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 The Metaphysical and Cultural Perspectives of  
Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Poetry

and

IQbal

Dr. Shahzad Qaiser

Iqbal Academy Pakistan

All Rights Reserved

Publisher:   Muhammad Suheyl Umar Director Iqbal Academy Pakistan

6th Floor, Aiwan-i-Iqbal Complex, Off Egerton Road, Lahore.

Tel:[+ 92-423] 6314-510, 9203573 Fax:[+ 92-423] 631-4496

Email:director@iap.gov.pk  Website:www.allmaiqbal.com

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  Dedicated to: Dr. Mehr Abdul Haq  

 Contents 

The Absolute and the Infinite..................................................................... 9           

Acknowledgement...................................................................................... 11

Preface........................................................................................................ 13

Foreword..................................................................................................... 17

Reflections.................................................................................................. 23

Prologue...................................................................................................... 27

Introductory................................................................................................ 33

  1. What is the Essence of Poetry? .......................................................... 73
  2. Introduction to the Metaphysics of
    Khawaja Ghulam Farid with Reference to
    Mansur Al-Hallaj, Bayazid Bistami and Ibn’ Arabi............................ 85
  3. Dimensions of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Metaphysics ....................117
  4. The Quintessence of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Metaphysics.......... 123
  5. The Uniqueness of Khawaja Ghulam
    Farid’s Metaphysics.................................................................. ......... 133
  6. Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid on
    The Conception of Prophethood in Islam........................................ 137
  7. Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Doctrine of Oneness
    of Being (Wahdat al-Wujud) and its Relevance
    in the Contemporary Times.............................................................. 153
  8. Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid on
    Man-God Polarity.............................................................................. 193
  9. Metaphysics of Knowledge: Jalaluddin Rumi,
    Muhammad Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid.................................. 251
  10. Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Doctrine of
    Oneness of Being (Wahdat al-Wujud) and
    its Universal Realization................................................................... 293
  11. Iqbal’s Metaphysics of Culture and the
    Arab Awakening................................................................................... 311
  12. Universal Values as the Foundation for Social Transformation (Parameters of Discussion) ................ 325
  13. “Empty-Handed from an Orchard”:
    The Role of Muhammad Iqbal’s Thought
    in Awakening Universal Sense of
    Justice on Jerusalem......................................................................... 329
  14. The Transformation of Religiosity into Spirituality: Muhammad Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid .......355
  15. The Metaphysical Foundations of
    Allama Iqbal’s Political Thought...................................................... bsp; 
                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                  The Absolute and the Infinite 

لِلّٰهِ مَا فِي السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْاَرْضِ ۭ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيْدُ  26؀ وَلَوْ اَنَّ مَا فِي الْاَرْضِ مِنْ شَجَـرَةٍ اَقْلَامٌ وَّالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهٗ مِنْۢ بَعْدِهٖ سَبْعَةُ اَبْحُرٍ مَّا نَفِدَتْ كَلِمٰتُ اللّٰهِ ۭ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ عَزِيْزٌ حَكِيْمٌ  27؀

To God belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth; surely God -- He is the All-sufficient, the All-laudable. Though all the trees in the earth were pens; and the sea – seven seas after it to replenish it, yet would the Words of God not be spent. God is All-mighty, All-wise.

Surah Lokman: 31: 26-27

The Koran Interpreted,

Arthur J. Arberry

                                                                                           Acknowledgement               

I owe infinite gratitude to late Dr. Mehr Abdul Haq, an illustrious teacher and visionary, who supervised my Doctoral Dissertation on the metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid. He taught me the subtleties of Saraiki language and its conceptual formulations in forms of poetry and prose. He made me perceive the beauties of Diwan-i-Farid and the dynamics of Saraiki culture.

I have been so lucky in having late Professor Gilani Kamran, an original thinker and critic, as my teacher in English language and literature in Government College, Lahore. His rendering of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s masterpieces of poetry in English along with Dr. Aslam Ansari remains ever fresh in my mind.

I am thankful to James Winston Morris, an outstanding scholar on Sufi Studies, who is opening creative paths in the study of the Sufi doctrines. His imaginative works on Ibn Arabi and Sadr al-Din Shirazi (Mulla Sadra) sparkle in the world of metaphysics.

I am indebted to Prof. Dr. Aslam Ansari, a creative thinker, whose highly illuminating works continue to inspire me. He is a beacon of light for all research scholars.

I am thankful to Dr. Muhammad Amin, a genuine philosopher and poet, whose company has always been intellectually stimulating and educative for me.

My appreciation is due for Mian Mukhtar Ahmed and Muhammad Younus Latif, dedicated officials of Iqbal Academy Pakistan, Lahore, in rendering all assistance in finalising the work of publication

Preface                                                                                                            

Poetry as Heart-Perception: The Metaphysical Promise of Khawaja Ghulam Farid

One of the unfortunate ironies of the present era of nation-building and precipitous “modernization,” all across the Islamic world, has been the relative neglect, if not the outright disappearance¸ of so much of the rich cultural heritage of recent centuries of the local Islamic humanities of the precious creative works of that host of writers, poets, musicians, artists and spiritual teachers who devoted their lives to expressing and communicating the spiritual depths and deepest aims of the Qur’anic revelation in moving artistic, social and cultural forms intimately tied to their particular local languages, environment and cultural settings—so many of which have been swept away in recent decades. As one can easily witness in many other regions of the world as well, all too often it is only when those fragile spiritual treasures are close to disappearing that a few dedicated individuals begin to reawaken (and then awaken others) to an active sense of their deeper and lasting value. Happily, Dr. Shahzad Qaiser has devoted many years of his life to safeguarding, translating and interpreting the poetic and spiritual heritage of the great Punjabi mystical poet Khawaja Ghulam Farid (1845-1901), in a number of precious volumes in English that together make that poet’s work and teaching now available to wider interested audiences around the world.

The present, most recent volume of those studies, which should ideally be read along with Dr. Qaiser's monumental Understanding Diwan-i-Farid: Translation and Explanations (Suhail Academy, 2011) provides a personal distillation of key elements in Farid's religious and metaphysical philosophy, while it also serves as a helpful introduction to many of the central guiding themes of this revered mystic's teaching in his poetical works. For the benefit of those audiences already familiar with the philosophy and other writings of Iqbal, many of Dr. Qaiser's explanations here take the form of an ongoing, careful comparison of Khawaja Ghulam Farid's ideas with the more familiar works of Iqbal, a comparison that often highlights the deeper rootedness of Farid's characteristic insights and traditional teachings in the metaphysical depths of the Qur'an and the Prophetic hadith.

Indeed Dr. Qaiser’s overview of Khawaja Farid’s thought and of the metaphysical teachings embedded in his poetry surely constitutes, for younger readers today largely unfamiliar with those earlier religious perspectives, a helpful and wide-ranging introduction to that broad complex of traditional Islamic spiritual and philosophical thought which was expressed for centuries in the learned and vernacular languages (including the devotional music, architecture, and ritual life) of many different Muslim communities across the Subcontinent. The focus of Dr. Qaiser’s exposition here, we should add, is not simply analytical or historical, since this book continually highlights the constructive, positive and ongoing relevance of Farid’s teachings for much wider, even global audiences in the contemporary world, along two recurrent dimensions. The first of those guiding perspectives is his stress on clearly acknowledging the shared human-divine reality of the metaphysical aspects of our nature and spiritual experience, both as the true centre of human existence and as the necessary ground for any reawakened awareness of our deeper common spiritual purpose. The second recurrent theme, building on the first, is his call for a reawakening to our integral humanity and thereby to the possibility of a more stable, genuinely global civilization, rooted in our theomorphic capacity for inner balance and harmony that can emerge beyond of the current cacophony of divisive political ideologies and their blindly reductive metaphysical underpinnings.

Finally, Dr. Qaiser’s carefully developed exposition of these many fascinating, constructive dimensions of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s teaching is a heartfelt reminder of our shared, perennial challenge to rediscover such rare spiritual accomplishments in poetry (or music, scripture, and each of the Islamic humanities): only this time not just as the impressive creative work of a single individual, but as potential tools for communicating a wider, shared “remembrance of God” (dhikr Allāh), and for forging those spiritual communities devoted to realizing beauty-and-good, to the inspired acts of ihsān, which are the visibly enduring fruit of those singular acts of divine remembrance.

 

April 22, 2012                                             Prof. J. W. Morris

Boston College   Massachusetts, USA                                                                          

                                                                           Foreword

The unprecedented advancement of science and technology as witnessed by the contemporary world has made the materialism the only worldview acceptable to the modern mind, which is immersed in the immediate ‘actuality’ and apparent reality of the matter. This view has been supported by the ever growing bulk of scientific knowledge and the all-pervasive idea of ‘progress’. Though it can hardly be contended that the material progress is a delusion: on the contrary, it is perceived as the culminating point of modern civilization, yet taking matter as the ultimate reality beyond which nothing can be presumed to exist has blocked man’s view of the other dimensions of existence which in fact is a great loss for the inner growth of man. The material point of view denies primacy to the spiritual meanings of life and the ethical values which are loosing ground by the day. The present theory of knowledge based on sense-perception also denies the possibility of any other means to reach the final reality.

The situation might have been hopelessly bleak, but man’s innate and irrepressible urge to go beyond the apparent has proved to be the saving grace. Of late many men of rare intellectual qualities have come up to probe into the inner meanings of life, thus stressing the need for a different approach in the quest for the ultimate reality. They may not be many in number, but they include such luminaries as Schuon (Shaykh Isa Nur ad Din Ahmad), Rene Guenon (Abdul Wahid Yahya), Seyyed Hussein Nasr, and William C. Chittick. Much to the pride of Pakistani scholarship, the name of Dr. Shahzad Qaiser, the learned author of the present volume, can well be placed on the same list.

The abiding interest of Dr. Shahzad Qaiser in Metaphysics and Islamic mysticism, commonly called Sufism, dates back to the early phase of his practical life as a civil servant when he was brought closer to the subject by his study of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s thought and poetry while at Multan. His extensive study of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s life and poetry in the perspective of metaphysical aspects of Sufism resulted into his doctoral dissertation which was later published under the title of The Metaphysics of Khwaja Ghulam Farid, an outstanding work yet to be excelled. This was followed by many more works of enduring value such as Beyond the Manifest (2009). Metaphysics and Tradition (2009), The Message of Diwan-i-Farid (2009) and Understanding Diwan-i-Farid (2011), the last two being great intellectual achievements in exegetics and exposition of text of the poetry of a legendry mystic. About Understanding Diwan-i-Farid, Dr. N. A. Bloch has rightly said, “It is a distinctive achievement on the part of Dr. Shahzad Qaiser to have produced an English translation of the text, with explanation, of the ‘Kafi compositions’ of Khawaja Ghulam Farid.”(Prologue to Understanding Diwan-i-Farid).

