The Prophetic Way of Purgation of The Innerself
( Tazkiya Nafs Ka Nabwi Tareeq )
Innerself (nafs) and its Diseases?
The present era is the era of worshipping one’s desires. Majority is busy in worshipping idols of sensual desires instead of Allah. Man’s innerself (nafs) is a veil between him and Allah. If a person removes this veil, then no haze remains between the two. This condition is attained at the stage of innerself at peace. Hypocrisy, malice, love for the world, lust, animosity, malignancy, jealousy, anger, gluttony, desire for worldly respect and status, unlawful sexual relations, greed for wealth, avarice, materialism, lying, slander are related to inciting innerself.
Moreover, objection to Allah, oblivion, pride, egoism, conceit, selfishness, backbiting, prejudice, nationalism, sectarianism, sect glorifying, barbarism and atrocities, love for your origin/caste/domain, love for your religious/political leader(s) may they be Satan’s allies, are all sensual diseases. Satan too diverts attention towards evil with the help of innerself. Purification of innerself is possible but the purification of Satan is not. Allah, in the Holy Quran, has declared that person successful who purifies the innerself by relieving from spiritual diseases with the guidance of the perfect spiritual guide and only then a person’s worship is acceptable in the Divine court.
Quranic Verses on Purification of Innerself:
قَدۡ اَفۡلَحَ مَنۡ تَزَکّٰی
“He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself.” (87:14)
قَدۡ اَفۡلَحَ مَنۡ زَکّٰىہَا
“He has succeeded who purifies it (inciting innerself).” (91:9)
Running after worldly desires is worshipping inciting self which is also a type of idol worshipping. Letting worldly desires overcome oneself is polytheism and Allah has announced it to be the greatest idolatry.
اَفَرَءَیۡتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ اِلٰـہَہٗ ہَوٰىہُ
“Have you (Prophet Mohammad) seen him who has taken as his god his (own) desire.” (45:23)
اَرَءَیۡتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ اِلٰـہَہٗ ہَوٰىہُ
Meaning: “Have you (Prophet Mohammad) seen the one who treats his own desires as though they are his god?” (25:43)
According to Prophet Mohammad pbuh, the greatest Jihad is to fight against innerself and to sanctify soul. When soul liberates from all the diseases and idols, then it becomes clean. Until and unless all the diseases, evil, material pleasures and lust do not vacate innerself, one’s innerself does not become pure, but once it is free of all corruption, inward and soul enlighten with Divine light and one finally gets occupied with solely the worship of Lord.
Allama Iqbal too points at this:
میں جو سربسجدہ ہوا کبھی تو زمیں سے آنے لگی صدا
تیرا دل تو ہے صنم آشنا تجھے کیا ملے گا نماز میں
Meaning: When I prostrated with all the idols in my heart even the soil rejected it and stated that what reward and proximity of Allah you expect from this prayer (salat) when you are indeed a polytheist in your heart.
What is Innerself (nafs)?
Allah has created the human inner baser-self in a way that it is the abode of desires. It gives birth to all sorts of evil wishes and rebellious thoughts. It is the one that compels humans to go against Allah’s orders and does not pay any heed to the distinction between lawful and the unlawful when hungry. However, when it is content, it becomes a rebel, stubborn and proud. On the other hand, in times of trouble it mourns impatiently. In short, the human innerself can never be entirely happy. It is always prepared to drive humans towards mischief and heinousness, but the one who gets control over it can reach the level of “union with Allah”. To kill it, is exceptionally tough but only death of the innerself is the life of soul.
Further, the inciting innerself is such a thief in the human body which does not let a person travel towards Allah. For the human entity, inciting innerself and Satan are two such powers that always lead the human nature to sin. When the curse fell upon Satan as he did not bow before Adam, he swore to mislead Adam and his children and to have enmity with them. Satan egoistically and with jealousy spat on Adam’s idol. This spit landed on Adam’s navel causing the birth of inciting innerself in his being. Hence, the inciting innerself is Satan’s ancient weapon used to mislead human beings. However, if this same innerself comes under the control of the individual rather than that of Satan then the veil between Allah and his slave is removed.
Stages and Conditions of Innerself (nafs)?
