Love is the Centre of whole universe. It stands for submission and sacrifice for the sake of reaching to the ultimate station where the union of lover and beloved is possible. The journey we take for reaching to the ultimate goal is labelled by various names like Mysticism, Sufism , Gnosticism and many more.
By Syed Saba Mehdi Rizvi
Love is the Centre of whole universe. It stands for submission and sacrifice for the sake of reaching to the ultimate station where the union of lover and beloved is possible. The journey we take for reaching to the ultimate goal is labelled by various names like Mysticism, Sufism , Gnosticism and many more. To follow this path only one thing is very significant and that is love not gender. Men and Women both are craving for the solace and they both are longing to enter in this realm .In this realm cultural influences cannot corrupt the rights of women .In the Holy Quran Allah clarifies:
Our ranking with God is based on piety , not gender. Allah addresses men and women in the same breath. Surah -Al- Ahzab
It is very absurd to think that a woman who gives birth to Prophets and Mystics can remain unaware of this holy realm.
The chief purpose of this article is to shed light on Women Mystics who follow the pious course of love for attaining the highest station.
Almighty God created human beings and gave them the title Crown of Creation. He does not specify that Man is the Crown of Creation. The word “Human” is very important to understand that a person who possess heart, soul and feelings is the crown of creation. The feelings for others play very significant role in one’s life. The person who give meaning to the lives of others is really a great human and worthy of love. Once a human develop strong intimacy with his fellows he would get opportunity to ponder on himself, after understanding his value he starts the journey of self realization which ultimately lead him to know his Creator. Women have the capability to love selflessly as she has the ability to transform a man into Saint or a Prophet. The piety nature of a great person is the outcome of good upbringing of a mother which she has started when he even is in her womb .The Prophet Jesus is a great example who was raised by a woman named Hazrat Maryam (Peace be upon her).Mysticism is a very dynamic topic, to present it’s all dimensions is as difficult as to accumulate a sea in a goblet, almost impossible.
WOMEN IN THE MYSTIC WORLD
The Holy Quran is evident of Hazrat Maryam’s piety and holiness. In the book of Allah it is mentioned;
“Whenever Zachariah visited her in the sanctuary,
he found her provided with food ,He would ask,
O Mary, from where did this come to you?”
She would answer:”It is from God ;see how God grants sustenance to whom He/She will , beyond all reckoning.” Quran ,Surah Imran 3:31
It is the height of Mysticism when she shun everything for the sake of Almighty Allah, Allah opens the gateway to justify her act by bestowing her a son with great capabilities who defended her mother’s virginity in the cradle.
Hazrat Fatima ( Peace be upon her), the beloved daughter of Prophet Mohammad ﷺ was called “resplendent one” because of her luminous face, which seemed to radiate light. It is said that when she stood for prayers, the Mihrab would reflect the light for her countenance. She was also called Al Batul ,(“the virgin” or “the devoted one”) because of her asceticism.
Hazrat Fatima ( Peace be upon her), the beloved daughter of Prophet Mohammad ﷺ was called “resplendent one” because of her luminous face, which seemed to radiate light.
Throughout the world there are thousands of women who tie a strong knot with Mysticism by bidding farewell to the world of matter which usually act as obstacle in their way, they expressed a deep concern that they also want to unite with their Creator.The unity of being is not mere a concept but is an effort. They denied to ephemeral pleasures of this world in order to attain everlasting enjoyment of the hereafter. Preserving the impact of epiphanic moment illuminate the light of faith in the heart of the believer.
Rabia Al Adawiya, Halima of Damascus, Rabia Binti Ismail, Lubaba Fatima, Fatima of Damascus, Fatima of Cordova, Fatima Nishapur, Shawana’s names which I mentioned above developed such a strong relation with the God and follow the realm of Mysticism that even Great Male Mystics proudly claim themselves to be their disciples .Ibn Arabi ,Bayazid Bestami were proud disciples of great women Mystics. Shawana who used to shed tears to give impetus to her passion. She justified her shedding tears like this:
“Can an eye be separated from its beloved and yearns to be united with Him without weeping? This is not just.”
