Category Archives: F. Zikir & fikr

Remembrance, comtemplation and spiritual excersises

The first step

A seeker wrote

A year after Hajj ALLAH has blessed us with a daughter Allhamdulliah!!. Since then I really got involved with her. I tried my best to be devoted but I realized that my iman is getting weaker and weaker. I was not able to do those things which i used to do before and while taking care of her and home I get frustrated and when ever I get chance like when she sleeps or so, i use to watch drama on internet instead of doing ibadat . . my mother’s side family takes care about the farz ibadat like salat , zakat , & fasting but on my father’s side family they don’t care about the farz ibadaat i dont know about zakat whether they give zakat or not. They usually care about sunnat. My dadihaal is more like not follwing the religion. I am informing you this because i do not know why but i am like my dadihaal’s side it became part of my nature i always try not to be like them but some where inside me its persent. I do fulfill the basic farz ibadaat now Allahmdullilah & try to do nafli ibadaats but i cant do it in punctually like for example i usually recite Quran daily but at some point i do not. I used to listen islamic lectures and read islamic books but again after some time period I don’t.

Ashrafiya replied,

These days most families are like this.

We should thank Allah abundantly that He is guiding us towards Himself.

We can not judge others.

Some people who are outwardly irreligious may have strong eman internally and eventually outrun others in Here-after.

Our primary concern is salvation of ourself.

Focus on the essentials (faraiz) for now. Especially salah. Pray regularly on time. It is a must.

Keep a record of any namaz that is missed and qaza not done.


Try to read at least one page from the books of sayyidi wa sanadi Mawlana Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani sahib (Islahi majalis) or listen to the waaz online for 10 -15 mins daily.

Make dua aftet each salah in detail for whatever bothers you or you desire (3-5 minutes).


Recite kalimah tayyiba (la illaha ilAllah u) with occansiional (Muhammadur Rasool Allah, sallalaho alhe wasalam) while doing the house hold chores.

Islahi emails:MTA

Wird & Multitasking

A seeker wrote,

I noticed that increasingly I have begun to finish the daily tasbeehat on the go (while driving, walking etc) to save time, even when I am not really crunched by time. Would it be more recommended to try to force my self to properly sit down and do tasbeehat as much as possible.

Ashrafiya replied,
Multitasking in ma’amolat is not good. Especially for starters like me and you.

Try your best to do them properly in their allocated time.

Only if you are running late or there is an emergency you can complete them while you do other stuff.

Islahi emails:TA

Wird & Multitasking

A seeker wrote,

I noticed that increasingly I have begun to finish the daily tasbeehat on the go (while driving, walking etc.) to save time, even when I am not really crunched by time. Would it be more recommended to try to force my self to properly sit down and do tasbeehat as much as possible.

Ashrafiya replied,
Multitasking in ma’amolat is not good. Especially for starters like me and you.

Try your best to do them properly in their allocated time.

Only if you are running late or there is an emergency you can complete them while you do other stuff.

Islahi emails:TA

Postpone Tablighi excursion

A novice seeker wrote,

I would like to seek for permission for Tablighi Jama’at activity.

Ashrafiya replied,

For time being postpone this for a while.

It is essential to firmly root yourself in the daily ma’moolat, reading, islah,etc. before you proceed to activities that are going to change your routine drastically.

Do assist them (nusrat) for few hours and sit in their bookreading sessions (ta’leem only. Not lectures) for the time being.

Islahi emails:TA

Dhikr

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!

The Principles of Tasawwuf, p 83

Chishti dhikr

I read about the zikr of the chishti tareeqa i.e. the dowazdah tasbeeh. I have doubts in my mind regarding this. The thought comes to my mind that this is not established by sunnah. I have tried to read many books to clarify this but am not satisfied yet. Although I am ashamed to even think about the likes of Hakeem ul ummah RA or Mufti Taqi Usmani DB involved in any bidah. But I guess the very non-sufi environment that I have been in, gives me these doubts. Any clarification regarding this would be sincerely appreciated. Please forgive me if I offended with this question.

Ashrafiya replied,

There is no offence at all in asking this question.

However, there is a misunderstanding that needs to be clarified.

