Sufism is a way which teaches people to purify themselves, improve their morals, and build up their inner and outer selves to attain everlasting bliss. Its goal is the purification of the soul and its aim is the attainment of eternal peace and blessedness. The ultimate desire of a Sufi is to know God in this world and to be in unity with the Divine Presence.
There are many Sufi Orders, all of them have a Sheikh (teacher or guide) who is the Spiritual Master of their Way. A Sheikh is someone who through a spiritual linkage has inherited what all Prophets brought to humanity and is authorised to convey these teachings and secrets to those who take his or her hand as a teacher.
For all people who follow in the way of Sufism, a connection with a shaikh is recommended. A seekers obligation is to maintain this connection to the shaikh and hold tightly to the hand of the one within his or her reach.
A person who wishes to follow in the Sufi way under the guidance of a Sheikh, takes part in an initiation ceremony where an oath and promise is given to the spiritual master. The seeker then becomes a mureed (student) of the Sheikh and learns how to leave negative traits and to lift oneself to better conduct, eventually to reach the perfect knowledge of spirituality.
A classic Sufi saying to sum up the existence of many Sufi orders is -
“The Creator is One, but the paths to the Creator equal the number of people since the time of Adam.”
The Naqshbandi Order is the way of the Companions of the Prophet and those who follow them. This Way consists of continuous worship in every action, both external and internal, with complete and perfect discipline according to the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him. It consists in maintaining the highest level of conduct and leaving absolutely all innovations and all free interpretations in public customs and private behaviour. It consists in keeping awareness of the Presence of God, Almighty and Exalted, on the way to self-effacement and complete experience of the Divine Presence.
It is the Way of complete reflection of the highest degree of perfection. It is the Way of sanctifying the self by means of the most difficult struggle, the struggle against the self. It begins where the other orders end, in the attraction of complete Divine Love, which was granted to the first friend of the Prophet, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, may God be pleased with him. Therefore it is regarded as the Most Distinguished Naqshbandi Order.
Historically speaking, the Naqshbandi Tariqat can be traced back to the first of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, may God be pleased with him, who succeeds the Prophet, in his knowledge and in his role of guiding the Muslim community.
God said in the Holy Qur'an "He was the second of two in the cave, and he said to his friend: 'do not be sad, for God is with us'" [9:40].
Of him the Prophet said, "If I had taken to myself a beloved friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr as my beloved friend; but he is my brother and my companion."
What distinguishes the
Behind the word "Naqshband" stand two ideas: naqsh which means "engraving" and suggests engraving the name of Allah in the heart, and band which means "bond" and indicates the link between the individual and his Creator. This means that the Naqshbandi follower has to practice his prayers and obligations according to the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah (example) of the Prophet and to keep the presence and love of Allah alive in his heart through a personal experience of the link between himself and his Lord.
Besides Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, who are these stars in the firmament of the Prophet? One of them was Salman al-Farisi, may Allah be pleased with him. His origin was
Another star was Jafar as-Saadiq, may Allah be pleased with him. A descendant of the Prophet on his father's side and of Abu Bakr on his mother's, he rejected all positions of honour in favour of retreat and spiritual learning and practice. He was called "The Inheritor of the Prophetic Station (Maqam an-Nubuwwa) and the Inheritor of the Truthful Station (Maqam as-Siddiqiyya).
The oldest recorded occurrence of the term Safa was in reference to his student, Jabir ibn Ayyan, in the middle of the second Hijri century. He was a Mufassir al-Qur'an or master in exegesis, a scholar of hadith (prophetic sayings), and one of the greatest mujtahids (qualified to give legal decisions) in
Another star was Aba Yazid Tayfur al-Bistami whose grandfather was a Zoroastrian. Aba Yazid made a detailed study of the statutes of Islamic Law (Sharia) and practiced a strict regimen of self-denial. All his life he was assiduous in the practice of his religious obligations. He urged his students (murids) to put their efforts in the hands of God and he encouraged them to accept a sincere and pure doctrine of Tawhid, knowledge of the Oneness of God. This doctrine, he said, imposes five obligations on the sincere:
To keep obligations according to the Qur'an and Sunnah;
To always speak the truth;
To keep the heart free from hatred;
To avoid forbidden food (haram);
To shun innovation (bid`a).
