib (the beloved friend) of Allah but I don’t take pride in it.” He took pride in Faqr only. Similarly, all the religious precepts and branches of knowledge originate from him. All the basic beliefs and devotions, Quran and Hadith reach the Muslim ummah through him, but he Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam never attributed any branch of knowledge to himself, except “Faqr”.
Faqr means that degree of soul’s ascension to Allah where His Deedar (Vision) and Visal (Union) were bestowed upon the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam at Shab-e-Meraj (the Night of Ascension to Allah). On that night he prayed Allah to bestow this great blessing of His Deedar and Visal as a gift for his Ummah. Allah blessed him with the gift of Saum and Salat (fasts and prayers) for the apparent purity and with the Light of Faqr for the internal and intrinsic sanctity of the soul, thus opened the way to access Allah for the Ummah of Hazrat Mohammad Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam. Before our Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam, requests of the previous prophets to His Deedar (Vision) were responded to as لن ترانی “you cannot see me”. Allah be exalted, conferred this blessing only upon His beloved Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam and through him to the Mohammadans. It is the greatest blessing of this universe and there is no such pleasure as the pleasure of Deedar-e-Elahi (the Divine Vision). This great blessing is the one for which all the prophets prayed to be Mohammadans. By Allah’s grace, this is what excels our Holy Prophet over all the prophets and the Mohammadans over all the other Ummahs. Our Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam declares:
Meaning: Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me and Faqr (Al Faqr) is the reason of my superiority over all the prophets and messengers. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Meaning: The Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam said “Faqr (Al Faqr) is not appreciable for the people in this world but on the Doomsday, it will be very precious, in the court of Allah Almighty”.
Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam declared Faqr (Al Faqr), the benediction of Allah’s Deedar (Vision), as one of His countless treasures. Because after its attainment, one becomes indifferent to all the luxuries, blessings and treasures of the world and the hereafter. One, who finds the Owner of all the treasures, ‘Allah’, remains in no need of any other treasure. He Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam states:
Meaning: Faqr (Al Faqr) is one of the treasures of Allah.
This treasure is bestowed upon a person’s soul on its ascension to Allah in the form of Visal (ultimate Union) of the soul with Allah. The Holy Quran states the highest degree of closeness and Visal of the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam with Allah on the night of his Meraj (ascension to Allah) in these words:
Meaning: Then a distance measuring only two bow-length was left (between Allah unveiled and His Esteemed Beloved) or “even less” than that (in extreme nearness). (Al-Najam-9)
No one knows the details of “even less”; the extreme limit of Union of Allah and His beloved Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam. Certainly, some Quranic verses revealed after the Night of Ascension points towards Qurb (quem of propinquity) and Visal of Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam with Allah, referring to it as “Oneness”. Allah says:
Meaning: My beloved (Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam), you did not stone the enemies (in the battlefield) but I did. (Surah-ul-Anfal-17)
Meaning: Those, who swear allegiance upon you, in fact, swear allegiance upon Allah. (Surah-ul-Fatah-10)
Meaning: He (Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam) does not speak out of his own desire. (Al-Najm-3)
In a Qudsi Hadith (saying of Allah told by Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam), Allah reveals this closeness of man with Him in these words:
Meaning: when a person seeks my closeness through excessive prayers and devotions, (a stage of closeness comes when) I, Myself become his eyes, he sees through Me, I become his ears, he listens through Me, I become his hands, he holds through Me, I become his tongue, he talks through Me, I become his feet, he walks through Me.
Every Mohammadan can find this Meraj to Allah where he is bestowed upon with extreme nearness to Allah and His Divine Vision by opting the path of Faqr, through his own devotion, struggle, ability and the most of all, Allah’s guidance and favour.
When, the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam reached the extreme height of Faqr i.e. Oneness with Allah after being annihilated in Him, he Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam became the manifestation of Allah, as Maulana Room clearly says:
Meaning: The chosen Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam is the reflection of Allah’s Self. All the attributes, epithets, and qualities of Allah are reflected through him.
Since, Allah’s Self is reflected in the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam, that is why, he Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam said that “Faqr (Vision and nearness of Allah) is from me”, meaning that I am the way to reach Allah and I am Faqr myself.
He Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam also said:
Meaning: One, who has seen me has in fact seen Allah. Hence, attaining intimacy of the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam is infact attaining closeness to Allah.
Those, who inferred Faqr from the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam spiritually became one with him on reaching the state of Fana-Fi-Rasool (annihilated in the sacred self of the Holy Prophet). First of all, Syeda Fatima Razi Allah Anha gained the blessing of Faqr from him and became the first Sultan of Faqr (Al Faqr). When, she found oneness with the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam and recognized the reality of his being, he Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam said “Fatima is from me”. Then Hazrat Ali Karum Allah Wajhul Kareem, the Door to Faqr, annihilated his intrinsic being in the real, purest being i.e. Noor (Light) of the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam and found his reality, so the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam said “Ali is from me”. When Hazrat Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain Razi Allah Anhum were blessed with Faqr, he Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam said “Hassan and Hussain are from me”. Then, this treasure of Faqr was transferred to the Muslim Ummah spiritually. Every true follower of Hazrat Mohammad Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam, who deeply and truly loves him and wants to meet Allah through his mediation, is the heir of this treasure of Faqr (Al Faqr), as the great poet Iqbal has said:
Meaning: Faqr is the passion and eagerness (for Allah). It is the way to surrender and submit yourself completely to Allah Almighty. It is the asset of our Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam and we are its inheritors and custodians.
Meaning: Faqr and Supremacy befell from Mustafa Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam. These are the tajalliat (Divine Self Disclosures) reflected from his esteemed self.
Every follower of Islam can attain that spiritual height of ascension to Allah by adopting the path of Faqr according to his or her ability, where he or she would get the Vision and Union of Allah.
In the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam’s saying that “Salat is a Meraj (an ascension to Allah) of a Momin”, invitation of Meraj has been laid open for the whole Ummah, though, their will and endeavour are up to them. Faqr is the way of all those, whose path we pray for in Surah Fatiha
Meaning: Guide us on the right and straight path, path of those whom you blessed. (Al Fatiha 5-6)
These are the pure souls of friends of Allah who have been blessed upon with Meraj to Allah through the path of Faqr. Faqr is, infact that Sirat-e-Mustqeem (Straight Path) that leads man to Allah. Hazrat Ali Karum Allah Wajhul Kareem said about Faqr ()
Meaning: One who really loves Ahl-e-Bait (the family of the Prophet) should be ready to wear the gown of Faqr”. (Neheja-tul-Blagha)
When Ghaus-ul-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu found ascension to Allah, Allah said:
In his book Sir’rul-Asrar Ghaus-ul-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu comprehensively defines Faqr as:
Ghaus-ul-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu further says about Faqr:
Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says about Faqr:
Hazrat Khawaja Nizam-ud-Din Auliya Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
Hazrat Shaikh Ibrahim Khawas Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh entitles his teachings neither as Sufism or Tasawuf nor Tariqat or any of its schools, but ‘Faqr’. All his teachings are about the path of Faqr and its related stages and basic philosophies. He explains the philosophy of Faqr in these words:
Meaning: Faqr is the sovereign ruler which is one with Allah and that is why Faqr is detached and indifferent to everything in this world and the hereafter. Faqr is always looked upon by Hazrat Mohammad Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam with great pride.
As, The Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam said “Faqr is from me”, hence, when the follower of the path acquires sanctity of soul and esoteric purity, he attains recognition of Allah through His Deedar (Vision) and finds eternal presence in the Majlis-e-Mohammadi (Assembly of the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam), where, The Lord of both the worlds Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam himself leads and instructs him. He Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam always keeps him in his view. In his Assembly, souls of his privileged companions and saints are also present who benefit the seeker spiritually. This is the point, where, the true essence of the religion is accomplished. There is no spiritual stage higher than this. When a person is directly guided by the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam, his religion is established on strongest foundations, and then the whole building of his religion becomes strong and perfect. That is why, Iqbal has declared that the foundation of one’s religion is accomplished only when one finds access to the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam. Without approaching him, the religion is incomplete and superficial.