The pre-eminence of Khawaja Ghulam Farid (1845-1901), the great sufi poet of Saraiki language, cannot be over-stressed. His ‘Kafis’ (mystical poems) depict the depth and range of not only a great poet but also a great spiritual being. These ‘Kafis’, with a marked touch of local colour, possess a strong universal appeal. Their general impact on the popular imagination is ever stronger with no signs of waning. Rich in resonance and spiritual as well as romantic connotations, the ‘Kafis’ of Khwaja Ghulam Farid have a unique metaphysical aspect which is the focal point of Dr. Shahzad Qaiser’s critical studies who introduces Khwaja Ghulam Farid as a metaphysical poet in the following words: “Khawaja Ghulam Farid (1845-1901), a Saraiki Sufi poet par excellence, uncovered the tracks of metaphysics, cosmology, tradition and symbolism. He demonstrated the possibility of looking beyond physics, experienced the universe as cosmos, rooted the intellectual doctrine in the Islamic tradition and taught the language of symbolism.”(Preface to the Metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid)

Although much had been written about the conceptual aspects of Khawaja Farid’s Sufi poetry in and around the mid-twentieth century, it was for Dr. Shahzad Qaiser to discover him as a conscious Sufi poet in full splendour. Hazrat Khawaja was a Sufi, not only by conviction, but also by conscious choice. That is why, to express his spiritual experiences and metaphysical longings, he has frequently used the technical terms of Islamic Tasawwuf which were coined and used by the early Sufi masters and which gained acceptance and authenticity through centuries of Muslim Sufi thought. Hazrat Khawaja’s usage of these terms is unique in the sense that he made them an integral part of his poetic idiom. This imparts a definite intellectual colouring to his teachings, and this is what attracts modern mind more and more to his poetry and metaphysical doctrine of the “oneness of being” (Wahdat al-Wujud) expressed with great poetic subtleties and depth of vision. And this is what constitutes the central theme of the exceptionally remarkable works of Dr. Shahzad Qaiser. Other issues taken up in these works relate to Ontology, Epistemology (theory of knowledge) and the possibilities of man’s direct contact with Reality. His treatment of these issues of great philosophical importance reveals a deeper understanding of a modern mind confronted with the authenticity of the Tradition and the apparently insurmountable intellectual challenges of recent times. Highly critical of modern man’s superficial material approach, Dr. Shahzad Qaiser advocates the revival of his slumbering spiritual sensibilities through understanding the Sufi texts, the supreme embodiment of which is the poetry of Khawaja Ghulam Farid.

Never loosing sight of the contemporary philosophical scenario in the sub-continent, the learned author is cognizant of all major issues of modern world. In an important paragraph of one of the articles, included in this volume, he compares the respective metaphysical doctrines of Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Khawaja Farid in the context of Man-God polarity in his lucid and brilliant style thus: “Both Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid believe in man-God polarity but with this essential difference that for Iqbal this polarity is absolute, final and categorical whereas for Khawaja Ghulam Farid it is essentially relative, provisional and hypothetical and is ultimately transcended by virtue of the Self, the Intellect or the Spirit, which is identical with the Divine essence.

Here lies the central difference between religious metaphysics and the intellectual one. The former stands for individuality, limitedness and duality whereas the latter is essentially characterized by universality, unlimitedness and non-duality.”(Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid on Man-God Polarity)

In my opinion this is a very important statement having embodied the most essential, common as well as contrasting, features of the metaphysical thought of Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid. While further elucidating his point, he argues, and rightly so, that Iqbal builds his metaphysics on the subject and object structure of reality, a concept which does not find favour with the exponents of the doctrine of “the oneness of being” (Wahdat al-Wujud), such as the followers of Ibn Arabi, Hallaj and (in later times) Khawaja Ghulam Farid. In consonance with the precepts of Khawaja Ghulam Farid, the learned author is an ardent advocate of the same doctrine, implying that it is the only plausible explanation of the problems caused by the theories based on the concept of the subject- object duality. However, what needs to be pointed out here is that, in my opinion, no judicious mind with philosophical orientation, even at variance with either of the two points of view, will be able to hold back his admiration for the brilliant analysis and logical precision displayed in the paragraph quoted above. I think it can be helpful in resolving some of the knotty problems of philosophy and metaphysics.

It was rather amazing for me to come across the very first article of this volume entitled as “What is the Essence of Poetry?” What does the question of the essence of poetry has to do with ‘high-sounding’ metaphysical problems? I asked myself. But then I was reminded of the existentialist thinkers of 1970s and 1980s who turned to the question of the nature of art which, in their opinion, represented the true picture of existence: mere form without essence. After going through this article of Dr. Shahzad Qaiser, I found that he has turned the tables on the existentialists by proving that poetry had ‘an essence and that it is ‘transcendental’ in nature. Personally, I shared the views of the existentialists of yester year for a long time. But by keeping in view my own long experience of writing poetry for decades now, in retrospection though, I found his arguments convincing. They offer food for thought to the modern day literary critics.

In one of his books mentioned above there is a short narrative in which the author has told us about his initiation into the Sufi way of life by his revered murshid. Thus we have reasons to believe that while he was engaged in his academic pursuits, his spiritual journey continued all along, providing him with personal glimpses of spiritual realities and inner meanings of life, as also a first hand understanding of the Sufi method to unravel the spiritual symbolism of Khawaja Ghulam Farid for whom his devotion and deep respect deserves our respect and admiration. I think that Dr. Shahzad Qaiser has maintained a level of objectivity throughout his writings as far as possible.

His contribution to the recently developed discipline of “Faridiaat” is going to exercise a vast influence in the fields of philosophy in Pakistan and elsewhere. His works are to widen the horizons of what some decades ago was termed as the post-Iqbalian scenario of philosophy in Pakistan. It seems certain that his expositions are going to have a direct impact upon the possible interpretations of Islamic spirituality by the modern intellect.

The present day world desperately needs a comprehensive point of view, which may help mankind to resolve our intellectual contradictions and behavioural dichotomies. Such a point of view can be evolved through sincere efforts, as happily we find in the case of the present volume, to understand and appropriately interpret the authentic spiritual text such as those of the verses of the great mystic poet Khawaja Ghulam Farid, whose thought and poetry remains at the heart of all the writings of our learned author, Dr. Shahzad Qaiser. He has been greatly successful, through his uncommon understanding of our mystical traditions, in developing a narrative of spirituality for the modern mind, wherein lies the relevance and abiding significance of this work of extraordinary erudition.

April 23, 2012                                              Dr. Aslam Ansari  Multan

 

                                                                                 Reflections*

Shahzad Qaiser has made a strange and morphologically difficult world the subject of study in his writings on Khwaja Farid. Very few writers have realized how our world of the mind has undergone a basic change in the present time, and since Khwaja Farid’s death in 1901, the world that belonged to the sufi-poet has perhaps been mostly overshadowed by modern learning and the phenomenon of the alienation of man. Shahzad Qaiser has quite aptly pointed out the prevalent state and has, while examining the tools of the understanding of this complicated world, redefined the doctrine of the Wahdat- ul-Wajud which had been informing, shaping, and transforming the human mind over a long period of Muslim history.

It is surprising to realize that a critical split has indeed occurred in the cosmic diagram of our intellectual culture which bas broken the wholeness of the Being into isolated parts, and Creator, the Creation and Man have been separately identified as the points of the Cosmic triangle. Prior to this, man in our cultural setting had been a part, and indivisible one, of the creation. In the present arrangement Man has withdrawn himself from it, and while distancing himself from it, and after having named it as Nature has become an outsider. This happening has also made Man oblivious of his own nature, and consequently he has become spiritually a lonesome individual and has lost contact with what had been sustaining him through his anthropological experience and progress.

Shahzad Qaiser has taken up this dilemma and has attempted to explore the outlines of its coverage in a metaphysical perspective. He has, in the process of understanding and discovery, started from Iqbal’s philosophical position where, in Man-God polarisation, man has emerged as a rational being, and as subject has effected a frontal view of the object comprising Nature and the universe, and the Creator as its ultimate reference. In his analysis of what Iqbal’s philosophy has conveyed to us, Shahzad Qaiser has referred to Iqbal’s religious experience which arises out of sense-perception, Reason, and intuition, and is further sustained by the signals and reports radiated by the Fuad, the feeling human heart. As a matter of fact, the Fuad, namely the axis of Being in man, is the point in human consciousness where the psycho-physiological nature of man comes into direct contact with his spiritual nature. The function of Fuad appears to be interpretive, as it shapes and forms and provides meaning to religious experience.

Shahzad Qaiser has regarded this philosophical position as the outcome of logical thinking which is in its turn based on the premises of differentiated reality. Shahzad Qaiser has suggested that this philosophical perspective seems to have assumed an intervening space between God, nature and Man and has, thus, inserted confrontation, oppositeness, and separation in Man-God relationship. In this philosophic view, Nature and History appear as demonstrative phenomenon, and the higher knowledge of God, gnosis, comes to man through inference, reasoning and built-up conclusions. It is also important to know that the polarisation sustains, and man remains rooted to his rational self. This state of affairs has, indeed, become the pervasive condition of man in our intellectual culture, and much greater hope is laid on the religious experience, and on the method of realizing it in the life of common man.

Shahzad Qaiser has in his approach to Man-God polarisation, regarded, Iqbal’s view of religious experience as restrictive, as it mainly addresses itself to pure reason. It does not unify the body and the soul, nor it brings about the unity of being in differentiated reality. In the present circumstances, Iqbal’s philosophical insights demand an additional dimension to remove the split in the wholeness of the unity of being. Khwaja Farid’s metaphysics, and his Sufic poetry, possesses the necessary data for the revival of Wahdat-ul-Wajud as an active principle of God consciousness in modern world. Shahzad Qaiser’s diagnosis is probably based on the assumption that the Age of Iqbal, and Tradition of Sufism exist congruently in our contemporary culture.

Shahzad Qaiser has, in this sense, emphasised Khwaja Farid’s view of undifferentiated reality, and has pointed out that Farid’s ontological map in basically different from what modern thought has to convey in this matter. Metaphysics exist and continues to influence as Tradition in Farid’s poetry and its symbolism. There is no split, no confrontation, and no duality in the Sufic world of Khwaja Farid. Nature is regarded as divine mirror, as it has always been treated since Ibn-e-Arabi. Adam in within the creation, he is never outside it. Shahzad Qaiser has particularly stressed the role of Adam in Khwaja Farid’s metaphysics, as it is only in Adam that Divine light is reflected which makes him the principle of reflection. The Perfect Man is, in this perspective, a reflection of divine form. It is indeed through Intellect and not by reason that Adam can know the divine form, and reflect it. In Farid’s Sufism, the world is a theophanic reality which opens up in man’s existentialist state.

The Man-God polarisation which inserts duality in consciousness is removed when Creator and the Perfect Man are viewed in a Sufi way, and the Perfect Man reflects the divine form in all its brilliance. In Khwaja Farid’s Sufism, the Perfect Man finds its realization in the light of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and behind the created veil of plurality is known the infinite plenitude of God. The sensible world, for Khwaja Farid is not Self, Imaginative, a dream, which make it symbolic and a collection or assemblage of manifested forms. This mode of knowledge brings about the unity of being at the highest state of awareness, and also a unity of being in the journey of love taken in the name of the Friend who is manifest in Nature; in its changing seasons, in forms of love and beauty, and whose nearness perturbs man as passion. Shahzad Qaiser has also specifically pointed out that the Shahadah – the Islamic creed, enunciates the Unity of Being and also provides the formulation – symbol in the Prophet’s name: Ahmed. Khwaja Farid’s poetry, has in this context given a place and a name to his metaphysics in the geography of his natural and physical environment.

Shahzad Qaiser’s writings on Khwaja Farid make a new and enlightening chapter in the study of Sufism in our time.

 

07-09-1998                                                      Gilani Kamran                                                                   

Lahore 


*      Published in author’s book: Dimensions of Khawaja Farid’s Metaphysics, Seraiki Adbi Board, Multan, 1998.

 

                                                                                                    Prologue

Dr. Shahzad Qaiser is a distinguished poet and eminent scholar. He writes poetry adopting the mystic form of Kafi in Punjabi and philosophy in English. Sometimes ago he has also written light essays Inshaiya in Urdu. After doing his Ph.D in philosophy on the metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid, he dedicated himself to the study of Khawaja Farid’s works, its translation and explanation. He has produced voluminous books on his works which are land mark in understanding of Khawaja Farid’s metaphysical thought.

