ب سِ مِاِ للِاِل رِ حِ مِ نِاِل رِ حِ يِ مِ
نِ حِ مِ دِه وِ نِ صِل يِ وِ نِ سِل مِعِ لِ سِ وِل هِاِل كِ رِ يِ مِ
This collection, Khitābāt Ihsānī, is a rare collection of excellent exhortations of my beloved mentor, Shafīq al-Ummat Hadrat Maulānā Shāh Muhammad Fārūq Sāhib rahimahullāh. Merely referring to him as “rahimahullāh” brings a lump in my throat. This is a collection of my beloved which he delivered in special assemblies in 1976 in which he presented the essence and gist of the book, Sharī‛ah wa Sufism, written by his mentor Masīh al-Ummat Hadrat Maulānā Shāh Muhammad Masīhullāh Sāhib nawwarallāhu marqadahu. Hadrat Shafīq al-Ummat rahimahullāh presented these assemblies in a very simple manner, bearing in mind the needs of our present times. His special khalīfah, Shāh Muhammad Gulzār Sāhib rahimahullāh penned these assemblies for the sake of general benefit and did us a great favour. In his book, Sharī‛ah wa Sufism, Hadrat Masīh al-Ummat rahimahullāh presented the gist of Ihyā’ al-‛Ulum of Imām Ghazzālī rahimahullāh and, in this way, gave it to us in a nutshell.
In our times, let alone the masses, even the ‛ulamā’ and students consider Sufism to be a forbidden tree. Allāh ta‛ālā blessed my beloved [Hadrat Shafīq al-Ummat rahimahullāh] with a peculiar ability to explain very intricate themes of Sufism in a simple and straightforward manner which is understood by all.
He used to say: Today, every person likes cleanliness. He ensures the clothes which he is wearing are clean, his bedroom must be clean, his bed must be clean, his toilet must be spotless, and so on. Together with all these forms of cleanliness, he must add just one more. It is the cleanliness of one’s internal self. This is known as tazkiyah in the terminology of Sufism.
Hadrat Mujaddid Thānwī rahimahullāh used to say: “May Allāh ta‛ālā destroy those ignorant Sufis who claim that the Sharī‛ah and the Tarīqah are two separate entities.” He said: “Practising on the blessed ways of the Sharī‛ah is actually the Tarīqah.” My beloved said: “May Allāh ta‛ālā set right the minds of those ignorant people who consider tablīgh and tazkiyah to be two separate entities.” He added: “Just as
patience, gratitude, love, yearning, acceptance, hope, sincerity, abstinence, reliance, repentance, honesty, handing over one’s affairs to Allāh ta‛ālā, etc. are all internal spiritual levels, tablīgh is also an important internal spiritual level for which a person is made to undergo special efforts.”
My beloved was himself a unique person and whatever he said was also unique. He was an exponent of his shaykh. Popularizing the teachings of his mentor was the mission of his life. He used to say that he has three goals in life:
(1) Service to Allāh’s creation.
(2) Spreading the path of Sufism.
(3) Presenting himself in the blessed cities of Makkah and Madīnah.
My beloved’s blessed being was a practical example and a living picture of complete immersion in the love for his shaykh. This love was evident in his every single expression. His manner of speech resembled fully with his shaykh’s. He was an exponent of the teachings of Masīh al-Ummat, and speaking about him was the most beloved occupation of his life. Hadrat ‛Ārifī rahimahullāh conveys this theme as follows:
O ‛Ārifī! Ask me about the secret behind life in the centre of Allāh’s love. I have spent my entire life at the threshold of my shaykh.
My beloved remained attached to the threshold of Masīh al-Ummat rahimahullāh with intense love and devotion for approximately forty years. He expressed this relationship in the following couplet after the demise of Masīh al-Ummat rahimahullāh:
I spent my life of love at one threshold. O Fārūq! Where else could you have lowered your forehead of yearning?!
He carried out the work of Dīn and proliferated the teachings of his shaykh with absolute devotion, total affection and moderation by obliterating his own self, and with total selflessness. He devoted his life to spreading Sufism and the flavour of his shaykh despite many physical impediments. He always travelled to different parts of the world at his own expense without bothering whether his health and time permitted it or not. A poet says:
The air of the garden will remember me for centuries because I left after watering its flowers with the blood of my heart.
After the demise of his shaykh, Hadrat Shafīq al-Ummat rahimahullāh did not spend the next seven and half years in total comfort and peace. Rather, he was overcome by one sole concern and restlessness, viz. to spread the teachings of his shaykh throughout the world. Despite his many ailments, he undertook numerous journeys both within the country [Pakistan] and beyond. He worked so hard in this short period after the demise of his shaykh that it would probably not be possible to achieve so much in a hundred years. Hadrat ‛Ārifī rahimahullāh expresses this very beautifully when he says:
O ‛Ārifī! My heart alone is privy to all affectations. Who will explain the mysteries of beauty and love after my departure?
