FACTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF TAWHEED
بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
We have explained Islamic Tawheed from different angles in many of our books. In this book, we have focused our explanation on the comprehension of people belonging to different groups about the Unity of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). The Book is divided into three Sections, as follows.Section (A) explains the importance of the teachers of Tawheed (Awliya Allah / Sufi Shuyookh of Ihsan).
Section (B) explains the understanding patterns of various people and how they perceive the oneness of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی).
Section (C) explains how to understand the existence of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) in the cosmos and around us.
SECTION (A)IMPORTANCE OF AWLIYA ALLAH
Who are Sufi Shuyookh/ Awliya Allah?It is in Quran - أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ - الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ - لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَىٰ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ [ Behold the friends of Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی ! On them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. These are they, who have believed in Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی and are mindful of (close to) Him and (have consequently abstained from everything evil). To them tidings come ( from Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی ) of a happy life both in this world and in Hereafter. The word of Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی is never revoked. This in itself is a great felicity" (Younus - 62-64).
It is in Hadith - "Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said - Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) will never let my Ummah agree upon misguidance and the hand of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is over the group (Awliya Allah), so follow "Sawad al-Azam" (the Pious or Great Group of Believers - Awliya Allah / Sufi Shaikhs) and whoever dissents from them departs to hell". (Tirmidhi)
In above Hadith, some people translate Arabic term 'Sawad al-Azam' as 'large Group, or the group of large number of Muslims. This translation has contributed a lot of confusion in Muslim ranks.
Every Muslim sect claims that they are 'Ahle Sunnah wal Jama'a'. Even the hard core Salafis, who are well known worshipers of huge Sky Idol God, also claim that they are Muslims and Ahle Hadith (Astaghfirullah), therefore, are the largest group and are on the right path of Islam. This misleading claim has put millions of people on the way that leads them to only one place - the Enernal Hell.
The Arabic word 'Azam' is generally used to describe 'the greatness / importance of a person or group', rather than 'the large number of people in a Group. Like we say Imam al- Azam or Ghawth al-Azam, or Wazir al-Azam. In this context, when we look at the wordings of the Hadith, it says 'Sawad al-Azam'; meaning the most important or prominent group, which need not be the largest group.
As all individuals of the largest group may not necessary be pious believers, then how can we follow a group which is a mix of (i) Absolute wrongdoers (fasiqeen), (ii) Average wrongdoers and (iii) good believers?
For following a Group, all members of the group should be pious. Like it is in Hadith, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said all his Sahaba are pious. Therefore, by following any one of them, we are sure to be on the straight path of Islam. The above Hadith says "whoever dissents from this Group, departs to Hell".
Therefore, in 'Sawad al-Azam' category only the group of Sufi Shaikhs and Awliya Allah qualify to be followed by all Muslims because all of them are pious. We are not talking here about 'fake Sufi babas' and 'illiterate peers' who hunt needy people and run their 'spiritual shops' to make a fast buck.
Some people may argue that some very famous Scholars of Islam have translated the Arabic term 'Sawad al-Azam' as Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’a.
Indeed, the scholars and Imams were right in translating the term that way because the real Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’a are only the Awliya Allah. By following their foot steps others can also try to become real Ahle Sunnah.
Anyone can claim he/she is from real Ahle Sunnah, but his/her claim should also be accepted and endorsed by Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) and His Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Only then, he/she will qualify for salvation in Hereafter.
Therefore, it is wrong to interpret the meaning of ‘Sawad al-Azam’ as ‘large group’, or ‘the largest Jama’at’, or ‘large assembly of people’.
‘Sawad al-Azam’ are only Awliya Allah / Sufi Shaikhs and those who follow their foot steps sincerely.Sufis walk on the path of Ihsan. Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) gives them vision and understanding with which they can see the facts of things. They are pious and knowledgeable. They help in purification of minds of the people (tazkia nafs), correct people’s notions, educate them about the inner values and significance of Islam and draw people’s attention towards Divine signs and secrets in the cosmos. They follow Prophet Mohammad’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) foot steps in propagation of Islamic teachings.
There are certain big categories of Sufi Shaikhs / Awliya Allah who are known as al-Aqtaab and al-Abdaal. The biggest among them is known as al-Ghawth.
