Progress: The signposts

 
The seeker continued,

All praise is for Allah. It is Allah’s beneficence. With your blessed company, instructions and attention I have an idea of the required standard of religiosity and awareness of Allah (taqwa) for a seeker. (Sadly) this lowly writer is devoid of an iota of it.

Allah save me from not being thankful.

Because of you the saying of Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) stays afresh in mind that (paraphrased)

We have seen real men. No cattle can fool us by claiming to be human.

I feel ashamed telling others about my relationship with you. This is because that by seeing my poor condition they may form a unbecoming opinion about you and are thus barred from benefiting from you. How insignificant am I and (all of) my opinions! Indeed, the opinion of a sick individual is also a sick- opinion.

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

‘All of the above are reflective of sound understanding (of the path). Their experiential understanding and tasting is required (in this path). They, insha Allah, are signposts telling us that the path is being covered.’

Islahi Khatoot 

Morals: assessing the achievement 

A seeker wrote.

(It seems as though that) awareness of Allah (taqwa) and sincerity (ikhlas) have not brushed past me.

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

‘If another individual said this to you would you be offended? Answer truthfully!’

In the next letter seeker wrote,

I am not sure how to answer this vividly. However, I know that if I feel offended it will proof without doubt that awareness of Allah (taqwa) and sincerity (ikhlas) have not touched me.

Sayyidi wa sanadi replied,

‘All praise is for Allah! 

I am pleased by this response. 

May Allah further increase (your) knowledge and understanding. Amin!’

……….

Islahi Khatoot 

Sheikh’s love, reverence and spiritual congeniality 

 
Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah protect him) wrote in reply to a seeker’s question,

‘The greater the spontaneous (t’abai) love and reverence of Sheikh the better and most beneficial it is. However, they are not the absolute criteria.

The logical (aqli) love and reverence plus spontaneous spiritual congeniality (munasbet) are the essential criteria (to benefit spiritually from the Sheikh).

That is, intellectually one should have firm conviction that for my reformation (islah) my Sheikh is the most appropriate.

The spontaneous spiritual congeniality (munasbet) means that instructions given by the Sheikh are usually easily accepted by mind (qalb) and thoughts of objections do not arise. Except on rare occasions.

If the logical love and reverence, and spontaneous spiritual congeniality are lacking then spiritual benefit is in fact impossible. In this case the seeker must look at other places (for a new Sheikh) where he feels the  logical love and reverence, and spontaneous spiritual congeniality. He should inform his initial Sheikh and establish a contact with the new Sheikh. There is no disrespect (bayadabi) in doing so.

Act on this very important issue after understanding it thoroughly. Do not hesitate to ask again if any doubts remain.’

The seeker replied, 

All praise is for Allah, by His blessing I find logical love and reverence, and spontaneous spiritual congeniality with you in me.

Sayyidi wa sanadi replied, 

‘If at any time these do not remain then informing me without any reservations is imperative. Insha Allah I will not be even slightly upset on this.’

Islahi khatoot 

Suhba 

 

A seeker wrote,

I excessively desire  to be in your company (suhba) as much as possible.

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

‘After asr (salah) when I am in Karachi call and visit me whenever you want. If this is not possible than attending the weekly gathering (majlis) and (regular) correspondece are sufficient (alternative for excessive suhba).’

Islahi khatoot

Interest in daily good works

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A seeker wrote,

For the previous few days a strange state is felt. I do not find any of (the daily) actions interesting.

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

‘It is not necessary to have spontaneous interest (in the good actions done). Try and keep your self engrossed in them.

The seeker added.

I try to keep my self involved (in these actions) but I am unsuccessful (in developing interest).

Sayyidi wa sanadi instructed,

‘This effort is essential (as it is the spiritual struggle). Success is nonessential.

The seeker further added,

All the daily good works (ma’molaat) are done as a routine habit.

Sayyidi wa sanadi corrected him,

‘Is this routine habit something repugnant?’

Islahi khatoot

Money: Its purpose

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A seeker living abroad for his medical training wrote,

The travelling expenses for visiting home will be around three thousand dollars (a substantial amount for a foreign trainee in mid 1990’s). Would it be appropriate to spend so much money on myself?

