on Mysticism



(Tasawwuf Ki Baatein)














Translated in English under the guidance of
Hazrat Inam Hasan Gudri Shah Baba V
by Fara




‘Conversations on Mysticism’ is a translation from the book ‘Tasawwuf ki Baatein written originally in Urdu language by Dr Zahurul Hassan Sharib. The book was first published in the lifetime of the author and has now been translated into Hindi and English.


Dr Sharib compiled fifteen letters that he exchanged with his uncle, Hazrat Nawab Mohammad Khadim Hasan Shah, Gudri Shah Baba III, into a book, modifying them where necessary, to fit the flow of the manuscript. All the letters were written while Dr Sharib was practicing law in Dholpur, a town in Rajasthan, while his uncle was in Ajmer, in the service of the great Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishti.


Such was the effect of these conversations, that Dr Sharib finally folded his successful law practice and migrated to settle in Ajmer, taking his uncle as his spiritual guide on the path of mysticism. Later, in 1971, after the demise of Nawab Khadim Hasan Gudri Shah Baba, Dr. Sharib succeeded him as the Head of the Gudri Shahi Order of Sufi Saints.


Dr. Sharib passed away in 1996 and his shrine is situated at the Usmani Chilla, atop a hill in Ajmer, overlooking the Ana Sagar Lake. His urs (death anniversary) is celebrated every year on Zeeqad 19 according to the lunar calendar and a myriad people visit his tomb to seek his blessings.


The Gudri Shahi order of Sufi Saints continues today under the patronage of Inam Hasan Gudri Shah Baba V, the spiritual successor to Dr. Zahurul Hassan Sharib.





Kothi Narsingh Bagh



15 December 1951



The harbinger of kindness and grace, Ch’cha Mian, 


With a desire to kiss your feet, I pray, that for many days I have not received any letter from Your Excellency. Since I am trapped in the struggle with the world, I was unable to write anything. Today, I took out time to petition and present thus:


The merciless hands of the world are distressing me. Victimized by many troublesome circumstances, perturbed by life, I am desirous of your blessings.


When does the urs of Hazrat Qazi Gudri Shah Baba commence and conclude? Mahnoor and Inam Hasan are well. The winter is at its peak. What more do I say? 


Desirous of your blessings,


Zahurul Hassan Sharib



*   *   *








28 December 1951 



Dear, wishes for your well-being,


I have just received your letter dated 15 December. I am surprised to read that a person like you should complain about the world. The path of penury is tough. It is laden with thorns and also with flowers. Inclination and desire remove the thorns from the path. Thereafter, only flowers and many more flowers are left – and flowers of what kind –perennial flowers! 


Hazrat Ayub’s (prophet of Islam) body was infested with maggots and for a long time he was afflicted with severe ailment. If ever a maggot fell-off from his body, he would himself pick it up and put it back again on his body. He would say, “It is a gift from the Friend. How do I separate from it?” He never lamented. Nor did he let any resentful word ever reach his tongue. 


A thankful person never complains. Patience is necessary in all circumstances. This elevates the rank. But patience should be exercised happily, not under duress. There are three kinds of patience – (a) Ordinary patience, (b) Extraordinary patience, (c) Most extraordinary patience.


Matters of men can be resolved in two ways – with patience and with sincerity- patience in distress and sincerity towards the Almighty. When a person sincerely dedicates his heart to the Creator, he achieves peace, silence and happiness and when he hands his heart over to the people of the world, anxiety is imperative. 


Submission and consent is the way of the Sufis. Lamentation and discontentment are the slogan for the people of the world. This is what the Sufis say in no uncertain terms and they follow it too: 


Harche az dost me rasad neko-ast

Whatever the friend grants, that is the best. 


The urs of Qazi Gudri Shah Baba will commence on the 3rd of Shawwal at the Chilla of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz and the qul (concluding) ceremony will be on the 5th of Shawwal. If there is an opportunity, do come over.


