Monday, 25 March 2013

The Difference between Religion and Spirituality: The First Step in Spirituality

It is not important that every spiritual person is a Saint of God. However, every Saint of God is an expert on spirituality. The path that leads one to obtain friendship of God is the path of spirituality. In the path of spirituality, the first phase is very gruesome, troublesome and austeritive. It is full of extreme hard work, mortification, purgation, purification, and enlightenment.  

Why is Spirituality so difficult?
Earlier today a man was saying to me that he was surprised how God entrapped human beings with so many negative and evil elements in life. For example, the inclusion of Latifa-e-Nafs in every human being, and then the food we eat that also adds to the amount of Naar (fire) which is actually the diet of our Nafs. Plus, the committance of sins, the four birds and on top of that, not being able to suss out what is the right step in the right direction. 

The knowledge of purification, the knowledge of spirituality, has always been restricted to some elite of the elite. When people wanted to verify it with the supposedly most authentic text on earth, the Quran, they were not able to verify it in the light of the Quran. That is a divine tragedy, a human crisis! Somehow or other, very annoyingly and ironically, it is in the nature of Muslims that anything they do not like, they want to verify it with the Quran. When they commit adultery they don’t verify it from the Quran. When they go to the casino and gamble, they do not want to see what the Quran says about it. However when something as hard as spirituality is propagated and people are invited to adopt it, they want to make sure that this knowledge is verified by the Quran and the Hadith. As a result of which, a lot of people who make all endeavours to prove to themselves that they are in extreme love with God are left deprived of the benefits and bounty of his divine culture and divine path of spirituality. 

To a certain degree the man was right; however he saw this and experienced this and said so in the light of a human being but when you look at these things being God, it’s not a big deal. When you want to sort out men from boys, you give them really hard things to do which you believe can only be done by men and the boys would fail. God’s understanding is, those who opted for the luxury of Divine love in the primordial times, no matter how hard does it become for them to become purified, mortified, and no matter what kind of sacrifice they are supposed to make in order to become purified, they will leave no stone unturned; they won’t even think about making any kind of sacrifice. 

This is what His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi has said in His book ‘The Religion of God’, ‘Those who, before the occurrence of the Primordial Day were in divine proximity and those who were in God’s love and those who were in the divine illumination, when such people are born into this world, they alone for the sake of God, leave everything. They make their abode in jungles; they go through any extreme of austerities, hardships of purgation and mortification and they reach the ultimate culmination of enlightenment. And for people who chose the luxuries of the paradise and the luxuries of this world, when this knowledge of spirituality is put forward to them, it appears to them that this is too much; they cannot handle it.’ 

I (HH Younus AlGohar) say: it depends how extreme the desire of obtaining Gods love is in your heart. The more desire you have in your heart, the more you want to make sacrifices and the more you want to get enlightened at any cost. It doesn’t matter what the price tag is saying. You want to love God and you will do what it takes you to do. This divine path has not been designed to cater the greedful needs of a man who cannot think beyond physical luxury and physical comfort. For they who understand their motive on earth is to find that missing link between their hearts and their Lord, their comfort and their peace of mind lies in finding God; nothing else gives them peace of heart. Nothing else gives them peace of mind. Nothing else comforts them. Nothing else is the desire of their hearts. Spirituality is a revival. 

What is the role of a father in the birth of his son or his daughter? Nothing; he sleeps with his wife, copulates and the rest is done by God. What exactly do you do when you become a father? Do you make any effort? I don’t think so. A mother, what is her role? She has just one role - bearing the pain. I would like to ask all these fathers in the Muslim world who use the Quran as an instrument to prove their worth and who use the Quran as an instrument to deviate their offspring from reaching God, what is their role in the birth of his son/daughter?

You have no role, but even then God said, ‘No matter if your mother or father is Kafir (infidel) or Momin (believer), do not even say a word of disapproval to them.’ Muslim fathers use it. But, just think about yourself think about your efforts, what exactly did you do? What kind of productive turmoil did you go through? It was all done by God. When God makes you a champion and you didn’t do anything, it’s not difficult. You just sleep with your wife, she gets pregnant and the child is conceived by the mother, not created. The angels do the rest. The mother bears the pain, nothing else and so for this little job, God is giving her a lot. Paradise lies under her feet. The mother is given so much respect by God, just for one reason: that she was bearing the pain of having that baby in her tummy for nine months. This is the right of a mother. 

