International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Way of Shāhidīn: The Construction of a Qur’anic Theology of Sufism in Tafseer-e-Fāzli
Dr. Abdul Hafeez Fāzli

Hazrat Fazal Shah (Allah‟s mercy be upon him),known as Ba Ba Ji Noor Walay, is initiator of Fāzli Qādirī branch in already existing Qādiriyya Order in Muslim gnosticism. He was born at Jallendhar, East Punjab, India. After the partition of Indo-Pak subcontinent in 1947 the saint migrated to Pakistan ultimately settling at Lahore. He passed away in 1978. Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Fāzlī(1940– ) at present his successor and first mentor of Fāzli Qādrī Order is also settled at Lahore. It was the way of Hazrat Fazal Shah that he would give a narration (biyân) of one rakū‟ (a small section) of the holy Qur‟ān daily at pre-dawn. Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Fāzlī, his most obedient disciple and would-be successor was assigned the duty of taking notes and presenting the import in his own writing, before the mentor any time in the day to get his verification. The narration of the Qur‟an completed in the life time of Hazrat Fazal Shah and was verified by him in his „will‟ before his demise. This ultimately published by the name of Tafseer-e-Fāzli (TF).The commentary is not based on any traditions etc. Authority for whatever has been said in it is given from the Quran. The obligation on the reader has been written under the caption of „Paroration‟ after every verse. The work is original with respect to its diction and approach. It consists of seven volumes and is originally in Urdu, published from 1982 to 1998. First three volumes have been translated into English and published while work on the 4th volume is in progress. The study examines how the TF constructs of a Qur’anic theology of mysticism focusing on the interpretation of the Qur’anic term Shāhid. According to the TF the epithet used by the Qur‟ān for what is commonly called „sufi mentor‟ is „shāhid‟ (witness) and „The Tariqat-i-Shāhidīn (The Way of Shāhidīn) is the right epithet to be used for „„taṣawaf/sufism‟. Shāhid recites the Word of God and presents his auspicious life as model. He is the teacher of the Book and Wisdom. He grants purification (tazkia) to the follower/s and verifies it as shāhid. Therfore, Tariqat-e-Shāhidīn (commonly called sufism) is the discipline for granting purification (tazkia) and then its verification (tasdīq). The article is an attempt to locate the origin of Islamic Spirituality in the Quran. The Qurān is the fundamental religious document and basic source of Islamic faith. Sufism is a phenomenon which organized itself into a discipline in the early centuries of Islam. A great majority of Muslims have always believed it quite coherent with the spirit of their faith. But the question is: “Where does lie its origin in the Qurān!” Muslim scholars have been searching for the answer of this question since centuries. They have tried to explain it in terms of words like 'ṣaf', 'ṣuf', 'ṣuffa', 'wujud', 'iḥsān', 'ḥubb', 'tazkia' but could not explain its origin and its development into a discipline on Quranic grounds. First time in the history of Muslim culture Tafseer-e-Fāzli traces the origin of this discipline in the Qurānic term „Shāhid‟ (the certified witness) and explains its development into a discipline. The most important thing about this article is that it explains everything without reference to anything other than the Qurān.

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