In every era, there exists a Divine Universal Man in the world who is the representative of Allah as well as the possessor of the Divine Trust. Since the demise of the Holy Prophet till the Doomsday, there are seven personalities stationed at the supreme status of Sultan-ul-Faqr. They are distinguished among all the Saints and their step is upon the heads of all the Saints of Allah, Ghawth and Qutb. They have ranked at the highest degree of excellence in Oneness with Allah. Sultan Bahoo was the first to disclose this secret in his famous book Risala Roohi Sharif.
Extract from Risala Roohi Sharif (original Persian text)
Sultan ul Arifeen Sultan Bahoo expounded in his famous writing Risala Roohi Sharif about these souls:
بدان کہ چوں نورِ احدی از حجلہِ تنہائی وحدت بر مظاہرِ کثرت ارادہ فرمود‘ حُسن ِخود را جلوہ بصفائی گرم بازاری نمود ۔بر شمع جمال پروانۂِ کو نین بِسوزِید و نقاب ِمیمِ احمدی پوشیدہ۔ صُورتِ احمدی گرفت واز کثرت ِجذبات و ارادات‘ ہفت بار بَر خودبجنبید واَزاں ہفت ارواحِ فُقرا باصفا ‘ فنا فی اللہ‘ بقا با للہ‘ محو ِ خیالِ ذات‘ ہمہ مغز بے پوست‘ پیش از آفرینشِ آدم علیہ السّلام ہفتاد ہزار سال غرقِ بحرِ جَمال بر شجرِمرآۃالیقین پیدا شُد ند ۔ بجز ذات ِحق از ازل تا ابد چیزے نہ دیدند و ماسویٰ اللہ گاہے نشَنُیدند ‘ بحریم کبریا ‘ دائم بحر الوصال لازوال‘ گاہے جَسدِ نُوری پوشیدہ بہ تقدیس وتنزیہّ می کوشیدند و گاہے قطرہ در بحر و گاہے بحر در قطرہ ‘ ورِدائے فیضِ عطا ’’اِذَا تَمَّ الْفَقْرُ فَھُوَاللّٰہُ‘‘
بَر اِیشان۔ پَس بحیات ِ ابدی و تاجِ عزِّ سرمدی ’’الْفَقْرُ لاَ یُحَتَاجُ اِلیٰ رَبِّہٖ وَلاَ اِلیٰ غَیْرِہٖ‘‘ معزز و مکرّم‘ از آفرینشِ آدم علیہ السلام و قیامِ قیامت ہیچ آگاہی ندارند وقدمِ ایشاں بَرسرِ جملہ اولیاء وغوث و قطب۔ اگر آنہار اخُدا خوانی بجاوَاگر بندۂِ خدا دانی روا ۔عَلِمَ مَنْ عَلِمَ‘مقامِ ایشانِ حریم ِذات ِ کبریا و از حقّ ماسویٰ الحق ّ چیز ے نا طلبید ند و بَدُ نیائے دنی و نعیمِ اُخروی، حورو قصور ِبہشت، بکرشمہِ نظر ندیدند و ازاں یک لمعہ کہ موسیٰ علیہ السلام در سراسیمگی رفتہ و طُور درہم شکستہ ‘در ہر لمحہ و طرفتہ العین ہفتاد ہزار بار لمعات ِجذباتِ انوارِ ذات بر ایشاں وارد و دم نہ زدند و آہے نہ کشیدند وَ ھَلْ مِنْ مَّزِیْد می گفتندوایشاں سلطان الفقر و سیّد الکونین اند ۔ رسالہ روحی شریف
Its English translation
Manifestation of the Prophet
Know! When the Divine light of Ahad (Allah’s attributive name meaning the One), coming out of His isolated Oneness, intended to manifest Himself in multiplicity, He graced (all the worlds) with the splendid sight of His pure Divine beauty. Both the realms started burning like a moth on the candle of His blazing beauty. Then, the light of Ahad concealed in the veil of ‘M’ of Ahmad (attributive name of the Prophet) manifested Himself as Ahmad.
Manifestation of Sultan-ul-Faqr souls
He then shook Himself seven times due to the abundance of Divine passion and will, with which seven purified souls of Fakirs, annihilated in Allah, immortal with Allah, absorbed in the contemplation of the Essence, all core without any flesh or body, drowned in the unfathomed ocean of the Divine beauty appeared on the eternal tree of pure transparent belief seventy thousand years before the birth of Adam.
