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Friday, 14 January 2011

Fatuhat e Makkiya

Hazrat’s in-depth study of Shaikh Muhyuddin Ibn-ul Arabi’s (R.A) "Futuhat-e-Makkiyah"
Hazrat Khwaja Shamsuddin (R.A) of Sial Sharif, Hazrat’s Murshid, had exhorted him emphatically during his lifetime to make a deep study of Shaikh –e-Akbar Muhyuddin Ibn-ul Arabi’s masterpiece on the subject of Wahdat-ul-Wajood, viz., Futuhat-e-Makkiyah. To be ale to comply with this directive, Hazrat tried during his stay in Lahore to acquire a copy of the book in question. On making extensive inquiries, he found out that the only copy of it available in Lahore was in the possession of a local leather merchant, Khwaja Karim Bukhsh. In view of the highly abstruse contents of the book, however, the latter was prepared to spare the book, even for study at his house, only to someone who could correctly read just one page of it and to explain its meaning. Since Hazrat was able to meet this condition to Khwaja Karim Bukhsh's satisfaction with respect to not just one but several pages of the Futuhat, the gentleman agreed to lend the enabled Hazrat to make an in-depth study of the celebrated book, after which he duly returned it to its owner.
Acquisition of the book “Futuhat-e-Makkiyah”
Because of Hazrat’s deep and abiding interest in the subject of Wahdat-ul-Wajood (the central theme of Futuhat), his desire to “own” a copy remained with him, and the search for it was renewed during his stay in Makkah. On inquiry, the book was found to be available with a local book-seller, but its price (40 Saudi Riyals) was beyond Hazrat’s means. While he was still wondering how he could raise the required amount, an Afghan stranger met him in the Holy Kaabah and voluntarily offered to him the exact sum of 40 Riyals as a gift. When Hazrat asked him the reason for doing so, the stranger was unable to give any particular reason, beyond confessing that it had just occurred to him to present this money to Hazrat. On the stranger’s insistence, therefore, Hazrat accepted the money as a bounty from Allah, and used it to buy the book for permanent possession.
Hazrat’s teachings and writings on Wahdat-ul-Wajood
Such was Hazrat’s command of the subject of Wahdat-ul-Wajood, and of the writings of Shaikh Muhyuddin Ibn-ul Arabi, popularly known by the honorific title of Shaikh-e-Akbar (The Great Shaikh), that for ten years on end he gave lessons in Futuhat-e-Makkiyah, and in the Shaikh’s other important book on the subject, 'Fusus-ul-Hikam' (Bezels of Wisdom) to scholars desirous of comprehending the deeper aspects of Wahdat-ul-Wajood. He also wrote voluminous book of his own in exposition of the concept titled Tahqiq-ul-Haq Fi Kalimatul Haq.
During the compilation of the aforesaid book Tahqiq-ul-Haq, Hazrat (R.A) had revealed that during his compilation of the book, he had had a distinct intuitive feeling that the spirit of his respected Murshid, Hazrat Khwaja Shamsuddin (R.A) who had passed away 15 years earlier, was constantly present at his side and guiding him in proper explanation of important aspects of Wahdat-ul-Wajood.
This assertion is eminently understandable, since Hazrat ranked among those accomplished personalities about whom Shaikh Musleh-Uddin Saadi (R.A) of Shiraz (Iran), the great Persian poet and sufi, has written as follows:
Translation: “The eternal sound of ' alast' , i.e., the covenant taken by Allah from all humanity in the world of spirits – still rings in their ears and they are still intoxicated by its influence”.
The following Punjabi couplet of Hazrat himself also provides a clear clue to the loftiness of his spiritual position in relation to Wahdat-ul-Wajood:
Kun-fayakun (Be and It became) is a matter of only yesterday;
we had in fact cultivated our love (for Allah) long before that;

Thou art and "I" were nowhere in sight at the time 
when the "M" (of Muhammad (P.B.U.H) bore witness (to the existence of Allah);

We can still see (in the far-off distance of eternity)
the thickets, plants and mosses (of the pre-creation era);

O Meher Ali ! The Creator and the created then sat in each other's company only, 
because there was a desire on both sides to do so.

