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The ‘Uwaysi’ Transmission of Spiritual Knowledge

Sayyidina Shah Bahaudin Naqshband al-Uwaysi al-Bukhari received the silent dhikr from the spiritual presence (ruhaniyya) of Khwaja `Abdul Khaliq Ghujdawani. He did not meet with him physically because there were five shaikhs between them in the Golden Chain. Similarly Sayyidina Abul Hasan al-Kharaqani took spiritual guidance and initiation in the Naqshbandi Order from the spiritual presence of Bayazid Bistami.

In this form of spiritual transmission, the spirits meet in the world called calam al-arwah (the world of spirits) which is beyond `alam al-ajsam (the material plane). Whoever takes knowledge through spirituality from a deceased Master in the Naqshbandi Way, is called both Uwaisi and Naqshbandi. That spiritual connection is as powerful and effective as the physical connection.

The sign of the Favor of Allah Almighty and Exalted on his servant is to authorize one of His saints to uplift that servant to the Divine Presence. That is why many saints who came in previous times were guides for those who came after through this spiritual (Uwaysi) connection. It is known that many saints have been under the guidance and training of prophets and other saints that lifted them up.

As we mentioned, Sayyidina Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdwani was raised up by Sayyidina al-Khidr salla, Sayyidina Uways al-Qarani, and the spiritual Presences of Sayyidina cAli and Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq. Then Sayyidina `Abdul Khaliq raised Shah Naqshband, who also received guidance from Sayyidina Uways al-Qarani, Sayyidina `Ali, Sayyidina Abu Bakr, and the Prophet salla. Sayyidina Ja`far as-Sadiq raised up Sayyidina Bayazid al-Bistami. Sayyidina Bayazid al-Bistami raised up Sayyidina Abul Hasan al-Kharaqani. Sayyidina `Ubaidullah al-Ahrar was raised up by the spiritual connection to Sayyidina `Isa salla and to Shah Naqshband. It is known that Sayyidina Ahmad al-Far’uqi, in addition to the spiritual power he was receiving from Shah Naqshband, was also receiving spiritual support and power from Sayyidina `Ali (r). Sayyidina Shaikh Sharafuddin ad-Daghestani was raised through spirituality by Sayyidina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (r) and by Sayiddina Muhammad salla. Sayyidina Shaikh Abdullah Daghestani was under the spiritual guidance of Sayyidina Uwais al-Qarani (r), of Sayyidina `Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani, and of Sayyidina Shah Naqshband and Sayyidina `Ali. Shaikh Nazim received, in addition to the guidance received by Shaikh Abdullah and Shaikh Sharafuddin, additional guidance from Sayyidina Jalaluddin Rumi and Sayyidina `Abdul-qadir al-Gilani, who were his grandfathers on his father’s and his mother’s side.

These are the shaikhs of the Naqshbandi Order mentioned by Shaikh `Abdullah ad-Daghestani, who have, in addition to their physical connection, received the Uwaisi connection. They are known as the Shaikhs of the Two Wings (Dhul-Janahain), meaning that both the physical lineage and the spiritual lineage are combined in them. These saints are only nine in number. Each one represents one of the nine spiritual points on the chest of the human being. Through these points these saints can reach their followers at any time. Because they have the authority of these nine points, they consider all of humankind to be their followers, whether they are aware of their spiritual connection to them or not. Through these points, which are of ‘Uwaysi’ nature, they can reach and affect any human being, intercede for them, and inspire their hearts in order to direct them to the Divine Love, although they have never met physically.

Shaikh Abdullah ad-Daghestani’s Vision of Uwais al-Qarani (r)

Our grandshaikh ‘Abdullah ad-Daghestani said,

“After Shaikh Sharafuddin passed, and I was awaiting an opening to emigrate from Turkey, I was in a seclusion in the mosque next to the tomb of my shaikh, praying one night before Fajr. It was a cold and snowy night. I could feel the coldness in my bones. I could hear the quiet falling of the snow on the trees and the howling of wolves in the woods. I heard a voice calling my name, ‘Abdullah Effendi.’ I looked around but saw no one. Then I heard the voice again calling out, ‘Abdullah!’ I looked again, but again could not see anyone. I knew it was the voice of my shaikh. The warmth of that voice energized me, and I ran outside, without even putting on my shoes or my woolen cloak. I saw my shaikh in a brilliant vision, standing on the hill. He called to me and said, ‘Abdullah Effendi, come.’ I did not even think to put shoes on; I walked on the snow and could feel warmth from the Divine Love emanating from his spirit. As I reached him he said, ‘My son, tonight I have been ordered to take you to the presence of Sayyidina Uwais al-Qarani (r) by the order of the Prophet salla.’”

