Category Archives: C. Blame worthy Morals

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

Earning more to spend more

A seeker wrote,

One thought that comes to my mind is that when you have more money you can give more too for the betterment of humanity and muslims in particular. Please comment.

Ashrafiya replied,

Not necessarily. Many become more miserly and some waste their money on haram.

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Love of the worldly wealth & status

A seeker wrote,

Some questions that come to my mind are as follows: How should it translate into the effort that I put into my job. One behaviour that I see people adopting is that they become workaholics, put extra hours, sacrifice their life, family etc. just to go up the ladder. The conclusion that I came to is to work with due diligence from 9 to 5 (because I am atleast accountable in the herafter for this time that I am getting paid for). Please suggest the correct behaviour here.

Ashrafiya replied,

This is correct.

Going out of the way to earn more money or status by comprising one’s deen (taking care of family is wajib) will be blameworthy love of the worldly wealth and status (hubb e maal/jah).

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Envy

A seeker wrote,

I feel that I have envy against the religious groups that are flourishing but are not correct according to our ideology. I have discussed this earlier but since I read the topic on Hasad I realized that its perhaps hasad (so I thought I should mention it again). e.g. If I hear about a certain group having a big conference in which many poeple showed up. I will have a feeling wishing that these people don’t show up in such numbers.

Ashrafiya replied,

Make excessive dua for them after each salah and admonish yourself for having these thoughts.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Anger

I wish to understand the limits of anger. I, like typical people find myself angry at wife and friends, at times. I have noticed that you need some degree of anger to keep the order intact. I will try to explain with an example. Before my wife and I used to be routinely late. If we had told someone that we will get there by 2pm, we would be like 2 hours late. Many times we couldn’t get things done because of being late. I had to display anger at my wife many times to tell her that this is something unacceptable and Alhamdulillah things improved a lot. There is one thing though, I used to (may Allah SWT have mercy on me and my wife) shout at my wife before. Overtime Allah SWT gave me the
realization that there are other more civilized ways of demonstrating anger. Now I just try to state my purpose in a firm (not loud) tone and try to appear upset. Please suggest the right behaviour with respect to anger. Is it just
for establishing deen. How about establishing an order in your life.
e.g. I was listening our Hazrat db’s lecture in which he mentioned an incident where Hakeem ul ummah RA got upset at someone using the toilet’s slipper to get into the masjid. Now this act is perhaps not sinful in Islamic terms but Hazrat RA wanted to maintain an order in his khanqah. Please help me understand the purpose and bounds of halal anger.

Ashrafiya replied,

No anger is halal for inept like us.
Anger is a sign of kibr for us.
It should be avoided all together.

For maintaining order be firm and clear but polite. Do not be angry. Recite auzobillah, drink cold water and think about Allah’s hilm on one’s self in spite of all the misbehavios. Condone others short coming. Remind yourself that you are not there to do islah of others.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Hearing yourself being praised

I thing I like being praised by others. I get a feeling that I tend to do things so that I am praised. When I am actually praised by others (beshuk tamam tareef sirf Allah SWT ke liye he) it gives me a sense of satisfaction (not sure if its satisfaction or pride) but it does motivate me to do more. And definitely I get an un-easy feeling. But overall I feel that I get a feeling of pride in me. Please suggest a course of action.

Ashrafiya replied,


It is quite natural to feel like this. This is unintentional and so not blame worthy in itself. However, if left unchecked it may lead to ujub and kibr. So at these occasions one should thank Allah that the people only observed and reported the good things about me and Allah hid my reality, mistakes and sins from them by his karam and sattari. Moreover when the marifa is achieved and one comes to realize his actual state this praise will feel like a joke and a mocking.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Inquisitiveness

A seeker wrote,
I really want to hear things about other people. Although I tell others not to tell me but somewhere inside I want to hear it (the exact disease that is mentioned in the book).

Ashrafiya replied,

Being an unintentional desire this is not a disease by itself until some thing extra ordinary and sinful is done to achieve this.Consider it to be wrong and sinful desire and remind yourself of its uselessness.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Mental Backbiting

A seeker wrote,

Can you please explain the details about “Dil se gheebat”. How to diagnose it and how to cure it if its present. A lot of the times the thoughts come to mind. I thought just keeping them to yourself and not saying to others is fine. But by this term it seems like even the thoughts are wrong.

Ashrafiya replied,

This is to intentionally think bad about some one. That is, things if he was to be informed of it he will be upset.
It is an intentional action and remedy is to use one’s determination (himmat) not to do it.
Also, one should develop this habit that on this thoughts one should intentionally think and remind himself of being the most lowly creature on the face of the earth. And admonish one’s self of doing this gheebat and make dua for that individual.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Jokes and Picking on the other people

A seeker wrote,

I grew up in a family where unfortunately people take pride in cunning jokes and picking on one another. I got this bad habit too and although I am trying my best to avoid such behaviour but sometimes I slip (especially in front of one family of my cousins who are very keen on this and you have to do it otherwise they will pick on you). I feel really ashamed in explaining but I will cite two incidences that happened recently.

  1. I was sitting with my cousin in a gathering. One of the persons was on the phone telling someone that I am coming with 4 people (he mistakenly said 1 extra person). I remarked addressing my cousin “bhai aap ke size ki waja se aap ko 2 count kar diya”.
  2. The the same cousin was telling about an incident on how he got to know some person. Basically he said he slipped on the ice after Fajr prayer and broke his leg and thats how my cousin go to know him. I remarked “kya wo tooti hui taang ke sath Maghrib tak waheen paRe rahe”. My cousin went like “naheen kyun” I replied “tau aap Fajr ke waqt wahan kya kar rahe thay”

Ashrafiya replied,

Not all joking and picking is bad.

