The Messenger of Allah,
Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah

“How can people in this world grasp his reality?
They, who are asleep and pleased by dreams from him.
How beautiful what has been said about his reality!
Your light is everything and everything else is particles.
O Prophet, your soldiers in every time are your Companions!”

The Sheikhs of the Naqshbandi Order are known as
the Golden Chain because of their connection to the highest, most
perfect human being, Muhammad

, the First to be created, the First to be mentioned, the First to be
honored.

When Allah ordered the Pen to write, it asked,
“What shall I write?” and Allah said, “Write ‘La Ilaha Ill-Allah.’
The Pen wrote “La Ilaha Ill-Allah” for seventy-thousand of
Allah’s years and then it stopped. One of Allah’s days is equal to one
thousand of our years. Then Allah ordered it to write again, and the Pen
asked, “What shall I write?” and Allah answered, “Write Muhammadun
Rasul-Allah.
” And the Pen said, “O Allah, who is this Muhammad that
You have put Your Name next to his name?” Allah said, “You must know
that if it were not for Muhammad I would not have created anything in
Creation.” So the Pen wrote Muhammadun Rasul-Allah for another
seventy-thousand years.

When did Allah order the Pen to Write? When did
the Pen Write? When did that writing of “La ilaha ill-Allah
Muhammadun Rasul-Allah”
occur? No one knows. The mention of the name
of the Prophet

by Allah, Almighty and Exalted, is something which happened before the
creation of anything, and its reality occurred in pre-Eternity. That is
the reason the Prophet

mentioned, “kuntu Nabiyyan wa adamu bayni-l-ma’i wa-t-tin” – “I
was a Prophet when Adam was between water and clay.”

He is the Perfect Human Being. He is the Seal of
all prophets and messengers. What can a weak servant say in order to
honor the Master of Messengers? If it were not for him, no one would
ever have known Allah, Almighty and Exalted. Never would the fabric of
the universe have been woven into existence as it has been woven.
Therefore the pen cannot describe the most perfect of the Perfect human
beings, the Master of Masters, the King of Kings, the Sultan of Sultans
of the Divine Presence.

He is the Heart of the Divine Presence. He is
the Heart of the Unique Essence. He is the Sign for Oneness and the Sign
of Oneness. He is known as the Secret of All Secrets. He is the only one
addressed by Allah Almighty and Exalted, because he is the only one
considered Responsible in the Presence of Allah who said, “Were it not
for him I would not have created any of My creation.” All of the
creation was given to the Prophet

as a divine gesture of honor from Allah, Almighty and Exalted. Therefore
the Prophet

is responsible for that creation which is his honor and his Trust. For
that reason he is the only one to be addressed in the Divine Presence.

The singular status of the Prophet

is the heart and the Essence of the phrase of tawheed [La
ilaha ill-Allah Muhammadun Rasul-Allah
] and the foundation of
Sufism. The Prophet

is the “one soul” mentioned in the Qur’anic verse, “[O Mankind] Your
creation and your resurrection is in no wise but as an individual soul”

[31:28]. It is also the Prophet

who is the “single life” represented in the verse, “If anyone slew a
person… it would be as if he slew the whole people: And if anyone
saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”

[5:32]

The Prophet

, moreover, referred to his responsibility in the hadith: a`malakum
tu`radu `alayya kulla yawm
, “All your actions
are shown to me every day. If they are good, I pray for you; if they are
bad, I ask Allah’s forgiveness for you.” That means that the Prophet

is the one who is responsible towards God for his Community. That is
why, as we said, he is “the only to be spoken to.” It is the meaning of
Intercession. Allah refers to this intercession in the verse, “If
they had only, when they were unjust to themselves, come unto thee
and asked Allah’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked
forgiveness for them
, they would have found Allah indeed
Oft-Returning, Most Merciful”
[4:64].

