Thursday, August 25, 2011

PART 2: The Practice of Wuquf Qalbi in the Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyah Order and the Survey on its Practoce in Malaysia

The Concept Of Wuquf Qalbi

The word wuquf in Arabic refers to stopping from a walk or standing up (Ibrahim 1987, pp. 356), while the word qalbi originates from the word qalb which is the heart, then it is connected to ya’ nisbah to connect the verb stop to the heart. In term of Terminology, wuquf qalbi is a symbolic to remembering Allah to a stage of non alertness to other intruding thoughts other than Him (`Abd al-Majid 1997, pp. 357). Wuquf Qalbi refers to two things done by the disciples. First, the disciples called upon the meaning of each name of Allah chanted, that is He is the Ultimate and Incomparable (al-Baghdadi 2004, pp. 79, al-Khani 1987, pp. 49). The action is to eliminate the intrusion of other thoughts other than Allah. The second step in wuquf qalbi is for the disciples to focus all his senses towards his inner heart which is located under the left breast towards the left side (`Abd al-Majid 1997, pp. 357). Focusing to the heart does not mean the disciple visualizing the shape of an imaginary heart and facing it (al-Sirhindi 2004, vol. 1, pp. 353). In other word, the sight, hearing, smell, taste and the sense of touch are seem to be focusing on the behavior of the heart drowning in dhikr, severing all ties with mundane matters (`Abd al-Majid 1997, pp. 357).

Hence, the perfection in the practice of wuquf qalbi depends on the ability of the disciple practicing the two actions simultaneously before, during and after the dhikr. This is because, to achieve perpetual remembering of Allah in the heart which becomes the talent of a personnel (nisbah al-hudur), is unattainable by the disciple without going through wuquf qalbi which encompass the two meanings (`Abd al-Majid 1997, pp. 357). Therefore, Shaykh `Ubayd Allah ‘Ahrar (d. 895/1489) had concluded that the quintessence of dhikr practice is constant remembrance of Allah (hudur al-qalb ma`a Allah) (al-Harawi, pp. 49) and the movement of the heart during dhikr due to movement or the throbbing of the heart is not the conditions according to Naqshabandiyyah figures. In this case, Shaykh Ahmad al-Faruqi al-Sirhindi (d.1034/1624) affirm that if the dhikr of the heart mentioned is the movement of the heart chanting the dhikr, then it does not become the prescribed condition, be it during fana’ or otherwise. In fact the actual must to be in perpetual condition is the presence of the heart in remembering Allah (hudur al-qalb) and focusing only on Him, with or without the throbbing of the heart (al-Khani 1989, pp. 49). If the aftermath of wuquf qalbi or hudur al-qalb is unattainable after dhikr, then the disciple must continue with the dhikr until the goal is achieved (al-Harawi, pp. 30).

It must be stressed that the concept of perpetual wuquf qalbi or hudur al-qalb according to Naqshabandiyyah figures, is not total ignorance to other matters other than Allah at all times. What is actually meant is the thought of Allah is the only thought dominating other matters. If indeed there are other thoughts intruding, it does not settle in the heart lest disturbing the disciples focus towards Allah. This is personally admitted by Naqsyabandiyyah figures of the past such as Shaykh `Ala’ al-Di al-`Attar (d.898/1492) (`Abd al-Majid 1997, pp. 352), Shaykh `Ubayd Allah ‘Ahrar and al-Sirhindi (al-Sirhindi 2004, vol. 1, pp. 159) who described focusing thoughts towards Allah without any other intrusion is really difficult, and may only happen at certain intervals, but never constant (al-Harawi, pp. 33).

The Practical Form Of Wuquf Qalbi According To Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah Order

Shaykh Khalid al-Uthmani (d.1242/1826) who steer the leadership of Naqshabandiyyah Order in the thirteenth century of Hijrah, has introduced a practical form of wuquf qalbi in one of his notes that has become a reference of the disciples after his departure. According to him, a disciple whilst starting the dhikr, must focus all his senses towards the inner heart known as latifah al-Qalb, located at the breadth of two fingers under the left breast. Apart from that, the disciple must also empty their heart to focus their thoughts only towards the meaning of the dhikr chanted which is Allah, carrying the meaning of Dhat bila mithal (Dhat Allah that does not resemble anything). While Muhammad al-Baghdadi (d.1230/1814) and Muhammad al-Khani (d.1279/1862) described it as Dhatuh Ta`ala al-sarf al-baht (purely essence divine of Allah Ta’ala) (al-Baghdadi 2004 pp. 80, al-Khani 1989, pp. 49), al-Sirhindi described it as laysa kamithlih shay’ which also reflect the same meaning (al-Sirhindi 2004 vol. 1, pp. 302).

