at-Tazkirah: التذكرة

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

4. Nisbat Ittihaadi


From page 639 – 644 of “Aap Beti” Shaikhul Hadith Hadhrat Zakariya Kandhalvi (Rahimu Allah) writes the following:

4. Hazrat Shah Saheb mentioned the fourth form of Nisbat as being ‘Nisbat Ittihaadi’, which is the highest of all.
This is that relationship where the Sheikh applies his spiritual Nisbat, which is the bearer of virtuous qualities and very high perfections, to the ‘Rooh’ of the mureed with vigour and strength. So that those good qualities penetrate into him and through the pressure applied with, becomes so settled in the heart of the mureed, that finally from a spiritual point of view, there remains no difference between Sheikh and mureed.

In order to explain this Nisbat, Shah Saheb told an interesting story about Khwaja Baaqi Billah, the Sheikh of Hazrat Mujaddid Alf-e-Thanee. Khwaja’s grave is in Delhi.

Whenever these people used to be given presents or gifts, it was generally very embarrassing and hard for them to accept such gifts and most of the time, they did so basically to please the giver. However if ever a present was given at the time of need, it was gratefully accepted, with sincere duas from the heart. If the receiver then makes dua and begs of something on behalf of this giver, that thing is quickly granted to him by Allah. Such duas are not always made, but when they are made, they turn out to be very effective and successful. Some people having seen the effectiveness of these duas (at such times), have formed an opinion that whatever dua comes out of the mouth of the Sheikh is automatically answered. This is not a hard and fast rule.

Then there is another thing about these saints. If ever happened that a guest visited them at a time where there is nothing at home with which to entertain the guest, the gift of necessities presented to them at that time is greatly appreciated. I have already told how, if ever any of my Elders visited another on, the host always tried his utmost to entertain to the best of his ability.

Shah Abdul Aziz writes that some important guests once came to visit Khwaja Baaqi Billah, while he was completely destitute with nothing to eat. There was a restaurant/bakery near his house. When the shopkeeper saw these saintly people gathering at Khwaja’s house, at an inappropiate time, he filled a large tray with various kinds of food and took it to the house.

Khwaja Saheb asked: “What is this?”

He answered: “Khwaja Saheb, I have seen some guests arriving at your place and I have brought some food for the guests. Please accept it.”

Khwaja Saheb was very pleased and later, in his extreme pleasure he said spontaneously: “Ask of me whatever you wish to ask.”

The shopkeeper thought for a while and said: “Please make me just like yourself.”

Hazrat thought for a while as he hesitated and then said: “Ask anything else.”

Again the man replied: “No, that is what I would like.”

As he had already told the man to request whatever he wished, and the man repeatedly insisted on the same thing three times, Khwaja took him into his room and locked the door from the inside. It is not known what kind of spiritual attentions (Tawajjuh) Khwaja showered on him. (It could be something similair to the incident which happened between Hazrat Jibraa’il Alayhis Salam and Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam at the time of the first revelation of the Quran. Jibraa’il Alayhis Salam told Rasulullah to read. When Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam told him that he could not read, Jibraa’il Alayhis Salam three times in succession embraced him and pressed him against his breast thrice and at the third time Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam asked what should he read. Then the first words of the Quran were revealed.)

When after a while they both emerged from the room, they both were completely alike and identical, even in outward (physical) appearance. Hazrat Khwaja came out as he went in, while the shopkeeper-cook was in a high state of ecstacy. Soon afterwards he passed away. May Allah grant him a high rank in the hereafter.

Death comes for sure, and when it comes there is no postponement or change possible. Here is a man who had been a cook all his life but at the time of death, he left this world in the form of Khwaja Baaqi Billah.

A similair story is told of Hazrat Shah Ghulam Bhek, who was a true devotee of his Sheikh Shah Abul Ma’ali, whom he always used to accompany on journeys.

One Hazrat Abul Ma’ali came to Saharanpur at the insistence of his attendants and with him was Shah Ghulam Bhek, who knew that at that time in the Sheikh’s house they were having a hard time, suffering from starvation and experiencing extreme hunger. Hence, wherever the Sheikh was invited to eat, he told the inviters to organise food for two extra persons.

