Sultan Bahoo The Life and Teachings/Tafakkur and Muraqbah (Meditation and Concentration)
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
"Do they not meditate within themselves that Allah has created the skies and the earth and whatever is within them, with the Truth and for a fixed time. No doubt, most of the people deny the Divine Encounter (the Vision of Allah)." (Surah Rumi Verse 8)
In this sacred verse, Allah has invited man to ponder over the skies and the earth alongwith whatever is within them and also upon his own creation that everything is created from the Truth i.e. The Divine Reality (Allah) but for a certain fixed period.
It is the saying of the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam: "Just meditate upon the signs of Allah but do not ponder over His Essence."
Difference between Muraqbah (concentration) and Tafakkar (meditation)
Muraqbah is a form of tafakkar. The only difference between muraqbah and tafakkar is that the former requires seclusion, closed eyes and to be attentive to a single point in the heart. When the muraqbah is mature enough in this way, then that secret is disclosed to the Seeker by The Divinity, upon which he was concentrating. Although, the seclusion or the closed eyes are not required for meditation, the seeker is pondering over a single point every moment in solitude or in crowd or while doing the worldly jobs. Allah Almighty gradually reveals upon him the secrets hidden behind that point. In this way, he views everything with his open eyes and gets aware of the Divine secrets. This level is superior than the closed eye muraqbah. It can also be stated as, muraqbah is the initial, while tafakkar or meditation is the extreme stage. Muraqbah or tafakkar are in fact two names for the same thing i.e. “meditation” through which a person gains the knowledge of his soul. After gaining this knowledge, he finds the reality of his soul. Faqr progresses through tafakkar. Only by tafakkar, the secrets of this path are gradually disclosed, that is why, the Seeker of Allah always remains busy in meditation and every moment he reaches a new destination of closeness to Allah through meditation upon the inward.
Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh expresses:
"The state in muraqbah and dream is similar, rather muraqbah is deeper and stronger, as the dreamer wakes up by noise. However, when the muraqbah is dominant on someone, he becomes so much absorbed and engrossed in Mushahida-e-Noor-e-Wahdaniyat-e-Zaat (the Vision of the Light of the Essence of Unity) that if, somebody cuts off his head even then, he does not come out of this state of absorption. So, it is proved that muraqbah is just like death, but the person having muraqbah, remains conscious and receives answers with advisibility. By muraqbah the Knowers of Allah are exalted with the Light of Gnosis. Allah remains pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. Muraqbah is the act of meeting with The Truth (Allah). It is infact, the company of the Beloved, observation of Divine secrets, presence of the Majlis-e-Mohammadi and witnessing the Divine Disclosure The Essence."(Shams-ul-Arifeen)