Category Archives: H. Whispering & random thoughts

wasawis and khatrat

Deceptions of Nafs

Shaikh Ahmed Arqam Balkhi (Allah have mercy on him) narrates that once my inner-self (nafs) insisted that I go and join the battle (jihad). I was surprised. In Quran Allah says that nafs commands to do evil and my nafs was telling me to do something virtuous. How can this be possible?

I confronted the nafs and said that most probably you are sick of staying in solitude and want that I go in the army where people will pay respect to me. However, I am going to fight alone (not join the army). Nafs agreed. I became more suspicious. I told him that I will fight without ammunition and die first. He agreed to it also. I told him many similar things and he agreed to all.

I was perplexed.

I prayed fervently to Allah to show me nafs’ deception.

In a vision (mukashafa) I saw my nafs.

He said that every day you kill me several times by not doing what I command, so if you go for Jihad and are killed instantaneously then it will be easier.

Moreover, no one knows about this daily struggle. It is hidden from all. But if you are killed in battlefield everyone will speak highly about you. All will say Ahmed is a martyr (shaheed).

The deception of nafs are complex and deep. They requires consultation with a mentor (murshid).

Tanveer ul Afaq: Shah Turab Ali Qalandar (Allah have mercy on him)

Doubtful Seeker: Final

A seeker wrote, I used to listen to a lot of bayans by arab sufis and Baraelwi’s but I found no good actions (amal) resulting so there must be a problem there
There was a lot of show of love (izhaar of hubb and ishq) and ecstasy(wajd) but no change to the state of heart (haal of the qalb) as I found in the classic books like Ihya al Uloom ad Deen, etc.

So I would like to try the deobandi path which seems mature and well-balanced (mutadil) and closer to the teachings of Quran and Sunna (qareeb to the nusus) but there is still the fire of fervent love (ishq) running through it.

How do I do dowazdah?

Ashrafiya replied,

Dowazdah tasbih is like medicine. It is neither masnoon nor mustaheb. Therefore, no basis other than experience of effectiveness in achieving the cure of heedlessness is required.

Why not try it for 40 days yourself?

Islahi emails:NS

Ajman, UAE

Doubts 5: Who is Ahles Sunna?

A seeker wrote, Are the Barelwis within ahlus sunnah wal jamah and the Wahhabis? Or do their tasawuf and aqeeda positions take them out of this rubric?

Ashrafiya replied,

In the domain of islah and Tasawwuf one is most concerned about himself being a true Muslim.

Since I realized that almost 6 years have passed since our initial communication I’m trying to see what progress have I made in my islah if any.

All others groups and things are distractors.

اللهم طهر قلبي عن غيرك و نور قلبي بنور معرفتك أبدا” يا الله! يا الله! يا الله!

Islahi emails: NS

Ajman 🇦🇪

Doubts 3: Wahabi?

A seeker wrote, On the issue of the Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abd Al Wahhab,
I find various aqwaal amongst the akabir e Deoband.

Ashrafiya replied,

We follow Hakim al Umma rehmatullah aleh. This is what he said
http://www.ashrafiya.com/2008/12/13/wahabi/

the view point of Shaykh Maulana Rasheed Ahmed al Gangohi (Allah have mercy on him) was different as you say. However, it was historically incorrect as pointed out by Mufti Mehmood al Hasan Gangohi (Allah have mercy on him) in his fatawa.

The seeker inquired, Was he a mujaddid or was he somebody who misunderstood the deen.

Ashrafiya replied, To the best of my knowledge none of our akabir considers him to be a mujaddid.
A ‘mujaddid’ is an individual who’s teachings are indispensable for his times and for the generations coming after him. None can escape his faiz (benefiting spiritually from him).

At the most he was a sincere overzealous reformer. (viewpoint of Maulana Manzoor Nomani (Allah have mercy on him) in particular)

Neither do we read his books nor his teaching are mentioned in our talks. We do not take deen from him or his followers.

It is a shame that people only blame him and do not tell what was the condition of lay people in belief and practice during his times. Ignorance was rampant in Arabs. People did not know and practice the basics of deen but indulged in the customary rituals and practices with zeal and passion. Prostrating to the graves, including that to the blessed grave of our mastet Prophet salAllaho aleh wasalam is well documented. “Sunni” ulema of that time condoned it with their husun e zan and taweel.