In the contemporary Western scenario of Philosophical thought, metaphysics has no place. The emphasis is on empirical study and analysis of language. Modern trend is in search of parameter or methodology of study applicable to source of knowledge. The slogan of unity of sciences has become meaningless in the diversity of sciences. The principle of unity should be other than science which could unify all the sciences. It cannot be empirical altogether. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser’s efforts to revive metaphysics particularly Muslim metaphysical thought are highly commendable. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser maintains that reality is spiritual and metaphysical not such rational and empirical, which can be understood merely by analysis of language. All this is because of the false concept of source of knowledge which is sense experience supported by reason. Intellect is also a source of knowledge which integrates sense experience, reason and intuition. Intellect is represented by symbol of heart in mystic poetry.

The present book The Metaphysical and Cultural Perspectives of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Poetry and Iqbal gives us a comparative study of metaphysical thought of Rumi, Allama Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid, perhaps for the first time in English. This book opens new dimensions of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s metaphysical poetry.

Man-God polarity is highly debated issue in the Sufi tradition of Islam. Man-God polarity means that man is man and God is God. God is the creator and man is created by Him, His- creation. The question is what the relation between man and God is. Man submits to God as servant and Worshipper. Ibn-e-Arabi took this issue seriously and explained it in the terms of his doctrine of Wahdat-al-Wujud which is vehemently apposed and rejected by some scholars. But this is fact that he exerted his great influence on all Sufi thought. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser is of opinion that Allama Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid both are agreed on man-God polarity. But Iqbal is more individualistic and Khawaja Ghulam Farid is more metaphysical. Iqbal could not accept annihilation of self because this will result in the loss of man’s individuality which is derived from the supreme ego of God. However, metaphysically annihilation means experience of union with the Absolute. Annihilation does not mean that man ceases to exist. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser also discussed the problem of ‘I’ with reference to Chinese and Indian thought. Iqbal interpreted the uttering of Mansur Hallaj ‘I am the truth’ and Bayazid Bistami’s ‘Glory to me’ as the confirmation of individuality and egohood of man. Khawaja Ghulam Farid constantly maintains that this universe is all dream, imagination and illusion. If I exist, it exists as manifestation of the Absolute. According to Khawaja Ghulam Farid, the relation with the Absolute is existential and metaphysical.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Saraiki poetry is explanation of the doctrine of Wahdat al-Wujud presented by Ibn-e-Arabi, Mansur Hallaj and Bayazid Bistami. The quintessence of Khawaja Ghulam Farid metaphysics in the doctrine of Oneness of Being and its total realization. Wahdat al-Wujud is different from pantheism “since it does not deny God’s transcendence qualitatively in the face of His immanence”. Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s doctrine of oneness of being is the metaphysical ground of understanding the principle of university in diversity. This philosophy is based on the Holy tradition. “I was a hidden treasure and I desired to be known. Accordingly I created the creation”. This Holy tradition is nucleus and the pivotal concept of Wahdat al-Wujud. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser writes about Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s metaphysics, “one of the distinctive features of Khawaja Ghulam Farid metaphysics is its transformation of rational concepts in to existential categories. Man’s relationship to God is existential.” In this way according to him, Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s metaphysics is unique. Regarding the status of man in this universe, Khawaja Ghulam Farid holds that man has got metaphysical status in this universe, which appears in the form of Insan-e-Kamil the perfect man. The source of this idea is the last chapter of Fusus al-Hikam, Man is expected to play his metaphysical role in this universe.

‘Metaphysics of Knowledge’ is a thought provoking article which is a comparative study of Rumi, Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid. Knowledge is problem of epistemology and very important issue in contemporary philosophy. Kant rejects the possibility of metaphysics because reality cannot be known through categories of reason. According to Rumi Knowledge of reality is attainable through inward eye. Rumi holds that heart is the source of knowledge. Iqbal following the tradition of his master Rumi declares ‘heart’ as source of knowledge. According to Iqbal Anfus and Afaq both are source of knowledge. Religious experience is the oldest source of knowledge which is testifiable intellectually and pragmatically. Khawaja Ghulam Farid following the same path denounces the bookish knowledge acquired from books and follows the path of Ishq, love which gives all real knowledge. Real is revealed by Ishq only. Knowledge is not limited to phenomenon only. Khawaja Ghulam Farid admits metaphysical knowledge of reality which is achieved through heart. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser considers Intellect as source of knowledge of the real. Intellect is the heart of Sufi. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser in this article treated the problem of knowledge ontologically.

Regarding the conception of Prophethood in Islam, Iqbal takes it in the form of religious experience and Prophetic experience is higher than mystic experience in all aspects. Iqbal treated it philosophically. 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”. Iqbal proved the finality of Prophethood philosophically. Khawaja Ghulam Farid deals with it metaphysically following the tradition of Ibn-e-Arabi’s Insan-e-Kamil the perfect man. Khawaja Ghulam Farid considered Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H) the most perfect man. Thus, he is the last prophet.

I have an opportunity to read almost all the writings of Dr. Shahzad Qaiser particularly his philosophical writings. In his early period, he was influenced by existentialism which was popular philosophical movement in the sixties and seventies. But soon he turned to be a Muslim metaphysician. We can find great impact of Ibn-e-Arabi’s doctrine of Wahdat al-Wujud on his thought. He has deeply studied the works of Rene Guenon, Frithjof Schuon, Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, William Chittick, and William Stoddard who also exerted their influence on his thought.

The Sufis of all the period including Rumi, Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid hold that Qalb, ‘heart’ is the fountain of knowledge. Khawaja Ghulam Farid says, “Farid knowledge is veiled. It is undoubtedly bereft of gnosis.” Dr. Shahzad Qaiser supported this idea throughout his present study.

Thus, I can conclude: Intellect is the source of knowledge which integrates sense experience reason and intuition. This intellect is called heart in Sufi poetry. Wahdat-al-Wujud which is misinterpreted and misunderstood by some scholars is different from pantheism. It is real Muslim Metaphysics. It needs to be studied and understood again in the light of modern philosophical perspective.

Dr. Shahzad Qaiser translated interpreted and explained the works of Khawaja Ghulam Farid on these lines. The present book The Metaphysical and Cultural Perspectives of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Poetry and Iqbal is well-thought and well narrated effort to revive the metaphysics of Wahdat-al-Wujud. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser has explained metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid with reference to contemporary philosophical thought. His brevity, logical inferences and beautiful narration makes his style impressive and appealing. I consider this book remarkable contribution to Faridiyat.

August 13, 2011                               Dr. Muhammad Amin

Chairman

Department of Philosophy

Bahauddin Zakariya University,

Multan

Introductory                                                                                                     *

The Islamic tradition essentially is grounded in Knowledge. It is characterised by its inward and outward connectivity to it. The Qur’an considers “inner experience, Nature and History” as sources of knowledge. It wants man to realise his sensory, rational, imaginative, intellectual and spiritual possibilities. It inspires creativity in all spheres of life. It testifies knowledge and humility as against ignorance and arrogance.

The modern West departed from the traditional world in negating the higher sources of knowledge and the higher levels of being merely on presumptions, suppositions and conjectures. It has constricted epistemology and ontology and as a consequence has become oblivious of the metaphysical identity of knowledge and being. The ‘Wisdom of the Ages,’ has been displaced by titanic intelligence leading to cosmic disharmony. The ones, holding the reins of brutish power, are trampling vision under their wheels and racing the chariots of hostage humanity to the point of no return.

The delinking of the Islamic Civilization from the Greek one, among other things, was the initiation of sense-experience as a source of knowledge. It made ‘the Muslims as founders of modern science’. It acquainted the Western man with the reality of the empirical or scientific method. The modern man is metamorphosing science into scientism. The crises of the modern sciences are essentially due to the reason that the modern scientists are transgressing the legitimate bounds of science. It is eclipsing even their positive scientific achievements. The cardinal error of the modern man lies in thinking that the achievements of the scientific method in physical sciences will give him the same dividends in the spheres of arts and humanities. The truth of these realms speaks otherwise. The adverse effects of such thinking have been very ably brought out by the traditional writers in the contemporary times.

Plato’s philosophy has exercised a great influence on a number of schools of thought both in the East and the West. Alfred North Whitehead observes that twenty five hundred years of Western philosophy is a footnote to Plato. It may not be the whole truth but it is an observation to be reckoned with. However, his philosophical impact has not always been positive. Many of the inherent limitations of modernism can be traced back to Plato. His views on art and literature in their varied forms, in particular, speak of these limitations. The tradition, on the other hand, rightfully envisages the metaphysics of Beauty both in its transcendence and immanence. The Beautiful (transcendent) is manifest (immanent) in beauty. All beautiful things (immanent) partake of the Most Beautiful (transcendent). The beautiful things are neither removed from the Beauty nor are they its imitation in the Platonic sense. They reflect it most beautifully, instead. Plato envisages ‘a quarrel between philosophy and poetry’ because he tries to understand poetry solely from the philosophical perspective and not from the metaphysical one. Plato’s unfounded criticism of poetry spread in his different works essentially delinks poetry from knowledge and at times debases it to mere sentimentality.

Traditional poetry essentially is linked with knowledge. It does not rhyme nonsense. It is one of the finest forms of expressing metaphysical subtleties. Its forms are very efficacious in embracing metaphysical truths. It manifests metaphysical values of truth, beauty and love. It is the art of expressing the Inexpressible in poetic forms. It leads to the identity of idea and feeling. The element of sentiment in poetry is not mere a passion or an emotion but has a cognitive aspect. It is cognitive feeling, which is formulated in forms of poetic diction. The cognitive aspects of poetry integrate contemplation and action. The poetic vision is inspirational. It thrives on flashes, which flood being with light. Higher poetry is a form of poetic revelation. The verses, at times, are revealed in fullness. The poetic mood is the mood of receptivity. It is qualitatively different from passivity. All creativity ultimately is achieved in the posture of receptivity. One is astounded to find the subtle realities expressed by the mystics in simple verses that stir inwardness.

Traditional poetry is not imaginary but is highly imaginative and creative. It transforms the individual and society. The Qur’anic indictment is against the poets, who wander in imaginary valleys and do not honour their words. There is no connectivity between their sayings and their conduct.

اَلَمْ تَرَ اَنَّهُمْ فِيْ كُلِّ وَادٍ يَّهِيْمُوْنَ  ٢٢٥؀ۙ وَاَنَّهُمْ يَقُوْلُوْنَ مَا لَا يَفْعَلُوْنَ   ٢٢٦؀ۙ

“....hast thou not seen how they wander in every valley and how they say that which they do not?” (26: 225)[1]

The observations of Iqbal in this context are very pertinent. He says: “The live-history of nations shows that when the tide of life in a people begins to ebb, decadence itself becomes a source of inspiration, inspiring their poets, philosophers, saints, statesmen, and turning them into a class of apostles whose sole ministry is to glorify, by the force of seductive logic, all that is ignoble and ugly in the life of their people. These apostles unconsciously clothe despair in the glittering garment of hope, undermine the traditional values of conduct and destroy the spiritual virility of those who happen to be their victims.”[2]

Higher poetry, on the other hand, inspires from within. It is transformative in essence. Iqbal’s poetry has always given a message of hope in the times of despair. Khawaja Ghulam Farid counsels Sadiq Muhammad Khan, the Nawab of Bahawalpur State, to attain political freedom by struggling against the British colonial oppression. He touches on a vital facet of traditional poetry. He says:

سہجوں پھلوں سیجھ سُہا توں

اپنے ملک کوں آپ وَساتوں

بخت تے تخت کوں جوڑ چھکاتوں

پَٹ  انگریزی  تھانے[3]

 

You readily choose to grace your seat with fortune and establish yourself in full power. You make your dominion prosper with your own hands and uproot the seats of colonial oppression.[4]

The structure of traditional poetry facilitates poetic expression. It is capturing of realities in poetic structures. It refines one’s sentiments and attempts to link heavens and the earth. The structure of the poetic mode is intimately linked with that of the cosmos. The Pythagorean understanding of this nexus is the heart of traditional poetry. It is a universal tradition whose expressions are found in all ages and countries. The mystic traditions are replete with masterpieces of poetry. The Sufis, in our part of the world, have used ‘kafi’ (lyrical poetry) as a vital form of poetic expressions. It is usually based on ‘raags’ and ‘raginis’, which lend musicality to the ears. The traditional mode of ‘kafi’ both in its form and content is perfect in communicating the vision of the poet. The traditional genre of ‘kafi’ facilitates the poet in structuring his vision in consonance with the structure of the cosmos. It saves his vision from being blurred and checks it from going astray.

