Friday, September 14, 2012

The Writings of Sultan Bahu and Spiritual Empowerment across space and time





1.
Spiritual Transmission that transcends space-time

Speaking of the ability of illuminated beings for spiritual transmission and guidance transcending space-time limitations, we have an example of an Wali (a friend of God), a saint of specially elevated spiritual rank, one of those who attained God, someone who passed away from this temporal world more than three hundred years ago, leaving behind gifted writings of such spiritual magnitude that he could boldly prescribe his writings as enough for seekers of truth to guide them to their goal. It is also reported by advanced saints of later days of how simply reading, writing the works of the venerated saint caused spiritual ecstasy and elevated visions.


This is what a servant of God who was bestowed special grace, who wrote about his divinely inspired writings:

"With the study of this booklet, one is awarded the immersion of divine oneness in a flash and meeting of the highly exalted congregation court of the Holy Prophet, that is an unlimited Ghinayat or freedom from want."

"Any one who will study this book with sincerity and devotion, will not be left with any need for a Zahiri or external Spiritual Mentor / Master or seeking formal initiation on the hand of a Spiritual Elder / Pir and seeking instruction. Entire ranks of the world and the religion, he will achieve through this book."

Now this is not conjecture, imagination or fancy of the minds. We're speaking here about one special friend of God, a people of an'amta 'alaihim, known as Sultan Bahu, may Allah be pleased with him. About obtaining companionship of such personalities of truth, God commands in the Scripture, "O you who have faith! Be mindful of your duty to God, and be with the being of truth (swadiqin)." (The Qur'an 9:119)


2.
King of Gnostics: Sultan Bahu

The venerable saint Sultan Bahu (1628-1691) was a great Sufi Master, Mystic, Prolific Writer and Saint who founded the Sarwari Qadiri Sufi order. He was born at Soon Valley, in the Punjab Province of present day Pakistan. He is one of the most popular saint in Indian-Sub Continent. Sultan Bahu is a direct descendant of Imam Ali, spiritual heir of Prophet Muhammad. Sultan Bahu's spiritual station is so high among the saints of God that he is known as Sultanul Arifeen (King of the Gnostics).

The Name BaHu

The saint's name itself is very powerful. The characteristics of the name has multidimensional qualitative features. About his name the saint says,

"With one dot Ba-Hu becomes Ya-Hu
and Bahu is always steeped in the
remembrance of Ya-Hu."

In the science of numerology the sum total of the name Ba-Hu is 14, the date of the full moon and the start of adolescence. It has been seen and experienced by many a true seeker that by simply mentioning or hearing his name, the seeker has gone into ecstasy proclaiming Ya Hu Haqq Bahu. You may read details of his life and biography from Biography of Sultan Bahu.

Initiation

Exoterically Hazrat Bahu's spiritual lineage descends from Prophet Muhammad, then Imam Ali, and later on via Shaykh Junayd Baghdadi, Sheikh Najmuddin and eventually from Abdûr-Rahman, the latest person being his direct initiator in the external plane.

Esoterically, Hazrat Sultan Bahu was initiated by the Prophet Muhammad himself, profound peace and blessings be upon his soul. He received instructions and spiritual guidance from the fountain head of all lights himself and was accepted as a child of light in the court of Hazrat Bibi Fatima, the lady of light and her husband Ali.

In one treatise Sultan Bahu refeers to this esoteric initiation as:

Bahu, on whom Prophet bent
Initiate Bahu in lovers way
Accepting Bahu in families' tent.

Esoteric initiation in the life of the saint was experienced on two occasions. It is narrated in 'Muraqaba Sultani' that the first esoteric initiation took place when the saint was in adolescence. In his own words, "Once in my youth a very handsome and awe-inspiring person on horseback approached me. He held my hand and asked me to accompany him. I asked him who he was. He replied 'I am Ali ibn Abu Talib and I have come to take and escort you to the exalted and holy court of Prophet Muhammad Sallalahu alaihi wa sallam.' Suddenly I found myself in the august court of the Prophet. All the Prophets, companions, the four successors together with the Paak Panjetan (the immaculate five) were present. Also present in the court were Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani (Head of the Saints) and many more saints. This was a most illustrious court, heavenly in nature, full of light and tranquility. The Holy Prophet was seated above all the others bestowing light and blessings like a shining star. The Holy Prophet was very much pleased to see me and putting me on his lap initiated me as his spiritual son. Thereafter all the Holy Personalities present in the assembly did likewise putting me on their laps.



The second initiation took place in the years of maturity. Second time too, he was present in the court of the Holy Prophet. Imam Ali and the Holy Prophet asked me to stretch forth my hands. Taking both my hands into his, the Holy Prophet initiated me and I was blessed with his special Tawajjuh (spiritual attention), love, care and barakah (blessings).

