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                       Dimensions of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Metaphysics*

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etaphysics means “beyond physics”. It is a Greek term very well suited to express what lies beyond physics. Physics in its original sense means ‘science of nature’ which covers the entire domain of nature. Metaphysics is the study of that which lies beyond nature. Metaphysics is “the knowledge of Universal” or “the knowledge of principles belonging to the universal order”. Its unlimitedness makes it indefinable. Metaphysical knowledge is attained by virtue of intellectual intuition which leads to the identity of knowledge and being. Western metaphysics, on the other hand, has a constricted view for it relies solely on reason and cannot surpass Being to reach Beyond-Being. This essential limitation of Western metaphysics has been mainly responsible for the product of ‘pseudo theories of knowledge’ which act as counterfeit to real knowledge. The Western systems as such do not envisage the possibility of metaphysical realization which is the crowning achievement of true metaphysics.

The metaphysics of Khawaja Farid is deeply steeped in the Eastern tradition and is free from the limitations of Western metaphysics. It envisages the Absolute as the Essence (al-ahadiyah) and as the Divinity (al-wahidiyah). The Absolute or the Supreme Reality is absolute and infinite. The Absolute in its absoluteness is beyond human knowledge. It is only at the stage of self-manifestation that it is known. The possibility of relativity arises in the Absolute in reference to


*     Reproduced from the author’s book: Dimensions of Khawaja Farid’s Metaphysics, Seraiki Adbi Board, Multan, Pakistan, 1998.

the metaphysical infinity envisaged in its relationship with universal Possibility. The supreme and incomparable Unity (al-­ahidiyah) is indivisible and is the object of Divine Knowledge alone whereas Unity (al-wahidiyah) appears in its universal aspects and is known as Uniqueness. There is “the Indivisible One-and-Only” but “the One-and-Only” is the “One-and-All”. This is the predominant theme of Khawaja Farid’s metaphysics which permeates his entire thought.

The cosmos is theophany and acts as Divine Mirror. It does not confront God as the ‘other’. It provides a symbolic opening to reach the Reality which lies hidden behind the cosmic manifestation. The Reality is hiddenly manifest in the form of cosmos. The cosmos can be likened to an unpolished mirror whereas man can be understood as polished mirror wherein are manifested all the aspects of existence. Perfect man is a perfect polished mirror. “Know thyself” is the royal road to the Absolute.

The Absolute as the Essence (al-ahadiyah) and as the Divinity (al-wahidiyah) is formulated in terms of the Unity of Essence and the Unity of Manyness respectively for which the word One is used. There is nothing outside the Absolute. Tawhid expresses this fundamental truth in the form of Shahadah : La Ilaha llla ‘Lah Muhammadur Rasulu’ Llah which is ordinarily understood as “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God”. However, from the inward, esoteric and intellectual point of view the Shahadah means: “There is no divinity (or reality, or absolute) outside the only Divinity (or Reality or Absolute)” and “Muhammad is the Envoy (the mouthpiece, the intermediary, the manifestation, the symbol) of the Divinity.” The entire Shahadah demonstrates that “God alone is and all things are attached to God”. In other words, the Absolute is the Real and all relative is attached to the Absolute.

Tawhid essentially leads to the doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud). Being coincides with the Real and there is nothing other than the Real. No degree of Reality stands autonomous “apart from the Absolute Reality”. The essential nature of reality is the original and ultimate mutuality in oneness. There is no distinction between the Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) and Oneness of Perception (wahdat al-shuhud) since both are one in the undifferentiated Reality. The doctrine of Oneness of Being has nothing to do with pantheism, which essentially implies a substantial continuity between God and the Universe. It fails to perceive that the whole Reality is more than the sum of its parts or aspects. The doctrine of Oneness of Being simply teaches “the essential identification of the manifested order with its ontological Principle” which is different form “their substantial identity and continuity”. The truth of the matter is that God absolutely transcends even the category of substance.

The metaphysics of Love embraces both divine and human dimensions. Divine Love is the cause of the creation or manifestation of the universe. It is the animating force of the self-manifestation of the Absolute. The Divine Essence assumes the form of the personal Divinity, which makes love possible. Man’s love of God is his commitment to inwardness. Metaphysics of love embraces three fundamental aspects: “man’s love of God, God’s love of man and the reciprocity or identity”. The “adoring soul is the only possible bridge to Spirit”.

The Supreme Principle is both absolute and infinite and from the latter arises Perfection, Beauty. “Beauty is essentially a deployment”. It is the manifestation of the Primordial Beauty. God alone is Beauty. Every beauty partake its beautifulness from God. There is no profane beauty. The soul has insatiable love, desire and yearning for Divine Beauty. Ugliness has no self-subsistent reality. It is a relative nothingness which obstructs the manifestation of Divine Beauty by creating disequilibrium “but is beauty in its totality”.

The Supreme Reality by being Infinite expresses potentiality and thereby coincides with All-Possibility giving rise to Universal Radiation. The Supreme Principle is the ‘Sovereign God’ for every good manifests its essential nature. “God alone is the Good but He is also the Source of all goodness”. The problem of evil arises due to the reality of universal Manifestation. Evil has no subsistent reality. It is a privation having no autonomous reality. It is a privation having no being in itself. The evil of remoteness is not absolute. By process of cosmic cycles the evil of remoteness is brought back to the initial Good.

The Absolute Light or the Primordial Light is indefinable. Only Light can perceive itself. “None knows God but God.” It is the essential nature of the Absolute or Light to manifest Itself and it is by virtue of this essentially that the cosmos comes into existence, which is the shadow of the Absolute. It is on account of this that the principle of relative lights emerges from the Absolute. Light is identified with Being and becomes knowable through existence and knowledge. Man is the shadow of the Absolute and “it is this shadow which becomes transparent and luminous by virtue of the unveiled presence of the Spirit or Light in him”.

The Absolute is Freedom Itself and envisaged as universal Possibility is Unlimited. Freedom belongs to both Beyond-Being or Non-Being and Being. At the level of Essence, there is absolute freedom for there is no constraint or limit. At the level of Being, which is the principle of manifestation, there is relative freedom. The totality of freedom demands constraint or limit for sole limitlessness shall itself become a limit. Freedom in itself has no opposite but its manifestation in the form of a given freedom necessitates the possibility of constraint or limit. However, this constraint or limit is surpassed and ultimately the being becomes absolutely “one” at the level of Pure Freedom. Predestination and freedom are linked to the reality of Necessity and Possibility and it is an error to deny either predestination or freedom.

The essence of metaphysics is Knowledge Itself. Metaphysical knowledge by dint of intellectual intuition is even more immediate than sensory intuition. It is intuitive, immediate and intellectual as opposed to the ordinary knowledge, which is discursive, mediate and rational. Metaphysical knowledge leads to the identity of knowledge and being by realizing “union and deliverance”.

The metaphysics of Khawaja Farid is not merely theoretical but has corresponding means of realization. The triplicity of ordinary knowledge, love and action manifest the necessary milestones in the way of Self-realization but it is not the total realization itself. The realization of the human self has to be distinguished from the ultimate realization of the Self. The former realization is bound to the structure of the ‘servant’ (‘abd) and the ‘Lord’ (Rabb) and any identity in state of mystic experience is temporary. “It is impossible for the realities to change, so the servant is a servant and the Lord a Lord; the Real is the Real and the creature a creature”. However, by virtue of the Spirit which inheres in man but is not his, he can with the Grace of the Lord, surpass the axis ‘servant-Lord’ and realize the absolute ‘Self’. Such realization is effected from the starting point of the Self than that of the servant. This is the secret of Mansur al-Hallaj’s assertion ‘ana’l-Haqq, I am the Truth! The Self withdrew from the “servant-Lord polarity” and came to “reside in its own transpersonal being”. It is the transcendence of pure intellect or Spirit which is identical with the Divine Essence that provides an answer to such enigmatic utterances.

Realization is the Path for the fallen man who wishes to return towards the primordial state. “He cannot attain realization unless his attachment to the chain (as-­silsilah) is effected by means of covenant (‘ahd) in the hands of the Spiritual Master who in turn transmits the reality of Being, truth and love, union or happiness”. The novice learns to discern between the real and the unreal and then concentrates on the real. He passes through many states and stations and finally attains unison with the Beloved. In this entire journey, the Spiritual Master also acts as the “doctor of soul” or therapist. This station achieved by the soul (nafs) is the highest and no man can go beyond it. It is what is understood by mystic realization. However, the possibility of total or metaphysical realization takes place from the side of the Spirit, which leads to “the Supreme Identity”. It is the realization of the Sacred Knowledge Itself. Such Self-realization completely transforms the specific human overlay wherein double reflection fana (extinction) is baqa (subsistence) and baqa (subsistence) is fana (extinction).

                    The Quintessence of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Metaphysics*

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he metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid is essentially the doctrine of Oneness of Being and its total realization. It is totally committed to the idea expressed in the following Holy Tradition “I was a hidden treasure and I desired (ahabatu loved) to be known. Accordingly, I created the creatures and thereby made Myself known to them. And they did come to know Me”. Here, one sees the original emergence of the principle of differentiation within the Reality. The Reality loved to see His own Essence in “another” so that His own mystery could be revealed to Him. Nature acted as a Divine Mirror but it was an “unpolished mirror” and thereby the mirror of the cosmos required “Adam who was the very principle of reflection for that mirror and the spirit of that form”. The perfect man is “the perfectly polished mirror that perfectly reflects the divine light” and by virtue of which the Reality sees Himself perfectly. Muhammad was the most perfect mirror in this context. It is this underlying cosmic purpose which made God address-the Prophet in these words: “If thou wet not, I would not have created the heavens”.

Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) has both the doctrinal and the aspect of realisation. The doctrine envisages the idea that the Supreme Reality is both absolute and infinite. The absolute as a fundamental aspect of the Real “allows of no augmentation or diminution, or of no repetition or division: it is therefore that which is solely itself and totally itself”. The


*      Reproduced from the author’s book: Dimensions of Khawaja Farid’s Metaphysics, Saraiki Adbi Board, Multan, 1998.

infinite as another fundamental aspect of the Real is limitless for it is not determined by any limiting factor. “It does not end at any boundary.” The true Infinite understood in an absolute and universal sense is the metaphysical “Whole” which can in no way be limited. There is nothing outside it for then it would no longer be the “Whole”. Unlike the ordinary whole, which is the sum of its parts, the metaphysical “Whole” is “without parts” for “these parts of necessity being relative and relative have no existence from its point of view”.

The true Infinite or the metaphysical “Whole” under a certain aspect is understood as “universal Possibility.” There are no “distinctive” or “multiple” aspects existing really in the infinite, it is our limited, determinate and individual conception which makes us conceive like that. The limitation comes from the human side to make the Infinite expressible. The imperfections of a definite and conditioned existence must not be transferred “to the unlimited domain of universal Possibility itself.” Keeping in view these reservations, we can say that the Infinite is both active and passive and in the instant case “Possibility is its passive aspect”. Thus, both Being and Beyond-Being contain the whole of Possibility and can be identified with the Infinite accordingly.

A true understanding of the metaphysical Infinite-envisaged in its relationship with universal Possibility is essential for appreciating the doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud). There is nothing outside the Absolute or God. Neither there was nor there anything beside Him. To affirm the existence of something that is beside Him is to ascribe a partner to God and this is what is exactly meant by polytheism. “God was and nothing with Him and He is now such as He was”. If there is nothing beside Him then how one can account for the cosmos and man? Both cosmos and man do not reside beside Him. “Since nothing can be opposed to God---for it would be another “divinity” (ilah)--every reality can only be a reflection of the Divine Reality”. It leads to the relationships of Transcendence (tanzih) and Immanence (tashbih). The first is “connected more to the aspect of Absoluteness, and the second to that of Infinitude. According to the first relationship, God alone is the Reality or He is the sole Reality. The perspective of Immanence which is the second relationship accepts this axiom but concludes in a participative way. By recognizing the essential nature of things it reabsorbs them into God. Transcendence nullifies creaturely qualities but the perspective of Immanence on the contrary makes them divine”. Thus, symbolism (tashbih) complements tanzih.

The metaphysical idea that there is nothing beside God is instrumental in revealing the quintessence of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s metaphysics. Ordinary understanding erroneously considers Nature as static and an independent reality which is a mass of pure materiality occupying a void. It makes the universe confront God as His “other”, with space intervening between Him and it. Essentially, the same understanding is prevalent in its concept of man who is considered beside Him. Such an understanding creates obstacles in the way of appreciating the metaphysical truth of Oneness of Being or “the Supreme Identity”. From the metaphysical point of view, the Self alone is Real and the Nature or the not-self does not confront Him as the “other”. The universe does not stand in ­opposition to Him. He “can afford to dispense with all the worlds”. Nature has no self-subsistent reality. It “is a fleeting moment in the life of God”.

The cosmos including man is theophany. Perpetual creation or “new creation” is the perpetual manifestation of the Absolute. It repeats “the same eternal process of annihilation and re-creation”. The “ontological descent” coincides with the “ontological ascent”. “It is the archetypal reality of things, which helps in maintaining their unity and identity. All things perish except the “Face of God”, which is the Archetype of all reality and existence. There is no thing which has any basis for independent subsistence (qiwam) in itself. The eternally unchanging Substance or Reality underlies all accidents.”

The sensible world or phenomena with its “materialization” and solidification is not real for it has no Being (wujud). The world is not-self, imagination and dream. It is neither autonomous nor independent of the Absolute Reality. “The whole world of existence is imagination within imagination”. The world is not vain, groundless and false but is “a symbolic representation of the Reality”. It is a dream but not a sheer illusion. It is dream having a metaphysical basis. Thus, reality is not a subjective illusion or figment of imagination but is an “objective illusion” or “cosmic imagination.” It “is an unreality standing on a firm ontological basis”.

Oneness of Being or “the Supreme Identity” is the principle of “nonduality”. The coincidence of the “ontological descent and the “ontological ascent” or the simultaneity of “annihilation” and “recreation” leaves no room for anything to exist beside the Absolute. Both “descent” and “ascent” or annihilation and recreation, retain their meaning in the universal doctrine of nonduality.

