Teachings of Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf 'Ali Thanawi & his spiritual successors, particularly 'Arifbillah Dr 'Abdul Hayy 'Arifi (may Allah bless them) and Sayyidi Mawlana Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) regarding Tasawwuf
Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) was replying to the letters of spiritual aspirants.
After reading a letter he addressed those sitting in his office,
One of my friends (Shaikh usually uses this title for those seeking spiritual reformation (islah) under his supervision) is blessed with witnessing of the Holy Prophet (Allah’s blessings & peace be upon him) frequently. Sometimes it is in sleep (dream), other times in a state between sleep and wakefulness and also in wakeful state.
A great blessing indeed!
However, few things must be clear about this phenomenon.
Firstly, it is something beyond one’s volition. It is ghairikhteyari. It is a blessing and one should be excessively thankful to Allah for it. However, it is not a sign of spiritual proximity. One should not consider him/herself spiritually superior to others because of it.
Secondly, if one is blessed with this for a while and then it ceases to exist than also it is not a sign of spiritual decadence.
The only thing that matters in spiritual proximity are an individual’s actions. That is doing good and abstaining from sinful.
This must be explicitly clear.’
Ramadan 1442, post zohar, office, Darul Uloom Karachi
For development and maintenance of reverence of God (taqwa) in our post-Ramadan life sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) said,
1.Leave sinful activities:
Be strict on holding your lower (nafsani) desires. Make a firm determination. Do not yield to these sinful desires easily. These desires and Satan are our two arch enemies.
2. Change the thought pattern.
The mind is constantly occupied with thoughts. There is no gap or vacuum in this process. These thoughts are either of worldly matters or useless issues or sinful activities. It is essential to intervene and develop a spiritually healthy though pattern. We have to actively think about hereafter, heavens, thankfulness of Allah for the innumerable bounties and blessings bestowed upon us, asking refuge for anticipated calamities, repenting from sinful activities, etc.
3. Adopt pious company
This is the most effective way to achieve the change of thought pattern. It leads to absorption, assimilation and implementation of the Divine teachings in our life. Without the company of the the pious the Deen remains limited to superficial level.
4. Make remembrance of Allah
Set up a daily routine of making remembrance of Allah. There are three categories of remembrance of Allah. First is that it is done with the tongue without presence of mind. Second is when tongue is silent and there is mindfulness. Finally, when both tongue and mind are making the remembrance together. Do not under evaluate even the first category. It is a stepping stone for the rest of the categories. Moreover, with consistency it eventually engulfs the mind also.
Make a daily time table for this. The daily activities done in an organised method creates barakah in time. More things are done in the same period of time. Include in it these four things, recitation of Holy Quran atleast two pages daily, durood, third kalima and istegfar. Fix a specific time for them. In other times recite whatever form of remembrance comes to mind.
The remembrance of Allah (dhikr) is a form of energy and power. It assists in development of determination to fight the lower desires.
5. Make supplication (dua)
Set a specific time for this. Like prior to sleeping, after esha. For few minutes sit and supplicate.
Say, ‘O Allah I want to follow the path You are pleased with. I want to control my thoughts, aspirations and desires as per Your desires. You have repeatedly instructed us in the Holy Quran to do so. How can I do it? I am weak. My determination and effort are feeble. Provide from Your benevolence and mercy the determination, power and motivation so I can control my desires and make them totally subservient to Your commands.’
Make this supplication daily without any gap. It is impossible that Allah will reject this supplication indeed.
29th Ramadan 1432/30th August 2011, Darul Uloom masjid, after duhur bayan.
A seeker inquired about the procedure of getting baiyet to Hazrat Mufti sahib.
Sayyidiwasanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve & protect him) usually does not take baiyet from anyone up front. When he feels that the seeker has recognized the true meaning of this commitment, only then he does so.
For some this duration is in months. For me it was 4 years and my wife 14 years.
In the mean duration you are suppose to do what is being told and provide regular feedback.
