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Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi
ریاض احمد گوھر شاہی
S0040.jpg
Sarkar Gohar Shahi during a gathering in Kotri Sharif
Date of birth: November 25, 1941(1941-11-25)
Place of birth: Dhok Gohar Shah, Rawalpindi, British India
Movement: Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam, Messiah Foundation International

Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi (Urdu:ریاض احمد گوھر شاہی; born 25 November 1941) is a Muslim Sufi, author, and the founder of the spiritual movement Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam and Messiah Foundation International. [1] [2][3] Central to his beliefs are the concept of divine love and a non discriminatory approach to God in regard to a person's caste, creed, nation or religion. According to Shahi, every human has been granted the ability to develop a spiritual power to approach to the essence of God. Shahi was born in Pakistan, in the village of Dhok Gohar Shah in the district of Rawalpindi.

Contents

Biography

Al-Hajj Hazrat Sayyed Fazal Hussain, father of Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi

Shahi was born on 25 November 1941, in Dhok Gohar Shah. He is the fifth generation of the Sufi and spiritualist Baba Gohar Ali Shah.[4]

At the age of twenty, when he was the owner of F. Q. Steel Industries, Shahi began his search for spiritualism amongst the saints and dervishes of the time. Eventually he became disillusioned in this search, and, disappointed in not receiving spiritual benevolence, he returned to work. Gohar Shahi then married and had three children.[4]

According to Shahi, at about the age of thirty four Bari Imam appeared before him and said: "My son your time has come, you must go to the shrine of Sultan Bahu to receive the Sacred Inner Dimensions of Spiritual Knowledge." Gohar Shahi then left his work, family and parents and went to Shorkot, where he read the book Nurul Huda (Light of Guidance),[5] written by Sultan Bahu. He then went to Sehwan Sharif for self-mortification and peace of heart, and spent a period of three years in the mountains of Sehwan Sharif and the forest of Laal Bagh in self-purification.[4]

Literary works

Gohar Shahi authored a number of books and treatises, including one based on Sufi Poetry known as Taryaq-e-Qalb, roughly translating to "The cure for deceased hearts". One of his most prominent books is 'Deen-e-Ilahi'. Works by Gohar Shahi include:

  • Rouhani Safar (Spiritual Journey)
  • Menaara-e-Noor (Minaret of Spiritual Light)
  • Roshnaash (An Induction)
  • Tohfa-tul Majalis (Gift of Congregations)
  • Deen-e-Ilahi (Urdu: دین الہی and The Religion of God)[6][7]

Messiah Foundation International considers Shahi to be the author of the Goharian Philosophy of Divine Love, a set of principles upon which the organization is founded.[8]

Shahi also authored a magazine, Hatif-e-Mehdi, which was banned in Pakistan for allegedly containing material offensive to the religious feelings of Muslims there.[9]

Sufi views

Hisham Kabbani sitting below during Gohar Shahi's visit to America in 1997.

The teachings of Gohar Shahi have been a source of controversy. Some orthodox theological scholars condemn his teachings as blasphemy.[10] However, some Sufis, including Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, Nazim al-Qubrusi, and Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri praised Shahi.[11] When meeting Shahi, Kabbani sat at his feet[11] in a display of respect.[citation needed]

Claims and criticism

Gohar Shahi speaking during International Isme-e-Zaat Allah Conference held in Karachi on 7 October 1996 organized by International Spiritual Movement Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam

Opposition towards Gohar Shahi and his followers stemmed from claims made by Shahi and his followers that were strongly opposed by orthodox theologians in Pakistan and abroad.[12] Shahi was accused of claiming the status of prophet but Shahi denied such accusations.[3][12]

Shahi faced strong opposition from different religious leaders and orthodox theological scholars,[12] and his teachings have been condemned by Muslim religious leaders and the Pakistani government.[10]

Many attempts were made on Shahi's life, including a petrol bomb attack, thrown into his Manchester residence,[13] and an attack with a hand grenade during the discourse at his home in Kotri, Pakistan.[13] A high price tag was put on his head in Pakistan.[13]

Shahi's books were banned by the Government of Pakistan,[10] public meetings are not allowed to his followers.[14]. Several cases were filed against Gohar Shahi and his followers.

