THE TRUE MEANING OF FOLLOWING
PROPHET MOHAMMAD (PBUH)
Every human being desires to be successful in life whether it is worldly matters or religious. However, the sad reality is that people do not put much effort in to attain success in matters of hereafter. Yet they work day and night to elevate in this mortal world and make it more peaceful and comfortable.
Secret of success is only to obey Allah and His orders in both world and religion. For this purpose Allah has sent Prophets as role models. As great personalities who possess superior and unique attributes have influence over people. Therefore those who followed and obeyed Prophets are amongst His chosen men. Whom He blessed with the title of the truthful, the martyrs and the pious. Hence following these great personalities can make this mortal life more pleasant and one can also acquire salvation and success in hereafter.
Why should we follow Prophet Mohammad?
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is the most beloved of Allah Almighty and has extremely exalted status among all Prophets. Allah has made obligatory to all men and women to follow Holy Prophet (pbuh). As following him is in fact following Allah. He said:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَطِیۡعُوا اللّٰہَ وَ اَطِیۡعُوا الرَّسُوۡلَ (4:59)
Meaning: O believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (pbuh). (4:59)
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) guided us in every walk of life because Islam is not all about praying. In fact it is a perfect religion and complete conduct of life. Today’s Muslims have bounded Islam to only physical performance of basic pillars and are completely ignorant towards reality and soul of devotions. While Allah Almighty said:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا ادۡخُلُوۡا فِی السِّلۡمِ کَآفَّۃً (2:208)
Meaning: O believers! Enter Islam perfectly and wholly. (2:208)
Causes of sectarianism in Islam
In this era of sectarianism, followers of one religion, believers of One Allah and His Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) are divided in different groups and sects. Moreover they use verses of Quran and Hadith for oppositions among themselves. So this is the reason, a Muslim cannot decide that which group is a true follower of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). In such situations people choose groups according to their intellect, personal convenience and liking that further propagates sectarianism instead of Islamic society. These ignorant followers of particular group are not at fault as much as scholars are who give birth to new sects. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) strongly disliked such people.
Once, Companions of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) were arguing over something, Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) visited them and when he saw them arguing, he became so angry that his sacred face turned all red. He said, “Is this what you were sent for? Is this what Allah ordered you, to collide one part of His Book to another? First, understand what is ordered and act upon it and refrain from what is forbidden.”
Therefore, this sectarianism in Islam is the reason behind people’s unfamiliarity of perfect following of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
Perfect following is based on two types of following
- Exoteric following
- Esoteric following
Exoteric following means to adopt his way of living, and practice your outward deeds according to his conduct. Prophet Mohammad’s (pbuh) conduct is a perfect example for all of us, which means his deeds, Sunna and Hadiths altogether. However it does not mean, one should pick out Sunna according to their liking rather perfect belief requires following all his deeds not the selected ones.
What is esoteric following? Esoteric following means to follow Prophet Mohammad’s (pbuh) inward. His true message was to strengthen the relation of humans with Allah which is impossible without Divine gnosis. Divine gnosis requires purification of innerself, afterwards one can spiritually elevate and can make it to the court of Allah. Best example of this is when Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) went on Miraj and attained ultimate Divine nearness that no intellectual human being can imagine. Therefore human mind can neither comprehend the perception of this ultimate Divine nearness nor its joy. Hence esoteric following means to attain Divine closeness in the realm of Divine uniqueness through following Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) esoterically.
Esoteric Company of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)
Conduct means life of Mohammad, his outward deeds. However outward deeds depend upon intensions. If one’s intentions are true and honest his deeds will also be according to Allah’s will. Then perfect following of Holy Prophet (pbuh) will not seem difficult. Moreover one needs to attain his esoteric company to follow him esoterically. For perfect following it is compulsory to be present in front of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Companions of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) were perfect followers as they were blessed with his sight and company. His esoteric company can only be attained through exoteric medium, which are Fakirs.
What does Fakir mean?
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman says:
In the terminology of Faqr, Fakir is a person who has mastered Faqr. Among the Fakirs, ‘The Master of the Universe Fakir’ is the most superior status. Among the men of spiritual persuasion and guidance, the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide, who is the absolute light of guidance, is the ultimate level. This highest and extreme level is the station of the Universal Divine Man. This ultimate level contains all levels in it and there is no other level higher than this. The life of the perfect Fakir is a proof that Allah is bestowing guidance upon His creation. Since the Fakir is complete representation of the Divine attributes, he enlightens the society wherever he resides. Likewise, the khanqah of Fakir enlivens the dead souls, it is the place where inciting innerself is killed and the inward of the seeker is purified.
Beneficence of Perfect Fakirs
The beneficence of perfect Fakirs comes from their chain and connection which reaches Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Tabiun were the followers of the Companions of Holy Prophet (pbuh). They gained beneficence from the Prophet’s beloved Companions as they were the generation following Companions. They didn’t have the privilege of beholding Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). After Tabiun came Tabi Tabiun. They were the followers of Tabiun and generation after them. Afterwards the beneficence continued in the being of perfect Fakir of different eras. And this order continue till the doomsday. The connection between the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and these Fakirs is perfect. Today one who follows perfect Fakir in fact follows Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Perfect Fakir’s can take a seeker to the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) company by spiritual training and purifying innerself and inward. As Allama Iqbal said:
بمصطفیٰ برساں خویش را کہ دین ہمہ اوست
اگر بہ او نرسیدی تمام بو لہبی است
Meaning: Elevate yourself and reach the assembly of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) as he is the perfect religion. If not then your religion is same as Abu Lahab’s religion.
Ardent love for Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)
People will deviate from the truth and will not gain success and salvation until they follow Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) completely (both exoterically and esoterically). Perfect following is the key to attain Divine gnosis and knowing the true soul of Islam, which is Faqr. Then they will also understand the true meaning of Allah’s orders. Moreover Allah has ordered His believers to enter Islam perfectly and wholly. So that Islam will instill in our inwards by following Holy Prophet (pbuh) in every aspect of life and not remain limited to only physical devotions. An ordinary Muslim will be counted among believers and favoured group of Allah if they follow him perfectly. However, ardent love for Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is must to follow him perfectly. Or, one can neither attain his esoteric company nor follow his conduct. With perfect following a Muslim can become his exact embodiment.
In present era, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the perfect spiritual guide who has made beneficence of Faqr common. He purifies inward and innerself of the seeker with his spiritual glance so a Muslim can become a true believer and can attain success in both world and religion through perfect following of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
This is translation of an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the month of October 2020. Originally penned by Ahsan Ali 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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