1. Learning the authentic beliefs (aqaid) as per the pious predecessors.
2. Learning the Sunna methodology (fiqh) of performing worship.
3. Abandoning major sinful actions and repenting on minor ones.
4. Get rid of blameworthy moral characteristics (radhail), adopting praiseworthy moral characteristics (fadhail).
5. Earning & consuming a halal livelihood.
6. Getting married, establishing a home and raising children
7. Learning etiquette of financial dealings for everyday life.
8. Actively making a good intention in permissible actions.
9. Actively making an intention of pleasing Allah and following Sunna in all thoughts & actions.
10. Recitation of Sunna adhkar for different occasions (adiya e ma’sora)
11. Recitation of the litanies (adhkar & ashgaal) prescribed by the Sufi Shaykh.
Qutub al Irshad, vol 1, p 92-3
Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) instructed that,
‘It is fine to use a misbah (tasbih) to keep track of dhikr done.
There is no riya (show off) if one’s active intention in using it is to make dhikr.
Riya occurs when the sole intention is to show off.Continue reading
Imam Ahmed Zarruq (Allah have mercy on him) instructed,
Organize your devotional practices, and you will find your time extended due to the barakah [blessings] in it.
Never leave an atom’s weight of your regular devotional practice.
Advice on Repentance
A seeker wrote,
While reciting the daily wird I become distracted and a feeling of completing it quickly prevails. This is causing extreme distress and apprehension.
Hakim al-Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
Do not even pay attention to this apprehension.
Complete the wird (whatever the feelings maybe).
Be reassured, that InshaAllah with persistent remembrance (dhikr e daim) this apprehension will fade away by itself.
Rafa adh dheeq an ahl at-tareeq, Muqalat e Hakim al Ummat, vol 14, page 72
A seeker wrote, these days I feel completely listless. There is no enthusiasm at all for anything. This includes no eagerness to perform acts of worship.
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
Enthusiasm is not a necessary requirement. Performance of acts of worship (in itself) is an essential requirement.
Moreover, acts of worship done without enthusiasm entail hardship and hence carry more reward.
This tip is worth to be remembered forever.
Rafa adh dheeq an ahl tareeq, Muqalat e Hakim al Ummat, vol 14, page 72
For development and maintenance of reverence of God (taqwa) in our post-Ramadan life sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) said,
1.Leave sinful activities:
Be strict on holding your lower (nafsani) desires. Make a firm determination. Do not yield to these sinful desires easily. These desires and Satan are our two arch enemies.
2. Change the thought pattern.
The mind is constantly occupied with thoughts. There is no gap or vacuum in this process. These thoughts are either of worldly matters or useless issues or sinful activities. It is essential to intervene and develop a spiritually healthy though pattern. We have to actively think about hereafter, heavens, thankfulness of Allah for the innumerable bounties and blessings bestowed upon us, asking refuge for anticipated calamities, repenting from sinful activities, etc.
3. Adopt pious company
This is the most effective way to achieve the change of thought pattern. It leads to absorption, assimilation and implementation of the Divine teachings in our life. Without the company of the the pious the Deen remains limited to superficial level.
4. Make remembrance of Allah
Set up a daily routine of making remembrance of Allah. There are three categories of remembrance of Allah. First is that it is done with the tongue without presence of mind. Second is when tongue is silent and there is mindfulness. Finally, when both tongue and mind are making the remembrance together. Do not under evaluate even the first category. It is a stepping stone for the rest of the categories. Moreover, with consistency it eventually engulfs the mind also.
Make a daily time table for this. The daily activities done in an organised method creates barakah in time. More things are done in the same period of time. Include in it these four things, recitation of Holy Quran atleast two pages daily, durood, third kalima and istegfar. Fix a specific time for them. In other times recite whatever form of remembrance comes to mind.
The remembrance of Allah (dhikr) is a form of energy and power. It assists in development of determination to fight the lower desires.
5. Make supplication (dua)
Set a specific time for this. Like prior to sleeping, after esha. For few minutes sit and supplicate.
