Q# 1: Who is Sufi /mystic?
Answer: To my mind Sufi is the one who opts for the God as top priority of intellectual curiosity. He maintains that priority by remembering him continuously as ordered and suggested by God. And also fights within and without and tries to acquire a balance within him and without.
Q# 2: Who is not a Sufi/mystic?
Answer: Well! For these years you will hardly see a Sufi because Sufi is not understood by percentages. It is not that you see one in hundred or one in thousand; it could be one in millions, one in billions. Because the basic sincerity is to search for God and then to pursue it all their life. It is basically a main obsession with the person who is intelligent, whose inquiry insist on finding truth. And may be in the beginning, you search it for knowledge and you search for knowledge within yourself. But to my mind the natural end of all curiosity and knowledgibilty and search and hunt for truth ends up with God. And we have seen many other who falls short of this expectation and their high end of moral exhibition and they falls short. They look for possessions, powers. They look for strengthen their own self, rather than to get rid of their self. For us the law of God is very clear that anybody who wants to find me should find opposition in his own self. So anybody who looks like promoting a sense of power in him, possession in him does not qualify for his role. Over the years ( )when every thing is corrupted the Sufi is corrupted the most, e.g. we have to find out whether there can be Sufi in other religion or not? We say, no, because all other religions are a regular, procedural progression on knowledge of God. And starting from Adam to Muhammad (SAW) we have proceeding to getting more and more knowledge about God. So if you say, that I have found God, we will not believe, because it is just a nursery of believers. And then we come to Christ and we know for sure they were more progressive than Jews but then they also fall short. The man has always been maturing in his knowledge and so the message has also been maturing with the same speed. And with the ages with prophets, they have been progressing. Finally it ended up; the revolution ended up with the Quran. And if anybody who does not believe in the Quran and prophet of God and the prophet who brought Quran, would not be qualifying for the fuller knowledge of high idealism or metaphysical entities or God Himself. So we said it is very difficult to find God without Islam. It is not possible.
Q # 3: Is Sufism finished in Pakistan?
Answer: Sufi don’t claim things. They don’t bother. The worst thing in their social life is; they don’t look for projection. And Sufi is anti-projection. All the qualities known for a successful man are reverse for a Sufi. So you will not find him in public. He is not an exhibitionist, not a narcissist. He does not have that sort of things which qualify him as a successful worldly man. So it is obvious you will not find Sufi running on the roads, or claiming things for himself or exhibiting his exercise or modeling himself in yoga’s or lama. This is not Sufism. These are only concentration Arts.
Q # 4: What kind of peculiar relations are of a Sufi with God?
Answer: That is all greatness of Allah that you are honored with one thing that you can reach him. The thing is God has created this world for himself. It is not that we created this earth. Its not that we created all this jam-packed of earth. So naturally he means some business with us. And he had explained this in so many verses.
Lo! We have shown him the way, whether he be grateful or disbelieving. (Dahar: 3)
I give you a talent, I give you thinking, and I give you apparatus of mind to think. And all I wanted you on earth, go on earth, think about surrounding, think about universe, think about life patterns and try to find out who is the creator? And you should develop greater love for him rather than any thing. It will be absurd to look for things below God’s status as God’s. So we are bound to consider God is the top truth reality. And not only that one who interfere in every bit of our life, in our first breath, in our last breath. He gives us honor, he gives us dishonor. He gives us children. He gives us parents, and when every thing is given by God then who is such a wise man, who will say God is a lesser importance. And you see our fault is very simple. This fault lies with every human being. We give lesser importance to top priority and more importance to lesser priorities.
Q # 5: Is this called the fair attitude, love attitude or respect attitude with God?
Answer: It is basically ‘love’, because their attitudes are made very clear in the Quran. Do remember me like your parents, your father, and your kith and kin. Your sweet hearts or whatever it is. But do it a little more (remembrance of Allah). And he need preference for all he created things, but the first principal lies in mind, not in heart. You have to analyze things. You have to see what is more important for you in the entire life. For a short period you have your priorities different. For a student who goes in college or universities, you can say education is his top priority then you say marriage is his top priority, and then you say job is his top priority. Then after retirement you say pension and rest is his top priority. But the fact is very different; there is a priority of whole life. It is not partial priority. It is total priority. When we consider the whole life of human being and we say, he came here for God and he should know God and leave this earth with knowledge of God and with afraiding God. This is what the Sufi does. Right from the very beginning he sorts out the priorities of life. He arranges, he knows what is more important and what is less important. And he passes through this earth like a traveler. May be the things are refutable in the way. We are not supposed to reject things; we are not supposed to refuse. We are supposed to create a balance in our desires, where the strongest desire is for the truth, for God and for reality. When we come back after finding out the truth in our mind, then we go to the lesser. God does not refuse us any love for woman or love for children, family or country. He does not refuse us any facility, He gave all these facilities. Life is a protocol made for human beings to arrange all those facilities. He made it possible for man to be comfortable on earth and to look for Him and to search for Him, to refuse Him, to deny Him and to accept Him, is the main project of the human life on earth.