Gohar Shahi was booked in 1997 on alleged charges of murdering a woman who had come to him for spiritual treatment;[3] Gohar Shahi, and many of his followers,[15] were later convicted under Islamic blasphemy laws[12][16] by an antiterrorist court in Sindh.[17] Gohar Shahi was convicted in absentia[16]—as he had previously fled to England [15]—resulting in sentences that totaled approximately 59 years.[12] In February 2002 prior to any decision on appeals filed with the High Court of Sindh , Ardeshir Cowasjee claimed in an article he wrote in Dawn the Pakistani newspaper that unnamed people that he said identified themselves to him as office-bearers of the All-Faith Spiritual Movement told him that Gohar Shahi died abroad, this report was unconfirmed.[12]

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Claims of being the Mehdi, Messiah and Kalki Avatar

Gohar Shahi claimed to have met with Jesus in America.[18] Shahi's supporters claim that his face became prominent on the moon, sun, nebula star and the Black Stone in Mecca,[19] and that these appearances were signs from God that Gohar Shahi was the awaited Imam Mehdi, Messiah, and Kalki Avatar. The alleged images induced greater legal and religious opposition.[14] Shahi has also supported this claim, saying that God had revealed the images of Shahi on the moon and various locations, for which Shahi himself was not responsible, and if questions should be raised, they should be raised at God [20]. Messiah Foundation International claims the alleged images to be signs from God, pointing towards Shahi being the awaited Mehdi, and quote religious texts and sayings from the likes of Nostradamus[21], and Ja'far al-Sadiq to support it.

Journalists in Pakistan questioned Shahi,

"Many believe that you are the Mehdi, and you have revealed signs unto them which say that you are the Mehdi, but you do not officially announce that you are the Mehdi, why?". Shahi answered, "Does Imam Mehdi (signalling himself) not know the law of Pakistan? He knows that the law of Pakistan declares that whomsoever claims to be the Mehdi, jail him. I have given the signs of his (Mehdi's) characteristics, which the Mehdi knows and none other. Now, it is upon people to recognize him and believe him".

[20]

Of the groups following Shahi, Messiah Foundation International claims that Shahi is the awaited Mehdi, Messiah, and Kalki Avatar while Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam does not.

Disappearance

The Darbar-e-Gohar Shahi in Kotri Sharif
Gohar Shahi addressing to Christian Community in New York, USA on 2 October 1999.

Gohar Shahi was reported to have "mysteriously" disappeared in 2001, in London, UK, which some followers took to be similar to occultation. Rumors regarding the disappearance spread, and while some thought he had died, some followers believe that he is to return soon, according to the prophecies of the Mehdi. Followers parted into two organizations after the alleged disappearance, one remained to be Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam, whilst Younus AlGohar, a disciple of Shahi who has said that Shahi merely disappeared [22] formed Messiah Foundation International, claiming to be under the guidance of Shahi. This group of followers deny the demise of Shahi, and relay his apparent warning prior to the disappearance that he'd disappear one day but that he would return. International Spiritual Movement Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam, assuming he had died, built a tomb for him at the Markazi Aastana in Kotri,[12] where devotees perform pilgrimage to the building. Gohar Shahi's family still resides in Kotri, including his wife, five sons and a daughter.

