Al-Hadith: if one keeps fasting (Soum) and salat and it is nothing but a show off, it is Shirk in the eyes of God.
In our society today, especially in a society where we have so many religions and religious people and their imposition of religious belief system on others, they seem to forget the fact some of these rituals like worship, fasting, prayers- if they do not perform these rituals as per the divine prescription, they are in deep trouble.
It's not just the Quran, the Bible and I believe in all other divine scriptures God must have emphasised on performance of the worship with sincerity and with the utter intentions of pleasing the Lord, not making it a public display to earn praiseworthiness for themselves. It is in human nature: when they do something good they want people to know it and praise it. Oftentimes, when I play well, I come back and ask everybody, 'Did you see my shot?' When you prepare food for somebody, what do you expect at the end? It is like you are trying to say, 'Don't pay for the food, but be sure praise it.' This is the case.
If you did something good and then people praise you, you earned it; but there is a form of corruption even when it comes to emotions. Some people want praiseworthiness without doing anything. This is what God doesn’t want when you come to prayer. You are not doing anything good, but you want people to praise you for something good that you didn’t do. For example, this is what happens in
the ministers, politicians and bureaucrats make announcements in the television
and media, 'We
are going to help 1000 needy people tomorrow.' They make the
announcements, everybody claps and they never help them. In a similar way, what
God doesn’t want you to do: people go to churches, mosques, synagogues and all
the other worship places and they do worship. The problem is when the worship
does not reach God and God doesn’t accept it (obviously, when it will reach
there will be a question of rejection or acceptance). The worship did not reach
God and you do not care whether what you are doing is reaching God; but people
witnessed you in the prayer and they are praising you. This is extremely
forbidden in all religions and this is regarded as the extremely most hated act
in the eyes of God. Pakistan
I'll give you an example: I give you an envelope and I say, 'There are 100 pounds in the envelope'. I make this announcement in front of everyone and you are very happy. You go home and open the envelope -when you open the envelope, there is nothing. Now you are really upset because everybody knows I was giving you 100 pounds, but you never received it. In the eyes of people, I gave you 100 pounds but you never received it. And if I kept doing it five times a day, every single day, you can understand how upset God would be!
In a similar way, people fast and observe lent. Now, most Muslims think fasting in the holy month of Ramadan is to keep off food and drink, starve for 12-14 hours. But, the Prophet of Islam, Prophet Mohammad said, 'If you are fasting but your fasting turns out to be an act of showing off to others, then you are in trouble'.
We have to examine and determine how does fasting and worship become an act of a showing off and it doesn’t reach God? There were times when interpretation of the words of God and the words of the Prophets and Messengers was explained by the Sufi Masters and learned ones, but for the past few centuries now, there is no understanding of what God is saying.
They are confined to physical performance of the worship, but the core of worship is the spiritual acquisition. They have forgotten the soul of worship, which obviously is spirituality. It is with the help of spirituality that every act of a man reaches God. And without that spiritual connection, no matter how hard you are worshipping God, no matter how long you starve, if this doesn’t reach God, then all sorts of worship and rituals will become an act of showing off. Any worship that doesn’t reach God, but people see it, is a show-off. Why is it a show-off? Because it is a lie. You worshipped, it didn’t reach God but people witnessed you in worship and they are praising you for this.
But, today people have no time to think over this issue. They are just fasting, nothing else. This is not one or two cases today: a majority of people do not want to know whether what they are doing should reach God. They are not in the business of making sure that what they are doing should reach God. It’s like there is a burden and they just want to get rid of this burden by going to the mosque five times a day or by fasting for 30 days. And there is corruption in this: they want to make sure it’s not always 30 days, rather they want it to be 28-29 days. This is why there is a problem with sighting of the Moon. When they want to start the month, they miss one day - so now there are 29 days in the month. And when it is the end of the month, they celebrate a day early, so it is 28 days. This is all corruption. People think God is a fool; honestly, God is not a fool. God is very clever.
In Islam, Judaism and Christianity, God is determined, at least he says so, that he will forgive every other type of sin for except one sin. That one sin that he doesn't want to forgive and he gets really offended by it: that sin is finding a partner with him. In other words, to believe or to perceive that there is somebody else who is equivalent of God.
