Category Archives: F. Zikir & fikr

Remembrance, comtemplation and spiritual excersises

Preparing for Ramadan

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

‘There is going to be a downpour of Allah’s mercy (in Ramadan).

Preparation is needed in advance to derive real benefit from each and every moment of Ramadan.

Because an individual may start this month in a state of heedlessness (ghaflah) and (virtuous) activities are then postponed from one day to another.

Therefore, it is essential to prepare for Ramadan in advance.’

Khutbaat e Ramadan, page 54

A Ramadan routine

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

‘In this month (Ramadan) the learned and lay Muslims should spare some time trying to understand from a reliable translation and exegesis (tafsir) of the blessed Quran. This is in addition to its recitation.

This is because, Quran is such a (phenomenal) thing that reading it in an appropriate manner becomes a source of special relationship and increasing proximity with Allah. ‘

Khutbaat e Ramadan, page 49

Missing Daily Tasbihat

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Comment: “I have been regular with tilawat, monjat e maqbool and other tasbeehat but was not doing the dwazdah tasbihat. When missed during the day, I try to recite a few of that tasbihat but not complete. In this regard please advise if I miss dwazdah tasbihat, should I impose a penalty on myself as now it is almost making a habit?”

Response: “If this happens regularly then look for the reason. Reschedule it at a different time. If that does not work then fix a penalty, like no internet use for personal use that day.”

Meraj us Salikeen: Islahi makateeb #8

Ijaza for recital of Munajat e maqbool

 

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An individual wrote,’ I recite Munajat e Mabool*. However, I have not taken permission (ijaza) from you for this recital. Therefore, please, grant me the permission and inform me of the (specific) procedure of its recital.’

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

‘If the permission is sought with the belief that without (explicit) permission it will not be effective than this belief is wrong.

However, if the permission is asked as per the principles of the Path (tariqat) that is, is it  appropriate according to my (specific) condition (to be included in my routine recitations) then the instructor has to utilize his insight (according to his knowledge of your individual condition). Therefore, write to me in detail your condition and routine practices, subsequently I will counsel you as would be appropriate.’

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume  via Ahkam amaliyat wa tawizat, page 67

*A collection of over 200 du’as from the Qur’an and Hadith. Divided into seven parts to facilitate daily recital. Adapted from Mulla Ali Qari’s (Allah have mercy on him) Hizb al Azam.

Levels of khushu’ in salah

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

‘It has to be acknowledged here that the required khushu‘ (reverence, serenity and presence of mind) has multiple levels.

The first level is essential (fardh). That is, at least at the moment of opening takbeer (tehrimah) an individual brings to his mind (actively) that he/she is praying. Absence of this will make the salah void.

The best and highest level (of khushu‘) is that during the entire salah nothing transpires except the thought of Allah. (As is mentioned in the Prophetic saying)

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The middle level (in between these two) is the one each Individual must strive to attain. That is, one should be aware and attentive of the words that are being recited during salah.
One should be cognizant of what is being recited. On reciting الحمد لله رب العالمين he should have knowledge that he said الحمد لله رب العالمين. On saying الرحمن الرحيم he should know he recited الرحمن الرحيم. One should strive for this level of khushu.
Salah should not be (offered) like switching on a machine (that runs on its own) and comes to culmination (automatically). (That is without attention and awareness.)

Even if some involuntarily thoughts come during salah they will in-sha-Allah be forgiven provided that on becoming aware of this derailment one returns to being attentive of the words being recited.

Initially one has to be be attentive towards the words being recited, than gradually the attention will turn towards Allah.’

Inam ul Bari, volume 3, page 472

Seeking knowledge

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A seeker, who was studying medicine said, ‘I do not feel like studying (medicine) and my heart desires to do remembrance (dhikr) of Allah.’

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) replied,
‘If acquired with correct intention your study (of medicine) is also (a form of ) remembrance of Allah.’

Kibriyet e Ahmer, malfuzat (#24) complied by Dr Syed Abdul Qadir Ahmer sahib, page 4

Missing the daily wird

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A seeker wrote, ‘For the previous few days I am unable to complete my daily routine recitations (wird)’.

Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘If there is a genuine excuse (for missing them) then it is not a problem. However, if there is no excuse then use your determination to over come this (laziness).’

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 2, page 870

This is a common complain from seekers.
Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) has repeatedly mentioned that this laziness is due to the lack of importance of the daily wird. There is no supplication, amulet, charm or medicine that can make a seeker diligent regarding this. One has to use his will power and over come the laziness. This is the mujahiddah: the spiritual struggle of the path.

