Monday, 26 October 2009

Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi as-Sirhindi (q.s.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is taken from Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi as-Sirhindi (q.s.).

He was the Pearl of the Crown of the Knowledgeable Saints.  He was the Treasure of Those who Came Before and of Those who Came After.  In him were combined all their favours and generosity.  He was the Sinai of Divine Manifestation, the Furthermost Lote Tree of the Unique Knowledge, and the Fountain of the Hidden Prophetic Knowledge.  He was the Genius of Scholars and he was the Sultan of the Earth, which smiled when he was born and was honoured by his existence.  He was the perfect Perfected Guide.  He was the Caller to Allah’s (s.w.t.) presence, the One Quthb and the Unique Heavenly Imam.  He was the Reviver of the Second Millennium.  Sayyidina wa Mawlana, our Leader and Master.  Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi as-Sirhindi (q.s.), ibn Imam ‘Abd al-Ahad (q.s.), ibn Zayn al-‘Abidin (q.s.), ibn ‘Abd al-Hayy (r.a.), ibn Muhammad (r.a.), ibn Habibullah (r.a.), ibn Rafi’ ad-Din (r.a.), ibn Nur (r.a.), ibn Sulayman (r.a.), ibn Yusuf (r.a.), ibn ‘Abdullah (r.a.), ibn Ishaq (r.a.), ibn ‘Abdullah (r.a.), ibn Shu’ayb (r.a.), ibn ‘Aad (r.a.), ibn Yusuf (r.a.), ibn Shihab ad-Din (q.s.), known as Farq Shah al-Qabidi, ibn Na’ir ad-Din (r.a.), ibn Mahmud (r.a.), ibn Sulayman (r.a.), ibn Mas’ud (r.a.), ibn ‘Abdullah al-Wa’i al-Aswghari (r.a.), ibn ‘Abdullah al-Wa’i al-Akbar (r.a.), ibn Abd al-Fattah (r.a.), ibn Ishaq (r.a.), ibn Ibrahim (r.a.), ibn Nair (r.a.), ibn ‘Abdullah (r.a.), the son of Amir al-Mu'minin, the khalif of the Prophet (s.a.w.), ‘Umar al-Faruq (r.a.).

He was born on the day of 'Ashura, the 10th of Muharram in the year 971 AH, in the village of Sihar Nidbasin.  In some translations, it is called Sirhind, in the city of Lahore, in the Indian subcontinent.  He received his knowledge and education through his father and through many shuyukh in his time.  He made progress in three thuruq: Suhrawardiyyah, Qadiriyyah, and Jistiyyah.  He was given permission to train followers in all three thuruq at the age of 17 years.  He was busy in spreading the teachings of these thuruq and in guiding his followers, yet he felt that something was missing in himself and he was continuously searching for it.  He felt an interest in the Naqshbandiyyah.  His spiritual progress eventually brought him to the presence of the ghawts and quthb of his time, Shaykh Muhammad al-Baqi’ (q.s.), who had been sent from Samarqand to India by the order of his shaykh, Khwaja Muhammad al-Amkanaki (q.s.).  He took the Naqshbandi Order from the shaykh and stayed with him for two months and some days, until Shaykh Muhammad al-Baqi’ (q.s.) opened to his heart the secret of this thariqa’ and gave him authorisation to train his muridun in the Order.  He said about him, “He is the highest quthb in this time.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) predicted his advent in one of his hadits when he said, “There will be among my ummah, a man called ‘Swilah’.  By his intercession many people will be saved.”  It was mentioned in the collection of Imam as-Suyuthi (q.s.).

What confirmed the truth of this hadits is what Imam Rabbani (q.s.) wrote about himself: “Allah has Made me the swilah between the two Oceans.”  “Swilah
 means “connection”.  So, he meant that Allah (s.w.t.) had Made him a connection between the two oceans, the two types of knowledge, external and internal.

Shaykh Mir Husam ad-Din (q.s.) said, “I saw the Prophet (s.a.w.) in one of my dreams standing on the minbar and praising Imam Ahmad as-Sirhindi.  The Prophet (s.a.w.) was saying, ‘I am proud and happy with his presence among my ummah.  Allah has Made him a reviver of the religion.’”

Many saints predicted his advent.  One of them was Shaykh Ahmad al-Jami’ (q.s.).  He said, “After me, will appear seventeen men of the People of Allah, all of whom are named ‘Ahmad’ and the last one among them will be at the head of the millennium.  He is going to be the highest of them and he is going to receive the state of Unveiling.  He is going to revive this religion.”

