The Secrets of the Self – in a nutshel

Allqma Iqbqal has recommended the following program for the development of khudi in the book Asrar-i-Khud (The Secrets of the Self):

i. Love of God and the Holy Prophet S.A.W.

Love fears neither sword nor dagger,
Love is not born of water and air and earth.
Love makes peace and war in the world,
Love is the Fountain of Life, Love is the flashing sword of Death.
The hardest rocks are shivered by Love’s glance:
Love of God at last becomes wholly God,
Learn thou to love, and seek a beloved:
Seek an eye like Noah’s, a heart like Job’s !
Transmute thy handful of earth into gold,
Kiss the threshold of a Perfect Man!
Like Rumi, light the candle
And burn Rum in the fire of Tabriz !
There is a beloved hidden within thine heart:
I will show him to thee, if thou hast eyes to see.
His lovers are fairer than the fair,
Sweeter and comelier and more beloved.
By. love of him the heart is made strong
And earth rubs shoulders with the Pleiades.
The soil of Najd was quickened by his grace
And fell into a rapture and rose to the skies
In the Muslim ‘s heart is the home of Muhammad,
All our glory is from the name of Muhammad.

and

“Muhammad is the preface to the book of the universe;
All the worlds are slaves and he is the Master.” —– Jami
From the wine of Love spring many spiritual qualities:
Amongst the attributes of Love is blind devotion.
The saint of Bistam, who in devotion was unique,
Abstained from eating a water-melon.
Be a lover constant in devotion to thy beloved,
That thou mayst cast thy nose and capture God.
Sojourn for a while on the Hira of the heart.
Abandon self and flee to God.
Strengthened by God, return to they self
And break the heads of the Lat and Uzza of sensuality

SOURCE:

Book: The Secrets of the Self
Chapter: SHOWING THAT THE SELF IS STRENGTHENED BY LOVE

ii. Obedience of God and the Holy Prophet S.A.W., based on the Love mentioned under (i).

So wilt thou enjoy the best dwellingplace, which is with God.
Endeavour to obey, O heedless one!
Liberty is the fruit of compulsion.
By obedience the man of no worth is made worthy;
By disobedience his fire is turned to ashes.
Whoso would master the sun and stars,
Let him make himself a prisoner of Law!

and

Drops of water become a sea by the law of union,
And grains of sand became a Sahara.
Since Law makes everything strong within,
Why dost thou neglect this source of strength?
O thou that art emancipated from the old Custom.
Adorn thy feet once more with the same fine silver chain!
Do not complain of the hardness of the Law.
Do not transgress the statutes of Muhammad!

SOURCE:

Book: The Secrets of the Self
Chapter: SHOWING THAT THE EDUCATION OF THE SELF HAS THREE STAGES: OBEDIENCE, SELF-CONTROL, AND DIVINE VICEGERENCE.
Part: OBEDIENCE

iii. Distancing one self from Fatalism which is an offshoot of Plato’s philosophy as explained earlier.

PLATO, the prime ascetic and sage.
Was one of that ancient flock of sheep.
His Pegasus went astray in the darkness of idealism
And dropped its shoe amidst the rocks of actuality.
He was so fascinated by the invisible
That he made hand, eye, and ear of no account.
“To die,” said he, “is the secret of Life:
The candle is glorified by being put out.”
He dominates our thinking,
His cup sends us to sleep and takes the sensible world away from us.

and

His philosophy declared that being is not-being.
He natures drowsed and created a dream
His mind’s eye created a mirage.
Since he was without any taste for action,
His soul was enraptured by the nonexistent.
He disbelieved in the material universe
And became the creator of invisible Ideas.

and

He spread his wings towards the sky
And never came down to his nest again.
His fantasy is sunk in the jar of heaven:
I know not whether it is the dregs or brick of the wine-jar.
The peoples were poisoned by his intoxication:
He slumbered and took no delight in deeds.

SOURCE:

Book: The Secrets of the Self
Chapter: TO THE EFFECT THAT PLATO, WHOSE THOUGHT HAS DEEPLY INFLUENCED THE MYSTICISM AND LITERATURE OF ISLAM, FOLLOWED THE SHEEP’S DOCTRINE, AND THAT WE MUST BE ON OUR GUARD AGAINST HIS THEORIES

iv. Abstention from asking favors from any other than God.