Therefore, the state of which the heart is in constant reminder of “dhat Allah that does not resemble anything” is described as wuquf qalbi in the Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah Order. Relatively, Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah figures such as Muhammad al-Baghdadi, Muhammad al-Khani, Amin al-Kurdi (d.1332/1913) and Sulayman al-Zuhdi agrees on the need of achieving wuquf qalbi prior to chanting the dhikr in the heart (al-Baghdadi 2004, pp.79, al-Khani 1989, pp. 49, al-Kurdi 2005, pp. 292, al-Zuhdi, pp. 3). This means that wuquf qalbi must be performed before the dhikr process could even begin. Hence, it is understood that the practice is a different process separated from the chanting of the dhikr. Dhikr according to the practice of the Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah is the repeated chanting of certain dhikr words whether Allah or La Ilaha Illa Allah. While wuquf qalbi is the process of remembering the meaning of the words repeated and making it perpetual in memory.

The chanting of dhikr performed either by the tongue or the heart will not bring much benefit if the concept of wuquf qalbi is not practiced in concert (Abu al-Zahra’ 2002, pp. 63). His stature will be the same as a person repeating something to memorize it. But at the same time his heart and his mind is busy with other unrelated matters. The result, he failed to achieve his goal. Thus it can be concluded that dhikr is only the mean to achieve the true meaning of wuquf qalbi according to Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah Order. The dhikr must be in constant concert and harmony without any intervals with wuquf qalbi. However if the disciple has to talk due to matters of gravest importance, the practice of wuquf qalbi must be prevalent (al-Baghdadi 2004, pp.88, al-Khani 1989, pp. 89). According to Mawlana Shaykh Khalid, another practice that can help the disciple to achieve the result, is by performing the practice of rabitah al-murshid along with wuquf qalbi without performing dhikr. The practice is best performed daily during `Asr for an hour (al-Kurdi 2005, pp.292, Nizar 1994, pp. 30). Surely, by performing this practice the disciple are able to perform two things in concert, i.e. rabitah al-murshid and wuquf qalbi by taking into account the mannerism and procedures.

Rabitah in this context means recalling the relationship between master and disciple from the aspect that the practice is learnt from the master, the love for the master, the compatibility between disciple and master and all that relate a disciple to the master in general or specifics (Jahid 1997, pp. 255-294). Thus, the performance of both practices instantaneously can be understood through this; disciples while performing the rabitah will surrender themselves and believe that wuquf qalbi which they are performing is part of wuquf qalbi’s perfection graced by Allah for their master. In other word, Allah graced the disciple with a heart that thinks only of Him as He had graced it to his master. After the disciple has been identified by his master as achieving the desired goal of Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah Order, he is entitled to be taught the next step of dhikr. The practice of wuquf qalbi is not only performed prior to a dhikr or during the dhikr of Allah or La Ilaha Illa Allah. The practice can in specific done separately when the disciple achieved the muraqabah level according to the practice of Naqshabandiyyah Khalidiyyah Order. Through the writer’s observation, there are no notes from any Naqshabandiyyah figures including the Khalidiyyah including al-Sirhindi, Shaykh Khalid, Muhammad al-Khani, Muhammad al-Baghdadi, Amin al-Kurdi on wuquf qalbi on that form of practice.

On the contrary, al-Zuhdi is the only known figures to put forward the form of practice in his notes calling it as dhikr al-wuquf. He described dhikr al-wuquf at this stage through; disciples attending his whole seven lataif and focusing his every muscle in his parts of body towards Dhat Allah who can’t be described, without forcing himself chanting the dhikr Allah. In fact, the disciple is only required to memorize the meaning (al-Zuhdi, 51). With regards to realizing the meaning of dhikr Allah during dhikr, Naqshabandiyyah figures including the Khalidiyyah like al-Sirhindi, Shaykh Khalid, al-Khani, Muhammad al-Baghdadi and al-Zuhdi (al-Zuhdi, pp. 51), agreed that disciples need only to focus on the specific meaning which is Dhat Allah who resembles nothing. The realization will enable disciples to achieve the goal of Naqshabandiyyah Order’s practice which is owning relevance or a special talent known as al-hudur ma`a Allah or constant memory with Allah.