Qualities of a Murshid
What is the relation of the murid to Murshid, and of Murshid to the murid?
My answer to this is, do not think of any hierarchical relation with Murshid: only think of what relation your own heart and your own intuition tell you. If you think of Murshid as your brother, it is true; if you think of Murshid as your friend, it is true also; if you think of Murshid as your spiritual teacher, it is true; and if you think of Murshid as your servant, it is also true. Besides this, there is no place for any other discussion. Your Murshid is a human being, and as such he is liable to shortcomings. You may give him your confidence and trust, and know him as a human being. Murshid’s murshid used to say, “There are many friendships in this world, but the friendship between murshid and murid is in the path of God, in the path of Light and Truth.” Therefore every earthly relation may have a chance to break, but the relation between murshid and murid is not for the life on earth only. It is this belief which keeps their souls together, helping each other along the spiritual path.
Murshid is not the mediator between God and the murid. Murshid stands apart, trying to unite God with His own child. And if at the beginning Murshid seems more forward, his duty is just like that of the mother: before the child begins to take natural food, she will nurse him. But it is not forever, it is for the beginning. Murshid is the divine mother, to show sympathy and tenderness to the murid, who has been attracted. To love God, the murid learns by the friendship of Murshid. He begins to feel in Murshid something of the fragrance of that flower, which is the love of God. Murshid helps the murid to come in time face to face with God, and then the journey with the murshid is finished, and what remains is the gratitude in the heart of the murid.
What must be the murid’s intention in becoming a murid? He must not have the intention of getting wonderful powers which others do not possess; neither must he have the intention to become more wise, in order to seem more learned or wise than his fellow man. On the other hand, if he has some powers he hides them in his humility, and if his inspiration is developing, he should bow his head down, that his fellow men may not see it. Always consider that this is the one thing that you will meet on this path, and the one enemy you will avoid: vanity. You must be on your guard against it from which ever side it comes. It comes so swiftly and so subtly that it is difficult to recognize. When you are on your guard you will see that even your humble words and your meek actions will prove to be vain. This is the thing which throws man from the highest stage. Even prophets have to fight and to fight it. Know the danger of this path, and do not waste your time in falling into it. The one thing to rely upon is God’s favor. Do not build neither on your study nor on your meditation, although they both help you. But you are dependent on God, not even on Your murshid. Seek Him, trust Him. In Him lies your life’s purpose, and Him is hidden the rest of your soul.
What are the signs of a true Murshid? Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
A Kamil Murshid (perfect spiritual mentor) blesses the seeker with Ism-e-Allah Zaat on the very first day and asks him to write it on his heart and engrave it on his soul. When seeker carves it successfully on his heart by Tasawur (contemplation), Murshid asks the seeker by his Divine attention to observe this Ism-e-Allah Zaat, when seeker looks at it, it starts glowing like sun immediately, by the refulgent Light of The Essence (Allah). (Noor-ul-Huda)
Murshid Kamil is the one, who not only blesses the seeker with Zikr of Ism-e-Allah Zaat but also bestows him with its Tasawur. The Murshid who does not give Ism-e-Allah Zaat to the seeker is not a true Murshid. (Noor-ul-Huda)
There are not any big hurdles like mountains between man and Allah, neither is there any long distance journey, rather, there is only a thin veil (of nafs) which can easily be removed by just one glance of a Kamil Murshid and Tasawur of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. Doors are open for those who want to search Allah, otherwise, Allah does not need any one. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Murshid thoroughly and completely knows every way of the Batin (inward) and solution of all its problems. Murshid is a synonym for Taufeeq-e-Elahi (Divine favour). No work is completed without Divine favour and help. So without Murshid all your prayers and mystic exercises are useless, even if you spend all your life in such exercises because no one has ever reached Allah without a spiritual mentor. Murshid Kamil is like an experienced and skilled captain of a ship who has complete knowledge of sailing, he saves the ship from every storm and calamity. Murshid himself, is the ship and the sailor as well (only those, who have deep insight will understand). (Ain-ul-Faqr)
You must know that Allah is within the heart of a Murshid Kamil because the ocean of Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah is possessed by the heart of a Momin. So the person, who wants to find the Reality and seeks Union with Allah, must first of all find a Murshid Kamil because he is the owner of all the treasures of heart and soul. One who recognizes his inner self is never deprived of Deedar-e-Elahi (Vision of Allah). (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Murshid Kamil is the one, who is aware of every inward and outward condition of the seeker. He must know what the seeker says or does, what is his status regarding his spiritual journey to the ultimate closeness of Allah, he must also be aware of all his feelings, ideas and arguments. Murshid should have such spiritual excellence that seeker may always feel him omnipresent and omniscient by the Divine effects of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and believes in him completely. Everyone is not capable of being a Murshid. Murshid Kamil is like a Paras stone which turns iron into gold. (Kaleed-ul-Tauheed Kalan)
Murshid Kamil bestows the Divine knowledge of Marifat (Gnosis) and Deedar (Vision) of Allah upon the seeker through Tasawur (contemplation) of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and shows him the reality of this carrion world, so that he is disgusted of its charm and repents thousand times. Murshid Kamil is the one who unveils Deedar-e-Elahi (Vision of Allah) through Tasawur of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and then returns to Ism-e-Allah Zaat, because no status, from eternal beginning (Azal) till eternal end (Abad), is out of Ism-e-Allah Zaat and never will be. (Noor-ul-Huda)
If a person continues prayers and hard mystic exercises throughout his life and says his prayers on one leg for 30 years even then he will not be able to know the spiritual secrets and can never have Deedar-e-Elahi. This supreme blessing can never be found without the grace of Murshid. One glance of Murshid is better than prayers of years and years. (Ameer-ul-Kaunain)