Category Archives: N. Advice

Vacation: How to spend it?

how-i-spent-my-summer-vacation

One of our readers, a graduate student, asked,

How should an individual spend his Ramadan and summer vacations ???

1) Going with Tabligi Jammat for 10-15 days

2) Performing eitakaf (seclusion in mosque for the last 10 days of Ramadhan)

3) Studying the translation and tasfir of Quran e Kareem from a scholar

4) Going to a khanqah to learn how to do remembrance of Allah (dhikr)

5) Get training of Jihad in order to be prepared if a need arises.

6) Not going anywhere. The student gives full attention to his studies. He stays at home and does whatever good deeds that are possible for him

Waiting patiently for your answer … as I am so confused regarding these things

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The following (edited) response is being shared with intention that it will, inshaAllah, benefits others.

Please, remember that each and every  person is an individual with his unique state of mind, preferneces, working stlyle, emotions, ancestral-cultural-regional-religious heritage, intellectual-educational-experiential aptitude, involvements, duties, obligations, expectations from family etc etc. Therefore, no single activity from the ones you mentioned can suit all. It is for this reason it is recommended to consult an older, experienced and pious person who knows about you in detail to recommend what is best for you.

I am not aware of your present condition in detail so it will be very difficult for me to recommend anything specific. However, I will mention the pros and cons of each and then you can decide.

1) Going with Tabligi Jammat for 10-15 days

This is the best way for individuals who are very new to deen, un- or moderately educated, living in areas without access to scholars and sufi masters.

2) Performing eitakaf

This is for moderate and advanced seekers. These are individual who have disciplined themselves to an extent and can manage their time effectively and benefit from the solitude. Otherwise people just hang around wasting time.

3) Studying the translation and tasfir of Quran e Kareem from a scholar

More important than this is the basic knowledge of aqaid and everyday fiqh. Beliefs and rulings regarding the correct way of offering our worship. Equally important is tajweed of Quran e kareem. That is reading Quran e kareem with the correct pronunciation. It is the Kalam of Allah, it has to be recited in the way it was revealed. Sadly 99% of Pakistani Muslims read it in Urdu. This is a major sin.

A person who has done these three basic things (aqaid, fiqh & tajweed) then he/she can proceed to study of Quran e kareem’s translation and Hadith sahreef.

4) Going to a khanqah to learn how to do remembrance of Allah (dhikr)

This is a misconception. Khanqah are like inpatient medical facilities where those with spiritiual sickness come for treatment. Zikr in specific ways may be a part of the treatment plan. But it is not the sole objective of staying there.

One has to make sure that it is a genuine khanqah. Not a dargah, where saint or grave worship is done. Also, the Shaykh must be competent spiritual physician and not a hereditary parasite trading in the name of his pious ancestors. And the patient himself must be aware of how to seek and follow instructions given to him.

5) Get training of Jihad in order to be prepared if a need arises.

This is the biggest fitna of our era. A major distraction for the youth.

Without jihad e akbar, that is rectifying your inner morals/ikhlaq, jihad e asghar (physical combat) can never be effective.

In the whole Makkan period of the life of our master Prophet Mohammed (Allah bless him and grant him peace) there was no order of physical jihad. Only spiritual struggle was required.

Also, most of the contemporary jihadi groups are with dubious ‘aqaid, fiqh following & politico-economic affiliations.

It is best to avoid all contact with them.

6) Not going anywhere. The student gives full attention to his studies. He stays at home and does whatever good deeds that are possible for him

This is is the best option. Provided that you use your time effectively and do not waste it, especially on internet, TV, and other impermissible (haram) activities.

Such a person should remain in contact with a spiritual mentor and get advice from him regarding how to spend his time.

was salam

Daily recitations: way to progress 

  
We have to remind ourself that consistency of daily ma’molaat (wird) is the way to spiritual progress.

Being lax in performing them usually results in deterioration. 

At any given moment there is either increase or decrease in one’s spirituality. There is no steady or stationary state that one may become content with. No just hanging around!

The pious masters of the path have said that death is better for a salik who is not progressing.

Wife’s requests

allah u jameel

A seeker wrote,

Sometimes my spouse insists that I wear cologne and do not wear cap at least while at home.

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

‘This is also permissible.

Moreover, (intention of) making your wife happy will be rewarding.

It is okay to be without cap for sometime at home. However, the normal practice should be of using it (most of the time).

Islahi Khatoot

Quran: daily recitation 

 
A seeker wrote in his monthly islahi correspondence,

The daily routine for  recitation  of one juz of Quran can not be completed (these days). Only half or three quarters is read. Moreover, when this is also not possible I recite Surah al Ikhlas hundred times.

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

‘This is also sufficient. All praise is for Allah that the daily routine is being carried out with consistency.’

Islahi Khatoot

Dhikr in salah

A seeker wrote,

In salah that are offered silently (in congregation) previously I used to recite Surah al Fatiha  in my mind to maintain concentration. However, now I do not find this interesting and want to do the dhikr Allah Allah in my mind. Is this appropriate?

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

‘No.