The forms of traditional poetry and traditional music are fully capable of expressing the contents of poetic experience both in their transcendent and immanent aspects. Traditional music is the singing cosmos. It creates a spell among those who participate in this poetic mode. The forms of modern poetry and music, on the other hand, are tuned to the horizontal aspects of life bereft of transcendence. Heidegger’s declaring the German poet Holderlin as ‘the poet of the poets’, exhibits a constricted view of poetry. It lacks true transcendence by remaining oblivious of the realm of the Infinite and being enmeshed merely in the world of human finitude.

The search of transcendence is the alpha and omega of traditional poetry. The poetic receptivity during poetic experience touches the frontiers of transcendence. Its search of transcendence is a very serious pursuit tied to poetic inspiration. It does not glorify the ignoble states of the psyche as happens in modern poetry. It understands alienation, fear and anxiety as psychic woes that arise due to the insulation of the psychic from the spiritual. It unifies without romanticising the divided self. The psyche gets light from the Spirit. Such poetry does not impute autonomy to social, moral, economic and cultural aspects of life. Their independence arises due to the negation of transcendence. It is more of bondage than freedom. Traditional poetry grounds these societal aspects in their transcendent roots, where they rightfully belong. Modern poetry exhibits the psychic contradictions of the modern man. It remains immersed in the world of the finite. It does not taste the reality of the Infinite. It remains stranded on the horizontal without any inkling of the vertical. The transcendence of poetic experience does not deny human reality but ‘transposes into divinis’. It does not consider man as an end in itself. It opens up his spiritual inwardness. It shares the poetic occurrence of transcendence in immanent forms by the language of symbolism. Poetic inwardness is not psychic. It is essentially spiritual. It is born of refined higher consciousness. It thereby refines the consciousness of its votaries. It is universal in its essence. It remains friendly with the cosmos.

The role of traditional languages in understanding the traditional truths and communicating them to the common folk has been very crucial. The Heavenly guidance has been conveyed to the people in their respective languages. Baba Husayn Shah says:

قرآن  بھی  آخر نکلیا  کسے زباں  چوں

زبان کدے نہیں نکلی کِسے قرآن چوں[5]

The Qur’an has inevitably come forth in some language, but no language has ever come forth from the Qur’an.[6]

The Qur’an was revealed in Arabic because the prophet of Islam was an Arab. Revelation always takes the native language as a vehicle in expressing its transcendental and immanent realities. The importance of language and culture has remained foremost among the prophets, mystics, saints and sages. They deeply understood the relationship of language with ideas, feelings, and actions. They have kept the oral tradition alive by communicating in the language of the people. They have been highly responsive to the aspirations of the common man. The oral tradition is immemorial whereas the written one is relatively nascent. It is merely a skill. The modern West has to understand that the oral tradition is identified with primordial wisdom in the traditional societies. The ability to read and write (literacy) cannot be made the sole criterion of judging the overall capabilities of a traditional individual or community. There are many other valid forms of expressions. The merit of literacy notwithstanding, it has no essential relationship with the development of metaphysical or higher cultural consciousness. It may, at times, even prove to be a hindrance in the attainment of realisation. The spread of literacy, through unintelligent ways and means, has tended to displace cultural wisdom with half-baked truths. It has created disequilibrium in the traditional societies and is threatening the very core of their values. The modern man has to show respect to wisdom by respecting the unlettered ones. Perhaps, he is not aware that mere intelligence devoid of wisdom is considered thoughtlessness in the tradition. It is intellectually and culturally suicidal for the traditional man, on the other hand, to become oblivious of his language (mother-tongue) and his cultural values in the gustily ambience of modernism. The metaphysical truth is simply imbibed in the traditional societies with an intact oral tradition. The word ‘iqra’ used in the Qur’an does not mean ‘read’ but it essentially means ‘recite.’ The Islamic tradition doubtlessly attaches a spiritual and artistic value in reducing the sacred oral word of the Qur’an to the written one, which is so beautifully manifest in the Islamic art of calligraphy. But the Qur’an, in spite of being reduced to writing, essentially remains oral in essence. Also, the tradition does not accept the hegemony of the written word bereft of transcendence since it ceases to be sacred and becomes profane. This point has to be constantly kept in mind, which marks the qualitative difference between traditional and modern poetry.

The traditional society is based on the principle of permanence, which does not exclude the reality of change. It embraces change within its very bosom. It assigns due place to change in the scheme of things. The modern categories of the static and the stationary cannot be applied to a society that is based on an intellectual tradition or a Heavenly guidance. The tradition is fully aware of constantly reforming itself from within and purging itself of the elements that stealthily creep in from the outside, lest it falls from its own Ideals. It also has the vitality to be fully responsive to the spirit of times, without falling victim to any pseudo-requirements of the fashionable age.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s poetry as set forth in his Diwan-i-Farid is chiefly in Saraiki language, with a few ‘kafis’ in Sindhi and other traditional languages. It is a repository of traditional literature. It is full of metaphysical visions, religious insights and cultural perceptions. It takes its essential inspiration from the Qur’an. The oral tradition is manifest in its vibrant language, art and culture. It gives an expression to his metaphysical thought. His poetry is deeply rooted in the Saraiki cultural matrix. His verses frequently reflect these linguistic, social and cultural realities in his search of transcendence. It is a moment of reflection that a number of modern researches, by dint of pseudo-methodologies, tend to divest the transcendent aspects of mystical or Sufi poetry by reducing them solely to their psychosocial and cultural aspects. This reductionist fallacy, among other things, makes them oblivious of the fact that the negation of transcendence makes the mundane reality erroneously disconnected from the metaphysical values of truth, beauty and love. Love of humanity, for example, on the horizontal level remains stranded on the psychosocial sphere without any spiritual connectivity. It lacks capacity and strength to create universal brotherhood. One has to realise that it is the manifestation of the Divine in the human that makes real love possible. Likewise, the talk of social justice, equality and freedom armed with poetry of hatred is another form of subtle oppression. It breeds cruelty, malice and aggression in the individual and society. Violence begets violence. We have to understand that the traditional society sanctifies social and cultural values essentially from the perspective of transcendence by simultaneously making concerted efforts to overcome disvalues. It does not remain passive in the face of oppression but struggles against it in the spirit of love. It rightfully integrates power with vision. It is pertinent to note that Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s sense of metaphysical justice is so heightened that he has no reservations in frequently pointing out even the ‘injustices’ of his beloved. He openly takes stand against all forms of societal oppressions. But it is by virtue of love that he acts to emancipate both the inward and the outward. It is transcendent love that essentially differentiates his traditional world from the modern one, and makes his poetry everlasting. The heart of the matter is that the traditional world is not autonomous but is derived from the metaphysical Principle. All genuine researches have to be founded on this sacrosanct truth. It will keep the transcendent light shining, while mirroring the linguistic, social and cultural contexts of poetry.

The metaphysical and religious traditions, in explaining the Absolute Unity evolving multiplicity itself or the metaphysical principle of differentiation within the undifferentiated Reality (Absolute), tend to offer various expositions. Islamic tradition, for example, describes the Nondelimited Being taking a delimited form, by virtue of ‘Ahmad’ (the Logos). Khawaja Ghulam Farid says:

حسن ازل دا تھیا اظہار

احدوں ویس وٹا تھی احمدؐ[7]

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

.

احد تے احمدؐ فرق نہ کوئی

واحد ذات صفات نیں[8]

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[9]

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

The knowledge of the simultaneity of God’s transcendence and immanence (unity in diversity) helps one to understand the apparently enigmatic doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud). His doctrine of Oneness Being (wahdat al-wujud) is erroneously equated with pantheism, a Western category in vogue, which is inapplicable to the Eastern doctrines. He does not deny the transcendence of God, as happens in pantheism, but categorically affirms it. He considers the Absolute (Haq) in its absoluteness beyond any description. He provisionally applies certain words and categories to describe the Absolute but ends up in admitting the deficiencies of all theses descriptions. 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

?

تینوں خالق ذات قدیم کہوں

تینوں حادث خلق جہان کہوں

May I describe you as you the Creator, the Beginningless Essence? May I describe you as the Originator of the created worlds

?

تینوں مطلق محض وجود کہوں

تینوں علمیہ اعیان کہوں

May I describe you as the Nondelimited and the Delimited Being? May I describe you as the three degrees of knowledge

?

تینوں عین حقیقت ماہیت

تینوں عرض صفت تے شان کہوں

May I describe you as the essential Reality and its quintessence? May I describe you as contingent, an attribute and glory

?

تینوں مسجد مندر دیر کہوں

تینوں پوتھی تے قرآن کہوں

May I describe you as Mosque, Temple and Church? May I describe you as Veda and Qur'an

?

تسبیح کہوں زنار کہوں

تینوں کفر کہوں ایمان کہوں

May I describe you as rosary? May I describe you as cross thread? May I describe you as infidelity? May I describe you as faith

?

تینوں دسرت لچھمن رام کہوں

تینوں سیتا جی جانان کہوں

May I describe you as Dasrat, Lachman and Ram? May I describe you as my beloved Sita

?

بلدیو جسودا نند کہوں

تینوں کشن کنہیا کان کہوں

May I describe you as Baldev, Jaswada and Nand? May I describe you as Krishan, Kanaya and Kaan

?

تینوں برما بشن گنیش کہوں

مہا دیو کہوں بھگوان کہوں

May I describe you as Barma, Bishan and Ganesh? May I describe you as Mahadev? May I describe you as Bhagwan

?

تینوں گیت گرنتھ تے بید کہوں

تینوں گیان کہوں اگیان کہوں

May I describe you as Gita, Granth and Veda? May I describe you as knowledge? May I describe you as ignorance

?

تینوں ہر دل دا دلدار کہوں

تینوں احمدؐ عالی شان کہوں

May I describe you as the beloved of every heart? May I describe you as Ahmad, the majestic and the splendid

?

تینوں شاہد ملک حجاز کہوں

تینوں باعث کون مکان کہوں

May I describe you as the witness in the city of Hejaz? May I describe you as the raison d'etre of the cosmos

?

بے رنگ کہوں بے مثل کہوں

بے صورت ہر ہر آن کہوں

May I describe you as the Colourless? May I describe you as the Incomparable? May I describe you as the Formless, at each and every moment (transcendence in immanence or pure duration in serial time

سبوح کہوں قدوس کہوں

رحمان کہوں سبحان کہوں

May I describe you as the Praised? May I describe you as the Pure? May I describe you as the Merciful? May I describe you as the Glory

?

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).

