Advice on being over zealous

Hakim al-Umma Hadhrat Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi (may Allah have mercy on him) advised a traveler on the path (salik),

“Excessive indulgence is not required even in the rectification (islah) of volitional (ikhteyari) actions . For example, if an important act (‘amal) is missed, its compensation should be done (qadha), if a mistake is committed repentance should be made and one should then return back to his usual routine.

Do not fixate your thoughts on these particular episodes by worrying that how come I missed or committed such a thing. Sufis’ consider this to be extreme and overwhelming zeal (gulu and mubalagha) that is prohibited according to the teachings of Quran and hadith.

لا تغلو فى دينكم

من شاق شاق الله عليه

سددوا و قاربوا و استقيمو

ولن تحصو من غلبه النوم فليرقد

لا تفريظ فى النوم انما التفزيظ فى اليقظه

Hadhrat ‘Arif (Hafiz) Shirazi (may Allah have mercy on him) said,

سخت مى كرد جهان بر مردمان سخت كوش

The specific effect of this extreme and overwhelming zeal (gulu and mubalagha) on the physical and mental capabilities in our times is that hopelessness sets in, halting the traveler (salik) completely.”

Tarbiyat us Salik, volume 1, page 32