My blessings to Munni and Inam Hasan. I am well now. There is no reason to worry.


Your well-wisher,


Mohammad Khadim Hasan

Zuberi Usmani Moini Gudri Shahi. 



*   *   *






Kothi Narsingh Bagh,



20 January 1952



Benevolent, kind and exalted Ch’cha Mian, greetings to you!


In humble service to Your Highness, I submit that I was honored to receive your kind letter. I was a hundred times relieved to know that your health is improving. I would have presented myself at your service, but I had to stay back due to houseguests. Of these guests, two gentlemen were such, who said in clear words that tasawwuf is against the basic tenets of Islam and is the result of the influence of Hindu Vedantic Philosophy. 


I will definitely come for the urs of Qibla Qazi sahib. Shakila sends her regards. Mehernoor remembers you. 


Yours very own,


Zahurul Hassan Sharib



*   *   *










2 February 1952 



Beloved of my heart, Mian Zahur, Blessings to you,


I received your letter. By the grace of the Almighty, I am now absolutely fine. At times, I walk up to the Chilla Sharif in the evenings. I have not yet started to read or write.


The opinion of those friends of yours is absolutely incorrect that tasawwuf is against the tenets of Islam and is a scraping of Hindu Vedantic Philosophy. What else is Hazrat Abraham Khalilullah’s refusal to worship the Sun and the Moon, but an attempt to understand the Almighty? The words of the messenger of God (Rasulallah Hazrat Mohammad PBUH), “The one who has recognized himself has recognized the Almighty,” point towards the direction that spiritual knowledge is a viewing aid for tasawwuf.


The knowledge that was whispered confidentially in solitude, by the Pride of Mankind, Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa, and given the custody of, to Hazrat Ali, is the inner knowledge. This knowledge reached others through Hazrat Ali and later became famous by the name of Tasawwuf. Hazrat Parsa has written in his book, Fazl-ul-khitab:


“Hazrat Junaid of Baghdad has said that our forerunner on the path of mysticism, the one who shows us the direction to that which dwells in the heart and the one, who after the Rasulallah has pointed towards the Truth, is Ali son of Abu Talib.”


Imam Fakhruddin Razi has written in Arbain:


“In the matters of agnostic knowledge, the ascending spiritual genealogy of all Sufi saints ends at Hazrat Ali.”


Hence, Ali is the initiator, and the protector and the ever- flowing spring. He is the head of all groups of Islamic tasawwuf. Therefore, the state of inner tasawwuf is not a result of the influence of Vedantic Philosophy. The fundamental principles followed by the mystics of various religions, to recognize the brilliance of the Almighty and the Almighty Himself, are nearly the same.


Now, the question that remains is, “ Is tasawwuf against the tenets of Islamic law?”


Regarding this, it is enough to know that the Almighty has, at various points in the Holy Quran, given instructions about Fikr (meditation). Tasawwuf means to meditate. What does one meditate upon? Upon it’s qualities. What is Muraqba? It is contemplation. It has also been said that a moment of meditation is better than years of worship. This means that Fikr (meditation) is better than Zikr (recitation). It is the best of all. Fikr is one of the largest constituents of tasawwuf. The Shariat (law of religion) is the skin of tasawwuf, Tariqat (inner knowledge) is the bones, Haqiqat (the reality) is the mind and Marifat (gnosis) is the fuel.


Convey my blessings to Shakila. Mehernoor must be very naughty by now.


Your well-wisher,


Mohammad Khadim Hasan

Zuberi Usmani Moini Gudri Shahi



*   *   *






Kothi Narsingh Bagh,



15 February 1952



O! My Qibla and Kaba, my true reality. After duly kissing the riches from your feet, I wish to submit in your service, that I received your letter brimming with kindness.


You have explained those points in an excellent manner. With your weak health, you undertook this tedious task. What words do I use to express my gratitude for this?


