Naghma’atul Asra’ar fi Moqamaatil Abra’ar A Review By: Md. Shahbaz Alam

Naghma’atul Asra’ar fi Moqamaatil Abra’ar (Mysterious songs on the high ranks of pious persons) a greatest poetic masterpiece (Masnavi) created by Sheikh Abu Saeed Shah Ehsanullah Mohammadi Safwi. It is one of the best known and most influential works made by him.
Sheikh Abu Saeed is a great Sufi, spiritual poet, preacher, reformer and peace maker of the current era. He is well renowned in India and abroad for his works and services in the fields of education, social welfare and preaching the peaceful Islam as well as for bringing out love, brotherhood, spirituality and honesty to our society. Sheikh Abu Sayeed is associated with an Islamic spiritual centre Khanqahe Arifia as its caretaker. It is located at Saiyed Sarawan, a village in Kaushambi district near Allahabad (India).
He has also founded a modern Madrasa, an Islamic educational institute named Jamia Arifia, in order to impart teachings of Shariat and Tariqat, Islamic laws and spiritual values. His magnetic personality, high moral values, exemplary character and Sufi style of living attract people from all walks of life towards him. He stresses upon the love for Allah and service for the whole human beings. His vision of the world is marked by a highly evolved sense of
peace and tolerance. He believes in the traditional Sufi ideas and implements and holds
monthly Sufi music program (Qawwali) at his Sufi Centre.
His whole life is dedicated to the service of people specially needy and down-trodden. Making ill-character people pious and struggling for the spiritual and social betterment of human folk has been his lifetime mission. He has produced a number of trained caliphs and disciples.
He is also the managing trustee of Shah Safi Memorial Trust and carrying all his activities under the said trust and its several umbrella branches, including Shah Safi Academy, which publishes an annual academic journal Al-Ehsaan, on Sufism in Urdu and Arabic both and a monthly magazine Khizr-e-Rah regularly.
Moreover as mentioned above he is blessed with poetic nature, and has composed a number of Sufi Ghazals, Hamd, Naat and other forms of Sufi poetry, particularly this Mathnawi named Naghmaat-ul-Asraar is a true reflection of his Sufi personality, ideas, teachings and spiritual experiences. He composed this Masnavi while he was enjoying the taste of istighraaq’ and ‘jazb’.

The Masnavi includes his spiritual couplets. Sheikh Abu Saeed has represented his Sufi views emerging from his Allah loving heart in a very literally simple, elegant and beautiful poetic way resulting in a Masnavi. The Masnavi comprises scientific tips and ideological and doctrinal principles. And above all, the Masnavi contains the spiritual, ethical and moral teachings mandatory for a divine path seeker, the old Sufi philosophies and traditions in a nice easy to read poetic manner. With this, the Masnavi weaves Quranic revelations and exegesis, Hadith quotations, statements of great Sufis and metaphysics into a beautiful tapestry.
Sheikh Abu Saeed believes that there is a specific goal to the process: the attainment of Allah. For Sheikh Abu Saeed, Allah is the ground as well as the goal of all existence. So he is concerned with the spiritual evolution of a human being. He says that man not conscious of Allah is akin to an animal and true consciousness makes him divine. That is why the Masnavi represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through heart and love to the Final One – Allah. In this journey, the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth, and arrives at the Final One. The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination with regard to races, classes, and nations.

It is worth mentioning that the quality the Masnavi has is not speculative, but practical and experimental, and its ultimate end is to lead into the state of felicity of love for Allah, his prophet along with older prophets and his pious descendants. It appeals to the heart more than to the mind. It teaches not seekers only, but Sufis too how to reach their goal of being in true love with Allah.

One must read the whole Masnavi at least one time to be fully benefited from the spiritual wisdom presented by Sheikh Abu Saeed. This Masnavi was first published in 1988. Secondly it was brought out with some nice amendment and addition in 2004. The current and third edition has been brought out with a nice note, explaining logically some important and complicated lines of Masnavi, written by Maulana Zishan Ahmad Misbahi, a literal and
intellectual writer.
Md. Shahbaz Alam is an Alim and Fazil Islamic scholar and English-Arabic-Urdu writer. He has done Alim and Fazil from one of the most famous Islamic madrasas of India Al-Jamiatul Ashrafia, Mubarakpur (Azamgarh, U.P.) and acquired Diploma in Functional Arabic from NCPUL, New Delhi. He has also done B. A. in Arabic from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and M. A. (Arabic) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has worked as a Sub Editor for Mahe Noor Monthly at Mahenoor Publication, 419, Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid, Delhi-06, compiled Sufiya Number a special issue on the Islamic spirituality and the history of great Sufis, Published from Sufi Foundation of India, 1543, Pataudi House, New Delhi-02 and edited “Arabic Journal” published from Department of Arabic, Jamia
Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He is now associated with Jamia Arifia, Saiyed Sarawan, Allahabad as a teacher, writer and administrator and can be contacted at [email protected]

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