THE PROMISE OF ALLEGIANCE
Written in Urdu by
Rendered into English by
Under the guidance and supervision of
Hadhrat Ghouse Mohiuddin Siddiqui
بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
It is a well known fact that if you sit in the company of a virtuous person, you attract virtue and if you sit in the company of an evil person, you attract evil. The importance of a Shaikh in learning religion is accepted by all. The continuity of Sufi Salasil in Islam for 1400 years is a testimony to this fact.
Shaikh Mohammad Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui (رحمة لله عليه) has explained the requirement and importance of Shaikh in a Muslim's life. It is very interesting book that must be read by every one who knows English language. The book provides answers to many questions posed by deviant sects in this context.
The need of the hour is to bring this knowledge to English speaking world. Mir Asedullah Quadri is helping us in this endeavor. I see the spark in him and am sure Allah (سبحانه و تعا لی) will take great work from him in future. He deserves all our appreciation and support.
May Allah (سبحانه و تعا لی) accept these English translations as their original work in Urdu, and let all of us benefit from them.
Ghouse Mohiuddin Siddiqui, Son and successor of Shaikh Mohammad Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui ( رحمة لله عليه )
15th Rabia II, 1422 H - 9th July, 2001
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
The 'Facts about the Promise of Allegiance' (حقيقتِ بيعت) is the sixth book translated in the series of Hadhrat Mohammed Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui's ( رحمة لله عليه ) works which were written in Urdu and published during his lifetime.
The author has concentrated his entire works towards clearing the misconceptions about Islamic teachings and practices.
I am indebted to Hadhrat Ghouse Mohiuddin Siddiqui, the son and successor of the author, for his support and encouragement in facilitating continuation of this work.
The readership will appreciate my difficulties in translating this work as Shaikh’s expressions are treasures of perfect sense and to explain them to readers, I could do it only by descending to a contemporary order graspable by present day English speaking individuals. I have tried to bring out the essence of Shaikh's explanations to the best of my ability. Still I am a human being and seek Allah’s (سبحانه و تعا لی) forgiveness and forgiveness of the Shaikh for any oversight and pray for Allah’s (سبحانه و تعا لی) beneficence and guidance. Allah’s (سبحانه و تعا لی) Peace be upon Prophet Muhammad, the last divine Apostle for humanity.
Shaikh Mir Asedullah Quadri
13th Rabia II, 1422 H - 6th July, 2001
THE PROMIGIANCE AND DEVOTIONبِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
What is "Promigiance" (The Promise of Allegiance - بيعت ) and what are its aims and objectives?It is in Quran - "إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۚ فَمَن نَّكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِمَا عَاهَدَ عَلَيْهُ اللَّهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا" [Indeed, those who pledge allegiance to you, (O'Muhammad - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) - they are actually pledging allegiance to Allah. The hand of Allah is over their hands. So he who breaks his word only breaks it to the detriment of himself. And he who fulfills that which he has promised Allah - He will give him a great reward.] (Al-Fath - 10)
The Promise of Allegiance (Promigiance) is an ‘agreement’. It has been a customary in Arabs, whenever they make an agreement, they put one’s hand on to the other (like in a handshake). In all the sovereign countries, oath of faithfulness is taken. In the same way, to emphasize on an important thing, ‘the promigiance' is taken.
In the time of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), whoever accepted Islam, he would do so by the promigiance. Similarly, a promigiance was taken as repentance for one’s past wrong doings. For piety and repentance, the promigiance was taken from women also.
Sometimes promigiance was taken “to shed the last drop of blood” (in the cause of Islam) as it happened at the time (of the conflict) of Hudaibiya. Sometimes the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) took promigiance from the people for not seeking anything (help) from others. The state of these people was such that even if the camel’s nose string is dropped, they used to make the camel sit down to get it back from the ground and will not request anybody to help them.
Sometimes the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) took the promigiance from the people to be steadfast in their love of Allah ( سبحانه و تعا لی ) and His Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
Thus, to vow for an important thing is called the Promise of Allegiance (Promigiance - بيعت )
Q - The Quran, the Hadith and the books of Islamic jurisprudence are all available to us, then where is the necessity to do ‘ promigiance (بيعت) on somebody’s hand?
A - Look at the facts and reply after careful consideration. Two and two (joined together) make four and if we divide 2 from 4, only 2 will remain. Mathematics is such a certain subject that any other subject could hardly come close to it. But from grade 1 to 10, we learn mathematics from teachers, only then a student gets proficient in it.