The innerself consists of four stages or conditions:
- Inciting innerself (an-nafs al-ammarah)
- Repenting innerself (an-nafs al-lawwamah)
- Inspiring innerself (an-nafs al-mulhimah)
- Innerself at peace (an-nafs al-mutmainnah)
Inciting Innerself (an-nafs al-ammarah)
Gradually, the company of the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide and progress in the invocation and contemplation of the personal name of Allah (Ism-e-Allah Zaat), purges the innerself. The inciting innerself (an-nafs al-ammarah) drives humans towards sin and foul deeds. As Allah says in surah Yusuf:
اِنَّ النَّفۡسَ لَاَمَّارَۃٌۢ بِالسُّوۡٓءِ۔
Meaning: “Indeed, inciting innerself (an-nafs al-ammarah) is a persistent enjoiner of evil.” (12:53)
Hence, such form of innerself belongs to disbelievers, people who associate partners with Allah, hypocrites, transgressors, debauchees and those who desire the world. If it is not corrected or rectified properly, then with its rebelliousness and disobedience its evil keeps on growing and from human it turns to animal and from animal to beast, rather to Satan. In such a situation, the internal disease of innerself becomes incurable.
Sultan Bahoo states about Inciting Innerself:
- “The inciting innerself is the king in the realm of existence and Satan is its king who is always planning on clever tricks and self-praising.” (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
- The Arabic and Persian word for ‘innerself’ is Nafs written as نفس. It has three letters ‘ ن ’ (N) ‘ ف ’ (F), ‘ س ’ (S). The letter ‘ ن ’ (N) refers to the fact that the ‘Neeyat’ i.e. intention of the inciting innerself is always evil, it is good for nothing, runs after food, killer of faith, imperfect and undesirable. Letter ‘ ف ’ (F) means that it is Fraud, trouble maker, ignominious and sinful. By the letter ‘ س ’ (S), it is meant that it is hard like Stone, friend of Satan and opponent of Allah. This is the reality of inciting innerself which is possessed by the infidels, hypocrites and the worldly people who are cruel and liars. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
- In a Punjabi couplet, Sultan Bahoo states about the inciting innerself:
صورت نفس امارہ دِی، کوئی کتا گلر کالا ھُو
کوکے نوکے لہو پیوے، منگے چرب نوالا ھُو
کھبے پاسوں اندر بیٹھا، دِل دے نال سنبھالا ھُو
ایہہ بدبخت ہے وَڈّا ظالم باھُو، ﷲ کرسی ٹالا ھُو
Explanation: The face and condition of inciting innerself is like that of a small black dog who all the time barks of starvation and asks for delicious food. (Always wanders in order to fulfill its desires and lusts). It is fortified on the left side of the heart and whenever the chance arises (when the heart stops Allah’s invocation) it starts to attack. This innerself is so unlucky and a despotic that only Allah can keep its venom from invading the soul.
Repenting Innerself (an-nafs al-lawwamah)
If the correction and purgation of this inciting innerself initiates, it internally proceeds towards realm of angels (alam al-malakut) and leading a pure life the innerself upgrades from inciting to repenting. The Arabic word for repentance is ‘lawwamah’ which means the one who reproves. Hence, Arabic term for repenting innerself is an-nafs al-law-wamah. When indulging in sinful deeds, it makes the person regret because this innerself gets unseen favors and Divine guidance as help from Allah. Hence, on behaving sinfully it makes the person penitent. The repenting innerself always remembers death, the Day of Judgment and requite. Therefore, Allah, as reported by His dearest Prophet, swears to this innerself as that of Day of Judgment and says:
لَآ اُقْسِمُ بِیَوْمِ الْقِیٰمَۃِ . وَلَآ اُقْسِمُ بِالنَّفْسِ اللَّوَّامَۃِ
Meaning: “I swear by the Day of Judgment and I swear by the repenting innerself (an-nafs al-lawwamah).” (Al-Qiyamah 1-2)
Inspiring Innerself (an-nafs al-mulhimah)
Afterwards, when the repenting innerself is improved, it advances to the inspiring innerself (an-nafs al-mulhimah). This innerself, with the help of Divine favors, warns the person before committing a sin. So he gets afraid of Allah so as to refrain himself from indulging in sinful acts. Allah has explained the idea of the inspiring innerself in the following verse:
وَاَمَّا مَنْ خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّہٖ وَ نَھَی النَّفْسَ عَنِ الْھَوٰی۔فَاِنَّ الْجَنَّۃَ ھِیَ الْمَاْوٰی
Meaning: “And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord’s (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, their abode will be the garden.” (Naziat 40-41)
Hence, the inspiring innerself stops the person from committing sins and doing wrong deeds either with the help of the unseen Divine favors while he is acting upon his planned sin, or through Divine intuition, which can be done in various ways. At times, it holds back the person by inculcating proper argument and thoughts in the mind. Some have intuitions by the unseen, silent revelations, and at times the person is informed in his dream which inculcates in him a fear of Allah so he keeps himself from being part of sinful acts.
