A point to ponder upon!


 A sincere seeker inquired,
‘During Hajj I met two brothers whose profiles are such:
Brother A spends 40 days in Jamat almost every year and is active in the work of Tabligh.

Brother B does not have Ijazat from his Shaykh but he has had reformatory relationship (islahi Ta’lluq) for 30+ years.

I was both shocked and worried when I heard words of backbiting  (Gheebah) from both of them (in different instances).

Hazrat what can be the reason that even after being associated with a (reliable) Shaykh for 30+ years, or spending 40 days in Jamat each year the major sin of Gheebah is not eliminated? I am worried that I may be in the same situation as them in the future…’

Islahi email


Medina al munawwarah

Remedy for missing the daily wird

Maulana Qamaruz Zaman Allahabadi (Allah preserve and protect him) narrates,

‘The disciples use to report that they are not being consistent with the daily recitations (wird). These were usually three tasbihaat (3 formulas to be recited 100 times each). They asked for a remedy.

Shaikh Wasiullah Allahabadi (Allah have mercy on him) replied how will you do something more (as a remedy) when you are not even doing the very basic things instructed to you.’

Ramadan bayan 16/07/2015

Mujahida: Spiritual struggle is everlasting!

wal ladhina jahadu

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

‘The seekers must understand it upfront that the spiritual struggle (mujahida) is always needed (to abstain from sinful).  It is not that you do it for few days (in the beginning of the path). It is lifelong endeavor.

Understand it by an example. In sickness medicine and precautionary efforts are essential. After recovery precautionary methods are still needed. Moreover they are even more required in healthy state. This is because in sickness the body system is impaired, the sense of taste is changed and desire for different kinds of foods is itself diminished. In addition if the patient indulges in any food harmful he quickly feels their  side effects. Whereas in healthy state the body systems are stronger and therefore the side effects of indulgence in harmful is not immediately felt. Also there is a desire to eat. Therefore, more care has to be taken in healthy state to prevent a relapse.

The physician have stated that relapse of an illness is more severe than the original illness.’

Khutbaat e Hakeemul Ummat ra, volume 23, page 274

Ma’mulaat: The daily practices

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve & protect him) stresses the need for being consistent with the daily recitations (wird) as instructed. To do so effectively, he advises that one should have a practical daily schedule. The time and place for routine practices should be fixed. Both of these have spiritual benefit (barakah) of their own.

The failure do so results in missing the wird. This is unacceptable for a seeker.

It must be remembered that consistency in daily practices is the path to spiritual progress.

May Allah grant us the tawfeeq. Amin!

Islah: Intention & action 

An individual inquired, ‘I’m being told that going out in the path of Allah (with Tablighi jamat) is sufficient for islah. There is no need for contacting a musleh (Shaikh). Is this correct?’

Another individual told that many years back he made bayiah to a Shaikh. At that time he was instructed to make daily dhikr which he is still doing. However, he never consulted the  respected Shaykh for any islah related issue. Is dhikr sufficient for islah?

As explained before islah and tazkiya are active processes. How can they be expected to occur passively?

Steps required for them are,

1. Intention,

2. Awareness of one’s deficiencies,

3. Consulting a spiritual physician,

4. Concurring with his diagnosis,

5. Meticulously following his instructions and then

6. Providing feedback on improvement of the condition

7. Being watchful for relapse

Accepted good actions, like going out in the path of Allah and remembering Allah (dhikr), provide illumination (nur). This illumination must reveal to us the real inner condition  of ourselves. This should provide us the insight to correct our deficiencies : Islah. However, if this is not happening then we should be very much concerned and look for the reason behind it.

Disputations are nafsani



Shaykh Sayf ad-Dīn father of Shaykh ‛Abd al-Ḥaqq Muḥaddith Dihlawī (Allah have mercy on them) said,

‘The (polemic) wars which take place on academic issues (differed upon) are solely for the pacification of the self (nafs). They are futile. They result in mutual enmity and hostility. There must be an exchange of views with love and kindness on academic issues (differed upon) . This is because: ‘It is a matter of love. When there is no love, no work can be accomplished.’

