My life revolves around spirituality. This faqir has reiterated the same thing over the years, and the subject of my discourse has not changed either. So much has been said in the past 23,725 days and 23,725 nights that now when I wish to say something, the same impressions that I have already communicated to you before, appear on my mind. Hence, when I now feel like writing on any subject or making a speech, it occurs to me that the topic has already been covered.
With the help of God, I have tried every method as per my capabilities to explain spiritual knowledge. I am grateful that you have all appreciated my efforts but I am also well aware that when experience and realisation become a part of students' life, they begin to expect more from their master.
Dear friends, everyone desires to lead a happy, healthy, and a troublefree life and receives the same advice from everyone they encounter - "Be happy". We all come empty handed into this world and bid farewell to it with nothing in our hands. No one is born wearing clothes, and likewise, when one dies, the clothing on their corpses is cut with scissors to perform final rituals. People have no power over life, yet they consider themselves independent. They believe that one cannot be happy unless they become rulers of their own lives. But if they were independent, then why are they unhappy? In truth, the person who asks others to be happy, is also sad themselves.
Nothing in life attains finality unless two units merge. A person who desires happiness will gravitate towards unhappiness too, and vice versa. Therefore, defining something as being happy or unhappy is merely word play. The truth is, an individual is neither aware of happiness nor unhappiness.
The basic need of life is water which is present everywhere. Similarly, to shelter oneself from heat and cold, it is a pre-requisite to have land for a house to be built upon, and we are all witness to the fact that the creation of the land exists beforehand.
As the fundamental needs of life exist post death and prior to one's birth, this proves that the resources that are present now, will continue to exist even after one's demise. We become apprehensive in our search for the acquisition of resources, which leads to unhappiness. Unhappiness is equivalent to an injustice that we inflict upon ourselves, as the necessities to sustain life are provided by God to every individual, no matter whether they wish for it or not.
My friends, it is worth musing that the crop of wheat would not grow, and a grain of rice would not tum into a seed if God had not spread out the earth. Would it be possible to meet food requirements without sunlight? Had there not been birds and animals, we would have no meat and milk.
An aadmi (man) should also reflect upon the machinery within them. Do they play any part in keeping it functional? They want supremacy over others. This desire, however, only comes up when the internal mechanisms of their bodies are effective - that is, their hearts continue to throb, their intestines and kidneys remain active, their brains receive signals to fuel their nervous systems, their eyes see and their eyeballs remain in motion, and images reflect onto their minds in the blink of an eye. This reflection of images on the mind is a process for the dissemination of information.
One should also muse that we would not be able to see if we had insight but no eyes. In the same way, without a heart, movement will vanish from our sight.
The process of creatures arriving on Earth has not yet discontinued. The caravan has begun its journey from Aalam-e-Arwah (the realm of spirits) and it has to travel through this world. Therefore, resources have been arranged here for the caravan's stay. The purpose of this journey is the realisation of God but on the contrary, people have confined themselves to the resources, and this is nothing but ignorance. One can only live happily if resources are considered as mere mediums to fulfil one's needs. In contrast, if people overvalue resources to the extent that they devalue their own worth, they become overwhelmed by unhappiness. Similarly, the alternation between happiness and sadness is due to our expectations from those who are helpless and in need of resources themselves. What can such a person give to others?
Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) was a reputable cloth merchant. His personal secretary once informed him, "Sir, your ship has sunk in the sea and we have suffered a huge loss".
Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) paused for a few seconds and then said, "O' God! Thank you".
After a few days, news arrived that the ship that had sunk was not his.
"Your ship reached its destination, and has earned a huge profit," the secretary informed happily.
Imam Sahib (RA) replied, "O' God! Thank you!"
The secretary asked curiously, "Sir, may I know why it is you thanked God when you were informed that your ship had sunk?"
Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) replied, "When you brought me news of the sunken ship, I looked into my heart and found not a trace of happiness or sadness. Rather it said, 'It all belonged to God.' Later, when you informed me that the ship had not sunk, my heart reaffirmed the same. The profit I have received is by the Will of God. I thanked God because He is the One who gives, and He is the One who takes back. When I found myself in harmony with the will of God, I thanked Him."
