Category Archives: F. Zikir & fikr

Remembrance, comtemplation and spiritual excersises

Dhikr without islah


A seeker wrote, ‘Nowadays my practice is that the word ” Allah Hu” comes with each breath and in the last part of the night I recite “Allah Allah” minimum for half hour and maximum one hour. Stopping the breath (habs e damm) has become such a habit that that I can’t do away with it. The count of Supreme Name (Ism Zaat) (“Allah Allah”) is not fixed. Please advise whatever is appropriate for me and whether I should not do it at all.

Hakim al Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied:

‘I do not want to listen to anything about dhikr and spiritual exercise (shugal) without (update on the effort of) reformation of morals. I bid adieu to this kind of spiritual exercise (shugal).’

 Tasheel Tarbiyatus Salik Volume 2, Page 97

Intekhabaat e Kaiseri

Wird: تارک الورد ملعون 

A spiritual seeker wrote, I read in many books the saying تارک الورد ملعون (one who abandons his daily wird is cursed).  What exactly does it mean?

Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied, 

‘First of all sayings like this are not an evidence without an explicit reference. 

Even if it is considered to be a testament then ‘cursed’ (here) means deprivation from the special blessings that is associated with (the recitation of) this wird

In addition the wisdom of wording it so (dramatic) is to state the repugnance of abandoning the daily routine wird without a genuine excuse. This practice (of abandonment of established worship) being abominable is mentioned in sahih Prophetic saying

یا عبداللہ لا تکن مثل فلان کان یصلی بالیل ثم ترکہ

O Abdullah! Do not be like XYZ who use to pray at night and then abandoned it. ‘

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume3, page 134

Sunna: Leaving it leads to gaflah 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Ata Allah al Iskandari (Allah have mercy on him) said,

Negligence (gaflah) does not come upon you except as a consequence of your negligence in emulating the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). 

Moreover (remember) you will never attain honor in Allah’s sight except by emulating him (Allah bless him and grant him peace). 

Taj al ‘Arus p 4

Paas anfaas پاس انفاس 

Diaphragmatic_breathing

Hakim al Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) instructed a very close murid,

‘Start doing ‘paas anfaas‘ and never abandon it.  Try your best that not a single breath escapes without it. Initially, before it becomes a habit set a time period like quarter or half an hour for doing it. You have the choice of selecting لا الہ الا اللہ or any other form. ‘

The murid adds, that previously Hakim al Ummah told me,

‘It is summer these days I will instruct you a paas anfaas that has cooling effect and so it will not cause distress in hot weather.

The method of doing it is to attach your tongue to the palate and recite mentally as you inhale (the line in bold)

And (the line in lighter shade) as you exhale.

Keep your breathing normal while doing so. Intentionally increasing the breathing effort while doing so leads to development of diseases. ‘

Murid further adds, Hakim al Ummah used to say that,’I have been specifically instructed regarding (deligence in performance of) paas anfaas. That is, via a warid. ‘

Mubadi at Tasawwuf, published with Bunyan al Mushayed, Maktaba e Thanvi, page 314

Shogal e unhad/شغل انحد

INFINITY

Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) instructed,

‘If after a considerable period of time consolidation of thoughts (yak suiy) during remembrance of Allah (dhikr) does not develop then it is appropriate to do a shogal (spiritual exercise for developing concentration).

There are many of them but in my opinion the most beneficial and straightforward is shogal e unhad. The best time to do it is late night after dowazdah tasbeeh. However, do not hold the breath in it. These days doing this leads to weakening of heart and mind. Only close the eyes and plug both the ears tightly with the index fingers. This will create a noise in the ears that feels limitless and incessant. That is the reason for calling shogal unhad so, In Hindi (language) un means without and had means limit. Thus unhad means limitless.

One should concentrate on this noise and recite ‘Allah’ ‘Allah’ with tongue or in heart/mind as to make sure that this time is not spend in heedlessness. Mere concentration on this noise is not a form of dhikr. This is because this noise in neither an attribute (siffet) of Allah as many have been deceived nor is it from any creature from the unseen world (alem e ghayb). It is only the trapping of air in the skull (auditory canals) that creates it. In spite of this, concentration towards it is done because it is from the perceived senses (hearing) and it is pleasant to listen to. Sometimes in this activity such noises are heard that one is spiritually overwhelmed and passes into (spiritual) ecstasy.

It is logical that a thing that is perceivable by senses like ears, eyes etc., is pleasing to do and involvement in it removes other (unnecessary) thoughts, establishes the habit of consolidation of thoughts in one direction.  Once this habit is firmly rooted this shogal is abandoned and instructions are given to concentrate towards Allah.’

Tahseel qasdus sabeel (Shah Lutuf Rasool rehmatullah aleh), page 24

Quran: Dua after recitation 

Arif Billah Dr Abdul Hayy Arifi (Allah have mercy on him) used to supplicate after recitation of Holy Quran,

‘O Allah! This is Your speech and (conveyed to us via) speech of Your (beloved) Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace ). Our aptitude is deficient (to fully recognize and benefit from it). 

O Allah! Via the barakah, luster and spiritual effluence of this (holy) text illuminate our faith and actions. And (please) make us an object of Your absolute acceptance. ‘

Sins: a plea for safeguard


O Allah! I ask You for such fear which would prevent me from Your disobedience so that I may do, through your obedience, actions which will make me eligible for Your pleasure, and so that I may truly repent before You out of the fear for You, (and) be shameful in front of You, so that I place my trust in You in all matters. And I ask You for good expectations from You. 