Excellence of Sultan-ul-Faqr
Neither they saw anything except the Divine Essence since pre-existence till eternity, nor did they hear anyone other than Allah. They ever remained such an ocean of union in the Divine sanctuary which has no decline. At times, they endeavoured for sanctity and transcendence with their body of Divine light. At times they are a drop in the ocean and at times the ocean in a drop.
Excellence in Faqr
They have the cover of blessing of beneficence which is:
اِذَا تَمَّ الْفَقْرُ فَھُوَاللّٰہُ
Meaning: When Faqr is accomplished that is Allah.
Hence, they have eternal life and are honoured and exalted with the crown of:
الْفَقْرُ لاَ یُحَتَاجُ اِلیٰ رَبِّہٖ وَلاَ اِلیٰ غَیْرِہٖ
Meaning: Faqr demands nothing from Allah or anyone other than Allah.
Sultan-ul-Faqr request nothing from Allah except Allah Himself
Neither are they aware of the birth of Adam nor about the occurrence of the doomsday. They have their steps on the heads of all the Saints, Ghawth and Qutb. It is absolutely correct to call them God, and if they are called men of God, it is fine as well. Those who know them recognize this secret. Their station is the Divine sanctuary of the Magnificent. They never requested for anything from Allah except Allah Himself. They never paid heed towards the petty world, the blessings of the hereafter or the houris and castles of the heaven.
The theophany which crushed Mount Sinai fell upon Sultan-ul-Faqr seventy thousand times every moment
The sole theophany with which Prophet Moses got perplexed and the Mount Sinai crushed into pieces, the same theophany of passions and lights of the Essence fell upon them seventy thousand times every moment, yet they do not object or lament. Rather they demand more saying:
وَ ھَلْ مِنْ مَّزِیْد
Meaning: Is there any more!
They are the Sultan-ul-Faqr (sultan of Faqr) and the lord of all the worlds.
Extract from Risala Roohi Sharif (original Persian text) revealing names there are seven Sultan-ul-Faqr souls
These sacred souls are seven. While revealing their names Sultan Bahoo expressed:
یکے روحِ خاتونِ قیامت (رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہا) ، یکے روحِ خواجہ حسن بصری ( رضی اللہ عنہٗ)، یکے روحِ شیخِ ما حقیقت الحق، نورِ مطلق، مشہود علی الحق، حضرت سیّد محی الدین عبدالقادر جیلانی محبوبِ سبحانی (رضی اللہ عنہٗ) و یکے روحِ سلطانِ انوار سِرُّ السرمد حضرت پیر عبدالرزاق فرزند حضرت پیر دستگیر (قدس سرِّہُ العزیز) و یکے روحِ چشمہ ءِ چشمانِ ھاھویت، سرِّ اسرارِ ذاتِ یَاھُو فنا فی ھُو فقیر باھُو (قدس اللہ سرُّہٗ) و دو روحِ دیگر اولیا۔ بحرمت ِ یمن ِ ایشاں قیامِ دارین۔ تا آنکہ آں دو روح از آشیانہءِ وحدت بر مظاہرِ کثرت نخواہند پرید، قیامِ قیامت نخواہد شد۔ سراسرنظرِ ایشاں نورِ وحدت و کیمیائے عزت بہرکس پرتو ءِ عنقائے ایشاں اُفتاد، نورِ مطلق ساختند، احتیاجے بریاضت و ورد اورادِ ظاہری طالبان را نہ پرداختند۔ ( رسالہ روحی شریف)
Its English translation
One of them is the sacred soul of the queen of doomsday (Fatimah bint Mohammad). Second among them is the sacred soul of Hasan of Basra. The third soul is our spiritual guide, the reality of Truth, the absolute light, the exact manifestation of Truth, the beloved of Allah Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. Fourth is the soul of the Sultan of Divine light and secret of the eternal Divine Self Pir Abdul Razzaq son of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. The fifth soul is of the fountainhead of the sight of the incomparable and unknowable Essence, the secret of secrets of the Divine Essence, annihilated in Hoo ( ہو ) Fakir Bahoo.
Two among them are the souls of other Mystics. Both the realms owe their stability to the dignity of these two sacred souls. Unless these two souls manifest in the world of diversity, coming out of the abode of Oneness, the doomsday would not occur.
