The Path that Leads to Ultimate Divine Closeness
Faqr is a spiritual path which takes one to ultimate Divine closeness and vision. Sultan Bahoo (ra) has explained Faqr in his books in such manner that even a common man can benefit through this path by following his teachings. On this spiritual journey of Faqr when one reaches the Divine presence he also gains gnosis and earns presence in the Mohammadan Assembly. Moreover, if one is steadfast on this path, then Allah counts him among pious and people admire him for his exalted status. However, if someone thinks of himself as pious then it is a warning sign that he is heading towards a foul attribute.
However, this can be exemplified as; if you are holding two balloons, one is filled with simple air and other is filled with helium and you let them go. Balloon filled with simple air will fall to the ground and other filled with special gas will rise towards the sky. Although, the weather and environment are same for both balloons. The second balloon rose with the help of special gas in it. Likewise man needs something special that will take him from the realm of physical bodies to the universe of command. That something special is Faqr, which spiritually elevates one to the level of Divine closeness.
‘Faqr’ pride of Holy Prophet (pbuh)
Faqr is the true heritage of Holy Prophet (pbuh). He associated Faqr with his essence by declaring it his Sunna. Faqr is Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) pride due to which he has superiority over all Prophets and his umma is superior over all other nations. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said:
اَلْفَقْرُ فَخْرِیْ وَالْفَقْرُ مِنِّیْ فَافْتَخِرُ عَلٰی سَائِرِ اْلاَنْبِیَآءِ وَالْمُرْسَلِیْنَ
Meaning: Faqr is my pride and Faqr is from me and Faqr is the reason of my superiority over all the Prophets and Messengers.
However, Allah Almighty bestowed Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) with excellence and countless qualities but he never took pride in any of his quality. Not in piety and patience, generosity and bravery, being truthful and fair, in his honesty and faithfulness, nor in his beauty neither in his lineage. Holy Prophet (pbuh) said that, “I am beloved of Allah” but never took pride in it. However, the one and only thing he ever took pride in is Faqr. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is indeed origin and source of knowledge. Quran and all Hadith were transmitted to umma through the sacred personality of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). But he never associated any kind of knowledge with his self except Faqr.
Meaning of Faqr
People think of Faqr as poverty but in terminology of religion, Faqr means to strengthen your relation with Allah leaving materialistic world behind. Faqr is a path where one can attain Divine closeness and His gnosis. True purpose of our every prayer and devotion is to acquire Divine closeness which can never be achieved without Faqr. However, this path of Faqr is nothing new rather it is a path of Fakirs and those upon whom Allah has bestowed His favours, which we pray for in every prayer through reciting Surah Al-Fatihah. And beloved of Allah becomes a Saint due to travelling this path of Faqr.
Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) whose foot is on the neck of all the Saints says about Faqr, “Faqr does not mean poverty which is usually known among masses rather true meaning of Faqr is to depend only upon Allah and no one else, and renounce all the pleasures for the Essence of Allah. However, if one reaches this level, then there remains nothing in his existence except Allah. Thus, this is the level known as annihilation in Allah.”
Sultan Bahoo Quotes about Faqr
Sultan Bahoo (ra) has written almost 140 books in which he explained Faqr and its stages. Some of his saying are:
- Faqr is exactly the Divine Essence. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Faqr is bestowment of Allah, he bestows upon whomever he wills. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Faqr is Divine vision. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Whoever wants to have Divine closeness and vision must acquire Faqr. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Faqr is the secret of Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- I am the scholar of knowledge of vision of Allah and I behold His Noor everywhere. Except the knowledge of Divine vision, I do not study any other knowledge. Neither I do nor I know any other kind of zikr, meditation or muraqbah as every knowledge is in fact for the sake of vision of Allah (which I already have). (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
- Faqr is Divine vision. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- I am proficient in the knowledge of Divine vision and study only its lessons. I have attained these ranks by the benevolence of the sacred company of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), his Companions and the People of Cloak. All the Prophets requested Faqr but their request was not granted. Faqr was totally bestowed upon Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) who entrusted it to his nation. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
Although, Faqr is predestined. But People who have passion for Divine love, Allah bestows Faqr upon them by His favour and grace. As Allah says in Holy Quran:
ذٰلِکَ فَضۡلُ اللّٰہِ یُؤۡتِیۡہِ مَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ ذُو الۡفَضۡلِ الۡعَظِیۡمِ (57:21)
Meaning: This is Allah’s bounty which He gives to whom He wills. And Allah is the Lord of infinite bounty. (57:21)
Sultan Bahoo (ra) says, “Whoever runs towards Allah, the benevolence and kindness of Allah attracts him more powerfully. Allah tests him by presenting both the worlds before him. If he rejects, he becomes a Fakir and attains the highest levels of Faqr.” (Nur-ul-Huda Kalan)
Faqr is not an inheritance
Faqr is the path of Sufis. Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) writes in his book ‘Ar-Risala tul-Ghausia’ that Allah said, “O Ghawth Al-Azam! Convey to your followers that whoever wants My Company should acquire Faqr.” At the destination of Faqr all the desires perish in love of Allah. Faqr is a pure passion and aim, it is not an inheritance which can be transferred to any individual or a group.