Thereafter the Holy Prophet gave my hands into the hands of Sheikh Abdul Qadir and instructed him to train his spiritual son Sultan Bahu, in the Qadiri Sufi Order. After being blessed by the greatest Saint, all the holy personalities in the assembly blessed me with their spiritual light and barakah. The Prophet then addressed me that I should guide the true seekers to the Path of Allah.

So this is a very tiny glimpse of who Sultan Bahu is.


3.
Authority and Power of Saints continue beyond the shores of life and death

In Islam, wilayat, the condition of wali, refers uniquely to the gnostic station of a person. The station of a wali is the station of knowledge of the Real by direct witnessing. Thus in the Spiritual Kingdom of Allah, Hazrat Sultan Bahu holds a very high position of his own. He is referred as 'king of the gnostics' an appropriate title.

It is a well known fact that in the temporal world, an officer loses his powers after retirement or on death, but not so for the saints of Allah. In the spiritual world the powers of the saints of Allah remain as good as they were in their lifetime. Just as they illuminated the hearts and the minds of the people during their lifetime, so too, after their taking veil from the temporal world, they continue to illuminate the seekers after truth. One should not be surprised by such occurrences.

Sultan Bahu's spiritual legacy remains along with other great contributions such as reviving the heart of people, is his great volume of writings. He penned a great number of treatises under divine inspirations (ilham). The following is a list of the important works of Sultan Bahu that still exist today, and can be traced back to him with credibility: Nurul Huda, Risala-e-Roohi, Aql Baidaar, Mahq-ul-Fuqar, Aurang-Shaahi, Jami-il-Asraar, Taufiq-Hedaayat, Kaleed Tauheed, Ainul Faqr, Shamsul Arifeen, Magzane Faiz, Ameerul Quonain, Asrare Qaderi, Kaleed Jannat, Muhqamul Fuqar, Majaalis-tun Nabi, Muftahul Arifeen, Hujjatul Asraar, Jannatul Firdaus, Kash-ful Asraar, Risaala Ruhi Shareef, Abayat-e-Bahu (poetry), Muhabbatul Asraar, Ganjul Asraar, Dewaan Bahu, Panj Ganj, Fazlul Laqa, Jhook Sultany are titles of some of the works attributed to him.


4.
In this age of difficulty in finding a perfect spiritual master

Due to simplicity, and effectively of these works, one is almost obliged to think that this great holy personality knew through intuition that there will be a time like the present, when it will be difficult to find a perfect spiritual master. This is the reason, perhaps, why Hazrat Sultan Bahu clothed his spiritual treasure and barakah in the shape of his books. The master himself said in "Nurul Huda" that 'for many years a true seeker has not passed my path to whom I could impart my spiritual wealth which is given to me as a trust." Thus he put his esoteric knowledge and spiritual wisdom and teachings in writing and in this way has forever made its benefit available for humanity.

Hazrat Sultan Bahu's teachings have been preserved in the form of his books, which are beacon of light in this age and beyond. A mere pursual of his works open for the seekesr the doors of gnosis / spiritual knowledge (marifat). Sultan Bahu's works are true guide to the lost soul. It influences the seekers so much so that he is strengthened in his resolve for higher knowledge. His message is clear, spend your life for Allah, Allah's Messenger and Truth. Your living and dying should be for Allah alone. To him attainment to Allah is the goal and reality.

His writings give a clear insight into the reality and the realm of Sharia, Tariqat, Haqiqat and Marifah of Allah. Although employed in simple language, he has recounted and explained, the extreme ends of the different exalted and sublime phases and stations of Marifa and Faqr. The effect of his works is such that a seeker, who pursues his works continually, God-willing, will achieve his heart's desire.

In the opinion of Faqir Nur Muhammad Sarwari Qaderi, a later day saint who said "I have read many a book by well known scholars and sufis - past and present - but the effects, barakah and esoteric knowledge which I have found in the writings of Sultan Bahu is not to be found in any other works. Allah is my witness. It seems that the soul and spirituality of Sultan Bahu is running through the pages of his works. Just by mere pursual, one is elevated to a state of ecstasy. Sometimes the reader without any effort or spiritual exercise reaches the state of inner inspiration and spiritual visions. "


5.
The Gifts of Sultan Bahu for the seekers

The works of Sultan Bahu is translated mostly from original Persian into Urdu and English language and made available by the website Hazrat Sultan Bahu. May Allah reward all who made this possible.

I am mentioning the benefits of each title, most of which were mentioned by the Saint himself in his writings as quoted from the original site. Click on each book's title to read them online via Hazrat Sultan Bahu website.