What about the rights of God, who has actually created you? Today, when we see in the Muslim world, mothers and fathers, you just tell them, ‘I love Gohar Shahi and I want to adopt spirituality,’ before long they will say, ‘Look, you should respect me; I am your mother.’ But tell your mother, ‘Before you became my mother, I was created by God. God has more rights on me than you have. Your contribution in my creation is not more than that you bore some pain while I was created by the angels in your tummy and just for bearing that pain, you have been given so much respect. What about the rights of God who actually created me?'

When you have insufficient knowledge you will only mislead yourself and others. I see these Islamic scholars and clerics they speak on a topic of a mother and they go beyond all extremes of respect. It looks like the mother is not a mother but some kind of God. Unfortunately, we have some examples. The mother of that man who was not a very good man, he was very dishonest, at the time of Moses. One day when Moses asked God, ‘Who would live with me in paradise?’ God sent him to a butcher. Moses went there and when Moses saw that butcher, he was really disappointed and he said, ‘What happened to God? This man who is very dishonest will live with me in paradise?’ But, because God said it to Moses he had to believe. So the butcher said to him, ‘Wait until I close my shop in the evening and then we will go home.’ Moses went with him to his house. He prepared food and he fed his mother; his mother was not able to speak. Moses was seeing everything that took place. And then after he fed his mother, she murmured something. Moses asked him, ‘What is she saying?’ He said, ‘My mother is saying: O’ God, let my son live with Moses in paradise.’ He said, ‘I don’t know what happened to her, every time I feed her she says that to me.’ Then he said, ‘I am Moses.’ They tell you this story that a very dishonest man, just because his mother used to pray for him, he would become a paradise-mate of Moses. But this isn't only one incident in the entire human history, there are other stories as well. This doesn’t mean all mothers are equivalent of the mother of the butcher. The wife of the Prophet Lot, she didn't accept his religion and she used to blaspheme her husband. Her son followed her and not his father who was a prophet. Her son was obedient to her, but it would lead him to end up in the hellfire. Similarly the wife and son of Noah: the son of Noah did not follow his father; obedience to his mother would lead him into hellfire.  

So we have examples of many women in the capacity of a mother who prayed and this prayer worked for the sons. So what is the real story behind it? Some people whom God had already chosen to be close friends of the prophets and saints, this choice and selection was made in the Primordial Times. But when such souls are born into this world, because of the bad environment and society, they became bad. Then prayers of mothers start to work, but these prayers of the mother only works for those who were already chosen for this job. Mothers should also spiritualise themselves and they should also allow their daughters and sons to find their real mother and father: God.

His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi explained, ‘There are stages in spirituality. When you are not enlightened, you are under veils; you are known as Mahjoob (the one who has veils on him). Think of the famous book by Data Ali Hajweri, ‘Kashf ul Mahjoob’ (Revelation for the Beginners). And then when you are initiated into spirituality, you become Mahtoob, meaning now you are repenting. Now, when you finally reach your destination, one of two things happen, either the mirror of intellect is broken by the Theophanies of God, in that case you become Majzoob, and if nothing happens and you succeed to see God, you become Mehboob.

The first part of Spirituality is very difficult and this first part is the time when you are meant to and are supposed to purify and mortify your Self (Nafs) and purify your heart. The most difficult assignment in Spirituality is to mortify Latifa-e-Nafs. This was the first step which was the starting point when a servant is initiated into spirituality, he happens to mortify his Nafs. Many different ways were adopted by Spiritual Guides because when Nafs is purified then everything becomes smooth and easy. The most difficult part in spirituality is the purification of Nafs and when your Nafs is purified, then everything becomes easy. The Nafs creates hurdles; it is not just a hurdle in the way of God, rather the Nafs is the source of hurdles. It keeps you in the dark, in oblivion and unaware of God. It keeps you in the permanent state of oblivion. It does not allow you to know yourself.

God said, ‘One who has known his Nafs, in other words he has known God.’

If you remove the veil of Nafs from you, nothing will be left in you, which could be pointed as alien to God.

The Quran said, ‘I am behind the veils of your Nafs. Why don’t you try to see?’

Pure Love

Parents think they have all the rights on their children they are unaware of the fact that their children also have rights on them, this has become a messed up culture. Friends have rights on each other; neighbours have rights on each other. Even the religious fellowmen have rights on each other. However, the Nafs is very dominant and people only want their own rights, they don't remember the rights of their mother and father, or their wife and children. This is self-indulgence and self-love. Self-love has no place in Spirituality. 