Their sight is absolutely the Divine light of Unity and the alchemy of honour. On whosoever the reflection of their hidden reality reveals, his whole being transforms into absolute Divine light. They do not need to engage their disciples in the struggle of superficial daily recitals and mystic exercises.
Reality of Sultan-ul-Faqr
Sultan ul Faqr is a form of the Divine light annihilated in Allah. They have gained an eternal nearness and union with Allah along with the eternal presence in the Mohammadan Assembly.
The Prophet and Faqr
Sultan ul Arifeen Sultan Bahoo stated about the reality of Sultan of Faqr:
- The Holy Prophet intimately met Sultan-ul-Faqr in the court of Allah at the night of Miraj and embraced Faqr. Then the essence of the Holy Prophet transformed into Faqr. (Jamia-ul-Asrar)
Miraj and Faqr
- When the Holy Prophet went for Miraj, he mounted al-buraq (a heavenly Pegasus, Lightning horse or a spiritual ride). Angel Gabriel showed him eighteen thousand kinds of creatures of both the worlds, adorned and decorated in every aspect. The Holy Prophet did not pay any heed to them. As Allah says:
مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغٰی
Meaning: His eye neither inclined aside (from Divine vision) nor overstepped the limit. (An-Najm 17).
The same situation maintained throughout the higher and lower stations. That is why, he reached the extreme nearness and there was only a thin veil like the membrane of an onion left between the two. When the beloved came absolutely nearest, there was the Divine call:
“O my beloved! I sacrificed both the worlds upon you and let you have the view of the eighteen thousand realms of both the worlds. Which thing in these worlds you like the most that I would grant you.”
The Holy Prophet replied:
“O Allah! Confer Faqr upon me because nothing has got such nearness and annihilation in You as Faqr has and such a closeness cannot be attained through anything else.”
This very ‘Faqr’ is “Sultan-ul-Faqr.” The person who beholds such Faqr exoterically and esoterically becomes an authoritative man and the Mohammadan status dominates him. (Jamia-ul-Asrar)
Status of Sultan-ul-Faqr
- Allah said:
“O Mohammad! I conferred the status of ‘Sultan-ul-Faqr’ upon you and the People of Cloak as well as upon your Fakirs and your pure and pious followers.”
The Holy Prophet thanked Allah thousand times. (Jamia-ul-Asrar)
The Grandeur of Sultan-ul-Faqr
Sultan ul Arifeen Sultan Bahoo stated about the grandeur and glory of Sultan ul Faqr, in his Persian writings:
Brighter than Sun, more Fragrant than rose
- The Divine light of Sultan ul Faqr is brighter than the sun and its scent is more fragrant than the scent of rose and ambergris. Whoever has the privilege to behold the Sultan ul Faqr in dream, becomes independent of all desires. The Holy Prophet takes oath of allegiance from him and guides and educates him esoterically. My words are according to my experience. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
How to recognize Sultan-ul-Faqr?
- Only one out of thousands acquires the real gnosis of Sultan-ul-Faqr by attaining the union of exact Divine beauty, blessed with the highest levels of Faqr and witnessing it personally. Most of the people just guise themselves as the people of Faqr, only one out of thousands is accomplished in Faqr. What exactly is Faqr? Faqr is the Divine light whose name is Sultan-ul-Faqr and is always desirable in the court of Allah and favoured by Him. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)
The real Khidr
- Only he gets the company of Khidr who meets the spiritual Khidr. “Sultan-ul-Faqr” is the real esoteric Khidr. One who meets the esoteric Khidr, forgets the worldly knowledge because his innerself is repleted with the theophany of the esoteric knowledge, the light of gnosis and the Oneness of Allah to such an extent that he ever remains engrossed in the Divine presence of nearness and union. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Faqr is experience
- Only that person is familiar to the levels of Faqr who has approached Faqr and enjoyed the pleasure of its nearness, and has adopted Faqr and seen Sultan-ul-Faqr with his own eyes. (Asrar-e-Qadri)
Put innerself (nafs) and Satan in chains and prison
- It is the job of Sultan-ul-Faqr Mystics to put the chain of teachings of the Quran, Hadiths and injunctions of Islam around the neck of the devil innerself and the king Satan and put them in the prison of annihilation in Allah, hence keep them under control and then enlighten the person with gnosis of Allah. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Eliminate love of the world to find nearness of Allah and presence in the Mohammadan Assembly (Majlis-e-Mohammadi)
- If a person wishes to reach the ocean of Divine Oneness, remains present in the Mohammadan Assembly and meets the Sultan-ul-Faqr whose countenance is the light of Divinity as Sultan-ul-Faqr eternally enjoys closeness to Allah being annihilated in Him and having companionship of Prophet Mohammad, then he must know that there are almost thirty crore thirty lac hair on the body of a human and every hair bears the dwelling of the devil which is the fountainhead of lustful desires created by the inciting innerself and physical senses. The base of these desires is the love of world while the pleasures of world nourish them just like water nurtures the plants. One who does not eliminate the love of world from his inward can neither find nearness to Allah nor presence in the Mohammadan Assembly. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Similarly, on two other places Sultan Bahoo describes about a true seeker that:
What a true seeker needs to learn?