Aba Yazid said that the ultimate goal of the Sufis is to know God in this world, to reach His Divine Presence, and to see Him in the Hereafter. To that effect he added: "There are special servants of Allah who, if Allah veiled them from His vision in Paradise, would have implored Him to bring them out of
Yet another star in the firmament of the Prophet (peace be upon him), was Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani, who was born in the
‘Abdul Khaliq continued the work of his predecessors by formulating the Dhikr (remembrance of God) passed down from the Prophet, peace be upon him, according to the Sunnah. In his letters he set down the code of conduct (adab) that the students of the Naqshbandiyya were expected to follow.
The designation of the Naqshbandi Golden Chain has changed from century to century. From the time of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq to the time of Aba Yazid al-Bistami it was called as-Siddiqiyya. From the time of Aba Yazid to the time of Sayyidina Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani it was called at-Tayfuriyya. From the time of Sayyidina ‘Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawan to the time of Shah Naqshband it was called the Khwajaganiyya. From the time of Shah Naqshband through the time of Sayyidina Ubaydullah al-Ahrar and Sayyidina Ahmad Faruqi, it was called Naqshbandiyya.
Naqshbandiyya means to "tie the Naqsh very well." The Naqsh is the perfect engraving of Allah's Name in the heart of the murid.
From the time of Sayyidina Ahmad al-Faruqi to the time of Sheikh Khalid al-Baghdadi it was called Naqshbandi-Mujaddidiyya. From the time of Sayyidina Khalid al-Baghdadi until the time of Sayiddina Sheikh Ismail Shirwani it was called the Naqshbandiyya-Khalidiyya. From the time of Sayyidina Isma'il Shirwani until the time of Sayyidina Sheikh 'Abdullah ad-Daghestani, it was called Naqshbandi-Daghestaniyya. And today it is known by the name Naqshbandiyya-Haqqaniyya.
In this constellation, we come finally to Muhammad Baha’uddin Uwaysi al-Bukhari, known as Shah Naqshband, the Imam of the Naqshbandi Tariqat without peer. He was born in the year 1317 C.E. in the
The students of Sheikh Amir Kulal used to make dhikr aloud when sitting together in association, and silent dhikr when alone. Shah Naqshband, however, although he never criticized nor objected to the loud dhikr, preferred the silent dhikr. Concerning this he says, "There are two methods of dhikr; one is silent and one is loud. I chose the silent one because it is stronger and therefore more preferable." The silent dhikr thus became the distinguishing feature of the Naqshbandiyya among other Tariqats.
Shah Naqshband performed Hajj (Pilgrimage) three times, after which he resided in Merv and
Shah Naqshband's teachings changed the hearts of seekers from darkness to light. He continued to teach his students the knowledge of the Oneness of God in which his predecessors had specialized, emphasizing the realization of the state of ihsan (excellence) for his followers according to the hadith (saying) of the Prophet, peace be upon him, “Ihsan is to worship God as if you see Him.”
When Shah Naqshband died he was buried in his garden as he requested. The succeeding Kings of Bukhara took care of his school and mosque, expanding them and increasing their religious endowments (awqaf).
Succeeding Sheikhs of the Naqshbandi Tariqat wrote many biographies of Shah Naqshband. Among them are Masud al-Bukhari and Sharif al-Jarjani, who composed the Awrad Baha’uddin which describes him and his life's works including his fatawa (legal decisions). Sheikh Muhammad Parsa, who died in Madina in 822 H. (1419 C.E.) wrote Risala Qudsiyya in which he talks of Shah Naqshband's life, his virtues, and his teachings.