References

  1. ^ "Messiah Foundation International Site about Shahi". Messiah Foundation International. http://www.goharshahi.com. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Website from Pakistan Sector". goharshahi.pk. http://goharshahi.pk/images/ie-about.html. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Gohar Shahi, chief of Anjuman-e-Sarferoshan-e-Islam, granted pre-arrest bail". Dawn newspaper. November 18, 1997. http://www.karachipage.com/news/nov97/111897.txt. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "About Gohar Shahi". goharshahi.net. http://web.archive.org/web/20071208000836/http://www.goharshahi.net/images/about.htm. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Books of Sultan Bahu". hazratsultanbahu.com. http://hazratsultanbahu.com/page/default.htm. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  6. ^ Staff. "Deen_e_illahi_english". goharshahi.pk. http://goharshahi.pk/images/ie-images/ie-books/deen-e-illahi/deen-e-illahi%20english.htm. Retrieved March 12, 2010.  HTML version to read online.
  7. ^ Staff. "The Religion of God - Divine Love" (Flash player). goharshahi.com. http://goharshahi.com/deen_e_elahi/english/book_yudu_pop.htm. Retrieved March 12, 1010.  Flash player version to read online.
  8. ^ "The Goharian Philosophy of Divine Love". http://www.theawaitedone.com/messiah_herald/2009/dec/page08.htm. Retrieved February 25, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Banned magazines to be seized", Pakistan Press Foundation (Karachi), August 20 2005, http://www.pakistanpressfoundation.org/usermediafilesdetails.asp?uid=6008, retrieved Feb 24, 2010 
  10. ^ a b c "Pakistan's Supreme Court upholds ban on a Shahi disciple's book". The Daily Times. July 8, 2004. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_8-7-2004_pg7_43. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Shaikh Hisham's Meeting with Gohar Shahi". via Google videos. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2656570065128302013&q=source:012300218563303633200&hl=en. Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g ""The Man in the Moon" by Ardeshir Cowasjee". Dawn newspaper. February 10, 2002. http://www.dawn.com/weekly/cowas/20020210.htm. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c ""Who is Holiness"". via Yahoo Geocities. http://web.archive.org/web/20011123051444/http://www.geocities.com/athens/acropolis/2717/page3.html. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "10 held for raising slogans in favour of Gohar Shahi". Dawn newspaper. June 26, 2002. http://www.dawn.com/2002/06/26/nat33.htm. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b "Int’l Religious Freedom Report - May, 2001". The Persecution.org. May 1, 2001. http://www.thepersecution.org/ussdcirf/usirf2001.html. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices by United States of America". U.S. Department of State. February 23, 2003. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2000/sa/710.htm. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  17. ^ "U.S. State Department Religious Freedom Report 2000". U.S. Department of State. February 23, 2003. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2000/sa/710.htm. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  18. ^ Gohar Shahi's meeting with Jesus
  19. ^ Face of Gohar Shahi appeared on Kaaba
  20. ^ a b "Gohar Shahi interview with Scholars". via YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1OFtIKneQI. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  21. ^ "The Man on the Moon that Nostradamus Prophesized". http://www.themanonthemoon.com/. Retrieved March 18, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Croydon religious leader faces life in Pakistani jail for his beliefs". Your Local Guardian. September 30, 2009. http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/local/topstories/4645892.Croydon_religious_leader_faces_life_in_Pakistani_jail_for_his_beliefs. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi.

Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi (ریاض احمدگوھرشاہی) (‎25 November, born in 1941 is a Pakistani author, spiritual leader and founder of the spiritual movement International Spiritual Movement Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam and Messiah/Mehdi Foundation International. Most of Gohar Shahi's followers believe He is the awaited Messianic Figure awaited by all religions for centuries.

Sourced

  • The religions that exist as a result of the Heavenly Books are proper as long as the Scriptures have not been altered.
  • Religions are like boats and Scholars are like oars, if either one is defective then it becomes difficult to reach the destination. However Saints do take even the damaged “boats” (people) to the shore. It is for this reason that incomplete and broken people gather around Saints.
  • The love of God is superior to religion and it is the essence of all religions, whereas the light of God is the guiding and illuminating lantern of the path.
  • There are four parts of knowledge. Three parts are of the apparent, the “seen” and one part is of the hidden, (the spiritual) which was spread by Khidr (Vishnu Maharaj).
  • It is only the love of God that is the way to getting closer to God. The Dogs are better than an individual’s heart that is empty of God, as dogs love their master and it is because of that love that they achieve the closeness and favor of their master. Otherwise, an “unclean” dog and a divinely ordained human being cannot be compared.
  • If you desire paradise, the pure maidens and palaces in it then worship abundantly: so as to reach the highest of heavens.
  • In order to recognize, and to be able to approach the essence of Allah (God), learn spirituality (Ruhaniyat), no matter what religion or sect you belong to.
  • If you are searching for God then you must learn spirituality also, so that whilst remaining on the straight and guided path you arrive at the essence of God and achieve the union with God.
  • If you follow a religion but are devoid of the Love of God, then those that do not follow a religion but have the love of God are better.
  • Love is connected to the heart. When the Name of God Allah is synchronized with the heartbeat, it then travels through the blood to all the veins, reaches the spirits and awakens them. Then the spirits are rejuvenated and go into the Love of God.
  • Any Name of God in any language is worthy of respect but the original Name of God in the Semitic language is Allah. This Semitic language is the language of the celestial entities. It is by this Name that the angels call upon God and it is attached to the Title of every Prophet.
  • Any individual who is sincerely searching for God, on land or in the sea is also worthy of respect.
  • Many Adams came into this world, at the same time and in different places. All the Adams were made in the world with clay from this world except the last Adam who is buried in Arabia. He was the only one made in paradise with clay which was also from paradise. With the exception of this Adam the angels did not bow down before any other Adam. The Satan became the enemy of the descendants of this Adam.
  • There are seven types of entities in the human body. These are connected to different celestial spheres. They are connected to different heavens and are further connected with different functions within the human body. If these entities are strengthened with light they then resemble the person they are in and travel to many places at the same time. They can travel to the gatherings of Saints and Prophets and even talk to God and see God.
  • Every human being has two religions. The first is the religion of the body which ceases to exist after death. The second is the religion of the soul, which has existed since the beginning of time, the Love of God. It is by this religion that a human being is exalted.
  • Superior to all the religions is the Love of God and superior to all types of worship is seeing God.
  • Disrespectful are unfulfilled and the respectful are fulfilled.
  • The best and most exalted person is the one, whose heart has the Love of God, even if that person has no religion.
  • People say that you find God through worship, I say that you find God through your heart.

