Sufi Barkat Ali

Sufi Barkat AliIn one of his spiritual autobiographies, The Lotus and the Universe, Murshid Samuel Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti) offers the following description of his Sufi teacher in Pakistan:

"Sufi Barkat Ali combines the tasawwuf of the Chisti, Kadiri, and Sabri Schools.  The Chisti use music, mainly, and there have been some excellent kawwals (songs of devotion) presented in his community by individuals and groups. 

The Kadiri teaching takes into consideration the use of repetition of spiritual phrases, mostly from Holy Qur’an and all in Arabic.  The Sabri School has a moral training, not too different from that offered in the Indian Bhagavad Gita, so that one can practice a sort of “indifference“ under all circumstances, feeling the presence of Allah, whomsoever, howsoever, wheresoever.  Thus, to Sufis, God is both Being and the-Being. 

"At the beginning of 1962 I felt entirely satisfied, and yet in a strange position, with a spiritual teacher in each of the great faiths of Asia.  Sufi Barkat Ali seemed to dominate everything in my “occult” life.  The practice of tassawuri, which is to keep in tune with the Murshid iSufi Barkat Alin thought, in breath, in vision, manifested itself in some delightful episodes.  The departure from Pakistan, the welcome to India and the departure from India were all marked by incidents which do not fall within our accepted modes of “realism“ or diplomacy.  What we shall have to learn, beloved ones of God, is that we are the beloved of God, that God is the Love--Supreme, Transcendent, Immanent, and most of all Real.  And it is to be hoped that some day people can more openly relate some elements of their inner lives, with the same objectivity as they can now relate scientific or artistic achievement.

"At the tomb of Amir Khusrau within the compound of Nizam-ud-din Auliya, I saw myself invested with a robe which was described to the sons of Hasan Nizami and upon my return to Pakistan I found Sufi Barkat Ali and my brethren ready with that very robe at a public gathering.  Henceforth, Chisti was added to my name, and I became known as 'Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti.'"