اسے پاک الکھ بے عیب کہوں

اسے حق بے نام نشان کہوں[10]

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

The Essence cannot be defined or described even by Names or Attributes. All the planes of existence are highly deficient in describing it. The categories of transcendence and immanence are merely human dimensions of describing ‘the Most Real’ that ‘transcends transcendence itself.’ Language and thought have inherent limitations in describing the Essence. By whatever means we describe Him; He remains beyond the forms of our description. The Qur’an says:

سُبْحٰنَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُوْنَ ١٨٠؀ۚ وَسَلٰمٌ عَلَي الْمُرْسَلِيْنَ  ١٨١؀ۚ وَالْحَـمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعٰلَمِيْنَ  ١٨٢؀ۧ

Glory be to thy Lord, the Lord of Glory, above that they describe! And peace be upon the Envoys; and praise belongs to God, the Lord of all Being’. (37: 180-182)[11]

The metaphysical and religious traditions agree in the complete transcendence of the Absolute or the Essence of God (religious sense). Khawaja Ghulam Farid states in one of his ‘kafis’ that ‘the Absolute in its absoluteness’ is transcendent and thereby beyond human finding. He says:

کہاں پاؤں کہاں پاؤں یار

Where should I find and seek you, my friend

جِن انسان ملائک سارے

حیرت دے قلزم وچ کل تھئے

کیا سگلا سنسار

مستغرق سرشار

All the fiery creatures, human beings, cosmic forces and the entire world are amazingly drowned in the sea of bewilderment

 

.

صوفی شاعل گیانی دھیانی

عرشی تے بَسطامیؒ گل لگ

گئے اوڑک سَب ہار

رووِن زار و زار

The Sufis, devotees, men of wisdom and those who meditate have ultimately lost. Arshi and Bistami cry profusely with folded arms

 

.

بطلیموس تے فیثا غورث

کھوج سراغ نہ پایا پتہ

کر کر سوچ بچار

تھک بیٹھے تن مار

Ptolemy and Pythagoras did a lot of thinking and reasoning but found no trace. It made them resign to the human limitation (of not finding the Absolute in its absoluteness

 

 

بدھ مجوس یہود نصارا

آکھن پاک منزہ ہے

ہندو تے دیندار

بے   انت   الکھ   اپار[12]

The Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, Hindus and the People of Book say that He (the Absolute) is Pure, Perfect, Unlimited, Transcendent and Infinite

 

.

پیر پیغمبر غوث قطب

کرن منادی رو رو کے

کیا مرسل کیا اوتار

لا    یدرکہ   الابصار[13]

The Mystics, Prophets, Ghaus (Saints), Poles, Messengers and spiritually incarnate proclaim, while crying that no eye can see Him (He is beyond the reach of human perception

 

 

عالم فاضل عارف کامل

آکھ فرید نماناں بھولا

عجز کیتا اقرار

توں   وچ  کون  قطار[14]

The knowledgeable, erudite, gnostics and perfectionists have admitted in all humilities (their limitation of not finding the Absolute in its absoluteness). Ask Farid, modest and simple, where do you stand? (It is not possible for you to find Him in His Essence).

The cosmos has no self-subsistent reality and thereby is an illusion, imagination and dream. The ontological descent of the theophanies of the Absolute is so swift that it gives an illusory sense of solidity and stability to the world. (It is/ is not) at the same time (‘He/not He’). It is a world of imagination. The world is a dream. Its facts are symbols to be interpreted. Dream symbolism, in a participative way, points to the Reality, which is beyond multiplicity. Khawaja Ghulam Farid expresses the traditional truth about the cosmos in the following verses:

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 encom-passes 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[15]

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

He considers Nature as symbolic. He relates with Nature in order to have a living contact with God. His highly rich Nature-poetry, spread throughout his Diwan, essentially integrates self with the cosmos. He says:

آئے مَست ڈہاڑے ساون دے

وہ سانون دے من بھانون دے

The enchanting days of rainy season have come. These good days of raining are so pleasing

.

بدلے پورب ماڑ ڈکھن دے

چارے طرفوں زور پون دے

کجلے بھورے سو سو وَن دے

سارے جوڑ وساون دے

The clouds have come from the West, Marwar and North. These clouds are black, brown and of hundreds of colours. The rain-laden winds are blowing on all sides. All these are signs of rain

.

چکویاں چکوے اغن پَپّیہے

سہنس چکور چنڈور پپیہے

کوئل مور چچونے چیہے

شاغل گیت سناون دے

The birds are engrossed in singing songs (language of the birds

 

 

ڈینہاں پِینگھاں سَاویاں پِیلیاں

گج گج گاجاں گجن رسیلیاں

راتیں کِھمنیاں کِھمن رنگیلیاں

وقت سنگار سہاون دے

There are green and yellow rainbows in the sky at daytime. There are flashes of coloured lightning at night. The thundering of the clouds seems so pleasant. This is the time to embellish one self

.

روہی راوے تِھیاں گلزاراں

گھنڈ تنواراں بارش باراں

تھل چِترانگ وی باغ بہاراں

چرچے دھانون گانون دے

The barren and hardened earth has been turned into orchards. The deserts and small white piece of lands flowered and bloomed. It is raining and at the same time the tinkling of the bells around the herds is sounding so musical. The rain is inviting us to sing and bathe

.

چاندنی رات ملہاری ڈینہہ ہے

سوہنی موسم لگڑا نینہہ ہے

ٹھڈڑیاں ہِیلاں رِم جِھم مینہہ ہے

گئے ویہلے غم کھانون وے

There are moonlit nights and cloudy days. The cool and pleasant breeze is blowing and there is continuous rain. We have contracted love in such a beautiful season. The days of sorrows have gone away

.

مُد مستانی تے خوش دِنڑے

سہجوں مینہہ برساتوں سِنڑے

سالہوں سوہے کیسر بِھنڑے

جھڑ گے لانگھے لانون دے

These are happy days in the enthralling season. My wedding dress is soaked in perfume. It is readily raining heavily. The corners of the dress of my beloved are exhibiting beauty

.

دیہہ فرید آباد تھیوسے

دل دردوں آزاد تھیوسے

مال مویشی شاد تھیوسے

چولے انگ نہ مانون وے[16]

Farid! My dwellings have enlivened. My cattle are grazing to the fill. My heart has become free from pains. My happiness knows no bounds

Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s search of transcendence traverses through the hazardous paths of love in order to attain gnosis. He says

 

دل پریم نگر ڈوں تانگھے

نا راہ فرید نہ لانگھے

جتھاں پینڈے سخت اڑانگے

ہے پندھ بہوں مشکل دا[17]

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

 

 

دل جل بل کیری کولے

ہک سینہ سو سو شعلے

ڈکھ رگ رگ سوز سمولے

ہِن برہوں تے دوزخ ہاڑی[18]

The perpetual burning has reduced my heart to ashes. The suffering is storing passion in my each and every vein. I have one chest with hundreds of sparking. Love has become so hellish.

Love, as alchemy of suffering, ‘transmutes the base metal into gold’. He says

درد فرید ہمیشہ ہووے

رہندی تانگھ تے تان

سارے پاپ دوئی دے دھودے

پہنچاں  پریم نگر وچ[19]

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

The doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) and its realisation is the quintessence of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s metaphysics. ‘The Indivisible One-And-Only is the ‘One-And-All’. He says:

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[20]

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

.

کڈیں شہانہ حکم چلاوے

اُوسدا بھیت کوئی نہ پاوے

کڈیں گدا مسکین سڈاوے

سَب بدمست پھرن سرشار[21]

He issues royal decrees at times and at times is in the forms of the beggar and the lowly. No one has the access to his mystery. All wander in the states of inebriety and drunkenness

.

رکھ تصدیق نہ تھی آوارہ

کعبہ، قبلہ، دیر، دوارہ

مسجد، مندر، ہِکڑو نور[22]

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

یار فرید نہیں مستورے

ظلمت بھی سب نور حضورے

ہر جا اس دا عین ظہورے

اسم فقط بیا آیا ہے[23]

Farid! My friend is not hidden. He is openly manifest at each and every place (Omnipresent). Darkness too is the pervasive presence of Light. It has just been named differently

.

کل شے وچ کل شے ڈٹھیو سے

برکت صحبت پیراں

ہمہ اوست دا درس کیتو سے

پی کر بادہ وحدت کو[24]

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

 

.

جِتھاں بھال ڈیکھاں تتھے راز ڈسے

سبھ سوز فرید نُوں ساز ڈسے

سَبھ حُسن تے ناز نواز ڈسے

ہمہ اوست سجھائی ریت بھلی[25]

I discern mystery in seeing everywhere with my searching eyes. All the beauty, prides and elegance are visible. Farid! All passions are seen as instrumental to the realisation of my basic vocation. The doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-Wujud) has made me realise a noble tradition

.

 ہمہ اوست تے بھید نیارے

ہر ہر شے وچ کرن نظارے

جانن وحدت تے ونجارے

اصل تجلی طوری نوں[26]

The mysteries of Oneness of Being are remarkable. They are known by the dealers of Unity. They behold the real Sinai theophany in each and every existent

 

.

 حق باطل، سبھ حق ہے حق ہے

یار ہے یار ہے یار ہے یار

پر اے راز بہوں مغلق ہے

سوہنا کوجھا نیک اتے بد[27]

Truth and falsehood is essentially truth itself but it is a much profound secret. The beautiful, ugly, virtuous, and vicious are our friends, companions, comrades and intimates

 

.

سوہنا کوجھا صرف بَہانہ

ہِکڑو ہئی وَل سمجھ سُنجانی[28]

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

.

حسن قبح سب مظہر ذاتی

ہر رنگ میں بے رنگ پیارا[29]

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

The manifestation of the Reality in different positive and negative forms has to be understood metaphysically. The Reality is Truth itself (Haqq). It is in the process of manifestation that ‘it appears in a particular form and this particularism necessitates the possibility of a given opposite’. The Truth appears in the form of a given truth, which implies the possibility of a given falsehood. It is only produced in the ‘world of contrasts’. It is merely a privation for it has no being in itself. ‘It has a positive function of highlighting its counterpart a contrario’. Its remoteness from its primordial source is not absolute. It is brought back to its original source. The same is the case with Good and evil; Love and hatred; Beauty and ugliness; Light and darkness; Knowledge and ignorance etc .

The realisation of the metaphysical tradition of love works wonders. He says:

کیا رِیت پریت سِکھائی ہے

سَب ڈسدا حُسن خدائی ہے

What a tradition love has made me realise. The Divine beauty is manifest everywhere

 

ڈسدی یار مِٹھل دی صورت

ہر ویلھے ہے شگن مہورت

کُل تصویر اتے کُل مورت

غیر دی خبر نہ کائی ہے

I see the sweet form of my friend in its complete picture and full face. It is a good omen to see the form of my friend every time. There is no trace of otherness (or non divine

 

 

ناز نہورے یار سجن دے

ہر ہر آن انوکھڑے ون دے

عشوے غمزے من موہن دے

وہ زینت زیبائی ہے

The prides and coquetries, amorous glances and enticements of my beloved friend are strangely manifest at each and every moment. I laud this adornment and propriety

 

 

نخرے ٹخرے نوکاں ٹوکاں

سوکاں سبز تھیاں ول جھوکاں

دِلڑی جوڑ چوبھیندیاں چوکاں

خوبی خنکی چائی ہے

The blandishments, disdainful air, gambols and playfulness of my beautiful beloved perfectly stir my heart. The dried up plants have again turned green. Well, the temporary dwellings have again come to life

 

 

نازک چالی نور نَول دی

دھار کجل دی دھاڑ اجلدی

رَمزاں بانکی طرز جدل دی

سرخی بھا بھڑکائی ہے

The tender, vibrant and colourful beauty of the beloved strives to conquer him. He has no defence against the onslaught of beauty

 

 

ڈکھ ڈوہاگ تے درد جُدائی

عشق فرید تھِیوسے بھائی

رَلمِل وِیندے ساتھ لڈائی

عشرت روز سوائی ہے[30]

The sufferings and misfortunes along with pain and separation have all together gone away. Farid! Love has developed fraternal ties with me leading to the increasing delights each day.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s realisation of union is by virtue of his ceasing to be. He says

وصل فرید کوں حاصل ہویا

جب  ہو  گیا  نابود[31]

Farid attained union when he ceased to be (nonbeing)He was already in the state of ontological nonbeing but he doctrinally realised it in attaining union with his beloved. A Sufi says: ‘He will not come to meet you unless you are not there ’.