Contemplating about Surah al Fatiha is more appropriate.

However, (it is okay) if the dhikr Allah Allah flows out (in your mind) without your control (ikhteyar).’

Islahi Khatoot

Morals: assessing the achievement 

A seeker wrote.

(It seems as though that) awareness of Allah (taqwa) and sincerity (ikhlas) have not brushed past me.

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

‘If another individual said this to you would you be offended? Answer truthfully!’

In the next letter seeker wrote,

I am not sure how to answer this vividly. However, I know that if I feel offended it will proof without doubt that awareness of Allah (taqwa) and sincerity (ikhlas) have not touched me.

Sayyidi wa sanadi replied,

‘All praise is for Allah! 

I am pleased by this response. 

May Allah further increase (your) knowledge and understanding. Amin!’

……….

Islahi Khatoot 

Sheikh’s love, reverence and spiritual congeniality 

 
Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah protect him) wrote in reply to a seeker’s question,

‘The greater the spontaneous (t’abai) love and reverence of Sheikh the better and most beneficial it is. However, they are not the absolute criteria.

The logical (aqli) love and reverence plus spontaneous spiritual congeniality (munasbet) are the essential criteria (to benefit spiritually from the Sheikh).

That is, intellectually one should have firm conviction that for my reformation (islah) my Sheikh is the most appropriate.

The spontaneous spiritual congeniality (munasbet) means that instructions given by the Sheikh are usually easily accepted by mind (qalb) and thoughts of objections do not arise. Except on rare occasions.

If the logical love and reverence, and spontaneous spiritual congeniality are lacking then spiritual benefit is in fact impossible. In this case the seeker must look at other places (for a new Sheikh) where he feels the  logical love and reverence, and spontaneous spiritual congeniality. He should inform his initial Sheikh and establish a contact with the new Sheikh. There is no disrespect (bayadabi) in doing so.

Act on this very important issue after understanding it thoroughly. Do not hesitate to ask again if any doubts remain.’

The seeker replied, 

All praise is for Allah, by His blessing I find logical love and reverence, and spontaneous spiritual congeniality with you in me.

Sayyidi wa sanadi replied, 

‘If at any time these do not remain then informing me without any reservations is imperative. Insha Allah I will not be even slightly upset on this.’

Islahi khatoot 

Suhba 

 

A seeker wrote,

I excessively desire  to be in your company (suhba) as much as possible.

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

‘After asr (salah) when I am in Karachi call and visit me whenever you want. If this is not possible than attending the weekly gathering (majlis) and (regular) correspondece are sufficient (alternative for excessive suhba).’

Islahi khatoot

Interest in daily good works

social-media-interesting

A seeker wrote,

For the previous few days a strange state is felt. I do not find any of (the daily) actions interesting.

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

‘It is not necessary to have spontaneous interest (in the good actions done). Try and keep your self engrossed in them.

The seeker added.

I try to keep my self involved (in these actions) but I am unsuccessful (in developing interest).

Sayyidi wa sanadi instructed,

‘This effort is essential (as it is the spiritual struggle). Success is nonessential.

The seeker further added,

All the daily good works (ma’molaat) are done as a routine habit.

Sayyidi wa sanadi corrected him,

‘Is this routine habit something repugnant?’

Islahi khatoot

Money: Its purpose

o-MONEY-AND-HAPPINESS-facebook

A seeker living abroad for his medical training wrote,

The travelling expenses for visiting home will be around three thousand dollars (a substantial amount for a foreign trainee in mid 1990’s). Would it be appropriate to spend so much money on myself?

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

‘Assess your financial capacity (for spending). If no major necessity is affected and you do not have to draw loan then (be aware that) money is for providing happiness and comfort to one’s self and family. Moreover, making parents happy (by visiting them) is a reward-able action.’

Islahi khatoot  

Islah: How to begin?

 

A seeker wrote,

I am not even aware of the method of seeking islah effectively. 

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

‘Read about the praise-worthy (fadhail) and blame-worthy (razail) morals from Maasir al Hakim al Ummat or Tabligh-e-Deen (of Imam Ghazali, Allah have mercy on him).  Then do your own analysis (are they present or lacking in my character). Wherever you have suspicion ask about it. This is the effective way of seeking islah.’

Islahi khatoot 

Murid?

 

A seeker who was in regular islahi relationship for few years wrote,

Frequently people ask me that are you a murid (disciple) of Hazrat. How should I respond?

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

‘What is the need to get into the discussion of lexicon and titles?

Tell them that I seek advice from him in religious matters.’

Islahi khatoot

Dua after salah

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A seeker wrote,

‘I find supplications (dua) uninteresting while raising the hands after salah. I usually make a very brief dua and finish it hurriedly.’

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) replied.

“This is also a (spiritual) state.

However, at least after one of the salah, in spite of being uninterested, make it a habit of supplicating properly.

If you are distracted then force yourself to do so. In any case supplicate for a period of time and then finish.

Moreover, if you schedule in advance that after one of the five salah you will supplicate for your family, after another for friends, etc. etc. then it is hoped that you will find making dua interesting.”

Islahi khutoot