Sayyidiwa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve & protect him) said,
“Everyone should have this feeling and ardent desire that each and every human being is saved from the Hell-fire (Jahannam).”
Makhdum Zayn ud Deen Chishti quotes from Shaikh Suhrawardi’s (Allah have mercy on them) Awarif regarding inner conversation,
“excess inner conversation hardens the heart just as excess speech does, for it is like speech without a tongue…
A seeker must take account of his inward self, just as he does for his outward self. For inner speech, and remembering past affairs, which he saw or heard, is akin to speaking with another person inside himself.
So he should bind his inward self with awareness of the divine gaze and watch over it (muraqabah wa ri’aya), just as he binds his outward self with acts of obedience and various forms of invocation.”
The Guidance for the Intelligent
Makhdum Zayn ud Deen Malabari al Chishti (Allah have mercy on him) said in regards to fard al ayn (absolute essentials) issues of Islam,
‘The states of the heart, one should know the praiseworthy qualities which one must adopt, and the blameworthy qualities which one must avoid.
As for the praiseworthy traits, they include reliance on Allah, sincerity for Him, praise and thankfulness for His blessings, repentance from one’s sins, fear, hope, abstinence, love, patience, pleasure with His decree, and the remembrance of death.
As for the blameworthy traits, they include greed for food and drink, and a dislike of hunger (given its many benefits such as the purity and softness of the heart, humiliation of the lower self, breaking lusts, and the departure of excessive sleep which prevents worship), eagerness for speech regarding what does not benefit one (the tongue has many faults, the most severe of which are backbiting, lying, and excessive joking and praise), anger, envy, stinginess, love of rank, love of the world, arrogance, pride, and showing off.’
The Guidance for the Intelligent
Generosity is a sign of zuhd, since the one who loves a thing holds on to it, and doesn’t share it. No one is willing to part with wealth except the one for whom the world is small in his eyes-and this is the essence of zuhd.
The Guidance for the Intelligent
Acting upon one’s individual obligation include purifying one’s limbs from sins, and one’s heart from destroying traits such as arrogance, envy, ostentation, enmity, hatred and the like… Knowing the cure for ugly traits of character and then struggling to rid oneself from them is an individual obligation; it is not permissible for one to busy oneself with jurisprudence, disputes or law until one has finished this task.
The Guidance for the Intelligent
It has been said that repentance is remorse for what has passed and clinging to what is pure.
Some say that repentance is moving away from what Allah
has forbidden toward what Allah has commanded.
It has been said that repentance is devotion to the True Reality and shunning created things, and that repentance is sincerity, seeking refuge, and striving persistently with hope.
It has been said that repentance is feeling shame when one makes a mistake, and that repentance is sorrow for what has passed.
Some say that repentance is the return to Allah the Exalted in every instant, thought, and glance, and that repentance is shame that restrains one from sin, and constant tears of remorse.
It has been said that repentance is removing the garment of estrangement and donning the garment of fidelity.
Some say that repentance is the return from blameworthy attributes to praiseworthy attributes, which can only be brought about by seclusion, by holding one’s tongue from useless talk, and by eating lawful food.
It has been said that repentance is a fire in the heart that flares up, and a rift that never mends.
The principles of Tasawwuf, page 17
When asked about repentance al-Ḥusayn al-Maghāzilī said, “Are you asking me about turning to God in repentance or turning to Him in deference?”
The questioner replied, “what is turning to Him in repentance?” and he said, “That you fear His power over you.”
The questioner asked, “Then what is turn-
ing to Him in deference?” and he said, “That you are ashamed before God the Exalted because of His nearness to you.”
This second turning is higher than the first since renouncing sin out of fear of retribution is merely seeking good fortune and only done for one’s self. However, renouncing sin out of shame before one’s exalted Lord to glorify His lordship, is higher and nobler since turning in shame proves true the servitude by which one exalts Him.
The Principles of Tasawwuf, p 13
Yaḥyā ibn Muʿādh al-Rāzī (Allah have mercy on him) said,
“One slip for a penitent after his repentance is more odious than seventy before it.”
Principles of Tasawwuf, p 34
It is related that on the Day of Judgments each of a man’s nights and days will appear to him in the form of twenty four compartments, representing his hours for each day. An hour which he spent in obedience to Allah will be filled with light, one in which he spent in sin will be filled with darkness, while one in which he did neither will be found empty.
His agony will be tremendous when he finds a compartment empty; had he done an act of obedience to Allah, it would have been filled with light. If he finds a receptacle dark he will be filled with such regret and agony that if were able to die he would do so, but in the hereafter there is no death.
So choose for your soul, as long as you remain in this land of choice and free will, that which will benefit it and raise its rank, because after death, the affair will no longer be in your hands. And hasten and do not procrastinate, for procrastination is evil and human life is ever subject to numerous harms and distractions.’
Guidance for the intelligent
Proprietor of Nauratan Jewellers-Karachi, Malik sahib narrated that once I visited Arif-billah Dr Abdul Hayy Arifi (Allah have mercy on them). I was in hurry, time was running short. I requested for a brief nasiha (advise).
