Meaning: Love of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is the first condition of true religion Islam. If there is a flaw in that, then every other act loses its value.
Nizamuddin Auliya (ra) says:
A true lover’s heart is full of love for Allah and Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
Perfect Fakirs – True Lovers Of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)
After the Tabiun and Tabi al-Tabiun perfect Fakirs are at the highest spiritual level in love and respect of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
The best people of this umma are the Fakir.
Shahab al-Din Abu Hafs Umar Suhrawardi (ra) says:
The perfect Fakirs followed the Holy Prophet in abundance of worship, Tahajjud and other supererogatory prayers and fasting. By the beneficence of following his words and actions they also got some distinct morals of Prophet Mohammad including modesty, humility, forgiveness and mercy, compassion and love, gentleness and benevolence etc. Moreover, they also got a big share in spiritual stations of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). These include fear of Allah, inward peace, respect, perfect submission, patience, and trust upon Allah. Hence, they observed all aspects of following Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and brought his Sunnah to perfection by reviving it.
Allah Almighty says:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَطِیۡعُوا اللّٰہَ وَ اَطِیۡعُوا الرَّسُوۡلَ وَ اُولِی الۡاَمۡرِ مِنۡکُمۡ ۚ ﴿٪۵۹﴾
Meaning: O believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) and those who are Ulil Amr (اولی الامر) amongst you. [4: 59]
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says:
Some people derive the meaning ‘worldly leaders’ from the term Ulil Amr in verse 59 of sura an-Nisa but Saints derive it to be the truthful who is the perfect spiritual guide, representative of Prophet Mohammad in each era and whose responsibility is to spiritually train the people. Moreover, the Quran and Hadith turn our attention again and again towards following him. (Sufism – The Soul of Islam)
One who died in a state that he had not pledged allegiance to the perfect spiritual guide, died in complete ignorance. (Muslim 4793)
Love For Murshid
Imam Ghazali (ra) says:
Whoever claims to love the Holy Prophet (pbuh) but does not love Fakirs (perfect spiritual guides) is a liar.
The sacred self of perfect Murshid enlightens dead inwards. Hence, those dead inwards that are revived by the beneficence of the company of Saints, their hearts and souls are bestowed with new life. This is confirmed by the meeting of Prophet Moses and Khidr described in the Holy Quran. When a fish from the breakfast bowl of Prophet Moses became alive and jumped into the water at a place called Majma Al-Bahrain, which was the residence of al-Khidr. This incident testifies the fact that the place which was the abode of al-Khidr had this effect in its climate that the dead bodies became alive there.
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo (ra) said in Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan:
ہر کرا مرشد نہ با خود نما
مرد مرشد میبرد وحدت خدا
Meaning: He who does not have a Murshid becomes obsessed with self-importance. While the perfect Murshid leads to Divine union. How Important Is Love For Murshid?
Just as the companionship and following the leader of the era (perfect spiritual guide) is necessary to gain the obedience of Allah and His Messenger. Similarly, the source of love for Allah and His Messenger is only obedience and love for Murshid.
Allah Almighty says:
وَ اصۡبِرۡ نَفۡسَکَ مَعَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَدۡعُوۡنَ رَبَّہُمۡ بِالۡغَدٰوۃِ وَ الۡعَشِیِّ یُرِیۡدُوۡنَ وَجۡہَہٗ وَ لَا تَعۡدُ عَیۡنٰکَ عَنۡہُمۡ ۚ ﴿۲۸﴾
Meaning: (O My servant!) Stay tenaciously in the companionship of those who remember their Lord morning and evening, ardently seeking His pleasure, (keen on the glimpse of His sight, and eagerly aspiring to glance at His radiant Countenance). Therefore, your (affectionate and caring) looks must not but focus them. [18: 28]
Murshid Is A Medium To Approach Allah
It is narrated that in explanation of the verse
)یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ وَ ابۡتَغُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِ الۡوَسِیۡلَۃَ ﴿۳۵﴾
Meaning: O believers! Fear Allah persistently and keep looking for means to (approach and get closer to) Him. [5: 35]), the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said that medium toward Divine nearness is love for Fakirs. Love for Allah is a Distinct Characteristic of Perfect Murshid
The inward of believer is the Throne of Allah.
The inward of a spiritual guide is filled with the love of Allah and is the source of Divine theophanies from which only the true seekers gain beneficence. That is why, without having love for Murshid, not a single act of worship has an effect on inward. This is the reason why most of the people are deprived of gnosis of Allah despite extensive recitations of Quran, prayer, fasting, alms giving and other acts of worship. Therefore, to obey and serve the perfect Murshid for the gnosis of Allah is a favorite act in Divine court. A seeker’s intense love for his Murshid is the Sunnah of Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra).
Love For Murshid Grants Love For Allah
Holy Prophet (pbuh) said:
The superiority of Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) is not because of his extensive prayers, recitations or fasting rather it is because of a great thing in his inward (love for the Prophet [pbuh]).