The reality is that, a person would not be able to know his mistake (until somebody draws his attention towards it). The teacher points out the mistake of the pupil. When such self evident subjects require a teacher, then the possibility of occurrence of mistakes in an exquisite and delicate subject is abundant. This means proficiency comes under constant endeavor in the guidance of a teacher.
The teacher always oversees the mistakes of the pupils and cautions them. When the worldly things require a teacher, then how come ‘on 'the way to Allah' (سُلوک) the Divine Wayfarer (سالِک) will not require an Adviser (مُرشِد), the spiritual teacher?
Q - What is the reason of being committed to one’s teacher’s instructions?
A - A person will get distracted listening to the views of different people. Therefore, it is good to make one’s ‘reliable being’ (person) as his guide.
Consider; in an important law suit, if a new lawyer is changed everyday, then the case can not be followed appropriately and the chances of winning it will become remote. We have the law books in Urdu and English languages. Can any one successfully carry on with the suit (with the help of these books)? No. We have an expert in every field. Trusting him, we need to refer to him all our cases and concerns.
Q - How do the 'religious venerable beings' (مشائقينِ كرام) make you take ‘the promigiance’ (بيعت) ?
A - For men, they hold their hands and the men take the vow that they will remain committed to the commands of Allah ( سبحانه و تعا لی ) and His Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and as far as possible will refrain from the ‘prohibitives’ (حرام) and comply with the ‘imperatives (فرائض). If the education is not complete, then this divine wayfarer ( سالِک - the one who has done the promigiance) would devote his attention towards another Sheikh. This is called ‘devotion’ (اِرادت).
Some people make friendship with a good and experienced religious person, listen carefully to his counsel and act upon it. This type of person is called ‘the comrade of the divine path' (رفیق راہ خدا). This type of person, though is not the Advisor (مُرشِد), but definitely is a consultant (مُشِير).
At the time of doing the promigiance, after (the words of ) repentance and vow (for performing good deeds in future), the following Quranic verse is read:It is in Quran - "إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۚ فَمَن نَّكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِمَا عَاهَدَ عَلَيْهُ اللَّهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا" [Indeed, those who pledge allegiance to you, (O'Muhammad - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) - they are actually pledging allegiance to Allah. The hand of Allah is over their hands. So he who breaks his word only breaks it to the detriment of himself. And he who fulfills that which he has promised Allah - He will give him a great reward.] (Al-Fath - 10)
And some sheikhs also say that ‘I stress upon you to be steadfast in this quranic verse'.
It is in Quran - " إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ ۚ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ" [Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.] (An Nahl - 90)
After it, the Sheikh always keeps his religious student (مُرِيد) under his watch and prevents him from wrong doings (sins) using his faculty of thoughtfulness, graceful attention, spiritual assistance, will power, and keeps the student’s good deeds and intentions safe and sound.
Sometimes ‘the promigiance is also taken from young children. This is called ‘Promigiance of blessing” (بيعتِ بركت).
The above was the description of the Promigiance for men. For women a simple oral promigiance is sufficient. The 'religious venerates' (بُزروگان دین) hold a sheet of cloth in their hand and give the other end to the woman to hold while doing the promigiance. Some people keep water in a container, one side of which will be Sheikh’s hand, the other side will be woman’s hand. Generally the women do not keep their veil in front of an old and aged sheikh. But the woman seeking to become religious student (مُرِيد) need not take out her veil in front of the Sheikh even if he is aged and old.
Q - What should be the age of the Mureed at the time of promigiance?
A - Some people say that he should be a youth. Some say that he should be intelligent and wise and is able to distinguish between good and bad (right and wrong).
Q - How should the Sheikh be?
A - He should be capable of fulfilling the objective and purpose of the promigiance. The view of some religious revers is that the Sheikh should be aware of some Quranic imperatives and Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) traditions and necessary Islamic Jurisprudence (rules) and has been blessed with the companionship of an experienced Sheikh.
Some venerates have described that the distinction of a good shaikh is, in whose company all evil considerations (وساوس) and disruptive useless thoughts (فضول خیالات) are stopped and the human thought gets associated with (the remembrance of) Allah ( سبحانه و تعا لی ) and His Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).
Be careful while you give your hand for the promigiance, otherwise you will regret for it later.
It is compulsory to be in the company of a person who would free you from everything other than Allah .(Hasrat)
The standard to evaluate good and bad (in a person) is his eye. The one whose heart is straight (in righteousness), his eyes are also focused on one point. The trouble mind’s eye is also distracted. Some people say that if you utter invocations of divine blessing on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) (Durood) in your heart behind a religiously complete human being (انسانِ كامل) he often turns back and sees you and if you ask something, he will immediately answer.
