Category Archives: G. Dreams & Unveiling

Intrepretation of dreams and kashaf o karamat

Observing effulgence



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


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


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


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



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


تلك خیالات تربی بھا اطفال الطریقہ

The ‘wali-tarash‘ Shaikh Najamuddin Kubra (Allah have mercy on him) writes,

‘In front of Khawajah Imam Yusuf al-Hamdani (Allah have mercy on him) an individual mentioned with astonishment that I was in the company of Shaikh Ahmad al-Ghazali (Allah have mercy on him) eating with other brethren. All of a sudden the respected Shaikh passed away (from the physical realm). Few seconds later when he gained consciousness he said, ‘At that time I observed that the Messenger of Allah (Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace) is placing food in my mouth by his own blessed hand.’

Shaikh Khawajah Yusuf Hamdani (Allah have mercy on him) listened and replied,

تلك خیالات تربی بھا اطفال الطریقہ

These are thoughts by which the infants of this path (tariqat) are nurtured.’

Mirsad al Abad, page 193-4


Sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) wrote in the obituary of Shaikh Nawab Eshrat Ali Khan Qaiser (Allah have mercy on him),

‘Recently (prior to his death) he confided in me and said, all praise is for Allah, I do not recall leaving a salah with jama’ah (congregation) for the previous fifty two years.’

Al Balagh, March 2012, Rabi II 1433, page 5

(Akabir occasionally disclose information like this to motivate their disciples.)

Ujub: My effort & actions!

Shaikh Wasiullah Allahabadi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘An incident from the life of Shaikh Ibrahim bin Adham (Allah have mercy on him) is mentioned in books. The Shaikh said,’ One night I overslept and missed my wird. This disturbed me a lot and I became agitated. This was because in those days I was from the individuals who have faith in their effort and see them (as their own achievement). In its retribution,due to oversleeping, I missed few essential (fardh) religious duties.

I became extremely anxious and cried asking Allah, ‘What is this happening? Having surpassed omission of supererogatory (nafil)  actions now I am missing the essential ones.’

Instantaneously I heard a voice from within,

O Ibrahim! Become Our slave (abd).

By doing so you will find spiritual serenity.

(This means to abandon your own determination and choices and act as per Our decree and guidance). When We make you to oversleep then sleep. And when We command you to get up then rise. Between these two extremes you have no choice of your own.’

Talifaat e Muslih al-Ummat ra, volume 2, page 20

آوڈیو کتاب : شریعت و طریقت


شریعت و طریقت

حضرت حکیم الامت مولانا اشرف علی تھانوی قدس اللہ سرہ


A dream for guidance!

A person wrote the following,

“I saw a dream that I am writing to you. It was the night of 27th Ramadan 1237H. With the possibility that it may be the Night of Power (shab e qadr) I had planned to offer optional salah (nawafil) all night. However, after ‘esha salah when I returned home I laid down on the bed besides the main door (to rest for a while). I fell asleep. Around two o’clock I saw a dream that I have traveled to a place where there is a very large open area, many miles wide. There is organized seating arrangement on the floor. In between there is a table covered with a table-cloth. Millions of people wearing their best clothes and perfume are sitting with reverence (adab). There are few high ranking individuals sitting on the chairs around the table. On the table there is writing board around 2-3 yards in length and 1 or 1.5 yards in breadth. A respected individual dressed in white gown (‘abaya) and green turban (‘amamah) on head is standing besides the table greeting and shaking hands with the crowd. The blessed face in radiant like the sun and with his enlightened and enlightening tongue he is telling them,

“I tell you with much emphasis that you should abstain from all that is impermissible (haram) and be steadfast on that is permissible (halal).”

Observing all this I went forward and greeted the blessed person with ‘as salam o alaikum’. He replied, ‘wa alaikum as salam wa rehmatullah’. I reached forward and shook hands and embraced him also. He told me that it was very good and that I should become a mureed, and he promised to tell me eleven things that he has reserved especially and exclusively for me. This humble guy (myself) stood there with utmost reverence. He gave me the permission to sit. I was going to sit on the floor but he instructed me to sit on one of the chairs. Thanking him I sat on one of the vacant chairs. I was extremely happy in my heart.

