Naqshbandi Principle:Spiritual Journey (Safar dar Watan)

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Allahumma Swalli Alaa Sayyidina Muhammadin Wa alaa Aali Sayyidina Muhammadin Wa Sallim

Madad Ya Al Haqqani Madad Ya Sahibu Saif, Madad Ya Ambiya Wa Awliya Allah

There are eight Naqshbandi Principles formulated by the Imam  of the Khwajagan (early Naqshabndi Silsila) order , Hazret Shaykh Abdul Khaliq Ghujdavani (Q.S) and three other principles formulated by the Imam of the Tariqah Khwajah Muhammad Baha’uddin Naqshbandi Al-Uwaisi Al-Bukhari (Q.S).

They are:

1-Hosh Dar Dam (Awareness of breath), 2-Nazar Bar Qadam (Watching the step), 3-Safar dar Watan (Journey in the Spiritual Path) , 4-Khalwat Dar Anjuman (Solitude in the Society) , 5-Yad Kard (Reminding outwardly and inwardly of God’s Name), 6-Baz Gasht (return to the responsibilities of a person according to  Shari’ah after performing pure Zikr), 7-Concentration on God (Yaddasht), 8-Nigadasht (Guarding one’s spiritual state) 

Other three Principles taught by Khwajah Shah Baha’uddin Naqshbandi (Q.S) as an additional three methods of training the students were:

9-Awareness of time (Wuquf E Zamani), 10-Counting the Zikr repetitions (Wuquf e Adadi), 11-Constant Attachment of Heart to God (Wuquf E Qalbi)

In this article I am inspired to write about:Journey in the Spiritual Path (Safar Dar Watan)

Spiritual Journey to the Kingdom of God (Safar Dar Watan):

Spiritual Journey to the native land/home/to the country/to the House of God means the Seeker travels from the world of unreal to the world of reality. It is said in a Hadith that: “Everything is falsehood except Allah”.

The end of the Journey is ‘Annihilation’ (Fana) in the Divine Essence. so God Almighty said to the Saint Abu Yazid AL Bistami: “Leave yourself and come to me”

It is therefore Spiritual Journey to the Divine Presence, to the Presence of Allah.  Similar to other Journey’s one must set up his provisions,he will have a vehicle and he follow the rules of the journey. There is no roads(Paths) without rules.

The Night of Ascension (Mi’raj) is the Journey of the Prophet (alaihiswalathu wa salam) to the divine presence, Sufi Saints who are the inheritors (heirs) of Prophetic knowledge (both internal and external) receive the understanding and vision through a similar journey which will be through a spiritual experience.
Because a true believer who is chosen to be the heirs of Prophets will receive  the spiritual as well as outward understanding of religion that is to aid him.
Doesn’t Allah say: “Enter in Islam completely and perfectly and do not follow the footstep of Satan” (Al Bakara)?

So the pious Saints are given spiritual journey as well as Journey of the Soul during sleep , as Prophet (s.a.w) says: “A Good dream of a believer is one of the forty six party of Prophethood. (Sahih Bukhari, Book of dreams).

Also Narrated Abu Qatada: The Prophet said, “A true good dream is from Allah, and a bad dream is from Satan.”  (Sahih Bukhari)

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “The (good) dream of a faithful believer is a part of the forty-six parts of prophetism.”  (Sahih Bukhari)

39:42 It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed verily in this are Signs for those who reflect.

The Journey of the Seeker is not divided, since the inward and journey is spiritual yet his outward state and inward states follows together in his spiritual journey. The external Journey is to seek a Shaykh, anyone who intent for his spiritual journey must seek a Shaykh, for this reason he Journey to the house of Allah or the Places of the Saints and seek for a spiritual guide there.

Allah says: 5:35 O ye who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him, and strive with might and main in his cause: that ye may prosper.

29:69 And those who strive in Our (cause),- We will certainly guide them to our Paths: For verily Allah is with those who do right.

So the believer is obligated to seek a path, he must obey what is commanded by Allah and His Messenger (alaihiswalathu wa salam), enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.