What is the true meaning of the assertion that “Nature is only a fleeting moment in the life of God”? Does it imply the obliteration of a particular manifestation at a particular moment of time or it points toward the ontological ascent? From the metaphysical point of view, the assertion in question speaks of the ontological ascent for there is nothing outside God where this “fleeting moment” could vanish. Moreover, no purpose is served if the manifestation as such vanishes. We may recall the metaphysical truth that the Reality loves to see His own Essence in the mirror and this is possible by virtue of reflection. In other words, this establishes the process of ontological descent and ontological ascent. The following verse of the Qur’an essentially contains this metaphysical truth: “Surely to God we belong, and surely to Him we return” (2: 156). It is a verse which unfolds the higher meaning contained in the metaphysical notion of “perpetual creation” or “new creation.” The return of manifestation in the above quoted Qur’anic verse is termed (‘rajuh). It refers to the return in two senses: either it is a return in the same state or it is an enriched return to the source. All creation, except man, returns in the same state whereas man has the possibility of an impoverished or an enriched return to the Source. This possibility of freedom in the manifestation when it takes the form of man is understandable for it is a higher manifestation arising from the Freedom itself. The ontological ascent is essentially the route or the straight path by which the higher manifestation returns to its Origin. The straight path understood as normative is essentially a descriptive path totally in accordance with the nature of Reality. Now, deflection or turning of this manifestation from the straight course is known as limitedness, imperfection, hatred, ugliness, evil, darkness and ignorance and it has to pass through many cosmic cycles before returning to the Fountainhead for there is no meaning of an impoverished return to the Source. The return of higher manifestation in higher form “enriches” the Divine Consciousness. And it is here that the purpose of God in creating man is fully realized. Didn’t God create man for his total servitude? The metaphysical meaning of servitude is identical with the notion of ontological ascent for in this attitude which is symbolized by the posture of prostration; the manifestation reflects and does not deflect. Muhammad perfectly reflected the manifestation and perfectly enriched Divine Consciousness.

The metaphysics of Shahadah further spells out the meaning contained in the doctrine of Oneness of Being. The first Shahadah (La ilaha illa’Llah) is: “There is no divinity (or reality, or Absolute)”. The expression ilah (divinity) can be given every positive meaning for “transposing in divinis”; there is no love outside the only Love; there is no beauty outside the only Beauty; there is no good outside the only Good; there is no light outside the only Light; there is no freedom outside the only Freedom and there is no knowledge outside the only Knowledge. The second Shahadah (Muhammadun Rasulu ‘Llah) is: “Muhammad (the “Glorified”, the Perfect) is the Envoy (the mouthpiece) the intermediary, the manifestation, the symbol) of the Divinity”. In the second Shahadah, the expression ‘ilah’ stands for the Divinity and it can also be given every positive meaning for manifestation in the cosmos. “Muhammad, the Perfect, symbolizes the archetype of all reality and existence.” In the light of second Shahadah, one can say that love is the manifestation of the Love; beauty is the manifestation of the Beauty; good is the manifestation of the Good; light is the manifestation of the Light; freedom is the manifestation of the Freedom and knowledge is manifestation of the Knowledge.

The Supreme Reality is absolute, and that being absolute it is infinite. If the Supreme Reality is Infinite, Perfect, Love, Beauty, Good, Light, Freedom and Knowledge, then from where arises the limit, imperfection, hatred, ugliness, evil, darkness, constraint and ignorance. From the metaphysical point of view, the answer to this question is three fold. First, “the true Infinite is “without parts” for the concept of parts implies relativity and finiteness, which further imply a common measure and relationship with it whereas from the point of view of the Infinite they have no existence. No thing or being is a part of the Infinite”. In reference to the Infinite “the finite is always strictly nil.” There is no question “of a multiplicity of aspects existing really and “distinctively” within it.” The Infinite is inexpressible and in order to become expressible it has to take a determinate form. However, in our definite and conditioned existence “it is we who in fact conceive of the Infinite under this aspect or that, because we cannot do otherwise”. This general rule is equally applicable to all negative entities. They cannot be considered as parts of the Infinite “for the very use of the word “part” implies a definite relationship with the “whole” which is against the very idea of the Infinite.” Second, the limit, imperfection, hatred, ugliness, evil, darkness ignorance and constraint arise as a consequence of universal Manifestation, which is necessitated by the Infinite that is All-Possibility. It gives rise to communication, radiation and relativity resulting in differentiation, contrast and privation. It is essential to distinguish between--the Infinite, the Perfect, the Love, the Beauty, the Good, the Light, the Freedom, the Knowledge, and their manifestations. The Infinite, the Perfect, the Love, the Beauty, the Good, the Light, the Freedom and the Knowledge in themselves do not have their opposites, “but once each is reflected in the manifested order, it appears in a particular form and this particularism necessitates the possibility of a given opposite.” “The Infinite is inexpressible and in order to become expressible it is bound to limit itself and, thus take a determinate form.” Likewise, the Perfection appears in the form of a given perfection, which implies the possibility of a given imperfection; the Love appears in the form of a given love, which implies the possibility of a given hatred; the Beauty appears in the form of a given beauty, which implies the possibility of a given ugliness; the Good appears in the form of a given good, which implies the possibility of a given evil; the Light appears in the form of a given light, which implies the possibility of a given darkness; the Freedom appears in the form of a given freedom, which implies the possibility of a given constraint; the Knowledge appears in the form of a given knowledge, which implies the possibility of a given ignorance. All of them--in a relative sense--can be produced only in a world of contrasts. Third, the limit, imperfection, hatred, ugliness, evil, darkness, constraint and ignorance are merely privations for they have no being in themselves. They are essentially devoid of being. From the metaphysica1 point of view, limit is the absence of the Infinite; imperfection is the absence of the Perfect; hatred is the absence of the Love; ugliness is the absence of the Beauty; evil is the absence of the Good; darkness is the absence of the Light; constraint is the absence of the Freedom and ignorance is the absence of the Knowledge. However, “they have the positive function of highlighting their counterparts a contrario.” They are definitely important for those who undergo or witness them but from the metaphysical perspective of the total Universe and the ranging cosmic cycles, they are merely fleeting accidents. “The remoteness of each from its primordial source is not absolute and thus each is brought back to the original Source.” The absence alluded to is not absolute. Rather, it is the passive Presence through which absence is perceived. It is through the Presence of the Infinite, the Love, the Beauty, the Good, the Light, the Freedom and the Knowledge that one can perceive limit, imperfection, hatred, ugliness, evil, darkness, constraint and ignorance, respectively.

The doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) is not merely a doctrine but is always accompanied by an effective realization. The doctrine provides the necessary basis for such realization. When we talk of realization, we have to differentiate between individual and universal realization or mystical and metaphysical realization. The individual or mystical realization remains entirely in the individual domain for it implies “a more or less indefinite extension of purely individual possibilities. The possibilities are incomparably greater than envisaged by psychology but still they are characterized by individuality.” Universal or metaphysical realization, on the other hand, is supra-individual that leads to the identity of the means of knowledge and the knowledge itself and in which subject and object knowledge and being are identified.

The mystical or individual realisation considers love (ishq) as the highest station of the soul to which is subordinated every possible human perfection. This “love is always combined with sapience or gnosis: ilm’marafah”. The identity of the lover and the Beloved or the extinction (fana) of the soul and its subsistence (baqa) in the Beloved is the zenith point achieved within the human perspective. It is here that the way from man to God is realized and the states and stations come to fruition. It is precisely at this point that the door from God to man is opened and universal or metaphysical realization takes place. This realization of the Essence or Self is effected from the initiative of the Self than that of man. In other words, this realization “is effected from God to God through man”. It is here that the Divinity says: “I am the Truth”, “Glory to me. How great is my Majesty”.

Metaphysical realization is the realization of the sacred Knowledge itself. The goal of sacred knowledge is deliverance and union. Metaphysical knowledge, by virtue of intellectual intuition, leads to the identity of knowledge and being. Both “knowledge and being are two inseparable aspects of a single reality and cannot be distinguished where all is without duality”. Oneness of Being or “the Supreme Identity” affirms and realizes the fundamental identity of knowing and being. “And say Truth has come and illusion has vanished away: illusion is by nature ephemeral”. (Qur’an 17: 81).

                         The Uniqueness of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Metaphysics*

Metaphysics is essentially immutable and the categories of evolution and progress are not applicable to metaphysical truths. The inapplicability of “historical method” to the metaphysical order is due to the universal nature of metaphysics, which imparts absolute knowledge of the principles belonging to the universal realm. It is by virtue of intellect that the universalism of metaphysical truths is guaranteed. However, reason does play its role in the formulation of these truths thereby realizing the esoteric truth in the form of exoteric doctrine “adapted to orthodoxy, tradition or Revelation.” It serves two main purposes: First, it ensures that intellection does not deflect. Second, it builds a superstructure according to the spirit of the times.

The metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid is committed to the metaphysical continuity of the ancient and the modern world. It formulates the esoteric truths in the context of Islamic tradition by referring to the Qur’an, the Prophet and numerous Sufis including Mansur al Hallaj, Bayazid Bistami, Ibn Arabi and Fakhruddin.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s metaphysics assumes a traditional form. It formulates the metaphysical truths in the climate of the riverian people of Mithankot and Chachran and that of Rohi with its waterless sandy dunes but the message it purports to convey is universal. Such an immediate, intimate and close contact with Nature is one of


*      Reproduced from the author’s book: Dimensions of Khawaja Farid’s Metaphysics, Saraiki Adbi Board, Multan, 1998.

the unique features, which characterize his metaphysics. It provides a vast canvass for reflecting on the symbols of Reality His encounter with pure Nature helped him in safeguarding his mirror of intellect from the dust of speculation, ignorance and vanity for these variables are not conducive to reflection but instead create deflection. The “active mind” in collaboration with pre-conceived notions, limited concepts and surface thinking is bound to the chains of deflection whereas the “receptive mind” in conjunction with open notions, ultimate concepts and deeper thinking is amenable to the reality of reflection. This “receptivity of mind” makes him understand Nature as symbolic for symbols unlike signs participate in the Reality, which they purport to symbolize or express. This is precisely the reason that for him the Beloved is not hidden behind the symbol but is the symbol itself. It is “because, in principle, the Invisible or the Inexpressible becomes visible or expressible only in the language of symbolism.” Metaphysically speaking, symbols are essentially translucent and it is by virtue of this characteristic that they successfully mirror the Reality. But it requires a keen perception resembling that of Khawaja Ghulam Farid to perceive this truth.

Another unique feature of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s metaphysics is the emphasis it lays on the pivotal position of Man for it is man who raises the question of Being itself. And it is through man that the Reality wants “to see His own Essence” in perfection. It constantly makes man remember his original vocation of partial and universal realization. But it does not extol the individual at the expense of Universal for such a thing is neither possible nor desirable in metaphysics. Individualism or existentialism ties the individual to the world of finitude bereft of true transcendence. It has no inkling of the metaphysical scheme of things. It considers the world of human subjectivity as final whereas from the metaphysical point of view it is provisional. This also explains the metaphysical rejection of “humanism”….both theistic and atheistic--for it pretends “to bring everything down to purely human elements” and boasts to exclude everything of a supraindividual order. Without committing to the doctrine of Tawhid or Oneness of Being, which ensures the unity of mankind, any talk of humanism is wide off the mark. It is only on the edifice of metaphysical or universal principles that one can raise the superstructure of lasting peace, freedom and equality of the human collectivity. Iqbal’s keen eye caught certain glimpses of this message in the poetry of Khawaja Ghulam Farid, which made him observe thus:

”افسوس کہ خواجہ صاحب کی شاعری ایک علاقے تک محدود ہوکر رہ گئی۔ ان کا کلام ایک گہرے مطالعے کا محتاج ہے۔ مجھے تو اس میں بین الاقوامی حیثیت و اہمیت کے عناصر نظر آتے ہیں۔“[1]

“It is lamentable that the poetry of Khawaja Sahib has been restricted to one area. His ‘kalam’ requires an in-depth study. In it are perceptible to me, elements of international status and significance.”[2]

For us, the poetry of Khawaja Ghulam Farid not only contains elements of international status and significance but it contains a­ whole world of metaphysical principles which embrace the trio of God, man and universe and without which there can be no real light in the “dark night of the world”.

One of the distinctive features of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s metaphysics is its transformation of rational concepts into ‘existential’ categories including that of dread, despair, anguish, suffering, love, transcendence, choice, freedom and commitment. He makes an inward, passionate and existential commitment with God. It is an absolute, total and universal commitment without which both man and God remain in


[1]       Urdu Digest, “Batain Iqbal Ki” by Zia ud Din Ahmad Barni & Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum, April 1978, p. 173, quoted in Payam-i-Farid by Dr. Mehr Abdul Haqq, New Islamic Art Press, Multan, 2006, p. 20.

[2]       Translation is my own.

oblivion. He does not give any rational proofs for the existence of God. What is the significance of believing in God if there is no commitment; the relevance of adducing proofs for His existence, if there is no inward God-relationship; the meaning of prayer if there is no genuine communication; the fact of knowing Him, if there is no passion. God is existentially relevant in the situation of lived participation otherwise He is reduced to a mere concept without any existential relatedness leading to de-personalization and de­humanization of human existence. Such alienation can only be overcome when man existentially relates himself to God by opening-unto-the-Infinite. Isn’t the realization of Oneness of Being the goal of all authentic human endeavours?

The most unique feature of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s metaphysics is that it wins an independent ground for religion without any crutches of science and philosophy. Both science and philosophy belong to the domain of reason and they cannot encompass the absolute Whole or the Universal. They are relative, rational and limited whereas metaphysics is universal, intellectual and unlimited. The metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid does not subordinate itself to science and philosophy but takes us a step higher to the fountainhead of Knowledge. There gushes forth the possibility of intellectual intuition, which leads to the identity of knowing and being. It imparts metaphysical knowledge which is “universal, absolute, infinite and supreme” and what more one can expect in this Age of Uncertainty.

            Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid on The Conception of Prophethood in Islam*

Prophecy is a central subject in the Qur’an. The Qur’an highlights its various vertical and horizontal dimensions including the metaphysical, the religious, the philosophical, the historical and the socio-political. The Prophet of Islam has further elucidated the contours of this phenomenon. It is pertinent to point out that the Greeks, as such, had no idea of prophecy. The Muslim thinkers took this idea from the Qur’an, which speaks of the continuity of the Prophetic Revelation from Adam to Muhammad, and by using different methodologies presented various theories of Prophecy.

