Looking through Shaykh Ahmad al-Ghumari’s autobiographical work in two volumes one finds a number interesting, strange and perhaps debatable points. If I get time I might inshAllah try to post some more from this work, which, even if not agreed with sheds some light on the views of a Morroccan student in al-Azhar in the period after the Second World War.
Shaykh Ahmad al-Ghumari also speaks at time in his work about himself in the third person, thus in the passage quoted below I have inserted his name in square brackets to make the passage clearer.
Shaykh Ahmad al-Ghumari said in his Bahr al-Amiq (1/148-149)
“When he [Shaykh Ahmad al-Ghumari] was in Cairo he went one day during one of the nights of Ramadan to visit one of his friends…he found with him an Indian youth who was not older than 20 years of age. The host informed him that he was an Indian who had travelled from India on foot and that his name was Iftikhar Hussain. He [Shaykh Ahmad al-Ghumari] began talking to the youth, and the youth posed him questions regarding tasawwuf, he saw at the beginning that he was from the young people of the age who objected to the Sufis. He [Shaykh Ahmad al-Ghumari] proceeded to answer him and clarify the truth to him in that which he asked about and was objecting and debating against.
Then whilst he was in the middle of the discussion a thought suddenly occurred to him that it might be possible that the youth could be from the Abdal, by the mere thought of this the youth said to him: ‘What is the meaning of Abdal?’. Then the discussion turned from one of objecting and criticism [of sufism] to talk of stations (maqamat) and states (ahwal), and he came forth with that which was astonishing. He [the Indian youth] then said to him [Shaykh Ahmad al-Ghumari] by means of kashf: ‘Your father is from the people of Allah, and you will be from the people of Allah. And I have been to you Zawiyah in Tangiers and I know from its description such and such’, this is despite his not having been to Morrocco.
He [Shaykh Ahmad al-Ghumari] was amazed by his state and took him with him to his home and kept his company for the duration of the month of Ramadan. He [the Indian youth] was with him in the home, not speaking except regarding loft stations from the states of the gnostics and great Sufis. If those present made mention of wordly matters he would remain silent, or would stand and pray at the side of room until they had finished from their topic and then would return to the discussion. Every so often at short intervals he would intersperse his discussion with the reciting of two verses in praise of the Prophet [Allah bless him and give him peace] which he said in a melodious voice, they were:
Balaghal Ula Bi Kamalihi – Kashafad Duja Bi Jamalihi
Hasunat Jameeu Khisalihi – Sallu Alaihi Wa Aalihi
He would then begin talking regarding the Muhammadan reality (Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyah) and would bring forth amazing points. Shortly after the end of the month of Ramadan he disappeared without trace, and he was the most amazing of those whom he saw in his life.