IMAN, ISLAM AND IHSANWritten By
بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
The Hadith of Ihsan describes three distinct stages in Islam, viz (i) Faith in Heart (Iman), (ii) Deeds by limbs (Islam) and (iii) Complete attention towards Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) (Ihsan).It is in Hadith - Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated that one day while the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was sitting in the company of some people, (the angel) Jibreel (عليه السلام) came and sat and asked, 'What is Iman?' Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, 'Iman is to believe in Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ), His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection.' Then he further asked, "What is Islam?" Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, "To pray Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) alone and none else, to offer prayers perfectly, to pay the compulsory charity (Zakat) and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan.' Then he further asked, 'What is Ihsan (Tasawwuf)?' Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, 'To pray Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) as if you see Him, and if you cannot see him then you must consider that He is looking at you.' (Bukhari, Muslim and others)
Thus, Iman, Islam and Ihsan are three very important aspects in the life of Muslim. Most important is the state of Ihsan, that can be achieved by Tazkia Nafs (purification of Self) under the teaching, training and guidance of a Shaikh of Ihsan.
There are three primary sources of our knowledge, as follows.
(i) Apostles of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) convey and teach people what is sent to them from Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).
It is in Quran - يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ [ O’ Noble Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) convey and teach people what is sent down to you’ (Al-Ma’ida - 67).
(ii) Acting upon the commandments of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) the prophets show `the people the operational and practical side of the religion by elucidating details of Islamic deeds.
It is in Quran - لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ [ Apostle Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is an exemplary model for all of you .] (Al-Ahzab -21)
(iii) Prophets cleanse, purify and reform people from their personal attention (توجه).
It is in Quran - [ Certainly Allah has done a favor on the believers when He sent to them an Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), from among them, who reads them the divine verses and who purifies them and who teaches them the book and wisdom.] (Aal-e-Imran – 164).
From the above, it is clear that Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) undertook the following tasks.
(i) He read out to people what was revealed to him. This is the teaching of Quran.
(ii) Becoming a practical example he educated people how to carryout Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) commandments. This is the training of people.
(iii) He cleansed and purified people’s hearts by his personal attention and training. This is Purification of Hearts (tazkia Nafs).
What is cleansing and purification of hearts ( tazkia nafs )?
It is turning people’s attention away from the darkness of materialism to the light of Islam.
What is light of Islam?
It is people’s training in (i) sincerity of heart (Ikhlas), (ii) wisdom (Hikmah) of actions, and (iii) Islamic vision.
What is Islamic vision?
As per the Hadith of Ihsan, people are commanded to see Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) while doing Obligatory Salah.Can anyone visualize Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) presence when his heart is covered with materialistic darkness?
No, you need Islamic light. Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) trained his companions to see in Islamic light.
Once you get Islamic vision you become stead fast in faith and deeds and never lose the straight path of Islam.It was Prophet Mohammad’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) training which helped his companions to acquire Islamic vision with which they visualized Allah’s (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) presence every where, every moment.
It is in Quran – فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ [ You turn your face anywhere, you will find Allah. ( Al-Baqra – 115 ).
It is in Quran – اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ [ Allah is the light (existence) of the Heavens and Earth.] (An-Noor -35).
It is in Quran – وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ [ And We are closer to you than your jugular vein.] (Qaf – 16)
It is in Quran – وَفِي أَنفُسِكُمْ ۚ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ [ And He is in your own self, will you not then see.] (Adh-Dhaariyat – 21)After Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), the teaching, training and purification of people hearts was carried out by Khulafa-e-Rashideen, Aimma, Shuyookh of Ihsan and Awliya Allah.From the above, it is evident that people are required to be taught, trained and purified under the able guidance of Shuyookh of Ihsan. The Shuyookh adopt various methods in teaching, training and purification of their students/Murideen.There are famous Sufi orders (Salasil - سلاسل) like (i) Quadri, (ii) Chishtee, (iii) Shadhuli, (iv) Naqshbandi, (v) Suharwardi, etc., who train and purify their Murideen in their specific ways.Most important aspect in the training and purification is 'Remembrance of Allah' (ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ).It is in Quran - يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ ذِكْرًا كَثِيرًا - وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا [ O you who believe, remember Allah with frequent remembrance and glorify Him morning and evening.] (Al-Ahzaab - 41-42).It is in Quran - فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ [Remember Me and I will remember you, and thank Me and do not be ungrateful to Me. ] (Al-Baqara - 152).It is in Quran - وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ [And whoever turns away from My remembrance, indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.] (TaHa -124).It is in Quran - أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ [The hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. ] (Ar-Ra'd - 28)Shuyookh of Ihsan have played a big role in training and purification of Islamic Ummah. The Shuyookh recognize the ability and requirement of individual student/Murid and train and purify him accordingly.Who is Shaikh of Ihsan?Shaikh of Ihsan is a person whose heart is purified, mind is illuminated and he is inspired with Islamic wisdom. He sees facts of things precisely. He is the friend of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and an expert in both ‘theory and practice’ of Islam. His perpetual focus is on the Unity of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ). He walks on the foot steps of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). As an efficient Doctor of Islamic intrinsic reality, he diagnoses the ailments of our Nufoos and suggests appropriate remedies. He shows to people the rightful practices of Islam, purifies their minds, cleanse them from worldly desires and helps them to get close to Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and His Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). He is Islamic doctor who explains Islamic faith and practices to people with irrefutable evidence from Quran, Sunnah and from apparent happenings in the Cosmos. He exposes the ill gotten views of Non-Muslim theosophists and misguided Muslim sects. The main opponents of the Shaikh of Ihsan are Non-Muslim Theosophists / Gurus and scholars of misguided Muslim sects.
