Tarika-e-Maizbhandari: Structure and Practice
Tarika-e-Maizbhandari (or Qadiri Malamiah Ahmedia) is a silsila (path or way). Hazrat Ahmedullah (1826-1906), who was a descendant of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (s), had established the Qadiri Malamiah Ahmedia silsila. Since the departure of Hazrat Ahmed Ullah in 1906, Tarika-e-Maizbhandari has continuously been spreading among its millions of devotees, which is also frequently interpreted as open tarika (open spiritual method or path).
The Maizbhandari tarika, in support of regular prayer of Islam, synthesizes three spiritual streams of Qadiri tariqa,Chistia tariqa and Khidhir tariqa to compose a composite nature of spiritualism to fit the modern age and practice.
Qadiri tariqa: Qadiri tariqa is developed after the teaching of Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jillani (r) of Baghdad, Iraq. Qadiri tariqa uses zikr (remembrance) to purify the seven layers of soul. Indeed, the purification follows a complex pattern of zikr by using nafs (located at navel/umbilicus), ruh (located on under the right chest), akhfa/demagh (mind) and kalb (located under the left chest). The zikrs is used to purify the seven lsyers of nafs.
For nafs-i-Ammara, the zikr is “Lailaha ilallah” [zikr/utterance for 500,000]
For nafs-i-Lawwama, the zikr is “Allah-Hu”. [zikr/utterance for 78,000]
For Nafs-i-mulhimah, the zikr is “Hu” [zikr/utterance for 44,000]
For Nafs-i-mutma’inna, the zikr is “ya High-yu” [zikr/utterance for 20,000]
For Nafs-i-Rajia, the zikr is “Wa-he-du” [zikr/utterance for 30,000]
For Nafs-i-Morjia [instructed by Pir]
Dancing Zikr: An advancement that Maizbhandari Tarika has is the dancing zikr, popularly called Ilif zikr, to purify whole body. The devotees perform dancing zikr with the rethym of music and song, especially in the premise of shrine. To perform dancing zikr, the body is divided into two halves (or nafs): upper and lower parts. The upper half of body covers from head to naval is known as Alam-i-‘ulwi. The lower half of body covers from naval to feet is known as Alam-i-‘sifli. Alam-i-‘ulwi disciplines one with all sincerity, purity, good manners, and good dealings. In Alam-i-‘sifli, there is observation, purity, and chastity.
Chistia tariqa: Chistia tariqa shaped after the spiritual principle of Hazrat Moinuddin Chisti (r) of Azmir, India. Taking inspiration from Chistia tariqa, Maizbhandar tariqa uses sama (song) as a form of prayer. Song is used to draw connectivity with human body and soul to God.
Khidhir tariqa: Prophet Khidhir (or Khizir), which focuses on the secret and mysterious law of nature. Experience of devotes suggests that all spiritual celebrities of Maizbhandar and their vice regents are capable of performimg miracles to bring wellbeing to devotes’s life, but these miracles are based on using “the principle of opposite force to yield the positive result.” The principle behind the Khidhir tariqa lie on what Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) describes as Din-al-Fitra, i.e. Islam is a religion of nature and ecology. The Khidhir tariqa allows one to understand thekeramat (miracles) and mystery of nature.
The composite nature of “Tarika-e-Maizbhandari” could be attained through the practice of following seven methods:
“Fana anil Khalak: To absorb in self-spiritual meditation, arouse self-consciousness, attain conviction and self-restraint, know thyself, and achieve self-reliance. In the order of priority, the first principle of Maizbhandari Philosophy is to be self-reliant. This point is highly crucial in the backdrop of socio-economic scenario of the today’s world. If people try to be self-reliant, many of the social ills of the world can be eradicated.
“Fana anil Howa”: To abstain from such deed that gives no good result, avoid slandering at others back, shun vilifying and backbiting. If one follows this principle in letter and spirit, human life becomes facile and anxiety-free.
“Fana anil Erada”: To surrender completely amidst happiness and sorrow, to the will of Allah, the Almighty and become self-complacent. This implies that human being must surrender unconditionally to his Creator and merge one’s will or desire with that of Allah.
“Mout-e- Abiyaz” (White death): Practicing self-control, continence and modesty, observing starvation, less eating and less sleeping.
“Mout-e-Aswad” (Black death): To inculcate self-criticism, self-purification, restrain vindictiveness and retaliation, control rage, and accept easily the criticism made by others.
“Mout-e-Ahmar” (Red death): To control greed, covetousness, sex-impulse and extinct sexual lust, and regulate oneself to internal and external discipline.
“Mout-e-Akhjar” (Green death): To observe absolute austerity, show gratitude and thankfulness, avoid extravagance and lead a simple pellucid life free from foppishness.
If these seven steps are being achieved, one can become very dearer to Allah with ardent faith in Him and absolute dependence on the Almighty and His Divine unity (Tawhid). Moreover, by following the above principles, many untold sufferings can be avoided. Furthermore, anyone will agree that humanism can be achieved in its best possible way by combining the above principles, and that’s why the major focus of Tarika-e-Maizbhandari is on human development and self-attainment.
The Arabic nafs (12:53) is a feminine noun. Nafs is a control of mind through which one can reach and achieve different spiritual levels. There are seven spiritual levels (or state of mind) of which four are very important. These are:
- Nafs-i- ammãra (Imperious mind):
Nafs-i-ammãra is interpreted as “the soul that incites to evil.” The major external projection of nafs-i-ammãra is dunyã, “the world of matter.” The dunyã is a famine noun. When the mind is not subject to the control of its possessor and is always inclined to commit evil deeds without any regard to their bad consequences, it is called nafs-i- ammãra.
- Nafs-i- lawwãma [sura 75:2] (blaming soul):
Nafs-i- lawwãma means reproving mind. When mind is partially under the control of its possessor and frequently gives up an evil tendency in a remorseful mood but again commits an evil deed, it is then called nafs-i- lawwãma.
- Nafs-i-mutma’inna [sura 89:27] (soul at peace):
Nafs-i-mutma’inna means complacent mind. When a mind is under the full control of its possessor and does not at all commit evil deeds according to the dictates of its propensity and after all assumes a composed, contended, satiated and calm attitude, it is then called nafs-i-mutma’inna.
Nafs-i-mulhimah stand for inspiratory mind. This is the last stage of mental development, in which a mind can easily draw inspiration from Allah. It is said that such a mind can fathom the secret of Allah and acts according to the will of Allah only.
The perfect unity of jamãl and jalãl in the all surrounding kamãl “Perfection of the divine”