There is a key to everything, and the key to heaven is love for the Fakirs and Masakeen.
Data Ganj Bakhsh Ali ibn Usman al-Hajveri (ra) says:
The inward of a spiritual guide is filled with the love of Allah. He directly receives beneficence from Allah Almighty and the creation of Allah gain beneficence from him. Moreover, Allah Almighty especially chooses him for His friendship and for granting beneficence to others.
Rumi (ra) said:
پیرِ کامل صورتِ ظل الٰہ
یعنی دیدِ پیر دیدِ کبریا
Meaning: The inward of perfect spiritual guide is where Divine Essence manifests. Hence, a seeker beholds Allah on sincerely beholding his spiritual guide.
A true seeker is recognized from the fact that he, to seek the pleasure of his spiritual guide, follows his orders with great sincerity and love. For he knows the love for Murshid is not only a source of blessings and a means of Divine nearness, but it also ensures inner peace by keeping him safe from the evils of self, Satan and the world.
Nizamuddin Auliya (ra) said:
It is obligatory for the disciple that he should have firm belief in the Oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). It is also mandatory for him to love his Murshid so that the words of his spiritual guide would have an effect on his inward.
Love For Allah Is a Great Blessing
The love for Murshid creates love for Allah and His Messenger in the heart of a true seeker. Rumi (ra) was a great scholar of his time, but he was not blessed with the love of Allah and His Messenger. He got this great blessing after pledging allegiance to Shah Shams Tabrez (ra). Afterwards he said:
بشکلِ شیخ دیدم مصطفیٰؐ را
ندیدم مصطفیٰؐ را بل خدا را
Meaning: I beheld Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) in the sacred countenance of my spiritual guide. I not only beheld the Holy Prophet (pbuh) but Allah Almighty too.
Abu Musa Ashaari (ra) narrated that someone asked the Holy Prophet, “What if a person loves some people (who are pious) but he could not follow their good deeds.” The Holy Prophet (pbuh) replied: “On the Day of Resurrection, a person will be with those whom he loves.” (Sahih Bukhari)
The love of a true seeker for his Murshid is that he surrenders himself completely to his spiritual guide in all his matters and does not have any authority of his own.
An Inspiring Incident Of Love For Murshid
Imam al-Ghazali (ra) describes an incident of a true seeker’s love for his Murshid as follows:
Once a true seeker was going to meet his Murshid. By the command of Allah, he encountered an angel. The angel asked him where he was going. The seeker replied: “I am going to meet my spiritual guide.” The angel asked again: “What are you going for?” To this, the true seeker replied, “I have no interest other than the Murshid.” Then the angel said, “Is he your relative?” He replied, “I have no blood relation with him, only love and affection for the gnosis and pleasure of Allah.”
On this the angel said: “Listen! Allah Almighty has sent me to you to give the good news that since you befriended His friend (meaning there by, established a relationship of love and affection with the perfect spiritual guide for the gnosis of Allah), He has made you His friend too. Moreover, He has made it obligatory upon Himself to send you to heaven.” Love For Murshid Guarantees Perfection Of Faith
Remember! The paradise of Divine seekers is the closeness and vision of Allah, which is only possible by attaining the love for the Murshid. Therefore, following the footsteps of his spiritual guide in love is the real servitude. Moreover, this guarantees the perfection of faith. The disciple cannot attain perfection in servitude until he adorns his exoteric and esoteric self with the love and respect of his spiritual guide, because this love bestows him with the love of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Hence, with the gradual spiritual elevation he is bestowed with Divine love. Jalaluddin Mohammad Rumi (ra) said:
گفتۂ اُو گفتۂ اللہ بود
گرچہ از حلقوم عبداللہ بود
Meaning: His (perfect Murshid) speech is like the speech of Allah, although the words are spoken by the tongue of a servant of Allah.
How Can one Attain Love for Murshid?
It is important for the disciple to know that the first principle of acquiring the love for Murshid is respect. There is a well-known saying that a mannerly person is fortunate, while an ill-mannered person is unfortunate. Hence, love for Murshid is a blessing and a disciple is bestowed with it in proportion to respect he has in his heart for his Murshid and his sacred family.
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo (ra) said:
تسبی پھری تے دل نہ پھریا، کی لینا تسبی پھڑ کے ھو
علم پڑھیا تے ادب نہ سکھیا، کی لینا علم نوں پڑھ کے ھو
Meaning: What is the purpose of moving the beads of string if such invocation is not making any difference in your inward. Similarly, if you have the bulk of knowledge but that knowledge does not teach you respect then it is useless. Respect Is The First Rule Of Love For Allah, The Prophet And The Murshid
Remember! Where there is love, there will be respect. True form of respect is to negate even one’s self in front of the beloved, that is, to have no one else in the heart except the beloved. Not only this, the lover should respect the opinion of his beloved. He should sacrifice his own comfort for the beloved. Even after doing all this, the lover asks for nothing in return. The sacred lives of the Companions were full of examples of love, which are beacons of light for the Divine seekers. Therefore, a seeker should not miss any aspect of respect.