Ibn Taymiyyah accepts Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) as al-Ghawth al-A'zam. Al-Dhahabi accepts him as Imam, the greatest among Awliya Allah / Sufi Shaikhs.
The founders of Deobandi and Tabhlighee Jama'at and all their famous scholars (ulema-e-Akaabir) also accept Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) as al-Ghawth al-A'zam and their Shaikh.
However, Salafis, Deobandis, Tabhlighee Jama'at and their like minded Groups claim that there are no Sufi Shaikhs of Ihsan in the World today. They say that Sufis existed only in earlier times, about 1000 years ago. By claiming so, they deny the following Ahadith and Quranic verses.
Look at the following Ahadith that confirm the existence of Sufi Shaikhs in the World all the time, till Qiyamah.
(i) It is in Hadith - Tabarani wrote in his Mu'jam al-Awsat - that Anas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: "The earth will never lack forty men similar to the Friend of the Merciful (Prophet Ibrahim - علیھ السلا م) and through them people receive rain and are given help. None of them dies except Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) substitutes (Abdaal) another in his place."
The above Hadith confirms the existence of Abdaal (and of course other categories of Sufi Shaikhs) all the time in the world, till Qiyamah.
Commenting on the above Hadith, Qatada said: "We do not doubt that Al-Hasan al-Basri is one of them (abdaal)."
Ibn Hibban also narrated this Hadith in al-Tarikh through Abu Hurayra as: "The earth will never lack forty men similar to Ibrahim (عليه السلام) the Friend of the Merciful, and through whom you are helped, receive your sustenance, and receive rain."
(ii) It is in Hadith - It is reported that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) once said after the Salah: 'O' people! Listen to this, understand it and know it. Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) has servants who are neither prophets nor martyrs and whom they prophets and martyrs yearn to be like, due to their seat and proximity in relation to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). One of the Bedouin Arabs who came from among the most isolated of people twisted his hand at the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and said: O' Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)! People from humankind who are neither prophets nor martyrs and yet the prophets and martyrs yearn to be like them due to their seat and proximity in relation to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی)! Describe them for us!"
'The Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) face showed delight at the Bedouin's question and he said:'. "They are of the strangers from this and that place. They frequent this or that tribe without belonging to them. They do not have family connections among themselves. They love one another for Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) sake. They are of pure intent towards one another. On the Day of Resurrection Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) will place for them pedestals of light upon which He will make them sit and He will turn their faces and clothes into light. On the Day of Resurrection, the people will be terrified but not those. They are Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) Friends (Awliya), upon whom fear comes not, nor do they grieve".The above Hadith is related through several chains by (a) Abu Dawud, (b) Ahmad, (c) Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna, (d) al-Hakim in the Mustadrak, (e) Ibn 'Asakir, (f) Ibn Abi al-Dunya in Kitab al-Ikhwan, (g) Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, (h) Ibn Abi Hatim, (i) Ibn Mardawayh, and others. (j) Haythami in Majma'al-Zawa'id says: 'Ahmad relates it, and (k) Tabrani relates something similar, and the men in its chain of transmission have been declared trustworthy".(iii) It is in Hadith - Imam Ahmad narrated another Hadith in his Musnad (5:322) through Ibn Ata ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ): The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: "The Substitutes (Abdaal) in this Community are thirty like Ibrahim (عليه السلام) the Friend of the Merciful. Every time one of them dies, Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) substitutes another one in his place."
Tirmidhi cites the above Hadith in Nawadir al-Usul and Imam Ahmad's student, Al-Khallal has mentioned this Hadith in his book Karamat al-Awliya'.
(iv) It is in Hadith - narrated by Anas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: "The similitude of my Community (Ummah) is as the rain: it is not known whether its greater good lies in its beginning or in its ending".
The above Hadith is in Sunan (book of Amthal), Ibn Hibban in his Sahih from `Ammar ibn Yasir (#2307), Ahmad in his Musnad in several places (cf. 3:143, 4:319), Baghawi in Sharh al-Sunna (1:405), Tabarani in his Kabir, Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir (7:493), al-Khatib in Tarikh Baghdad (11:114), Abu Ya`la, al-Daraqutni, al-Bazzar, and Ibn `Abd al-Barr".