Shah Naqshband's literary legacy included many books. Among them is Awrad an-Naqshbandiyya, the Devotions of Shah Naqshband. Another book is Tanbih al-Ghafilin. A third book is Maslakul Anwar. A fourth is Hadiyyatu-s-Salikin wa Tuhfat at-Talibin. He left many noble expressions praising the Prophet (s) and he wrote many legal rulings. One of his opinions was that all the different acts and kinds of worship, whether obligatory or voluntary, were permitted for the seeker in order to reach reality. Prayer, fasting, zakat (paying the poor-tax), mujahadat (striving) and zuhd (self-denial) were emphasized as ways to reach Allah Almighty.
Shah Naqshband built his school on the renewal of the teachings of the Islamic religion. He insisted on the necessity of keeping the Qur'an and the teachings of the Sunnah. When they asked him, "What are the requirements of one who follows your way?" he said, "To follow the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace be upon him." He continued saying: "Our way is a rare one. It keeps the Urwat ul-Wuthqa, the Unbreakable Bond, and it asks nothing else of its followers but to take hold of the Pure Sunnah of the Prophet and follow the way of the Sahaba (Companions of the Prophet) in their ijtihad (efforts for Allah).
In sum we say that our way is the mother of all Tariqats and the guardian of all spiritual trusts. It is the safest, wisest, and clearest way. It is the purest drinking-station, the most distilled essence. The Naqshbandiyya is innocent from any attack because it keeps the sunnah of the beloved Prophet, peace be upon him."
We are presenting to the general public, an all-too-brief book filled with the light of these Pure Masters, their aphorisms, their teachings, their way of life, and their exemplary saintliness. We hope that it will bring the reader a taste of the lives of these Shaikhs, who light our way to the knowledge of Reality and Truth, to the Love of the Beloved Prophet, and to the ultimate goal of all, which is to reach the Divine Presence of our Creator. "Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Way" by Shaikh Muhammad Hisham al Kabbani is available at Free Spiritual Centre events.
The first eight principles are from 'Abd ul-Khaliq Ghujduwani (d. 1220).
The final three principles were added by Baha ad-din Naqshband (d. 1389).
"Every breath which is exhaled from within must be exhaled with awareness and presence of mind and so that the mind does not stray into forgetfulness."
Baha ad-din Naqshband said: "The foundation of our work is in the breath. The more that one is able to be conscious of one's breathing, the stronger is one's inner life. It is a must for everyone to safeguard his breath in the time of his inhalation and exhalation and further, to safeguard his breath in the interval between the inhalation and exhalation."
As the seeker becomes occupied with the exercise of the moment (i.e. remembering the breath), he turns his attention from remembering the past and thinking of the future, and focuses on each breath until it is expired.
Sa'd ud-din Kashghari added: "Hush dar dam is moving from breath to breath so there is no heedlessness but rather there is presence, and with each breath that we take should be the remembrance of the Real."
Sheikh Abdul Janab Najmuddin al-Kubra said in his book, Fawatih al-Jamal: "Dhikr (remembrance of God in the breath) is flowing in the body of every single living creature by the necessity of their breath -- even without will -- as a sign of obedience, which is part of their creation. Through their breathing, the sound of the letter 'Ha' of the Divine Name Allah is made with every exhalation and inhalation and it is a sign of the Unseen Essence serving to emphasize the Uniqueness of God. Therefore it is necessary to be present with that breathing, in order to realize the Essence of the Creator."
The name Allah, which encompasses the ninety-nine Names and Attributes, consists of four letters, Alif, Lam, Lam and Hah (ALLAH). The people of Sufism say that the absolute unseen Essence of Allah Exalted and Almighty is expressed by the last letter vowelized by the Alif, "Hah." It represents the Absolutely Unseen "He-ness" of the Exalted God (Ghayb al-Huwiyya al-Mutlaqa lillah 'azza wa jall) in which the mystic loses his separate identity with every "hah" in his breath. The first Lam is for the sake of identification (ta'arif) and the second Lam is for the sake of emphasis (mubalagha).
