Extracts from speeches and writings of Scholars on Islamic Spirituality and Purification of the Soul!
The most blessed Qalb which got the highest expansion and elevation
-Dr. Rafiq Ahmed
In the human history the most blessed Qalb which Allah Ta’ala selected for the highest purification, expansion and elevation was that of Muhammad-ur-Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:
أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ
“Have We not expanded thee thy breast?”. ( 94:1)
The breast is symbolically the seat of knowledge and the highest feelings of love and affection. It is the treasure house in which are stored the jewels of that quality of human character, which is divine. The Holy Prophet’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) human nature had been purified, expanded and elevated, so that he became the mercy for all the creation.
The Qalb of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) which is the most blessed got the highest Divine Light and he utilised the capabilities of Qalb to its maximum. All the latent faculties of Qalb got the highest illumination by the Divine Light and thus Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) attained the highest spiritual understanding and nearness to the ultimate Reality.
The Qur’ân is the Attribute of Allah Ta’ala and that the Attributes of Allah Ta’ala are immense and ultimate. Nothing in this universe had the capability of receiving this Divine Revelation. The Qalbs of all the men except that of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) could not attain this spiritual height which was necessary for being capable of receiving this divine revelation i.e., the Qur’ân. The Qalb of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) being the most blessed had this capability. It is said that if Allah Ta’ala would have sent this revelation directly to this universe, it would have got burnt down to ashes.
Allah Ta’ala had decided to express His divine revelation, He created this capability in the most blessed Qalb of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
Allah Ta’ala refers to this the most blessed Qalb of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) as follows:
وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنْزِيلُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ () نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الْأَمِينُ () عَلَى قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنْذِرِينَ ()
“Verily this is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. With it came down the truthful spirit To thy heart that thou mayest admonish.” (26:192-194)
Qalb signifies not only the seat of affection, but also seat of memory and understanding. The process of inspiration is indicated by the impression of the divine message on the inspired one’s heart, memory and understanding from which it was promulgated in human speech to the world.
It is said that Jalaal of the Divine Revelation was tolerated and absorbed by the Qalb of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) which alone is the most blessed and when it was expressed through the blessed tongue of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) it is was Jamaal only, which the rest of the humanity and this universe could tolerate.
The Seal of Prophethood
The humanity reached its peak in the most distinguished self of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). The Divine Light and knowledge was attained to its maximum possible limit by him. In other words, the quintessence of all the creation was achieved. Every Messenger of Allah Ta’ala was predominantly the seat of expression of one of the Attributes of Allah Ta’ala, but the greatest and the last Messenger of Allah Ta’ala, Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was the seat of the expression of all the Attributes of Allah Ta’ala . This way he completed the chain of Messengers and put a seal on the Prophethood. He utilised the faculties of Qalb to the utmost and got the Divine Light of the highest degree. He received the Divine revelation—the Qur’ân, therefore, no room was left for any other person to go higher than this and no deficiency was left in the level of knowledge that could be achieved by any human being.
Allah Ta’ala certifies this seal of prophethood by Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in the Qur’ân as:
مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِنْ رِجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِنْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا
“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah Ta’ala and the seal of prophets and Allah Ta’ala has full knowledge of all things”. (33:40)
Latent Qualities of a Man’s Qalb-Dr. Rafiq Ahmed
Allah Ta’ala says
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِنْ بَنِي آدَمَ مِنْ ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ ألَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُوا بَلَى شَهِدْنَا أَنْ تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَذَا غَافِلِينَ
“When thy Lord drew forth from the children of Adam from their loins-their descendants and made them testify concerning themselves (Saying)”Am I not your lord (Who cherishes and sustains you) ? They said: Yea! We do testify (this) lest Ye should say on the Day of Judgment of this we were never mindful.” (7:172)
This verse provides an ample evidence of the fact that Allah Ta’ala has inculcated in the genes of a man the capacity necessary to recognize the Oneness of Allah Ta’ala, His supreme authority and the only Sustainer and Cherisher of the World. It is only after this highest spiritual capability given to Adam and his sons that Allah Ta’ala asked them to testify this.
There have been great men in the Islamic history like Zunun-Misri (RA) etc. who vividly recollected this day of covenant as if it had happened just that day itself. Zunun-Misri (RA), when asked if he remembered the covenant used to say:
“The scene of that Covenant is still in front of my eyes, the sound of those words is still ringing in my ears as if it has happened today itself.”