“Then he said, ‘My son, take my hand.’ I was very happy to take the hand of my shaikh, and as soon as I took his hand “ back.’ I said, ‘O Umar, that is impossible. If the Prophet salla said he is here, we must find him. Perhaps he is known by a different name.’ Then we began asking, ‘Do you know someone who is a shepherd? He takes care of his mother and never leaves her.’ Some people said, ‘Yes. But his name is not Uwais al-Qarani, his name is ‘Abdullah.’ Then they showed us where he lived.’”

“‘We went to that place and we saw in the distance a man sitting with his back to us. We approached. When we came near, without turning around, he said, ‘O ‘Ali, O ‘Umar, give me my trust.’ Immediately we handed him the robe of the Prophet salla. He stood up, kissed the robe, put it on his head, then put it to his heart and said, ‘I accept, I accept, I accept.””

“‘We wondered why he was kissing the robe and saying these words, because he had never seen the Prophet salla in all his life. But we were hesistant to ask.’”

“‘Then he turned to Sayyidina `Umar and said to him, ‘Ya `Umar, how many times have you seen the Prophet salla?’ `Umar was astonished at this question. He said, ‘That is a strange question. I spent my whole life in the company of the Prophet.’ Sayyidina Uwais said, ‘I am asking for a reason. How many times did you actually see him?’ Sayyidina `Umar said, ‘How do you mean? I was with him all the time!’ Sayyidina Uwais al-Qarani said, ‘Describe him to me.’ Sayyidina `Umar began to describe the Prophet, his eyes, his features, his appearance. Then Sayyidina Uwais said, ‘Ya `Umar, this description is known to everyone, including those who disbelieved in him.’”

“‘Then he looked at me and said, ‘Ya `Ali, how many times did you see the Prophet salla?’ I knew what he meant, and I said, ‘Ya Uwais, in my life I only saw the Prophet salla one time.’ Sayyidina `Umar was looking at me in amazement. I said, ‘I saw him one time. The Prophet salla called me and told me, ‘Look at me from my navel and above.) I looked and I saw that the Prophet salla from his navel up filled the universes and the Seven Heavens. From his neck and up, I was unable to see, but it was above the Sidratul Muntaha (Furthermost Limit). Then he told me, ‘Look from my navel and down.’ I looked and I saw all these universes, all these worlds, stars and planets had disappeared and all that I saw was the Prophet salla, from his waist to his knees filling up that entire space. And from his knees down to his feet I was unable to see. Then he salla said, (Look at all of me, from top to bottom.) I looked at him, and the Sidratul Muntaha and all these universes disappeared, and all I saw was Muhammad salla, everywhere. At that time I knew that Muhammad salla is the Heart of the Divine Presence (al-Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyya).’”

“‘Then Sayyidina Uwais looked at me and said, ‘You really saw the Prophet salla one time. And that is why he salla said about you, ‘I am the City of Knowledge and `Ali is its Door.’ Allah has also given this Divine Knowledge to Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, as the Prophet salla mentioned, ‘Whatever Allah poured into my heart, I poured into the heart of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq).’

“‘In this state of wonderment, Sayyidina `Umar asked Sayyidina Uwais, ‘What is the significance of that robe we brought to you?’ He said, ‘O ‘Umar, that is one of the biggest secrets, which will not be revealed to people until the Last Days of his Nation. While the Prophet salla was passing away, he was asking for intercession for his Nation.’”

“‘Then he said, ‘His Nation includes all human beings. And that is why Allah said, ‘Say [O Prophet]: O mankind! I am a Messenger to you all from Allah, to Whom belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth.’ [7: 158]. The Prophet asked for intercession and Allah gave permission. He was interceding for every individual that Allah created. As he was asking he was sweating, and each drop of sweat represented one human being. He took on the burdens of each person. Until he was satisfied that Allah had forgiven everyone, then he left this world. And the symbols of that forgiveness are the drops of sweat which soaked this robe.’”

“‘This robe was given to me because the Prophet salla wanted to tell me, ‘O Uwais, I am passing to you the Divine Knowledge to clean the Nation after they make sins. You must pass that power to your successors, from me to you and from you to them.””

“And Sayyidina `Ali said that Sayyidina Uwais al-Qarani said, ‘I didn’t see the Prophet salla physically, but in every moment, of every day, I was with him during his life. I received from him every matter of importance for his Nation. I am going to transmit this secret to the many successors and inheritors among Allah’s saints. Without a physical connection but through a spiritual connection, they will receive the secret of the cleansing power and revive it in every century, until the Day of Judgment.’”

“Then Sayyidina `Ali said to the association of saints, but directing his speech to me, ‘What is passed to you and to many saints before you is from that Uwaisi power. This is the first time that secret has been revealed, by permission of the Prophet salla.’”

“Then my shaikh said to me, ‘O my son, now you can go back to your seclusion.’ As soon as he said that, I found myself entering the mosque and feeling the cold again.”

From time to time, saints experience such inspirations and visions through the spiritual power of their exalted predecessors.