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Editorial: With or Without I

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

The spiritual world of Gnosis or knowing the Almighty Allah is entirely different from the corporal world of materialism. The corporal world starts and ends with I and this I is the basis of problem for everything. I did this; I can achieve this goal; I am better than others and all egoistic phrases are encompassed in this single letter “I”. This is nothing but an illusion that I can do so, I can achieve such a goal, I have the knowledge that no other person possesses, I have much more wealth than others in my family or community, and so on.

We see from time to time the list of richest persons in the world from different countries and many of us want to make them as our Role Model. This happens because we fail to understand the meaning of richness. Similarly, we fail to understand the meaning of knowledge, we fail to understand the meaning of power etc. Sometimes it takes the entire life of a person to realize that “I” is an illusion and not a reality. The fact of the matter is what we see is not what it is.

In a Hadith, which is very famous with the Awliya and Sufis, Prophet Muhammed SAS has said: “Die before you die” (Mutu Qabla Anta Mutu). Every living creation has to taste the death but that is a physical death. Here in this Hadith, what Prophet Muhammed SAS is asking the Ummah is to make our Nafs (ego) die before we physically die in this world. This “I” is nothing but our Nafs. Once this Nafs is dead, a person has the ability to enter into a different world and ultimately may have the vision of Allah by His grace and blessings.

The mission and message of Imam Mahdi AHS goes along with this Hadith. In Mahdaviah, the existence of “I” is a hurdle in the process of pure Tawheed and therefore, it is a must for a believer to remove this to the best of his/her ability. If we recall the practice of Mahdi al-Ma’ood AHS, we remember that he AHS never used the word “I” in his talk, he always called himself a “Banda” the slave/servant of Allah and this is the true meaning of Islam. Islam requires complete surrender before Almighty Allah and to surrender completely, we need to sacrifice our ego, our desires, our Zaat before our Lord. This is what Mahdi AHS explained while explaining the Qur’anic verse 3:92 which is translated by the scholars in general as “Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.” This translation is very limited in meaning and would misguide you. The explanation of Imamuna Mahdi AHS will take you to a different world of spirituality. He emphasized that you will not reach Allah SWT unless you sacrifice your Zaat (ego). This Zaat or ego is nothing but “I”. Those who are prisoners of “I” have the limited ability and dependent upon many of the physical attributes of nature whereas those who are able to make this “I” die, are going to live in a limitless world.

Even when we say “La Ilaha Illallah” (There is no God but Allah), we start with a negation saying “there is no god”. The practice of Zikr as taught by Mahdi AHS is the culmination of the spirit of Tawheed. In our Zikr we not only negate any other god but we also negate our Zaat (mein bhi nahiN hoon). In the beginning it is said that our existence is nothing but an illusion. Unless we negate our Zaat, we cannot truly affirm the Oneness (Tawheed) of Allah SWT because Allah is not only One but also Unique and none is comparable to Him.

This reminds us a few couplets from Moulana Rum’s Mathnavi:

“I went through a journey without I There, my heart opened up to joy without I The Beloved who always hid His face from me Suddenly showed His beautiful face to me without I I died from the pain of not finding you A new birth came and I was reborn without I Now I am always drunk without any wine Now I am always happy and joyful without I Do not ever remember me for who I was I am the remembrance of me without I I say happy and loving words without I It is I who is always alive without I All the doors of fortune and joy were closed on me Suddenly they were opened to me without I With I, even if I am a king, I am a slave of time Without I, there is no slavery in all my kingdom I am drunk with the wine from Shams Tabriz May this drunkenness of love be always without I”

May Allah help us to live in this world without I, Ameen!


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