Love for Awlia-e-Allah (Friends of Allah)
Being the sublimest of all man-felt affections, spiritual love caters for an infinite adoration of each and every man befriending God, and to detest His friends, is too paradoxical an approach. His love ought to engender love for mankind: otherwise, one’s spiritual advancement breathes immaturity.
In Surah V, ayah 35 of the Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says:
Translation: “O ye who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him, and strive with might and main in His Cause: That ye may prosper”.
In another place, in Surah X, ayah 62-64 of the Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says
Translation: “Behold! Verily on the friends of God there is no fear, nor shall they grieve. Those who believe and (constantly) guard against evil, for them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter”.
Placed at the high level of spirituality, Babuji (R.A) instructed his sons to seek company of the faithful friends of Allah whose hearts are untainted and are mirrors of the “ Sublime Truth” (Haq). Help from those nearer to Allah is a help from Allah and seek it. Recite (the following) in times of distress:
Translation: “Seek a guide in the world who will show thee the path with his purity so that thou may become one of the followers of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)”.
That will lead you to the path of union and would make thee a mirror of Allah’s face. Don’t leave the doorsteps of His friends. He alone is the real Helper. He has created media between Himself and His people so that they don’t go astray, and are able to reach Him. Hazrat Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A) also remarked about the Ulama’s status and the spiritual fruit it bears to its followers. The statement deriving its source from the Divine Philosophy expressed in the Quranic verses of “Surah Al-Nisa”.
Hazrat Babuji had feelings of special veneration for Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (R.A), author of the world renowned Mathnavi. This found expression in the frequent use of verses from the Mathnavi in his daily sama session. He also made a number of visits to Konya, the Maulana's last resting place in Turkey, to offer personal respects at his shrine.
In one of his letters dated 24.10.1948 from Madina Munawwara to Ismail Sethi, Babuji (R.A) while expressing his heart felt desire to befriend God’s friends prayed that May Allah grant him an opportunity in his life to visit the shrine of Maulana Jalal-ud-Din Rumi (Konya Sharif- Turkey). Despite being just a physical attendance, it would be a great blessing for an unsuccessful person, as Babuji (R.A) thought of himself; and hoped that Allah would not turn even that physical attendance before His friends without reward, howsoever sinful the person might be. About himself Babuji (R.A) said that he loved the righteous persons although he did not consider himself as one of them but hoped that Allah might forgive him on this score:
Befriending holy people is an act of spiritual enlightenment. It’s just like gathering soft and delicate flowers whose sweet fragrance lingers onto remind the gatherer that he had touched a thing unique. Such is the nature of the Ulama.
In his letters to his sons, Babuji (R.A) advised Elder Lalajee Pir Syed Ghulam Muinuddin Shah Gilani (R.A) and Lalajee Pir Syed Shah Abdul Haq Gilani to befriend Allah’s friends.
"Their hearts are purified and are the mirrors of Haq.
Help from these persons is a help from Haq.
If seeking help from friends of Allah was not permissible, the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) would not have said that if your camel has become violent, recite: ‘Help me, O’ Slaves of Allah’.
As they have followed the path of self-negation and have annihilated themselves, their ears, eyes and hands have become His.
The Slaves of God are tolerant and kind-hearted.
They have acquired the characteristics of God in properly settling matters.
They are benevolent and helpers in times of difficulties and hardships”.
Hazrat Babuji (R.A) held feelings of special reverence for Hazrat Ghaus-e-Azam of Baghdad, Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti (R.A) of Ajmer Sharif, Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (R.A), Hazrat Baba Farid Ganj Shakar (R.A), and Hazrat Daata Ganj Bakhsh (Ali Hajveri) of Lahore. His special devotion for Syedna Ghaus-e-Azam (R.A) prompted him to pay several visits to Baghdad during his life time. The shrine and langar (free kitchen) at Golra are named after Syedna Ghaus-e-Azam as a token of this very special spiritual relationship.
Out of his many visits to Iraq Sharif, Babuji (R.A) once narrated the events of his journey in Iraq in the company of Hazrat Syed Ahmad bin Syed Mahdar-ul-Atas Al-Madni and other fellow Sangees in the year 1957. It so happened that on their way to Karbala, the driver of Babuji’s (R.A) car named Mr. Nahi lost his way. Babuji (R.A) along with Madni Sahib and some others were in the same car, while the rest of the other companions who were in some other car had left earlier. The day was extremely hot and they had no water with them to beat the summer heat. Madni Sahib who was a diabetic patient needed water, and thus arose a serious problem.
Babuji (R.A) was greatly worried about Madni Sahib. Not trace of any correct route in the desert whatsoever was visible, and this heightened their anxiety, adding to the worries. At this moment Babuji (R.A) asked his companions to recite:
Translation: “On, righteous servants of Allah, help us”.
All carried out the recitation. All of sudden Babuji (R.A) saw a light acting as their guide in the front screen. Babuji (R.A) asked the driver to move in the direction of that light. He proceeded accordingly. Having covered a few yards, they met a man at a distance from whom the inquired about the route. He directed them in a direction different from which the driver already followed.