His honorable biography and his blessed speeches
and actions can never be encompassed in a book. But we can say that he
is Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Muttalib ibn Hashim and that his
lineage goes back to Ibrahim

. He was born in Makkah al-Mukarrama on a Monday, the 12th of Rabi`ul
Awwal, 570 CE, in the Year of the Elephant. His mother, Sayyida Amina,
when she gave birth to him, saw a light coming from her that turned all
darkness into light as far as Persia. When he was born, the first thing
he did after coming from his mother’s womb was to fall into prostration.
His father died before he was born. He was nursed by Thuayba and then by
Halima as-Sa`diyya, with whom he stayed for four years.

While returning with him from a visit to his
uncles in Madinat al-Munawwara (at that time Yathrib), his mother fell
sick and died. He was six years old. His grandfather raised him for two
years, until he also died. Orphaned three times, he went to live with
his uncle, Abu Talib. Allah Almighty and Exalted ordered the Angel of
the Trumpet, Israfil

to accompany him at all times until the age of eleven years. Then Allah
ordered Jibril

to accompany him and to look after him and to keep him in his
safekeeping, and to send to his heart heavenly and spiritual Powers.

He traveled with his uncle to Sham (Damascus).
On their way they passed by Basra where a monk named Buhaira, living in
a monastery nearby, told his uncle, “Take him back, it will be safer for
him.” At that time he was twelve years old. Years later he traveled
again to Sham with Maysara, to trade on behalf of the Lady Khadija

. They were very successful. Maysara told Khadija about his miraculous
powers and his business acumen and she became interested in him. She
proposed marriage and he accepted her offer. He married her when he was
25 years of age and she was forty.

He was known throughout his tribe as as-Sadiq
al-Amin
, the Truthful and Trustworthy One. When he was 35 years of
age, the Quraish Tribe was renovating the House of Allah, the Ka’aba.
They disputed among themselves as to who should put the sacred Black
Stone (hajaru-l-aswad) in its place. They finally came to an
agreement that the most trustworthy person should replace it, and that
person was the Prophet

.

At that time inspirations and revelations were
coming to his heart. He was always in a state of spiritual vision and
insight, but he was not authorized to speak about it. He preferred to be
alone and used a cave in a mountain called al-Hira for contemplation and
meditation. He sought seclusion as the means to reach the Divine
Presence of Allah Almighty and Exalted.

He avoided all kinds of attachment, even with
his family. He was always in meditation and contemplation, afloat on the
Ocean of the Dhikr of the Heart. He disconnected himself completely from
everything, until there appeared to him the light of Allah Almighty and
Exalted, which graced him with the condition of complete intimacy and
happiness. That intimacy allowed the mirror of revelation to increase in
purity and brightness, until he attained to the highest state of
perfection, where he observed the dawning of a new creation. The
primordial signs of beauty shone forth to spread and decorate the
universe. Trees, stones, earth, the stars, the sun, the moon, the
clouds, wind, rain, and animals would greet him in perfect Arabic speech
and say, “as-Salam ‘alayka Ya Rasul-Allah” — “Peace be upon
You, O Prophet of God.”

At forty years of age, when standing on the
Mountain of Hira, there appeared on the horizon a figure he did not
recognize, who said to him, “O Muhammad, I am Jibril and You are the
Prophet of God whom He has sent to this nation.” Then he handed him a
piece of silk which was decorated with jewels. He put it in his hand and
told him, “Read.” He asked “What am I to read?” He hugged the Prophet

and told him, “Read.” He again said, “What shall I read?” He hugged him
again and said,

“Read, in the name of Your Lord, who
Created,
Created man out of a blood-clot,
Read, and thy Lord is Most bountiful
Who has taught with the Pen,
Taught man what he knew not!”
[96:1-5]

Then he ordered him to climb down the mountain
to the plains below; he placed him on a large white stone and gave him
two green robes. Then Jibril

hit the earth with his feet. Immediately a spring poured forth and the
angel made ablutions in it and ordered him to do the same. Then Jibril

took a handful of water and threw it on the face of the Prophet

. Sufi saints say that the water he threw was a sign that the Prophet

was granted authority to spread to human beings the Knowledge of the
Secrets of Allah’s Divine Presence, either by physical means or by
spiritual means. Then he observed two cycles of prayer (rak’ats) and
told the Prophet

, “This is the way to worship,” and he disappeared.