Another to predict his advent was Khwaja al-Amkanaki (q.s.).  He said to his khalif, “A man from India is going to appear.  He will be the imam of his century.  He will be trained by you, so hurry to meet him, because the people of Allah are awaiting his arrival.”

Shaykh Muhammad al-Baqi’ (q.s.) said, “That is why I moved from Bukhara to India.”  When they met, he told him, “You are the one whose appearance the shaykh, Khwaja Muhammad al-Amkanaki predicted.  When I saw you, I knew you were the quthb of your time.  When I entered the region of Sirhind in India, I found a lamp which was so big and so bright that its light reached up to the heavens.  Everyone took from that lamp’s light.  You are that lamp.”

It is said that the shaykh of his father, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ahad (q.s.), who was a shaykh of the Qadiri Order, had been given a jubbah from his shaykh which had been passed down from the Ghawts al-A’azham, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.).  Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir (q.s.) had said about it to his successors, “Keep it for that one who is going to appear at the end of the first millennium.  His name is Ahmad.  He is going to revive this religion.  I have dressed him with all my secrets.  He combines in himself both the internal and external knowledge.”

Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi (q.s.) said, “Let it be known to you that the Heavenly Guardians attracted me because they wanted me to be attracted, and they facilitated for me the passage through time and space in the different states of the seeker.  I found that Allah is the Essence of all matter, as it had been said by the people of taswawwuf.  Then I found Allah in all matter without incarnation.  Then I found Allah together with all matter.  Then I saw Him Ahead of everything and then I saw Him Following everything.  Finally, I reached a state where I saw Him and I saw nothing else.  This is what is meant by the term, ‘witnessing the Oneness,’ which is also the state of fana’.  That is the first step in wilayat, and the highest state in the Beginning of the Way.  This vision appears first on the horizons, then secondly in the self.  Then I have been lifted to the station of baqa’ which is the second step in wilayat.

This is a station which many saints did not speak about because they did not reach it.  All of them speak about the station of fana’, but following that state is baqa’.  In that state, I found all Creation another time, but I found that the essence of all Creation is Allah, and Allah’s Essence is the Essence of Myself.  Then I found Allah in everything, but, in reality, in myself.  I was Raised to a higher state, to find Allah with everything, but, in reality, He was with myself.  Then I was Lifted to see Him preceding everything, but, in reality, He was preceding myself.  Then I was Lifted to a state where He was following everything, but, in reality, He was following myself.  Then I saw Him in everything, but, in reality, He was in myself.  Then I saw everything and I did not see Allah.  And this is the end of the stations by which they had brought me back to the beginning.  In sum, they lifted me to the station of fana’, then to the station of baqa’, then they brought me back to be with people, in the station of the common people.  This is the highest state in guiding people to the Divine Presence.  It is the perfect state of guidance, because it matches the understanding of human beings.”

He also said, “I accompanied today one who has reached the End of Ends, the Quthb of all Creatures, the Perfect Man, Shaykh Muhammad al-Baqi.  Through him I received incredible Blessings, and by his blessing I was granted a power of attraction that allowed me to reach every human being that Allah had Created.  I was honoured to attain a station that combines the state of the Ending with the state of the Beginning.  I achieved all the states of Seeking and I reached the Ending, which is the meaning of ‘Reaching the Name of ar-Rabb’, by the support of Asadullah, ‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib (k.w.).  I was Raised up to the state of the ‘Arsh, which is the haqiqat of Muhammad (s.a.w.), by the support of Shah Baha’ ad-Din an-Naqshband.  Then I was Lifted even higher, to the state of Jamal, which is the state of the Haqiqah of the Muhammadan aqthab, by the madad of the Prophetic Holy Spirit.

I was supported by Shaykh Ala’ ad-Din al-Aththar, from whom I received the states of the greatest spiritual poles from the presence of Muhammad (s.a.w.).  Then Allah’s Divine Care attracted me and I ascended to a state that is beyond that of the aqthab, the special original state.  Here, the support of al-Ghawts al-A’azham, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) pushed me up to the state of the origin of origins.  Then I was ordered to come back down, and as I was descending, I passed by all thirty-nine thuruq other than the Naqshbandiyyah and the Qadiriyyah.  I looked at the states of their shuyukh and they greeted me and saluted me and they threw on me all their treasures and all their private knowledge, which unveiled to me realities which had never been unveiled to any person in my time.  Then on my descent I met Khidhr (a.s.), and he adorned me with the Divine Knowledge before I reached the state of the aqthab.”

Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi (q.s.) explained, “Abu Dawud said in a swahih hadits that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, ‘Allah will Send at the beginning of every century someone by whom the religion will be revived,’ but there is a difference between the Reviver of the Century and the Reviver of the Millennium.  It is like the difference between one hundred and one thousand.”

