Teachings of Hakim al-Umma Mawlana Ashraf 'Ali Thanawi & his spiritual successors, particularly 'Arifbillah Dr 'Abdul Hayy 'Arifi (may Allah bless them) and Sayyidi Mawlana Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) regarding Tasawwuf
Someone asked him: “How can the Orientalists be refuted?”
Shaykh Mustafa Azami (Allah have mercy on him) advised us not to spend our time refuting the Orientalists.
He said that he had spent all his life refuting them, but their objective was not to find the truth, rather to create wrong comments. After you work on displacing the doubts created by them, they’re not going to apologize and mend their ways. Rather, they’ll manufacture a new falsehood. And so, your life will pass in cleaning up the dirt created by them. You should instead work on putting forward the truth. This was the advice he gave us.
While speaking to us, Hoca (Shaykh Mustafa Azami, Allah have mercy on him) told us that when he was student at Al-Azhar, he once went to get some milk. On the wall of the milk seller’s shop, it was written with calligraphy: “The one who cheats, he is not from one of us.” This is taken from a hadith. But the milk seller was adding water to the milk in front of this hadith on his wall.
Everyone laughed upon hearing this.
But Hoca added, “You all too, when you reach the class five minutes late, when you do not prepare well, when you waste time in empty talk during the class, you too fall to the level of the man adulterating milk with water.” Everyone was taken back upon hearing this. A pin drop silence followed.
Till today, I’ve not forgotten those words. I try to fulfill the rights of the class lesson in its true sense. I remind myself that whenever I go late to class, or if I don’t prepare myself well, I fall to the level of the man mixing milk with water.
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)
Qutub Alam Shaikh Abdul Qudoos Al Gangohi (d:1537CE. Allah have mercy on him) said,
O Seeker of Truth! If the path of Islam was as easy (as you think) then everyone would become Shibli and Ibrahim bin Adham (Allah have mercy on them). (In reality) Until and unless you are a (true) Muslim from within you can never be a (real) Muslim from outside.
It is grieving and mournful to see these days that world is full of spiritual mentors (pir) and seekers (mureed) but no one can find a (true) Muslim.
What is mentor-seeker (piri-mureedi) relationship nowadays?
It is all idolatry and self-worship!
May Allah save us all from it. Ameen!
This is in reality my own mournful predicament. I tell it so others can learn from it.
Maktubaat e Qudoosiya, letter #111, page 480 (from Urdu translation by Shaikh Capt. Wahid Baksh Siyal rehmatullah aleh)
Khawaja Azizan Ali Ramitani (Allah have mercy on him) said,
Remember any companion who makes you forget Allah (& His commandments: i.e. what is permissible and what is forbidden?) is your Devil (Shaitan) in human (or gadget etc.) form. He/it works on you openly and is therefore, worst then the (real) Devil who whispers clandestinely.