Knowledge & action 


 

“Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of Fire..” 2:201

Imam Hasan Basri (Allah have mercy on him) said regarding this Quranic invocation, 

‘The ‘حسنہ’ of this world is (beneficial religious) knowledge and acts of worship. And the  ‘حسنہ’ of hereafter is the heaven (jannah).’

Ahya al Uloom ad Deen, volume 1, page 41

Ijazet & khilafet aren’t permanent


Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) use to update and publish the list of his khulafa (appointed representatives) almost every year. This was to facilitate the search for spiritual mentors by seekers. 
Many new names were included for those who accomplished the required criteria to be a Shaikh. 

Few names were deleted. They included the dead and those who did not follow up regularly to ensure that they continued to stay and progress on the path. Some exclusions were for those who became distracted and fell into the traps of nafs and Shaytan. These points were explicitly mentioned in the updated list. 

Ma’asir e Hakeemul Ummat ra, 

Therefore, mere certificate of ijazet or khilafet is not enough. Continuous steadfastness on Shariah and spiritual progress is required. 

Nafl: pray at home

makkah_madinah

Mufti Rashid Ahmad al-Ludhyanwi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

—————-it is more meritorious and rewarding to perform nafl salat (supererogatory prayers) and recitation of Holy Quran (tilawah) at home.

In fact, there is even more reward to perform these acts of worship at home than in the Masjid Haram (Makkah Mukarramah) and in the Masjid Nabawi (upon him blessings and peace).

In this regard, it is stated in a hadith from Zayd bin Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) said, ‘The (nafl) salat of a person in his home is more rewarding than his salat in my (this) masjid, except the obligatory prayers.’” (Abu Dawud)

Gathering in the Masjids on Auspicious Nights (A Hanafi Viewpoint)

Spiritual progress is not by listening & reading about Tasawwuf

  
It is very common phenomenon these days that many of us are ravenously in search of material about Tasawwuf, both audio lectures and written information. We devour whatever we find. However, this is not accompanied by initiation or substantial increase in actions (a’amaal), both physical (zahiri) and internal morals (ikhlaq e batini).

The path to progress in Tasawwuf is performance of actions (a’amaal). 

Knowledge (ilm) alone is not sufficient for salvation. Acting on the knowledge with sincerity in accordance with the Sunnah in persistent manner is required. 

This is not possible practically without selecting an individual spiritual mentor.  Seeking advice from him in all religious matters, trying to act on it and if there is difficulty in doing so letting him know is essential for islah. 

May Allah facilitate this for us. Amin!

Medinah al munawwarah 

Tasawwuf

Tasawwuf1

Maulana Professor Sayyid Suleman Ashraf Bihari (Allah have mercy on him) said,

Tasawwuf has two sections,

  1. Knowledge of spiritual endeavor (ilm e ma’amlah)
  2. Knowledge of revelation (of spiritual secrets) (ilm e mkashafa)

The  knowledge of spiritual endeavor fulfills the purpose of scared law (Shariah). It entails that an individual develops within his soul a faculty that if he commits something sinful or is lax in performing a pious deed he feels a subjective pain similar to the one he experiences in physical sickness or with monetary loss.  It is like the extreme (mental) suffering a noble, respectable and well known person feels if he has to beg for money.

After developing this ability even the thought of committing something inappropriate is spiritually distressing to this individual.

The second section, knowledge of revelations, consists of performance of specific pious actions and bearing hardships on one’s self (nafs) to develop in one’s spirituality special (malakuti) powers . This is to become worthy of receiving the hidden secrets of the sacred law (Shariah).

Al Sabeel 33-4


It is the first section that is the most important for novices like me and you.

The way to develop it is the islah (betterment) training done under the supervision of a spiritual mentor.

 

Tasawwuf: Ashrafiya Approach 2

Tasawwuf-Aur-Nisbat-e-Sufia-250x384

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) continued,

‘Similar is the story in all of the Tasawwuf. In some quarters the method of treatment (of spiritual maladies) has  been made a goal in itself.

This is the case of gathering of remembrance done aloud (ijtemai majalis e dhikr bil jaher).  Remembrance (of Allah) done aloud and in a gathering are both per se permissible. However, these days in some (sufi) paths it is considered to be an essential part and without it remembrance is considered to be deficient and less rewarding.