I also read out this letter to some of my friends, and they too agree with your point of view. Tasawwuf is neither an instrument for mental training like plumbing, nor is tasawwuf a means or knowledge to produce power or effect of mesmerism and hypnotism.


It has been raining much since yesterday. With dismay Inam says that the rain has ruined his playtime and that he is going to punish the rain. Shakila does take her medicine but at times she doesn’t. What more do I say?


Yours truly,



Zahurul Hassan Sharib



*   *   *









1 March 1952



Dear, wishes for your well being,


I received your letter. Shakila should take her medicine regularly. I miss Ch’oni Khan.


What is tasawwuf? To explain this in words is very difficult. Tasawwuf is a debt. If you have never tasted sugar and I explain the taste of sugar to you in various words and in various ways, you will never be able to understand it. The moment you eat sugar, you will yourself understand that this is what sugar tastes like.


If a person has never seen whiteness and he asks you what whiteness is like, then what will you tell him and how will you explain it? The best way is to show him whiteness. The moment he sees it, he will understand that this is what white colour looks like.


Words can neither make you smell the perfume in henna nor make you hear the sound of Raag Bhairavi. Therefore, if it is impossible to express in words, the experiences of the five basic senses, how can one encompass in words the pure experiences of heart and soul, which are the treasure of tasawwuf? One may read a hundred thousand books on tasawwuf or may continue to chant the word tasawwuf, but he may never understand tasawwuf.


Gharib Nawaz has said, “Tasawwuf is not a title, it is a tradition.” To consider everything as a means to reach the Almighty is the all-pervading thought. The aim of tasawwuf is not power, influence, seriousness, brilliance, prestige, fame or name. These are worldly desires. These things are themselves idols and force a person into self-adulation and self- indulgence, thereby distancing him from his intended destination.


Man is the Caliph of the Almighty.


Khalifa tulla fil ard

Caliph of the Almighty on earth.




Inni zailoon fil ard khalifa (1-3)

I am about to create My representative on earth.


The Almighty has given him the pride of place amongst all His creation. Man has been bestowed with the treasures of knowledge, intelligence, mind, love, affection and inner and spiritual knowledge.


The Almighty created the entire universe with the words Kun Faya- kun (happen!), that is, he created everything with His own powers. Man was also gifted the power of will, and was bestowed with spirituality so that he may know his Master, know himself and behold the style and splendor of the Almighty in all things manifest. But, Man became ungrateful; he forgot the very reason for which he was sent. The worldly deceptions and attractions colored his judgment. He forgot his own self, his prestige and status and thus took refuge in darkness. Selfishness, tiredness, hopelessness, distrust, envy and jealousy, desires of the self, wants, ignorance, deceit and falsehood, interpersonal rivalry, hatred, self- worship and self-adulation, embittered his life. His inner struggle made him oppressed and helpless. In times of adversity, he started to whine and complain.


Since the state of his sincerity became unstable, he lost faith in his Master. He even lost Oneness. The result was what should have been, Hazrat Insaan (Man) now started worshiping all that which he feared could harm him and all that which he hoped could benefit him. He swayed in the direction of wind. He was scared of the powerful and mistreated the weak. He was blinded by selfishness and self-centeredness.


In short, man fell below the level of being a man and forgot his dignity and status, which is to be a Caliph of the Almighty on earth.


Tasawwuf came to save the man from this ebb in spirituality, from bad society, helplessness and a shameful life. Tasawwuf came in the form of a physician. It taught love for the Almighty and imparted wisdom about God, through refinement of self and purification of heart. It established a relationship of religion, between the Master and his people.




Those following the path of tasawwuf can be known as achievers, by controlling their ego. Tasawwuf is a state. It is a condition. It is to reclaim. Desire is the key to tasawwuf. Pleasure and interest lead to the Eternal. Love and affection are its main and inseparable ingredients that form a stairway to reach the Almighty. Realization is its quality. Its aim is extinction in the Almighty (Fana fil zaat), and its result is to remain with the remainder (Baqa dar baqa)


Tasawwuf is a path where love guides the people to the Master. Without love, devotion is not a true devotion and a prayer is not a true prayer. Without love the heart cannot achieve extinction, hence dedicating a heart without love is like a body without life.


