سبحان ذى الجبروت والملكوت والكبرياء والعظمة
In the name of Sufism, or more accurately, pseudo-Sufism, many pretenders and charlatans have exploited the thirst of the common, ignorant people for spirituality. One such charlatan was Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi. Among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent in particular there is a persistent tendency toward religious syncretism and antinomianism, indeed a reverence for such tendencies as being more “spiritual” and “Godly” than the orthodox approach to Islam. This is illustrated in the ignorant Muslims’ love for qawwali and their fascination with antinomian couplets of disagreeable figures like Bulleh Shah (d. 1757 CE). In a previous entry I explained the reality of the antinomian, nudist heretic Sarmad, who is a celebrated figure among this demographic of ignorant Muslims who prefer a Satanic brand of “spirituality” over the Shari’ah of Islam. The great reformers of Islam who appeared in the Indian subcontinent, such as Mujaddid Alf Thani, Ahmad Sirhindi (d. 1624 CE) and Shah Waliullah of Delhi (d. 1762 CE) رحمة الله عليهما waged a scholastic battle against antinomianism and syncretism, emphasizing the importance of abiding by the Shari’ah and the Sunnah. They did not reject Tasawwuf or Tariqah, but made it clear that Tariqah must be in accord with Shari’ah. This is the middle or moderate path between the the extreme of antinomian mysticism, religious syncretism, omnism on the one hand and the other extreme of modernism, anti-mysticism.
Among the heretical notions put forward by the omnist worldview of antinomian pseudo-Sufism is that the maqam or rank of Wilayah (sainthood) is higher than that of Nubuwwah (prophesy), as rationalized by the omnist Ibn Arabi (d. 1240 CE). Another notion is that false, Satanic religions like Hinduism are divinely revealed truths, and that some of their mythical “gods” (idols) were in fact prophets, identical to figures revered in Islam. The charlatan Gohar Shahi wrote that sayyidina Adam عليه السلام is identical to Shankar (a title of the Satanic Hindu idol Shiva) and sayyidina Khidr عليه السلام is identical to another Satanic Hindu idol, namely, Vishnu:
"The Hindu and Sikh religions are linked with the religions of Adam and Noah. Since Adam revered the Holy Black Stone, they adopted the ritual of worshipping idols. Those who survived from the great hurricane of Noah propagated in India. Indian Gurus obtained spiritual knowledge and spiritual grace from Khidr also. The names such as of Adam (Shankar Jee) and Khidr (Vishnu Maharaj) are found in the wordings of their prayers.” (The Religion of God)
And this notion was also expressed by another so-called Sufi mystic, Khwaja Ghulam Farid (d. 1901 CE), who said that Hinduism is the oldest religion being the religion of Adam, and that the Hindu avatars and rishis were Prophets, specifically naming Ram, Krishna and Buddha as having been Prophets and Apostles of God!
In attempting to answer the objection that some of the supposed “saints” of this Ummah could not have been saints since they did not observe the Shari’ah, they did not offer the Salah or fast in Ramadan, etc., Gohar Shahi says that the Prophets themselves were never obligated to worship Allah according to the Shari’ah, but only did so to set a precedent for their followers:
"The Prophets abide by the Sharia law to become a model for the Ummah (nation), so that they may imitate and follow. Otherwise, they do not need to worship. They have the rank of Prophet-hood since primordial time, long before the existence of the Sharia law. Since they have to perfect the religion as a model, if the Prophets miss out any of the rituals, or if they adopt an act, their nation imitates them. Hence they have to remain careful and sober. Can anyone be justified to say that a Prophet will enter the hellfire if he does not worship? Not at all! Can anyone be justified to say that one cannot be a Prophet if he does not worship? Can anyone claim that one cannot become a Prophet if he does not learn the knowledge? Why are the Saints made subject to objections? Note that Sainthood is a substitute to Prophet-hood.” (ibid)
This passage in the book is quite disturbing from an Islamic perspective, as it clearly suggests that the Prophets are above the Law of God. While we believe Nubuwwah (prophesy) is wahbi, that is, granted by Allah freely and not acquired by the recipient through effort, we simultaneously believe Allah عز وجل granted Nubuwwah to those holy and pure individuals on account of an immense goodness and purity within their souls that made them worthy of receiving the gift of prophesy. And part of that goodness within their souls was their disposition to strictly and beautifully abide by the Law of God and to worship Him alone with an extraordinary degree of devotion. The truth is that every Prophet is bound by the Shari’ah of his time, including the Seal of Prophets Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم who likewise was bound to comply with the Shari’ah that was revealed through his own person, and in fact practically did so in the most perfect and beautiful manner possible, thus being for us Insan al-Kamil (the perfect human). Contrary to Gohar Shahi’s heretical claim that the Prophets are not bound to worship Allah, we read in the Quran that the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم was in fact obligated to worship Allah above and beyond what is required of the members of his Ummah:
قُمِ الَّیۡلَ اِلَّا قَلِیۡلًا
نِّصۡفَہٗۤ اَوِ انۡقُصۡ مِنۡہُ قَلِیۡلًا
اَوۡ زِدۡ عَلَیۡہِ وَ رَتِّلِ الۡقُرۡاٰنَ تَرۡتِیۡلًا
Today the followers of Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi are divided into two factions; the more moderate Anjuman Sarfroshan-e-Islam and the Mehdi Foundation International (MFI) led by the lunatic Younus AlGohar, who believe Gohar Shahi is the promised Mahdi, and also Kalki Avatar of the Hindus.