Category Archives: A. Reality of Tasawwuf

The nature, definition, goals and principles of Tasawwuf

How to develop self control to avoid sinful?

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

‘The second requirement for (true) repentance is leaving all sinful involvement immediately.

This can not be done without determination and self control (himmat).

The only way to develop this determination and self control is the company (suhba) of pious and saintly individuals and reading or listening about them.’

Tahseel Qasd is Sabeel, page 16

Tabligh

Sayyidi Hazrat Aqdas Maulana Justice Mufti Muhamamd Taqi Usmani Sahab Damat Barakaatuhum,

Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatulla.

I make dua (prayers) from the bottom of my heart that Allah Ta’ala continues giving Hazrat the Tawfeeq to serve His Deen with good health and ‘aafiyah. Ameen!

Hazrat, describing the love and respect that this incapable one has for Hazrat would make this letter very long. In short, I keep making duas for you from the very bottom of my heart.

Hazrat is very busy, yet regarding one point I don’t expect to get the same level of satisfaction from anyone else’s answer except from Hazrat. I hope Hazrat would bestow us with an answer.

Hazrat, from the books of our elders (Translator: previous generations of Islamic scholars) and Hazrat’s talk titled “Reality of Deen is taslim-o-raza (translator: acceptance and being content)”, the point has entered my heart that fulfilling one’s desires or interests is not Deen. Deen is fulfilling the commandment and need of Deen which is applicable in one’s current situation and time. On the other hand the elders of Tablighi Jamat present the concept of “Qurbani” (Sacrifice) as the soul of Deen. Due to these different understandings there is confusion as to which mode of action should be taken.

For example, the week in which the monthly (Tablighi) 3 days of the previous (Tablighi) Ameer of Pakistan — Sahab (Allah extend his life) was planned, in the same week his father-in-law passed away. He was thinking what to do in this situation. If taslim-o-raza (i.e. acceptance and being pleased with the decree of Allah Ta’aala) is considered, then it was possible to postpone the 3 days to another week in order to console his wife. But the Ameer Sahab of Pakistan gave preference to his 3 days and left. When he returned he apprehended that his wife would be upset, but his wife was unusually happy, and said that I saw my father in a dream last night. He said that if — (Ameer Sahab of Pakistan) comes then don’t be upset with him. Allah Ta’ala forgave me because of his going for 3 days.

According to the understanding that Deen is to surrender one’s wishes to the decisions of Allah Ta’ala, he should not have gone for 3 days in that week. Then how does this going out for 3 days become a means of forgiveness for his father-in-law?

We hear from most elders of Tabligh that Kufr (Disbelief) will not break just by giving the recommended times such as 40 days, because for Kufr (Disbelief) to break “Qurbani” (Sacrifice) is a condition. For example, that the wife is sick in the house, the agricultural produce is ready for harvest, there is shortage of money, and the worldly conditions are difficult, in this situation if one leaves for Tabligh then Hidayat (Guidance) will spread. Now taslim-o-raza (i.e. surrendering to the decisions of Allah Ta’ala) would mean that when the wife is sick then taking care of her should be given priority. When the agricultural produce is ready then harvesting it should be given priority. In such scenarios should one act according to the concept of taslim-o-raza  (i.e. surrendering one’s desires to the decisions of Allah Ta’ala ) or should one follow the course of action which will involve “Qurbani” (Sacrifice)? I think it was the battle of Tabuk in which the dates were ready for harvest, but according to the concept that the reality of Deen is “Qurbani” (Sacrifice) the Sahaba (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them) went out in the Path of Allah Ta’ala leaving the dates without harvesting them.

A person asked an ‘Alim (Islamic Scholar) that a person goes out in the Path of Allah Ta’ala in the condition that his old father is blind, his wife is young, and the environment around his house is not safe, and he has small children. The ‘Alim (Islamic Scholar) replied that if the person goes out in this situation then he has done big injustice. The ‘Alim was told that Hazrat Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) was in the same situation when he went out with Rasulullah (Peace be upon him).  According to the concept of taslim-o-raza (i.e. surrendering one’s desires to the decisions of Allah Ta’ala) it seems Hazrat Abu Bakr (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) should not have left his family. But the elders (of Tabligh) say that if a person leaves in this kind of situation then on the one hand Kufr (Disbelief) will break in the world, and on the other hand his own Yaqeen (strong belief) will increase and also the Yaqeen (strong belief) of his family members, that the real Protector and Provider of sustenance is Allah Ta’ala.

