Category Archives: K. Fiqh

Instructions for the Seeker 3

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

‘Following the pious elders is the safest path.

Holding self-opinions (khudraiy) is dangerous.

Hence, in outward matters it is most appropriate for a scholar to follow the Hanafi fiqh. A common person should follow a Hanafi scholar.

And in internal (batini) matters follow a perfect Shaykh. Do not do anything new worldly or religious without his permission. However, if a scholar or Sufi-Shaykh instructs explicitly contrary to Sharia then do not follow him .’

Ta’leem ut Talib, #6, p23

Order of actions in islah

  1. The correct intention and determination to follow the path as described in the book Qas-us-sabeel

2. Repentance from all previous sinful activities

3. Completion of repentance. That is, compensating (qaza) the lapsed essential (fardh) and recommendable (wajibaat).

4. Steadfastness in essential (fardh), recommendable (wajibaat) and Sunna action from now onwards

5. Abandonment of all that is useless and sinful

6. Adopting a daily routine of extra good actions (wird) as instructed by the Shaikh. They include,

a. Excessive remembrance of Allah (dhikr)

b. Muraqaba and/ashgal

c. Tilawet

d. Dua

7. Rectifying the blameworthy morals traits by consulting the Shaikh regularly

It is essential to follow this order.

Haphazard activities usually results in waste of time and effort.

May Allah facilitate it for all of us. Ameen!

Leaving a good deed

Hey, Abdallah ! Do not be like a man who used to get up for the night vigil and then he left it.

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve & protect him) said,

‘Based on this Prophetic saying (hadith) scholars have said that one should not leave the supererogatory (nafil) acts of worship that has been included in his/her daily routine.

However, the meaning of leaving, as I have heard from my Shaykh Dr Abdul Hayy Arifi with reference to Hakim al Umma (Maulana Ashraf Ali) Thanvi (Allah sanctify their secret), is to make an intention to abandon them (altogether and forever).

If there is no intent to abandon them (altogether and forever) but they are skipped for a duration, however, there is an intention that I will continue them (whenever the circumstances are suitable) then inshaAllah it will be not included in this admonishing. ‘

Ina’m al Bari, volume 4, p 320

Reflections on Hajj

Shaikh Dr Ghulam Mohammed khalifa of Allama Syed Suleman Nadwi (Allah have mercy on them) wrote the following after performing Hajj in 1971 (1390 Hijri),

‘The number of people performing Hajj is increasing every year due to spreading affluence, ease of transportation and availability of luxuries in Haramain. However, the number of sincere individuals (performing Hajj correctly) is steadily decreasing.

In general the pilgrims are neglectful of the etiquettes (adab), their reverence (ta’zeem) and the requisite knowledge of the procedure (masail of Hajj).

True repentance after Hajj and desire of changing the sinful lifestyle to a virtuous one is nonexistent and has become a meaningless thought. ‘

Jamal e Aagahi, p58

———–

Unfortunately fifty years later the situation is the same.

Advice for those proceeding for Hajj

A scholar requested for advice in regards to his Hajj journey.

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) said,

‘Make sure that time is not wasted. Utilize it effectively in tawaf, tilawet (recitation of Holy Quran) and adhkar.

These are only few days as mentioned in the Holy Quran

Usually people waste time in socializing with friends etc. (This should be avoided.)’

Masjid Darul Uloom, Karachi 28 July 2018, after zohar

The soul of worship

Summary of Ramadan 1439 Last 10 days Discourses:

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve & protect him) said,

Whatever actions we perform, such as prayers, fasting, Hajj, Zakah etc. are like a body. However there is a soul behind these actions without which these actions become useless in the Hereafter. The soul of all actions depends on three things:

1) Eeman, i.e. belief. This means that a person must be a Muslim for any action to be acceptable in the Court of Allah. Alhamdulillah Allah has given us Eeman. We must continue to ask Allah to protect and strengthen this Eeman.

Shaikh mentioned the following duas taught by the Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) related to this:

a) اللهم إني أسألك إيمانا يباشر قلبي

“O Allah! I ask you for Eeman which settles deep in my heart.”

b) اللهم اني أسالك إيماناً لا يرتد

“O Allah! I beg you for the Eeman which will not be shaken.”

c) اللهم اني أسالك إيماناً دائما

“O Allah! I beg you for perpetual Eeman.”

2) Ikhlas, i.e. sincerity. Normally Satan does not openly incite us to do an action just to show to others, as it is unlikely for a normal practicing Muslim to fall into this trap. However Satan attacks a person’s Ikhlas by telling him “What would people say if you don’t do this action”. As a result, the person may do some action to avoid being criticized by people, hence tainting the Ikhlas.

Shaikh mentioned that the reward of a single action can be increased if multiple intentions are made for it. For example, the following intentions can be made for eating or drinking:

a) I will make Shukr (gratitude) of Allah after eating/drinking.

b) I will be following the Sunnah of  the Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him), as he would eat food when it was brought in front of him.

c) I will use the energy I get from this food in fulfilling the commandments of Allah.