Daily after Esha, after making Sheikh lay down to sleep, he took the food (for two extra persons) and walked on foot for sixteen miles to the village of Ambeta to give it to the Sheikh’s wife. He then returned to be at Hazrat’s service at Tahajjud time. A few days later, when Hazrat reached his home in Ambeta, he asked his wife how things were with her and how she had passed the days. She was very surprised at his question.

She replied: “Well, this time you sent us food every day, so how do you ask about it now. Shah Bhek came daily with the food at night time.”

Hearing this the Sheikh remained silent and when he came outside, he asked Shah Bhek about it. Shah told him what he had done. “Amma-ji (mother) and the son were starving here. So how could I eat myself full, while knowing that they were suffering hunger. My conscience did not allow that.”
Sheikh became very happy with this reply and said: “You have indeed interfered with my ‘Tawakkul’ (reliance) on the Mercy of Allah, but you surely made an excellent job of serving us well.”

The Sheikh embraced him and held him to his breast and in this manner, rediated into him whatever spiritual strength he had to give. When Shah Bhek found his breast filled with the rays of elightement (Noor-e-Marifat), he burst out saying:

“May Bhek be sacrificed one hundred times for him, that he changed his incompetent one to competence so soon, till in his mode I appeared.”

There should be no problem in understanding why Shah Bhek could lay down a condition for the acceptance of an invitation, because Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam on being invited once, laid down the condition that Aisha Radhiallahu Anhaa also be included. (Tazkira-e-Khaleel, new edition p. 29)

There are numerous stories about incidents of the Sheikhs, where by embracing breast to breast, everything of spiritual goodness was passed over to the mureed.

It is Hazrat Shah Saheb’s opinion that when Jibraa’il Alayhis Salaam embraced Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam and pressed his breast against his, the aim was to create ‘Nisbat Ittihaadi’ with Jibraa’il Alayhis Salaam. Now consider that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam’s beginning was equal and identical to Jibraa’il Alayhis Salaam and for twenty three years thereafter, Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam continued to progress, only Allah will know the extent of his total progress, and those who had reached such rank. That will only be he, himself.

Everyone knows that Jibraa’il Alayhis Salaam initially embraced him to create ‘Nisbat Ittihaadi’ between them. Thirteen years later, when Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam went on Mi’raaj, it is significant that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam went further than any creation had ever gone before (in Qurb, nearness and proximity) to Allah. This same Jibraa’il Alayhis Salaam was left behind to say:

“My journey is thus far, and if ever I should proceed further ahead the breadth on one hair, the Glory of Allah’s light will devour me.”

Thereafter Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, leaving Jibraa’il Alayhis Salaam behind, proceeded up to the ‘Quabal Qowsayn’. One can only imagine what spiritual progress he made in the next ten years. Only those ones will know it to whom the reality of Hazrat Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam’s true position has been revealed.

Shah Saheb only state that the embracing was for the sake of creating ‘Nisbat Ittihaadi’. But my humble opinion is this that there is more detail to it:

Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam lived in the cave of Hira for six months prior to all of thi, cut off from the world and focused on Allah. Through all this a purity was created in his heart which was the equivalent stage of ‘Nisbat In’ikasi’. When he saw Hazrat Jibraa’il Alayhis Salaam, angelic qualities became reflected on his heart. At the first embracing he became endowed with ‘Nisbat Il-qau-iy’. At the second embrace it became ‘Nisbat Islaahi’ and the third time brought ‘Nisbat Ittihaadi’.

On this third time all those angelic qualities which had initially been reflected on Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam’s heart were stamped thoroughly and became second nature to him. Now, when a person’s beginning stages are at the rank of the angel, Jibraa’il Alayhis Salaam, and then through trials, spiritual efforts and vigil continues to progress for twenty three years, who can deny his eventual exceptionally unique high rank? If there is a likeness to mention, it is this:

“The lover and the beloved are in (such a) solitude that even Kiraaman Kaatibeen have no knowledge of their meeting.”

In my life I have also seen many attendants of my Elders who had Nisbat Ittihaadi with their Sheikhs. I have also seen that in their ways of speaking, the speed in their conversions, eating and drinking etc. they identically resembled the Sheikh in all aspects. But being myself a mere novice and inexperienced, how can I explain? How can a non-baaligh (immature) one explain and understand the pleasure to be attained by one beyond the age of puberty.

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Filed under: 5. Tasawwuf

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