“Abr-i āb-i zindagānī ūst, man zindah shudam
Chūn yakī qatrah zi abrash dar dahān man chakīd”
“The cloud of water of life is he (the Imām), thus was I revived
When a single drop from his cloud fell into my mouth”
~ Sayyidnā Nāṣir-i Khusraw, Dīwān, Mīnuwī edition, p. 54
The logo of this website – drops of water falling into a rippling body of water – attempts to visually convey the notion of all humankind being part of a whole; particles of the universal or Single Soul (nafs-i wāḥidah); the individual components of the matrix of existence; the diverse manifestation of the one Reality: Monoreality. To understand this is the foundation stone of Spiritual Science and to experience this reality consciously is to actualise the potential of every human being – the return of the self-realised drop to its origin, the ocean!
Spiritual or Qur’ānic Science is based on several key concepts of revealed religion, the foremost of which is that humankind is the highest creation (ashrafu’l-makhluqāt) of the Supreme Creator. The human being is created in the Image of the Compassionate (ṣūrat-i Raḥmān) and is the child of Adam for whom the entire creation has been created. The human being is also the best example in creation of the integration of both the material and spiritual dimensions of existence.
The human being, as the Image of the Compassionate or the child of Adam, has the capacity and the potential to develop to the ultimate. In Qur’ānic terminology, this is called the subjugation of the universe, as mentioned in verse (16:12): “And He has subjugated to you the night and the day, the sun and the moon and the stars (also) are subjugated to you by His command. Verily in this are signs for those who understand (ya’qilūn).” According to the teachings of Islam, God empowered His Perfect Friends, the Prophets and the awliyā’ from their progeny (3:33-34) to subjugate the universe and He conferred upon them the crown of vicegerency. The question arises: To what purpose? The answer is simple: To be the role models for humanity as well as the guides in the field of Qur’ānic or Spiritual Science. It is against the law of the Compassionate and Just Creator to confer the status of vicegerency on some of His creatures but to deny it to the rest!
Spiritual or Qur’ānic Science resonates the belief of Islam that by virtue of spiritual progress, human beings can benefit all the time from the great secrets of the Supreme Soul. This belief has been inspirationally captured in the poetry of the great Persian poet, Khwājah Hāfiz, who in a famous verse says:
“If the grace of the Holy Spirit (Rūḥu’l Qudus) ever helps again
Others will also perform the same (miracles) that Jesus used to perform.”
From the point of view of Islam, the human being is the workshop or the museum for the manifestation of the wonders of Spiritual Science. This however, requires an understanding of the real status of the human being. Ḥaz̤rat ‘Alī, the successor of Prophet Muḥammad, wrote a poem fourteen hundred years ago, which continues to be a source of motivation for all thinking people. He says:
“Do you think you are a small body
While the great cosmos is contained in you?”
The above points provide a context for the unique approach of Qur’ānic or Spiritual Science, which motivates the microcosm to actualise the macrocosm, the particular to become the universal, the incomplete to rise to the heights of perfection.
Such an endeavour calls for a strict discipline of moral purity, altruism, sincerity, positive feelings, firm resolve and the zeal to serve humanity. It demands the practise of universal ethics. It is practised within the context of human society, being continuously challenged by the pressures and carnal temptations of everyday living. It is very different from the understanding that spirituality is merely a means of stress relief, or to maintain good physical health, or a means of impressing people through some magical demonstrations.
In the Islamic world-view which rejects dichotomy, the material and the spiritual, or Dīn and Dunya are two dimensions of the same reality which are always inextricably linked. Thus, Qur’ānic or Spiritual Science seeks to develop both the spiritual and physical dimensions of human beings. If human beings are enabled to make the scientific progress they have made to date, is it not also possible for them to make similar progress in the arena of Spiritual Science? Islam’s answer, encoded in the holy Qur’ān, is very clear and direct. In Sūrah 41, āyat 53, we are told that God will show His signs first in the āfāq, the external world, and then in the anfus, the inner world or soul of human beings. In other words, the marvels of material science are a precursor of the miracles which will take place within the souls of those human beings who struggle on the path of Qur’ānic spirituality. The role models of Spiritual Science have always been amongst humankind in the personalities of Prophets and the Imams from their direct descent. Their very presence is an invitation to all human beings to accept the challenge of Spiritual Science. When this develops, the holy Qur’ān stipulates that humanity will actualise its spiritual and intellectual potential and thus transcend all differences of race, class, gender, creed, etc; a greater consciousness of unity of soul in the whole of creation will prevail, which will lead to universal harmony and peace.