It is a bewildering experience to realise one’s nothingness or nonbeing in the ‘Face of the Absolute’. The condition of his human overlay is expressed thus:

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 شَہدتہ

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[32]

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.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s metaphysical doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) embraces the contemplative aspects of Tawhid (unity of God). They are opaque to mere religiosity. He says:

ساڈا ہے محبوب دلیں دا

جو کوئی ہے توحید دا قائل

The one who is committed to the doctrine of (contemplative) tawhid (Unity of God) is our heart’s beloved

 

علم حقائق دا ہے لائق

نفس مزّکی مادہ قاب

The pure self is a receptacle to receive knowledge of realities

 

باجھ محبت جان برابر

کیا ناطق کیا ناہق صاہل[33]

A soul devoid of love is likened to the soul of an unruly ass or a wayward camel

 

بٹھ وہم خطرے دی ادا

اندر تے باہر ہے سدا

ڈوجھا نوہی ہے ہک خدا

موجود حق موجود حق[34]

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

 

 

مذہب مشرب لَا مذہب دا

لب ہے سارے اَرث عرب دا

شاہد درس حدیث قرآن[35]

The religious tradition of ‘negation’ is the kernel of the entire Arab heritage. It is evident in the teachings, Hadith and the Qur’an.

The first statement of Islamic Shahadah: “La ilaha illa’Llah: ‘There is no divinity (or reality, or absolute) outside the only Divinity (or Reality, or Absolute)’”[36] negates any attempt to ‘ascribe divinity to aught beside God.’ The second statement of Islamic Shahadah: “Muhammadun Rasulu’Llah: ‘Muhammad (the “Glorified”, the Perfect) is the Envoy (the mouthpiece, the intermediary, the manifestation, the symbol) of the Divinity,’”[37] points to the manifestation of the Reality (God). The doctrine of Islamic Shahadah absolutely leaves no room for otherness. The Qur’an says:

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ اَنْ يُّشْرَكَ بِهٖ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُوْنَ ذٰلِكَ لِمَنْ يَّشَاۗءُ ۚوَمَنْ يُّشْرِكْ بِاللّٰهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرٰٓى اِثْمًا عَظِيْمًا    48؀

 “God forgives not that aught should be with Him associated; less than that He forgives to whomsoever He will. Whoso associates with God anything has indeed forged a mighty sin.” (4: 48)[38]

A person who makes ‘desires his deity’ (hawa) equals to ascribing ‘divinity to aught beside God’. The Qur’an reiterates the spiritual lesson thus:

اَفَرَءَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ اِلٰــهَهٗ هَوٰىهُ وَاَضَلَّهُ اللّٰهُ عَلٰي عِلْمٍ وَّخَتَمَ عَلٰي سَمْعِهٖ وَقَلْبِهٖ وَجَعَلَ عَلٰي بَصَرِهٖ غِشٰوَةً ۭ فَمَنْ يَّهْدِيْهِ مِنْۢ بَعْدِ اللّٰهِ ۭ اَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُوْنَ    23؀

 “Hast thou seen him who has taken his caprice to be his god, and God has led him astray out of knowledge, and set a seal upon his hearing and his heart, and laid a covering on his eyes? Who shall guide him after God? What, will you not remember?” (45: 23)[39]

Islamic spirituality attaches due importance to the spiritual practice of ‘purification of the self’ (tazkia-i-nafs) in accord with the primordial tradition.

The principle of God’s unity is absolute. The Qur’an states:

قُلْ يٰٓاَھْلَ الْكِتٰبِ تَعَالَوْا اِلٰى كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاۗءٍۢ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ اَلَّا نَعْبُدَ اِلَّا اللّٰهَ وَلَا نُشْرِكَ بِهٖ شَيْـــًٔـا وَّلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا اَرْبَابًا مِّنْ دُوْنِ اللّٰهِ ۭ فَاِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَقُوْلُوا اشْهَدُوْا بِاَنَّا مُسْلِمُوْنَ  64؀

 “Say: 'People of the Book! Come now to a word common between us and you, that we serve none but God, and that we associate not aught with Him, and

 

do not some of us take others as Lords, apart from God.' And if they turn their backs, say: 'Bear witness that we are Muslims.'”(3: 64)[1]

It further states:

قُلْ اِنَّمَآ اَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوْحٰٓى اِلَيَّ اَنَّمَآ اِلٰـــهُكُمْ اِلٰهٌ وَّاحِدٌ ۚ فَمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُوْا لِقَاۗءَ رَبِّهٖ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَّلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهٖٓ اَحَدًا ١١٠؀ۧ

 “Say: 'I am only a mortal the like of you; it is revealed to me that your God is One God. So let him, who hopes for the encounter with his Lord, work righteousness, and not associate with his Lord's service anyone.”(18: 110)[2]

Iqbal says about the Prophet of Arabia that: “Once in a moment of spiritual exaltation, he is reported to have said to one of his companions, “Go and tell the people----‘he who says---there is only one God---will enter the paradise’,” studiously omitting the second half of the Muslim creed---“and Muhammad is his Prophet.” The ethical importance of this attitude is great.”[3] Besides, its ethical implications, it has an immense metaphysical significance. It reiterates the indivisible unity of the essence itself and lays the metaphysical foundations of the transcendent unity of religions. My spiritual master, Baba Sufi Muhammad Tufayl, used to recite with great reverence, the poetry of Baba Guru Nanak, Baghat Kabir, Meeran Bheekh, Suthra Baghat, Tulsi Bhagat and many other mystics. He also narrated tales and anecdotes from their lives, which demonstrated their unflinching commitment to the doctrine of God’s unity. Iqbal, in his poem Nanak, pays homage to Baba Guru Nanak for spreading the message of Tawhid (unity of God). He says:

بت کدہ پھر بعد مُدّت کے مگر روشن ہوا

نُورِ ابراہیمؑ سے آزر کا گھر روشن ہوا

پھر اُٹھی آخر صدا توحید کی پنجاب سے

ہند کو اِک مردِ کامل نے جگایا خواب سے[4]

 

The House of Idols, after a great passage of time, did become lighted. The abode of Aazar (idol worshipper) glowed with the light of Ibrahim (Abraham). At last, the call of Tawhid (unity of God) arose from Punjab. A Universal Man (Nanak) made Hind (India) remember the forgotten tradition. [5]

Islam in the continuity of the metaphysical and religious traditions of the world is the youngest tradition. It has the advantage of seeing different formulations of the One God in the history of man. The Qur’an is the final official Word of God, revealed on the heart of Muhammad, by Archangel Gabriel, ‘to restore the lost Word’. The Essence is Pure. It is the Transcendent. God is ‘the Indivisible One-and-Only,’ worthy of worship alone. He is worshipped in His pure transcendence. The ascribing of divinity, a quasi-divinity or aspects of divinity to angels, prophets, saints or holy men in themselves, tantamount to worshipping them in their embodied selves. It violates the very essence of worship. The posture of prostration to God purely signifies in wholesomeness the ontological relationship of servant-Lord. The archetypal reality of Man finds its perfection in pure servanthood.

The metaphysical vision of transcendence, in the course of being translated into religious, theological and philosophical concepts, at times runs the risk of becoming oblivious of the doctrine of the Absolute and ontological nothingness. The Qur’an gives a universal warning in this regard:

وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ اَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللّٰهِ اِلَّا وَهُمْ مُّشْرِكُوْنَ   ١٠٦؁

 “And the most part of them believe not in God, but they associate other gods with Him.” (12: 106)[6]

Metaphysically speaking, it is contradictory to treat the Absolute as relative (ascribing humanness to the divine) or to consider the relative as Absolute (ascribing divinity to the human). Islamic tradition remains committed to the pristine purity of God’s indivisible unity. It does not ascribe humanness to the Divine or divinity to the human.

God is Power itself manifest in all forms of power. The miracles or extraordinary events are the working of God in mediums. Both the ordinary and the extraordinary events are expressions of His manifold ways. They do not constitute any argument for humanising the divine or divinizing the human. God named Yahya (John) and decreed him as the prophet even before he was born to a father who was an old man and to a mother who was barren:

ھُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهٗ ۚ قَالَ رَبِّ ھَبْ لِيْ مِنْ لَّدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۚ اِنَّكَ سَمِيْعُ الدُّعَاۗءِ 38؀ فَنَادَتْهُ الْمَلٰۗىِٕكَةُ وَھُوَ قَاۗىِٕمٌ يُّصَلِّيْ فِي الْمِحْرَابِ ۙ اَنَّ اللّٰهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيٰى مُصَدِّقًۢـا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَسَيِّدًا وَّحَصُوْرًا وَّنَبِيًّا مِّنَ الصّٰلِحِيْنَ  39؀ قَالَ رَبِّ اَنّٰى يَكُوْنُ لِيْ غُلٰمٌ وَّقَدْ بَلَغَنِىَ الْكِبَرُ وَامْرَاَتِيْ عَاقِرٌ  ۭ قَالَ كَذٰلِكَ اللّٰهُ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاۗءُ 40؀

 “Then Zachariah prayed to his Lord saying, 'Lord, give me of Thy goodness a goodly offspring. Yea, Thou hearest prayer.' And the angels called to him, standing in the Sanctuary at worship, 'Lo, God gives thee good tidings of John, who shall confirm, a chief, and chaste, a Prophet, righteous.' 

'Lord,' said Zachariah, 'how shall I have a son, seeing I am an old man and my wife is barren?' 

'Even so,' God said, 'God does what He will.'”(3: 38-40).[7]

The Qur’an describes the miraculous speech of Syedna Isa (Jesus), thus:

فَاَتَتْ بِهٖ قَوْمَهَا تَحْمِلُهٗ ۭ قَالُوْا يٰمَرْيَمُ لَقَدْ جِئْتِ شَـيْـــــًٔـا فَرِيًّا  27؀ يٰٓاُخْتَ هٰرُوْنَ مَا كَانَ اَبُوْكِ امْرَاَ سَوْءٍ وَّمَا كَانَتْ اُمُّكِ بَغِيًّا  28؀ڻ فَاَشَارَتْ اِلَيْهِ ۭ قَالُوْا كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَنْ كَانَ فِي الْمَهْدِ صَبِيًّا  29؁ قَالَ اِنِّىْ عَبْدُ اللّٰهِ ڜ اٰتٰىنِيَ الْكِتٰبَ وَجَعَلَنِيْ نَبِيًّا 30؀ۙ وَّجَعَلَنِيْ مُبٰرَكًا اَيْنَ مَا كُنْتُ وَاَوْصٰىنِيْ بِالصَّلٰوةِ وَالزَّكٰوةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا 31؀ډ وَځ ا بِوَالِدَتِيْ ۡ وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِيْ جَبَّارًا شَقِيًّا 32؁ وَالسَّلٰمُ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدْتُّ وَيَوْمَ اَمُوْتُ وَيَوْمَ اُبْعَثُ حَيًّا  33؀

 “Then she brought the child to her folk carrying him; and they said, 'Mary, thou hast surely committed a monstrous thing! Sister of Aaron, thy father was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother a woman unchaste.' Mary pointed to the child then; but they said, 'How shall we speak to one who is still in the cradle, a little child?' He said, 'Lo, I am God's servant; God has given me the Book, and made me a Prophet. Blessed He has made me, wherever I may be; and He has enjoined me to pray, and to give the alms, so long as I live, and likewise to cherish my mother; He has not made me arrogant, unprosperous. Peace be upon me, the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised up alive!'” (19: 27-33)[8]