Note: If you experience error in loading by clicking on the link below, then copy this address, http://www.hazratsultanbahu.com/english/ and paste in your web browser and then try access the books from there, instead of this link.Thanks


It is said about this book that: "The one who will keep this book under study day and night with sincerity certainty and belief will become aware of the mysteries of Lord. The one who will study this book with sincerity/ absoluteness and devotion, will not be left with any need of Zahiri/tangible Murshid/mentor or seeking Bai'at/initiation on the hand of a Pir and seeking Talqin/instruction/indoctrination. Entire Maratib/ ranks of the world and the religion he will achieve through this book.

This book is a means to approach to the Marifat/cognition of Haqq/the absolute truth. And bestows the honor of Hazoori/ones presence at an intangible station of the inner self or in an unseen gathering through dream or muraqaba and is a means of sending to the Holy Majalis/congregational court of Muhammad, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. (regular) Reader of this book becomes a guide of the mankind and becomes one with unadulterated/pure inner self/inward. But the seeker in study of the book must be truth in devotion, bashful and well mannered." This is probably the most important work of Hazrat Bahu. (* Read Translation in English, pg 281)



Every person who will read this book with sincerity, nothing will remain hidden or unseen from him Insha'Allah (God willing). (* Read online in English, pg 19)


 Mahabbat ul Asrar (Cordiality Towards Mysteries)

With the study of this Risala (treatise) is awarded the immersion of Tauhid (Divine oneness) in a flash and meeting of the Majlish/congregation Court of Hazarat Muhammad, sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallim, that is an unlimited Ghinayat/ freedom from (any other) want. (* Read online, pg 53)


The person who use to read this book completely, the infinite mysteries of the vision of the Marifat/cognition will face towards him perfectly, and more than this is that the person who will use to study this book day and night regularly, he will left with no need of any outwardly Murshid/mentor/master. (* Read online, pg 32)




 Orung Shahi (Covering for the Throne)

Therefore anyone who will study this book with due sincerity, he will not left with need for an outwardly/physical Murshid/mentor/master, because through its study the knowledge of Loh e Mahfooz/the preserved Scriptum is revealed forever and wherever desires, can provide ability and inclination and success to his sight through this fortune. This treatise is Qutub ul Moazzam Muimma ba Ism Musamma/ a sanctified pole of crux with the name fi Allah is, a criterion for the erudite and it's every page is elixir and treasure of munificence. And each line is hiding in itself the secret of the Noor/holy light of Muhammad, sallalahu alaihi wa aalii wasallam. Its every page guide towards Hazrat Muhammad. (* Read online, pg 25)


Muhkumul Faqara (Well-founded coherence of Faqeers)

He whose guidance is not done by his Murshid/mentor/master, for him, this book is sufficient as a guide to God, always keep it in your study day and night. You will get perfection in Faqar after becoming the Arif bi Allah, Gnostic of God.  (* Read English translation online, pg 50)



And whomsoever will keep it in his study, day and night, nothing will remain hidden for him and he will not be left with dependency on any other (with the permission of Lord) and if an indigent will read it, he will be enriched. And if a disheveled and perplexed person will read it, he will find perpetual jamiyat/integrity of mind and if a naqis/imperfect person will read it, he will become perfect! Through the study of this book, he will recognize and know the spiritual conduct and how to walk on spiritual pathway to God of the faqar / spiritual poverty in both the outer self and the inner self. This book is useful to both the tyro and the master. And if a jahil/one lacking in knowledge will read it, he will become an advanced learned master of the tafseer/interpretation. (* Read the English translation online, pg 38)


To know more about how to get Spiritual transmission direct from Hazrat Bahu, read this book: How to get Spiritual Power. Please note that the intention of seeking has to be pure, and the highest goal is to attain the good pleasure of God, not the empowerment of the ego for the sake of other people, selfish power or worldly fame or glory - for that is showiness, hypocrisy and deviation from the Path. May God protect and preserve us from such tests.

You may Bookmark this page for future reference.


6.
Few Points of Note

Wasila of approaching God

The Qur'an says, "O you who look forward to attain perfect faith,
be mindful of your duty to God,
and seek the means (wasila) of approaching Him, and strive in His way in order that you may be really successful." (5:35)

Wasila refers to anything that is a source of drawing near God. The word wasila (pl. wasa'il) is a noun used twice in the Qur'an (5:34 and 17:57), means recommendation, the means of access, favourable influence or intermediary means. The writings which are left by friends of God under beautiful inspiration from God can also be wasila.


On taking Wasila / means to know /reach the Beloved,
here is an elegant secret.
This is what the Beloved whispers to us:

"All Your Attempt To Reach Me,
Are in Fact My Attempts To Reach You."