- The level of viewing the forms of Divine light and theophanies of the Essence is the initial lesson of the knowledge of gnosis of Allah and Faqr. One who does not learn this initial lesson of Faqr, cannot achieve accomplishment in gnosis of Allah. Whoever learns this initial lesson properly, afterwards achieves the levels of renunciation (of everything other than Allah), complete trust upon Allah, total submission towards the will of Allah, Divine Unity, isolation (Tafrid ), separation (Tajrid ), Divine Oneness, annihilation, immortality and perfect sanctification. He meets the Prophets, Saints and the Sultan-ul-Faqr in dream or meditation. Sultan-ul-Faqr is the Divine light which is ever present in the Mohammadan Assembly. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Annihilation (fana) and completion of Faqr
- Annihilation in Allah is an extreme station of Faqr, which one can neither achieve by wisdom and cleverness nor by invocation and reflection. Although, the spiritual guide, if wishes, either takes the seeker to the court of the Holy Prophet or at times to the station of the Divine presence of annihilation in Allah and at times in the company of the annihilation in Allah “Sultan-ul-Faqr.” The seeker, for whom all of these three levels become one, approaches at the completion of Faqr. (Aqal-e-Beydar)
A seeker needs to surrender and submit (taslim and rida ) before the will of Allah
- When the seeker, progressing from the levels of surrender and submission to Allah and accepting the destiny attains to the level of Unity and meeting Allah, a face of Divine light appears from the Divine presence and nearness. This face is more beautiful than the houris of paradise, enlightened by the Divine lights and enflamed by the observation of the theophany of the Divine vision, knowledge and love. Its name is ‘Sultan-ul-Faqr’. This form embraces the sensible lover with which the seeker of Allah becomes immortal and indifferent to all the desires from top to toe and no grief and sorrow of the world or the hereafter remains in his being. (Noor-ul-Huda Kalan)
Grace of Sultan-ul-Faqr is necessary to achieve Faqr
- Man cannot achieve the levels of Faqr even if he has been exhausted in doing hard mystic exercises unless the Divine secret ‘Sultan-ul-Faqr’ does not embrace him and grace him with his sacred view, mystical knowledge and persuasion within his inner being. As long as, ‘Sultan of Faqr‘ does not allow, he cannot even smell Faqr, as the esoteric form of Sultan-ul-Faqr ever remains present in the Mohammadan Assembly. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Unification with Allah
- The assembly of Sultan-ul-Faqr is the ocean of the Divine Unity. Whoever arrives at the bank of this ocean, achieves union with Allah.