He also revealed, “In a vision, the Prophet (s.a.w.) gave me good tidings: ‘You are going to be a spiritual inheritor and Allah is going to Give you the authority to intercede on behalf of hundreds of thousands on the Day of Judgment.’  He bestowed on me with his holy hand the authority to guide people, and he said to me, ‘Never before have I given that authority to guide people.’”

He said, “The knowledge that is emerging from me is coming from the state of wilayat, but I am receiving it from the Nur of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  Saints are unable to bring forth such knowledge, because it is beyond the knowledge of saints.  It is the knowledge of the essence of this religion and the essence of the knowledge of Allah's Essence and Attributes.  No one before has spoken about it and Allah has Granted me to be the one to revive the religion in its second millennium.”

He said, “Allah Unveiled to me the secrets of the Unique Oneness and He Poured into my heart all kinds of spiritual knowledge and its refinement.  He Unveiled to me the secrets of the ayat of Qur'an so that I found beneath every letter of the Qur'an an ocean of knowledge all pointing to the High Essence of Allah Almighty and Exalted.  If I were to reveal one word of the meaning of it they would cut off my head, as they did to ibn al-Hallaj and to ibn 'Arabi.  This is the meaning of the hadits of the Prophet (s.a.w.), in al-Bukhari, narrated by Abu Hurayrah (r.a.), ‘The Prophet (s.a.w.) poured into my heart two kinds of knowledge, one of which I have revealed and another which if I were to reveal they would cut my throat.’”

He said, “Allah, Almighty and Exalted, has Shown me all the names of those who are entering our thariqa’, from the day of Sayyidina Abu Bakr (r.a.) to the Day of Judgment, both men and women, and all of them are going to enter Paradise, with the intercession of the shuyukh of the thariqa’.”  And he added, “al-Mahdi will be one of the followers of this thariqa’.”

On his intercession, he said, “One day I was in swuhbah with my followers doing dzikr and it came to my heart that I had done something wrong.  Then Allah Opened to my eyes, ‘I have Forgiven anyone who sits with you and anyone asking intercession by means of you.’”  He also said, “Allah Almighty and Exalted Said to me, ‘Anyone for whom you pray janazah will be Forgiven, and if anyone mixes earth from your grave with the earth of their grave, they will be Forgiven.’”

On his Creation, he said, “Allah has Created me from the residue of His Prophet (s.a.w.).”  He also said, “The Ka’bah was always coming and making tawaf around me.”

He said, “Allah Said, ‘I have Given you special gifts and perfections which no one will receive other than you until the time of the Mahdi.’” He also said, “Allah Gave me an incredible power of guidance.  Even if I direct my guidance to a dead tree, it will become green.”

One great shaykh wrote to him asking, “The states that you reached and you are speaking about, did the swahabah receive them, and if they did, did they receive them at one time or did they receive them at separate times?”

He answered, “I cannot give you an answer unless you come into my presence.”

When the shaykh came, Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi (q.s.) immediately unveiled to him his spiritual reality and cleaned the darkness of his heart until the shaykh fell prostrate at his feet and said, “I believe, I believe!  I see now that these states were all revealed to the swahabah simply by looking at the Messenger (s.a.w.).”

One time, in Ramadhan, he was invited by ten of his muridun to break fast with them.  He accepted the invitation of each of them.  When it came time to break the fast, he was present at each of their houses, breaking the fast, and they saw him in each of their houses at the same time.

One time he looked at the sky and it was raining.  He said, “O rain stop until such and such hour.”  It stopped until the exact time he had said, after which it started raining again.

One time, the ruler ordered that a man be executed.  That man came to Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi (q.s.) and said, “Please write a stay of execution for me.”

He wrote to the ruler, “Do not execute this man.”  The ruler was afraid of Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi (q.s.) and pardoned the man.

Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi (q.s.) said, “I was authorised to give initiation in three thuruq: Naqshbandi, Suhrawardi and Jisti.”

He was so famous that the scholars of external knowledge in his time became jealous of him.  They went to the ruler and told him, “He is saying things that are not accepted in the religion.”  They pushed the ruler until he put him in jail.  He stayed in jail for three years.

His son, Shaykh Sayyid (q.s.), said, “He was under very intense security in jail.  Guards surrounded his room on every side.  Yet every Friday, he would be seen in the big mosque.  No matter how much security he was under, he would disappear from prison and appear in the mosque.”  From this, they knew they could not put him behind bars and, therefore, they released him.