Iqbal resorts to religio-philosophical methodology in analyzing the conception of prophethood in Islam. His method is qualitatively different from that of the early Muslim philosophers who were highly influenced by the speculative method of the Greeks and it took them several centuries to realize that the spirit of the Qur’an was anti-classical. Iqbal says: “As we all know, Greek philosophy has been a great cultural force in the history of Islam. Yet a careful study of the Qur’an and the various schools of scholastic theology that arose under the inspiration of Greek thought disclose the remarkable fact that while Greek philosophy very much broadened the outlook of Muslim thinkers, it, on the whole, obscured their vision of the Qur’an. Socrates concentrated his attention on the human world alone. To him the proper study


*      Reproduced from the author’s book: Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid on Experiencing God, Iqbal Academy Pakistan, Lahore, 2002.

of man was man and not the world of plants, insects, and stars. How unlike the spirit of the Qur’an which sees in the humble bee a recipient of Divine inspiration and constantly calls upon the reader to observe the perpetual change of the winds, the alternation of day and night, the clouds, the starry heavens, and the planets swimming through infinite space. As a true disciple of Socrates, Plato despised sense-perception which, in his view, yielded mere opinion and no real knowledge. How unlike the Qur’an, which regards, ‘hearing’ and ‘sight’ as the most valuable Divine gifts and declares them to be accountable to God for their activity in this world. This is what the earlier Muslim students of the Qur’an completely missed under the spell of classical speculation. They read the Qur’an in the light of Greek thought. It took them over two hundred years to perceive – though not quite clearly – that the spirit of the Qur’an was essentially anti-classical, and the result of this perception was a kind of intellectual revolt, the full significance of which has not been realized even up to the present day.”[1]

Iqbal’s starting point is that religious experience is ‘a source of Divine Knowledge’. Knowledge gained by sense-perception or reflective observation on the outward aspects of Reality is partial and in order to have ‘a complete vision of Reality’ sense-perception has to be supplemented by heart-knowledge, which directly encounters the Reality ‘as it reveals itself within’. Knowledge of the external world is gained by interpreting the sense data and Knowledge of God is attained by interpreting the religious data. Iqbal’s essential message is that God can be experienced. He says: “The immediacy of mystic experience simply means that we know God just as we know other objects. God is not a mathematical entity or a


[1]     Iqbal, Muhammad, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, edited and annotated by M. Saeed Sheikh, Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore: 4th Edition: April, 1999, p.3.

           system of concepts mutually related to one another having no reference to experience.”[1]

Iqbal takes his point of departure from the conventional concept of prophecy and the mode of revelation. According to him, a prophet’s contact with the roots of his own being resultantly leads to the creative transformation of human collectivity. This direct contact means that he delves deep in his thought or consciousness where he experiences the throb of Divine life and receives message from the Reality which resides nearer to man than his neck-vein. Also, ‘wahi’ or ‘inspiration’ is not exclusively restricted to human domain but is essentially universal. He says: “A prophet may be defined as a type of mystic consciousness in which ‘unitary experience’ tends to overflow its boundaries, and seeks opportunities of redirecting or refashioning the forces of collective life. In his personality the finite centre of life sinks into his own infinite depths only to spring up again, with fresh vigour to destroy the old, and to disclose the new directions of life. This contact with the root of his own being is by no means peculiar to man. Indeed the way in which the word Wahi (inspiration) is used in the Qur’an shows that the Qur’an regards it as a universal property of life; though its nature and character are different at different stages of the evolution of life. The plant growing freely in space, the animal developing a new organ to suit a new environment, and a human being receiving light from the inner depths of life, are all cases of inspiration varying in character according to the needs of the recipient, or the needs of the species to which the recipient belongs.”[2]

Iqbal further refers to the nature of the prophetic revelation in these beautiful words: “The world-life intuitively sees its own needs, and at critical moments defines its own


[1]     Iqbal, Muhammad, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, edited and annotated by M. Saeed Sheikh, Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore: 4th Edition: April, 1999, p. 14.

[2]     Ibid., p. 100.

direction. This is what, in the language of religion, we call prophetic revelation.” [1] He analyses the geographical position of Arabia which is the meeting point of the three continents and states that Islam flashed across the consciousness of a simple people who had not been touched by any of the ancient cultures. The new culture on the basis of tauhid is essentially characterized by world-unity. This principle of tauhid is not merely doctrinal but has a corresponding aspect of realization. “It demands loyalty to God, not to thrones. And since God is the ultimate spiritual basis of all life, loyalty to God virtually amounts to man’s loyalty his own ideal nature.”[2] Also, this spiritual basis of all life is eternal which manifests in the temporal. It leads to the integration of permanence and change. The structure of revelation is universal, absolute and permanent but it does not exclude the possibility of particular, relative and change. It is a challenge for both European and the Muslim world to understand the necessity of integrating the factors of permanence and change. He says: “It is only natural that Islam should have flashed across the consciousness of a simple people untouched by any of the ancient cultures, and occupying a geographical position where three continents meet together. The new culture finds the foundation of world-unity in the principle of Tauhid. Islam, as a polity, is only a practical means of making this principle a living factor in the intellectual and emotional life of mankind. It demands loyalty of God, not to thrones. And since God is the ultimate spiritual basis of all life, loyalty to God virtually amounts to man’s loyalty to his own ideal nature. The ultimate spiritual basis of all life, as conceived by Islam, is eternal and reveals itself in variety and change. A society based on such a conception of Reality must reconcile, in its life, the categories of permanence and change.


[1]     Iqbal, Muhammad, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, edited and annotated by M. Saeed Sheikh, Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore: 4th Edition: April, 1999, p. 117.

[2]     Ibid.

It must possess eternal principles to regulate its collective life, for the eternal gives us a foothold in the world of perpetual change. But eternal principles when they are understood to exclude all possibilities of change which, according to the Qur’an, is one of the greatest ‘signs’ of God, tend to immobilize what is essentially mobile in its nature. The failure of Europe in political and social science illustrates the former principle, the immobility of Islam during the last five hundred years illustrates the latter.”[1]

Iqbal while discussing the rationale of prophecy re-affirms his original position that man receives revelation from within. According to him, prior to the birth of inductive reason or intellect, psychic energy is manifested in the form of prophetic consciousness. He says: “Now during the minority of mankind psychic energy develops what I call prophetic consciousness--- a mode of economizing individual thought and choice by providing ready-made judgements, choices, and ways of action. With the birth of reason and critical faculty, however, life in its own interest, inhibits the formation and growth of non-rational modes of consciousness through which psychic energy flowed at an earlier stage of human evolution. Man is primarily governed by passion and instinct. Inductive reason, which alone makes man master of his environment, is an achievement; and when once born it must be reinforced by inhibiting the growth of other modes of knowledge. There is no doubt that the ancient world produced some great systems of philosophy at a time when man was comparatively primitive and governed more or less by suggestion. But we must not forget that this system-building in the ancient world was the work of abstract thought which cannot go beyond the systematization of


[1]     Iqbal, Muhammad, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, edited and annotated by M. Saeed Sheikh, Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore: 4th Edition: April, 1999,p. 117.

vague religious beliefs and traditions, and gives us no hold on the concrete situations of life.

“Looking at the matter from this point of view, then, the Prophet of Islam seems to stand between the ancient and the modern world. In so far as the source of his revelation is concerned he belongs to the ancient world; in so far as the spirit of his revelation is concerned he belongs to the modern world. In him life discovers other sources of knowledge suitable to its new direction.”[1]

Iqbal connects the rationale of prophecy with the idea of finality. His basic argument is that once man is imbibed with inductive reason or intellect at a certain stage of evolution it logically necessitates the withering away of non-rational modes of consciousness. In other words, once mankind has matured, it is a form of regression to revert back to the state of childhood. He says: “The birth of Islam...is the birth of inductive intellect. In Islam, prophecy reaches its perfection in discovering the need of its own abolition. This involves the keen perception that life cannot forever be kept in leading strings; that in order to achieve full self-consciousness man must finally be thrown back on his own resources. The abolition of priesthood and hereditary kingship in Islam, the constant appeal to reason and experience in the Qur’an and the emphasis that its lays on Nature and History as sources of human knowledge, are all different aspects of the same idea of finality.”[2]

Iqbal states that there is no qualitative difference between mystic experience and the prophetic one. Mystic experience is a vital fact. The Qur’an considers both man’s interiority and exteriority, ‘Anfus’ and ‘Afaq’ respectively as sources of knowledge. The idea of finality does not mean the


[1]     Iqbal, Muhammad, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, edited and annotated by M. Saeed Sheikh, Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore: 4th Edition: April, 1999, pp. 100-101.

[2]     Ibid., p. 101.

reign of reason at the cost of emotion for such a thing is neither possible nor desirable. The idea simply means that no person after Muhammad can equate his personal authority with the Divine Authority. Iqbal says: “The idea, however, does not mean that mystic experience, which qualitatively does not differ from the experience of the prophet, has now ceased to exist as a vital fact. Indeed the Qur’an regards both Anfus (self) and Afaq (world) as sources of knowledge. God reveals His signs in inner as well as outer experience, and it is the duty of man to judge the knowledge-yielding capacity of all aspects of experience. The idea of finality, therefore, should not be taken to suggest that the ultimate fate of life is complete displacement of emotion by reason. Such a thing is neither possible nor desirable. The intellectual value of the idea is that it tends to create an independent critical attitude towards mystic experience by generating the belief that all personal authority, claiming a supernatural origin, has come to an end in the history of man. This kind of belief is a psychological force which inhibits the growth of such authority. The function of the idea is to open up fresh vistas of knowledge in the domain of man’s inner experience. Mystic experience, then, however, unusual and abnormal, must now be regarded by a Muslim as a perfectly natural experience, open to critical scrutiny like other aspects of human experience.”[1]

Iqbal has spelled-out the conception of prophethood in Islam from the standpoint of religious metaphysics. The traditional metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid complements the religious metaphysics of Iqbal by bringing to light certain essential dimensions of prophecy in Islam.

Ibn Arabi delved on the concept of the Perfect Man in detail and one of his disciples Abd al-Karim al-Jili wrote a book ‘Universal Man’ in continuation of his master’s thesis,

[1]     Iqbal, Muhammad, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, edited and annotated by M. Saeed Sheikh, Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore: 4th Edition: April, 1999, p. 101.

with his own punctuation here and there. Writing in the same metaphysical tradition, Khawaja Ghulam Farid considered Muhammad as the embodiment of metaphysical reality and as the most Perfect Man. From the metaphysical point of view, the Perfect Man is the epitome of all creation. The metaphysical status of Man finds its apex in the Perfect Man who perfectly realizes the cosmic purpose. “It is precisely the Perfect Man who perfectly combines within himself, in harmony, Heaven and Earth within the context of the realization of the Oneness of Being, who is at once the eye by which the divine subject sees Himself and the perfectly polished mirror that perfectly reflects the divine light. The Perfect Man is thus, that individual human being who realizes in himself the reality of the saying that man is created in God’s image, who combines in his microcosmic selfhood both the macrocosmic object and divine consciousness, being that heart which, microcosmically, contains all things essentially, and in which the Reality eternally rediscovers Its wholeness. He is also, at once, the original and ultimate man whose archetype and potential for realization is innate in every human being.”[1]

The doctrine of Logos points toward that Reality “whose name is Ahmad with reference to the celestial sphere and Muhammad with reference to the terrestrial sphere.”[2] The Qur’anic Christ’s prediction of Ahmad as an Envoy after him is none other “than the transcendent and immanent Logos, and thus the ‘inward Prophet’, or the Intellect considered under its dual human and Divine aspect; it is the ‘Divine Spirit’, the mystery of which is referred to more than once in the Qoran ….. the name ‘Ahmad’ is the ‘heavenly name of the Prophet…… It is thus a question not so much of an earthly reality as of its heavenly root, and this brings us to the

[1]     Burckhardt, Titus, Introduction: The Bezels Of Wisdom (Fusus al Hikam) by Ibn’ Arabi, p. 35.

[2]     Al-Jilil, Abd Al-Karim, Quoted in A History of Muslim Philosophy, edited    by M.M. Sharif, p.859.

inward dimension …. this ‘Spirit’ is essentially the Intellect thus the ‘Inward…….”[1]

The name Ahmad signifies the Logos; First Intellect; Reality of Muhammad; Reality of realities; Light of Muhammad etc. He was already a cosmic being before being raised as individual prophet in spatio-temporal order. He stated that he was ‘a prophet even while Adam was between clay and water’ and that he already knew the all-comprehensive words i.e. the names before God taught Adam the names. ‘Ontologically, this existence from eternity corresponds to the level of permanent archetypes, which is an intermediary stage (barzakh) between the Absolute and the manifestation of the Absolute in the form of the world. It is both Divine and human and in its latter aspect it is the Reality of Muhammad.’ It is the principle by virtue of which all the archetypes are unified. Izutsu further delves on the point: “Thus understood, the Reality of Muhammad is not exactly the permanent archetypes themselves. Rather, it is the unifying principle of all archetypes, the active principle on which depends the very existence of the archetypes. Considered from the side of the Absolute, the Reality of Muhammad is the creative activity itself of the Absolute, or God ‘conceived as the self-revealing Principle of the universe’. It is the Absolute in the first stage of its eternal self-manifestation, i.e. the Absolute as the universal Consciousness….. The ‘Reality of realities’ is ultimately nothing but the Absolute, but it is not the Absolute in its primordial absoluteness; it is the first form in which the Absolute begins to manifest itself’ Likewise, the Reality of Muhammad can be called the Light of Muhammad for the Prophet said that the first thing, which God created, was his Light. This Light was eternal and non-temporal and was manifest in the chain of prophets till its final historical manifestation in the prophet himself. ‘Since the Light was

[1]     Schuon, Frithjof, Dimensions of Islam, pp.80-81.

that which God created before anything else and that from which he created everything else, it was the very basis of the creation of the world. And it was ‘Light’ because it was nothing else then the First Intellect, i.e. the Divine Consciousness, by which God manifested Himself to Himself in the state of the Absolute Unity. And the Light is in its personal aspect the Reality of Muhammad.”[1]

We have brought out the metaphysical meaning latent in the name Ahmad essentially from the world-view of Ibn Arabi who exercised a deep impact on the metaphysical thought of Khawaja Ghulam Farid. The latter, in line with his master, considered Ahmad as the first self-determination of the Absolute wherein “the Essence at the level of Unity determined itself before any other forms of self-determination.”[2] There remains “above him only the Essence at the level of its absolute Unity, which transcends all self-determinations, whether that of an attribute, name, description, definition or qualification.”[3]

Sheikh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti (Istanbul) further enlightens on the metaphysical concept of Ahmad. “Ahmad the most praiseworthy of those who praise Allah. This is the celestial name of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him). Allah, the Ever-Existing, the All-Powerful, 360,000 years before He created the creation, created from His divine light a sacred light. That light upon light praised Allah before and during the creation of heaven and the heavenly and earth and the earthly. The inhabitants of the heavens named that light Ahmad. As his praise of Allah is greater than the praise of all that is created, he is called ahmad al-hamidin – the greatest of givers of praise. Ahmad is the name by which he is mentioned in the Gospel. And when Jesus son of Mary said, ‘O Children of Israel, surely I am the Messenger of Allah to you, verifying that which is before me


[1]     Izutsu, Toshihiko, Sufism and Taoism, p. 237.