When, with the bounty of love, man successfully crosses over the destinations of patience and stability, control and penance, sincerity and truthfulness and consent and resignation, at that moment, the dilemmas of the heart vanish and the heart becomes pure. The heart is illuminated, the eyes get intoxicated with the passion of love, lights become visible in the soul, the heart is tuned and the physical presence of a wireless is not required. A conversation can be held between the manifest and the hidden. By turning the needle, the radio of the heart can hear distant sounds. The eyes of the heart can not only see the things that are physically distant but can also behold exalted and pure stations.


Visions get internalized. Tasawwuf reveals the real state of the heart. The aim of tasawwuf is knowledge and experience and to understand the relationship between man and his Master. On the path of love, whining and appealing is to narrate a tale of woe. In the real state of calmness, nothing except Oneness is visible. At this point the Divine Nature is manifest in the form of Tawhid (Unity).


Tasawwuf is not an impediment in activities. The condition is to remember the Friend with heart and to keep the limbs engaged in activity. That is to follow:


Dil ba yaad, dast b’kaar.


Heart with remembrance, hands with work


Tasawwuf brings man closer to the qualities of godliness and makes him a complete man. Whatever one receives, with difficulty or with ease, by being a friend of the Friend, is considered a gift or a grant from the Friend. The Friend is thanked for it.


It is now 5.30 in the evening and I conclude this letter here. Your Cha’chi irritates me. Her ways are similar to Shakila’s. Both do not take their medicines. Taking medicines is also a sunnat (wont). Mahnoor attends her school regularly.




Mohammad Khadim Hasan

Zuberi Usmani Moini Gudri Shahi



*   *   *







Kothi Narsingh Bagh,



12 March 1952



O! Bestower of grace on the desirous, the hope of the hapless. Courteous greetings,


I was delighted to read this long letter, which I received today, after a long wait.


You have explained the initiation in to tasawwuf and the secret points of tasawwuf in a very simple way. I have now realized that tasawwuf is something very familiar. It is not a puzzle or a competition. Tasawwuf is not just for a few select people; instead it can be easily sought by anyone who wishes to seek it. Desire is necessary. A will to learn is the pre- condition.


These days various subjects are being taught at colleges and universities. In a similar manner, is there a provision for learning tasawwuf? My interest in this subject is growing. I wish to learn it.


Munni’s quarterly examinations must be nearing. She must take them. Success in half yearly and quarterly examinations is to a large extent, the foundation for success in the annual examinations.


What more do I write? The weather is pleasant. Shakila intends coming to Ajmer soon. She sends her greetings. Inam is very well.


Desirous of your blessings,


Zahurul Hassan Sharib



*   *   *









30 March 1952



My dear, wishes for your well being,


I received your letter. Tasawwuf, as I had written in my earlier letter, is a debt. It cannot be learned from books.


Charpa e barad kata bechand,

na mohakeek shawad na danishmand.


If you load a mule with a burden of a few books,

Neither can it lead the way, nor can it become intelligent.


The knowledge of tasawwuf is gained not from schools, but is attained in a spiritual manner from khanqahs (convents) and from the tombs of the true friends of the Almighty. Tasawwuf requires good conduct and true friendship therefore it can only be learnt from people who have walked this path; who’s hearts have endured and thus awakened. This knowledge is carried on from one heart to another. This secret is such that everyone cannot be made a confidant.


Na ahal ra tarbiyat chuna ast


It is useless to preach a fool


Good intention, conduct, enthusiasm and interest, aspiration, stability and determination etc. are necessary to gain this (knowledge).


