Tasawwuf

Tasawwuf1

Maulana Professor Sayyid Suleman Ashraf Bihari (Allah have mercy on him) said,

Tasawwuf has two sections,

  1. Knowledge of spiritual endeavor (ilm e ma’amlah)
  2. Knowledge of revelation (of spiritual secrets) (ilm e mkashafa)

The  knowledge of spiritual endeavor fulfills the purpose of scared law (Shariah). It entails that an individual develops within his soul a faculty that if he commits something sinful or is lax in performing a pious deed he feels a subjective pain similar to the one he experiences in physical sickness or with monetary loss.  It is like the extreme (mental) suffering a noble, respectable and well known person feels if he has to beg for money.

After developing this ability even the thought of committing something inappropriate is spiritually distressing to this individual.

The second section, knowledge of revelations, consists of performance of specific pious actions and bearing hardships on one’s self (nafs) to develop in one’s spirituality special (malakuti) powers . This is to become worthy of receiving the hidden secrets of the sacred law (Shariah).

Al Sabeel 33-4


It is the first section that is the most important for novices like me and you.

The way to develop it is the islah (betterment) training done under the supervision of a spiritual mentor.

 

Tasawwuf: Ashrafiya Approach 2

Tasawwuf-Aur-Nisbat-e-Sufia-250x384

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) continued,

‘Similar is the story in all of the Tasawwuf. In some quarters the method of treatment (of spiritual maladies) has  been made a goal in itself.

This is the case of gathering of remembrance done aloud (ijtemai majalis e dhikr bil jaher).  Remembrance (of Allah) done aloud and in a gathering are both per se permissible. However, these days in some (sufi) paths it is considered to be an essential part and without it remembrance is considered to be deficient and less rewarding.

Similarly, as an example is the case of  supplicating in front of the graves facing the qibla. It is permissible per se. Moreover it is proven by Sunna of our master prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). However, when our pious-predecessors saw that grave-worshipers can misuse it for their benefit then they discouraged doing so

We consider our master Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) to be the mujaddid (one who revives) of this era.  In Tasawwuf lots of things were done as a means of treatment prescribed by masters, however, gradually (with passage of time) they became an objective in them-self. The revival of Tasawwuf that Hakim al Umma did was to state that the real objective (of Tasawwuf) is the acquisition of praise worthy moral characteristics (fadhail) and riddance of blame worthy moral characteristics (razail) from one’s self.

In reality there are various degrees of crossing the limits in Tasawwuf. Some elders prescribed as a form of treatment something for their disciples, others selected something else to be more beneficial. Then some considered this treatment to be essential (for all), others promoted them to the level of things highly desired (mustaheb) or Prophetic practice (Sunna). The problem starts from here (with this meddling in the fiqhi hierarchy of status of actions) onwards. ’

Albalagh,Urdu, volume 51, publication 6-7, (April 2017) page 71-2

Tasawwur e Shaikh: Ashrafiya Approach 1

Tasawwur001

Mufti of Kazakhstan  inquired, ‘The inclination towards purification (tazkiya) of soul and moral characteristics (ikhlaq) is arising in our youth. However, the mentors they approach (for this) instruct them  ‘tasawwur e Shaikh‘ with much emphasis. This is to the extent that they are told to contemplate all the time that I am seeing the Shaikh. Please, guide us on this. Isn’t this  an  overstatement (gulu)?’

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

‘Tasawwur e Shaikh’ was a form of (spiritual) treatment used by some of the ancient master of Tasawwuf. Its was for the the individual’s who found it difficult to keep the contemplation of Allah (‘s presence, especially) initially. For them some masters prescribed as a form of treatment (of this difficulty) to contemplate about their mentor (Shaikh). This is because the relationship, love and reverence for Shaikh is solely to gain Allah’s pleasure and it easier to imagine an entity one has seen than what he has not seen. Then gradually the masters will guide him to the real objective, that is, contemplation of Allah. Hence, tasawwur e shaikh is not an objective in itself. (It is a stepping stone to the real objective.)

