Talb (seeking) means having the desire and determination to acquire something special. Talb is a strong passion which motivates a person to do anything to achieve his goal and fulfill his desire. The one, who strongly wishes to get Pehchan (recognition), Deedar (Vision) and Marifat (mystical knowledge) of Allah, his desire is called Talb-e-Maula (desire to find and see Allah) and he himself is called Talib-e-Maula (seeker of Allah) and is also referred to as Saalik (traveller of the mystic path), Talib or Murid (disciple).
There are three categories of people in this world on the basis of their wishes and intensions:
Taliban-e-Dunya (Seekers of the World):
Those who use their knowledge and skills, expertise and main and might to attain the worldly success and pleasures, and consider this the aim of their life to the extent that even the aim of their invocation and contemplation, prayers and devotion, recitals and all other mystic exercises is to acquire and increase worldly assets and respect, and for them the gain of worldly respect and pleasures is the real success.
Taliban-e-Uqba (Seekers of Paradise):
Their aim is to make their life of the hereafter happy. For them, the real success is to get rid of the fire of Hell and to get hold of houries and the bounties of the paradise. All their devotions, mystic exercises, piety, fasting and prayers, Hajj, Zakat, invocations and glorifications are meant only to gain a happy life in the hereafter. For them, this is the only objective of life and the true success.
Taliban-e-Maula (Seekers of Allah):
All their prayers and struggles are meant only to seek Deedar (vision), Qurb (closeness) and Visal (union) of Allah. Neither are they the seekers of pleasures of this world nor of bounties of Paradise. They are the seekers and lovers of Allah only. They give up desires of both the worlds for their desire of Deedar-e-Elahi.
Arifeen (knowers) always advise to become the seekers of Allah.
|The status of these three groups have been described in the following Qudsi Hadith:|
|Meaning: The seeker of this world is bisexual (She male); the seeker of heaven is a woman (female) and the seeker of Allah is the man (male). It means that the seeker of the world is good for nothing, while seeker of heaven is weak like women but the seeker of Allah is strong like a Man and is a true Man of Allah.|
|Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
"Who is called Mard-e-Muzakar (The Man)? He is the one whose heart seeks Allah only and nothing else. The desire of the luxuries of this world and all pleasures of heaven i.e. houries, castles, delicious food, buraq (lightning horse) etc. are all trash and useless things in the eyes of those who seek Allah because in their hearts Ism-e-Allah Zaat is engraved and they are drowned in the enchantment of Ism-e-Allah Zaat since eternity. Those who made Ism-e-Allah Zaat their body and soul, became free from grieves and sorrows of both the worlds." (Ain-ul-Faqr)
|Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam has said about the Talib-e-Maula (Seeker of Allah):|
|Meaning: The person who desires a material thing, finds no betterment in it (because it is immortal) but the person who desires Allah, finds everything.|
|Meaning: The one, who seeks the world, gets it; the one who seeks Uqba (the hereafter), gets heaven but the one who seeks Allah, gets everything. (Asrar-e-Qadri)|
|Meaning: The pleasures of the world are forbidden for the seeker of Uqba (hereafter), pleasures of the hereafter are forbidden for the seeker of the world, whereas, pleasures of the world and the hereafter, both are forbidden for the seeker of Allah. He, who gets Allah, gets everything. (Shams-ul-Arifeen)
A special attribute of the seekers of Allah has been described here:
|Meaning: Their bodies are in this material world but their hearts are in the Divine world. They offer eternal prayer in their hearts. (Asrar-e-Qadri)|
|Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam said:
|Meaning: "He, who becomes Allah's, Allah becomes his."|
"" (Ism-e-Allah Zaat)."
|Hazrat Ali Karum Allah Wajhul Kareem says:
"I do not worship Allah for the desire of the Heaven or out of the fear of the Hell. I worship Allah because only He, is worthy of worship".
