Thursday, August 25, 2011

PART 3: The Practice of Wuquf Qalbi in the Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyah Order and the Survey on its Practoce in Malaysia


Wuquf Qalbi a Tauhidic Realization Technique.

The realization of wuquf qalbi paired with dhikr Allah or La Ilaha Illa Allah,is considered as a preliminary realization that must be achieved by the disciples (al-Baghdadi 2004, pp.79, al-Khani 1989, pp. 49, al-Kurdi pp. 212). Without it, disciples will never achieve the goal of truly knowing Allah. This is because; the purpose of this realization technique is to inculcate a strong conviction in the heart of the disciples on the existence of Allah who can’t be described the truth of His existence by any means. The practice if scrutinized is a form of realization to His words: “there is nothing whatever like unto Him” (al-Shura, 42:11). The writer perceives that the realization approach applied in the practice happens gradually. Meaning, disciples at beginner level is guided to inculcate the existence of Allah wajib al-wujud which all this while is still vague in the heart as compared to the existence of mumkin al-wujud, it feels as though an actual existence firmly rooted in the heart. The approach is seen as a vital process to eradicate all wahm (doubt) that prevents the disciple belief towards the true existence of Allah. This is because knowing and believing the existence of dhat Allah is major knot of the faith and quintessence of the faithful and all discussion in Theology with regards to various divine attributes are based on faith for the existence of dhat Allah. Without it, all Greatness and Glory
attributed to Him is meaningless.

The Practical Form Of Wuquf Qalbi In Malaysia At Present

The practice of wuquf qalbi has also been identified among the Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah in Malaysia at the moment. Most channels of the Order is found to originate from Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhab Rokan (d.1345/1926), Langkat Sumatera, which directly connected to Shaykh Sulayman al-Zuhdi who was once centered at Jabal Abi Qubays, Mecca (Syed 2010, pp.19). Therefore the practice of wuquf qalbi taught to practitioner nowadays must by logic have strong relation to the practice introduced by al-Zuhdi himself.

Thus, the practice of wuquf qalbi is compulsory in two different times that is during and outside dhikr periods. The order to perform wuquf qalbi outside dhikr hours was mentioned in the statement by Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhab himself found in various notes of his disciples which later became reference to the shaykh of the Order in Malaysia. Among other, his advice is reported to have said:

“ the fifth manner (in suluk), to maintain wuquf qalbi (eradicate all feelings
and thoughts) in any circumstances.”
(H. Ahmad, pp. 115)

Another note by his son whom later became the first to take over leadership of the Order from him in Babussalam after his demise is:

“ the way of performing wuquf qalbi is two steps, firstly is during our wake never forget dhat Allah wherever we go”. (Fadl Allah 1930, pp. 69)

Shaykh `Umar bin Muhammad (d.1355/1936) from Batu Pahat who is considered among the oldest caliph of Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhab Rokan also make a note on the practice:

“Wuquf qalbi means we remember Allah who is none like Him, in an everlasting way regardless of our condition, be it sitting, standing, walking, in the house, eating or drinking, consummating or even when seeking relief, especially during prayers and all act of worship for it is the soul of all worship”. (`Umar, pp. 7)

Based on the notes above, it can be stated that the practice of wuquf qalbi is an obligation outside dhikr period among Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah members in Malaysia. While during dhikr or tawajjuh occasion, the practice is known to be practiced in two stages. First, prior to starting the dhikr be it dhikr Allah or La Ilaha Illa Allah, and secondly during the dhikr. In addition, wuquf qalbi is also a level (maqam) of dhikr to be experienced by the disciples.

With regard to the first stage of wuquf qalbi, it is defined as “collecting all identity in the heart, focusing all thought towards Allah Ta`ala who has no Equal” (Fadl Allah 1930, pp. 62). Collecting all identity means all conscience and thoughts of the disciples towards his physical body must be unified in his heart, till he felt himself as only a dot in his heart (Amaluddin, interview). Other definition is also used to describe the meaning of wuquf qalbi as “centralizing all definitions to the heart” (Fadl Allah 1930, pp.81), “to focus only on Allah”, “to focus on Allah laysa kamithlih shay’” (Ishak, pp. 1). All descriptions on the meaning of wuquf qalbi describe only one meaning, that is disciple focusing only on Allah. This clearly showed that the practice of wuquf qalbi in the Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah Order in Malaysia at present does meet the requirement of the practice according to Naqshabandiyyah and Khalidiyyah figures of the past as described earlier. In reference to the second stage, the practice of wuquf qalbi does co-exist with the practice of dhikr Allah till the stage a disciple is deemed worthy of dhikr La Ilaha Illa Allah, also known as dhikr Nafy wa al-Ithbat. The concept of wuquf qalbi during dhikr is the same as before. The difference between the two stages is only from the aspect of practice where chanting the dhikr in the heart does not happen at stage one while at stage two the disciple chant the dhikr in concert with the practice of wuquf qalbi.

Regarding the maqam of dhikr wuquf qalbi mentioned, it is a stage of dhikr taught to disciples who have undergone dhikr Nafy wa al-Ithbat in the Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah Order in Malaysia. Based on the writer’s observation, the method is known to be passed down from Shaykh Sulayman al-Zuhdi who spread the practice in Mecca around the thirteen hijri century. The fact was based upon his statement in an article on his notes presented by the author in past discussion. However, there is a little difference in the aspect of execution found in the Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah Order in Malaysia at present. The difference in execution according to the writer might originate from the difference in definition given to the practice. The practice of wuquf qalbi at this stage is defined as “gathering all identity towards the seven physical and spiritual parts and focusing all thoughts towards Allah laysa kamithlih shay’” (Amaluddin, interview) or facing all seven subtle spiritual centers (al-lataif al-sab`ah) along with all parts of body towards dhat Allah (Fadl Allah, pp. 67).

Another definition is focusing the seven subtle spiritual centers towards Allah bila mithal (Ishak 1986, pp. 4). In scrutinizing the few definitions above, it seems that the first and second definition consist of the same meaning. However there is a little difference in the third definition compared to the two previous definitions. The difference that can be identified is the first and second definition both aspects physical and spiritual which is the body parts and the seven subtle spiritual centers are focused towards Allah. However, referring to the third definition, it seems only the focus towards dhat Allah is emphasized upon only the seven subtle spiritual centers. Based on the understanding, there are two forms of wuquf qalbi known to be practiced in Malaysia. First, the execution of wuquf qalbi practice upon the first and second definition. Practically, a disciple has to perform wuquf qalbi by only focusing his thoughts upon the seven subtle spiritual centers without chanting the dhikr in the heart.