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A seeker who is a medical student spent few days of his winter break with another senior seeker. After returning home he reported the following observations,
1. Time for going to mosque should be fixed and strictly followed. All preparations and wudhu should be done in advance.
2. Tongue should always be busy in remembrance (zikr) of Allah.
3. Studies have priority over all that is nafil e.g. reading religious books etc.
4. One should be good at whatever he does. Principles should be followed and one should be organized.
5. What we have to take from the Akabir and Mashaeikh is their ‘Deeni Mizaaj‘.
6. Reading the biographies of Akabir is very beneficial in getting this mizzaj e.g. Ashraf us Sawaneh
7. One should be a ‘Banda‘ (slave) of Allah SWT,. Be thankful to Allah on whatever one achieves and does not expect perfection.
May Allah make it beneficial for all of us. Amin!
Following email was received,
Assalaamu alaikum wa Rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu
I believe you are a student of Mufti Taqi Usmaani. If so, could you please pass on to him this important message from me.
I am writing to inform you of a major error in the translation of the hadeeth in Mufti Taqi Usmaani’s book Easy Good Deeds on pg 35.
(9) BEGINNING ALL IMPORTANT
WORK WITH “BISMILLAH”
Recital of “Bismillah” when starting any work
is a sign of Muslims. Our blessed and exalted Prophet has said – Arabic
The translation of the Arabic writes:
‘Every important work not began with Bumillah remains imperfect and half clone”.
I find many grammatical mistakes in the Islamic books and think it is time our respected scholars take some time to check the final publications for errors before putting them on the market. It degrades the work that they are trying to do and incorrect translations like the above are blasphemous to say the least. I think it would be better to have fewer books of better quality rather than thousands containing any errors. I lack trust in them and am reluctant to give them to my students and non-Muslims.
Could you please reply to this email to acknowledge my message. Jazakallahu khairan.
Sr K A
The reply sent was,
As salamu alaykum wrwb
I totally agree with you.
Please, keep in mind that most of these translations are being done by publishers. They are not familiar with English language and are hiring substandard translation services.
Books that are primarily written in English may be free from such mistakes. However English is not Mufti sahib’s mother tongue.
Some British and American publishers are trying to come up with better editions of these works.
I would like to ask your permission to publish your email on the website. This is to increase the awareness and importance of this issue.
In need of your dua
This should encourage our Scholars who know Urdu to edit such works (fi sabil–lillah) and come up with reliable editions that are appealing to the contemporary readers.
Books by akabir have their own barakah.
If one assigns 20 minutes daily for such task within a year many good works will be ready for publication. Moreover, it will become perpetual charity (sadqa e jariya) from them.
Wa ma tawfiqi ila billah
حضرت والا رح (حکیم الامت) نے اہل تصوف اور سالکین کے لیے بھی چند کتابوں کا نصاب مقرر فرمایا ہے۔ جس کا پڑھنا اور سمجھنا اور اس کے مطابق عمل کرنا نہایت ضروری ہے۔
انشاءاللہ اس کے مطالعہ سے سالکین کو نفس و شیطان کے مکائد معلوم ہونگے اور ہر طرح کی بدعات و ضلالت باطنیہ کی ضروری اور تفصیلی معلومات حاصل ہوگی۔
اگر کسی عالم سے سمجھ کر پڑھ لیا جاۓ تو ذیادہ مناسب ہے۔ جس طرح کتابوں کی نمبروار ترتیب دی گئ ہے اسی طرح پڑھنے کی ہدایت ہے۔
ماثرحکیم الامت رحمتہ اللہ علیہ – صفحہ ۳۲۸
It is essential for a seeker to read about the path he/she intends to travel.
This is to make sure he is aware of the goal, the methods to achieve this goal and be aware of the pitfalls in this endeavor.
This curriculum obviously contains many books authored by Hakim Al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) whom we consider to be the mujaddid of the previous century.
However, in addition it has classical Tasawwuf texts by masters of this path that include Sheikh Shahab uddin Suharwardi, Imam Ghazali, Sheikh Yafai, Sheikh Ibn e Ata-Allah Iskanderi, Maulana Jalal uddin Rumi and Sheikh Abdul Wahab Sha’rani (Allah have mercy on them all). This is to confirm that the path we follow is in accordance to the principles and practices of the masters of Tasawwuf.
