Unless the truth of the principle of Imamat is realized within, and the spiritual guide is revealed to the soul by God, witnessing and certitude are not possible to attain. To the true seeker, the spiritual guide and Messenger is revealed within the utmost secret sanctuary of the soul. This is when all impurities and imaginary boundaries are burned with the flame of love.
كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ وَيَبْقَى وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ
All that is on earth will perish, But will abide (for ever) the Face of thy Lord,- full of Majesty, Bounty and Honor. Holy Quran (55:26-27)
This is the way of Truth and true faith and liberation according to Islamic Sufism. The guidance is from within. One of these believers was Oveys Gharani. Hazrat Oveys lived at the time of Prophet Mohammad. Although he never met the Prophet in person, he had met him inwardly and was guided and instructed by him. This method of heart to heart cognition is the spiritual relationship that should exist between the seeker and the spiritual guide or Imam and Pir.
At times the Prophet would say of Hazrat Oveys, “I feel the breath of the Merciful, coming to me from Yemen.” Shortly before the Prophet passed from this life, he directed Omar (second Caliph) and Hazrat Ali (the first Imam of the Shi’a) to take his Cloak to Hazrat Oveys. According to Hujwiri, Attar Niyshabpouri, and Sheikh Mohammad Ghader Bagheri, the first recipient of Holy Prophet Mohammad’s (pbuh) Cloak was Oveys Gharani.
In so doing, the Prophet confirmed the method of heart to heart communication through which Hazrat Oveys had received the essence of Islam from the spiritual Teacher and Imam of his time. Hazrat Oveys joined Hazrat Ali in the war of Saffein and became a martyr alongside his Imam.
From that time until the present, over a period of 1400 years, the cloak has been in the possession of forty-two enlightened Masters of the M.T.O. School of Islamic Sufism® in unbroken succession. The present cloak–bearer and the 42nd Master of the school is Hazrat Molana Salaheddin Ali Nader Angha.
Over centuries, these Sufi Masters have taught students not to be followers, but to be masters of their own lives through witnessing the light of the Truth.
أَوَ مَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن مَّثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِّنْهَا كَذَلِكَ زُيِّنَ
لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُون
(Al Anam 6:122)
Can he who was dead, to whom We gave life, and a light whereby he can walk amongst men, be like him who is in the depths of darkness, from which he can never come out? Thus to those without faith their own deeds seem pleasing. (Al Anam 6:122)
Hujwiri , Kashf al-Mahjub. Tehran: Amir Kabir Publications, 1957. Print.
Attar, Sheikh Farid al-din, Tazkeret al- Ulia. Tehran: Amir Kabir Publications, 1964. Print
Bagheri Namini, Sheikh Mohammad Ghader, Aghtab Oveyssi. Teheran: Amin Publications, 1973. Print.