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HomeOrder by PublisherA - DAl-Baz PublishingRashahat 'Ain al-Hayat: Beads of Dew (from the Source of Life): Histories of the Khwajagan - the Masters of Wisdom
Rashahat 'Ain al-Hayat: Beads of Dew (from the Source of Life): Histories of the Khwajagan - the Masters of Wisdom

Rashahat 'Ain al-Hayat: Beads of Dew (from the Source of Life): Histories of the Khwajagan - the Masters of Wisdom

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Author: Mawlana Ali ibn Husain Safi
Publisher: Al-Baz Publishing
Pages: 391 Binding: Paperback

Description from the publisher:

Translated from Turkish by Muhtar Holland. 'Ali ibn Husain Safi , the author of the Rashahat, lived in the beginning of the 10th Century AH. He was brother-in-law of the famous mystic and poet Jami who gave him the name 'Safi'. In the Rashahat 'Ain al-Hayat, Safi gives an account of the lives and teachings of a group of Sufi mystics known as the Khwajagan - the Masters of Wisdom. The Khwajagan lived in Central Asia between the 4th and the 9th centuries Hijri. The ranks of the Khwajagan include the great sufis 'Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani and Baha' al-Din Naqshband, who gave his name to the Naqshbandi order, though he did not found it. The many branches of the Naqshbandiyya survive to this day. This book is the first translation of the Rashahat into English and provides the present generation with clear and precise biographies of the great and genuine sufis who emerged in Turkestan at a most significant period.

Introduction:

The author of "Beads of Dew," Mawlana 'Ali ibn Husain, is best known by his name "Safi." He was the transmitter of the works of the ancients, the narrator of the stories of the great, the compiler of the exploits of those destined for Paradise, and the exponent of the stations of those who reached their spiritual destination. These are his own words:

"Through the endless grace and blessing of Allah, it fell to my lot, in the last days of the month of Dhu'l-Qa'da in the year [A.H.] 889, to pay humble respect to the threshold of the venerable Khwaja 'Ubaidu'llah, the alighting point of the path of sainthood, the hero of reality, the Cardinal Pole of the great, the guide of religion, worldly affairs and real life. Later, at the beginning of the month of Rabi' al-Akhir [A.H.] 893, he granted me the honour of kissing the feet of those who serve this threshold.

"At that fortunate time, in the lofty sessions held by the venerable Khwaja, mention was always made of the spiritual state and exploits of the masters of the Naqshi line [silsila], and this insignificant individual gathered light and honour from all these accounts. In particular, as a gift of the greatest good fortune, this insignificant individual enjoyed the blessed opportunity to collect the secrets and subtleties that poured from the lips of that venerable master. This poor creature stored in the mother-of-pearl shells of his memory, and set down on white sheets of paper, without wasting a single spot, the jewels of reality, resembling separate pearls, that were available to him on those occasions of fellowship.

"Misfortunes then came one upon another, squandering and erasing everything, so that no trace remained in this transitory world. I came to be far removed from that great Cardinal Pole, and I was deprived of the blessed state of attachment to the hem of his cloak. At that time, it occurred to me to gather together the incomparable words that flowed from those blessed lips, in the wisdom-filled moments of my days of good fortune, and to provide the suffering hearts with the remedy they sought.

"For a long time, however, the problems of this world prevented the realization of this hope of mine. This state of affairs continued for sixteen whole years, but then, at last, the old yearning and intention suddenly caught fire, the situation brightened, and this book was produced in the year [A.H.] 909.

"In our book, the sayings attributed to the masters of this noble group have been established as authentic. Special care has been devoted to correct reporting of the exploits of the venerable Khwaja and other distinguished figures, whether knowledge of these has been obtained by indirect or direct means. Since the original purpose of this work was to record the spiritual state and exploits of the venerable Khwaja, this topic was the first to be brought to completion. The letters of the Arabic alphabet also have numerical values, so the number 909 (the date of the work's completion) is encoded in the title: Rashahat 'Ain al-Hayat [Beads of Dew from the Source of Life]."

