He has a spell in his personality that commands respect and obedience, yet gives you complete freedom, to think and to blink. There is friendliness and trust in the air. You discover all this at least after twelve hours before you convince yoorself that he is no ordinary palmist, who knows numerology.
AHMAD RAFIQUE AKHTAR: NO PALMIST, NO NUMEROLOGIST BUT SUFI
by Farah Karamat Raja
He had a spell in his personality. That commanded respect and obedience yet gave the freedom, to think and to blink. There was friendliness and trust in the air. I discovered all this at least after twelve hours before that I was convincing myself he is some ordinary palmist, who knows numerology.
The man was indigestible. I talked to him thrice as well but I don’t remember the talk, it was made out of so much excitement and confusion. I discussed with my colleagues and friends again. There was something in the man, I was trusting him but I didn’t want to trust him. I decided to see him once gain. And my question on the very outset was, I want to know why I am trusting you ? Give me the reason. He laughed and said, “you don’t know the answer to this simple question?” You are trusting me because you are at a point in your life where you need to trust some one either in me or someone else. It’s not that I am trustworthy; it’s your need that is making you to trust me.
We went under a covenant, covenant of friendship, or student – teacher relationship, he was listening like a grandfather listens to the story of his little grandchild. He was not investigating, he was not interested in anything more than I said, he put no question. I spoke to him with complete ease, he understood all the matters. I said less but he understood more. His view and angle of looking at things was very objective and scientific. His approach to my self destruction, or to my clash with the society and myself was so harmonizing, in that very meeting he tied the wires to right switches, the contradictions, clashes and conflicts which I had in my very own self and among and between my own thoughts, mind and heart were resolved. He was speaking with full ease and comfort, he had extensive knowledge regarding history, humanity, psychology, myth, literature, art, religion, God, human beings, he knew me individually and fully, I must confess. He knew me better than I knew myself.
There were no surprises now because I was ready for them. He was subjective yet scientific, he was abstract yet concrete, he was ordinary and common, yet uncommon and special. The rarest person I have ever discovered.
Things begin to ease between us; I was light hearted, free spirited rather cheered up. His presence was like a soothing fragrance of some flowering tree in a city polluted with foul smells of all sorts. While talking he took out his Tasbeeh and laid that on table, it was not the ordinary one, something struck to my mind. I had seen that somewhere before, it was of wood, disc shaped, heavy beads, I remembered my dream and I hurriedly searched for a thick mole on his right cheek but it was not that thick as in my dream, it was not at the cheek either, it was near the lips, mole of Venus. I related my dream to him but he paid less attention. When I came out the first thing I said to Mr. Bilal was he is the man I saw in my dream. When I saw the dream in those days I was doing the Tasbeehat, which Mr. Bilal had recommended. It was about a week when I saw a man in my dream, roaming along with people in a simple room of a village house.
I want to see him but there is another person who says, “time is over” and he tries to close the door. I am standing there in distress when the man says “No let her in,” and the person opens the door for me. He does not speak to me much, he is saying some words on his Tasbeeh, it was clear and the mole was clear. He asks the servant to serve me with food and send me to some of his assistants. He retires in another room for his rest and prayer. I go to his assistant along with people. The man blows on a paper and it flies away with fire, I feel so pleased and I say to myself”. “Yes! I know he will make me rid of my dilemmas”. I related this dream to my Pir Sahib as well. After listening to it he smiled and gave me his personal Tasbeeh. When I asked him the significance of dream he said, soon you will meet a dear one of Allah”. I had not met Professor Ahmad Rafique then. What else a person can do other than showing a surprise that he gave me his Tasbeeh as a due because he knew professor Ahmad Rafique will recommend me Tasbeehat to do.
Well in that very meeting I was bound with him. I accepted him as my spiritual teacher, but I was not that much convinced. I told myself I will speak less and listen more. He told me, always to be at a distance, never try to be close to him or look for a father, or a brother, a beloved or a teacher in him. It is just a simple relationship between two human beings. He said “Never be involved in me – I’ve no involvements other than God, always guard yourself against me. I am a man and you are a woman. Turn your love towards God. He alone is worthy of love and worship, but don’t make his faces or create His hands or feet. Obey the laws of Shariah and rest of the things are fine. If you want to come for knowledge you are welcome as a student”.