The pious righteously-guided masters (ahle-haqq) who did use this did not make it an integral part of their path. They instructed it individually as needed for a disciple for whom it was suitable paying due considerations to its  conditions and limitations.

Even so, the masters of our path, the pious-predecessors of Deoband did not encourage ‘tasawwur e Shaikh’. This is because sometimes its limits are not maintained and it leads to shirk (associating partners with Allah). However, at the same time they do not castigate the rightly guided masters who did instruct it with its conditions and limitations.

Once Sayyid Ahmed shaheed prescribed ‘tasawwur e shaikh’ for Shah Ismaeel shaheed (Allah have mercy on them).  Shah Ismaeel apologized saying that if I was ordered to do something  even inappropriate (sinful) I would have done it and then repented. But in ‘tasawwur e shaikh‘ I smell shirk. Therefore, I will not do this.

The way of our pious predecessors of Deoband (akabir e Deoband) was that the contemplation of Allah that develops by observing the Sunna practices is sufficient (for a seeker). This is because following the Sunna is the most effective way of gaining Allah’s proximity (acceptance & pleasure).

These days the problem has developed that some mentors consider ‘tasawwur e shaikh’ an essential part of their path (tareeq). They instruct this to all the disciples uniformly even if there is no need for it.  Similar is the story in all of the Tasawwuf. In some quarters the method of treatment (of spiritual maladies) has  been made a goal in itself.

This is the case of gathering of remembrance (ijtemai majalis e dhikr bil jaher)………..’

to be continued

Albalagh,Urdu, volume 51, publication 6-7, (April 2017) page 70-1

Salah in car

 A seeker inquired, I seek guidance regarding praying supererogatory (nafil) salah while driving or riding in a car. Is it a valid option? 

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

‘You may pray nafl while riding a car but not while driving. It is better not to pray nafl of mamool (routine) in a car except when it is apprehended that the mamool will be missed if not prayed in the car. But no restriction in nafl outside the mamool. ‘

Islahi whatsapp messages 

Examinations 


Haji Shakeel Ahmed (Allah preserve & protect him) from Mumbai mentioned,

‘Most of us are trying to be successful in an examination in which none can succeed. That is, worshipping Allah as it befit’s Him. This is impossible to do as Allah’s majesty exceeds our limited intellect and whatever worship we do it can never ever befit Him. 

And we ignore the main examination we are required to succeed as per Allah’s commands. That is fulfilling the rights of our fellow human beings, especially those near and dear, like parents, spouses, children, etc. 

We need to look into this and rectify our mistakes. ‘

al Azizia, Jeddah, 26/4/2016 after maghrib 

Tasawwuf: very basic texts

 
Mufti Maqsid of Kazakistan inquired that in regards to Tasawwuf there are misunderstanding in people here, the younger generation aspires for spiritual betterment (islah). Some approach us for understanding Tasawwuf. Moreover we want to teach our students tasawwuf. What books will be beneficial to do so?

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

For this purpose in my opinion start with my respected father’s (Mufti Mohammad Shafi, Allah have mercy on him) book ‘Dil ki dunya‘. This is concise text and will be an easy to comprehend introduction of Tasawwuf. This text can be covered in a week or even less.

After that select from Imam Ghazali’s (Allah have mercy on him) books ‘Bidayat al Hidaya‘ or ‘al Arba’een’. The later’s Urdu translation has been published as ‘Tabligh e Deen‘.

Then teach ‘Taleem ud Deen‘ of Hakim al Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him).

