The teachings of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti
(page 3 of 3)
document is 3 pages long: 1'
of Khwaja Mo’inuddin Chishti
another letter, written by the same hand
and translated from Persian by Zahurul Hassan
Sharib, delivered to you across the boundaries
of space and time:
attains the enlightenment of Allah, does
not go about saying Allah, Allah…
The one who does so has not yet attained
enlightenment. As has been said, the one
having attained enlightenment, becomes in
fact deaf and lame!
enlightened person passes beyond the stage
of remembrance (dhikr), for remembrance
is itself a kind of duality and duality
to the enlightened constitutes a drawback
and a defect. Allah says in Qur’an
57:4 the following:
He is with you wheresoever you are.
one in fact becomes an emperor: he does
not expect anything from anyone and he does
not fear anyone except Allah. Of such people
Allah in Qur’an 10:62 has said:
the friends of Allah
Have nothing to fear,
Nor will they grieve.
Allah is in
the heart of man and the heart is in the
chest of man. The heart is of two kinds,
namely the non-real heart and the real heart.
The real heart is neither on the right side,
nor on the left side, neither upward nor
downward and neither far nor near. But it
is indeed difficult to recognise the real
heart. Only those near to Allah know it.
The heart of a perfect believer is in reality
the throne of Allah. The nearness of Allah
cannot be acquired without the company of
a perfect spiritual guide.
and sincere seekers of the truth do not
indulge in interrogations. But instead they
are silent and respectful.
The heart of
a believer is ever and anon engrossed in
silent remembrance (dhikr-e-khafi), hence
(s)he acquires immortality. But the heart
of a common person is unmindful of the secret
remembrance, hence it is dead.
la ilaha illa’llah (there is no god
but God), but they do not know what is actually
meant by existence and non-existence, and
whom they deny and whom they assert. Reciting
‘there is no god but God and Mohammad
is the messenger of God’ implies that
there is none in the world, except the One
Singular and that Mohammad is the manifestation
of God. So the seeker of the truth should
not allow the thought of a ‘stranger’
to enter his (her) mind and (s)he should
take God to be omnipresent. Allah says in
Qur’an 2:115 thus:
The face of Allah
and the friends of Allah are ever engaged
in the silent remembrance (dhikr-e-khafi).
The prophet has said:
with the tongue is a connection.
Remembrance with the heart is a kind of
The remembrance with the soul is a source
of divine manifestation.
And there is always the silent remembrance.
The silent remembrance
and the real prayer constitute in fact the
renunciation of the self”.
As just now
a letter has been concluded, here is a new
one. In another letter received from Khwaja
Mo’inoddin Chishti he writes this:
enlightened, knower of the truth, lover
of God, brother Qotbuddin Kaki Ushi, may
Allah increase your piety! Salaams to you
from your humble well-wisher Mo’inoddin.
O, dear friend!
You must tell your mureeds as to what is
actually meant by a perfect dervish, what
are his (or her) distinguishing marks and
how (s)he is to be recognised.
shaykhs have said, that a dervish is (s)he
who is above all worldly needs and who does
not hanker after anything except His everlasting
beauty, because the whole world is a mirror
and a manifestation of His everlasting beauty.
Hence (s)he sees his (her) object in all.
Some of the
awliya (friends of God) have explained this
thus: ‘A perfect dervish is (s)he
indeed, who removes from his/her heart the
stain, stress and burden of anything and
everything, and gives place in his heart
to God alone, who does not pursue any other
object or desire except God Himself’.
When all things other than God are effaced
and removed from the heart, then alone the
object is achieved.
So the seeker
should ever and anon pursue faithfully and
diligently his/her object. Now it is necessary
to know as to what is meant by aim and object.
You should know, that the object is the
same pain and pangs, whether it be real
(because of the love of God) or otherwise.
Here the non-real pain (because of worldly
objects) is the beginning of the mandates
of the Islamic code. Salaams to you!”
Hasan says this in his Mo’in ul-Arwah:
‘Who does not know that sayings contain
the essence of the experiences of the whole
of life, and than the sayings of an ‘aref
reveal his various degrees of attainment?
Fortunate are those who profit by the guidance
of their sayings’. He then proceeds
by giving annotated 94 sayings of Khwaja
Sahab. I’ll omit the notes as they
almost always refer to pages of Persian
1. The heart
of a lover is like a furnace of love. Whatever
goes into it is burnt to nothingness because
there is no fire like the fire of love.
2. The way of love is such that no trace
remains of the one who sets out to it.