You are Perfect, the creator of nur (a faculty to differentiate between bright pious deeds and sinful dark actions). 

O Allah! Do not destroy us suddenly, do not take us to task all of a sudden nor make us heedless of any obligations or advice. ‘

Munajaat e maqbool # 170, Wednesday manzil 

Islah:Self improvement



Sayyidi wa sanadi
Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve and protect him) said,

‘The prescription for an individual’s islah has 3 components,

1.  Turning to Allah (inabet illa Allah). This is by repentance from transgressions done in the past and asking assistance in doing good actions in the present and future. 

2. Removing one’s self from places, conditions and situations where the likelihood of falling into sinful is possible based on past experience. 

3. Developing spiritual strength to resist the temptations of nafs by having a daily routine for remembrance of Allah. 

Majlis, 28 Ramadan 1437/ 4 July 2016, post Zohar, Darul Uloom Karachi 

Dowazdah tasbih


Demonstrating the method of dowazdah tasbih (Sufi dhikr of the Chishtiya) to a group of seekers sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve & protect him) reiterated about the jaher (audibly) and zarb (beat) that,

‘It must be clear upfront that these methods in remembrance of Allah are neither Sunnah nor more meritorious than those mentioned in Quran and Hadith. These methods have been found by experience to create a desire (shauq) of remembrance of Allah. This desire is beneficial in facilitation of pious actions. 

Even without these jaher and zarb the mere recitation of Allah’s name has a effect on an individual. 

Maulana Gangohi (Allah have mercy on him) use to say that the remembrance of Allah has its effect even if it done without full concentration. ‘

Office Darul Uloom Karachi, pre-asr majlis

24 Ramadan 1437/30 June 2016

Refuge from calamities 


Shaykh MansurAli Khansb Ali Khan (Allah protect & preserve him) said,

‘In this day and age where there are colossal calamities even in religious affairs around us we should ask Allah excessively for refuge. 

Now I appreciate Arif billah Dr Abdul Hayy’s (Allah have mercy on him) inclusion of asking refuge (istea’za) in the four priceless spiritual actions (char beshbaha mahasen) he so often recommended. This is something outstanding. 

Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) included a section of Prophetic supplications of asking refuge in every day recitation of Munajat e Maqbool

Once Mufti Mohammed Shafi (Allah have mercy on him) instructed me that if you are unable to ask Allah by reciting all the supplications in Munajat e Maqbool in lail al-qadr (the night of Power) then select the sections of asking Allah’s refuge. ‘

Jeddah 28 Sha’baan 1437/4 June 2016

Be mine and do as you wish


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

Shaykh’s job


Musleh al Umma Maulana Shah Wasiullah Allahabadi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘A genuine (muhaqqiq) Spiritual mentor’s  (Shaykh) job is to inform the disciple of his shortcomings.

That is what I (personally) practice.  And then I evaluate how much sinful involvement has he (the disciple) abandoned.

I do not inquire about the litanies (wird) recited.  Brother! If you recite the wird you will for sure get inspiration (warid). This is an affair between you and Allah. Your reward will be according to the effort you put in. ‘

Majales Musleh al Umma ra, volume 6, page 129

Spiritual progress is not by listening & reading about Tasawwuf

  
It is very common phenomenon these days that many of us are ravenously in search of material about Tasawwuf, both audio lectures and written information. We devour whatever we find. However, this is not accompanied by initiation or substantial increase in actions (a’amaal), both physical (zahiri) and internal morals (ikhlaq e batini).

The path to progress in Tasawwuf is performance of actions (a’amaal). 

Knowledge (ilm) alone is not sufficient for salvation. Acting on the knowledge with sincerity in accordance with the Sunnah in persistent manner is required. 

This is not possible practically without selecting an individual spiritual mentor.  Seeking advice from him in all religious matters, trying to act on it and if there is difficulty in doing so letting him know is essential for islah. 

May Allah facilitate this for us. Amin!

Medinah al munawwarah 

Tasawwuf: Ashrafiya Approach 2

Tasawwuf-Aur-Nisbat-e-Sufia-250x384

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) continued,

‘Similar is the story in all of the Tasawwuf. In some quarters the method of treatment (of spiritual maladies) has  been made a goal in itself.

This is the case of gathering of remembrance done aloud (ijtemai majalis e dhikr bil jaher).  Remembrance (of Allah) done aloud and in a gathering are both per se permissible. However, these days in some (sufi) paths it is considered to be an essential part and without it remembrance is considered to be deficient and less rewarding.

Similarly, as an example is the case of  supplicating in front of the graves facing the qibla. It is permissible per se. Moreover it is proven by Sunna of our master prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). However, when our pious-predecessors saw that grave-worshipers can misuse it for their benefit then they discouraged doing so

We consider our master Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) to be the mujaddid (one who revives) of this era.  In Tasawwuf lots of things were done as a means of treatment prescribed by masters, however, gradually (with passage of time) they became an objective in them-self. The revival of Tasawwuf that Hakim al Umma did was to state that the real objective (of Tasawwuf) is the acquisition of praise worthy moral characteristics (fadhail) and riddance of blame worthy moral characteristics (razail) from one’s self.

In reality there are various degrees of crossing the limits in Tasawwuf. Some elders prescribed as a form of treatment something for their disciples, others selected something else to be more beneficial. Then some considered this treatment to be essential (for all), others promoted them to the level of things highly desired (mustaheb) or Prophetic practice (Sunna). The problem starts from here (with this meddling in the fiqhi hierarchy of status of actions) onwards. ’

Albalagh,Urdu, volume 51, publication 6-7, (April 2017) page 71-2