Friday, November 02, 2012

Certainty in Belief is Dependent Upon Seeing

Hazrat Faqir Noor Muhammad Sarwari
Qadri Kalachwi (RA)
This article contains translations of important excerpts from the chapter titled "Certainty in Belief is Dependent Upon Seeing", from the book "Irfan (part 2)" by Hazrat Faqir Noor Muhammad Sarwari Qadri Kalachwi (RA). This book was first published in 1942. It has two parts. Both parts also  have translations in English. The urdu version of the first volume can be read here and English version can be read here.

It is also advisable that this article be read in connection with, and preferably after reading, On Afterlife and Islamic Spirituality.

Now we come to our real topic and describe the reality of nafs (the soul, or the self). It should be made clear that Allah shows to the seekers of path verses and signs of the aafaaq (skies) and anfas (souls, selves) so much so that they clearly find the truth.

سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ 
شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ (حم 53:41)

We shall show them Our portents on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth. Dothnot thy Lord suffice, since He is Witness over all things?

In the verse quoted, a mention has been made about the world of aafaaq (the skies) and world of anfas (the souls), the whole universe is composed of these two worlds.

The world of Aafaaq (the skies) is also called as the world of creation, the apparent world, the witnessed world, the material world, the subtle world, the shape world, and the unreal world. And this is this world that the human being knows about and feels through his five senses.

The second world of anfas (the souls) is also called as the upper world, the inner world, the invisible world, the subtle world, the world of meaning and the real world. And this world is hidden from the apparent senses. The anfas world is real and the aafaaq world is its image. Both worlds have similar earth, sky, sun, moon, stars and all of the other things and two types of material and subtle subtle creation. In Quran-e-Pak Allah Almighty often discusses the reality of the invisible world with the subtle world and its creation. As Allah Almighty says.

الم  o ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ  o  الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ()

This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil). Who believe in the Unseen.

Normally with, يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ, it has been considered to bear faith without seeing. This can never be correct because faith and belief become firm with seeing. As there are three levels of belief: First is ilm-ul-yaqeen (knowledge of belief), ain-ul-yaqeen (vision of belief) and haq-ul-yaqeen, which mean identification, visual perception and discovery. Just like in the case of any issue or incident a man's testimony is true only if he has actually witnessed and seen the particular issue or the incident. Otherwise, without seeing the witness can be proven to be wrong. Similarly, in the case bearing testimony of oneness of Allah Almighty and on Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (May Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon) only those virtuous and people of enlightened conscience can be true who have seen the invisible accounts and the inner/hidden issues of Allah Almighty with the eyes of their inner self. Meaning that their kalimah (word of testimony):

اَشْهَدُ اَنْ لَّآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللہُ وَحْدَهٗ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَهٗ وَ اَشْهَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدً اعَبْدُهٗ وَرَسُوْلُهٗؕ

Translation: I bear witness that (there is) no god except Allah; One is He, no partner hath He, and I bear witness that Muhammad (Sall-Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) is His Servant and Messenger.

is correct. Just like Allah Almighty showed the angels of the earth and the skies to Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to strengthen his faith and belief. As it has been said: 

Translation: 6:75. Thus did we show Ibrahim (Abraham) the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have Faith with certainty.

Rather Hazrat Ibrahim kept on begging and requesting Allah Almighty for peace of heart and solidarity of certainty in faith. As it is discussed in these verses:

Translation 2:260. And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said, "My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead." He (Allah) said: "Do you not believe?" He [Ibrahim (Abraham)] said: "Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in Faith." He said: "Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (then slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise."

Then Allah showed the process of resurrecting the dead to Hazrat Ibrahim (AS). And if having certainty of faith without seeing had any value then why would Allah Almighty have increased Hazrat Ibrahim's faith by showing him the angels of the earth and the skies? And why would Hazrat Ibrahim have requested to see the resurrection of the dead?  So belief and faith and the certainty therein is dependent on seeing and reciting the kalimah of testimony without seeing is not correct at all. And such is the testimony of hypocrites. As we have described in the previous verses:

Translation 63:1. When the hypocrites come to you (O Muhammad ), they say: "We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah." Allah knows that you are indeed His Messenger and Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars indeed.

