at-Tazkirah: التذكرة

“And keep reminding, because reminding benefits the believers.” (51:55)

3. Nisbat Islaahi

Taken from “Aap Beti”, page 633-639:

3. Third form of Nisbat is ‘Nisbat Islaahi’:
Hazrat Shah Abdul Aziz has stated that this form of Nisbat is stronger than both the previous Nisbats and likens it to someone who digs a water canal and strengthens the bed and the shores thoroughly. Then he connects the canal with a strong-flowing river. When the strong currents of water enters the canal, the stength of the water sweeps everything lying around in the water like leaves, branches, bricks and sand along with it. Small stones and rocks are unable to stop the flow of the river, but a very major rock or landslide can block its flow.

I am of the opinion that among the predecessors, the system of ‘Ijaazat’ was such that they initially put great emphasis on self-rectification and the acquisition of good qualities, first. When they found the mureed sufficiently improved, they advocated Zikr and wirds and only then was the mureed granted ‘Ijaazat’.

If we are going to tell all the stories of the purification activities of the Elders, we shall require many volumes, but that is not the objective of Aap Beti. I will only mention one story by way of example. It is about Abu Saeed Saheb Gangohi, one of the well known Sheikhs of the Chishtiyya Order and the grandson of Sheikh Abdul Quddoos Gangohi, whose Mazaar is in Gangoh. The story is told as it was heard from the Elders and as it is noted in history books. I quote it from Maulana Thanwy’s ‘Arwaah Thalaatha’.

One day Sheikh Abu Saeed went to Balkh to enter into Bay’at with Shah Nizamuddin Balkhi. Shah Saheb got information that the Sahebzada was coming and went out of town for about a manzil to meet and welcome him. He brought him to Baikh with great honour. Shah Saheb entertained him lavishly with delicious varieties of food daily. He made him sit in his place of honour, while he himself sat like one of the attendants. When Abu Saeed decided to return home, Shah Nazimuddin gave him many gold coins as a present. Abu Saeed said to him: “Hazrat, I am not in need of these worldly things, and I have not come for them. I need that wealth which you had taken from us and brought here.”

When he said that, Shah Nizamuddin’s face changed into a serious state and he said harshly: “Go and sit in the stables and feed the dogs daily rations.”

Abu Saeed went to live in the stable in which the hunting dogs were kept. His job was to wash the dogs daily, dry them and keep them clean. At times when the Sheikh went out hunting sitting on horseback, Abu Saeed had to hold the dogs by their chains, running after them. Sheikh also told one person to feed him with two rotis made of barley at lunch time and at supper time.

Whenever during this period Abu Saeed appeared in the Sheikh’s presence the Sheikh did not even look in his direction and ordered him to sit far away from like a “chamar” (skintanner). It appeared as if the Sheikh was not interested in his coming and going. This went on for about four months.

One day the Sheikh told the sweeper to gather all the faeces from the stable and to pass by the mad one sitting in the stable. The sweeper did as she was ordered and passed by Abu Saeed. It so happened that some of the impurities fell upon him, and in his extreme anger his face became red. With a big frown on his face, he said: “It is a good thing that this not Gangoh; otherwise I would let you feel your deserved punishment. I am now away from home. You are Sheikh’s cleaner, for this reason I can do nothing.” The sweeper went to tell Hazrat Sheikh about all that happened. The Sheikh replied: “There is still some pride and arrogance of being a Sahebzada in him.”

For two more months the Sheikh did not worry about him. Then he again ordered the sweeper to do exactly the same again, and the same incident took place except that on this occasion, Abu Saeed said nothing, but glared at her with annoyance and bent his head as he remained silent. Again the sweeper went to report to the Sheikh.
The Sheikh said: “There is still the air of arrogance in him.” Another few months passed in that state. Then the Sheikh told the sweeper: “Now go and purposely throw the whole basket of faeces on his head.”

The sweeper did as she was orderd, but by this time Shah Abu Saeed had become what he was supposed to become, he was completely meek and mild. He jumped up and looked very worried, coming forward as he almost fell in his earnestness to get to the sweeper, saying “I am so sorry, you have slipped because of me. You poor woman! Did you hurt yourself?”

He then bent down, picked up the faces and began to put it into the basket. He said to the sweeper: “Leave it to me. Let me put it in the basket for you.”