The famous woman Mystic Lal Ded establishes herself mystic by annihilating the desires of herself. She expressed her thoughts in her poetry famously called “VAAKH”. Her mystic music continue to have deep impact on the psyche of Kashmir.
On the land of diversities many Mystics took birth .I celebrate my beloved Mystic Lal Ded most. Kashmir, the land of Rishis and Munis, gave birth to many great personalities. The famous woman Mystic Lal Ded establishes herself mystic by annihilating the desires of herself. She expressed her thoughts in her poetry famously called “VAAKH”. Her mystic music continue to have deep impact on the psyche of Kashmir. Her VAAKH is a discourse for the practical purpose of sanctifying and divinizing human nature .For Lal Ded herself her VAAKH is a Mantra and worship of the lord as she herself proclaim. She expressed anguish on those who blindly follow religion without developing good and healthy relation with Almighty God .She was against reading holy books thoughtlessly.
As parrots in their cages recite “Ram Ram”
their reading is like churning water,
fruitless efforts ,ridiculous commit
If while alive you cannot see him
How can you see him after death?
Lal Ded invited through her mystic poetry to turn our gaze from outside to inside. She exteriorized her interior in her Vaakhs .She had the same ideology regarding the spiritual training that was propagated by Ruzbihan Baqli.
Ruzbihan Baqli wrote, “When the gnostic turns his hearing towards the unseen of the unseen, the light of sudden witnessing falls into the core of his secret heart and his spirit encounters the beauty of the Real in the clothing of containment and joyful expansion.”
Lal Ded had effortlessly transcended gender struck a blow at the prevalent patriarchy even as early as the fourteenth century.She enjoyed the word of God as she recited,
The Guru gave me but one word of wisdom
From the outside bade me turn within
The word for me Lal, is the surest prophecy,
And that is why I dance naked abandon!
She is in the search of supreme being as she abandoned herself from the world of matter; she beautifully describes this journey.
Abuse and spit I wore like crown
Slander followed or preceded my steps;
But Lal I am never swerved from my goal
My being suffused with God, where is the room of these?
She was completely involved in the attainment of great bliss that she revolutionize her spirit by developing a beautiful bond with Almighty. The great saint of Kashmir Sheikh Nur Din Wali paid a great tribute to this lady
“The Lalla of Padmanpore –
She drank her fill of divine nectar
She was indeed an avatar of ours
O God, grant me the self -same boon.”
To cut this very long discussion short the women in this realm completely involve in this journey as their feet do not bother whether they are walking on the carpet of roses or they are proceeding on the path of thorns. Their ultimate craving is to satisfy their inner self by uniting their good selves to their Creator. It is actually very absurd to think that a woman who give birth to the love remain herself blind, if the person takes birth from her womb take this great journey with enthusiastic spirit why not a woman who give birth take this holy course, why she remain at the periphery. Women illuminate the whole world with selfless love so she has complete understanding of this discourse which we label as the path of Mysticism or Realm of Mysticism. Women proved and are proving themselves everywhere so is true of this path as they also want to quench the thirst of understanding the ultimate station of reaching to the God, understanding the self and spiritual path.
The Holy Quran
Women of Sufism :A Hidden Treasure, selected and introduced by Camille Adams Helminski.
Al-Qushayri’s Epistle on Sufism by Alexander D.Knysh
The principles of Sufism edited and translated by Th. Emil Homerin
Light Within Me by Allama Mutahhari, Allama Tabatabai and Imam Khumayni
The Return of Feminine and the World Soul by Llewellyn Vaughan- Lee
Lallaeshwari :A Mystic Poetess by Rouf Ahmad
The Book of LalDed translated by Paul Smith
The Mystic and the Lyrics by Professor Neerja