The soul has long been thought to be in the breath. "For the early thinkers the soul was visualized sensuously as a breath-body." Awareness of the breath makes us aware of the soul and the inner body, inner self, which belong to the moment.
In the path of the Khwajagan (Sufi Masters), awareness in the breath is a very great principle. Those in this path regard it a great transgression to become unconscious of the breath.
Direct yourself constantly towards the goal.
Sa'd ud-din Kashghari added: "Looking upon the steps means that the seeker in coming and going looks upon the top of his feet and thereby his attention is not scattered by looking at what he should not look at." When the beginner's attention is taken by shapes and colours outside of himself, his state of remembering leaves him and is ruined, and he is kept from his objective. This is because in the beginning the seeker does not have the power of the "remembrance of the heart," so when his sight falls upon things, his heart loses its collectedness, and his mind becomes scattered.
Watch your step can also refer to watching circumstances, feeling when is the right time for action, when is the right time for inaction, and when is the right time for pause. Some have said that Nazar bar qadam is an expression which refers to the wisdom inherent in one's natural disposition.
Fakhr ud-Din Kashifi added: "Nazar bar qadam may be alluding to the seekers travelling through the stages of breaking from existence and putting behind self-love."
Of these three interpretations, the first refers to beginners' use of this aphorism; the second refers to those in mid-progress on the Way, and the third to the Attainers.
Your journey is towards your homeland. Remember you are travelling from a world of illusion to a world of reality. The wayfarer travels from the world of creation to the world of the Creator.
The Journey Home is the transformation that brings man out of his subjective dream state, so that he can fulfil his divine destiny.
From the Rashahat-i 'Ayn al-Hayat: "The journey home refers to that travelling which the seeker makes within his human nature. In other words, travel from the qualities of humankind toward the angelic qualities, moving from blameworthy qualities to laudable ones."
Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi (d. 1624) said: "This blessed expression means travelling within the self. The source of its results lies in putting the final practice at the beginning, which is one of the characteristics of the
"Travelling on the horizons" is travelling from place to place. At the beginning of the journey it can mean leaving home to find a guide or teacher. Also it happened in former generations that when the wayfarer had become established in a place, got accustomed to it and become familiar with its people, they took on travelling in order to break down habit and comfort and cut themselves off from renown. They would choose travel in order to experience complete emptying.
It means travelling within oneself, looking at oneself, examining oneself and one's reactions, and how they act upon one.
This reflects the stress that the Naqshbandi path puts on the inner states, stages, processes.
Be an external resident and let your heart travel.
Travelling without legs is the best kind of travel.
There are two kinds of retreat. One is the outward kind in which the seeker, far from people, sits alone in his cell until he comes into contact with the spiritual world. This result comes about because the external senses withdraw themselves and the inner senses extend themselves to signs from the spiritual world.
The second kind of retreat is the hidden one, where the seeker is inwardly witnessing the secrets of the Real while he is outwardly surrounded by people. Khalwat dar anjuman is of this second type of retreat: outwardly to be with people, inwardly to be with God.
In all your outer activities remain inwardly free. Learn not to identify with anything whatsoever.
Khwaja Awliya Kabir, one of the deputies of 'Abd ul-Khaliq Ghujdawani, explained khalwat dar anjuman as follows: "'Retreat within the crowd' is that state when one is so constantly and completely absorbed in divine remembrance that 'one could walk through the market-place without hearing a word.'"
They are with their Lord and simultaneously they are with the people. As the Prophet said, "I have two sides: one faces my Creator and one faces creation."
'Abd ul-Khaliq Ghujdawani himself was known to say: "Close the door of the formality of sheikh-hood, open the door of friendship. Close the door of khalwat (solitary retreat) and open the door of sohbat (companionship)." Baha ad-din Naqshband said in this connection: "Our path is in companionship. In [physical] retreat there comes fame and with fame comes calamity. Our welfare lies with the assembly and its companionship, on condition that [self-] negation is found in one another."
