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
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)
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.
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.
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).
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
I think I have quite clear in my mind – from the theorical point of view – the status of Kashf, Tawajjuh, Karamat and so on in relation to the true objective of the Tariqah, their not being the goal, and even more, their being a potential fitnah and trap for the murid. But this quote I’ve read on a forum:
“The line of the chisti imdadiyah stopped doing these  because they became more of scholars. The elders were very high accomplished scholars and sufis. Unfortunately, the 2nd and 3rd generations lost this and the condition is even worse these days amongst the present day mashaikh of the tariqa”. [ The reference is to certain “particular” practices and ashghal adopted in the past in the Chishti Tariqah].
..raised some doubts in my mind, as I got the impression that some of today’s other Shuyukh propose a “dry”, simplified and just “moral” brand of Tasawwuf, with just its “ethical” part, leaving “metaphysics”, “spiritual stages” and more “deep”, “ruhani” stuff aside. I’d appreciate to read what would you reply to such allegations, so to put clarity and tranquility in my heart.
It is essential to have a vivid understanding of the reality of Tasawwuf upstart.
Please, review all the post on the site regarding this.
The greatest sufi having the highest level of marifah possible is our master Prophet Mohammad (Allah bless him and give him peace). His blessed life and ways are a role model for us.
Tasawwuf is to make this happen. It is always subservient to Shariah. The level of awareness of Allah needed to bring this is relative to the ghaflah (heedlessness) and involvement in worldly affairs of an individual.
The ashgal and azkar used by sufis to do so are therefore adjusted accordingly. They are neither a goal in themselves nor a superior form of worship or supposed to create a state other than required by Shariah.
The khashaf, karamat, etc are just some of the spiritual benefits of the moral purification. The best spiritual thing is a very strong and perpetual connection with Allah. A yearning and overwhelming desire to please Him and abstain from everything that displeases Him. This leads one to follow the teachings of Shariah meticulously.
I have persoanlly met sincere sufis that promise bayiat to the Prophet Prophet Mohammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) in a wakeful state. However, when measured in the scale of Sunnah and Shariah they failed terribly.
Alhumdullilah Ashrafi silaila is blessed with its portion of spiritual blessings. It is seldom mentioned due to their overwhelming state of humility. But you can have a glimpse of it in their poetic expressions. Most of our Mashaikh have dewans of poetry.
I hope I have made some sense. Please, do not hesitate to ask if there remains something unclear.
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.
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.
A seeker wrote, The rest of the mamoolaat are going good but memorising duas from the book UswaeRasul e Akram is going weak. I always find it very hard to memorize the Quran and duas (and remember them). Please make dua in this regard.
Ashrafiya replied, Amin! I usually take a picture of the dua in my mobile phone and recite it (reading the text at appropriate times). Eventually it is memorized.