This kind of belief and perception in the eyes of God is unforgivable; God is not going to forgive it. He said that he would forgive all other types of sins and there are thousands of examples where it is clearly evident that he forgave people who had burden of sins. However, this tiny little sin, that you thought there could be somebody who is equivalent of God, is not forgivable in the eyes of God. The entire building of the Muslim faith is founded in this belief: do not find a partner with God. Which means, 'Do not even perceive that there can be an equivalent of God. There is nobody like God'. It is the same for Christianity and Judaism, because these three religions are the Abrahamic Faiths and come from the same source.
It’s interesting to know that the most detestable, the most ignitable sin in the eyes of God is to commit Shirk, which is to think of somebody as an equivalent of God. If somebody does this, God is not going to forgive him. It is a very sensitive matter to go and worship - either in a mosque, synagogue or a church - but not being able to send it to God. If you perform worship, but you are not able to send it to God, then this in the eyes of God is form of Shirk. Religious people have to be very vigilant, alert and attentive. But people don’t care these days. I don’t see any chances of Muslims verbally saying, 'There is somebody like God', they will never say it. However, when they are fasting and performing Salat and they are not able to send it to God, this is what they are doing!
If you do not know how to drive a car, you better not drive it; because if you drive it, you will screw yourself and the car. I may say to you, 'If you are not a driver, do not drive this car.' Because the chances are, if you do not know driving, you can kill yourself, you can kill others and you can destroy the car. When we say to Muslims, 'Hold on, before you think of fasting or worshipping, make sure your heart is involved in this worship; otherwise you will screw yourself. Such a fasting and prayer which cannot reach God is like paving your way into hellfire', they say, ‘Ah, look at this Mushrik! He is saying "Do not pray, do not fast"! He is Kafir!’ They are very efficient in issuing Fatwas of Kufr. All the bad acts and deeds that you can find in a book, you will see them in today’s Muslim: backbiting, slandering, corruption, cheating God, cheating the Prophet, cheating mothers, cheating husbands, cheating wives, cheating daughters, cheating sons, cheating everybody, cheating themselves! And still they are Momineen (Believers)?
They say, 'A friend in need is a friend indeed'. If you befriend somebody, make sure this relationship is based on sincerity. If you befriend somebody and that relationship between two friends is not based on sincerity and you cheat each other, then that is not friendship; that is concealed enmity.
In a similar way, today, when these Muslims are fasting and they are going to the mosque for prayers, this is Salat and this is Soum, but it is concealed Shirk. Forget about God, even your wife wants you to be sincere with her. When you are married to a woman, that woman wants to make sure that you do not even look at any other woman. What do you think God would think? Do you think God is a fool, that he doesn’t want sincerity from you? You want God to be on your side in all odds, in adversity. At the time of need you call upon God, like God is just on hold! Muslims pray and say, 'Oh God help me'. What do you mean, 'God help me?' Is God on hold for you? [They say], 'No, God said, "Ask me, I will help"'. This is a general practice in our country and in all other countries where Islam is practiced: they pray for 10 minutes, and then after 10 minutes, they raise their hands towards God, towards the sky. You worshipped for 10 minutes and after that, your list of demands lasts for 30 minutes!
Sincerity is the backbone of your worship. But the problem is: people do not know what sincerity is.
To be sincere with men is different from being sincere to God. You see, our relationship with God is different than it is with our fellowmen. If I wanted to be sincere with you, I would make sure that when you are in need, I help you out and I do help you out of no hidden agenda. For example, thinking, 'I can help him today; maybe tomorrow in return he will help me'. So help somebody without this desire of being helped in return; help for the sake of helping others. This I understand is a form of sincerity. But, we strictly follow the law of 'if you scratch my back I will scratch yours'.
So the lesson that we learned today is that any form of worship should not be confined to showing it off only. If you are doing something, make sure what you're doing for God should reach God. And if it doesn't reach God, then it will become an act of showing off.
Danger: when you are performing a form of worship, whether it is invocation, fasting, reading the Holy Scriptures – Bible, Torah, Talmud, Psalms of David, Quran – or any form of worship, if that worship does not reach God but people have seen you worshipping, then that act will become an act of showing off. And that act of showing off, in the eyes of God, is equal to committing Shirk, which is unforgivable. Now, just imagine how sensitive this matter is and how attentive, alert and vigilant one has to be when it comes to performing worship. You can’t take it really lightly, like, ‘Okay, it’s time from prayer, let’s go’, and do it without making sure it’s reaching God. But how many people in religions today think, 'Oh, this is really something sensitive. I want to make sure what I am doing should reach God, because if it doesn’t reach God I will be in trouble'? You are worshipping God, thinking there would be 70 female virgins waiting for you in paradise; but your worship didn’t take you there and you will end up in hellfire.
