The People of the Heart
Ahl-e Qulub (ay-lay koo-lube), which means People of the Heart, is a Sufi music group based in Charleston, IL, and has traveled across the Midwest to perform and teach meditation. All members are initiates of the Qadriya Sufi order and students of Sufi teacher Shaykh Dr. Ghulam Jilani, who was given the khilafat by his master, Hazrat Chaman Qadri RA. This gentle, venerable saint of India upheld and advocated the values of tolerance and spiritual pluralism for over 50 years, and spent his life in spiritual service to humanity. People of all faiths and creeds found spiritual peace under his guidance, irregardless of their beliefs or particularities, and he was essential in maintaining harmonious relations among the diversity of faiths in his town of Bundi. It is in this line of the unconditional service of our Sufi Grandmaster that Ahl-e Qulub performs, and we are dedicated to continuing this legacy of spiritual pluralism and tolerance.
We perform music from all spiritual traditions, acknowledging that each path is a way toward the Divine Beloved. As such, we want to clarify that we do not represent or advocate a particular religious or faith group, but encourage them all equally. Rather than being "religious" about there being "one way," Sufis simply strive to follow and emulate the Perfect Ones (Prophets, Messengers, Avatars, etc.) and saints from every line. The term Sufi, as we use it, simply means one who strives for closeness with the Beloved with intense, unconditional love, rather than denoting a religious sect.
The Sufi Path
Sufi orders trace their origins through a strong lineage of spiritual masters. The Qadriya Sufis trace their lineage back to Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani RAA. The Sufi master lived almost 1000 years ago and was known for his exuberant, effulgent love of the Beloved. He was also famous and venerated for many amazing miracles and sublime writings that have been preserved to this day. Following his example, Qadriya Sufis live a life of gentle simplicity, tolerance, compassion, and intensely joyous devotion to the Beloved.
As Qadriya Sufis, we believe that every spiritual path leads to the same goal. What matters is not the path one chooses, but how much one practices the spiritual principles of the path. As H. Rumi, a Sufi master, once said:
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."
Sufis practice a 1,400+ year old spiritual tradition that emphasizes love and devotion toward the Beloved, however an individual may conceive of it, and actively encourages all people to seek depth in their own particular path. Rather than focusing on and adhering to certain beliefs, creeds, and dogmas, Sufi practice is spiritual in nature and is concerned only with an individual's transformation into a gentle, compassionate, and gracious being. A Sufi's ultimate goal is to attain to waliyat, or closeness to the Beloved. This notion is synonymous to the ultimate goals of other traditions such as enlightenment, moksha, sainthood, self-realization, God-realization, etc. From a Sufi standpoint, they are all one and the same--actualizing the spiritual potential within oneself and attaining freedom from the shackles of the self-concerned ego--a goal that can be attained by anyone, regardless of their path.
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To learn more about our Sufi group visit QSFA.org