Adding a personal note, Allah blessed me with witnessing Syedna Isa (Jesus) in my dream/vision at the moment of his miraculous speech, which clearly demonstrated what God had decreed. I saw a room occupied by men and women. He was of an age when a child is in the cradle. He was in the arms of a male member of the Household. He delivered his speech in a spirit of radiance and liveliness. I was bewildered like others to see this miracle. I woke up in a state of ecstasy and wonderment. The manifestation of God in human, in the simultaneity of His transcendence and immanence, neither reduces God to the level of humanness nor upgrades humanness to the level of God. All the mediums are essentially characterised by powerlessness. When Syedna Isa (Jesus) performed miracles, in the prime of his youth, he did not attribute these to his own power. He categorically declared that these were by the leave of God. Earlier, the prophet Musa (Moses) met one of His servants, who had foreknowledge of events directly from God. He made ‘a hole in the ship’; ‘slew a lad’ and set up ‘the tumbling wall’ without any wage. He was questioned by Musa (Moses) on these very accounts. He responded by divesting himself of these acts by rightfully implying these to the Divine. He said:

وَمَا فَعَلْتُهٗ عَنْ اَمْرِيْ ۭ ذٰلِكَ تَاْوِيْلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِعْ عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًا  82    ؀ۄ

‘I did it not of my own bidding. This is the interpretation of that thou couldst not bear patiently.’(18: 82)[9]

The Qur’an explicitly denies divinity to anyone in the cosmos, in any form including the angels, prophets, saints, holy men and kings. The political theory of the divine right of kings holds no ground. It is an indubitable fact that the Prophet of Islam, in spite of wielding political power, always demonstrated that he was simply human. Iqbal says: “Rather than make any attempt to hypnotize people into superstitious adoration of himself, the Prophet did everything in his power to dispel any possible doubt on that point. In the midst of a people who bowed even before a rough unhewn piece of stone and clothed it with divinity, it would have been the easiest thing on earth to pass even for God Himself. But the Prophet Muhammad was far above such tactics. “I am but a man like unto you”, he proclaimed to his people who would have fain taken him for a god. Unlike earthly kings who left no stone unturned to hoodwink their people into the belief as to their superhuman status, the Prophet tried every method to impress upon his people that he was just human, and no more than human. He purposely made it a part and parcel of the Kalima that “Muhammad is an Apostle of God” as a safeguard for all times to come, lest in their enthusiasm his followers, in times to come, might raise him to the Divine pedestal as did Christians in the case of Jesus. He plainly disillusioned the people of every possible shadow of a doubt as to his own powers and personality. “I do not tell you,” he told them, “that I possess any treasures or any knowledge of the future” ........The Quran is replete with verses how the Prophet took great pains to drive the point home to the people that there was nothing superhuman about him. When an old man came to him, and he (the Prophet) showed some indifference to him, there came the Divine rebuke. Rather than conceal it, he perpetuated it for all times to come by incorporating it in the Quran. No earthly potentate would thus advertise such a thing against himself, however insignificant it might be........He was as free with the people as any one of them and did everything to divest his personality of all possible halos that superstition might envelop it with...... History knows but one monarch whose rule over men may justly be called a rule by divine right and that one man was the Prophet of Islam. And yet, though the ruler of men by right divine, he never claimed to be a ruler! “I am but a man like unto you,” was the grand message of this greatest of kings to an adoring humanity”[10].

The Sufi tradition envisions man’s ontological nothingness or his nonbeing in the ‘Face of God’. Shah Husayn says:

ربا میرے حال دا محرم تُوں

اندر تُوں ہیں، باہر تُوں ہیں، روم روم وِچ تُوں

تُوں ہیں تانا، تُوں ہیں بانا، سبھ کُجھ میرا تُوں

کہے حسین فقیر نمانا، میں ناہیں سبھ تُوں[11]

Lord (The Sustainer)! You have knowledge of my existence. You are my inward. You are my outward. You dwell in my each pore. You are my warp. You are my woof. You are my entirety. Saith Husayn! The humble faqir (one in the state of ontological nothingness): I am nonbeing. You are All. [12]

One has to subtly understand that even man’s servanthood has no reality in itself otherwise it tantamount to ‘ascribing divinity (ilah) to aught beside God.’ It is another way of saying that man’s unreality does not belong to him. Man has no autonomous or self-subsistent reality even that of his ontological nothingness. Baba Husayn Shah says:

بس ہمارا کچھ نہیں ہم بے سر و سامان ہیں

ناتواں ہیں، بے نوا ہیں، نیستی کی کان ہیں

ہستی مطلق عیاں ہر آن میں، ہر شان میں

ہم سوا اُس کے کہاں ہیں ، کون ہیں، حیران ہیں[13]

And so, nothing belongs to us; we are without means. We are powerless, indigent, and mine of nothingness. Being itself is manifest in every form and in every glory. It is so astonishing to see the unreality of our being in the Face of the Real.[14]

He does not ascribe ordinary or extraordinary power over things and events to himself. Khawaja Ghulam Farid remains conscious of his utter dependence on the Omnipresent, the Omniscient and the Omnipotent God. He says:

میں مسکین فرید ہاں %ا

توں بن کون اتارم پار[15]

Farid! I am utterly dependent on You. Who can ferry me across the waters apart from You.

The Qur’an says:

هَلْ اَتٰى عَلَي الْاِنْسَانِ حِيْنٌ مِّنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُنْ شَيْـــًٔا مَّذْكُوْرًا  Ǻ۝

“Has there come on man a while of time when he was a thing unremembered?”(76: 1)[16]

A Sufi says that it is the same time. Man is still ‘a thing unremembered’ since it is God who is wholly remembered within the human medium. In other words, man is still ‘not yet a thing to be thought of’ since it is God who within the human medium is wholly ‘thought of’. Man is real only to the extent that the Unmanifest is manifest in his medium. It is the Real in us that makes us real. The Qur’an says:

الَّذِيْٓ اَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهٗ وَبَدَاَ خَلْقَ الْاِنْسَانِ مِنْ طِيْنٍ  Ċ۝ۚثُمَّ جَعَلَ نَسْلَهٗ مِنْ سُلٰلَةٍ مِّنْ مَّاۗءٍ مَّهِيْنٍ  Ď۝ۚثُمَّ سَوّٰىهُ وَنَفَخَ فِيْهِ مِنْ رُّوْحِهٖ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْاَبْصَارَ وَالْاَفْـــِٕدَةَ  ۭ قَلِيْلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُوْنَ   ؀

 “And He originated the creation of man out of clay, then He fashioned his progeny of an extraction of mean water, then He shaped him, and breathed His spirit in him. And He appointed for you hearing, and sight, and hearts; little thanks you show”. (32: 7-9)[17]

وَاِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلٰۗىِٕكَةِ اِنِّىْ خَالِقٌۢ بَشَرًا مِّنْ صَلْصَالٍ مِّنْ حَمَاٍ مَّسْنُوْنٍ 28؀ فَاِذَا سَوَّيْتُهٗ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيْهِ مِنْ رُّوْحِيْ فَقَعُوْا لَهٗ سٰجِدِيْنَ  29؀ فَسَجَدَ الْمَلٰۗىِٕكَةُ كُلُّهُمْ اَجْمَعُوْنَ  30؀ۙاِلَّآ اِبْلِيْسَ ۭ اَبٰٓى اَنْ يَّكُوْنَ مَعَ السّٰجِدِيْنَ  31؀ قَالَ يٰٓـاِبْلِيْسُ مَا لَكَ اَلَّا تَكُوْنَ مَعَ السّٰجِدِيْنَ  32؀ قَالَ لَمْ اَكُنْ لِّاَسْجُدَ لِبَشَرٍ خَلَقْتَهٗ مِنْ صَلْصَالٍ مِّنْ حَمَاٍ مَّسْنُوْنٍ  33 ؀ قَالَ فَاخْرُجْ مِنْهَا فَاِنَّكَ رَجِيْمٌ   34؀ۙ

“And when thy Lord said to the angels, 'See, I am creating a mortal of a clay of mud moulded. When I have shaped him, and breathed My spirit in him, fall you down, bowing before him!'

Then the angels bowed themselves all together, save Iblis; he refused to be among those bowing. Said He, 'What ails thee, Iblis, that thou art not among those bowing?' Said he, 'I would never bow myself before a mortal whom Thou hast created of a clay of mud moulded.' Said He, 'Then go thou forth hence; thou art accursed.”(15: 28-34)[18]

It is pertinent to note that Iblis was commanded to prostrate before Adam after God had breathed His Spirit in him. It actually meant prostration to God. Iblis had in view only the outer form of Adam: ‘mortal’  and ‘created of a clay of mud moulded’. He excluded the perspective of God’s breathing His Spirit in him. Every person--consciously or unconsciously-is the custodian of the Intellect¸ Spirit, Self, ‘Heart’ or the ‘immanent Qur’an’ in the inmost chambers of his being. The breathing of God’s Spirit in Adam unfolds the mystery. The essentiality of man lies in the Spirit that God breathed in him. The Spirit is identical with God Himself. There is no duality between God and His Spirit. The Spirit gets individualised in forms (immanent) but remains universal (transcendent) in essence. Man is not with it but it is with man. It is ‘in him but is not his’. It is just to differentiate the embodied self from the spiritual one; otherwise there is nothing in man, which is his. God has created man in his entirety. Man has nothing in the inward and the outward that essentially belongs to him. Man in his totality is the manifestation (metaphysical sense) or creation (religious sense) of God. Man speaks, for example, because the Divine in His Attribute of Speech (Al-Mutakalim) is manifested in him. Otherwise, he could not speak. It is essentially the Divine, Who Speaks through the mediums. Baba Sufi Muhammad Tufayl, my spiritual master, says:

وہ نہیں تو کون ہے تیرے جسم میں بولتا

وہ جدا جب ہوگیا تو آپ حضرت بولئیے[19]

If not He, then who speaks in your medium? When He withdraws then, O majestic one, speak by yourself.[20]

It is true of all the Divine Attributes that inhere in man, by virtue of the Spirit, and in the process of manifestation assume human characteristics. His being near to man than his neck vein is not merely a spatial or temporal nearness. He is nearer to man than man is to himself. He does all the activity in the simultaneity of His transcendence and immanence by remaining unaffected of the medium in which he manifests Himself. Thus, when we say that man is not even nothing, we are simply referring to the metaphysical ontology of nothingness, which does not mean nihilism (a Western category inapplicable to Eastern doctrines) or negation in itself. It simply negates to affirm his real status in the cosmos. It does not lead to pessimism, despair or passivity.

Man is beautiful creation for he carries the trust of Spirit, within him as his essentiality (Self). The Qur’an says:

اِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْاَمَانَةَ عَلَي السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْاَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَاَبَيْنَ اَنْ يَّحْمِلْنَهَا وَاَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْاِنْسَانُ ۭ اِنَّهٗ كَانَ ظَلُوْمًا جَهُوْلًا   72؀ۙ

 “We offered the trust [of being Our representative] unto the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they shrank from bearing it, and were afraid of it. And man took it upon himself. Verily he hath proved an ignorant tyrant. [ss]” (33: 72)[21]

Man is admonished not to betray his trust. Khawaja Ghulam Farid considers man’s essentiality as Spirit. It is the source of all enrichment. He says:

جب ہک رمز ملی توحیدوں

تھی کر فرد، فرید! فریدوں

دل آزاد ڈٹھم تقلیدوں

سِری   روحی   وعظ  سنایا[22]

My heart was freed from merely following the letter of law after getting a clue of Oneness. Farid! The individual by ceasing to be– narrated the sermon: My essentiality is Spirit.

