Category Archives: B. Praise worthy morals

The good moral characteristics that are to be developed within one’s self

Taqwa leads to increasing love of spouse

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A seeker wrote, ‘Please, inform me whatever is most beneficial for myself. For a while now,  my love for my wife has increased much. Is this something detrimental for me (in my path (sulook)?

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

‘This is in exact accordance to the Prophet’s way (Sunna) (Allah bless him and give him peace).

May Allah bestow the blessed fruits of this on you two.

The increased awareness of accountability to Allah (taqwa) leads to increasing love of one’s wife.’

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 1, page 552

Legacy

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4. My legacy (wasiyyat) for myself, family members, and close associates is that every moment of one’s life should be sacrificed in pleasing Allah. One should not displease Allah for a single moment by indulging in any form of impermissible (haram) activity. If a mistake is committed, then one should please Allah by repenting, seeking forgiveness and crying in front of Allah.

5. Always remain in the company of the pious, and keep yourself under the guidance of a Sheikh with whom you have congeniality (munasbet).

6. Adopt extreme piety in financial matters. Always refer to the scholars (Muftis) in issues pertaining to the (questionable) rulings of Shariah.

Wasiyyat of Hazrat rehmatullah aleh

Pledge of allegiance

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Sayyedina Walid bin Abbad bin Samat (Allah be pleased with him) said,

‘I pledged allegiance to the Prophet of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), swearing:

To pay attention to whatever he said; and to carry out whatever he commanded, whether it be difficult or easy, bearing grief or bringing comfort.

If somebody says something that should be contradicted , I will not contest against him.

In all circumstances I shall speak the truth and I will not be afraid of anyone who blames me for something.’

A Mine of Meaning, page 182

Who is a disciple?

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Shaikh Sharafuddin Yahya al Maneri (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘A disciple is a person who submits himself to his guide in word, deed, heart and body.’

He went on to explain:
” ‘In words’ means that his speech is in conformity with what his guide says regarding the essential principles and derived teaching of religion.

‘In deeds’ means that he does nothing, whether in a religious or worldly matter, contrary to what has been sanctioned by his guide, even if it be an act of devotion!

‘In heart’ means keeping his heart unstained by any blameworthy quality, just as his guide does.

‘In body’ means keeping his senses and bodily members pure and without any stain of sin, just as his guide has done.

When he has conformed himself in all these ways, then he can be called a disciple.”

A Mine of Meaning (Ma’din ul-Ma’ani), page 165

Summum bonum

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Shaikh Ma’ruf al Karkhi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘When Allah decides the highest good for an individual the door to performance of virtuous deeds are opened and the doors for argumentation are shut closed for him.’

Manaqib wa Ahwal Shaikh Ma’ruf Karkhi rehmatullah aleh, Ibne Jawzi Ra, page 111

The objective

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A seeker wrote: These days due to the illness of my wife, being busy with taking care of her and because of the the disruption of the household affairs most of the (routine virtuous) actions (wird) are missed. Only prayers (salah) is done. In this situation a thought troubles me that why did this happen to me and my routine works have been disrupted? This is adding to my distress.

Hakim al Umma Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘There is no reason to be distressed.
The real objective is the reward (thawab). Allah bestows this sometimes via (voluntary virtuous) actions and on other occasions through hardships and sufferings. (Thus) the objective is achieved in both the situations.’

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 3, page 57

Celebrate

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

‘Keep the book ‘Uswa e Rasool e Akram sallaho alehey wasalam‘ that contains the Sunnah practices, in front of yourself (that is, read it meticulously).

Study each and every Sunnah and in cooperate it into your daily life.

After doing so, in-sha-Allah, you will notice the radiance (nur) of these Sunnah actions.

Then your every day and moment will be an occasion celebrating the life of Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

May Allah facilitate the following of Sunnah for me and all of you. Amin!’

Seeratun Nabi sallaho alehey wasalam aur hamari zindagi, al Balagh 3/1435, page 19

The rights of Prophethood

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Qadhi Mohammad Zahid al Hussaini (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘There are six rights from the rights of Prophethood that are so lofty, superior and essential that without their acknowledgement faith in Prophethood can not be ascertained.’

