Category Archives: N. Advice

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

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.

Islahi emails

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.

Islahi emails

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

Accommodate & Adjust

A novice seeker wrote,

In the summer time, due to the extreme times for Isha and Fajr, is it ok if I pray Maghrib with jamat, Isha at home and then Fajr with jamat or should I aim to pray all the salats with jamat.

Ashrafiya replied,

Yes.

Adjust and accommodate as the situation requires.

Do not be rigid and do not set unrealistic goals. Both of these lead to disater. Allahuma hafizna.
Jamat itself is desired. (Try to do it at home)

Make istegfar for missing the masjid.
We are weak and its is reflecteive of our slavehood(abdiyet) more to do so.

Islahi emails:TA

Treatment for Pornography Addiction

A seeker wrote,

I am writing in regards to a very serious problem that I reported earlier too. I am feel extremely ashamed to write about this but I have to disclose the gravity of the issue in detail.

Ashrafiya replied,
This feeling, discussion and attempt to improve a destructive condition is in itself a huge blessing of Allah. This is what they call ‘kibreyet-e-ahmar‘ the red sulphur. That is the alchemy compound that changes wrought iron to pure gold. MashaAllah.

The seeker continued,

I got seriously addicted to pornography and masturbation a long time back (~10 years). I can’t even count the hours, days, months of valuable time that I have wasted to this ugly habit. So many qada salats as a result. So many missed classes at university. It won’t be exagerration to say that my university grades badly suffered, but Allah was immensly Kareem that He still granted me enough grades to survive and a good job thereafter. I even watched it at work, despite the fear that I might get caught and expelled. It was literally my drug of choice to escape the world’s challenges. A report that I don’t want to write at school, a problem stuck at work, anger at someone. Always found temporary escape in this habit, only to face the realities in tougher circumstances later on. I am extremely ashameful to write this, but even during some fasts in Ramadan, I just gave up to the urge and acted out. I can’t even remember the number of times that I repented. Allah has been immensly kareem that He kept my honour and dignity despite years of being a very bad slave, astahgfirullah. I was and still am deeply shackled. But I must thank Allah that despite extreme desire and abundant opportunities I refrained from any further steps.
But even at that time I wasn’t very willingly doing it. Part of me always wanted to get rid of this habit. I used to give myself this false hope that marriage will end this misery, rather than doing something about it then. And then I got married to a very beautiful lady by the grace of Allah. Of course each person has plus and minuses but she was honestly crafted to my liking Alhamdulillah. But it seems it was too late until then, I was so used to pleasing myself in a certain way that I could not find proper pleasure in married sexual life. In my mind I used to blame her for not being cooperative enough. Even after Alhamdulillah the cutest baby girl was born she was sick for a few months and then ofcourse the new child brought new challenges like lack of sleep which deeply affected intimacy. All in all my sexual life has been in complete disarray. To be honest even during our intercourses I was always thinking about other women. I must also mention that I was also indulged in a greater evil of reading erotic stories. That honestly was 100 times worse than watching porn (which by the grace of Allah SWT I have given up for a long time now). That really made my mentality a lot uglier and I still feel the effect to this date. I can’t even write but the worst kinds of thoughts would be in mind all the time like swinging etc. I always had in my mind the strict Islamic penalties of doing something physical so I just chose to remain in a virtual world.
Alhamdulillah especially since my islahi talluq I have worked on many things and noticed significant improvements, for example controlling my gaze and back biting. One difference I feel between this and the other issues is that despite looking at other ladies or talking about other behind their back being source of temporary pleasure, there is not a strong inherent urge for me to do it. But this to me is like hunger, I just get an extremely strong urge to act out. I will feel pain and weird tingling feelings in my lower abdomen. My heart rate will start elevating and dropping. Sometimes I fight the urges for a few days but then give in. And to be honest its like one of things where you want to give up but at the same time you don’t want to give up. When I tell myself I have to give it up for good, I can’t answer how will I satisfy my sexual urges then.
For a while I did the 8 raka’ats to make up for every time I acted out but then got lazy and stopped doing it properly, or may be it just became a routine. Sometimes I stop doing sincere repentance, as my inner voice says to me, what’s the point when you know will return.
Even during my morning daily routine (zikr, Quran or dua) I just feel the strong urges.

I am so sorry for such a long write-up but I am really writing with a lot of hope inshaAllah. I feel really frustrated. I have felt like a prisoner in my own body for so many years now.

Ashrafiya replied,

JazakAllah for this open and honest report.
May Allah make it easier for both of us to gain His pleasure. Ameen!

InshaAllah, we will work on it together to improve the conditions.

1.Keep a strong hope that by Allah’s support you will build up powerful determination to get rid of this evil from your life. Mayosi haram hay.