My answer was, “Had I been a boy, I would never have left your place”.
His immediate reply was, nobody did, have a look in the next room. That was filled with young students.
I came back alive and fresh, full of thoughts,
ideas and ambitions. I felt if this was a process of regeneration, he is the source of energy, zest and power.
For Sir Rafique I don’t have any degrees or words, for what he is. He is concrete but his deed abstract, his body is of matter but his mind metaphysical, his language scientific, thought subjective, lives in common beings, serves common beings but he is not existing in this time alone; present, past, future are one entity for him, he is centuries ahead, his heart made of flesh but not red, it is absolute purity achieved by killing the desires, wishes, ambitions of heart, he is alive for the duties assigned to him, he is disinterested in human beings but interested in their problems . In desires and aspirations, he is a statue, Statue of peace.
Yes, he looks like a statue of peace, Simple and ordinary man. He can sit in a room and none will notice him, not more than a statue. He is a doctor. Yes, he examines ailing spirits, wounded hearts, wrecked brains, he scans them masterly, expertly, his patients are haunted human beings, haunted by air-conditioned bedrooms, painted nails and lips, haunted by the colour of money and model of cars , sophisticated tones of telephones and mobiles, tired of luxury voyages, and honeymoon spots, frustrated from their own success, distort, faithless, people trying to escape their roots, identities, sick from relatives, bonds and bounds, husbands hating wives, wives hating husbands, yet forced to live together, wives want men to lick their feet and husbands want them to be true, honest sincere maids rather pets, yet both betraying, young folks, not trusting their parents, parents without having any trust in their own off springs, men of management, officials, students, teachers, writers, rich, poor, middle class all were there, on thing was common in all of them , may be they had over confidence and trust in themselves, as I had or they had no confidence in themselves, may be they did not trust the family, friends and society around but they had trust and confidence in one person, Sir Ahmad Rafique.
One by one they pass by him, he examines and prescribes, his memory is excellent, yet his senses par excellence. He was visiting Lahore after six months yet he remembered every individual, with individual problems.
His sixth sense is so sharp and miraculous, in Dec 1995 my cousin visited me, he was extremely depressed over a lost love. I suggested him to speak to Sir Rafique. Light was off at that time, so we were sitting in a candle light. It was about 9.30. I made a call to him. He was sounding very fresh, cheerful, carefree and alive, at the very moment light came, I put off the candle with my hand.
He said, I am smelling a very strange and a smoky smell.
I : (I was surprised at his sharp sense but I wanted to test him further. I instead of saying I had just put off the candle). I said, what Sir, what smell?
He : A very sharp and strange smell with a little smoke in the air.
I : What Sir? (in surprise) I insisted again!
(I think he didn’t like my pretence, he changed the topic).
He : How are you?
I : Fine Sir, I just wanted to say Asslamo-Alaicum, Howe are you?
He : “Allah ka Shukr hae” I am fine and God bless you. The telephone was out.
I looked at my mother and my cousin asking for their opinions, they were surprised too. My mother said he is a man of God. Such people can know of such things and indeed the professor Sir Amad Rafique Akhtar is a man of God and knows of such things as he derives the power to know things from Allah Almighty and none else.
Previous: My Impressions of a Living Sufi [2 of 3]
Farah became the author of her first book when she was 27. In her book Farah depicts her spiritual journey and thus happens to discover her own self when she meets Prof. Rafique Akhtar. As she says, through the learned Professor, she came out of spiritual predicaments and thus became a disciple of the Sufi named Ahmad Rafique.
Note: This post is based onthe first two chapters of a biography of Professor Ahmad Rafique Akhtar, written by Farrah Karamat Raja. The book titled ‘Mystery behind the Mystic’ has been published by Sang-e-Meel Publications, 25, Shahrah-e-Pakistan (Lower Mall), Lahore.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author (s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statement / s contained in this post.
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