We hear from some people that since Islam was new in the times of the Sahaba (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them) so they had much more responsibility of Tabligh, but now that Islam is no longer something new the responsibility of Tabligh is less than the responsibility on the Sahaba (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them). The Tablighi brothers say that since the people are going away from Deen similar to the people in the time of Sahaba (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them) won’t the ruling ( in terms of the responsibility to do Tabligh) return to what it was in the times of Sahaba (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them)?

The senior Islamic Scholars say that going out in Tabligh is Fard-e-Kifaya (i.e. an obligatory act, however, by some people acting upon it the rest shall be absolved of their obligation, similar to the status of Janaaza Salaat.). But the senior people of Tabligh say that Kifaya (literally “enough”) means that it should be enough for fulfilling the Fard (obligation). So is the going out of hundreds or thousands fulfilling this Fard (obligation)? (Translator: meaning to say that it is not).

We hear from some friends that in one journey Rasulullah (Peace be upon him) told the Sahaba (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them) to break their fast but did not stop the Tabligh-related journey. Similarly Hanzhalah (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) was in need of compulsory bath, and the demand of the time was to take bath, but he preferred going in the Path of Allah Ta’ala in his state of ritual impurity.

Hazrat I hope I have explained my doubts to sufficient extent. Further lengthening of this letter doesn’t seem appropriate. Hazrat, with your juristic foresight and God-given understanding please explain with some detail that when the people of Tabligh present some need of Deen, and at the same time other demand of Shariah comes up, then should we surrender our wishes to the wishes of Allah Ta’ala and fulfill the demand of Shariah, or should we, like the Sahaba (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them), postpone those demands of Shariah?

Hazrat, I would like to ask another question related to what has been written above. There seems to be a difference between the viewpoint of senior Islamic scholars and the seniors of Tabligh. For example the common Islamic Scholars consider going out in Tabligh as Fard-e-Kifaya (i.e. an obligatory act, however, by some people acting upon it the rest shall be absolved of their obligation, similar to the status of Janaaza Salaat) while the Tablighi brothers say its Fard-e-Ain (i.e. an obligatory act which every individual has to fulfil, similar to the status of Fardh Salaat). Similar to Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him), who gave the Fatwa (legal ruling) half a century ago that companionship of Ahlullah (friends of Allah Ta’ala) is Fard-e-Ain, because at that time the correction of one’s outer and inner actions was near impossible without the companionship of Ahlullah (friends of Allah Ta’ala). Now it is observed and is an undeniable reality that going out in Tabligh has many times caused a revolution in the lives of not only lay people but also scholars. Based on the rule that the means of fulfilling a compulsory act itself becomes compulsory, if going out in Tabligh is called Fard-e-Ain then what is the status of this ruling in the light of Shariah?

Wassalam

Muhammad Rashid

Answer:

My respected and honorable one, Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuhu. I received your letter. The way you make dua for this lowly incapable one, I don’t know how I can thank you for this. May Allah Ta’ala give the best reward for this in this world and the Hereafter, Ameen!

The things you have asked about Tableehi Jamat, I present some basic principles related to them, May Allah Ta’ala make them a source of satisfaction.

1)

a) When Jihad (Holy War) becomes Fard-e-Ain then it becomes a situation of emergency, and at that time neither business is permissible, nor do the normal rights of one’s wife and children remain as they do during peace, and nor does any such action remain permissible which is against Jihad and which will be a hindrance towards Jihad.

b) All the examples you have presented from the times of Sahaba (companions of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them) are related to this situation (i.e. when Jihad had become Fard-e-Ain). Jihad being compulsory at the time of Battle of Tabuk was also announced in the Holy Quran.

c) And Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had clarified the same in two clear words, so agriculture products which were ready to be harvested, or household problems, could not become a hindrance to the Jihad. Despite this the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered a brave companion like Ali (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) to stay back in Madinah and look after the weak ones. Hazrat Ali (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) desired to take part in the battle to get the virtues of participating in Jihad, but due to the order of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) he surrendered his wishes to the orders of Allah Ta’ala and His Prophet, and stayed back in Madinah and looked after the weak.

d) The event of Hazrat Handhalah (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) also took place at a time when the enemy had already attacked, and Jihad had already become Fard-e-Ain.

e) Hijrat (migration) with the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) had also become Fard (compulsory) on Hazrat Siddque-e-Akbar (i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakr (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him)) and he fulfilled this commandment, otherwise in normal circumstances the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) had given preference to serving the parents over Jihad, and made such companions return back to their homes who had presented themselves for Jihad, while their parents were crying at their going.