That is, every one acknowledges that dowazadeh tashib is not a masnun zikr, but it is a prelude or an excercise to develop interest, concentration and sincerity in the real zikr. This is by experience of the past mashaykh. Just like the physicians treating with different medicine. Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) tells us that, ‘is is medicine’, ‘you do not need a proof from Quran and hadith to use Tylenol for headche’,.

Similarly the sufic zikr is a medicine.This is clarified to each and every murid at the time of instruction of this tasbih. Not all murid or talibs are instructed to do it.

Also, the daily masnun tasbihat are in addition to this zikr.

I hope it is a bit clearer now.

Islahi emails:TA

Staying Spiritually Healthy

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.

بجاہ سید المرسلین حبیبک صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم

آمین!

Spiritual constriction(Qabd): signs, symptoms, causes & treatment

A spiritual aspirant wrote, Sir! The conditions of wilting and constriction is ever increasing. Weeks and months pass by without experiencing any happiness. It looks like mind and heart are dead. There no solace either in being alone or in gatherings. I’m extremely disturbed by the vacuum and suspension in life. The work is merely for acquiring sustenance there is no aspect of interest in it at all. ……………

……. The wish for dying has not as yet developed, however, life is a burden……………

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

‘This condition is called spiritual constriction (qabd). It happens to all (spiritual wayfarers:salikeen ). Outwardly it appears to be an affliction, however in reality it is a blessing.

Its causes are different. Sometimes it is disturbance in normal physiological (bodily) functioning or mixing (in unsuitable company) or seasonal affect or medicinal side effects or (consumption of inappropriate) food or psychological factors, or (excessive) thinking or (overwhelming) sadness or anger. All of these are treated by there opposites.

Sometimes it is due to sinful involvement. It’s treatment is abandoning the sinful and excessive repentance.

Sometimes it to elevate the spiritual status of the aspirant. That is, the deficiency in volitional good actions is compensated by forced spiritual struggle. This increases the spiritual status.

At other times it is to rectify one’s morals (ikhlaq). That is, by observing one’s imperfections there is development of humbleness and humility. This cures many blameworthy morals, like narcissism (ujub), arrogance (kibr) and hard-heartedness (qasawet), etc. .

Sometimes it is a test of love and reverence. That is to see if the individual works only when happy and experiencing enjoyment or continues with good actions when there is no experiencing at all. Because the later condition can only be due to overwhelming love and reverence.

At other times it is leads to attraction (jazb) to the sanctified realm (‘alam al quds) by removing the veils and obstacles.

And sometimes the causes are beyond descriptions.

After this prelude, there are some points of caution,

1. Sometimes various different causes are combined

2. When this (qabd) occurs it is futile to investigate and identify the reasons behind it. Moreover it is detrimental to do so. This is because there is no way to ascertain it definitely. And it will be a wasted effort.

3. The rights of all the possibilities should be fulfilled. That is (practice ) repentance, patience, thankfulness, assigning affairs to Allah (tafweez) , relying on Allah, humility, supplications, turning to Allah, excessive remembrance, being steadfast in good actions, decrease in useless affairs, involvement in activities that relax and strengthen the mind like meeting friends, interaction with spouse and children, consuming one’s favorite foods in moderation. All these must be combined in a efficient way.

4. All of these (above mentioned) activities should be done without the intention of treatment or expecting (a hastened) spiritual opening (bast) or blissful state. These are in themselves (necessary) to be done. One should be ready to be steadfast in fulfilling these rights even if this spiritual constriction prevails till the end of life.

5. Staying away as much as possible from all the astringent and worrisome affairs.

Use of these interventions meticulously, InshaAllah, will result most of the times in spontaneous (physical/tabaii) spiritual opening and for sure in intellectual (‘aqli) spiritual opening.

If there is suspicion of relapse then as per ان عدتم عدنا be ready. Like an individual who get a seasonal fever (every year). He doesn’t despair. He just renews the prescription again (for use).

Tarbiyet-us-salik , volume 3, p 186-8

Tahajjud

Narrated Ibn `Abbas (Allah be pleased with him):

When the Prophet (ﷺ) got up at night to offer the Tahajjud prayer, he used to say: Allahumma lakal-hamd.

Anta qaiyyimus-samawati wal-ard wa man fihinna.

Walakal-hamd, Laka mulkus-samawati wal-ard wa man fihinna.