[2]     Ibid.,

[3]     Ibid.,

of the Torah and giving good news of a Messenger who will come after me, his name being Ahmad’ (Surah al-Saff, 61:6). In the Bible, Jesus ‘(May Allah bless him) says: ‘I have yet may things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you unto all truth, for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me. (John 14: 17). That Spirit of Truth who speaks by Allah’s words is Ahmad.”[1]

The Prophet is the first self-determination of the Absolute. It was by virtue of his reality that the cosmos was created. He realized the permanent and actual synthesis of all states of Being. “Essentially he is equilibrium and extinction: equilibrium from the human point of view and extinction in relation to God.”[2] The epithets applied to the Prophet, understood in the higher sense, impart a metaphysical understanding of the first self-determination of the Absolute, which as Ahmad became Muhammad. “It is to Universal Man, who is at the same time the Spirit, the totality of the universe and the perfect human symbol, that the epithets refer which are traditionally applied to the Prophet when they are taken according to their esoteric meaning. He is the ‘Glorified’ (Muhammad) because he is the synthesis of the divine radiance in the cosmos; he is the perfect ‘slave’ (abd) because wholly passive in relation to God inasmuch as he is distinct from Him in his created nature; he is a ‘messenger’ (rasul) because being in essence the Spirit, he emanates directly from God; he is unlettered (ummi) through the fact that he receives his knowledge directly from God without the intermediary of written signs, i.e. without any creature being an intermediary, and he is also the unique and universal ‘beloved’ (habib) of God.”[3]



[1]     Al-Halveti, Sheikh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi, The Most Beautiful Names, compiled. pp. 143-144.

[2]     Schuon, Frithjof, Understanding Islam, p.91.

[3]     Titus, Burckhardt, An Introduction to Sufi Doctrine, pp.77-78.

Unlike Iqbal’s starting point which is the Divine or differentiated Reality essentially characterized by an individualistic conception of man and God, Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s initiation is from the Essence or undifferentiated Reality which is formless. According to him, the emergence of the principle of differentiation within the undifferentiated Reality is known as Ahmad: the first self-determination of the Absolute. Khawaja Ghulam Farid says:

حسن ازل دا تھیا اظہار

احدوں ویس وٹا تھی احمدؐ[1]

The essential Beauty became manifest. Ahad’s formlessness assumed Ahmad’s form.

 

احد تے احمدؐ فرق نہ کوئی

واحد ذات صفات نیں[2]

There is no difference between Ahad and Ahmad. The Essence and the Attributes are identical.

 

اَحد اوہی ہے احمدؐ اوہے

میم دے اولے دِلڑی موہے

دھیان فرید رکھیں ہر آن[3]

He is Ahad. He is Ahmad. He captivates the heart by being manifestly hidden (remaining immanent and trans-cendent) in the form of Meem (Muhammad). Farid! Keep constant watchfulness (about this Divine disclosure).

احد ہا بن احمد آیا[4]

Ahad oh! emerged in the form of Ahmad.

غیب الغیب دے دیسوں آیا

احدیّت دا گھنڈ اتار

شہر شہادت دیرا لایا

تھیا اطلاقوں محض مقید[5]

He came from the Realm of the Most Invisible. He dwelled in the land of the visible. He unveiled himself.

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi. 30.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi. 99.

[3]     Ibid., Kafi. 134.

[4]     Ibid., Kafi. 140.

[5]     Ibid., Kafi. 30.

He was Freedom itself, who assumed delimitation (delimited freedom).

حسن حقیقی نور حجازی

صدقوں سمجھ سنجان

کھیدے ناز نیاز دی بازی

آیا کوٹ شہر وچ[1]

The essential Beauty in the form of Hejazi Light is playing the game of priding and humility. Truly understand and recognize that he has descended in the City of Kot.

 

 

کر رفع ملال کدورت

تھِیا ظاہر وچ ہر مورت

ٹک سمنجھ سجن بے صورت

چھپ اولے نور حجازی[2]

Cleanse yourself (the mirror of your heart) from anxiety and animosity of forms (dust of multiplicity) and fully understand that your beloved is (essentially) formless. He has become immanent in each form, while maintaining His transcendence by virtue of the Muhammadan Light.

سر ہے نثار حضرتِ عربی کی راہ پر

قربان جان و دل ہوئے ہیں اس کی چاہ پر

یہ قصہ مختصر ہے فرید اس کے وصف میں

بعد از خدا ہے تاج شہی میرے شاہ پر[3]

My head is sacrificed in the path of the Arabian prophet. My soul and heart are devoted in fondness for him. This essential narration, Farid, is an epitome of his perfection: the royal crown, after God, is on my Shah (Muhammad).[4]

رانجھن میرا نور الٰہی

سر لولاک کلنگی پائی

مظہر ذات صفات کماہی

طہٰ چتر جھلایا ہے[5]

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi. 28.

[2]     Ibid.,, Kafi. 263.

[3]     Farid, Khawaja Ghulam, Diwan-i-Khawaja Ghulam Farid (Urdu), edited by Siddique Tahir, Urdu Academy, Bahawalpur, 1972 p. 52.

[4]     Translation is my own.

[5]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi. 217.

My Ranjhan is the Light of God. He truly manifests the Attributes of Divinity. He is crowned with the raison d’etre of the whole creation. The laurel of ‘ta’ waves over his head.

It was by virtue of his reality that the cosmos was created. Ahmad became Muhammad in the terrestrial sphere. He realized the permanent and actual syntheses of all states of Being. It is this underlying cosmic purpose which made God address the Prophet in these words, ‘If thou were not, I would not have created the heavens’. (Holy Tradition).

The traditional metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid teaches us that the Cosmic cycle has completed the entire circle of prophecy from Ahmad to Muhammad. This metaphysical wholeness manifested in the medium of Muhammad leaves no room for the emergence of a new prophet. In other words, in the form of Muhammad---the absolutely Perfect and the most Universal Man---the Reality manifested and witnessed Its own Attributes in fullness. Such perfection and universalism, complete manifestation and total witnessing in the medium of Muhammad are itself the greatest metaphysical proofs of the finality of Prophethood in Islam. Khawaja Ghulam Farid says:

ونج ڈٹھم مدینہ عالی

ہے دھرتی عیبوں خالی

جتھ کون و مکان دا والی

پیا نور رِسالّت چھکّے[1]

I went and saw the majesty of Medina. There lies the custodian of the universe. The place is free of any imperfection. The light of prophecy is shining forth.

......................................................................................................

عرب شریف ہے سوہنی ساری

تھیواں واری لکھ لکھ واری

نازک نازو تے متواری

دار نبی مختار دی ہے[2]

[1]     Ibid., Kafi. 155.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi. 160.

The sacred Arabia is all beauties. It is tendered, elegant and graceful. I may sacrifice myself countless times on it. It is the dwelling of the sovereign prophet.

بطن بطون توں ظاہر ہویا

عربی تھی کر ملک نُوں موہیا

رسم رسّالتؐ رسدا (ڈھولا ماہی)[1]

He manifested from the most invisible realm. He manifested himself in the form of an Arab (Arabian prophet) and captivated the dominion. He has perfectly conducted the tradition of prophecy (in the form of Muhammad as messenger), my beloved friend.

دیس عرب دا ملک طرب دا

سارا  باغ   بہار[2]

The Arabian territory is the land of happiness that is fully blossoming.

 

سَب اعلیٰ اعلیٰ شان ڈٹھم

ابوبکرؓ عمرؓ عثمانؓ ڈٹھم

حسنین تے شاہِ مردان ڈٹھم

وہ پاک نبیؐ مختار ڈٹھم[3]

I have witnessed all the majestic ones in supreme glory. I have witnessed Hasnayn (Hasan and Husayn) and Shah Mardan (Ali). I have witnessed Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. I have witnessed the lauded pure prophet as sovereign.

 

 

مذہب مشرب لَا مذہب دا

لب ہے سارے اَرث عرب دا

شاہد درس حدیث قرآن[4]

The religious tradition of ‘negation’ (in the connotative sense and not in the denotative one for there is nothing except Reality) is the kernel of the entire Arab heritage. It is evident in the teachings, Hadith and the Qur’an.

جیندیں عرب شریف ڈٹھوسے

سوہنے سانول یاد کیتوسے

لُہندیں سِکدیں نہ مرگیو سے

ہار سنگھار سہاندے ہن[5]

....................................................................................................................................

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi. 226.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi. 61.

[3]     Ibid., Kafi. 84.

[4]     Ibid., Kafi. 134.

[5]     Ibid., Kafi. 86.

I have visited holy Arabia during my life time. I have not died merely desiring and wishing for it. My beloved friend has remembered me. My makeup seems so pleasant to me.

جو ہے نفس مقدس طاہر

کل دا مظہر کل دا ظاہر

علوی سفلی دا ہے ماہر

والی عرب عجم دا ہے[1]

 

The sacred and pure self with its heights and depths manifests totality in fullness. He is the custodian of Arabia and Persia.

کتھے احمد شاہ رسولاں دا

استاد نفوس عقولاں دا

محبوب سبھے مقبولاں دا

سلطاناں سر سلطان آیا[2]

He has manifested at times in Ahmad: the vanguard of the Messengers, the beloved of all the illustrious, the preceptor of selves and intellects and the sovereign of the sovereigns.

 

 

کیتا ازلی لطف ظہورا

تھیا دل کوں تسکین قرار

سو سو شکر ملیا گُر پورا

ہوئے خطرات شکوک سبھے رد[3]

The primordial subtlety became manifest. We offer countless thanksgivings for its manifestation in the form of the Most Perfect Man. My heart is filled with calmness and tranquillity. All dangers and doubts have been cast away.

Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid have succeeded in bringing forth the vertical and horizontal dimensions enshrined in the conception of prophethood in Islam. A creative synthesis of Iqbal’s religious metaphysics and the traditional metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid is essential for seeing things in their total perspective. The religio-philosophical method of Iqbal integrated with the intellective-spiritual method of Khawaja Ghulam Farid can satisfy the rational and intellectual needs of the modern man.



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi. 224.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi. 3.

[3]     Ibid., Kafi. 30.

 

               Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) and its Relevance in the Contemporary Times*

K

 

hawaja Ghulam Farid (1845-1901) was born at Chachran, in Southern Punjab, Pakistan. He had a spiritual ancestry with Baba Farid Ganj e Shakr. His mother, in utter devotion, love and reverence to the great Sufi, named him Ghulam Farid. He was nurtured in the traditional environment of Saraiki language and culture, which provided him a strong foothold to experience inner and outer realities, which formed part and parcel of a traditional society. His knowledge of different traditional languages helped him in understanding different disciplines including metaphysics, tradition, symbolism and cosmology. He was a Sufi who accomplished his spiritual realization at the hands of his spiritual master, Fakhr ud Din who happened to be his elder brother.

He developed a deeper understanding of the great traditions of the world that is manifest in his works especially in his poetry and doctrinal sittings. He integrates sense experience, reason and intellectual intuition in his spiritual phenomenology. He commits himself to the traditional metaphysics of Islam. The structure of his metaphysics is characterized by the doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud), which accounts for the undifferentiated Reality and


*      Paper presented in the International Conference on Sufism: Sufi Traditions, Philosophy and Poetry held in Delhi on 18-20 March 2006 under the auspices of Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL), New Delhi, India.

the differentiated one, by virtue of the principle of Ahmad (Logos) and gives a metaphysical vision of wholeness. He accepts the doctrinal formulations of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) as held and realized by a number of Sufis including Bayazid Bistami, Mansur Hallaj and Ibn Arabi. It is providential that after his death, a galaxy of thinkers belonging to the Western tradition including Rene Guenon (Abdul Wahid Yahya), Frithjof Schuon (Isa Nuruddin), Titus Burckhardt (Ibrahim Izzudin) and Martin Lings (Abu Bakr Siraj ud Din) re- discovered the truth of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) and reiterated the foundations of Islamic Intellectuality and Spirituality.

Metaphysically speaking, the doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) can be approached from two fundamental aspects: epistemology (science of knowledge) and ontology (science of being). However, both epistemology and ontology as disciplines have been constricted by the limits imposed by the modern mentality. The delimited epistemology and ontology have indeed become so fashionable these days. Kant (1724-1804), the German Philosopher, delimited the realm of both epistemology and ontology by declaring that ‘the chief and perhaps the use of all philosophy of pure reason is, after all, inclusively negative, since it is not an instrument of extending knowledge, but a discipline of limiting it.’ His Critical Philosophy by maintaining a distinction between phenomena and noumena or appearance and reality with the assumption that noumena or reality could not be known created an unbridgeable gulf between epistemology and ontology which cannot be bridged within the Western system as such. The subsequent history of modern Western Philosophy in the form of modernism and post-modernism is an ample testimony to the process of fragmentation which characterizes the modern age. Kant’s declaration of the impossibility of metaphysics is not based on knowledge but is derived from his own ignorance to reach the heart of reality for there is no basis of assuming sense perception as the only genuine form of human experience. Sense-perception bound by reason has locked the modern man in the narrow circuits of finitude bereft of true transcendence.

The problem of knowledge is the foremost problem confronting man since the primordial day. Epistemology with all its inherent and derived limitations has restricted the scope of knowledge both in its vertical and horizontal aspects. Pseudo-theories of knowledge have ensnared the modern man and within the ambit of epistemology he is trying to find a way out. Gabriel Marcel, for instance has to make a distinction between problem and mystery. One can deal with a problem in an objective, quantifiable and disinterested way but one can only understand mystery in a situation of lived participation. He has succeeded to some extent in highlighting an issue of knowledge but his profane phenomenology does not make him reach the depths of reality. The sense of mystery is cognitive and it opens us different layers of reality and truth that are not amenable to ordinary perception or understanding. The repeated stress on mystery in different things and events brings home the point that one has to transcend the habitual mode of thought and feeling in order to understand the reality of things.