3. From the lips of an ‘aref one hears
naught but the remembrance (dhekr) of God.
4. The first sign of an ‘aref is that
(s)he begins to despise possessions and
5. Even if one would give up both worlds
in the friendship of the Friend, that would
be a small thing.
6. Though the lovers are cut off in love,
they choose to do the work of people who,
in sleeping and in waking, are seeking for
the Beloved, and who having done with the
formal aspect of friendship are absorbed
in the contemplation of the Friend.
7. The Beloved Himself sees the lover’s
longing; the way of love is a matter of
8. An ‘aref is (s)he who strives to
achieve ‘one breath’. The breath
of the ‘aref is such that it performs
the remembrance (dhekr) of God and the ‘aref
sacrifices his (her) whole life for this
one breath. If such a breath be achieved
this is a matter of great fortune, because
even by seeking for such a breath in heaven
and on earth, and year after year, it cannot
easily be obtained.
in the chapter dealing with the 25th way
of ma’refat attention is given to
the heavenly ascension of the prophet Mohammad
(Allah’s blessings and peace be upon
him). The author tells that the prophet
returned with a robe, the robe of khilafat
and that he asked several people what they
would do if they would receive it. Here
are their answers:
Abu Bakr: ‘I’d
practice much austerity, I’d attain
much spiritual power and I’d say many
prayers. In outward and in inward prayers
I’d remain in your obedience’.
‘For the pleasure of God I’d
embrace justice and I’d do right to
the one who deserves it’.
‘O, messenger of God! For the love
of God I’d bestow much upon the poor
and the down-trodden’.
‘O, messenger of God! I’d cover
the defects of the people and cover their
This was the
correct answer and ‘Ali received the
Here is another
selection of the book by Nawab Gudri Shah
Baba called Mo’in-ul-Arwah, dealing
with the life and teachings of Khwaja Mo’inuddin
The fourth way
of ma’refat, the knowing of the spirit
of inner correction and the stability in
the way of haqiqat
When the 9th
century [of the Islamic calendar] has passed,
then, at the end of that period of time,
the learned, the renouncers and the Sufis
will be without a murshid, that is they
will have neither a spiritual guide who
is perfect nor a majdhub (an enraptued one,
someone who has lost control of himself
because of the attraction by God). Instead
of prayer they will be involved in their
own desires and the purpose of wearing the
robe and turban only for external show.
People in great numbers will be adorers
of the body and several learned ones and
renouncers will get involved in the greed
of the world and the worship of the ego.
The virtues of ma’refat (gnosis) and
worshipping of the truth will not be among
them, but instead they will be far away
from the real knowledge of God. The reality
about that group is known by the friends
(awliya) of God; these great ones will always
remember God in seclusion.
In order to
attain union with God you should with heart
and soul remain engaged in inner exercises.
The knowledge acquired in this way, which
is obtained through sincerity and inner
correction, is inspired knowledge. This
knowledge is the knowledge of God, therefore
on account of its holiness it may not be
disclosed to everyone. If someone happens
to hear those many secrets [without the
proper background] he will lose the power
of hearing. When those lacking in courage
hear something from the people of the shariat,
from the learned or the renouncers about
the secrets of God, that is to say, about
the secrets of the truth about the ‘arefin
(gnostics) they do not believe it, they
say it is impossible. Therefore one should
not give anyone, except the true seekers,
the knowledge of inner correction, obedience
and the training of the world of jabarut
(the world of power; next to the world of
humanity there are other ‘worlds’,
like the celestial world. It is also the
world of the divine names and qualities).
of man consists of the ma’refat of
ego, heart and soul. The ego is the seat
of the devil. The heart is the seat of the
angels and the soul is the place of the
contemplation of God, that is to say:
- the qualities
of the ego are the search for this world
- the qualities of the heart are the search
for the eight eternities
- and the qualities of the soul are the
search for the hidden secrets.
The humble believer
often remembers God in his heart and this
excessive remembrance of the Friend is on
account of extreme love. O, beloved ones!
The remembering by repetition with the tongue
and dhikr belong only to the external knowledge.
As long as the real seeker does not get
rid of the intellect he will not attain
steadiness in absorption and the perfection
of the nearness of God will not be attained
as long as he is not frequently lost in
inner obedience, in deep devotion and absorption.
Comprehension and intellect are two stages
and neither leads to God; those two stages
are of external knowledge.
The world of
nasut (the world of humanity or the material
phenomenal world, perceived through the
physical senses) and malakut (the world
of sovereignty is the invisible spiritual,
angelic world, which is perceived through
insight and the spiritual faculties) are
outward. Love and divine knowledge belong
to the condition of always being present.
