Thursday, July 20, 2017

Spiritual Guidance


Khawaja Syed Muinuddin used to ponder for hours together over the ugly scenes of the ghastly massacre in Khorasan which he had been witnessing with great pain for several years ever since his younger days. With these tragic impressions his interest in worldly life and pleasures was diminishing fast. Inwardly he was very much worried and longed to be away from such a mad world if he could manage to see a way out.

One day (in 556 AD), he came across a 'Majzoob' (a divine person constantly engrossed in communion with God) in the person of one Sheikh Ibrahim Qandozi who happened to come to his orchard. The young Khawaja Syed Muinuddin was watering the plants at that time. Immediately he saw the dervish, he welcomed him enthusiastically and after kissing his hands reverently made him sit down under a shady tree. He then brought a bunch of fresh grapes and requested the holy man to eat it. The request was complied with. The divine seemed to admire the manners and this gesture of the young Khawaja's hospitality and at once perceived, by his intuitive powers, that his host was inwardly worried and upset, had a spark of divine love in his heart and was an ardent seeker after Truth. Over whelmed by the pleasure of this understanding the dervish brought out a bit of 'Khul' (the substance left after the oil was extracted from the sesame seed or Til - some historians say it was a piece of bread) from his wallet and after chewing it put it in the mouth of Khawaja Muinuddin. No sooner had he eaten it, than the veil of all worldly imagination was lifted from his mind and he found himself in quite a strange world radiating with 'divine manifestation.' When Khawaja Muinuddin recovered from this extraordinary experience, he found that Sheikh Ibrahim Qandozi had gone.

This strange spiritual experience, which laid the foundation of Khawaja Syed Muinuddin's divine career, would look like a queer fable from the Arabian Nights to the present world engrossed in materialism. But it is neither a fable nor a dream because such miracles have happened with the spiritualists or Sufi dervishes or Rishis and Munis of the highest order in the East. And they do happen even today if one is lucky enough to come across any 'real' divine (who prefers to live in perpetual obscurity away from all worldly gaze to avoid interruption in his devotional career). Such miracles are amply supported by the old religious books or Scriptures of nearly all the leading and recognised religions of the world all of which are based on spiritualism. The people of this 20th century in which materialism overwhelmingly dominates spiritualism may ridicule and refuse to believe in such superhuman feats and may naturally demand some substantial logical or scientific proofs to support them. But such doubts can be easily dispelled by a minute study of their own respective religious Scriptures. The philosophies of Islamic Sufism and the ancient Yogic and Vedantic sciences of Hindu civilisation also help us to believe in such miracles unquestionably. In this hidden science of spiritual communion or oneness with ALLAH all logical arguments are deliberately rejected because logic and Sufism do not go hand-in-hand, which was the creed of Khawaja Syed Muinuddin and numerous other great Sufis and saints of the East. It is neither taught in our modern Universities nor can it be analysed in our scientific laboratories. It is Knowledge from God that comes to His "beloved" devotees only. 

The immediate inspiration of the above-mentioned miraculous experience with Sheikh Ibrahim Qandozi was that Khawaja Syed Muinuddin renounced the world. He lost no time in selling away his orchard and the windmill along with all his other worldly belongings and distributed every pie of the sale proceeds among the poor and the needy. He then cut off all his ties with his dear and near ones, bade them a last goodbye and left Neshapur for Bokhara, which was the seat of learning in those days in search of religious knowledge and moral education. 

A handsome youth who had renounced the world in his early teens was seen walking all alone on the Neshapur-Bokhara highway amidst jungle and animal life, without a friend without a penny in his pocket and without any present or future hope of provision for his livelihood resolutely determined to seek Truth. The ever-growing discontentment of his earlier years in spite of all his rich traditions and material possessions had suddenly changed into a perfect contentment immediately after a divine vision received through the help of a great 'Majzoob'. He seemed to be very happy with his apparently gloomy lot. At this stage, however he did not know that one day he would be one of the greatest holy saints and 'Mujaheds' of his day in the history of Islam who would turn the tables of the evil world, who would apply the balm of solace and salvation to the wounds of the afflicted humanity and who would cause downfall of the redeem the suffering of the oppressed? This youthful traveler in a friendless world was none but Khawaja Syed Muinuddin playing in the hands of Destiny for a exceedingly grand mission and amazing career dedicated to the cause of peace and happiness of mankind.

