Confusing state and the reality

An individual wrote, “In Bombay I informed you that I had pledged (bay’a) to late Shah……..Madrasi. After bay’a, even without starting any wird my emotions were ecstatic. In salah I felt so much pleasure that I can not tell.

Hadhrat Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Thanwi (may Allah have mercy on him) replied, “This emotional condition is from the category of states (ahwal). These are neither the objective (of bay’a) nor are they permanent. To consider them the goal results in nothing but despair and misery.”

The individual continued, “Shah sahib passed away and all those emotional states and yearning started to decrease. Now I do not find pleasure in anything. The salah is done as a routine without any pleasure.”

Hadhrat Hakim al-Umma commented, “If this state of not feeling any pleasure is accompanied with steadfastness on prescribed actions (‘amal) then it is called constriction (qabd). This is from elevated states and has numerous benefits. However, if this (your) state is with abandonment of the required actions then it is veiling (hijab). It can be rectified by returning to the prescribed actions.”

The individual added, “This seems to be the bad result of my actions and sins.”

Hadhrat Hakim al-Umma comforted him, “No. Rather, lack of insight in this art (of Tasawwuf) is its basis. Its remedy is very easy. That is to concentrate on the essential principles (of Tasawwuf, that is, to gain pleasure of Allah) and being steadfastness on actions required (as per Shariah).

The individual further informed, “Now whenever I hear of a Shaykh I seek him out and visit him.”

Hahdrat Hakim al-Umma advised, “These are the signs of true desire (talab). However, until you follow a thoroughly realized (muhaqiq) Shaykh and continuously keep him informed (of your condition) the objective will not be achieved. And even if (supposedly) it is achieved, due to the lack of insight (in art of Tasawwuf) contentment will not be achieved (even after arriving at the goal).”

The individual added, “These Shuykh instruct me lengthy adhkar.”

Hadhrat Hakim al-Umma, “This is a sign that they are not thorough (muhaqiq).”

The individual, “My heart is dead. It does not have any desire to pray. I can not do all these remembrance (dhikr) and litanies (wadhifa).”

Hadhrat Hakim al-Umma, “The real (muhaqqiq) Shaykh keeps in consideration all the conditions of the seeker and instructs him accordingly.”

The individual, “Molvi………Farangi-mahali visited us here. I heard that he is also a traveler on this path (of sulook). I met him and begged him for help. He instructed me to recite few litanies (wadhifay). I could barely comply to there recitation for a week.”

Hadhrat Hakim al-Umma, “Quite contrary to my usual practice, merely due to your pure desire and seeking I disclose the truth to you that whatever you heard about him was a huge mistake of the informant. This individual is not even at the very starting point of this path.”

The individual elaborated, “Prior to the recitation of these litanies and remembrance desire and yearning has to be rekindled in my wretched heart.”

Hakim al-Umma emphasized, “There is no need to do effort for this even. Volitional (ikhteyari) actions (a’mal)are the feet of this path of sulook. Walk with them.”

Tarbiyat us Salik, volume 1, page 705-6