This time the sweeper came to the Sheikh and said: “Hazrat today our Mia-ji, was very distressed for my sake. He acted in a completely opposite manner than before. He even gathered the faeces and filled my basket with it!”

Sheikh was pleased and said: “That is enough. Our work is done.”

He sent a message to Abu Saeed that on that day they were going hunting and the dogs had to be kept ready that afternoon the Sheikh together with a large gathering of attendants went towards the jungle. Abu Saeed held the dogs by their chains. Because of not eating properly, he had become very weak and could not keep the dogs in check.

Therefore he tied the chains around his body. When the dogs saw their prey, they rushed forward and Abu Saeed could not hold them back. The dogs dragged him along the ground behind them is body was badly cut and bruised, with blood streaming from him, but not a word of complaint was heard. Another attendant brought the dogs under control and when Abu Saeed got up from the ground in this state, his greatest worry was whether Hazrat was angry with him because he did not carry out his duties properly.

The Sheikh actually wanted to test him and this was what is was. That same night the Sheikh saw his ‘Murshid’ Sheikh Abdul Quddoos in a dream very distressed state saying to him: “Nizamuddin, I did not give you such a hard and severe test, as you are now taking from my children.”

The next morning Sheikh Nizamuddin called Abu Saeed from the stable and embraced him, saying: “I have brought the blessings and spiritual graces from the Chishty family, from India here. You are the first to come here from India to fetch it. Congratulations. You may go home.”

In other words the Sheikh turned the Majaaz into a real saint and sent him back to India.

It is written in ‘Irshaadul Mulook’; “When a mureed has truly repented, and has commenced walking steadfastly the path of the Allah-fearing and the pious, commences a life of abstinence, and has trained his ‘self’ and taught it proper manners through strenuous training efforts, it is permissible to adorn him with the ‘Khirqa’ (garment of khilafat).”

This is the reason why those Sheikhs after giving ‘Ijaazat’ to their Khalifas, sent them far and wide to various areas to work ‘Islaahi’ (rectifying) efforts among the people there. There was no great need for such people to remain for lengthy periods thereafter in the presence of the Sheikh. But Maulana Thanwy wrote: “In the case of the Sheikh being alive and present, then even after the mureed had reached completion of his training, he should not become independent of his Sheikh, because, although attending ‘Ijaazat’ it is not compulsory that he should continue to benefit from the Sheikh, but for the sake of progress it is most necessary. In fact in most cases his deriving of benefit is of the utmost importance. For this reason a person should not dispense with the company of his Sheikh under any circumstances. And those who declared themselves independent have found their conditions changing adversely.” (Anfaas Eesa)

This means it is one thing to speak of the need to derive benefit and another thing to speak of being independent. In other words it is quite harmful for anyone to consider himself independent of the Sheikh. Sometimes even after having reached perfection in sainthood, the need for a Sheikh arises. It was for this reason that on many occasions I heard my Sheikh Hazrat Saharanpuri say: “If ever after my death you should have the need of consulting anybody, then consult with so and so.”

At this stage, there is something important, to which I have to draw people’s attention: One should always turn towards those people whose names the Sheikh had named, or who are on the same maslak (Order) of the Sheikh or those be consulted whom would be not contrary to the Sheikh’s methodology. And as for those who are not on the path of the Sheikh or regarding whom one has the definite idea that the Sheikh would not approve of consulting them, one should refrain from consulting them.

Maulana Thanwy also states in ‘Anfaas Eesa’ that should a person wish to visit a Sheikh other than your own Sheikh, he may do so on two conditions: One, that the temperament of that Sheikh should not be opposed to that of your Sheikh and, secondly one should not question him about ‘Taleem and Tarbiyat’ (spiritual instruction). For the general public it is also important that when one is connected to one Sheikh, he should not in the lifetime of that Sheikh turn towards and appeal for guidance to another Sheikh regarding spiritual practices, except in cases where the Sheikh himself has given distinct permission verbally or through signs for this.

Then there are those ignorant ones, completely unacquainted with this science, who nowadays quite openly and in a widespread manner perform the foolishness of becoming connected in Bay’at to various Sheikhs at one and the same time. Wherever they go, they become mureeds. Hence it is very necessary for Sheikhs today, to warn against this practice. Warning the people that whoever had already become Bay’at to anyone should not become a mureed of someone-else again.

