Sufism and Islam — The Garbed Men

Tassawuf and Sulook is a topic that is as important as it is unique. It concerns itself with the feelings of Iman and Yaqeen and the spiritual states of the human heart. Many saints have written about it, that Sufis wore the garbs of wool (soof) and thereby are called Sufis but this does not seem to be true. Quran Kareem’s word Tazkiya was translated into Persian as Tassawwuf. The first language that Quran Kareem was ever translated into was Persian. The truth seems to be the essence of the word and the discipline of Tassawwuf.

State of the world or the lack of it is sad if nothing else. Different cultures have different ways to define it and make their peace with it. Germans call it Zeitgeist. Some deify it and some become perennial. Others choose to make peace with it or simply cut a larger piece of it. None of us can deny the fact that there is something subtle about human beings.

They are given the wisdom to reign over other species. Only they can continuously evolve and learn. Goats never think about creating a salad out of their vegetarian food. Cats don’t seem to care if milk is 3% fat or 1.5%. Lions can’t care less about beef steaks and chicken nuggets.

This gift comes with its own test. The ability to learn comes with a responsibility to use it wisely. And what can be the pinnacle of knowledge but to figure out this world and its purpose? Is it an undertaking larger than human being’s meager intellect? Is it only fair to be judged on things that one has no capacity to find a conclusion for? Then again, Human beings with all their sagacity were the only beings fit for the ultimate job. The Maarifa of the creator. Surprisingly Quran calls it his ignorance.

إنا عرضنا الأمانة على السماوات والأرض والجبال فأبين أن يحملنها وأشفقن منها وحملها الإنسان إنه كان ظلوماً جهولاً

It’s the man himself who agreed to bear the burden that heavens and the earth denied. Allah does not ask of people, things that they have no potential to fulfill. When Allah created human beings, Angels argued against it and Allah responded, “ Surely I know what you do not know”.

Allah then sent his messengers to guide his creation. The only creation that could question his existence. The creation that was given free will and the choice. None of Allah’s creation can change its course. Everything falls into a system without ever changing. Sun and the Moon chase each other without delays. Vegetation grows and dies, animals live off each other, winds circulate in loops, water cycle keeps repeating itself.

It’s only human intervention that changes this. It’s only human who use these gifts to its fullest potential and they are made for the humans. However, will this unprecedented reign make him grateful or oblivious of the original creator?

The vicegerent is only as powerful as the Master. Gratitude and loyalty are what employers seek from their subordinates. Human beings are being asked nothing else but this with the exception that they don’t contribute anything to the heavens. They only take from the Lord. The asking is just the gratitude. The remembrance, the quest to his Lord and sincerity.

Islamic Tassawwuf is nothing but this remembrance of the Creator. The emptying of heart from everything but Allah. Counter-intuitively some have assumed that being impoverished, ascetic and recluse gets one started on this path. Nothing can be further from the truth if you read the lives of great Sufi Masters.

From Imam Al-Ghazali RA to Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani RA and from Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi RA to Shah Wali Ullah Dehlvi RA, these people single-handedly changed the course of history. They were great iconoclasts who not only shattered the idols of material powers and empires, they purged the hearts of its spiritual diseases, Jealously, Envy, Rancor, and Hate.

Like four Madhab, served Islamic faith in gathering and synthesizing the principles of practices, four chains of Sufi traditions have taken the burden of purifying the hearts of people from the worldly malice. Naqshbandi, Qadri, Chishti and Suharwardi being the names of these orders. From Morocco to Indonesia, Zawaya and Khanqas are busy forming practical and thoughtful souls. In the quagmire of insincerity, opportunism and deception both worldly and religious, pure Islam can only be found with people who keep themselves busy in purifying their hearts. Prophet SA said,

هم القوم لایشقی جلیسهم

These are the people, the one who sits with them will not remain unfulfilled, even if he doesn’t do what they do. The ones whose tear keep flowing from open eyes, while people sleep. The ones who are found prostrating in front of their Lord begging for mercy for the non-believers around them. Whose selflessness keep the selfish afloat.

It is these who keep the wrath of Allah from the corrupt vicegerents who were meant to be the wayfarers on the path of uprightness. Prophet SA said

لَا تَقُومُ السَّاعَۃُ حَتَّی لَا یُقَالَ فِی الْأَرْضِ اللَّہُ اللَّہُ

Qiyamah will not happen until Zikr of Allah is being done on earth. The heart of darkness is lit by these candles. No matter who you believe in, who your sheikh is and what you creed is, get hold of these people because if there is hope for this world, it is them.

PIA’s pre-hajj operation ends today

KARACHI: PIA’s pre-Hajj operation would come to an end today Monday when last of the special hajj flights PK-2337 leaves Islamabad for Jeddah at 1430 hrs.

During its month-long pre-Hajj operation, started on August 4, PIA transported more than 51,000 intending hujjaj from ten cities of Pakistan including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Sukkur, Multan, Rahimyarkhan, on 268 flights including special hajj flights. PIA’s post-Hajj operation would start on September 17, lasting till October 16, 2016.

Mardan terror attack failure of KP govt: Interior Minister

MARDAN: Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan has stated that Mardan terrorist attack is failure of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

Talking to newsmen here on Saturday, he disclosed that the provincial government was informed about terror threat earlier. The minister said the policies of former President Pervez Musharraf inflicted huge losses to the country.

Talking about Warsak attack, he said all those terrorists killed were foreigners. The minister reiterated resolve to eliminate terrorists and their facilitators.

He said the government and people of Pakistan are united to take the war against terrorism to its logical end.

“Terrorists are at the verge of collapse as their capacity of hard targets has been neutralized and they are now chasing soft targets in perplexity”, Nisar added.

He said the terrorists have the hideous aim of spreading hatred against the state institutions which will be put to a death knell with the courage and unity of the nation.

He said all political actors were brought on the same page in 2013 to eliminate the terrorist elements.

The Minister said with the successful operation Zarb-e-Azb and the support of people and political forces, terrorism is defeated but the facilitators still remain to be taken to task.

He urged the nation to remain united and resilient against the terrorist elements who are facing a crushing defeat in the fight.

On the occasion the minister paid tribute to the brave people of  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who never showed disappointment in any calamity.

Nisar Ali Khan said the Government is particularly working on joint efforts by the federal and provincial governments to deal with the terrorist elements.

He said to completely destroy the terrorist infrastructure, the Federal and provincial governments are focusing on network and intelligence sharing.

PML-N’s government spends funds allocated for Bhasha Dam on other projects

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) PML-N’s government has spent the funds approximately Rs 5.40 billion in other development projects, which were allocated only for the construction of Bhasha Dam. Due to this, the dam project could not be completed in time.

Sources told Online that General Manager Finance WAPDA has provided these funds for the construction of Neelum Jhelum Hydro Project while taking Planning Wing into confidence. The Gilgit Baltistan government has also protested against it to federal government.

“With the completion of Diamir Bhasha Dam total of 54000 Mega Watt electricity would be generated while total cost of this project is approximately 14 million US $”, sources added and maintained that Agha Khan Foundation has also promised to provide funds for this project as most of the people are followers of Ismailai school of thoughts.

Sources further said that the government of PML-N is giving priority to generate electricity through power projects run by coal and gas as compare to hydro power projects which generate electricity at low rates.

Date for filing income tax return extended

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has extended date  for filing income tax returns by government employees and final tax returns  for one month.

The FBR  had  earlier announced 31st August last date for filing the tax returns, however, the date has been extended by one month  due to amendments in income tax return forms. .

The people  were facing difficulties in filing the returns in the wake of amendments introduced in the return forms.