Ginan: Ye mitthaa Muhammad naam – The name Muhammad is sweet

The Ginan GistBy Karim Maherali

Ginan: Ye mitthaa Muhammad naam – The name Muhammad is sweet
Surah 33:45-47: O Prophet! Lo! We have sent thee as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner.
And as a summoner unto Allah by His permission, and as a lamp that giveth light.
And announce unto the believers the good tidings that they will have great bounty from Allah.

The Holy Qur’an provides us with contrasting perspectives regarding the status of the Prophet reflecting the diversity of backgrounds and the capacity to understand the Message within the Umma. On the one hand, the Prophet is only an ordinary human being passively and faithfully transmitting the revelations: Say: I do not say: ‘With me are the treasures of God’ and I do not know the Invisible, and I do not say that I am an angel – I follow only that which is revealed to me. (Sura 6:50) On the other hand, there are verses suggesting his exceptional and Divine nature: as God taught Adam the names (Sura 2:30), thus He taught Muhammad the Qur’an (Sura 96:3); Muhammad was sent as a Mercy for the worlds – rahmatan lil-aalamin (Sura 21: 107); there are several places equating obedience to the Prophet as being equal to obedience to God – Obey God and obey His messenger.

This Ginan reflects the latter perspective. The Prophet was the bearer of the Light Nur Muhammadi which has existed since creation and which continues to create and sustain the Universe in its multiple dimensions and life forms creating a balanced ecology. At present according to our tradition, the bearer is Mowlana Hazar Imam who is the Pir.In this regard, in the verse from the Holy Qur’an mentioned in the Ziyarat-e-Mayyat it is stated:

Innalaha wa malaikatahu yusallun alan-nabiye
Ya ayyuhallazeena aamanoo sallu alayhi wa sallimu tasleema
Allah and his angels shower blessings on the Prophet
O you who believe! Ask blessings on him, and salute him with a worthy salutation.(Sura 33:56)

ye mīṭhā mahamad nām suno bhāi munīvarā

Audio

# Artist Audio
1 Parviz Somji
2 Shamshu Bandali Haji (Alwaez)

 

Transliteration, Translation and Commentary

 

Ye mitha Muhammad naam sunno bhai munivaro……………1

O my momin brothers! Listen, the name Muhammad is sweet.

Comment: In the Shahada, La-Illaha-Il-Allaah-Muhammad-ur-Rasulilah which binds over a billion Muslims, the name Muhammad is close to Allah and hence invoking the name can bring one close to Him, and therefore it feels sweet. The name Muhammad in this respect intercedes for the one invoking it.  Annemarie Schimmel a well-respected scholar of Islamic mysticism explains in her book And Muhammad Is His Messenger why the name Muhammad is so special and sweet in Islamic tradition:

Since the name is part, and a very important part indeed, of a thing or a person, it carries baraka, blessing power, with it, and when someone is endowed with special power or occupies a particularly lofty rank, his name too can work in a mysterious way on people who are given the same name. It is therefore not surprising that Muslims have always ascribed a very special baraka to the Prophet’s name.

 

Bin thambh jamin aasman – sunno bhai munivaro……………2

O my momin brothers! Listen, the earth and the heavens have been created without pillars.

Comment: The significance of the mention of the earth and the heavens without pillars is to indicate that they were created as a Mercy for the sake of elevation of the souls. Without pillars would indicate that it is a continuum without ‘gaps’ and hence there is a constant interaction between the earth and the heavens. For example, a work of art can influence social relations and governance in societies.

 

Chaar jug ne chaar khaan – sunno bhai munivaro……………3

O my momin brothers! Listen, four yugas and four stages of creation (came into existence).

Comment: The four Yugas are time periods which move in cycles and hence are symbolic of all previous ages through which the individual souls evolve. The four stages of creation is symbolic of the stages that life evolves from innate matter to man who is considered as the crown of creation. In our tradition the chaar khaan are defined by the mode of reproduction:

  1. Sitej – Reproduction by fission; multiplication of living cells, ameba, germ, bacteria, etc. In other words, creation from the earth, for example metal, minerals, mountains.
  2. Jarej – Reproduction from seed or twig such as trees, plants, vegetation. In other words, creation on the earth for example trees, plants.
  3. Indej – Reproduction from an egg such as birds, reptiles, fish, etc.
  4. Udhboj – Reproduction through a womb such as animals and human beings.

 

Aaj kal vaari subhaan – sunno bhai munivaro……………4

O my momin brothers! Listen, today is the time for Glory (Subhaan).

