Narcissism

Allah says:

“(Remember the time) when your great number pleased you (instilling vanity in you).”

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

“And the (spiritual) destroyers are: desires which are followed; stinginess which is obeyed; and a man being pleased with himself. And this. (last trait) is the worse of them (all).”

Wedding advice

Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) instructed his son on his wedding day:

Dear son, you will not attain good fortune in your home except by 10 characteristics which you show to your wife, so remember them and be enthusiastic in acting upon them.

As for the first two; women like attention and they like to be told clearly that they are loved. So don’t be stingy in expressing your love for your wife. If you become limited in expressing your love, you will create a barrier of harshness between you and her, and there will be a decrease in affection.

3, Ladies hate a strict, overcautious man, yet they seek to use the soft vulnerable one. So use each quality appropriately. This will be more appealing for love and it will bring you peace of mind.

4. Ladies like from their husbands what their husbands like from them, i.e. kind words, good looks, clean clothes and a pleasant odor. Therefore, always remain in that state.

5, Indeed, the house is under the sovereignty of the woman. While she remains therein, she feels that she is sitting upon her throne, and that she is the chief of the house . Stay clear of destroying this kingdom of hers and do not ever attempt to dethrone her, otherwise you will be trying to snatch her sovereignty. A king gets most angry at he who tries to strip him of his authority, even if he portrays to show something else.

6. A woman wants to love her husband, but at the same time she does not want to lose her family. So do not put yourself and her family in the same scale, because then her choice will be down to either you or her family. And even if she does choose you over her family, she will remain in anxiety, which will then turn into hatred towards you in your daily life.

7. Surely woman has been created from a curved rib, and this is the secret of her beauty, and the secret of the attraction towards her. And this is no defect in her, because ‘the eyebrows look beautiful due to them being curved’. So if she errs, do not rebuke her in a manner in which there is no gentleness, attempting to straighten her; otherwise you will simply break her and her breaking, is her divorce. At the same time do not let her off upon that mistake, otherwise her crookedness will increase and she will become arrogant with her ego. Thereafter, she will never soften for you and she won’t listen to you, so stay in between the two.

8. It is in the women’s nature to be ungrateful towards their husbands and to deny favors. If you were to be nice to her for her whole life but you grieved her once, she will say, “I have never seen any good from you”. So don’t let this attitude of her make you dislike her or to run away from her. If you dislike this feature of hers, you will be pleased with some other good habits within her, so create a balance.

9. Surely there are times when a woman goes through some conditions of bodily weakness and fatigue of the mind. Such that Allah has relieved her of some of her compulsory worships during that period; Allah has totally pardoned her from praying, and has postponed the days of fasting for her within this break to a later date until she regains her health and becomes normal in her temperament once more. Thus, during these days, treat her in a godly manner. Just as Allah has relieved her of the duties, you should also lessen your demands and instructions from her during those days.

10. Last but not least, know that a woman is like a captive with you. Therefore, have mercy upon her.

Source: The Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng

Shaikh: Flattery doesn’t count

A spiritual seeker wrote that when he received the Shaikh’s reply he was overwhelmed with joy. An electric current ran through his body making him cry profusely. In this state of ecstasy he composed a poem praising the Shaikh. 

Shaikh Wasiullah Allahabadi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,

I was extremely happy to read your letter. May Allah make me as per the assumptions of people. Ameen!

From your letter I understood that maybe you have recognized (marifet) me (i.e. as a spiritual mentor). However, let me know wether you have achieved the marifet (gnosis) of the things I tell about this path (tareeq). This is because it is this that really counts. There are numerous individuals who display love (of Shaikh) but very few are cognizant (a’arif of the path). May Allah give you a generous share of this marifet. Ameen!