  1. Make sincere repentance after reading this letter. Pray two rakats salatul tawbah and sit infront of Allah. Acknowledge all the blessings Allah has bestowed on you, like being, body, mental capacities, health, welath, family, job, etc etc. Then acknowledge your short commings. Tell Him that you have no place to go. Tell Him that you are weak and shackled by your desires. You want to give up this and be a obidient servant. Ask Allah for help and support in doing so. Try to cry or make your facial expression like it. Do this is detail. Do it whenever you fail. Never give up hope.
  2. Then onwards make a fresh start with a renewed determination.
  3. After every salat ask Allah for help in this matter in particular. Also pray that you develop nafrat-e-tabi’i from pornogrphy (i.e. aversion like that from urine and feces).
  4. Try your best to keep yourself busy.
  5. Limit your time on internet.
  6. Make sure your diet does not have any dubious or haram in it.
  7. Take your spouse in confidence. Be open with her and tell her that what you are going through and it will be unhealthy for both of you and the marriage and the children if this continues. This will need courage. However, it is essential.
  8. Talk to yourself daily for 3 minutes about how destructive this is for yourself. In addition to being sinful and displeasing to Allah it is violation of the rights of your wife, your obligations of being a son, husband and a father. It is waste of the bodily resources, valueable time and money. The pleasure it gives is short lived and followed by guilt and shame, etc. etc
  9. Please, keep me informed whenever you fail. Do not feel ashamed. InshaAllah together we will do it. I am making dua in this regards. Amy Allah SWT help us. Amin!

Islahi emails:TA

The first step

A seeker wrote

A year after Hajj ALLAH has blessed us with a daughter Allhamdulliah!!. Since then I really got involved with her. I tried my best to be devoted but I realized that my iman is getting weaker and weaker. I was not able to do those things which i used to do before and while taking care of her and home I get frustrated and when ever I get chance like when she sleeps or so, i use to watch drama on internet instead of doing ibadat . . my mother’s side family takes care about the farz ibadat like salat , zakat , & fasting but on my father’s side family they don’t care about the farz ibadaat i dont know about zakat whether they give zakat or not. They usually care about sunnat. My dadihaal is more like not follwing the religion. I am informing you this because i do not know why but i am like my dadihaal’s side it became part of my nature i always try not to be like them but some where inside me its persent. I do fulfill the basic farz ibadaat now Allahmdullilah & try to do nafli ibadaats but i cant do it in punctually like for example i usually recite Quran daily but at some point i do not. I used to listen islamic lectures and read islamic books but again after some time period I don’t.

Ashrafiya replied,

These days most families are like this.

We should thank Allah abundantly that He is guiding us towards Himself.

We can not judge others.

Some people who are outwardly irreligious may have strong eman internally and eventually outrun others in Here-after.

Our primary concern is salvation of ourself.

Focus on the essentials (faraiz) for now. Especially salah. Pray regularly on time. It is a must.

Keep a record of any namaz that is missed and qaza not done.


Try to read at least one page from the books of sayyidi wa sanadi Mawlana Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani sahib (Islahi majalis) or listen to the waaz online for 10 -15 mins daily.

Make dua aftet each salah in detail for whatever bothers you or you desire (3-5 minutes).


Recite kalimah tayyiba (la illaha ilAllah u) with occansiional (Muhammadur Rasool Allah, sallalaho alhe wasalam) while doing the house hold chores.

Islahi emails:MTA

Wird & Multitasking

A seeker wrote,

I noticed that increasingly I have begun to finish the daily tasbeehat on the go (while driving, walking etc) to save time, even when I am not really crunched by time. Would it be more recommended to try to force my self to properly sit down and do tasbeehat as much as possible.

Ashrafiya replied,
Multitasking in ma’amolat is not good. Especially for starters like me and you.

Try your best to do them properly in their allocated time.

Only if you are running late or there is an emergency you can complete them while you do other stuff.

Islahi emails:TA

Wird & Multitasking

A seeker wrote,

I noticed that increasingly I have begun to finish the daily tasbeehat on the go (while driving, walking etc.) to save time, even when I am not really crunched by time. Would it be more recommended to try to force my self to properly sit down and do tasbeehat as much as possible.

Ashrafiya replied,
Multitasking in ma’amolat is not good. Especially for starters like me and you.

Try your best to do them properly in their allocated time.

Only if you are running late or there is an emergency you can complete them while you do other stuff.

Islahi emails:TA

Delay in feedback

A seeker wrote,

I definitely felt a weakness in spirituality due to not writing on time. Right after Ramadan, the final report of my Master’s course was due which kept me quite busy.

Ashrafiya replied,
Do not worry.

Genuine reason for such delay is not a problem.

It is only deliberate carelessness and heedlessness that is detrimental. Allah save us both from it. Amin!

Islahi emails:TA

An Effective Method for Leaving out Sins

Hakim al Umma Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy on him) once mentioned:

One method which I prescribe to people for leaving out sins, is that every night before sleeping, one should seclude oneself in a room and sincerely supplicate to Allah to forgive him for his sins. One should make du’aa to Allah in the following manner: “O Allah! I am an extremely sinful servant! I am not worthy of any good and I am full of weaknesses!” Through these words, one should express one’s true condition of sinfulness before Allah. Thereafter, one should say, “O Allah! I do not have the courage and resolve to leave out these sins! It is only You who can assist and help me to leave out these sins!”

If one adopts this method, then insha Allah, in a week or two, he will be blessed with the facilitation (taufeeq) and ability to leave out these sins. However, very few people are willing to sincerely repent to Allah in this manner.

(Malfoozaat Husn-ul-Azeez pg. 226)