Contents > Chapter 3: Pantheism, Wahdat al-Wajood or Moksha > Degrading oneself to the status of Dogs and Pigs


Degrading oneself to the status of Dogs and Pigs

After having exaggerated and innovated in the concept of Allah’s love and fear, the Sufis began to compare their existence and stature to that of Allah, and found themselves to be completely insignificant in front of Him. Exaggerating further in the concept of humility and modesty, they felt that they should degrade themselves in order to be truly free from Riya (showing off). Following are some examples of this…


1. Moulana Zakariyah says that among the Akhlaq of the Sufiya is ‘to regard oneself as the most inferior…’ This has also been quoted as a saying of Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi by Moulana Zakariyah in Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.255.


2. Moulana Zakariyah says: “Hazrat Shah Ishaq Muhajiree Makki advised to Imdadullah Muhajir Makki: “Regard yourself to be most inferior in the entire creation.”[1]


3. “A man, who used to fast throughout the year and offer Salaat throughout the night for thirty years. He was one of the regular attendants of the circle of Abu Yazeed al-Bastami (one of three mystic ‘masters’). Nevertheless, he was unable to find the kind of knowledge, which Abu Yazeed possessed! So, Abu Yazeed taught him that even if he fasts for three hundred years and offers Salaat throughout the nights of such period he would not be able to find even an ant-weight of such knowledge! When asked about the ‘cure,’ Abu Yazeed told him that he should shave his head and beard, hang a nosebag filled with nuts around his neck, gather some kids in the market around him and tell them, ‘Everyone who slaps me once, I will give him a nut!’[2]


4. Shah Abu Saeed Naumani traveled to Balkh to his Shaikh in order to learn Sufism. His Shaikh started his training by assigning him to look after the toilets. He was given little food but was not allowed to meet his Shaikh not was any Dhikr prescribed for him. After a considerable period passed, the Shaikh ordered a cleaner to dump a basket of dirt onto Abu Saeed. The cleaner did as he was told. This angered Abu Saeed and he threatened the cleaner, which meant that he was not ready to enter Sufism. After a period of time, the Shaikh again instructed the cleaner to do as before, but this time Abu Saeed got angry but did not say anything. Now too, Abu Saeed was not ready. After a period of time, the Shaikh instructed the cleaner to throw dirt on Abu Saeed again. On this occasion his Nafs was completely docile and submissiveness. He gathered the dirt, which had fallen to ground and strew it onto himself. When the Hazrat Shaikh was informed, he commented: “Alhamdulillah! The first stage has been traversed.”[3]


Taking a step further, the Sufis began to address themselves as dogs, given that dog is generally looked down upon. The Qur’aan says, “So his description is the description of a dog: if you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls his tongue out. Such is the description of the people who reject Our Ayah (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.).”[4]


1. Moulana Muhammad Qasim, the founder of Darul-Uloom Deoband says in a poem, which has been recorded in Fazaail-e-Aamaal, “Because of the huge amount of sins even the dogs treat my name as an abuse, but I am proud of your name and your relationship (Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam))... and I desire that my name may be included as a dog of (the streets of) Medina… May I live with the dogs of your Haram and when I die may my corpse be eaten by the vultures of Medina.” [5]


2. Moulana Zakariyah advises a person in a letter that when he goes to the Prophet’s grave he should also say: ‘One black Indian dog (Moulana Zakariyah Kandhalvi) also sends his salaams.’[6]


3. Moulana Ilyas signs his letters addressing himself as THE DOG OF PROPHET’s CITY [7]


[1] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.220.

[2] Qut al-Quloob vol.2, p.70.

[3] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.192.

[4] Soorah a-A’raf (7): 176.

[5] Fazaail-e-Aamaal (Eng. Trans.) The Virtues of Darood, p.164, no. 46. (Edn. 1985 – Published by Dini Book Depot, Delhi).

[6] Savaneh Muhammad Yousuf, p.132. (India – Maktabaa Taalifaat Ashrafeeyah) 1304 H.

[7] Makatib Hazrat Moulana Shah Mohammad Ilyas) compiled by Moulana Sayed Abul-Hassan Ali Nadvi – Idara Ishaat al-Diniyat, Nizamuddin, New Delhi) p.54.