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
Mufti Maqsid of Kazakistan inquired that in regards to Tasawwuf there are misunderstanding in people here, the younger generation aspires for spiritual betterment (islah). Some approach us for understanding Tasawwuf. Moreover we want to teach our students tasawwuf. What books will be beneficial to do so?
Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) replied,
For this purpose in my opinion start with my respected father’s (Mufti Mohammad Shafi, Allah have mercy on him) book ‘Dil ki dunya‘. This is concise text and will be an easy to comprehend introduction of Tasawwuf. This text can be covered in a week or even less.
Then teach ‘Taleem ud Deen‘ of Hakim al Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him).
Teaching these text will lead to the understanding of reality of Tasawwuf in a short period of time. It is expected to be achieved in one or two semesters, in-sha-Allah. ‘
Albalagh, volume 51, publication 6-7, (April 2017) page 72
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘Whatever intervention Allah does in a Muslim individual (or his affairs) irrespective of it being the most unpleasant it is obligatory to have the conviction that this is the best for me’
Ahsan us Sawanih, page 35
Mufti Mohammed Shafi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘The prescription for becoming a friend of Allah (wali) has three components,
1. Companionship (suhba) of a friend of Allah
2. Following his instructions
3. (Excessive) Remembrance of Allah ‘
Ma’arif al Quran, volume 4, page 550
“Do not be very strict on yourselves for then Allah will be strict upon you. Verily, a group of people were strict upon themselves so Allah was strict upon them. Their remnants are the (ascetic) people living in the hermitages and monasteries. [Then he quoted the verse,] ‘But the monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them.”‘ Abu Dawud
In explaining this Prophetic saying Shaykh Abdul Haqq Muhadith Dehlawi (Allah have mercy on him) mentioned that Shaykh Ahmed bin Abilhawari approached his teacher Shaykh Suleman Darani (Allah have mercy on them) and inquired that the people of Bani Israel strived with such (physical) endeavors and struggles that their skin became like old worn out leather whereas we eat, drink, clothe ourselves and live with comforts and luxuries. My heart is burdened by this luxurious lifestyle and I worry what will be its end result.
Shaykh Suleman Darani (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘O Ahmed! What is demanded from us (by Allah) is truthfulness (sidiq) and sincerity (ikhlas) (in our intentions and actions)
Burning and melting (with strenuous endeavors and struggles) is not demanded from us.
Good deeds performed with sincerity for ten days are better than 10 years of (physical) struggle that burns and melts (the skin).
The real objective and goal is the pleasure of and acceptance by (radha) Allah. (This can only be achieved with sidiq and ikhlaas.)
As the poet says
من لم یکن للوصال اہلا فکل احسانہ ذنوب ‘
Ashaat alelmaat volume 1, page 473 via Basariyet ki rah say taraqqi
Murideen used to come to Shaykh al Hadith Maulana Zakariyah (Allah have mercy on him) during Ramadan. During his initial years he used to send them to Hazrat Abdul Qadirahmer Raipuri (Allah have mercy on him)(for them to stay in his blessed company). Regarding this Shaykh al Hadith writes:
“The condition of some of them improved greatly and with the spiritual blessings (tawajjuhaat) of Hazrat Raipuri (Allah have mercy on him) it became even better but some of the residents there said to my guests (i.e. Murideen): “Why hasn’t Shaykh given you permission (of Ba’yat) until now?” This thing became a poison for them as they began to consider themselves something.
It is a well-established principle in this field (of Tasawwuf) that as long as one considers himself to be incompetent and unworthy then he is successful; but as soon as he considers himself as competent and worthy then he becomes unsuccessful.I have experienced this in many of the friends and close senior murideen (khuddam) of my pious elders.
This incompetent writer was given permission (of Ba’yat) by my Shaykh (Allah have mercy on him) in Dhi Qa’dah 1345H in Madinah Munawwarh. This incompetent writer remembers it clearly that without any exaggeration I held the feet of Hazrat Raipuri (Allah have mercy on him) that please don’t mention it to anyone in India. But Hazrat insisted that he would definitely inform them and began writing to people in India from there (i.e. Madinah Munawwarah).
After coming back to india I did not get the courage to accept anyone’s Ba’yat for a long time. Perhaps it is mentioned somewhere in Aap Beeti that I started accepting for Ba’yat after being scolded by my Uncle (Maulana Ilyas May Allah have mercy on him). Thereafter I went to Hazrat Shaykhul Islam (Hussan Ahamd Madni)and Hazrat Raipuri (May Allah have mercy on them both) several times that if they take consideration of my inability and thus order me to stop accepting anyone for Ba’yat then I will get a way out. But each time they in return scolded me. I remember a saying of Shaykhul Islam (Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madni, Allah have mercy on him) that on my request he angrily replied “Who accepts anyone for Ba’yat considering himself to be worthy and competent? The one who does that is himself unworthy and incompetent. The successful one is he who considers himself incompetent at all times”.
Source: Aap Beeti of Hazrat Shaykh-ul-Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyyah Kandhlawi, Volume 2, Page 441-442
Intekhab e Kaiseri
A murid wrote,
For a long duration I have been desiring to stay in your company for my spiritual betterment (islah). However, this wish has not fulfilled as yet. Concern for the household members and lack of resources have been the obstacle.
