There are three monotheistic, Abrahamic religions: Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Sikhism is also a monotheistic religion - Ek Onkar (‘God is one’) is their logo found on every single Sikh temple.
The oneness of God is the main theme of every religion which was founded by a Grand Messenger. The declarations of faith of Islam, Judaism and Christianity also point towards the oneness of God.
Somehow or others, followers of Judaism managed to believe some of their Messengers were either God or Sons of God; still they practised monotheism. In Christianity, the belief that Jesus is the Son of God is the main theme, although it is also known to be a monotheistic religion.
You will find more emphasis laid on the oneness of God in Islam in comparison to Judaism and Christianity, although Judaism and Christianity are monotheistic religions and it is verified by the Koran.
Yet, some of the followers from the era of Prophet Mohammad to date [revered] some of the saints of God like they were, in fact, God.
Even in Pakistan, it became common for followers of His Divine Eminence Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi to say ‘HDE Gohar Shahi is my God.’ It wasn’t a documented belief system nor was it considered to be a legitimate belief by a majority of think tanks within Anjuman Sarfaroshan-e-Islam (an organisation comprising followers of His Divine Eminence in Pakistan). However, some people continued to believe the fact that HDE Gohar Shahi is God.
On one occasion, while HDE Gohar Shahi was addressing a gathering in Pakistan, somebody stood up from the public and said, ‘I wanted to ask a question.’ HDE smiled and said, ‘Go on.’ He asked, ‘Some people in your circle say that you are God.’ How HDE replied was strange. HDE repeated the man’s words and said, ‘Are you saying some people say that I am God? Have you heard other people say, “He is a Devil”?’ The man said, ‘No.’
Then HDE explained, ‘If people say I am God, it doesn’t mean this is what I believe for myself. I never said that I am God.’
If the Divine Law says that man can be God, then we can officially adopt this practice. Since there are different types of knowledge, even in Islam, you do not know what knowledge grants you what. I have gathered from the writings of many Sufis in different books that the minimum belief a disciple must have for his Spiritual Guide is that he must consider him to be God and he must treat him likewise; otherwise, attaining spiritual grace from him is like daydreaming. This was to be adopted as an attitude, but it has never been documented.
The religious law (Sharia) is very strict in a sense that it doesn’t recognise inward faculties (Batin). Sharia will see you only as a human being; it doesn’t have any access to make an analysis of your inward faculties. Sharia is blind of spirituality, therefore no matter who you are talking about, Sharia applies one stereotype rule to all. Ask any Sharia master about calling a man God and he will say, ‘This is Shirk (appointing a partner with God).’
Ask yourself, ‘Can man be God?’ And you will say, ‘It is not possible.’
This is because we have always preserved the notion that God is almighty: he can do anything, he will not die and he doesn’t fall ill. He doesn’t need help from anybody; he doesn’t sleep or even yawn. This concept of God has been drilled into our heads [by religious scholars]. We cannot just assume a man can be God.
What caused every monotheistic religion to have this problem that some of its followers managed to call a man God? Does it simply mean these individuals who developed the notion that man can be God went astray, had lack of knowledge or purposefully became prototypes of Satan?
In Islam, I have found that Sufis who were the great preachers of the oneness of God agreed to this notion that man can be God.
They were those who were delegated by God; they had spiritual authority, backing and support from God. Still they developed this notion among their followers that man can be known as God. This boggles the mind and the question arises: how come?
We find in the Koran that God will forgive any sins but Shirk. If having a notion of man becoming God was Shirk, then why should a person [who believed man can be God] have been a Saint of God bearing divine authority and spiritual power? He should have been a sinner and have received wrathful reaction from God. [Yet this is not what happened]. Nobody has the answer to this because nobody knows the truth.
How can somebody be a Saint of God and agree to the notion that man can be God, while the Koran states God will not forgive the sin of Shirk?
It is very obvious that the physique of man has no value, therefore it cannot be God. Forget being God; your physical body cannot even be a Momin (enlightened believer). You become a Momin only when your spiritual faculties become involved in enlightenment. Your souls have the ability to absorb God’s light, [so] God can come inside your souls.
Prophet Mohammad said: ' The heart of a believer is the abode of God.’
Your heart can be a divine abode which means God will live there. It is amazing how God works behind the scenes. Now, there is a banner that man cannot be God; behind the banner there is a knowledge according to which God will manifest through a human being. Such a person becomes like a cinema screen.
