Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal (Allah have mercy on him) instructed his son on his wedding day:
Dear son, you will not attain good fortune in your home except by 10 characteristics which you show to your wife, so remember them and be enthusiastic in acting upon them.
As for the first two; women like attention and they like to be told clearly that they are loved. So don’t be stingy in expressing your love for your wife. If you become limited in expressing your love, you will create a barrier of harshness between you and her, and there will be a decrease in affection.
3, Ladies hate a strict, overcautious man, yet they seek to use the soft vulnerable one. So use each quality appropriately. This will be more appealing for love and it will bring you peace of mind.
4. Ladies like from their husbands what their husbands like from them, i.e. kind words, good looks, clean clothes and a pleasant odor. Therefore, always remain in that state.
5, Indeed, the house is under the sovereignty of the woman. While she remains therein, she feels that she is sitting upon her throne, and that she is the chief of the house . Stay clear of destroying this kingdom of hers and do not ever attempt to dethrone her, otherwise you will be trying to snatch her sovereignty. A king gets most angry at he who tries to strip him of his authority, even if he portrays to show something else.
6. A woman wants to love her husband, but at the same time she does not want to lose her family. So do not put yourself and her family in the same scale, because then her choice will be down to either you or her family. And even if she does choose you over her family, she will remain in anxiety, which will then turn into hatred towards you in your daily life.
7. Surely woman has been created from a curved rib, and this is the secret of her beauty, and the secret of the attraction towards her. And this is no defect in her, because ‘the eyebrows look beautiful due to them being curved’. So if she errs, do not rebuke her in a manner in which there is no gentleness, attempting to straighten her; otherwise you will simply break her and her breaking, is her divorce. At the same time do not let her off upon that mistake, otherwise her crookedness will increase and she will become arrogant with her ego. Thereafter, she will never soften for you and she won’t listen to you, so stay in between the two.
8. It is in the women’s nature to be ungrateful towards their husbands and to deny favors. If you were to be nice to her for her whole life but you grieved her once, she will say, “I have never seen any good from you”. So don’t let this attitude of her make you dislike her or to run away from her. If you dislike this feature of hers, you will be pleased with some other good habits within her, so create a balance.
9. Surely there are times when a woman goes through some conditions of bodily weakness and fatigue of the mind. Such that Allah has relieved her of some of her compulsory worships during that period; Allah has totally pardoned her from praying, and has postponed the days of fasting for her within this break to a later date until she regains her health and becomes normal in her temperament once more. Thus, during these days, treat her in a godly manner. Just as Allah has relieved her of the duties, you should also lessen your demands and instructions from her during those days.
10. Last but not least, know that a woman is like a captive with you. Therefore, have mercy upon her.
Source: The Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng
A spiritual seeker wrote that when he received the Shaikh’s reply he was overwhelmed with joy. An electric current ran through his body making him cry profusely. In this state of ecstasy he composed a poem praising the Shaikh.
Shaikh Wasiullah Allahabadi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
I was extremely happy to read your letter. May Allah make me as per the assumptions of people. Ameen!
From your letter I understood that maybe you have recognized (marifet) me (i.e. as a spiritual mentor). However, let me know wether you have achieved the marifet (gnosis) of the things I tell about this path (tareeq). This is because it is this that really counts. There are numerous individuals who display love (of Shaikh) but very few are cognizant (a’arif of the path). May Allah give you a generous share of this marifet. Ameen!
The editor commented that this displays Shaikh’s approach to Islah. The spiritual seeker is not reassured to be content that with verbose praise and flattering speech he may have fulfilled his obligations towards his spiritual mentor and the tareeq. Because most of the time this is naf’s (lower self’s) snare and deception. By involving the seeker in play of words it distracts him from real marifet.
This a very common mistake. Sometimes it leads to disaster for both Shaikh and the mureed. Shaikh develops ujub and mureed remains entangled in this poetry and praise, neglecting the real marifet.
Moreover, in praising the Shaikh is a very big claim. It means that one himself is of such a great stature that he has recognized the qualities of the Shaikh.
