Category Archives: C. Blame worthy Morals

The bad moral characteristics that have to be removed from within ourselves

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!

Deceptions of Nafs

Shaikh Ahmed Arqam Balkhi (Allah have mercy on him) narrates that once my inner-self (nafs) insisted that I go and join the battle (jihad). I was surprised. In Quran Allah says that nafs commands to do evil and my nafs was telling me to do something virtuous. How can this be possible?

I confronted the nafs and said that most probably you are sick of staying in solitude and want that I go in the army where people will pay respect to me. However, I am going to fight alone (not join the army). Nafs agreed. I became more suspicious. I told him that I will fight without ammunition and die first. He agreed to it also. I told him many similar things and he agreed to all.

I was perplexed.

I prayed fervently to Allah to show me nafs’ deception.

In a vision (mukashafa) I saw my nafs.

He said that every day you kill me several times by not doing what I command, so if you go for Jihad and are killed instantaneously then it will be easier.

Moreover, no one knows about this daily struggle. It is hidden from all. But if you are killed in battlefield everyone will speak highly about you. All will say Ahmed is a martyr (shaheed).

The deception of nafs are complex and deep. They requires consultation with a mentor (murshid).

Tanveer ul Afaq: Shah Turab Ali Qalandar (Allah have mercy on him)

Allah’s decree: Accept or be upset about it

Our master Shaykh Abdus Salaam ibn e Mashish (Allah have mercy on him) said,

There are two vices that erase all good actions. First is, being upset with whatever Allah decides for us, and second is being cruel and unjust to fellow human beings.

And there are two virtues that wipe out all the wrongdoings. One is accepting the decree of Allah, and second is forgiving the fellow human beings (for their shortcomings).

(Usman Hijazi. 16/1/2021 Stillborn)

Remorse: A milestone

A seeker wrote,

As for sins of the eyes, I am still not able to stop them. But I can feel an increased feeling of remorse at doing them. I think previously I had less remorse when I did them.

Ashrafiya replied,

This is a step towards its control. InshaAllah.

(Reaffirm your determination and try your best to abstain. Make dua for protection. If you slip, God-forbid then repent and pay the penalty set for it.)

Islahi emails:KN

Staying focused

A seeker wrote,

At the movement i am suffering from FOCUS problem during my study and Office work.
Its happening with me since 1 year. When I try to FOCUS on the book , different kinds of negative thoughts hold my mind , therefore I cant understand a easy paragraph. And sometimes when this problem increases, I face problems in my official work also.

Ashrafiya replied,

Do not worry.
InshAllah this will improve with time. For now do the following,
Organize your time.
Keep things simple.
Do one task at a time.

For now just read the books of Hakim al Umma Maulana Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him).

Start with Talim ud deen.

Read at least one page daily.

Islahi emails:QK

Random thoughts!

A seeker wrote,

When any opportunity of leading Salah (or any other opportunity which may put in prominence) comes up, I can almost “feel” my Nafs getting pleasure as if I’ve already taken that opportunity. But I make sure I run away from that opportunity, by either leaving that place, or distracting myself by doing some Zikr, or reading some book, or thinking about something. I conclude from these feelings that Hubb e jah has not left me, but Inshallah I’m trying to suppress it as much as I can.

Ashrafiya replied,

One has to differnetiate between the random thoughts (wasawes) and the real spiritual disease.
Wasawes are created by nafs and Shaitan to bother us and keep us occupied in them instead of the the real issues.

Whereas, the spiritual diseases are all ikhteyari. That is volitional, within your own control. You consciously decide to do this to get pleasure.

In my lowly opinion you are having wasawes. Just ignore them and keep yourself busy in what needs to be done.

Islahi emails:KN

How to write a Islahi letter?

Following is a communication between a seeker requesting guidance on writing a letter to his spiritual mentor and the Ashrafiya reply.

1) How does one begin and end a letter? a. Does one write I hope you are well or ask How are you, etc.
b.or should one proceed directly?

a. It is quite appropriate to do so.
b. Sometimes I write some sentences of supplications (duaiya kalimat), like may Allah keep your blessed presence guiding us for long with afiyet or some times express gratitude to Allah for being able to communicate for islah, etc.

Best is to make a dua for facilitation in writing what is best for my own islah prior to writing the letter and then proceed with whatever comes to mind.

Is it appropriate to say Jazakumullahu khairan at the end? If not, what should be said as an expression of gratitude?

It is fine.
Also humbly request for special dua.

2) a.What is included in the ma’moolaat?
b.Does one write his daily routine to th shaikh?
c.What about the adhkaar, does one repeat his adhkaar in every letter?

a.The daily tasbihat, tilawet, munajet maqbool, qaza namaz wa roza and recommended reading.
b. Not all the time. Once is enough and if there is major change then report it to him again.
c. No. Just inform that whether you are consistent on the adhkar that were instructed to you or not.

3) Should one analyze his condition himself and report it to the shaikh, or should one merely report the circumstances?