When Baha ad-Din reached
Ahmad Faruqi Sirhindi, Mujaddid-i-alf-i-thani (the Reviver of the second millennium), said: "Retreat within the crowd is derived from travelling in the homeland since if travelling in the homeland is properly accomplished, then retreat within the crowd will properly occur. The seeker within the diversity of the crowd travels in his own land, and the diversity of the horizons finds no way into the meditation cell of his inner self. This treasure will manifest with difficulty at the beginning and with no difficulty in the end. And in this tariqa it is the portion of the beginning while in other paths it is at the end. This is so because the treasure is derived from travelling within the self (with presence in the moment), which is at the beginning of this path, while travelling on the horizons takes place simultaneously. This is the opposite of the other paths which make the travelling on the horizons the beginning and the travelling within the self the end."
In the words of al-Kharraz: "Perfection is not in exhibitions of miraculous powers, but perfection is to sit among people, sell and buy, marry and have children; and yet never leave the presence of Allah even for one moment."
In constant communion with the Beloved within, a stranger to the world.
Those endowed with such beauty are rare indeed in this world.
Concentration on Divine Presence.
For the Naqshbandiyya remembrance is practiced in the silent dhikr.
Keep God, the Beloved, always in your heart. Let your prayer, dhikr, be the prayer of your heart.
According to Khwaja Ubaydullah Ahrar, "the real meaning of dhikr is inward awareness of God. The purpose of dhikr is to attain this consciousness." The purpose of the dhikr is to keep one's heart and attention entirely focused on the Beloved in love and devotion.
The dhikr is not just repeated as words, but is in the heart.
Remembrance of the tongue becomes remembrance of the heart. Abdu'l-Qadir al-Gilani said: "At the first stage one recites the name of God with one's tongue; then when the heart becomes alive one recites inwardly. At the beginning one should declare in words what one remembers. Then stage by stage the remembrance spreads throughout one's being; descending to the heart then rising to the soul; then still further it reaches the realm of the secrets; further to the hidden; to the most hidden of the hidden."
Travel one way. The return to God. Single-minded pursuit of divine truth.
Remember that you belong Somewhere and your goal is to attain Reality.
The meaning of baz gasht is the return to Allah Exalted and Almighty by showing complete surrender and submission to His Will, and complete humbleness in giving Him all due praise. The reason, mentioned by the Holy Prophet in his invocation, "ma dhakarnaka haqqa dhikrika ya Madhkur" ("we did not remember You as You deserve to be remembered, O Remembered One"), is that the seeker cannot come to the presence of Allah in his dhikr, and cannot manifest the Secrets and Attributes of Allah in his dhikr, if he does not make dhikr with Allah's support and with Allah's remembrance of him.
As Bayazid Bistami (d. 874) said: "When I reached Him I saw that His remembering of me preceded my remembrance of Him." The seeker cannot make dhikr by himself. He must recognize that Allah is the one making dhikr through him.
"Beloved, you and your approval are my purpose and desire." This attitude will rid one of impure thoughts and distractions. It relates to the path of absorption.
One follower was concerned that he was not sincere, and was ashamed. So his Sheikh took him to an other Sufi who was on the path of absorption, and this Sheikh told him that absorption, not hair-splitting, would free him from his problem. The wayfarer realized that in his worry about his dishonesty and shame, his wants and needs, he had been focused on himself, separating himself from his Beloved.
According to Khwaja Ahrar, the saying "returning" means that we have within us the goal of our striving. The seeds of transformation are sown in us from above and we have to treasure them above all possessions.
Struggle with all alien thoughts. Be always mindful of what you are thinking and doing, so that you may put the imprint of your immortality on every passing incident and instance of your daily life.
Be watchful. Be aware of what catches your attention. Learn to withdraw your attention from undesirable objects. This is also expressed as "be vigilant in thought and remember yourself."
Nigah means sight. It means that the seeker must watch his heart and safeguard it by preventing bad thoughts from entering. Bad inclinations keep the heart from joining with the Divine.
