Category Archives: G. Dreams & Unveiling

Intrepretation of dreams and kashaf o karamat

Sama’ a

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.

Kasheful mahjoob, p 100

Tasawwuf

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Maulana Professor Sayyid Suleman Ashraf Bihari (Allah have mercy on him) said,

Tasawwuf has two sections,

  1. Knowledge of spiritual endeavor (ilm e ma’amlah)
  2. 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.

 

Kashef al qaboor

  
A seeker wrote,  

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).’

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 2, page 1096

Achievement and its awareness

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A seeker wrote,

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).’

Islahi Khatoot

The most superior karamet

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It was reported that an individual walks on (flowing) water.

Shaikh Abu Mohammad Murtaish (Allah have mercy on him) replied,

‘I consider that the person who has been blessed by Allah to be steadfast against his (sinful) desires is most upright and superior to the individual who walks on water and flies in the air.

And (remember) action against one’s desire is only by asceticism (zuhud) and diverting one’s attention away from all (worldly) things.’

Eqaz al Himam, volume 1, page 369

A refreshing dream

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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.’

Islahi khutoot, qalmi

Learn the lesson / Darse Ebrat*

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For the intelligent, an indication 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 (RA), 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. Aameen.

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 travelling 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 worshipped 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. Amongst these girls was one who was exceedingly beautiful. She wore a gold necklace around her neck. When Shaikh Abu Abdullah saw her the colour 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 dishonoured 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)

From: an Noor

*Mufti Mohammad Shafi (Allah have mercy on him) published the story in Urdu with this tittle.

Observing effulgence

chandelier

 

A seeker wrote, ‘One night when I was offering the tahajjud salah, as I turned (my head) to say (the exit) salam I saw a light, like a chandelier, near my home’s restroom. I expeienced heartfelt delighted at seeing it.

What was this that I saw? Was it my imagination?

Most of the time it is with (excessive) remembrance and (spiritual) exercises (shugal) that effulgence are observed. I have not started any of these activities as yet.’

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

‘Sometimes (observing) effulgence like these are due to one’s imagination. At other times they may be Angelic effulgence.

The first type is most common. However, they are also beneficial for the seeker as they make him serene (yaksu). And if he utilizes this (serenity) in remembrance (of Allah) it will be more beneficial (form of remembrance) dhikr.’

Tarbiyet us Salik, voulme 1, page 552

Clarification regarding unveilings

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Hakim al Umma Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

It is not essential to have events that happen out of the normal means (khawareq) for wilayet (Allah’s special friendship).

Some of the Holy Companions never had a single paranormal event in their life, in spite of being superior to all awliya.

Superiority is contingent on Allah’s proximity and sincerity in worship.

The paranormal events can happen to non-Muslim ascetics. They are the result of training (one’s self).

The level of events that happen out of the normal means (khirq e adet) (on scale of virtuous deeds) is less than that of remembrance if Allah by heart (zikr e qalbi).

The author of Awarif (al Ma’arif, Shaikh Soharwardi, Allah have mercy on him) considers those without paranormal events to be superior to those who posses them.

The most awesome extraordinary feat (karamat) of the Gnostic is to be steadfast on Shariah. And their loftiest kashaf is to asses the capabilities of the sincere seekers and train them accordingly.

Shaikh Akbar (Muhyuddin ibn al Arabi, Allah have mercy on him) has written that some of the possessors of extraordinary feats (karamat) desired at their deathbed, alas! these feats had not occurred at their hands.

This raises a doubt, that is, then how is possible to ascertain that an individual is from the friends of Allah (awliya)?

Wilayet is a hidden affair. Why is their a need to disclose it?
If this is to benefit from them, then avail from their company and instructions. If you find your condition changing (for better) everyday you will know for sure that this individual has influence.’

Taleemud Deen, page 122-3

Rules regarding unveilings & ilham

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Hakim al Umma mujjadid Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

The information gained via unveiling (kashaf) and ilham is implied knowledge (not definitive).

