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Jour­ney of Life

A Doc­u­men­tary on the life of Hazrat Syedna Muham­mad Ameer Shah Gillani Rehmat ullah Alaih has been released. This doc­u­men­tary ” Jour­ney of Life –Hazrat syed Muham­mad Ameer Shah Gillani Rehmat ullah Alaih” cov­ers var­ius aspects of their life includ­ing their faimly back­ground, child­hood, edu­ca­tion, polit­i­cal strug­gle , social and lit­er­ary work and much more

Utter­ances of Shaikh ‘Abd al-​Qadir (Mal­fuzat)

In the orig­i­nal hand­writ­ten man­u­scripts the Mal­fuzat is usu­ally found as an appen­dix or attach­ment to Al-​Fath ar-​Rabbani [The Sub­lime Rev­e­la­tion]. It is a col­lec­tion of many pieces of wise advice that do not fit neatly into the dis­courses in that book. In it are answers to ques­tions put to him by dis­ci­ples and those who attended the dis­course ses­sions, extem­po­ra­ne­ous advice, and most impor­tantly, the Shaikh dis­cusses the high level of aspi­ra­tion pos­si­ble for the ordi­nary per­son, and the way to accom­plish it. First trans­la­tion into Eng­lish, by Muhtar Hol­land


A man said to him: “Pray for me [ud’u li],” so the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) replied:

O Allah, let me find all I need in You, to the exclu­sion of all crea­tures, and let him find all he needs in remem­brance of You, with­out hav­ing to ask.

When some­one no longer has any need of crea­tures, he clings to the door of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glo­ri­ous is He), who then enriches him with His near­ness. When He has enriched him with His near­ness, he becomes too pre­oc­cu­pied with remem­ber­ing Him and thank­ing Him to con­sider ask­ing Him for any­thing.

When you are deprived of food and water out in the deserts, a foun­tain will gush forth for you in your own home.

Crea­tures are the most pow­er­ful weapon Satan has against you.

Beau­tify your heart, then your exter­nal appear­ance [zahir].

The dis­trac­tion, the whole dis­trac­tion, resides in the abode of crea­tures and their dwelling place.

A wor­thy lover goes forth in search of his beloved. Joseph (peace be upon him) went forth in search of Jacob. Any­one who set eyes on him found him attrac­tive and fell pas­sion­ately in love with him. He took to wear­ing a veil, but he was thrown in prison. His only goal was Jacob, none of the oth­ers. [In the words of the poet:]

Would that all between me and thee might flour­ish, and all between me and the rest of the world might lie in ruins!

The crier of the Lord of Truth has come. Aban­don the build­ing of crea­tures:

Until the pre­scribed term is ful­filled. (2:235)

There is noth­ing worth talk­ing about until the water has drained away from your frog [difda’]. Until the dry land is clear for His wor­ship, your inner­most being [sirr] is with Him aboard the ship of His power [qudra]. As He told him [Noah] by inspi­ra­tion:

In the Name of Allah shall be its course and its moor­ing (11:41)

–in the ocean of knowl­edge [’ilm].

Being in the com­pany of the ser­vants of Allah is like being in the com­pany of a lion; fear and wari­ness are appro­pri­ate in both cases. As long as the lion has some­thing else to keep him sat­is­fied, he will not con­cern him­self with you, because all his atten­tion is directed else­where, but if you go and bother him instead of retir­ing to a safe dis­tance, he will sav­age you. To be in the com­pany of the cham­pion of truth [sid­diq] is much the same, because that is how they are in the com­pany of the King.

Among the com­pan­ions of al-​Junaid there was a man who was hav­ing doubts about the spon­ta­neously aris­ing notion [khatir]. Al-​Junaid was made aware of this, so he asked the man: “What they are say­ing about you, is it true?” He said, “Yes,” [so al-​Junaid said:] “Let an utter­ance come through your heart.” The man said, “Very well,” and when asked what he had uttered [inwardly], he replied: “I uttered such and such.” But [al-​Junaid] said: “No, [that wasn’t it]!” Then the man tried again, and when he reported [what he had uttered inwardly], he was again told: “No!” He then let one more utter­ance come to him through his heart, and reported to al-​Junaid, who yet again said: “No!” So the man said: “O Shaikh, my expe­ri­ence is gen­uine, so you had bet­ter check your own!” To this al-​Junaid replied: “I knew that every­thing you told me was true. I sim­ply wanted to test the purity of your heart and its stead­fast­ness.”