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

‘Assess your financial capacity (for spending). If no major necessity is affected and you do not have to draw loan then (be aware that) money is for providing happiness and comfort to one’s self and family. Moreover, making parents happy (by visiting them) is a reward-able action.’

Islahi khatoot  

Islah: How to begin?

 

A seeker wrote,

I am not even aware of the method of seeking islah effectively. 

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

‘Read about the praise-worthy (fadhail) and blame-worthy (razail) morals from Maasir al Hakim al Ummat or Tabligh-e-Deen (of Imam Ghazali, Allah have mercy on him).  Then do your own analysis (are they present or lacking in my character). Wherever you have suspicion ask about it. This is the effective way of seeking islah.’

Islahi khatoot 

Murid?

 

A seeker who was in regular islahi relationship for few years wrote,

Frequently people ask me that are you a murid (disciple) of Hazrat. How should I respond?

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

‘What is the need to get into the discussion of lexicon and titles?

Tell them that I seek advice from him in religious matters.’

Islahi khatoot

Dua after salah

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A seeker wrote,

‘I find supplications (dua) uninteresting while raising the hands after salah. I usually make a very brief dua and finish it hurriedly.’

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) replied.

“This is also a (spiritual) state.

However, at least after one of the salah, in spite of being uninterested, make it a habit of supplicating properly.

If you are distracted then force yourself to do so. In any case supplicate for a period of time and then finish.

Moreover, if you schedule in advance that after one of the five salah you will supplicate for your family, after another for friends, etc. etc. then it is hoped that you will find making dua interesting.”

Islahi khutoot

Tips for waking up early!

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Hakimau

Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) recommended following tips for waking up early;

1. Eating less at dinner
2. Eating dinner earlier (ideally before esha)
3. Drinking less water (in evening)
4. Reciting the last 4 veses of surah Kahaf (18:107-110) once (at bed-time).

Basair Hakeemul Ummat page 562

Also, to have a sincere intention for this and make dua (prayer) asking for Allah’s help to arise at the specific intended time.

Set multiple alarms. One of them in a loud table clock kept at a distance from bed. This is to ensure that you have to get out of the bed to switch it off.

wAllah-ul musta’an

Spiritual tinnitus?

Tinnitus

A seeker wrote,

A new development is an echoing noise heard all the time in the ears.

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

‘What is this (useless) affair you are getting involved in?

One should not pay significant attention to these kinds of things.’

Islahi khutoot 

 

Etiquettes of writing a islahi letter 

 

A spiritual aspirant missed writing bismillah (In the name of Allah)  at the beginning of his islahi letter.

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) corrected him,

‘Write Bismillah at the beginning of the letter or 786 (when without wudhu) and recite bismillah.’

Islahi khutoot

* bismillah is a verse of Holy Quran. It must not be touched without being in state of wudhu

Baiyah: The appropriate time

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A spiritual seeker who had a regular islahi relationship for the previous five years wrote,

A thought that is repeatedly coming is to humbly request you for baiyah. Although, seeing my condition I feel ashamed to make such a request.

I apologize if this is (audacious) self-prescription) [khud raiy] or disrespectful (bay-adab) request. Whatever, you decide in this matter will insha-Allah best for me.

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

‘All praise is for Allah (alhumdulillah).

Now that the reality of baiyah has been clearly understood there is no reservation (in doing so). On your visit over the Eid ul Adha meet me in private and set an appointment. Insha-Allah we will act on this Sunna also. This is provided that you have not  already taken baiyah with respected (Arif-billah Dr Abdul Hayy Arifi,) Allah have mercy on him.  However, if you did, then there is no need (to repeat it).’

Islahi Khutoot

True yearning or wishful desire

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A spiritual seeker wrote,

I am not sure that if this is true yearning or wishful desire that all the time a restlessness and impatience is felt that a strong and perpetual relationship with Allah is (soon) established.

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usani (Allah preserve him) replied,

‘This restlessness and impatience is insha-Allah true yearning. This is a goal in itself.’

Islahi khutoot