An important reminder

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Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) usually instructs a novice traveller (salik) on this path to read the published lecture series ‘Islahi Khutbaat’ and ‘Islahi majalis’. After reading a substantial amount from them he should focus on the discourses and malfuzat of Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) for the rest of his life.

It is essential to pay attention to this advice.

Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) is the mujaddid of the path we follow. The Ashrafiya path. Reading his works in original is imperative to gain the insight for the experiential knowledge of Allah ( al marifah) sought by those on this path.

We are from the third or fourth generation after Hakim al Umma. Our Shuyukh have kindly paraphrased and simplified those teachings according to our understanding. However, these are the initial stepping stones to the original text.

Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) has himself mentioned the benefit of the original text in his malfuzat. Acknowledging them as a gift from Allah, he said that these are Divinely inspired words and therefore most beneficial is one’s islah.

The most common excuse we have is that our comprehension skills for Urdu reading are poor. This is an area we need to improve. Moreover, present day Mashaikh are requested to read to their audience from the original texts of Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) and explain or translate if necessary.

This is important to inherit from the spiritual legacy of Ashrafiya path.

May Allah facilitate this for all of us. Amin!

Facilitation of nisbet e batini

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

‘It is due to the Shaikh (1) that acquisition of nisbet e batini is facilitated. Alone hundreds of years of spiritual struggle maybe needed to acquire it.

This nisbet e batini is a gift from Allah. The spiritual struggle is required for it but it is not the reason d’être for it.
Even if it (is considered to be a) a cause then it is a commonly occurring (result) and not the real one.’

Husn al Aziz, Malfuz # 459, volume 1, page 83

(1) His guidance and barakah.

Means of acquiring Tasawwuf

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Shaikh Junaid Baghdadi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘We did not acquire Tasawwuf by discussions or argumentations.

In reality we acquired it by going hungry (1), keeping awake (2) and being persistent in our actions (3).’

Eqaz al Himam, Urdu, page 332

(1) From all that is impermissible or suspicious or causes laziness.
(2) In acquiring knowledge, performing tahajjud, remembrance of Allah and intimate conversation with Allah
(3) Performance of good and abstinence from sinful deeds, both physical and that of qalb

Tip regarding household finances

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

‘I do not issue a verdict (fatwa) but strongly suggest that the household financial administration should be in the hands of one’s wife or himself. It should not be in the hands of others, regardless of them being brother, sister, mother or father. This is because doing so will extremely dishearten the wife.

Therefore, either the husbands should keep the household financial affairs in his own hand or delegate them to the most deserving from his relatives, that is his wife.

The rights of one’s wife not only include providing food and clothing (etc.), but it also includes to raise her spirits.

Please, note that the scholars (fuqaha) have considered heartening one’s wife to be so important that they have ruled lying to be permissible for this purpose. This proves the enormity and significance of her rights, that Allah condones one of His rights to hearten her.’

Husn al Aziz, Malfuz 355, volume 1, page 66

Excessive desire & preserving the serenity

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

‘Permissible sexual desire in excess is detrimental. This is because with this excess the normal composed state vanishes (as one is over aroused sexually). The pious have advised against going to extremes in this regards.

Respected Haji (Imdaullah mohajir Makki) (Allah have mercy on him use to say,
‘As far as possible try not to let go of one’s serenity.
-Even if some one has a small amount of money he should keep it safe and not waste it. This is for the peace of mind.
– Do not succumb to diseases because of negligence (in food or medicine).
– Do not be such audacious and straightforward in speech that others become your enemy and entangle your thoughts (qalb).
In short, in the teachings of respected Haji (Imdadullah mohajir Makki, Allah have mercy on him) there was much emphasis on (preserving) the serenity (jamia’t). He repeatedly instructed that serenity is an immense thing (so preserve it).

‘Imam Ghazali (Allah have mercy on him) has written that the similitude of an individual who is not sick (with an ailment making him sexually impotent) and has stable strength (to maintain such relationship) and then uses aphrodisiac food and medicine to further enhance his sexual powers is like poking asleep snakes and scorpions inviting them to come and bite him.

If someone has a illness than it is a different issue.
Rich individuals are most interested in this.

I have warned about this issue because even permissible excessive sexual desire has a detrimental effect on one’s spirituality (batin).’

Husn al Aziz, Malfuz 442, volume 1, page 55

What to look for in a Shaikh?

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

‘The thing to look for in a pious individual (Shaikh) is the proportion of his share in following the example (itiba-e-Sunna) of our master Prophet (Allah have mercy on him).

Anecdotes of unveiling (makashifat) etcetera are all tales of mesmerism. They are are subservient to thinking powers (i.e. Influencing and manipulating another individual’s thought).

The real thing is the degree of following the example of our master Prophet (Allah have mercy on him).

(However) This compatibility (munasebet) with him (our master Prophet (Allah have mercy on him) must be spontaneous and persistent. This is because for a couple of days everyone can feign (to follow).’

Husn al Aziz, Malfuz # 417, volume 1, page 41-2

Tasawwuf

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Shaikh Zarruq (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘Tasawwuf has been defined and explained in multiple ways. They number approximately two thousand.

(However) All of them refer to a single objective.
(That is,)
True, sincere and absolute attention towards Allah.

This is the objective in all the paths (turuq).
And Allah knows best.’

Eqaz al Himam, Urdu, page 29

Alternative Shaikh

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

‘It is not a problem that an individual has pledged (bayiah) to a Shaikh and receives instructions and advice for betterment (islah) from another Shaikh. This is especially so when there is decreased level of compatibility (munasbet) with the initial Shaikh.’

Tuhfah-tush-Shuyukh, page 43