The highest level of human reasoning posits the possibility of metaphysics which takes us beyond the realm of physics. Metaphysics means beyond physics. The word physics taken in its Greek sense means the natural phenomena and not merely a specialized discipline as understood in the modern usage of the term. All epistemology (science of knowledge) and all ontology (science of being) based on physics are, in principle, constricted. Constrictive epistemology and bare ontology cannot embrace the metaphysical realm of the Universal that in the language of philosophy is called the ultimate reality and in the language of religion is called God. Sense-experience and reason are tied to the realm of the phenomena and they have no means to attain the ‘knowledge of the universal or knowledge of the principles belonging to the universal order’. Sense experience gives us knowledge of the empirical world. Reason is not a source of knowledge. It merely organizes the data received from the objective world. Modernism also betrays its understanding of the tradition. It is pertinent to point out that the word tradition is derived from the Latin tradere which means ‘that which is transmitted.’ It can be both oral and written. The term covers a wide range of subjects. In its ordinary sense, tradition stands for customs belief and conventions inherited from the past. However, there is a deeper meaning enshrined in this term which has become oblivious in the modern world. From the metaphysical point of view, tradition is attached to a doctrine which belongs to an intellectual order. Generally, the doctrine is metaphysical or religious. Traditional social institutions, in principle, are effectively attached to a traditional doctrine. It is this attachment which essentially differentiates them from modern social institutions. The traditional man understands that true knowledge reaches the ultimate nature of things leading to the identity of knowledge and being. The substance of the intellect and the Being of things become identical by transcending the dichotomy of subject and object. Here, intellectual intuition takes precedence over sensory intuition. Intellect, belonging to the universal order has a direct perception of the transcendent. Metaphysically speaking, it is in man but is not his. It cannot be likened to any other individual faculty present in man. Truth is innate in the substance of the intellect. Even, revelation or ‘wahi’ reveals the truth which is immanent in the substance of the intellect. Heart knowledge is the knowledge of the transcendent. Thus, metaphysical knowledge is ‘universal absolute, infinite and supreme’. It is attainable by intellect that opens limitless possibilities of conception. It unearths the pearls of traditional wisdom and places them in the heart of historical reality.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid considers ordinary knowledge as veiled because it does not impart knowledge of the ultimate nature of things. He says:

علم فریدؔ ہے حاجب

بے  شک  بے عرفان[1]

Farid! Knowledge is veiled. It is undoubtedly bereft of gnosis.

It is love itself (Ishq) which leads to gnosis. He says:

عشق ہے ہادی پرم نگر دا

عشق ہے رہبر راہ فقر دا

عشقوں حاصل ہے عرفان[2]

Love is the guide to the city of affection. Love steers the way to ontological nothingness. Love leads to the realisation of gnosis.

جو کوئی عشق مدرسے آیا

بے شک عارف ہو کر پایا

فقہ، اصول دا فکر اٹھایا

رمز حقیقت پوری نوں[3]

The one who joined the academy of love, ceased to bother about jurisprudence and its principles. Undoubtedly, he attained gnosis and thereby fully understood the clue to Reality.

 

 

جڈاں عشق فرید استاد تھیا

پر حضرت دل آباد تھیا

سَب علم و علم برباد تھیا

سو وجد کنوں لکھ حال کنوں[4]

Farid! When love becomes the mentor of someone, it ravishes all his knowledge and action. But, it enlivens his heart with hundreds of spiritual states and hundred thousand of ecstasies.

Heart is the organ of spiritual perception. It has direct knowledge of the ultimate reality. He says:

وَفِی اَنْفسکُم بھیت بتا وے

لو دلیتم گیت سناوے

نَحْنُ اَقرب بین بجاوے

لفظ  اناالحق  بولے[5]

......................................................................................................

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 139.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 134.

[3]     Ibid., Kafi 119.

[4]     Ibid., Kafi 141.

[5]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 180.

‘I am within your selves’ is the secret that he discloses. ‘I am nearer to man than his neck vein’ is his harping tune. He sings the song of his omnipresence. ‘I am the Truth’ is his uttering.

اے گھر میرا سُکھ مندر

جتھ بحر محیط دا بندر

معمور خفی دے اندر

اتھ ہر جنسوں ملن سوغاتاں[1]

My house is the temple of peace. It is built inside the corners of my heart. It is the harbour of the encompassing sea. Here, the rare gifts of all goods (merchandise) are available.

 

 

ڈیکھو شوکت شان پسارا

مرکز دور محیط دا سارا

محور گردش سبع سیارا

نقطہ دل آدم دا ہے

Witness the widespread splendour and grandeur, the axis of seven revolving around planets and the all-encompassing centre: the point of Adam’s heart.

 

 

سینہ صاف صفا بے کینہ

دِلڑی خالص پاک نگینہ

نُور حقیقی دا آئینہ

نقشہ بیت حرم دا ہے[2]

A clear and pure self without any malice is the mirror of the supernal light. A pure heart is a sacred jewel figuring the House of God.

 

 

نہ کافی جان کفایہ

کر پرزے جلد وقایہ

نہ ہادی سمجھ ہدایہ

ایہا دل قرآن کتابے

Do not consider ‘Kifaya’ (a book of jurisprudence) as sufficient. Do not consider ‘Hidaya’ (a book of jurisprudence) as the guide. Just tear to bits the pages of ‘Wiqaya’ (a book of jurisprudence). Our heart is the immanent Qur’an (corroborated by the earthly Qur’an).



[1]     Ibid., Kafi 124.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 224.

ہے پرم گیان وِی دلڑی

ہے جان جہان وِی دلڑی

ہے بید پُران وِی دلڑی

دل بطن بطون دا بابے

Heart is love and gnosis. Heart is the essence of life as portrayed in Hindu Scriptures: Vedas and Puranas. Heart is the artery of the universe. Heart opens to infinite depths of interiority.

 

 

دِل لُب ہے کون مکاں دا

دل مرکز زمین زماں دا

دل غایت اصل جہاں دا

بیا کُوڑ پَلال حجابے

Heart is the quintessence of the universe. Heart is the raison d’etre of creation. Heart is the centre of the heavens and the earth. All else is false, deceptive and veiled.

 

 

وِچ صورت دے ناسوتی

جبروت اتے لَاہوتی

وچ معنے دے ملکوتی

دل اندر سب اسبابے[1]

It is terrestrial in form. It is celestial in meaning. It is omnipotent and beyond space and time. All possibilities of knowledge inhere in the heart.

Know thyself is a dictum common to the traditional doctrines. It is the key to attaining gnosis. He says:

جو کوئی چاہے علم حقائق

تھیوے اپنے آپ دا شائق

راز لدنی کشف دقائق

سَٹ نزدیکی دوری نوں[2]

The one, who yearns for knowledge of realities, inspired knowledge and illumination of subtleties, should delve within his own self. He should cast away proximity and distance.

 

 

رَکھ انتر دھیان فریدیؔ

ہے دوری سخت بعیدی

سَٹ سِکھنی پیر مُریدی

جی سُکھڑیں کان عذابے[3]

Farid! Meditate within the infinite depths of your own being. Leave aside the empty profession of becoming a
..................................................................................

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 199.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 119.

[3]     Ibid., Kafi 199.

concentrating on one’s heart) is being greatly remote (from one’s destination). It is a curse to lead a life of comforts (for it makes one oblivious of his basic vocation).

اپنی حقیقت گول توں

رکھ یاد اساڈا بول توں

بے کوں نہ اصلوں پھول توں

آنیں نہ شک ہے محض پک[1]

Search your own reality. Do not bother about the other. Do remember my saying without doubting its veracity.

 

 

توں ہیں سمجھ، سنجان نہ چھوڑیں

اپنے آپ توں مونہہ نہ موڑیں

نرگن سرگن وچ جا جوڑیں

سب ہے روپ سروپ تہارا[2]

Do not discard this Gnostic learning and understanding. Be in harmony with your Self. Never be oblivious of your essentiality. All is your splendid Face.

 

 

رہ توحیدی رِیت فریدی

اپنے آپ دا دھیانے[3]

The way of unity and the Faridi tradition is watchfulness of one’s inner self.

 

یار فرید ملیم گھر اندر

کھاون سہجوں بولے بینسر

پانواں بھاگ سہاگوں زیور

لچکے کل سُرسُمدے یار[4]

Farid! If I discover my friend in the infinite depths of my being, then I will wear jewellery with nuptial happiness. My nose ornaments would be readily moving with regularity, elegance and grace, my friend.

 

 

اپرم بید بتاؤں

میں اگیانی کو گیان سناؤں

I am disclosing the supreme Veda. I am imparting knowledge to the ignorant.

..........................................................................................................................

سرت سرندھ ہاتھ موں لے کر

پریم کی تار بجاؤں

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 64.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 20.

[3]     Ibid., Kafi 246.

[4]     Ibid., Kafi 38.

I take the violin of knowledge in my hands and play the tune of love.

پانچ سکھی مل رام دوارے

ست گر کی جس گاؤں

I laud the Divinity by integrating five intimates (senses) in the temple of God.

 

کونج گلی میں شام سندر سنگ

ہوری دھوم مچاؤں

I celebrate ‘Holi’ in the beautiful streets with ‘Krishan’ (my beloved).

 

میت چیت پچکاری ماروں

پریت گلال اڈاؤں

I squirt the love laden and make the colour of love soar.

 

کہاں اجودھیا سنبل متھرا

کہاں گوردھن جاؤں

Why should I wander at Ajodhia, Sanbal, Mathra and Gurdhan (Hindu pilgrimage centres)?

 

لچھمن رام کنیا کلگی

اپنے آپ موں پاؤں

 (When) Lachman, Ram, Kanaya and Kalgi (deity incarnate) are within me.

 

دیسوں کہاں بدیس کو دوڑوں

جوگ براگ کماؤں

Why should I leave my native abode, run to unfamiliar places and undergo hard spiritual exercises or become an ascetic?

 

سورج چاند کو سنمکھ راکھوں

سن سمادھ لگاؤں

Why should I keep the sun and moon opposite my face for concentrating on the focal point (ritual)?

 

پیپل تلسی کاہے کو پوجوں

کاہے کو تیرتھ ناؤں

Why should I worship (peepal) a tree and (tulsi) a shrub? And why should I go for a bath to the sacred place?

 

اور سے کام فرید نہ میرو

آتم   دیو   مناؤں[1]

Farid! I have no business with otherness. I am realising the Spirit within myself.



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 85.

وَفِی اَنْفسکُم بھیت بتا وے

لو دلیتم گیت سناوے

نَحْنُ اَقرب بین بجاوے

لفظ اناالحق بولے

‘I am within your selves’ is the secret that he discloses. ‘I am nearer to man than his neck vein’ is his harping tune. He sings the song of his omnipresence. ‘I am the Truth’ is his uttering.

 

 

جو کوئی دل ڈوں دھیان رکھیسی

اِثنینیت کل اُٹھ ویسی

سارے گجھڑے راز نوں پیسی

بھج پوسن سبھ بھولے

The one, who concentrates on his heart, shall unravel the deep secret (of unity or oneness) in entirety. All the duality (multiplicity) will wither away. All doubts will be removed.

 

 

ہِک جا ہن احکام شریعت

تھیوے کیا درفت حقیقت

ہِک جا ہن اسرار طریقت

کون اے پھولے پھولے

Now, at one level are the obligations of the Shariah and at the other level are the mysteries of the Way. Who could discover the Reality? Who would unravel these intricacies?

 

 

نہ رل ڈکھڑی روہ جبل وچ

پہلو دوش کنار بغل وچ

نہ تھی اَوکھی مارو تھل وچ

یار پنل ہے کولے

 Do not be wretched in the mountainous way. Don’t face arduousness of the deadly desert. Punnal friend is in proximity with you (nearer to you than you are to yourself).

 

 

فخرِ جہاں ہِک ریت سکھائی

دل جڑ جڑ دھم دھام مچائی

اصلوں حاجت رہی نہ کائی

تھئے گن گیان سمولے

 Fakhr Jehan has taught me a tradition. It has essentially made me free from every need. My heart has integrated virtuousness and knowledge (by dint of inspiration).

 

 

رنگپور دے ہِن پنتھ نیارے

ہِک پیا جیتے ہِک پیا ہارے

ہِک نوں بوڑے ہِک نوں تارے

تُلدے ماسے تولے

 The ways of the colourful are unique. They let some ferry across the waters and let the others drown. One wins while the other loses. Here, ‘masha’ (weight equivalent to 16 grains) and ‘tola’ (12 ‘masha’ weights) are measured.

 

 

فاش فرید اے وعظ سنا توں

جے کوئی چاہے فقر فنا کوں

عالم جاہل شاہ گدا کوں

اپنے آپ کوں گولے[1]

 Farid! Openly narrate this spiritual discourse to the knowledgeable, ignorant, king and beggar that any one who wishes to attain the consciousness of his ontological nothingness and annihilation should search within himself.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid considers love itself (Ishq) which emerged within the Reality which caused the entire universe. He says:

کُنت کنزاً عشق گواہی

پہلوں حب خود ذات کوں آہی

جیں سانگے تھیا جمل جہان[2]

‘Hidden Treasure’ testifies love itself. Originally, the Essence inspired itself with love. It caused the entire universe.

He takes inspiration from the following Holy tradition ‘I was a hidden treasury and I desired (ahabatu, loved) to be known. Accordingly, I created the creatures and thereby made myself known to them. And they did come to know Me’. This is the original emergence of the principles of differentiation within the undifferentiated Reality. The Reality loved to see his own Essence in ‘another’ so that his own mystery could be revealed to Him. Natured acted as a Divine


[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 180.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 134.

Mirror but was an unpolished mirror and thereby the mirror of the cosmos required Adam who ‘was the very principle of reflection for that mirror and the spirit of that form’. The perfect man is ‘the perfectly polished mirror that perfectly reflects the divine light’ and by virtue of which the Reality sees Himself perfectly. Muhammad was the most perfect mirror in this context. It is this underlying cosmic purpose, which made God address the Prophet in these words: ‘If thou wert not, I would not have created the heavens’. The cosmic purpose of creation is that the Reality witnesses itself in the human medium. He says:

ہک جا روپ سنگار ڈکھاوے

ہر مظہر وچ آپ سماوے

ہِک جا عاشق بن بن آوے

اپناں آپ کرے دیدار[1]

He exhibits ornamental beauty at times and at times recurs as lover. He dwells in each manifestation. He contemplates Himself.

The process of consciousness is the Reality witnessing itself in different manifestations. Its own mystery unravels to Him in different situations.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid structures his doctrine on the idea of the Absolute. He uses the words ‘Haqq’ which literally means the Truth or the Reality in referring to the Absolute. He says:

اے حسن حقیقی نور ازل

تینوں واجب تے امکان کہوں

O’ essential Beauty! The Primordial Light! May I describe you as the Necessity and the Possibility?

 

کر توبہ ترت فرید سدا

ہر شے نوں پر نقصان کہوں

Farid! Quicken to repent once for all. I consider each of the descriptions fraught with harmful implications (highly deficient in describing the Essence that transcends even transcendence).


[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 60.

اسے پاک الکھ بے عیب کہوں

اسے حق بے نام نشان کہوں[1]

I describe Him as the Pure and the Transcendent, without any imperfection. I describe Him as the Nameless Truth without signs.