Innerself at peace (an-nafs al-mutmainnah)
Further, after the purgation of innerself and inward elevation, it turns into innerself at peace (an-nafs al-mutmainnah). Hence, it gets rid of the eternal thief i.e. Satan, sets itself free from its diseases and finds shelter in the form of life goals that it has achieved by fulfilling its spiritual purposes of existence. Which is the stage of لاتخف ولاتحزن (from fear and sorrows to a level of peace).
اَلَاۤ اِنَّ اَوۡلِيَآءَ اللّٰهِ لَا خَوۡفٌ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يَحۡزَنُوۡنَۖ ۚ
Meaning: “Unquestionably, (for) the friends of Allah there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve”. (10:62)
A traveler on this path with such an innerself gets close to Allah and becomes His friend. Allah is pleased with him and he is pleased with Allah. Allah states about this person with innerself at peace:
یٰۤاَیَّتُہَا النَّفۡسُ الۡمُطۡمَئِنَّۃُ۔ارۡجِعِیۡۤ اِلٰی رَبِّکِ رَاضِیَۃً مَّرۡضِیَّۃً ۔ فَادۡخُلِیۡ فِیۡ عِبٰدِیۡ ۔وَ ادۡخُلِیۡ جَنَّتِیۡ
Meaning: “O’ peaceful soul (an-nafs al-mutmainnah), return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing (to Him), and enter among My (righteous) servants and enter My paradise (of union).” (89:27-30)
Moreover, such pure innerself only belongs to Prophets, Sufis and Saints. This innerself is very high and elevated. And all these levels are reached through invocation (zikr) and contemplation (tasawur) of Allah’s personal name (Ism-e-Allah Zaat) and company of the perfect spiritual guide (Murshid Kamil Akmal). The innerself cannot upgrade to this level only through physical worship no matter how hard one tries. Rather the innerself adds to its ego and pride if physical worshipping is in excess. The example of Satan is a common one.
Sultan Bahoo Mentions about the Innerself at Peace:
- The Nafs which has elevated to the level of peaceful innerself also has three letters ن (N), ف (F), س (S). Its letter ن (N) tells that it laments day and night with the fear of Allah, leaves the forbidden and follows the commands of Allah, eats the legitimate food, keeps the faith perfect by true obedience. It is helped by the Divine favour and engrossed in the Divine deeds like invocation, reflection, gnosis, meditation and Divine observations. When the innerself reaches the Divine light, it becomes the peaceful innerself and its possessor is completely forgiven. Verily, Allah is the most Forgiving and the most Compassionate. By the letter ف (F) the peaceful innerself is Faith’s pride and distinguishes the true religion Islam from infidelity. Allah says;
ذٰلِكَ بِاَنَّ اللّٰهَ مَوۡلَى الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَاَنَّ الۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ لَا مَوۡلٰى لَهُمۡ ﴿۱۱﴾
Meaning: That is because Allah is the Protector of those who believe and for sure the disbelievers do not have any protector. (Mohammad 11)
The possessor of peaceful innerself is at the final level of certainty gained through experience. It is the level where one immerses in truth and never looks towards falsehood.
اَلْاِسْلَامُ حَقٌ وَّ الْکُفْرُ بَاطِلٌ
Meaning: Islam is the truth and infidelity is falsehood.