Islahi emails: NS

Ajman 🇦🇪

Doubts 2: Benefitting from grave

A seeker inquired,

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.

Ashrafiya replied,

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 zauqi umoor. That is something to be tasted/experienced. They are neither propagated or preached. They are to be experienced.

Islahi emails:NS

Ajman 🇦🇪

Doubts 1: Are Sufis ahle biddah

A seeker inquired, I am attracted to the deobandi mashrab but have read some arab sufic works.

Ashrafiya replied,

This is good to know. It also shows your concern for Deen. May Allah swt increase it more with ‘afiyet. Amin!

Seeker continued ,

1)I wish to ask if you know where I can obtain Hakim ul Umma’s treatise on sama’

Ashrafiya replied,

It can be read online or downloaded from here.

https://archive.org/stream/haqqalsama00thnv#page/n4/mode/2up

Seeker asked, and his book on the chishtiya buzurgan not being ahle bidat

There is a book al sunnat al jalilia chishtiya.

https://archive.org/details/AlChishtiyyah-AshrafAliThanawi/page/n11/mode/2up

In general it is about the importance paid by the Chishti mashaikh on following the Sunnah.

There is a detailed communication of Hakim al Umma rehmatullah aleh on the maslak of Hazrat Haji Imdadullah sahib rehmatullah aleh and that of his deobandi khulafa. It is included in the book Bawader al nawadir, page194 – 204
the book can be downloaded on read online from the following link,

https://archive.org/stream/Bawadir-un-nawadirByShaykhAshrafAliThanvir.a#page/n0/mode/2up

The concept of bidah as understood and implemented in practice by the scholars of Deoband must be very clear upfront.
Most of the practices which we identify as bidah these days are rusoom that were mubah/permissible activities. In previous generation the over all religiosity was better than nowadays and people knew that these are cultural and customary practices. They indulged in them with a good intention. Most importantly they knew definitely that these are neither Sunna or wajib practices. However, in later generations the over all religiosity decreased (see for yourself nowadays) and especially the lay people (most of whom are negligent in observance of Sunna and wajibat) started to regard these activities essential. They criticized those who did not do so or said that one can be a Sunni Sufi without them. That was the point when scholars o Deoband took the bold stand.

Hazrat Haji Imdadullah sahib mohajir Makki rehmatullah aleh was well aware of the stance of his deobandi khulafa. However, he was also aware that these practices are cultural/customary rituals, they are neither from aqaid or ebadaat. Thay are zauqi umoor. The book Faisala hafta masala explicitly documents this.That is the reason he did not cancel their khilafet or forced them to do what they considered bidah. He tried his best that the two parties understand each others view point. He endorsed the book written by both of them.

Islahi emails:NS

Ajman 🇦🇪

Allah’s decree: Accept or be upset about it

Our master Shaykh Abdus Salaam ibn e Mashish (Allah have mercy on him) said,

There are two vices that erase all good actions. First is, being upset with whatever Allah decides for us, and second is being cruel and unjust to fellow human beings.

And there are two virtues that wipe out all the wrongdoings. One is accepting the decree of Allah, and second is forgiving the fellow human beings (for their shortcomings).

(Usman Hijazi. 16/1/2021 Stillborn)

Unfulfilled Rights of others

A seeker wrote,

Sometimes I would get the thought that there could be so many huqooq-e-ibad in my past which I did not fulfill, or I did some injustice to someone, and all these require asking forgiveness from that person, while I don’t even remember who to seek forgiveness from. This thought also caused me much distress and grief.

Ashrafiya replied,

Keep a firm intnetion that if you meet or remember you will repay their dues. For now, please, make dua for them and give some sadaqa for their esal e thawab. InshaAllah this will compensate for the wrong doings.

Islahi emails: KN

Changes in daily routine

A seeker wrote,

The daily ma’moolat were going OK for some time until I got the thought that Qada salah has priority over Quran recitation, so I tried to give more time to Qada salah. But I was not able to keep up with this change in routine beyond a few days. This change in routine, which was done without seeking your permission, caused me distress, as I was not abe to fulfill this routine. I have now reverted back to 8 rakat per day, as were your instructions, and will increase it on a day-to-day basis, without increasing the daily minimum. Please advise regarding this.

Ashrafiya replied,

Keep the daily routine as usual.


Drastic and quick changes are usually difficult to maintain.

