Category Archives: N. Advice

Keep progressing

A seeker must never become content at a particular spiritual state.

He must constantly desire more progress. This is by worship & spiritual efforts, maintaining focus & firm determination, and sincere humble supplications.

Usool e Tasawwuf, Muqalat e Hakimul Ummat ra, volume 14, page 100

Distraction in wird

A seeker wrote,

While reciting the daily wird I become distracted and a feeling of completing it quickly prevails. This is causing extreme distress and apprehension.

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

Do not even pay attention to this apprehension.

Complete the wird (whatever the feelings maybe).

Be reassured, that InshaAllah with persistent remembrance (dhikr e daim) this apprehension will fade away by itself.

Rafa adh dheeq an ahl at-tareeq, Muqalat e Hakim al Ummat, vol 14, page 72

Enthusiasm

A seeker wrote, these days I feel completely listless. There is no enthusiasm at all for anything. This includes no eagerness to perform acts of worship.

Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,

Enthusiasm is not a necessary requirement. Performance of acts of worship (in itself) is an essential requirement.

Moreover, acts of worship done without enthusiasm entail hardship and hence carry more reward.

This tip is worth to be remembered forever.

Rafa adh dheeq an ahl tareeq, Muqalat e Hakim al Ummat, vol 14, page 72

Become a Muslim

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)

It

Company of Devil

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.

Risala Meboob Al Arifeen, p 13

Golden Advice

Shaikh Syed Ahmed Kabeer Al Rifai said that I requested Shaikh Abdul Malik Al Herboni (Allah have mercy on them) for advice. He instructed

‘O Ahmed!

1. One who keeps looking left and right never achieves union (wisal).

2. One who has doubts seldom succeeds.

3. One who is not aware of his (spiritual) deficiencies all his time is spent in a deficient state.

Al Bayan ul mushyed, p120-1

Things to do After Ramadan

For development and maintenance of  reverence of God (taqwa) in our post-Ramadan life sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) said,

1.Leave sinful activities:

Be strict on holding your lower (nafsani) desires. Make a firm determination. Do not yield to these sinful desires easily. These desires and Satan are our two arch enemies.

2. Change the thought pattern.

The mind is constantly occupied with thoughts. There is no gap or vacuum in this process. These thoughts are either of worldly matters or useless issues or sinful activities. It is essential to intervene and develop a spiritually healthy though pattern. We have to actively think about hereafter, heavens, thankfulness of Allah for the innumerable bounties and blessings bestowed upon us, asking refuge for anticipated calamities, repenting from sinful activities, etc.

3. Adopt pious company

This is the most effective way to achieve the change of thought pattern. It leads to absorption, assimilation and implementation of the Divine teachings in our life. Without the company of the the pious the Deen remains limited to superficial level.

4. Make remembrance of Allah

Set up a daily routine of making remembrance of Allah. There are three categories of remembrance of Allah. First is that it is done with the tongue without presence of mind. Second is when tongue is silent and there is mindfulness. Finally, when both tongue and mind are making the remembrance together. Do not under evaluate even the first category. It is a stepping stone for the rest of the categories. Moreover, with consistency it eventually engulfs the mind also.

Make a daily time table for this. The daily activities done in an organised method creates barakah in time. More things are done in the same period of time. Include in it these four things, recitation of Holy Quran atleast two pages daily, durood, third kalima and istegfar. Fix a specific time for them. In other times recite whatever form of remembrance comes to mind.

The remembrance of Allah (dhikr) is a form of energy and power. It assists in development of determination to fight the lower desires.

5. Make supplication (dua)

Set a specific time for this. Like prior to sleeping, after esha. For few minutes sit and supplicate.

Say, ‘O Allah I want to follow the path You are pleased with. I want to control my thoughts, aspirations and desires as per Your desires. You have repeatedly instructed us in the Holy Quran to do so. How can I do it? I am weak. My determination and effort are feeble. Provide from Your benevolence and mercy the determination, power and motivation so I can control my desires and make them totally subservient to Your commands.’

Make this supplication daily without any gap. It is impossible that Allah will reject this supplication indeed.

29th Ramadan 1432/30th August 2011, Darul Uloom masjid, after duhur bayan.

https://www.ashrafiya.com/2011/09/17/post-ramadan-effort-preserving-the-momentum-of/

Baiyet with Mufti Taqi Usmani مدظلہ

A seeker inquired about the procedure of getting baiyet to Hazrat Mufti sahib.

