Mystic Mantra: The jazba to serve

DECCAAN CHRONICLE | GHULAM RASOOL DEHLVI
Published Jun 10, 2015, 7:30 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 10:32 pm IST
The broader notion of Khidmat-e-Khalq, in Islam, is cooperation in all that is good
Hazrat Nizamuddin's Dargah, New Delhi (Photo courtesy: indianreligioustemple.blogspot.com)
 Hazrat Nizamuddin's Dargah, New Delhi (Photo courtesy: indianreligioustemple.blogspot.com)

Khidmat-e-Khalq (service to mankind) is one of the universal values and essential virtues of spiritually-inclined human beings. It requires a selfless attitude, insatiable passion, unshakable faith and a never-say-die approach. One cannot attain the lofty spiritual status of khidmat unless s/he tastes the hardships, sufferings and plight of the other khalq (human beings). Indian Muslim mystics, particularly Chishti Sufi saints, imbibed a deep passion (jazba) for Khidmat-e-Khalq. Khwaja Chiragh Dehlvi used to say:

“We do not need wealth or other material sources to run our shrines (khanqahs). All we require to provide shelter to the hapless people is to live in their haal (condition). Only then we can feel the desperate need for their shelter.” Much in the same spiritual tone, Mahboob-e-Ilahi Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya would say: “When people come to me and enumerate the regrettable conditions of their plight, I find myself completely lost in their pain.” Therefore, he would spend sleepless nights, keep constant fasts and remain deeply pained, concerning himself with the plight of other human beings.

 

By the virtue of Khidmat-e-Khalq, one beautifully acknowledges the bliss and bounties one has received from the real endower, the Almighty. When we extend a helping hand to others, we actually express our deepest gratitude to the Almighty for all His endowments. This act of helpfulness is so highly valued in the sight of God that He proclaims: “I will keep assisting my servant so long as he assists his brothers (other human beings).”

The broader notion of Khidmat-e-Khalq, in Islam, is cooperation in all that is good and non-cooperation in whatever is harmful. The Quran says: “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.” This has been the prime focus of the Prophet Muhammad and his holy companions while they engaged in service to mankind. Once he said: “The upper hand is better than the lower hand. For the upper hand gives and spends, but the lower hand begs and receives.” Inspired by the above exhortation, the Prophet’s companions set lofty examples in selfless service to mankind. But while they endeavoured to fully engage in service to mankind, they did not tend to ask for favours from others, even if they had to face tribulations.

Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi is an alim (classical Islamic scholar) and a Delhi-based writer. He can be contacted at: grdehlavi@gmail.com

 

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