TASSWUF OR SUFISM
Genesis of Tasswuf:
“It is the privilege of the men of God to see the sublimest mysteries of the spiritual world and instruct men in Righteousness; they warn and shield men against evil.” – The Holy Quran
“Tasswuf or Sufism – the Islamic mysticism – means scrupulously maintained moral character and religious discipline which one must necessarily cultivate and observe towards all the creatures of God in the interests of peace and happiness of mankind.”- Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty (R.A.)
Jacques de Marquette remarks in his introduction to Comparative Mysticism : ‘In fact mysticism seems to be able to solve most of the dilemmas confronting our generation in nearly all the avenues of thought and activities. Hence the timely character of our attempt to study its modalities and to interpret whatever message it may have in store for puzzled modern man’ (P. 18). Much the same is the raison d’ etre for this study : the relevance of Sufism to the needs of modern society.
Mysticism, it is said, has no genealogy. It is as old as man himself and echoes the eternal quest of the human soul to have direct experience of the Ultimate Reality. It proceeds on the assumption that ‘The divine disclosed itself in the human race as a whole’ and that it is possible for all human beings – irrespective of their caste, colour or creed – to have direct communion with Him. The spark of divine love shines alike in the heart of the learned and the illiterate, the Hindu, the Christian, the Muslim and the Sikh. It is not the exclusive privilege of higher religious intellects to strive to understand the essence of Divine Reality; a shepherd also, as Rumi has shown, may communicate with God while grazing his herd in the lonely valleys.
Ali, the Prince of Saints:
The Sufis look Ali as the founder of that knowledge of “Tasawwuf” which harmonises the mystical, moral and intellectual approaches to Reality. They call the period when he was Caliph, “The Sufistic epoch” and speak with intense pride of the way in which his spiritual intuitions re-inforced the doctrine of “Tauheed” (monotheism); and of how, by his personal example, Ali illumined the way in which the struggles of a man in this world can fulfill the covenant between the created and the Creator.
The Need of Spiritual Director:
The Sufis from time immemorial have recognized the necessity of a “Shaikh” or “Pir” or “Spiritual Director” to whom humanity may be entrusted for guidance and instruction. Staunch obedience was to be offered to this director, who was supposed to possess topmost Spiritual powers and to be well acquainted with all the paths of “Tariqat”. The disciple was required to remain with him for a number of years until he had familiarised himself with ‘mystic’ experiences and could himself graduate as a leader.
Since Ali possessed a noble, religious and philanthropic spirit to the highest degree, the Sufi recognize in him their first Spiritual Director; it was he who showed the way to eternal bliss. They hold that if Muhammad (may peace be upon him) was the seal of Prophets, Ali the spiritual sovereign of all the Sufi denomination was, undoubtedly, the seal of Saints. Without intercession of Hazrat Ali no saint can attain the degree of Wilayat and Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty (R.A.) is direct descendant of Hazrat Ali (Alehissalam).
The quintessence of Sufi teachings is service to humanity regardless of caste, creed, colour, of faith. The Sufis believe, al khalq-o-ayalullah, meaning that the whole creation is the ‘family of God’. Love of God is not complete without loving his ayal (family). The Sufis believe that true worship is not in the performance of rites, rituals and supererogation. True worship is in the service of humanity.
“A Symbol of Love, Peace and Harmony.”
– Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty r.a
Haji Syed Ambar Chishty
Gaddi Nashin of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty (r.a)
New Saira Mahal, Moti Katla,
E-mail: [email protected]