Teachings of Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf 'Ali Thanawi & his spiritual successors, particularly 'Arifbillah Dr 'Abdul Hayy 'Arifi (may Allah bless them) and Sayyidi Mawlana Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) regarding Tasawwuf
The Prophet of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
“On the day of eid (when people gather to offer eid prayers) Allah says to the Angels, ‘Have these people fulfilled the obligation (of fasting) and are now gathered for prayers?
I swear by My pride, magnificence, majesty, mercy and elevated status that I will fulfill their prayers.
Tell them to return, I have forgiven them all and furthermore I have replaced their sins with virtuous deeds.
Hence they return completely forgiven.
On our eid visit to Sayyidi wa sanadi Mawlana Mohammad Taqi Usmani(Allah preserve him) we always found him to be extremely happy and cheerful, repeatedly telling us that Arifbillah Dr Abdul Hayy Arifi’s (Allah have mercy on him) statement regarding Eidul fitr
The COVID-19 Pandemic is taking a major emotional toll on us.
The lockdown and the continuous barrage of negative news is creating uncertainty about one’s own and loved ones’ well being, future, job and financial securities.
This is draining us emotionally and is creating anticipatory grief and depression.
This is spiritually dangerous.
If not dealt appropriately it will lead to loneliness, lassitude, trouble focusing, feelings of sadness & hopelessness, loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, irritability, restlessness, sleeping difficulties and eventually exhaustion. The daily prayers, recitations, readings and supererogatory (nafil) actions and khushu (concentration & reflection) in them will gradually fade away.
This will be a disaster indeed.
The lifelong mujahidda (struggle) wasted.
We all have to be proactive in this regards.
Following points have helped me and InshaAllah will be helpful for you as well.
1. Keep focused. Our goal is achieving Allah’s pleasure and acceptance. All sinful activities are a barrier to it. Leave them now.
2. Remind ourselves that Allah, Most High being the Sovereign authority in charge (al-Hakim) has all the right to do with us as He wants. No one can question it. We being His slaves have to accept it. However, at the same time we must remember that He is Wise (al-Hakeem) and whatever He does certainly has something beneficial for us. We may not be able to acknowledge this right away but this is for sure.
3. Disconnect with news and social media to a greater extent. Set limits. Check these twice per day just to keep updated and motivated.
4. Connect with Allah. Make dua. Ask Allah for safeguard from all our apprehensions. This can even be non-verbal in mind & heart.
5. Keep up with our daily ma’moolaat (routine). The dhikr, recitations of Holy Quran, Munajat e Maqbool, tasbihat, recommended books. Even under normal circumstances one has to force him/herself to do these. Please remember that this is not easy. This is the daily mujahidda (spiritual struggle) required.
6. Make excessive shukr (gratitude) of Allah. Remind ourselves of all the blessings we have right now, like physical & mental health, food, water, shelter, family & loved ones, accessibility to healthcare etc. and make shukr for each and every of them individually. Allah has promised that gratitude insures and increases the blessing.
7. Use our time wisely. Each moment of our life is priceless. Do not let it waste in useless activities. Do your job. Learn. Read. Write. Cook. Workout. Be busy.
May Allah protect us all and keep us steadfast in these challenging time.
Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned:
The Deen of Islam places great emphasis on assisting those in need and those undergoing difficulties. However, it is unfortunate that in today’s times, many people are totally unconcerned about assisting those in difficulty.
Some people are so miserly and self-centred that they make every arrangement for their own comfort – shoes, food, clothing, etc. – yet they have no worry or concern for whether others are dying or undergoing distress.
Some people argue and say, “How many people must we help? There are thousands of people in need and difficulty!” The answer to such people is, “Very well, you are right in saying that there are thousands of people in need and difficulty. However, if you are unable to assist all, it does not mean that you should not assist the few people you are able to assist! At least assist ten people among them!”
Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) then mentioned, “Generally, these types of excuses are made by people who do not wish to do anything.”
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘After bayiah (spiritual allegiance) the things that need to be rectified upfront include, arrogance, negligence in fulfilling the rights of others (huqooqal ‘ebad), envy, hatred, creating adversity (fitna) between people, etc. However, nowadays no restrictions are instructed for these things. Whereas, previous pious elders (Mashāyikh) used to give priority to these things from first day.
The litanies & recitations (wazaif) were instructed after many years.
Moreover, these restrictions were not merely verbal instructions, they recommended various practices to uproot these spiritual ailments from the heart.
Like, if they saw an individual afflicted with self adoration (زینت پرستی) he was instructed to sweep and tidy up the spiritual lodge (khanqah) or streets. Similarly, if they saw arrogance in an individual, he was instructed to tidy up the shoes of people coming to pray. These acts of humility have the ability to create humbleness in heart. ‘
When the Prophet (ﷺ) got up at night to offer the Tahajjud prayer, he used to say: Allahumma lakal-hamd.
Anta qaiyyimus-samawati wal-ard wa man fihinna.
Walakal-hamd, Laka mulkus-samawati wal-ard wa man fihinna.
Walakal-hamd, anta nurus-samawati wal-ard.
Wa lakal-hamd, anta-l-haq wa wa’duka-lhaq, wa liqa’uka Haq, wa qauluka Haq, wal-jannatu Han wan-naru Haq wannabiyuna Haq.
Wa Muhammadun, sallal-lahu’alaihi wasallam, Haq, was-sa’atu Haq.
Allahumma aslamtu Laka wabika amantu, wa ‘Alaika tawakkaltu, wa ilaika anabtu wa bika khasamtu, wa ilaika hakamtu faghfir li ma qaddamtu wama akh-khartu wama as-rartu wama’a lantu, anta-l-muqaddim wa anta-l-mu akh-khir, la ilaha illa anta (or la ilaha ghairuka).
(O Allah! All the praises are for you, You are the Holder of the Heavens and the Earth, And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You have the possession of the Heavens and the Earth And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You are the Light of the Heavens and the Earth And all the praises are for You; You are the King of the Heavens and the Earth; And all the praises are for You; You are the Truth and Your Promise is the truth, And to meet You is true, Your Word is the truth And Paradise is true And Hell is true And all the Prophets (Peace be upon them) are true; And Muhammad is true, And the Day of Resurrection is true. O Allah ! I surrender (my will) to You; I believe in You and depend on You. And repent to You, And with Your help I argue (with my opponents, the non-believers) And I take You as a judge (to judge between us). Please forgive me my previous And future sins; And whatever I concealed or revealed And You are the One who make (some people) forward And (some) backward. There is none to be worshipped but you . Sufyan said that `Abdul Karim Abu Umaiya added to the above, ‘Wala haula Wala quwata illa billah’ (There is neither might nor power except with Allah).