*************

Khwaja 'Azizan 'Ali Ramitani

Khwaja 'Azizan 'Ali Ramitani was the second deputy of the venerable Khwaja Mahmud Faghnawi, though he was also the propagator of the main chain of transmission [silsila] and chief of the principal stem. In the chain of the Masters of Wisdom, his title is "'Azizan," for he was the great Cardinal Saint [Qutb].

When Khwaja Mahmud was close to death, he appointed the venerable 'Azizan to succeed him, in spite of the other deputies, and placed all his affiliates under his command. The connection leading to the venerable Shah Naqshband is knotted in him. He was endowed with lofty spiritual station and great charismatic talent.

He was a weaver by trade. As recorded by Mawlana 'Abd ar-Rahman Jami, in his famous book entitled Nafahat al-Uns [Breaths of Divine Intimacy], Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi referred to Khwaja 'Ali as "the Weaver [Nassaj]."

He was born in the vicinity of Bukhara, in a large township called Ramitan, some six miles from the city. His tomb is in Khwarizm.

Shaikh Rukn ad-Din 'Ala' ad-Dawla Samnani, a contemporary of his, has circulated written correspondence and communications about him. One day, Shaikh Rukn ad-Din sent a dervish to put three questions to the venerable Khwaja:

First question: Like you, we try not to fall short in service to the people. You do not take too much trouble in providing food and drink. You give whatever is available. As for ourselves, we go to great lengths in hospitality. We always look for something extra and exert ourselves to the utmost, yet people approve of you and complain about us. What explanation can there be?

Answer: There are many who provide service as a favour, in exchange for gratitude, but few are they who consider it a favour to be allowed to serve. Strive to feel gratitude for the opportunity to serve, till nobody complains about you any more.

Second question: We have heard it said that you received your training from Khidr (peace be upon him). How could that be?

Answer: There are true lovers among the servants of Allah (Glorious and Exalted is He), and Khidr is their ardent lover.

Third question: We have heard that you engage in publicly audible remembrance [dhikr jahri], instead of silent remembrance [dhikr khafi]. How can this be?

Answer: We have also heard that you perform the remembrance in secret. Since we have come to hear of it, yours cannot be secret remembrance after all. Surely the purpose of secret remembrance is that nothing should be known about it! Whether you engage in secret remembrance or in publicly audible remembrance, the two are equal. It can even be said that being famous for secret remembrance is closer to hypocritical ostentation.

On the subject of audible remembrance, he gave this reply to a prominent religious scholar: "There is a Prophetic tradition [hadith], accepted by all the religious scholars, commanding a man in the throes of death to pronounce the affirmation of Divine Oneness [Tawhid] in a loud voice. Since every breath breathed by the dervish can be considered his last breath, it is necessary to seek this wisdom in our publicly audible remembrance."

Another prominent religious scholar once asked him: "With what kind of remembrance are we commanded to remember Allah very frequently indeed? Is it verbal remembrance, or the remembrance of the heart?" He replied: "It begins as remembrance from the tongue and ends as remembrance from the heart. In its initial form, it involves the expenditure of tiresome effort and fatigue. In its final form, however, due to the influence exerted by the remembrance on the heart, it affects all the organs and atoms of the body, so one reaches the reality of the ocean of being, and attains to the secret of frequent remembrance.

A day's work of this nature yields profit equal to that earned by a year's work of any other kind."

He said: "This is the meaning of the saying: 'In a single night, Allah looks three hundred and sixty times at the heart of His believing servant': The heart has three hundred and sixty windows, opened by the three hundred and sixty veins that enter the heart. When the heart is stimulated by remembrance, Allah's particular attention is directed towards it, and the resulting benefit is distributed to the whole body through these three hundred and sixty channels. This means that each member and organ performs its own peculiar form of worship, and the radiance emanating from their worship bestows such grace upon the heart, that this attention is indeed the gaze of mercy."

The venerable 'Azizan was asked: "What is faith?" He replied: "To yearn and to arrive."

