Piety is infact aim of life and provision of the hereafter. Piety is base of perfect faith and heritage of Saints. Piety is Allah’s favour upon umma. Piety is a will of Allah. It is an elevated spiritual station. In fact, believer remains imperfect without piety as it a purification of soul, medium to gain blessings of Divine vision and key to His ultimate closeness and gnosis. Its literal meaning is ‘shield’, thus it saves one from dangers and harms. Whereas in sharia, piety is to avoid oneself from every act and thought which brings torment of Allah. Moreover, piety means to follow that path which blesses one with happiness of Allah.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman define ‘piety’ in these words:-
“Literally, piety means to have fear of Allah, abstain from sins and adopt pious deeds but in reality, piety is a state of the inward’s closeness to Allah. The more a person’s inward is close to Allah the more he will be pious. The Hadith endorses a fact that once someone asked the Prophet about piety, he pointed towards his heart and said, “Piety is here”. Therefore, piety is an inner state of a person, which ultimately leads to have the vision of Allah.
Alphabets of Piety
There are four alphabets in Taqwa i.e. piety تقویٰ (ت، ق، و، ی) . ت (TA) indicates toward Tawhid that is One of Allah i.e. to reject everything other than Allah. But this only possible with the greatest name of Allah. ق (Q) means to culminate and purify innerself, which is merely possible through the beneficence of perfect spiritual guide. و (WA) refers to the steps by steps journey towards Oneness. ی (YA) means invocation of یاھو Ya’ Hoo which is medium to gain Divine love and gnosis. Therefore, these words are not meaningless. Hence, piety is a provision of next word for the seeker of Allah.
Oneness of Allah
In this world of multiplicity, there is Oneness everywhere. Oneness is the ultimate station of faith. Oneness is not the single station rather is like a creeping plant which has infinite stations in it. Therefore, believers travels on this path step by step. Although it is upto a believer that how much he waters this creeping plant with Divine love, gnosis and piety. In fact, it a journey from verification by tongue to verification by inward which makes one to dive in the deep ocean of closeness of Allah.
Alphabets of Oneness
There are five alphabets in Tawhid توحید i.e. Oneness. ت (TA) means Taqwa i.e. piety. In fact, when one adopts piety, he becomes aware of the secret of Oneness. و (WA) represent wahdat-ul-wajud i.e. Oneness of Being. Infact, one reaches at the ultimate level of gnosis. ح (HA) represent hamiyyat-e-Khudawandi i.e. will of God. It means one become aware of all the secrets of all the worlds by the will of Allah. ی (YA) refers to unveiling of the reality of YaHoot i.e. realm of First Manifestation. د (DA) refers to renounce the world and follow the slogan of “Everything is lust other than Allah”.
Piety and Oneness of Allah
In fact, annihilation and immortality with Allah is the path of piety and Oneness. Actually, piety and Oneness are reciprocal to each other. On one side, one cannot disclose the secret of Oneness without adopting piety, whereas on other side, Oneness is base of piety. More the seeker is perfect in piety, the more he will be aware of Oneness of Allah. Similarly, more the seeker discloses the reality of Oneness, the more he will become pious. Hence, piety and Oneness are the strength of believer.
Piety and Oneness in Quran
There are numerous verses which reinforces the importance of piety. Quran narrates on many occasions, connection between piety and Oneness. As Allah says in Quran:
مُنِیۡبِیۡنَ اِلَیۡہِ وَ اتَّقُوۡہُ وَ اَقِیۡمُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ لَا تَکُوۡنُوۡا مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۳۱﴾
Meaning: Have your mind set in turning towards Him alone in repentance and remorse and fear Him and establish Prayer and be not of the polytheists. (Ar-Rum:31)
Above-mentioned verse shows that Allah has instructed to adopt piety and Oneness together. Allah say:
Meaning: O believers! Fear Allah as it is due to fear Him. And death should approach you only in a state when you are Muslims. (Aal-Imran)
Again, in this verse, Allah has ordered to follow the path of piety and when one dies, his soul must testifies Oneness of Allah. Such is the soul of Muslim.
Allah has ordered in Quran to find His closeness, gnosis, Oneness but only those can understand these instructions who are men of piety. As Allah says in Quran:
وَ اِنَّہٗ لَتَذۡکِرَۃٌ لِّلۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿۴۸﴾
Meaning: So no doubt this (Qur’an) is direction and guidance for the pious. (Al-Haqqah:48)
Pillars of Islam and Piety and Oneness of Allah
In fact, Oneness and piety are the reality of faith. Therefore, all five pillars have piety and Oneness in them.
