Category Archives: N. Advice

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

 

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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

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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,

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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

Baiyah: Types & instruction

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Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve and protect him) accepted a seeker’s request for baiyah. This individual has a islahi relationship with one of the mojazeen of sayyidi for the previous few and was proceeding for Hajj this year.

Prior to the ceremony sayyidi wa sanadi clarified,

‘There are two types of baiyah. First is that in which an individual pledges to do his islah (under the supervision of this specific Shaykh). It is baiyah as sulook. The other is for barakah and blessing (of being included into the Sufi silsila/order). It is baiyah tabarruk. This is the one we are doing.’

After the spiritual ceremony sayyidi instructed,

‘Continue with the recitations (ma’moolat) as recommended by your mentor. However, it must be clear that the main task is rectification of morals (islah ikhlaq). Read about them and ask your mentor whenever there is a suspicion.’

Baiyet e Kaiser,  Study, Residence, Darul uloom Karachi, 23 Shawwal 1436/9 August 2015

Repentance: The first step!

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A sincere reader wrote,

Assalam o alaikum…

My name is XYZ…. I’m a student of college… Basically I am from Town C.

I stumbled upon your site. Thanks for such an outstanding work for us. May Allah bless you and give you what you want in this life and after death.

I think I should come to the main point, Sir, I am only a Muslim by name. I do not say my prayers regularly, don’t recite Kitab ul Allah, although I’m a hafiz. But i think I forgot most of it. I cut my beard. And many things I am not able to say in front of you.

Sir! I’m very much worried about my emaan. I have been lost in this life. Totally forgot my mission in this life for which I have been sent.

Please tell me what can I do now to save my emaan?  How can i come back to a life of Muslim?How can i do what I’m suppose to do…?
Can you please tell me
JazakaALLAH

The reply sent,

Respected brother Hafiz XYZ sahib

as salamu alaykum wrwb

Jazak Allah

It is great to know about you.

Your email is reflective that, masha-Allah, you have importance and azmet of Deen in your heart. May Allah increase it more with ‘afiyet. Amin!

Please, be reminded that we are all humans. Weak in determination and lazy in action. It is in our nature to slip and fall down. However, it is abnormal to slip and not stand up, rub off the dirt, clean our-self and start walking again.

Please, do the same.

At the first opportunity take a bath (ghusul0, wear clean clothes, put some perfume (‘itr) and pray two rakat of salat e tauba. After salam raise hands and make heartfelt dua.

Tell Allah swt everything.

Tell Him that the disobedient slave has returned back to Your mercy.

Please, protect me and save me from my nafs and shaytan.

I am weak.

I repent from all that has been done.

I make firm determination that I will not do it again.

But what am I and what is my determination?

Ya Allah! only Your mercy will save me from committing sins again.

O Merciful have mercy on me. I have no other place to take refuge.

Like this pour out your heart. Take your time doing this.

After this, please, try your best to follow the basics of Islam on-wards. Especially, the 5 daily prayers on time.

Insha Allah gradually other things will be included. But do not rush now.

Remember, old bad habits die with difficulty. So do not expect miracles. There will be a struggle with nafs and shaytan. You have to have determination, high spirits and faith in Allah. Please, keep in contact with this lowly writer whatever your condition is on weekly basis. Insha Allah we will travel together on this path to Allah’s pleasure.

Avoid bad company. This includes friends, internet, books and magazines, etc.

Take care.

Do not worry a lot. Allah is most merciful.

Insha Allah, you will be successful.

muhtaj e dua

Hanif

(Edited for posting)

Listening to lectures & Islah: Clearing a misconception

 
The current technology has facilitated the sharing of information. Spiritual discourses of Shuyukh can be heard live online or saved for later use very easily.

However, islah (self betterment/reformation) does not happen just by passive listening to these lectures.

Islah requires active effort.

These lectures provide the general guidelines. Application of these in one’s daily life requires consultation with a spiritual mentor (Shaykh).

After attending a series of lectures on arrogance a seeker wrote that he for sure has arrogance and has started its treatment.  Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah protect and preserve him) replied,

‘Based on what you made this diagnosis? Write in detail the incident and behavior that made you suspicious of this.’

(Islahi khatoot)

This shows the indispensability of a Shaykh for islah. He makes the diagnosis and prescribes a treatment plan.

Moreover, individuals listen to many different Shuyukhs’ lectures. This indeed increases their information. However, it has to be acknowledged that every Shaykh has a different style in approach and application of Deen. This may sometimes appear conflicting and result in confusion.

It is for these reasons it is  recommended that a seeker of islah limits himself to the lectures of his/her Shaykh. This is especially so in the initial phase. Later he may ask for permission to listen to someone in particular.

Islah is not about having vast knowledge and information is. It is about application of the essential knowledge and information actively in our morals and daily life.

May Allah facilitate this for us. Amin!

Becoming a’lim not necessary for all

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A foreign visitor inquired regarding admission to dars e nizami at Darul Uloom Karachi. He appeared matured beyond the youthful student days.

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve and protect him) replied,

‘They will start in Shawwal.

How old are you?’

He replied that he was in his mid thirties.

Sayyidi added,

‘Then it will not be possible to get admission here. There are age restrictions in our admission policies.

Moreover, it is not necessary for all to do dars e nizami and become a scholar (a’lim). The essential knowledge for a Muslim is that what makes him/her follow deen correctly in everyday life. For this there is 3 years curriculum taught here. You may do that.’

Ramadan 1436/July2015, Office, Darul Uloom Karachi.

This is one of the common distractions these days. Every individual who becomes religious either wants to become a scholar, hafidh e Quran or master in Arabic language.

It must be clear that having knowledge is not synonymous with observance and following of what that knowledge commands.

The requirement from us is to follow these commands effectively. Effort is required to overcome the obstacles posed by nafs & Shaytan in doing so. This require tarbiyah/training and spiritual struggle.

When are we going to allocate time for this?

 

Shukr: appreciate the blessings & be thankful

  
On the day of Eid Al Fitr 1436 Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve and protect him) instructed,

‘Appreciate the blessings of Allah and be thankful excessively.

When I contemplate on the blessings of Allah that are being bestowed on me, it feels like like a torrential rainfall. Sometimes I fear that this might be istedraj. (May Allah save us all from it.) 

Recite abundantly (with contemplation of meanings)

اللهم اجعلنا شاكرين لنعمك مثنين بها قابليها وأتمها علينا

O Lord! make us thankful for the blessings You have bestowed on us, allowing us to appreciate them, making us competent of (utilizing) them (appropriately) and making them perfect for us.

Allah will bestow more blessings and facilitate further progress.’

Residence, Dar ul Uloom Karachi, 18/7/2015