His sayings also include the following:

-The Qur'anic verse meaning: "Repent to Allah!" contains both admonition and good news. The admonition concerns repentance, while the good news is that it will be accepted. If it would not have been accepted, it would not have been commanded.

-It is necessary to engage in work, and to bring it to its proper conclusion. So long as it is still being carried out, one must assume that it has not been done. It is necessary to acknowledge that one is at fault, and to start the work anew.

-You must watch yourself carefully in two situations: while speaking and while eating.

-One day, Khidr had entered the presence of the venerable Khwaja 'Abd al-Khaliq Ghujdawani. The venerable Khwaja had two barley loaves brought from his house, and presented them to Khidr. Khidr did not eat, so the Khwaja assured him that his bread had been obtained by lawful means. To this Khidr responded by saying: "Yes, this bread is lawful food, but the person who kneaded its dough is in a state of ritual impurity. We cannot eat it!"

-When a person summons his fellow creatures to the Truth, he must be like the trainer of wild animals. Just as that trainer knows the nature and temperament of the animal he has to deal with, and acts accordingly, the summoner must do likewise.

-If Mansur al-Hallaj had met one of Khwaja 'Abd al-Khaliq's disciples, he would not have gone to the gallows, for he would have received the appropriate training and progressed to a more advanced degree.

-In order to reach his goal, the seeker must undergo a great deal of spiritual exercise and hardship. There is one method, however, that guides the spirit aright. That is acquiring the heart of one who has given his heart to Allah, for that heart is the focal point of Allah's attention.

-When making your prayer of supplication, you must do so by means of a guide, with whom you must not be guilty of committing a sin! That guide is the friend of Allah. You must treat him with humility and love, so that he will make supplication on your behalf.

A poetic verse was recited to him, to the effect that ardent lovers observe two religious festivals in one breath. He responded to this by saying: "The ardent lover enjoys three festivals in one breath. That is because, in his every remembrance of Allah, just as he is both summoned by Allah to remember and assured of His acceptance, he enjoys both the two festivals and the sign of bliss."

Shaikh Rukn ad-Din once asked the venerable 'Azizan: "Why is it that, on the day-before-time-began, some of the souls answered 'Yes' to the question: 'Am I not your Lord?', while on the Day of Resurrection no one will reply to the Divine enquiry: 'Whose is the Sovereignty today?'?"

Khwaja 'Azizan replied: "The day-before-time-began was the day for imposing sacred legal obligations. Speech is appropriate in matters of Sacred Law, but the Day of Resurrection is the day when obligations are removed, and the World of Reality is inaugurated. In the presence of Reality, words are out of place. That is why Allah (Exalted is He) will give His own answer on that day, saying: 'It belongs to Allah, the Unique and Irresistible.'"

This is one of his poetic utterances:

The bird of the soul is attached to the body, so keep it safe, for it is your friend. Do not untie its connection, causing it to fly, for, once it flies, you can no longer hold it.

Sayyid Ata, mentioned in relation to Khwaja Ahmad Yasavi, was a contemporary of the venerable Khwaja 'Azizan. They used to meet from time to time, and they would hold heart-to-heart conversations. One day, in his treatment of the venerable 'Azizan, Sayyid Ata displayed an attitude incompatible with good manners. At that point in time, the pillaging hordes from the inner regions of Asia looted the city, and they took one of Sayyid Ata's sons away as a prisoner. Sayyid Ata realized that this disaster had befallen him because of the offence he had committed against the venerable 'Azizan. In order to apologize and restore his good relationship, he arranged a banquet and invited the venerable 'Azizan to it. Aware of Sayyid Ata's intention, the venerable 'Azizan duly attended the banquet.

At a table shared with the leading religious figures and personalities, whom he impressed with his enormous charm and his power of dispensation, the venerable 'Azizan stretched his hand towards the food, saying as he did so: "So long as Sayyid Ata's captive son has not entered by this door and sat at this table, and so long as he has not joined us in our meal, 'Ali [Ramitani] will not touch the food!" His hand was thus held in suspense.

