Spiritual Succession and The Divine Trust

  • The holder of the Trust of Allah, a Sarwari Qadri spiritual guide has to search for a disciple eligible enough to transfer the Divine Trust.
  • Likewise, Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali also searched for his spiritual heir. To whom he could transfer the Divine Trust and absolve from his responsibility.
  • Before discussing that, it is important to clarify the difference between spiritual succession and the spiritual heir of Divine Trust.

Spiritual Succession

The perfect and accomplished spiritual guide who possesses the light of Divine guidance grants succession to many of his disciples. This can be of two types, exoteric and esoteric.

Exoteric Succession

After the death of spiritual guide, the exoteric successors run after the system of khanqah. For that purpose, spiritual guide usually grants the exoteric succession to shrine superiors.

Esoteric Succession

Certainly, the perfect spiritual guide possesses the entire Divine attributes. In esoteric succession, he grants his specific attribute to particular disciples. For that matter, he tests the disciple based on his sincerity and hard work. Then if the disciple passes and pleases his spiritual guide, he trains him according to that particular attribute. After completion of training, the spiritual guide gives him succession. Then the disciple can guide and help people under that attribute.

Junior Successors and the Men of Recitals

Only the seekers of that specific attribute come to the spiritual successor or the spiritual guide possessing that attribute. The mystic terminology refers such successors as the junior successors.

However, the Sarwari Qadri way calls such successors as the spiritual guides who are the men of recitals.


The Divine Trust

The Divine Trust refers to the Trust of Faqr and the representation of Allah.

Reference from Sirr-e-Dilbaran

 In reference to the Divine Trust, Sayyid Mohammad Zauqi has written in his book Sirr-e-Dilbaran:

The responsibility to take up the Divine Trust, is in fact the manifestation of the Divine Essence. And the Divine Essence along with His names and attributes is ‘Ism-e-Allah Zaat’.  Neither the skies and the earth could bear this responsibility nor could the dwellers of the sky. Yet, man took it upon himself! In short, Ism-e-Allah Zaat is exactly the Divine Essence and in the human form it is the Universal Divine Man.

Reference from the Quran

اِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْاَمَانَۃَ عَلَی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الْاَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَاَبَیْنَ اَنْ یَّحْمِلْنَہَا وَ اَشْفَقْنَ مِنْھَا وَحَمَلَھَا الْاِنْسَانُ ؕ اِنَّہٗ کَانَ ظَلُوْمًا جَھُوْلًا ۔(الاحزاب: 72)

Meaning: Indeed, We offered Our Trust to the skies and the earth and the mountains. They declined to bear it as they were afraid of it. But the man assumed it. Verily! he is cruel (towards his innerself) and ignorant (about his status near Allah). (33:72)

Sultan-ul-Faqr VI Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali said that in the above verse ‘the Trust’ refers to ‘Ism-e-Allah Zaat’.

What is Ism-e-Allah Zaat?

Sultan Bahoo expressed:

اسمِ اللہ بس گراں است بس عظیم

ایں حقیقت یافتہ نبی کریمؐ

Meaning: Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the heaviest and the greatest Trust. And, only the Holy Prophet knows its Reality.


Divine Trust is the legacy of Prophet Mohammad

  • According to the Saints and perfect Mystics of Sarwari Qadri order, Trust means ‘the legacy of Faqr of Prophet Mohammad’.
  • As mentioned before, the heir of this legacy of Faqr is the possessor of the Divine Trust. He holds the status of the Sultan of his time and thus, is the spiritual leader of the spiritual order.
  • Holy Prophet is the owner and attorney of the treasure of Faqr. Only he has the authority to grant it to the spiritual heir.
  • Therefore, he can grant it to whomsoever he considers capable to bear the Divine Trust.
  • Although, the true heir of this legacy is the one who reaches the destination of annihilation in Allah.
  • In other words, it is a specially chosen seeker of Allah who annihilates in Hoo i.e. reaches Divine Oneness. Such seeker undoubtedly becomes the ‘embodiment of Oneness’.

The Universal Divine Man-The Bearer of Divine Trust

  • As described above the bearer of Divine Trust is the manifestation of Allah.
  • Thus, in Sufi terms called as the Universal Divine Man or the accomplished Fakir.
  • Holy Prophet appoints him as the spiritual leader and the perfect spiritual guide of the Sarwari Qadri order.

The Universal Divine Man Possesses Faqr

Prophet Mohammad stated that:

اِذَا تَمَّ الْفَقْرُ فَھُوَ اللّٰہِ

Meaning:  When (a seeker) accomplishes Faqr, (then he) reaches Allah.

As described before, the possessor of the Divine Trust is the true and perfect seeker of Allah. He completely annihilates not only in Faqr but also in the Holy Prophet and Hoo.