As they proceeded, they met a police party who advised them to proceed in the previous direction which they had taken up earlier and about which the light of the Divine had guided them. Following it, they reached the proper road. One of Babuji’s companions sitting at the back seat too had seen that light.
This also comes from Babuji (R.A): “In Baghdad Sharif an ‘Abdaal’ remains on permanent duty at the shrine of Hazrat Ghaus-e-Azam (R.A)”. Someone had given Babuji (R.A) the description of that Abdal on the condition that Babuji (R.A) would not reveal his name or the Abdal would get annoyed. “I saw that Abdal but he slipped away from the back side”. Babuji (R.A) met him the next time and gave him some money. He again disappeared. “There is a mosque where Abdaals meet at night. Someone even heard their voices but could not see them.”
At the shrine of Hazrat Ghaus-e-Azam (R.A), instrumental music can’t be sounded. Despite the fact that it is not allowed to play music there, Babuji (R.A) was once specially permitted to have the Sitar played while Mahboob Qawwal recited the verses. Apart from being a descendant of Hazrat Ghaus-e-Azam (R.A), it was a recognition of Babuji’s (R.A) love for Hazrat Ghaus-e-Azam (R.A). Some other devotees were also present with him at that time.
In Baghdad Sharif, Mehfil-e-Qawwali without musical instruments was held daily at the guesthouse of Naqeeb-ul-Ashraf Syed Yusaf Al Gilani where Hazrat Babuji (R.A) along with his companions used to stay. He too liked it much. On the last day of their stay the verses specially chosen were those expressing deep pangs of separation. As these were recited everyone present there wept bitterly.
On the ship, some of the Europeans too attended Mehfil-e-Sama. Despite their failure to comprehend the language or grasp its syntax, they all greatly appreciated it. Trance-like experience overtook even those passengers.
As parts of extensions of visits to Baghdad, Hazrat Babuji and the group accompanying him would also visit the Holy shrine of such luminaries as Syedna Ali (R.A) at Najf-e-Ashraf; Syedna Imam Hussain (R.A) at Karbala; Syedna Imam Abu Hanifa (Imam-e-Azam) at Baghdad; Syedna Imam Musa Kazmi and Imam Abu Javad at Kazemain near Baghdad; and Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi; Hazrat Sirri Saqti; Hazrat Maruf Kirkhi; apostle Yusha (A.S); Shaikh Shahabuddin Suharwardi and Bahlol the Sage, all in Baghdad. He also used to go to Basra for visiting tombs of other Awlia-e-Allah.
Babuji (R.A) was a great admirer of Hazrat Rumi and regarded Hazrat Maulana Rumi (R.A) as: “a sign from the signs of Allah”, “a complete and perfect manifestation”, “annihilated in Divine unity” and " a diver into the ocean and Divine mysteries".
In Konya Sharif an advocate named Mr. Tahir met Babuji (R.A) along with Madame Sara Okcu. Babuji (R.A) remarked: “you are very fortunate as you are residing under the patronage of Hazrat Maulana Rumi who remembered Allah all through his life and is now being remembered in return”. The statement being a hint at the Quranic verse stating: “remember Allah so that thou may be remembered”.
Rumi’s heart was an abode of Allah. Allah speaks thus; “I can’t be contained in earth or heavens save in the heart of Momin. Rumi’s heart was pure, therefore, a “place fit” for, as well as a continuous source of enlightenment for all those who sought after the light of Truth and Beauty in the universe. Rumi was a revelation of that divine truth. Rumi had that relationship with Allah, which a man ought to aspire for. He wrote his works in that state of mind; therefore, his works have an influence on all. Regular study of Mathnavi of Maulana would provide light and guidance to humanity and create bonds of everlasting love and fraternity, thus pointing out at the fact that only he who is perfect can guide others.
Babuji (R.A) felt himself indebted to Hazrat Rumi and hence loved all those who were devotees of Rumi or were even residents of that area. Babuji (R.A) once wrote to Madame Sara Okcu of Konya in reply to her letter: “Love never gets old nor does it fade away or die. But it is essential that it should be directed towards right path. Love of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) who is like a moon ever shining never to disappear, be kept in mind always, and Darud Sharif be presented to him. He alone should be kept in vision always”. For there is a saying of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) that each person on the Day of Judgment will be assigned to a group whom he loved. Those loving him will fall to the Holy grouping,
Translation: "Man (On the day of judgment) will be in the company of him whom he loves".
Babuji (R.A) often used to recite the verses written at the entrance to the Mausoleum of Maulana Rumi (R.A):
Translation: “This place is the Kaabah of lovers. Whosoever imperfect visits this becomes perfect”.
Letter to Madame Sara Okcu, dated 1964
"Physically I breathe here but intuitively (mentally) I am always at the Mazar Sharif (Mausoleum) of Maulana Rumi (R.A). May God bring an early occasion when we can go to Konya Sharif and pay our respects at the doorsteps of Hazrat Maulana (R.A). Since I am indebted to Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (R.A) for his spiritual benevolence, I naturally entertain love and regard for those who are devoted to him. His neighbours, the residents of his sacred land of peace and tranquility are too dear to my heart. Hazrat Maulana’s holy work, Masnavi Sharif is a light, and guidance to humanity, regular perusal of which paves the way to spiritual relation and mutual love."