To better comprehend and grasp Malak Jan’s thought, it is necessary to first understand the spiritual approach and philosophy of her brother, Ostad Elahi (1895-1974), with whom she shared a special bond and spent her life as one of his most diligent students.
A thinker, jurist, and musician, Ostad Elahi introduced an innovative approach to spirituality that addresses the metaphysical dimension of human beings, setting forth their rights and responsibilities within the framework of the process of spiritual perfection. He named this approach “natural spirituality” or the “new medicine of the soul.” According to Ostad, the body and the soul are endowed with equal rights, and it is by relying on the faculties of the body that the soul is able to undertake its process of spiritual perfection. To learn more about Ostad’s novel approach, readers can refer to his written works or visit his official website.
As a dedicated student, Malak Jan modeled her entire life and spiritual practice on the concepts and teachings developed by her brother. Her own spiritual experiences and discoveries are set forth in her biography, “Malak Jan Nemati.” In the sayings and poems found in this work, she shares with precision the highs and lows of the spiritual journey. In particular, her lifelong spiritual work had endowed her with a profound knowledge of human nature. She would often warn that “Nothing is worse for a spiritual student than pride; it squarely knocks him to the ground,” and advise her students to place their trust in no one but Him: “We cannot place our hope in anything that has an opposite. For example, misdeeds are the opposite of good deeds; a lack of faith is the opposite of having faith. So in the other world we cannot pin our hopes on such things. Only God’s Generosity has no opposite. In the other world, we should say: ‘I have brought nothing; I have come in the hope of Your Generosity.’”
Malak Jan also emphasized the importance of having a pure intention, exercising sound reason, and being compassionate and of service to others. She would encourage her students to anchor their faith in reliable references and correct divine and ethical principles. At the same time, she was opposed to all forms of proselytism: “Those who are aligned with the Unique never proselytize to draw others toward them. They dislike external commotion and prefer to do their work discretely in some corner.” Instead, she believed that as beings endowed with free will, we must retain the independence to choose the modality of our spiritual education and the form of our relationship with God: “Our work is based solely on our thought. Our thought has to be correct before it leaves this world; otherwise, if we just eat, sleep, and reproduce, we will have squandered precious time. This spiritual path is an ‘education of thought’ that can accomplish everything.”
She conceived of the different religions as so many paths leading to the Creator. Once a seeker had reached a stage where it became apparent to him or her that the Truth is One, the question of which particular religion or faith to adhere to would lose its relevance, a notion that is reflected in the following saying:
It is irreparably harmful for the soul to differentiate between spiritual ranks, for without God there are no ranks to speak of. Any spiritual envoy that manifests for humanity therefore does so on behalf of God, and is sent in accordance with the requirements of each time and place. How, then, can we differentiate between Jesus, Moses, and Muhammad? Each of them was commissioned by God, as was the designation of their ranks.
As Ostad Elahi’s universal approach to spirituality is based on the fundamental principles common to all divine religions, Malak Jan’s transcended the boundaries of any specific religion and did not draw distinctions between nationality, gender, race, or religion.
Malak Jan expressed her tremendous joy of having been accepted as Ostad’s student through her genuine affection for others, always encouraging them to cultivate ethical virtues and to develop their humanity, which is where she believed divine contentment lies. Her life exemplifies a pure love for the Beloved, and, by extension, for her fellow beings, embracing the whole of humanity with an aura of infinite compassion.