Spiritual Science has existed from the very beginning of human existence as evidenced by the record of events of Ḥaẕrat Adam in the holy Qur’ān. Its name, however, has evolved from the “Science of the Realities of all things (‘ilm-i ḥaqā’iq-i ashyā’)” to “Qur’ānic Science” to “Spiritual Science”. The last name is an apt reminder, in an age of accelerating discoveries in the field of physical science, not to disregard and disown the possibilities of the discoveries in the realm of Spiritual Science. It reflects too, the totally holistic concept of Islam that the physical and spiritual are but two dimensions of a single Reality and affirms Islam’s encouragement to study both for the betterment of all humanity and for the honour of Adam’s children in fulfilling the true purpose of human life.
`Allāmah Naṣīr al-Dīn Naṣīr Hunzai
(1917 – 2017)
Born in 1917 in Hydarabad, Hunza in the isolated Northern Areas of Pakistan, he transcended the total lack of secular schooling, the subsistence existence of a high altitude, barren environment and other such overwhelming obstacles to become a prolific author of both prose and poetry. His life demonstrates the struggle for excellence and merit, which are dedicated to the service of humanity.
Achievements internationally recognized:
Prose: He is the author of over a hundred books on the humanistic and spiritual dimensions of the Qur’ān, the sacred book of Islam. Contextualizing his thought and teachings, he has coined the phrase ‘Spiritual Science’ to convey the integrated world-view of Islam that God wishes human beings to develop both their physical abilities as well as their spiritual potential. More than sixty of his books have been translated into English and some also in other languages, such as French, Swedish, Gujarati, Cyrillic and Farsi. His books have a wide circulation in Britain, Canada, America, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan.
Contrary to normal practice, several Masters and Doctorates have been completed on his thought during his lifetime in the east and the west by students at such universities as La Sapienza Rome University and Karachi University. Professoressa Bianca Maria Amoretti, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at La Sapienza Rome University, has written an extensive article in Italian on his thought, which is published in “Ex libris Franco Coslovi”, published by the University of Venice, in 1996.
Poetry: He composes inspirational poetry in four languages – Burushaski, his mother tongue, Urdu the national language of Pakistan, Farsi and Chinese-Turkish. In addition to five of his poems being included in “The Shimmering Light – An Anthology of Ismaili Poetry”, published by I.B. Tauris of London and New York in 1996, Professor Bouvin of Paris University has done some research on his Farsi poetry. Further, in the east his poetry is in “Shumali `alaqay ka Urdu adab” published by the Halqah-i Arbab-i Dhawq in Gilgit, Pakistan
Burushaski Language: He transformed this ancient and unique language from the coarse oral tongue of a mountain-bound isolated community to one, which is now internationally recognised, and has also developed into a language of sublime and lofty ideas. He is the co-author of the German-Burushaski Dictionary with Professor Hermann Berger, published by the Sudasien-Institut Der Universitat Heidelberg in 1998. Dr. Berger writes: His work “will make it possible for coming generations to recognize and honour in the mirror of their ancient venerable language the high values of their traditional culture.”
In 1982 he was a Research Associate at the University of Montreal, Canada where he worked on a research project on Burushaski funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for Canada. With one of the professors there he has also co-authored a book called “Hunza Proverbs”, published by Calgary University in 1993. In Pakistan, Karachi University has published his Burushaski books, Allama Iqbal Open University has recently included the study of this language in its courses and a joint project on a Burushaski-Urdu dictionary between his Burushaski Research Academy and Karachi University and the Urdu Dictionary Board of Pakistan has resulted in the publication of a three volume Burushaski-Urdu dictionary.
It would not be exaggerating to state that `Allāmah Naṣīr Hunzai’s numerous books, articles and lectures have introduced a new and fresh way of studying and understanding the sacred book of Islam, the holy Qur’ān. His own personal struggle and spiritual experiences have given him a unique insight into the humanistic and spiritual depths of the Qur’ān. All his books and poetry speak of the nobility of the human being, who as the highest creation of God is endowed with immense physical, spiritual and intellectual possibilities. His writings and other activities have helped people everywhere to transcend their parochial and sectarian inclinations and have promoted harmony, peace and unity to work towards common goals for the sake of the overall improvement of society at large.
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