Shaykh Ibn ‘Ata Allah al Iskandari (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘If your Master loves you, He turns your friends away from you, so that you no longer preoccupy yourself with them. And He severs your ties with creation so that you solely return to Him.’
The Refinement of Souls, page 32
ID Week 2016, New Orleans
Our master Shaykh Haji Imdadullah mohajir Makki (Allah have mercy on him) instructed,
‘Heart is (like) a mirror (that reflects the image it is directed toward) be vigilant in guarding it from all that is beside (ghair khuda) Allah.’
Tahseel qasdus sabeel (Shah Lutuf Rasool rehmatullah aleh), page 46
A spiritual aspirant wrote,
Nowadays my condition is that unintentionally I feel a repugnance in sinful involvement.
Moreover, when I see someone involved in sinful I feel that this individual is headed towards Hell fire and I must try gently to persuade him to not to do so. I try my best and with the barakah of your supplications my efforts are not wasted.
It is humbly request that whatever is best for me (in this regards) may please, be instructed. Duas are requested.
Hakeem al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘The development of repugnance from sinful involvement is a superior state (hal).
However, feel repugnance for the sinner is dangerous thing for a novice (mubtadi) aspirant. This is because most of the time reason for this is arrogance (kibr), feeling self superiority and presumption of self piety.
(Therefore) Till the attainment of a steady spiritual state (tamkeen) consider that this individual (sinner) is superior to me. Nevertheless, his involvement in sinful is repugnant (in itself). His condition is similar to soot smeared on the face of a beautiful person. This consideration combines the notion that the person is beautiful and the soot is black (and disfiguring). Similar consideration should be done for the sinner and sinful involvement.
Moreover, a novice aspirant should not be involved in forbidding others.
However, giving a lecture in general to the public (about prohibition of sinful involvement) is okay. This is so provided that no other preacher is available to do so. Proceeding beyond this is dangerous.
It is perplexing that in spite of staying here (khanqah, Thana Bhawan) you are unaware of these details.’
Tarbiyet us Salik, Volume 1, page 422-3
Shaykh Bayazeed Bastami (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘For thirty years I prayed, O Allah! do this and that for me. However, when I arrived at the very first station of the Sufis I prayed, O Allah be mine and do as you wish!’
Maktubaat Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani rehmatullah aleh, first letter
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) use to update and publish the list of his khulafa (appointed representatives) almost every year. This was to facilitate the search for spiritual mentors by seekers.
Many new names were included for those who accomplished the required criteria to be a Shaikh.
Few names were deleted. They included the dead and those who did not follow up regularly to ensure that they continued to stay and progress on the path. Some exclusions were for those who became distracted and fell into the traps of nafs and Shaytan. These points were explicitly mentioned in the updated list.
Ma’asir e Hakeemul Ummat ra,
Therefore, mere certificate of ijazet or khilafet is not enough. Continuous steadfastness on Shariah and spiritual progress is required.
We have brought some (sham) goods (deeds) of very little worth.
So, (please) give us the full measure (in return) and be charitable to us.
Surely, Allah rewards the charitable
Maulana Professor Sayyid Suleman Ashraf Bihari (Allah have mercy on him) said,
Tasawwuf has two sections,
- Knowledge of spiritual endeavor (ilm e ma’amlah)
- Knowledge of revelation (of spiritual secrets) (ilm e mkashafa)
The knowledge of spiritual endeavor fulfills the purpose of scared law (Shariah). It entails that an individual develops within his soul a faculty that if he commits something sinful or is lax in performing a pious deed he feels a subjective pain similar to the one he experiences in physical sickness or with monetary loss. It is like the extreme (mental) suffering a noble, respectable and well known person feels if he has to beg for money.
After developing this ability even the thought of committing something inappropriate is spiritually distressing to this individual.
The second section, knowledge of revelations, consists of performance of specific pious actions and bearing hardships on one’s self (nafs) to develop in one’s spirituality special (malakuti) powers . This is to become worthy of receiving the hidden secrets of the sacred law (Shariah).
Al Sabeel 33-4
It is the first section that is the most important for novices like me and you.
The way to develop it is the islah (betterment) training done under the supervision of a spiritual mentor.
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘Whatever intervention Allah does in a Muslim individual (or his affairs) irrespective of it being the most unpleasant it is obligatory to have the conviction that this is the best for me’
Ahsan us Sawanih, page 35
Murideen used to come to Shaykh al Hadith Maulana Zakariyah (Allah have mercy on him) during Ramadan. During his initial years he used to send them to Hazrat Abdul Qadirahmer Raipuri (Allah have mercy on him)(for them to stay in his blessed company). Regarding this Shaykh al Hadith writes:
“The condition of some of them improved greatly and with the spiritual blessings (tawajjuhaat) of Hazrat Raipuri (Allah have mercy on him) it became even better but some of the residents there said to my guests (i.e. Murideen): “Why hasn’t Shaykh given you permission (of Ba’yat) until now?” This thing became a poison for them as they began to consider themselves something.
