Dust Under Your Feet

7 September 1985

Q : Explain with regards to salik’s ( seeker of Truth ) experiencing or feeling some spiritual illumination or “Divine light” on the face.

A : It is due to inner illumination resulting from spiritual work such as zikr,reciting quran, morqabah etc. One should not worry about it. It is a good thing. Talking about the illumination of LATAIF, you should know that all zikr, moraqbat etc aim at the illumination of these Lataif – the six spiritual senses or centres of the soul. Normally illumination starts from the lower to the higher latifa starting from nafs ( at the navel ) to qalb, ruh, sirr, khafi, akhfa slowly and gradually( more information on these lataif  later ). But one is lucky to have the illumination of khafi ( forehead ) after some years of zikr, moroqabat, reciting quran, etc. But one have to take care of the earlier lataif as well by doing zikr ism zat and naïf asbath so that all the lataif get illuminated. One should not think too much of himself that he has achieved much. The journey is long! Now it is just the beginning of illumination and not complete illumination. One will see, Insha Allah, what complete illumination is. So one must go on working hard. The more you work the greater the charms. But again do not run after charms. One must be the Talib ( seeker ) of Allah, not of charms, because if one is a seeker of charms, Allah does not like it. He likes the one who is the seeker of God. The Shaikhs have said that the pleasure ( lazzat ) and charms and fascinations which a seeker experiences in zikr etc, these also become veils if one is fond of them. According to the spiritual experts ( Shaikhs ) veils are of three kinds: 

  1. Veils of sins called Hijabat-I-Zulmani ( Hijabat is the plural of hijab which means veil ). Hijabat Zulmani ( Dark Veils ) between man and God are the result of sins.
  2. Second kind of Hijabat is Hijabat-I-Noorani ( the bright veils ) which are caused when the seeker sees good dreams or visions, known as karamat or kashfa, such as knowledge of the past and future, seeing angels, etc. If one goes after these things he gets veiled from God. Absolute sincerity demands that one should be the seeker of Allah and not kashf and karamat which are regarded as play things or sight-seeing by the high ranking Mashaikh ( plural of Shaikh ).
  3. The third category of Hijabat are known as Hijabat-I-Kaifi, that is, to say the veils of charms. These take place when the seeker goes after charms and pleasures (joys) of nearness with God. But the Divine Beloved wants pure sincerity. He wants you to be the seeker of God and not of charms. He is the Supreme Beloved, the Supreme Master, the Supreme Ruler, the Supreme Friend, the Supreme Sustainer, the Supreme Lord, the SupremeDefender and Protector. He feels jealous and angry if one relies on others for help, protection, livelihood, etc. He wants you to be his lover and not the lover wealth, human beauty, worldly grandeur, or even pleasures and joys which one feels while doing zikr or moraqbah, etc. He wants you to be purely His and nothing else. This is complete devotion. A Shaikh says, “Once I met an extremely beautiful woman on the road. I was charmed by her beauty and we stood facing each other. I said to her, “You have taken possession of my heart and soul”.  She said, “Same is the case with me. You also have won my heart and soul. But I have a sister who is so beautiful that if you see her, you will forget me”. I said, “Where is she?”  She said, “ My sister is standing behind you”. When I turned to see her, the first woman struck a blow at his face.  And she said, “You liar, you cheat, you claim to love me and look to others; is this sincerity?”

The Shaikh said I felt ashamed and went away. 

That may have been an angel sent by God to warn him.

Similarly, a shaikh named Umar ibn Faridh of Egypt, when he was dying he was shown seven paradises saying that it was his reward. But he turned his face away, saying: “ If this is the value of my love for Thee, O My Lord, then I think I have wasted my life”. He was then favoured with “Tajjaly-I-Zat” (a glimpse of pure essence ) and he gave his life in it.This is pure sincerity. The Aulia Allah (Lovers of Allah ) do not aspire for even paradise which they say, is other than God. They go in for Allah Himself both in this world and in the hereafter.
Rabia of Basra was another saint (woman saint). She used to pray to God like this

 “ O my Lord, if I worship Thee for fear of hell then burn me in hell-fire. If I worship Thee for paradise, then exclude me from it. But if I worship Thee for Thy sake, then do not deprive me of Thy Beauty”.

She (Hadrat Rabia r.a) would also pray like this:

“O Lord, whatever you have destined for me in this world give it to your enemies, and whatever you have destined for me in next world, give it to your friends. I want nothing but Thee”.

Although these are the higher ideals, in fact it is the highest ideal to which only the highest sheikhs can aspire,but those favoured by Allah Almighty should keep these things in mind and remember them.