Importance of the People of Khanqah

Khanqah in Light of Quran:

The Holy Quran says:

فِیۡ  بُیُوۡتٍ اَذِنَ اللّٰہُ  اَنۡ تُرۡفَعَ وَ یُذۡکَرَ فِیۡہَا اسۡمُہٗ ۙ یُسَبِّحُ لَہٗ  فِیۡہَا بِالۡغُدُوِّ وَ الۡاٰصَالِ ﴿ۙ﴾ رِجَالٌ ۙ لَّا تُلۡہِیۡہِمۡ تِجَارَۃٌ  وَّ لَا بَیۡعٌ عَنۡ ذِکۡرِ اللّٰہِ وَ  اِقَامِ الصَّلٰوۃِ  وَ  اِیۡتَآءِ الزَّکٰوۃِ ۪ۙ یَخَافُوۡنَ یَوۡمًا تَتَقَلَّبُ فِیۡہِ الۡقُلُوۡبُ وَ الۡاَبۡصَارُ ﴿٭ۙ﴾ (36-37:24)

“(This Light of Allah illumines) such houses as Allah has ordained to exalt (i.e., enhance their esteem and honour) and remember His Name therein. (These are the houses) in which (Allah’s servants) glorify Him morning and evening. (Blessed with this Light) are those servants (of Allah) whom neither trade nor sale diverts from the remembrance of Allah. Nor from establishing Prayer and paying Zakat (the Alms-due. Even whilst performing their worldly duties) they keep fearing the Day when hearts and eyes will (all) overturn (with terror).” (24:36-37)

In his book, Awarif ul-Ma’arif, Shahab al-Din Abu Hafs Umar Suhrawardi RA says that these ‘houses’ refer to mosques. Although some take these as the houses at Madina or the those of Prophet Mohammad pbuh. It is said that when this verse was revealed, Abu Bakr Siddiq RA asked the Prophet pbuh, “O Prophet of Allah! Do these ‘houses’ include the house of Ali RA and Fatima RA? The Holy Prophet pbuh replied, “Yes! These houses are the best of them all.

Hasan Ibn Ali RA said, “All the houses on the earth, are the places of worship for the Holy Prophet pbuh.”

Hence, real value belongs to the people of invocation (dhikr) and not to places or destinations. Wherever the invokers (zakireen) gather, they establish the remembrance and dhikr (zikr) of Allah all the time.

 

Importance of the People of Invocation (Zakireen):

Anas ibn Malik RA said that there is not a day when one piece of earth calls to another and says, “Did anyone pray upon you or invoked the name of Allah?” In reply, some places reply in the affirmative and other reply in the negative. The piece of earth that replies positively has superiority over others. The place where a person invokes the name of Allah (dhikr) or prays testifies and bears witness to Allah about it after that person dies.

فَمَا بَکَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمُ السَّمَآءُ  وَ الۡاَرۡضُ وَ مَا کَانُوۡا مُنۡظَرِیۡنَ  (44:29)

“Then neither the heaven nor the earth wept over them, nor were they given respite.” (44:29)

In the same way, this verse explains that those who are submissive to Allah have such importance that the skies and earth mourn upon their death. On the contrary, the earth and the skies do not cry upon those who are inclined towards the world and follow the vain desires of the inciting innerself.

The value of Khanqah is in fact, due to its dwellers. This is because they have dedicated themselves in servitude of Allah. They are always attentive towards Allah. In return, Allah has made the world, their slave.

Imran ibn Husain RA relates a tradition from the Holy Prophet pbuh, “He who becomes Allah’s (leaving everything in His way), Allah saves him from struggle and hardwork. Allah provides sustenance for him from ways that are beyond his thought and imagination. However, whoever becomes the world’s, Allah hands him over to the world.

Spiritual Beneficence to People Related to the People of Khanqah:

The term Ribat is interchangeably used for Khanqah. Hence, the way an officer protects the border of his country, the same way, the person of Khanqah stays in Ribat and in the dhikr of Allah and His servitude. His servitude and prayers defend his men and area from all evils.

Likewise, Shaikh Razi-ud-Din Abu al-Khayr Ahmad bin Ismael Fazweeni relates an authentic tradition from his Shaikh Abdullah bin Umar RA that the Holy Prophet pbuh said, “Through his pious men, Allah keeps the trials and difficulties of hundred men among his house and neighbourhood.”

On another occasion, the Holy Prophet pbuh said, “If the worshipping men of Allah, livestock and suckling did not exist, then Allah would have sent such a calamity upon you which would have smashed you to death.”