- At the night of Miraj when the Holy Prophet arrived at the station of the lote tree (the utmost boundary) he witnessed the face of Faqr and enjoyed the relish of the ranks of ‘Sultan-ul-Faqr’. He repleted his innerself with Faqr of Divine light and conversed with Allah, being blessed with His nearness and union at the distance of two bows length. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Find reality of Sultan-ul-Faqr
- Fakir of the Mohammadan umma steps in Faqr by annihilating in Allah, with perseverance and strength. Moreover he bears the name of Faqr on his head and Faqr bears the name of Allah on its head. They become Fakirs and the falcon of the Divine world by Ism-e-Allah Zaat. In the path of Faqr, if somebody remains persistent, he becomes the bearer of the Divine secret of the Reality. If somebody gives up perseverance and courage and returns to the world and its people, tired of Faqr and Ism-e-Allah Zaat, he deviates from the level of holding Faqr and the Divine secret and the rank of being Falcon, as if he is a bird of prey whose eyes remain at the carcass. Therefore he is disgraced and dishonored in both the worlds. His inward is never satisfied and contended with the world. Thus, his eyes are ever repleted with the thirst for the world. He can never find the reality of “Sultan-ul-Faqr.” He is a seeker of the world-rather a religious hypocrite. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Beginning and end of Sultan-ul-Faqr is Divine light (Noor / Nur)
- It is worth knowing that the beginning of Sultan-ul-Faqr is the non-created Divine light of faith and its end is non-created light of Rehman (attributive name of Allah which means the most Gracious). (Qurb-e-Deedar)
Beholding the face of Sultan-ul-Faqr
- The person who views the face of Sultan-ul-Faqr spiritually in his innerself, becomes ‘the Man of word’ by being indifferent to all his needs. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Prophet Mohammad sall’Allahu alayh wa’alihi wasallam reached the perfection of Faqr
- One must know that everyone among the Prophets, Companions of the Prophet and Saints of Allah requested Allah for the ranks of the complete gnosis of Faqr but none other than Prophet Mohammad reached the perfection of Faqr. Nobody else stepped at the extreme level of Sultan of Faqr. Although, by the order of Allah and the permission of the Holy Prophet, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani executed, accomplished and possessed all the initial and extreme levels of Faqr and Sultan-ul-Faqr. (Taufeeq-ul-Hadayat)
Clarification of a Misapprehension
The Big Question
People usually raise an objection that in Risala Roohi Sharif, (among all the Saints of the world) only seven sacred souls are at the glorious levels of ‘Sultan-ul-Faqr’ and the leader of the worlds (Sayyid-ul-Kaunain). Why the sacred Companions of the Holy Prophet, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali and the other Saints of Allah have not been included among them.
Different Fields of Sufism
We try to answer the objection through an example that, there are several fields of skills and specializations having no comparison among them. For example, somebody excels in Economics and Accounting but the other has the knack in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Botany. Some have perfection in cricket and hockey and the others are experts in journalism, calligraphy etc. It means, in every field there are specialists and the men of perfection and every man possesses a special skill. Thus among the different skills the experts have no comparison and competition with each other. For instance, one cannot decide that who is better between a doctor and a player.
Similarly, in the spiritual world there are many fields and different kinds of ranks, perfections and marvels. Some Mystics are famous for truth, some for gratitude, some for their justice and self-accountability. Others are famous for their modesty and self honour; worship and adoration; patience and renunciation; mystic ascetic discipline and mystic practices and the others for their bounty and generosity. Hence, among the Prophets, Prophet Jesus Christ was the best worshipper, Prophet David was the best slave of Allah and Prophet Job was the best person for showing patience. It means every Prophet was a person of perfection regarding some special inner merit and rank.
Faqr is a special rank and marvel and the Prophet excelled in all the physical and spiritual marvels
Similarly, “Faqr” is a special spiritual rank and a marvel. In comparison to it, there is neither any marvel nor any rank. Allah granted this Divine treasure exclusively to our lord Prophet Mohammad among all the Prophets. Regarding Faqr, neither any Prophet nor any Messenger of Allah is a peer or equal in status to the Holy Prophet. That is why, he was proud of Faqr only. Due to it, he is exalted, distinguished and eminent among all the Prophets and Messengers. It is worth considering that he is comprehensive in all the physical and spiritual marvels. Yet, he was neither proud of his bravery, generosity, piety, patience, renunciation, trust in Allah, nor of his eloquence and rhetoric, but he expressed his pride only for “Faqr.” It means that only Faqr is his real asset and legacy.
Faqr is the basis of all the attributes
Though, there are countless inner attributes like truth, loyalty, justice, accountability of innerself, modesty, piety, patience, gratitude, submission, fear of Allah, optimism, generosity, kindness, knowledge, bravery, affection etc. All of these have different ranks and levels but “Faqr” is the most superior and the elevated attribute. Rather, one should know that Faqr encompasses all of them or to say, it is the root cause of all these virtuous attributes.
A Few Questions
Given below is the debate on the objections by some ignorant people who have no spiritual insight. They object that:
- Among these sacred personalities, the gateway of Faqr (Bab-e-Faqr) and the leader of Faqr Ali ibn Abi Talib is not included who is the leader of the Qadri, Chishti and Suhrawardiyya chains and these chains connect to the Holy Prophet through him. Has the Divine Trust in the form of Faqr not transferred to him?