Similarly several intentions can be combined in many daily actions. Since it is normally difficult to remember to make all these intentions each time before doing each action, an easy way of achieving this is to make all these intentions at the beginning of the day. Inshallah all these intentions will be rewarded in this way as well.

Beyond this, Shaikh explained that sometimes a person’s intention can be better than his action. He quoted a Hadith the gist of which is:
“A person will be brought on the Day of Judgment and angels will present his book of deeds. One by one all his good deeds will be rejected as they were not done for the sake of Allah. After all the deeds will be rejected, Allah will command the angels to write so and so good deeds in his record. The angels will remark that he had not performed those good deeds. At this Allah will say that he had made an intention to do them.”

Further, Shaikh explained the following Hadith regarding the benefits of good intentions and the dangers of bad intentions:

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘The likeness of this nation is that of four people: A man to whom Allah gives wealth and knowledge, so he acts according to his knowledge with regard to his wealth, spending it as it should be spent; a man to whom Allah gives knowledge, but he does not give him wealth, so he says: “If I had been given (wealth) like this one, I would have done what (the first man) did.” The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘They will be equal in reward. And a man to whom Allah gives wealth but does not give knowledge, so he squanders his wealth and spends it in inappropriate ways; and a man to whom Allah gives neither knowledge nor wealth, and he says: “If I had (wealth) like this one, I would do what (the third man) did.” The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘They are equal in their burden (of sin).’”

3) Sidq, which is a comprehensive word which includes the meanings that the actions must be in accordance with Sunnah. Shaikh gave examples that Wudu done with wastage of water would not have complete Sidq as wasting water during Wudu is prohibited even if Wudu is done at a flowing river.

Ramadan 1439, malfuzaat collated by Br KaiserNizamani

Valid reason not to fast

Sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve & protect him) was asked a question regarding valid excuse for not being able to fast.

Shaikh mentioned an incident about Baba Najam Ahsan (Allah have mercy on him) who was a pious Sahib-e-Kashf (person with frequent unveiling). Towards the end of his life he was unable to fast during Ramadan. One day he was feeling slightly better so he decided to give it a try. Later during the day he became so sick that he had to break his fast. The entire next day he was seen slapping his cheeks several times saying:

“O Allah! Please forgive me for fasting! I made a mistake!”

Shaikh explained that first it should be verified whether the Rukhsa (leeway) given in Shariah applies to a particular situation or not. If it is confirmed that Shariah has given Rukhsa (leeway) in that situation then the leeway should be acted upon wholeheartedly. We should not show our bravery in front of Allah Ta’ala.

He thereafter mentioned the following Hadith:

ما خير رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بين أمرين قط إلا أخذ أيسرهما

“Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) was given a choice between two matters, he would (always) choose the easier one”

He added that when we act upon a leeway the intention behind it is ease and comfort, but when the Noble Messenger (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) acted upon an easier option it was to display his abdiyat (slave-hood) towards Allah Ta’ala.

Ramadan 1438, malfuzaat collated by Br KaiserNizamani #9

Giving advice

A seeker presented a letter to sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) in which he sought advice regarding some worldly matter.

Shaikh excused himself, saying Hakim al Umma Thanwi (Allah have mercy on him) would excuse himself from offering advice related to worldly matters. He would say that you can ask me whether something is permissible or impermissible in Shariah, but don’t ask me whether I should do this or that.

Shaikh related that once someone asked him for advice and, with many related details and conditions. Advice was given to him. This individual later went around telling people that I am doing this with Shaikh’s orders, to the extent that he said the same to Shaikh himself, i.e. I did this with your explicit command.

Soon after, Shaikh clarified to this seeker (who presented the letter), probably to allay his fear that his Shaykh is displeased with him, that this reply does not mean that I am angry with you, rather advice regarding these matters requires detailed knowledge about the matter, the individual’s temperament, preferences, etc, so I’m not in a position to give correct advice.

Ramadan 1439, malfuzaat collated by Br KaiserNizamani #5

Islamic upbringing of children: wajib

Someone from Italy sought Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani’s (Allah preserve & protect him) advice regarding difficulties in raising his children in an Islamic atmosphere in his city due lack of Islamic institutions.

Shaikh stated that if a person is unable to safeguard one’s and one’s family’s Iman (faith) in some place then remaining in that place becomes impermissible.

He further suggested the United Kingdom, specifically the cities of Leicester, Blackburn and Bradford as having some places with good Islamic environments.

Ramadan 1439, mulfuzat collated by KaiserNizamani #1

Sharia, tariqa & haqiqa

Makhdum quotes from Abu Bakr’s (Allah have mercy on them) book Kibrit al Ahmar,

“and among the folk, the sharia is like a ship, the tariqa like the sea, and the haqiqa like a pearl; so whoever desires the pearl must board the ship, and embark on the sea, and only then will he arrive at the pearl. Whoever leaves this sequence, will not reach the pearl. So the first obligation on the seeker is the sharia, by which is intended what Allah and His messenger have commanded.