Faqr and gnosis of Allah are the foundation of Islam while worldly wealth is the foundation of infidelity. The foundation of wrong innovations in religion is love of the world while foundation of right guidance is the love of Allah. The letter س (S) of the Nafs which has elevated to the level of peaceful innerself means that it is the Secret of righteousness, engrossed in Divinity, outwardly busy in worships while inwardly annihilated and drowned in Allah. These attributes of peaceful innerself are possessed by the Prophets, Fuqara and a few Saints. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Innerself at peace is a medium to reach the Divine Secret. It takes to the Truth and grants the vision of Oneness of Allah. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Sultan Bahoo’s Punjabi couplet about the Innerself at Peace:
ایہو نفس اساڈا بیلی، جو نال اساڈے سِدّھا ھُو
زاہد عالم آن نوائے، جِتھے ٹکڑا ویکھے تِھدّا ھُو
جو کوئی اِس دی کرے سواری، اُس نام اَﷲ دا لِدّھا ھُو
راہ فقر دا مشکل باھوؒ، گھر ما نہ سیرا رِدّھا ھُو
Explanation: This innerself now has become our friend by upgrading to peace and is now with us on the straight path (sirat-e-mustaqeem). Even though this same innerself at the stage of inciting had turned many scholars, devotees and noble men into seekers of the worldly riches and fame. Through contemplation and invocation of the personal name of Allah given by the perfect spiritual guide, this innerself made the journey all the way from inciting to peaceful. There come many harsh obstacles, stations and paths in the way of Faqr. It is not like a mother’s cuisine where you get food without any effort.
Sultan Bahoo Explains Levels of Innerself:
- When a seeker is at the level of sharia in physical world (alam an-nasut), his innerself is inciting. So, Allah orders him to kill his enemy innerself. O Allah! Bless me with the eyes that see and recognize the enemy so that I may kill it. When the seeker progresses spiritually and reaches the level of Tariqa in realm of angels (alam al-malakut), his innerself becomes the repenting innerself. On reaching here, one must leave the pleasures of innerself, crush all its appetites. One becomes independent of all its desires.
Further, as his level improves to ‘Haqiqa in realm of power (alam al-jabrut). Here, his innerself becomes the inspiring innerself. It should be burnt in the fire of Divine love and invocation of Allah so that it approaches the level of موتوا قبل ان تموتوا i.e. death before dying. Then the seeker reaches the next level i.e. gnosis in realm of Divinity (alam al-laHoot). Here, his innerself becomes innerself at peace. It repents from everything other than Allah and becomes the perfect believer of Oneness of Allah. He becomes sincerely obedient, the distinguished one and confidant of the secrets of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Verse of Quran:
غُفۡرَانَکَ رَبَّنَا وَ اِلَیۡکَ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿۲۸۵﴾
Meaning: O’ our Lord! We seek Your forgiveness and to You (we all) have to return. (2:285)
What does a seeker achieve at the level of innerself at peace? The perfect observation of annihilation in Faqr at the station beyond all stations. Then, the maliciousness of the evil innerself comes to an end.
نفس یارِ غار اے جانِ عزیز
با عزیزی باش بی غفلت تمیز
Meaning: O’ dear! The nafs (nafs-e-mutmaina) is an intimate friend. Be with this friend and never be neglectful of it. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Respective Realms of Innerself
Moreover, the correction of innerself goes side by side with reconciliation of heart, disclosure of core of the soul, and one reaches the destination of Faqr. Ghaus-ul-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani states a detailed memorandum of this in his book Sir’r-ul-Asrar. The gist is as follows:
|No||Realm||Stage of innerself||Related knowledge||Level of soul||Display of theophany||Stage of wisdom||The level of heaven on success|
|1||The physical world (alam an-nasut)||Inciting innerself (an-nafs al-ammarah)||Sharia||Soul of physical body (Jismani)||Disclosure of signs||Wisdom of wealth||Garden of abode (Jannat-ul-Mawah)|
|2||Realm of angels (alam al-malakut)||Repenting innerself (an-nafs al-lawwamah)||Tariqa (spiritual knowledge)||Soul of celestial light (Noorani)||Disclosure of deeds||Wisdom of the hereafter||The garden of delight (Jannat-ul-Naeem)|
|3||Realm of power (alam al-jabrut)||The inspiring innerself (an-nafs al-mulhima)||Haqiqa (knowledge of Divine Reality)||The kingly soul (Sultani)||Disclosure of the attributes||Wisdom of the spirituality||The highest garden of paradise (Jannat-ul-Firdous)|
|4||Realm of Divinity (alam al-laHoot)||Innerself at peace (an-nafs al-mutmaina)||Marifa (Gnosis)||The Divine soul (Qudsi)||Disclosure of The Essence||Totality of wisdom||The garden of proximity to Allah (Jannat-ul-Qurb)|
For the purgation of one’s innerself, Saints and Sufis mention various methods, exercises, observations and asceticism but the method of our Holy Prophet is incomparable and the best. Sanctification of the innerself has no better way than that of Mohammad sall’Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam.