Below is a summary of them,
1. The Prophethood is eternal
2. The perfections and ranks of Prophethood are bestowed by Allah
3. All of the sayings and states of our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) portray the faculty of Prophethood
4. Our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the leader (Imam) of all the Prophets
5. The (appropriate) etiquettes and (extreme) reverence of our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) should be from the depths of one’s heart
6. The love of our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) must be more than we love our own life, wealth and everything else.

Rehmat e kaiynat sallaho alehey wasalam, pages 356 – 373

#2: Turn to Allah

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Sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah bless him with a long, healthy and productive life, Amin!) continued,

The second thing is to be vigilant in turning to Allah (asking for assistance) all the time. That is, while walking or being busy in something or resting, in short whenever there is any need one should turn towards Allah and ask for assistance. One has to develop this habit.

For example, right now when we depart the masjid we should ask Allah for an appropriate ride. Once in the ride we should ask Allah that we reach our destination safely without any traffic problems. If feeling hot we should ask Allah to alleviate it. If feeling cold we should ask Allah to provide warmth. On entering our home we should ask Allah that we find all the family members safe and sound. In summary we should persist in turning towards Allah asking for assistance in all our activities.

Be vigilant in being thankful to Allah for all the blessings you have, however, small they might be. Repeat it verbally, ‘all praise is for Allah’ (Alhumdulillah).

If one does these things then every moment of his time is accounted as being in the remembrance of Allah.
May Allah facilitate this for all of us by His mercy and benevolence. Amin!

Attending Fiqh Academy session, Riyadh, KSA after Friday prayers, 11/22/2013

Utilize time effectively

time-managementA group of seekers requested for some advice.

Sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah bless him with a long, healthy and productive life, Amin!) said,

‘Firstly, try to utilize the time effectively.

Each and every moment must be spent in actions that lead to Allah’s pleasure. These  include in addition to the acts of worships, the mutual dealings (muamlaat), social etiquette (adaab ul ma’asheret), fulfilling the rights of one’s own self (nafs), the rights of the children, spouses and parents. etc.

Not a single moment of a believer’s life should be in anything that displeases Allah.

In fact a believer can make all his activities a form of worship, like eating and drinking. That is by performing it with the pure intention and correct method as per the commandments of Allah.

Therefore, it must be ensured that the time is not wasted at all. One should be involved in any of the good actions as mentioned above.’

Attending Fiqh Academy session, Riyadh, KSA after Friday prayers

Abundant remembrance of Allah

dhikr e kathir

O you who believe, remember Allah abundantly[33:41]
and proclaim His purity at morn and eve.
[33:42]

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah bless him with a long, healthy and productive life with ‘afiyet, Amin!) said,

‘It must be remembered that if the tongue is not immersed in vocalization of remembrance of Allah the heart (qalb) will never be habitable (to the remembrance of Allah).

This is because the remembrance of Allah by vocalization via tongue is like the first step. If an individual does not climb it, then how can he reach the (real) remembrance, (that is) with the heart.

Therefore, the first step in developing a sustainable relationship with Allah is the remembrance with tongue (dhikr e lisani). This must never be abandoned.

Dhikrullah kay fadhail, page 11

In this discourse Shaikh mentions the various methods of remembrance prescribed by the Sufis, including the dowazdah tasbih that is staple dhikr of Ashrafiya path.

It usually takes 30 plus minus 5 minutes . It is preferably done after tahajjud or fajr salah in solitude with as much concentration as possible.

This is the kickoff.

Sparing time for islah

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In the booklet ‘Manual for those seeking islah‘, sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah grant him a long, healthy and productive life with ‘afiyet, Amin!) wrote,

‘For the above mentioned tasks one will have to spare at least an hour daily, though it may be in multiple sittings. If one feels mentally ready for them and can ensure that insha Allah I will do them then only request should be made to this lowly writer for service (of guidance in islah). Otherwise, please excuse me.’ Page 4

It is common practice nowadays that individuals attend the spiritual discourses of a Shaikh and read his books or those recommended by him.They improve somewhat in their outwardly actions and following of Sunna. They consider themselves seekers (talibeen e islah) and pride themselves to be associated with a particular Shaikh.

