Sultan Bahoo The Life and Teachings/Turk-e-Dunya (Renunciation of the World)

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Usually the abundance of riches or wealth is thought to be the worldliness but the “worldliness” is defined by the saints and knowers of Allah as:

  • Everything which distracts or diverts the Seeker’s attention away from Allah towards itself is worldliness
  • As it is the saying of the Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam: "The thing which involves you with itself diverting your attention away from Allah is your idol."
  • Sultan-ul-Faqr Sixth Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali defines Turk-e-Dunya as:

"If you have wealth but you do not foster love for it and spend generously for the sake of Allah then it cannot be called worldliness. However, if you would make the worldly things as your compulsion then all these things will turn into your worldliness. Thus, evade yourself from the need of material things while living in this world, just as a wild duck lives in water but does not drown in it. Get your destiny from the world, as if a crane while living on a riverside gets its livelihood from it but does not let itself drown into it. Do your business of the world but for the sake of Allah; eat the livelihood of the world but for the sake of Allah; and move in the world but again for Allah. I do not ask to be alienated from the whole world but you must remember Allah while doing all your actions. Your heart should be attentive towards Allah and your hands towards the worldly affairs."

According to the philosophy of the Sufism, Turk-e-Dunya means the renunciation of the lust of worldly pleasures and the respect, which involve a person so much that he forgets Allah. To earn material luxuries and honours, he is ready to do anything and his fear of displeasing Allah is erased. He is always trying to strengthen his worldly relationships, forgetting that his relationship with Allah is at stake. He struggles to please people of the world instead of Allah. All such behaviors take man away from Allah. So, to find Allah’s closeness, one must renounce all such wishes from his heart. His only wish should be to please his Creator and the Master and find His closeness. For this he does not need to leave the world and start living in caves. Rather, he should live in the world and do all the required jobs but the intention behind every job should be to please Allah. He should love and obey his parents but for Allah; earn money to bring up his children to please Allah and should have good behavior with everyone only for the sake of Allah, so on and so forth. He should live in the world but world should not live within his heart. Neither he should desire worldly pleasures nor should he run after them. This is what the term Turk-e-Dunya actually means according to the philosophy of the mysticism. Turk-e-Dunya is the name of the inward detachment from everything except Allah and this also is the basis of Tauheed i.e. to Love only Allah, to fear only Allah, to trust only Allah, to seek only Allah, instead of the immortal world and its relations or pleasures.

Allah says in the Quran:

"The life of this world is just a play, and the abode of the hereafter is far better for the people having fear of Allah, do you not understand?" (Surah, Al-Inam-32)

The Holy Prophet Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam says: “Renunciation of the world is the root of all the prayers and the love of the world is the root of all the evils.” Almost one lac twenty four thousand Prophets from Hazrat Adam Alayhi Salam till the Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam said the same thing and ordered to renounce the world. Even then, why do you err to go against all of them?"

Syedna Ghaus-ul-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu expounds:

The heart which possesses love of the world is veiled from the hereafter and the heart which possesses love of the hereafter is veiled from Allah. As love of the world goes on increasing in your heart, love of the hereafter is decreased and when the love of the hereafter is increased in your heart, the Love of Allah would be decreased." (Al-Fatah Rabbani-Majlis 10)

Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo states about the world and the seeker of the world in his writing, Ain-ul-Faqr:

"The man who is wrecked in the craving for the carrion world cannot be the Seeker of the Vision of Allah. So, O’ Seeker of Allah! Erase the feature of everything other than Allah from the book of your heart." (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)