He wants man to discover his Origin and Centre in course of journeying from self to the Self. He says:

توں ہیں سمجھ، سنجان نہ چھوڑیں

اپنے آپ توں مونہہ نہ موڑیں

نرگن سرگن وچ جا جوڑیں

سب ہے روپ سروپ تہارا

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.

 

 

چاروں بید بدانت پکارن

آتم اوتم روپ سدھارن

اوم برم نارائن دھارن

دویت فرید ہے جوٹھا لارا[23]

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.He states:

 

 

کس دھرتی سے آئے ہو تم

پرم نگر ہے دیس تمہارا

کس نگری کے باسی رے

پھرتے کہاں اداسی رے

You have descended from which realm? Your dwelling is in which terrain? The City of Love is your habitat. Why are you wandering forlorn, 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[24]

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?

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

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[25]

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?

Man’s ontological nothingness or the station of servanthood is a great inward treasure. Iqbal brings its significance in one of his most beautiful verses. He says:

متاعِ بے بہا ہے دَرد و سوزِ آرزو مندی

مقامِ بندگی دے کر نہ لوں شانِ خداوندی[26]

It is highly enriching to undergo the pain and anguish of longing. I won’t barter my station of servanthood with the Glory of Divinity.[27]

Thus, the doctrinal negation (nafi) of the ego (khudi) is the same as affirmation of Personality (Reality or God) in simultaneity. The nothingness (neest) of the ego is the consciousness of ego’s nothingness flooding it with Being Itself (Reality or God) at the same time. The extinction (fana) of the ego paves way for the Permanent (Reality or God) simultaneously. The Reality (God) shines forth in his mirror of nothingness. The concept of the ego (khudi) in religious metaphysics does not essentially contradict the ontology of nothingness or nonbeing since the human ego is not self-subsistent (ilah or divinity). Self-subsistence only belongs to the Ultimate Ego (God). It is primarily in this sense that the ego is considered as unreal or illusory, nothing and extinct. One who knows his self, knows his Lord, says the tradition. Although it is a doctrinal truth yet ordinary religious thinking does not draw its intellectual implications nor realises them spiritually.

Iqbal’s religious metaphysics and Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s traditional metaphysics cater both for the individual and the universal. There are so many commonalities between these two representatives of Islamic heritage. The greatest challenge today in the field of Iqbal Studies, is to develop different aspects of his thought in a creative and an independent spirit. Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s traditional metaphysics can be of great help in developing the religious thought of Iqbal on traditional metaphysical lines. It will also facilitate in removing misgivings, for example, about the metaphysical concept of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud). Iqbal’s fear of pantheism (a purely Western notion, which denies transcendence of God and the degrees of Reality), absolutely holds no ground against the traditional metaphysical thought of Khawaja Ghulam Farid, which affirms His absolute transcendence. God is understood as transcendent and immanent in simultaneity. Also, man-God polarity is not final as envisaged by Iqbal’s religious metaphysics but is provisional as encountered by Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s traditional metaphysics. It is ultimately transcended in attaining union or deliverance by virtue of metaphysical realisation. The removal of such intellectual stumbling blocks can usher in a deeper understanding of the metaphysical world. One of the greatest challenges in Farid Studies, on the other hand, is to see that the traditional metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid, which is universal in essence, does provide room for the flowering of individual categories, which are implicit in his thought. Here, Iqbal’s philosophical and mystical vision can be of great assistance in making these individual modes of thought and conduct explicit in a creative spirit. We need to be responsive in developing an intellectual connectivity between the individual and the universal, which in essence are one.

Iqbal and Khawaja Ghulam Farid are deeply steeped in the love of the Arabian prophet in their unique ways. They love the Arab world and desire the prosperity of the Arab people. Iqbal supported the Palestinian cause against the nefarious designs of Western powers. He worked day and night to arouse world-conscience on the unrighteousness and imminent dangers of dividing Palestine till he breathed his last. His vision of the problem and his advice to different stakeholders has stood the test of times. The Arab and the non-Arab world need to be responsive to both these repositories of wisdom, whose prose and poetry can prove to be a beacon of light in the falling shades of night.

The dawning Age is placing onerous responsibility essentially on the shoulders of all those who stand for spirituality and have ‘wholistic spiritual world view’. The traditional principle of ‘unity in diversity’ has always to be kept foremost in our minds. Also, the contradiction between truth and falsehood or between good and the evil has to be understood from the metaphysical perspective. We have to transcend these polarisations to reach the source, which is beyond them. However, in case of an open conflict between them in the world of relativity; it is incumbent upon us to deal with the negative side in the most befitting manner (husna) as sanctified by the tradition. Our real intellectual and spiritual test is the manner in which we conduct ourselves, particularly with the ones who hold diametrically opposed world views from our own. If we react, then we lose our rightful claim to our very tradition, which teaches beautiful conduct, instead. The friends of God are creative and not mechanical. They never react; but act in the spirit of contemplation. We have also to understand that in varied human situations, there is not always a conflict between truth and falsehood or between good and evil but the shades of truth or goodness, at times, collide amongst themselves. Obviously, it is so difficult to discern this subtlety but greater harmony of our lives depends on this discernment.

The metaphysical and religious traditions of the world portray the essential role of feminine spirituality. Khawaja Ghulam Farid, for example, in the tradition of Ibn Arabi manifests his deeper understanding of the feminine essence and its creative role in spirituality. We have also to remain mindful of the fact that it is not man’s world where women have to elbow their way. It is a shared world, which rightfully belongs to everyone.

We have to be constantly responsive to universal pain and suffering. The habitual or casual mode of being indifferent to the plight of others is spiritually ruinous. The spirit of remembering and loving God in wholeness is to remain intensely mindful of His entire creation wholeheartedly. It is also the most effectual, chivalrous and selfless way to reach God. How could our mediums be the recipients of Mercy from the Merciful God (whose Mercy ever flows in the ‘arteries of the universe’) and His merciful Prophet Muhammad (who is ‘mercy to the worlds’), if we ourselves become merciless? We have to be merciful, so that Mercy could flow in our veins, without any clot of mercilessness blocking its flow. The cosmos is permeated with Love. Let us unite with humanity from within and turn the estranged ‘global village’ into the ‘City of Love’. Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s poetry of love and gnosis bridges Heavens and the earth so beautifully. It inspires us to transform our individual passion into universal compassion. It provides us an occasion to learn and realise the primordial lesson of oneness by being compassionate to all.

30th June, 2012                                         Dr. Shahzad Qaiser Lahore



[1]       Arberry, Arthur J., The Koran Interpreted, Oxford University Press, London, 1982, p. 54.

[2]       Ibid., pp. 300, 301.

[3]       Sherwani, Latif Ahmed, Speeches, Writings and Statements of Iqbal, “Political Thought in Islam”, Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 2009, p. 142.

[4]       Iqbal, Muhammad, Kuliyat-e-Iqbal (Urdu), “Bang-i-Dra”, Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 2009, p. 269.

[5]       Translation is my own.

[6]       Arberry, Arthur J., The Koran Interpreted, Oxford University Press, London, 1982, p. 238.

[7]       Ibid., p. 50.

[8]       Arberry, Arthur J., The Koran Interpreted, Oxford University Press, London, 1982, pp. 304-305.

[9]       Arberry, Arthur J., The Koran Interpreted, Oxford University Press, London, 1982, p. 298.

[10]     Sherwani, Latif Ahmed, Speeches, Writings and Statements of Iqbal, “Divine Right to Rule”, Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 2009, p. 166.

[11]     Saqib , Maqsood (Ed.), Kalam Hazrat Madho Lal Hussain, Suchet Kitab Gher, Lahore, December 2003, p. 23.

[12]     Translation is my own.

[13]     Baba Husayn Shah Kher Shahi Qadri, Sampuran Kalam, (Ed.) Dr. Shahzad Qaiser, published by Sucheet Kitab Gher, Lahore, 2003, p.  272.

[14]     Translation is my own.

[15]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 43.

[16]     Arberry, Arthur J., The Koran Interpreted, Oxford University Press, London, 1982, p. 621.

[17]     Ibid., p. 423.

[18]     Arberry, Arthur J., The Koran Interpreted, Oxford University Press, London, 1982, pp. 254-255.

[19]     Tufail, Sufi Muhammad, Kanzan Makhfi, Abara’at, Lahore, 2009, p. 139.

[20]     Translation is my own.

[21]     Lings, Martin (Abū Bakr Sirāj ad-Dīn), The Holy Qur’ān (Translations of Selected Verses), Suhail Academy, Lahore, 2011, p. 116.

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

[23]     Ibid., Kafi 20.

[24]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 247.

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

[26]     Iqbal, Muhammad, Kuliyat-e-Iqbal (Urdu), “Bal-i-Jibril”, Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 2009, p. 352.

[27]     Translation is my own.


*       My published and unpublished writings on Khawaja Ghulam Farid, beginning from the decade of eighties, have been compiled in this single volume, excluding my trilogy: The Metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid: Doctoral Dissertation (Suhail Academy, Lahore 2009), The Message of Diwan-i-Farid (Suhail Academy, Lahore 2009), Understanding Diwan i-Farid (Suhail Academy, Lahore 2011) and a few Articles. All these works, including the present one, are based on Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s magnum opus: Diwan-i-Farid. They offer, in all humility, its exposition by the Grace of God. One of my Papers: ‘What is the Essence of Poetry’ has been included in this volume. It draws attention to the transcendent aspects of traditional poetry.

            The text of Diwan-i-Farid has been adopted from Mr. Tahir Mahmood Koreja’s text: Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid (published by Al-Faisal Publishers, Urdu Bazar, Lahore, 2011).  Translation is my own.

[1]       Arberry, Arthur J., The Koran Interpreted, Oxford University Press, London, 1982, p. 381.

[2]       Sherwani, Latif Ahmed, Speeches, Writings and Statements of Iqbal, Iqbal Academy Pakistan, Lahore, 2009, p. 228.

[3]       Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 239.

[4]       Translation is my own.

[5]       Baba Husayn Shah Kher Shahi Qadri, Sampuran Kalam, (Ed.) Dr. Shahzad Qaiser, published by Sucheet Kitab Ghar, Lahore, 2003, p. 67.

[6]       Translation is my own.

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

[8]       Ibid., Kafi 99.

[9]       Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 134.

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

[11]     Arberry, Arthur, J., The Koran Interpreted, Oxford University Press, London, 1982, pp. 462, 463.

[12]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 53.

[13]     These verses have been taken from Diwan-i-Farid text by Aziz ur Rehman, Urdu Academy, Bahawalpur, Kafi 53.

[14]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 53.

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

[16]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 174.

[17]     Ibid., Kafi 15.

[18]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 230.

[19]     Ibid., Kafi 28.

[20]     Ibid., Kafi 52.

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

[22]     Ibid., Kafi 50.

[23]     Ibid., Kafi 217.

[24]     Ibid., Kafi 149.

[25]     Ibid., Kafi 213.

[26]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 119.

[27]     Ibid., Kafi 30.

[28]     Ibid., Kafi 225.

[29]     Ibid., Kafi 7.   

[30]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 253.

[31]     Ibid., Kafi 32.

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

[33]     Diwan-i-Khawaja Farid, Kafi 72.

[34]     Ibid., Kafi 64.

[35]     Ibid., Kafi 134.

[36]     Schuon, Frithjof, Understanding Islam, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1963, p. 16.

[37]     Schuon, Frithjof, Understanding Islam, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1963.

[38]     Arberry, Arthur J., The Koran Interpreted, Oxford University Press, London, 1982, p. 80.

[39]     Ibid., p. 518.

 

 

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