Experience over the centuries has shown that meditation on the subtle centers of consciousness leads to all stages of perfection. Through spiritual experiences the elder Sufis found that human beings are not only endowed with the faculty of mind or brain – the only center of awareness as generally understood; but through their intuitive insight they confirmed the existence of 10 centers of consciousness (lata’if) in the human body. The Indian Sufi master and theologian Shaykh Ahmad Faruqi Sirhindi (ra) who revitalized the Naqshbandi practices and from whom the Mujaddidi lineage descends further elucidated the origination of these lata’if as a reflection of the process of creation of the universe. According to the Shaykh the creation of the universe was in two stages: the world of God’s command (‘alam’- i – amr) was created instantly when God decreed “Be!” Then came the world of God’s creation (‘alam’ – i – khalq), which evolved through many years. And then God created the human being blessing it with ten points of light what we now know as lata’if.
Of these, five lata’if were part of the world of God’s command – heart (qalb), spirit (ruh), secret (sir), hidden (khafi) and most hidden (akhfa) whereas self (nafs), air (bad), fire (nar), water (ma), and earth (khak) constituted the five lata’if of the world of God’s creation. Originally luminous these points of light or lata’if started to lose their intensity as God connected them to the body. This was due to the influences of the physical world and human being’s inclination to identify with the material world.
Through muraqabah (meditation), Sufi shaykhs of the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi order guide the students to enlighten their lata’if one by one, till all the centers of consciousness are infused with light and eventually every pore of the human body becomes illuminated and starts to remember God. Only with the blessings of these respected Shaykhs have the Sufi teachings sustained till today and continue to benefit seekers of different sensitivities and natures as they have elevated seekers of generations past.
Our modern world being of a material nature rather than a spiritual one challenges us to maintain a balance between the demands of everyday life and accomplishment of our inner pursuits. Though there are choices abound in the quest of knowledge, the Sufi teachings transmitted through a chain of authorised teachers offers a unique opportunity to seekers to live life in this world in a spiritual way. In particular, the practical techniques developed by the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi line of masters are all-inclusive as they understand the necessity to assimilate these practices with work, family and social responsibilities