As for the “External Journey” is concerned, the duty of the seeker to Journey to find a guide, and any effort to fulfill the obligations of Islam (Shariah) is considered as external journey. It is not just about moving to another country or town. Because it is evident that many seekers who moved to another country or to the land of Prophets and Saints (in their time) became heedless and never began their internal journey. There are examples that one who never moved to a Shaykh, yet achieved closeness to the Shaykh through spiritual connection. The spiritual connection between Abdul Khaliq Ghujdevani (Q.S) who lived 200 years before Imam Shah Baha’uddin  Naqshbandi (Q.S) and the spiritual connection between Prophet (alaihiswalathu wa salam) and Owais Al Qarni (R.A) is another examples for inward journey to the Shaykhs (Prophets or Awliya Allah)

God Created Death and Life to Test Mankind. To Make Himself Known to the Man, by striving in that test and Journeying to Allah. Allah Knows Himself and the State of every Man, but He created Life and Death for the Creations to know HiM, He is to be known in them, to make them into striving in His Path.

Allah says: 67.2. He Who has created death and life, so that He may try you (and demonstrate to yourselves) which of you is better in deeds. And He is the All-Glorious with irresistible might (Whose will none can frustrate), the All-Forgiving (Who forgives many of His servants’ sins so that they learn from being tested);

Death is mentioned before life. So it is clear that one must die to become alive again. Some people say: You must be born again. It is explained in my Blog: Book of Soul. So there is no birth without death, death of the self and birth of the divine Will in one’s life.When the Light and Guidance of Allah enter in one’s heart, his past dies and he is born again. It is commonly agreed that one who did Hajj perfectly is like a born again person, when a person convert to islam, he is like born again. But in the spirituality it has another meaning. It is when Allah guide one and the Light (Noor) enter in the heart , he is born again in divine guidance. Allah says: 17:97 It is he whom Allah guides, that is on true Guidance; but he whom He leaves astray – for such wilt thou find no protector besides Him. On the Day of Judgment We shall gather, them together, prone on their faces, blind, dumb, and deaf: their abode will be Hell: every time it shows abatement, We shall increase from them the fierceness of the Fire.

Since the Most praiseworthy deed is Remembrance of Allah, the verse means: To Remember Allah in Ihsan , It is to reach a state of Divine Witnessing, He created Life and Death for Him (S.W.T) to be known in the best of way as known to “Ulool Ilm”, so it is obligatory for everyone (sound mind and healthy) to strive to know Allah to remember Him with best “Remembrance”

On the other hand some claim spiritual height and perfection based on their physical relationship with Shaykhs.  When Musa (A.S) accompanied Khidr (A.S), in that journey Musa (A.S) was unable to continue the Journey as he was unable to fulfill the oath of with hazret Khidr (A.S). Similar to that, there can be many Khalifas and followers under a Shaykh, but one who Journey spiritually with the Shaykh and complete the Journey and his soul being sanctified (Ref Sura As-Shams) is the real inheritor of that Shaykh.  A person can live under a Shaykh for all his life, eat with a Shaykh all his years, do everything as his shaykh orders for all his life,and remain without a “Spiritual Journey”. Because, if there is no full love (100%) and full submission and full sincerity , seeks fame and attention of the world, then which means he is remaining without a Journey ascension.

Similarly a person can study all books that is related to authentic Islamic knowledge, but he can remain where he is, and not having a Journey to all.

But some groups deny spiritual journey, while they are making Journey to the “house of Allah” in Makkah, (for Hajj and Umrah).  That is an outward Journey which is to remind inward Journey.