It is worth remembering that a person’s thoughts and the effects of his companionship spread around him in a kind of vibration and therefore in the company of a virtuous man, you get virtue and from an evil nature person, you attract evil. If you drop a pebble on a stable water (in a well), it creates a small vibration and a small circle surfaces on the water. If a pebble and a stone are dropped at the same time, then the vibration of the bigger stone will overtake the vibration of the smaller pebble.Similarly, when a person with ordinary thoughts and weak confidence sits in the company of a 'Religiously complete human being' (انسانِ كامل), his ordinary thoughts, evil considerations and nonsensical notions will weaken and get extincted and that person will get affected from the strong will power person’s company.
صحبتـ صالح ترا صالح کند
صحبتـ طالح ترا طالح کند
You will become good in the company of a good person and bad in the company of a bad person(A Persian saying)
Therefore, the necessity of the effects of the company of a 'Religiously complete human being' (انسانِ كامل), is proved beyond doubt. In short, the necessity of the companionship of a veritably earnest Sheikh and its effects are undeniable.
Also remember that if a wrong doing (sin) is committed by a person after the ‘promigiance’, then he should repent. If a sinless person repents, it is also good for him. Once a companion of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) took the promigiance on the hand of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). After some moments, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) asked the companion ‘you also do the promigiance’. On this, the companion submitted , O’Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), I have already done it. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, ‘what is the harm, do it again’.
Q - Is it necessary that every person has to become a religious student (مُرِيد)?
A - People like to fulfill the imperative and be away from the prohibitive and like to be steadfast in them at the highest standard. If you do not consider this thing essential, then let this deprivation be auspicious to you.
There is a famous quote in Arabic (مَن لا شيخ له فشيخه الشيطان) - Satan is a Shaikh to the person who does not have a Shaikh.
Q - This is also evident that we have Quran, books of Ahadith and the books of Obligatory excellence (Obligallence - تَصَوّف ) and the books of the divine way (سُلوك) are also available. Then how did these distinct practices (طریقہ) of Quadri, Chishtee, Naqshbandi, etc., came into being?
A - As there are different doctors and school of thoughts for Islamic jurisprudence, who interpret from the Quran and Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Sunnah (tradition), like Hanafi, Shafa-i, Maaliki, Hambali, etc., similarly the ones who walks on the divine way are also Quadri, Chishtee, Naqshbandee, etc. Remember one thing, peoples’ individual characteristics are different, their natures are different. Some like humor, some are affectionate and some are serious minded and are very strict. Everybody searches a Sheikh whose nature is to his liking. (وَلِكُلِّ وِجْهَةٌ هُوَمُوَلِّيها).
Some Sheikhs are authorized by different Sufi orders/practices. After getting the training from one lineage, the sheikh undertakes the ‘promigiance’ in another, to take advantage of the principle education and their blessings.
It is in Quran - ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَاءُ [ That is the bounty of Allah which He gives to whom He wills] (Al-Hadid - 21)
Q - Repentance should be done by every Muslim man and woman. Then where is the need for a Shaikh on whose hand you need to repent?
A - This type of statements show the ignorance in the understanding of Quran.
It is in Quran - “وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا” [And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, (O'Muhammad - صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), and asked forgiveness of Allah, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful.] (An-Nisa - 64).
See, the cause and means for لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا [found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful] is وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ [and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them].
It is evident from the above that self repentance alone is not sufficient. You should take benediction from a person of illuminated heart.
As long as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) did not draw the curtain of his life from this world (meaning he was alive), he himself used to pray for individuals’ forgiveness from Allah ( سبحانه و تعا لی ). And now, when he is hidden from the eyes of this world, then Awliya Allah will pray for the forgiveness which is expected to be granted (by the Almighty ( سبحانه و تعا لی ).
Think a little, (الحب في الله), the love for the sake of Allah ( سبحانه و تعا لی ), is a very big thing.
It is in the Hadith - Mu’adh ibn Jabal reported: The Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, " قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ الْمُتَحَابُّونَ فِي جَلَالِي لَهُمْ مَنَابِرُ مِنْ نُورٍ يَغْبِطُهُمْ النَّبِيُّونَ وَالشُّهَدَاءُ" [Allah the Exalted said: Those who love each other for the sake of my glory will be upon pulpits of light and they will be admired by the prophets and the martyrs] (Sunan At-Tirmidhi - 2390).