To summarise: the concealed form of Shirk is to worship God on public display, but not to display your worship to God.
His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi’s doctrine that Jesus is God, he comes from the Unseen World and he has his own kingdom is so appealing because no other prophet - if you believe Jesus is a prophet - could do what Jesus did. People couldn't see anything, they were blind; Jesus just touched them and they were able to see. People who couldn’t walk, Jesus just touched them and they were able to walk. And he was making a bird with clay, he breathed into it, it became alive and flew in the air. No other prophet had the ability or the divine, spiritual calibre to do it. Only Jesus did it. Why is it so? Because Jesus is a special prophet? No. Jesus is not a special prophet; Mohammad is a special prophet. But why did Jesus do it then? Because Jesus is God.
Christians are very strict about this theory of one God. But why then do people worship Mother Mary? According to the religious belief system, you can only worship God. But, if you worship somebody, aren’t you indirectly believing that it’s God? It’s contradicting if you worship Mother Mary. From the core of our heart, we respect Mother Mary. Even according to the Quran she is the best woman in the entire Universe and she was elevated above all women. We really respect Mother Mary, but we don’t personally believe she is God; we believe Jesus is God. We have to call spade a spade. Jesus is God. Some people simply say Jesus is Lord, but I find it really blasphemous if we confine Jesus to be Lord.
Q: What does God say about fasting?
According to a Hadith, 'If you perform Salat for a show-off, it is Shirk and if you keep a fast for a show-off, it is shirk'. Now, how does Salat become a show-off?
When you perform Salat and it does not reach God but people see it, it is a show-off.
Prophet Mohammad said, 'There is no Salat without the presence of heart'.
If your heart is empty of God's light (Noor), Salat will not reach God and God will not see it.
God says that He does not look at your bodies and your deeds, He rather looks at the enlightened hearts and pure intentions.
Roza (fasting) is kept to purify Nafs. When you don't eat food and drink no liquid, you keep off Naar (negative energy), but at the same time, you need Noor (positive energy) to fill the gap created by fasting. If there is no Noor inside to fill the gap, then Shaitan enters the body. And your Roza is wasted and it does not reach God. However, when Noor is created inside the heart and Nafs, it is Noor that sends Roza to God.
According to Quran, and of course according to Bible, God prescribed fasting on believers for one reason: and that is to purify them. It is a path of purification. The question is: if fasting itself will purify human beings, then we shouldn’t eat at all? To refrain from all sorts of foods and liquids for a certain period of time is just one external aspect of very sophisticated sense of purification. The thorough purification, however, is not based on starvation. To starve is not completely purifying yourself. We have to know how it works.
The religions do not speak on this subject, only spirituality does. And whose spirituality? His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi’s spirituality. No other spiritual person went into such lengthy details the way His Divine Eminence has. It’s very systematic and very spiritually mathematical, what actually happens when you refrain from foods for a prescribed duration of time.
There are two types of energy, positive energy and negative energy.
Most people, when their stomach is empty, they feel very low and very humble. Some people are raging when they are hungry, some people are really angry when hungry; but most people are very humble, down-to-earth, they feel very lowly. However as soon as they eat, they start jumping and singing. I have seen it. When I am hungry I am quiet. But once I have eaten, then I starts singing Qasidas and this and that, because the Nafs (Self) is happy. This is very important to understand: when we eat, only negative energy is created by our body. The energy which the food creates in our body, however, is vital to sustain life; but at the same time it is negative.
The whole purpose of fasting is to replace that negative energy with positive energy. Now, how do we do that? Negative energy is physical, positive energy is spiritual. When we eat food, negative energy is created. And when our souls worship God, positive energy is created. Now, just think about a man who doesn’t know the entire regime of fasting: that person is fasting and he is not consuming any food, which means he is not creating any negative energy. However, he doesn’t know that this negative energy is to be replaced by positive energy and he doesn’t know how to produce positive energy. He is naïve, he doesn't have this knowledge. His souls are dormant, not awakened and not involved in any type of spiritual worship. So negative energy comes to a halt for 14-16 hours, and in that duration, it is not replaced by positive energy. So what happens is, as long as you're not eating, negative energy is not created. However, when you eat after 16 hours, you produce negative energy. In your mind, you think you're doing something good; but nothing is happening.