If going in Tabligh for 3 days or 40 days is considered Fard-e-Ain in a similar way as when Jihad becomes a Fard, then it would mean that doing business, manufacturing, agriculture, nothing would be permissible, and everyone should go out in Tabligh at all times, similar to the ruling that other things become impermissible when Jihad becomes Fard-e-Ain. The question is, that if 3 days or 40 days is Fard-e-Ain then what are its limits? Does any order of the Quran or Hadith specify it? Secondly, when a person returns from his 3 days and spends the rest of the month doing business, agriculture, etc. then would going out for Tabligh not be Fard-e-Ain at that time? If it will not remain Fard-e-Ain after returning from 3 days then it means it was not Fard-e-Ain in the first place. And if it remains Fard-e-Ain then how would doing business and earning a living be permissible?

2) You have written that “in one journey Rasulullah (Peace be upon him) told the Sahaba (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with them) to break their fast but did not stop the Tabligh-related journey.”

Firstly this was not a journey for Tabligh, it was the journey for the Jihad for conquest of Makkah. Secondly, the fasts were broken due to extreme difficulty. There was no reason to stop the journey; at most there was extreme heat, but it was not necessary to leave Jihad due to personal difficulty. Because the difficulty was only on one’s own self and nobody else suffered a loss to their rights or wealth.

3) The meaning that you have written of Fard-e-Kifaya, if this is really the meaning of Kifaya then Jihad should never have been Fard-e-Kifaya throughout the history of Islam, because in all eras, the number of non-Muslims has always been more than three times the number of Muslims. Millions of people have been away from Deen in all eras. So when the Muslim jurists called Jihad a Fard-e-Kifaya then were the majority of people at that time Muslim? When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) passed away then the number of Sahaba is said to be one hundred and twenty four thousand, which is a small number compared to the population of the world. But did Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ever order his companions to leave all other obligations and go out to other cities and countries? In reality Fard-e-Kifaya only means that if an appropriate number of people are doing this job then this becomes sufficient for the fulfillment of other people’s obligations as well.

4) The is no contradiction between true concepts of taslim-o-raza (i.e. surrendering one’s desires and being pleased with what Allah Ta’ala plans for a slave) and qurbani (i.e. sacrifice). Fulfilling the commandment of Allah Ta’ala requires sacrifice. Sometimes this sacrifice is in the form of one’s life, sometimes one’s wealth and sometimes one’s desires. When the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded Ali (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) to stay back in Madinah, then his following this order involved his surrendering his wishes and desires to the command of Allah Ta’ala and His Messenger (peace be upon him), and at the same time it was also a sacrifice of his own wishes and desires. When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stopped Hazrat Huzaifah Bin Yamaan from participating in the battle of Badr, and he fulfilled this order, then it was a sacrifice of the companion’s desires. When Jihad becomes Fard-e-Ain then sacrifice of one’s wealth and worldly desires is given. And when it becomes Fard-e-Kifaya even then he gives the same kind of sacrifices, but unless Jihad becomes Fard-e-Ain the sacrifices one gives are restricted to one’s own self. The rights of others are not sacrificed. But if the others whose rights are due on one, themselves happily forego their rights then this will be an act of reward for them, and participating in Jihad or Da’wat will be a means of great reward. The example you gave of the elder whose father-in-law passed away yet he went out for his 3 days, if his wife did not face any unbearable difficulty due to his going out then his action was not impermissible according to Shariah. But there can be difference of opinion whether staying with his wife would have been more rewarding or whether going out was more rewarding. And dreams have no status in terms of deriving rulings of Shariah based on them.

5) One point is beyond the understanding of this lowly one that to encourage people to go for Tabligh, stories of the Jihad of the Sahaba are always used, but practically the stance towards Jihad is as if it isn’t an obligation of Shariah at all. Rather it is considered practically obsolete, and sometimes Jihad is even is opposed.