Say, ‘O Allah I want to follow the path You are pleased with. I want to control my thoughts, aspirations and desires as per Your desires. You have repeatedly instructed us in the Holy Quran to do so. How can I do it? I am weak. My determination and effort are feeble. Provide from Your benevolence and mercy the determination, power and motivation so I can control my desires and make them totally subservient to Your commands.’
Make this supplication daily without any gap. It is impossible that Allah will reject this supplication indeed.
29th Ramadan 1432/30th August 2011, Darul Uloom masjid, after duhur bayan.
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?
Dowazdah tasbih 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.
Why not try it for 40 days yourself?
Sayyidi wa sanadi 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
A seeker wrote,
A few days after my last email, thanks to your duas, Allah gave me Tawfeeq to pray Tahajjud Salah. I pray Qada Salah at that time, as well as recite the portion of the Quran revised the day before. For about two weeks, I read 1 Hizb of Munajat-e-Maqbool at that time, but owing to shortage of time, I now sometimes make my own dua, and sometimes read from Munajat. Please instruct how I should best utilize that blessed time. I normally get about 30 minutes. Sometimes, perhaps due to my sins, I wake up only for Fajr.
Please, be gentle on yourself.
Evaluate and see if your daily activities allow you to spare 30-45 minutes for tahajjud, with a minimum of 6 hours (preferrably 8 hours) of good sleep.
Please, remember tahajjud in spite of all its virtues is supererogatory (nafil), whereas, taking care of your health and family sustenance (by work/education/job), etc. is wajib. We have to balance them.
InshaAllah, eventually a time comes on the path when this becomes easier for us.
The akabir stress on making dua in this time.
etc is wajib. We have to balance them.
InshaAllah, a time comes on the path when this becomes easier for us.
The pious predecessors (akabir) stress on making dua in this time.
A seeker wrote,
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.
A novice seeker wrote,
Next ~3 days: Suddenly I began feeling the daily routine as a burden. I did not feel like doing Zikr, or reading Quran, or praying any Salaah beyond the Fard, and I was getting increasing ‘khayaals’ to do Gunaah. This has always happened to me as long as I can think back. I would be doing good A’amaal for some time, and then I would face this condition. Please give some explanation of this state, and also suggest what I should do to avoid this, or if it cannot be avoided, what should I do if this happens again.
This is quite normal.
The initial enthusiasm waxes away for everything.
This is the moment of test. Ego-centric self (Nafs) and Shaitan will try their best to derail and demotivate you.
Being persistent in these circumstances is the key to success.
Ignore the negative feelings and thoughts. Just complete the routine you have fixed.
It is just like eating or going to work in spite of a strong desire not to do so. But the essential activities are to be done., otherwise health will deteriorate or job will be lost. Similar is the case here. If you become lax and start being negligent, then this Divine-calling (warid) for good actions may go away (Allahuma hafizna).
It is a principle of Tasawwuf: There must be NO haste in making bayiat.
Firstly you have to understand why do you want it in first place?
What expectations do you have?
Then you have to look for an appropriate Shaykh with whom you have munasibet (congeniality). That is, you feel comfortable taking instructions from him and do not feel negatively about his method, instruction etc.
Then Shaykh also needs to have munasbet with you.
You have to make consultation with scholars and other shuykh about this shaykh in particular. Only after all this you make istekhara and then make the pledge.
However, bayiat is neither essential prerequisite nor a condition to make effort for islah (reformation). This is wajib all the time. Start this right away.
The best things do now will be,
- Make special dua for finding a Shaykh. Especially after each esha salat for at least 5 mins.
- Try your best to abstain from all sinful activities. Especially those related to eyes, ears and tongue. Internet misuse is a big issue. Be careful. Bad habits once developed are very hard to rectify.
- Get organized. Have a daily time table. Set time for recitation of Quran sharif, few azkar and reading from a Islamic text, even a single page daily is enough.
- Keep good company. In people, books, websites, etc. Avoid corrupt company.
- Focus on your studies seriously. They are like a wajib for you.
- Keep looking for a Shaykh. InshaAllah, you will be successful. Till then please, feel free to contact this lowly writer for any questions. The benefit is mutual. JazakAllah