Comment: The present time under the Guide is a culmination of the process of evolutions through past lives (both human and non-human life forms) alluded in the previous verse. Obedience to him can become a glorious existence and affords the opportunity of union with the Ultimate – fana fi Allah (annihilation in God), the realization of the purpose of our existence.

 

Nauv rupe Nirnijan – sunno bhai munivaro……………5

O my momin brothers! Listen, the Nirinjan (indescribable and formless) assumed nine forms.

Comment: These forms were distinct from Nur Muhammadi. They were the manifestations of the Nirinjan (Divine Essence).

 

Nar Ali avatar jaann – sunno bhai munivaro……………6

O my momin brothers! Listen, know the manifestation of the Master Ali.

Comment: Hazarat Ali and the Imams after him are considered the 10th form and is called dasmo Naklanki Avtar.

 

Nar Ali jaaniyen to naa jaanaa

avaro saath – sunno bhai munivaro……………7

O my momin brothers! Listen, if you recognize Imam Ali, you need not go elsewhere.

Comment: There is no need for anyone who recognises the Imam in his essence to go anywhere else for spiritual upliftment although he/she may seek knowledge from anywhere. The Imam has provided us with JamatKhanas to fulfil our spiritual and social needs and hence there is no need for a murid to seek other sources.

 

Chaar jugni beli sohi Muhammad aaj – sunno bhai munivaro……………8

O my momin brothers! Listen, he, who was the companion in the four yugas, the same Muhammad is present today.

Comment: In our tradition the institution of Imamat and Piratan have always existed since the beginning. At times such as the present, the Imam retains both roles and at times he designates another person from the Ahl al-Bayt to fulfil the role of Piratan. Prophet Muhammad was the first Pir in the present cycle.

 

Nabi sarikhaa chaandnaa so
dono divlaa haath – sunno bhai munivaro……………9

O my momin brothers! Listen, those who have a shining lamp like Prophet Muhammad in them, are like those having lamps in both hands (their paths are illuminated and clear).

Comment: In the Holy Qur’an the Prophet is referred to as sirajun munir, a shining lamp (Sura 33:46). Those who are spiritually enlightened in our Tariqah carry the same Nur and are guided to be permanently on Sirat al-Mustaqeem.

 

Sayyed Saaleh boliyaa ginaan – sunno bhai munivaro……………10

O my momin brothers! Listen, Sayyed Saleh has said this Ginan.

 

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4 thoughts

    1. It is inappropriate to make sweeping statements like that. The Qur’an is open to many interpretations depending upom one’s outlook and undestanding. There are verses in the Qur’an which can be interpreted as indicating previous lives..

      2:28 How can you reject faith in Allah, seeing that you were without life and He gave you life, then He will cause you to die,and will again bring you to life, and again to Him will you return.

      3:27 Thou bringest the living out of the dead, and Thou bringest the dead out of the living; and Thou givest sustenance to whom Thou pleasest, without measure.

      22:66 It is He Who gave you life, will cause you to die, and will again give you life. Truly, man is a most ungrateful creature.

      36:12 Verily, We shall give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before and that which they leave behind…

      36:79 Say: “He will give them life again, He Who created them for the first time !”

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  1. I enjoyed this commentary on the ginan for the most part, but I wanted to comment on a couple things I noticed.

    Firstly, Prophets by their very nature are not “ordinary”. Ordinary men are like you and I, but a Divinely Chosen Messenger does not fit that description. Even among Prophets he is not ordinary, seeing that Muslims worldwide revere him as the last prophet or Seal of the Prophets (Khatam an-Nabiyyin).

    Second, regarding the above commentary which mentioned past lives (reincarnation):

    “The present time under the Guide is a culmination of the process of evolutions through past lives (both human and non-human life forms)”

    Now yes the Ginans do mention reincarnation but not as a doctrinal teaching or as a fact. Reincarnation in the Ginans is evoked always as a negative thing – like a threat – if one does not recognise the Imam. Reincarnation in the Ginans is evoked as a symbol and not asserted as a doctrine. On this point, I invite us to reflect over Aziz Esmail’s remarks on the subject of rebirth in the Ginans:

    “The doctrine of reincarnation is a very old one, as is evident in its presence in cultures across the world from Ancient Greece, Africa, through to India. It is not to be found, of course, in scriptural traditions in the Semitic languages… Like Arabo-Persian Islam, Arabo-Persian Isma‘ilism is reported to have vigorously repudiated this doctrine. The Fatimid Caliph al-Mu’izz is reported to have sharply REPRIMANDED one of his missionaries in Sind for tolerating the belief.”
    – Aziz Esmail, (A Scent of Sandlewood, 65)