Now the benefits of fasting can only be reaped once you have become a spiritual man and your souls are able to perform internal, spiritual, worship. Because the positive energy is only created when the souls are in worship; the worship of the body is nothing but a physical exercise. By performing physical worship, you do not create positive energy. For positive energy to be created, the souls must be activated.
So what happens is, people who are alien to spirituality, however they have this religiosity in their nature, being naïve of the knowledge, they go on to keep a fast. They refrain from food for 13-16 hours. In that time, they do not create negative energy which is created by consuming food. However, there are so many other holes through which the negative energy keeps barging into their body.
It is not just food, there are so many other things as well that you must stop doing while you are fasting. For example, hurting somebody emotionally or physically – if you are harming somebody, verbally or physically, you are producing negative energy. If you are thinking badly about people, you are consuming negative energy. If you're being dishonest, you are creating negative energy. If you are not good to people, you are creating negative energy. For example, you are fasting - you are not eating any food. So, you have shut one window. However, if you are watching a nude movie, what is the point? The window is shut but the door is open! You are not deterring the negative energy; you have changed the source of negative energy. We are not producing negative energy by eating food but we are producing it by doing something extraordinarily bad.
This is what people need to understand. But they will think about it when they are sincere with the Lord and when they are sincere in purifying themselves. The thing is: people do not have the intent of purifying themselves; they're just doing it as part of rituals. They're not interested; they're just doing it for the sake of doing it. Maybe they're doing it because they think, 'Oh, we've done it. Now we will escape the torment of the grave and the torment of hellfire. We will be sent straight to heaven where 70 virgin damsels are waiting'.
So the purpose of fasting is to purify yourself. For example, if your clothes are dirty and you put them in the washing machine, but there is a lot of water and no soap, what will happen? Some of the really stubborn spots on your clothes will not just go away by putting it in water; you need some kind of detergent. In a similar way, when you to purify yourself, you want to replace the negative energy with positive energy. What are people doing? They're shutting down a door on negative energy, but they're not replacing it with positive energy. When it is not replaced with positive energy, you do not reach purification.
It is like an ill person who is just seeing the doctor, just taking the medicine, but he doesn’t want to know if the medicine is healing him up. Generally, if we have a problem, we see the doctor and the doctor prescribes medicine for us; if that medicine doesn’t work for us, then we complain to the doctor. We say, 'This is not working for me, give me something else'. Why do we say that? Because the medicine is not working for us and we want to heal. We know that if we're going to see a doctor, we're going there for a purpose and that purpose is healing.
Have you ever seen a person who goes to the doctor, takes the medicine, and when the medicine doesn't work, he says 'I don’t care. I'm just concerned about taking the medicine, I don’t care if I die'? This is silly: we don’t see such things in this world. In a similar way, fasting, Salat and all other different types of worship is to arrive at a result; if you are not arriving at a result, then it's useless.
For example, you are working somewhere for 12 hours a day, but you don't get paid. You'll do it for a day or two and then you'll say, 'If you're not paying me, I'm not going to work'. But when it comes to the religions, you're going to the mosque, temples, churches, etc but you are not reaching the goal: you are not acquiring spirituality and purification. Then you should think at least twice: why should you do it? You're just wasting your time.
