Category Archives: C. Blame worthy Morals

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

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

Competition for wealth & destruction

Our master Amr ibn Awf (Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

By Allah, it is not poverty I fear for you, but rather I fear you will be given the wealth of the world just as it was given to those before you. You will compete for it just as they competed for it and it will destroy you just as it destroyed them.”

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2988, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2961

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!

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

Knowledge


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

‘Knowledge should in its wake bring humility, sympathy and understanding. If it created arrogance and pride then it defeated its own purpose. 

The aim of acquiring knowledge of religious law (ilm e Shariat) is to act upon it and not to harass people. ‘

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

Vivanta Taj, Rebak, Langkawi, Malaysia

Baba Fareed Ganjshakar: Sayings

Baba Fareed ud Deen Masud Ganjshakar (Allah have mercy on him) (d:664H/1266CE) is one of the Masters of our path (tareeq). 

Following are some of his blessed sayings, 

1.  Do not fulfill the desires of your nafs. The more you comply greater it will still demand. 

2. Whenever an affliction strikes you consider it to be the retribution of your wrongdoings. 

3.  Groom your inner-self (batin) more than your outward appearance. 

4.  Aspire for more spiritual progress every day. 

5.  Do good to others considering that you are doing good to yourself. 

6.  Whatever your heart dislikes (in permissible things) leave it immediately. 

7. Be in search of excuses to do good actions. 

8. Be afraid of the individual who fears you. 

9. From all the spiritual struggles controlling one’s sexual desires is the most required 

10.  If you are rich then be a philanthropist

11.  There is nothing more valuable than time. 

12.  Be critical of your own deficiencies 

13. If you want to avoid humiliation then do not ask for anything 

14.  If you want to turn whole mankind against yourself then become arrogant 

15. Defeat the planning of your enemy by consulting him

Shaikh Fareedudeen Masud Ganjshakar rehmatullah: Prof Kalique Nizami, p 535-537

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

Narcissism

Allah says:

“(Remember the time) when your great number pleased you (instilling vanity in you).”

Our master Prophet Mohammed (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“And the (spiritual) destroyers are: desires which are followed; stinginess which is obeyed; and a man being pleased with himself. And this. (last trait) is the worse of them (all).”

Dhikr without islah


A seeker wrote, ‘Nowadays my practice is that the word ” Allah Hu” comes with each breath and in the last part of the night I recite “Allah Allah” minimum for half hour and maximum one hour. Stopping the breath (habs e damm) has become such a habit that that I can’t do away with it. The count of Supreme Name (Ism Zaat) (“Allah Allah”) is not fixed. Please advise whatever is appropriate for me and whether I should not do it at all.

Hakim al Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied:

‘I do not want to listen to anything about dhikr and spiritual exercise (shugal) without (update on the effort of) reformation of morals. I bid adieu to this kind of spiritual exercise (shugal).’

 Tasheel Tarbiyatus Salik Volume 2, Page 97

Intekhabaat e Kaiseri

Greater Jihad?

Spiritual struggle, doing good and leaving the sinful esoteric and exoteric actions, has been alluded to as greater jihad (jihad e akbar) in classical Sufi texts. 

Irrespective of the debate of it being a Prophetic quote (Hadith).  Recently I came across a beautiful explanation. 

Shaikh Sayyid Shabbir Kakakhel (Allah preserve him) said that the greatness here is due to the time involved in it. The jihad (armed struggle) with an enemy is for a restricted period of time and eventually ends. Whereas, the spiritual struggle is a lifelong, daily constant squabble. It ends only with death.  

اندریں راہ می تراش و می خراش

تا دم آخر دمےفارغ مباش

JazakAllah 

Ostentation or not?

A senior advanced disciple wrote,

1. I was ill and not praying tahajjud. During that period two guests came to stay. They got up for tahajjud.

2. I thought to get up and pray, however another thought came not to do so as it  will be ostentatious. Eventually I didn’t pray. 

3. I thought of letting them know later that there was a reason for not offering tahajjud. 

Hakim al Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,

‘1.  This was the most appropriate ruling (in those circumstances)

2. This would had been the most appropriate action (i.e. to pray)

3.  This was pure ostentation (riya)

Imperfect individuals (like us) are instructed to act and correct the intention. Otherwise, they will find an excuse of possibility of riya in all matters (and abandon them). ‘

Al Qawl al Jaleel, page 55