    “By the time we come to the Ginans, however, we find this theme very much part of their texture. Perhaps ‘theme’ is a wrong word. The doctrine is not canvassed or urged – it is a given, taken for granted. It is part of the atmosphere from which the literature inhales its substance. The Ginans invoke the doctrine; they do not assert it. An asserted idea is the object of thought; an invoked idea is a means, often unconscious, to some other conscious object or purpose.”
    – Aziz Esmail, (A Scent of Sandalwood, 65)

    “As it happens, the Ginans are eclectic rather than exclusive in this regard. They mention not only reincarnation, but also what we might call the prophetic model of life after death. Both are present without contradiction, without straining after logical resolution… In the Ginans one is told that to know the truth, which can be only through the true faith, is necessary for smashing, once and for all, the relentless chain of karma, of action and its consequences, which make the wheel of rebirth spin on and on. In this way, the idea of re-birth is invoked not to promote it as an object of belief, but to promote commitment to the true faith… The other model – what we call the ‘prophetic model’ – with its emphasis on judgment in the hereafter by God, and of paradise and hell as alternative destinations, exists harmoniously, side by side, with the doctrine of reincarnation. In fact, the prophetic model is more pronounced, more consciously elaborated. Reincarnation occurs in a formulaic form. But the other idea is more often elaborated, and frequently in vivid, graphic terms. We are never presented with an anecdote or a descriptive account of a soul caught in the cycle of rebirth. We are only reminded, in passing, of the misery of such a fate. But the other idea, divine judgment in the hereafter on one’s conduct in the world, forms the subject of the whole of a short Ginan and of many verses in numerous other hymns.”
    – Aziz Esmail, (A Scent of Sandalwood, 66-67)

    But in terms of the Imamat’s guidance, here is what MSMS said in reply to missionaries:

    “On 12th February, 1954, Count Paroo wrote to Khudavind asking following question:

    “Do the Ismailis believe that there is re-birth on this earth to repay and receive repayment of Karmic debt or do we believe that this re-birth will be in a (higher) creation than the human beings?

    “Obviously reborn means in a higher sphere than this earth. Without going to the final spiritual sphere there will be further triumph before the highest points are reached unless those highest points are reached in this world and on this earth by the general rules of the Ismaili faith beginning with kindness, gentleness, etc and going up to highest love of union with Imam.”

    – Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah,
    (“Subjects Discussed By The Religious Study Group of Mombasa”, Count Paroo, 12th February, 1954)

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    1. Firstly, Prophets by their very nature are not “ordinary”. Ordinary men are like you and I, but a Divinely Chosen Messenger does not fit that description. Even among Prophets he is not ordinary, seeing that Muslims worldwide revere him as the last prophet or Seal of the Prophets (Khatam an-Nabiyyin).

      Response: Most Muslims consider him as the Chosen, but the majority do not consider him to have any extra ordinary capacities. They simply think of him being like an ordinary human being, transmitting the revelations without his own intellect being involved in the process. Sufi Islam on the other hand believe that he had extraordinary capacities as per my commentary.

      *********

      “On 12th February, 1954, Count Paroo wrote to Khudavind asking following question:

      “Do the Ismailis believe that there is re-birth on this earth to repay and receive repayment of Karmic debt or do we believe that this re-birth will be in a (higher) creation than the human beings?

      “Obviously reborn means in a higher sphere than this earth. Without going to the final spiritual sphere there will be further triumph before the highest points are reached unless those highest points are reached in this world and on this earth by the general rules of the Ismaili faith beginning with kindness, gentleness, etc and going up to highest love of union with Imam.”

      – Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah,
      (“Subjects Discussed By The Religious Study Group of Mombasa”, Count Paroo, 12th February, 1954)

      Response: Obviously as Ismailis we should not aspire to come back. However there are Farmans that indicate reincarnation:

      “You have not realized during the period when you have human beings, what could you gain after death when you have remained donkeys and dogs and beasts after having gone through 184,000 births? What benefit would be accrued in again becoming dog after death”. (18.10.1903, Wadhwan Kemp)

      “Cherish such desires (thoughts) that after death your soul does not come back from there having reborn and does not take birth again in the world, nor even you enter Hell.”(3.11.1903, Manjewadi)

      There is growing scientific evidence to indicate the that reincarnation happens:

      Below are videos of current scientific research into the phenomenon of reincarnation with numerous examples and case studies.

      In Another Life explores how Americans are encountering the real phenomenon of reincarnation. Produced/directed by Stephen Sakellarios; Gold Thread Video Productions, http://www.ial.goldthread.com

      *****
      Past Lives: Stories of Reincarnation (Full Story)

      *****
      5TH Dimension Reincarnation Documentary YouTube

      ******
      Soulmates and Reincarnation

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