The Naqshbandi Haqqani Principle of Safar dar Watan

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The third principle of the Naqshbandi Haqqani Sufi Order is to “Journey Homeward”, Safar dar Watan.  This refers to the seeker travelling from the world of creation to the Creator.  It is related that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “I am going to my Lord from one state to a better state and from one station to a higher station.”  It is said that the seeker must travel from the desire for the forbidden to the Desire for the Divine Presence.  Our journey is towards our homeland.  We are travelling from a world of illusion to a world of reality.  The wayfarer travels from the world of Creation to the Creator.  The journey home is the transformation that brings us out of our subjective dream state, so that we can fulfill our Divine Destiny.

Khwaja ‘Ubaydullah (q.s.) wrote, in Rashahat ‘Ayn al-Hayat, “That travelling which the seeker makes within his human nature.  In other words, travel from the qualities of humankind toward the angelic qualities, moving from blameworthy qualities to laudable ones.”

Imam Ahmad as-Sirhindi (q.s.) said, “This blessed expression means travelling within the self.  The source of its results lies in putting the final at the beginning, which is one of the characteristics of the Naqshbandi Path.  And although this travelling can also be found in other thuruq, it is found only in the end after the ‘travelling on the horizons.’”

“In travelling the horizons,” Imam Ahmad as-Sirhindi (q.s.) was referring to the Qur’an:

We shall Show them Our Portents on the horizons and within themselves until it will be manifest unto them that it is the Truth.  Doth not thy Lord suffice, since He is Witness over all things? (Surah Fuswswilat:53)

“Travelling on the horizons” is travelling from place to place.  At the beginning of the journey, it can mean leaving home to find a guide or teacher.  In former times, when the wayfarer had become established in a place, got accustomed to it and become familiar with its people, they took on travelling in order to break down habit and comfort and cut themselves off from renown.  They would choose travel in order to experience complete emptying.

It also refers to travelling within oneself, looking at oneself, examining oneself and one's reactions, and how they act upon one.  This reflects the stress that the Naqshbandi Order puts on the inner states.  The shuyukh have said, “Be an external resident and let your heart travel.  Travelling without legs is the best kind of travel.”

The Naqshbandi Sufi Order divides that travel into two categories.  The first is external journeying and the second is internal journeying.  External travel is to travel from one land to another searching for a perfect guide to take and direct us to our destination.  This enables us to move to the second category, the internal journey.  Seekers, once they have found a perfect guide, are forbidden to go on another external journey.  In the external journey, there are many difficulties which beginners cannot endure without falling into forbidden actions, because they are weak in their worship.

Internal journeying requires the seeker to leave his low manners and move to high manners, to throw out of his heart all worldly desires.  He will be lifted from a state of impurity to a state of purity.  By this time, he will no longer be in need of more internal journeying.  He will have purified his heart, making it pure like water, transparent like crystal, polished like a mirror, showing the realities of all matters essential for his daily life, without any need for external action on his part.  In his heart, will appear everything that is needed for his life and for the life of those around him.


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