Islamic creed is proof that one cannot enter Islam without believing in Oneness of Allah. Usman ibn Affan relates a tradition that Prophet Mohammad said: “I know a word which no one says, sincerely from the inward, but he will be forbidden to the fire.”
Umar ibn Khattab said to him: “It is the word of al-ikhlas by means of which Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, caused Prophet Mohammad and his Companions to prevail. It is the word of piety that the Prophet urged his Uncle Abu Talib to say when he was dying, the testimony that there is no god but Allah.” (Musnad Ahmed ibn Hambal:447)
Ibn Kathir writes: “The word of piety is referred to Islamic creed لَآ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰہ. Oneness is antonym of polytheism.” Hence, the one who lacks piety, he cannot reach to the station of Oneness no matter he is a man of devotion and hard mystic exercises. Moreover, the one who does not reach to the Oneness of Allah, he is not a believer. The greatest sin in front of Allah is polytheism as Allah says in Quran:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَغۡفِرُ اَنۡ یُّشۡرَکَ بِہٖ وَ یَغۡفِرُ مَا دُوۡنَ ذٰلِکَ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ ۚ وَ مَنۡ یُّشۡرِکۡ بِاللّٰہِ فَقَدِ افۡتَرٰۤی اِثۡمًا عَظِیۡمًا ﴿۴۸﴾
Meaning: Surely, Allah does not forgive setting up of partners with Him, and He forgives (any other sin) lesser in degree for whom He wills. And whoever sets up partners with Allah certainly fabricates a horrible sin. (An-Nisa:48)
Thence, one cannot unveil the reality of Islamic creed if he does not forbid himself from polytheism no matter he is a honourable scholar.
It is an important pillar of Islam. They are many verses and Hadiths, which emphasize its importance. Salat is a way to achieve station of piety. As Allah says:
اِنَّ الصَّلٰوۃَ تَنۡہٰی عَنِ الۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَ الۡمُنۡکَرِ ؕ
Meaning: Surely, prayer prohibits indecency and impiety. (Al-Ankabut:45)
Infact, to save oneself from indecency and impiety, which bring anger of Allah, is a piety.
When seeker of Allah establishes salat, he recites surah Al-Ikhlaas which is testimony of Oneness of Allah:
قُلْ ھُوَ اللّٰہُ اَحَدٌ۔اللّٰہُ الصَّمَدُ۔ لَمْ یَلِدْ وَ لَمْ یُوْ لَدْ۔ وَلَمْ یَکُنْ لَّہٗ کُفُوًا اَحَدُ
Meaning: Proclaim: ‘He is Allah, Who is the One. Allah is the Transcendent of all, the Protector and Far-Superior to all. He has not begotten any, nor is He begotten. Nor is there anyone equal to Him.
Hence, salat is a medium to gain closeness of Allah and it is Miraj of believer. However, such stations of salat are unveiled upon men of piety. If one does not have piety in his inward then only the words of Islamic creed and surah Al-Ikhlaas cannot bless him, thus his salat is dejected. Every act performed without piety is useless. Infact, piety is seed of Divine love and Oneness is fruit of Divine love.
سجدۂ عشق ہو تو عبادت میں مزہ آتا ہے
خالی سجدوں میں تو دنیا ہی بسا کرتی ہے
Explanation: Prostration full of Divine love is a real pleasure for inward. Where prostration, which lacks Divine love is full of materialistic world.
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا کُتِبَ عَلَیۡکُمُ الصِّیَامُ کَمَا کُتِبَ عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِکُمۡ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸۳﴾ۙ
Meaning: O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you as for the people before you so that you may become pious. (Al-Baqarah:183)
This verse clarifies that the purpose behind fasts is to achieve piety. Infact, fasting blesses seeker of Allah with piety and Oneness of Allah as He says: Fasting is for Me, and I Myself is its reward.” Thus, the piety achieved through fasting takes the seeker to the station of Divine Oneness.
It is an important devotion to be thankful to Allah. It is obligatory for every capable Muslim to pay zakat. Although Allah does not need the wealth of anyone but He judges people from their intention. As there is a Hadith
اِنَّمَا الْاَعْمَالُ بِالنِّیَّاتِ
Meaning: Actions are judged by their intentions.
