Category Archives: A. Reality of Tasawwuf

The nature, definition, goals and principles of Tasawwuf

Keep progressing

A seeker must never become content at a particular spiritual state.

He must constantly desire more progress. This is by worship & spiritual efforts, maintaining focus & firm determination, and sincere humble supplications.

Usool e Tasawwuf, Muqalat e Hakimul Ummat ra, volume 14, page 100

Enthusiasm

A seeker wrote, these days I feel completely listless. There is no enthusiasm at all for anything. This includes no eagerness to perform acts of worship.

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

Enthusiasm is not a necessary requirement. Performance of acts of worship (in itself) is an essential requirement.

Moreover, acts of worship done without enthusiasm entail hardship and hence carry more reward.

This tip is worth to be remembered forever.

Rafa adh dheeq an ahl tareeq, Muqalat e Hakim al Ummat, vol 14, page 72

Become a Muslim

Qutub Alam Shaikh Abdul Qudoos Al Gangohi (d:1537CE. Allah have mercy on him) said,

O Seeker of Truth! If the path of Islam was as easy (as you think) then everyone would become Shibli and Ibrahim bin Adham (Allah have mercy on them). (In reality) Until and unless you are a (true) Muslim from within you can never be a (real) Muslim from outside.

It is grieving and mournful to see these days that world is full of spiritual mentors (pir) and seekers (mureed) but no one can find a (true) Muslim.

What is mentor-seeker (piri-mureedi) relationship nowadays?

It is all idolatry and self-worship!

May Allah save us all from it. Ameen!

This is in reality my own mournful predicament. I tell it so others can learn from it.

Maktubaat e Qudoosiya, letter #111, page 480 (from Urdu translation by Shaikh Capt. Wahid Baksh Siyal rehmatullah aleh)

It

Golden Advice

Shaikh Syed Ahmed Kabeer Al Rifai said that I requested Shaikh Abdul Malik Al Herboni (Allah have mercy on them) for advice. He instructed

‘O Ahmed!

1. One who keeps looking left and right never achieves union (wisal).

2. One who has doubts seldom succeeds.

3. One who is not aware of his (spiritual) deficiencies all his time is spent in a deficient state.

Al Bayan ul mushyed, p120-1

Spiritual Proximity (qurb)

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 ghair ikhteyari. 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

Baiyet with Mufti Taqi Usmani مدظلہ

A seeker inquired about the procedure of getting baiyet to Hazrat Mufti sahib.

Ashrafiya replied,

Sayyidi wa sanadi 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.

Islahi emails: HB

Assistance in finding a Shaikh

An individual inquired about finding a Shaikh.

Ashrafiya replied,

as salam o alaykum

JazakAllah. Your email is very much evident of your talub (yearning). MashaAllah. May Allah SWT increase it more. Amin!.

You are in Karachi. It is full of Mashaykh. Best individuals for you will be;

  1. Hadrat Mawlana Mehmood Ashraf Usmnai (Allah protect him) at Darul Uloom Karachi,
  2. Hadhrat Mufti Abdur Rauf Sukkaravi (Allah protect him) also at Darul Uloom
  3. Mawlana Hakeem Mazhar (Allah protect him), at Kanqah e Ashrafiya, Gulshab Iqbal

Until you contact and establish a ta’luq with one of these, feel free to communicate with this lowly writer. We can share suggestions and discuss issues.

From now onwards, please,

  1. Make sure to guard your eyes, ears and tongue
  2. Abstain from all that is useless (lagw)
  3. Start the recitations of 4 tasbihat (only) in item #6 on For the seeker page
  4. After isha prayers make special dua for facilitation and guidance in finding a suitable Shaykh every day.
  5. Until the relationship with any on the above buzurgs is etablished feel free to communicate with me.

