Category Archives: H. Whispering & random thoughts

wasawis and khatrat

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

How to develop Determination?

The touchstone (kimiya) for islah is determination (himmat).

It is developed by

  1. Increasing one’s knowledge about the importance of the actions being neglected.
  2. Being in the company of people who already have determination, the pious (buzurgan e deen).
  3. Reading about the predecessor pious (akabir and ahl-e-himmat o muhabbat). Book Nuzhatul Basateen is best compilation about this.
  4. Making dua regularly. Asking Allah for determination everyday.
  5. Keeping in contact with the Shaykh irrespective of one’s condition (bad or good).

Islahi emails::MRK

Remorse

A seeker lamented regarding his sinful status.

Ashrafiya replied,

It is a fact that except for Prophets no one is free of sins.

However, blessed are those who acknowledge them, have remorse, repent and try to avoid repeating them in future.

Some times the reward of this remorse and repentance is unimaginable and incomparable to the best good deeds.

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Levels of beautification

A seeker wrote,

The aspect of show off (riya kari). How do I figure out if we are spending money to beautify the house for ourselves or so that it looks nice for guests?

Is decorating so that it looks nice to the guests riya kari?


Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) reminds us of the 4 levels of beatification as told by Hakim al-Ummat ra,

Bare minimum for residence (Rehaish)

Comfortable living (aasaish)

Decorating it (araaish) for ones own liking and

Decorating it to show off (numaish).

First 3 are permissible and the last is impermissible.

Islahi emails:TA

Extravagant spending

A seeker wrote,

In the last month I spent a lot of time along with my family members on picking up the interior materials like carpet, hardwood, cabinets, counters etc. We also got a lot of stuff that we really liked it e.g. best quality hardwood flooring, better appliances etc. For a lot of the things we could have gone with much cheaper stuff but we spent money on what we liked in a reasonable limit. At the same time I feel we didn’t stretch our selves beyond our means. A few points that I wanted to mention InshaAllah the aspect of ‘fuzool kharchi’ Although I spent the money, I am thinking that may be the $20,000 spent on the upgrades should have been given to the poor (for the size of our house I have normally seen people spending around 60000 – 80000 in upgrades, as the builders give really cheap stuff by default).

Ashrafiya replied,

This is not extravagant spending (fuzool kharchi).

The money spend for the comfort of family, friend and other Muslims is also rewarding.

Also, it will make your thankfulness (shukur) more heartfelt.

Islahi emails:TA

Levels of Humility

A seeker wrote, what I overwhelmingly feel is that humility is absent.

Ashrafiya replied,

Humility has several levels.

InshaAllah you have the basic level.

You are aiming for a higher level. InshaAllah it will come with time. Keep doing whatever you are doing. Make repentance and ask Allah for this also.


Humility increases with increase in Gnosis (marfat). That is recognizing the true stature and grandeur of Allah, & His immense blessings on a undeserving and disobedient slave, like me.

Islahi emails:TA

Feeling Gifted

A seeker wrote, I wanted to explain one behaviour in this regard. Whenever I see people who have been blessed a little less in one department e.g. Appearance or intelligence, a thought comes to my mind like feeling sorry for the person. I try my best not to be judgemental about the person based on that or comment in front of anyone else. I feel guilt about this reaction.
I wanted to add that I don’t feel this way when the person leading the
salah is older than me or has a more shari appearance or demonstrably
more knowledgeable in Islam.
Which may mean that I consider myself superior to someone who does not fit in one of the above mentioned groups, astaghfirullah. Although I do try my best to think and negate this false feeling of superiority when I remember.

Ashrafiya replied,

It is natural to feel gifted compared to others.

However, we must be excessively thanful to Allah for this benovence for selecting us and not placing us in the deprived category.

Also, we should remind ourself that these blessings are purely a gift of Allah and my own effort or capabilities or virtues having nothing whatsoever to do with them. Allah who has given this has full control to take away whenever He so decides.

Combining these thoughts actively will inshaAllah lead to more humbleness and gratitude.

Islahi emails:TA

Feeling sad

A seeker wrote,

Another problem I feel is that whenever I get really sad, feel loney or get depressed then my heart does not find peace. Not even in salat. I cannot concentrate . I donot know why it is and how can I can resolve it.

Ashrafiya replied,

Try to keep a positive outlook.
Thank Allah for each and every blessing.
Set aside 5 minutes daily to do this. Enumerate all the blessings, e.g. life, well functioning body organs & systems, health, husband, daughter, wealth, house, etc.

Islahi emails

Humility

A seeker wrote,

This question is about an issue that I feel seriously effects me. Its about considering myself better than others. I am not sure how to explain it properly but I feel that I think this way. I feel there is a sense of ‘kibr’ in me, the humility that should be the defining characteristic of a good muslim just seems to be absent. I feel I have to fake the humility constantly.
I constantly try to focus on the good qualities of other people and ponder upon the humility of our pious predecessors. But I feel my natural instinct is a feeling of superiority which I know has no basis.

Ashrafiya replied,
InshaAllah, with increasing marifet this humility will become more evident.

For the present make it a practice to recall whenever you see someone that he is superior to me and I am the most inferior (haqeer) of all.

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Doubt of Show off

A seeker wrote,

When I am asked to lead a salat I notice that I tend to offer it more properly. I feel that I have the responsibility of others. Is this show off (riyakari)?

Ashrafiya replied,
No. It is natural to do so under pressure. However, there should not be any drastic changes. Also, Imam’s salah should be very concise and light.

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Living in joint family

In response to a question regarding living in joint family Ashrafiya replied,

It is highly discouraged these days.

However, you have to be very gentle, humble and diplomatic in conveying this to your parents.

Do it slowly. Be open. Prepare well before the discussion. Show extreme empathy and understanding. Stress that you are totally committed for close family ties and it is only to maintain these it is in the best interest of all to live separately. It can be upper lower level or adjacent or same neighborhood residence.

Make lot of dua regarding this. InshaAllah best will happen.

Islahi emails:TA