Everyone was in bewilderment. As for the Shaikh, while his eyes were on the meal, he was enraptured, in a state of awesome dignity. Then the door was opened and the captive boy came running inside. Bewilderment reached its climax, as they asked him: "How were you able to come here?"

To this the boy replied: "I cannot offer any explanation. A gang of savage looters took me prisoner and carried me off to their country, keeping me very tightly bound. We spent several days on the road. Now, lo and behold, I suddenly see myself in your midst and in my homeland." Everyone fell at the feet of the venerable 'Azizan, in a state of submission inspired by this tremendous charismatic marvel.

One day, a highly respected individual came to visit the venerable 'Azizan, but there was no food available in the house. The venerable 'Azizan was very sad. He went out to the gate of his house. At that very moment, a young seller of sheep's trotters came by, with a pot in his hand. The pot contained frozen trotters. The young man said: "I prepared this food for you and your companion. If you will accept it, you will make me very happy."

The venerable 'Azizan was extremely delighted with the food, arriving at this delicate moment, and he treated the young man with appreciative kindness. The guest enjoyed feasting on the meal that had come just in time. When the guest had departed, the venerable Shaikh told the young seller of trotters: "The food that you brought was sufficient to help us in our difficult situation. It is now your turn to ask for whatever you wish from us. If Allah wills, your wish must surely be granted."

The young man said: "I wish to be exactly like you." The venerable 'Azizan replied: "This is a very difficult matter. If the burden we carry alights upon your shoulders, you will be crushed by the weight!" The young man insisted, however, saying: "In all the world, this is my one and only wish-to be exactly like you. Nothing else can console me. I know of no other ambition!"

"Very well," said the venerable 'Azizan, "let it be so!" As if taking him into his custody, he then drew the young man into his private chamber, where he fixed his gaze upon him and focused on his heart with his heart. Shortly thereafter, a change began to occur in the young man. Both outwardly and inwardly, the young man started to become identical with the venerable 'Azizan. This state continued for all of forty days. Then, on the fortieth day, the young man passed on to the realm of perpetuity, due to the heaviness of the load he had taken upon himself. He had reached his desired goal, however, and attained to everlasting bliss.

On the basis of indications received from the unseen realms, the venerable Khwaja 'Azizan migrated to the provinces of Khwarizm. When he reached the city gate, he did not enter within, but sent two dervishes to Khwarizm Shah with the following instruction: "Go and say to the Shah: 'A poor weaver has come to your gate. He wishes to reside in your city. If your permission is granted, he will enter; if not, he will turn away.' You must say these words exactly and, assuming that permission is given, receive a sealed document from the Shah's own hand!"

The dervishes went to the palace and explained the situation. This request seemed odd to the Shah. He simply took it as a joke, caused the desired paper to be inscribed and sealed, and gave it to the dervishes. The dervishes presented the paper to their Shaikh, who then took a house in a secluded corner of the city and settled there. He went each morning to the labour market, hired a few workmen from there, and gave them the command: "Now perform the ablution, and stay in our company till the time of the afternoon prayer. Then take your wages and go back to your place!"

Recognizing this employment as a bountiful opportunity, the workmen were quick to form a circle around the venerable Shaikh. Once one of them had entered the circle, he could not withdraw from it again. News of the development spread across the city, and the venerable 'Azizan's circle became too wide to fit into the house he occupied. Before very long, the whole of Khwarizm was at the venerable 'Azizan's door. All the people were trampling one another in order to grasp the hem of his gown.

They whispered in the ear of the Shah: "A Shaikh has been discovered in the city. The entire city is at his back and in his footprint. If it goes on like this, his affiliates will become so numerous that, in contrast with his influence, your royal influence will sink to zero. A remedy for this business must be sought."

When the Shah commanded the venerable 'Azizan's departure from the city, the great spiritual director sent this reply: "In our breast pocket, we carry a sealed decree, stating that we shall be able to enter the city, and that we shall be able to reside therein. If the Shah invalidates his own permission and his own seal, we are ready to depart."

