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
Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) was replying to the letters of spiritual aspirants.
After reading a letter he addressed those sitting in his office,
One of my friends (Shaikh usually uses this title for those seeking spiritual reformation (islah) under his supervision) is blessed with witnessing of the Holy Prophet (Allah’s blessings & peace be upon him) frequently. Sometimes it is in sleep (dream), other times in a state between sleep and wakefulness and also in wakeful state.
A great blessing indeed!
However, few things must be clear about this phenomenon.
Firstly, it is something beyond one’s volition. It is ghairikhteyari. It is a blessing and one should be excessively thankful to Allah for it. However, it is not a sign of spiritual proximity. One should not consider him/herself spiritually superior to others because of it.
Secondly, if one is blessed with this for a while and then it ceases to exist than also it is not a sign of spiritual decadence.
The only thing that matters in spiritual proximity are an individual’s actions. That is doing good and abstaining from sinful.
This must be explicitly clear.’
Ramadan 1442, post zohar, office, Darul Uloom Karachi
How do we understand the role of music in the tasawuf of Maulana Room ( Allah have mercy on him) specifically the Ney(flute)
It (ney) is to be ignored. Hazrat Maulana (Allah have mercy on him) is in overwhelming state (magloub al haal).
Even his mathnawi is not for everyone. http://www.ashrafiya.com/2010/08/01/mathnawi-tasawwuf/
the present day melvis and their musical assemblies are a much later development.
After reading Haqq us sama you will see the difference between real sama: audition and the present day musical qawwali: where everything goes.
In Urdu there is book Islam aur musiqi by Hazrat Mufti Mohammaed Shafi (Allah have mercy on him). It has been incoperated in the english book the slippery stone by brother Khalid Beg http://www.albalagh.net/bookstore/?action=view&item=1355
Both of them include the stance of sufiya on this topic.
I wish to ask about istighatha min al qubur By this I don’t mean istighatha of physically asking the wali for a son or rain etc. These things are clearly shirk. But I am asking about istighatha where the mureed gets spiritual help and sustenance and learns the daqaiq of tasawuf from the sahib-e-qabr. This would seem to be mentioned in al muhannad by shaykh khalil ahmad saharapuri (ra) in Al Muhannad.
There is detail in this issue. Only a very advanced, that is sahib e nisbet, mureed can benefit from a passed away sahib e nisbet Shaikh. So the lay people like us have nothing in it. Also, there is no teaching/learning/instruction in this form of benefit. You need a living Shaikh for that, The benefit is of faiz e nisbet/increase in relationship to Allah. Also, these are from zauqiumoor. That is something to be tasted/experienced. They are neither propagated or preached. They are to be experienced.
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.
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.
Sayyidiwasanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve and protect him) wrote,
‘It is well known that our master Mohammed bin Sireen (Allah have mercy on him) is an authority (Imam) in dream interpretation. He said,
الرؤیا تسر ولا تغر
It is fine to be pleased with (good) dreams, however, they should not fool you. This is because one’s being accepted by Allah is not dependent on dreams but is based on actions done in the wakeful state. Though it is acceptable to considered it (the good dream) as a positive omen and feel happy. Provided it becomes an encouragement to do good deeds and follow the Sunna. ‘
Data Ganj Baksh Ali Hujwari writes about Khawaja Abu Ahmed Al Muzafer (Allah have mercy on them) ,
‘On a very hot summer day I visited him in a unsettled state. He inquired, What do you desire? I replied, Sama’a (audition). He immediately called for the cantors (qawwal).
During the sama’a session I remained extremely agitated. Eventually when I calmed down he inquired, How much did you enjoy this? I replied, O Sheikh! Very much indeed.
The Shaikh continued, A day will come when the sound of the sama’a and the cry of a crow will become same for you. The influence of sama’a is prior to witnessing the Reality (mushahida). After mushahida the desire for sama’a will vanishes. ‘
Maulana Professor Sayyid Suleman Ashraf Bihari (Allah have mercy on him) said,
Tasawwuf has two sections,
Knowledge of spiritual endeavor (ilm e ma’amlah)
Knowledge of revelation (of spiritual secrets) (ilm e mkashafa)
The knowledge of spiritual endeavor fulfills the purpose of scared law (Shariah). It entails that an individual develops within his soul a faculty that if he commits something sinful or is lax in performing a pious deed he feels a subjective pain similar to the one he experiences in physical sickness or with monetary loss. It is like the extreme (mental) suffering a noble, respectable and well known person feels if he has to beg for money.
After developing this ability even the thought of committing something inappropriate is spiritually distressing to this individual.
The second section, knowledge of revelations, consists of performance of specific pious actions and bearing hardships on one’s self (nafs) to develop in one’s spirituality special (malakuti) powers . This is to become worthy of receiving the hidden secrets of the sacred law (Shariah).
Al Sabeel 33-4
It is the first section that is the most important for novices like me and you.
The way to develop it is the islah (betterment) training done under the supervision of a spiritual mentor.
Here there is mausoleum of Makhdoom Sheikh Sharaf ud Deen Ahmed Yayha Maneri (Allah have mercy on him). On my weekly visits the grave is no obstacle I see clearly the blessed (dead) body (of the Sheikh) and a garden all around. It is as per the description of a believer’s grave. This vision remains with the eyes open. Similarly I see it at my sister’s grave who recently passed away and another pious person’s grave. Moreover, at some graves I see what has been described of transgressors’ grave.
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘Neither pay any attention at all to these happenings nor consider them to be accurate. All of these are a veil (distraction).’
As per your instruction I do not look towards the states (kaifiyat) and results (summerat) (of spiritual works being carried out). However, I desire that I achieve an iota of piety (taqwa) and a strong perpetual connection with Allah (nisbet).
Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah protect and preserve him) replied,
“Do you desire these achievements or the awareness of having achieved these?
The first desire is appropriate, whereas, the latter inappropriate (for a sincere seeker).’
A seeker wrote,
Yesterday (21st Ramadan 1411) in the morning I saw you in a dream. I saw that you have received three letters and you are reading them in a way that I can also see part of them. The third letter comes in my hand. I do not remember the contents, however, in the end of it is a couplet written in beautiful calligraphy. The first line is from a famous Persian couplet that I recognized at that time but forgot on waking up. The meaning of second line that this lowly one understood in the dream was,
Respected Khawaja Moinuddeen (Chishti, Ajmeri, Allah have mercy on him) is present in the form of Mohammad Taqi.
And after your name is written عليه السلام.
Sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah protect him) replied,
‘Insha Allah it is a blessed (mubarak) dream.
May Allah give its blessed affects to you and me.
This is a good tiding (basharet) for creating joy in (spiritual) actions and to be taken as a good omen. However, the real criteria (for deserving Allah’s pleasure) are the actions done while awake.’