Meaning: You must find access to the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam as he himself is the perfect religion. If you do not get guidance by him, your religion is just like Abu-Lahab’s religion.
Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah-Alayh says about Faqr:
Meaning: “Neither his eyes were distracted nor crossed the limits”. (Al Najam-17)
When, the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam reached at Sidra-tul-Muntaha (the lote tree of utmost boundary of creation), he observed the Divine face of Faqr and enjoyed the status of Sultan-ul-Faqr, absorbed the resplendent Light of Faqr and then was honoured by Qurb (Divine Closeness) and Visal (Union with Allah) and was blessed by the honour of having conversation directly with Allah. Then, he advanced to the ultimate stage of Faqr Fana-Fillah (annihilation in Allah), where he became companion of Faqr by being annihilated in the Divine Self of Allah and thus, acquired all the virtues of love, gnosis, passion, cageyness, intellect, tolerance, kindness and generosity, as it is said: (Let yourself be possessed by the attributes of Allah).
So, when the whole ocean of Oneness of Allah gathered in his holy self on reaching final stage of Faqr, he said “Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me”. When he Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam returned to his sacred companions Razi Allah Anhum and the Reality of Faqr manifested from his holy self, a great number of sacred companions longed for Faqr on hearing about the ecstasies of gnosis of Faqr from his holy self. On this, Allah said to His beloved Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam “O’ Mohammad! keep your attention towards these faqeers (mystics) because they are the ones who are always engrossed in the Zikr (remembrance) of Allah. The Holy Prophet said ” ! Now, I will obey this order of Allah at every moment”. (Mehek-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Meaning: One glance of Faqr is full of treasures because Faqr has all the treasures of the worlds in its custody, still, Faqr desires nothing except Allah.
Meaning: The magnificent status of Faqr is far and above all the honorable stages and ranks, and this most dignified position of Faqr explains it completely.
Meaning: O’ Bahoo! What do you know about Faqr? It is to remain with Allah in Lahut (the world beyond space and time, the realm of the Divinity) and for this, you need to remain silent forever
Meaning: The way of Faqr is the ultimate bounty for everyone, while the ways of the material world are absolute infidelity.
Meaning: You must leave this world and turn towards Faqr, the way to Allah which is guided by the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam himself.
Meaning: Faqr is the secret of Oneness of Allah and is always attentive towards Allah, that is why, the honorable Faqr has complete Gnosis of Allah.
Meaning: Faqr is an ocean of Allah’s kindness, generosity and bounties, Faqr remains prostrated before Allah day and night.
Meaning: O’ Bahoo! To seek the blessing of Faqr from Allah Himself, remove everything from your heart except Allah. (Mehek-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Meaning: Faqr is the supreme blessing and the secret of Oneness with the Eternal Light. Faqeer (mystic who has reached the ultimate stage of Faqr) has all the layers of earth and heavens under his feet.
Meaning: One, who observes Faqr becomes Arif (Knower of Allah). A Faqeer is honored by the status of Oneness with Allah due to Faqr.
Meaning: Faqr is the glance by Allah, Faqr is the speech by the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam. (Muftah-ul-Arifeen) In his Punjabi verses he says:
Meaning: The way of Faqr (Al Faqr) has no limits or boundaries. It can neither be accomplished by intellect nor by art of speech and story telling (Faqr can only be found by extreme Divine Love). Desires of this world are like idol worshiping, one must not be deceived by these worldly charms. One, who wants to experience the pleasures of Faqr must acquire it. It cannot be taught by any teacher.
Sometimes, a few people acquire Faqr just to deceive others or are compelled to adopt this way because they cannot take the pressures of life. They face failures in life and cannot achieve their goals, so to hide their disappointment, they just pretend to adopt Faqr. They do not desire to have Vision or Closeness of Allah at all.
In addition to that, there are also some people who pretend to be on the way of Faqr just because their elders were. They usually belong to the family of a Kamil Faqeer, and after his death they hold his seat. They don’t have even an idea of what Faqr is. They just want to grab the income of the shrine of that saint and the gifts of the disciples, or earn false respect. Such fake Faqr is called Faqr-e-Iztarari (constrained Faqr).