It was then that the ruler understood the situation, and he did not sink so low as to retract the permission he had personally granted. Instead, he went to join the venerable Khwaja's company. That was the end of the problem, for he immediately became one of the venerable 'Azizan's most devoted affiliates.

The venerable 'Azizan's lifetime spanned a hundred and thirty years. He had two sons, named Khwaja Khurd and Ibrahim.

Khwaja Muhammad Khurd

Khwaja Khurd was the venerable 'Azizan's elder son. His personal name was Muhammad, while Khurd was his nickname. In his father's lifetime he reached the age of eighty. He was a master of both academic and spiritual knowledge.

Khwaja Ibrahim

Khwaja Ibrahim, the venerable 'Azizan's younger son, was appointed to spiritual directorship and the training of talented seekers, that is to say, to the post of deputyship. When the venerable 'Azizan was close to death, and it became known that he regarded his younger son as fit for this duty, the following question arose among his companions: "Since Khwaja Khurd is not lacking in exoteric and esoteric knowledge, and since he is the elder son, why is this duty not being assigned to him, rather than to the younger son?"

The venerable 'Azizan sensed this concern in their hearts, so he said: "The reason is that Khwaja Khurd will migrate to the other world soon after me!" As a matter of fact, it was only nineteen days after his father's death that Khwaja Khurd followed him. These are the dates of death for the father and his sons:

-The venerable 'Azizan: Thursday, the 28th of Dhu'l-Qa'da, A.H. 715/1315 C.E. -Khwaja Muhammad Khurd: Thursday, the 17th of Dhu'l-Hijja, A.H. 715/1315 C.E. -Khwaja Ibrahim: A.H. 793/1390 C.E.

After Khwaja Ibrahim, there were four more deputies of the venerable Khwaja 'Azizan, each of them named Muhammad and each of them endowed with lofty perfection.

Khwaja Muhammad Kulahduz

Khwaja Muhammad Kulahduz was one of the venerable 'Azizan's eminent deputies. His tomb is in Khwarizm.

Khwaja Muhammad Hallaj Balkhi

Khwaja Muhammad Hallaj Balkhi was one of the venerable 'Azizan's distinguished deputies. His tomb is in Balkh.

Khwaja Muhammad Bawardi

Khwaja Muhammad Bawardi was one of the venerable 'Azizan's notable deputies. His tomb is in Khwarizm. Khwaja Muhammad Baba Sammasi

Khwaja Muhammad Baba Sammasi was the most outstanding deputy of the venerable 'Azizan. He was also a member of all the principal circles, in the position of "top link" of the Chain of Gold. His birthplace was the village of Sammas in the vicinity of Ramitan, some ten miles from Bukhara. His tomb is in that same village.

When the venerable 'Azizan was close to death, he chose Khwaja Muhammad Sammasi as qualified for the post of deputyship and spiritual directorship, and instructed all his affiliates to follow and serve him. It was he who accepted the venerable Khwaja Baha' ad-Din Naqshband as his son.

Just three days after the venerable Shah Naqshband had come into this world, Khwaja Muhammad Baba Sammasi was passing by the village called 'Pavilion of the Indians.' Fixing his eyes on the home of Shah Naqshband, he said: "The land hereabouts gives off the inimitable scent of a hero! The 'Pavilion of the Indians' will very soon become the 'Palace of the Truly Wise [Qasr-i 'Arifan].' I sense that the child has been born. Let us go and pay a visit!"

While these words were being spoken, the saint of saints, Baha' ad-Din Naqshband, had in fact arrived in this world just three days earlier. They went to the house and asked to see the child. His grandfather held him to his breast and showed him to Khwaja Muhammad Baba Sammasi, who whispered, with his profound gaze fixed upon the radiant child: "This is my son. We accepted him as such a long time ago!"

