Category Archives: N. Advice

Ghaflah:heedlessness

ghafil

Shaikh Umar Birbalwi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘Be watchful of development of heedlessness (ghafalh).

Being free from heedlessness (per se) does not mean that a person abstains from all sinful activity (for ever). Humans have their limitation and intentionally or unintentionally sinful acts are committed (occasionally).

Heedlessness is that when an individual loses his/her ability to decipher whether a sinful activity has been committed (hence he acknowledges, amends and repents). It is like developing an internal (spiritual) weighing-scale needle. A minuscule of addition or subtraction is quickly acknowledged by the spiritual aspirant on whether he is receding backwards or progressing forwards.’

Anwar e Umar ra, malfuz 14

Mujahida: annoying spouse

 
A seeker wrote,

Please, pray for my wife. She gives me to much trouble.

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

‘Do not be distressed by the troubles from your wife. This is also a (form of) spiritual struggle. You receive reward on it (from Allah if you are patient, neither display anger nor act inappropriately). Let her annoy you more.’

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 1, page 432

Mujahida e thania: The subsequent struggle

 
A spiritual aspirant wrote,

In the previous condition the attention towards Allah was increased and desire to commit sinful was very subdued. Moreover, a sort of spiritual serenity,  calmness and attentiveness was present. However, the condition is not like this anymore. The desire to commit sinful activities becomes very strong sometimes. And the previous serenity is no more.

In this condition I feel miserable, please, pray for me to be steadfast on the right path.

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

‘This is the time of subsequent struggle (against desires of nafs) (mujahida e thania) after the completion of the initial struggle (at the onset of this path). The accomplished seeker (wasil) who in unaware of this suspects returning (to previous heedless state) (rij’at). Sometimes he is so dejected that he gives up (the good deeds and abandons the struggle to resist sinful). In reality, this is an regular essential stage of completion of this path (sulook).

The explanation of this is that in the initial (part of this path) there is excessive enthusiasm and the natural desires are subdued. Towards the middle or the end (of this path) the enthusiasm wanes and the desires resurface. This is because the (sinful) desires are not eradicated (by spiritual struggle) they are only subdued. At this resurfacing spiritual struggle is again required. However, the hardship and effort in this (subsequent) struggle is to a lesser extent. لرسوخ التھذیب فی النفس۔ ., but determination, diligence, willpower and self control are required (to do so).

Based on the signs a sort of perfection is felt in (your) nisbet. Relying on Allah, I give you permission to take allegiance (from spiritual aspirants) (ijazet e bia’yet) and expect from Allah that it will be beneficial for the people. 

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 1, page 467-8

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 

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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?
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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

 

watesmu

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)?

Reply:

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

Tasawwuf: Beware of pretenders and astray

calligraphic

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

Advise

 
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.’

Purity of heart

 

 Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve, protect him, facilitate and accept his Hajj with afiyet! Amin) said,

‘For sacred knowledge a pure heart is needed more than a genius mind. 

The purity of heart is achieved by remembrance of Allah and having a strong relationship with Him.’

Twitter

Impermissible request

 

In Ramadan sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve & protect him) follows the Sunna of giving financial gifts to the deserving individuals. It is like a blowing breeze. Masha-Allah. Computerized lists of recipients are made. There are separate categories for the zakat, sadaqat and hadiya. Many individuals visit or send letters requesting aid. Inqueries are made actively to acertain zakat recipients.

This Ramadan a  letter from a student was presented. He requested for a laptop. However, he made it clear that he could not be a recipient of Zakat. 

Sayyidi wa sanadi replied,

‘Please, let me know if it is permissible for you to make such a request.’

Ramadan 1436, darul uloom Karachi office

Hajj: Common mistakes

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  1. Not having the knowledge about the basic fiqh (rulings) of Hajj.

This leads to confusion and major blunders. Some of them if not corrected via consultation with a qualified scholar may lead to Hajj being void.

2. Not asking qualified scholars (mufti) if a mistake is suspected.

Mobile contact of a pious and reliable mufti who is well aware of the rulings of Hajj is essential.

3. Fear of dum (penalty).

Due to the financial burden individuals are afraid to ask a mufti if a mistake is suspected.

It must be clear that dum is there to rectify the mistake and make Hajj acceptable. Compared to the cost of repeating the Hajj next year its cost is minimal.

4. A very commonly observed gaffe is that individuals label themselves as travelers (musafir) and then leave all the Sunna and nafil worships (‘ibadah).  In fact, in this once a lifetime journey, one should try to reap maximum benefit of the stay in the boundaries of Haram al sharif, where one good action is rewarded hundred thousand times.

This does not mean that if they are technically musafir they are exempted from qasr of fardh salah.

Sheikh Dr Hafeezullah Sukkharwi (Allah have mercy on him) recommended that one performs extra recitations (in addition to his routine wird) and salah tu Tasbih everyday in the five days of Hajj.

5. Wasting time in useless activities.

Some are busy shopping for the gifts for their loved ones back home.

Yuppies are busy posting selfies of each and every movement on twitter or Facebook.

Others are searching for their next door neighbor from back home or close relative.

The religious minded are arguing the issues of following a madhab or not.

Those associated with Tasawwuf & islah are rushing to visit the lectures and halqa e dhikr of each and every sheikh and scholar present.

Verbally we claim presence before Allah,

talbiyah

However, in reality we are absent.

Piri – muridi: The reality of Tasawwuf Part 1

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Shah Wasiullah Allahabadi writes in the preface of ‘Tarbiyet us Salik‘ of Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on them) ,

‘The task of being a Shaykh is a lofty responsibility.

This is, because calling people towards Allah is the Prophetic job and the Shaykh is delegated to do it. Therefore, there can not be any doubt in its immense significance.

It is for this reason the quote of pious predecessors is famous,
الشيخ فى قومه كاالنبى فى أمته

A Shaykh in a community is like a Prophet in his Ummah.

Respected (poet) Hafiz Shirazi (Allah have mercy on him) pointed towards this in,

na har

(Not anyone with a glowing face knows how to flirt

Not anyone who makes a mirror act like Alexander

There are thousands of points thinner than a hair in this way

Not anyone who shaves his head can be a qalander)

ٖFrom the essentials of performing this task are two things that differentiate between a righteous and charlatan Shaykh.

First is his expertise in recognizing the aptitude and specific characteristics of the seeker’s temperament.

Secondly, his technique of instruction and training (the seekers accordingly) is at its most perfect level.

The greatness of the (Sufi) Masters is determined by their exceptional level of instruction and training. And this is the cause of their popularity in the (religious) elite.

In an era the Shaykh who is superior to all the contemporary Shuyukh in this field is known as ‘Qutub ul Irshad‘. Like Leader of the group Junaid al Baghdadi and Shaykh Ghuas e azam (Abdul Qadit al Jilani, may Allah sanctify their secret) etc. etc..

To be contd.

 Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 1, page 2