The nearness of God has nothing to do with
outward knowledge, the treasure of the secret
of the truth has to do with the heart and
not with the tongue.
The heart of
the believer is full of affection and love.
It is the place of the secrets of the Friend.
The pure heart of the believer is the throne
of God, the mosque in Jerusalem and the
house of the ka’ba. Unless you come
into the path of God with sincerity, one
will not be accepted in the court of God.
Do not ask anybody but your murshid a question
of your heart.
This, too, is
of the outward world that you say that you
have received from such and such a great
one such and such an initiation in a certain
order. O, beloved ones! Adopt the way of
the dervish. The people of the real intellect
are the people of ma’refat (gnosis)
and the dervishes. It is worth-while seeking
the company of, receiving the training,
the initiation and the advice of the salek
majdhub and the majdhub salek [for the explanation
of these terms please refer to The Culture
of the Sufis]. One group of the shuyukh
(spiritual elders) considers the initiation
by one particular shaykh as a duty.
Himself sees the lover’s longing;
the way of love is a matter of supplication.
On this path
many masters have been reduced to humbleness
and many humble people have become masters.
Chishti has taught:
"Some people say that samaa' (listening
to the music of the Sufis) is the way of
attaining the Divine presence, that through
this the lover attains completeness in love
and gets totally lost in the Beloved, but
this is wrong about love. The truth is this,
that through Sufi music one attains double
union because, on account of it, the heart
dwells in the purity of love, the head in
contemplation, the soul in union, the body
in service, the eyes in sight and the ears
begin to hear the voice of the Friend.
Samaa' (listening to Sufi music) is of two
kinds, one with relationship, the other
without relationship. If you hear the music
as coming from the qawwal (musician), then
you hear something from the unseen world,
but when you hear the music coming from
God, that is being in the Divine presence.
Sufi music is like the sun from which everything
is acquired according to the capacity of
obtaining and according to the degree of
attainment and no one remains empty-handed.
Sufi music is of God, but some of its parts
are useless and improper. The temperament
of the beginner is in no way capable of
hearing the inspirations from God. Junayd
Baghdadi has said: 'I have seen a darwish
who on entering the musical gathering sat
down and passed away. That is the real hearing
of Sufi music'.
of four kinds (according to Khwaja Mo’inoddin
travelling with a purpose
· travelling for inner contentment
· travelling of tariqat
· travelling of haqiqat
a purpose is done to perform one’s
work, for instance to go somewhere with
the purpose of trade and so on.
inner contentment is this that one makes
this travel for the sake of pleasing God.
Travels of inner contentment are undertaken
in a spirit of faqr (spiritual poverty)
and contentment by those who do not talk…
Travels of tariqat
are those which the pilgrims undertake for
the sake of pilgrimage, but the real seekers
do not perceive in that the perfume of the
knowledge of God.
Travels of haqiqat
cannot be obtained without the help of a
real spiritual guide, but are acquired by
the training of a perfect spiritual guide
and by obedience in the way of the prophet
and by preserving nearness to God.
Be a traveller
and travel always,
But be careful of wells and mountains.
Travel by your heart,
As the world is not the place for covering
of the momin (the one with faith) is the
house of unification” and in unification
of the heart is the hajj of the poor. It
is not for everyone to attain the inner
unification. When the inner attainment of
the heart is reached, then through repeated
recitations and remembrances in the heart
and inner obedience the true seeker reaches
the place of unification of unification.
That beauty of beauties is attained in eternal
unification and is the contemplation of
O, beloved one!
That prayer in which, while performing the
different movements of prayer, the difference
between ‘you and I’ remains,
is not the prayer to God.
deeply in the love of God,
Mere formalities of prayer are not observed.
Unless there is strong faith in the Oneness
Mere observance of formalities is not the
means of approach to God.
is not of God which is outwardly worship
of God, but is in reality of the ego.
of lovers is a secret.
It is known only by those who are always
The ignorant worshipper does not know,
That the soul of the lover is always in
When the lover
sees the beauty of his Beloved in privacy,
No one else should come in between.
into retreat is of three kinds, that is
to say, retreat of nasut, of malakut and
of jabarut. Abdulah Ansari has said that,
through the training of the murshid the
real seeker reaches the nearness of God
in ten years. Shibli has said that it is
in three years and Dhu’n-Nun al-Mesri
has said that the nearness of God can be
attained in the third retirement.
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