Turning to his companions, he added: "This is the very hero whose scent we noticed. Before long, this child will become the paragon of the age and the saving guide of the people of Love!" He then spoke directly to the venerable Sayyid Amir Kulal, the candidate for the post of deputyship, saying: "Do not refuse to undertake the training of my son Baha' ad-Din, and be sure to treat him with kindness and affection. If you are negligent in this, I shall not make any right of mine lawful to you!" The venerable Amir Kulal replied: "I am no man if I fail you in the slightest!"

This amazing story will appear in fuller detail in the account of Shah Naqshband.

According to what we have learned from the reports of Khwaja 'Ubaidu'llah Tashkandi, the venerable Muhammad Baba had a small orchard in the village of Sammas. He would sometimes prune its shoots with his own hands, and he derived great pleasure from this task. Whenever he clipped a twig, a spiritual state would overwhelm him and the knife would fall from his hand.

Khwaja Muhammad Baba Sammasi had four deputies, each of them a model of perfection on the path of spiritual guidance and training. Sayyid Amir Kulal was the most outstanding of them all, however, and he belonged to the great circles of the chain of the principal guides.

Khwaja Sufi Sukhari

Khwaja Sufi Sukhari was one of Muhammad Baba's deputies. His tomb is in the village of Sukhar, about seven miles along the road to Bukhara.

Khwaja Muhammad Sammasi

Khwaja Muhammad Sammasi was Muhammad Baba's son and his deputy.

Mawlana Danishmand 'Ali

Mawlana Danishmand 'Ali was one of Khwaja Muhammad Baba's foremost disciples and deputies.

Sayyid Amir Kulal

Sayyid Amir Kulal was the most eminent deputy of the venerable Khwaja Muhammad Baba Sammasi. As we have mentioned somewhat earlier, he was also the propagator of the Chain of Gold, being one of the chiefs of the main stem. He was born and buried in the village of Sukhar, about seven miles from Bukhara. He was a potter by trade, as his nickname Kulal indicates in the local dialect.

His mother relates: "While I was carrying Amir in my womb, I would suffer a stomach ache every time I ate dubious food. When this had happened several times, I realized that everything was due to the radiant nature of the child I was carrying in my womb, and that he was an extraordinary creature. After that, I became very wary of every morsel I took into my mouth, and I awaited my child with high hope."

In his youth, Sayyid Amir was a keen wrestler. Many people would gather to watch him wrestling, and they would follow the match with great interest. One day, in consideration of the Sacred Law, one of the onlookers found himself wondering: "How can a Sayyid, a descendant of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), engage in wrestling? How can he indulge in a frivolous sport, which may be considered an heretical innovation?"

At that very moment, sleep overtook the entertainer of this thought. In his dream, the man saw that the Resurrection had occurred, and that he was floundering in a mire. Then, lo and behold, the venerable Amir Kulal appeared before him, held out his muscular arms, and pulled him out of the mire with a single tug. The man woke up, and he noticed that Sayyid Amir Kulal was watching him during the wrestling match. Sayyid Amir Kulal addressed him from a distance, saying: "Yes indeed, we practise wrestling in order to rescue the likes of you, by dragging you out of the mire!"

On another day, the venerable Khwaja Muhammad Baba Sammasi was present in the wrestling stadium. He withdrew into a corner and watched the wrestlers. Some of the disciples with him found this situation very strange. They wondered how the venerable Khwaja could pay attention to this worthless spectacle, but he recognized these feelings passing through their hearts, so he responded by saying: "In this fighting arena there is a hero, by the grace of whose attentive care and fellowship so many heroes will attain to perfection. My gaze is directed at him. It is my intention to captivate him."

From afar, he watched the venerable Sayyid Amir Kulal with a profoundly penetrating gaze. Sayyid Amir noticed this watchful gaze, and he became frozen with his eyes on the venerable Khwaja Sammasi. Once this gaze had affected the inner feeling of Sayyid Amir, the Khwaja got up and left, together with his disciples. As for Sayyid Amir Kulal, however, he had dedicated his heart to Muhammad Baba Sammasi. No thought, no will and no desire of his own remained within him. He abandoned the wrestling match, followed the Khwaja home, and clung to the hem of his gown while gasping for breath.