One who loves himself cannot love God. You have to stop loving yourself; only then you can start loving somebody else. If you continue to love yourself then your love for somebody else is a lie. A lot of people claim they love somebody; they have problems because their claim is false. If their claim was true, then they would stop loving themselves. Their love in other words is infatuation. You know, the exchange of evil vibes caused them to somehow or other be attracted to each other. And when that attraction is gone, their love is gone. Or when during this love story, they have to sacrifice their self-love, then, problems are created. Whether you want to love a human being or God, the first step is to stop loving yourself. You can never love anybody until you stop loving yourself. Today whether people love a human being or they claim to love God, both of their claims are false because their Nafs, their Ego is the greatest hurdle in the way of God and in the way of love.

Majnoun (Romeo) loved Laila (Juliet) so much so that he would always be sunk in her thoughts and lost completely. One day, he was just walking on the street. Somebody was offering Salat, but he was lost in her thoughts and he walked past that person who was praying and the person got really offended; he broke his Salat and said, ‘Are you blind? Couldn’t you see I was praying?’ He said, ‘Honestly, I didn’t know. I was busy thinking about Laila and I didn’t realise you were there. But hang on, you were praying, how could you see me walking? I was busy thinking of Laila; I am in love with a human being and I was so lost in her thoughts. You are in love with God, how come you noticed I was going there?’ 

I think this is true form of love: Laila became his hypothetical Murshid (Spiritual Guide). She was giving away charity to people. She was giving away food to the needy ones. She was giving it to everybody, but when Majnoun came to her with a pot in his hands, she broke his pot and he started to dance. People said, ‘You should be crying she didn’t even recognise you, she broke your pot.’ He said, ‘No, it shows that there is a connection, a relationship between me and her. She didn’t break anyone else’s pot.’ Majnoun used to kiss the dogs of Laila’s street and when he died, he cried a lot and he said to God, ‘God I realise now that it was you that I was looking for in the mirror of Laila. Why you did not manifest to me? I have always wanted to love you.’ God said to him, ‘What you saw in Laila was nobody else but me.’ This is a true form of love.

You can see, day and night people say 'I love you', 'I miss you' but they don't really love you they love themselves. You will not love a sincere love until you stop loving yourself. This is self-love which is portrayed as pure love; it is sensual carnal love. It has nothing to do with love. Love is pure and it has to do with the heart. 

In the first phase of S, the Nafs has to be purified. Without mortification of Nafs you are not going to achieve any target, any goal in spirituality. 

His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi said, 'No words of the Quran, Bible, or any other books sent by God; no Divine Word or Noor (Divine Light/Energy) will stay in your body if your Nafs is Ammarah (The Commanding Self).' 

When your Nafs is in this state, your body is like a ripped off pocket. If your pocket is ripped, anything you keep in that pocket will be lost. 

It doesn’t matter how much Noor you have; any amount of Noor which has stayed in you is enough for you. 

This is why HDE Gohar Shahi said, ‘If you have even a tiny spark of Noor in your heart, Imam Mehdi will save you because with that little spark of Noor, you will be spotted by Imam Mehdi.’

If we are a rescue team and we want to rescue the needy ones, for us to help them they must be seen. People who are stranded on islands and remote places, what do they do? They write something on the beaches and they throw flares so that they can be seen. If they cannot be seen if they are not visible the rescue team will not come for their help. In a similar way, Imam Mehdi and God want to rescue all, but the point is: how well do we know we can be visible? We do not know anything. However, Imam Mehdi Gohar Shahi Himself said if you want to be seen and rescued, the only way is to have a little amount of Noor in your heart that could stay put there because if that Noor stays put in your heart, it will make you to be spotted.

Therefore, we have to make sure the state of our Nafs is always above Ammarah, because Noor does not stay in the body if the Nafs is Ammarah. The spiritual status of the Nafs is always fluctuating depending on how we lead our life, how sinful our lifestyle is, if we do not practise and observe abstinence then the chances are our Nafs will drop down from Lawamma to Ammarah again and we won't even notice. The only way, with the help of which, you can notice your Nafs has dropped down to Ammarah again is when you feel happiness by harming, teasing and pestering others, and when you are involved in backbiting, and slandering understand that your Nafs is Ammarah. 

Those who want to be rescued and helped by Imam Mehdi must have Noor (even if it is a tiny spark) in their hearts, for Imam Mehdi is the Ball of Noor and attracts only those who possess Noor in them.

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