6) The above doesn’t mean I am against Tablighi Jamat or that I don’t give importance to the work of Tabligh. The reality is that the work of Tabligh is very important. The Tablighi Jamat has as a whole, with the Grace of Allah Ta’ala, done great work which deserves praise, and the Muslim Ummah has derived great benefit from it. But to emphasize the importance of some work it is not necessary that it must be called Fard-e-Ain at all costs. Secondly, at the same time where it is important to co-operate with and help the Tablighi Jamat, it is also necessary to correct the exaggerations which are sometimes spoken either by those who have newly joined the Tablighi Jamat, or those who do not take care to put things within their limits. And sometimes these exaggerations even reach the point where orders of Shariah are changed. May Allah Ta’ala give us the correct understanding of His Deen and allow us to practice on it. Ameen! Wassalam.

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

Lowly Muhammad Taqi Usmani (May he be forgiven)

28-03-1418

1) For details see Hazrat’s book “تکملہ فتح الملہم” کتاب الامارۃ، مسئلۃ فرضیۃ الجہاد ج۳ ص۳۷۴

2) (۲) ما کان لاھل المدینۃ و من حولھم من الاعراب ان یتخلفوا عن رسول اللہ ولا یرغبوا بانفسھم عن نفسہ، الآیۃ (سورۃ التوبۃ ۱۲۰)

3) (۳) و فی صحیح البخاریؒ باب من حبسہ العذر عن الغزو

ج۱ ص۳۱۸ حدثنا احمد بن یونس ثنا رھیر ثنا حمید

Intekhab e Kaiseri

Signs of Spiritual infliction & depravity

Abu Usman Hairi wrote to Mohammed bin Fazal (Allah have mercy on them) inquiring about the signs of spiritual infliction and depravity (شقاوہ).

He replied,

‘They are three,

1. The knowledge is present but there is deprivation from action (according to it).

2. The actions are present but they are void of sincerity.

3. The opportunity to be in the company (suhba) of pious is present but there is no reverence for them (in one’s heart). ‘

Al Risala Al Qushayri via Tilawat e Quran, page, 42-3

Blameworthy morals: removal

Qazi Burhan ud Deen (Allah have mercy on him) said in regards to removal of blameworthy moral characteristics,

‘Understand it by an example. A rodent drops dead in a water well and starts rotting. It pollutes the water. The smell, taste and color of water changes. The water becomes impure (na-pak). The only way to clean this water well is to first locate the rotting rodent carcass and remove it. Then filthy water has to be drained (the amount is as per fiqhi recommendation).

Attempts to clean well, for example by adding more clean water, perfumes, sanitizing chemicals, etc. , but without removing the rodent carcass will remain futile.

The rotten rodent has to be removed. ‘

Madarij as Sulook, Dr Mir Waliuddeen rehmatullah

Similar is our case. The blameworthy morals remain imbedded in our soul. They spoil all the good actions we perform. In spite of all the supererogatory (nawafil) acts of worship, like excessive remembrance (dhikr) of Allah, salah, Hajj, Umrah, financial charities and physical effort etc. our condition does not change for better. The serene and absolute submission to Allah never materializes. The indulgence in sinful continues whenever there is an opportunity and there is hope of any physical pleasure or financial or social gain or loss. God-forbid, this continues forever.

Remember Tasawwuf is tazkiyah. Purification.

The Soul has to be purified from all the blameworthy moral traits.

All the other things in Tasawwuf are ancillary to this main objective.

May Allah make it easy for us all. Ameen!

Blameworthy morals: list

Following is a list of most of the blameworthy morals that need to removed in islah/tazkiyah.

1. Ignorance/جھل

2. Heedlessness/ غفلت

3. Anger/غضب

4. Rancor/حقد

5. Resentful envy/حسد

6. Miserliness/بخل

7. Pride & boastfulness /فخرو افتخار

8. Arrogance/ کبر

9. Conceit/ عجب

10. Illusion/غرور

11. Ostentation/ریا

12. Love of prestige/ حب جاہ

13. Love of power/ حب ریاست

14. Love of material things/ حب مال

15. Disruption of social bonds/ قطع رحمی

16. Prying into privacy of others

17. Long hopes/طول امل

18. Greed/ حرص

19. Bad demeanor/ سُوخُلق

20. Disasters of speech/ آفات لسان: دروغ، کثرت کلام، غیبت، مزاح، نمیمہ

21. Lust/ شہوت

22. Spend-thriftiness/ اسراف

The Degrees of the Soul, p5 + Shariat wa Tariqat

Islah/Tazkiya of what?