(v) It is in Hadith - Narrated by Abu Hurayra (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) "The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) came to the graveyard and said: "Peace be upon you, O' abode of a people of believers! We shall certainly join you, if Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) wills. How I long to see my brothers! "They said: "O' Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), are we not your brothers?" He replied: "You are my Companions! As for my brothers, they are those who have not yet appeared." They said: "How will you recognize those of your Community who had not yet appeared (in your time) O' Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)?" He replied: "Suppose a man had horses with shiny white marks on their foreheads and legs: would he not recognize them among other horses which are all black?" They said: "Yes O' Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)!" He continued: "Verily, they (my brothers) shall be coming with shiny bright foreheads and limbs in view of their ablutions, and I shall precede them to my Pond." (Muslim, Nasa'i, Malik, and Ahmad).It is in Hadith - (The Prophet ﷺ) said, after me, a scholar will appear every hundred years. He will strengthen my religion."Naturally this scholar will be one among the greate Wali Allah / Sufi Shaikhs of Ihsan.Above Ahadith and Quranic verse confirm the following facts.(a) Sufi Shaikhs / Awliya Allah will be there in the world all the time till Qiyamah. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) also indicated that some of the latter day Sufis may acheive higher ranks as compared to their predecessors. These Ahadith nail the lies of Salafis and their like minded groups who claim that there is no real Sufi available in the world.(b) The Ahadith emphasize that Awliya Allah are 'Living" after their death. Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) has described 'Salaam' on them and his love and affection for them as he calls them 'his brothers', testifies their "Living status after their death." Read more.(c) When there is no Wali Allah/Sufi Shaikh in the world, Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی ) may call it a day and Youmul Qiyama (the end of this world) will happen. Because it is in Hadith (mentioned above) that people of the world are getting sustenance because of Sufi Shaikhs of Ihsan's presence in the world.The world is there and we are living here, it shows that Awliya Allah / the real Sufis are there in the world.SECTION (B)UNDERSTANDING PATTERNS OF PEOPLE
Let us take the example of water (a thing) and analyze different views of people about it. We have discussed this issue in detail at another place also
Let us ask a common man about water; he will say that it is a real thing, a life saving liquid and we use it for different purposes.
Ask a Chemist, he will say that water is actually a compound of Hydrogen and Oxygen in the ratio of 2:1. The real thing is its components. If you remove these components, the water will disappear. He will say that he can prove this fact in a chemistry lab.
Ask a philosopher, he will say that water is one of the shapes (solid - liquid - gas - plasma) of matter. Earlier it was in the shape of its component gases and now it is in liquid form.
Ask an Islamic Scholar/Mufti, he will say that water is a creation of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and a real existing thing and we have been commanded to use it as per the rules of Sharia.
Ask a Sufi Shaikh of Ihsan, he will say that existence of water or anything in this cosmos is dependent on Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). Therefore, real (original) existence belongs to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and the existence of things is temporary (Haadith). Things cannot exist when separated from Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). Therefore, water is a Tajalli (a form of existence which was there in Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) knowledge before and came into existence after His command "Be".
It is in Quran – إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَيْءٍ إِذَا أَرَدْنَاهُ أَن نَّقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ [Meaning - And a thing, We (Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی) Will (to create), We only Say ‘Be’, and there it is (it comes into existence)’. (An-Nahl – 40).
From the above discussion it is evident that people understand facts of things as per their abilities.
The question is, who is closest to the truth or fact of water?
Naturally, the most knowledgeable among the people will be closest to the truth. The Sufi Shaikhs are most knowledgeable, therefore their comprehension about the fact of things is closest to the reality.
SECTION (C)UNDERSTANDING THE EXISTENCE OFALLAH (سبحانہ و تعا لی)
We have described above, the most knowledgeable among people will be closest in knowing about the facts of things.
If we ask about the existence of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) from Sufi Shaikhs who are most knowledgeable among people, they will say that when they look at anything in this cosmos, they get reminded about the Creator of that thing. Their minds do not concentrate on (how is) that thing, rather they start analyzing how it is made by Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). Therefore, everything in this cosmos diverts their attention towards Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). We have been commanded in Quran several times to see Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) signs in the cosmos. Sufis are following the Quranic commandments.
It is in Quran - وَقُلِ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ سَيُرِيكُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ فَتَعۡرِفُونَہَاۚ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَـٰفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعۡمَلُونَ [Meaning - " (Say O'Prophet ﷺ) Praise be to Allah. He will show you His signs and you will recognize them. Your Lord is not heedless of anything you do.] (An-Naml - 93).