Q: What is the reason behind His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi coming from
why not another country like Australia,
England or ? America
You see, the problem is, the last Adam who was the most eminent one, his progeny is confined to that area. His progeny is there and these people can potentially be more in terms of understanding and in terms of being recipient of the spiritual benefits. Because all the prophets and messengers, including Jesus came from that side. No prophet came to
USA, Africa, or Europe. All these messengers and prophets came to this
particular piece of land: Iraq,
and the other side of the
Arab peninsula; only this area. This area is where most progeny of the eminent
Adam live. Jerusalem, Israel
I can give you an example: why are we selling so many dishes of Nihari and Biryani in this area? Because most people here are Pakistanis. If you are selling Nihari in an area where nobody knows Nihari, you won't sell anything. People in
America, England, , they come from different
Adam so their understanding of the religion is different. Australia
Even the original Christians do not come from Europe, they come from
. The way they
respect Jesus is different; they almost worship Jesus. The type of love they
have for Jesus is amazing. However, with due respect to all other communities
in the world, if Americans, Australians, New Zealanders and Britons see their
behaviour and love for Jesus, they say, 'Oh, it is a personality cult. They're
crazy, they're insane'. To them it appears to be insanity and for them [the
original Christians], it is love. They love Jesus to a degree where they cannot
see anybody else next to Jesus. But in these areas, they have very calculated
belief systems, very calculated emotions, and very calculated love. You cannot
love somebody mathematically. You do not measure the intensity of love. Jerusalem
The reason why HDE Gohar Shahi appeared in that area is because the mission of HDE Gohar Shahi is reaching the world through these people. However, HDE has been everywhere: to
America, Canada, Europe
- all over the world. But all other nations took it really lightly. 'Oh yes,
HDE Gohar Shahi came to our church. It was a wonderful speech, we believe what
He said.' And that’s it. But people from this area [where HDE Gohar Shahi has
come], they say, 'Alright, this is my life; this is what I'm going to do all my
life'. In other words, their dedication is more trustworthy. They're more
But this type of emotion and dedication is very volatile as well at the same time. If it is mistaken, then it turns into fanaticism and extremism. You see a lot of idiots marching on the road and carrying out arson attacks and suicide bombing. Why? Because they're walking on the path of fire. If you take one wrong step from dedication, you fall into the ditch of extremism and fanaticism. There should be intensity in love, but intensity in love does not mean harming other. You can love your Lord to any degree, to any extent; as long as it does not harm anybody, as long as you do not offend anybody. It should be between you and your Lord. You can go to all lengths in love, you can keep no boundaries in love. As long as you do not harm, disgrace, disrespect or offend anybody. However, when you take one step wrong and you say, 'No, I want everybody to love God the way I do', then this is fanaticism.
HDE Gohar Shahi teaches us the right path: love your Lord to any degree and extent but let others do what they want. And love is a medicine. When love enters the heart, the heart is purified. And when it is purified you do not hold enmity for anybody.
You do not hate anybody, you do not harm anybody, you do not hurt anybody. You do not dislike anybody. But when there is devil in your heart, then you have this compulsion, 'No, I want everybody to become Muslim. If they don't want to convert into Islam, I will kill them'. This is insanity; this is not Islam, this is not humanity, this is not God's word. This is fabrication and an act of stupidity. Stupid is one whom God has deprived of intellect. And all these people have lost their minds. Live and let live; if you want to love God, do it! But don't impose it on others. Let them do what they want to do.
Q: Why did God create man to worship him? Weren't the angels enough to worship him?
According to Quran, the body of Adam Safi Allah was being shaped in the paradise. The angels said to God, 'Why are you creating Adam again? This Adam will create mischief on earth and bloodshed'. And then they said, 'Are we not enough to worship you?' God said, 'You do not know what kind of Adam am I now creating'.
If you pray physically or if the angels pray and they glorify God, it doesn't really please God in the way that it pleasure comes to him when a human heart articulates with his name. If a man is caressing another man's thighs, he won't feel anything good. But if a woman is doing it, he will feel a lot better.
There are all sorts of creatures that God has created to glorify him and they are in all realms that God has created. However the pleasure and ecstasy that God really has is when a human heart articulates in his commemoration. The ecstasy that God enjoys comes from a human heart. God designed his pleasure in the heart to worship him.
The angels do in their own capacity glorify him; but God doesn’t care. Because there is no enjoyment: 1-angels, they don’t have Nafs. When a man with his heart remembers God, he is doing so having neglected the evil nature of his Nafs and having barred himself from so many hurdles. After abridging between good and bad and crossing over so many potential hurdles, and then succeeding to remember God in his heart, obviously it will earn God's favour. These angels don’t have to make an effort because they do not have any evil nature. They don't have any negativity in them; if they remember God, God thinks, 'This is not a big deal because it is easy for them'. If somebody who has a devil touch in them and even then they control their evil nature, they succeed over their evil nature and then they develop love for God and worship God, this earns God's favour and this is what God wants.