Q # 6: Explain the Sufi’s path and its achievements.
Answer: let me say, how can you limit the search and how can you place a destiny when finite being is moving into infinite side, so there is no destiny. It is a continuous movement of mind and heart in to the infinite, so I don’t think; any body can say that there is any destiny or an end of going towards God. All I know is; you keep on living. A man, who stops thinking, creates a kind of a citadel for him, a kind of barrier for him. But a man who thinks about God, who constantly thinks about God, keeps on moving till his life, till his last breath and he is in a progress and that’s what we feel like. Everyone stops somewhere, the people who don’t have the God as an end in their mind or don’t think about the ultimate reality, they stops somewhere in their way. May be some body dies with the woman he likes. Somebody dies with the office he has created. Somebody dies with the lot of money, he has created, and he does not have time to use it and dies of a heart attack. But a man who lives with God, lives till his last breath of life. So there is no end, no particular end, when you are moving with God. You keep on thinking, progressing and keep achieving some new phase of thought. Everyday you are in a new thought, in a new mood and new creativity. So God is creating everything in all moments, so you keep on also creating within your own self and all mysticism is outgrowth, remember this thing. We keep moving from one state of mind to other state of mind, because, this is the progress, in fact it is intellectual progress, it is thinking progress. May be we are only intelligent like animals and then we move on and we see we are intellectuals and then we move on and re-concentrate that we have intuitions but a last degree of the most refined intellect is ILHAAM, which is in mystics and men of God. And ILHAAM has no bound. It is unlimited, till you live, till your last breath. Fragrance of their knowledge of God and also your own study of yourself, its keeps on increasing. There is no end to the intellectual capacity of a mystic. So I always thought wherever is a mystic, he is the top intellectual of his time. Mystic always remains in a good humor. There are two kinds of honesty. If an honest man is a pungent and bickering man, he does not belong to God. But any body, who is honest, is honest to good temper.
Q # 7: How would you define the state of ‘Fanaa’ and ‘Baqaa’?
Answer: These terms have been very much misused by the lesser mystics. Perhaps they are not mystics at all. They talked like mystics, but they didn’t have any sense. Fanaa does not mean, the way, that we get lost in God. No, there is nobody who gets lost in God. Fanna means to do away with our over physical instinctive qualities. And to fill in the better ones that are given by God. Suppose I am a mean man, so I was a mean man. Suppose I am a grabber, so I have been a grabber. Suppose I am a liar so I have been a liar. I know I have these bad qualities so I have to finish them. I have to march on to learn truth, instead of mean. I have to de-possess myself of those qualities. And when I do change over from those set of qualities to the other set of qualities, it means Fanaa and Baqaa means to be stable with those qualities which are gained. It does not mean that you fall into the lap of God and he covers you up. It does not mean that. These are terms which have been always misused. They create a lot of confusion in the minds of people perhaps. But over the end when you loose all your qualities then God takes you over. I empty myself with anger, with grief, with desire and I saw God take me over with his own qualities. And what are those qualities? He is Rehman, He is Raheem, He is Kareem, He is Salaam, and He is Mommin. So a person looks like God, (he is not a God) but he feels like God. People feels like that he is as kind as God could be, he is as nice as God could be, and he is as truthful as God could be. So that is Fanaa. It is almost an achievement, an achievement of qualities. First we try to follow our Prophets, because the best of the qualities a human being could have from God has are ‘our Prophet’, then we try to follow over. This is called Fana-fil-Rasool. Even below that, we call Fana-Fil- Sheikh. Suppose my students say, ‘we would like to end like our teacher’, but the teacher is not the end. So they will say, we will end like the teacher of our teacher. That is Fana-Fil Sheikh. And then we know that our Prophet leads us to God and all those qualities are found in the Prophet. They have been on unhuman level, unearthly level. They have been transferred from God.
