Category Archives: N. Advice

The timing of daily mamoolaat

A seeker inquired,

Should I do the daily mamoolat spread over the day? I try to do them first thing in the morning so that I don’t miss them.

Ashrafiya replied,

The best is to do them first thing is the morning. Spreading them over a day can be done in special circumstances, like travelling etc.

Islahi emails:TA

Islahi Resdings

A salik wrote, I am still on Tableegh-e-Deen. MashaAllah the book is amazing. Imam Ghazali was truly a genius and translator Maulana Aashiq Elahi (Allah have mercy on them, and bless them tremendously). The book does set the bar really high. I have read almost 90 pages of the book. I think this is a book that one should refresh from time to time.

Ashrafiya replied,


It has to be read like a textbook. Read two or three pages a day at the most. Underline, high-light and take notes. Especially, those items that are not in your knowledge and practice. Start to implement them right away. Everyday review the last section read and then to proceed to the next.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)


– I wish to ask about polemical debate. As our elders stress a lot about the harms of debating and you can also feel a sudden negative effect after debating with someone even though you feel you were on haq. Should one completely abstrain from discussing anything at all. Normally a debate starts off as a simple innocent conversation. I used to think the point at which one should pull out from the debate is when arguments begin to repeat. But now I feel that by that time the spiritual harm is already done. What should be the course of action in this.
e.g. In my community, our Islamic organization split into two groups. As I understand both sides have respectable people and no one is completely wrong. There were weaknesses on both sides. Today at prayer someone started taking the side of one of the groups and criticizing the other. I tried to explain the point of view of the other side but it turned into a debate and I still feel the negative effect on my heart.
Should one completely stay out of controversial issues even though you feel you have a valid point and you should convey it to the other person.

Ashrafiya replied,

Indeed. Involvement in polemical debates is always spiritually detrimental. There are many reasons for it, including,1. it directs one’s attention from Allah2. one tries to defend his opinion and nafsaniyet comes in3. specially for people like us, blameworthy character traits like, anger, hasad, arrogance, etc. come into play. and many others. All of them cause this negative effect on one’s heart. It is best to avoid it upfront. Moreover, if one is stable enough to control his nafs (beyond our status) the negativity of other’s heart is reflected and carried over to his own heart ruining it’s serenity.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Nuqus o kamal

A seeker wrote,

Alhamdulillah the I am trying to act on the Faraidh and Mamoolat. Waise sacchi baat tau ye he ke band eke a’amaal intihai naqis hain, Allah SWT ma’af farmaaen.

Ashrafiya replied,

MashaAllah. apnay a’mal kay nuqus ka ahsas kamal aur kamyabi ki tarf safar ki a’lamet hay. Jaisa bun pa raha hay us pay shukr aur kotahi par istegfar kartey rahna hay.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Restricting dietary intake

A seeker wrote, In regards to Eating. The chapter on eating less (in the book Tabligh e Deen of Imam Ghazali, Allah have mercy on him) did mention the benefits and harms clearly. But in terms of what to achieve I wish to ask some
When to eat:
The best is to remain hungry for atleast 3 days and eat on the 4th day. The lowest level is to eat once a day.
How much to eat:
I couldn’t relate to the amounts mentioned here. What I understood better over here is to eat only when really hungry and stop eating
before completely satisfied.
What to eat:
Couldn’t understand in terms of the contemporary Pakistani diet.

Ashrafiya replied,

Hakim al-Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy on him) has mentioned that for us it is not recommended to restrict diet as it was done by sufiya previously. However, balance has to be maintained.The most important things in this regards are,

1. One’s mind is not occupied with thoughts and plans of eating specific items most of the time.

2. During each meal a moment comes when one hesitates to eat more or stop. At this moment one should stop eating.

3. Continue with your meals as usual. Do not make any drastic changes. However, be health conscious and eat whatever is good for you.

4. At dinner parties eat as usual. Making more shukr of Allah for all the bounties and variety of flavors, etc. However, stop as mentioned in #2.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Listening to many bayan

A novice seeker wrote, I noticed a new link being added to Ashrafiya website. Would it be recommended for me to listen to these lectures?

Ashrafiya replied,
Each Shaykh has his own disposition and style of approaching islah. Mixing to many styles leads to confusion. The mawaiz of Hazrat Hakim Akhtar (Allah have mercy on him) and our Shaikh Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) are quite enough and beneficial, inshaAllah.

Islahi emails: TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Khushu in Salah

A seeker wrote,
– I try to focus on the words and meanings in Salah but the train of thought derails very frequently. Please recommend something in this regard.

Ashrafiya replied,

No problem at all.
Invoulantary derailment does not cause damage to khushu.
Whenever, you recognize the derailment come back on the track.
InshaAllah, with persisitence and practice the frequency of this will decrease.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

How not to miss Fajr?

A seeker wrote,

– Fajr salah is going very weak, may Allah forgive me. I haven’t prayed with Jamah in ages and even at home I am missing some of them in the past 2 weeks. One thing or the other delays going to bed and even though I put an alarm, sometimes I just can’t wake up in time. I should make more effort to correct this laziness (“susti”). Yes something needs to be done for this right away.

Ashrafiya replied,

Praying fajr on time is essential. Moreover, eventually one has to aim for tahajjud prior to fajr.