The Prophetic Way of Purgation of Innerself
It is narrated by Hanzala RA, “Once Abu Bakr Siddiq RA met me and inquired about my health, “O Hanzala, how are you?” I said, “Hanzala has become a hypocrite.” He replied, “What are you saying?” I explained, “When we are present in the company of Prophet Mohammad pbuh and when he talks about heaven and hell, we feel like we are watching it all with our own eyes. The state of faith in our hearts is such that we do not remember anybody except Allah. Our hearts are filled with love for Him, but when we are not present in the company of the Messenger anymore and divert our minds towards home, family and wealth then this feeling and state of heart do not remain same as are our feelings towards Allah in his company.”
Upon hearing this Abu Bakr RA agreed that he is in the same condition. Hanzala narrated that he and Abu Bakr left and showed up in the presence of the Prophet. He stated, “O Prophet of Allah! Hanzala has become a hypocrite?” He asked “how?” Hanzala said, “Messenger of Allah! When I am present in front of your eyes the condition of my heart is different. However, as soon as I leave your company, go home or work, I am unable to feel the same emotion in my heart.” So the Messenger responded, “I swear by Allah Who has control over my life! If the state of your heart remains, as is when you are with me or in my assembly, all the time, the angels will shake hands with you while you rest and on the ways you travel, but Hanzala! This moment is a rare blessing.”
Hadith of Prophet Mohammad pbuh:
Prophet Mohammad pbuh once told Umar ibn Khattab RA, that “None of you can have your faith perfected until your love for me overpowers your love for your life, wealth and children.” Upon hearing this, Umar RA replied, “O Lord! I do not feel such sentiment in my heart.” The Messenger placed his hand on Umar ibn Khattab RA’s shoulder and asked, “What do you feel now?” Umar ibn Khattab RA within a fraction of seconds spoke up, “O Prophet of Allah! Now I feel your existence is dearer to me than any other thing in the entire universe.”
In the Holy Quran the Prophet’s way of purgation of the inner self is as follows:
ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ بَعَثَ فِی الۡاُمِّیّٖنَ رَسُوۡلًا مِّنۡہُمۡ یَتۡلُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمۡ اٰیٰتِہٖ وَ یُزَکِّیۡہِمۡ وَ یُعَلِّمُہُمُ الۡکِتٰبَ وَ الۡحِکۡمَۃَ
Meaning: “It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them (with His perfect spiritual sight) and teaching them the Book and wisdom (Ilm-e-Laduni, the inspirational knowledge)”. (62:2)
Hence, this verse proves that the Prophet first used to educate his sacred Companions about the Quran then with his perfect spiritual sight purify their souls so their inward could sanctify and become capable of absorbing the Light of Quran. When the innerself purges the inward becomes clean and the sight of the Reality reflects clearly upon the mirror of the inward which makes it remain restless to have this sight again. This restlessness is the beginning of Ishq (Divine love) for Allah and this spark of love flares up only through sacred company.
Likewise in the company of the Prophet his Companions were blessed with invocation of Allah through which they had their outer and inner selves purified. In their hearts grew the desperation for marifa (gnosis) so the lord of both the worlds (Prophet Mohammad sall’Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam) had them get the drink of joy, blessings and mercy. This made them succeed at the stage of purification and enabled them to get to the level of learning the Book.
“Reciting to them His verses and purifying them”, the “and” in this verse of the Holy Quran makes it clear that purification of the innerself is one thing and education of the Quran is another. Because in this verse, “reciting to them His verses” mean that the Prophet used to give them the knowledge of the Quran about purgation, and “purifying them” suggests he also used to purge their innerself and bestow upon them the state of purgation. There is a marked difference between the knowledge of purgation and the state of purgation of the inner self, and only the two together can make aimed wonders happen.
