21st Century And The Teachings Of Hadrat Sultan Bahoo
Dr. Iqbal Hussain | May 15, 2011
The world in the twenty first century is a very dangerous place. We see natural disasters such as earthquakes tsunamis and floods and also man- made disasters such as wars and killing on massive scale as well as damage to the environment all over the globe. The world is going from bad to worse and all of mankind is groping in the dark looking for way to escape their plight.
The have- not suffer from the scarcity of resources being ravaged by malnutrition, famine, and infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.
Those with plenty suffer from chronic despair and unhappiness too despite abundance, they face risks of depression alcoholism, drugs addiction and obesity to name but a few.
There is a pervasive sense of both helplessness and hopelessness and the future seems dark and ominous. Mankind is groping in the dark clutching at straws to escape their plight. Mankind is looking for beacons of light and rays of hope.
The teachings of Hadrat Sultan Bahoo are a magnificent source of guidance and inspiration for mankind in the twenty first century and help towards establishing a tolerant purposeful pluralistic society. They are an immense source of strength in guiding Muslims in modern times in seeking peace with themselves their environment and with other human beings as well as seeking pleasure of Allah (SWT).
1.Leave the lower self behind - Jihad against the animal self and the devil:
Half curse upon the world and full curse upon mundane Hoo
Those who have not spent on the path of Almighty, enraged punishment will obtain Hoo
It has fathers slaughtering their sons, damn you o worldly ploy Hoo
Those who have abandoned the world Hazrat Bahoo ra spring gardens pleasure they will enjoy Hoo
The lower self or nafs e Amara pulls man down towards his baser animal instincts. This lower self is gluttonous inconsiderate and motivated by pleasure seeking pursuits. It has no sense of right or wrong nor good deed or sinful one.
In addition to that the devil is lying in wait to trap the humans and lead them astray and take them off the straight path straight into damnation forever in the hereafter.
And of-course there is the attraction of the world with all its materialistic pleasures again waiting to lure mankind off the straight path and into the marsh and morass from whence it is difficult indeed to escape.
Together the trio of lower self, the devil and the materialistic pleasures of the world try to keep mankind trapped in this vicious place, where live and let die is the norm and man is trapped at the level of beasts.
We see significant number of people living at this level and they may not be even aware of their state.
We need to realise that we are not here for mere worldly pleasures and that we will be held accountable for our actions.
We need to begin to improve ourselves and start getting a roadmap to recovery from this position. We need help and those who seek will ultimately reach their goal. We need to raise our level of consciousness and reach out purposefully to create a better future for ourselves. We need to make a conscious decision to mend our ways and seek forgiveness and guidance from Allah (SWT) and indeed He is the most Merciful and Forgiving.
The Prophet (SAW) said on one occasion from returning from battle that we have left behind the lesser jihad (battle against the enemies) and are now preparing for the greater jihad (battle against the nafs and the devil). That is how important it is to overcome our lower nafs and better ourselves for this world and the hereafter.
2.Rise towards the higher self - Angelic nafs e mutma’enna
I have made my body and soul as city, and actual suburb in the heart Hoo
Satisfaction I have attained when in heart Alif dwelled, Hoo
I am hearing everything but all besides Allah speaking expelled Hoo
Compassionates had understood the hint ‘Bahoo’ but none sympathetic have humiliation on their head from start Hoo
But mankind’s history is full of heroic tales where man has indeed risen to a level on par with the realm of the angels. Man has sacrificed personal gains for a much higher cause. Man has helped fellow human beings and even raised the awareness and responsibility towards the whole of creation including the animals and plants and the ecosystem we occupy.
It is imperative for us to realise that mankind has a purpose on this earth. We are not here merely in pursuit of pleasure seeking earthly life but for a much higher purpose. We are ultimately accountable for our actions and we should strive utmost in doing good deeds with higher motives. In doing so not only do we alleviate suffering of others but also elevate our own status.
We need to be kind compassionate and considerate towards our fellow human beings. This is the case regardless of our race creed and colour. Islam is a universal religion. Islam is for the whole of mankind and for all times.
We need to learn to share the resources at our disposal; to give kindly in charity to the poor, the needy and the downtrodden in our midst. There is vastly more pleasure in sharing our time, money and resources than there could ever be in hording this worldly wealth. Which will be of no use to us in the hereafter.
In Maslow’s theory of self-realisation, the twentieth century social scientist puts contribution to society as the apex of mankind’s achievement. It is in giving that man really achieves peace on earth. If we were true to this, we would have far more peace here on earth then we do at present.
Let us recall that Allah is merciful to those who are merciful to His creation
3.Get nearness to Allah:
With alphabetic study, many scholars never learned single word of reality Hoo
With such study, one not obtained reality is as never learned exactly Hoo
Fourteen realms are illuminated but blinds could not view Hoo
Without (unity) wisal in Allah ‘Bahoo’ rest are tales and stories dew Hoo
The purpose of life is to get nearness to our Creator. This means man should regard himself not just as the physical existence i.e. the body he occupies as the only sphere of his life. Indeed, man is a spiritual being in physical form. It is by re making that spiritual connection with the Allah (SWT) that man has a chance of finding true purpose of his existence and achieve true peace.
Striving to do our best in any situation should be the aim. Putting collective gains above personal gains should be the method; and doing things for the pleasure of Allah (SWT) should be the motivation for us.
Covey states that we climb the ladder of success but having reached the top we realise that it is leaning against the wrong wall. This means that we often focus too narrowly on our specific objectives without giving much consideration to what our real needs (as opposed to wants) are.