This illustrious son of Islam and dutiful servant of the oppressed humanity, had decided to go to Bokhara for his education because the famous oriental universities of Baghdad and Neshapur had suffered damage due to the ravages of continuous wars and plunder but Bokhara had still some of the best educational institutions and the learned 'Ulama' of his time.

Nothing is recorded by historians about Khawaja Syed Muinuddin's primary education but considering his noble heritage; it is safe to presume that he must have received at least his early Quranic lessons at home. One historian reports that he had learned Quran by heart at the age of 7.



While in Bokhara, Khawaja Syed Muinuddin received his education in all the oriental sciences and literature from many learned 'Ulama' of the day, prominent of whom was Maulana Hissamuddin Bokhari from whom he received his 'jubba' (cloak) and 'Dastaar-e-Fazilat' (turban of learning) the two highest academic diplomas or "robes of learning" of that time.

Having completed his education at Bokhara, Khawaja Syed Muinuddin went to Samarqand which was also a great seat of learning in those days. There too he attended many leading institutions to perfect his knowledge in Theology, Philosophy and Grammar. The years of his education in Bokhara and Samarqand are reported to be between 1150 and 1160 AD or 552 AH.

After equipping himself with all the best available education (moral and religious) which he could obtain, Khawaja Syed Muinuddin now diverted his attention to the spiritual side of his training. He now needed a 'spiritual preceptor' and decided to leave Samarqand in quest of the country towards Baghdad. On this journey he came to the town of Harwan or Haroon where one of the greatest Sufi dervishes of his time Hazrat Khawaja Syed Usman Harooni, lived. (Born 510 A.H. died 617 A.H. and buried at Mecca.) This great saint had a resounding fame which attracted scores of persons from far and near for their spiritual enlightenment and religious and moral training under him.

One day Khawaja Syed Muinuddin decided to present himself before this great saint. When he approached the saint, he kissed the ground with all due reverence and pleaded: "Sir, may I request you to enlist man as one of your humble and devoted 'mureeds' (disciples)'? Hazrat Khawaja Syed Usman at once perceived by his intuitive powers that Syed Muinuddin was the fittest candidate to join the circle of his disciples, and granted his request without hesitation.

Khawaja Syed Muinuddin says, in his own words, about his spiritual initiation "I had the honour of appearing before Hazrat Usman when many other spiritual luminaries were also present. I bowed my head in solemn reverence. Hazur Syed Usman asked me to offer 2 'rakaats' of Namaaz (prayers). I did it. He then directed me to sit facing the Kaaba (Mecca). I did it. He told me to repeat Darud Sharif (praise and blessings for the holy prophet and his family) 21 times and to say 'Subhan Allah' (ALLAH be praised) 60 times. I did it. After that he stood up took my hand in his own and looked towards the heaven saying: "Let me present you to ALLAH". After that he cut off my hair with a scissors and then put a special Tarki cap (Kolah Chahaar Tarki) on my head and asked me to sit down. He then asked me to repeat 'Surah Ikhlas' (a Quranic verse) one thousand times. I did it. He then said, "among our followers there is only one day and one night's Mujaheda (probation) hence go and do it today" Accordingly I spent one day and one night in prayers and reappeared before him. He asked me to sit down and repeat 'Surah Ikhlas' again one thousand times. I did so. "Look towards the heaven", he then asked me. When I raised my eyes towards the heaven he enquired "how far do you see?" I said, upto Arsh-e-Moalla (zenith). He then asked me "look below" . I said upto Tahtu-Sara (abyss). He then asked me to sit sown and repeat 'Surah Ikhlas' one thousand times and I did it. He then asked me " Look towards the heaven ". When I did so, he enquired "how far do you see now? " I said upto Hijaab-e-Azmat (dazzling glory of God). He then asked me "close your eyes". I did so, and, after a moment, he told me "open your eyes." I did so. Then he showed me his two fingers and enquired "what do you see through them?" I said, I see 18,000 Aalam (worlds). When he heard this, he said, "now your work is over". Then he looked towards a brick lying nearby and asked me to pick it up. When I did so. I found some deenars' (gold coins) under it. He asked me to go and distribute them among the poor and the needy which I did. I was then instructed to remain with him for some time."