Teachings of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo
Urs Sultan Bahoo
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Ghaus-ul-Azam Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu says:

Meaning: How can a person pray Allah, unless he knows and recognizes Him.

Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:

A person, who does not recognize Allah while addressing Him, is oblivious of the essence of praying Allah.

The engrossment, depth and fear of Allah that is found in prayers after having His Deedar (Vision) and Pehchan (Recognition) can never be found otherwise. Only this is the reason why the prayers were made obligatory thirteen years after the apostleship of Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. During this period, he Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam taught the intimate mystical knowledge of Marifat-e-Elahi (Gnosis of Allah) to his companions. They were set to physical prayers, only after the completion of this spiritual knowledge, so that their prayers may not remain soulless. In the Holy Quran Allah says:

Meaning: I have not created humans and jins except for my (true) prayers. (Al-Zariyat-56). In the explanation of this verse Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbas Razi Allah Anhu says:
Meaning: In this verse (for prayers) exactly and truly means (for my recognition).

For sufis "prayers" infact mean Marifat (Gnosis) and Qurb-e-Elahi (closeness to Allah), as the purpose of all the prayers is to have His qurb (closeness). Therefore in the aforementioned verse "" means the essence of prayers and that is Marifat and Pehchan (Recognition) of Allah. For prayers Allah had enough angels, He doesn't need fasts and prayers of man. What, He really desires from His men is that they seek His Qurb (proximity), Visal (Union) and Marifat (Gnosis) through these prayers. As He says in a Qudsi Hadith:

Meaning: I was a hidden treasure. I desired to be recognized, thus I created all the creatures for my recognition (only).

Truth behind the creation of man and the essence of all the prayers is Recognition of Allah; one who turns away, goes astray. Neither he fulfills the requirements of religion, nor does he find any peace in this world.

After death, the first question that will be asked in the grave is "who is your Rub?" What answer could be given by those who have not gained Recognition of Allah? If their answer will be "the Creator and the Owner of the whole universe, is our Rub", then how could they get the privilege of being the ummah (nation) of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam as the same will be the answer of the Christians and the Jews. The ummah of Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam is the best of all the ummahs because the doors to Allah's Vision and Union have been opened for them, after which, they can answer the above question correctly with verification of heart and soul.

In many verses of the Holy Quran, ummah of Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam is persuaded to reach close to Allah and have His Gnosis and Vision.

Meaning: Oh Man! You sustain rigours to reach (close to) Allah, ultimately you shall meet Him. (Al-Inshiqaq-6)
Meaning: (Will) you sit patiently, while your Allah is looking forward to seeing you. (Al-Furqan-30)
Meaning: One, who longs to meet (see) Allah should execute virtuous deeds. (Al-Kahaf-110)

It is just natural that we want to meet and remain close to our loved ones and cannot live without them for long. A man who claims to love Allah but is satisfied with the prayers only for his expression of love and does not seek His Vision and Union is not true to his claim. Allah says about such persons:

Meaning: Verily, those who do not wish to meet (see) Allah and have liked the life of this material world, and are satisfied with it and are neglectful of our signs will be punished by burning them and their earnings (of this world) in the extreme fire of Hell. (Younus-7,8) Those, who deny Allah's Deedar are also warned about the consequences:
Meaning: It is those, who have denied the signs of Allah and His meeting (seeing), so all their deeds are ruined and Allah shall not give any weight or (even) any worth to them (and their deeds) on the Day of Rising. (Al-Kahaf-105)
Meaning: No doubt those who denied meeting (seeing) Allah are in a great loss". (Al-Inam-31)
Meaning: Beware! They are in doubt about meeting Allah. Beware! He is the One, Who encompasses everything. (Ha-Mim As-Sajda-54)
Meaning: And whoever remains blind (to the glorious Vision of Allah) in this (world), will be blind in the hereafter, as well. (Bani-Israel-72)

People, who say that Deedar-e-Elahi (Vision of Allah) is not possible, give reference of the incident of Hazrat Musa Alayh Salam mentioned in the Holy Quran which says that when Hazrat Musa Alayh Salam saw the Light of Allah on the Mount Sinai, he fainted, so if he, despite being a Prophet could not see Allah, how could we do. But, if we read and analyze those verses, they prove that Hazrat Musa Alayh Salam saw Allah but could not tolerate His Self Disclosure. Allah narrates that incident as:

