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
Makhdum Zayn ud Deen Chishti (Allah have mercy on him) said,
The foundation of devotions (awrad) is consistency, as the Prophet of Allah (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said “the most beloved of actions to Allah are those which are consistent even if only a few.”
In addition to the above mentioned dua ask Allah for all the blessings mentioned and promised for His slaves during this month as mentioned in Quran or Hadith (sayings of our beloved Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). Tell Allah that I do not deserve them but I am in extreme need of them. Please, bestow them on me by Your kind Grace and infinite Mercy.
Once my father Cdr Shaukat Kamal (Allah have mercy on him) and I were in the presence of Shaikh Mansur Ali Khan (Allah protect & preserve him) in Jeddah when the commencement of Ramadan was announced. On hearing the news Shaikh raised his hands for dua. He made a lengthy dua asking Allah for facilitation of all the good deeds in accordance to Sunna & their acceptance, avoidance of all that is sinful and useless and being blessed with all mercy and merits of this month as mentioned in Quran & Hadith.
May Allah facilitate it for us with afiyet. Ameen.
Acting upon one’s individual obligation include purifying one’s limbs from sins, and one’s heart from destroying traits such as arrogance, envy, ostentation, enmity, hatred and the like… Knowing the cure for ugly traits of character and then struggling to rid oneself from them is an individual obligation; it is not permissible for one to busy oneself with jurisprudence, disputes or law until one has finished this task.
The blessed companion Abū Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, related that the Prophet, Allah bless and cherish him, said,
“Allah mighty and glorious said, ‘I am with My servant when he thinks of Me, and I am with him whenever he recollects Me.’
By Allah, He is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than any of you who is pleased to find his stray animal in the desert.
Allah said, ‘One who draws near Me by a hand span, I draw near him by an arm’s length, and one who draws near Me by an arm’s length, I draw near him by the span of open arms, and if he walks toward Me, I run to him!’”
It is related that on the Day of Judgments each of a man’s nights and days will appear to him in the form of twenty four compartments, representing his hours for each day. An hour which he spent in obedience to Allah will be filled with light, one in which he spent in sin will be filled with darkness, while one in which he did neither will be found empty.
His agony will be tremendous when he finds a compartment empty; had he done an act of obedience to Allah, it would have been filled with light. If he finds a receptacle dark he will be filled with such regret and agony that if were able to die he would do so, but in the hereafter there is no death.
So choose for your soul, as long as you remain in this land of choice and free will, that which will benefit it and raise its rank, because after death, the affair will no longer be in your hands. And hasten and do not procrastinate, for procrastination is evil and human life is ever subject to numerous harms and distractions.’
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) instructed a spiritual seeker to perform muraqaba eetihad. Thatis, to contemplate that Shaikh and I have become one.
This seeker wrote a letter and made reference to it. (It was read out in the gathering of seekers)
On a question (by one of the attendees) regarding this Hakim al Umma replied,
‘In issues related to the spiritual training I do not bind myself to didactic text. I instruct (seekers) whatever (appropriate to their state) comes to mind. Observing his (this seeker’s) congeniality (with myself) I instructed him this muraqaba.’
“I am planning to give an amount of money to my wife monthly. Can I make intention of paying off “mahr” in it? And if so, is it necessary to inform her regarding it.”
Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah protect & preserve him) replied:
“An amount of money should be given to the wife monthly as “pocket money”. This amount should be enough to easily payoff her basic (personal) expenses. And also, the zakat due on her can be paid from it. This stipend should never be counted as “mahr” amount.
However, an amount additional to this stipend can be given with intention of “mahr”. The best way to do so is to open a bank account for her and deposit this amount monthly in it. Let her know that this saving is the “mahr” money. This is because smaller amounts that are given are spend easily and the benefits of a larger amount in hand are lost.”
Please, be reminded that,
The amount should be in proportion to the husband’s income and social status.
Wife should have full authority to do whatsoever with this money.
Sayyidi wa sanadi Shaikh Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah preserve him) said,
‘It is relatively easier to make ‘itekaf (of the last ten days of Ramadan), offer numerous supererogatory (nafil) salah, recite the whole Quran daily, perform many Umrah and Hajj.