The Prophet

returned to Makkah and told his wife all that had occurred. She believed
him and she was the first Muslim. Then she went with the Prophet

to Waraqah bin Nawfal, her cousin, who was considered a person
knowledgeable in spirituality. The Prophet

told him what happened. He believed him and he was the first man to
believe in the Prophet

. He said, “This is the Holy Spirit who descended on Moses

.” He said, “Would that I be alive when your people expel you from
Makkah!” The prophet asked, “Are my people going to put me out of
Makkah?” He said, “Yes, that is what is written.”

Then Abu Bakr

became a believer and he was followed by Ali

. In public the Prophet

gave guidance needed for daily life, and in private he would give the
special advice needed for attaining the state of Ihsan

(perfect good character). That is why Abu Huraira

said in an authentic hadith mentioned in Bukhari, “The Prophet

has poured into my heart two kinds of knowledge: one I have spread to
people and the other, if I were to share it, they would cut my throat.”

The knowledge Abu Huraira referred to is the
hidden, secret knowledge that the Prophet

gave to his Companions. He did not authorize them to spread that
knowledge because it is the secret knowledge of the heart. From these
secrets all Masters of the Naqshbandi Golden Chain and all other Sufi
Orders receive their knowledge. This knowledge was transmitted only from
heart to heart, either through Abu Bakr as-Siddiq

or through Ali

.

For three years, as the Muslims increased in
number, they used Dar al-Arqam as a mosque in which to teach, to worship
and to hide. Then the Prophet

was ordered to proclaim the religion openly. Allah sent a surah of the
Qur’an challenging anyone to write anything like it. Poets, leaders and
famous people tried until they openly accepted the self-evident fact
that it was not possible. Still the unbelievers went to his uncle,
complaining, saying, “Give us Muhammad

so we may kill him.” He said, “No one can touch him as long as I am
living.” The unbelievers tortured all those who did believe him. They
kidnapped their wives, killed their children and raped their daughters.
The new Muslims suffered all kinds of difficulties at the hands of the
unbelievers.

For thirteen years the Prophet

stayed in Makkah, calling the people to Allah’s religion.

The unbelievers asked for a miracle or a sign in
the heavens. The Holy Prophet divided the full moon in two in front of
their eyes. Some of them believed and some of them did not. After this
the persecution continued and some Muslims asked permission to emigrate.
They emigrated to Ethiopia, where the King gave them refuge and, through
their influence, became a believer in the Prophet

. They stayed there for five years before some of them returned to
Makkah. The Prophet’s

uncle and then his wife Khadija al-Kubra

died. These were his staunchest supporters. It was the year of sadness.

A year and a half later, he was invited to the
Presence of Allah, Almighty and Exalted. From Makkah to Jerusalem (Quds)
he travelled accompanied by Archangel Gabriel (Jibril)

. From Jerusalem he ascended to the heavens by means of Buraq, a
heavenly mount who carried him up. All the prophets in the different
levels of heaven came to greet him. He ascended higher and higher, until
he heard the scratching of the Pen, writing out God’s Decree. He
approached the Divine Presence, closer and closer, until Jibril

said to him, “Ya Rasul Allah (O Prophet of God), I cannot continue
further, or I will be extinguished.” The Prophet

said, “O Jibril, accompany me!” He said, “I cannot, or I will be burned
in Allah’s Light.” So Muhammad

, the most Perfect of the Perfect, continued alone. Driven by his love
for Allah’s Divine Presence he approached closer and closer, achieving
the State of Complete Annihilation in five different stages.