—————–—

The editor commented that this displays Shaikh’s approach to Islah.  The spiritual seeker is not reassured to be content that with verbose praise and flattering speech he may have fulfilled his obligations towards his spiritual mentor and the tareeq. Because most of the time this is  naf’s (lower self’s) snare and deception.  By involving the seeker in play of words it distracts him from real marifet

—————-

This a very common mistake. Sometimes it leads to disaster for both Shaikh and the mureed. Shaikh develops ujub and mureed remains entangled in this poetry and praise, neglecting the real marifet

Moreover, in praising the Shaikh is a very big claim. It means that one himself is of such a great stature that he has recognized the qualities of the Shaikh. 

Prescription for success 

In reply to a seeker who lamented about his assumed bad condition, Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied:
Son! 

معشوق من ست آنکہ بہ نزدیک تو زشت ست

You have despair over your condition while I feel elated. Your condition is a proof of two things which are from the highest objectives (of the path). 

Firstly, recognition of one’s bad condition. 

Secondly, concern to improve one’s condition.

Make four things your habit then I take responsibility that you will not be left deprived:

Firstly, complete your daily dhikr (routine) even if it small in amount, irrespective of finding it interesting.

Secondly, abstain from all sinful involvement with (firm) determination. And repent immediately if you fail (in doing so). 

Thirdly, neither think about past (mistakes) nor future (apprehensions) nor anticipate success (in your spiritual quest) 

Fourthly, keep in regular correspondence (with your spiritual mentor) about your condition, even if there is nothing worth mentioning.

In addition to these, in my opinion (as per ayurdeic medicine) there is affect of  incalescence on your brains. Medical treatment is essential. This has also played a role in this state (Hal). 

After implementing this prescription be carefree. 

من غم تو میخوارم تو غم مخور

برتو من مشفق ترم از صد پدر 

Your considerate well wisher 

Ashraf Ali’

Tarbiyyatus Salik Volume 1, Chapter 5, page 725

Intekhab e Qaiseri

Dhikr without islah


A seeker wrote, ‘Nowadays my practice is that the word ” Allah Hu” comes with each breath and in the last part of the night I recite “Allah Allah” minimum for half hour and maximum one hour. Stopping the breath (habs e damm) has become such a habit that that I can’t do away with it. The count of Supreme Name (Ism Zaat) (“Allah Allah”) is not fixed. Please advise whatever is appropriate for me and whether I should not do it at all.

Hakim al Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied:

‘I do not want to listen to anything about dhikr and spiritual exercise (shugal) without (update on the effort of) reformation of morals. I bid adieu to this kind of spiritual exercise (shugal).’

 Tasheel Tarbiyatus Salik Volume 2, Page 97

Intekhabaat e Kaiseri

Greater Jihad?

Spiritual struggle, doing good and leaving the sinful esoteric and exoteric actions, has been alluded to as greater jihad (jihad e akbar) in classical Sufi texts. 

Irrespective of the debate of it being a Prophetic quote (Hadith).  Recently I came across a beautiful explanation. 

Shaikh Sayyid Shabbir Kakakhel (Allah preserve him) said that the greatness here is due to the time involved in it. The jihad (armed struggle) with an enemy is for a restricted period of time and eventually ends. Whereas, the spiritual struggle is a lifelong, daily constant squabble. It ends only with death.  

اندریں راہ می تراش و می خراش

تا دم آخر دمےفارغ مباش

JazakAllah 

Ostentation or not?

A senior advanced disciple wrote,

1. I was ill and not praying tahajjud. During that period two guests came to stay. They got up for tahajjud.

2. I thought to get up and pray, however another thought came not to do so as it  will be ostentatious. Eventually I didn’t pray. 

3. I thought of letting them know later that there was a reason for not offering tahajjud. 

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

‘1.  This was the most appropriate ruling (in those circumstances)

2. This would had been the most appropriate action (i.e. to pray)

3.  This was pure ostentation (riya)

Imperfect individuals (like us) are instructed to act and correct the intention. Otherwise, they will find an excuse of possibility of riya in all matters (and abandon them). ‘

Al Qawl al Jaleel, page 55