Similarly, Jabir ibn Abdullah RA relates a tradition from the Holy Prophet pbuh, “Due to a pious man, Allah gives success to his children, to his grandchildren, his family and neighbours. Till he stays with them, they all stay in Allah’s refuge.”

 “رابطہ” means Jihad bin nafs i.e. Jihad against innerself which is the greatest Jihad. This is why whoever stays at Khanqah, is a warrior against the inciting innerself. As Allah says:

وَ جَاہِدُوۡا فِی اللّٰہِ حَقَّ جِہَادِہٖ ؕ (22:78)

“And strive hard in the way of Allah such a striving is as due to Him…” (22:78)

Abdullah bin Mubarak explained it in this way, “Here, Jihad refers to the Jihad against one’s innerself and against one’s desires. Through this, the right of Jihad is fulfilled as this is the greatest Jihad. As the Hadith says that whenever Prophet Mohammad pbuh returned from a battle, he said, “We have returned from the lesser struggle (Jihad-e-Asghar) to the greater struggle (Jihad-e-Akbar).”

The Greater Jihad (Jihad-e-Akbar):

According to a tradition, the brother of a pious man persuaded him for a war through a letter. In reply to this, he wrote, “If everyone adopts the way which you have adopted then all the matters of Muslims would turn to chaos and the non-Muslims would dominate which is why Jihad is necessary.”

In reply, he wrote, “O my brother! If everyone does what I am doing, then they would call out ‘Allah-o-Akbar (Allah is the Greatest)’ in sitting on their prayers mats of Zawiyas and houses which would break the fort of Istanbul.

Further, a sage has said that if you call out in remembrance (dhikr) of Allah with a clear heart and sincere intention within the places of worships then all those knots are untied which have been bound by the vicissitudes of fortune (this means the problems of fate are solved).

Hence, the people of Khanqah act upon their spiritual purposes. They steadfastly handle matters sensibly and observe time limits, they refrain from actions which waste deeds. By strictly following those actions which save deeds, they become source of beneficence for country and nation.

Sirri Saqti RA’s Explanation:

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اصۡبِرُوۡا وَ صَابِرُوۡا وَ رَابِطُوۡا ۟ وَ اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ لَعَلَّکُمۡ  تُفۡلِحُوۡنَ (3:200)

“O believers! Be steadfast and in perseverance (and tenacity), toil (even harder than the enemy) and be alert and vigilant (for struggle against violation of peace and human rights) and (always) persist in fearing Allah so that you may achieve success.” (3:200)

Sirri Saqti RA explains these words of Allah in this way:

“Have patience upon the troubles of the world by expecting salvation, display steadfastness at time of Jihad and forbid yourself from the desires of repenting innerself (nafs-e-lawammah). Save yourself from matters that cause embarrassment. If you act upon these points then it is expected that you would become successful in the arena of honor and nobility. He also says that Allah says, “O my men! Have patience upon My trials, have control upon yourself upon My blessings, do Jihad by going to the house of My enemy, refrain from the love of anyone other than Me. Perhaps tomorrow, on the day of judgment, you would be successful in My vision.”

Obligations of the People of Khanqah:

The following are included in the obligations of the people of Khanqah:

1.    They should cut off all their relations;

2.    Focus to build their relation with the Divine Essence;

3.    Renounce  their hard-earned money and stay in the upbringing of the Creator of Causes;

4.    Avoid excessive socialization and contact;

5.    Stay away from wrong deeds;

6.    Leave past habits and involve in worship all the time;

7.    Observe their timelines;

8.    Remain absorbed in recitals

9.    They should leave the habit of oblivion;

10. After every prayer, they should await the next prayer.

If they follow these points, the people of Khanqah become exceptional strivers (Mujahideen).

Actions That Cleanse Sins:

Shaikh Abu Najib Soharwardi RA says by the verification of his Shaikh Sa’id Ibn Al-Musayyib RA that Ali ibn Abi Talib RA relates the tradition that the Holy Prophet pbuh said:

1.    Despite the difficulties of life, perform ablution (fulfill obligations);

2.    Go towards mosques;

3.    Wait for next prayer after completing one.

These actions thoroughly cleanse sins.

 

Actions That Grant Beneficence Equal to Jihad:

According to a tradition, Prophet Mohammad pbuh said, “Should I not tell you that which removes sins and raises levels?”

The Companions said, “Why not O Messenger of Allah! Please tell us.”

Prophet Mohammad pbuh replied:

1.    Despite the difficulties of life, perform ablution (fulfill obligations);

2.    Go towards mosques;

3.    Perform one prayer and wait for the next one.

This means it has the reward of Jihad.

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