Another more important reason to write to you is that sometimes individuals request that I accept their bayiah and let them join the path (silsila). I direct them to your respected person. To this they reply that it is beyond their capacity to travel there and (even if they go) Maulana (Hakim al Ummah) doesn’t accept their request and insists that they stay (there for islah). Hence, it is easier to join the path via you. This is not possible (for me to do) without having permission (ijazet) and permission is difficult (to achieve) without spiritual capability. These days most of the people insist unduly on ritualistic bayiah. I’m afraid that (because of it) they may be entrapped by the pseudo-Sufis (who contravene Shariah) and loose their faith.
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘Doing effort of spiritual betterment (islah) with an intention that I will (become a Shaikh and) accept bayiah is in vain. This individual will will never ever achieve spiritual betterment. His arrogance (kibr) will flourish. Repent from this. Only then effort for spiritual betterment will be effective.
Asking for the ijazet fearing that people will be entrapped will eventually result in the same status this request was made to avoid (that is entrapment by incapable Shaikh).
And if having capability is a must criteria then let it be clear that top most sign of capability is considering one’s self unworthy of this (responsibility).
There is no possibility of getting this permission after all.
You must (strife for) develop(ment of) sincerity. ‘
Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 1, page 41-2
A individual from Bengal wrote a letter,
I am an illiterate sinful person. I am one of your admirers. Once I requested from you permission to see (listen) Qasd us Sabeel (Hakim al Umma’s primer on Tasawwuf). However, I could not decide what to select for myself and do (from the instruction given in it) and consultation with you to express my desire was not possible. Due to these reasons I became a mureed of (visiting) Shaykh from Lucknow. He instructed various litanies to me. He is very sweet and soft spoken. Majority of his disciples are from the affluent class, police and security professionals. He visits them with pomp and grandeur and eats freely from their income (irrespective of it being contaminated with impermissible). He instructs the wives and household members of these people directly without any barrier (pardah) in between. He recites over them (for protection or treatment) and touches them for blessings.
In an interpretation of one of my dreams he instructed me to arrange for an individual to go for Hajj in my place as my medical condition does not permit me to do so. When I arranged for the funds he himself volunteered to go. I was happy. Few days later he wrote to me that these funds are insufficient and more money is required. I paid the excess amount. Prior to departure for Hajj he instructed me to pay for his household expenses in his absence. After a long duration (after returning from Hajj) he wrote to me that all the blessed gifts he had brought from Haramain were stolen.
Few months later he visited our town. In private he demanded significant amount of money from me. I had a genuine excuse and postponed it by a future promise.
Later he wrote that because of travelling to the blessed Makkah for my sake he became sick on returning and had to spend a lot on treatment. He demanded that I pay that amount. After much struggle I paid a small amount. He was furious.
I shared all these details with a religious friend and he advised that I consult you. It for this reason I am dictating this letter. Please, tell me what to do.
(Letter is edited. The answer is not.)
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘All of this results from ignorance (of reality of this path), overconfidence in one’s own opinion (khud raiy), haste and lack of understanding.
Utmost caution is essential in developing a spiritual relationship (with a Shaykh).
As per the principles of Shariah and Tasawwuf it is obligatory (wajib) to break off relationship with this individual.
However, confronting him harshly or criticizing him in the presence of his disciples will lead to commotion and confusion. In this path (Tasawwuf) commotion and confusion are (spiritually) detrimental.
Therefore, with quietness and calm break off relationship with him in your heart. Then seek a pious and accomplished (muhaqiq) spiritual mentor (Shaykh). Do not hurry to become his disciple. You had a (bad) experience (already). Inform him of your condition and follow his instructions. If after doing this (you observe the benefit and) you wholeheartedly desire to do so then there is no objection in becoming his disciple. Though it is not necessary.
I make supplication (duaa) for you. You should also continue making supplication (in this regards).
Tarbiyet us Slaik, volume 3, page 177-80
Musleh al Umma Maulana Wasiullah Allahabadi (Allah have mercy on him) mentioned that these days we are shy to mention the topic of sexual desires. It is thought to be something vulgar and beyond the limits of religious decorum. Whereas, our Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) explicitly mentions this topic high lighting the importance of controlling these desires, availing them within the permissible means and warning us about the destruction if they are left unchecked.
Moreover, as quoted above there are many Prophetic supplications asking Allah for assistance in this regards. In spite of being the best of mankind and infallible Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) he asked Allah for help. Most likely he did this to instruct us to be vigilant in this regards and not to take these desires lightly. Many have fallen into destruction due to them.
Also, we learn from these Prophetic instructions that these desires are powerful, persuasive and difficult to remove with our efforts alone. Divine assistance is required to control them effectively. For this reason we should make it a habit to ask Allah for help in this regards.
The tip to remember is that Divine assistance comes only to those who keep on trying their best to control these desires.
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi was aware of the importance of instructing his associates (mureedeen) regarding this topic. He would often recite the following verses,
Save your semen! Don’t let it flow to waste
For it is the (precious) water that creates life when poured in the right place
Majalis e Musleh al Ummat Ra, volume 5, second majlis paraphrased
We have to tackle this issue with more vigilance. The opportunities for fulfilling sexual desires are plentiful and readily available. The newer technologies are developed to guarantee confidentiality and secrecy. The exposure to immoral sexual imagery is abundant. Especially affected are the naïve, curious and immature adolescents. Their developing minds are corrupted and it becomes a lifelong struggle to remove these thoughts or succumb to them.
The only cure for this is by sincere persistent effort and asking Allah for help. These two components result in a vigilant awareness of accountability in front of Allah and this stops an individual from all that is immoral.
May Allah facilitate this for us. Amin!