Meaning: And when Musa came at the time (set) by Us and his Lord spoke to him, he (ardently inspired to behold Him out of the pleasure of hearing Allah's voice and) submitted "O Lord, show me (Your Beauty) so that, I may savour Your sight". Allah said "you cannot look upon Me (directly) but look towards the mountain. So, if it stays in its place then soon will you behold My Beauty". When his Lord unveiled the Light (of His Divine Beauty) on to the mountain, (He) crushed it into sand particles (with His intense Divine Self Disclosure) and Musa fell down unconscious, then, when he recovered, he submitted: "Holy You are, and I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of all the Momins." (Al-A'raf-143)

This verse proves that Hazrat Musa saw the Light of Allah, otherwise, he would not have fainted and the last part of the verse i.e. "I am the first Momin" also shows that he saw Allah because 'MOMIN' is the one, who prays Allah while seeing Him. Here 'first Momin' means "first one to see Allah". If we do not take these meanings of this verse, it means we are not considering the previous Prophets as Momins ().

Some people use the verse meaning: "You cannot see Me" to prove their argument that Allah cannot be seen, but this verse does not prove that Allah cannot be seen because Allah is saying only to Hazrat Musa that "You cannot see Me". He is not at all declaring that "I cannot be seen". He is saying this to Hazrat Musa because He wants to keep His Glorious Vision safe for His beloved Prophet Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam and for his beloved ummah. That is why, all the Prophets wished to be in the ummah of Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam.

In Tafseer Zia-ul-Quran, Pir Karam Shah Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says in the explanation of the above mentioned verse:
"As far as, the possibility of seeing Allah is concerned, there is not any controversy. Everyone admits that Allah can be seen. If it was not possible, why would Hazrat Musa have asked for it? The Prophets know what is possible, what is not and what is strictly forbidden by Allah. A Prophet never asks for anything which is impossible or forbidden."
In fact Allah Himself wants to be seen, He created man and the entire Universe for His recognition as he says:
Meaning: "I was a hidden treasure, I desired to be recognized so I created all the creatures for My recognition only". And recognition is possible only after seeing.
Many Hadiths and sayings of sufis also emphasize upon the recognition and Gnosis of Allah through His Vision.
Hazrat Jareer Bin Abdullah Razi Allah Anhu relates that:
"The Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam said that soon you will see your Allah with your own eyes". (Mishkwat)
Another tradition narrates that:
Once, we were sharing the company of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. He Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam watched the moon and said, "You will see Allah as you are seeing this moon and you will have no problem in watching Him". (Al-Fatah-Rabbani)
Hazrat Umar Razi-Allah Anhu said:
"I had the glorious Vision of Allah through His resplendent Light".
Hazrat Ali Razi-Allah Anhu said:
"I do not pray Allah unless I see Him".

In short, it is the first and foremost demand of Allah's love and the soul of all the prayers to acquire His Pehchan (Recognition) and Marifat (Gnosis) through His Deedar (Vision).

It is very easy to verbally verify Kalma Tayyaba (), the foundation of Islam, but this foundation is imperfect unless verified by heart and soul. The heart and soul have a special characteristic that they do not verify anything unless they check and testify it through a keen and close observation. So, the verification of Tauheed by heart and soul is possible only when the Oneness of Allah is confirmed through His perfect and proper Recognition after the observation. Only then, the prayer becomes Meraj (Ascension to Allah) when it is said after the Marifat and Deedar of Allah.

Hazrat Ghaus-ul-Azam Razi Allah Anhu clearly says in Al-Fatah-Rabbani that "Our Allah is Omnipresent and can be seen".

Now the question arises that Allah does not possess any material body and is not restricted to any place. How and where could He be seen?

