Sunday, 2 April 2017
The Naqshbandi Haqqani Principle of Hosh dar Dam
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The first principle of the Naqshbandi Haqqani Sufi Order is “Conscious breathing”, called Hosh dar Dam. “Hosh” means “mind.” “Dar” means “in.” “Dam” means “breath.” According to Khwaja ‘Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q.s.), “The wise seeker must safeguard his breath from heedlessness, coming in and going out, thereby keeping his heart always in the Divine Presence; and he must revive his breath with worship and servitude and dispatch this worship to His Lord full of life, for every breath which is inhaled and exhaled with Presence is alive and connected with the Divine Presence. Every breath inhaled and exhaled with heedlessness is dead, disconnected from the Divine Presence.” In another text, he was quoted thus: “Every breath which is exhaled from within must be exhaled with awareness and presence of mind and so that the mind does not stray into heedlessness.”
Khwaja ‘Ubaydullah al-Ahrar (q.s.) said, “The most important mission for the seeker in this Order is to safeguard his breath, and he who cannot safeguard his breath, it would be said of him, ‘he lost himself.’”
Shah an-Naqshband (q.s.) said, “This Order is built on the breath. So, it is a must for everyone to safeguard his breath in the time of his inhalation and exhalation and further, to safeguard his breath in the interval between the inhalation and exhalation.” Shah an-Naqshband (q.s.) also said, “The foundation of our work is in the breath. The more that one is able to be conscious of one’s breathing, the stronger is one's inner life. It is a must for everyone to safeguard his breath in the time of his inhalation and exhalation and further, to safeguard his breath in the interval between the inhalation and exhalation.”
Shaykh Sa’d ad-Din al-Kashghari (q.s.) added, “Hosh dar Dam is moving from breath to breath so there is no heedlessness but rather there is presence, and with each breath that we take should be the remembrance of the Reality.”
Shaykh Abu al-Janab Najm ad-Din al-Kubra’ (q.s.) said, in his book, Fawatih al-Jamal, “Dzikr is flowing in the body of every single living creature by the necessity of their breath, even without will, as a sign of obedience which is part of their Creation. Through their breathing, the sound of the letter ‘Ha’’ of the Divine Name ‘Allah’ is made with every exhalation and inhalation and it is a sign of the Unseen Essence serving to emphasise the Uniqueness of Allah. Therefore, it is necessary to be present with that breathing, in order to realise the Essence of the Creator.”
The Name “Allah”, which encompasses the Ninety-Nine Names and Attributes, consists of four letters, “Alif”, “Lam”, “Lam” and the same “Ha’” mentioned above. The people of the Path say that the Absolute Unseen Essence of Allah (s.w.t.) is expressed by the last letter vowelised by the “Alif”, the “Ha’”. It represents the Absolute Unseen Essence of the Exalted, Allah (s.w.t.), Ghayb al-Huwiyyah al-Muthlaqa Lillah ‘Azza wa Jal. The first “Lam” is for the sake of identification, and the second “Lam” is for the sake of emphasis.
As the seeker becomes occupied with the exercise of the moment, remembering the breath, he turns his attention from remembering the past and thinking of the future, and focuses on each breath until it is expired. Safeguarding our breath from heedlessness will lead us to complete Presence, and complete Presence will lead us to complete Vision, and complete Vision will lead us to complete Manifestation of Allah’s (s.w.t.) Names and Attributes. Allah (s.w.t.) Leads us to the Manifestation of His Names and Attributes and all His other Attributes, because it is said, “Allah’s Attributes are as numerous as the breaths of human beings.” Securing the breath from heedlessness is difficult for seekers. Therefore, we must safeguard it by seeking forgiveness, istighfar, because seeking forgiveness will purify it and sanctify it and prepare the seeker for the Real Manifestation of Allah (s.w.t.) everywhere.
The soul has long been thought to be in the breath. “For the early thinkers, the soul was visualised sensuously as a breath-body.” Awareness of the breath makes us aware of the soul and the inner body, inner self, which belong to the moment. In the Path of the Khwajagan, awareness in the breath is a very important principle. Those in this Path regard it a great transgression to become unconscious of the breathing.