Hazrat ‘Arifi told me to always remember the fact that, in the judicial system of this world if you plead guilty you are held responsible and punished. Sometimes you are fined or even jailed.
Whereas, in the court of Allah if you plead guilty, accepting your shortcomings and sins and repent sincerely you are forgiven and set free of the humiliation of any punishment. Moreover you are rewarded in most instances for returning back to Allah.
Malik sahib passed away in the blessed city of Makkah immediately after performing Hajj last year (2017/1438). Allah have mercy on him. Ameen!
Makhdoom Zayn ud Deen Chishti Malabari (Allah have mercy on him) said regarding the treatment of arrogance that
(One should contemplate that) throughout his existence he has been subjugated to terrifying diseases and dangers and various bodily challenges; he gets hungry and thirsty, falls sick and eventually dies-all against his wishes.
He desires to know something but does not, he wishes to remember something but cannot, he wishes to forget something but cannot, he delights in food that harms him, and hates medicine which restore his health.
At no moment in the night or day is he safe from being stripped of his hearing, sight, knowledge, or ability; his limbs may be paralyzed, his intellect destroyed, and his very life dissipated.
He is a mere slave with no power over himself or others. And this is the middle of his affair.
As for his end, he returns to his original state, a lifeless object; then he is placed in the dirt and becomes a filthy carcass just as he began as a filthy drop of sperm; his body decays and is eaten by worms, and becomes dirt, which is cultivated and built over.
And if only this were the end! How fine would his state be if he remained dirt! But he is brought back to life to bear the severity of the Day of Judgment and its horrors; then he will enter the fire unless his Lord has mercy on him.
(In spite of all these how foolish it will be to act arrogantly).
The guidance for the intelligent on the path of the saints
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) instructed a spiritual seeker to perform muraqaba e etihad. That is, to contemplate that Shaikh and I have become one.
This seeker wrote a letter and made reference to it. (It was read out in the gathering of seekers)
On a question (by one of the attendees) regarding this Hakim al Umma replied,
‘In issues related to the spiritual training I do not bind myself to didactic text. I instruct (seekers) whatever (appropriate to their state) comes to mind. Observing his (this seeker’s) congeniality (with myself) I instructed him this muraqaba.’
Husn al Aziz, volume 1, page 35-6
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘My daily schedule is so busy and organized that even a lapse of five minutes disturbs everything for the rest of the day. ‘
Husn al Aziz, 1, part 2, p 27
Our master Abu Yazid [al-Bistami] (d. 261/875) (Allah have mercy on him) was asked, “When is a person deemed humble?”
He replied, “When he sees neither a [high] station nor state for himself, and when he cannot find among mankind anyone who is worse than himself.”
For the intelligent, a subtle reference is sufficient…
SubhanAllah, this story is filled with so many lessons for everyone. Please read it with the intention to learn the lessons from the life of Shaikh Abu Abdullah Al-Andalusi (Allah have mercy on him), and also the character of his devoted and loyal students. I pray that Allah grants every reader the tawfeeq to benefit from this and to protect us all from any tests of this sort. Ameen.
Note: Since this is not a formal Arabic written entry, the rules of Arabic have not been enforced such as in the name of the Shaykh, etc.
In Baghdad, the seat of the Islamic State, was a pious saint by the name of Abu Abdullah Al-Andalusi. He was a well-known scholar and muhaddith and twelve thousand disciples sat at his feet. He knew thirty thousand ahadith by heart, and could recite the Quran in all the various modes of Qiraat.
On a certain occasion he was going on a journey and was accompanied with a large crowd of attendants among whom were the well-known Junayd Baghdadi and Shaikh Shibli Rahimahumullah.
Shaikh Shibli continues the story: Our caravan was traveling along safely and comfortably with the grace of Allah, until we passed by an area where Christians were residing. When we reached the Christian village, we searched for water but could not find any. We went about the village and discovered that there were many churches, temples of sun-worship and synagogues. Some of the people worshiped idols and others prayed to the cross. We were amazed at their condition.
We passed all this and reached the outskirts of the village where we found a well and a few girls drawing water for people to drink. Among these girls was one who was exceedingly beautiful. She wore a gold necklace around her neck. When Shaikh Abu Abdullah saw her the color of his face changed. The Shaikh asked the other girls who she was.
They replied: “This is the daughter of the ruler of this village.”
The Shaikh replied: “But, why has her father dishonored her by leaving her to give people water to drink?”
The girls replied: “Her father has done this so that when she marries she will be able to honour and serve her husband. He does not want her to become boastful of her status.”
The Shaikh sat down with his head bent forward and remained silent. For three days he did not eat or drink. He would only perform his Salaah. His disciples and companions did not know what to do or say.
Shaikh Shibli says : ‘I decided to speak to him. I approached him and said, “O Shaikh, your disciples and companions are perplexed with your silence for the last three days. Please speak to us.”
The Shaikh replied: “O people, know that my heart has become filled with love for the girl I saw the other day. It is not possible for me under any circumstances to leave from here.”