But at times, it so happens that one look of grace from a saint can lift up all veils. All that is hidden behind the curtain comes to the fore and the smallest of the small particles of the universe are visible, the hidden gets illuminated, life gets transformed, a new look appears in every aspect of life.


You must have heard the name of Mawlana Jalaluddin. He is the one who wrote that famous Masnavi in Persian, about which it is said:


Masnavi e maulvi e manvi

Hast Quran dar zuban-e- pahalvi.


O, Maulvi! This Masnavi, in terms of its meanings,

 Is the Holy Quran in Persian language.


This maulana was a great scholar of his times. He was very patient and well meaning. He strictly followed the shariat (Islamic law) and was popular amongst the learned men and scholars of his time. He had many disciples to whom he imparted the knowledge about religion and the Almighty. But, then what happened?


One look of grace from Hazrat Shams of Tabriz decided his fate. He received the knowledge of which he was ignorant, that is, he gained the spiritual knowledge. His heart was illuminated with the love for the Almighty. He gave the world a book in Persian that is beyond any comparisons. His Masnavi is a priceless treasure that has hidden hints and clues on matters about tasawwuf and secret topics.


Now, Mawlana Rumi was longer the person who followed religion. The transformation in his state is reflected in his poetry:


Na man behuda gird e kuchao bazaar mi gardam,

Mazake ashiqi daram paye didar mi gardam.

Sharabe shauq menosham ba girde yaar mi gardam,

Sukhan mastana mi goyam wale hoshiyaar mi gardam.

Gahe khandam, gahe giryam, gahe aftam, gahe khezam,

Maseeha dar’dilam paida vaman beemar mi gardam.

Biya jana inayat kun wa maulana e Rumi ra,

Gulame Shams Tabrezam qalandar waar mi gardam.


Neither foolishly nor aimlessly in the market place I wander

Possessed by love, for a meeting with my beloved I wander.

Drunk on the wine of fondness, around my friend I wander

I talk like a madman, yet like a wise man I wander.

Laughing at times, crying at times, falling at times, rising at times,

The savior is at the doorstep of my heart, yet like a sick man I wander.

O Beloved! Come and help your Maulana Rumi

I am a slave of Shams Tabrizi, enraptured I wander.


Maulana Rumi, salutes the greatness and superiority of Hazrat Shams of Tabriz. He has himself acknowledged this in a verse:


Mawlvi hargiz na shud maulae Rum

Ta ghulame Shams Tabrezi na shud.


O Maulvi, you can never be a maulvi,

Till you become a slave of Shams Tabrizi.


The meeting of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz of Ajmer with a majzub (one who is absorbed) named Ibrahim Qandozi, was the reason his life changed. The story goes thus:


One day Hazrat Khwaja was watering his orchard and a majzub named Ibrahib Qandozi happened to pass by. Gharib Nawaz was extremely hospitable and offered him a bunch of grapes. Hazrat Ibrahim Qandozi was very happy with the hospitality and courtesy of Gharib Nawaz. He took out a piece of hide from under his arm, bit into it, and gave it to Khwaja Gharib Nawaz. The moment Hazrat Khwaja ate it; the interest and love in his heart for the transient world, was completely extinguished. The world ceased to be a station of any interest to him. He isolated himself from all attachments and associates. He sold his orchard and water mill and distributed all the proceeds amongst the poor and helpless. And himself, he left on a journey.


You may be aware of the incident about the initiation of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz. Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz had the good fortune of being initiated by Hazrat Khwaja Usman Haruni, at the mosque of Hazrat Junaid situated in Baghdad (This can also be called the second initiation or Bait’sani). Hazrat Khwaja Usman held the hand of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz and said “Come, I will take you unto the Almighty” and he reached him up to the Almighty. In his two fingers, Hazrat Khwaja Usman Haruni revealed, eighteen thousand worlds to Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz. This was the master who traversed in a moment, a distance that takes years to travel. Pir himself is the teacher.