However, the real feat is when it comes to leaving the sinful activities. This is the real achievement and mark (of true religiosity). To have control over the sinful desires of nafs. To be steadfast at the time of temptation. Being cognizant of the commands of Allah.
On the Day of Judgment an individual will not be questioned about missing supererogatory worshipful acts but he certainly will be admonished for being involved in sinful activities. ‘
Ramadan 20th, 1432, 21 August 2011, Darul Uloom Karachi Mosque
Our master Abu Huraira (Allah be please with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah, (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), said,
“Verily, (from the) first people to be judged on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who was martyred. He will be brought, the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I fought in your cause until I was martyred. Allah will say: You have lied, for you fought only that it would be said you were brave, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire.
Another man studied religious knowledge, taught others, and recited the Quran. He will be brought, the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I learned religious knowledge, taught others, and I recited the Quran for your sake. Allah will say: You have lied, for you studied only that it would be said you are a scholar and you recited the Quran only that it would be said you are a reciter, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire.
Another man was given an abundance of blessings from Allah and every kind of wealth. He will be brought, the blessings of Allah will be made known and he will acknowledge them. Allah will say: What did you do about them? The man will say: I did not leave any good cause beloved to you but that I spent on it for your sake. Allah will say: You have lied, for you spent only that it would be said you are generous, and thus it was said. Then, Allah will order him to be dragged upon his face until he is cast into Hellfire.”
Our master Abdullah bin Mubarak (Allah have mercy on him) said,
‘Whoever disregards the adab (etiquette) is punished by being deprived of following the Sunna, whoever disregards the Sunna is deprived of performing the obligatory (wajib) and whoever disregards the wajib is deprived of Gnosis (ma’arifa).’
Our master Umar bin Abdul Aziz (Allah have mercy on him) said,
Taqwa of Allah does not consist of prayer by night or fasting by day, rather taqwa is avoiding what Allah has forbidden and performing what He has commanded; all besides this is goodness upon goodness.
Hakim al Umma Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thānawī (Allah have mercy on him) said,
“The [following] form of tawassul (intercession) through pious people, that O Allah, have mercy upon us because of such a saint, its reality is: O Allah, according to me, such a person is an accepted [servant] of yours, and for [the action of] loving the accepted people, there is promise of mercy in [the ḥadīth] ‘The person is with who he loves’. I ask from you this mercy. Thus, in tawwssul (intercession), the person expresses his love for the friends of Allah and thereby asks for mercy and reward because of this love. And love for the friends of Allah necessitates mercy and reward as mentioned in the nuṣūṣ (texts). Thus, there are many ḥadīths regarding those who love for the sake of Allah.
Now there is a question, what effect does the piety and blessing of the saint have on [the divine] mercy? The effect is that loving this saint is part of loving for the sake of Allah, and there is promise of reward for loving for the sake of Allah. After this explanation, I say acting upon [the verse 93:11] ‘But as for the favour of your Lord, then report [it]’, that if Ibn Taymiyah heard this explanation he would never have denied the permissibility of tawassul [via pious people] because all its preliminaries are sound. It is my good assumption of ʿAllāmah Ibn Taymiyah that he prohibited the tawassul of the ignorant people of his time, the reality of which was istiʿānah and istighāthah (seeking assistance).” (Ashraf al-Jawāb, p.152).
[Tr. Note: For detailed reading, refer to Bawādir al-Nawādir (p.709) and Fatāwā Rashīdiyyah (p.134). Shaykh Fakhr al-Dīn Murādābādī (d. 1392/1972) suggest in Īḍāḥ al-Bukhārī (5:319) that Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (d. 728/1328) permits intercession through good deeds, which includes love of the pious people, and therefore the difference is merely in expression, otherwise there is no real difference between his position and the position of the majority of scholars, in the manner that it has been expressed by Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thānawī. Shaykh al-Islām Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī (b. 1362/1943) appears to be inclined to this position to a certain extent (Takmilah Fatḥ al-Mulhim, 5:317; Maqālāt al-ʿUthmānī, 1:41).]