Q # 8: Sufi can know God or not?
Answer:He certainly knows God. Nobody else can know God better than him. Because if he is not sure, (there are three steps; first you have mental argument with God, every literate, every Sufi passes through this torture. He goes to skeptics; he goes to all what Marxism tells you. He goes to logical positivist. He goes to skeptics of east and west (agnostics). He goes to all forms of denials.) That is what Kalma is also La IllHa Illal-allah (try to establish what is not God, before you say, there is God.). When we finish our arguments, when we complete and there is no doubt left in our mind and this search should be at the top most level, whether you are challenging or you are being challenged by the new Darwinism or old Darwinism, whether you are crossed by a logical positivist or an anthropologist. We see all these skeptics’ points about God. We say they are not wronged people. They have raised right kind of questions. And we tried to know validity and truths of those questions. And we answer them back and have more powerful arguments. And when we get out of this ordeal of curiosity, we say, we have no doubt in our mind, there is God, and then we tried to get closer to him i.e. mysticism. Once when we have found God and once we are sure about God, when there is no doubt in my mind about the existence of God, then I analyze every criticism against God. And I have got over it. And I have sort this oldest flings then I go ahead and say now I found you, now I like to be with you. This is mysticism and another starts!
Q # 9: What is the relationship between God and man?
Answer:I have told you before that we did not create this world and we have not come out of an accidental combination of amino acids. It was meant to be so. You see the sun would not have been in such a place if it had not been set by God. You see, about 10 millions around us, it would have burnt us and 10 millions beyond, it would have frozen us. So the man and all these constellations are placing. They are not accidental. They have been set to create a life belt. A life belt in this universe in which special experiments were done by Almighty Allah to create human beings. And then not only to create; he gave us some thing very extraordinary. I believe we are all like robots. And he created so many numerous kinds of unlimited robots. We have 13 millions sorts of creation on earth. There could be 13 millions in the skies also. Different sorts of creativity, he has been doing. And He thought; I need somebody special, I should given my choice. Because he gave choice to nobody, not to people, not to Jinn and not to angels. He thought this is what I forced in them. Things believe in me as God; as there is no other option. So he made a decision to give somebody an option. Whether believe me or not. And so for that he created a special instrument that we called our mind, our thinking process. He gave us thinking. He gave us mind an apparatus. And then he gave us the choice ‘Do you believe in me or do you not believe in me’? That is a classic maneuver God made with human being. And in lieu of that choice he made us more superior than anybody else. He gave us superiority over the rest of the things. And then he gave us the credit that even if you made the little effort and you reach the recognition, you will be awarded . Somewhere in the skies, somewhere in the universe you will be awarded a reign over, my very special utopia that is called Heaven. There are other containers also; angels thought they deserve that utopia, jinn’s thought they deserve that utopia which is called Janaat (heaven). And Janaat is not imaginary as we know the immensity of universe around us,billions and trillions of stars. It’s not a simple idea. If you look at the mountains, when the green streak comes and we know it is emerald in this mountain. You can always suppose after 50 more billion years, perhaps that all mountains turned into emerald, similarly there could be stages and places in the universe in which the whole mountains turned into emerald. The ground could be very different of combination. If He has given this (earth) he could create much finer places up there. So nothing is imaginary and people thought, it must be an idea, Dozakh (hell) will be an idea. Heaven or hell is not an idea. They are not imaginary creations. God does not tell a lie. When he tells; you have to go there, you have to go there. These are the chosen paths and when you end up show life, you go those paths. If you have discovered the truth and reality, you have another way. It is just like when the pup and people come from outside, they put them in containers. Because they are afraid, may be they have brought big diseases in this earth. They are poured, they are examined and then they are brought out, similarly we have put in graves. It’s a kind of a container; it’s a gateway to higher galaxies beyond us. They squeezed time of 70 years and ultimately go to millions and trillions. So the way is very clear. It is well understood means and matters. But the job is also very clear. Over here all these things you do or you enjoy, you don’t say we live once. We only die once over here. If we are dead we are dead. If we have learnt our lesson, we are not dead at all. So we live for centuries, for trillion years of years. Unimaginable vastness of life is here. So nobody should take this life casually only for life. They should understand, they have big choice to live eternally or die eternally or to burn eternally or suffer eternally.
Q # 10: What is the difference between mystic of ecstasy and mystics of sobriety?
