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Friday, 14 January 2011

“Wahdat-ul-Wajood” and Hazrat Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A)

Hazrat (R.A) was a firm believer in the celebrated but rather controversial concept of Wahdat-ul-Wajood (Ultimate Unity of Being) pioneered by Shaikh Muhyuddin Ibn-ul-Arabi (R.A). His belief in the concept was based on deep study and contemplation and also on personal spiritual experience. In course of time, he developed into one of the leading authorities of his time on this subject, and it figured prominently in his teachings as well as writings.
Speaking on this subject, Hazrat Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A) used to say that the fact that Archangel Gabriel had appeared to the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) in human form on several occasions had produced a persuasive effect on his mind from the very beginning in favour of the concept of Wahdat-ul-Wajood. He had also carefully studied the objections raised to the concept by the exponents of the contrasting concept of Wahdat-ush-Shahud (Unity of Perception or Vision), but arrived at the firm conclusion that Wahdat-ul-Wajood was concept based on truth.
The philosophy of “Wahdat-ul-Wajood” could further be explained in the light of the Quranic verses stressing upon the Omnipresence of God.
Translation: “He is the Beginning, He is the End; He is the One Evident, He is the One Hidden and Concealed.”    (III, 75)
The distinction between God (Creator) and man (creation) still remains
This statement by Muhyuddin Ibn-ul Arabi Shaikh-e-Akbar sums up the spirit of Islamic philosophy. Although he is regarded a staunch follower of Wahdat-ul-Wajood, he says:
Translation: “In all its ebb and flow, God, remains His self - the Master; and man despite all his success remains subservient.”
Man as a bashar becomes Masjood-e-Malaika (capable of earning a bow from the heavenly bodies) when he practices: <ayat> (the Divine principle) and evolves as a true reflection of Siffat-e-Ilahiya (the characteristic of God). When forces of this universe bend their heads before him they are rather bowing before Him (God) and not before man.
Divine self – manifestations is a perpetual process. He is the Real One. A wave is a wave; when it rises or when it falls it merges into the sea becomes part and parcel of the sea which proves that a wave dose not annihilate, rather it adopts a new shape. The real existence is of Him and when these manifestations (universal moods of Pure Being) are over, He alone remains. The seed of a banyan tree is a small one it is said that this seed contains fifteen thousand branches and fifteen thousand leaves, it does not seen to be acceptable to the intellect. The seed is there hidden while branches and leaves are manifest and apparent. Seed has its own rules; leaves have their own characteristics. God is God, man is man.
Shah Wali Ullah (R.A), one of distinguished personalities in the Silsila Naqshbandia and was basically a believer in the concept of "Wahdat-ush-Shahood" has expressed that if required he could well explain the philosophy of Wahdat-ul-Wajood in the light of Quran and Hadith.
Wahdat-ul-Wajood and Wahdat-ush-Shahood - Hazrat's viewpoints
Hazrat attempted to bridge the differences between adherents of afore-mentioned two apparently divergent concepts by advancing the following points of views:
(a)              'Wahdat-ush-Shahood' represents the initial stages of suluk (spiritual journey), and the basic essence of faith (nafs-e-iman), whereas 'Wahdat-ul-Wajood' constitutes the acme of suluk and the perfected state of faith (kamal-e-iman).
(b)              Belief in Wahdat-ul-Wajood was neither incumbent upon the followers of earlier apostles of Allah, nor is it binding upon the Ummah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) of Islam.      
(c)               Wahdat-ul-wajood represents the vision and clairvoyance of the elect among the sufia, and it is related to inner vision rather than to outward and oral pronouncement only.    
One Maulana Sufi Abdul Rahman of Lucknow had declared, in his book titled Kalimatul Haq (The Word of Truth), that belief in Wahdat-ul-Wajood was binding upon the Muslim Ummah in general, in the same way as belief in the Kalima-e-Tayyibah was, and that non-belief in it therefore constituted heresy. Hazrat effectively disproved this point of view in his book Tahqiq-ul-Haq Fi Kalimatul Haq. At the same time, in line with his moderate and tolerant approach, he refused to denounce Maulana Abdul Rahman to be “misguided” and heretic as many other contemporary scholars had chosen to do. Instead, he attributed the Maulana’s views to be due to an overpowering spiritual state beyond his control.
In the same connection, Hazrat referred to a discussion once held on the subject at Sial Sharif in the presence of Hazrat Khwaja Shamsuddin (R.A). during this discussion Hazrat said, he first presented the objections raised to Wahdat-ul-Wajood by such advocates of Wahdat ush-Shahood as Hazrat Mujaddid Alf-e-Saani and Hazrat Alauddawlah Samnani. He then followed it up by answering each of those objections on the basis of convincing arguments. This greatly pleased Hazrat Khwaja Shamsuddin (R.A), who exhorted Hazrat to study Shaikh Ibn-ul- Arabi’s book “Futuhaat-e-Makkiyah” (the Meccan Revelations), in which the Great Shaikh had expounded his concepts in extensive detail. The constant in-depth study of the book coupled with the spiritual attention of his Murshid, helped Hazrat in comprehending the multifarious abstruse facets of the concept, and eventually enabled him to gain outstanding mastery over it.


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