Thus, it was solely out of his concern to return to his shaykh with his head held high that he undertook these lengthy journeys. He used to say: “I am merely a copier of my shaykh, I merely go around quoting whatever he said.” He used to quote this couplet quite often:
I am merely quoting the teachings of my shaykh. I am a mimic who imitates his shaykh. (I am quoting the words of my shaykh and imitating his actions).
There is nothing to be astonished about the blessings of the original [it’s blessings are certain]. However, the same blessings can be achieved by what is copied.
Fortunate indeed are those who attended the assemblies of my beloved and remained in his company. Allāh ta‛ālā had blessed him with a promising and affectionate manner of speech, and his statements were most effective. There was a special attraction in his personality and his affection was to the point of perfection. Staying just once in his company, attending his assembly or merely meeting him with eagerness was enough to bring about a change in a person’s life. He possessed such an intense and inspiring personality that meeting him just once caused a person to be enamoured by him and the person would think that Hadrat loved him the most. A poet says:
His character was of such a level that each person assumed that the bond which he had with him was not shared by anyone else.
Allāh ta‛ālā had placed immense emotions of consideration, sympathy, mercy, affection, and good thoughts for the creation in his temperament.
Allāh ta‛ālā had placed an intense fire of His love in Hadrat’s heart whose flaming heat would occasionally be perceived by those sitting in his assembly. It was the very same fire of Allāh’s love which caused the hearts of those seated there to change and reform. Hadrat Khwājah Sāhib rahimahullāh conveys this theme as follows:
If the heat of a heart ignited thousands and thousands of hearts, what can be said about how much the fire of “O Allāh” must have filled that heart!?
He said on one occasion: “The fire of Allāh’s love is so filled in my heart that I feel like igniting the hearts of all who are present with His love. But my discretion is restraining me and causing me to suppress this urge.” Hadrat ‛Ārifī rahimahullāh rightly said:
In whose heart is the flowing flame of sorrow [of love] making waves? Who is there who will shed the mischievous blood of the heart [i.e. the blood of acting against one’s sins] in this manner with his eyes?
It is drawn from the heavens and settled into the hearts. The wine of tauhīd is not made to be drunk from a goblet, but from the gaze [of the Ahlullāh].
Dīn is not acquired from books, lectures and riches. It is acquired from the gaze of the Ahlullāh.
My beloved said: “The word ‘gaze’ in the above context means: remaining in the company of the Ahlullāh with genuine quest.”
Khitābāt Ihsānī is that rare collection of exhortations of my beloved which Hadrat checked word for word during the latter days of his blessed life, expressed extreme joy at perceiving its benefit, and gave its manuscript to my respected brother, Muhammad Zarīf Sāhib Fārūqī, to have it printed as quickly as possible so that Allāh’s creation may benefit tremendously from it. The title for the book was divinely instilled in his blessed heart, and he named it Khitābāt Ihsānī. Thus, the title of this book and its subject matter are both divinely inspired.
The foreword to the book was supposed to have been written by Hadrat himself but it was still being typeset when his life did not allow him to do it. He departed from this temporary abode to the eternal abode on Friday, 20 Muharram al-Harām 1420 A.H.
ا ن ا لِِ وِا ن ااِِ ل ي ه ا ج ع و نِ
May Allāh ta‛ālā elevate the rank and status of my beloved with every passing moment, may He reward him for his services according to His grand status, may He shower His mercies on him forever, may He make this book a continuous charity in his favour and a means for his salvation. Āmīn. May Allāh ta‛ālā proliferate and perfect the blessings of this book.
May Allāh ta‛ālā accept the efforts of Maktabah an-Nūr and the other publishing houses. May He fulfil all its needs from the unseen, and inspire its owner and assistants with even more sincerity for the propagation of Dīn. May He make their efforts the means for their salvation in the Hereafter and bless them with success in both worlds. Āmīn.
Acting under the insistence of my brother, Muhammad Zarīf Sāhib Fārūqī, this worthless servant wrote these few disjointed lines after placing his trust in Allāh ta‛ālā. Whereas, the rank of my beloved was far above and beyond all this. Not only is it difficult, but impossible to encompass his personality in these few lines. Speaking of my beloved is a never-ending series. Someone rightly said:
A lamentaion is not in need of a flute; and a supplication has no tune.
Similarly, expressing ones love does not need any special way. These few disorganized lines are an expression of this love. May Allāh ta‛ālā accept them and may He enable me to fulfil the demands of this spiritual and physical affiliation until my last breath. Āmīn.
The dust at the feet of Shafīq al-Ummat
‛Abd al-Mu‛īd, may Allāh pardon him.