Their hearts [the hearts of the peo­ple of the Lord] are the chan­nels of His will [irada], the trea­sure houses of His knowl­edge [’ilm], the bosom of His mys­tery [sirr], the trea­sure houses of des­tiny in the Val­ley of Des­tiny [wadi’l-qadar]. When­ever their inner­most beings [asrar] go on a tour within the precincts of the palace of des­tiny, they become acquainted with all kinds of knowl­edge [’ulum] and secrets [asrar].

What can be built with well-​propped tim­ber! What can be made of outer forms [suwar] with no inner con­tent [ma’na]?

Deaf, dumb, blind, so they do not under­stand. (2:171)

A cer­tain per­son wrote three hun­dred and sixty sto­ries, deliv­er­ing one story every day to the local prince [amir]. He never got too bored to keep try­ing, until at long last he received the offi­cial seal of approval he was seek­ing to obtain. In your case, how­ever, you devote a few short days or a few short nights to mak­ing requests of Allah (Exalted is He), then you get bored and resort to crea­tures instead. Why not remem­ber the man who wrote all those sto­ries?

As long as you remain attached to crea­tures, you will not pros­per. You must turn in repen­tance from crea­tures to the Lord of Truth, and let your stand­ing in wait­ing be at the thresh­old of the door of His near­ness. The hand of love and near­ness will draw you in. You will come to be a per­ma­nent fix­ture [hils] of that man­sion. Even­tu­ally, as you expe­ri­ence all the facil­i­ties and ameni­ties, com­fort will come to you from every side. Your wing will grow strong and you will fly up to the bat­tle­ments of that man­sion. Those bat­tle­ments will come to be your tower. If you fall, you will fall into the palace court­yard. You will spend all your time in the pres­ence of the Owner of the palace. You will be a peti­tioner whose requests are granted.

If you wish to pro­mote the wel­fare of your fel­low crea­tures, this is how you must go about it, instead of spout­ing use­less dri­vel. (The Shaikh-​may Allah be well pleased with him-​was get­ting at the ser­mons deliv­ered to the peo­ple by the preach­ers [wu”az].)

To per­form the prayer [salat] is to make a con­nec­tion [sila] with Allah (Exalted is He) after becom­ing detached from every­thing other than Him. The body can­not be divided up between two sit­u­a­tions, detach­ment [infisal] from crea­tures and attach­ment [itti­sal] to the Lord of Truth. This refers to the prayer of the peo­ple [of the Lord]. As for the prayer of ordi­nary ser­vants [’ibad], the way they go about it is to set the Gar­den [of Par­adise] to the right of the heart, the Fire [of Hell] to the left of it, and the Nar­row Bridge [sirat] in front of it, with the Lord watch­ing over it. As for the prayer of the lovers [muhib­bun], it is detach­ment from crea­tures and attach­ment to Him.

The sure sign that your lower self [nafs] is gen­uinely in need of food is that you hear some­thing cry­ing from your inner [batin], like the sound made by young chick­ens. When you hear that sound, you must pro­vide it with what it needs for its sur­vival.

As Allah (Exalted is He) has said:

And He has inspired it [the self] with what is wrong for it and what is right for it. (91:8)

It is He who makes us laugh and makes us weep. (53:43)

You can­not put these two verses of the Qur’an into prac­tice until after the heart has entered the pres­ence of its King. It is only then that the action and the inspi­ra­tion come about. Before the entry has been made, you must dis­tin­guish between a direct inner receiv­ing [warid fi batinika] and a sug­ges­tion inspired [ilham] by the devil [shai­tan], by a nat­ural impulse [tab’], by a self­ish instinct [nafs], or by an angel [malak].

If you wish to join someone’s com­pany for the sake of pleas­ing Allah (Almighty and Glo­ri­ous is He), you must per­form your minor ablu­tion [wudu’] with metic­u­lous cor­rect­ness, while the mind is inac­tive and the eyes are not wan­der­ing. Then pro­ceed to per­form your prayer [salat]. You will open the door of the prayer with your rit­ual purity [tuhur], and the door of your Lord with your prayer. Then ask Him, when you have fin­ished: “Whom should I take as a guide [dalil]? Who is the one who can report on Your author­ity? Who is the one sin­gled out [mufrad]? Who is the deputy [khal­ifa]? Who is the del­e­gate [na’ib]?” He is Gen­er­ous [Karim], He will not let you suf­fer dis­ap­point­ment. With­out a doubt, He will grant inspi­ra­tion [yul­himu] to your heart. He will grant rev­e­la­tion [yuhi] to your inner­most being [sirr]. He will show you a clear sign. He will open the doors to shed light on your path. Some­one who seeks and strives will surely find [man tal­aba wa-​jadda wajada].