Hazrat Ghaus-ul-Azam Razi Allah Anhu says:
"For every true believer who has Marifat of Allah and true belief, there are two physical eyes of the body and two esoteric eyes of the soul. With his physical eyes, he can see the world and its creatures while, with his internal eyes, he can see the creatures of the unseen world. Then all the veils from his soul are removed and he can watch Allah's Self without any doubt and material medium. Thus, he becomes closest to Allah and His beloved". (Al-Fatah-Rabbani)

Every sensible person is aware of the fact that man is a combination of a physical body that can be seen and an internal being which is named as soul, conscience or qulb which cannot be seen by the common people. This internal and intrinsic being is infact the real person. The physical body is just a cover for the soul in this physical world. This bodily cover is created in this world for physical recognition of a person and when, on the physical death the real being i.e. the soul returns to Allah, this cover is left in this world to decay. The one, who came from Allah and has to return to Him and will be answerable to Him, is the True Self and that is our Batin (the inward soul) (we have come from Allah and to Him only we return). To be exalted to His Deedar Marifat and Pehchan, is what this True Self or the soul is destined to because it belongs to Allah. As Allah says in the Quran about the soul that was breathed into the vessel of Adam and all mankind:

Meaning: And then I (Allah) breathed into him My soul. (Al-Hajr-29)

This soul, that belongs to Allah, is the one that is ungratified for not being close to Allah and for not being enlightened to His Deedar.

It is not the physical eyes that see Allah but that enlightened insight of the soul which is sublimed to His Deedar and those who do not see yet, Allah says of those:

Meaning: These (physical) eyes are not blind but the soul inside the body is blind (to Deedar-e-Elahi). (Al-Hajj-46)

The Sultan-ul-Faqr Sixth Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:

Two things are necessary to see anything, one is light (from artificial sources or sun) and other is the eye which has power of sight. If one of them is missing (either one is blind or there is darkness) nothing can be seen. Similarly two things are necessary to see Allah, one is the inner eye of batin or the soul and the other is the light of Ism-e-Allah Zaat (Personal Name of Allah). Allah can only be seen in the light of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. (Shams-ul-Fuqara)
Sultan Bahoo says About Deedar-e-Elahi

Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh has explained the ways and means by which a seeker is blessed by Deedar-e-Elahi (Vision of Allah) in all his books. He says:

I am the intellectual and scholar having complete knowledge of Deedar-e-Elahi (Vision of Allah). I see His Light everywhere. I do not have any other knowledge, neither I do any other kind of Zikr (invocation), Fikr (meditation), Muraqbah (concentration) because all the branches of knowledge are meant to have the knowledge of Deedar-e-Elahi, which I already have. Where there is Deedar-e-Elahi, neither is there time nor space, neither stages nor destination, only the unparalleled and unexplainable Divine Self appears in Lahut Lamakan (The Divine Realm) as the Divine Radiant Light, from Ism-e-Allah Zaat (Personal Name of Allah). In this Light Deedar and Laqa (vision and meeting with Allah) are gained. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
I know and study the Divine Knowledge of Deedar only, and I have found this status through the company of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam, his sacred companions and Ahl-e-Bait Razi Allah Anhum.

He describes the ways to have Deedar-e-Elahi:

By which knowledge and way a seeker is blessed with Deedar-e-Elahi and Union with Allah? It is possible only through the knowledge of Sayr-Fillah (Journey towards Allah), mushahida-e-Noor (observation of the Divine Light), Hazoor (eternal presence) and qurb (closeness), which is above wisdom and intellect. This Divine knowledge is gained by a person through Ism-e-Allah Zaat and that person is our beloved brother. (Noor-ul-Huda)
Meaning: Look! The picture is the source to recognize the painter (similarly Ism-e-Allah Zaat is the source to recognize Allah). When the picture and the painter become one (Ism-e-Allah Zaat is converted into the luminous Light of Allah) only then the status of Haq-ul-Yaqeen (experiencing the closeness of Divine Reality) is acquired. How this status is attained? Only through Ism-e-Allah Zaat. If you want to know the secret of the Divine Oneness you must know that Allah is concealed in your being just as fruit is concealed inside the peel. (Noor-ul-Huda)

Sultan-ul-Arifeen describes the hindrance in the way of Deedar-e-Elahi and also states the means to get over it.