In Tasawwuf and sulook what is meant by islah or tazkiya?

It is the cleansing of blame worthy moral characteristics (razail akhlaq) of nafs. That is ridding one’s self from arrogance, anger, show-off, envy, self-admiration, love of money and status, lustful desires, etc.

We focus on betterment of our outwards appearance and worship without paying attention to the removal of above mentioned blame worthy morals.

This is a big mistake!

The biggest obstacle in our path to achieving the pleasure of Allah is our nafs with all its blame worthy characteristics.

It is because of this lapse we see that outwardly pious-appearing  people indulge in impermissible activities whenever they are tempted by a worldly gain or are fearful of worldly loss.

May Allah give us the correct understanding of islah and facilitate it for us effectively. Ameen!

Once we acknowledge this and recognize our blame worthy moral characteristics the next step is to remove them. This is by firm determination, self-control and constant vigilance.

Remembrance of Allah (dhikr) facilitates it. Advice from Shaykh facilitates it further. But both of these are like catalysts. Without the key ingredient of determination and use of self-control they do not work alone.

Sayyidi wa sandai Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve & protect him) repeatedly instructs us that there is no formula of remembrance or litany or amulet to bring about islah. One has to use his determination and self control.

May Allah facilitate this for us all. Ameen!

Being excessively cautious in bayiah

Maulana Amin Owrakzai shaheed (Allah have mercy on him) said,

These days people have made Tasawwuf and sulook a petty issue. Bayiah is a mere ritual. Neither the disciple does anything nor does he have an intention to do (in future). Moreover khilafet is bestowed on mediocre actions and capabilities.

Previously searching for a Shaikh was like finding a suitable spouse.

After demise of (my first Shaikh) Maulana Gorghashti I approached Allama Yusuf Binori (Allah have mercy on them) for bayiah. He instructed me to recite salutations (durood) 50,000 times , istegfar 50,000 times and make istekhara every Thursday. After istekhara I saw in dream that Prophet (Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) poured his blessed saliva into my mouth. On reporting this to Shaikh he accepted my bayiah. After he passed away I struggled a lot searching for another Shaikh. After much contemplation and discussion with pious elders I settled for one. On visiting him I was instructed to recite istegfar 127,000 times in a month and do istekhara. Even after that in light of istekhara he guided me to another Shaikh.

To cut the story short, in past for bayiah one had to struggle excessively. Only after that one was able to sit at the feet of Shaikh and be in his company.

Nowadays Pirs visit mureed. Disciple has to do no significant effort. People are encouraged to commit (bayiah) using lame excuses. Shuyuk do not have self-reliance (istegna) and seekers lack yearning. Whereas, in reality a perfect (kamil) Shaikh is always in a state of fear for being accountable to Allah (for guiding others). Then, how can he invite others for his bayiah?

Risala al-Mazhar, Kohat. special issue 2017

Spiritual Progress 

Baba Fareed ud Deen Masud Ganjshakar (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘Spiritual progress lies in discipline of soul and purification of inner life not in the mechanical performance of prayers. 

If marifa (Gnosis) is desired then anger, jealousy and hatred should be completely wiped out from the heart. ‘

K A Nizami’s ‘The life and times of Shaikh Fareed ud Deen Ganjshakar rehmatullah aleh’

Vivanta Taj, Rebak, Langkawi, Malaysia

Khanqah or shop?

Khawaja Badr ud Deen Ghaznawi (Allah have mercy on him) wrote to his pir-bhai,

One of the servants of diwan (treasurer) had built a khanqah for me and arranged for the boarding and lodging of derwishes. Now a charge of embezzlement has been brought against him I am much worried and disturbed. Kindly pray for his release and welfare of the derwishes

Baba Fareed ud Deen Masud Ganjshakar (Allah have mercy on him) replied,

‘He who does not follow the principle of his master is confronted with such troubles and worries that his heart gets no peace. Who among our masters did ever construct a khanqah for himself and reside there as you have done. It was not the practice of Shaikh Qutub ud Deen or his master Shaikh Moin ud Deen (Allah have mercy on them) to construct a khanqah and set up a shop. Wherever they went or sojourned, they tried to conceal themselves from the people. ‘

K Nizami’s ‘The life and times of Shaikh Fareed ud Deen Ganjshakar’ rehmatullah aleh, page 35

