Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nafahat al-'Uns: The Lives of Notable Figures of the Spiritual Path


Madrassa in Khiva,Uzbekistan

Excerpts from Nafahat al-'Uns: The Lives of Notable Figures of the Spiritual Path
by Sidi Ruslan Moore
Khwaja 'Abd al-Khaliq Ghujdawani
May Allah the Exalted sanctify his spirit!
His conduct in the Spiritual Path has become a standard criterion, and he has been accepted by all the orders of the Spiritual Path. He strove with constant endeavour to hold the course of truthfulness and purity, to comply with the Sacred Law and the Sunna of Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), and to avoid and oppose heretical innovation and passionate desire. He kept his own pure nature hidden from the view of strangers. While still in his early youth, he was taught the remembrance of the heart by the venerable Khidr (peace be upon him), and he demonstrated persistence in putting that lesson into practice. The venerable Khidr (peace be upon him) adopted him as a son, then gave him this command: "Go and dive deep into this reservoir of water, and say with the heart: 'La ilaha illa 'llah; Muhammadun Rasulu 'llah [There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is Allah's Messenger].' He did as he was told, so he learned that lesson and set to work, for he had discovered the opening. From the very beginning until the final moment of his career, he would be accepted and praised by all the people close to him. Some time later, the Shaikh of all the Shaikhs of the world, the scholar and lordly sage Abu Ya'qub Yusuf Hamadani (may Allah the Exalted sanctify his spirit) arrived in Bukhara. Khwaja 'Abd al-Khaliq joined his fellowship and discovered that he was also endowed with the remembrance of the heart. He therefore kept him company throughout the time he spent in Bukhara. It has been said that the venerable Khidr (peace be upon) him was his spiritual teacher, while Khwaja Yusuf was the master of fellowship and the dervish custom of wearing the tattered cloak [khirqa]. After Khwaja Yusuf had gone, Khwaja 'Abd al-Khaliq Ghujdawani became preoccupied with spiritual exercise, while striving to keep his spiritual states concealed. His sainthood reached such a degree that he would go to the Ka'ba and come back in the time of a single ritual prayer. He had many disciples in the noble city of Damascus, where they constructed a dervish convent and a palace. On one of the days of 'Ashura, we have been told, a large congregation had assembled at the Khwaja's command, and the Khwaja was giving a speech about esoteric knowledge. All of a sudden, a young man dressed like an ascetic appeared on the scene. He was wearing a tattered cloak and held a prayer rug on his shoulder. He sat down in a corner and the venerable Khwaja just glanced at him. After a while, that young man stood up and said to the Khwaja: "The venerable Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said:
Beware of the perspicacity of the true believer, for he sees by the light of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He).
What is the secret meaning of this noble Prophetic saying [hadith]?" The Khwaja replied (may Allah the Exalted bestow His mercy upon him): "The secret meaning of his Prophetic saying is that you must cut off the zunnar [the waistband worn by the Magian unbelievers] and come to the true faith." That young man said: "We take refuge with Allah from the waistband!" Upon his uttering these words, the Khwaja beckoned to a servant, who promptly stood up and removed the tattered robe from the young man's back. A zunnar then came into view from beneath the tattered robe. The young man immediately cut off the waistband and came to the true faith. The venerable Khwaja then said to those present: "O my companions, let us fulfill our duty in accordance with the example set by this brave man. Let us cut off our waistbands and come to the true faith! Just as he has cut off the waistband of his outer being, we must cut off the waistband of the inner being, which consists of vain conceit and self-adulation. Just as he has been forgiven, let us also be forgiven!" When they heard him speak like this, a wonderful spiritual state became manifest among the companions. Each and every one of them immediately fell prostrate at the Khwaja's foot, and they all renewed their
repentance.
One day, according to what has been related, a certain dervish said this in the presence of the Khwaja: "If Allah (Exalted is He) has made me free to choose between paradise and hell, I am choosing hell. That is because, throughout my whole life, I have never acted in accordance with the desire of the self. In this situation, paradise is the aim of my own self, whereas hell is the aim of the Lord of Truth (Exalted is He)." The Khwaja rejected this statement of his, however, and he said: "What does the servant have to do with choice? Wherever He commands us to go, that is where we go. Wherever He commands us to stay, that is where we stay. Servitude is this, not what you say it is." That dervish then went on to ask: "Does the hand of Satan reach the traveller on the Spiritual Path?" The Khwaja gave this answer to his question: "If a traveller on the Spiritual Path has not attained to the secret of the degree of self-annihilation, because he has retained a feeling of anger, the hand of Satan reaches him. As for a traveller who has attained to the secret of self-annihilation, he feels no anger. He is inspired by zeal, and wherever zeal exists, Satan flees from that place. The following description has been applied to that person: He has turned his face towards the path of the Truth, holding the Book of Allah (Exalted is He) in his right hand and the Sunna of Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) in his left hand. Between these two lights, he continues to progress along the path." A visitor had once come to the venerable Khwaja from a distant road. At that same time, a very handsome young man came to the venerable Khwaja and requested a prayer of supplication. The Khwaja uttered the supplication, and that young man disappeared. That visitor asked: "Who was this young man?" The Khwaja said: "He was an angel whose station was in the fourth heaven. On account of a shortcoming, he had fallen a long way down from his station and descended to the heaven of this world. He asked the other angels: 'What must I do, so that the Lord of Truth (Exalted is He) will restore me to my previous station?' The angels directed him to this place, so he came and requested a prayer of supplication. We uttered the supplication and it was accepted, then he returned to his previous station. That visitor said: "Khwaja, for the sake of my faith, I am also in need of the help provided by the prayer of supplication. In the protective shade of this supplication, I shall save my soul from Satan's trap." Upon hearing him speak like this, the Khwaja said: "According to the promise we have received, whenever someone makes a supplication after performing the obligatory duties, it will be answered. You must set to work. After the obligatory prayer, you must remember us and we must also remember you. Perhaps the sign of acceptance will then become clearly apparent, both for your sake and for our sake."
May Allah be well pleased with him! (Courtesy:sunni path http://www.sunnipath.com/)

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