- Has ‘Faqr’ not transferred to the leader of the truthful people Abu Bakr Siddiq, who is the friend of the cave with Prophet Mohammad and through whom the Naqshbandi chain reaches the Holy Prophet?
- Has it not transferred to the other two pious Caliphs Umar ibn Khattab and Usman ibn Affan?
- Has the legacy of Faqr of the Holy Prophet not bestowed upon the leaders of the lovers of Allah, Husayn ibn Ali and Hasan bin Ali?
- Has Faqr not granted to the other sacred Companions of the Holy Prophet, who are the most exalted persons of the umma?
- Have all the interpreters of sharia and the other Saints among the nation not endowed with Faqr?
Faqr and the Four Rashidun Caliphs
Sultan Bahoo has already given the answer to these objections in his writings. He states that there are four spiritual leaders.
صدق صدیقؓ و عدل عمرؓ پُر حیا عثمانؓ بود
گوئے فقرش از محمدشاہِ مرداں می ربود
Explanation: From the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr Siddiq got the attribute of truthfulness, Umar ibn Khattab got justice, Usman ibn Affan got modesty and Ali ibn Abi Talib received Faqr. (Ain-ul-Faqr, Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
He further said:
- The seeker must recognize the four spiritual leaders. First, the leader of the truthfuls is Abu Bakr Siddiq. Second, the leader of the just people is Umar ibn Khattab. Third, the leader of the modest people is Usman ibn Affan and fourth, the leader of Fakirs is Ali ibn Abi Talib. (Jamia-ul-Asrar)
Sultan Bahoo stated in the aforementioned extracts that the asset and legacy of the Holy Prophet ‘Faqr’ transferred to Ali ibn Abi Talib. He is gateway of Faqr (Bab-e-Faqr) and the one who transfers Faqr further. Abu Bakr Siddiq, Umar ibn Khattab and Usman ibn Affan received the highest levels of truthfulness, justice and modesty respectively.
Attention of Rashidun Caliphs
Sultan ul Arifeen Sultan Bahoo said that the seeker of Allah should be like Abu Bakr Siddiq in truthfulness. In justice and accountability of the self he should follow Umar ibn Khattab. In modesty, he should follow the footsteps of Usman ibn Affan and as regards Faqr, he should be like Ali ibn Abi Talib. If one does not acquire with balance these four levels then one cannot achieve the rank of Faqr with perfection. Sultan Bahoo called them four leaders because Faqr gets perfection esoterically by the attention of these four. Yet the gateway of Faqr is only Ali ibn Abi Talib.
What is attention of the Four Leaders in words of Sultan Bahoo?
This fact gets endorsement by the event of the oath of allegiance of Sultan Bahoo. He narrates in his several books that what does “attention” of the four leaders mean? He stated in his book Ain-ul-Faqr:
Once, he was standing in the suburbs of Shorkot. Suddenly, an exalted and dignified horse rider appeared with the refulgence of Divine light who held his hand and got him mounted behind his back. Sultan Bahoo was afraid and shivering. He asked, “Who are you?” The eminent rider blessed Bahoo with his ‘Divine attention’ and revealed, “I am Ali Ibn Abi Talib.” Then Sultan Bahoo asked, “Where are you taking me?” Ali replied, “I am taking you to the Mohammadan Assembly according to his order.”
At once, Sultan Bahoo found himself in the Mohammadan Assembly. At that time, Abu Bakr Siddiq, Umar ibn Khattab and Usman ibn Affan were also present in the company of the People of the Cloak.
The four righteous caliphs blessed Sultan Bahoo with attention
The incident mentioned in Ain-ul-Faqr continues as:
On seeing Sultan Bahoo, Abu Bakr Siddiq stood up from the celestial assembly and met him, then left after paying his ‘attention’. Afterwards, Umar and Usman stood up one by one and paid ‘attention’ after meeting him, and left the assembly. Only the People of the Cloak stayed.
Sultan Bahoo further recounts, “It seemed from the sacred face of Ali that the lord of the universe, the Holy Prophet will assign my oath taking to Ali, as he was my very first means and accomplished guide on the way of Faqr but he remained silent. After a moment, Prophet Mohammad raised his both hands towards me and ordered:
“Hold my hands.”