These couplets indicate that Hazrat’s spiritual vision and “memory” went back to the age of Absolute Unity when nothing whatever had any tangible or even intangible existence besides Allah, and to the “world of spirits” which was brought into being by Allah long before He created other physical creation. For someone like him, therefore, the recalling of the spiritual presence and backing of his eminent Murshid during his writing of a book barely 15 years after the latter’s physical passing away, could hardly present much of a problem.
Fakir Muhammad of Kot Atal - a devotee of Hazrat (R.A)
Faqir Muhammad Amir of Kot Atal (District Dera Ismail Khan ) was an accomplished dervish. Belonging originally to Jhelum, he received his early education in Dera Ismail Khan and after completing it became a disciple of Khwaja Muhammad Usman Naqshbandi of Musa Zai. Making steady spiritual progress, he eventually became the Khalifa (deputy) of his Shaikh and carried his message far and wide. In the final stages of his progress, he reached a point which conflicted with the maslak (method) of his Shaikh. While the Shaikh was an adherent of Naqshbandia school, and was therefore a believer in Wahdat-ush-Shahud (Unity of Perception), Muhammad Amir started being involuntarily attracted to Wahdat-ul-wajood instead. The Shaikh first tried to bring him back to his point of view through admonition and prayer, but despairing of the success of his efforts declared him to be misguided and lost beyond redemption. On his part, Muhammad Amir found himself caught in a situation beyond his own control. He therefore set out in search of some means to get out of that plight.
At some stage, Faqir Muhammad Amir came to know about Hazrat, and betook himself to Golra Sharif to meet him. He first went to Hazrat Baba Fazl Din (R.A), who was then the reigning head of the shrine, but did not state the purpose of his visit. From there he proceeded to see Hazrat, whom he found engaged in conversation with his father, Hazrat Ajji Sahib. On seeing Muhammad Amir, Hazrat quietly handed to him the book Kashkol-e-Kalimi (The Begging Bowl of Musa, Kalimullah) which he was then holding in his hands, without saying anything else. As Faqir Sahib glanced through the book, his problem was instantly solved by its contents. This greatly elated him, and he requested Hazrat to accept him as his disciple. Hazrat hesitated first, but on his insistence agreed to do so. Besides prescribing the required recitations, Hazrat exhorted him never to show disrespect to his Murshid, Khwaja Muhammad Usman Naqshbandi, to visit the latter at least once a year to pay his regards to him, and, after the latter’s passing away, to make it a point to attend his Urs. The immediate aftermath of this episode was that Faqir Muhammad Amir lost many of his erstwhile followers, while his Murshid was furious at his conduct. He patiently endured all this for about a year, and then returned to Golra Sharif to pay his respects to Hazrat. Hazrat accorded him permission to enroll disciples on his own, as a result of which his circle of disciples expanded quickly by the grace of Allah. He used later to accompany Hazrat on latter’s annual visit to Pakpattan Sharif in connection with Urs of Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar (R.A).
The published collection of Hazrat’s letters, titled Maktubat-e-Tayyibat” contains few letters written to Hazrat by the Faqir Sahib of Atal, and Hazrat’s replies thereto, which provide an inkling of the distinguished spiritual station which the Faqir Sahib was able to attain under Hazrat’s guidance. These letters from Faqir Sahib of Atal and the replies of these letters from Hazrat himself provide a comprehensive explanation of the concept of "Wahdat-ul-Wajood".
In one of these letters, the Faqir Sahib sought Hazrat’s guidance as to whether, in the spiritual state that he had reached by then, he should focus his attention on the sifat (Attributes) that were flowing from the Divine Being or on the Being Himself, so as to escape the feeling of uncertainty and ambivalence that he found himself in.

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