Abdul was amongst Sai Baba’s close devotees and lived with Sai Baba in Shirdi for a continuous period of twenty nine years before Sai Baba’s Mahasamadhi and then remained in Shirdi for a further thirty six years until his own samadhi in 1954. Abdul wrote down some of Sai Baba’s utterances and explanations and over the years these notes accumulated into a small volume. After Sai Baba’s Mahasamadhi, this old notebook manuscript became very precious to Abdul as he made use of it, according to Sri Narasimhaswamy, as a ‘Book of Prophecy’ through which Sai Baba’s message and guidance could be obtained.
Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Marianne Warren, Abdul’s notes have been fully translated and published in her book – “Unraveling the Enigma – Shirdi Sai Baba in the Light of Sufism” published by Sterling Publishers, India. In foreword to the book Dr. N.K.Wagle of University of Toronto says: “Dr. Marianne Warren’s work is the first scholarly attempt to provide a historical context to Sai Baba’s teachings. An equally original point argued convincingly by Dr. Warren concerns Sai Baba’s knowledge of Islamic Theology. Dr. Warren has translated the Saibaba manuscript in which Sai Baba gave discourses on Islamic history and thought to his pupil, Abdul, his personal attendant, whose tomb rests near Sai Baba’s shrine”. For Devotees who want to advance spiritually, and are looking for gems to collect as Baba used to say, these sayings are invaluable and should be taken as word personally spoken to each one of us without any prejudice, argument, discussion or controversy.
Abdul’s notes on Sai Baba’s teachings:
Page 12: The religious emotion is purely spiritual. Only secondarily it relates to the material world. O Parvardigar! – Universal Sustainer. O God! O Habib! – My Beloved! What we see in this material state is not real because you cannot understand it through the intellect or by inference. Those who consider the spirit as without beginning, this opinion is incorrect because thinking itself is not permanent. And life is the real thing. The body is subordinate to it… Page 14 : To understand the true form of God is difficult. In the Qur’an, it is forbidden to picture God with form. If you walk on the path of righteousness, then you will not feel the need for it. It requires great effort to walk on the path [of righteousness] i.e. tapas. When a person practices taps (riyajat), divine insight (ma’rifa) will automatically come. A sura from the Qur’an says something to this effect, Ajjain jahidu fina tabulana riyajat – He who performs tapas, I regard him to be on the path. It would not be proper to give him full knowledge about it. But before you proceed on the path of Allah, you must discipline the mind. It is strategic to strengthen the defenses, with fortifications. If an army does not move how can the war of righteousness be fought. O dear friend! Know this that the body is the kingdom of the heart. Do not think that the heart has many armies. The Qur’an says: Maya alam rabbuk janud ilahu – The army of Allah, do not think that it has to besiege the mind/heart. The heart is created for the realization of God. To find the way to attaining a vision of God is a man’s true task. For the vision of God, divine sight is necessary.
Page 20: [Similar to page 12 but longer and written at a different time]
Religious emotion in full is purely spiritual. It is not material. Secondly it means that you will see the world as material or only relatively real (until you have a vision of God). Parvardigar! O Dear One!., O Dear One! the material (relative state) world is unreal. There is no place for intellect and inference. Those who regard the spirit as without beginning, this is not true. It is wrong to address the spirit because it is dependent on others. The real form of man is prana – life force. The body is under the control of prana. The people who equate the spirit with the body are wrong. The body is impermanent. Animals also have a spirit, which is also impermanent, called dil or heart, which seeks the mercy of God.
Warren, Dr. Marianne, Unraveling the Enigma – Shirdi Sai Baba in the Light of Sufism, Sterling Publishers Pvt Ltd.