From: Shaykh ‛Abd al-Ḥaqq Muḥaddith Dihlawī: By Mawlānā Muḥammad Qamruz ZamānʾIlāhābādī Translated by Mawlānā Mahomed Mahomedy

Islah: Explained further

An intelligent question was put foward by a reader,

Dear Sir, as salamu alaykum

I’m a middle class working male. I’m married and have 3 beautiful children. My life revolves around my work and family. All praise is for Allah! I stay away from the major sins. I pray puntually, mostly in mosque with congregation (jamah). I recite Quran, Hadith and Sunna adhkar daily. Also, I often fast the Sunna fasting days. I attend a dars regarding tazkia weekly.

Is this all not enough for my islah? Why do I need to consult a spiritual mentor (Shaykh)?


Yes! For a spiritually healthy Muslim this is quite enough. However, for a spiritually ill Muslim  specific interventions are required.

For example, an individual can not keep his thoughts focused on the worship being done. Mentally he is absent from the physical effort being performed. The state that he is seeing Allah or Allah is seeing him is a brief intellectual thought. It is not long lasting and does not affect his demeanor. This is a form of  heedlessness (gaflah) and also lack of khushu. Both are spiritual maladies. They requires treatment. Or maybe there is a change in quantity  or quality of worship being done depending on the awareness that others are observing me. This is show-off (riya). Another spiritual malady. Or when upset one crosses the limits of permissibility in speech and action. Similarly there are many other things that require seeking help from an expert.

Once spiritual health is restored the actions you mentioned will be more beneficial.

An example maybe helpful in understanding this concept. For a healthy normal individual a well balanced daily diet, moderate amount physical exercise and daily multivitamin dose is enough for general well being.

However, for a diabetic or hypertensive person specific treatment will needed in addition to modification in diet and exercise. Similar is the case of psychological diseases, quite common these days. Mere, restoration of normal well balanced diet, sleeping habits and exercise is not sufficient. Psychological counselling or medication maybe necessary in addition to these things.

The general observation is that spiritual illnesses are quite rampant. Moreover, most of these individuals are themselves unaware of these afflictions.

A sick person who is unaware or does not acknowledge his illness is in great danger.

In addition, all of us have outstanding opinion about ourselves. We all consider ourselves to be better than others. This is the most severe spiritual malady, the source of multiple other blame-worthy morals (razail): Arrogance (takabbur). Consulting a spiritual physician is the first step towards its diagnosis and treatment.

I pray and hope that this is sufficient clarification of the issue. Please, do not hesitate to ask if there are further queries.

Take care.

Muhtaj e dua

Islah: What, Why & How?


Islah translates as betterment, repair, rectification, reformation, improvement, renovation, optimization  and restoration.

Islah e nafs is the main topic of Tasawwuf.

It is a synonym of tazkia e nafs. That is, purification of nafs.  That is, one of the four basic Prophetic tasks as stated in Al-Jum’a : 2, “He is the One who raised amidst the unlettered people a messenger from among themselves who recites to them His verses, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the wisdom, while they were earlier in open error.”

It means improvement and purification of the moral characteristics of an individual. It includes development of good morals (fadhail), like repentance  (tawbah), patience  (sabr), gratitude (shukr), hopefulness (raja), fear of Allah (khauf), asceticism (zuhd), Oneness of Allah  (tawheed), love Allah and Prophet (muhabba), yearning (shauq), (uns), acceptance (raza), sincerity (ikhlas), felicity (sidq), contemplation (muraqaba), humility (raw ashy), accountability (muhasabah), (fikr) and riddance of bad moral characteristics (razail) like lust (shahwut), afflictions of speech  (afaat e lisan), anger (ghasb), hatred (keyna), envy (hasad), love of the worldly (hubb e dunya), stinginess (bukhul),greed (hirs), love of status (hubb e jah), showing off (riya), arrogance  (takabbur), narcissism (ujub), looking at the prohibited (bud-nazri), illicit love affairs  (dunyawi eshq).

It must be clear that these moral characteristics are the driving force for an individual’s action. If they have not been purified and rectified  following of the Shariah rules is not effectively possible. Moreover, even if one forces himself to act, the external forms of worship done remains deficient.

