The Mobilization of the Champions of Truth
The Sawq’s-Siddiqeen Ila Hadrat’l-Qaddasiyya of Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduy is an excellent work on practical/pragmatic sufism constructed around the fundamental teachings of the sufis of ‘crawling on one’s belly’. What this means in the language of the People of Allah, is the ability to have self mastery through the control of consumption.
One of my teacher’s Shaykh Umar Ahmad Zaruq said that the title chosen by the Shehu indicates the target audience of the text and objective. The title of the text indicates that the Shehu’s objective was to mobilize those in his Jama`at who desired to attain the station of siddi qiyya or who had already reached this high station, as to how they could enter into the Presence of Sanctity (qaddasiyya) through the discipline of fasting and the decrease of consumption. As for the station of siddiqiyya, it is the station of non-action and the negation of action, because the Champion of Truth follows the path of pure belief without causative factor or proof in the same manner that Abu Bakr as-Sideeq believed in the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace without causative factor or secondary evidence, but through pure and unadulterated belief. It is for this reason that Abu Bakr as-Sideeq said:
“True comprehension (of Allah) is recognition of the inability to comprehend Him.”
This is the essence of transcendence and results from a heart which attains what cannot be attained through proactive deeds. It is for this reason that Umar ibn al-Khataab may Allah be pleased with him, said about him: “If the belief of Abu Bakr were to be weighed with the belief of the people of the earth, his would out weigh theirs.” The station of Champion of Truth was granted to Abu Bakr before the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace was sent as a Messenger.
The station of siddiqiyya is attained through tajreed (diverstment), which was the science that Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him, had mastered. It was through his generosity and his divestment that he attained the highest of the stations. It is through divestment that the servant is able to achieve the Presence of Sanctity with Allah ta`ala. The Presence of Sanctity (hadrat’l-qadassiyya) is the realm of transcendence, uniqueness, inaccessibility and inimitability which cannot be comprehended from any mode of expression or understood by any known symbolic expression.
It is the realm of the Divine Essence in its incompatibility and disconnection from all except Itself, before the Self Manifestation of His Names and Attributes and the subsequent emergence of the multitude of divine, celestial and terrestrial realities which emerged from Them. It is for this reason that It cannot be obtained through proactive deeds such as prayer, alms, or any other undertaking which is considered and action. Because the Presence of Sanctity (hadrat ‘l-qaddasiyya) is the reality of His transcendence:
“There is nothing like Him,”
which requires an action that is not like any other action and which in fact is considered a non-action or negation of action, which is attained by means of hunger and fasting. Thus, by means of non-action or the emptiness of the negation of action which fasting and hunger demand, a person is able to enter into the Presence of the Transcendence of ‘there is nothing like Him.’
This was alluded to by the Chinese sages in the concept of wu wei (non-action), or doing the profound act by ‘not doing’ or ’emptying’ oneself of actions. Abdullahi ibn Abi Bakr al-`Aydaruus said about this is his al-K abreet al-Ahmaar: “The knowers of Allah and all of the Shaykhs of tasawwuf have said that the most noble word regarding the Divine Unity is what our master Abu Bakr as-Sideeq, may Allah be pleased with him said: Glory be to Him who has not made any way for creation to know Him.”
Thus, the negation of comprehension of Allah is the greatest comprehension of Allah. In the same manner that the lack of action or the negation of action which fasting comprises is the greatest form of worship, thus it is associated with Allah, when He said: “Fasting is for Me.” The Shehu wrote this book for his son Shaykh Muhammad Sanbu and others who desired to master the discipline of hunger and delimiting consumption.
This period in which the Shehu composed the text was the middle period of his reform movement just before the Jama`at began to collect weapons, disassociate themselves from the disbelievers and make the hijra to Gudu. This indicates that apart of the process of gaining political autonomy from under the jurisdiction of the disbelievers is an intensive process of self discipline. The People of Allah believe that Allah acts within creation by means of His creation. That is to say that when Allah ta`ala wishes to establish His vicegerent (khilaafa) and authority (amr) upon the earth He first prepares them through personal spiritual discipline and through the raising of their spiritual resolution (himma).
He makes them into ‘super-empowered individuals’ who have the ability to project their spiritual power to anything and anybody, affects and changes the object at will. However, the secret of the subjugation (taskheer) is connected innately to the recognition of their emptiness, inability and impoverishment. Allah ta`ala says: “It was not you who threw when you threw, but it was Allah who threw.” Once the Sage comprehends his inability he also has access to the Omnipotent Abilities of the Absolute Being.”