Teaching these text will lead to the understanding of reality of Tasawwuf in a short period of time. It is expected to be achieved in one or two semesters, in-sha-Allah. ‘

Albalagh, volume 51, publication 6-7, (April 2017) page 72

Truthfulness & sincerity

  
“Do not be very strict on yourselves for then Allah will be strict upon you. Verily, a group of people were strict upon themselves so Allah was strict upon them. Their remnants are the (ascetic) people living in the hermitages and monasteries. [Then he quoted the verse,] ‘But the monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them.”‘ Abu Dawud

In explaining this Prophetic saying Shaykh Abdul Haqq Muhadith Dehlawi (Allah have mercy on him) mentioned that Shaykh Ahmed bin Abilhawari approached his teacher Shaykh Suleman Darani (Allah have mercy on them) and inquired that the people of Bani Israel strived with such (physical) endeavors and struggles that their skin became like old worn out leather whereas we eat, drink, clothe ourselves and live with comforts and luxuries. My heart is burdened by this luxurious lifestyle and I worry what will be its end result. 

Shaykh Suleman Darani (Allah have mercy on him) replied,

‘O Ahmed! What is demanded from us (by Allah) is truthfulness (sidiq) and sincerity (ikhlas) (in our intentions and actions)

Burning and melting (with strenuous endeavors and struggles) is not demanded from us. 

Good deeds performed with sincerity for ten days are better than 10 years of (physical) struggle that burns and melts (the skin). 

The real objective and goal is the pleasure of and acceptance by (radha) Allah. (This can only be achieved with sidiq and ikhlaas.)

As the poet says

من لم یکن للوصال اہلا فکل احسانہ ذنوب ‘

Ashaat alelmaat volume 1, page 473 via Basariyet ki rah say taraqqi 

Ijazet: Who is worthy of it?

 

Murideen used to come to Shaykh al Hadith Maulana Zakariyah (Allah have mercy on him) during Ramadan. During his initial years he used to send them to Hazrat Abdul Qadirahmer Raipuri (Allah have mercy on him)(for them to stay in his blessed company). Regarding this Shaykh al Hadith writes:

“The condition of some of them improved greatly and with the spiritual blessings (tawajjuhaat) of Hazrat Raipuri (Allah have mercy on him) it became even better but some of the residents there said to my guests (i.e. Murideen): “Why hasn’t Shaykh given you permission (of Ba’yat) until now?” This thing became a poison for them as they began to consider themselves something. 

It is a well-established principle in this field (of Tasawwuf) that as long as one considers himself to be incompetent and unworthy then he is successful; but as soon as he considers himself as competent and worthy then he becomes unsuccessful.I have experienced this in many of the friends and close senior murideen (khuddam) of my pious elders.

This incompetent writer was given permission (of Ba’yat) by my Shaykh (Allah have mercy on him) in Dhi Qa’dah 1345H in Madinah Munawwarh. This incompetent writer remembers it clearly that without any exaggeration I held the feet of Hazrat Raipuri (Allah have mercy on him) that please don’t mention it to anyone in India. But Hazrat insisted that he would definitely inform them and began writing to people in India from there (i.e. Madinah Munawwarah).

After coming back to india I did not get the courage to accept anyone’s Ba’yat for a long time. Perhaps it is mentioned somewhere in Aap Beeti that I started accepting for Ba’yat after being scolded by my Uncle (Maulana Ilyas May Allah have mercy on him). Thereafter I went to Hazrat Shaykhul Islam (Hussan Ahamd Madni)and Hazrat Raipuri (May Allah have mercy on them both) several times that if they take consideration of my inability and thus order me to stop accepting anyone for Ba’yat then I will get a way out. But each time they in return scolded me. I remember a saying of Shaykhul Islam (Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madni, Allah have mercy on him) that on my request he angrily replied “Who accepts anyone for Ba’yat considering himself to be worthy and competent? The one who does that is himself unworthy and incompetent. The successful one is he who considers himself incompetent at all times”.

Source: Aap Beeti of Hazrat Shaykh-ul-Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyyah Kandhlawi, Volume 2, Page 441-442

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