The Universal Divine Man is Ism-e-Azam

Moiduddin Jindi has done the exegesis of Sura al-Fatihah in the first volume of Tafseer Rooh-ul-Bayan. In that book, he writes about the greatest name of Allah (Ism-e-Azam). He says;

“It actually refers to the Universal Divine Man who exists in every era. He is the leading Saint of all the Saints. In other words, he is the man who possesses the Divine Trust and is the absolute representative of Allah. Certainly, the greatest name of Allah (Ism-e-Azam) is actually the physical countenance of this perfect Saint.” (page 41-Vol 1)

The Man of Divine Essence/ The Universal Divine Man

  • Sultan Bahoo titles the bearer of the Divine Trust as ‘the man of Divine Essence’, also known as the Universal Divine Man.
  • The man of Divine Essence means the Fakir who not only annihilates in Allah but is also immortal with Him.
  • Allah has appointed him at the throne of Divine guidance and persuasion.
  • In addition to that, he is the perfect spiritual guide, entitled by Allah to grant Ism-e-Allah Zaat.

Difference Between the Man of Recitals and the Man of Divine Essence

As mentioned before, the man of recitals is the esoteric successor in Sarwari Qadri terminology. In Ain-ul-Faqr, Sultan Bahoo says;

“What is the difference between the man of recitals and the man of Divine Essence?

  • The man of recitals refers to the spiritual guide who possesses only the invocation of name of Allah. While the man of Divine Essence refers to the perfect spiritual guide who completely submerges in the Divine Essence.
  • The man of recitals holds the status of general creation. In contrast, the man of Divine Essence is above the level of creation i.e. he holds the status of non-creation. In addition to that, his inward and outward completely annihilate as well as submerge in the Divine Essence. In short, (Allah) has forbidden the man of Divine Essence from invocation.” (Ain-ul-Faqr)
  • In Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan, Sultan Bahoo says;

مسمّٰی آں کہ باشد لازوالی

نہ آں جا ذکر و فکر نہ وصالی

Explanation: The status of the man of Divine Essence is eternal. At such status, he has no need of invocation, meditation or union as he is already One with Allah. When the seeker reaches this level, he becomes the Fakir annihilated in Allah. Moreover, Allah reveals the concealed secret (of the Divine Essence) upon him. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)

Description of the Man of Divine Essence per Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen

Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says;

  • Mystic is one who finds the Divine Essence from the Divine name. (Faqr-e-Iqbal)
  • Allah has blessed only the man of Divine Essence with the greatest and the most powerful name of Allah. (And as mentioned earlier that is Ism-e-Azam). O
  • ne, who becomes the man of Divine Essence, becomes the possessor of this greatest name. (The Divine Reality of Ism-e-Allah Zaat)
Universal Divine Man of Present Era

The Universal Divine Man is the Essence of his Spiritual Guide

  • The Universal Divine Man or the man of Divine Essence is the perfect manifestation of Allah.
  • His sacred being manifests the Divine Essence along with all the Divine names and attributes.
  • In other words, he is the perfect seeker or the disciple who manifests all attributes of his spiritual guide.
  • His being is the same as that of his spiritual guide’s. He completely annihilates in spiritual guide who is already at the level of annihilation in the Holy Prophet and Allah.
  • In fact, he is the one whom the spiritual guide transfers the Divine Trust or the Trust of Faqr
  • The Universal Divine Man or the Man of Divine Essence is only one in an era. 
  • He usually appears at a new place according to the conditions prevailing in that era.

The Superior Spiritual Successor

In the light of mystic terminology, the Man of Divine Essence or the Universal Divine Man is the superior spiritual successor.

Selection of the Universal Divine Man

  • Allah has chosen the Universal Divine Men or the bearer of Divine Trust since eternity.
  • The inward of the Universal Divine Man, al-Insan al-Kamil or the man of Divine Essence is perfectly pure and as clear as a mirror.
  • When he is at the stage of seeking Allah, Prophet Mohammad himself takes oath of allegiance from him spiritually.
  • Then entrusts him to al-Gawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani.
  • After his spiritual training, he hands him over to the perfect spiritual guide.
  • Later, the spiritual guide takes his various exoteric and esoteric tests and trials. As, after burning in a kiln, impure gold transforms into into pure and exquisite gold.

Likewise, the true seeker of Allah becomes eligible for entrusting the Divine Trust after passing through all the trials successfully. Certainly, the grace of Allah and his own unprecedented veracity, sincere intentions, intense love, loyalty and sacrifices also go parallel. His true love and selfless services for his spiritual guide makes him the beloved of the spiritual guide and Allah. And finally, he reaches the ultimate status of the Universal Divine Man.

The Transference of Divine Trust

  • After a series of successful trials, the true seeker of Allah becomes the spiritual confidant of his spiritual guide.
  • Then the Murshid or spiritual guide reveals all the hidden Divine secrets upon him and transfers the Divine Trust.
  • However, this transference is a secret between the lover and the beloved, so it occurs silently and secretly.
  • For instance, apparently, Sultan Abdul Aziz put his own turban on the head of his elder son Sultan Safdar Ali.
  • That is to say, seemingly in front of everyone, he granted him his succession. However, secretly and inwardly he transferred the Divine Trust to Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali. This implies to, فَھِمَ مَنْ فَھِمَ  ‘only the capable ones will understand’.