The ‘Haqq’ or the Absolute in its absoluteness is Nameless and it has no signs by which it can be reached. The Absolute in its absoluteness is a mystery which is not amenable to perception, conception or imagination. It is beyond the ken of knowledge. This highest metaphysical stage of Reality is identified with Allah’s Essence. The Absolute does not manifest at this stage. All human attempts to reach the Absolute in its absoluteness prove to be nugatory. It is only when the Absolute or Essence takes the form of Infinite or Divinity that the Reality can be known and a direct contact with God becomes possible. The principle, by virtue of which the undifferentiated Reality takes differentiated form, is understood as ‘Ahmad.’

Khawaja Ghulam Farid considers the cosmos as divine mirror. The journey to the Absolute starts from the study of the cosmic book. The cosmos including man is theophany. Perpetual creation or ‘new creation’ is the perpetual manifestation of the Absolute. It repeats ‘the same eternal process of annihilation and re-creation’. The ontological ‘descent’ coincides with the ontological ‘ascent’. It is the archetypal reality of things, which helps in maintaining their unity and identity. All things perish except the Face of God, which is the Archetype of all reality and existence. There is no thing which has any ‘basis of independent subsistence (qiwam) in itself. The eternally unchanging Substance or Reality underlies all ‘accidents’.

The sensible world or phenomena with its ‘materialization’ and solidification is not real for it has no Being (wujud). The world is not self, imagination and dream.


[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 91.

It is neither autonomous nor independent of the Absolute Reality. The whole world of existence is imagination with imagination’. The world is not vain, groundless and false but is a symbolic representation of the Reality’. It is a dream but not a sheer illusion. It is a dream having a metaphysical basis. Thus, ‘reality’ is not a subjective illusion or figment of imagination but is an ‘objective’ illusion or cosmic imagination. It ‘is an unreality standing on a firm ontological basis’. Khawaja Ghulam Farid says:

جگ وہم خیال تے خوابے

سب صورت نقش بر آبے

The world is illusion, imagination and dream. All forms are marks on water.

 

جے پچھدیں حال حقیقت

جیویں بحر محیط ہے وحدت

سن سمجھ اُتے رکھ عبرت

کل کثرت شکل حبابے

If you ask about the state of reality, then listen, understand and take a note of the fact that the sea encompasses unity. All the multiplicity is bubble-faced.

 

 

نہیں اصلوں اصل دوئی دا

گیا پُھوکا نکل دوئی دا

خود جان ہے نسل دوئی دا

ول اوہی آب دا آبے[1]

Duality has no essential reality. Know yourself that duality is not everlasting. The airy duality vanishes. The water essentially remains the same water.

The doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) means that essentially Being is One. It accounts for both unity and multiplicity. There is unity in multiplicity. The whole cosmos including man is ontologically nothing for it exists or subsists through Being. Metaphysical Realization takes place when man attains the consciousness of his own ontological nothingness in both levels of having and being. The Reality is the inward and the outward, the first and the last. It is the manifestation of the Formless in each and every


[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 199.

form. The manifestation of the Reality everywhere shall always remain a stumbling block for the ordinary understanding. It is the metaphysical understanding which talks of the Reality as the Essence and Divinity; Ahad and Wahad and One and Many. The Reality is essentially One but manifests in multiple forms. It is unity in diversity. All creation is essentially manifestation. It is the Reality witnessing itself in different mediums. The doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) states this metaphysical truth that everywhere is the presence of the Reality and the radiance of the Being. The Being is Absolute, Infinite, Universal Possibility and metaphysical Whole. There is nothing outside Being. There is nothing in the whole creation on manifestation which is not subject to Being. Being is the inherent nature of things. It is due to Being that the things manifest their natures and behaviour. But Being is not affected by the nature of things. It simultaneously transcends its manifestation. Metaphysically speaking, ‘the Indivisible One-and-Only’ is ‘the One-and-All’. He says:

جو کجھ ہے ظاھر برملا

مرشد محقق وَج وجا

جاناں میں کیویں ماسوا

ہمہ اوست دا ڈتڑا سبق

All is obviously manifest. How can I acknowledge anyone except Him? My spiritual master, after full verification, imparted me instructions on Oneness of Being.

 

 

بٹھ وہم خطرے دی ادا

اندر تے باہر ہے سدا

ڈوجھا نوہی ہے ہک خُدا

موجود حق موجود حق

Discard the style of apprehension and risk. There is nothing except One God. The Reality or Truth is everlastingly present in the interior and the exterior.

.....................................................................................

توں بِن فقط بیا کو نہیں

ہے ہک سدا اتے دو نہیں

منڈھوں غیر دی اِتھ بو نہیں

ہک نال تھی ہک سَٹ فرق[1]

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 64.

 

 

There is no other except you. There is no odour of the profane at its roots. He is the Everlasting One without any duality. Be with the One and discard otherness.

یار کوں کر مسجود

' ڈے بیو معبود

Offer prostration to your Friend (attain consciousness of your nothingness in Face of the Absolute) and discard otherness.

 

ہر صورت وچ یار کوں جانیں

غیر نہیں موجود

Discern your Friend in each form. There is no otherness (self-subsistent reality except the Reality).

 

سبھ اعداد کوں سمجھیں واحد

کثرت ہے مفقود

Understand the essential unity of all numbers. Plurality is impossibility.

 

فخر الدین مٹھل دے شوقوں

دم دم نکلم دود

My each breath emits smoke in fondness of sweet Fakharuddin.

 

وصل فرید کوں حاصل ہویا

جب  ہو  گیا نابود[1]

Farid attained union (identity) by ceasing to be.

 

ہر جا حسن پُنل ہے

صوفی سمجھ سنجان

Primordial Beauty is present everywhere. Sufi! Understand it by witnessing.

 

لَیس کَمِثلہ شئًی

سَب شے اس نوں جان

There is no thing resembling Him. Know Him as All-Reality.

 

یَبقٰی وَجہء رَبِک

باقی کل شے فان

The Face of your Sustainer endures. Remaining all things perish.



[1]     Ibid., Kafi 32.

لَا یَحتاجُ سِوی اللہ

ہے فقر دا شان

There is no dependence on any thing except Allah. It is the majesty of ontological nothingness.

 

لَا مَوجُودْ سِوی اللہ

ساڈا دین ایمان

Nothing exists except Allah. It is the way of our tradition.

 

حق باجھوں بیو باطل

دھیان رکھیں ہر آن[1]

All is ephemeral except the Reality. Do keep constant watchfulness.

 

ہِک ہے ہِک ہے ہِک ہے

ہِک دی دم دم سِک ہے

It is the unified oneness. The desiring of the One is at each and every moment.

 

ہِک دے ہر ہر جا وچ دیرے

کیا اُچ ہے کیا جھِک ہے

The One dwells at each and every place whether it is high or low.

 

ہِک ہے ظاہر ہِک ہے باطن

بیا سَب کجھ ہالِک ہے

The One is manifest. The One is unmanifest. All else is perishable.

 

مقناطیس تے لوہے وانگن

ہوں ڈو دل دی چھِک ہے

My heart is attracted (to my beloved), the same way as iron is attracted to a magnet.

 

جیڑھا ہِک کوں ڈو کر جانے

او کافر مشرِک ہے[2]

A person who considers the One as two veils the truth and places divinity beside Allah.

 

ہر جا ذات پنل دی

عاشق جان یقین

There is omnipresence of my beloved’s essence. Lovers! Know it with certainty.

.................................................................................................

ہر صورت وچ یار دا جلوہ

کیا   اسمان  زمین[3]

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 139.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 267.

[3]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 140.

My friend’s manifestation is in each form. What to talk of the heavens and the earth.

سمجھ سنجانیں غیر نہ جانیں

سبھ صورت ہے عین ظہور

Do understand and identify and do not consider it as otherness. It is his open manifestation in all forms.

 

رکھ تصدیق نہ تھی آوارہ

کعبہ، قبلہ، دیر، دوارہ

مسجد، مندر، ہِکڑو نور[1]

Do verify and do not remain on the periphery. The House of God, the direction of prayer, the idol- temple, and the Sikh place of worship, the mosque and the temple manifest the same (essential) Light.

سوہنے یار پُنل دا

ہر جا عین ظہور

My lovely friend Punnal is openly manifest.

 

اول، آخر، ظاہر، باطن

اس دا جان حضور

Witness his presence in the first, the last, the outward and the inward (in all dimensions).

 

آپ بنے سلطان جہاں دا

آپ  بنے  مزدور[2]

He himself assumes the form of the sovereign of the world and He himself assumes the form of a labourer.

 

بن دلبر شکل جہان آیا

ہر صورت عین عیان آیا[3]

My beloved has manifested in the form of the outward. He has become openly manifest in each form.

 

چاروں بید بدانت پکارن

آتم اوتم روپ سدھارن

اوم برم نارائن دھارن

دویت فرید ہے جوٹھا لارا[4]

The four Vedas and Hindu sacred tenets openly proclaim that the Nameless has been named as Om, Brahma and Vishnu. He has assumed the form of the Supreme Soul. Farid! Multiplicity is merely ephemeral.

The doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) gets formulated in Shahadah---- the expression of Tawhid or unity of God. The spiritual vocation of a Sufi is to attain consciousness of his own ontological nothingness and experience God.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid enjoins man to discover his Origin and Centre. Man has given different answers in determining his place in the universe. These answers range from either finding no purpose or discovering a cosmic purpose of human creation. The meaning of life lies essentially in reference to the answer a man gives about his human situation. From the metaphysical point of view, the reality belongs to the Principle itself and all manifestation is the shadow of Reality. The world is ephemeral and consequently all achievements of the world are ephemeral too. It is by residing in this world that man has to realize the cosmic purpose of his creation. And the purpose is that man achieves the fullest consciousness of his ontological nothingness in the Face of the Absolute. His ideas, feelings and actions become purified to the extent that the Reality witnesses itself through the mirror of the heart. This is the essential meaning of life wherein man ceases to be by providing an occasion for the Reality to see itself through the ‘other’. This is the state of Supreme Identity or non duality. He brings home the idea that man should remain conscious of his cosmic vocation. He says:

تم بیشک اصل جہان کے ہو

You undoubtedly belong to the real world.

نہ تم فرشی نہ تم عرشی

ذات مقدس نور معلیٰ

نہ فلکی نہ ارضی ہو

آئے وچ انساں کے ہو

...............................................................................

[1]     Ibid., Kafi 50.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 52.

[3]     Ibid., Kafi 3.

[4]     Ibid., Kafi 20.

You are neither mundane nor celestial. You are neither heavenly nor earthly. You are the holy essence and pure light embodied in Man.

روتے ہو کتھ ہنستے ہو

اپناں بھیت بتاؤ رے

کتھ عاشق تے معشوق بنو

تم کون ہو بھلا کہاں کے ہو

You weep at times and at times you laugh. You assume the forms of the lover and the beloved at times. Do disclose your esoteric reality. Who are you? Where do you belong to?

 

 

روپ انوکھے طور اویڑے

ناز نزاکت حسن ملاحت

نازک چالیں من موہنیاں

صاحب سب سامان کے ہو

The forms are novel and the ways are odd. The tender moves captivate the heart. You muster all pride, delicacy and charming beauty. You are the treasury of all graces.

 

 

کِتھ جاہل کِتھ فاسق فاجر

کِتھ عارف کِتھ اہل حقائق

اپنا آپ گماتے ہو

واقف سر نہاں کے ہو

You are ignorant at times and at times you are sinner. You just lose yourself. You are gnostic at times and at times you are witnessing to truth. You are familiar with the secrets of the Invisible.

 

 

قبلہ کعبہ مسجد مندر

صوم و صلوٰۃ کے خود ہو والی

دیر گنش سب تجھ میں ہے

کیوں پابند گمان کے ہو

Qibla (prayer direction), Kaabah (House of God), Mosque, Temple, Monastery, Synagogue all is within you. You are the custodian of fasting and prayer. Then, why are you the captive of delusion?

 

 

غیر تمہارا محض محالے

دنیا تم ہو عقبیٰ تم ہو

اس جگ میں اور اس جگ میں

مالک کون و مکاں کے ہو

Your other is hardly possible in this world and in the next world. You are the terrestrial world and the hereafter. You are the possessor of the cosmos.

 

 

وعظ نصیحت رمز فریدی

اپنی عظمت یاد کرو

سوچ سنجانو دم دم سے

کیوں تھئے یوسف زندان کے ہو[1]

Faridi symbolism is manifest in his sermons and counsels. Think and reflect on it at each instant. Remember your vocation. Why have you become Yousaf, content with prison?

Again:

کس دھرتی سے آئے ہو تم

پرم نگر ہے دیس تمہارا

کس نگری کے باسی رے

پھرتے کہاں اوداسی رے

Which is the place of your origin? Where are your dwellings oh? Your habitation is in the city of love. Why are you wandering forlorn, oh?

 

 

کیوں ہوتے ہو جوگی بھوگی

انگ بھبھوت رما کے کیونکر

روگی طرح براگی رے

رکھتے بدن سنیاسی رے

Why do you become ascetic or beggar, sick and dressed in Hindu ascetic’s attire, oh? Why do you soil your body like that of Hindu abstinent, oh?

 

 

اپنا آپ سنبھال کے دیکھو

فکر نہ کیجو یارو ہرگز

کر کے نظر حقیقت کی

آسی یا نہ آسی رے

Realise your self by virtue of casting a real glance (within). My friends do not worry at all about his coming or not, oh.

 

 

تم ہو ساگی تم ہو ساگی

اپنی ذات صفات کو سمجھو

واگی ذرہ نہ واگی رے

اپنی کرو شناسی رے

You are the real and you are the truth. You are neither fake nor there is an iota of a counterfeit in you, oh. Do understand the reality of your essence and attributes. Realise yourself from within, oh.

................................................................................

بات فریدی سوچ کے سنیو

دونوں جگ کے مالک تم ہو

لا کر دل کے کانوں کو

بھولے اللہ راسی رے[2]

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 146.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 247.

Listen to the Faridi discourse with reflection and attentiveness of heart. You are sovereign in both the worlds. Why have you forgotten to put your trust in Allah, oh?

And Again:

کیویں توں فرد تے جز سڈاویں

توں کلی توں کل

Why you consider yourself as an individual and a part? You are the unified and the whole.

 

باغ بہشت دا توں ہیں مالک

خود بلبل خود گل

You are the sovereign of the paradisal garden. You are the nightingale and the rose.

 

عرش وی تیڈا فرش وی تیڈا

توں عالیٰ ان مُل

The empyrean and the earth belong to you. Your majesty is priceless.

 

چڑھ داریں منصور دے بھائی

کرن عجب غل غل

The Mansurians make strange ecstatic utterances on the scaffold.

 

روح مثال شہادت توں ہیں

سمجھ سنجان نہ بھل

You are the Spirit, Image and Witnessing. Never become oblivious of this experiential understanding.

