Once I had a chance to go to the mountain ranges. I traveled from Lahore city and in those days, weather was too hot, about 42℃ and dry. When I got to the road which directed me towards the mountain ranges I felt mist with little cold. Actually I was the only who felt this because other people were busy waiting for the beautiful scenery and cold weather. I started enjoying the cold drop of mist because I thought the beginning of change starts taking place when we start to feel it. With the passage of time the mist showed its actual place and its atmosphere where we enjoyed that time. I am a deep observer because in my words, world starts with feelings and ends with it, rather feelings are the best investments of our life and lead us to what should we do next or how to get sudden a change if we are depressed or suffering from a failure.
Feelings are the leader of wishes in my opinion because everything we do is to get the feelings out of it. In my opinion a journey starts with feelings not with results. The results might be the object which we want to achieve but the fuel is the feelings e.g passion, depression, cry, happiness and aggression etc. These are all from one family which may be called “feelings”. The family is settled in our brain with a spiritual name “Nafs” and leads us in the world with the help of wishes because “Will to Do” is a wish and when somebody asked me what is a Life? I answered that it is will to do.
Allah is the only creator and we are his best creation as Allah stated this in Quran. We as muslim sufis or students of sufism may never realise the mist which leads us towards the peak. Some of us are trying to fetch results before our journey has ended which is impossible. I mean road towards Allah and mist is a “feeling” of his presence where the peak is his will for his love and point of faith for us.
The mist created by Allah for his believer, when he is going to start his journey towards Allah he feels Allah’s blessing from the day one. Allah blesses him through out his journey and the journey of believer is converted into Jihad feesabil lillah (The effort toward Allah) where from the first days Allah is his companion. We actually forget the road, what is the road in our journey? road is an Islamic Shari’ah and the carrier is love of Prophet Muhammad (s) and the direction will be the way which is guided by Prophet (s).
Zikr e Allah in Sufism?
Allah Stated in Quran:
فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ
“So remember Me (ALLAH) I will remember you , be grateful to Me and don’t be ungrateful to Me”Al-Quran
Zikr e Allah is the main part of a Sufi’s life in which he feels the mist during his spiritual journey. When the sufi starts chanting Zikr e Allah, Allah creates a blessing as a mist around him and over his path which makes the believer feel blessed and passionate. He feels decisive about his destination and is confident over it. Normal people never understand his feelings and emotions because most of them are distracted over these conditions.
The blessing is like mist for sufis and wherever they find mist, they speedup their journey. Mostly, sufis are arranging Sufi gatherings to show the mist to ordinary men who have weak faith, they get bay’at with sufis and join the journey of sufism and some of them fail to get the mist due to their lust and say bad word for sufis without verification.
Zikr e Allah connects the sufis with Allah and his blessing. Actually the word Salat is used for Mandatory prayer but the other meaning of Salat is “Connection “. Word salat (صلاة) is used in Quran in different ways. Mandatory prayer is not the only way to make connection with Allah rather its an order from Allah for believers but the word Salat has a very wide meaning in different aspects. In my opinion Salah is the way of making a connection with Allah e.g. Mandatory prayer 5 times a day and remembrance of Allah etc, even when a person concentrates towards Allah, its also a kind of Salat and chanting Zikr is believer’s journey with his concentration.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
Those who believe, and do good deeds, and pray regularly, and give charity-they will have their reward with their Lord; they will have no fear, nor shall they grieve.Al-Quran 2:277
Actually the Concept of Salah in sufi Terminology is at a wider perspective. In this Quranic verse which is mentioned above, Allah orders us to remain in salat but if mandatory prayer is the only salah then this order will be never be accomplished by any human. But in sufism this connection is stable through different types of orders like Chanting Zikr e Allah, Reciting Quran, works of Dawah, charity, sufi Zikr gatherings etc or any act which will connect us with Allah, makes this order possible (to remain in connection with Allah وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ). These are the branches of Salah.
Often people summarise the order of Salah in these words ” keep yourself after Salah just as you feels during Salah “. But how to accomplish this? they don’t have answer.
Sufi chants zikr e Allah with his tongue but after feeling the mist (blessing) his heart gets involved in doing Zikr. As imam ghazali said: “heart is like the king and brain is like its minister and other parts of the body are like soldiers”. When king gets involved then the whole kingdom should obey him, when the body of sufi is doing Zikr, every part of his body is blessed. When anyone gets in touch with a sufi he gets blessings from even his body and sufi spreads these blessings over people. Mostly, sufi gets in “wajadan” during Zikr e Allah. Wajadan is the best kind of strong and short connection with Allah in which sufi accomplishes the point of fanna fillah which is the peak led by the mist throughout the journey.
Universal Connection Of Sufism with Taffakur
سَخَّرَ لَكُمْ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِنْهُ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
He placed at your service whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth-all is from Him. In that are signs for a people who think.
Zikr e Allah are the most powerful words in the universe and sufi chants Zikr with his tongue and breath. We can’t understand the power of Zikr e Allah but if we want to know perhaps we can only see the celestial objects in the universe are still doing their work with a special force. In Quran Allah said:
” If We had sent down this Qur’an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah. And these examples We present to the people that perhaps they will give thought” (sūrat Al-ḥashr).
In my opinion the force is due to Zikr e Allah and if anyone forgets Zikr Allah it becomes dwarf (dead). Even human heart dies morally and spiritually if we forget Zikr e Allah. The string between creation and creator is Zikr e Allah. In Quran Allah stated: everything in heavens and earth is doing his Tasbeeh”. Sufi is connected with creation and creator through Zikr and Tasbeeh of Allah. The next step of Zikr e Allah is taffakur (research). I mean taffakur with Zikr e Allah. Everything in this universe is obedient to a sufi as stated in this verse. Everything is ready to serve the sufi with order of Allah but this is for those who are good believers and obedient to Allah.
After Zikr e Allah if the sufi does not move towards taffakkur it means he is not on the accurate path. Mostly, people do Zikr in different times of the day and night but most of them are still facing different problems. I think if they’ll make taffakur over their problem, by the blessing of Allah they’ll find the solution. Actually Allah insists the human for taffakkur which may lead to Knowledge, the knowledge of his creation which proves his dignity. In this verse Allah doesn’t nominate any specific group like believers or non-believers, Allah Almighty made his creation’s obedience only for those who’ll make Taffakkur in his creation. Sufis can count to whole universe with their spiritual heart, I don’t have any logical point here but in my opinion Allah said that “I am nearer to a believer’s heart duct”. I think if sufis find their special connection with Allah in their hearts then they will be connected to the celestial and the spiritual universe. The mist of taffakur is wisdom, when start doing taffakker he’ll discover himself as a wiseman.
I think the modern sufi may be any kind of a scientist or a doctor with the islamic education and the wide knowledge, who will explore the world of inside or outside of humans. The Zikr e Allah is a mist and taffakur is the base camp of a Peak.