It is a well-established principle in this field (of Tasawwuf) that as long as one considers himself to be incompetent and unworthy then he is successful; but as soon as he considers himself as competent and worthy then he becomes unsuccessful.I have experienced this in many of the friends and close senior murideen (khuddam) of my pious elders.
This incompetent writer was given permission (of Ba’yat) by my Shaykh (Allah have mercy on him) in Dhi Qa’dah 1345H in Madinah Munawwarh. This incompetent writer remembers it clearly that without any exaggeration I held the feet of Hazrat Raipuri (Allah have mercy on him) that please don’t mention it to anyone in India. But Hazrat insisted that he would definitely inform them and began writing to people in India from there (i.e. Madinah Munawwarah).
After coming back to india I did not get the courage to accept anyone’s Ba’yat for a long time. Perhaps it is mentioned somewhere in Aap Beeti that I started accepting for Ba’yat after being scolded by my Uncle (Maulana Ilyas May Allah have mercy on him). Thereafter I went to Hazrat Shaykhul Islam (Hussan Ahamd Madni)and Hazrat Raipuri (May Allah have mercy on them both) several times that if they take consideration of my inability and thus order me to stop accepting anyone for Ba’yat then I will get a way out. But each time they in return scolded me. I remember a saying of Shaykhul Islam (Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madni, Allah have mercy on him) that on my request he angrily replied “Who accepts anyone for Ba’yat considering himself to be worthy and competent? The one who does that is himself unworthy and incompetent. The successful one is he who considers himself incompetent at all times”.
Source: Aap Beeti of Hazrat Shaykh-ul-Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyyah Kandhlawi, Volume 2, Page 441-442
Intekhab e Kaiseri
A murid wrote,
For a long duration I have been desiring to stay in your company for my spiritual betterment (islah). However, this wish has not fulfilled as yet. Concern for the household members and lack of resources have been the obstacle.
Another more important reason to write to you is that sometimes individuals request that I accept their bayiah and let them join the path (silsila). I direct them to your respected person. To this they reply that it is beyond their capacity to travel there and (even if they go) Maulana (Hakim al Ummah) doesn’t accept their request and insists that they stay (there for islah). Hence, it is easier to join the path via you. This is not possible (for me to do) without having permission (ijazet) and permission is difficult (to achieve) without spiritual capability. These days most of the people insist unduly on ritualistic bayiah. I’m afraid that (because of it) they may be entrapped by the pseudo-Sufis (who contravene Shariah) and loose their faith.
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘Doing effort of spiritual betterment (islah) with an intention that I will (become a Shaikh and) accept bayiah is in vain. This individual will will never ever achieve spiritual betterment. His arrogance (kibr) will flourish. Repent from this. Only then effort for spiritual betterment will be effective.
Asking for the ijazet fearing that people will be entrapped will eventually result in the same status this request was made to avoid (that is entrapment by incapable Shaikh).
And if having capability is a must criteria then let it be clear that top most sign of capability is considering one’s self unworthy of this (responsibility).
There is no possibility of getting this permission after all.
You must (strife for) develop(ment of) sincerity. ‘
Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 1, page 41-2
An individual wrote, As per your respected perspective (maslak) I don’t consider feelings or overwhelming states (kayfiyaat) to be the goal. However, sometimes this random thought (waswasa) comes that my deeds and the way I do them is indeed deficient and it would not be rectified without being in the company of my mentor (murshid).
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘This thought (of actions being deficient) is most desired. That day will be inauspicious (na-mubarak) when we assume that our deeds are free of deficiencies.
Therefore, do not aspire for suhba for this purpose (that is, to get rid of it).
However, there are many other benefits of suhba including the immense benefit of this thought of being deficient becoming more stronger and quite obvious.’
Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 1, page 439
Quoting 29 verses of Holy Quran Arif-billah Dr. Abdul-Hayy Arifi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘It is distinctly evident from these specifications of Allah that an individual who is closest to the Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) (by emulating his actions and orders) will come closest to Allah and will be from His beloved servant (abd).
Evidently following the Sunna (etiba e sunnat) is the soul of worshiping and climax of absolute servant-hood (abdiyet).
An action in opposition to Sunna is not an act of worship, but it is pure deviation.’
Uswa-e-Rasool-e-akram sallallaho alehey wa alihi wa salam, page 38
It was a very sad occasion.
A Veteran of Deen was informing us of his tablighi efforts. Since the previous 42 years he was actively involved in betterment of Muslim Ummah. However, when he stood to offer his salah it was like an ordinary lay individual. There was no following of the Sunna in the actions performed (like how to raise the hands in takbeer e ihram, how and where to place them in qiyam, sujud, etc.).
Similarly, on another occasion a khalifa of a prominent Shaykh was offering salah exactly like this.
The decades of tablighi effort and all the khilafet & Ijazat are useless if an individual has not realized the importance of following the Sunna and rectified at least his own salah.
Cognizance that I am seeing Allah or I am in front of Allah and He is observing my salah is a later level where salah improves to the stage of perfection.
Each and everyone of us has to make an effort in this regards.
Urdu readers can benefit quickly with ‘Namazain Sunnat kay mutabeq parhain’ online.