On the blackboard I saw numerous names written in elegant and bold white letter. I saw them very clearly. The names that I could read included, Hahdrat Mawlana Fazalur Rehman Ganjmuradabadi, …….., Haji Imdadullah, Haji Ashraf ‘Ali and Molvi Mohammad Ishaq, etc.

As I turned to my side I saw Hadhrat Mawlana Fazalur Rehman Ganjmuradabadi, whom I was blessed to visit as a child. Immediately it flashed to me that this is the scenario of Judgment day. The blessed individual is our Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and those sitting on the chairs are his Companions, including Sayyidina Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman and ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all).

It also occurred to me that I am already a mureed (of a Shaykh) and should not hide it from the blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and should seek Allah.

Around an hour or later the blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) called for me. I shook hands and embraced him. Furthermore I reminded him of those eleven things he had promised to tell me so that I can follow them wholeheartedly. I also informed him that I am already a mureed but I want Allah. On hearing this, he immediately pulled away his hand from me and said, ‘Indeed you are ………. and you are the mureed of …………., an innovator (bida’ti). Futhermore he took a pencil and crossed out my and my Shaykh’s names from the list on the blackboard. Then the blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) told me to go away. With lots of courage and adab I humbly said that my Shaykh is not an innovator.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied that he is an innovator and in addition he associates partners with Allah (mushrik).

Humbly and with utmost veneration I said that I have never seen him doing any shirk.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, he is involved in taking out effigies of the tombs of the martyrs of Kerbala (taziyadar), a lover of the worldly things, an idolater prostrating in front of the graves. Didn’t you see him at …….. village, in Lucknow that he bowed his head infront of his Shaykh’s grave and forbade you from visiting the holy sanctuary in Medinah e munawwara.

(I became a mureed in 1893 CE. In 1898 I received khilafa and in 1900 this incident happened. In this 26 or 27 years relationship I attended the death anniversary of a sufi saint (urs/hawl) and listened to the sufi poetry sung with musical instruments (qawwali) only once.)

I cried and begged but the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not reply. As the last resort I ran and held the blessed feet of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) rebuffed my hands and stroked me (with his blessed foot) strongly in my ribs. I fell down and started to tremble. This woke me up. At that time I was crying, feeling the pain in my ribs and I was trembling. I went inside the house and told my son ………. Chatari the whole dream just mentioned. In the morning I wrote this all and send it to my Shaykh. He came in person to my house and listened to the whole incident again. His response was to prepare for Hajj journey this year in order to visit the blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and ask forgiveness. I did not commit due to insufficient funds and debts.

Since I have seen this dream my conviction towards my respected Shaykh has waned off. Now I am approaching you for my religious betterment (islah). I will be very fortunate if I am considered to be your humble servant.

Hakim al-Umma Hadhrat Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,

“This dream is absolute guidance. It is essential (wajib) to leave the Shaykh who acts against Sunna and to establish contact with truthful people (ahl e haqq). I have no hesitation in giving instructions regarding the spiritual path. Start acting on the fiqh as outlined in the books, Behashti Zewar (Heavenly Ornaments) and Islah e rasoom. Take the awrad from Qasdus sabil and general advices from my spiritual discourses (mawaiz). The full instructions in detail will be discussed when we meet in person.

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 2, page 1069-70

Tasawwuf & art of Tasawwuf

Allamah Sayyid Suleman Nadwi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘Sultan al-azkar, shugal-e-anhad, kashaf-e-qaboor and things similar to them are not Tasawwuf. They are the art (creation meant to communicate or appeal to senses or mind) of Tasawwuf.

How can art be the reality?

The real purpose of Tasawwuf is to gain Allah’s pleasure and follow the example of Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Yes, if any of these things are acquired involuntarily then it is another discussion.’

Tazkirah e Suleman, page 332


Reality of Tasawwuf



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

‘For us the reality of Tasawwuf is only knowledge accompanied with actions .

The actions are limited to those that have been instructed by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and are within the volitional means of the spiritual aspirant (salik).

Besides these all other things are superfulous. If they are bestowed and the Shaykh approves of them then they are a blessing and one should be thankful for them.

However, if they are held or taken away after being given then striving to achieve them or being extremely sad on their withdrawal is impermissible in the path. Moreover it is extremely harmful for one’s spirituality. This is irrespective of whatever that thing may have been.’

Basair e Hakim al-Ummat ra, page 56