 

دنیا عقبٰی برزخ اندر

نَاہیں تیڈڑا تل

No one equals you in the terrestrial world, in the isthmus or in the next world.

 

یار فریدا ہے کولہڑے تیڈے

نہ  بے  ہودہ  رُل[1]

Farid! Your friend is with you (even nearer to you than you are to your own self). There is no point in your being wretched in the unwieldy search.

Love relationship with God is a possibility envisaged by all the great spiritual traditions of the world. The Reality became polarized in the form of the lover and the beloved in order to make love possible. He says:

.....................................................................................................

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 76.

ہے عِشق دا جلوہ ہَر ہر جا

خود عاشق خود مَعشوق بنیا

سُبحان اللہ سُبحان اللہ

سُبحان اللہ سُبحان اللہ[1]

The immanence of Love is manifest everywhere. Glory is to Allah, the Glorious. The lover himself has assumed the form of the beloved. Glory is to Allah, the Glorious.

Both, beauty and love are intimately related in reflecting the Inward in the outward. Beauty is understood as the object of love. Beauty and love are intimately related. Beauty makes love possible and love makes beauty shine forth. It is the Infinite, a fundamental aspect of the Real, by virtue of which we understand manifestation. All are Names or Attributes (Asma ul-Husna). It is in the process of manifestation that beauty is concretized giving rise to its contrast ugliness. In fact, ugliness is a transient phenomenon signifying absence of beauty. It is a kind of aesthetic privacy lacking true being. He says:

وَاہ وَاہ سوہنے دا ورتارہ

ہک جا چاوے عشق اجارا

ہر صورت وچ کرے اوتارہ

بئی جا ڈیوے حُسن ادہارا[2]

It is laudation to the conduct of the Beautiful. He descends in each form. He is love itself at times and at times He is Manifest Beauty.

 

 

حسن قبح سب مظہر ذاتی

ہر رنگ میں بے رنگ پیارا

Beauty and ugliness are the manifestations of the Essence. The lovely colourless is in each colour.

 

 

حسن ازل دی چال عجیبے

آپ ہے عاشق آپ رقیبے!

طرح لطیفے طرز غریبے

تھی دلبر جگ موہیس سارا[3]

The move of the Primordial Beauty is a mystery with subtle style and manner only one of its kind. He is
himself the lover and is himself the rival. He is the beloved, who has captivated the whole world.
............................................................................

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 154.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 20.

[3]     Ibid., Kafi 7.

 

سوہنا کوجھا صرف بَہانہ

ہِکڑو ہئی وَل سمجھ سُنجانی[1]

The distinction between beauty and ugliness arises in the process of manifestation. Posit your understanding on Oneness.

The commitment of love or inwardness is symbolized by stepping into the stream of love. It is an absolute and passionate commitment. He says:

میڈا عشق وی توںمیڈا یار وی توں

میڈا دین وی توں ایمان وی توں

You are my love. You are my friend. You are my way. You are my faith.

 

میڈا جسم وی توں میڈا روح وی توں

میڈا قلب وی توں جند جان وی توں

You are my body. You are my Spirit. You are my heart. You are the spirit of my life.

 

جے یار فرید قبول کرے

سرکار وی توں سلطان وی توں

Farid! If the friend accepts you, then you are the authority and you are the sovereign.

 

نہ تاں کہتر کمتر احقر ادنیٰ

لا شے لا امکان وی توں[2]

Otherwise, you are the least, inferior, meanest and ordinary bereft of reality and devoid of possibility.

There are numerous difficulties on the Path of Love which one encounters in order to be united with the beloved. He says:

اُتھ درد منداں دے دیرے

جِتھ کرڑ کنڈا بوئی ڈھیرے[3]

Here, are the dwellings of the compassionate ones with widely spread out thorny shrubs, trees, plants and bushes.

Love is characterized by anguish and suffering, which demonstrate that the polarization between the lover and the beloved is provisional and the self wants to reside in a unified whole (Self). Nothing short of union can satiate the passion of love. He says:

.....................................................................................

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 225.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 132.

[3]     Ibid., Kafi 172.

 

درد اندر دی پیڑ

ہجر فراق دے تیر

ڈاڈھا سخت ستایا

دل نوں ، مار مونجھایا

The inward excruciating pain has highly vexed me. The arrows of disunion and separation have ravished my heart with anguish.

 

 

عشق ہے ڈکھڑے دل دی شادی

عشق ہے ساڈا پیر

عشق ہے رہبر مرشد ہادی

جیں  کل  رازُ  سجھایا[1]

Love is the delight of the suffering heart. Love is the mentor, spiritual master and guide. Love is our spiritual teacher, who has made us realise the whole secret.

 

 

عشق انوکھڑی پیڑ

نین وِہاوِم نیر

سو سو سول اندر دے

الڑے زخم جگر دے

Love is a novel pain with countless inward afflictions. The eyes are flowing with tears and there are fresh wounds of the self.

 

 

بِرہوں بکھیڑا سخت اویڑا

مارِم ما پیو ویر

خویش قبیلہ لاوِم جھیڑا

دشمن لوک شہر دے

The incongruities of love are very peculiar. My kith and kin are having brawls with me. My parents and brothers thrash me. The people of my city have turned into my enemies.

............................................................................................

تانگ اوَلڑی سانگ کللڑی

تن من دے وچ تیر

جندڑی جلڑی دِلڑی گلڑی

مارے یار ہنر دے

[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 8.

 

 

My longing is intricate and the spear of love too is so unintelligible. My life is burnt and my heart is rotten. My friend has swiftly shot the arrow in my body and soul.

غمزے سحری رمزاں ویری

ظلمیں زلف زنجیر

اکھیّاں جادو دید لٹیری

پیچی پیچ قہر دے

The enticements of my beloved are captivating and its expressions are my adversaries. The eyes are magical and the vision is capturing. The captivating long hair is a chain with ravishing furls.

 

 

پیت پُنل دی سِک پل پل دی

ڈکھ لاوِن تڑ بھیڑ

مارو تھل دی ریت پجل دی

جو سردے سو کردے

My love of Punnal is a constant desire of him. The sand of the deadly desert is fateful. The flocking sufferings impose themselves on me to the utmost extent.

 

 

تول نہالی ڈین ڈکھالی

لُوں لُوں لکھ لکھ چیر

صبر آرام دی وسرم چالی

کاری تیغ تبر دے

My nuptial quilt and mattress haunt me. The ways of patience and peace have been forgotten. The severe hits of the axe have made hundred thousand deep cuts in each and every pore of my being.

 

 

یار فرید نہ پایُم پھیرا

سڑ گیم سیس سریر

لایا درداں دل وچ دیرا

نیساں داغ قبر دے[1]

Farid! My friend has not come back to meet me. The pains have settled in my heart. My head, body and soul have been burnt. I will take these marks to my grave.

The human medium is a receptacle for the working of the Divine and in consequence human suffering helps in the realization of one’s possibilities. The alchemy of suffering turns the base metal into gold. It is by sacrificing one’s head that one gets entry into the corridors of Divinity. He says:



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 240.

درد فرید ہمیشہ ہووے

رہندی تانگھ تے تان

سارے پاپ دوئی دے دھودے

پہنچاں پریم نگر وچ[1]

Farid! I am having constant pain. It wipes out all the sins of duality. I have insatiable longing to reach the City of Love.

Suffering deepens the layers of one’s individual being for completing the process of realization. He says:

کیا حال سناواں دل دا

کوئی محرم راز نہ مِلدا

How could I narrate the state of my heart for there is no one to share my secrets?

منہ دھوڑ مٹی سر پایم

کوئی پچھن نہ ویڑھے آیم

سارا ننگ نموز ونجایم

ہَتھوں اُلٹا عالم کھِلدا

There is dust covering on my face and ashes on my head. I have lost all my honour and prestige. No one has come to share the state of my being. Rather, the world is laughing at me.

گیا بار برہوں سر باری

روندیں عمر گزاریم ساری

لگی ہو ہو شہر خواری

نہ پایم ڈس منزل دا

The burden of love has fallen on my head. I have earned infamy and notoriety. My whole life has been spent in crying. I have found no sign of my destination.

دل یار کیتے کُرلاوے

ڈکھ پاوے سول نبھاوے

تڑپھاوے تے غم کھاوے

ایہو طور تیڈے بیدل دا

My heart groans for my friend. It makes me restless and sorrowing. It is suffering and bearing afflictions. It is the condition of the one, who is deprived of your love.

 

 

کئی سہنس طبیب کماون

میڈے دل دا بھید نہ پاون

سے پڑیاں جھول پلاون

پووے فرق نہیں ہک تِل دا

There are countless therapists, who are diagnosing and administering medicines as remedial measures. They are far from understanding the mystery of my heart’s malady. There has not even been an iota of improvement in my state.



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 28.

There are countless therapists, who are diagnosing and administering medicines as remedial measures. They are far from understanding the mystery of my heart’s malady. There has not even been an iota of improvement in my state.

پنوں ہوت نہ کھڑ مکلایا

سوہنے جان پچھان رولایا

' کلہڑی کیچ سدھایا

کوڑا عذر نبھایم گِھل دا

My beloved Punnal went away without bidding me farewell. He left me alone and headed towards Kech. My sweet heart consciously made me wretched. I concocted the story that sleep had befallen me.

سن لیلیٰ دَھانہہ پکارے

سوہنا یار تونے ہکوَارے

تیڈا مجنوں زار نزارے

کڈیں چا پردہ محمل دا

O Layla! Listen to the imploring call of your Majnun, who is in a distressful state. My lovely friend! Do reveal thy self, at least once, by unveiling from the palanquin.

دل پریم نگر ڈوں تانگھے

نا راہ فرید نہ لانگھے

جتھاں پینڈے سخت اڑانگے

ہے پندھ بہوں مشکل دا[1]

My heart longs for the City of Love. The pathways leading to it are very hazardous. Farid! There are no passages or openings. It is an extremely difficult way.

Love is a universal passion but its expression has a deep rooted cultural foundation. One has to understand different cultural expressions of love in the context of traditional culture and folklore. Poetry divested of its cultural matrix loses an essential aspect of meaning enshrined in it.

The essentiality of love in all its forms is sacredness. The Prophet chose the love of prayer, women and perfume. His love for women and perfume was not profane. It had a sacred meaning wherein he transformed all these things into spiritual realities. He says:



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 15.

سر مکتوم معما جید

دنیا توں خود چنیا سید

ذوق نماز نساء تے طیب[1]

It was a deep secret and a great enigma that the Syed (Prophet) chose from the world, the love of prayer, women and perfume.

Love makes everything fall in oblivion. Things and events remain but at the plane of love they lose their ordinary meanings. All things and events-- inward and outward--- have existence but, in a certain sense, they have no inherent meanings. Meanings go on fluctuating in reference to the percipient or recipient. If the all- embracing and all encompassing objective is to seek the beloved for the sake of the beloved, then all meanings undergo change. One becomes forgetful of everything except the beloved. This is called the cognitive aspect of love. All those people who are placed outside this situation of love consider the lovers as mad. They call them crazy from their own relative position. They are not placed at that pedestal to see for themselves the ultimate nature of things and events. Instead of raising themselves up they tend to drag down the elevated souls. This is the price visionaries have to pay for waking before time. They even go beyond the moral categories of good and bad for they transcend manifestation and are connected with the Source. The reality of anguish and suffering helps the lover to keep tracks on the road to love. Love imparts an understanding, which is otherwise not possible. It is not a meaningless suffering but a meaningful one. If the beloved applied balm to the wounded heart of the lover prematurely then the higher possibilities would just cease to fructify. It is the intensity of love suffering that ripens the heart. A ‘kind- hearted’ beloved cannot unfold the drama of love in its highest form. However, the beloved makes these sufferings bear for there is a connectivity that gives meaning to such ordeals.



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 24.

A modern dominant trend to reduce religion to a mere set of beliefs, philosophy, morals, rituals or actions misses the essence of religion, which is spiritual in form and content. Love takes the religion of the heart to the heart of religion. Love is cognitive and it is not a mere passion. It is a feeling with cognitive content. Reality has many layers and its deeper layers are only amenable to love. Love gives us a special knowledge which otherwise remains opaque to human consciousness. No degree of conceptual knowledge can know God in fullness. It is existential knowledge realizable in the state of love alone which imparts real knowledge of God. God is not merely an object. He has to be really understood in a situation of lived participation which is truly possible in the state of love. This is relevant both to God and His creation. Human beings can also be understood in a better way in a state of love than otherwise.

It is in the company of one’s spiritual master that one not only learns the complete lessons of esoterism but also realizes them. Metaphysical realization leads to the cessation of one’s individuality and the Spirit or Reality functions through the human medium. The Freedom itself is without limits and one tastes real freedom by ceasing to be. The role of the spiritual master or Murshid is very crucial in this respect. Reality teaches respect whereas spirituality brews reverence. Islamic intellectuality in its aspect of spirituality brings to the forefront the reality of reverence. Reverence is a mode intimately linked with Sufism. The love and reverence of one’s spiritual elders is so rampant in the mystic way of life. It is essentially the reverence of the Reality, which perfectly manifests in a human medium that is in the mirror of the heart. Reality is manifest in every medium but those mediums which are pure in heart provide an occasion to the Reality to manifest itself in relative fullness. It is spiritual contact with a spiritual person, which opens up the inward eye. Blessings flow from him and they encompass the whole being both in its inward and outward aspects. It is ‘barakah’ or blessing which flows in the veins of spiritual person and transforms the other according to the spiritual receptivity of the recipient. It is love of the holy man which works wonders in spiritual life. It is the insatiable love for the spiritual person which works as alchemy. Reverence is an act which places the reverend at a vertical dimension and it manifests spiritual ‘adab’ or courtesy which opens up gates of knowledge and being. The mystic literature of mankind stands as an ample testimony to the fact that the blessed door is narrower than the eye of a needle and only one in a state of true humility or ontological nothingness can enter it. The spiritual master guides the disciple on the road to love. The allegiance to the spiritual master has to be total. It is the blessing of Allah to get such a mentor. One understands the mystery of love and whole esoterism at his hands. The novice has to discipline his self in order to realize the reality of Self (Reality). Khawaja Ghulam Farid says:

گُر نے پورے بید بتائے

مدہوشی وچ ہوش سکھائے

عقل فکر سب فہم گمائے

سارا  سفر  عروج سُجھایا[1]

My spiritual master communicated to me esoterism in fullness. He made my reason, reflection and entire understanding dwindle into insignificance. He taught me sobriety in drunkenness. He enlightened me on the ascending stages of spiritual journey.

