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
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
Go slow and easy initially. Do not exhaust yourself by fixing a routine that is beyond your limits. Make lot of dua for ease, guidance and acceptance from Allah in this regards.
Also, it must be remembered that all these things are supererogatory (nafil) to provide assistance in fulfilling the essentials (wajibat) to gain Allah’s pleasure. The most important of which is to abstain from all that is impermissible (sins). Also, your duties as a son, brother, husband, father, being a employee at work, or as a student in college have priority over all these nafil activities.
Following is a communication between a seeker requesting guidance on writing a letter to his spiritual mentor and the Ashrafiya reply.
1) How does one begin and end a letter? a. Does one write I hope you are well or ask How are you, etc. b.or should one proceed directly?
a. It is quite appropriate to do so. b. Sometimes I write some sentences of supplications (duaiyakalimat), like may Allah keep your blessed presence guiding us for long with afiyet or some times express gratitude to Allah for being able to communicate for islah, etc.
Best is to make a dua for facilitation in writing what is best for my own islah prior to writing the letter and then proceed with whatever comes to mind.
Is it appropriate to say Jazakumullahu khairan at the end? If not, what should be said as an expression of gratitude?
It is fine. Also humbly request for special dua.
2) a.What is included in the ma’moolaat? b.Does one write his daily routine to th shaikh? c.What about the adhkaar, does one repeat his adhkaar in every letter?
a.The daily tasbihat, tilawet, munajet maqbool, qaza namaz wa roza and recommended reading. b. Not all the time. Once is enough and if there is major change then report it to him again. c. No. Just inform that whether you are consistent on the adhkar that were instructed to you or not.
3) Should one analyze his condition himself and report it to the shaikh, or should one merely report the circumstances?
In issues dealing with blameworthy characteristics (razail) one should tell the whole scenario and let Shaykh diagnose and treat. In issues felt within (halaat) one should tell directly whatever that feeling/emotion is. If there is none then report that there is no new halat.
The sulook is individualized and tailored to each and every seeker’s (talib’s) condition.
Also, Shuyukh have various personal temperament (zauq) in implementing their sulook.
This is reason for one-to-one: Shaykh-murid relationship.
This also highlights the importance of being on the same mental wave length (munasbet) with the Shaykh prior to becoming a murid.
To really achieve this it is essential to visit and correspond with the Shaykh for a considerable period of time before committing yourself.
It is vital to remember all that has been said before in this regards and visit/revisit/correspond with these individuals, do istikhara & istishara (consultation with the Allah & wise men) before making the final desicion.
Jazakallahukhair Hazrat Ali Mian (Allah have mercy on him) told us to do the 3 tasbeehat of durood,astaghfar and 3rd kalima.
Unfortunately i dont do them regularly.I just do some zikr of durood and istaghfar randomly or while doing some household work.
Maybe i should try to be punctual in those before taking bayat from someoneelse?
JazakAllah for the kind email. It is very much reflective of your ture yearning (talub). MashaAllah. May Allah increase it with afiyet. Amin.
Yes continue with what Hadhrat instructed.
If due to work, etc you cannot do 100 times, do 33 or 11 times daily. However, fix a time for them, for example after asr salah.
Also, make daily esal e sawab for him, atleast surah ikhlas 3 times.
In the meantime look for a Shaykh with whom you can easily communicate. The reality of bayat is to get instructions (to lead a true Islamic life). These are individualized to your circumstances and therefore, more beneficial then other good advice.
Can I become a muridah of Shaikh Hazrat Taqi Usmani Sahab. I was previously a murida of Shaikh Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi (Allah have mercy on him) from India.
It is a great blessing of Allah that you are a muridah of Hadhrat Ali mian (Allah have mercy on him).
I pray and hope that you are continuing with what Hadhrat ra told you to do, such as tasbihat, Quran recitation (tilawat), reading (mutala‘) etc.
As a basic rule, it is most beneficial that after the passing away of his/her Shaykh a murid should associate with Shaykh’s senior khulafa (representatives) to continue the journey on the same track.
However, if due to unavoidable circumstances you can not contact any of those khulafa then you can correspond with sayyidiwa sanadi Hadhrat Mawlana Mohammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve & protect him) for islah and bayiat.
Please, feel free to ask any questions in this regards if necessary.
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).
This is not extravagant spending (fuzoolkharchi).
The money spend for the comfort of family, friend and other Muslims is also rewarding.
Also, it will make your thankfulness (shukur) more heartfelt.
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.
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.
Another problem I feel is that whenever I get really sad, feel loney or get depressed then my heart does not find peace. Not even in salat. I cannot concentrate . I donot know why it is and how can I can resolve it.
Try to keep a positive outlook. Thank Allah for each and every blessing. Set aside 5 minutes daily to do this. Enumerate all the blessings, e.g. life, well functioning body organs & systems, health, husband, daughter, wealth, house, etc.
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.