Shaikh Shibli replied: “Our leader! You are the spiritual guide of Iraq. Your piety is well-known far and wide. Your disciples number over twelve thousand. By the sanctity of the Noble Quran do not bring disgrace to us and them.”
The Shaikh replied: “O people, my lot has already been sealed by fate. I am nothing. The cloak of sainthood has been removed from me and the signs of guidance have been taken away from me.”
Saying this the Shaikh began weeping bitterly. “Proceed and leave me alone. My fate has been sealed,” he told them.
We were astonished. We begged Allah for His protection and we cried until the land beneath our feet became wet with our tears.
We returned to Baghdad. When the people heard of our return, they arrived in large numbers at the outskirts of the city to meet the Shaikh. They saw that he was not with us and asked where he was. We told them the entire story. Many of his disciples died out of grief when they heard of his condition. Others cried in sorrow and disbelief. Many begged Allah to guide the Shaikh to the right path and return him to them. All his places of instruction and preaching were closed down.
We remained in this sad condition for one full year. Finally, I, together with a few companions decided to visit the village again and find out how our Shaikh was doing. When we reached the village we asked regarding him and were told that he was in the woods looking after pigs. We asked: “What has happened?” We were told that he had proposed for the girl in marriage. But, the girl’s father had refused saying that her suitor had to meet certain conditions : he had to follow the same religion as her, he had to become a servant in the church and he had to look after the pigs. The Shaikh had fulfilled all these conditions and was currently seeing to the pigs.
“With broken hearts and tears streaming down our eyes, we went to the woods to find him. He was standing amongst the pigs. Around his waist was a string of beads. On his head was the traditional Christian hat. He stood leaning on the staff that he once used to lean on when delivering the sermon in the mihraab!
When he saw us he bowed his head in shame. We came nearer and said, “Assalaamu Alaikum.” He replied: “Wa Alaikumus salaam”.
Shaikh Shibli then asked: “O Shaikh, what is all this? What has happened to you? What has happened to all your knowledge and virtue?”
The Shaikh replied: “My dear friend and brothers, I am now no longer in control. Whatever Allah has desired for me, has come to pass. I was once amongst His beloved ones. Now He has thrown me very far away from His door. O Beloved ones of Allah, beware of being rejected and distanced from Allah. O Beloved ones of Allah, beware of Allah’s anger and being cut off from Him.”
Then turning towards the heavens he said: “O my Lord, I never expected such treatment from You.” Then he began crying bitterly and appealing to Allah.
Shaikh Shibli also begged Allah in a loud voice : “Only from you do we seek help. Upon You only do we rely. By Your grace, remove this difficulty from us! We have been overcome. Only you can save us!”
When the pigs heard our crying they began to rub their heads in the sand and began to yell so loudly that the mountains appeared to wail. Shaikh Shibli says : “I thought Qiyaamah had come.” The Shaikh continued to cry uncontrollably.
Shaikh Shibli continues: We said to him : “Shaikh, why don*t you return with us to Baghdad?” The Shaikh replied : “How can I? I have to see to the pigs, although I once saw to the hearts of men!”
I asked the Shaikh : “You were a Haafiz of Quraan and you could recite the seven modes of Qiraat. Do you remember anything of the Quraan?”
The Shaikh answered : “I have forgotten everything except two verses of the Quraan: ‘He who Allah disgraces, none can grant him honour. Allah does as He wishes.’ And, secondly, the verse, ‘He who chooses kufr (disbelief) over Imaan (faith) he has certainly gone astray.’
I asked : “You knew thirty thousand ahadith of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Do you still remember any?”
He answered : “Only one: ‘One who leaves his faith, kill him!’ ”
Amazed at his condition, we left the Shaikh and headed for Baghdad. However, after we had walked for three days we suddenly saw the Shaikh in front of us. He was coming out of a river, where he had just performed a bath. In a loud voice he proclaimed the shahaadah: “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is His messenger.”
We could not control our joy and happiness when we saw him. He asked us for some pure clothing which he then wore. He then performed Salaah. We expressed our gratitude to Allah for returning him to us and we asked him what had happened to him.
He replied : “When you left me, I turned to Allah with my former love and affection for Him : ‘O my Protector, I am a sinner and a transgressor.’ Allah forgave me and covered me in His mercy.”
We asked him : “But, why were you put through such an intense trial?”
The Shaikh replied: “When we arrived in the village and saw the temples, synagogues and churches I thought to myself: ‘These people are nothing compared to me. I believe and worship one Allah.’ At that moment I heard a voice from within me saying: ‘This Iman that you have, is not due to your goodness in any way. If you so wish, We will show you right now.’ Immediately I felt as if something left my heart and flew away. That was my Imaan leaving me.”
Shaikh Shibli says: “We were overjoyed. Our caravan arrived in Baghdad with great joy. The Shaikh’s places of teaching and preaching were reopened. In a short while his students numbered over forty thousand. Allah again returned to him his knowledge of Quraan and Hadith and blessed him with further knowledge.” (Al-Mustatraf Fi Kulli Fann An-Mustadhraf)
*Mufti Mohammad Shafi (Allah have mercy on him) published the story in Urdu with this tittle.