From one stage to another the Prophet

moved into Allah’s Divine Secrets. Between each stage was five hundred
thousand years. He passed through these vast Divine Oceans of Knowledge,
which Allah Almighty and Exalted has created, until he was completely
dissolved in Allah’s Existence, seeing nothing except Him. Then Allah
called him to return to existence after he had reached the State of
Annihilation. He returned and Allah told him, “O Muhammad, Approach
closer.” From this it is understood that the Prophet

, having reached the State of Complete Annihilation, was called by Allah
by his name, indicating that he was appearing anew with Allah’s
Appearance. He reached so near to the Divine Light, that he was “two
bow-lengths or nearer”
[53:9]. Allah asked him, “Who are you, O
Muhammad?” At that time the Prophet

was not conscious of himself and he replied: “You, O my Lord.” This is
the perfection of the state of not associating anyone with Allah. It is
the perfect sign of Tawhid (Oneness), when nothing exists except His
Glory, His Essence, Himself.

Hadhrat Sahib has related, from the
hidden knowledge of the Sufi saints, some of the events that occurred on
that incredible journey of the Prophet. This is knowledge from the
Prophet which Abu Huraira referred to in his hadith, knowledge passed
down from the heart of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq. The Prophet

said, “Whatever Allah poured into my heart I poured into the heart of
as-Siddiq.” This knowledge was then passed to the Naqshbandi Sufi saints
and constitutes their spiritual inheritance.

“Allah Almighty
and Exalted said to the Prophet

on the Night of Ascension, O Muhammad, I have created all of creation
for your sake, and I am giving it all to you. At that moment Allah
granted the Prophet

power to see all that He had created, with all of their lights and all
of the favors that Allah had granted His creatures by decorating them
with his Attributes and with His Divine Love and Beauty.

“Muhammad

was enthralled and enraptured because Allah had given him the gift of
such a creation. Allah said to him, ‘Ya Muhammad, are you happy with
this creation?’ He said, ‘Yes, My Lord.’ He said, ‘I am giving them to
you in Trust to keep, to be responsible for, and to return to Me just as
I gave them to you.’ Muhammad

was looking at them in delight because they were illuminated with
beautiful lights, and he said, ‘O My Lord, I accept.’ Allah said, ‘Are
you accepting?’ He replied, ‘I accept, I accept.’ As he finished
replying the third time, Allah granted him a vision of the sins and the
many forms of misery, darkness, and ignorance into which they were going
to fall.

“When Muhammad

saw this he was dismayed, wondering how he would be able to return them
to His Lord as clean as in their original state. He said, ‘O My Lord,
what is this?’ Allah replied, ‘O My beloved, this is your
responsibility. You have to return them to Me as clean as I gave them to
You.’ Then Muhammad

said, ‘O my Lord, give me helpers to help me clean them, to sanctify
their spirits, and to take them from darkness and ignorance to the state
of knowledge, of piety, of peace and love.’

“Then Allah, Almighty and Exalted, granted him a
vision in which he informed him that out of this creation He had chosen
for him 7,007 Naqshbandi Saints. He told him, ‘O My beloved, O Muhammad,
these saints are from the most Distinguished Saints that I created to
help you in keeping this creation clean. Out of them are 313 who are in
the highest, most perfect state in the Divine Presence. They are the
inheritors of the secrets of 313 Messengers. Then I am giving you forty,
who are carrying the most distinguished powers, and they are considered
the Pillars of all saints. They are going to be the Masters of their
times and they are going to be the Inheritors of the Secrets of
Reality.’

“‘At the hands of these saints everyone will be
healed from his wounds, both externally and internally. These saints
will be able to carry the whole Nation and the whole of Creation without
any sign of tiring. Every one of them will be the Ghawth
(Arch-Intercessor)
in his time, under whom will be the five Qutub


(Spiritual Poles).’

