In the early 80’s I travelled to India and lived for a period of time in New Delhi, spending my time while there at the Nizamuddin Free School where I did volunteer work with the children and their families who lived in the basti. This school was set up by Murshid Inayat Khan’s son Pir Viliyat Khan in 1975. On returning to Australia where I was born, I met Murshid Sharif Jansen who was to become my first Sufi teacher on this glorious path, he had been a student of Inayat Khan’s youngest brother, Musharaff Moulamia Khan. Sharif Jansen was of Dutch descent. He had grown up in Indonesia with his family and spent, most of the 2nd world war interned in a Japanese prisoner of war camp there. He was an older man when I met him, by this time he had settled with his wife in Australia arriving in the early 1950’s as immigrants, living modestly in the quiet Sydney beach side suburb of Cronulla. Unfortunately, he died in 1990, far too soon after I became his mureed. I had only known him for a short six years. This left me alone, bereft and grieving to find another teacher of his noble godly stature and genuine authenticity to guide me.
It took a further 35years to find my next authentic Sufi teacher. I had to be very patient while going through many trials until Allah ta’ala finally blessed me in 2015 with the culmination of my search, Shaykh Hamid Hasan’s blessed presence.
The blessed opportunity to become a mureed of Hazrat Shaykh Hamid Hasan, Shaykh of the Mujaddidi-Naqshbandi tariqa came via a local meeting in Brisbane. At this meeting a representative of the lineage provided a brief introduction to the tariqa and shared the first steps of the meditation on the heart. Alhamdulilah I knew this was genuine, at last I had once more found my way to the truth.
Our Beloved Shaykh Hamid is unlike any other human person I have known. Although he has many similarly beautiful character traits to other exceptional individuals, his role in my life is ultimately that of my Shaykh.
The relationship of Shaykh and mureed is a holy alliance, one that is very hard to live into as it is an ideal so to speak. It requires such dedication and application that it is hard to even articulate what the relationship is truly about, except to say it is one of vigorous honesty, trust, disciplined application and continual testing. As the student is responsible to do their best in their attempts to purify and overhaul the whole of their human personality structure. The Shaykh is the guide in all this and within the context of these tasks, provides the safe containment, protection and direction necessary to travel across the razors edge of such an endeavor. Without the God given support contained within the sacred Shaykh-mureed relationship, one risks going badly astray in their search for God, risks getting very lost and being bewildered and mislead by shaytan. This is often the unfortunate outcome of trying to do it alone.
One gives all one has, as best one can in the relationship, and our Shaykh Hamid continues to forgive and forbear with us on our journey while proceeding to steadily guide and oversee our puny efforts towards the ultimate aim, which is purification of the self. Along with submission to the beauty, intent and glorification of the continually unfolding Divine Reality.
This is as much as I know for now about the purpose of the relationship with Beloved Shaykh Hamid however I understand this path to be one of continual revelation. More will be revealed as I develop my connection to what is real, for in truth Our Beloved is an infinitude of Reality.
In the strange and wondrous ways of this path I met Shaykh Hamid’s father, our Grand Shaykh Azad Rasool (r.a.), in the unseen realms, very early in my engagement with Shaykh Hamid and the tariqa.
In the first of these meetings which sealed my commitment to this precious path, Grand Shaykh appeared to me in what could be called a vision. The exchange between us was of such import and significance that it remains imprinted deep within my being. It was a meeting that connected us, heart to heart, soul to soul and spirit to spirit. Infinity of being was conveyed to me through the shiningly tender loving glance of a humble servant of the divine. I had no doubt I was in the presence of a true servant of the Almighty and I was welcomed, accepted fully and graced with gnosis of things beyond my inadequate conscious understanding.
I am unaware of how long the vision lasted. It came suddenly, it was intense and had deep import and significance. Allah had patiently guided me over 35 years to this exact moment and to this inner meeting.
To accurately describe this meeting in the unseen is of course subjective and deeply personal, the tenderness, love and openness to the infinite Reality of existence was palpable. For a fleeing moment in time I was able to realise and experience my personal connection to the Source of all that is, my heart recognised Grand Shaykh’s intent and in the exchange of glances between us, I knew in that instant, that I was accepted, loved, and recognised by one who knew the divine intimately and was sharing some of that intimacy with me through this meeting.
Later in time, when I asked for permission to give my personal salaams to Grand Shaykh at his tomb in India, aided so generously to do this by Our Beloved Shaykh Hamid, I saw and felt yet another dimension of the myriad being of Grand Shaykh. Through the direct experience of being in that holy place, the greatness of this saintly Shaykh spoke loudly. Even in death his humility of spirit was paramount. I felt this was a Shaykh who had put his head on the ground in sajdah and his heart had never again risen from that holy posture. He was forever humbled before his Lord. It was as if he had remained in submission to Allah and through eternity this is how things would remain. I was overcome with his beneficence and sacred submission to Our Creator and in death, in the silence of the tomb, it was evident. Grand Shaykh had become humbled and ennobled in the experience of loving and serving the Ultimate. Allah Ta’Allah in his mercy and wisdom had crowned Grand Shaykh with His Truth, may this continue forever.
This school of teaching and its path is a mystery to be lived, ever unfolding, ever demanding all one has, ever providing the hope of salvation and redemption. I wish you all God’s mercy on your journey. If this path chooses you or you choose it, you are indeed one of the blessed.