He wrote many books.  One of the most famous is the Maktubat.  In it he said, “It must be known that Allah has Placed us under His Obligations and His Prohibitions.  Allah Said:


… So, take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you ... (Surah al-Hashr:7)

If we are going to be sincere in this, we have to attain fana’ and the love of the Essence.  Without these we cannot reach this degree of obedience.  Thus, we are under another obligation, which is to seek the path of taswawwuf, because this Way will lead us to the state of fana’ and the love of the Essence.  Each thariqa’ differs from the other in its states of perfection; so too does each thariqa’ keep the sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and have its own definition of what that entails.  Every thariqa’ has its own way of keeping the sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  Our thariqa’, through its shuyukh, requires us to keep all the commands of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and to leave all the things he prohibited.  Our shuyukh do not follow the easy ways but insist on keeping the difficult ways.  In all their seeking, they keep in mind the verse of Qur'an:


By men whom neither traffic nor merchandise can divert from the remembrance of Allah … (Surah an-Nur:37)”

On the Path, Imam Ahmad al-Faruqi (q.s.) said, “In the journey leading to the unveiling of the Divine Realities, the seeker moves through various stages of knowledge of and proximity to His Lord.  Moving to Allah is a vertical movement from the lower stations to the higher stations; until the movement surpasses time and space and all the states dissolve into what is called ‘ilm al-wajib of Allah.  This is also called fana’.  Moving in Allah is the stage in which the seeker moves from the station of Names and Attributes to a state which neither word nor sign can describe.  This is the state of existence in Allah called baqa’.  Moving from Allah is the stage in which the seeker returns from the Divine realm to the world of cause and effect, descending from the highest station of knowledge to the lowest.  Here, he forgets Allah by Allah, and he knows Allah with Allah, and he returns from Allah to Allah.  This is called the state of the farthest and the nearest.  Moving in things is a movement within Creation.  This involves knowing intimately all elements and states in this world after having vanished in fana’.  Here, the seeker can achieve the state of guidance, which is the state of the prophets and the people following the footsteps of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  It brings the Divine Knowledge into the world of Creation in order to establish guidance.

The entire process is like threading a needle.  The thread seeks the eye of the needle, passes through and then proceeds down to where it began.  There the two ends meet, form a knot and secure the entire thread.  They form a whole, thread, eye and needle, and any material they catch is sewn into the fabric of the unity.  It must be known to everyone that the Naqshbandi shuyukh chose to guide their muridun first through the movement from Allah, travelling from the higher states to the lower.  For this reason, they maintain the common veils over the spiritual vision of the murid, removing the veil of ordinary consciousness only at the final step.  All other thuruq begin with the movement to Allah, moving from the lowest states to the highest, and removing the common veils first.”

On prophetic inheritance, he said, “It is mentioned in the hadits of the Prophet (s.a.w.), ‘Scholars are the inheritors of the prophets.’  The knowledge of prophets is of two kinds: knowledge of laws and knowledge of secrets.  The scholar cannot be called an inheritor if he does not inherit both types of knowledge.  If he takes only one type of knowledge, he is incomplete.  Thus, the real inheritors are the ones who take the knowledge of the laws and the knowledge of the secrets, and only the saints have truly received and protected this inheritance.”

He left behind him many more books.  He passed away on the 17th of Swafar 1034 AH, at the age of 63.  He was buried in the village of Sirhind.  He was a shaykh in four thuruq: Naqshbandi, Qadiri, Jisti and Suhrawardi.  He preferred the Naqshbandi, because he said, “It is the mother of all thuruq.”  He passed the secret of the Naqshbandi thariqa’ to Shaykh Muhammad al-Ma’sum (q.s.).


4 comments:

  1. I agree, from the onset I really think the webpage of Darul itself needs a major overhaul. Technology now is simple and very easy to leverage, I too agree with some points that you point out in leveraging wikis, blogs, online videos, etc.

    I really want to see this as part of the Youth group one day actually. Anyway, if you think you need some help on the tech front, just drop me a note. I shall try to help.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Assalamu'Alaikum,

    I've already pointed that out to DA when I was in the ExCo & Council that the web site needs to be overhauled.

    It takes too long to load, oftentimes the information is outdated, the script only runs on IE properly.

    We have a tremendous backlog of old footage from the public talks, events and sharahans that the Association does not use, for example.

    But if DA does not want to do it, we'll do it our way, insha'Allah.

    Thanks for the offer. Much appreciated.

    Wassalam

    ReplyDelete
  3. May Allah swt assist in all your efforts and strengthen the faith to do it for His sake. amin amin ya robbal alamin.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Asalamu'Alaikum,

    Thank you for your blessing.

    Amin.

    Wassalam

    ReplyDelete

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