“The Prophet

was happy and he said, ‘O my Lord, give me more!’ Then Allah showed him
124,000 saints, and He said, ‘These saints are the inheritors of the
124,000 prophets. Each one is an inheritor from one prophet. They also
will be there to help you clean this Nation.’

“While the Prophet

was ascending to the Divine Presence, Allah caused him to hear a human
voice. The voice was that of his friend and closest Companion, Abu Bakr
as-Siddiq

. The Prophet

was told by Allah Almighty to order Abu Bakr as-Siddiq to call all the
Naqshbandi saints: the 40, the 313, and the 7,007, and all their
followers, in their spiritual forms, into the Divine Presence. All were
to receive those distinguished Lights and Blessings.

“Then Allah ordered the Prophet

, who ordered Abu Bakr

, to call the 124,000 saints of the other 40 Tariqats and their
followers to be given that Light in the Divine Presence. All of the
Shaykhs began to appear in that gathering with all of their followers.
Allah then asked the Prophet

to look at them with his Prophetic power and light, and to lift them all
to the station of  Siddiqin, the Trustworthy and the Truthful.
Then Allah Almighty and Exalted said to the Prophet

, and the Prophet

said to the saints, ‘All of you and all of your followers are going to
be stars shining among human beings, to spread that light which I gave
you in pre-Eternity to all human beings on earth.'”

This is only one of
the secrets that has been revealed about the Night of Ascension to the
hearts of the saints through the transmission of the Golden Chain of the
Naqshbandi Order.” Many more visions were given to the Prophet

, but there is no permission to unveil them.

That Night, the Prophet

was ordered by Allah to perform 50 prayers a day. He shortened it to
five prayers a day on the advice of the Prophet Moses (Musa)

. He returned from that Night Journey, and the first one to believe him
was Abu Bakr as-Siddiq

. The unbelievers, hoping to ridicule him, asked him to describe
Jerusalem. He described it in all its details, and the unbelievers were
humiliated.

Persecution against the Prophet

and his Companions escalated. Then Allah sent him the Ansar (Helpers)
from Madinah. Islam had begun to spread among the tribes of this small
oasis not far from Makkah. Allah gave the believers permission to
migrate to Madinah, the home of the Ansar. Abu Bakr

wanted to migrate, but Muhammad told him, “Don’t leave yet, wait, and
maybe you will travel with me. There is a very important event which
must happen.”

The Prophet

fled at night with Abu Bakr

and left behind him Ali

to impersonate him in his bed. On the way he stopped to hide in the Cave
of Thawr. Abu Bakr said, “O Prophet, don’t enter, I will enter first.”
In his heart he thought that there might be something harmful inside and
he chose to encounter it first. He found a hole in the cave. He called
the Prophet

to come in and he put his foot over the hole. The Prophet

came in and lay down with his head on Abu Bakr’s thigh. A snake inside
the hole began to bite the foot of Abu Bakr. He tried not to move
although he was in great pain. Tears flowed down his cheeks. One warm
tear dropped on the blessed face of the Prophet

. At this, as was mentioned in the Qur’an: “He said to his friend,
Grieve not for verily Allah is with us.”
[9: 40] and he also said,
“What do you think of two when God is their Third?” [57: 5]. Abu
Bakr said to the Prophet, “O Prophet of God, I am not sad, but I am in
pain. A snake is biting my foot and I am worried that it might bite you.
I am crying because my heart is burning for you and for your safety.”
The Prophet was so pleased with the reply of his beloved Companion that
he hugged Abu Bakr as-Siddiq

, put his hand on his heart and poured the knowledge that Allah had
given him into the heart of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq. That is why he said in a
hadith, “Whatever Allah poured into my heart, I poured into the heart of
Abu Bakr

.”