The HADITH About Spiritual Journey: 

It is narrated on the authority of Amirul Mu’minin, Abu Hafs ‘Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) who said:I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: “Actions are (judged) by motives (niyyah), so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration (hijrah) was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.” [Bukhari &Muslim]

So it is clear that innovators never have a spiritual journey or spiritual progress. Prophet (alaihiswalathu wa salam) says: “They speak the truth but they are not of the truth”. Since innovators believe Prophet (alaihiswalathu wa salam) is dead, he does not help, hear or respond”, they will not attain a correct and sincere intention.  So without a pure and firm intention the Journey to Allah is not possible. Because the Prophet alaihiswalathu wa salam sais: “Actions are (granted it’s benefit/which is judged) by it’s intentions”. So deeds of the innovators are in vain, it will be give to those (Awliya Allah and Ahlul Bayth) who are attacked slandered by innovators!. How fortunate the Awliya Allah and Ahlul Bayth are!, God has multiplied their rewards.
The innovators and those who have malice (envy, hatred, anger etc) against Awliya Allah and or to Ahlul Bayth, their worship and religion will not give any benefit to them!

The Journey requires “correct and sincere intention” (Niyyah), the intention that is sealed before beginning the journey, which is never re-writing once the journey is begun!. If the “Intention” is not sealed and concealed from ego before travelling, the ego try to corrupt the “Niyyah” in  between the Journey, then the ego take leadership in the heart and you will be fooled by your ego, and your conscious will continue to think that you are still under the guidance of your Shaykh”. So “Watching the Steps is very necessary in the “Journey to the Divine Presence”

When a person accept (made Baya) to follow a Shaykh , then his internal journey begins. It is then the Journey to the divine presence begins. The “Means” (Waseela) is the Shaykh and the Spiritual Path (Tariqah). The conduct and manners of the seeker must be according to the orders of the Spiritual Guide. He should renounce all sinful desires and following his own ego!

Following the Obligation of Shari’ah will sanctify a person’s physical life and forgive the sins of his external and organs. Following the Way of Tasawwuf (Ihsan) will Sanctify his Soul from the corruptions that is caused by his mind. It is said: “Purity is half of faith”, when the seeker reach in the state of purity, and traveling in the Path, in his Spiritual Journey the other half of the Faith is completed.
Then he reach in the heavenly “Witness” of the Tawheed” (Oneness of God”, there he is completed His Journey and return to His Servants as a Purified Soul.

Allah says: 3:18 There is no god but He: That is the witness of Allah, His angels, and those endued with knowledge, standing firm on justice. There is no god but He, the Exalted in Power, the Wise.

The Seeker is raised into the status of “Ulool Ilm” People of Knowledge. “Ulool ilm” is not book scholar, but the spiritual Scholars of Allah (Rabbaniyyun 3:79): “”Be pious scholars of the Lord because of what you have taught of the Scripture and because of what you have studied.””

The Scripture is taught by Allah’s Messengers (Peace be upon them), not from books. It is from the presence of Prophets and Saints (the heirs of Prophets).

In the Spiritual Journey, the through the help and support of his Shaykh (Quran 17:80) , the Shaykh unveils the Seeker his provisions which is necessary for his relationship and commitment in each stage.

Allah says (11:6) “There is no moving creature on earth but its sustenance dependeth on Allah: He knoweth the time and place of its definite abode and its temporary deposit: All is in a clear Record.”

The Prophet (S.A.W) says: “Allah is the Giver and I am the Distributor”


Quran 88:29 And enter among My [righteous] servants

Who are the servants?:

4:69 All who obey Allah and the messenger are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah,- of the prophets (who teach), the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): Ah! what a beautiful fellowship!

Where do they End their Journey?:

Quran 89:30: And enter My Paradise.”

So it is clear that the Spiritual Journey requires Prophetic Morals and Manners. A coward or an enemy of Prophets ,Awliya Allah (Saints) and Ahlul bayth (Family of Last Prophet alaihiswalathu wa salam, will never travel or never arrive. Their journey will be with the devil (Thagooth, Quran 2:256-257)

So Your Journey is with the one whom You love, those whom you Love are your friends and close related ones, and your religion is their religion. (Ref Sunan Abu Dawud), So you inward and outward Journey will be with the one whom you love and whom you take as intimate friends.


Allah says in Quran 2:257 Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light. Of those who reject faith the patrons are the evil ones: from light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the fire, to dwell therein (For ever).