Since man, with all his excellences, is forgetful as well, so Allah Ta’ala sent His Messengers (AS) to this world to remind the mankind of this covenant which is already in its genes. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said in a hadith:
“every child is born on the nature of Islam. His parents make him Jew, Christian or worshiper of fire”. (Bukhâri & Muslim Sharief)
The latent qualities of man’s Qalb in the light and darkness
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:
أَفَمَنْ شَرَحَ اللَّهُ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ فَهُوَ عَلَى نُورٍ مِنْ رَبِّهِ فَوَيْلٌ لِلْقَاسِيَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ مِنْ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أُولَئِكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ
“Is one whose heart Allah Ta’ala has opened to Islam, so that he received light from Allah Ta’ala. (No better than one hard hearted)? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance, of Allah Ta’ala! They are manifestly wandering (in error)”. (39:22)
It is patently clear that knowledge of these things has been given to man and that he has been selected for the expression of all the Attributes of Allah Ta’ala and thus we have also come to know that man was busy in Mushahidah Haq in Aalam-i-Arwah and that he has recognised and testified that Allah Ta’ala is his Sustainer, his Cherisher and One and the Only one Lord worth worshipping. When man is born and comes to this universe, these all qualities remain latent or concealed in him. In the verses of the Qur’ân quoted above, (Is one whose heart Allah Ta’ala has opened to Islam, so that he has received light from Allah Ta’ala? Allah Ta’ala again refers to these qualities of heart (Qalb). Those who receive the Divine Light, their latent qualities of Qalb get awakened and enlightened and thus become manifested. Their Qalb starts functioning in the presence of this Divine Light and becomes Muslim i.e., they understand the Qur’ân and recognise their Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher, Allah Ta’ala the Almighty and the Exalted.
Those who do not receive this Divine Light, their latent qualities of Qalb do not get manifested, they remain in darkness and in the process their Qalb fails to function and hence neither understand the Qur’ân nor recognise their Creator, Sustainer, Cherisher, Allah Ta’ala the Almighty and the Exalted. Allah Ta’ala calls these hearts as hardened. They remain in darkness and fail to expand their spiritual understanding and to receive Allah Ta’ala’s Light. They travel in opposite direction. Just as there is spiritual progress for those who seek Allah Ta’ala, on the other hand there is more and more spiritual retrogression for those who close their hearts to Allah Ta’ala. Their hearts get hardened, and they allow less and less Allah Ta’ala’s Grace to penetrate within. But it is obvious that they flounder on the way and cannot walk with the firm steps of those whose hearts abound in faith.
It is, therefore, well said: Hardened hearts are the most hated things near Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala taught us this Dua in the Qur’ân:
رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ
“O Lord! they say, let not our hearts deviate. Now after Thou has guided us, But grant us mercy from Thee. For Thou art the grantor of bounties without measure.” (3:8)
What is Qalb?-part 2
Allah Ta’ala invited His beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to the highest point of humanity, the highest peak which was possible for a human being to reach but which was possible only for the greatest of the greats i.e., our beloved Prophet Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). This was the highest status which is commonly known as Mairaj (Rasulullah’s (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) midnight ascension). The capability given to the human heart (Qalb) was utilized to its maximum by the sacred Qalb-i-Mubarak of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) for knowing the Ultimate Reality—the Almighty Allah Ta’ala. When Allah Ta’ala mentioned this highest achievement of man, He again used the word ‘Heart’.
مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى
“The (Prophet’s) heart in no way falsified that which he saw.” (53:11)
This again indicates that the highest perception of the ultimate Reality i.e., Allah Ta’ala was achieved again by the same instrument i.e., Qalb. In the another Qur’ânic verse, Allah Ta’ala says:
إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَذِكْرَى لِمَنْ كَانَ لَهُ قَلْبٌ أَوْ أَلْقَى السَّمْعَ وَهُوَ شَهِيدٌ
“ Verily in this is a message for any that has a heart and understanding or who gives ear and is a witness.” (50:37)
Here Allah Ta’ala clearly declares that to understand the message of the Qur’ân and to get benefit from this immense treasure, one needs to have a Qalb. Here one may say that everybody has a heart, then why does not every body understand the Qur’ân? The answer is that one needs a pure and live heart (i.e., Qalb) which can utilise its special capability of perceiving the Attributes of Allah Ta’ala and can unfold the curtain which otherwise obscures the view from the real meaning of the Qur’ânic message. Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:
فَمَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ وَمَنْ يُرِدْ أَنْ يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاءِ كَذَلِكَ يَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
“ Those who Allah Ta’ala willeth to guide, He openeth their breast to Islam. Those whom He willeth to leave straying- He maketh their breast close and constricted As if they had to climb up to the skies, thus Doth Allah Ta’ala lay abomination on those who refuse to believe” (6:125)
In this verse Allah Ta’ala has linked His bestowing of guidance to somebody with opening of his breast for Islam. Since breast is the seat of Qalb, so its opening is the opening of Qalb for Islam. This process has been described as the enlightening of the heart with the Eternal Light. As Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) while explaining the above mentioned Qur’ânic verse says:
“Ibn-Masood (RA) narrated that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) recited ( the above mentioned verse) “ those whom Allah Ta’ala willeth to guide, He openeth their breast to Islam” then Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said when the light (External) enters the breast it opens. He was asked, is there any sign by which this (Eternal Light) can be appreciated? he said,“ yes forsaking the world of deception and inclination towards the eternal world (Hereafter) and preparation for death.” (Mishkat)
In this Hadith, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), has clearly pointed out that enlightening of the heart with the Eternal Light means the opening of the heart. From the Aayat quoted above and the Hadith the inference can easily be derived that it is the enlightened heart (Qalb} that gets the guidance of Allah Ta’ala and can, therefore, perceive the Truth and the ultimate Reality. Now the question arises if the heart is not enlightened by this Eternal Light, then what?
Zulmat and Nur (Darkness and Light)
The opposite of the Light is Darkness. The Qur’ân has mentioned these as Nur and Zulmat respectively.
The heart which is not illuminated by the Eternal Light is said to be in darkness or blind as Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ânic verse, already quoted, that their (external) eyes are not blind but their hearts are blind. This darkness of heart (Qalb) is called Zulmat whereas the Eternal Light which enlightens the heart is called Nur. Allah Ta’ala reveals this in the Qur’ân:
اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَوْلِيَاؤُهُمُ الطَّاغُوتُ يُخْرِجُونَهُمْ مِنَ النُّورِ إِلَى الظُّلُمَاتِ أُولَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
“ Allah Ta’ala is the protector of those who have faith: From the depths of darkness He leads them forth into light.” (2:257)
Now if we recapitulate the Qur’ânic revelations and the saying of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) already quoted in the previous lines, we can easily come to the conclusion that the function of the Qalb is to perceive the Divine Attributes, appreciate the Ultimate Reality and to understand the message of the Qur’ân. If the Qalb is plunged into darkness, then obviously it is deprived of these functions and will be as good as dead. So, when a person has his Qalb in the depths of darkness, he cannot know the Truth, cannot understand the significance of the eternal life, cannot achieve Ma’ârifat of Allah Ta’ala and cannot even smell the fragrance of the meaning of the Qur’ân, not to speak of tasting and assimilating it. This person is like a frog in a well that is totally unaware of the vastness of this universe, as this frog thinks that the well in which it lives is the only world.
In medical terms, we are aware of two states of mind, conscious and subconscious states. Normally, in the majority of people the major portion of mind remains in subconscious state and only a little portion attains conscious state or else one can say that the major portion of mind remains in darkness and only a little portion gets enlightened. It is the conscious portion of mind that is utilised by man, therefore, the major portion of his mind remains un-utilised.
If one talks of neuro-anatomy and physiology of human brain, the modern medical science has yet succeeded in knowing the anatomy and physiology of only few centres of brain, a tip of an iceberg. The mystery of tremendous ocean of the brain potential remains unexplored to the scientists of Medicine even today.
The same does not hold true about the great muslim research scholars. As Allah Ta’ala took them from the depths of darkness forth into the light which enlightened their subconscious state, converting that into conscious state. With this enlightenment their ratio of conscious state and sub-conscious state got reversed, their conscious state of mind became so powerful that it gave them immense vision which could penetrate all the curtains that otherwise lie between the Reality and the Mind and between, the Qalb and the external eyes.
