Allah, the Merciful

  It is the fundamental Force that alone exists. What we see in universe is its own entire image. This Force is alone the Truth in ultimate analysis. It is conscious and has Will. Whatever has happened in this universe since eternity has happened because it was willed so by this Force. It is so and it cannot be otherwise in both – back and forth or past and future – directions of Time. Time is there because this Force is there. This Force is essentially happiness Par Excellence and therefore this whole creation itself is the happiness manifested. This creation is joy of the highest order. The pain, the agony, the sorrow of some one is the joy of His wisdom and the shift of this pain, agony and sorrow to his delirious happiness is also an equal joy of this Force in His will. This Fundamental Force is Merciful, because He has suffered to allow and make possible all these happenings unto Himelf. To care to take pains to manifest, to sustain and to regulate all that we see and that we see not, all that we know and that we know not, and all that which is beyond our comprehension in our wildest imagination, is the Mercy of the highest order at His part.

  This Fundamental Force had the Mercy and we find this universe in the way it is. He had the Mercy and life came out of a seemingly clod of matter. This Force manifests as an outpourings of the love of a mother to her young ones in lower animals. He dawns and emerges further as impulses and desires in higher animals. In human beings He blooms further as cravings, desires and reason. It is the rising of this Force at its own sweet Will and in its own manner that we call life evolution and find happening on Earth. It is Mercy par excellence at His part.

  At some time, this Force descends on to the consciousness of a human being like a dove and speaks to him, like a father speaks to his son. Then, there are all sorts of rebellions against this communion of the Father and the Son by unholy entities and threats of doubts against the very veracity of this experience of communion. At other times, He reveals Himself to a human being as the voice of a Master to a Servant.  Again, there are rebellions, threats and doubts against the bidding of the Mater.

  Human being is made up of his desires and reason, besides his physical body. His unique structure makes him opaque to the urgings, mercy and light of this Fundamental Force. Commensurate to human being’s ability to subdue and calm these clamorous desires and cacophonous reason, one is able to receive the grace of this Force.

  This Force is nearer to a human being, like everything else, than the nearest thing to him. One only needs to sincerely call this Force, the Master, the Father or the Mother – endless epithets.

  The Holy book in Sura 2.186 says thus “And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am neigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright.”

The followers of the Holy Koran, who cried to Allah, received his answer and became the living testimony of the Power and Grace of Allah. India has a long list of such individuals. They are known as Sufis. They are Auliyas. They are saints. Hazarat Nizzamuddin of Delhi, Auliya Chisti of Agra and Moinuddin Khwaja of Ajmer in medieval India are some of these individuals. There are many in India still living and showing the path of Allah. They are the Light of Mankind because the Fundamental Force – Allah – responds to their cries. They do not want any thing but Allah. They have in entirety, in their body, desires and thoughts, surrendered themselves to Allah. They live their life but for Allah.  And, Allah being Merciful bestows grace on them.

  It is never ever possible for human beings to prefix adequate and sufficient adjectives to this Force. One of such attempt to describe this Force is made thus in Holy Koran in Sura 1. 1-3: “Lord of the Worlds, the Beneficent, the Merciful, Owner of the Day of Judgment.”

  ‘Alberuni’s India’ (1029 AD) is marvelous source of historic record of facts during the period of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazani (from 997 to 1030 AD) relating to such Sufis and others who had given themselves completely up to this Force. Alberuni’s real name was Abu Rihan and he was born in 973 AD in Khiva or Khwarizm. His nation was invaded by Mahmud Ghazani in 1017 AD and he, along with other princes of Khiva who were his relatives, was brought as prisoner of war or hostage to Ghazani by Mahmud. On this account he was not well disposed towards Mahmud Ghazani. He was a great scholar of sciences and a keen observer of his surroundings. He accompanied his master, Mahmud Ghazani, on his invasion of India. He wrote many books on scientific subjects. Alberuni says:  “On the subject of ‘created things’ the ancient Greeks held nearly the same view as the Hindus. Some of them thought that all things are one. Others think that only the first cause has real existence, because it alone is self-sufficing, whilst everything else absolutely requires it; that a thing which for its existence stands in need of something else has only a dream-life, no real life, and that reality is only that one and first being  (the first cause).

