Category Archives: N. Advice

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)

 

Ongoing need of treatment & re-treatment in the spiritual path

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In discussion about the need of repeated treatment for moral ailments sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah bless him with a long, healthy and productive life, Amin!)  said,

‘Do not assume that (the treatment of moral ailments once done) suffices forever.

There is always a need of re-treatment.

That is, one has to reevaluate (his/her condition) repeatedly and (if necessary) treat again.

Do not assume that all those individuals who are bestowed with the permission (ijaza) of taking bayiah have become so perfect that they neither falter nor are they infallible from making mistakes nor are they immune from developing the desires of sinful.

That is not the case.

They also develop the desires for sinful. They also falter. However, they become immediately aware of their slip. This is because of the attribute developed in them and (previous ongoing effort of) moral disciplining (by spiritual struggle and excessive remembrance of Allah). After this awareness they have do the treatment of their aliment.

Even (Hakim al Umma Mawlana Ashraf Ali) Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) said that when I see a (spiritual) illness in myself, I treat it (sometimes by giving a public discourse about it. That is in order to wake up my nafs, so I practice what I preach).’

Islahi Majali, voume 1, page 69

Sunna prior to Fajr salah

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fajr2In the discussion about offering the two rakah Sunna salah prior to Fajr once iqamah has been called, sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) said,

‘The authentic saying of Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him) and dhahir al rewaya is also that with two criteria being fulfilled it is permissible to offer this salah. Firstly, it is expected that one complete rakah (of the fardh salat al fajr) will be attainable. Secondly, that they must be offered out side the mosque.

Imam Mohammad (Allah have mercy on him) said that even if not one complete rakah only the last sitting (qaida al akhira) is expected to be attainable than also it is permissible to offer these Sunna .

Imam Mohammad (Allah have mercy on him) added further to the first criteria but not to the second one (that is to offer it outside the mosque).

Imam Tahawi (Allah have mercy on him) added to the second criteria. He said offering them outside mosque it is permissible, however, inside the mosque is also permissible provided it is far away from the rows of the congregational salah and in an isolated spot.

From all this discussion it is clear that the prevalent practice of offering this salah immediately behind the congregation or few rows away is not permissible according to any of the madhahib.

The predominant (viewpoint) is to follow the original way (madhab) of Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him). The Hanafi researches have given preference to this.  However, Allama Shami (Ibne Abideen) keeping in consideration the feeble Muslims has given fatwa according to Imam Tahawi (Allah have mercy on them).

Whereas, our Hanafi researchers, that include respected (Shaikh Anwar) Shah (Kashmiri, Allah have mercy on him) do not agree. They stick to the original madhab of Imam Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him). That is, one rakat is expected to be attainable and it is offered outside the mosque.

Another issue to be acknowledged is that the permissibility Imam Tahawi (Allah have mercy on him) gave for offering this salah in mosque was during an era when loud speaker were nonexistent and there was no clash between the recitation of the Imam and one offering his salah in an isolated corner. Nowadays when the recitation in (congregational) salah is being relayed on the loud speaker I have doubts about the permissibility of offering this (Sunna) salah in mosque. This is because there is clash of recitation in this situations. It is, therefore, best to offer it outside the mosque.’

Im’anul Bari, volume 3, page 416-7

Importance of daily recitations

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Shaikh Wasiullah Allahabadi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘The pious elders have said, تارك الورد ملعون

It means that the individual who (intentionally) leaves his daily recitations (wird) is  accursed.

This is because offering extra (nafil) salah or recitations (awrad) in the beginning (of sulook) is not as detrimental than to initiate and then stop them. 

This is extremely bad. Allah’s alienation is for such an individual. This results in the individual becoming absolutely incompetent. He can neither follow the Deen properly nor achieve any worldly success.

Therefore, one should not initiate extra (routine) pious actions, like tahajjud or recitations. If he does initiate them then he should have a firm intention of doing them all his life. Otherwise misfortune will engulf him.

It is mentioned in Tabqat e Kubra (page 142) that on the day the murid leaves his wird the Divine help is cut off from him.’

Wasiyet ul ehsan, Talifat e Musleh al Ummat ra, volume 5, page 56-7

Shara’iah,near Jara’nah, Makkah al mukarramah

 

Passing on rewards of good deeds to pious

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An individual wrote about his daily routine of reciting some verses of Holy Quran and passing on the reward (esal e thawab) to pious predecessors.

Hakim al Umma Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) appreciated the practice but made it clear that this must not be with the expectation that in return there will be spiritual benefit from their souls. This would be against sincerity. The passing on of rewards must be solely for Allah’s pleasure in appreciation of the services they provided in spreading the Deen.

Paraphrased from Tarbiyet us Salik,

Moreover, some people who do esal e thawab routinely are afraid that if they stop it, even for a genuine reason (poor health or lack of finances, etc.) there will wrath of these pious predecessors and some disaster will strike them. This is shirk. May Allah protect us all from this. Amin!