However, they rarely ask the Shaikh individualized spiritual advice for betterment of their morals and remembrance of Allah. Even if they do this than it is mostly random, disorganized and poorly abided with. Similarly those who are associated with a Shaikh for years are content with the initial tasbihats for remembrance of Allah. They do not yearn for more. As a result they do not progress spiritually. That is, they lack good moral characteristics, persist with the blame worthy ones and do not achieve the state of perpetual remembrance of Allah.

As instructed above one has to take islah seriously and spare time for it. The above mentioned hour is for a beginner, a novice. So what about the intermediate and advanced salik?

Firmness of determination in giving up sinful

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The third component of repentance (taubah) is the firmness of determination to never commit sin again.

This is volitional and can be done all the time. However, will power is needed for all endeavors. Similar is the matter here.

That is, one will have to make a firm determination to,
– bear whatever great difficulties or financial losses or physical hardships or public criticisms that may be encountered in following the commands of Allah and His Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and
-never to abandon the following of Allah and His messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

If one does not have this determination then (it is evident that) he is not a seeker of Allah(‘s pleasure).’

Tahseel qasdus Sabeel, page 16

Sayyidi wa sanadi mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah bless him with a healthy, long and productive life, Amin!) said,
‘I had some confusion about this component of taubah.
How can one guarantee about his own self (nafs) that he will never ever sin again in his future life?
In practical life it had happened that even after sincere repentance one succumbed to the same sinful temptations. Would this mean that the repentance done previously was deficient?

I inquired Shaikh Baba Najam Ahsan khalifa mujaz e suhbet of Hakim al Umma (Allah have mercy on them) about this.
He said,
‘It is at the moment of repentance one should have this conviction.
That is, one has to have firm determination at that moment of repenting never to commit this sinful act ever again.
As for the apprehension regarding the future one should ask Allah to facilitate this for him and try to the best of his ability. Doing this will, insha-Allah, keep him firm.

Slips of the sincere

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Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah bless him with a long, healthy and productive life, Amin!) spoke briefly about the common problem of the slips of a sincere seeker on this path (sulook).

Below is a discussion on this issue from that discourse and teaching of our pious predecessors,

It is often a case that a sincere salik has been trying his best effort and also making supplications to Allah to keep him firm on pious actions and save him from involvement in sinful. But after weeks or months of being successful a dreadful moment comes and he fails and falls into sinful.

On realization of his mistake he is perplexed and disheartened. Thoughts like, ‘this path is not for me’, ‘I’m a failure’, ‘Divine help did not come’, ‘all the effort and supplications went wasted’, etc. plague his mind.

An individual can be so dejected, especially after multiple such episodes that he abandons all the effort and becomes totally heedless. May Allah save us all from this calamity. Amin!

However, a salik consults his Shaikh. He is instructed to repent, reaffirm his determination and move forwards. Moreover, it is emphasized not to ruminate and go into a root cause analysis of the incident.

A sincere salik must trust his Shaikh. As a result this slip becomes a stepping stone for further progress.

There are many lessons learned from the mistakes of the sincere seekers. They are mentioned below. However, they should not be used for rationalization of sinful activities. This discussion is about those who are sincere in their intention and effort but rarely slip. They include,

  • Their remorse is more genuine, intense and sustained and  it leads to immediate repentance
  • The resulting repentance is more sincere
  • It leads to increased connection with Allah
  • There is increased reliance on Allah and being His slave (abdiyet)
  • They appreciate (shukr) the blessing of Allah in giving them an opportunity to acknowledge their mistake and repent
  • They appreciate (shukr) the blessing of Allah in the form of the Shaikh’s guidance who encourages them and pulls them out from depths of despair
  • They see the flimsiness of their own effort and actions so they trust in Allah
  • They become aware of their true self and are not delusional of self piety (ujub)
  • They do not look down upon other fellows or consider themselves to be better (kibr)
  • Their reaffirming of determination and enthusiasm to move forwards is much more
  • Their effort in doing good actions and avoiding sinful is increased (or at least not decreased than before)
  • Their supplications asking Allah for assistance are increased and become more heartfelt leading to further increase in connection with Allah
  • They become more aware and experienced  of detecting the hidden traps and deception of nafs and Satan and work to avoid them
  • They excessively seek refuge (istiaza) in Allah from all that leads to Allah’s displeasure

And many others.

These are the mistakes that sometimes outweigh pious deeds!

(Ramadhan 1434, post-dhuhr talks, paraphrased)