Sufi Shaikh looks at things, but his mind does not stay with them, it reaches out to the original existence of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). In other words, the existence of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) gets exposed to him in every particle/everything he sees around him. His physical eyes get suspended and his inner vision gets activated.
Look at the following Quranic verses and Ahadith, you will know how truthful the Sufi Shaikhs are. Subhan-Allah, they have been provided with exceptional vision and understanding. Others who cannot understand these facts, interpret these verses and Ahadith as per their limited understanding and draw wrong conclusions(1) It is in Quran - اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ (Allah is the light (existence) of the Heavens and Earth’. (An-Noor -35).(2) It is in Quran - وَلِلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ ۚ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ [ Whatever side you turn, you will find Allah; Verily ( in truth ) Allah is Omnipresent (existing everywhere every moment) and Omniscient ( infinitely wise )]. ( Al-Baqra – 115 ).
(3) It is in Quran - وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ (Wherever you are, He is with you). (Al-Hadid – 4).
(4) It is in Quran - وَفِي أَنفُسِكُمْ ۚ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ (He is in your own self, will you not then see). (Adh-Dhariyat – 21).(5) It is in Quran - هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ [He is the First, and the Last, He is the Manifest (apparent) and the Immanent (actually present through out the material world) and is knower of all things]. (Al-Hadeed – 3).
(6) It is in Quran - وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ [We are closer to you than your jugular vein]. (Qaf – 16).
(7) It is in Quran - وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي [ When My servants ask you ( O’ Prophet ﷺ) concerning Me, ( tell them ) I am ever present ( with them ) and I listen to the call of him that calls Me]. (Al-Baqara – 186).(8) It is in Quran - سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ (Meaning - Transcendent (magnificent) is your Lord, the Lord of All-Greatness, far above what they ascribe to Him). (As-Saafaat - 180).
(9) It is in Hadith - (Bukhari) narrated by Abdullah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) : Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said 'Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) is not hidden from you'.(10) It is in Hadith - (Bukhari) narrated by Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) : Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, 'Do your Salah seeing Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) and if you fail to see Him, pray knowing fully that He is seeing you." (It is part of a long Hadith ).(11) It is in Hadith - Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said "There was Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) and nothing existed but Him". He existed from eternity and there was nothing else." (Bukhari, Baihaqi).Consider the above Hadith. It is very very clear. It is important for a physical body to have a place to exist. When Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) existed when there was nothing, no sky, no universe then where was He sitting. There has to be place for a body to exist. The Hadith also clarifies that Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) existence is pure from the requirement and consideration of a body, form and shape.Knowing about Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and this cosmos is the foundation of our Iman. If we do not understand this fact correctly, we can never find the straight path of Islam and get salvation on the Day of Judgment.
Let us define what is knowledge?Knowledge is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as 'practical understanding of a subject, or 'what is known in a particular field'.We define - 'Knowledge is the complex thought of a person about himself and other things which are known to him only'.What is Allah's ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) Knowledge?Allah's knowledge is also His complex thought. Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) knows about Himself as well as about His Creatures.Is there anything existed, other than Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) ever?No. Nothing existed.It is in Quran - اللَّهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ ۚ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ ۚ [Meaning - Allah, there is no god but He, the alive, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep.] (Al-Baqara – 255).It is in Quran - هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ [He is the First, and the Last, He is the Manifest (apparent) and the Immanent (actually present through out the material world) and is knower of all things]. (Al-Hadeed – 3).Has Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) taken any material from outside to create the things in this cosmos?No. Everything existing in this cosmos was in Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) knowledge as part of His complex thought.It is in Quran - لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ [Whatever is in the Heavens and whatsoever is in the Earth belongs to Him. (Al-Baqara – 255).How did we exist in Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) knowledge?Like the painter knows individual details of his paintings, then he draws them together on a canvas; similarly, we all existed in Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) knowledge in the shape of individual facts. We have cited the painter's knowledge only to explain the issue. There is no resemblance between a creature and the Creator.Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) commanded "Be" to specific individual facts to come into "being" and there we came into existence for a specific period (known to Allah -سبحانہ و تعا لی). If He commands again, we will go back into his thought.An important thing has to be understood here. The Artist's painting is existing outside the artist. But in Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) creation, nothing has come out of his Unity (Zaat). We are still in Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) thought.