Individuals with whom Hazrat db does not feel munasbet are reffered to other Shuyukh. However, this may also be a test for the seeker to guage his talub (desire).
The qualities a Shaykh looks for in a potential murid are his yearning and desire to gain Allah SWT’s pleasure, readiness for anniliation of self -suggestions/opinions and enthusiasm for following what is told to be done.
Hazrat, what would you say about the subtle feeling of being some sort of unproductive during acts of worship or of spirituality?
Could it be a modern disease or at least weakness or mistuning of the heart, which needs rectification? As when the feeling grows, one becomes even lazy towards faraidh.
Or is it more of a غير اختیاری feeling like جی نہیں لگنا and thus should simply be ignored?
Or is it even helpful in order to save oneself in his youth from excessive ibaadah and nawafil and put effort into learning and earning? It might be protect from premature buzurgi.
Some guidance regarding this would be appreciated. JazakAllahu khayran.
This is reflective of poor understanding of Deen. Works of extra worship and spirituality are done to subdue the nafs, develop a perpetual state of being cognizant that Allah is aware of what I am doing/thinking etc. and become a true Muslim up to the standard required. It has nothing to do with buzurgi.
This is one of the most common prevalent misconceptions.
It’s cause is neglecting the suhba of the pious.
It requires rectification. This is by setting a regular schedule of pious company (where the intention is nothing but self islah. No waaz, knowledge or nasihat is the objective) and a daily routine of ma’mulaat that include recitation of Quran kareem, tasbihat, adiya e masnonah and few nawafil.
Shaikh Ahmed Arqam Balkhi (Allah have mercy on him) narrates that once my inner-self (nafs) insisted that I go and join the battle (jihad). I was surprised. In Quran Allah says that nafs commands to do evil and my nafs was telling me to do something virtuous. How can this be possible?
I confronted the nafs and said that most probably you are sick of staying in solitude and want that I go in the army where people will pay respect to me. However, I am going to fight alone (not join the army). Nafs agreed. I became more suspicious. I told him that I will fight without ammunition and die first. He agreed to it also. I told him many similar things and he agreed to all.
I was perplexed.
I prayed fervently to Allah to show me nafs’ deception.
In a vision (mukashafa) I saw my nafs.
He said that every day you kill me several times by not doing what I command, so if you go for Jihad and are killed instantaneously then it will be easier.
Moreover, no one knows about this daily struggle. It is hidden from all. But if you are killed in battlefield everyone will speak highly about you. All will say Ahmed is a martyr (shaheed).
The deception of nafs are complex and deep. They requires consultation with a mentor (murshid).
Tanveer ul Afaq: Shah Turab Ali Qalandar (Allah have mercy on him)
A seeker wrote, I used to listen to a lot of bayans by arab sufis and Baraelwi’s but I found no good actions (amal) resulting so there must be a problem there There was a lot of show of love (izhaar of hubb and ishq) and ecstasy(wajd) but no change to the state of heart (haal of the qalb) as I found in the classic books like Ihya al Uloom ad Deen, etc.
So I would like to try the deobandi path which seems mature and well-balanced (mutadil) and closer to the teachings of Quran and Sunna (qareeb to the nusus) but there is still the fire of fervent love (ishq) running through it.
How do I do dowazdah?
Dowazdahtasbih is like medicine. It is neither masnoon nor mustaheb. Therefore, no basis other than experience of effectiveness in achieving the cure of heedlessness is required.
How do we understand the role of music in the tasawuf of Maulana Room ( Allah have mercy on him) specifically the Ney(flute)
It (ney) is to be ignored. Hazrat Maulana (Allah have mercy on him) is in overwhelming state (magloub al haal).
Even his mathnawi is not for everyone. http://www.ashrafiya.com/2010/08/01/mathnawi-tasawwuf/
the present day melvis and their musical assemblies are a much later development.
After reading Haqq us sama you will see the difference between real sama: audition and the present day musical qawwali: where everything goes.