Moreover, it is to keep in check the cult mentality that leads to a superiority complex and extremist attitude of shunning everyone else beside our Shuyukh.
May Allah make it beneficial for us. Amin!
For the intelligent, an indication is sufficient…Subhanallah, this story is filled with so many lessons for everyone. Please read it with the intention to learn the lessons from the life of Shaikh Abu Abdullah Al-Andalusi (RA), and also the character of his devoted and loyal students. I pray that Allah grants every reader the tawfeeq to benefit from this and to protect us all from any tests of this sort. Aameen.
Note: Since this is not a formal Arabic written entry, the rules of Arabic have not been enforced such as in the name of the Shaykh, etc.
In Baghdad, the seat of the Islamic State, was a pious saint by the name of Abu Abdullah Al-Andalusi. He was a well-known scholar and muhaddith and twelve thousand disciples sat at his feet. He knew thirty thousand ahadith by heart, and could recite the Quran in all the various modes of Qiraat.
On a certain occasion he was going on a journey and was accompanied with a large crowd of attendants among whom were the well-known Junayd Baghdadi and Shaikh Shibli Rahimahumullah.
Shaikh Shibli continues the story: Our caravan was travelling along safely and comfortably with the grace of Allah, until we passed by an area where Christians were residing. When we reached the Christian village, we searched for water but could not find any. We went about the village and discovered that there were many churches, temples of sun-worship and synagogues. Some of the people worshipped idols and others prayed to the cross. We were amazed at their condition.
We passed all this and reached the outskirts of the village where we found a well and a few girls drawing water for people to drink. Amongst these girls was one who was exceedingly beautiful. She wore a gold necklace around her neck. When Shaikh Abu Abdullah saw her the colour of his face changed. The Shaikh asked the other girls who she was.
They replied: “This is the daughter of the ruler of this village.”
The Shaikh replied: “But, why has her father dishonoured her by leaving her to give people water to drink?”
The girls replied: “Her father has done this so that when she marries she will be able to honour and serve her husband. He does not want her to become boastful of her status.”
The Shaikh sat down with his head bent forward and remained silent. For three days he did not eat or drink. He would only perform his Salaah. His disciples and companions did not know what to do or say.
Shaikh Shibli says : ‘I decided to speak to him. I approached him and said, “O Shaikh, your disciples and companions are perplexed with your silence for the last three days. Please speak to us.”
The Shaikh replied: “O people, know that my heart has become filled with love for the girl I saw the other day. It is not possible for me under any circumstances to leave from here.”
Shaikh Shibli replied: “Our leader! You are the spiritual guide of Iraq. Your piety is well-known far and wide. Your disciples number over twelve thousand. By the sanctity of the Noble Quran do not bring disgrace to us and them.”
The Shaikh replied: “O people, my lot has already been sealed by fate. I am nothing. The cloak of sainthood has been removed from me and the signs of guidance have been taken away from me.”
Saying this the Shaikh began weeping bitterly. “Proceed and leave me alone. My fate has been sealed,” he told them.
We were astonished. We begged Allah for His protection and we cried until the land beneath our feet became wet with our tears.
We returned to Baghdad. When the people heard of our return, they arrived in large numbers at the outskirts of the city to meet the Shaikh. They saw that he was not with us and asked where he was. We told them the entire story. Many of his disciples died out of grief when they heard of his condition. Others cried in sorrow and disbelief. Many begged Allah to guide the Shaikh to the right path and return him to them. All his places of instruction and preaching were closed down.
We remained in this sad condition for one full year. Finally, I, together with a few companions decided to visit the village again and find out how our Shaikh was doing. When we reached the village we asked regarding him and were told that he was in the woods looking after pigs. We asked: “What has happened?” We were told that he had proposed for the girl in marriage. But, the girl’s father had refused saying that her suitor had to meet certain conditions : he had to follow the same religion as her, he had to become a servant in the church and he had to look after the pigs. The Shaikh had fulfilled all these conditions and was currently seeing to the pigs.
