Hazrat Ali Hujwiri R.A. on Mushahadat and Mujahadat
Hazrat Ali Hujwiri on Hazrat Abu Bakr’s Mushahadat versus Hazrat Umar’s Mujahada
CALIPH ABU BAKER R.A. is placed by the Sufi Shaykhs at the head of those who have adopted the contemplative life (mushahadat), on account of the fewness of the stories and traditions which he related; while ‘Hazrat Umar R.A. is placed at the head of those who have adopted the purgative life (mujahadat), because of his rigour and assiduity in devotion.
It is written among the genuine Traditions, and is well known to scholars, that when Abu Bakr prayed at night he used to recite the Quran in a low voice, whereas ‘Umar used to recite in a loud voice. Prophet S.A.W asked Abu Bakr why he did this. Abu Bakr replied: “He with whom I converse will hear.” ‘Umar, in his turn, replied: “I wake the drowsy and drive away the Devil”.
The one gave a token of contemplation, the other of purgation. Now purgation, compared with contemplation, is like a drop of water in a sea, and for this reason the Apostle said that ‘Umar, the glory of Islam, was only (equivalent to) a single one of the good deeds of Abu Bakr (hal anta ilia hasanat min hasanati Abi Bakr).
It is recorded that Abu Bakr said: “Our abode is transitory, our life therein is but a loan, our breaths are numbered, and our indolence is certain.” By this he signified that the world is too worthless to engage our thoughts; for whenever you occupy yourself with what is perishable, you are made blind to that which is eternal.