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
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?
Dowazdahtasbih 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.
How do we understand the role of music in the tasawuf of Maulana Room ( Allah have mercy on him) specifically the Ney(flute)
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.
A seeker wrote, On the issue of the Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abd Al Wahhab, I find various aqwaal amongst the akabir e Deoband.
We follow Hakim al Umma rehmatullah aleh. This is what he said http://www.ashrafiya.com/2008/12/13/wahabi/
the view point of Shaykh Maulana Rasheed Ahmed al Gangohi (Allah have mercy on him) was different as you say. However, it was historically incorrect as pointed out by Mufti Mehmood al Hasan Gangohi (Allah have mercy on him) in his fatawa.
The seeker inquired, Was he a mujaddid or was he somebody who misunderstood the deen.
Ashrafiya replied, To the best of my knowledge none of our akabir considers him to be a mujaddid. A ‘mujaddid’ is an individual who’s teachings are indispensable for his times and for the generations coming after him. None can escape his faiz (benefiting spiritually from him).
At the most he was a sincere overzealous reformer. (viewpoint of Maulana Manzoor Nomani (Allah have mercy on him) in particular)
Neither do we read his books nor his teaching are mentioned in our talks. We do not take deen from him or his followers.
It is a shame that people only blame him and do not tell what was the condition of lay people in belief and practice during his times. Ignorance was rampant in Arabs. People did not know and practice the basics of deen but indulged in the customary rituals and practices with zeal and passion. Prostrating to the graves, including that to the blessed grave of our mastet Prophet salAllaho aleh wasalam is well documented. “Sunni” ulema of that time condoned it with their husun e zan and taweel.
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.
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 zauqiumoor. That is something to be tasted/experienced. They are neither propagated or preached. They are to be experienced.
In general it is about the importance paid by the Chishti mashaikh on following the Sunnah.
There is a detailed communication of Hakim al Umma rehmatullah aleh on the maslak of Hazrat Haji Imdadullah sahib rehmatullah aleh and that of his deobandi khulafa. It is included in the book Bawader al nawadir, page194 – 204 the book can be downloaded on read online from the following link,
The concept of bidah as understood and implemented in practice by the scholars of Deoband must be very clear upfront. Most of the practices which we identify as bidah these days are rusoom that were mubah/permissible activities. In previous generation the over all religiosity was better than nowadays and people knew that these are cultural and customary practices. They indulged in them with a good intention. Most importantly they knew definitely that these are neither Sunna or wajib practices. However, in later generations the over all religiosity decreased (see for yourself nowadays) and especially the lay people (most of whom are negligent in observance of Sunna and wajibat) started to regard these activities essential. They criticized those who did not do so or said that one can be a Sunni Sufi without them. That was the point when scholars o Deoband took the bold stand.
Hazrat Haji Imdadullah sahib mohajir Makki rehmatullah aleh was well aware of the stance of his deobandi khulafa. However, he was also aware that these practices are cultural/customary rituals, they are neither from aqaid or ebadaat. Thay are zauqi umoor. The book Faisala hafta masala explicitly documents this.That is the reason he did not cancel their khilafet or forced them to do what they considered bidah. He tried his best that the two parties understand each others view point. He endorsed the book written by both of them.
Sometimes I would get the thought that there could be so many huqooq-e-ibad in my past which I did not fulfill, or I did some injustice to someone, and all these require asking forgiveness from that person, while I don’t even remember who to seek forgiveness from. This thought also caused me much distress and grief.
Keep a firm intnetion that if you meet or remember you will repay their dues. For now, please, make dua for them and give some sadaqa for their esal e thawab. InshaAllah this will compensate for the wrong doings.
The daily ma’moolat were going OK for some time until I got the thought that Qada salah has priority over Quran recitation, so I tried to give more time to Qada salah. But I was not able to keep up with this change in routine beyond a few days. This change in routine, which was done without seeking your permission, caused me distress, as I was not abe to fulfill this routine. I have now reverted back to 8 rakat per day, as were your instructions, and will increase it on a day-to-day basis, without increasing the daily minimum. Please advise regarding this.
Keep the daily routine as usual.
Drastic and quick changes are usually difficult to maintain.
Do not be in a rush. Alhumdulillah you have a sincere intention of qada, inshaAllah you will be able to do so eventually.
Be aware that the tricks of nafs and shaitan are not limited to sinful activities. Sometimes it creates fitna in permissible and rewardable activities. Be cautious.
A few days after my last email, thanks to your duas, Allah gave me Tawfeeq to pray Tahajjud Salah. I pray Qada Salah at that time, as well as recite the portion of the Quran revised the day before. For about two weeks, I read 1 Hizb of Munajat-e-Maqbool at that time, but owing to shortage of time, I now sometimes make my own dua, and sometimes read from Munajat. Please instruct how I should best utilize that blessed time. I normally get about 30 minutes. Sometimes, perhaps due to my sins, I wake up only for Fajr.