Walakal-hamd, anta nurus-samawati wal-ard.

Wa lakal-hamd, anta-l-haq wa wa’duka-lhaq, wa liqa’uka Haq, wa qauluka Haq, wal-jannatu Han wan-naru Haq wannabiyuna Haq.

Wa Muhammadun, sallal-lahu’alaihi wasallam, Haq, was-sa’atu Haq.

Allahumma aslamtu Laka wabika amantu, wa ‘Alaika tawakkaltu, wa ilaika anabtu wa bika khasamtu, wa ilaika hakamtu faghfir li ma qaddamtu wama akh-khartu wama as-rartu wama’a lantu, anta-l-muqaddim wa anta-l-mu akh-khir, la ilaha illa anta (or la ilaha ghairuka).

(O Allah! All the praises are for you, You are the Holder of the Heavens and the Earth, And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You have the possession of the Heavens and the Earth And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You are the Light of the Heavens and the Earth And all the praises are for You; You are the King of the Heavens and the Earth; And all the praises are for You; You are the Truth and Your Promise is the truth, And to meet You is true, Your Word is the truth And Paradise is true And Hell is true And all the Prophets (Peace be upon them) are true; And Muhammad is true, And the Day of Resurrection is true. O Allah ! I surrender (my will) to You; I believe in You and depend on You. And repent to You, And with Your help I argue (with my opponents, the non-believers) And I take You as a judge (to judge between us). Please forgive me my previous And future sins; And whatever I concealed or revealed And You are the One who make (some people) forward And (some) backward. There is none to be worshipped but you . Sufyan said that `Abdul Karim Abu Umaiya added to the above, ‘Wala haula Wala quwata illa billah’ (There is neither might nor power except with Allah).

Sahih al-Bukhārī,1120, book19/1

Allah is our Wali


 

5. اَنۡتَ وَلِيُّنَا فَاغۡفِرۡ لَـنَا وَارۡحَمۡنَا‌ وَاَنۡتَ خَيۡرُ الۡغَافِرِيۡنَ

“You are our protector, so forgive us, and have mercy on us, and You are the best among those who forgive.”

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) explained that “wali” is one who knows the interests of someone, and safeguards those interests. Here, before making the supplication which follows, it is being said to Allah that “You are our wali”.

This is common throughout the supplications mentioned in the Quran and Hadith, that they often begin with words of praise for Allah. Why is this so? Some ignorant people think that these words of praise are akin to flattery which is done to people of power in this world. Allah has no need of this! Even if the entire world stopped mentioning His praise, it would not cause the minutest decrease in His Greatness!

Rather there are two reasons for doing this:

a) If a slave mentions his difficulties without words of praise to Allah, it is possible that ungratefulness could be involved in that supplication. To save the slave from into falling into ungratefulness, it is made Sunnah to begin the supplication with words of praise for Allah.
b) The words of praise for Allah, such as SubhanAllah (Allah is pure),  Alhamdulillah (all praise is for Allah), Allahu Akbar (All is the Greatest) contain blessings, the reality of which will only be revealed in the Akhirah.Saying these words before supplications is made Sunnah so that the slave is not deprived of these blessings when making supplications to Allah.
Ramadan 1440, post zohar dars, Masjid Darul Uloom Karachi,

Intekhab e Kaiseri

Acknowledging one’s mistakes

4. رَبَّنَا ظَلَمۡنَاۤ اَنۡفُسَنَاسكتة وَاِنۡ لَّمۡ تَغۡفِرۡ لَـنَا وَتَرۡحَمۡنَا لَـنَكُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الۡخٰسِرِيۡنَ‏

“Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and do not bless us with mercy, we shall, indeed, be among the losers.”

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) explained that before sending Adam (peace be upon him) on the earth, Allah showed us two examples of mistakes. One mistake was by Iblees when he refused to prostrate to Adam (peace be upon him). When he was asked why he disobeyed Allah he gave logical reasoning to prove that his stance is correct. As a result, he became permanently rejected.

On the other hand was the mistake made by Adam and Hawa (peace be upon them both). When they were asked why they disobeyed Allah, they immediately confessed to their mistake and asked Allah for forgiveness. As a result, they became a model for humanity as to what to do when one makes a mistake.

Ramadan 1440, post zohar dars

Intekhab e Kaiseri