“With broken hearts and tears streaming down our eyes, we went to the woods to find him. He was standing amongst the pigs. Around his waist was a string of beads. On his head was the traditional Christian hat. He stood leaning on the staff that he once used to lean on when delivering the sermon in the mihraab!
When he saw us he bowed his head in shame. We came nearer and said, “Assalaamu Alaikum.” He replied: “Wa Alaikumus salaam”.
Shaikh Shibli then asked: “O Shaikh, what is all this? What has happened to you? What has happened to all your knowledge and virtue?”
The Shaikh replied: “My dear friend and brothers, I am now no longer in control. Whatever Allah has desired for me, has come to pass. I was once amongst His beloved ones. Now He has thrown me very far away from His door. O Beloved ones of Allah, beware of being rejected and distanced from Allah. O Beloved ones of Allah, beware of Allah’s anger and being cut off from Him.”
Then turning towards the heavens he said: “O my Lord, I never expected such treatment from You.” Then he began crying bitterly and appealing to Allah.
Shaikh Shibli also begged Allah in a loud voice : “Only from you do we seek help. Upon You only do we rely. By Your grace, remove this difficulty from us! We have been overcome. Only you can save us!”
When the pigs heard our crying they began to rub their heads in the sand and began to yell so loudly that the mountains appeared to wail. Shaikh Shibli says : “I thought Qiyaamah had come.” The Shaikh continued to cry uncontrollably.
Shaikh Shibli continues: We said to him : “Shaikh, why don*t you return with us to Baghdad?” The Shaikh replied : “How can I? I have to see to the pigs, although I once saw to the hearts of men!”
I asked the Shaikh : “You were a Haafiz of Quraan and you could recite the seven modes of Qiraat. Do you remember anything of the Quraan?”
The Shaikh answered : “I have forgotten everything except two verses of the Quraan: ‘He who Allah disgraces, none can grant him honour. Allah does as He wishes.’ And, secondly, the verse, ‘He who chooses kufr (disbelief) over Imaan (faith) he has certainly gone astray.’
I asked : “You knew thirty thousand ahadith of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Do you still remember any?”
He answered : “Only one: ‘One who leaves his faith, kill him!’ ”
Amazed at his condition, we left the Shaikh and headed for Baghdad. However, after we had walked for three days we suddenly saw the Shaikh in front of us. He was coming out of a river, where he had just performed a bath. In a loud voice he proclaimed the shahaadah: “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is His messenger.”
We could not control our joy and happiness when we saw him. He asked us for some pure clothing which he then wore. He then performed Salaah. We expressed our gratitude to Allah for returning him to us and we asked him what had happened to him.
He replied : “When you left me, I turned to Allah with my former love and affection for Him : ‘O my Protector, I am a sinner and a transgressor.’ Allah forgave me and covered me in His mercy.”
We asked him : “But, why were you put through such an intense trial?”
The Shaikh replied: “When we arrived in the village and saw the temples, synagogues and churches I thought to myself: ‘These people are nothing compared to me. I believe and worship one Allah.’ At that moment I heard a voice from within me saying: ‘This Iman that you have, is not due to your goodness in any way. If you so wish, We will show you right now.’ Immediately I felt as if something left my heart and flew away. That was my Imaan leaving me.”
Shaikh Shibli says: “We were overjoyed. Our caravan arrived in Baghdad with great joy. The Shaikh’s places of teaching and preaching were reopened. In a short while his students numbered over forty thousand. Allah again returned to him his knowledge of Quraan and Hadith and blessed him with further knowledge.” (Al-Mustatraf Fi Kulli Fann An-Mustadhraf)
*Mufti Mohammad Shafi (Allah have mercy on him) published the story in Urdu with this tittle.
It is highly recommended that those individuals who are proceeding to the radiant blessed city of Medinah have this book with them.
Thorough reading with intention to follow each and every Sunna must be done. The reading should be organized in such a manner that whole book is completed in their stay. It will bring much blessings and save them from wasting time in idle talk and involvement in suspicious or sinful activity.
As per sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) the memorization of the Prophetic prayer wordings in Arabic must be done. These wordings have their own barakah and radiance.
Insha Allah, this will increase the chances of their visitation to be accepted.
wa ma taufiqi illah billah!
Hakim al Ummah Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) recommended a curriculum for the seekers to develop a clear understanding of the path of Tasawwuf.