Therefore, if the intention behind zakat is to gain gnosis, then surely, zakat blesses seeker with gnosis through stations of piety and Oneness of Allah. As Allah says:
خُذۡ مِنۡ اَمۡوَالِہِمۡ صَدَقَۃً تُطَہِّرُہُمۡ وَ تُزَکِّیۡہِمۡ بِہَا وَ صَلِّ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ اِنَّ صَلٰوتَکَ سَکَنٌ لَّہُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ سَمِیۡعٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۰۳﴾
Meaning: Collect alms from their wealth so that by these (alms) you may purify them (of their sins) and (by this purification of faith and riches) bestow upon them blessing and pray for them. (At-Taubah:103)
Therefore, zakat is a source of purification of innerself and thus, it is a path of piety. As Allah says:
وَ اَقِیۡمُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ اٰتُوا الزَّکٰوۃَ وَ اَطِیۡعُوا الرَّسُوۡلَ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تُرۡحَمُوۡنَ ﴿۵۶﴾
Meaning: And establish salat and (ensure) the payment of zakat and accomplish (absolute) obedience to the Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) so that you may be granted mercy. (An-Nur:56)
Undoubtedly, it is the ultimate blessing of Allah that he bestows His slave with His gnosis through piety.
It is obligatory for every Muslim who possesses strength and resources to perform it. It is a best way to gain blessings of piety and Oneness of Allah. The one who sets out for hajj, he sacrifices his wealth and love of children for Allah. He witnesses the grandeur of Allah in Kaaba. He repents on his sin and seek forgiveness from Allah. Thus, he believes that only Allah can save and bless him. In this way, he gains the blessings of piety and Oneness of Allah.
ذٰلِکَ ٭ وَ مَنۡ یُّعَظِّمۡ شَعَآئِرَ اللّٰہِ فَاِنَّہَا مِنۡ تَقۡوَی الۡقُلُوۡبِ ﴿۳۲﴾
Meaning: And whoever venerates the signs of Allah, this (veneration) is of the piety of inwards. (Al-Hajj:32)
When one sacrifices in the way of Allah, it make him remember the sacrifice of Prophet Abraham. Thus, he learns that there is nothing more worthy that the Divine Essence and His will as Allah says:
لَنۡ یَّنَالَ اللّٰہَ لُحُوۡمُہَا وَ لَا دِمَآؤُہَا وَ لٰکِنۡ یَّنَالُہُ التَّقۡوٰی مِنۡکُمۡ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ سَخَّرَہَا لَکُمۡ لِتُکَبِّرُوا اللّٰہَ عَلٰی مَا ہَدٰىکُمۡ ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ ﴿۳۷﴾
Meaning: It is neither the meat (of slaughtered animals) nor their blood that reaches Allah at all, but it is the piety that reaches Him from you. (Al-Hajj:37)
Thus, it is is evident from above-mentioned Hadiths and verses of Quran that Oneness of Allah and piety is the base and essence of every pillar of Islam. Therefore, one can say that without piety there is no faith. Even one cannot be a Muslim. Infact, he verifies Islamic creed i.e. Oneness verbally only. His inciting innerself is his god and thus he indulges himself in polytheism. Allah does not care about such a betrayed and misled, as He only judges His slaves through their inward and intentions and thus blesses them with His Oneness.
Different stations of Piety and Oneness
Levels of Piety
Syed Mohammad Zauqi Shah says:
Piety differs in different situations. Broadly speaking
It is of four levels;
- Piety of Commoner: For common people. This means dislike for heresy and polytheism.
- Piety of Pious People: It means abstaining from sins and crimes prohibited by sharia.
- Special People’s Piety: Rooting out evil whispers during prayer and worship.
- Piety of Blessed People: This means remaining absorbed in God every minute and always keeping the inward free of other-than God. (Sirr-e-Dilbaran)
Those who claim to be a true slave of Allah, they should travel from piety of commoner piety of blessed people.
Like piety, there are different ranks of Oneness of Allah. Elevated stations of piety blesses seeker with exalted stations of Oneness. Nominal Muslims perceive piety and Oneness two different things. This is only believers who know that they are interrelated and reciprocal to each other. Hence, he finds the ultimate station of Oneness through piety.
Levels of Oneness of Allah
Al-Gazali says that there are four levels of Oneness of Allah:
- First level is of those people who verifies Islamic creed verbally but infact their inwards do not believe in it.
- Second level is that one believes in Islamic creed just as a belief (he does not know its reality).