A seeker wrote, ‘Nowadays my practice is that the word ” Allah Hu” comes with each breath and in the last part of the night I recite “Allah Allah” minimum for half hour and maximum one hour. Stopping the breath (habs e damm) has become such a habit that that I can’t do away with it. The count of Supreme Name (Ism Zaat) (“Allah Allah”) is not fixed. Please advise whatever is appropriate for me and whether I should not do it at all.
Hakim al Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied:
‘I do not want to listen to anything about dhikr and spiritual exercise (shugal) without (update on the effort of) reformation of morals. I bid adieu to this kind of spiritual exercise (shugal).’
Tasheel Tarbiyatus Salik Volume 2, Page 97
Intekhabaat e Kaiseri
A female spiritual aspirant wrote, ‘Respected sir! I have a desire to wear good, crisp and clean clothes. Allah has bestowed the capacity to do so. Moreover my intention is make my husband happy and my husband also wants this.
The problem is that whenever I see someone wearing good clothes I deeply desire to buy the same outfit. Most of the time I remain silent, however, occasionally I make a request (to my husband) and eventually get it.
Sir, please, let me know if this is a spiritual ailment or not. And if it is, then please, prescribe a treatment for it. ‘
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘There are levels of adornment. The extremes are disliked and the moderate level is recommendable.
The way of moderation in this matter is not to make similar clothes at that time. If with passage of time this desire slips away then it is well and good. If not, then when there is a need to make new dress get it. If it is unavailable (in the market now) then forget about it. However, if you feel (that by delaying the purchase) you will remain preoccupied by thinking about it then buy it but do not get it stitched. Save it till there is a need for a new dress. This will fulfill your desire without compromising the (household) finances.
If your husband gives you pocket money in addition to the essential household running costs then add to the above regimen that you buy this dress from your own (pocket) money. This will keep the lowerself (nafs) within limits.’
Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 3, page 136
A spiritual seeker wrote, I read in many books the saying تارک الورد ملعون (one who abandons his daily wird is cursed). What exactly does it mean?
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘First of all sayings like this are not an evidence without an explicit reference.
Even if it is considered to be a testament then ‘cursed’ (here) means deprivation from the special blessings that is associated with (the recitation of) this wird.
In addition the wisdom of wording it so (dramatic) is to state the repugnance of abandoning the daily routine wird without a genuine excuse. This practice (of abandonment of established worship) being abominable is mentioned in sahih Prophetic saying
یا عبداللہ لا تکن مثل فلان کان یصلی بالیل ثم ترکہ
O Abdullah! Do not be like XYZ who use to pray at night and then abandoned it. ‘
Tarbiyet us Salik, volume3, page 134
Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE) predates Islam.
Shaikh Mirza Mazhar Jan-e-Janaa shaheed (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘An individual must be aware of his own real worth. This is necessary so that he is not elated by someone’s praise or disappointed by another’s criticism.
The cause of an individual’s resentment and displeasure is most of the time being unaware of his own real worth and status. ‘
Meerza Mazhar Jan-e-Janaa aur unka Urdu kalam, p 163
Sunni-tarash Shaikh Mirza Mazhar Jan-e-Jaana (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘It is essential for a salik to do istekhara prior to every important endeavor. If there is no time to pray two rakaat salah then just make the (sunna) supplication. The outcome will be the same.’
Ma’mulaat e Mazhariya p 292
Medinah al munawwarah
Shaikh Ibne ‘Ata Allah al Iskanderi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘Beneficial knowledge is that which assists one in acts of obedience and engenders awe of Allah (leading to) abstention at the limits ordained by Him.’
Taj al ‘Aria, page 74
Our master Shaykh Haji Imdadullah mohajir Makki (Allah have mercy on him) instructed,
‘Avoid the companionship of,
1. One who contravenes the ruling of Shariah.
2. One who rejects Tasawwuf.
3. Innovator (in Religious affairs ).
4. A Sufi who opposes the Sunna:the way of Prophet (Allah bless him & grant him peace) even though he can perform supernatural feats others can’t do or even he is able to fly in the sky.’
Tahseel qasdus sabeel (Shah Lutuf Rasool rehmatullah aleh), page 46