Do not be in a rush. Alhumdulillah you have a sincere intention of qada, inshaAllah you will be able to do so eventually.

Be aware that the tricks of nafs and shaitan are not limited to sinful activities. Sometimes it creates fitna in permissible and rewardable activities. Be cautious.

Islahi emails:KN

Staying focused

A seeker wrote,

At the movement i am suffering from FOCUS problem during my study and Office work.
Its happening with me since 1 year. When I try to FOCUS on the book , different kinds of negative thoughts hold my mind , therefore I cant understand a easy paragraph. And sometimes when this problem increases, I face problems in my official work also.

Ashrafiya replied,

Do not worry.
InshAllah this will improve with time. For now do the following,
Organize your time.
Keep things simple.
Do one task at a time.

For now just read the books of Hakim al Umma Maulana Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him).

Start with Talim ud deen.

Read at least one page daily.

Islahi emails:QK

Random thoughts!

A seeker wrote,

When any opportunity of leading Salah (or any other opportunity which may put in prominence) comes up, I can almost “feel” my Nafs getting pleasure as if I’ve already taken that opportunity. But I make sure I run away from that opportunity, by either leaving that place, or distracting myself by doing some Zikr, or reading some book, or thinking about something. I conclude from these feelings that Hubb e jah has not left me, but Inshallah I’m trying to suppress it as much as I can.

Ashrafiya replied,

One has to differnetiate between the random thoughts (wasawes) and the real spiritual disease.
Wasawes are created by nafs and Shaitan to bother us and keep us occupied in them instead of the the real issues.

Whereas, the spiritual diseases are all ikhteyari. That is volitional, within your own control. You consciously decide to do this to get pleasure.

In my lowly opinion you are having wasawes. Just ignore them and keep yourself busy in what needs to be done.

Islahi emails:KN

The blockades in sulook – 1

A novice seeker wrote,

Next ~3 days: Suddenly I began feeling the daily routine as a burden. I did not feel like doing Zikr, or reading Quran, or praying any Salaah beyond the Fard, and I was getting increasing ‘khayaals’ to do Gunaah. This has always happened to me as long as I can think back. I would be doing good A’amaal for some time, and then I would face this condition. Please give some explanation of this state, and also suggest what I should do to avoid this, or if it cannot be avoided, what should I do if this happens again.

Ashrafiya replied,

This is quite normal.

The initial enthusiasm waxes away for everything.

This is the moment of test. Ego-centric self (Nafs) and Shaitan will try their best to derail and demotivate you.

Being persistent in these circumstances is the key to success.

Ignore the negative feelings and thoughts. Just complete the routine you have fixed.

It is just like eating or going to work in spite of a strong desire not to do so. But the essential activities are to be done., otherwise health will deteriorate or job will be lost. Similar is the case here. If you become lax and start being negligent, then this Divine-calling (warid) for good actions may go away (Allahuma hafizna).

Islahi emails:KN

Giving up the permissible activities

In response to a seeker’s question regarding giving up all the permissible activities Ashrafiya replied

InshaAllah, travelling on this path attaches the heart of the aspirant to Allah in such a manner that eventually all other things become petty. Outwardly he may appear to be involved in all the usual day to day activity but inwardly his condition is of perpetual awareness and attachment. May Allah give this to both of us.

Our akabir advice not to give up the permissible worldly (dunyawi) stuff outright. This is because it will create a vaccum and if that vaccum is not filled with something beneficial it will be filled with impermissible stuff. Allah save us from this.

However, when the attachement and awareness of Allah increases it automatically drives away all other useless things even though they are permissible.

Islahi emails:IM

Ashrafiya Tasawwuf

A seeker wrote,

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.

Ashrafiya replied,

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.

Islahi emails:UAL

Sulook

The sulook is individualized and tailored to each and every seeker’s (talib’s) condition.

Also, Shuyukh have various personal temperament (zauq) in implementing their sulook.

This is reason for one-to-one: Shaykh-murid relationship.

This also highlights the importance of being on the same mental wave length (munasbet) with the Shaykh prior to becoming a murid.

To really achieve this it is essential to visit and correspond with the Shaykh for a considerable period of time before committing yourself.

It is vital to remember all that has been said before in this regards and visit/revisit/correspond with these individuals, do istikhara & istishara (consultation with the Allah & wise men) before making the final desicion.

Islahi emails:TK