As for those who strive in Our cause, surely We shall guide them to Our paths. (29:69)

The deci­sive fac­tor lies within you, not in what he [some­one you are think­ing of join­ing] has to say, so when all the angles have con­verged from your heart’s point of view, and every­thing points to a par­tic­u­lar indi­vid­ual, go ahead and join his com­pany. Your fel­low­ship with him should be for you like the fel­low­ship of lions and snakes. Pay no atten­tion to his poverty, the gaps in his pedi­gree, his strait­ened cir­cum­stances, his shabby appear­ance and his clumsy mode of expres­sion. What is really sig­nif­i­cant [al-ma’na] about him resides in his inner being [batin], not in his outer [zahir], not in his phys­i­cal con­sti­tu­tion and not on his face.

Do not be in a hurry to speak, and do not try to get his atten­tion straight away. Be on the look­out for the use­ful ser­vice he per­forms on behalf of his Lord. He is the clerk, and the instruc­tions he notes down are not for him­self but for oth­ers. He is an ambas­sador. He is the waiter, and the dish is for some­one else. He is the com­mu­ni­ca­tor, and the com­mu­ni­ca­tion is for some­one other than him­self. You must there­fore be ready to receive what Allah may dis­close by means of his tongue. Do not wan­der out of his sight. Do not over­step his limit, but always stand wait­ing with head bowed in silence, fear­ful and timid. Do not har­bor doubts con­cern­ing his spir­i­tual state [hal], nor about his words and his actions. You must con­sider him supe­rior to any clever per­son, and let him steer you from his pres­ence toward his Lord, not toward any other.

The joker you should not encour­age. The prat­tler you should not respond to.

We have been given the same nat­ural dis­po­si­tion as the ani­mals, but the intel­lect [’aql] dis­crim­i­nates, the sacred law [shar’] dis­crim­i­nates, knowl­edge [’ilm] dis­crim­i­nates, near­ness [qurb] dis­crim­i­nates, direct expe­ri­ence [ma’rifa] and obe­di­ent ser­vice [ta’a] dis­crim­i­nate, while the orig­i­nal source is One.

If they put their knowl­edge into prac­tice, when they came across a dead man they would bring him back to life, or in the case of a sin­ner they would remind him to mend his ways.

Bowls are brought to him in his house, for other peo­ple. He pro­ceeds to col­lect the tax [kharaj] and then, when he has col­lected it, he hands it over to the King. He also has a salary [jamikiyya]. He takes from the peo­ple, but not for him­self.

When Allah wishes you well, He wakes you up and makes you aware of your own faults.

Your learned scholar [’alim] is an igno­rant man. Your igno­rant man is a slan­der­ous liar. Your pious abstainer [zahid] is full of worldly desires.

Do not exploit your reli­gion [din] for worldly gain. Only the here­after can be gained through reli­gion.

The Shaikh (may Allah the Exalted be well pleased with him) also spoke about His words (Exalted is He):

Call upon your Lord humbly and in secret; He does not love those who go too far in the wrong direc­tion [al-mu’tadin]. (7:55)

He gave this verse of the Qur’an its lit­eral inter­pre­ta­tion, since in this con­text the obvi­ous mean­ing of al-mu’tadi [sin­gu­lar of al-mu’tadini which some­times means ‘aggres­sors’] is a per­son who calls upon any­one other than Him, one who puts his requests to any­one apart from Him.

Abdul­lah ibn Mas’ud used to say to his com­pan­ions: “You are the pol­ish [jila’] of my heart.” If a per­son is ready to lis­ten to me for the sake of Allah and for the ben­e­fit to be derived from my words, he will be a kind of pol­ish, but oth­er­wise he should stay away from me, for his pres­ence will cast a cloud.

When Abra­ham (peace be upon him) had escaped from the fiery fur­nace, and his live­stock and ser­vants had come to be many, he had a man­sion built in Syria, with numer­ous entrances. He retired to live there after he had paid off the cost of con­struc­tion, and said farewell to his peo­ple. He went into retire­ment in order to pro­vide train­ing for his suc­ces­sors [kha­laf].

What is “bosom friend­ship” [khulla]? It is com­pan­ion­ship [suhba], lov­ing affec­tion [mahabba] and togeth­er­ness [wusla].

Ques­tion: Should one fol­low the ver­bal teach­ing [qal] of the guide, or his spir­i­tual state [hal]?

The Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) responded to this by say­ing:

The ver­bal teach­ing is what the com­mon peo­ple [’awamm] fol­low, while the spritual state is emu­lated by the spe­cial few [khawass]. Which group do you belong to? Let me feel your pulse, so I can diag­nose your con­di­tion, show you how seri­ous your sick­ness is, and cure you. The reg­u­lar prac­tice of our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) included vis­it­ing the sick. We have been pre­vented from doing that, but we do visit the healthy with our spir­i­tual influ­ence [himma]. Our legs have been pre­vented from walk­ing to your houses, and our hands from tak­ing your prop­erty. We have been so com­manded by virtue of the spir­i­tual state [hal] and the decree of des­tiny [qadar].