Sultan Bahoo (ra) says, “Fakirism does not depend on being a Sayyid, Quraishi or famous rather it is only because of Divine gnosis. Hence, it is only His choice to whom it will be granted. (Nur-ul-Huda Khurd)
فقر بکس ورثہ ہفت کرسی نیست
در گفتگو حقیقت پرسی نیست
Meaning: Faqr is not an inheritance which can be transferred to seven generations. Its reality cannot be understood by conversation.
However, Faqr is like a munificent wave of ocean which is endowed upon the Faqeers by the Holy Lord. The Faqeers anxiously wait for this wave to come from Allah and bless them. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Although, Faqr begins with tears (of separation from the Beloved) and concludes at extreme adoration (for the Beloved on finding Him). First stage of Faqr is contemplation and final stage is possessing the authority. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Listen! The existence of Fakeers is the symbol of Power of Allah. Fakeer Bahoo (ra) says that the level of Fana Fillah Fakeer is more distinguished and dignified than the level of all the Atqiya (pious ones), Uqaba (successfuls) Najaba (honourables), Abdals, Autads, Akhiyars, Amada, Ghaus, Qutbs, Shaikhs, ascetics and worshippers. He is above them all because he is the ruler of the realm of Divinity. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
What is the sign of station of accomplishment of Faqr?
It is the station which is beyond intellect, recitation, zikr and meditation. Where there is absolute Divinity, there is only the (soundless) voice of secret of Hoo. Where there is the king, no one can shout or make noise because the kings do not like noise. So, where there is The Eternal, there isn’t any noise or fault. Where the Sultan encamps, there remains no interference of commoners. The person who seeks fame and name and controversies interrupt him, then he is not a Fakir. However, in the gatherings of Fakir there is only the discussion about Allah, His Prophets, His Saints and His zikr. Although it has been said, “Remembering the Saints is better than worshipping.” (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Sultan Bahoo (ra) says:
فقر دانی چیست دائم در لاھوت
فقر را ہر دم بود بہتر سکوت
Meaning: Do you know what is Faqr? It is to live in Lahoot eternally. In the way of Faqr keeping quiet is essential.
He also says, “Everything has a touchstone and the touchstone of knowledge is Faqr.”
ایتھے اوتھے دو جہانیں، سب فقر دیاں جائیں ھُو
Meaning: Only Faqr has got the true honour and glory in both the worlds.
Sultan Bahoo (ra) says:
خام کی جانن سار فقر دی، جیہڑ ے محرم ناہیں دل دے ھُو
Meaning: Incompetent seekers who fail to become spiritual confidant are clueless to the Divine secret hence are utterly unaware of the way of Faqr.
The beginning of Faqr is فَفِرُّوْٓااِلَی اللہ meaning: “Run towards Allah”, and its peak is قُلْ ھُوَاللہُ اَحَدٌ meaning: “Say! Allah is One”.
Allama Iqbal poetry about Faqr
Allama Iqbal says in his poetry:
فقر کے ہیں معجزات تاج و سریر و سپاہ
فقر ہے میروں کا میر، فقر ہے شاہوں کا شاہ
Explanation: The Universal Divine Man who holds Faqr is the crowned king esoterically sitting on the throne with innumerable soldiers at his charge. Surely, he is the king of all kings and the leader of all the leaders. (Bal-e-Jibril)
اک فقر ہے شبیریؓ، اس فقر میں ہے مِیری
میراثِ مسلمانی، سرمایہ شبیریؓ
Explanation: Faqr is from Husayn ibn Ali which gives strength of jihad against false forces, be it exoteric or esoteric. Such Faqr makes one a leader in the world. Therefore, it is the heritage of true believers and the asset of Husayn ibn Ali. (Bal-e-Jibril)
Present Imam of Sarwari Qadri Order
Sultan Bahoo (ra) spread the teachings of Faqr and persuaded people throughout his life. Likewise, in this present era, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman who is spiritual confidant of Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali (ra) is spreading teachings of Faqr through different means like internet, magazines, books etc. As a result, many foreigners have embraced Islam and taken the path of Faqr.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen is the present perfect spiritual guide of Sarwari Qadri order. His disciples are attaining the beneficence of Faqr through his company and spiritual sight. Congratulations to all the travellers of Faqr who seek Allah and are striving to attain the Divine Closeness and gnosis.
What is the best Zikr of Allah?
The best zikr to reach Allah is the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat provided it is granted by the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide (murshid) after pledging allegiance (bayah) to him.
How to get closer to Allah?
In order to get closer to Allah one has to pledge allegiance to the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide who after allegiance grants invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. The said spiritual guide should be on the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
This is translation of an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the month of December 2020. Originally penned by Mamoona Asad Sarwari Qadri is presently translated in English by Sahibzadi Mishal Najib Sarwari Qadri exclusively for the website. Do not forget to visit the original article to which you only have to click the link:
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