The true lovers of Allah sacrifice all their pleasures and put whole of their lives at stake just to find Closeness and Vision of Allah. They may be rich lords, kings, rulers, or just common men, their only desire is to find the pleasures of closeness to Allah. The Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam has declared this Faqr, as his pride. This Faqr is called Faqr-e-Ikhtiari (the chosen Faqr). For such true Faqeers, only Allah is enough, they demand nothing from Allah except His Holy Self.
There is a lot of difference between Faqr-e-Ikhtiari and Faqr-e-Iztarari. The constrained Faqr makes the soul dead, while the chosen Faqr enlivens the soul. The former is the source of disgrace and humiliation while the later brings such honour and power that the whole universe comes under the possession of the true Faqeer. To follow the real path of Faqr, one must get rid of all the desires of the material world as well as the hereafter. Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
“Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me”. It has two stages, one is having command over one’s heart and soul and having authority over all the treasures of the world, and second is having complete Divine knowledge, righteousness and closeness to Allah. The one with Faqr-e-Iztarari begs from door to door (he is always expecting material wealth and respect from others than Allah) so, he is deprived of blessings of Allah Almighty. Faqr-e-Iztarari is, infact, Faqr-e-Mukib (Faqr that falls flat and brings disgrace). The Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam said:
Meaning: I seek refuge of Allah from Faqr that brings disgrace
Faqr-e-Ikhtiari is based on Ism-e-Allah Zaat and the Divine presence. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
The other kind of Faqeers are the reprobates who are shameless and have nothing to do with the Divine knowledge and the way to Allah. This Faqr (Al Faqr) is called Faqr-e-Mukib or Faqr-e-Iztarari because such Faqeers do not follow the Shariat (path of Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam) and our Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam sought refuge of Allah from this Faqr. Such Faqeers have two signs, one that they are always talking about worldly wealth because they are misers and are insincere with their fellow Muslims, secondly, they are always complaining to Allah about poverty. One who shuns Faqr-e-Mukib finds Faqr-e-Muhib, the Faqr that is desired and loved. What is Faqr-e-Muhib (the desired Faqr)? It is to respect and follow the orders of Allah completely and submissively, be kind to all the creatures of Allah and to possess all the attributes of Allah. (Noor-ul-Huda Kalan)
So the crux of this discussion is that Faqr is Islam’s foundation which leads to Allah’s Marifat (Gnosis) through His Deedar (Vision) and spiritual presence in Majlis-e-Mohammadi (the Assembly of our beloved Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam). Allah Almighty says:
Meaning: O’ believers! Enter Islam perfectly and completely. (Al-Baqra-208) Islam clearly speaks of Haqooq-ul-Ibad (the rights of the human beings) and Haqooq-Allah (rights of Allah). Haqooq-Allah are not just offering prayers and fasting but Marifat (true knowledge of Allah) is also its basic and an integral part. Common muslims, considering it something too exalted than the basic religion, have exempted themselves and restricted it to just one class, the sufis, although, the above mentioned verse of the Quran is addressed to all those who call them Muslims. If analyzed carefully, Faqr (Al Faqr) is the actual religion, as religion means to attain Allah’s closeness which is what Faqr (Al Faqr) exactly does. That is why, Iqbal has said:
Meaning: It does not matter if Europe resents the word ‘Islam’. Another name for the same religion is the honourable ‘Faqr (Al Faqr)’.
Nowadays, when we look around us we see nothing but chaos, disorder, disintegration and confusion and when we look inside ourselves we see restlessness, fear and frustrations overpowering our senses. Despite being followers of Islam, meaning peace, we find peace nowhere. The benefactor of humanity Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam brought a religion for the external and internal, individual and collective well being. History speaks of this individual and the collective welfare in His Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam and the four Pious Caliph’s era but today despite being followers of the same religion, we see welfare nowhere. Reason of all this is that we are not following our religion completely. So in order to find internal and external peace and well being in this world and the hereafter, we must enter Islam completely by acquiring the path of Faqr (Al Faqr), the Sirat-e-Mustqeem and the real and basic religion which leads a Muslim close to Allah, grants him His Deedar and makes him a MOMIN from an ordinary Muslim.