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
A seeker wrote, I used to listen to a lot of bayans by arab sufis and Baraelwi’s but I found no good actions (amal) resulting so there must be a problem there There was a lot of show of love (izhaar of hubb and ishq) and ecstasy(wajd) but no change to the state of heart (haal of the qalb) as I found in the classic books like Ihya al Uloom ad Deen, etc.
So I would like to try the deobandi path which seems mature and well-balanced (mutadil) and closer to the teachings of Quran and Sunna (qareeb to the nusus) but there is still the fire of fervent love (ishq) running through it.
How do I do dowazdah?
Dowazdahtasbih is like medicine. It is neither masnoon nor mustaheb. Therefore, no basis other than experience of effectiveness in achieving the cure of heedlessness is required.
Sayyidiwasanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) said while consoling a gentleman who lost his son,
‘I remind people who have lost their dear ones to imagine how you manage when you have a child living abroad. You don’t meet him for years. But you are content that he is living happily. You don’t see him all the time or talk to him often but you are satisfied about his well being. Similarly a believer (momin) feels the same about his departed loved ones. Moreover, this separation is temporary. It is not permanent. One day you are going to meet him. This is the meaning of
انا للّٰہ و انا الیہ راجعون۔
We certainly belong to Allah, and to Him we are bound to return. 2:156
When this meeting will happen no one knows. But it will, for sure, occur.
Till that time you can send him gifts 🎁 in form of forwarding the reward of good deeds (esal-e-thawab) as much as you wish. This will certainly benefit him as has been reported in authentic sayings of Prophet of Allah (Allah’s blessing & peace be upon him).
This thinking gives much consolation to the bereaved family members.’
Saturday 2 January 2021, post-zohar, Hazrat residence, Darul Uloom Karachi
Once my friends were saying that doing remembrance (Zikr) with inattentiveness (Ghaflat) is a cause of (more) inattentivness (Ghaflat).
This is not correct.
At least the tongue is doing remembrance.
Zikr with ghaflat eventually leads to real remembrance (by heart & mind). As per our Hazrat Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) this zikr with ghaflat is the first step in the ladder leading to real remembrance.
I think I have quite clear in my mind – from the theorical point of view – the status of Kashf, Tawajjuh, Karamat and so on in relation to the true objective of the Tariqah, their not being the goal, and even more, their being a potential fitnah and trap for the murid. But this quote I’ve read on a forum:
“The line of the chisti imdadiyah stopped doing these  because they became more of scholars. The elders were very high accomplished scholars and sufis. Unfortunately, the 2nd and 3rd generations lost this and the condition is even worse these days amongst the present day mashaikh of the tariqa”. [ The reference is to certain “particular” practices and ashghal adopted in the past in the Chishti Tariqah].
..raised some doubts in my mind, as I got the impression that some of today’s other Shuyukh propose a “dry”, simplified and just “moral” brand of Tasawwuf, with just its “ethical” part, leaving “metaphysics”, “spiritual stages” and more “deep”, “ruhani” stuff aside. I’d appreciate to read what would you reply to such allegations, so to put clarity and tranquility in my heart.
It is essential to have a vivid understanding of the reality of Tasawwuf upstart.
Please, review all the post on the site regarding this.
The greatest sufi having the highest level of marifah possible is our master Prophet Mohammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). His blessed life and ways are a role model for us.
Tasawwuf is to make this happen. It is always subservient to Shariah. The level of awareness of Allah needed to bring this is relative to the ghaflah (heedlessness) and involvement in worldly affairs of an individual.
The ashgal and azkar used by sufis to do so are therefore adjusted accordingly. They are neither a goal in themselves nor a superior form of worship or supposed to create a state other than required by Shariah.
The khashaf, karamat, etc are just some of the spiritual benefits of the moral purification. The best spiritual thing is a very strong and perpetual connection with Allah. A yearning and overwhelming desire to please Him and abstain from everything that displeases Him. This leads one to follow the teachings of Shariah meticulously.
I have persoanlly met sincere sufis that promise bayiat to the Prophet Prophet Mohammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) in a wakeful state. However, when measured in the scale of Sunnah and Shariah they failed terribly.
Alhumdullilah Ashrafi silaila is blessed with its portion of spiritual blessings. It is seldom mentioned due to their overwhelming state of humility. But you can have a glimpse of it in their poetic expressions. Most of our Mashaikh have dewans of poetry.
I hope I have made some sense. Please, do not hesitate to ask if there remains something unclear.
A seeker wrote, – I try to focus on the words and meanings in Salah but the train of thought derails very frequently. Please recommend something in this regard.
No problem at all. Invoulantary derailment does not cause damage to khushu. Whenever, you recognize the derailment come back on the track. InshaAllah, with persisitence and practice the frequency of this will decrease.
Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)
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.
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.
Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)
Abū Bakr al-Kattānī (Allah have mercy on him) said, “were it not that recollection of Him was required of me as a religious duty, I could not mention Him out of awe for Him. How can one like me recollect Him without washing out his mouth a thousand times as a required penance, so great is His recollection and so awesome His name!
A spiritual aspirant who is a medical student wrote, Lastly I wanted to inform that I also took admission in online alim course, after having mashwara with my father, he said ضرور کرو اگر آسانی کر ساتھ کرسکتے ہو بس اپنے اوپر بوجھ نہ ڈالنا So I will be doing darja aula for trail and if I am able to do then I will continue Inshaa Allah.
Following reply was sent
Wa alaykum as salaam wrwb
MashaAllah. May Allah give isteqamet & facilitate all with afiyet. Ameen!
We have been instructed to achieve ahsaan (الاحسان) in our life. One interpretation of this is to achieve perfection in whatever we do. It will be best to focus on your studies seriously and become an outstanding physician.
There are many mediocre doctors and many more non-practicing (bay-amal) alims.
One does not have to be a full fledged alim to be a practicing pious Muslim.
A lot of time the Devil (Shaitan) deceives by getting us involved in some nonessential good work.
Ahsaan (الاحسان) in anything requires lots of mujahidda.
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.
To develop in a seeker the concern for establishment of Deen (in one’s life) and regard of permissible & impermissible is the real karamah of the Shaykh and explicit proof of his spiritual blessings and benefits.
Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy on him) once mentioned:
Greed is the root cause of all problems. It is such an evil trait and spiritual malady that it should be regarded as the mother of all spiritual maladies. It is on account of greed that disputes and fights occur, and it is on account of greed that most of the court cases take place. If it was not for the greed of wealth, then no person would have trampled the rights of the next.
Theft and zina also stem from greed for wealth and greed for haraam passions. Evil character also originates from the same root, as the friends of Allah say that evil character stems from pride, which is the greed for recognition. Hence, even pride stems from greed.
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.”
A student complained of annoying recurrent thoughts (وساوس) regarding ritual purity۔ He added that he was spending to much time in restroom and wasting lots of water. Moreover it was giving him headaches and anxiety.
Sayyidiwasanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) replied,
‘Its treatment is to firmly do the opposite of these thoughts. Do not give importance to them. Otherwise they will continue to annoy.
The student requested for a recitation (wazifa) to help him.
Sayyidi instructed him to recite the Prophetic prayer
اللھم اجعل وساوس قلبی خشیتک و ذکرک
And recite surah an naas (Quran chapter 114) often and blow over himself. ‘
Darul Uloom Karachi, office. 26 October 2019. After zuhar.