Further, they are taught the knowledge of the Book and inspirational knowledge. After the purification of the innerself, they received the gnosis of Allah and the entire universe came under their control. An example is that of Barkhiya RA who presented the throne of Bilqis (queen of Sheba) in Prophet Solomon’s royal court within the blink of an eye. Quran states the incident of Barkhiya as ‘He had the knowledge of the Book’. This is the state of “teaching them the Book and inspirational knowledge” that is achieved after the purgation of innerself.
Moreover, we hear about a lot of worried and anxious people who recite the Holy Quran, rather learn it by heart and possess knowledge of sorts specially the knowledge of purgation of the inner self and also know of the paranoia the innerself and Satan can cause, who even write lengthy texts and deliver speeches about this. Still they are unable to focus during worship and cannot get rid of the satanic perceptions and imagination because although they have the knowledge of purgation, however are not blessed with the state of purgation.
Likewise there are numerous people towards mysticism who have gained the knowledge of purification of the innerself either through books or by listening to discussions between seekers of Allah and their Divine spiritual guide. They even take oath of allegiance (al-bayah) at the hand of a guide but because of their imperfect desire could not travel the path of righteousness and gain no spiritual observation. These people too have the knowledge of purgation but their innerself has not been purged.
Hence, the sacred Companions had the purgation of their inner selves in the presence and by spiritual sight of the Holy Prophet “Thus, he announced “My Companions are like stars, whoever you choose to follow shall lead you to success.” That’s how this treasure of Light of gnosis got transferred, only by sitting in their presence and company, from the sacred Companions to Tabi’un and Tabi al-Tabi’in. Because the Prophethood of Mohammad Pbuh shall remain till the end of existence, he made Fakirs and Mystics his vicegerents and blessed them with the light of knowledge of purification of the innerself so the rest of his ummah (nation) could also benefit from them.
Purgation Requires Treatment
by The Perfect Spiritual Guide
Medical research proves that one cannot cure one’s own disease no matter how much capable and learned he is in the field. One has to see a specialist for treatment whatsoever. So how is it possible that without the spiritual guide and merely by knowing the Quran and Sunnah one can purge his innerself? Similarly, one cannot gain all the knowledge in the world only through books, there is always the need for a teacher. If studying the books was the only requirement then why would Allah send such a long chain of Prophets?
Hence, the argument presented above proves that merely the recitation of Holy Quran could not cure the diseases of innerself of even the sacred Companions. In fact, they too had to visit Prophet Mohammad pbuh in order to get their inner selves purged and to gain the inspirational knowledge through his spiritual sight.
Hadith of Prophet Mohammad pbuh:
- The last era of my ummah shall receive guidance just like you are receiving it from Me. (Muslim)
مَنْ مَّاتَ وَ لَیْسَ فِیْ عُنْقِہٖ بَیْعَۃٌ مَاتَ مَیْتَۃً جَاھِلِِیَّۃً
Whoever dies without being bound by the oath of allegiance (bayat), dies the death of an ignorant.”
- Prophet Mohammad has stated: “There will always be a group amongst my ummah on the path of Truth. Their opponents could not harm them at all, until the order of Allah is given and they will remain resolute.” (Muslim, Bukhari)
The people who will help and support them will be the guardians and helpers of the religion and the ones who choose to serve them as slaves will indeed succeed towards betterment.
There is no part of the world void of Saints, Mystics and Fakirs who are not showering their spiritual bounties upon people through their company, spiritual sight and attention, correcting their innerself, attitude, manners and beliefs and purifying their faith.
Furthermore, countless such incidents are mentioned in Hadiths and teachings of Saints which should clear out the misconception of people who believe they can sanctify their inwards, purify their innerself and purge their soul totally on their own. Mere recitation of Quran and Hadith is not enough to get rid of these inner diseases. Though Quran and Sunnah mention various types of cures for these diseases of the soul but only a doctor (spiritual guide) can practically bestow these cures.
Sultan Bahoo RA and Allama Iqbal RA:
Sultan Bahoo has declared spiritual guide as a doctor.