You must understand that the seekers of Deedar-e-Elahi are neither hindered by mountains nor walls, the only obstacle between them and Allah is the nafs (commanding inner self) which is harder than walls and mountains and it is very difficult to remove it. Murshid Kamil (the perfect spiritual Mentor) first of all, kills this giant nafs which is also the friend of Satan, by the sword of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. As soon as, this nafs is killed, their remains no veil between Allah and His slave, and he is blessed with Deedar-e-Elahi at every moment. (Noor-ul-Huda Kalan)
There are neither high walls or mountains between Allah and His seeker, nor a very long distance journey, the only obstacle is the nafs which is thinner than the skin of an onion and is very easily removed by Tasawur of Ism-e-Allah Zaat (contemplation of Personal Name of Allah) and the attention of Murshid Kamil who is the possessor of the Divine secret. If you want to come, doors are open, otherwise, Allah does not need anyone. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)

Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh declares that only the Sarwari Qadri way leads a seeker to the extreme spiritual heights, where he is blessed with Deedar-e-Elahi, No other spiritual order or chain has access to such heights. He says:

Only the Sarwari Qadri disciples have the courage, tolerance and determination required to attain to the levels and status of Deedar-e-Elahi. If a disciple of any other chain claims to have Deedar-e-Elahi, he is only lying and boasting. Definitely, he has a lot of veils between him and Allah. (Noor-ul-Huda)

Sultan-ul-Arifeen has discussed the knowledge of Deedar-e-Elahi in all his books thoroughly. He says:

Meaning: The seeker of Deedar-e-Elahi seeks nothing except Allah's Deedar, so he sees nothing except Allah. Drowned in his real essence, he sees Allah everywhere.
Meaning: The best pleasure of all the pleasures is the pleasure of seeing the Eternal Beauty i.e. Deedar-e-Elahi. All the pleasures of this material world are valueless as compared to Deedar-e-Elahi because they are mortal and perishable. (Noor-ul-Huda)
In His book Ain-ul-Faqr Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says about Deedar-e-Elahi:
The person, who gains the treasure of Deedar-e-Elahi at the cost of his life, sees Allah with his physical eyes.
Allah is always with you, alas! You are blind to His Eternal Beauty and have gone astray (due to your blindness).
Whatever attracts your attention except Allah is carrion, that is why the seeker of Allah desires only the Vision of Allah.
The Radiant Light of Self Disclosure of Allah which, Hazrat Musa Alayh Salam saw on the mount of Sinai, I see that Light exactly as it is, with open eyes and this special Light appears from the sacred letters of Ism-e-Allah Zaat.
How can Deedar-e-Elahi be attained if the soul is not alive? Bowing before a wall is not the same as prostrating before Allah while seeing Him.
In his book Noor-ul-Huda Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
The very first status of Arifeen (knowers of Allah) is that they are blessed with Laqa-e-Elahi (meeting with Allah) and this status is gained only by Ism-e-Allah Zaat (Personal Name of Allah) that is why I have made Ism-e-Allah Zaat my guide. The person who drowns his self in Ism-e-Allah Zaat finds the Divine knowledge of Deedar-e-Elahi very soon. How Allah can be seen? I see Allah because my Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam blesses me with Deedar-e-Elahi.
In fact human beings have two levels. One of them are the true human beings and others are just animals, only having the appearance of humans who always remain worried and lost. How can a true human be differentiated from the animal like human beings? The true ones are always blessed with Deedar-e-Elahi and animal like human beings run only after this carrion material world.
Only that seeker deserves meeting with Allah (in this world and the hereafter) who sees Allah after annihilation in His Oneness.
If you have (inner) eyes then see Allah to your heart's content.
Those, who possess (inner) eyes have the privilege of seeing Allah but the liars and hypocrites can't see anything.
Eyes believe only after seeing (so for completion of belief in Allah, seeing Him is necessary). One who does not believes this, is surely accursed.
One whose inner eyes are enlightened by the grace of Allah, is blessed with Deedar-e-Elahi. Such fortunate seeker is free from all the worries of this world and the hereafter.