If the relationship is so close and open that the other party will not be offended at all then it is fine to do so. However, if this is not the case then this should be avoided all together. And if it is committed then one has to apologize and ask forgiveness. This is itself the treatment.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

How to Remembering the spiritual medicine when its needed

A seeker wrote,
A lot of the spiritual medicines prescribed in the recommended readings, our Hazrat (Mufti Taqi Usmani, Allah protect & preserve him)‘s book islahi khutbaat and in the correspondance with you are indeed very effective Alhamdulillah. Please suggest some techniques/course of action to remember them when they are needed.
I get a feeling that I am not implementing them as properly as it should be done.

Ashrafiya replied,

MashaAllah.
This question is a sign of ture talub. May Allah increase it more with afiyet (Allahuma zid fa zid).

The tip is to read and re-read the prescription many times and
make dua asking Allah to facilitate its recall at the appropriate time.
And if one forgets it, then fix a fine (jurmana) for this failure, like two rakah salat e tauba.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Polemics

– I wish to ask about polemical debate. As our elders stress a lot about the harms of debating and you can also feel a sudden negative effect after debating with someone even though you feel you were on haq. Should one completely abstrain from discussing anything at all. Normally a debate starts off as a simple innocent conversation. I used to think the point at which one should pull out from the debate is when arguments begin to repeat. But now I feel that by that time the spiritual harm is already done. What should be the course of action in this.
e.g. In my community, our Islamic organization split into two groups. As I understand both sides have respectable people and no one is completely wrong. There were weaknesses on both sides. Today at prayer someone started taking the side of one of the groups and criticizing the other. I tried to explain the point of view of the other side but it turned into a debate and I still feel the negative effect on my heart.
Should one completely stay out of controversial issues even though you feel you have a valid point and you should convey it to the other person.

Ashrafiya replied,

Indeed. Involvement in polemical debates is always spiritually detrimental. There are many reasons for it, including,1. it directs one’s attention from Allah2. one tries to defend his opinion and nafsaniyet comes in3. specially for people like us, blameworthy character traits like, anger, hasad, arrogance, etc. come into play. and many others. All of them cause this negative effect on one’s heart. It is best to avoid it upfront. Moreover, if one is stable enough to control his nafs (beyond our status) the negativity of other’s heart is reflected and carried over to his own heart ruining it’s serenity.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Restricting dietary intake

A seeker wrote, In regards to Eating. The chapter on eating less (in the book Tabligh e Deen of Imam Ghazali, Allah have mercy on him) did mention the benefits and harms clearly. But in terms of what to achieve I wish to ask some
questions.
When to eat:
The best is to remain hungry for atleast 3 days and eat on the 4th day. The lowest level is to eat once a day.
How much to eat:
I couldn’t relate to the amounts mentioned here. What I understood better over here is to eat only when really hungry and stop eating
before completely satisfied.
What to eat:
Couldn’t understand in terms of the contemporary Pakistani diet.

Ashrafiya replied,

Hakim al-Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy on him) has mentioned that for us it is not recommended to restrict diet as it was done by sufiya previously. However, balance has to be maintained.The most important things in this regards are,

1. One’s mind is not occupied with thoughts and plans of eating specific items most of the time.

2. During each meal a moment comes when one hesitates to eat more or stop. At this moment one should stop eating.

3. Continue with your meals as usual. Do not make any drastic changes. However, be health conscious and eat whatever is good for you.

4. At dinner parties eat as usual. Making more shukr of Allah for all the bounties and variety of flavors, etc. However, stop as mentioned in #2.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Islahi details

A seeker wrote,

My close friends and family members (whom I consult for my major decisions) are aware of my pursuing this path. I get a feeling that they expect more as if I am going to change overnight (perhaps it was a mistake to let some people know about this effort). Subsequently I get a feeling that I am trying to improve myself to show off in front of others. And it makes me really doubt the ikhlas that is a pre-requisite for all a’mal to be accepted i.e. they should be solely for pleasing Allah SWT. Please advise.

Ashrafiya replied,

1. The details of the islah are individualized. They are personal and private. It is inappropriate to share the details with others. Even if they were to ask the details answer very humbly that I have been asked not to tell others. I am doing whatever is being instructed.

2. There is no problem in informing them in general that you are trying to establish a islahi ta’luq.

3. Be aware that islah is a life long process. The change is gradual. Our akabir compare it to the growing of a child.

4. The blame-worthy moral trait of show-off or riya is a ikhteyari action. That is, you have to have an intention and then do it. It does not happen by itself without your control.

5. Also, as a established principle it is stated that the real show-off never ever doubts his own ikhlas and mukhlis is always in doubt. So do not worry. Continue what you are doing. MashaAllah, you are travelling and distance is being covered.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Safety from Hypocrisy

Our master Muʿādh ibn Jabal (God be pleased with him) said,

“An act requires four things to be safe from hypocrisy:

-knowledge before beginning it,

-proper intention at its start,

-patience during it, and

-sincerity at its conclusion.”

The Principles of Tasawwuf (A Ba’yuniah ra), p53

Safety from Hypcrisy

Our master Muʿādh ibn Jabal (God be pleased with him) said,

“An act requires four things to be safe from hypocrisy:

-knowledge before beginning it,

-proper intention at its start,

-patience during it, and

-sincerity at its conclusion.”

The Principles of Tasawwuf (A Ba’yuniah ra), p53