The True Mehdi Issue 03 - March - Page 12

THE SPIRITUAL BLACKOUT: F or the next few centuries, spirituality was emphasised and practised in Muslim circles. Sufi Masters would be sent by God to the Middle East and South Asia; their presence would help keep the inner aspect of Islam alive. They would enlighten aspirants and solve the issues of the time. Many Muslims believed the Sufis had the ability to take their prayers to God. As time went on, sects were formed in the religion. Modifications were made to the text in Prophetic Traditions and the interpretations of the Koran. In fact, the Koran itself was compiled nearly 100 years after t he demise of Prophet Mohammad. The adulteration of the religion is one of the main hurdles in the way of people searching for God. HH Younus AlGohar says, ‘Any cooked food goes bad after three days. You enjoy it when it is fresh. In a similar way, the religions are [good] when they are fresh. In order to preserve food, you refrigerate it. In order to preserve the religion, you spiritualise it.’ The job of Sufi Masters was to maintain the spiritual system within Islam, thereby keeping the religion itself valid and relevant. It is unfortunate that over time, less and less Sufi Masters were sent by God. 400 years after the establishment of Islam, when it was the era of the Grand Sufi Abdul Qadir Jilani, the situation was dire. According to a popular Sufi story, Abdul Qadir Jilani was shown a scene in the spiritual realm in which Islam was depicted metaphorically as a man on his deathbed, who asked Abdul Qadir Jilani to save him. This was an indication that Islam had almost become extinct. Abdul Qadir Jilani managed to revive the spiritual aspect of Islam for many people; his efforts had an enduring impact on various sects in the religion. However, there came a point after his era when, due to the shortage of true Sufi Masters, people had forgotten what it meant to practise Sufism. They were left with superficial customs of Sufis, such as the loud invocation of God’s name, pilgrimages to the shrines of saints and devotion to ones they considered to 12 THE TRUE MEHDI • ISSUE 03 • MAR 2017 be Sufi Masters (although those they committed themselves to often turned out to be pseudo- Sufis 6 ). Superstitiousness was mixed with what people considered to be Sufi practice, especially in Arab countries. The Poet of the East, Allama Iqbal, lived through the early 20th century. He wrote a famous stanza about the absence of spirituality and the need for the arrival of Imam Mehdi (the end times saviour): It has been 300 years since India’s bars [of spiritual ecstasy] closed Now is the right time for your bounty to be spread, O’ Giver of Wine. 7 [BAL-E-JIBRIL P. 10] When Sufism was practised superficially in the Arab region and people no longer reaped the same benefits from Sufi practice, the enemies of Sufis were given the opportunity they needed to exclude Sufism from Islam. Namely, as the Wahhabi movement gained traction 200 years ago, more and more people began to condemn Sufis. Wahhabis propagated that the superstitious practices now associated with Sufism were proof that Sufis were heretics, and that practice of Sufism caused God’s wrath to befall the Arabs. Today, as the Wahhabi movement shows no signs of being subdued, Sufis are being persecuted on an unprecedented level. On the other hand, in the areas Wahhabism is yet to touch, Sufism is still practised on a limited level. This holds true particularly for the impoverished regions of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Here, people search for a Sufi Master to commit themselves to and declare to be their Spiritual Guide. The issue is that they do not know why they pledge their lives to a Spiritual Guide in Sufism and what they should receive in return. For this reason, many people have been deceived by those falsely claiming to be Sufi Masters. 6 Learn more about the fake Sufis and how to recognise them on page 14. 7 In writings of Sufis, alcohol is often used as a metaphor for the spiritual ecstasy one feels due to receiving Divine Energy from one’s Sufi Master. ARE THERE SUCH THINGS AS SUFI TERRORISTS? The answer: NO, but it’s not that simple. I n the last issue of The True Mehdi, we discussed at length the Islamic concept of the Anti-Christ and how according to scripture, the Anti-Christ would emerge from the Muslim community. We also debunked rumours that the Anti-Christ would be a Sufi. We categorically proved how Wahhabism - a school of thought antithetical to Sufism - is directly linked to Islamist terrorism. Yet another problem has arisen in the Muslim community as people claiming to be Sufis have been caught carrying out terrorist activities. This is because the enemies of Sufis are trying to defame Sufism in the Western world. However, it will not be surprising if the pseudo-Sufis one day become terrorists. These rumours of ‘Sufi militants’ currently circulating the Muslim world are a troubling omen of the times to come. His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi predicted for the present day, ‘The world community will divide into two groups. This division will not be based on religions. There will be a group consisting of people of different religions. They will love humanity, Imam Mehdi and Jesus Christ. The other hateful souls, whoever they are - whether they are Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc. - will stand by the Anti-Christ.’ His Holiness Younus AlGohar, the representative of HDE Gohar Shahi, says, ‘A true Sufi can never be a terrorist. Those who call themselves Sufis but they don’t have God’s love in their hearts are heretics. They are not Sufis. ‘How would you know whether or not they have God’s love in their hearts? Those who have God’s love in their hearts respect all human beings and animals equally. This is because they come to know of the truth that every single living thing in this world is created by God. God loves his creation; they love his creation because they love God. One who is a true Sufi can’t harm anybody.’ His Holiness further explains that a true Sufi is one who has an enlightened heart. He says, ‘Without the enlightenment of the heart and purgation of the soul, you cannot be a true Sufi.’ True Sufism is, in fact, a natural antidote to extremism and fanaticism. Therefore, in the near future, if ‘Sufi terrorists’ come onto the global stage, it is important to know that such people are not Sufis at all. THE TRUE MEHDI • ISSUE 03 • MAR 2017 13