In the third type of Nisbat Shah Saheb stated that simple tree branches, leaves and small stones cannot stop the flow of the river’s water through the canal. In my opinion the referance here is to the animal instincts (Nafs) and faults in man. The Shaytaani instincts and faults are much more graver and serious. They are the large rocks and boulders in the canal, to which I have referred to in detail in my booklet – ‘Strike’. In this latter case the displeasure of the Sheikh is involved.

I have also stated that the basis of our Order (Chishtiyya) is confidence in our Sheikhs and love for them. There should be complete faith of the mureed in the Sheikh and love from the Shaikh for the mureed. There is a well-known saying among the Sheikhs: “A little bit of displeasure from the side of the Sheikh, is not as harmful as is the lack of faith of a mureed in the Sheikh.”

Hazrat Thanwy writes in ‘Anfaas Eesa’: “Raising objections against the inner path is so bad and destructive thing that sometimes even through the committing of major sins blessings are not cut off, but through objections and criticism it becomes cut off immediatly. In this regard one should either accept blind obedience or become seperated.”

In another place he writes: “The person who acts in umannered and insulting way towards the Sheikh, is deprived of inner blessings. One person once asked: “Does the Nisbat which one has with his Sheikh ever become cut off?”

It was answered: “Yes, that Nisbat also gets cut off (through rudeness). Insulting and degrading the Sheikh is a dangerous thing and even though it may not be a sin, but its effect is worse than the effects of sin. In this field all faults and shortcomings are tolerated but adverse criticism and insults are not.””

If it should be that Sheikhs of this Nisbat are in the eyes of the public guilty faults, they should not be attacked. Who knows? Perhaps the flow of his Nisbat will take away those faults, while you in busying yourself with criticism against him and mentioning his faults are throwing yourself into destruction. In this regard Hazrat Ma’az bin Jabal (Radhiallahu Anhu) mentioned a noteworthy advice which is narrated in Abu Dawood Shareef:

“…At times a wise man also speaks words of falsehood and at times hypocrites also utters words of truth. A student asked: ‘May Allah have mercy upon you, how do we know when a word from a wise man is a word falsehood (leading astray)?’

He said: ‘You should refrain from such words of a wise man, regarding which the people (Ulama) say: ‘How could this man say such a thing?’ But let not that keep you away from such a wise man. Who knows wether such a man may not soon repudiate that word? (or repent from it), while on the other hand you will forever be deprived of rghteousness by cutting yourself off from him.'”

The meanng of this last part is this: You should not follow a wrong act or speech done by the Ulama-e-Haq, but you should also not insult or degrade them. There is great harm in this.

I hav discussed this matter in detail in Al-Etidaal. A very important and noteworthy aspect here is: People with Nisbat should not follow such unsuitable actions of the Akaabir (Elders). Even though this has been mentioned previously, it is repeated due to its importance. For example, a person with Nisbat Il-qau-iy follows that person’s unsuitable actions with this thought that, that great person does it, then this will be very detrimental to him. I have written previously that for a person with Nisbat-e-Il-qau-iy, even a minor obstacle can remove his ‘Nisbat’. Whereas the strong current and flow of that great personality will cause that misdeed of his to be washed away. Not only that, but it is possible that the great personality’s crying to Allah Ta’ala in secret during the night may not ony be an expiation (kaffarah) for his misdeed, but he may also become the embodiment of the Aayat: “They are the pious people whom Allah changes their sins into reward.”

Whereas this person with Nisbat Il-qau-iy, by following that misdeed and unsuitable action, falls in status. If this is the case of a person with Nisbat Il-qau-iy, then how much worse will it not be for a person with nisbat In’ikaasi. I myself have seen some beginners, who by wishing to follow or in following an unsuitable action of someone highly qualified, fall very low. May Allah protect us.


Filed under: 5. Tasawwuf

3 Responses

  1. Rizwan says:

    SubhanAllaah, Hazrat Zakariyya (رحمة الله عليه) ki kya hi baat thi. Tremendous knowledge with tremendous wisdom.
    Allaah Ta’ala ham ko bhi nisbat qaim kernay ki taufeeq ‘ata fermain (ameen).

  2. JazakAllah for this beautiful blog.

  3. […] Nisbat In’ikaasi 2. Nisbat Il-Qau-lyyah 3. Nisbat Islaahi including: The story of Sheikh Abu Saeed Gangohi (Rahimullah) 4. Nisbat Ittihaadi including: Khwaja […]

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