It is acknowledged in the Naqshbandiyya that for a seeker to safeguard his heart from bad inclinations for fifteen minutes is a great achievement. For this he would be considered a real Sufi. Sufism is the power to safeguard the heart from bad thoughts and protect it from low inclinations. Whoever accomplishes these two goals will know his heart, and whoever knows his heart will know his Lord. The Holy Prophet has said, "Whoever knows himself knows His Lord."
Sa'd ud-Din Kashghari said: "The seeker must, for one hour or two or whatever he is capable of, hold onto his mind and prevent thoughts of other (than God) entering."
Another description from the Munahej ul-Sair has it that: "Nigah dasht is the guarding of the special awareness and presence which have resulted from the noble dhikr, so that remembering of anything other than the Real does not find its way into the heart/mind."
Yet others have written that nigah dasht also applies to the time of the dhikr itself: "Nigah dasht is when the seeker at the time of the dhikr holds his heart/mind upon the meaning of LA ILAHA ILLA 'LLAH so that thoughts do not find entrance into his heart, because if thoughts are in the mind then the result of the dhikr, meaning presence of the heart/mind, will not manifest."
It has also been said, "Nigah dasht is an expression meaning the prevention of the occurrence of thought at the time one is occupied with repeating the fragrant sentence of LA ILAHA ILLA 'LLAH."
Abdul Majid Khan II said that the meaning of preserving the heart/mind from incoming thoughts is that they lose their hold on the mind. In this connection Khwaja Ubaydullah Ahrar said: "The meaning of preserving the mind from thoughts is not that the seeker can avoid thoughts, at the beginning of his attempts, but rather that thoughts do not disturb the attendance and presence required for the dhikr. Thoughts can be likened to straw which has fallen onto moving water and yet the water is not prevented from its course.
'Abd ul-Khaliq Ghujdawani said: "It isn't so that thoughts never enter the heart/mind, but rather that at times they do and at times they do not."
His statement seems to be supported by Khwaja '
Constant awareness in the presence of God. "The complete experience of divine contemplation, achieved through the action of objective love."
Those on the path maintain that when inner love is always present in one's dealings with the world, then one has achieved this mindfulness.
This is the last stage before transformation is completed. The seeker becomes aware that his loss of "self" will be compensated by objective love. The humiliation (abnegation of self) that leads to this stage ceases to touch the seeker for he discovers the unlimited joy that Truth will bring.
Yad dasht refers to the durability of the awareness of the Real in the path of "tasting" (living in the multiplicity of illusion).
In the Rashahat-i 'Ain al-Hayat it is stated: "Some have said that this is a perceiving/witnessing which is the domination of witnessing the Real in the heart through essential love."
Ubaydullah Ahrar said: "Yad dasht is an expression meaning the durability of the awareness of the Glorious Real." He said further: "It means presence (with God) without disappearance."
Regarding the use of the term for the period of the dhikr itself it has been said: "Yad dasht is that which the dhaakir (person practicing dhikr) during the dhikr maintains fully the meaning of negation and affirmation in his heart in the presence of the Named."
Khwaja Ubaydullah Ahrar has described the principles four through eight as following each other in this manner: "Yad kard (Remembrance) refers to the work of invoking/remembering. Baz gasht (Returning) means turning to the High Real in the manner that when saying the fragrant sentence of the dhikr the seeker follows this in his heart with "God you are my true goal!" and Nigah Dasht (Attentiveness) is the holding on to this turning to the Real without words. Yad Dasht (Recollection) means constancy/firmness in the holding on of nigah dasht (Attentiveness)."
Baha ad-din Naqshband said that this consciousness is the maker and guide of the disciple. It means to be attentive to one's state of mind at any given moment and to know whether it is a cause for giving thanks or for repenting.
It means: To keep account of one's temporal states. To distinguish presence, hudhur, from absence, ghaflat. Baha ad-din described this as "self-possession" or "mindfulness." He added that one should always be grateful when one returns to a state of presence.