In Urdu there is book Islam aur musiqi by Hazrat Mufti Mohammaed Shafi (Allah have mercy on him). It has been incoperated in the english book the slippery stone by brother Khalid Beg http://www.albalagh.net/bookstore/?action=view&item=1355
Both of them include the stance of sufiya on this topic.
A seeker wrote, On the issue of the Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abd Al Wahhab, I find various aqwaal amongst the akabir e Deoband.
We follow Hakim al Umma rehmatullah aleh. This is what he said http://www.ashrafiya.com/2008/12/13/wahabi/
the view point of Shaykh Maulana Rasheed Ahmed al Gangohi (Allah have mercy on him) was different as you say. However, it was historically incorrect as pointed out by Mufti Mehmood al Hasan Gangohi (Allah have mercy on him) in his fatawa.
The seeker inquired, Was he a mujaddid or was he somebody who misunderstood the deen.
Ashrafiya replied, To the best of my knowledge none of our akabir considers him to be a mujaddid. A ‘mujaddid’ is an individual who’s teachings are indispensable for his times and for the generations coming after him. None can escape his faiz (benefiting spiritually from him).
At the most he was a sincere overzealous reformer. (viewpoint of Maulana Manzoor Nomani (Allah have mercy on him) in particular)
Neither do we read his books nor his teaching are mentioned in our talks. We do not take deen from him or his followers.
It is a shame that people only blame him and do not tell what was the condition of lay people in belief and practice during his times. Ignorance was rampant in Arabs. People did not know and practice the basics of deen but indulged in the customary rituals and practices with zeal and passion. Prostrating to the graves, including that to the blessed grave of our mastet Prophet salAllaho aleh wasalam is well documented. “Sunni” ulema of that time condoned it with their husun e zan and taweel.
I wish to ask about istighatha min al qubur By this I don’t mean istighatha of physically asking the wali for a son or rain etc. These things are clearly shirk. But I am asking about istighatha where the mureed gets spiritual help and sustenance and learns the daqaiq of tasawuf from the sahib-e-qabr. This would seem to be mentioned in al muhannad by shaykh khalil ahmad saharapuri (ra) in Al Muhannad.
There is detail in this issue. Only a very advanced, that is sahib e nisbet, mureed can benefit from a passed away sahib e nisbet Shaikh. So the lay people like us have nothing in it. Also, there is no teaching/learning/instruction in this form of benefit. You need a living Shaikh for that, The benefit is of faiz e nisbet/increase in relationship to Allah. Also, these are from zauqiumoor. That is something to be tasted/experienced. They are neither propagated or preached. They are to be experienced.
In general it is about the importance paid by the Chishti mashaikh on following the Sunnah.
There is a detailed communication of Hakim al Umma rehmatullah aleh on the maslak of Hazrat Haji Imdadullah sahib rehmatullah aleh and that of his deobandi khulafa. It is included in the book Bawader al nawadir, page194 – 204 the book can be downloaded on read online from the following link,
The concept of bidah as understood and implemented in practice by the scholars of Deoband must be very clear upfront. Most of the practices which we identify as bidah these days are rusoom that were mubah/permissible activities. In previous generation the over all religiosity was better than nowadays and people knew that these are cultural and customary practices. They indulged in them with a good intention. Most importantly they knew definitely that these are neither Sunna or wajib practices. However, in later generations the over all religiosity decreased (see for yourself nowadays) and especially the lay people (most of whom are negligent in observance of Sunna and wajibat) started to regard these activities essential. They criticized those who did not do so or said that one can be a Sunni Sufi without them. That was the point when scholars o Deoband took the bold stand.
Hazrat Haji Imdadullah sahib mohajir Makki rehmatullah aleh was well aware of the stance of his deobandi khulafa. However, he was also aware that these practices are cultural/customary rituals, they are neither from aqaid or ebadaat. Thay are zauqi umoor. The book Faisala hafta masala explicitly documents this.That is the reason he did not cancel their khilafet or forced them to do what they considered bidah. He tried his best that the two parties understand each others view point. He endorsed the book written by both of them.