Iqbal’s perspective

Allama Iqbal expresses the transference and training of the holder of the Divine Trust in the following way:

پرورش پاتا ہے تقلید کی تاریکی میں

ہے مگر اس کی طبیعت کا تقاضا تخلیق

اس کا اندازِ نظر اپنے زمانے سے جدا

اس کے احوال سے محرم نہیں پیرانِ طریق


Explanation: The spiritual guide trains the Universal Divine Man and the heir of the Divine Trust secretly and inwardly. He reaches the highest spiritual station by following his spiritual guide completely. Yet, his nature is very innovative in style and vision. Also, he is entirely different from the conventional manners of his age. The common Mystics and Saints are completely unaware of his inward states and highest spiritual status.

A Perfect Murshid Searches for his Spiritual Heir

As, to acquire the gnosis of Allah every seeker of Allah is in search of the perfect spiritual guide. Similarly, every perfect spiritual guide remains in search of his spiritual confidant, to whom he could transfer the Divine Trust. Because only then can a perfect spiritual guide fulfill his final obligation.

Sultan Bahoo’s Search for his Spiritual Heir

Sultan Bahoo remained in search of a true seeker of Allah throughout his life.

  • In Nur-ul-Huda Kalan he writes:

For years, I have been searching the true seekers of Allah. But I could not find such a highly courageous and determined seeker who truly deserved the Divine persuasion. The seeker, whom I could transfer the wealth and blessings of extrinsic and intrinsic treasures of gnosis and Divine Oneness. Thus, fulfill my obligation of paying the charity of Divine benedictions and get absolved of the right of Allah.”

  • Furthermore, he writes in the same book;

درطلب طالب بہ طلبم سالہا سال

کس نہ یابم طالبے لائق لقا

Meaning: For years, I have been searching for a true seeker who deserves the vision and union of Allah.  But alas! I could not find the one.

Sultan Bahoo could not find his Spiritual Confidant in his Life

Sultan Bahoo expresses in his Punjabi couplets:

دل دا محرم کوئی نہ ملیا‘ جو ملیا سو غرضی ھُو

Explanation: I could not find any true seeker of Allah who deserved to be my spiritual confidant. Because, whoever came to me, wanted to fulfill his worldly desires.

  • Additionally, he said;

کس نیابم طالبے حق حق طلب

میر سانم باحضوری رازِ ربّ

Explanation: I could not find any true seeker of the Truth. The seeker whom I could elevate to the level of Divine presence, thus, granting him the Divine secrets.

  • He writes in Ameer-ul-Kaunain:

باھوؒ کس نیامد طالبے لائق طلب

حاضر کنم بامصطفٰےؐ توحیدربّ

Explanation: O Bahoo! No seeker came to me who was true to his desire for Allah. No one was eligible enough so I could present him before the Holy Prophet. I did not find a seeker whom I could carry to the level of Divine Oneness.

Rule for Transferring the Divine Trust

There is a fixed rule for transferring the Divine Trust which is described by Rumi in the third volume of his Mathnawi:

“Allah places His Trust in the inward of such a person who is not very popular.”

Thus, the spiritual guide as well, transfers the Divine Trust to such a seeker who is not famous and prefers to stay unknown. Reason being, the desire of popularity and fame is the biggest hurdle in the way of Faqr.

The Universal Divine Man Stays Away from Limelight

  • The spiritual guides of Sarwari Qadri order always stay away from fame.
  • Nobody knows them besides the seekers of Allah.
  • Their shrines are also unknown like the shrines of spiritual guides of other orders.
  • Such Saints are perfectly described in the following Qudsi Hadith:

اِنَّ اَوْ لِیَآ یِٔ تَحْتَ قَبَایِٔ لَاْ یَعْرِفُھُمْ غَیْرِیْ ط

Meaning: Some of My Saints remain concealed beneath My robe. No one knows them except Me.

  • Faqr means the same, as said by Sultan Bahoo:

’’ ہوویں سونا سداویں سکہ ھُو ‘‘

Meaning: Hide your glitter. Show yourself as a metallic coin in spite of being the gold.

  • In short, the Sarwari Qadri spiritual guide or the Universal Divine Man does not like to gain popularity.
  • Rather, he prefers to stay concealed. Since, fame brings the people with worldly desires to his court.
  • Abdullah bin Umar related that the Holy Prophet said:

Among all the men of Allah, the dearest to Him are those who are pious but hidden. If they disappear, nobody can find them and if they give witness, no one can recognize them. They are the fountainheads of righteousness and the enlightened sources of knowledge. (Tibrani, Hakim)

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