In man, Allah Ta’ala has created human heart as the best and chief Organ and the Qur’ân labels it as Qalb. As Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says:
ألا إنّ حِمَى اللَّهِ في أرْضِهِ مَحَارِمُهُ ألا وإنّ في الجَسَدِ مُضْغَةً إذا صَلَحَتْ صَلَحَ الجَسدُ كُلُّهُ وإذا فَسَدَتْ فَسَدَ الجَسَدُ كُلُّهُ ألا وهْيَ القَلبُ
“Indeed there is a piece of flesh in the human body, if it stays alright, the whole body stays alright, if it goes astray, the whole body goes astray. Listen with open ears: that is Qalb”. (Bukhâri Sharief)
What is Qalb
It is necessary to mention here that the word Qalb is not synonymous with the human heart which consists of muscular and connective tissues filled with some venous and arterial blood that we see in the left side of the chest, but as per the definition given in “Jalalain” (an authentic commentary of the Holy Qur’ân): Qalb is an instrument which has been given the capability of perceiving the divine Attributes.
القلب وهو مشرق اللطيفة الإنسانية و يطلق على نفس اللطيفة النورانية الربانية العالمة التي هي مهبطة الأنوار إلهية الصمدانية وبها يكون الإنسان إنساناً و بها يستعد الكتاب الأوامر و اجتناب الزواجر و هي خلاصة تولدت من الروح الروحاني و يعبر عنها الحكيم بالنفس الناطقة و لكونها هدف سهام القهر و الطف و المظهر الجمال و منشأ البسط و القبض و مبدأ المحو و الصحو و منبع الأخلاق المرضية و الأحوال الردية و كثير من الناس ذهب إلا أن تلك مضغة هي محل علم و قيل أنه في الدماغ و قيل أنه مشترك بينهما و بني ذالك على إثبات الحواس الباطنية و الكلام فيها مشهور و من راجع وجدانه أدرك أن بين الدماغ و القلب رابطة معنوية و مراجعة سرية لا ينكرها من كان له قلب أو ألقى السمع و هو شهيد (روح المعاني)
Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’ân:
فَمَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ
‘Those whom He willeth to guide – He openeth their breast to ‘Islam”. (6:125)
This opening up of the breast, which is the seat of the Qalb, has been linked with understanding of guidance from Allah Ta’ala .
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says in a Hadith:
“My eyes sleep, my heart does not sleep”. (Mishkat Sharief)
Rasulullah further says in a Hadith:
“lndeed, a Ghain (a sort of veil) is put on my heart and indeed I ask Istigfar (repentance) to Allah Ta’ala 100 times a day.” (Muslim Sharief)
It is because of this Istigfar that these veils were getting lifted and the Qalb-i-Mubarak (blessed heart) of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) continued to receive higher and higher states of the Divine Knowledge.
Shah Wali-Ullah Muhaddith Delhvi (RA) says:
“Qalb is that thing by which man loves and hates.”
This means according to Shah Sahib Qalb is the seat of love and hatred.
In other words we have different instruments for knowing different things, for example, we have thermometer to help us know the temperature of a human body, sphygmomanometer is there to tell us the blood pressure of a person. So what instrument Allah Ta’ala has created in this universe with which one can perceive Him, get His Ma’ârifat and has the capability of receiving and perceiving the rays of the Attributes of Allah Ta’ala. You have got the answer that it is the Qalb. Since it is closely associated with the human heart so the two are usually thought to be synonymous and both words are usually used for describing the same thing, though there is a difference as already explained. It is in view of this greatness and extraordinary important function of the human heart that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once caught the edge of the outer curtain of Khana-Ka’aba and said:
“O Khanah Ka‘abah you are indeed great but the Qalb (Heart) of a Mumin (True believer) is greater than you” (Ibn Majah Sharief)
In this Hadith, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is referring to the greatness of the human heart. This greatness of the human heart is only because of its most important function i.e., Ma’ârifat-i-Ilâhiyah. It is because of this function which makes it king of the rest of the organs (Ra’eesul Aadha).
Allah Ta’ala confirms this function of heart or Qalb by saying in the Qur’ân:
أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا أَوْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَكِنْ تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ
“Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear. Truly it is not the eyes that are blind but the hearts which are in their breasts.” (22:46)
This statement of the Qur’ân clearly reveals that it is only the heart that can perceive the Reality. These external eyes, which have a limited range of vision, cannot see the Reality. These can only see the coarse things and not the benign things. The range of the vision of heart i.e., inner vision, is infinite. The range of the vision of external eyes is no comparison to it.