Then he took my oath of allegiance with his both hands and blessed me with Divine persuasion. Then, he instructed me to say Islamic creed. When I recited it, at once, there remained no veils of ranks and stations. The pre-existence and the eternity were equalized for me (I was liberated from time and space and returned to my origin-‘light of Allah’-which is the extreme level of Faqr). After being honoured by the instructions of the Holy Prophet the queen of paradise Fatimah tuz Zahra said to me, “You are my spiritual son.” Then I kissed the feet of sacred Hasan and Husayn and entered the circle of their slavery. (Manaqib-e-Sultani)
No one can accomplish Faqr without the attention of the four righteous Caliphs
After reading this extract, the objection by the ignorant gets overruled that the four righteous Caliphs are not among Sultan-ul-Faqr. One should also understand that one does not accomplish Faqr without the attention of the four spiritual leaders Abu Bakr Siddiq, Umar, Usman and Ali.
Faqr and the People of the Cloak (Ahl-e-Bayt)
Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi (Mujaddid Alif Sani) said:
- There are two ways of union and meeting with Allah. One of them is the way of Prophethood. By this way, only the Prophets are connected and unified with Allah and this chain had sealed on Prophet Mohammad.
The second way is that of sainthood. The people of this way forms connection with Allah through a mediator. This group consists of the Sufi hierarchy of Qutb, Autad, Abdal, Nujaba (the nobles) and common saints. The mediator and the main source of this way is Ali. This highest rank is of him. In this status the step of the Holy Prophet is upon Ali’s head. Fatimah-tuz-Zahra, Hasan and Husayn also share this status with Ali. (Letter no.123 from “Maktobat-e-Imam Rabbani)
Faqr and Ali ibn Abi Talib
Sultan Bahoo described this fact in these words:
- Ali ibn Abi Talib found Faqr from the Holy Prophet. (Ain-ul-Faqr, Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
- Prophet Mohammad conferred Faqr upon Ali. (Jamia-ul-Asrar)
- The spiritual leader of Fakirs is Ali. (Jamia-ul-Asrar)
The intellectuals translate the Hadith of the Holy Prophet as:
اَنَا مَدِیْنَۃُ الْعِلْم وَ عَلِی بَابُھَا
Meaning: I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its door.
While Sultan Bahoo described its meaning as “I am the city (hub-center) of Faqr and Ali is its door.” That is why, umma remembers Ali with the title of gateway of Faqr.
Faqr and Fatimah bint Mohammad
The queen of the universe Fatimah-tuz-Zahra is the first Sultan-ul-Faqr. Sultan ul Arifeen Sultan Bahoo says in Jamia-ul-Asrar:
- Fatimah bint Mohammad was brought up in Faqr, nourished by Faqr and possessed Faqr. Whoever attains Faqr, does only by her ‘means’.
Faqr and Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali
He says about both the brothers Hasan and Husayn:
- The sacred brothers Hasan and Husayn were the only ones who possessed perfection in, “Faqr is my pride.” They are the beloveds of the Holy Prophet and Fatimah tuz Zahra. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
The aforementioned extracts clarify that as regards the status of perfection in Faqr annihilation and immortality with Allah one cannot differentiate between these four sacred personalities Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn. They are one, same and unified, as all of them had annihilated in the Oneness of Allah. So they have become one. As long as the seeker of Allah does not have the same perception about the status of these four personalities, can never find even the fragrance of Faqr.
Faqr and the Companions of the Holy Prophet
Did all the Companions of the Holy Prophet receive the blessing of Faqr? Answering this question Sultan ul Arifeen Sultan Bahoo said:
- “Remember! After the sacred Companions (here one should consider the words ‘after the sacred Companions’ as it means, the sacred Companions got the blessing of Faqr), Allah has granted the blessing and treasure of Faqr to two men. The first one is Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and the second is Abu Hanifa Kufi, who was a relinquisher of the world. He never ever missed his prayers or fasts till seventy years. The pious, adorer and Mystic lady Rabia of Basra got the same perfection (Faqr is my pride). (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Aforementioned extract clarifies the fact that the Companions had the blessing of Faqr according to their levels respectively. Afterwards, this blessing was conferred upon Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Abu Hanifa and Rabia of Basra. Now, the objection, whether the Companions, Mystics or religious jurists have found Faqr or not, is answered through this extract of Sultan Bahoo.
One more extract to answer the objections more clearly is in the book Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan of Sultan Bahoo as described below:
- Know that, nobody can approach the below mentioned six spiritual levels. If anyone claims so, he is surely a liar, conjurer, infidel, fraud and an apostate. These levels are:
No one can reach the level of Prophet Mohammad
- The verses of the Holy Quran are never revealed upon anyone except the Holy Prophet.