Following this the Prophet put his other hand on the foot of Abu Bakr
as-Siddiq and read, Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim, and the foot
was immediately healed. Then he ordered the snake to come out and the
snake came out, coiling itself in front of the Prophet

. Then the Prophet said to the snake, ‘Do you not know that the flesh of
a Siddiq is forbidden to you? Why are eating the flesh of my Companion?’
He replied to the Prophet in a perfect and pure Arabic, ‘O Prophet of
Allah, were not all things created for your sake and for your love? O
Prophet, I too love You. When I heard that Allah Almighty and Exalted
said that the best nation is your nation, I asked Him to prolong my life
and grant me the honor of being among your nation and looking at your
face. And Allah granted me that wish and that honor. When Abu Bakr put
his foot in that hole, it blocked my sight. I wanted him to move his
foot to enable me to see you.’ The Prophet

said, ‘Look at me now and fulfill your wish.’ The snake looked and
looked; after a while, it died. The Prophet

ordered the Jinn to carry the snake away and bury it.

These are secrets
that have been given to the hearts of the Naqshbandi Saints.” He
continues the story thus: “Then the Prophet

said to Abu Bakr, ‘There was no need to stop in this cave, except that a
significant event will happen here. The Light of the root of the
spiritual Tree which is going to spread over all humanity, the Light
coming directly from the Divine Presence, will appear here. Allah has
ordered me to transmit it to you and to all the Naqshbandi Sufi
followers.’

“This lineage was not called the Naqshbandi at
that time, but was known as the Children of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq,
and he was known to saints as the ‘Father’ of this line.

“Then Allah asked the Prophet to order Abu Bakr
as-Siddiq to call all the Masters of the Golden Chain who are the
inheritors of Abu Bakr. The latter called the Grandshaykhs of this
Golden Chain, all of them, from his time down to the time of the Mahdi

. All of them were called through their spirits from the World of Souls.
Then he was ordered to call the 7,007 Naqshbandi Saints. Then the
Prophet

called the 124,000 prophets.

“Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, by order of the Prophet

, ordered every grandshaykh to summon all his followers to appear
spiritually. Then Abu Bakr as-Siddiq ordered all the Shaykhs to take the
hands of their followers to receive initiation. He put his hand above
them all, and then Muhammad

put his hand above all of them, and then Allah put His Hand, the Hand of
Power (Qudrat), over them all. Allah by Himself, put on the
tongue of everyone present His recitation (talqeen az-Zikr), and
He told the Prophet to order Abu Bakr as-Siddiq to order all the saints
present with their followers to recite what they were hearing from the
Voice of Power:

ALLAHU ALLAHU ALLAHU HAQQ

ALLAHU ALLAHU ALLAHU HAQQ

“All of those present followed their Shaykhs and
the Shaykhs followed what they heard the Prophet reciting. Then Allah
Almighty and Exalted taught the secret of the Dhikr, known as
Khatm-il-Khwajagan
, to Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujduwani, who led the first
dhikr among the saints of this Order. The Prophet

announced to Abu Bakr, who announced to all saints, that Abdul Khaliq
al-Ghujdawani is the leader of the Khatm-i-Khwajagan. Everyone was
honored to receive that secret and light from Khwaja Abdul Khaliq
al-Ghujdawani, in the presence of all saints, in the presence of Abu
Bakr as-Siddiq, in the presence of The Prophet

, in the Presence of Allah.”

Abu Bakr as-Siddiq

was overjoyed and astounded with what took place in that cave, and he
understood why the Prophet had chosen him to be the companion of his
migration. The Naqshbandi Shaykhs consider the events in the cave as the
foundation of the Tariqat. Not only is it the source of the daily
wird
(devotion) but the souls of all members of the Order were
present together at that time.

After the events in the cave, they continued on
to Madinat al-Munawwarah. When they reached Quba, a village near Madinah,
on a Monday in Rabi’ul Awwal, they stopped for several days. There the
Prophet

built the first mosque. They continued on t