The examinations here are not quarterly, half yearly or yearly; every day, at every step there is an examination. To pass, the terms are not 33% marks, but 100%. The center for learning tasawwuf is the company of ones Pir. This company need not be of Khizr or Moses. The aim of this company is defeated if there is unwillingness or unnecessary fuss.


Kar pakaan az kayaase khud magir,

Gar che aayad dar naveeshatan o sheer.


Just as it is impossible to judge the sweetness of a dessert

Likewise, it is impossible to estimate on one’s own, a pure act.


Instead of unwillingness and fuss, faith and unity in thought should be present. It is not possible for every person to have access to the Pir. Until a Pir himself does not desire, till then, no one can dare to reach him.


Meri talab bhi kisi ke karam ka sadka hai,

Kadam yeh uthte nahi hai, uthae jate hain.


My desire is also someone’s grace

I do not take these steps; I am made to take these steps.


Whosoever steps into the arena of tasawwuf should think and understand carefully before stepping in. There is strictness and there is leniency too. There are problems and there are solutions. There is pleasure and there is heartache. There is anxiety and things that produce anxiety. It is easy to step into this field, but in reality, only those who are steadfast, succeed. Steadfastness has an edge over supernatural powers.


This letter has become too long. I conclude it now. These days I feel unwell in the evenings. I am thinking of consulting Hakim sahib tomorrow.


Mahnoor is busy studying. She is good at English, but a little weak at Mathematics.


I pray for your success to the Almighty. Shakila, Mehernoor and Inam have arrived safely.




Mohammad Khadim Hasan

Zuberi Usmani Moini Gudri Shahi



*   *   *






O! My guide on the path, greetings to you,


Today when I returned from the court, I received your letter conveying your blessings and guidance. I read it and then read it again. A strange intoxication filled my heart and mind. But, my hopes were shattered.


I had thought, that I would read books on tasawwuf and overcome my lack of this knowledge. That I would join an institution, pay-up the fee and get busy with learning and teaching. But now, from your letter, I have realized, that this is not so.


Maybe what you mean by, the center for instructions by the Pir, is to seek the company of some virtuous, namazi, abstemious, religious, and venerable elder who delivers lectures on various topics and points of tasawwuf, just as it happens in the tutorial classes at the university.


Now, the question arises, where does one look for a Pir? I think I should opt for the company of the Imam at this mosque that is close to our house. And take instructions on tasawwuf from him. His name is Maulvi Badruddin.


This Maulvi sahib offers all the five prayers (namaz) everyday and observes all the thirty fasts (rozas). Besides teaching namaz, Maulvi sahib also counsels. He often sermonizes. I attend his sermons, which are full of advice. This Maulvi sahib exhorts people to pray and fast. He alerts those who are prosperous, about their duty to give in charity (zakat) and to undertake the holy pilgrimage (haj). He lays emphasis on reading the Holy Quran. He teaches people the virtues of being good and kind. And instructs them to keep away from all sins and wagers such as lying, cheating and deceit, consuming liquor, gambling and taking interest on loans.


Maulvi sahib says, “recite the Holy Quran, this world will last only a few days, every thing is perishable, prepare some baggage for the life here after, only deeds will accompany you. All material things, property, status, form, respect and riches will have to be left behind.”


This Maulvi sahib scares people of the hell fire and threatens them. He kindles a desire in the hearts for the virgins of Paradise and celestial beauties, for palaces of pearl and rivers of milk and honey.


Maulvi sahib says that deliverance is impossible unless the duties prescribed by the religion are followed. And that, the one who does not follow the Shariat, gets misled and his abode is in hell. He forbids dancing, intoxication, singing and playing of musical instruments, watching movies, and even listening to the radio. He says that to hear the recitation of the Quran Sharif or the news is allowed but to hear music is against the law of the religion.