- Prophet Mohammad is the seal of Prophets. No revelation can descend upon anybody else after him.
- Nobody can approach the extreme level of gnosis of Allah where the Holy Prophet reached.
- Nobody can reach the station of extreme Divine nearness (Qab Qausain) and have Miraj like the Holy Prophet, neither anyone can behold Allah with physical eyes like he did.
No one can reach the level of Companions
- No one can reach the level of any Companion of the Holy Prophet that is the Companions of al-Suffa, Companions of Badr, the great Companions or any other Companion.
No one can reach the level of four Imams
- Nobody can attain level of perfection in interpretation of religious law and knowledge of traditions except the four leaders of the four interpreted religions (i.e. Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Shafii, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal), and all these four religions are rightful.
The aforementioned six levels stated by Sultan Bahoo require no further explanation. Each level is clear and explicit. Especially, the explanation about the Companions of the Holy Prophet, given by Sultan Bahoo leaves no room for any kind of objection.
A short account of transference of Faqr
Among the daughters of the Holy Prophet Fatimah-tuz-Zahra has got the most recognition due to Faqr. She inherited the true asset of Mohammadan Faqr from the Holy Prophet. Due to this inheritance, her sacred children became descendants of the Prophet. She became the first Sultan-ul-Faqr. So that umma knows her excellence. Otherwise she did not have to perform the duty of spiritual instruction and education. Ali is the gateway of Faqr because umma got the heritage of Faqr through him. Second Sultan-ul-Faqr is Hasan of Basra. When Ali transferred the Trust of Faqr to him. Therefore it proves that the asset of Faqr is not like a worldly inheritance which one can transfer to his children only. Otherwise both brothers are at the perfection of Faqr and the second Sultan-ul-Faqr Shaikh Hasan of Basra and the fifth Sultan-ul-Faqr Sultan Bahoo are proud of their slavery.
In short, the greatest blessing of Faqr was conferred upon the Holy Prophet at the night of Miraj. By the grace of the Holy Prophet, this Divine blessing was granted to the highly glorious queen of paradise, Fatimah-tuz-Zahra, while Ali was given the robe of Faqr. Faqr was transferred to umma only through him. Then Hasan ibn Ali, Husayn ibn Ali and the Companions found Faqr according to their levels respectively.
Sultan-ul-Faqr do not indulge disciples in long mystic exercises
Among the whole umma of the Prophet, six other selected personalities got preference upon the others. They were crowned with a special rank in Faqr, Sultan-ul-Faqr. Their peculiar sign is:
- Their sight is absolutely the Divine light of Unity and the alchemy of honour. On whosoever the reflection of their hidden reality is cast, his whole being is transformed into absolute Divine light. They do not need to engage their disciples in the struggle of superficial daily recitals and mystic exercises. (Risala Roohi Sharif)
This means, they do not let the seekers of Allah indulge in the hard work of daily recitals and the forty days seclusion. Rather, their eyesight itself is a Divine light. On whomever it casts, he also becomes the Divine light.
It is hoped that after this discussion, most of the doubts and misperceptions might be resolved. Although, one must keep in mind that the ‘complete authority of Faqr’ is with the Holy Prophet. This is so as Faqr is his real asset and the People of the Cloak are the true inheritors of this heritage and the conveyers of it.
Among the seven Sultan-ul-Faqr and leaders of the worlds whom Sultan ul Arifeen Sultan Bahoo discussed in Risala Roohi Sharif, he revealed the names of five of these souls who appeared in this world in their respective times and became the source of blessing and beneficence for the masses. On the lives of these five souls there are a lot of eulogies, journals, books and periodicals. They do not need introduction. However, Sultan Bahoo kept the names of the two souls to come in future a secret. One of them has graced this world with his sacred presence. Lacs of people of this age have been blessed with his sacred sight, company and slavery. His name is Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali.
On Friday, 14th August 1947 (27th Ramadan 1366 H), he was born and on Friday 26th December, 2003 (02 Dhul-al-Qadah 1424 H), he died. He is the beloved spiritual guide of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman and he has written a book on his biography and teachings titled as ‘Mujtaba Akhir Zamani’. Its English translation is with the title ‘The Spiritual Guides of Sarwari Qadri Order’.