Changing Shaikh

Qazi Sanaullah Panipati (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘If an individual stayed in the company of a Shaikh with best intentions (husn e eitiqaad) for a duration but did not find it effective (in bringing him closer to Allah) then it is essential (wajib) for him to leave this Shaikh and seek another one. Otherwise it will be (like) his object of worship and goal is Shaikh and not Allah. This is shirk (associating partners with Allah). ‘

Talifaat e Musleh al Umma, volume 2, page 381

Recently a sincere individual inquired regarding his Shaikh who has broken his pledge with his own Shaikh due to some serious issues, like inappropriate interactions with opposite sex and financial fraud. He wanted to know on how to proceed with this new development. 

It should be explicitly clear upfront that Tasawwuf is totally subservient to Shariah. Any negligence in observance of Shariah ruling can not be tolerated in Tasawwuf. 

In this scenario people fall into two categories,

1. Mureedeen 

2.  Mujazeen 

The most appropriate thing for mureedeen is to seek a new Shaikh. However, they must not hurry and should be more careful in making sure that they have the true Shaikh this time. Also, they must do it with extreme adab. They must continue their daily routine recitations and dhikr etc. as previously. They must not start a movement against the Shaikh at all. Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve and protect him) emphasized on this last point. They should make dua for Islah of the Shaikh they left. 

The mujazeen (who have permission to initiate others) have to declare openly that they are no more mujaaz. They have broken their baiyet (pledge). They must try for islah (reformation) of the Shaikh. However, their mureedeen and mujazeen must be told that they are now free to seek someone appropriate. They have to recognize that this step is a bigger test for them (in testing their sincerity) than the first one (faltering of their Shaikh).  They should then seek another Shaikh and do as stated above for the mureedeen.  They must remember that Allah does not waste those who are sincere in seeking His pleasure. 

May Allah protect us all from calamities of this path. 

Amin!

Clarification about Ijaza

Ijaza (permission) to initiate mureed is not synonymous with mashikhyet (being a Shaikh). 

Not all mujazeen are Shaikh!

This is especially true for the present day young very fresh mujaazeen (permission holders). 

Both the mujaaz and mureed are confused about this. 

This is because of not understanding the concept of Ijaza. 

Hakimul al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) has explicitly stated that Ijaza is like graduation certificate. It indicates that the individual has completed the very basic course. It does not mean that this individual is a certified expert in this field. However, if continues his efforts to study further he has the capacity to excel. 

Mujaazeen these days consider Ijaza a certificate of excellence (mashaikhiyet) and are eager to initiate mureed to the extent of shamelessly having agents who act like pimps. 

This is in stark contrast to the example of our pious elders (akabir). On receiving ijaza they felt extreme humility and sense of worthlessness. They wished and tried to keep it secret. Even if someone approached them for initiation they would refer him to someone reliable. Only when forced by elders they would take mureed. And even then with the same feelings of humility and worthlessness and usually not within their Shaikh’s lifetime. 

The hallmark of our akabir is extreme humility in addition to the firm adherence to Sunna. 

A fresh mujaaz of sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Taqi Usmani (Allah protect and preserve him) was instructed in year 2002 by a pious elder in the blessed city of Makkah that the real time to put effort and struggle has just started now. 

We must remind ourselves that graduates working for masters or doctorates can not even think of taking full time jobs or establishing their own setups. Similarly fresh mujazeen should not delve into setting up of khaqahs and enlisting an army of mureedeen.  They should focus on their own self for the time being. 

The naive seekers unaware of these details can not be blamed. However, the awareness of reality has to be highlighted. 

Some of the pious masters of this path (Tasawwuf) have mentioned that an individual should only take up initiating mureed after receiving an explicit  ijaza from Allah and His Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him). (And Allah knows its real meaning and may He by His benevolence make us knowledgeable. Ameen!). 

Karachi 

The signs of good overcoming the evil


Shaykh Al-Shabrawi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

The sign that the good is overcoming the evil is that you see yourself inwardly alive with the reality of faith (eman) and outwardly alive with the sharia of Islam.  This is to have the inner certainty that everything in existence moves according to the Divine will and by the Divine ability, and yet to remain outwardly active in obedience and far removed from all major sins and most minor ones, whether when amongst people or in solitude. 

Degrees of the Soul, p40

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!

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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

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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