It is unwise for a man of 50 years to be upset over turning 51, as he does not contemplate his past, how he was born and nourished, and how God took care of all his needs from his birth till then. He had never been left hungry or deprived of clothing, he got married, had kids and then grandkids, and reached 50. He has a livelihood and his kids enjoy all the resources to have a good life. Why do such thoughts not occur to him? It is because aadmi is entrapped in the shell of their ego. They think about future, but never ponder upon the days gone by.
From a spiritual perspective, life - whether it is of human beings, planets, the Sun, Moon, trees, or of anything else, is nothing but a record of the Past. As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says,
"Do not inveigh against time, for Time is God."
The above saying of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gives us insight into the fact that the whole universe is in relation with God. For God is the Creator, the Owner, and the Provider who has made it mandatory upon Himself to grant provisions to all beings.
What is life? Is it present, past, or future?
While contemplating this question, one does not find the existence of the present or future time, because every moment is being recorded, and scenes that are recorded are called the past. Then what is the present and future? It is the division of the recorded time which we refer to as the past.
One is apprehensive about how tomorrow will unfold. But the truth is, tomorrow does not exist. We attribute to the coming day as tomorrow, but do not pay attention to the fact that every day after the sunset becomes the past.
Life is based on movement that has been taking place since time immemorial. The system of the universe would come to a halt if movement ceased to exist. Those who are aware of the knowledge of movement know that what is deemed as present and future, are the impressions of the past. One with this knowledge is appointed vicegerent, and as a result, everything in the universe submits to them through the Will of God. Since vicegerents are aware of their role in the universe, fear and grief disappear from their lives.
Example: We formulate a plan for 30 years. To materialise this plan, the span of 30 years is divided into six stages. In other words, the plan which was devised 30 years ago, is finally implemented in six steps. So, the efforts aimed at materialising the plan are in fact the act of rejuvenating or breathing life into the images of the past.
When nations sever ties with their past, and do not attempt to fix themselves by following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they are erased from the surface of the earth. On the other hand, the nations who remain in touch with their past, and adapt to the great acts of their forefathers, attain zenith. Therefore, a person who wants to be happy, should revert to their past on a daily basis and count the blessings of God in their lives. If they let go of expectations from people and make efforts by reposing trust in God, they will manage to break free from the grip of limitations. Such people are sheltered into a limitless expanse of life where there is neither fear nor grief.
Happiness is a natural phenomenon whereas unhappiness is contrary to it. An unhappy man moves away from their intrinsic nature, while a happy person is a world within themselves. This is why people are fond of them.
Dear readers, profound thinking over the course of life makes it evident that life traverses on the belt of ghaib and zahir (disappearance and appearance). When an individual appears in this realm, they disappear from the realm they have come from i.e. their birth in one realm is their death in the previous one. Every manifestation goes through the same Divine law.
When the sun sets, every new day (though it is not new) goes back into the ghaib and with the rising of sun, another day dawns. In short, the course of life and death indicates that the person appears once, and disappears twice to manifest from one moment or place to another. This is how 50 years of a man alternates between the process of ghaib (disappearance) and zahir (appearance).
"Lo! we are God's and Lo! unto Him we are returning." (Quran, 2:156)
If transition between two moments does not take place after birth, it would not be possible to determine one's age. Therefore, to answer what life is, people of wisdom give us insight into the mechanism of birth, how it is simply a manifestation of ghaib and zahir, and how God has blessed Insan (humans) with the knowledge of it.
Dear readers, please muse over the formulae of birth.
Where were individual prior to their birth? We call that place ghaib.
All creatures were in the realm of ghaib before coming into this realm,
i.e. they appeared from ghaib, and will eventually disappear into it. God, the most Beneficent and Merciful says,
"Thereof We created you, and thereunto we return you and thence We bring you forth a second time."
May God protect you,
Every one drinks water on a daily basis, but does not contemplate what water is; what is in it that quenches thirst? How is water obtained? Is it from a well, stream or a river?
A common person does not think about such things. They simply drink water when they are thirsty. But the one who is blessed with Nisbat-e-Ishq (association with love) looks for signs of God within water and ponders over the fact that water is created by God. As they delve deeper into contemplating water, all the resources involved in it, such as the sea, clouds, and snow melting from the mountains appear before their eyes.
- Book: Sharah Loh-o-Qalam
KHWAJA SHAMS-UD-DIN AZEEMI
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