It is in Quran – إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَيْءٍ إِذَا أَرَدْنَاهُ أَن نَّقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ [And a thing, We (Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی) Will (to create), We only Say ‘Be’, and there it is (it comes into existence)’. (An-Nahl – 40).It is in Quran - كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ- وَيَبْقَىٰ وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ [All that there is in the Cosmos shall vanish. The Countenance (stand alone) of your Lord (by Himself) shall endure, the Lord of Majesty and Glory’. (Ar-Rahman – 26-27).Is it wrong to say that everything in this cosmos is Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) thought (Khayal) and is absolutely dependent upon His attention?No, it is not wrong. The real existence belongs to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) and the existence of this Cosmos and whatever there in it, is Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) thought, appearing in different forms as per their individual facts.Can Allah's Absolute Existence / Being (as a whole) be confined (or arrested / held ) into any shape / form / body?No. Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is free from the consideration of time, shape, body, form of any kind; exclusive or creature like.It is in Quran - لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ۖ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ ('There is nothing is like Him and He is all Hearer and all Seer' (Ash-Shura - 11).Quranic verses which apparently point towards human like attributes of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) like hands, eyes, face, etc., should be understood in their proper perspective. If we take their textual meanings, we will get deviated from the straight path of Islam and go astray.It is in Quran - هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ [He is who has sent down to you (O'Prophet - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) the Book (Quran). Some verses of it are definite in meaning (Ayaat-e-Muhkamaat). These form the mother of the Book (the basic there in) and the rest are figurative (metaphorical) (Ayaat - e - Mutashaabihaat). But they, in whose minds there is a tendency to deviate from truth, take the metaphorical (verses in their literal / textual sense) craving discord, and craving to give them their own interpretation, although none knows the reality about them except Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). And those who make it right approach to knowledge could only say 'we believe therein all that is from our Lord'. None can catch their significance except those gifted with insight.] (Aal-e-Imran - 7).Who are the people who have been ' gifted with insight ' to know the real meaning of Quranic verses?We all know (all Muslim sects agree) that Sufi Shaikhs are the people who can understand Quranic verses and Ahadith in their proper perspective.
Can we see Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی)?
It is in Quran - لَّا تُدۡرِڪُهُ ٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرُ وَهُوَ يُدۡرِكُ ٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرَۖ وَهُوَ ٱللَّطِيفُ ٱلۡخَبِيرُ [Peoples' eyes ( be it physical eyes or heart eyes or spiritual eyes) cannot see Him, He sees their eyes (them). He has minute vision and is aware of everything. (Al-An'aam - 103).The above Quranic verse says we cannot see Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) from our physical eyes (absaar). But if we get the perception and special vision and understanding like Sufi Shaikhs, then Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) can be perceived / felt and we get Haqq-ul-Yaqeen about Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) .There are three stages of knowing Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) .(i) Ilm-ul-yaqeen - knowing Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) by knowledge.(ii) Ain-ul-yaqeen - knowing Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) by feeling / seeing His presence around us. Quran has commanded us to see Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) signs in the cosmos.
It is in Quran - وَقُلِ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ سَيُرِيكُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ فَتَعۡرِفُونَہَاۚ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَـٰفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعۡمَلُونَ [(Say O'Prophet ﷺ) Praise be to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی). He will show you His signs and you will recognize them. Your Lord is not heedless of anything you do.] (An-Naml - 93).It is in Hadith - (Bukhari) narrated by Abdullah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) - Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said 'Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is not hidden from you'.