When the soul was with Allah it was drowned in His Deedar (Vision) but when Allah declined this spiritual self, enclosed in a physical body, to this material world for the trial of His Pehchan (Recognition), He laid the ethereal veils of nafs between Him and Man. Man's trial is to unveil these ethereal personalities of nafs (lower self) to attain Allah's Vision and Recognition by reaching Noor-e-Elahi (The Divine Light) entrusted in the core of man's being, Qulb. It is the Divine Light, entrusted to man's heart of which Allah says:

Meaning: Indeed, We offered the trust (of Our resplendent Light) to the heavens and the earth and the mountains but they declined to bear this and became scared but man took it on. Verily, he is ever so wrongdoing (against his own soul), unwise and extremely ignorant (of the consequence of lapse in paying back this trust)". (Al-Ahzab-72)

On the Day of Reckoning man has to return this Noor-e-Elahi (entrusted refulgent Self of Allah). This entrusted Light within the soul of man can be secured from being damaged by Nafs-e-Ammarah (the commanding self), only when a person approaches it by unveiling it entirely, then can he save it. Unless he approaches and recognizes this entrusted Light, neither can he evaluate its significance nor can he secure it. That is why, the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam said "One who does not possess fidelity has no belief", because faith infact is the protection of this entrusted Noor-e-Elahi within man's self. Allah has assured success on the Day of Reckoning only to the soul returned in its original and purest form, enlightened by Allah's resplendent Light.

Meaning: On the Doomsday, neither worldly assets nor progeny will benefit anyone but only the pure and protected soul (from evil) will help. (Ash-Shuara 88,89)

Therefore Allah's Recognition and Gnosis is accessed on unveiling the Divine Light hidden in the esoteric self. Allah says:

Meaning: I am within you, can't you see. (Al-Zariyat-21)
Meaning: I am closer to man than his jugular vein. (Qaf-16)

In Qudsi Hadith Allah says:

Meaning: Neither earth can possess me nor the skies, only the heart of a true believer can possess me.
Meaning: The heart of a true believer is the Arsh (empyrean, throne) of Allah (where He resides).

To find Allah, one has to search through his soul and by recognizing his true internal self, he can recognize Allah. Allah says in Qudsi Hadith:

Meaning: One who recognized his own internal self undoubtedly, recognized Allah.

This recognition of man's internal self is named by Iqbal as "KHUDI". He persuades the Muslim ummah to recognize their true self "Khudi" in order to recognize Allah.

Meaning: Allah is hidden within your own self oh negligent! Search and find Him, only this is the way of your self-improvement.

Alas! Man executes all his powers to satisfy the demands of his physical body and does his best to save this body from any harm or disease but never ever pays even minor attention to his internal real being. The soul that remains restless to meet and see its Creator, becomes ill and weak because of man's dejection and entanglement into the desires of material world and Nafs. Reason for man's anxiety is his negligence towards his soul. When soul becomes weak, Nafs-e-Ammarah, which orders man to do wrong, becomes strong and overpowers esoteric self, hence, neither heart nor mind can sustain righteousness, thus leading to the individual and collective destruction.

In Risala-al-Ghausiya Allah says to Hazrat Ghaus-ul-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu :

"One who restrains oneself travelling towards Me inside his Batin (inward), instead pays heed to one's superficial being, I make him suffer physically through hardships".
i.e. when one does not try to rectify and sanctify his internal self to get Qurb (proximity) of Allah and focuses on what is Zahir (exoteric) than what is Batin (esoteric), then Allah entangles him in worldly worries and hardships. When our inner self is rectified, our external behaviors are corrected automatically.

It must also be understood that without the Zikr and Tasawur of Ism-e-Allah Zaat (invocation and contemplation of The Personal Name of Allah) and Tasawur Ism-e-Mohammad (contemplation of The Sacred Name of Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam) our inner self is neither rectified nor corrected. In fact, the invocation and contemplation of The Personal Name of Allah are the key to the esoteric world, and the contemplation of Sacred Name of Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam leads a devotee to the Majlis-e-Mohammadi (Assembly of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam), but only if this Zikr and Tasawur is given by an accomplished and perfect spiritual guide and mentor i.e. Murshid Kamil Akmal.