Vallejo, CA

Condemnation of attack on Christians in Pakistan

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Shaikhul Hadith Mawlana Zakariya mohajir Madani  (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘In fact the matter concerning dhimmis in these affairs (i.e. detainig rights) is far more serious than that of Muslims.

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said in this regards,

‘He who oppresses any Dhimmi, or defames and degrades him, or demands from him anything more than he can bear or do, I will stand against that person and make demand in favor of that dhimmi on the Day of Judgemnent.’

This is truly a very serious matter and a point worthy of great concern.

At the most critical moment (on the Day of Judgement) ones’s own attorney and defendant (the Prophet, blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) becomes the prosecutor. How tragic this situation can be?

‘My Pakistani friends must be very cautious regarding this as the non-Muslim (living) there are Dhimmis in all respect.’

Prescribed Preliminary Practices, page 5-6

Shaih al Bukhari , Volume 9, Book 83, Number 49: 

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr:

The Prophet said, “Whoever killed a Mu’ahid (a person who is granted           the pledge of protection by the Muslims) shall not smell the fragrance          of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty           years (of traveling).”

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Medinah al munawwarah

Love of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)

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A hundred thousand greetings, salutations and honorable congratulations be upon the pure tomb of the head to the throne of the Law, the full moon of the firmament, the sun of the constellation of reality, the crown upon the head of the the mystics, the chief of the prophets, the one intimate to the secret of “He revealed to His servant what He revealed” (53:10), the one breathing the fragrant air of the garden of the station of “at two bows length or bearer” (53:9), Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah- the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him and upon all his family members, friends , descendants and followers.’

[Ma'din ul Ma'ani, page 2]

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said,

“None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves his children, his parents, and all people.”

(Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)

Mount Ohud

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In his book Hayat al Quloob Shaikh Makhdoom (Sindhi) (Allah have mercy on him) has written that when going towards Ohud the intention should be to visit Ohud mountain in particular. This is because Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said,
‘Mountain Ohud loves me and I love it to.’ (Sahih al Bukhari).

Zubadatul Manasik, page 498

Visitors to Haramain, please, heed!

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Today after maghreb salah the Imam of Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) mosque Skaikh Huzaifi (Allah preserve him) requested the pilgrims to be careful about the mobile phone use inside the mosque, especially, the musical ringing tones. They desecrate the sanctity of the blessed mosque and disturb those engaged in worship.

The mobile phones should be either turned off or at least be on silent mode during their stay inside the mosque.

This is from the basic etiquettes of this blessed place.

September 16, 2013

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Freedom from hypocrisy

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حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي ثنا الحكم بن موسى قال أبو عبد الرحمن عبد الله وسمعته أنا من الحكم بن موسى ثنا عبد الرحمن بن أبي الرجال عن نبيط بن عمرو عن أنس بن مالك عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم انه قال :
من صلى في مسجدي أربعين صلاة لا يفوته صلاة كتبت له براءة من النار ونجاة من العذاب وبريء من النفاق
تعليق شعيب الأرنؤوط : إسناده ضعيف لجهالة نبيط بن عمر

Anas ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with him) says that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
Whoever prays forty salah in my mosque (Masjid an-Nabawi) without missing a salah in between them, then freedom from the hellfire, escape from punishment, and freedom from hypocrisy will be written for him”

(Musnad Ahmed)

The chain of this Hadith has been classified as weak by Muhaddithun.
Nevertheless, it is considered mustahab to offer the forty prayers in Masjid an-Nabawi.

Arif billah Dr Abdul Hayy ‘Arifi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘Acting on mustahibat is a calling of love (muhabbat).’

Criteria for spouse selection

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The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

Do not marry women due to their beauty and elegance. It is possible that this beauty and elegance leads them to the path of destruction.

Do not marry them because of their wealth.
It is possible that their wealth leads to transgression and involvement in sinful.

Instead marry them on the basis of their religious state (Deen).

A black slave girl who is religious and endowed with good manners (ikhlaq) is better than a beautiful women from a notable family who has bad manners (ikhlaq.).
Ibn e Majjah via Uswa e Rasool e Akram Allah bless him and give him peace) , page 662

Backbiting

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Sayyidena Abu Saeed Khudri and Jabir (Allah be pleased with them) narrate that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

‘Backbiting is severe and worst than adultery (zina). ‘

Some of the holy Companions inquired why was the severity of backbiting worst than adultery.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied,

‘If an individual commits adultery due to his wretched fate than if he repents it will be forgiven by Allah.
Whereas, for backbiting it is required to ask forgiveness from the individual who’s backbiting was done. It will not be forgiven or condoned by Allah.

Sahih Muslim via Uswa e Rasool e Akram (Allah bless him and give him peace), page 626