~ transmitted by Mevlana Rumi


Sufi is Son of the Moment

Some readers may find it strange that being a Sufi master how he himself may suggest that his writings/ books may replace the need of a living Teacher, which is the classical position of Sufic Science.

Every authentic Sufi Master teaches according to the need of the time and people while at the same time they are follower of the Holy Prophet. Sultan Bahu's proclamation remind us two points: firstly he was realizing that time is coming when for most people finding pefect spiritual master of will become increasingly difficult (for many impossible), people will be more and more engaged in the world than other way.

Secondly, his course of action conforms with the Sunnah (tradition of Islam or Way of the Prophet) in this particular manner: if we remember that in the last sermon the Prophet declared, "I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray." So by extension of Prophet's own example and the revelation he received is left behind as the Archetypal example of Guidance transcending both space-time, similarly Sultan Bahu's inspired work, according to his own realization is infused with baraka and guidance to guide seekers beyond space-time limitations. By the grace of God this is neither impossible nor a violation of Sufi adab. 

According to his own word about the flood gate of grace which is kept open to receive:

Dar Elahi khola hay anye kay liye,
na aie to Wo beniyaz hai.


Door of the Lord is ever kept open if one comes,
If none comes, My Lord is Without


Now Some Caution

The Books may appear to be written for advanced seekers, but they have the quality of bringing on board, by the grace of God, both novice and advanced, provided their inward state is sincere. In all of these books, the Sufic technical terms are explained in each page. As a pre-requirement it would be beneficial for the readers to be well familiar with Islam, specially its articles of faith first.

Quoted from the mother-site related to harnessing the benefit from the Books it is mentioned: Sometimes novice seekers, due to his/her own shortcoming and sometimes by not being able to understand becomes respondent and relinquish further study. This should not be allowed to happen. The reader should keep on studying the books constantly because the spirit of Hazrat Sultan Bahu runs through the pages of his books and the Saint's esoteric and intrinsic attention is concealed and hidden in his writings. It is this quality of his hidden esoteric attention, which makes the book, become one's teacher and instructor, helping thereby in automatically resolving all the subtle points of bewilderment and confusion.

The above is true and has been experienced by many a scholar that sooner or later one reaches ones hearts desire. With sincere devotion and respect and by continuous reading an electricity of divine light is created in the heart of the reader, inculcating in him a spiritual revolution and attraction which gives rise to a strong yearning and  affectionate longing for Allah the Beloved. One should not forget that all the writings of Hazrat Sultan Bahu are divinely inspired. His works are a true means of gaining access and entrance into the court of the Holy Prophet.

It's worth mentioning another experience of a great Sufi master Faqir Nur Muhammad Sarwari Qaderi, regarding the works of Hazrat Sultan Bahu he says, "I have penned the works of Hazrat Sultan Bahu, over and over for the last thirty years. During this period, I did not touch any work of Hazrat Sultan Bahu without being in a state of ablution. Whatever spiritual reality and phenomenta of the path I copied in the day, was traversed in the night and the written esoteric reality and phenomena was made manifest to me. It appeared as though, the author has composed and bequeathed these books to me exclusively, because hither so far none has comprehended and benefitted out of them like myself." A translator of Hazrat Bahu's book, Dr. K. B. Naseem sahib acknowledges, "whenever I translated Hazrat Sultan Bahu's Books by myself, he always gave me spiritual power."

The treasure of Faqr and Marifat is passed from heart to heart, breast to breast. It is the true seeker whose courage is stronger than the mountains, who with the staff of patience, strong resolve and determination surmounts his inabilities and becomes successful in attaining the higher knowledge described in the works.

It is advisable for true seekers of the path who wish to succeed in their search for truth, to obtain corrected translated work of his holiness and with true sincerity, purity of heart and great resolve, pursue and study his works continually. This particular site HazratSultanBahu is well known for its most accurate translation for there are other translations which are not well done.

This will, God willing, bring into play the Tawajjuh (spiritual attention) of his holiness on the seeker. And if a perfect teacher is his partner, he unites the capable seeker with Allah, the Most High through a single attention or enters him in constant attendance in the court of the Holy Prophet, inshaAllah.


Al-Fatiha to the blessed soul Hazrat Sultan Bahu and Salawat upon our Venerable Leader in boh worlds, Habib-Allah Muhammad Mustafa, the Messenger of God.


# References:
* HazratSultanBahu.com
* Spiritual Genealogy / Chain of Succession of Sultan Bahu
* Sayings of Sultan Bahu
* Ordering Free Books from Sultan Bahu's Dargah
* To Be With the Truthful by Muhammad al-Tijani al-Samawi

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