O THOU who hast gathered taxes from lions,
Thy need hath caused thee to become a fox in disposition.
Thy maladies are the result of indigence:
This disease is the source of thy pain.
It is robbing thine high thoughts of their dignity
And putting out the light of thy noble imagination.
Quaff rosy wine from the jar of existence!
Snatch thy money from the purse of Time!
Like Omar, come down from thy camel!
Beware of incurring obligations, beware!
How long wilt thou sue for office
And ride like children on a reed?
A nature that fixes its ghaze on the sky
Becomes debased by receiving benefits.
By asking, poverty is made more abject;
By begging, the beggar is made poorer,
Asking disintegrates the Self
And deprives of illumination the Sinai bush of the Self.
Do not scatter thy handful of dust;
Like the moon, scrape food from thine own side!

SOURCE:

Book: The Secrets of the Self
Chapter: SHOWING THAT THE SELF IS WEAKENED BY ASKING

v. Creation and procreation of objectives and ideals. The best of these are to exalt and propagate the name and commandments of God by all means possible and to enact and establish them after attaining the necessary political and material power.

The Moselm’s heart deems prayer a lesser pilgrimage.
In the Muslim’s hand prayer is like a dagger.
Killing sin and forwardness and wrong.
Fasting makes an assault upon hunger and thirst.
And breaches the citadel of sensuality.
The pilgrimage enlightens the soul of the Faithful:
It teaches separation from one’s home and destroys attachment to one’s native land;
It is an act of devotion in which all feel themselves to be one,
It binds together the leaves of the book of religion,
Almsgiving causes love of riches to pass away
And makes equality familiar;
It fortifies the heart with righteousness,
It increases wealth and diminishes fondness for wealth.
All this is a means of strengthening thee:
Thou art impregnable, if thy Islam be strong.
Draw might from the litany “O Almighty One!”
That thou mayst ride the camel of thy body.

SOURCE:

Book: The Secrets of the Self
Chapter: SHOWING THAT THE EDUCATION OF THE SELF HAS THREE STAGES: OBEDIENCE, SELF-CONTROL, AND DIVINE VICEGERENCE.
Part: SELF-CONTROL

vi. Holding fast to the characteristic Islamic traditions in order to attain and continue honor in material life.

Oh, if thou hast the coin of poesy in thy purse,
Rub it on the touchstone of Life!
Clear-seeing thought shows the way to action,
As the lightning-flash precedes the thunder.
It behoves thee to meditate well concerning literature,
It behoves thee to go back to Arabia
Thou must needs give thine heart to the Salma of Arady,
That the morn of the Hijaz may blossom from the night of Kurdistan65.
Thou hast gathered roses from the garden of Persia
And seen the springtide of India and Iran:
Now taste a little of the heat of the desert,
Drink the old wine of the date!
Lay thine head for once on its hot breast.
Yield thy body awhile to its scorching wind!
For a long time thou hast turned about on a bed of silk:
Now accustom thyself to rough cotton!
For generations thou hast danced on tulips
And bathed thy cheek in dew, like the rose:
Now throw thyself on the burning sand
And plunge in to the fountain of Zamzam!
How long wilt thou fain lament like the nightingale ?
How long make thine abode in gardens?
O thou whose auspicious snare would do honour to the Phoenix,
Build a nest on the high mountains,
A nest embosomed in lightning and thunder,
Loftier than eagle’s eye,
That thou mayst be fit for Life’s battle,
That thy body and soul may burn in Life’s fire!

SOURCE:

Book: The Secrets of the Self
Chapter: CONCERNING THE TRUE NATURE OF POETRY AND REFORM OF ISLAMIC LITERATURE

vii. Instead of trying to attain eternity by merging with the Essence of God by annihilation of the self and divorcing the material life one should submit his will to the Will of God and attain fulfillment of His slavery.