What it means is that Maulvi sahib neither utters nor does anything that is against the law of the religion. While talking or sermonizing, he often continues to stroke his long beard. His pajamas are never more than ankle length. He always carries a big kerchief on his shoulder. He is very particular about miswak (usage of twigs of Arak tree to clean teeth). He says this is a sunnat.


He lives alone; he has left his family back in the village. This Maulvi sahib fulfills the needs of the destitute. He gives talismans to the sick, to those who have legal problems, to women, children and students. Whenever anyone goes to him with a problem, he makes a charm for him. He takes a rupee and a quarter, for making these charms. If someone has a bigger problem, he often asks for a white cockerel, one gram of saffron and five rupees in cash, to be brought. When all this is brought, he writes and hands out a charm.


There is a big crowd outside his chamber in the mornings. Old and young, men, women and children sit with utmost respect in the courtyard of the mosque. He calls them into his chamber one by one and listens to their woes. People hold him in high esteem and take great care of his comfort and ease. Some people bring tea and jalebis (a kind of dessert) for him in the morning while others bring bread and biscuits. His lunch and dinner are also taken care of. People take turns to send it. The meals are not ordinary but a formal feast.


This Maulvi sahib also undertakes the task of initiating people in to reading and writing (Bismillah). To have ones children initiated into education by this Maulvi sahib is considered a source of good fortune for oneself and for the children. He receives a good amount of money for this job.


After his prayers, Maulvi sahib gets busy with recitation of the Holy Name. He always has prayer beads in his hand. I often go to him and sit with him for long. Whenever I go to him, he is very hospitable. He spreads out a rug in his chamber especially for me and seats me on it with great regard. Then he asks me about the purpose of my visit. I tell him that there is no purpose. He often continues to talk with me in his chamber.


I sent some of my clients to him. These clients were involved in some serious legal cases. Maulvi sahib gave them such amulets that they were acquitted. Every one was amazed at their acquittal. But I consider it a manifestation of Maulvi sahib’s supernatural powers. In my opinion the very existence of Maulvi sahib is the fountainhead of spiritual benefits and gifts.


Now, from your letter I have realized that the place to learn tasawwuf is the company of a Pir; hence I now only sit with this Maulvi sahib. I just have to study tasawwuf and learn how to make charms and amulets, for becoming a Sufi.


When are you coming here?


I hope you, together with others, are well. Does Inam fight with Mehernoor? When does Shakila plan to come here?




Zahurul Hassan Sharib



*   *   *










25 April 1952



Dear, the life of your Ch’cha, wishing well for you,


I received your letter evening before last. I spent the whole of yesterday at the Chilla Sharif, where construction is underway. Upon my return, I was quite tired. I quickly read through your letter and kept it away. Today, I read it again with the intention of replying. To an extent, I am writing a detailed reply to quench your thirst.


The first thing that you must know is this:


What is the difference between a Sufi and a maulvi? What is the difference between a Sufi and a mutsawwuf (staunch believer)? Who is called a Pir? You must know that every Sufi cannot be called a Pir. What is the difference between a Sufi and a Pir?


Sufi means a person who has been cleansed and purified of the misfortunes and misdeeds of the self by the Almighty. That person is called a maulvi, who obeys the manifest law of the shariat and works tirelessly for its result. He is like a policeman who hands out a ticket for the most trivial offence. A maulvi offers prayers to the Almighty because worship is ordained by religion, for the fear of hell and for the lust of paradise. A Sufi offers prayers to the Almighty as a right, only for the Almighty and without any fear or greed.


Huzoor Khwaja Gharib Nawaz has said in Ganj-e-Asrar:


On the path of tasawwuf, any prayer, which is performed for the sake of this world or for the sake of physical comforts of this world, is Shirk-i-khafi (hidden idolatry). A devotee’s prayers should be for the Almighty and not for his own self.


