I had the chance to visit a jewellery shop where everything was artificial but looked like original jewels and gold. I deeply observed its make and shine. I bought some zircon jewellery for my wife. The shop quickly got filled with people and I felt suffocated at that time. The shop keeper was so clever in his dealing that just like the artificial jewellery, the shop keeper’s smile was fake too. The shopkeeper tried to prove that his artificial jewellery was more precious than the original and his clients were also convinced, at that time I realised his art of selling and the types of customer that exist.
After some weeks, I went to a diamond jewellery shop in Dubai to buy a diamond ring. When I entered the shop, there were some people who were sophisticatedly dressed which is why I thought of them as educated and well-settled people. I approached the counter and asked for a diamond ring, a woman in a proper dress code was my attendant who could speak different languages and the shop’s manager was seated in his cabin. Now the attendant placed the tray over the counter and opened it. When she opened the first tray i saw shiny diamonds which caught my eye and attention both. That day I realised what a diamond is. The attendant was keeping an eye over the shop and the clients, I didnt find any common public there. I started comparing the artificial jewellery shop and its environment with the branded diamond shop. It was too easy now to judge the real and fake scenarios of life and jewels too. After some time I went back to my car but suddenly I got lost in the real story of my life…
When I was a 14 year old boy, naturally I was attached with sufism because of my mother. Both my parents are sunni religious people. We all are Bayat in the Qadri Sufi Order. I got Bayat in my childhood, when I was 3 years old at the hand of Hazrat Moulana Shah Wali Muhammad Qadeeri Qadri (r.a). I was reading Urdu digest which was about a sufis biography, (it was titled Aulia Allah Number). I was inspired a lot and I had a dream to be like those Aulia Allah (saints). I discussed this wish with my uncle and he replied: “Oh, son we are sinful people and I recommend that you never ever imagine this again, it may be its blasphemy in virtue of these saints”. I got disturbed but I ignored what he said and started doing Zikr and other charity work. After a few days my uncle came to my home and told me that he is going to meet his Shaykh (Murshad) who was a Qalander of the current era and asked if I wanted to go. I didn’t understand his terminology but I was excited to have the chance to meet his Shaykh in my life rather for the first time in my life my mother gave me the permission to go and meet someone like this.
when I reached his shaykh’s house I found a man with a turban sitting in a small room which was lightened with dull green bulbs. People around him were smoking cigarettes and eating Pan because Mr Shaykh was addicted to these things. I moved forward and said Salam to him but he spat the pan first and then answered me. After this he switched on his stereo system and started listening to sufi Kalam (Qawalies) and his faith about qawwali was that “these words are enough for a connection between Allah and his slave”. I was frustrated at that time because I had never heard about these type of Qalanders. He asked me to chant Zikr e Allah and suggested me to build friendly relation with Allah. I accepted his teaching but not his environment and went back to home and started Zikr (لا إله إلا الله).
After some days I started doing the Zikr with my breath and started going for mandatory prayers in the Masjid and listened to Quranic recitation late night. I heard from my father that darood is the way to love Prophet Muhammad (s) perhaps I started to recite it 3000 times daily and enhanced it weekly until it became 11000 per day. I remember when my uncle stopped me over that Aulia Allah thought, I thought that the Aulia were also humans and I am also one of them and then decided that “I will be a good wali Allah”. These words were marked on my heart and I started to work on it. Next day I decided to go to the house of my uncle’s Shaykh alone. One day I went to the shaykh, when I entered his room a women and her family were bowing their head in front of Mr Shaykh, I was shocked because this is prohibited in islam. I sat in a corner and one of his students came and gave me a clarification about the scene. His logic was that they didn’t bow down to the shaykh rather they bowed to Allah who is in the heart of Shaykh, I got annoyed and went away after a few minutes.
Next day my uncle came to me and discussed the same thing, at last he said that this was your test which was taken by the Shaykh, I smiled because I thought I passed the test. I was new to sufism and I didnt have much knowledge about it. I was searching for a Kamil Shaykh for sufi Training.
Now I went to that Shaykh again with my uncle. Shaykh started lecturing me about sufism and its hurdles. Suddenly I felt that shaykh is not in his senses (little drunk), I whispered in my uncles’s ear but he told me that the Shaykh is in Wajjad (A sufi word for Masti). I agreed because I had read about it. His teachings were useful and effective because I felt closeness with Allah and considered him like a friend. I was an ignorant child due to some personal issues and mostly sat alone in my lawn and watch the sky late night. After my Zikr routine had started I was not feeling alone because my friend and my lord Allah was with me. My wishes were getting completed. I started loving Allah more then everything, I used to visit the shaykh once in a while but I never thought of his activities as legal according to islamic shariah. I started this whole journey with truth. When I was 15 years old I went to that shaykh’s house as I had a routine of going, I saw a little door in shaykh’s room which was opened and people went out turn by turn. When I got close i saw a big picture of his grand shaykh and people were bowing down to the picture, I got depressed that what has happened to the shaykh and his people. Suddenly, shaykh said: the man in the picture is “Rabb”. It blew my mind because through out I read in books that Allah has no image but what was going on here? I went out from his house and approached a pharmacy for some medicine I saw one of the disciple who was purchasing tranquillisers in bulk quantity, I told him that this is medicine is prohibited without a prescription and is only for those who are sick, he ran away but I catched him and made him talk. Because if someone eats these medicines they may end up dying. After 10 minutes he told me that these medicines help the shaykh in his spiritual journey when he travel towards La Makkan (A Spiritual Level in Sufism). I was shocked that he was addicted to these drugs and uses these for intoxication and told us that he is in Masti (Wajadd).