He is a sheep in man’s clothing,
The soul of the Sufi bows to his authority.
He soared with his intellect to the highest heaven
And called the world of phenomena a myth.
‘Twas his -work to dissolve the structure of Life’
And cut the bough of Life’s fair tree asunder.
The thought of Plato regarded loss as profit,
His philosophy declared that being is not-being.
He natures drowsed and created a dream
His mind’s eye created a mirage.
Since he was without any taste for action,
His soul was enraptured by the nonexistent.
He disbelieved in the material universe
And became the creator of invisible Ideas.

SOURCE:

Book: The Secrets of the Self
Chapter: TO THE EFFECT THAT PLATO, WHOSE THOUGHT HAS DEEPLY INFLUENCED THE MYSTICISM AND LITERATURE OF ISLAM, FOLLOWED THE SHEEP’S DOCTRINE, AND THAT WE MUST BE ON OUR GUARD AGAINST HIS THEORIES

and

The Muslim’s nature prevails by means of love:
The Muslim, if he be not loving, is an infidel.
Upon God depends his seeing and not seeing,
His eating, drinking, and sleeping.
In his will that which God wills becomes lost—
“How small a man believe this saying?
He encamps in the, field of “There is no god but Allah”;
In the world he is a witness to mankind.
His high estate is attested by the Prophet who was sent to men and Jinn—
The most truthful of witnesses.
Leave words and seek that spiritual state,
Shed the light of God o’er the darkness of thy deeds!
Albeit clad in kingly robe, live as a dervish,
Live wakeful and meditating on God!
Whatever thou dost, let it be thine aim therein to draw nigh to God,
That his glory may be made manifest by thee

SOURCE:

Book: The Secrets of the Self
Chapter: SHOWING THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE MUSLIM’S LIFE IS TO EXALT THE WORD OF ALLAH AND THAT THE JIHAD (WAR AGAINST UNBELIEVERS), IF IT BE PROMPTED BY LAND-HUNGER, IS UNLAWFUL IN THE RELIGION OF ISLAM.

viii. Attainment of the vicegerency of God as the final stage when a person can and should establish the Kingdom of God, or the Islamic State on earth.

God’s vicegerent is as the soul of the universe,
His being is the shadow of the Greatest Name.
He knows the mysteries of part and whole,
He executes the command of Allah in the world.
When he pitches his tent in the wide I world.
He rolls up this ancient carpet
His genius abounds with life and desires to manifest itself:
He will bring another world into existence.
A hundred worlds like this world of parts and wholes
Spring up, like roses, from the seed of his imagination.
He makes every raw nature ripe,
He puts the idols out of the sanctuary.
Heart-strings give forth music at his touch.
He wakes and sleeps for God alone.
He teaches age the melody of youth
And endows every thing with the radiance of youth.
To the human race he brings both a glad message and a warning,
He comes both as a soldier and as a marshal and prince.
He is the final cause of “God taught Adam the names of all things,”
He is the inmost sense of “Glory to Him that transported His servant by night.”
His white hand is strengthened by the staff.
His knowledge is twined with the power of a perfect man

and

Appear, O rider of Destiny!
Appear, O light of the dark realm of Change
Illumine the scene of existence.
Dwell in the blackness of our eyes!
Silence the noise of the nations,
Imparadise our ears with thy music!
Arise and tune the harp of brotherhood,
Give us back the cup of the wine of love !
Bring once more days of peace to the world,
Give a message of peace to them that seek battle !
Mankind are the cornfield and thou the harvest,
Thou art the goal of Life’s caravan.
The leaves are scattered by Autumn’s fury
Oh, do thou pass over our gardens as the Spring!
Receive from our downcast brows
The homage of little children and of young men and old!
It is to thee that we owe our dignity
And silently undergo the pains of life.

SOURCE:

Book: The Secrets of the Self
Chapter: SHOWING THAT THE EDUCATION OF THE SELF HAS THREE STAGES: OBEDIENCE, SELF-CONTROL, AND DIVINE VICEGERENCE.
Part: DIVINE VICEGERENCY

———————————————————————————————————-

Dua gu,

Noman Bokhari

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Dr. Iqbal Society of North America – DISNA
http://www.disna.us

Published in: on November 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow. Thank you!

  2. Muslim sufis can adopt this path to find their self. But this is not a hard and fast rule for everyone. There are many ways to find the self. Reality can reaveal itself in many ways. Reality can ignite the fire of love in anyone. It does not discriminate human beings.


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