- Third level is that one witnesses Oneness of Allah by observation. He observes that He is the One Who is behind everything. This level is not like first two levels as their belief is like a knot which they have bonded (temporarily) by following others or for some other reason. Although the status of third level of Oneness is elevated but its not the final level.
- Fourth level of Oneness is its final level. There is nothing there other than Allah. The believer on this station does not look towards anything other than Allah. He annihilates himself completely. The way he does not look upon other things, similarly, he does not look towards himself. Infact, there remains nothing other than Allah. (Kimiya-e-Sa’adat)
Without achieving fourth level of Oneness, one cannot claim to be believer. Prophet Mohammad told Abû Dhar al-Ghifârî: O Abu Dhar! Be alone on earth as Allah is alone in the sky.”
Ism-e-Allah Zaat and Perfect Spiritual Guide
Need of Perfect Spiritual Guide
Like the one cannot learn outward knowledge without a teacher, similar to it, gaining esoteric knowledge is impossible without the association of the perfect spiritual guide. He is the one who is the spiritual successor and representative of Prophet Mohammad hence he is the perfect spiritual guide possessing the Divine light of guidance. He guides the seeker of Allah towards Allah. He blesses seeker with Ism-e-Allah Zaat and with his spiritual persuasion and sight he removes all the impurities from the being of the seeker making his inward pure. Seeker feels change in himself and people around him also feel change in him.
Those purified soul fears Allah, thus they prohibit themselves from wrongdoings and adopt those deeds, which bring closeness of Allah to them. Hence, they attain the state of piety. He enlightens the inward of seekers with beneficence of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. It is compulsory for the seeker to invocate and contemplate Ism-e-Allah Zaat by the permission of perfect spiritual guide.
Sultan Bahoo say:
“Whoever achieved the levels of piety, it was through the Ism-e-Allah Zaat. Ism اَللّٰہُ (AllahHoo) has four Divine names. Firstly, Ism اَللّٰہُ (AllahHoo) Itself, whose invocation is the most Gracious. When ا of اَللّٰہُ is separated, it becomes لِلّٰہُ (Lillah). The invocation of لِلّٰہُ (Lillah) is the Divine Beneficence. When first ل of لِلّٰہُ is separated, it becomes لّٰہُ (LaHoo). The invocation of لّٰہُ (LaHoo) is the Divine Blessing. When second ل of لّٰہُ is separated it becomes ھُوْ (Hoo) and invocation of ھُوْ (Hoo) is the Divine Favour. Hence, Allah says: لَآ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ھُو i.e. there is no one to be worshipped except ھُوْ (Al-Baqarah-255). Seek only Allah, everything other than Allah is lust.” (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Above-mentioned saying of Sultan Bahoo is a proof that Ism-e-Allah Zaat is a ladder to Oneness of Allah. Ism-e-Allah Zaat blesses seeker with gnosis of Hoo and discloses the reality of Islamic creed. It inculcates piety into the inwards of seeker, makes him believer, and thus blesses him with union with Allah. Hence, there remains no veil between Hoo and slave of Hoo. The souls returns to its origin in its purest form. But it is compulsory to gain Ism-e-Allah Zaat from perfect spiritual guide of Sarwari Qadri Order to achieve the station of Oneness through piety.
Present Era and blessings of Piety and Oneness
It an era of materialism. The scholars of today have misguided people. They preach to adopt piety for the sake of fear of hell. They have confined the verification of Islamic creed to tongue only i.e. verbally. Although, Oneness and piety is a complete faith and its origin. One who does not possesses piety, he cannot have Oneness of Allah and one who does not believe in Oneness of Allah, he cannot have piety. Although, they are two different things but they are present into each other. One cannot witness Oneness without piety.
Perfect Spiritual Guide of this era
In the present era, there is a man of perfection who is distributing the blessings of Oneness and piety generously. He is none other than ‘Founder of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen (Sultan of Divine lovers) Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. It is the first time in history that he blesses the devotee after oath of allegiance with Ism-e-Allah Zaat and sultan of invocation i.e. Hoo. Moreover, he blesses seekers with Ism-e-Allah Zaat even without oath of allegiance. Thus, he is putting his best possible effort to guide people towards the path of Faqr. He keeps blessing his devotees with stations of Oneness of Allah and thus blesses them with gnosis of Allah.
Book on Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen
A book has been published on Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. There is a complete chapter in that book which are testimonies of different disciples who acknowledge his grand status of perfect spiritual guide and Divine Universal Man. There is no doubt one cannot have access to any spiritual station of Oneness of Allah without his blessing and permission.
Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr invites you to gain these blessings.