The text included are arranged in particular order. They start with the simple basic books of Hakim al Ummah and move to Imam Ghazali’s Arbaeen and then to more advanced text such as Mathnawi of Mawlana Rumi, Adaab al Uboodiyah of Imam Sharani and Akmal ush Sheyam explanation of Al Hikam of Shaikh Ibn e AtaAllah al Iskanderi (Allah have mercy on them).
In addition to clearing concepts, the reading of these texts motivates the seeker to be firm on the path and to progress further.
Senior Shuyuk of our path used to complete the reading and explanation of this curriculum in special sessions reserved only for the serious seekers.
Individual seekers must read these books diligently like textbooks. They should mark the outstanding passages and take notes for later review.
Shaikh Mansur Ali Khan (Allah preserve him) said,
‘All praise is for Allah.
Some of the things that my Shaikh Arif billah Dr Abdul Hayy Arifi (Allah have mercy on him) instructed me to do have become an essential part of my every day routine (that is for more than 35 or 40 years now).
This includes reading from the book Nashru-Teyb.
Shaikh Arifi instructed me that after the daily recitation of Holy Quran read a page or two from this book.’
Ar-Rehab district, Jeddah, 11/1/2013, after asr
This book is about our master Prophet Mohammed (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Hakim al Ummah Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) compiled it in special state of Prophet’s love and yearning. A sincere reader benefits immensely from it spiritually.
In the “Introduction” of Malfuzat e kamalat e Ashrafiya it is stated;
‘The sayings of the recent pious predecessors are most beneficial in reformation of heart (qalb) and cleansing of the lower self (nafs). This is because of the peculiar conditions, temperaments, preferences and capabilities of these recent pious being relatively familiar to the reader.
Ma’arif al-Akabir, page 47
Shaikh Iqbal Quraishi (Allah preserve him) said,
‘Following benefits are derived from reading the sayings (malfuzat) of the pious;
1. Awareness of the blame worthy morals.
2. Knowledge of the deceptions of the lower self (nafs) and Shaytan.
3. Being able to recognize mistakes.
4. Riddance of lots of incorrect thoughts.
5. Clarification of many perplexities of knowledge and (execution of) actions.
6. Knowledge of the path (tareeq) and how to practically walk on it.
7. Acquiring knowledge and marifah.‘
Ma’arif al-Akabir, page 48
A seeker informed sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) about the extra time he had available daily and requested for advice on how to utilize it appropriately.
Sayyidi wa sanadi said,
‘Do two things in this time.
Firstly, perform excessive remembrance of Allah.
On request for further elaboration on what specific form of remembrance would be appropriate for him. Sayyidi said,
‘Perform the ‘dowazdah tasbih‘. And if you already do this in morning (as the usual daily routine prescribed for seekers) then repeat it again in this spare time.’
The second thing to do is to read the biographies of the pious predecessors meticulously. High light and mark the beneficial passages for future review.
Start with the Sawanih e Qasimi of Shaikh Mawlana Qasim Nanotawi written by Professor Mawalan Anwarul Hasan Sheirkoti (Allah have mercy on them) if you can get hold of it. It is difficult to keep focused in the one written by Mawlana Manazir Hasan Gillani (Allah have mercy on him). Then read Tazkirat ur Raheed, Tazkirat ul Khalil, Ashraf us sawanih and Arwah e salasa.’
Holiday Inn Salam, Jeddah, 15th May 2012, after esha
Arif billah Dr. Abdul Hayy Arifi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘Wasting time in the hobby of reading newspaper & unimportant books, attending ceremonious gatherings, or participating in useless entertainments results in failure to accomplish the essential things to be done. This (eventually) creates commotion and anxiety in one’s mind.’
Talemaat e Arifi ki roshini mein: Islah e haal aur Sukoon e qalb, page 41
Arif-billah Dr. Abdul Hayy ‘Arifi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘In reality the true knowledge is that which is incorporated practically into one’s life bringing about a better change.
Otherwise, there are many other pleasurable activities (and acquiring knowledge or information is one of them).
Sawanih o talimaat e Hazrat Arifi ra, page 637
حضرت حکیم الامت مولانا اشرف علی تھانوی قدس اللہ سرہ