So the issue of faith is all about the invisible. As it has been described in the conditions of faith (The detailed declaration of faith): 

I have faith in Allah and His Angels, His Books and His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment and that all good and evil and fate is from Allah and it is sure that there will be resurrection after death. 

And all of these are invisible things. And till the time a believer cannot see these hidden secret things his having faith in the invisible world is word of testimony is not at all correct and right. The starry eyed hypocrites who are blind since ever from this invisible real world, their formality driven and conceited faith is not equal to a piece of straw in value near God. Rather like hypocrites their verbal word is not becomes a cause and reason for their curse and doomed faith. The saying of Allah in this regard is:

Translation 17:72. And whoever is blind in this world (i.e., does not see Allah's Signs and believes not in Him), will be blind in the Hereafter, and more astray from the Path. 

The description about Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) that has been given of another occasion in Quran-e-Hakeem  that he after seeing the stars, moon and the sun after one another that this is my God. The real detail and description and explanation of these verses is extremely important. Allah says:

Translation 6:76: When the night covered him over with darkness he saw a star. He said: "This is my lord." But when it set, he said: "I like not those that set."

And when he saw the moon while it was shining, he said this is my lord. But when that set he got fed up of that too. And when he saw sun he considered it as his lord and god. But when that also set he showed annoyance with that too. Ultimately after seeing the actual noor (light) of God he said:

Translation 6:79. Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifa (Islamic Monotheism, i.e. worshipping none but Allah Alone) and I am not of Al-Mushrikun (see V.2:105)".

So all the universe is composed of Aalam-e-Aafaaq (the visible world) and the aalam-e-anfas (the invisible world. Just like the visible world has material stars, moon and the sun, the invisible world also has subtle stars, moon(s) and sun(s). When the disciple achieves levels of discipleship in his inner self he has to pass through many inner places, levels and circumstances. And different enlightenments are bestowed upon him. Thus the enlightenment of nafs (the self) on the level (place) of naasoot appears in the form of star due to lights of the deeds. On some disciples when this type of light appears then he considers it as the light of Allah.But after some while when the disciple progresses and moves ahead from this level then this light disappears and dims. At this stage the disciple understands that this passing and dimming light is temporary and Allah's light (noor, actually the urdu word tajjalli is used here) is ahead which is eternal and perpetual. After this the tajjali-e-qalb (light of heart?) appears on the disciple on the level of malakoot (angels?) due to lights (anwaar) of names (asmaa) in the form of moon. Because this light is slightly brighter than than the previous light, due to this the disciple starts considering it as the the light of Allah Almighty. But after a while this light also disappears and the disciple understands that this could also not be the light of Allah Almighty. When the disciple progresses further then the light appears in the level of jabaroot due to anwaar-e-sifaat (lights of characteristics, traits, qualities) in the form of sun and the disciple (the actual word in Urdu saalik is used here and I do not know the real translation of the word in English) thinks that this electrifying and clear light is that of Allah Almighty. But when in the accomplished levels this light disappears, he abandons it by saying "I like not those that set." (verse 76:6). After this in the level of Laahoot the actual light of Allah Almighty appears on the disciple which does not dim or disappear in any way. At this stage the disciple knows that this is the actual, real and personal light of Allah Almighty. At this stage, like Hazrat Ibrahim (AS), by becoming appointed on the level of real unity of and by attaining close proximity of Allah Almighty he proclaims: 

Translation 6:79. Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifa (Islamic Monotheism, i.e. worshipping none but Allah Alone) and I am not of Al-Mushrikun (see V.2:105)".

Meaning that I have turned my attention completely towards the personal light of Allah Almighty and I have become a complete knower by ridding myself off from all polytheism except the lights (anwaar) deeds, names and traits.

NOTE: Another relevant topic to this is that of the psychospiritual organs.

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