In issues dealing with blameworthy characteristics (razail) one should tell the whole scenario and let Shaykh diagnose and treat.
In issues felt within (halaat) one should tell directly whatever that feeling/emotion is. If there is none then report that there is no new halat.

Islahi emails:IK

How to develop Determination?

The touchstone (kimiya) for islah is determination (himmat).

It is developed by

  1. Increasing one’s knowledge about the importance of the actions being neglected.
  2. Being in the company of people who already have determination, the pious (buzurgan e deen).
  3. Reading about the predecessor pious (akabir and ahl-e-himmat o muhabbat). Book Nuzhatul Basateen is best compilation about this.
  4. Making dua regularly. Asking Allah for determination everyday.
  5. Keeping in contact with the Shaykh irrespective of one’s condition (bad or good).

Islahi emails::MRK

Levels of beautification

A seeker wrote,

The aspect of show off (riya kari). How do I figure out if we are spending money to beautify the house for ourselves or so that it looks nice for guests?

Is decorating so that it looks nice to the guests riya kari?


Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) reminds us of the 4 levels of beatification as told by Hakim al-Ummat ra,

Bare minimum for residence (Rehaish)

Comfortable living (aasaish)

Decorating it (araaish) for ones own liking and

Decorating it to show off (numaish).

First 3 are permissible and the last is impermissible.

Islahi emails:TA

Extravagant spending

A seeker wrote,

In the last month I spent a lot of time along with my family members on picking up the interior materials like carpet, hardwood, cabinets, counters etc. We also got a lot of stuff that we really liked it e.g. best quality hardwood flooring, better appliances etc. For a lot of the things we could have gone with much cheaper stuff but we spent money on what we liked in a reasonable limit. At the same time I feel we didn’t stretch our selves beyond our means. A few points that I wanted to mention InshaAllah the aspect of ‘fuzool kharchi’ Although I spent the money, I am thinking that may be the $20,000 spent on the upgrades should have been given to the poor (for the size of our house I have normally seen people spending around 60000 – 80000 in upgrades, as the builders give really cheap stuff by default).

Ashrafiya replied,

This is not extravagant spending (fuzool kharchi).

The money spend for the comfort of family, friend and other Muslims is also rewarding.

Also, it will make your thankfulness (shukur) more heartfelt.

Islahi emails:TA

Feeling Gifted

A seeker wrote, I wanted to explain one behaviour in this regard. Whenever I see people who have been blessed a little less in one department e.g. Appearance or intelligence, a thought comes to my mind like feeling sorry for the person. I try my best not to be judgemental about the person based on that or comment in front of anyone else. I feel guilt about this reaction.
I wanted to add that I don’t feel this way when the person leading the
salah is older than me or has a more shari appearance or demonstrably
more knowledgeable in Islam.
Which may mean that I consider myself superior to someone who does not fit in one of the above mentioned groups, astaghfirullah. Although I do try my best to think and negate this false feeling of superiority when I remember.

Ashrafiya replied,

It is natural to feel gifted compared to others.

However, we must be excessively thanful to Allah for this benovence for selecting us and not placing us in the deprived category.

Also, we should remind ourself that these blessings are purely a gift of Allah and my own effort or capabilities or virtues having nothing whatsoever to do with them. Allah who has given this has full control to take away whenever He so decides.

Combining these thoughts actively will inshaAllah lead to more humbleness and gratitude.

Islahi emails:TA

Humility

A seeker wrote,

This question is about an issue that I feel seriously effects me. Its about considering myself better than others. I am not sure how to explain it properly but I feel that I think this way. I feel there is a sense of ‘kibr’ in me, the humility that should be the defining characteristic of a good muslim just seems to be absent. I feel I have to fake the humility constantly.
I constantly try to focus on the good qualities of other people and ponder upon the humility of our pious predecessors. But I feel my natural instinct is a feeling of superiority which I know has no basis.

Ashrafiya replied,
InshaAllah, with increasing marifet this humility will become more evident.

For the present make it a practice to recall whenever you see someone that he is superior to me and I am the most inferior (haqeer) of all.

Islahi emails

Doubt of Show off

A seeker wrote,

When I am asked to lead a salat I notice that I tend to offer it more properly. I feel that I have the responsibility of others. Is this show off (riyakari)?

Ashrafiya replied,
No. It is natural to do so under pressure. However, there should not be any drastic changes. Also, Imam’s salah should be very concise and light.

Islahi emails

Living in joint family

In response to a question regarding living in joint family Ashrafiya replied,

It is highly discouraged these days.

However, you have to be very gentle, humble and diplomatic in conveying this to your parents.

Do it slowly. Be open. Prepare well before the discussion. Show extreme empathy and understanding. Stress that you are totally committed for close family ties and it is only to maintain these it is in the best interest of all to live separately. It can be upper lower level or adjacent or same neighborhood residence.

Make lot of dua regarding this. InshaAllah best will happen.

Islahi emails:TA