The True Mehdi Issue 03 - March - Page 8

SPOTLIGHT SPOTLIGHT While the exoteric knowledge has been recorded and taught through books, it is often said that Sufism is the knowledge transmitted from the ‘chests’ of Sufi Masters to the deserving aspirants. The reason being that according to Sufism, many of the vital subtleties in man are located in the human breast, including the Spiritual Heart and the Main Human Soul. 2 The Sufi Masters are spiritually connected with Prophet Mohammad’s Spiritual Heart and are recipients of the esoteric knowledge of the Koran. When they transmit knowledge to the aspirants, they do so on behalf of Prophet Mohammad. In order to make themselves worthy of receiving Prophet Mohammad’s esoteric knowledge, seekers of Sufism (salik) spend years in austerity, aiming to purify their Carnal Selves (egos) and Spiritual Hearts through the practice of generating Divine Energy by invoking God’s name. 3 Many of them adopt hermitage and make the jungle their abode for this purpose. Sufism, in short, is a mystical knowledge that deals in enlightenment, transformation and strengthening of the soul and auxiliary spirits. A true Sufi is one who has managed to enlighten himself and bring divine attributes into his being. Sufis are known for being exceptionally humble and tolerant. This is why His Holiness Younus AlGohar said, ‘Sufi Islam is the best and most original brand of Islam. The principles of Sufi Islam are based upon compassion, tolerance, love and self-negation.’ The necessity of practising Sufism in Islam cannot be stressed enough. To learn more about the Spiritual Human Anatomy, visit man-anatomy or read His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi’s book, The Religion of God (Divine Love). 2 Learn more about this method in the section entitled, ‘Sufism: Knowledge of the Heart’ on page 15. 3 8 THE TRUE MEHDI • ISSUE 03 • MAR 2017 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SPIRITUAL GUIDE T His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi asserts, ‘Knowledge of Sharia hardens the heart. Knowledge of spirituality will soften the heart. Exoteric knowledge without esoteric knowledge is nothing but mischief.’ Since Islam was founded, Sufism had been prevalent in the Middle East and South Asia. Famous Sufis inspired many non-Muslims to accept Islam. Islam was regarded by many to be a peaceful religion when Sufism dominated Muslim societies. Sufism profoundly enriched the cultures in which it was practised. This was the case until the Wahhabi/Salafi movement began approximately 200 years ago. Wahhabis considered Sufis to be heretics and polytheists. They made it their agenda to eradicate all Sufis and diminish the status of Sufism in the eyes of common Muslims. In doing so, they successfully managed to decrease the popularity of Sufism. This contributed to the alarming rise of extremism and anti-Western sentiments in the Muslim community that we see today. As people forgot Sufism and confined themselves to Sharia, they became stone-hearted and fell prey to mischief. The result of the missing element of Sufism from today’s Islam is being felt by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, every time there is a terrorist attack in the West, a bombing of a Sufi shrine in Pakistan or the murder of a Yazidi person in Syria. he Sufi Masters play a central role in helping the seeker achieve enlightenment and making them worthy of reaching the audience of God. Therefore, a Sufi deeply reveres the Sufi Master he takes to be his Spiritual Guide. As part of the enlightenment and austerity process, many disciples spend their lifetime in servitude of the Spiritual Guide. The commitment one makes to one’s Spiritual Guide is called ‘ba’it’ which is translated as ‘to pledge allegiance’, but it literally means ‘to sell oneself’. This may seem a strange philosophy, however, a lifetime of servitude is considered a fair price for what is received in return. His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi explains that a seeker should commit himself to a Sufi Master only when that person has the ability to give him what he can’t acquire on his own: the way to God. His Holiness Younus AlGohar notes, ‘The most important thing in spirituality is t he Spiritual Guide. Without him, you cannot move an inch in spirituality. The Spiritual Guide awakens your soul. He is the first one to communicate with your soul before even you communicate with your soul.’ The Koran decrees that those God intends to misguide are deprived of a Spiritual Guide. [KORAN 18:17] The relationship between the disciple and the Spiritual Guide in Sufism is like that of an unconscious person and a surgeon. When you have a diseased organ, you go to a surgeon. In the surgery, you cannot dictate the surgeon on what to do, for you are unconscious. In Sufism, the Spiritual Guide is responsible for reviving the souls. When he revives the souls, they are weak in the similitude of a newborn baby; he provides them with the nourishment they need to be strengthened and empowered. For disciples then, strictly following the advice of the divinely appointed Spiritual Guide is the path to success. However, this is only fruitful as long as you follow a true Sufi Master, not an imposter. For this reason, His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi declares, ‘Before you are committed with a Spiritual Guide, you had better test whether or not he is a Spiritual Guide.’ THE TRUE MEHDI • ISSUE 03 • MAR 2017 9