Suspicion of arrogance

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A seeker wrote, ‘An individual was prescribed by you, as treatment of arrogance (kibr), to announce in the mosque after every salah that I have the (spiritual) illness of arrogance, please, all of you make supplication (dua) that I am cured of this disease.

On this a thought came to my mind, that is, what would I do if I am asked to do this?

Reflecting on it neither do I find the courage to do so nor does my mind accept this happily. This displays that maybe I suffer from arrogance. At other times thought comes to mind that this is due to modesty (hiya).

Sir, I request you that if this is due to arrogance than, please, prescribe a treatment for it. It will be be a generous gift indeed.’

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

‘Having the thought of this possibility (of arrogance in one’s self) is proof of fear (of Allah’s displeasure).

Congratulation!

For the diagnosis of arrogance this symptom alone is not sufficient. As this reluctance maybe sometimes due to the absence of illness itself and hence no need for treatment.

Sometimes arrogance is also the cause of this. There are two criteria for this (differentiation).

Firstly, are there any other signs and symptoms (of arrogance) present?

Secondly, even on possibility (of arrogance) if the spiritual mentor prescribes this form of treatment should it be followed or not, even if one finds natural repugnance to it? (The scenario is) Similar to the repugnance of a bad tasting medicine. If the patient desires a cure and has trust in the physician he will follow it.’

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 3, page 112

Remedy for suspicion

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A seeker wrote, ‘The condition of this lowly writer is that the (spiritual) ailment of suspicion (bud-gumani/soo-e-dhan) is deeply rooted in my heart for a long duration. I become suspicious of fellow brothers and sisters on very minute things. I have tried many remedies according to my sub-standard intelligience. However, this ailment did not go away.

Please, recommend a remedy to cure this destructive (spiritual) disease.

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

‘Whenever, thoughts of suspicion come to mind (qalb)

1. Firstly, sit alone and remind yourself that Allah has forbidden suspicion. A sin has been committed. There are (fair) chances of getting punishment for sinful actions. O nafs! How are you going to endure this punishment?

2. After this reflection repent.

3. Make supplication (dua). O Allah ! Cleanse my heart (and mind).

4. Make supplication for the individual you had suspicions. O Allah! Bestow him with the blessings of both the worlds.

Do this three times daily. If the affects (of suspicious thoughts) remains then repeat it for 2 or 3 days. If it persist even after this, then approach this individual and tell him that I had baseless suspicion about you. Please, forgive me and make supplication for me that this (spiritual ailment) is cured.’

Tarbiyet us Salik
volume 3, page 111

Anti-kibr therapy

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Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) prescribed the following to a seeker,

‘The therapy for the reality of arrogance is a special form of contemplation (muraqaba). It must be renewed and repeated at all the times when the thought of arrogance passes (in the mind).

This muraqaba includes,
1. Although I have this achievement, it is not my own creation. It has been bestowed by Allah.

2. This bestowal is without my being deserving of it. It is Allah’s mercy and benevolence.

3. After bestowal preserving it is beyond my control. Allah has the power to take it away anytime.

4. Although the other individual does not possess this achievement as yet. It is possible that eventually he will achieve more than me and I will be looking up to him for assistance in this regards.

5. Even if eventually he does not achieve this, as it sometimes evident by the apparent (lack of) means. It is possible that right now he has some other achievement that is hidden from me but evident to others or hidden from all. It is known to Allah alone. By the virtue of this his overall achievements are better than mine.

If none of his achievement come to mind than bring to mind the possibility that as per the knowledge of Allah he is accepted (maqbool) and I am not. And if I am accepted to than he is more accepted than me. Hence, how can I think of him to be inferior to me?

6. Think that even in case he is lower than me in all regards than he has a right on me. As the deficient individual has on the perfect one. Like the sick person has on a well individual, a weak on the strong, and a poor on the wealthy. Hence, I should be kind and have empathy for him. Moreover, I should try to assist him in achieving them successfully. If I do not have any means or power or time even than by making supplication (dua) for his success. Then start effort in regards to successful accomplishment of his achievements. This will create a bond of kindness with this individual. And it is a natural phenomenon that working for an individual’s development and success leads to loving him. After (feeling of) love there is no thought of considering him inferior.

7. If this (#6) can not be done than occasionally talk to him gently and politely. Inquire about his well being. This will create a mutual bond. And after this bond thought of considering him inferior will dissipate.’

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 3, page 108-9
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