Fasts in al-Muharram

Masjid Nabawi SAW - 7

The blessed Companion Hazrat Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported that he (the Messenger of Allah – Allah bless him and grant him peace) was asked as to which prayer was most excellent after the prescribed prayer, and which fast was most excellent after the month of Ramadan. He said:
“The most excellent fast after Ramadan is God’s month. al-Muharram, and the most excellent prayer after what is prescribed is prayer during the night.”

Sahih Muslim

Maintain severe level alert against nafs

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Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘Always remember this.

Do not provide an opportunity or the means to the lower self (nafs) to misbehave.

This is extremely important information that is being provided.
Nafs is the devil that destroyed the asceticism (zuhd), God-conscientiousness (taqwa) and sanctity of highly pious individuals in few moments.

Never consider it to be dead.

Sometimes due to unavailability of means (to disobey) it acts subdued. However, it is waiting for the opportunity and means (lurching to strike). ‘

Al Ifadet al Yoomia, volume 4, page 23

Tip to avoid burnout

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Many novice seekers remove all that is not explicitly Islamic from their life. Like permissible hobbies of reading fiction or poetry, keeping collectible items, meeting friends and relatives, interest in cars, gadgets, jewelry or clothes, traveling, dinning out, etc.

This is usually due to a burning desire to be closer to Allah.

However, the spare time they get becomes a source of boredom. This is especially so when the initial phase of overwhelming passion wanes (which is a inevitable normal phenomenon).

This boredom is dangerous and may engulf the religious activities leading to a burnout.

One has to be cautious and take advice from his/her spiritual mentor prior to removing things that are permissible.

As a principle. until a strong, overwhelming and perpetual relationship is developed with Allah one should continue with all his permissible activities. Once nisbet is established all the unnecessary or detrimental involvements will automatically cease.

Brotherly advice

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Commenting on the Prophetic saying narrated in Sahih Bukhari (#104) sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) said,

‘Sayedina Abu Shuraih (Allah be pleased with him) taught us a etiquette. That is, irrespective of how evil an individual is and how heinous actions he is committing even then advising or inviting him (to the truth) should be in a manner that does not dishearten him. Moreover, it should take into account his (social) status.’

Inamul Bari, volume 2, page 149

The most superior karamet

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It was reported that an individual walks on (flowing) water.

Shaikh Abu Mohammad Murtaish (Allah have mercy on him) replied,

‘I consider that the person who has been blessed by Allah to be steadfast against his (sinful) desires is most upright and superior to the individual who walks on water and flies in the air.

And (remember) action against one’s desire is only by asceticism (zuhud) and diverting one’s attention away from all (worldly) things.’

Eqaz al Himam, volume 1, page 369

Bestowal of nisbet

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An individual inquired what was meant by the commonly known saying that at the time of baiyah the pious masters bestow nisbet.

Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,

‘At the time of baiyah there is an overall (ijmalan) bestowal of nisbet. That is, a comprehensive relationship with Allah is created. Establishing a bond with the pious (ahl al Allah) is like creating a bond with Allah. Baiyah induces a sophistication in this bond with Allah.’

Husn al Aziz, Malfuzat e Hakim al Ummat ra, volume 17, page 306

Priorities in islah

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Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi ( Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘The pious (masters) do not focus excessively on the exoteric actions (dhahiri a’mal). This is because they can be rectified in a moment merely by changing one’s determination. That is, an individual who does not pray can (make a firm determination) in a moment and start praying, one who shaves his beard can (make a firm determination) in a moment and let it grow. Similarly, in a moment an alcoholic can repent from drinking and a transgressor (fasiq fajir) becomes God-fearing.

The important thing that the pious focus on is the rectification of the moral characteristics (ikhlaq e batinah), like arrogance (kibr) etc.. The rectification of these is very difficult.’

Husn al-Aziz, Malfuzat e Hakim al Umma ra, volume 17, page 284