Young children think the characters on the cinema screen [are real and present in that moment]. In a similar way, when a man thoroughly cleanses his heart and it is wonderfully polished, it shines like a mirror. Then, God manifests himself in the mirror of the spiritual heart. Those who will look at that heart shall see God; they will point towards that heart and say, ‘He is God.’
You become a spiritual container of God, an outfit of God. For example, the t-shirt and pants I am wearing are not me. I am inside this outfit, but it is housing me. In a similar way, God will come inside your heart.
A human being has not become God, however the souls inside that human beings have absorbed the presence of God.
If this is Shirk, then how come God [enters people’s hearts]? This is the issue today.
Wahhabis have been using this pretext that Sufis are heretics because they call their Spiritual Guides as God.
Let me remind you of a Tradition of Prophet Mohammad in which he said, ‘One who has seen me, he has only seen God.’
So if a disciple believes his Spiritual Guide to be God, do not jump to conclusions and do not declare him to be a heretic; because he is not saying that the body of his Spiritual Guide is God. He is referring to the presence of God in his heart.
The Kaaba (the black cubicle in Mecca) has no value in comparison to Prophet Mohammad, however in order to model the teachings of Islam, Prophet Mohammad circumambulated it [as part of pilgrimage]. He was going around that black cubicle; at one point the Prophet Mohammad stopped and looked at the Kaaba and said, ‘O’ Kaaba, I am aware of your significance. However, the significance of a Momin’s heart is a thousand times greater than you.’
Mevlana Rumi said, ‘If you have gained control of your heart, this is equivalent of performing Hajj-e-Akbar (The Great Pilgrimage).’ Such a heart which is enlightened and has God’s light in it, is greater than one thousand Kaabas.
This is not about every heart, but a heart of an enlightened believer. The Kaaba was erected by a friend of God (Abraham) whereas the heart is the passage of God.
Wahhabis are not aware of this Islam because the only form of the religion they are aware of is the ritualistic form of Islam. If Islam is an orange, than Sharia is the skin of an orange. The orange inside is Batin (the esoteric aspect). If you are only eating the skin of an orange, it will taste bitter to you; based on this, you will say, ‘Oranges are bitter.’ Oranges are not bitter - you need to peel it and eat the orange which is inside.
Now Wahhabis will say the above-mentioned Prophetic Traditions do not have enough authenticity. We know that because everything which reveals the existence of Batin lacks authenticity in the eyes of a Wahhabi Muslim.
The Wahhabi ideology is like a plague. It is full of hatred and based on loot and plunder. Their ideology is based on fanaticism and something worse than extremism. To a Wahhabi, all non-Wahhabi Muslims are considered to be polytheists. Abdul Wahhab Najadi gave them the authority [to kill non-Wahhabis, confiscate their properties and take their women as slaves].
Regarding himself, Prophet Mohammad said that he is light from God. [Maktoobaat Shareef Faarisee, Vol 3, p 191]
Wahhabis reject this saying. According to the Koran, you must have the light of God in your heart to be an enlightened believer. If the light of God doesn’t enter your heart, you are totally and explicitly misguided and misled in the eyes of God. Having light in the heart is a must to become a true devout believer. So how do they not consider Prophet Mohammad to be light? According to the Koran, God's light is part of God. When it comes in you, partially, God comes into your heart.
God's light is part of God and it is a must for every common follower to believe this.
‘They are devastated and destroyed, those whose hearts have become so hard that God’s name does not enter into them. And that is an explicit misguidance.’ [Koran 39:22]
Man cannot be God, but man can have God in him.
It is a must for connection with God for you to absorb God’s light in your heart and souls. If you do not manage to do it, neither do you know God nor does God know you. You only become familiar with God once you have God’s light in your heart; there is no familiarity without it. When you have it, you have some portion of God in you because God's light belongs to God and is part of God.
Can you separate an enlightened believer from God? It is his light in your heart that turns you into an enlightened believer. A true believer cannot be separated from God, let alone those individuals who become a divine mirror in which the disciples observe the splendour of God.
God can manifest his beauty and compassion upon any human being; he is not bound by any law.
He must manifest his beauty. For example, when you dress up nicely, don’t you want people to look at you? In a similar way, God wants to show himself off; otherwise nobody will know who God is and how handsome he is. He does manifest his beauty on a shiny mirror: an enlightened heart. An enlightened heart becomes so transparent that whoever comes in front of it will reflect in it, whether it is Prophet Mohammad or God.