Answer: These are two states of minds. Some people have very strong nervous system and some people have less strong nervous system; some people have very vast knowledgibility and some people have lesser grade of knowledgibility; some people can control their feelings. It is difference between chemistry. May be they all look for God but some people can not possibly tolerate their chemistry; they sort of those higher limits of understanding. So those people were stuck right away. They were not capable of over growth. They are called majzoob. They are of God and they are known as saints of ecstasy. They are like majzoob but he is not allowed to talk. Because he will see a lot many things which other people don’t see. Their sensory perception goes to a maximum extent and they can have the visitation. They can see the film rolling on, who is coming; who is going and what is future and what is behind? But they are not allowed to express because this is not Allah’s way (normal people have normal way of living) this is odd. So, saints of ecstasy are excluded from the society. And the other way of those people who learn; who teach; who are capable of conceiving an idea fully, perceived the truth and then they are capable of teaching also. They are better people. They are known as saints of sobriety.
Q # 11: Explain the different ways of exercises; zikar, fikar muraqaba, and mujahida?
Answer: These are patterns and manners which few people have adopted; they thought they are better. But in fact you see all Tareeqa’s are one and the same. How can you separate a man of God from the other man of God, except for his rank? We start all together. May be Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani, Khawja Moe-u-deen Chishti Ajmeri, and Khawja Faree-ud-deen Ganj Shaker; all these people start as the same simple human beings, whether very very strong desires for God and for love. Now we see there can be no difference between these people. It is not there. No man of God is jealous of another man of God. There are brothers of same profession; of the same trade. So they love each other, according to the verse of Quran.
‘These people love each other for God sake’
So no difference! But the people who came after, they created all these differences. They created all these mannerism in them. You can be balance and you can move without any concentration towards God. It depends on your mind the way you choose; what kind of method. Suppose I feel hungry. My way of removing hunger is; I would eat less, according to the Prophet, I would say its ok! I will not eat full. May be I distribute my food to somebody else, the brother of mine and I eat less and my brother should eat with me that I should not eat full stomach. I should remain under size. The other person will say, No! I will starve, so that I could get over this hunger. Starvation is of harder way, one day; two days; three days and he will persist. They were very strong willed people. They knew they had certain faults which would not go without hard exercises. But people like me very weak. We were very small people and we thought we should only love God more. When I think my body makes a fault, I say I should love God more. I try to compensate things with love to God rather than starving my own self. Because according to Mahatma Siddhartha Buddha; even after twelve years of ‘Tapasia’ he said, ‘ it does not lie in killing in your body; it does not lie in starvation; it does not lie in hanging yourself on the twenty thousand height of Himalaya. It lies in understanding. So, we use our mind rather than starving our self. People have their own means and methods but not all of them turn Sufi out of those means and methods. And as Quran said,
‘These people have taken to the harder way of understanding reality and the truth and some of them got through, some of them fall apart.’
Q # 12: Do you think the golden age of Sufism is ended in Pakistan?
Answer: I think it is the beginning of golden age of Sufism in Pakistan. Pakistan- Sufism, Sufism –Pakistan is one and the same! Frankly telling you, this country is not politically made country. This country was basically made with one slogan. And the slogan which I already told you, which is the greatest priority of the saints; the whole earth is made for God. They used to raise slogans ‘Pakistan ka matlab kya La illa ha illal Allah’ (there is one God and no God). So the whole country is basically made out of a mystic law; of a Sufi law and it belongs to God. And it is made by the people of God and then we fell apart. We deceived ourselves, we deceived our ideals and then we suffer and till now we are suffering. But now there is a movement of revival. All movements should be in time! All revolutions come when God wishes them to come. Not me, not you! So the time is come and Allah means so. People are reviving their old faith. They are coming back to their Unitarian concepts. They know they have made a mistake and the mistakes they have made are very bad rulers. So they are starving. There is short of electricity; there is short of every thing where as this country is richer than hundreds in practical. So we have to back to God; we have to beg Him. So back to Sufism; it is not Sufism, back to real Islam, back to real believers. Sufi is just a word; the real word for this is a Momin, (to gain that Imman; to gain that Islam and Imman) Islam is a general condition of faith.Imaan is a very particular condition of faith. Imman is equivalent to Sufism. Sufi is rather a word given to a Momin (A man who has high faith in God) so in Pakistan we are turning back. (Every thing goes back to its origin.)So we are also going back to our Prophet and God, Inshallah!