Makateeb e Rasheediya

One of the special deputies (khulafa) of Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Maulana Shah Wasiullah Allahabadi (Allah have mercy on them) said,

‘In traversing the path (tareeq e sulook) I benefited a lot from Maktubaat e Qudoosiya and Makatabeeb e Rasheediya*.’

Hayat Musleh al Ummat ra, p 134

* Recently a new edition of Makatabeeb e Rasheediya has been published.

It has additional letters, explanatory foot notes, translations of Persian and Arabic quotes, high quality paper and computerized print settings. It is one volume with 520 pages.

May Allah make it beneficial for all of us. Ameen!

Worship, spirituality & buzurgi

A seeker wrote,

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله

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.

Ashrafiya replied,

Salaam

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.

I hope I answered your question.
Was salaam

Islahi emails: TAF

The blockades in sulook – 1

A novice seeker wrote,

Next ~3 days: Suddenly I began feeling the daily routine as a burden. I did not feel like doing Zikr, or reading Quran, or praying any Salaah beyond the Fard, and I was getting increasing ‘khayaals’ to do Gunaah. This has always happened to me as long as I can think back. I would be doing good A’amaal for some time, and then I would face this condition. Please give some explanation of this state, and also suggest what I should do to avoid this, or if it cannot be avoided, what should I do if this happens again.

Ashrafiya replied,

This is quite normal.

The initial enthusiasm waxes away for everything.

This is the moment of test. Ego-centric self (Nafs) and Shaitan will try their best to derail and demotivate you.

Being persistent in these circumstances is the key to success.

Ignore the negative feelings and thoughts. Just complete the routine you have fixed.

It is just like eating or going to work in spite of a strong desire not to do so. But the essential activities are to be done., otherwise health will deteriorate or job will be lost. Similar is the case here. If you become lax and start being negligent, then this Divine-calling (warid) for good actions may go away (Allahuma hafizna).

Islahi emails:KN

Giving up the permissible activities

In response to a seeker’s question regarding giving up all the permissible activities Ashrafiya replied

InshaAllah, travelling on this path attaches the heart of the aspirant to Allah in such a manner that eventually all other things become petty. Outwardly he may appear to be involved in all the usual day to day activity but inwardly his condition is of perpetual awareness and attachment. May Allah give this to both of us.

Our akabir advice not to give up the permissible worldly (dunyawi) stuff outright. This is because it will create a vaccum and if that vaccum is not filled with something beneficial it will be filled with impermissible stuff. Allah save us from this.

However, when the attachement and awareness of Allah increases it automatically drives away all other useless things even though they are permissible.

Islahi emails:IM

First Things First

It is a principle of Tasawwuf: There must be NO haste in making bayiat.

Firstly you have to understand why do you want it in first place?

What expectations do you have?


Then you have to look for an appropriate Shaykh with whom you have munasibet (congeniality). That is, you feel comfortable taking instructions from him and do not feel negatively about his method, instruction etc.
Then Shaykh also needs to have munasbet with you.
You have to make consultation with scholars and other shuykh about this shaykh in particular. Only after all this you make istekhara and then make the pledge.

However, bayiat is neither essential prerequisite nor a condition to make effort for islah (reformation). This is wajib all the time. Start this right away.

The best things do now will be,

  1. Make special dua for finding a Shaykh. Especially after each esha salat for at least 5 mins.
  2. Try your best to abstain from all sinful activities. Especially those related to eyes, ears and tongue. Internet misuse is a big issue. Be careful. Bad habits once developed are very hard to rectify.
  3. Get organized. Have a daily time table. Set time for recitation of Quran sharif, few azkar and reading from a Islamic text, even a single page daily is enough.
  4. Keep good company. In people, books, websites, etc. Avoid corrupt company.
  5. Focus on your studies seriously. They are like a wajib for you.
  6. Keep looking for a Shaykh. InshaAllah, you will be successful. Till then please, feel free to contact this lowly writer for any questions. The benefit is mutual. JazakAllah

Islahi emails:ZA