بہہ کر کلہڑیں رمز سجھائی

پیر مکمل عارف کامل

My perfect spiritual master, an adept in esoterism, secretly gave me a clue to the mystery.

وجہہ اللہ فرید ہے باقی

باقی ہالک زاہق زائل[2]

 Farid! The Face of Allah is Permanent. All else is annihilating, dying and ephemeral.

گجھڑے راز فقر دے سارے

فخر الدین سُجھائے

Fakhruddin made me realise all the deeper mysteries of the way of ontological nothingness.Fakhruddin made me realise all the deeper mysteries of the way of ontological nothingness.



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 2.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 72.

 

حال مقام دی رتق فتق

سب شرحیں کر فرمائے[1]

 He made me fully understand the states and stations of the soul and the ensuing contractions and expansions.

 

فخر جہاں ہک ریت سجھائی

اَرضی تِھیا یَک بار سمائی

ظلمت بن گئی نور و نور[2]

Fakhr Jehan made me realise a metaphysical tradition. The terrestrial became celestial and darkness turned into lighting upon light.

لطف ازل دا ویلہا آیا

طبع سلیم فرید دی پایا

فخر جہاں گُر گیان سنایا

فہم لغات طیوری نوں[3]

It was the dawning of eternal bliss that Fakhr Jehan laid bare the principles of gnosis. The harmonious disposition of Farid understood the language of birds.

فخر الدین مٹھل دے شوقوں

دم دم نکلم دود

My each breath emits smoke in fondness of sweet Fakharuddin.

وصل فرید کوں حاصل ہویا

جب  ہو  گیا  نابود[4]

Farid attained union (identity) by ceasing to be.

کشف حقائق محض محالے

جے تئیں مرشد نظر نہ بھالے

پیو کل کوڑ، فریب، تے زُور[5]

The illumination of realities is hardly possible unless the spiritual master casts his glance. All else is absolute falsehood, deception and illusion.



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 218.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 57.

[3]     Ibid., Kafi 119.

[4]     Ibid., Kafi 32.

[5]     Ibid., Kafi 50.

کیں پایا باجھ فقیراں

جذبہ عشق کی لذت کو

Who found the taste of the enthusiasm of love except those who are conscious of their ontological nothingness?

کل شے وچ کل شے ڈٹھوسے

برکت صحبت پیراں

ہمہ اوست دا درس کیتوسے

پی کر بادہ وحدت کو

We witnessed the Reality in all things. We narrated the doctrine of Oneness of being by drinking the wine of unity in the blissful company of mystics.

جب مدہوشی ناز ڈکھایا

خرقہ پاڑ لویراں

عریانی نے رنگ جمایا

پہنیم رندی خلعت کو

The moment drunkenness manifested its prideful style (the reality of things became manifest), nudity stamped its reality. The saintly attire was torn into bits. We wore the robe of the inebriates.

درد منداں کوں درد سلامت

دوکھ دوکھ اٹھدیاں پیڑاں

بار محبت پنڈ ملامت

گھول گھتاں سب راحت کو

The pain of the compassionate ones may remain intact. They may carry the burden of love and load of reproach. The pains are steadily intensifying. I sacrifice all my peace in their honour.

حسن فرید کئی گھر لوٹے

سے سسیاں لکھ ہِیراں

رلدیاں پھردیاں جنگل بوٹے

ڈیکھو عشق دی شدت کو[1]

Farid! Beauty has ransacked many a home. There are numerous Sassis and countless Heers, who are wandering, wretchedly in forests and marshes. Do hereby witness the intensity of love.

 

چرن گرو دے سیس نوائیں

جہد جہاد دا بار اٹھائیں

جو آکھے چم اکھیاں چائیں

قرب کمال ہئی مطلب بارا

Bow your head at the feet of your Master. Carry out his commands wholeheartedly. Bear the onerous obligation of spiritual struggle. The meaning of this quest lies in achieving perfect proximity.



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 149.

 

تھی گر پیر دا چیلا سچا

برہوں کڑاہ چڑھیا مچ مچیا

نہ ہو قدم ہٹا کر کچا

جل بل مار انا دا نعرہ[1]

Be a true disciple of your spiritual Master. Do not become frail by faltering your steps. The cauldron of love is ablaze. Get burned in it completely by raising the cry: I am Truth.

The spiritual master is also a spiritual therapist and he knows the states of the soul and their sickness and he knows the art of healing. He transforms sensuality into spirituality. He says:

نفسی خلط ہے تونیں غَالب

پر مایوس نہ تھیویں طالب

پیر مغاں ہے خاص طبیب[2]

O’ seeker! Do not fall in despair even when sensuality has overpowered you. The cup bearer is a special therapist.

The stage of realization leads to a direct contact with Reality. Man realizes the cosmic purpose for which he was created. He says:

ہن میں رانجھن ہوئی

رِہیا فرق نہ کوئی

Now, I have become Ranjhan. The polarization has been withdrawn (by the Self).

جیں سنگ دِلڑی پیت لگائی

آخر بن گئی سوئی

My heart ultimately became the same (united) with whom it cultivated love.

ہِیر سلیٹی چوچک بیٹی

ونج کِس جا کھڑوئی

Heer, the daughter of Choochak, reached such (sublime) heights.



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 20.

[2]     Ibid., Kafi 24.

ہیروں ہیرا تھیسیں جیکر

سر ہیں راہ ڈتوئی

If you sacrifice yourself for the sake of love, then you will also be transformed from Heer to a diamond (will become priceless by the process of alchemy).

پہلے کھا کر درد کُشالے

اُوڑک تھئی دِل جوئی

I had to bear pains and adversities in the early phases but at last my efforts fructified to my heart’s content.

شابس اصلوں محض نہ ہاریوں

جتنا بار چتوئی

It is commendable that you did not lose your heart in spite of bearing such pressures.

جو کوئی سِلک محبت دے وچ

مَرن توں اگے موئی

The one who dies before dying in the tradition of love (succeeds).

سیجھ سُہاگ سُہایس تھی خوش

شام سندر سنگ سوئی

The person attains happiness by being in the nuptial bed with his beloved.

نال خیال انا دے جیں نے

میل دوئی دی دھوئی

They cleanse themselves of the dust of multiplicity by virtue of “I am the Truth.”

سارے جگ وچ ہِک میں رہ گئی

نہ توئی نہ اوئی

I remained solely in the world without otherness.

تھِیا منصور فریدؔ ہمیشہ

جیں اے راز لدھوئی[1]

Farid! He always remained a victor who found this secret (realised his self in fullness).

Islamic Spirituality enlightens us on the voyage of the self to the Self. It is an inner journey which is characterized by different states and stations. The individual realization maintains man-God polarity whereas universal or metaphysical realization transcends this polarization. It is a

higher spiritual experience which leads to complete identity of knowing and being. It is the realization of Knowledge itself.

The human over lay is completely transformed at the stage of metaphysical realization. The Reality expresses itself through the human medium. Khawaja Ghulam Farid tries to give an inkling of this station in these verses:



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 268.


دِل مست محو خیال ہے

سرمو تفاوت نہ سہوں

My heart is engrossed within imagination. I cannot bear any differentiation.

اے خیال عین وصال ہے

تے کمال ہے نہ کہ ہے جنوں

My imagination is an immanent union. It is perfection and not lunacy.

اصل الاصول شہدتہ

چہ شہود عین بعینہ

ہمہ سو بسو ہمہ کوبکو

نہیں فرصت اتنی کہ دم بھروں

I have openly witnessed the Supreme Principle in every nook and corner. The witnessing is so glaringly evident that I cannot disengage myself even for a moment.

جو مکاں تھا بن گیا لامکاں

شدہ اسم و رسم زمن دواں

جو نشان تھا ہو گیا بے نشاں

اللہ اپنے آپ کو کیا کہوں

The spatial turned spaceless. The sign turned without a sign. The names and customs of the ages have left me forlorn. My Allah! What should I call myself?

نہ عیان ہے نہ نہان ہے

نہ رہا ایہہ جسم نہ جان ہے

نہ بیان ہے نہ دھیان ہے

کِیہاں ڈوس ہوش حواس کوں

There is neither openness nor hiddenness. There is neither speech nor a thought. My body has neither remained nor the life-impulse. How can I blame my sense and sensibility?

شد عکس در عکس ایں بِنا

باقی نماند بجز انا

کہ فنا بقا ہے بقا فنا

کِتھ او تے توں کِتھ ہاں تے ہوں

There is double reflection. ‘Fana’ (extinction) is ‘baqa’ (subsistence) and ‘baqa’ (subsistence) is ‘fana’ (extinction). There is solely the ultimate, without any question of that and you (otherness)?

کڈیں شور دے سطوات ہن

کئی قسم دے بکوات ہن

کڈیں زور دے شطحات ہن

ستوں دے بتوں، بتوں دے ستوں

There are percussions and spiritual impositions at times and at times there are drives and antinomian utterances. There are so many types of prattling leading to meaningless discourse.

اٹھ گئی ”فرید“ ہوس مُنڈھوں

کسے کس ہو کس ناکس منڈھوں

نہ رہا ہئی وَس ہک خس منڈھوں

چپ چاپ فیل فساد توں[1]

Farid! Lust has been uprooted. I have become incapacitated as a straw. You should be quiet for there will be tumult in determining, who absolutely merits or who does not merit.

آہن قلندر روز و شب

پہنجی خودی میں خود غرق

The Qalandars, day and night, are themselves drowned in their own selves.

حاجت نہ صوم صلوٰت دی

چاہت نہ ذات صفات دی

خواہش نہ حج زکوٰۃ دی

ہک شان وحدت جی مرک

They transcend fasting and prayer. They have no wish of the pilgrimage and alms giving. They have no keenness of essence and attributes. They simply yearn for the Majestic One.

نہ طلب ملک تے مال دی

مستی خدائی خیال دی

نہ غرض جاہ و جلال دی

پوونیں نہ آدم جئے تے تک

They have no craving of dominion and wealth. They have no concern with rank and dignity. They are enraptured in contemplating Divinity. Their eyes don’t cast a glance on the human sphere.



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 103.

تونے جو دریا نوش ہن

اسرار دے سرپوش ہن

پرجوش تھی خاموش ہن

صامت رہن مارن نہ بک

They remain composed, in spite of being heavily drunk and animated. They are the coverings of the mysteries. They remain quiet and do not prattle.

عاشق اتے معشوق ہن

خود دُر اتے صندوق ہن

سابق اتے مسبوق ہن

ہر طور وچ رہندے اُچھک

They are themselves lovers and beloveds. They are themselves vanguards and rearguards. They are themselves pearls and caskets. They remain serene in all situations.

مسکین اتے مظلوم ہن

ہر وقت کالمعدوم ہن

محزون اتے مغموم ہن

رکھدے نہ دل وچ کئی امک[1]

They are themselves modest and oppressed. They are themselves sad and melancholy. They are perpetually in a state of annihilation. They do not nurture any urge in their hearts.

جیں رمز راول جی بجھی

تن کھے مشاہدہ رات دن

The one who unravels the mystery of the beloved does remain in the state of witnessing day and night.

نہیں جا اتھاں افیون دی

جنہاں سدھ لکھی بے چون دی

نہ بھنگ نہ معجون دی

نت مست رے پیتیں وتن

Here, there is no scope of opium, hemp or electuary. They keep a track of the Unique. They are enraptured without wine.

رل وسدے لوکاں نال ہن

ہر آن غرق خیال ہن

پر اصل فارغ بال ہن

شاغل سمہن شاغل اٹھن

They remain and dwell with the people but are essentially free from the worldly strings (worldliness). They are drowned in imagination at every moment. They remain committed in sleep and remain absorbed, while awake.



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 64.

خود توں خودی توں دور ہن

حق دے ہمیش حضور ہن

سَرمست جام طہور ہن

اولیں وچوں بھولے بَھنِن

They are beyond themselves and ego hood. They are enraptured in Divine illuminations. They are permanently in the fold of Divine Presence. The worldly activity is for them a persona.

نہیں مِلک ملک تے مال دے

ہِن ذوق وجد تے حال دے

نہیں زال دے نہیں بال دے

گم کر گماں یک رو رہن

They are not attached to property, dominion and wealth. They are neither attached to a wife nor to children. They belong to tasting, inspiration, and a mystic state. They thrust aside all doubts and remain meditative.

سر ڈے لہن سر دا لقا

ہو کر فنا پاوِن بقا

گئے محض مرنوں سر لکا

سو سود نقصانوں کرن

They witness the real mystery by sacrificing their head. They save their head from ordinary death. They attain subsistence by annihilating themselves. They reap countless benefits from one loss.

ونج وٹھڑے دیس سہاگ دے

بارہ مہینے پھاگ دے

سُکھ روپ مانن بھاگ دے

پاچین چڑھ سیجیں بہن

They go and dwell in the nuptial city. They enjoy the destined forms of peace. Their twelve months are the season of spring. They sit, while mounting on the nuptial bed in the state of fulfilment.

جیں من مندر پایا پیا

تھی محو اثباتی تھیا

ڈکھ پاپ سارا مٹ گیا

رَہندا فرید فرید بِن[1]

The one who finds the beloved in his heart, it leads to the effacement of all his sufferings and sins. Farid remains without individuality by subsisting in the everlasting one (non duality).



[1]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 100.

The doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) is relevant in the contemporary times for it is in the light of metaphysics and tradition that the contemporary man can find his way. The doctrine builds a real cosmic unity by understanding multiplicity as manifestation of unity. It integrates metaphysics, cosmology, tradition and symbolism. It provides metaphysical basis for the unity of sciences and the unity of mankind. It has the spiritual capacity to go beyond the narrow circuits of human psyche to the universal realm of Spirit thereby integrating the fragmented self of the modern man. It is vital enough to bring in the dimension of transcendence and verticality in the world of finitude and horizontality.

The timely intervention of the tradition can check the modern tendency of the religion to become handmaid of science and philosophy. It can help in the integration of contemplation and action. It can bring an inward change in the absence of which an outward change is neither real nor durable. The Sufi tradition is committed to reality and truth. It symbolizes universal love, peace and harmony. Strictly speaking, within the ambit of tradition there can be no clash of civilizations unless the civilizations cease to be civilizations and become sensate cultures and in that case power shall get divorced from vision resulting in the end of civilization.

The future of every great tradition of the world shall lie in reforming itself from within, in the light of its own primordial ideals, and its readiness to create sacred linkages with different civilizations of the world. Doubtlessly, the traditional societies are facing complex problems in meeting the diversified challenges of modernism. The situation is becoming more difficult for the light within the traditions seems to be flickering out. But its votaries need to realize that even the feeble light of a given tradition is still light and needs to be increased. The Sufi tradition stands for light upon light.

 

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