Al-Ghazali (ra) said:
A seeker cannot attain perfection in Divine love until his heart is profound with the highest level of respect for Murshid. It is because perfection in love guarantees the highest spiritual levels.
In short, the seeker who is devoid of respect for Murshid can never gain beneficence from the company of spiritual guide. Because respect along with invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat grants Divine nearness and love. Besides all these, going through mystic endeavours, financial or practical, are also compulsory for the seeker.
Serve the Fakirs, surely they have Divine treasures.
Serve the Fakirs (with your wealth) before your wealth perishes.
Quotes About Mystic Struggles
Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) writes in his book ar-Risala tul-Ghausia Allah said to him:
Ghawth al-Azam (ra)! One of the oceans of spiritual observation is mystic endeavour and all the mystics adopt it. Whoever intends to enter the ocean of Divine observation should adopt mystic endeavours. It is because this is the core of spiritual observation.
Ghawth al-Azam! He who endeavours towards Me, beholds Me whether he wishes for it or not.
Fariduddin Ganjshakar (ra) said:
A disciple who serves his Murshid for seven days with love and sincerity, the reward of seven hundred years of worship is written in his book of deeds, and every step he takes on this path is rewarded with Hajj and Umrah.
Al-Ghazali (ra) says:
Mystic struggle is superior to performing supererogatory worship because it is servitude as well as worship.
Origin of the Universe is Divine Love
The highest level of love is called Ishq. When the love of the spiritual guide reaches its peak it becomes Ishq.
Sultan Bahoo (ra) said:
Love is a subtle passion which arouses in the inward from the hidden and does not find peace with anyone but the Beloved. (Mohkim-ul-Fuqara)
Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (ra) states in his booklet ar-Risala tul-Ghausia:
I saw Allah. Then I asked, “O Lord! What is meant by love?” He replied, “O Ghawth al-Azam! Love Me, love for Me and I am Love Myself and liberate your inward and actions from everything other than Me.”
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says:
The origin of the universe is Divine love and the creation of man is for the sake of love. When the souls were created from Mohammadan light, the exclusive essence of Divine love was inherited by the human souls from the Prophet. The passion of love must arouse in the inward of seeker for Divine vision. In fact the relation of the soul and Allah is that of love. Without love neither the soul awakes nor can it find ‘the Divine vision’. Love is present in the form of a seed within the human being. Although it is dormant but as soon as it awakes in the soul by the invocation and contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, inscribing the name of Allah on body and the attention of spiritual guide, the passion, longing and attraction for Allah start increasing.
Life Is Worthless Without Having Love For Allah
Mian Mohammad Bakhsh (ra) says:
جنہاں عشق خرید نہ کیتا عیویں آبھگتے
عشقے باجھ محمد بخشا کیا آدم کیا کتے
Explanation: Those who do not trade their life for love, their life is useless and worthless. Without the love (of Allah) there is no difference between a man and dog.
According to the perfect Mystics, one can attain Divine love by means of metaphorical love which is the love for the spiritual guide. Usually the metaphorical love is thought to be for a man by a woman and vice versa which is actually lust and devilish. Sharia does not allow it. On the path of Faqr ‘metaphorical love’ means love for the spiritual guide.
Once Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) was asked what do you like the most in the world? So he said spontaneously, “I like seeing the sacred countenance of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) the most.”
مکتبِ عشق سے واصف نے یہ پائی تعلیم
عین ایمان ہے رُخِ یار پہ قربان ہونا
Explanation: Wasif received this education from the school of love that the true faith is to sacrifice oneself for the sacred countenance of the beloved.
Love For Murshid Is Obligatory
The crux of the discussion is that the love for spiritual guide is obligatory for self-purification, inward sanctification and enlightenment of soul. Moreover, it cleanses the inward for Divine love, Divine vision and gnosis of Allah. Remember this! Even if a person spends his whole life in worship, studies a thousand books, learns the problems of Quran and jurisprudence, yet without the companionship and love for spiritual guide, he can never attain the fragrance of gnosis of Allah.
We pray to Allah Almighty to bless us with the intense love of the Imam of present era, the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide and the light of Divine guidance, Nur-e-Faqr, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman and bless us with his closeness and vision. Ameen
Q1: How to love Allah sincerely?
As Allah Himself says:
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّٰہِ ؕ ﴿۱۶۵﴾
Meaning: But those who believe love Allah the most (far more intensely than anyone else). [2: 165]
The meaning of intense love is that in the matter of love for Allah Almighty, a person completely sacrifices the love of his self and wealth. Only when he sacrifices himself will he find the secret of Marifa.