These unrefined morals lead one to get involved in the prohibited actions and omit the good actions.

Praying salah hastily is an example from our daily activities. It shows the lack of muhabba, shauq, uns, ikhlas, sidq, muraqaba, fikr and presence of hubb e dunya.

Seeing what is prohibited is due to presence of shahwut and lack of khauf, muraqaba, muhabba.

Discord, quarrelling and sarcasm, even within spouses is due to arrogance, envy, affliction of speech and lack of muhabba and self sacrifice.

In this same manner the reason of all sinful activities can be traced to the non purified morals.

The method of achieving  islah is via

1. Knowledge of these morals,

2. Consultation with a mentor to correctly diagnose their lack or presence in one’s self,

3.  Following the treatment prescribed and

4. Re-consultation to confirm effective cure or failure of therapy.

 These steps are repeated until a stable state is achieved. In this the seeker is constantly cognizant of his deficiencies and effectively strives to improve on them.

Wa ma tawfeeqi illa billah

Tasawwuf: Beware of pretenders and astray


Shaykh Aḥmed al-Zarrūq (Allah have mercy on him) (d.899/1493) said,

There are many pretenders on this path because of its strangeness, and there is a lack of understanding because of its subtleties. There is a great deal of rejection of its followers because of its purity.

People giving advice have cautioned against pursuing the path due to the numerous errors therein.

Religious leaders compiled works to refute its followers because of what heretics have done to it and because of erroneous things attributed to people on the path.

Even ibn ‘Arabī al-Ḥātimī (God have mercy on him!) said, “Beware of this path, for most of those who deviate from it are of it. It is but a path of doom and a path of this world. He who actualized his knowledge, action, and spiritual state will gain the glory of eternity. He who abandons realization in the Path will be doomed and will come to an end.”

We ask God for well-being through His grace and generosity!

“The Principles of Sufism (Qawā‘id al-Taṣawwuf): An Annotated Translation with Introduction.” p. 203

Visiting various shuyukh

IMG_0053.PNGShaikh Abu Abdur Rahman al-Sulami (Allah have mercy on him) pointed out an error of those on this path ,

‘It was a common practice for Sufis to travel great distances to meet various shaykhs  to learn from them. This too became a source of error for some Sufis.
The correct intention for traveling to meet the shayks is to learn propriety, take knowledge from them, obey their commands and preserve their honour.

The mistake that was made occurred when a group of Sufis wanted to meet the shayks for the sole purpose of bragging to others that they had met such-and-such who said  such-and-such, making their travels and visiting with shaykhs a source of pride, arrogance and ostentation instead of source of humility and knowledge.

Worse still is the traveler that seeks the acceptance of the shaykh or wants the shaykh to honor him. Such a persons journey amounts to “a travel from knowledge to ignorance and he will never benefit from (this travel) ever.”

Kitab al-Aghalit, The book of errors: A critical edition & study by Jawad Qureshi, page 27


Instructing a mujaz who had settled in a new city with active Muslim community sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve and protect him) said,

‘It will be most appropriate to start the (weekly) session (majlis). However, select a day and time that does not conflict with any of the other ongoing activities.

May Allah make it beneficial and bestow veracity (sidq) and sincerity (ikhlas). (Amin!)

(In doing so) keep intention of your own benefit foremost.’

Wahadat al wujud:Trying to understand it


Sultan Aurangzeb Alamgir firmly asked Shaikh Mohammadi that you are a murid of Shaikh Muhib-Allah Allahabi (Allah have mercy on them) so provide an explanation of his treatise (al Taswiya) being in accordance to the Shariah. And if you are not able do so then you should repent from being his disciple and burn this treatise. 

Shaikh Mohammadi (Allah have mercy on him) replied, 

I do not need to repent from being his murid.

The (spiritual) station from where the respected Shaikh wrote this is beyond my reach. When I will achieve that station I will comply with your request and write an explanation.

And if you have decided to burn it anyway then the fire in the royal kitchen exceeds that in my humble house.

Sultan did not further pursue this issue.’

Maasir al Umara, v3, p606-7, Aqwal e Salaf, v5, p200