If it is in accordance to the principles of Shariah then it will be acceptable. Otherwise it is imperative (wajib) to abandon it.

If it is not against the principles of Shariah but there is conflict between two kashaf, then if they are of the same individual then latest will be reliable. If they are from two different individuals then the kashaf of the person who is of calm and composed demeanor (sahib e sahaw) is to be followed than the individual who is in overwhelmed state (sahib e sukar). If both individuals are sahib e sahaw then the kashaf of the individual who has most of his kashaf in accordance to Shariah will be reliable. If they are equivalent in this respect then preference will be given to the individual who has more signs of Divine proximity and acceptance. If they are equal even in this aspect then it is permissible to follow whichever is accepted by your heart.

In scenario of kashaf of an individual versus kashaf of many individuals the kashaf of the group is more worthy. However, if that individual is superior to all of the others than his kashaf will be preferable.

Taleem ud Deen, page 121-2

Unveilings & other paranormal happenings

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Hakim al Umma Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘The events that happen out of the normal means (khirq e adet) are of various types.

One of them is unveiling (kashaf). It is of two types, kashaf e kuni and kashaf e illahi.

Kashaf e kuni is that the confines of distance and time do not remain a barrier and the individual becomes aware of (hidden) affairs.

Kashaf e illahi is that the knowledge, secrets and gnosis about the path (sulook) or Allah and His attributes dawn on an individual’s heart (qalb) or they are seen in domain of sleep or trance (alem e mithal) being manifested in various forms.

Another type (of paranormal) is ilham. That is, knowledge of some thing is put into the heart of the Sufi with serenity (and conviction). Sometimes he hears the voice of the hidden caller (hatif e ghaibi).

The third type is the intervening (tasarruf) and influencing (taasur). This is of two kinds. Firstly, influencing the inner self (batin) of the disciple so that he is attracted towards Allah. Secondly, influencing the other things of the universe, either by concerted concentration (himmat) or by making supplication (dua). Numerous incidents of these sort are reported from the friends (awliya) of Allah.

Taleemud Deen, page 121

The curriculum of Tasawwuf

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Hakim al Ummah Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) recommended a curriculum for the seekers to develop a clear understanding of the path of Tasawwuf.

The text included are arranged in particular order. They start with the simple basic books of Hakim al Ummah and move to Imam Ghazali’s Arbaeen and then to more advanced text such as Mathnawi of Mawlana Rumi, Adaab al Uboodiyah of Imam Sharani and Akmal ush Sheyam explanation of Al Hikam of Shaikh Ibn e AtaAllah al Iskanderi (Allah have mercy on them).

In addition to clearing concepts, the reading of these texts motivates the seeker to be firm on the path and to progress further.

Senior Shuyuk of our path used to complete the reading and explanation of this curriculum in special sessions reserved only for the serious seekers.

Individual seekers must read these books diligently like textbooks. They should mark the outstanding passages and take notes for later review.

Nisab e Tasawwuf

Laylat al-qadr

“As-Sufuri said (may Allah have mercy on him):“I saw it written with my father’s hand from Shaykh Abul-Hasan Ash-Shadhili (Allah have mercy on him):

“Since I reached puberty I never missed seeing Laylatul-Qadr.
If the first day of Ramadan is a Sunday, it falls on the 29th;
if it is a Monday, it falls on the 21st;
if it is a Tuesday, it falls on the 27th;
if it is a Wednesday, it falls on the 29th like Sunday;
if it is a Thursday, it falls on the 25th;
if it is a Friday, it falls on the 27th like Tuesday;
if it is a Saturday, it falls on the 23rd, and Allah knows best.”

(Nuzhat Al-Majalis Wa Munkhatab An-Nafa’is” by Al-’Allama Ash-Shaykh ‘Abdur Rahman As-Sufuri Ash-Shafi

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