It is in Hadith - (Bukhari) narrated by Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) : Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, 'Do your Salah seeing Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) and if you fail to see Him, pray knowing fully that He is seeing you." (It is part of a long Hadith ).(iii) Haqq-ul-Yaqeen - getting absorbed in His thought and forgetting everything else.It is in Hadith-e-Qudsi - "My Earth and My Heaven contain Me not, but the heart of the faithful servant contains Me".What is the meaning the meaning of the above Hadith-e-Qudsi?As we have described above, the Sufi Shuyookh/Awliya Allah get overwhelmed with the thought of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) to an extent that they sometimes forget their own existence. This state is known as "Annihilation / deliverance / absorption" (Fana). Meaning, the thought of creatures gets overwhelmed with the thought of Creator.Sufis' state of 'fana fillah' can easily be understood by the following example.Sometimes it so happens that we are reading a book, or working on a computer or involved in painting and we get so much overwhelmed in our work that we cannot see the cup of tea in front of us and we forget to drink the tea. During such moments, what happens is we forget everything, including our own existence, in doing that job. Meaning, we were absorbed in that painting or in that work.When we get overwhelmed in our work, or perform that task with utmost concentration, we get perfection in that work.Since Sufi Shaikhs are overwhelmed in Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) thought, they understand Quranic verses and Ahadith in a better way than many of us who cannot reach to that kind of perception/understanding.Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) showers His special blessings upon His Awliya / Sufi Shaikhs with which their understanding power is expanded and they start understand things better than normal human beings.It is therefore advisable that we learn Islam in the company of real Sufi Shaikhs because they are the real living guides of Iman, Islam and Ihsan.Acquisition of knowledge through books or through our external senses sometimes leads us to confusion and we draw wrong conclusions. This is the reason people started believing about their creator differently.
Hindus believe that stars and planets are gods. Some Hindus believe in ‘Audait’ (Unique god), ‘Daudait’ (the big god and the cosmos) and ‘Taudait’ ( Pramatma – the big soul or spirit ). The cosmos depends on these three gods. Some people believe in different gods for different works in the Cosmos. Gods also have wives, like Krishna is known to have more than 16000 wives. Some gods and goddesses also marry and women gods give birth to children gods, etc.
Christians believe that Divinity of Almighty and Servant-hood is combined in one body and believe Jesus Christ (Isa - عليه السلام) as son of God. They believe in Trinity; Heavenly Father (god) – Son of god – Holy Ghost god. They say that all the three are permanent, absolute and existing on their own, but all the three are one. Strange argument.
Salafis and their like minded groups worship a Sky God who has two hands, two eyes, a face, a mouth and tongue in the mouth, two shins, legs, fingers in hands and feet, and a huge human like physical body; who is sitting on a big chair on the skies in a certain direction. They say that this huge Sky Idol has limitations on his movements as he cannot come near human beings, therefore, knows about them, only by his knowledge. They call this human-like-Deity ( المعبود مثل الإنسان ) as Allah.
It is important to understand the perception of God by Salafis, Christians and Hindus who worship Idol Gods in different formats. Salafis call their Sky God as Allah because God is translated in Arabic as Allah. Similarly, Christians in Arabic, Persian and Urdu translations of Bible, refer to their God as Allah. Islamic perception of Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) is completely different from the idolized perception of Hindus, Salafis, Christians and other people.
Salafis also claim that their Sky Idol God is one of its kind, self made, independent, neither beget nor begotten. They claim they are Muslims and to legitimize their claim, they copy paste the following Quranic verse to describe their Idol God.
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ . اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ . لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ . وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَد (Say, He is the God, the one and only. God, the eternal and absolute. He begets not, nor is he begotten. And there is none like him. (Ikhlas 1-4).
They also claim that their Sky God has created this Universe. They worship this Sky Idol and prostrate in front of him 5-times a day during their prayer. Read more
(1910-1999) the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia wrote: (Their Sky) God has (i) a physical body (al-jism), (ii) He is physically sitting on the sky, and (iii) He has limbs, hands, eyes, tongue, face and other body parts.(1263-1328), one of the founders of Salafism, described the physical characteristics of their Sky God as follows:
(i) The Sky God needs (the God is not independent and not self subsistent) (ii) He is divisible (Meaning the Gods can be many, but ultimately it is one entity only - This belief is exactly identical to the belief of Christians and Hindus). (iii) He settles in a place. (iv) He has six directions - up - down - left - right - front - back. (Meaning, the Sky God has a physical body). The Sky God is sitting above the skies and his face is in a certain direction. (v) He has limitations; no one but he knows about it. Even his place (dwelling) has a limitation which is on the seventh sky. Thus the Sky God has two limitations of movements. (vi) He has a size (of his body). (vii) He must be creating continuously. He can choose what to create but he cannot choose whether to create or not. (Meaning, he is helpless, has no choice but to create continuously). (viii) He is not mixed with his creation but is sitting alone separately on the sky. (ix) He has two real eyes, two real hands, a real (human like) face and other limbs. His face and other limbs are known to him only.