The Shaikh (may Allah, Exalted is He, be well pleased with him) also said:

Sup­pose that a cer­tain man is about to die, leav­ing ten sons to suc­ceed him, all of them on the same level in terms of duti­ful devo­tion to their father. [Accord­ing to the Islamic law of inher­i­tance], they would each be enti­tled to an equal share in his estate, but the father’s heart is inclined toward one son in par­tic­u­lar, and he wishes that he could inherit the whole of his estate. Then along comes des­tiny with the decree of death for one son after another, until only that favored one is left alive. He comes into pos­ses­sion of the whole of his father’s estate, since the judg­ment [qada’] and decree of des­tiny [qadar] have taken effect. Is there any­thing wrong in this? Let us leave it there for now [ila hahuna wa’s-salam].

O Allah, keep crea­tures at a dis­tance from us. Keep the lower self [nafs] at a dis­tance from us, as well as the pas­sions [ahwiya] and nat­ural urges [tiba’].

You said, “I am afraid of this ocean,” yet you are swim­ming in it, which would indi­cate the very oppo­site of being afraid.

Only those of His ser­vants fear Allah who have knowl­edge. (38:28)

Once they have come to know, they become afraid. You have come to know how harm­ful the thing is, so be on your guard against it and avoid it. Death will come to you inevitably, so work to be ready for it. O you whose house is with­out a roof, whose depen­dants have no flour to make bread, no under­clothes to wear and no blan­kets to cover them! The win­ter is com­ing, so be pre­pared. The com­man­der [amir] is com­ing, so get down off your high horse. The lion is com­ing, so beware of the lion of death.

What is the mean­ing of those words you pro­nounce while per­form­ing your prayer [salat]?

You alone do we wor­ship [iyyaka na’budu], and of You alone do we seek help [wa-​iyyaka nasta’in]. (1:5)

[They mean:] “You alone do we obey [iyyaka nuti’u], and You alone do we acknowl­edge as the One God [wa-​iyyaka nuwah­hidu].”

When have you ever affirmed the One­ness of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glo­ri­ous is He)? When have you ever done any­thing with true sin­cer­ity? When have you ever abstained from crea­tures, from pre­tense [riya’] and hypocrisy [nifaq] and rowdy con­tention [sakhab]? When have you ever sub­mit­ted humbly to the Lord of Truth, with the kind of humil­ity that is expe­ri­enced in the heart, in pri­vate?

If the car­nal desire of the lower self [nafs] inter­feres with someone’s vision of the Lord of Truth, he will feel too ashamed to behold Him, so he must get rid of that lust­ful desire. When will you see Jacob (peace be upon him) bit­ing the tips of his fin­gers, in your own pri­vate space, when your lust [shabaq] is intense? When will you real­ize what keeps you chaste? That which pre­serves your chastity [’isma] is the jeal­ousy [ghaira] of Allah (Almighty and Glo­ri­ous is He). When Joseph (peace be upon him) met that woman, the divine jeal­ousy inter­vened, so he turned and ran away.

So it was, that We might ward off from him evil and lewd­ness; he was one of Our devoted ser­vants. (12:24)

When will your con­di­tion be trans­formed into that of Joseph (peace be upon him)? When Joseph (peace be upon him) was made respon­si­ble for pre­serv­ing chastity in the House of Allah and its sacred precincts, he com­plied with the will of his Lord in his con­fine­ment, and He bestowed chastity upon him in his seclu­sion. This is how you must be, O ser­vants of Allah, O seek­ers! Bor­row the con­di­tion of the cham­pion of truth [sid­diq]. Ask for it from Allah!

Absolute trust [tawakkul] means cut­ting off all mate­r­ial means [asbab], let­ting every­thing go. When the servant’s heart [qalb] is trans­formed [inqal­aba], it will become an angel [malak]. He will hear what the angel hears. He will expe­ri­ence what the angel expe­ri­ences. Then it will develop even fur­ther, so that it becomes a king [malik] rul­ing over him.

Tazkara mashaikh e Sarhad

(Mem­oir of the Shuyūkh and Islamic Schol­ars of the Fron­tier, Vol­ume I ) Pages 291

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Salat e Ghousia

(The Ghawthiya Prayer) 72 pages .Pub­lished by Mak­taba e Al Has­san, 1992.

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Life( of the Prophet) Trans­la­tion of Ara­bic Jour­nal ‘Tuhfat-​ul– Fahul Fi Istaghasa Bir Rasul’

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