Category Archives: N. Advice

Suhba: One of the benefits 

 
An individual wrote, As per your respected perspective (maslak) I don’t consider feelings or overwhelming states (kayfiyaat) to be the goal. However, sometimes this random thought (waswasa) comes that my deeds and the way I do them is indeed deficient and it would not be rectified without being in the company of my mentor (murshid).

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

‘This thought (of actions being deficient) is most desired. That day will be inauspicious (na-mubarak) when we assume that our deeds are free of deficiencies.

Therefore, do not aspire for suhba for this purpose (that is, to get rid of it).

However, there are many other benefits of suhba including the immense benefit of this thought of being deficient becoming more stronger and quite obvious.’

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 1, page 439

Sunna: Criterion for Allah’s proximity 

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Quoting 29 verses of Holy Quran Arif-billah Dr. Abdul-Hayy Arifi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘It is distinctly evident from these specifications of Allah that an individual who is closest to the Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) (by emulating his actions and orders) will come closest to Allah and will be from His beloved servant (abd).

Evidently following the Sunna (etiba e sunnat) is the soul of worshiping and climax of absolute servant-hood (abdiyet).   

An action in opposition to Sunna is not an act of worship, but it is pure deviation.’

Uswa-e-Rasool-e-akram sallallaho alehey wa alihi wa salam, page 38

Mosque property use

 
An individual presented few dates in plastic cup (kept with water coolers) in the Prophet’s mosque (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him).

 Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) inquired,

‘Is this a used plastic cup?’

On receiving a negative response he picked a single date and returned the plastic cup clarifying,

‘It is impermissible to give something that is mosque property to another as a gift.’

Masjid e Nabaawi, exiting Bab Rehmah, after esha, Friday 19 February 2016

Hadith

  

The greatest Imam our master Abu Hanifa (Allah have mercy on him) wrote in his bequest (wasiyet) to his son Hammad that I have chosen five traditions (Hadith) from all the sayings of Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). These are enough for a person to practice the religion.

Our master Prophet Muhammed (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

1. Actions are according to intentions

2. It is from the excellence of a person’s Islam to abandon what does not concern him

3. A believer is not a believer until he is pleased for his brother with what he is pleased for himself

4. The lawful is clear and the forbidden is clear, but between the two are ambiguous matters. Whoever guards himself against ambivalent matters has gone to the utmost limit in seeking to be clear in his religion and honour.

5. The Muslim is one whom others are safe from their tongue and hands.    

(Reference 1,3,4&5 are in Bukhari & Muslim, 2 is in Tirmidhi)

Suhbat e ba awliya, malfuzaat of Sheikh al Hadith ( Allah have mercy on him)

The Lost Art of Dying 



All of us are living to die.

How well prepared are we for this?

How well have we prepared our spouse, children and family to handle it?

Is our state of affairs and a legal will ready ?

Have we made it clear to our physician and next of kin that no heroic measures are to be used in my care? (This is especially so for the elderly >70 years and those diagnosed with a terminal disease.)

A Westerner writes, ‘Dying used to be accompanied by a prescribed set of customs.

Reaffirming one’s faith, repenting one’s sins, and letting go of one’s worldly possessions and desires were crucial, and the guides provided families with prayers and questions for the dying in order to put them in the right frame of mind during their final hours. Last words came to hold a particular place of reverence.’

Sounds Muslim.

Muslims are to be prepared for death all the time.

Our master Prophet Mohammed (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) instructed us to remember often -the destroyer of all pleasures :death. (Tirmidhi, Ahmed, Ibn e Majah)

Most of us are not prepared and in the right frame of mind to handle death. In facing, it especially for the elderly and those diagnosed with a terminal disease, all our effort is to prolong life. This is done at at all measures, irrespective of the pain, suffering and financial burden to the afflicted and those around.

We pay no attention at all to a peaceful departure, accepting the decree of Allah wholeheartedly, a farewell as a believer (khatima bil khair), forgiving others and asking forgiveness from Allah and fellow Muslims, recitation of kalima (There is no God except Allah, Mohammed [Allah’s blessings ans peace be upon him] is His messenger) as their last words by the dying and the chapter of  Yasin from Quran by those around.

This is also a an issue we have to improve upon.

 

Respect for the ‘other side’


Differences of opinion within madhahib (fiqhi schools) is well established reality.

Scholars (fiqaha)have emphatically stated that that there is no proselytizing or censoring of a follower of a different fiqh for doing whatever his fiqh permits (and is impermissible or disliked in our fiqh). These are in the category of wajib and Sunna.

Moreover, differences in peripheral issues (furu) is even more common. These are all in the category of permissible.

In dealing with differences of opinion among scholars the lay individuals do not differentiate between the hierarchy of the categories involved. In addition they start assuming that the ‘other-side’ is ignorant, arrogant or morally corrupt. This is totally wrong.

The habit of forming unsubstantiated assumptions (su-e-dhan) is a spiritual illness.

We have to respect all scholars and fellow Muslims irrespective of our differences. All of them are trying their best to please Allah. They have the best intentions and are trying to the best of their capabilities. Allah will reward them all.

However, in practice we follow the pious ones we love, trust and benefit from.

For a seeker (salik) the involvement in religious polemics is spiritually devastating. It is imperative for his success on this path to consider all others to be superior to himself. And leave all that does not concern him.

May Allah give us the tawfeeq. Amin!

Serving: The 3 conditions

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

‘There are three conditions for effectively serving others and gaining reward in hereafter.  They are,

1. Sincerity . That is seeking Allah’s pleasure in doing it. 

2. Having a close relationship. That is, who is being served does not feel burdened by it.

3. Knowing the task being done.’

Sayyidi wa sanadi’s Weekly dars 10 January 2016

Shajara: a special benefit of its recitation 

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

‘It has been an experience of an individual that when disturbing and worldly thoughts plagued his mind and no remedy seemed to be effective, the recitation of Shajara (the spiritual chain listing all the masters of this path) was beneficial. (Immediately) An aversion was felt for the worldly.’

Khutbaat e Hakimul Ummat

Ghaflah:heedlessness

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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!