Since human being is required to lead his life as Servant of Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) in total submission to His 'will', he cannot fulfill this requirement until the vigor (energies) of the organs in his body are moderated to act as per Islamic Sharia.
Sufi Shuyookh have identified certain organs in human body, that, if impulsed upon by invocation of ‘La Ilaha Illallah or Allahu (لَا اِلٰهَ اِلّآلله يا الله), a movement is generated in them and a specific colored light is spotted which results in corresponding changes in human deeds.
Shuyookh of Ihsan attempt to reform and purify 'vigor of rage' (Quwwat-e-Ghazabi - قوتِ غضبی), Vigor of carnal passions' (Quwwat-e-Shahwi - قوتِ شہوی) and 'vigor of intelligence' (Quwwat-e-Aqli - قوتِ عقلی), in human beings.
The Sufi Shuyookh have identified that the 'vigor of rage' (Quwwat-e-Ghazabi - قوتِ غضبی) is related with 'Heart' (Qalb - قلب). The 'vigor of carnal passions' (Quwwat-e-Shahwi - قوتِ شہوی) is related with 'Liver' and 'the vigor of intelligence' (Quwwat-e-Aqli - قوتِ عقلی) is related with brain.
All these vigor (energies) are required to be moderated to avoid any excess or inadequacy in them.
From the excess of vigor of heart (Quwwat-e-Qalbi - قوتِ قلبی), intrepidity (Tahavvur - تہور), meaning, unwarranted bravery and cruelty is developed. From its decrease, fearfulness, cowardice and pusillanimity is developed. And from its moderation, bravery, self honor, courage and prevalence is developed.
From excess of 'vigor of carnal passion' (Quwwat-e-Shahwi - قوتِ شہوی), avidity, greed, passion for luxury and immodesty is developed. From its decrease, depression, inertness, laziness and idleness is developed. And from its moderation, chastity and continence is developed.
From the excess of 'vigor of intelligence' (Quwwat-e-Aqli - قوتِ عقلی), contrivance, plotting and diplomacy is developed. From its reduction, stupidity, foolishness, ignorance and folly is developed. And from its moderation wisdom, strategy, gracefulness, steadfastness and perseverance is developed.
Sufia-e-Karam impulse upon these organs by recitation (ذکر) of the Epithets of Allah (Asma-e-Elahiya - اسماء الٰہیہ). These recitations (ازکار) are done under the guidance of Shaikh-e-Tareeqat over a considerable period of time. Later, when these are moderated and the human being learns to subordinate itself to the 'Will of Allah', many things of the subtle world are opened for him. At this time it is said that the Nafs is reformed or annihilated. Now the person's inner self is satisfied (النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ), in that he is happy with Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) and Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is happy with him.When all vigors of human beings become subordinated to Sharia, they undergo a sea change and even their names are changed accordingly. Like 'Heart or rage (Qalb ya Ghazab - قلب یا غضب) is called 'subtlety of Latent' (Lateefa-e-Sir - لطیفہ سِر); the animal self or lust (Nafs ya shahwat - نفس یا شہوت) is called the 'subtlety of Hidden' (Lateefa-e-Khafi - لطیفہ خفی); and Comprehension and intelligence is known as 'subtlety of Recondite' (Lateefa-e-Ikhfa - لطیفہ اخفیٰ).