The needs are few. The wants are endless. According to Rumi as long as we pursue our wants we will be forever chasing shadows rather than the essence of happiness. If we begin to focus on our needs, we realise quickly that they are few and not too difficult to fulfil. We then have more time to do other things. We then have time to contemplate and meditate on the purpose of our earthly existence. We then have time to reflect and review what is really important to us. We come to the realisation that true happiness and peace will come to us by realising our spiritual side and re-establishing our connection with the Hayy o-Qayum.
At this stage a calmness descends on our hearts and souls which is beyond words.Our soul reaches a state of stillness that is unthinkable as an experience in the hustle and bustle of our usual busy,busy lifestyles.
4.Get a guide
About the Murshid the Guide of the Path
If this body of mine become eyes and by viewing my murshid I wouldn’t satiate Hoo
Each hair on my body would have hundred and thousand eyes and I would constantly view by opening and closing in alternate Hoo
I could not be satiated with such, than to whom should I budge Hoo
My murshid’s observation ‘Bahoo’ is like thousand and million Hajj Hoo
Listen to my plea O pir of the pirs my plea carefully heed Hoo
My ship struck in such whirlpool where alligators dare go indeed Hoo
Shah Jilani beloved of Glorious heed my plea swiftly for sure Hoo
Whose pir is Miran ‘Bahoo’ he will swim to seashore Hoo
There is a Path to follow for the nearness of Allah. This path is called tariqah. It requires a guide commonly known as Pir, Sheikh or Murshid in different parts of the world. He is someone who has travelled to the destination we wish to travel to and knows the path thus can guide us along the same. This revered person encompasses the concepts of coaching, mentoring and supporting but collectively is much greater than these concepts. The spiritual guide has your best interest at heart and guides you throughout life and beyond.
If we want to learn to swim we cannot simply read the books and become accomplished swimmers. We have to get into water and learn from someone who can swim. Similarly, if we want to become doctors simply reading the books will not enable us to become effective doctors. We have to learn from other persons who have already qualified in this field.
In the same way if we want closeness to Allah (SWT) we cannot do this from books alone or solely by our own effort. We need to learn at the feet of a master who has already travelled on this path and is well versed in its ways and traps.
About the Talib (the Seeker of the path)
The talibs of Gouth al Azam perplexity they never sustain Hoo
The one who has ishq’s grain in lamenting they remain Hoo
Such who has passion for union from happiness he derives Hoo
Both worlds are in your fate ‘Bahoo in Ism-e-Allah zat who, strives Hoo
5.Spread love to all creation:
Such heart that has not purchased Ishiq does not have longing pain Hoo
Stones are better than those hearts, bobbins of ignorance which remain Hoo
Those hearts, which never desires ishq-e-Hazoor, from court is sent Hoo
Divine friend not achieved by those ‘Bahoo’ their livelihood who have not spent Hoo
The whole of creation is created out of love of our Allah (SWT). It is His Mercy which encompasses everything. Life is ephemeral, transient, fleeting and we will be held accountable for our deeds.
We should strive to get closeness to our Allah, by following the spiritual path and especially by doing good deeds for our fellow human beings regardless of their race colour or creed. It is by showing love and compassion towards His creation that we can hope to achieve closeness to our Creator by following our spiritual path under the guidance of our Sheikh.
The essence of Sufism is to share the fact that ultimately everything that exists in the universe all life forms and inanimate objects have their origin in the Creator of the universe.
All the humans share common origin thus man should rise to the call of humanity regardless of race colour or creed. Man should spread good deeds and ease the suffering of other human beings. In doing these acts man rises to his higher self and his good deeds will serve him well in the hereafter.
If we were to follow these teachings the societies, we live in will become more tolerant and understanding of each other. The extremism of all sorts will be defeated and the altruistic attitudes and the actions which emanate from these will create more holistic and harmonious communities the world over racism and xenophobia and fear of the other will be minimised and altogether mankind can live at a much higher level. It is not the lack of resources that is the problem but the lack of equitable distribution or sharing.
The world in the twenty first century is a very dangerous place. The world is going from bad to worse and all of mankind is groping in the dark looking for way to escape their plight. By realising our spiritual side and following the path of progress in this sphere we can see light at the tunnel and not only improve our own quality of life but also be able to guide others towards the same light.
The scarcity of resources mentality is replaced with an attitude of abundance. We can share in our resources such as wealth and other material things. In addition, we can share in our love kindness compassion and above all share our time with those less fortunate than us to console and comfort them and alleviate their burden whatever that may be.
Those with plenty suffering from chronic despair and unhappiness too despite abundance can improve their lot by an attitude of caring sharing and meaningful lives. This can lead to more purposeful and fulfilled lives in which the real joy in giving raises us to a level of angels. In return increasing our own joy manifold.,
There is a pervasive sense of both helplessness and hopelessness and the future looks dark and ominous. Mankind is groping in the dark clutching at straws to escape their plight. Mankind is looking for beacons of light and rays of hope e have shown that the teachings of Hadrat Sultan Bahoo are a strong beacon of light illuminating the way ahead for all of us the emphasis on higher self and the concepts of getting closer to our Creator and getting a spiritual guide for that purpose are if followed a source of such strength that mankind can be transformed to a much higher level of existence perhaps only experienced in the original State of Madina Munawwra in the time of our Prophet (SAW).May Allah (SWT) guide us and give us strength to follow the straight path, the path of those whom He has favoured. Ameen.
Alif Allah as jasmine sapling, my murshid sown in my heart Hoo
Water of negation and affirmation irrigated every vein in every part Hoo
When it sprouts, it scatters fragrance in me Hoo
Forever live my murshid ‘Bahoo’ who planted it in me Hoo
This article first appeared in Mirat-ul-Arifeen Special Edition Part 2