Similarly, as an example is the case of  supplicating in front of the graves facing the qibla. It is permissible per se. Moreover it is proven by Sunna of our master prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). However, when our pious-predecessors saw that grave-worshipers can misuse it for their benefit then they discouraged doing so

We consider our master Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) to be the mujaddid (one who revives) of this era.  In Tasawwuf lots of things were done as a means of treatment prescribed by masters, however, gradually (with passage of time) they became an objective in them-self. The revival of Tasawwuf that Hakim al Umma did was to state that the real objective (of Tasawwuf) is the acquisition of praise worthy moral characteristics (fadhail) and riddance of blame worthy moral characteristics (razail) from one’s self.

In reality there are various degrees of crossing the limits in Tasawwuf. Some elders prescribed as a form of treatment something for their disciples, others selected something else to be more beneficial. Then some considered this treatment to be essential (for all), others promoted them to the level of things highly desired (mustaheb) or Prophetic practice (Sunna). The problem starts from here (with this meddling in the fiqhi hierarchy of status of actions) onwards. ’

Albalagh,Urdu, volume 51, publication 6-7, (April 2017) page 71-2

Tasawwur e Shaikh: Ashrafiya Approach 1

Tasawwur001

Mufti of Kazakhstan  inquired, ‘The inclination towards purification (tazkiya) of soul and moral characteristics (ikhlaq) is arising in our youth. However, the mentors they approach (for this) instruct them  ‘tasawwur e Shaikh‘ with much emphasis. This is to the extent that they are told to contemplate all the time that I am seeing the Shaikh. Please, guide us on this. Isn’t this  an  overstatement (gulu)?’

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) replied,

‘Tasawwur e Shaikh’ was a form of (spiritual) treatment used by some of the ancient master of Tasawwuf. Its was for the the individual’s who found it difficult to keep the contemplation of Allah (‘s presence, especially) initially. For them some masters prescribed as a form of treatment (of this difficulty) to contemplate about their mentor (Shaikh). This is because the relationship, love and reverence for Shaikh is solely to gain Allah’s pleasure and it easier to imagine an entity one has seen than what he has not seen. Then gradually the masters will guide him to the real objective, that is, contemplation of Allah. Hence, tasawwur e shaikh is not an objective in itself. (It is a stepping stone to the real objective.)

The pious righteously-guided masters (ahle-haqq) who did use this did not make it an integral part of their path. They instructed it individually as needed for a disciple for whom it was suitable paying due considerations to its  conditions and limitations.

Even so, the masters of our path, the pious-predecessors of Deoband did not encourage ‘tasawwur e Shaikh’. This is because sometimes its limits are not maintained and it leads to shirk (associating partners with Allah). However, at the same time they do not castigate the rightly guided masters who did instruct it with its conditions and limitations.

Once Sayyid Ahmed shaheed prescribed ‘tasawwur e shaikh’ for Shah Ismaeel shaheed (Allah have mercy on them).  Shah Ismaeel apologized saying that if I was ordered to do something  even inappropriate (sinful) I would have done it and then repented. But in ‘tasawwur e shaikh‘ I smell shirk. Therefore, I will not do this.

The way of our pious predecessors of Deoband (akabir e Deoband) was that the contemplation of Allah that develops by observing the Sunna practices is sufficient (for a seeker). This is because following the Sunna is the most effective way of gaining Allah’s proximity (acceptance & pleasure).

These days the problem has developed that some mentors consider ‘tasawwur e shaikh’ an essential part of their path (tareeq). They instruct this to all the disciples uniformly even if there is no need for it.  Similar is the story in all of the Tasawwuf. In some quarters the method of treatment (of spiritual maladies) has  been made a goal in itself.

This is the case of gathering of remembrance (ijtemai majalis e dhikr bil jaher)………..’

to be continued

Albalagh,Urdu, volume 51, publication 6-7, (April 2017) page 70-1

Salah in car

 A seeker inquired, I seek guidance regarding praying supererogatory (nafil) salah while driving or riding in a car. Is it a valid option? 

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) replied, 

‘You may pray nafl while riding a car but not while driving. It is better not to pray nafl of mamool (routine) in a car except when it is apprehended that the mamool will be missed if not prayed in the car. But no restriction in nafl outside the mamool. ‘

Islahi whatsapp messages 

Examinations 


Haji Shakeel Ahmed (Allah preserve & protect him) from Mumbai mentioned,

‘Most of us are trying to be successful in an examination in which none can succeed. That is, worshipping Allah as it befit’s Him. This is impossible to do as Allah’s majesty exceeds our limited intellect and whatever worship we do it can never ever befit Him. 

And we ignore the main examination we are required to succeed as per Allah’s commands. That is fulfilling the rights of our fellow human beings, especially those near and dear, like parents, spouses, children, etc. 

We need to look into this and rectify our mistakes. ‘

al Azizia, Jeddah, 26/4/2016 after maghrib