In Wuquf-i-zamani the seeker remains constantly aware of his changing states. Baha ad-din Naqshband explained: "Wuquf-i-zamani is the work of the traveller on the Way: to be attentive of his state, and to know whether it is a cause for giving thanks or for repenting, to give thanks while feeling spiritual elation, and to repent while in spiritual dryness or contraction."
He also stated: "The foundation of the work of the seeker has been established in the awareness of time exercise as seeing at each moment whether the perceiver of breaths is breathing with presence or with forgetfulness."
Moulana Yaqub Charkhi, in his Explanation of the Names of Allah, said: "Khwaja Naqshband instructed that in the state of qabz (contraction) one should seek God's forgiveness, whereas in the state of bast (expansion) one should offer thanks. Close observation of these two states constitutes wuquf-i-zamani."
Wuquf-i-zamani of the Naqshbandi path is equivalent to the term "Muhasabah" (keeping account of/close observation) used by other Sufis.
Jami, in his book Resalah-i-Nuria, said: "Wuquf-i-zamani is a term meaning the keeping account of the times one passes in a state of dispersal (tafriqah) or collectedness (jam'iyyat)."
An expression meaning the observation of the number of individual repetitions of the dhikr.
Jami said: "Wuquf-i-adadi is the observation of the number of dhikrs and of whether this observation yields results or not."
According to Baha ad-din Naqshband, "The observation of the number of repetitions of the dhikr of the heart is for gathering thoughts/mental activity which are scattered."
According to Khwaja '
According to Baha ad-din Naqshband, this awareness is the first stage of entry into the spiritual world. This could also mean that for beginners, reading about the achievements and states of consciousness demonstrated by those advanced in this practice would be helpful, since in reading about another's state of nearness, one acquires a certain quality of inner inspiration.
For advanced disciples, this technique, which facilitates the initial stages of acquiring inner intuition and inspiration, brings a consciousness of the unity of diversity:
This diversity and proliferation is all but a show, The One is manifest in the all.
Diversity, if you look with open eyes, is naught but unity. No doubts for us, though there might be in some minds. Though appearance is in numbers, the substance is but one.
(It should be noted that inner inspiration, that understanding which brings the practitioner and people on the path closer to higher teachings, comes through divine grace and is not due to mind discoveries. "Knowledge comes from grace. The difference between divine inspiration and divine knowledge is that divine knowledge comes through internalizing the light of the Essence and the divine attributes, while divine inspiration is gained through receptivity to inner meanings and those types of instructions which manifest within the practitioner.")
The heart becomes aware of God. This marks the awakening of divine love.
The individual becomes aware that his existence is an obstacle to his final transformation and he no longer fears to sacrifice it because he sees for himself that he will gain infinitely more than he loses.
Wuquf-i-qalbi has been described as having two meanings:
One is that the seeker's heart in the midst of the dhikr is conscious and aware of the Real. On this point Khwaja Ubaydullah Ahrar said: "Wuquf-i-qalbi is an expression meaning an awareness and presence of heart toward the Most High Real felt in such a manner that the heart feels no need of anything except the Real." This meaning is similar to that of yad dasht. Heart consciousness means heart's resting with the Beloved, as if nothing and no one else existed.
The other meaning is that there is awareness of the heart itself. In other words, the seeker during the time of the dhikr is attentive to the cone-shaped heart which is the "seat of subtlety," and prevents it from becoming unaware during the saying of the dhikr.
Baha ad-din Naqshband did not consider it necessary to hold the breath during the dhikr as is done in some Tariqats, even though he considered that practice to have its benefits; nor did he consider essential the wuquf-i-zamani and wuquf-i-adadi (awareness of time and awareness of number). But according to the Qudsiyyah he considered "the observance of wuquf-i-qalbi the most important and necessary because it is the summary and essence of the intention of the dhikr."
Like an expecting mother-bird, sit watchfully on the egg of your heart, since from this egg will result your drunkenness, self-abandoned, uproarious laughter and your final union.