Once I had the chance to go with Mr shaykh and my uncle at his grand shaykhs Urs, due to a lot overcrowding I stayed out from the shrine and all of his followers went inside with him. I saw that shaykh and his followers made tawaaf of grave in circle, I couldn’t stay away from them but my opinion about sufism was completely changed. I shared all these things with my father and he got annoyed with me and banned my uncle from entering our house. My father took me to another Naqshbandi Shaykh somewhere in Lahore for observation. I felt the true sufi environment at his Astana (Sufi Center). There was a complete dress code for followers and proper dedicated place for mandatory prayer. There was fixed time for meeting with Shaykh with proper salutation. No drugs or prohibited things were seen. After Isha prayer there was a small gathering of Zikr. I started going to that place regularly.
I dedicated my friendship to Allah because Allah fulfilled my needs when I prayed to him and loved me which I feel in his creation for me even today. One day a sudden phone call from my uncle which was received by my mother gave us the news that his Shaykh had passed away, often shaykh told his audience that he wants to meet with Allah in order to settle the earth’s injustice which exists due to humans. His special followers told ordinary people that he died from a heart-stroke when he was in toilet. Whereas, actually he committed suicide which was told to us by one of his fellows. I ignored his call and stupidity which is why I didn’t go to see his cruel face.
I made an opinion about him and named him ” The Juggler ” who had different things and actions for different people for his own survival and attraction. The audience of this Juggler was similar to him. He only preached Allah’s Qurb in words but he hadn’t practiced it because he kept these words just to juggle people’s attraction. His teachings were like artificial jewels and he was a shopkeeper who cleverly sold his artificial product instead of the original.
The Question is why where people gathered around him? I think people where used to buying artificial for their ego instead of original and original is expensive to buy I mean there is an effort to buy original jewel.The Audience and Juggler belong to the same type of Group.
My journey was for Allah’s Qurb not for any Shaykh, which is why I continued it. Years ago when I was 20 years old I followed all the instructions of my Shaykh’s which were written in his book for his followers. My Shaykh Hazrat Moulana Shah Wali Muhammad Qadeeri Qadri (r.a) was guiding me in Alim e Roya. I was good in meditation and observation and now I had even attended many sufi gatherings with my father. My grand-mother used to go to Hazrat Usman Ali Hajaveri’s Shrine in her life. I heard from my father that Data Sahib was a one of the best Wali Allah.
One day I thought that if he was wrong, how did I learn and practice true sufism from his instructions and how were these practices reliable?
I went for Jummah Prayer, where the Imam discussed a Hadith that in the house Abu’Hurrara (companion of Prophet Muhammad (s) the thief continously stole things for 3 nights, eventually Abu’ hurraira (r) arrested him at his 3rd and last attempt. The Thief made many excuses but Abu’ hurraira (r) didn’t excuse him, eventually thief said if I tell you a special thing which protects you and your house and no one will do any harm to your house again will you release me? Abu’ hurraira (r) agreed, thief said recite Ayat-ul-Kursi. Abu’ hurraira released him and next day he went to prophet’s house and explain the whole story. Prophet Muhammad(s) said “Abu’ hurraira he was a shetan but he guided you truthfully”.
Now I was satisfied with my practice and love with Allah but considered him (the Uncle’s Shaykh) as a Shetan.
One day I was at my work, one majzoob came to me and I was doing Zikr with heart beat and breath. He asked me for some charity which I agreed for but he said that he needs Arabic Dress (Chula) in two different colours. I agreed because who knows what the other persons spiritual condition and designation is. He said that deliver me these clothes in front of Data Sahib’s mizaar (grave) tomorrow. I agreed and when I went to Data Sahib next day, I couldn’t find anyone to give these clothes to. I waited until the evening, but then I turned my face around and said to data Sahib “I am here after ten years and after all this wait I’ll never come to your shrine again” and went away. Now this is time where I was lucky.
I had a dream that night in which data sahib called me at his shrine to teach me, the next morning my father came to me and said “Nabeel did you go to Data Sahib yesterday if yes, what did you do? I was surprised because I didnt share this with anyone, I told the truth and my dream to my Father. He replied Usman (my brother) saw a dream that data sahib ordered him to send you to his Darbar. I was very happy at that time because I had a chance of being a student of Data Sahib, after this I never got depressed in my life and I understood these words of Hazrat Khawaja Moin-uddin Chisti (Gareeb Nawaz), Faizan of Hazrat Usman Ali Hajaveri Rehmattullah.
A Lesson from ” The Juggler”
If you are true and loyal to yourself then your journey will begin with problems because, if there is a light, there is a darkness. Don’t get scared and continue with the help of Allah. The tools for checking the person are Islamic Shariah and its laws, if anyones tries to avoid these laws, he is a Juggler or a Fake-Sufi. If you believe in Allah and unintentionally get attached with a Juggler don’t worry, just keep your eyes open and check him with Islamic Laws, truth is very powerful and you’ll see that you will never get stuck in any kind of spider Web, because Allah will guide you at every step as your step is for Allah only and Allah is the most powerful, rather juggler can’t constrain you. Keep your self true in any case not only in case of sufism. You must face a juggler Shaykh or artificial jewels in your life in order to be able to identify the truth or real diamonds. These both are a part of sufism and you must face it. When you differentiate between artificial and original jewels then your journey will start properly because there are too many jugglers who are sitting and waiting for you as a hunter, you must identify them in a short time. If you want to juggle then your choice should be a juggler not a Shaykh.
You must have a proper bay’at from a proper Shaykh before starting a journey because your Shaykh will remember you in his prayer and will guide you.