Ashrafiya replied,

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve & protect him) usually does not take baiyet from anyone up front. When he feels that the seeker has recognized the true meaning of this commitment, only then he does so.

For some this duration is in months. For me it was 4 years and my wife 14 years.

In the mean duration you are suppose to do what is being told and provide regular feedback.

Individuals with whom Hazrat db does not feel munasbet are reffered to other Shuyukh. However, this may also be a test for the seeker to guage his talub (desire).

The qualities a Shaykh looks for in a potential murid are his yearning and desire to gain Allah SWT’s pleasure, readiness for anniliation of self -suggestions/opinions and enthusiasm for following what is told to be done.

Islahi emails: HB

Assistance in finding a Shaikh

An individual inquired about finding a Shaikh.

Ashrafiya replied,

as salam o alaykum

JazakAllah. Your email is very much evident of your talub (yearning). MashaAllah. May Allah SWT increase it more. Amin!.

You are in Karachi. It is full of Mashaykh. Best individuals for you will be;

  1. Hadrat Mawlana Mehmood Ashraf Usmnai (Allah protect him) at Darul Uloom Karachi,
  2. Hadhrat Mufti Abdur Rauf Sukkaravi (Allah protect him) also at Darul Uloom
  3. Mawlana Hakeem Mazhar (Allah protect him), at Kanqah e Ashrafiya, Gulshab Iqbal

Until you contact and establish a ta’luq with one of these, feel free to communicate with this lowly writer. We can share suggestions and discuss issues.

From now onwards, please,

  1. Make sure to guard your eyes, ears and tongue
  2. Abstain from all that is useless (lagw)
  3. Start the recitations of 4 tasbihat (only) in item #6 on For the seeker page
  4. After isha prayers make special dua for facilitation and guidance in finding a suitable Shaykh every day.
  5. Until the relationship with any on the above buzurgs is etablished feel free to communicate with me.

Worship, spirituality & buzurgi

A seeker wrote,

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله

Hazrat, what would you say about the subtle feeling of being some sort of unproductive during acts of worship or of spirituality?

Could it be a modern disease or at least weakness or mistuning of the heart, which needs rectification? As when the feeling grows, one becomes even lazy towards faraidh.

Or is it more of a غير اختیاری feeling like جی نہیں لگنا and thus should simply be ignored?

Or is it even helpful in order to save oneself in his youth from excessive ibaadah and nawafil and put effort into learning and earning? It might be protect from premature buzurgi.

Some guidance regarding this would be appreciated. JazakAllahu khayran.

Ashrafiya replied,

Salaam

This is reflective of poor understanding of Deen.
Works of extra worship and spirituality are done to subdue the nafs, develop a perpetual state of being cognizant that Allah is aware of what I am doing/thinking etc. and become a true Muslim up to the standard required. It has nothing to do with buzurgi.

This is one of the most common prevalent misconceptions.

It’s cause is neglecting the suhba of the pious.

It requires rectification. This is by setting a regular schedule of pious company (where the intention is nothing but self islah. No waaz, knowledge or nasihat is the objective) and a daily routine of ma’mulaat that include recitation of Quran kareem, tasbihat, adiya e masnonah and few nawafil.

I hope I answered your question.
Was salaam

Islahi emails: TAF

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 4: Sufi Music?

A seeker wrote,

How do we understand the role of music in the tasawuf of Maulana Room ( Allah have mercy on him)
specifically the Ney(flute)

Ashrafiya replied,

It (ney) is to be ignored. Hazrat Maulana (Allah have mercy on him) is in overwhelming state (magloub al haal).

Even his mathnawi is not for everyone.
http://www.ashrafiya.com/2010/08/01/mathnawi-tasawwuf/

the present day melvis and their musical assemblies are a much later development.

After reading Haqq us sama you will see the difference between real sama: audition and the present day musical qawwali: where everything goes.

In Urdu there is book Islam aur musiqi by Hazrat Mufti Mohammaed Shafi (Allah have mercy on him). It has been incoperated in the english book the slippery stone by brother Khalid Beg http://www.albalagh.net/bookstore/?action=view&item=1355

Both of them include the stance of sufiya on this topic.

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 🇦🇪