The difference between a mutsawwuf and a Sufi is that a mutsawwuf is the one initiating and a Sufi is the one culminating. Mutsawwuf starts on the path of union with the Friend and a Sufi crosses that and receives the honor of having visions of the Friend. Sufi is the one who remains engrossed even after bearing light and heavy burdens. Mutsawwuf is the one who collects all the burdens of his kith and kin and is about to carry them. Once he carries that burden, annihilates himself, kills his self, finishes his desires and with simplicity and faith and with an easy heart, ardently tries to reach the Friend, then he is called a Sufi.


Sufi annihilates himself and remains just with the Almighty. Mutsawwuf has to strive to reach that point.


Some Sufis belong to the Malamati (condemnable) group. They are absorbed in the Truth and are oblivious to the condemnation from the people and indifferent towards acceptance or denial from the society. To keep away from hypocrisy, ostentation and pretence, and to produce sincerity in their actions, they do not expose their goodness, nor do they conceal their shortcomings.


Mutsawwuf worships only for the sake of the Almighty and keeps himself away from the opulence of the world. He detaches himself and concentrates in the direction of the Friend. He objects to that which is a hindrance in the path towards the Friend and isolates his heart from the love of such things. He opposes the ego. He reasons with the world, he guides his self towards meditation and breaks all connections with wealth, property and kith and kin. He becomes unmindful of achieving worldly comforts, prestige and fame and other materialistic things.


When he shuts himself from all four directions and closes all roads, then many doors open unto him. He is happy with the Will of the Almighty. He considers the Will of Maula, Az-hama-aula (He is the best). He has no desires of his own. There is no past or future for him. He is conscious of the hidden secrets. He is conscious of the secrets of the Almighty. He sits in seclusion and meditates at the doorway of the Friend. He is in awe, his state is hopeful. His eyes are fixed.


At last, after a long wait and rigorous penance, that door opens unto him, which is called the Qurbat-ka-darwaza (doorway to proximity). The veils are lifted from upon him. He is made a confidant. He enters into the tomorrow. The grandeur, greatness and the glory of the Almighty are revealed to him. As a result of this revelation his identity is annihilated and he is left only with the Friend. Now, he is like a dead man walking. Like it was mentioned and revealed about Abu Bakr Siddiqui by the Messenger of God. He is elevated to a station where he is unaware and indifferent towards his ego, his longing for this world of desires and the paradise. He beholds nothing but the vision of the Friend. He is now a shinning mirror wherein everything is clearly and openly visible. He sees nothing, which is not the Truth. He envisions the Friend everywhere and in every thing. He is ceases from a worldly aspect but is present and remains only for the Almighty.


Now, he does not even like solitude because solitude is sought from the existent, and in his eyes now, there is nothing that exists other than the Truth. So, what does he seek solitude from? He is like an innocent child. It is for such people that the Almighty has said:


“I become their hands, I become their eyes.”


He is totally detached. He is estranged from all. Now, he is called a Sufi. And he is called a Sufi because his heart is purified and cleansed of all attachments, people, worldly pleasures, and love of this world.


Hazrat Khwaja Moin-ud-din of Ajmer has described the stations, which are sought on the path as: For him who takes a step on that path, the first path is the Shariat (the law of religion). And when he remains steadfast on the path of Shariat, and follows the mandates of Shariat, and makes not even the slightest violation or variation, he moves forward and steps into Tariqat (inner knowledge). And when he remains stable at this station and follows the example set by the predecessors in accordance with the ways of Tariqat then he attains Marifat (gnosis) And if remains steadfast at this station, then he is pushed up to the next level.


That level or station is Haqiqat (reality). At this point whatever is asked for, is achieved.


Well, I now write- off here. It is six in the evening. I am getting this letter posted from the railway station. In the coming days, I do not intend going out of town. Your Ch’chi sends her blessings for you. Shakila, Inam and Mehernoor are well. Mehernoor has become very naughty. Shakila plans to return in the first week of Moharram. Inam says he will stay with Abba.


With concern for your welfare,


Mohammad Khadim Hasan

Zuberi Usmani Moini Gudri Shahi



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