Since, every Road has an End a destiny, there is nor return one’s they reach in the Divine Presence. in the Spiritual Journey though the seeker returns to his normal life, His Soul remains busy in the Divine Presence. This is another principle and we will,Insha Allah, explain therein.

So those who does not travel with the Pious ones, then surely he is traveling with the Companions of fire. Because the straight path is here, the Path of those upon whom ALLAH has bestowed His Favor.

A Muslim reciting minimum five times a day:Sura al Fatiha 1:6-7 Guide us to the straight path -The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.

So isn’t a Muslim on Straight path?, Whose Path Prophet (s.a.w) referring to?

Some innovators says the Path of Islam according to Companions. Didn’t Companions (Sahaba) did this prayer? (i.e Guide us into the straight Path)?

So stop fooling yourself with false arguments. The path of Prophets, Siddiqin and Saliheen, the unbroken path, the path with pure spiritual lineage , Allah says: 2:256

“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things”.

So the Path is not just the Salaf Salih: Allah says: 2:136 Say ye: “We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam).”

When you make up Islam into a particular generation, at that time you are inventing a falsehood in religion, a division and a sect!

2:208 O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy.

So it is the time you realize the correct Path (Straight Path) and Journey in it.

So the innovators are stubborn and they says: We only follow Salaf Salih, some says only some Imams, and they are stubborn and arrogant against others, they are making themselves fools.
ALLAH Says about them: 2:130 And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly? Him We chose and rendered pure in this world: And he will be in the Hereafter in the ranks of the Righteous.

So remember Abraham (A.S) was not a Shia or Salafi!, It is the Way of Prophets,Siddiqin and Saliheen (the Unbroken Path of Awliya Allah) that a Muslim must follow with correct intention.

On the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), who said:The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) took me by the shoulder and said, “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.” And Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to say, “In the evening do not expect [to live until] the morning, and in the morning do not expect [to live until] the evening. Take [advantage of] your health before times of sickness, and [take advantage of] your life before your death.” [Al-Bukhari]

So the Journey is Vast, long and requires a helper, an Aid, who guide them into the Truth. Allah is not guiding you directly, He is not Coming Himself . He Send Angels to Prophets and Pious Family of Prophets (eg: Mother of Musa A.S and Mother of Isa A.S and so on).

Allah says in 17:80 Say: “O my Lord! Let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honour, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honour; and grant me from Thy Presence an authority to aid (me).”

So Journey to the Divine Presence and Returning from that State to this worldly responsibilities that is commanded in the Shari’ah of Allah, requires the support of a Spiritual Guide. The verse in Quran is plain clear. Some misguided translators have twisted the word “Sidq” in their translation.

Insha Allah , we will continue to explain the other Principles especially Baz Gasht (return to the responsibilities of a person according to  Shari’ah after performing pure Zikr)

This is only a short note to give seekers an idea about what it is the meaning of this Principles and it’s relations to Quran and Sunnah.

But to taste the sweetness of honey, you need to put it in your mouth, reading about honey does not bring a clear idea about honey. You cannot “Study” swimming in a distance learning course, you need a swimming instructor and jump into the pool.H

So get ready to learn Swimming or go to a Honey seller and buy honey, do not keep it in home, taste every day, the more you taste the more you are familiar with honey.

Quran 2:155-156 Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere,Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return”:-

Wa Salamun Alal Mursaleen

Walhamdulillahi Rabbil Aalameen

Written by: Jouhar Ali Naqshbandi Al-Hassani at Rabbani Way

2:10 When he saw a fire and said to his family, "Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire; perhaps I can bring you a torch or find at the fire some guidance."20:11But when he came to the fire, a voice was heard: "O Moses!20:12 Indeed, I am your Lord, so remove your sandals. Indeed, you are in the sacred valley of Tuwa.
20:10 When he saw a fire and said to his family, “Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire; perhaps I can bring you a torch or find at the fire some guidance.”20:11But when he came to the fire, a voice was heard: “O Moses!20:12 Indeed, I am your Lord, so remove your sandals. Indeed, you are in the sacred valley of Tuwa.



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