Good character is an attribute of the Master of the Messengers (SAWS)
and the best of the works of the veracious [Siddīqīn], and is in
reality half of religion. It is from the fruits of the spiritual struggles of
the God-fearing, and the efforts of the worshippers. Base (bad) character is
a lethal poison, a fatal destroyer, and a humiliating debaser—manifest
vileness, and filth that distances one from the sanctuary of the
Lord of the worlds. It makes the one characterized by it of the devils,
and it is the open door to the burning fire of Allāh, that “Leaps up
over the hearts (of men),” (Qur’ān 104:7). Good character, on the
other hand, is the open door to the bounties of the Gardens and
proximity to the Merciful. Base character is a sickness of the heart
and a disease of the lower self. It is a sickness that endangers the
ever-lasting life. Therefore, it is necessary to pay utmost attention
to it, even more than outward sickness.
Character traits are attributes of the self by which it leans to
either beauty or ugliness. Complete outward beauty is not possible
through the beauty of the eyes alone, without the nose, mouth, and
cheeks. Rather, it is necessary that all these be beautiful. Similarly,
inward beauty requires four essential elements. And good character
is completed through an appropriate balance and temperance of
these elements. These elements are: knowledge, anger, passion, and
justice between the other three elements.
-Shaykh Zafar Usmani
Casting evil glances at beautiful faces is a filthy and polluted act.
One evil glance causes several spiritual diseases even though it may be for only one minute.
No taste can match the joy experienced when one sacrifices every breath for Allah’s sake.
In old age potency diminishes, but desires and passion remain virile,at the same time ability to combat the nafs weakens.
Some people desire to acquire Allah’s pleasure but refuse to sacrifice any of their pleasures and desires.
Due to constant striving, the heart is nutured, and fertile to absorb the rays of Hidayat and Wilayat (sainthood).
Controlling the gaze creates a lustre (nur) within the heart which quickly manifests on the face of such a person.
In proportion to the severity of the urge and desire to commit sin, will be the degree of nur created, on suppressing this urge.
One lustful gaze leads to another, just as one sin leads to another and one good deed to another.
Some people claim their total helplessness with regard to controlling the gaze, its a deception of shaytaan.
Ask Allah Ta’ala to muster ones courage to leave all sins.
-MOULANA HAKEEM AKHTAR (D.B.)
O slave of Allah! Know that you are a wayfarer (salik)seeking your Lord and ultimately
one day you would meet Him, as said in a tradition: Whoever hopes to meet God
should know that the time of the meeting will come. And you should know that God, the
Exalted, by His perfect Might and Wisdom has destined two journeys for the Children
of Adam. One of them is involuntary (qahri), and the other one is voluntary (ikhtiyari).
As to the involuntary journey, the starting point is the father’s loins (sulb); the second
stage is the mother’s womb; the third stage is the physical world; and the fourth stage
is that of the grave, which is either a garden out of the gardens of paradise or is a pit
out of the pits of hell. The fifth stage is the Day of Resurrection, which is equal to fifty
thousand years of this world. After that stage you will reach your eternal home and
attain the real abode – that is, the abode of peace (dar al-salam)and the paradise of
security and peace, in case you are among the felicitous and the friends of the Haqq;
or your home will be the abode of fire and torture, if, God forbid, you should be among
the wretched and the enemies of the Haqq, as Allah has said: “On the Day of
Resurrection a group will be in paradise and a group in hell.” Every breath that you
take is a step towards the stage of death. Every day of your life is equal to a parsang.
Each month is like a stage (marhalah)and each year like a station (manzil). Your
journey is like the movement of the sun and the moon – yet you are oblivious of this
journey and movement – and in your ignorance and forgetfulness you have failed to
make ready and equip yourself properly for the station (manzil)of the grave and the
onward journey to the station of the Day of Resurrection and your eternal and real
But the voluntary journey is of two kinds: one is the journey of the souls and the hearts
toward the Almighty and All-powerful King of the world. The second is a physical
journey (safar jismani)in the earth of God.
-Adab al-Suluk: A Treatise on Spiritual Wayfaring by Shaykh Najm al-Din Kubr