  “This is also the theory of the Sufis, i.e. the sages, for suf means in Greek wisdom. Therefore a philosopher is called pailasopa, i.e. loving wisdom. When in Islam persons adopted something like the doctrines of these philosophers, they also adopted their names; but some people did not understand the meaning of the word, and erroneously combined it with the Arabic word suffa, as if the sufi were identical with the so-called Ahl-assuffa among the companions of Muhammad. In later times the word was corrupted by misspelling, so that finally it was taken for a derivation from saf, i.e. the wool of goat. Abu-alfath Albusti made a laudable effort to avoid this mistake when he said, “From olden times people have differed as to the meaning of the word sufi, and have thought it a derivative from suf, i.e. wool. I, for my part, understand by the word a youth who is safi, i.e. pure. This has become sufi, and in this form the name of a class of thinkers, the Suff’”.

  Alberuni further says:  “Some Sufi author relates the following story: ‘A company of Sufi came down unto us, and sat down at some distance from us. Then one of them rose, prayed, and on having finished his prayer, turned towards me and spoke: ‘ 0 master, do you know here a place fit for us to die on? ‘Now I thought he meant sleeping, and so I pointed out to him a place. The man went there, threw himself on the back of his head, and remained motionless. Now I rose, went to him and shook him, but lo! He was already cold.

  “The Sufi explains the Koranic verse, “We have made room for him on earth” (Sura 18, 83), in this way: “if he wishes, the earth rolls itself up for him; if he wishes, he can walk on the water and in the air, which offer him sufficient resistance so as to enable him to walk, whilst the mountains do not offer him any resistance when he wants to pass through them.”

  Continues Alberuni: “Abu-Yazid Albistami once being asked how he had attained his stage in Sufism, answered: ‘I cast off my own self as a serpent casts off its skin. Then I considered my own self, and found that I was He, i.e. God.’

  “The Sufi explains the Koranic passage (Sura 2,68), “Then we spoke: Beat him with  a part of her,” in the following manner: “The order to kill that which is dead in order to  give life to it indicates that the heart does not become alive by the lights of knowledge unless the body be killed by ascetic practice to such a degree that it does not any more exist as a reality, but only in a formal way, whilst your heart is a reality on which no object of the formal world has any influence.

  “Further they say: ‘Between man and God there are a thousand stages of light and darkness. Men exert themselves to pass through darkness to light, and when they have attained to the stations of light; there is no return for them’.”

  The Holy book says in Sura 1.5-7: “Show us the straight path” “the path of those whom Thou hast favoured” and “not (the path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.” Allah reveals to the Prophet in Sura 17.84 thus: “Say: Each one doth according to his rule of conduct, and thy Lord is best aware of him whose way is right.”

  Holy Koran in Sura 50.16 says “We verily created a man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.”

  H. A.R.Gibb, the translator of ‘Ibn Battuta-Travels in Asia and Africa, 1325-1354’ says in his introduction to the book. “The fundamental aim of the Sufi life, however or wherever lived, was to pierce the veils of human sense which shut man off from the Divine and so attain to communion with and absorption into God. Their days and nights were spent in prayer and contemplation, in fasting and ascetic exercises. At frequent intervals all the inhabitants of the convent, or the local members of the tariqua, met to celebrate the ritual litany, the dhikr, according to their peculiar rites. The dhikr was intended to produce a hypnotic effect on the participants and so allow them to taste momentarily the joys of reunion with the Divine. With that extravagance which accompanies all expression of rising emotion in Eastern life and thought, the litany in most cases passed into a fantastic exhibition of marvelous or thaumaturgical feats, such as Ibn Battuta describes on several occasions.

  “Some would whirl and pirouette for hours at a time; others would chew serpents or glass, walk in fire, or thrust knives through their limbs, without any worse effects than at most a temporary nervous exhaustion.

 “The stories of miracles which he (Ibn Battuta) relates at second hand do him no discredit; the power of saints to perform miracles was and still is believed by the mass of Muslims, and such tales interested both narrator and audience. It is when he tells of miraculous events directly associated with himself that the problem of their truth must be definitely faced. In some cases it may be possible to explain them by hypnotism (if that in fact “explains” them), as the Muslims theologian explained in the Chinese magician’s tricks at Hang-chow; in others, we may suspect the arts of the conjurer; but there is a residue, including, for example, the account of his escape after his capture at Koel (modem Aligarh) in India, where we must either accept the miraculous element or give the lie direct to the traveler.

  “(Later on) Jihad was interpreted to apply to the inward and spiritual struggle against the temptations of the world, and the Sufis (as the mystics were now called) withdrew from secular warfare, but retained the old terminology. The ribat was now the ascetic’s hermitage or the convent or hospice where the devotees congregated to live the religious life…”

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