Q: 13 How does a Sufi maintain harmony between his mind and heart?
Answer: You are looking for harmony outside. Harmony is a basic law. When you go to search and look for something, if you are divided within heart and mind; you get divided in action also. So this is a basic thing a Sufi gains in this search i.e. the heart and mind co- ordinate; they co-realate; they re-unite in their wishful thinking. It is not that only mind thinks of God. Basically the basic emotion gets out of the heart. It burns for God, it wishes for the truth. That’s how the mind also in the beginning does not agree but finally it also moves along. So this is absolutely a very fair very fair balance of mind and heart that leads you to God. Its not half mind or half heart; its full heart and a full mind and now again you know the basic approach is not illiterate; illiterate has no way toward this. But illiteracy is of two kinds; academic illiteracy is of two kinds. Academic illiteracy may be he is not PhD, not post graduate nothing at all. But still he is very much literate about his inner self. All this knowledge which is on earth in degrees in class ways, engineering, medicine; this is vocational knowledge. You mean to earn out of all these professions. Even an artist makes a picture for earning money, for recognition or money. So we say there is only one pure knowledge; the knowledge which is looking for the ultimate truth which is not rewarded by any earthly king or queen. It’s only rewarded by God, rest of all branches of knowledge leads to vocational and professional achievements. And this bit of understanding only leads to the ultimate height of truths. And this is basically mental literacy, no illiteracy. Even God curses rather and blame those people and feels very strongly angry about those who do not think or do not consider Ayah/ verses in their mind. They do not think at all. They just have blind faith in God. He does not like blind faith. Again He says; any body who dies; dies of a bad argument, he dies of a wrong argument and any body who lives; lives with a good argument. So Allah is all for knowledge; for argument; for constantly thinking and He created us for thinking. Not for this like animals. That is the difference between animals and us. Animals have blind faith. We do not have.
Q: 14 Define ‘Nafs’ ‘Qalb’ Rooh’.
Answer: Well! Many things have been said about these. Actually you don’t know any thing. You always pass a confusing statement about those things. When people did not know much about Nafs they said; it is the greatest enigma in the history of mankind (what is nafs) but it was not difficult. Nafs is actually the basic packet of your instincts, when get together they create a self that is nafs. And Qalb is a place; its very equivalence place where wisdom and nafs both act. It is a place. If I don’t have a place for anger in my heart I won’t get angry. Even if the Satan works very hard with me we provide him something from inside so it is a kind of land where he cast his seed. Heart is a place which lives with God. It only remains happy with God. But when it is not with God it is land of mischief. So everybody can come and puts some wrong in it. So I already told you when things go cracked, Qalb and nafs from a bad way of thinking moves on too. As Quran says:
God has created every thing in balance.
Nafs is fifty percent wisdom and fifty percent of the satanic impression. When you do get balance, heart gets balance, even Rooh gets balance. But when it gets corrupted, heart gets corrupted even the spirit gets corrupted and you go to Hell. When these are impaired, when they are not properly functioning, when they are not fulfilling the purpose of their creation they go to Hell. And if they succeed in knowing themselves Even a particle of faith will not die. Even a particle of faith will take you to the heaven if you are sincere. So basically there is no difference. We use people, use the mystic the mystic, use these words for facility. They don’t have any worthwhile explanation, what is heart? What is this? May be a teacher explains it as metaphysically, others mystically, the third one scientifically. And basically they use these words and phraseology for explaining certain conditions of mind so nafs is a word which is used for all negative qualities of man. And Qalb is a name which is used for a balanced sheet which has fifty percent both. And Rooh is used for the utmost purification of life. There are three mental conditions. I have never found a difference between Rooh and nafs and all this because to me they all work together this way or that way.
Q: 15 Is there continual between them?
Answer: Sometimes there is a contradiction between them; your mind wants something different and your heart something else. But those contradictions are ultimately solved when they converged on a decision. They have to reach a decision. If they are not coming to a compromise that man will be considered to be very indecisive. So naturally they have to come to a decision. The moment they come to a decision ;suppose the heart wants to eat and mind forces not to eat but normally heart rules, wishes rules, desires rules, emotions rules and centre of all these blind forces is not mind. Mind is a computer; in half of a second you give a feeling to mind and it intelligently interpreses, gives its clothing, give it words, makes a sentence, express a desire but basically the emotions are born at heart.