“Murshid (spiritual guide) is the example of a doctor while the seeker is an example of a patient.” (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Sultan Bahoo says:
کامل مُرشد ایسا ہووے‘ جیہڑا دھوبی وانگوں چھَٹے ھُو
نال نگاہ دے پاک کریندا ‘ وِچ سجی صبون نہ گھتے ھُو
میلیاں نوں کر دیندا چِٹا‘ وِچ ذَرّہ میل نہ رَکھے ھُو
ایسا مرشد ہووے باھوؒ‘ جیہڑا لوں لوں دے وِچ وَسے ھُو
Explanation: The spiritual guide should be like a washerman. Like a washerman does not let a stain remain on the clothes and cleans dirty garments completely, likewise the perfect spiritual guide never asks his seeker to make daily recitals, litanies or forty days seclusions or makes him go through any meaningless hardships rather shows him the way of invocation of Allah’s personal name (Ism-e-Allah Zaat) and purifies his nafs with his spiritual sight, expels all diseases from his inner self, gets him rid of worldly desires and those of innerself, cleanses his inward of worldly love and replaces it with Divine love. Such a spiritual guide dwells in every part of the seeker.
Allama Iqbal states:
دین مجو اندر کتب اے بے خبر
علم و حکمت از کتب دیں از نظر
Translation: “O oblivious man! Don’t look for faith in books. Knowledge and wisdom are indeed in books but faith is in the spiritual sight.”
فقط ’’نگاہ‘‘ سے ہوتا ہے فیصلہ دل کا
نہ ہو نگاہ میں شو خی تو دلبری کیا ہے
Meaning: The perfect spiritual guide’s powerful Divine sight opens the mystic path, leading a devotee to the secrets of Allah. If the spiritual guide cannot purify the innerself with his spiritual sight, then having such a spiritual guide is pointless. It is only the way of the perfect spiritual guide.
The perfect and accomplished spiritual guide should be the one who not only has the knowledge and authority over the personal name of Allah (Ism-e-Allah Zaat) but also possesses the personal name, attributes and the (Divine Essence). Sultan Bahoo talks about contemplation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat under the presence of such spiritual guide:
- “A person whose innerself is rebellious and inciting at the initial stage, upgrades to repenting self after practicing the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, then to inspiring innerself and finally reaches the level of innerself at peace.” (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
- “Contemplation of Ism-e-Allah zaat weakens the nafs inside the body as though it is suffering from measles. This invocation unlocks such restlessness upon the nafs that it remains fidgety and impatient all the time. Consequently, its existence diminishes and expires. This disobedient and inciting innerself (Ammarah) turns obedient and peaceful (Mutmaina) and then like a slave remains under control forever.” (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Company of Spiritual Guide
The Prophet’s company, sight and attention developed Light and trust in his Companions’ inward. It sparked the fire of faith in their innerself. It elevated their souls higher than the angels, kept their hearts free of all material foulness and blessed them with vision of Allah. The same way his vicegerents’ company, sight and attention can purge the soul and sanctify the inward and make people veritabally recall their Lord. No human is free from the diseases of the innerself nor can he diagnose them on his own. Every human has sensual diseases. Until and unless all of these inner idols are broken, none of their acts of worship is accepted.
Yet the situation of man today is such that he considers himself superior and flawless in religion, which is absolute ignorance, like a Divine quote puts:
قُلْ ھَلْ نُنَبِّئُکُمْ بِالْاَخْسَرِیْنَ اَعْمَالاً ۔ اَلَّذِیْنَ ضَلَّ سَعْیُھُمْ فِی الْحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنْیَا وَھُمْ یَحْسَبُوْنَ اَنَّھُمْ یُحْسِنُوْنَ صُنْعًا
Meaning: “Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds! Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds.” (18:103-104)
Leader of the truthfuls Abu Bakr’s following quote verifies the fact that no other method of self-sanctification over shines the Prophetic way of purgation of the innerself:
لَاۡ یُصْلِحْ آخِرِ ھٰذِہِ الْاُ مَّۃِ اِلَّا بِھَا صَلَحَ بِہٖ اَوَّ لِھَا
“The final part of the ummah shall be rectified the same way the initial part of the ummah was rectified.” (Imam Malik)
Further, purgation is a spiritual power. The person who desires to become philanthropic, righteous and virtuous shall always require the power of purgation to begin with. Purge your soul first and correct yourself.