Please, be gentle on yourself.
Evaluate and see if your daily activities allow you to spare 30-45 minutes for tahajjud, with a minimum of 6 hours (preferrably 8 hours) of good sleep.
Please, remember tahajjud in spite of all its virtues is supererogatory (nafil), whereas, taking care of your health and family sustenance (by work/education/job), etc. is wajib. We have to balance them.
InshaAllah, eventually a time comes on the path when this becomes easier for us.
The akabir stress on making dua in this time. InshaAllah, a time comes on the path when this becomes easier for us.
The pious predecessors (akabir) stress on making dua in this time.
At the movement i am suffering from FOCUS problem during my study and Office work. Its happening with me since 1 year. When I try to FOCUS on the book , different kinds of negative thoughts hold my mind , therefore I cant understand a easy paragraph. And sometimes when this problem increases, I face problems in my official work also.
Do not worry. InshAllah this will improve with time. For now do the following, Organize your time. Keep things simple. Do one task at a time.
For now just read the books of Hakim al Umma Maulana Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him).
When any opportunity of leading Salah (or any other opportunity which may put in prominence) comes up, I can almost “feel” my Nafs getting pleasure as if I’ve already taken that opportunity. But I make sure I run away from that opportunity, by either leaving that place, or distracting myself by doing some Zikr, or reading some book, or thinking about something. I conclude from these feelings that Hubb e jah has not left me, but Inshallah I’m trying to suppress it as much as I can.
One has to differnetiate between the random thoughts (wasawes) and the real spiritual disease. Wasawes are created by nafs and Shaitan to bother us and keep us occupied in them instead of the the real issues.
Whereas, the spiritual diseases are all ikhteyari. That is volitional, within your own control. You consciously decide to do this to get pleasure.
In my lowly opinion you are having wasawes. Just ignore them and keep yourself busy in what needs to be done.
Next ~3 days: Suddenly I began feeling the daily routine as a burden. I did not feel like doing Zikr, or reading Quran, or praying any Salaah beyond the Fard, and I was getting increasing ‘khayaals’ to do Gunaah. This has always happened to me as long as I can think back. I would be doing good A’amaal for some time, and then I would face this condition. Please give some explanation of this state, and also suggest what I should do to avoid this, or if it cannot be avoided, what should I do if this happens again.
This is quite normal.
The initial enthusiasm waxes away for everything.
This is the moment of test. Ego-centric self (Nafs) and Shaitan will try their best to derail and demotivate you.
Being persistent in these circumstances is the key to success.
Ignore the negative feelings and thoughts. Just complete the routine you have fixed.
It is just like eating or going to work in spite of a strong desire not to do so. But the essential activities are to be done., otherwise health will deteriorate or job will be lost. Similar is the case here. If you become lax and start being negligent, then this Divine-calling (warid) for good actions may go away (Allahumahafizna).
In response to a seeker’s question regarding giving up all the permissible activities Ashrafiya replied
InshaAllah, travelling on this path attaches the heart of the aspirant to Allah in such a manner that eventually all other things become petty. Outwardly he may appear to be involved in all the usual day to day activity but inwardly his condition is of perpetual awareness and attachment. May Allah give this to both of us.
Our akabir advice not to give up the permissible worldly (dunyawi) stuff outright. This is because it will create a vaccum and if that vaccum is not filled with something beneficial it will be filled with impermissible stuff. Allah save us from this.
However, when the attachement and awareness of Allah increases it automatically drives away all other useless things even though they are permissible.
It is a principle of Tasawwuf: There must be NO haste in making bayiat.
Firstly you have to understand why do you want it in first place?
What expectations do you have?
Then you have to look for an appropriate Shaykh with whom you have munasibet (congeniality). That is, you feel comfortable taking instructions from him and do not feel negatively about his method, instruction etc. Then Shaykh also needs to have munasbet with you. You have to make consultation with scholars and other shuykh about this shaykh in particular. Only after all this you make istekhara and then make the pledge.
However, bayiat is neither essential prerequisite nor a condition to make effort for islah (reformation). This is wajib all the time. Start this right away.
The best things do now will be,
Make special dua for finding a Shaykh. Especially after each esha salat for at least 5 mins.
Try your best to abstain from all sinful activities. Especially those related to eyes, ears and tongue. Internet misuse is a big issue. Be careful. Bad habits once developed are very hard to rectify.
Get organized. Have a daily time table. Set time for recitation of Quran sharif, few azkar and reading from a Islamic text, even a single page daily is enough.
Keep good company. In people, books, websites, etc. Avoid corrupt company.
Focus on your studies seriously. They are like a wajib for you.
Keep looking for a Shaykh. InshaAllah, you will be successful. Till then please, feel free to contact this lowly writer for any questions. The benefit is mutual. JazakAllah