In the Khwaja's room of private retreat, he received instruction and initiation in the Spiritual Path. After that, no one ever saw Sayyid Amir Kulal in the market, the bazaar and the wrestling stadium.

Sayyid Amir Kulal remained subject to Khwaja Muhammad Baba's training for twenty years. Throughout this time, he never withdrew from serving his spiritual director with heart and mind.

Twice every week, he used to cover the distance of almost twenty miles between Sukhar and Sammas, in haste to join the company of his spiritual guide. It was quite a ride! The venerable Sayyid Amir strove so hard on the path of the Masters of Wisdom, that no one could have an inkling of his spiritual state. Behind a veil of complete secrecy, he ascended to the final rungs of the ladder of perfection.

Linked to the venerable Sayyid Amir Kulal is the spiritual lineage of the venerable Khwaja Baha' ad-Din Naqshband, the chief who was so distinguished as to give his name to the [Naqshbandi] path.

The spiritual heirs of Sayyid Amir Kulal were his four sons and his four deputies, the first and foremost being that saint of saints, Shah Naqshband.

Amir Burhan

Amir Burhan was the eldest son of the venerable Amir Kulal, who would often say about him: "This boy is our proof [burhan]," meaning: "He is the evidence in our favour on the Spiritual Path."

Amir Burhan was one of the foremost affiliates of the venerable Shah Naqshband, to whom Amir Kulal once said: "If a teacher trains his apprentice to the degree of perfection, he wishes to see his own mark on that apprentice, and to witness in him the accomplishment of his endeavours. If he observes any error in his apprentice, he must correct it. Look at my son Burhan! He has experienced no spiritual training until now. You must take it upon yourself to train him, for then you will see your mark, and you will attribute your satisfaction to your confidence in me."

In response to this command, Shah Naqshband directed his attention towards the inner being of Amir Burhan, to the point of constant supervision. For the sake of propriety, however, he continued to exert his influence at intervals, and paused from time to time. The venerable Amir Kulal admonished him: "You must continue to exert your influence without a break! You must never stop!"

His influence then continued at full strength and without interruption, and Amir Burhan went through a sudden transformation. He experienced ecstasy and spiritual intoxication, and his path was opened.

It seems that Amir Burhan became endowed with extremely intense rapture and spiritual intoxication, and that his dominant feeling disposed him towards solitude, remoteness from other people, and the avoidance of any social relationship. No one could see his inner world and comprehend his peculiar modes of conduct. His spiritual force was so intense that it burned many of the venerable Khwaja's companions, and divested them of their spiritual clothing.

According to Shaikh Nikruz Bukhari, one of the venerable Khwaja Kulal's affiliates: "Whenever we encountered Amir Burhan, our inner being was turned upside down by the intensity of his spiritual state, which would leave us completely empty and distraught. I eventually expressed my concern about this situation to the venerable Khwaja, and he asked me: 'Have you come to complain about Amir Burhan?' When I said yes, he replied: 'Whenever he disturbs you, focus your attention upon me, and say from within: "I am not; he is!"'

"After receiving this instruction, I happened to meet with Amir Burhan, who pressured me again in his usual manner. This time, however, I complied exactly with the command I had received from the venerable Khwaja. As soon as agitation began to stir within me, I focused my attention on the venerable Khwaja, and said: 'I am not; he is!' At that very moment, Amir Burhan's condition altered. He collapsed on the ground in a state of ecstasy, and never again attempted to make me experience his power of dispensation."

Amir Burhan relates: "It was the Festival of Sacrifice. The people were emerging from the congregational mosque, and the courtyard was crowded to overflowing. Everyone was following in the venerable Khwaja's footsteps, wishing to touch the hem of his gown, trying to grasp his hand. I thought to myself: 'What a beautiful era it was, the time of the venerable Khwaja's first appearance, the period marked by the flowering of enlightenment and spiritual grace. Nowadays, the people's abundance makes them uneasy and depresses their inner feeling.'

"No sooner had I entertained this t

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