|Hazrat Imam Ahmed bin Hambal Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh relates that Hazrat Fazeel Bin Ayaz Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh once said, "Talib-e-Dunya (seeker of the world) gets oppressed and insulted." (Chapter 10 Tazkra-tul-Auliya)|
|Ghaus-ul-Azam Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu says about Talib-e-Maula:
"Most of the people are the seekers of the world, the seekers of Heavens are less, whereas the seekers of Allah are very few but because of their rarity, their status is of Akseer (Alchemy), as they have the ability of transforming bronze into pure gold. They are rarely found in our surroundings. They serve as a protection for common people who live in this world. It is because of them that curses are rebounded from the creation of Allah. Only by virtue of them, rain showers and earth gives birth to minerals and fruits. In the former state, they wander from one town to another or from one deserted place to another and when they get known at one place, they move from there. Then, there comes a time, when Divine forts are built around them. Allah's graciousness descends upon their hearts. The armies of Allah take them into their protection. They become respected and safe. Now, it becomes obligatory for them to focus on humanity. They become spiritual doctors, and treat the creation of Allah, but all these things are beyond your perception and intellect. (Al-Fatah Rabbani)
| Shaikh Akbar Mohiyuddin Ibn-e-Arabi Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
"Only he is worthy of Divine knowledge and meeting Allah who is strong enough to be a seeker of Allah only, neither is he a seeker of the world nor of the hereafter. (Sharah Fasoos-al-Hakam)
|Allama Iqbal Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh in his work, directly speaks to the seeker of Allah. He considers, expecting reward in exchange of prayers, as a form of business and advises to act and worship selflessly for Allah only:|
|1.||Oh negligent! Prayer is not a trade or business with Allah, pray Him sincerely, without expecting any reward.|
|2.||Oh sermonizer! When you will completely quit every desire of yours, you will surely find the destination. It is good that you have left the pleasures of this world but you must also quit the desire of pleasures of the hereafter.|
|3.||One, whose prayers and actions are fully sincere without any expectation, is rewarded by Allah in a very special way, so you must leave behind the desire of having castles, heavenly fairies and goblets of wine in the hereafter.|
|In Javaid-Nama Allama Iqbal Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says while comparing the paradise of a Mulla (seeker of Paradise) and of a lover of Allah:
|1.||The soul of the lover of Allah which longs to meet Mehboob-e-Haqeeqi (the Supreme Beloved, Allah) cannot sustain in paradise.|
|2.||The Heaven of Mulla (seeker of Paradise) is the one that has various drinks, houries and lots of servants, whereas the Heaven of the lovers is to remain always busy in Deedar-e-Elahi (Vision of Allah).|
|3.||The Heaven of Mulla comprises of food, drinks and other pleasures while the Heaven of a lover is the Vision of the Supreme Beloved, Allah.|
|4.|| According to the Mulla, the Day of Judgment is the day when graves will open up and the dead will rise on Soor-e-Israfil (trumpet of Angel Israfil) but a lover sees the Doomsday before it actually comes (when he sees Allah).
Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh has thoroughly discussed the matters of the seekers of the material world, the hereafter and Allah. According to his point of view common people of this world are the seekers of the material world i.e. Taliban-e-Dunya, special people like the pious worshippers and devouts are seekers of hereafter i.e. Taliban-e-Uqba and the most special ones like the Prophets, saints, faithful and virtuous ones are the true seekers of Allah.
| Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
One should know that it is important for the seeker of Allah that he should first search for Murshid Kamil (perfect spiritual mentor) even if he has to go from East to West or find from one end of the earth to another. The imperfect Murshid is conformist, whereas, the Kamil Murshid (perfect mentor) relates to eternity. He possesses the perfect vision of the mystic path, Marifat (Divine Knowledge) of the proximity of Allah, observation of the Noor (Divine Light) of the Essence and has perfect command over the straight way to the Divine Presence. The more the number of disciples, an imperfect Murshid has, the more he is insulted and disgraced in this world and the hereafter as well. Hence, he is deprived of closeness and meeting with Allah. (Qurb-e-Deedar)
|He Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says while talking about the qualities of the seeker of Allah:
The seeker of the Haq (Divine Reality/Allah) always comes with Haq and surely, goes with Haq and does not get distracted by the mortal and fake charms of this world which are other than Allah. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
|What is the meaning of the Seeker of Allah? The virtuous one who performs Tawaf (circumambulation) around the heart, whose heart is faithful and honest like Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique Razi Allah Anhu, as "Just" as Hazrat Umar bin Khitaab Razi Allah Anhu, as modest as Hazrat Usman Ghani Razi Allah Anhu, fighter (against nafs) like Hazrat Ali Al-Murtaza Razi Allah Anhu was, and completely resigned to the will of Allah like the King of the Prophets and Saints, seal of the Prophets, the trustworthy Messenger of the Lord of all the Worlds, the Man of Shariat and Divine secrets Mohammad Rasool Allah Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. As the seeker of Allah is a Muzakar (male). (Ain-ul-Faqr)|
|So long as, the seeker does not reach the level of "Die before Death", he cannot achieve the Secret of Allah. The seeker of the world does not have peace of mind and is always disgraced. There are a lot of seekers of Heaven and its houries and castles. Out of the thousands, there is just one seeker of Allah who is in accordance to the caliber of a personal favourite of the Murshid, who is worthy of being presented in front of Allah. The seeker who desires Marifat (Gnosis) and meeting with Allah should spend all his wealth to gain it. (Taigh-e-Barhna)|
|For the seeker of Allah, it is necessary that he should seek Sirat-e-Mustqeem (The Straight Path) from his Murshid and should give away all his material possessions, wealth and worldly relations in the way of Allah, as is the Sunnah of Hazoor Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. (Qurb-e-Deedar)|
|Know that the honest and faithful seeker is dearer than the life while the fake seeker is an enemy of the life and an example of Satan. In fact, he is worse than Satan because Satan runs away once (La-haul: seeking Allah's forgiveness) is recited but a fake seeker does not run away even after (La-haul) is recited hundred times, instead he kills. (Qurb-e-Deedar)|
|Meaning: O' Bahoo (Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh)! if the true seeker believes in Murshid then the Perfect Murshid takes the seeker to his final destination (to Allah) in a blink.|
|O' Seeker of the True Path! You must understand that the seeker of the worldly respect and reputation is the most inferior male, a bi-sexual and is useless, while the seeker of Aaqbat (Heaven) is majzoob (Lunatic) and is cursed in the hereafter but the beloved seeker of Allah is praised in the hereafter. (Qurb-e-Deedar)|
|There are two kinds of seekers of Allah: one is Marduwa (fighter) and the second is Ghazi (the conqueror). Marduwa is he who fights the enemies of Allah i.e. Nafs and Satan, day and night. Ghazi is one who, with the sword of the Tasawur of Ism-e- Allah Zaat, beheads everything which is other than Allah and becomes free of fighting. This shows that Istqamat (uprightness) is better than Ibadat (prayers). (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)|
| The seeker of Allah should think of his body (the domain of his heart and soul) as an economy and should stay with Allah in all conditions like speech and action; movement and senses; eating and drinking and sleeping and waking.
|Who is known as the Seeker?
It is also said:
|The seeker should consider himself as the creation of Allah who is Manzoor (desired) Mamoor (employed), Maqdor (empowered) and Marzooq (enriched). Also, he should submit to what Allah orders and stay happy with it. However, he should know that the will of Allah is different from the will of His creation. Sometimes, his fate favours him and sometimes, it does not. Sometimes, he faces hardships and sometimes, he meets pleasures. Man should try to understand that everything is from Allah. He should accept whatever comes from Allah, show gratification and should be happy, so that, he reaches a status very near to Allah and on the Day of Judgment, he should rise amongst those who are Sabir (enduring).
|The seeker should always stay in the state of Zikr (invocation) of Allah and should not come out of this state. He should attain solitude and retirement with Allah, so that, he achieves Istqamat (uprightness) in the Zikr (invocation of Allah), in this way, he can negate himself and can get rid of Satan. He should lessen the worldly pleasures and lust, so that, he finds pleasure and contentment in the Zikr of Allah, and gets more and more of Marifat (the mystical knowledge about Allah) and finally, achieves the status of the true slave of Allah.
|Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says about the seeker of Allah in his Persian poetry:
|1.||O' seeker! If you wish for the Vision of Allah then come beheaded (sacrifice your inward and outward self).|
|2.||Only those, who are beheaded (so passionate that they sacrifice everything for Allah) are the ones, who can reach the heights of Deedar-e-Elahi as the Divine secret of Oneness guides them towards Allah.|
|3.||Only the seeker who sacrifices his will and inward and outward self for Allah is crowned and then he stays in Eternal Meraj (Ascension to Allah).|
|4.||Such beheaded seekers keep busy in travelling through the Noor (sacred Light) of Zaat (Divine Self) and they always remain engrossed in the Zikr-e-Khafi (hidden invocation of the heart).|
|5.||The seeker, who sacrifices his life in the True Path (path towards Allah), only he succeeds to get the Vision of Allah, otherwise, no one has seen Allah with open eyes. (Noor-ul-Huda Kalan)|
|He Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
| Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh, in his Punjabi couplets says that:
|Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh tells about the seeker of the world in Ain-ul-Faqr:|
|The seeker of this world is never free from two attributes, either, he is a hypocrite or deceitful.|
|The world is evil and the seekers of this world are evil-doers.|
|The world is a place of vices and tribulation and the seeker of this world is the cause of this tribulation and vice.|
|The world is full of hypocrisy and its seeker is a hypocrite.|
|The world is a lie and the seeker of this world is a liar.|
|The world is polytheism (act of believing in other gods with Allah) and the seeker of this world is a polytheist.|
|The world is a filth and an absolute impurity and the seeker of this world is filthy and impure.|
|The world is a curse and its seeker is accursed.|
|The world is ignorant and its seeker is Abu Jahal (the father of Ignorance).|
|The world is a prostitute and the seeker of this world is her pimp husband.|
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says about the suspicious, imperfect and impure seeker:
|"He, who possesses love, value and respect for this world and for the seekers of this world, is surely a Malo'on (accursed). (Mohabbat-ul-Asrar)|
|There are lacs of insincere and suspicious seekers but the seekers of The Reality (Allah) are perhaps one or two only. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)|
|The Murshid never shows affection towards the hypocrite and false seeker nor does he bestow him with Marifat-e-Elahi (mystical knowledge about Allah). The seeker should be pure of heart and sincere too. (Fazalul-Laqa)|
|Who is a male seeker? Who is a non-male seeker? The non-male seeker is the one who desires to get worldly wealth and riches from Murshid, whereas, the male seeker is one who spends his life and wealth in search of the path of The Reality (Allah) and hence, finds it. (Taufeeq-ul-Hidayat)|
|A dog is better than a seeker who is insincere, disrespectful, unfaithful and shameless. The disciple, who loves the apostate world, stays an apostate in the desire for Marifat. (Fazalul-Laqa)|
|Who is a hopeless seeker? How could a seeker investigate the status of the Murshid till he gets one with Murshid (after annihilating in his self). How could a seeker reach the status of the Murshid till the Murshid himself delivers it to him and acquaints him with the state of Unification and Endowment of Allah. The seeker who tries to overpower the Murshid and spies his good or bad acts, stays unblessed in both the worlds. (Fazalul-Laqa)|
| I am surprised at the seekers who verbally talk about Hazrat Musa Kaleem Allah Alayh Salam but their hearts are filled with hypocrisy like Pharoah. They speak words of Hazrat Ibrahim Alayh Salam but the envy like that of Namrood is filled in their heart. Their speech is full of traditions of Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam but their ignorance is similar to that of Abu Jahal.
Conclusively, there is one subtle point and if that is understood, then all the problems can be solved and that is, the entire universe including the worlds and heavens belong to Allah Almighty and only He is its Master and Creator, so why not pray and love only Allah seeking the pleasure of His Deedar (Vision) and Pehchan (Recognition) only, renouncing the desire of pleasures of the world and the heavens. When the Pehchan (Recognition) and Marifat (gnosis) of Allah are achieved, then having pleasures of the world and heavens seems meaningless. If one assumes that he can physically walk towards Allah, then surely, he is wrong. Allah is above and beyond time, space, directions, limitations, boundaries and quantities. The journey of Deedar-e-Elahi (Vision of Allah) is, in fact, the inward journey of self-realization and recognition of the reality of man. This journey of the esoteric self is impossible without Ism-e-Allah Zaat and the guidance and leadership of Murshid Kamil Akmal (the perfect spiritual mentor).