The Guidance for the Intelligent

Practicing Medicine فرض کفایہ

Makhdum Zayn Uddin Al Malabari quotes from Imam Ghazali (Allah have mercy on them),

Non-religious sciences may be blameworthy, praiseworthy or neutral. As for those which are praiseworthy, they are the sciences connected with the wellbeing of humanity in this life, such as medicine and mathematics.

…..medicine, since it is necessary for the preservation of bodily health

And do not be surprised by our statement that medicine and mathematics are communal obligations,…….because if these trades were to disappear, human society would be exposed to destruction.

…….As the One who created the disease also created the cure, and guided humanity to the use of the latter, and prepared the causes for its benefit, it is not permissible for humans to allow themselves to be destroyed by self-neglect.

The Guidance for the Intelligent

The States of the Heart

Makhdum Zayn ud Deen Malabari al Chishti (Allah have mercy on him) said in regards to fard al ayn (absolute essentials) issues of Islam,

‘The states of the heart, one should know the praiseworthy qualities which one must adopt, and the blameworthy qualities which one must avoid.

As for the praiseworthy traits, they include reliance on Allah, sincerity for Him, praise and thankfulness for His blessings, repentance from one’s sins, fear, hope, abstinence, love, patience, pleasure with His decree, and the remembrance of death.

As for the blameworthy traits, they include greed for food and drink, and a dislike of hunger (given its many benefits such as the purity and softness of the heart, humiliation of the lower self, breaking lusts, and the departure of excessive sleep which prevents worship), eagerness for speech regarding what does not benefit one (the tongue has many faults, the most severe of which are backbiting, lying, and excessive joking and praise), anger, envy, stinginess, love of rank, love of the world, arrogance, pride, and showing off.’

The Guidance for the Intelligent

The real achievement

Sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) said,

‘It is relatively easier to make ‘itekaf (of the last ten days of Ramadan), offer numerous supererogatory (nafil) salah, recite the whole Quran daily, perform many Umrah and Hajj.

However, the real feat is when it comes to leaving the sinful activities. This is the real achievement and mark (of true religiosity). To have control over the sinful desires of nafs. To be steadfast at the time of temptation. Being cognizant of the commands of Allah.

On the Day of Judgment an individual will not be questioned about missing supererogatory worshipful acts but he certainly will be admonished for being involved in sinful activities. ‘

Ramadan 20th, 1432, 21 August 2011, Darul Uloom Karachi Mosque

Tawassul

Hakim al Umma Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thānawī (Allah have mercy on him) said,

“The [following] form of tawassul (intercession) through pious people, that O Allah, have mercy upon us because of such a saint, its reality is: O Allah, according to me, such a person is an accepted [servant] of yours, and for [the action of] loving the accepted people, there is promise of mercy in [the ḥadīth] ‘The person is with who he loves’. I ask from you this mercy. Thus, in tawwssul (intercession), the person expresses his love for the friends of Allah and thereby asks for mercy and reward because of this love. And love for the friends of Allah necessitates mercy and reward as mentioned in the nuṣūṣ (texts). Thus, there are many ḥadīths regarding those who love for the sake of Allah.

Now there is a question, what effect does the piety and blessing of the saint have on [the divine] mercy? The effect is that loving this saint is part of loving for the sake of Allah, and there is promise of reward for loving for the sake of Allah. After this explanation, I say acting upon [the verse 93:11] ‘But as for the favour of your Lord, then report [it]’, that if Ibn Taymiyah heard this explanation he would never have denied the permissibility of tawassul [via pious people] because all its preliminaries are sound. It is my good assumption of ʿAllāmah Ibn Taymiyah that he prohibited the tawassul of the ignorant people of his time, the reality of which was istiʿānah and istighāthah (seeking assistance).” (Ashraf al-Jawāb, p.152).

[Tr. Note: For detailed reading, refer to Bawādir al-Nawādir (p.709) and Fatāwā Rashīdiyyah (p.134). Shaykh Fakhr al-Dīn Murādābādī (d. 1392/1972) suggest in Īḍāḥ al-Bukhārī (5:319) that Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (d. 728/1328) permits intercession through good deeds, which includes love of the pious people, and therefore the difference is merely in expression, otherwise there is no real difference between his position and the position of the majority of scholars, in the manner that it has been expressed by Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thānawī. Shaykh al-Islām Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī (b. 1362/1943) appears to be inclined to this position to a certain extent (Takmilah Fatḥ al-Mulhim, 5:317; Maqālāt al-ʿUthmānī, 1:41).]

Source: https://nawadir.org/2017/11/15/100-discourses-of-shaykh-ashraf-ali-thanawi/

IDCNY17, New York