Do not be unreasonable. Think it through with a clean heart. Why the religious student (مُرِيد) loves his Shaikh. He loves him for Allah’s ( سبحانه و تعا لی ) sake. The love for the sake of Allah ( سبحانه و تعا لی ) is there between the two. Don’t you know (The Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, "الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أَحَب" [You will be with those whom you love] (Bukhari Vol 5, Book 57, Hadith no.37).
It is in Quran - "وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَاتَّبَعَتْهُمْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُم بِإِيمَانٍ أَلْحَقْنَا بِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَمَا أَلَتْنَاهُم مِّنْ عَمَلِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ ۚ كُلُّ امْرِئٍ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهِينٌ" [And those who believed and whose descendants followed them in faith] (At -Tur - 21)
The above Quranic verse proves that even if the children are inferior in their good deeds), still Allah ( سبحانه و تعا لی ) will join them (in heaven) along with their parents).
Q - Who are religious students (مُريدين) ?
A - They are like spiritual children of the Sheikh. Their bond is
Love for the sake of Allah ( سبحانه و تعا لی ). In Sha Allah, the true Murideen will be joined with their Sheikhs after their deaths. They will raise (on the day of resurrection) along with their Shuyookh, and whatever bounties are rewarded to the Shaikh, they will be allowed to have a share in it.
Q - What is the vicegerent-ship (Khilafah)?
A - This is certification of mureed’s competency. Students study and when they become proficient, the teacher certifies it and the Government gives the Certificate. But remember, neither ceremonial mureedi (studentship) helps nor a ceremonial certification ( vicegerent-ship - Khilafah) is beneficial. The correct faith and good deeds, both are blessing and gifts from Allah ( سبحانه و تعا لی ). One should try to become deserving.
Q - What does holding position of vicegerent-ship (Khilafah) mean?
A - The word ‘khalifah’ is taken from (the word) ‘khalf’ (who is behind). Meaning, this is the one who follows and accomplishes the works of the one who is ahead of him. The one who describes the divine secrets, helps in purification of minds of the people, who corrects peoples’ notions and educates them the inner values of spiritual significance of Islam is, without doubt, a virtuous person, receiving the blessings of Allah (سبحانه و تعا لی) and His Apostle Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and who may be awarded with Wilaya. These people are true followers of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and his companions.
The one who serves the Apostleship (follows the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) from the beginning till his last breath in all walks of life, what praise can be showered upon him! He is the true follower of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). The best examples in the context are Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), Hadhrat Umar Ibn Khattab (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), Hadhrat Uthman Ibn Affan (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) and Hadhrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) who are regarded as Khulafa-e-Rashideen.
Shaikh says that - during his there were different types of religious venerates (مشائقينِ). The mureed will go to the murshid only for education. They used to live in their own homes and take care of their livelihood, and the Shaikh was responsible only for their education. The shuyookh were independent and used to take care of their familities on their own.
One of those sheikh’s wives had a small cloth pouch for keeping her beetle leafs. She did not possess even a small betal box made of silver or iron. There were shuyookh who maintained their teaching houses (خانقاه) attached to their house. There was school, boarding and lodging for the students, teachers and guests. The female Murideen stayed in the house, but their hospitality was arranged from the teaching house. Whatever is received in (نذر) (gifts/offerings to the Shaikh) it used to be kept outside the house in the (خانقاه). The Shaikh and his family’s livelihood was being looked after from the personal income of the Shaikh. Community work is different and personal affairs are different. In the house, the food available for the members of Shaikh’s family used to consist of bare existence; but in teaching house (with community income) rich food like was prepared. Murideen were made In charge of the teaching houses and they willing used to arrange all community services.
Personally, the Shaikh will not only look after the religious, moral and spiritual education of the people, but will also undertake the marriages of the orphan children, arrange jobs for unemployed and get involved in many other community welfare activities.
During those days, there was neither the need for community donations, nor the requirements of orphan houses. Neither the Murideen would fall short in giving their offerings, nor the Shuyookh would reduce their efforts in the sustenance of their Murideen.
Now times have changed. Neither are those types of Shuyookh, nor are those types of Murideen. Everyday people moan (since morning till evening) for donations. But no work seems to be accomplished. Success and prosperity seems to have resigned.
Nowadays, donations are collected for widows and orphans. But who is the widow? It is the donation collector’s wife. And who are the orphans? They are the donation collector’s children.
My eyes have seen the entire show. Now, what is my work? My work is to cry from the heart and express sorrow from the tongue.