External links

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Simple English

Hazrat Sayyedna Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi Muddazullahul Aali
Full name Hazrat Sayyedna Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi Muddazullahul Aali
Era ریاض احمدگوھرشاہی
Region Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi
School Sunni
Main interests Divine Love, Spiritualism, Religion
Notable ideas Dhikr-e-Qulb

Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi (ریاض احمدگوھرشاہی) (born ‎25 November, 1941)[1] [2] is a Pakistani author, spiritual leader and Founder of International Spiritual Movement Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam.[2][3][1] He was born in the Indian sub-continent, in a small village of Gohar Shah in the district of Rawalpindi.

Contents

Name

File:RAGS.
Gohar Shahi delivering speech to Sikh Community in a Sikh Temple in Phoenix, Arizona, USA in 1997

His full name is Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi, which is in Urdu. The meaning of first part of his name Riaz is "Peace" or "Garden",[4] Ahmed is another name of Muhammad and Gohar Shahi means "Royal Gem". Gohar Shahi is used with his name because of his ancestor Baba Gohar Ali Shah who was a renowned Sufi and spiritualist. The village where Gohar Shahi was born is also dedicated to Baba Gohar Ali Shah for many centuries and called Dhok Gohar Shah, means “Village of Gohar Shah”. Gohar Shahi is the fifth generation of Baba Gohar Ali Shah.[5]

History

File:Al-Hajj Fazal Hussain Gohar Shahi
Al-Hajj Sayyed Fazal Hussain father of Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi

[[File:|thumb|left|Sarkar Gohar Shahi blessings to Shia Community in Imam Bargah-e-Noor-e-Iman, Karachi in 1997]] He was born on 25 November 1941 in Dhok Gohar Shah, a village located in District Rawalpindi, Pakistan.[2] At the age of twenty, when Gohar Shahi was the owner of F. Q. Steel Industries (Registered) he started to search for spiritualism amongst the saints and dervishes of the time.[2] He soon found that his heart remained unfulfilled. Eventually upon becoming disillusioned with the saints and dervishes which he encountered, and being disappointed in not receiving Spiritual Benevolence he returned to his work. Gohar Shahi then married and had three children.[5] At about the age of thirty four Bari Imam appeared before him and said: "My son your time has come, you must go to the shrine of Sultan Bahu to receive the Sacred Inner Dimensions of Spiritual Knowledge."[2] Gohar Shahi then left his work, family and parents and went to Shorkot, where under the blissful supervision of Sultan Bahu made the book "Nurul Huda (Light of Guidance)" (a book written by Sultan Bahu),[6] his journey's companion. He then went to Sehwan Sharif for self-mortification and peace of heart, and spent a period of three years in the mountains of Sehwan Sharif and the forest of Laal Bagh in Self-Purification.[2][5]

In a very short time the message of Gohar Shahi became fairly popular in Pakistan and internationally. Gohar Shahi was invited to mosques, Hindu temples, churches, Sikh temples, Imam Bargahs to deliver speech. He was the first ever Muslim Spiritual Leader who was invited by people of all faith in their places of worships.[7][1]

Literary works

File:Body.gif
The spiritual inner entities of Human body explored & defined by Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi in Menara-e-Noor

Gohar Shahi wanted to preach the message of spiritualism, which was based on divine love of God.[2] To serve this purpose he formed International Spiritual Movement Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam in 1980.[2] He also authored a number of books on spiritualism. His works includes a book on Sufi poetry as well known as “Turyaaq-e-Qulb” means “Cure for hearts”. The listing of books written by Gohar Shahi includes:

  • Ruhani Safar (Spiritual Journey)
  • Menara-e-Noor (Minaret of Light)
  • Roshnash (An Induction)
  • Tuhfa-tul-Majalis (Gift of Congregations)
  • Deen-e-Illahi (The Religion of God)—considered Gohar Shahi's most important work by his followers.