Read thoroughly the book: Namaz e fajr aur hamari kotahi, on this topic. Then do the following,

1. Go to sleep early.

2.Eat dinner early.

3. Make dua prior to going to sleep for waking up at fajr

4. Make a firm determination. Tell yourself in a audible voice to wake up at ____am

5. Recite the last 4 ayah of sura kahaf (18th sura)

6. Set two or three alarms. (I usually use 2- 3 alarms on my mobile phone and one on a clock kept at a far distance from the bed, so I have to get up and switch it off.)

7. Ask a family member or a friend who gets up regularly to wake you up or call you to do so.

8. Even after these measures if salah is missed then skip breakfast for that day. (Only take tea, coffee or milk)

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Islahi adab

A seeker wrote,

I tried to search for proper etiquettes of writing islahi email (khutoot) to one’s Shaykh (especially in English). Please do forgive my shortcomings and reprimand me for lack of adab, for my own good. As I have read that surely one can not travel any distance in this path without adab.

Ashrafiya replied,

If the need so arises be reassured that attention will be drawn to it. For now be at ease.

Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) tells us repeatedly that not correcting the faults of an individual who has associated for his Islah is a betrayal (khiyanet) of the trust of Shaykh-seeker relationship.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Postpone Tablighi excursion

A novice seeker wrote,

I would like to seek for permission for Tablighi Jama’at activity.

Ashrafiya replied,

For time being postpone this for a while.

It is essential to firmly root yourself in the daily ma’moolat, reading, islah,etc. before you proceed to activities that are going to change your routine drastically.

Do assist them (nusrat) for few hours and sit in their bookreading sessions (ta’leem only. Not lectures) for the time being.

Islahi emails:TA

Islahi details

A seeker wrote,

My close friends and family members (whom I consult for my major decisions) are aware of my pursuing this path. I get a feeling that they expect more as if I am going to change overnight (perhaps it was a mistake to let some people know about this effort). Subsequently I get a feeling that I am trying to improve myself to show off in front of others. And it makes me really doubt the ikhlas that is a pre-requisite for all a’mal to be accepted i.e. they should be solely for pleasing Allah SWT. Please advise.

Ashrafiya replied,

1. The details of the islah are individualized. They are personal and private. It is inappropriate to share the details with others. Even if they were to ask the details answer very humbly that I have been asked not to tell others. I am doing whatever is being instructed.

2. There is no problem in informing them in general that you are trying to establish a islahi ta’luq.

3. Be aware that islah is a life long process. The change is gradual. Our akabir compare it to the growing of a child.

4. The blame-worthy moral trait of show-off or riya is a ikhteyari action. That is, you have to have an intention and then do it. It does not happen by itself without your control.

5. Also, as a established principle it is stated that the real show-off never ever doubts his own ikhlas and mukhlis is always in doubt. So do not worry. Continue what you are doing. MashaAllah, you are travelling and distance is being covered.

Islahi emails:TA

Reviewed and approved by sanadi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him)

Quality Family Time

The following is in response to a novice seeker’s many religious daily activities.


It is great to know about your activities. They are all fine.

However, I want to stress the importance of giving daily quality time to your spouse, daughter, parents and other very close relatives. This is essential and more beneficial then all other nafil activities.

Also, it must be clear that the knowledge of religion that you require for daily practice is essential and a must. Beyond this religious education is not for all. It is for scholars. For lay people like me it is more necessary to be involved in my own islah.

Also, a general advice akabir give to novice in religion is that,

“Walk slow and steady. Do not rush and run.”

Otherwise soon the enthusiasm will be over and a ‘burnt out state’ will come.
It is for this reason having a Shaykh is essential. He directs and tells how much to do

Ishai emails:TA

Chishti dhikr

I read about the zikr of the chishti tareeqa i.e. the dowazdah tasbeeh. I have doubts in my mind regarding this. The thought comes to my mind that this is not established by sunnah. I have tried to read many books to clarify this but am not satisfied yet. Although I am ashamed to even think about the likes of Hakeem ul ummah RA or Mufti Taqi Usmani DB involved in any bidah. But I guess the very non-sufi environment that I have been in, gives me these doubts. Any clarification regarding this would be sincerely appreciated. Please forgive me if I offended with this question.

Ashrafiya replied,

There is no offence at all in asking this question.

However, there is a misunderstanding that needs to be clarified.

That is, every one acknowledges that dowazadeh tashib is not a masnun zikr, but it is a prelude or an excercise to develop interest, concentration and sincerity in the real zikr. This is by experience of the past mashaykh. Just like the physicians treating with different medicine. Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) tells us that, ‘is is medicine’, ‘you do not need a proof from Quran and hadith to use Tylenol for headche’,.

Similarly the sufic zikr is a medicine.This is clarified to each and every murid at the time of instruction of this tasbih. Not all murid or talibs are instructed to do it.

Also, the daily masnun tasbihat are in addition to this zikr.

I hope it is a bit clearer now.

Islahi emails:TA

Safety from Hypocrisy

Our master Muʿādh ibn Jabal (God be pleased with him) said,

“An act requires four things to be safe from hypocrisy:

-knowledge before beginning it,

-proper intention at its start,

-patience during it, and

-sincerity at its conclusion.”

The Principles of Tasawwuf (A Ba’yuniah ra), p53