Book Review by Rayees Ahmad Kumar
GULDASTA-E-TARIQAT: Maqbool Ferozi is a prominent name among a few great scholars of Islamic mysticism who have extraordinary expertise on the subject. He is regarded as one of the very few scholars and intellectuals of the valley. Maqbool Ferozi is a scholar of Persian literature. In the seventies, he has done his masters and M.Phill in Persian from Tehran university of Iran. But unfortunately, he couldn’t complete his PhD in the said subject due to the Iran-Iraq war. However, while settling and spending the rest of the years in the valley, he has contributed significantly to developing and promoting Persian, Urdu, and Kashmiri language and literature. After retiring from the government service, he has actively participated in research and creative work. His debut book ” Tasawuf Par Islami Aur Irani Asraat” has received an overwhelming response from readers.
Guldasta-e-Tariqat, the current compiled book of the author, is an excellent source of Tariqat ( Methodism), in which he has brilliantly presented the different aspects of mysticism and Methodism in light of the Quran and the sayings of many Sufi saints. This book comprises 196 pages covering seven different chapters and is published by GNK Publications Chararishareif Budgam. In its foreword, Maqbool Ferozi writes, ” I had a mystical environment at home, that is why I used to study the books related to mysticism and Methodism since my school days.
GULDASTA-E-TARIQAT: In its opening chapter, “What Is Methodism”, the author writes”, according to Sufi saints, Methodism is the second stage after Shariah in which stress is given to purify one’s inner soul in addition to cleansing one’s physical body”. Shariah is to follow the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah ostensibly, while Tariqat or Methodism is following the same esoterically. According to Sheikh Ab Qadir Jeelani (RA),” Methodism isn’t achieved by merely holding discussions on different aspects, but it is gained by restricting oneself from evil deeds, sins and by remembering Allah “.
GULDASTA-E-TARIQAT: In the second chapter, “Bayat- an Islamic Oath of Allegiance, ” Moulana Tatheer Barelvi is of the view ” Bayat means to hand over one’s affairs to a spiritual guide and spending life according to His commandments “. The dictionary meaning of Bayat is giving your hand in the hand of your spiritual guide. Maqbool Ferozi has written a beautiful chapter in this book about ” Awliya Allah– the friends of Allah”. According to the author, “Wali” is the one who recognises the virtues and greatness of Allah. He abstains from bad deeds and sins, strictly follows Allah’s commandments, and he isn’t maniacal. Friends of Allah doesn’t have any fear or worry (al-Quran).
One who develops envy with a Wali, beware! I will wage a war against him (Prophet PBUH). Wrangling with a Wali is like wrangling with Allah, and making friendship with a friend of Allah is like making friendship with Allah himself. Moulana Rumi says, “spending few movements in the company of a friend or wali of Allah is better than the accepted worship of a century”. One of the most important and liked chapters of the book is “Ishqi Illahi or love for almighty “, in which the author writes “, man indeed is an important creation of Allah on the surface of planet Earth. He is the crown of all creations. For the guidance of humanity almighty, Allah has sent many messengers from time to time. Dearest Prophet PBUH too was sent to guide humanity. Abdul Mugni, in his book, writes, “Developing utmost love of Prophet PBUH is the only way to please and love Allah “. In another chapter of the book, “Shariat aur Tariqat – Shariah and Methodism” author writes… Methodism is developing utmost love and maintaining a selfless friendship with Allah.
“Awliya Allah– the friends of Allah”. According to the author, “Wali” is the one who recognises the virtues and greatness of Allah. He abstains from bad deeds and sins, strictly follows Allah’s commandments, and he isn’t maniacal.
Further Methodism is the remembrance of Allah and getting lost in repeating the virtues of the almighty. Methodism isn’t about refraining from worldly affairs and living a life of solitude while it is living a social life but free from envy, sins, evil deeds and all kinds of mental pollutions. Scholars of Tariqat or Methodism have got divided into two groups. The first group regards Methodism and mysticism as un-Islamic and anti-Shariah subjects. In contrast, the second group believes it is a part of Shariah and takes pride in teaching these subjects to fellow beings.
In the last chapter of the book, “Objective and aim of Methodism” author says…. basic objective and aim of Methodism is to purify the inner soul and free your heart from hatred, envy, bad deeds and sins. Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (RA) believes that one who holds the Holy Quran in his right hand and the Sunnah of Prophet PBUH in his left hand can only follow the path of Methodism. Maqbool Ferozi has beautifully made the use of Persian and Urdu poetic couplets in his book to make it more exciting and comprehensive. The author has included the poetic couplets and quotes of great Islamic thinkers and scholars in this book. Some of them are Alama Iqbal, Moulana Rumi, Imam Gazali, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani, Hazrat Hassan Basri, Hazrat Dataa Ganj Bakhsh, Ashraf Ali Thanvi etc
To compile this beautiful creation, Maqbool Ferozi has consulted about 85 books, including the glorious Quran and the authentic hadith books. Eminent author and distinguished Urdu writer of valley Dr Gh Nabi Kumar have also penned a one page summary of the book and some introductory words about the author to make it more attractive. Maqbool Ferozi has dedicated this book to his noble and pious late mother.
GULDASTA-E-TARIQAT: The author is a columnist and can be reached at [email protected]