The Teachings

File:RAGS.
Gohar Shahi speaking during International Isme-e-Zaat Allah Conference held in Karachi on 7th October, 1996 organized by International Spiritual Movement Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam

Gohar Shahi often talks about his three years in the wilderness, and sees them as the best part of his life. He claimed to have returned to the world on the Commandment of God. Contrary to his expectations, he had to go through humiliation and rejections.[2] In first four years of preaching the message, only five people favored it. Then, gradually young seekers accepted his teachings. He turned the hearts of several hundred thousand people towards the Remembrance and the Love of God. Gohar Shahi sought a spiritual revival based on Divine Love of God and emphasized Self-Purification through Dhikr-e-Qulb (Remembrance of Allah with HeartBeats).[2] Gohar Shahi was in favor of divine love and considers it most important for an approach to God and no discrimination of caste, creed, nation or religion is accepted for Divine Love of God as every human has been gifted with an ability to develop spiritual power to approach to the essence of God. However, orthodox theological scholars criticized and condemned the teachings of Gohar Shahi.[2]

Sufi's response

[[File:|thumb|right|Hisham Kabbani sitting beneath the feet,[8] during Gohar Shahi's visit to America in 1997.]] Though orthodox theological scholars condemned the teachings of Gohar Shahi and criticized him heavily not just in Pakistan but throughout the world but on the other side number of internationally renowned Sufis including Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani and Sultan-al Awliya Shaykh Mawlana as-Sayyid Khwaja Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani al-Rabbani al-Qubrusi al-Firdausi an-Naqshbandi and Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri. They respected Gohar Shahi for his services rendered to the mankind to preach the Divine Love of God without any discrimination of Caste, Creed, Nation or Religion. Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani always used to sit beneath the feet of Gohar Shahi to show respect for him. [8] A number of Sufis including Pir of Ghamkool Sharif, Pir of Dhannakka Sharif, Pir Kaki Tarrur, Ghulam Nabi Kashmiri alias Samandri Baba and Siraj Baba also respected Gohar Shahi and said that he is the one who has been the most honoured person by Allah.

Opposition

File:RAGS.
Gohar Shahi in Brokelane (New York)'s Jamia Mosque Turk in 1997

Muslim sufi history witnessed that most of Sufis faced opposition and criticism of orthodox theological scholars(The Mullahs), even some were executed like Hallaj.[9] Gohar Shahi also faced very strong opposition from different religious leaders and orthodox theological scholars,[10] The teachings of Gohar Shahi were strongly condemned by orthodox theological scholars of the time, Muslim extremists and bigots developed enmity with Gohar Shahi. Many attempts were made to his life.[1] A petrol bomb was thrown in his Manchester's residence. There was an attack with hand grenade during the discourse at his home in Kotri, Pakistan. A high price tag was put on his head in Pakistan. He was the subject of entrapment through five serious allegations. Gohar Shahi's teachings have been condemned by Muslim religious leaders and the Pakistani government.[11][1]

File:RAGS.
Gohar Shahi addressing to International Ism-e-Azam Conference, Mochi Durwaza Lahore on 11 April, 1996 organized by International Spiritual Movement Anjuman Serfaroshan-e-Islam

Gohar Shahi's supporters claim that the images of Gohar Shahi have been appeared on the Moon, Sun, and the Al-Hajar-ul-Aswad (Black Stone) of Kaaba[3] caused greater opposition.[1] He faced media-trial, due to pressure of religious extremists, the Government of Pakistan also used all sources to eliminate the organization of Gohar Shahi.[7][1] His book was banned by the Government of Pakistan,[11][1] public meetings are not allowed to his followers[12][1] and also no press coverage is allowed to either Gohar Shahi or to his followers due to charges of blasphemy law.[1] Several cases were filed against Gohar Shahi and his followers.[1] Gohar Shahi, and many of his followers,[13] were later convicted under Islamic blasphemy laws[10][14] by an antiterrorist court in Sindh.[15] Gohar Shahi was convicted in absentia[14]—as he was in England at that time[13]—resulting in sentences that totaled approximately 59 years.[10]

References

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