Remembering Death

Remembrance of death is encouraged for its numerous benefits;

it inculcates short ambitions,

abstinence in the world,

contentment with a little of it,

avidness for the hereafter and

preparation for it through good actions.

Rasulullah said “Remember much the destroyer of pleasures.”

Guidance for the intelligent

Tea & sulook

The following is a paraphrase of what the reviver of Sunna (Muhiyyus Sunnah), Maulana Shah Abrarul Haqq of Hardoi (Allah have mercy on him ) said.

‘Every day when I drink tea it brings to mind the similitude of the process of traversing the spiritual path (sulook).

Water and tea leaves individually have their own properties. However, they have to be mixed together under certain special circumstances to make them tea.

First water is to be brought to rolling boil. Then tea leaves are added. They are thoroughly mixed and left to sit alone. This brings out the colors and flavors. Then only tea is ready to be consumed.

Skipping any of the steps of this process will not provide the delicious end results.

In this scenario the similitude of the seeker is like water that wants to become tea. The tea leaves are the company and guidance of the Shaikh. Whereas the process of boiling is the spiritual struggle (mujahidda).

Remember that merely mixing the water with tea leaves is not enough. The water has to be brought to boil. It has to be mixed and left alone for a while. Only then it is able to extract the color and flavor from tea leaves.

Similarly in order to benefit from the company and guidance of the Shaikh the seeker has to do mujahidda. That is abandoning all the sinful and doing the necessary and even extra acts of worship. Only then this association will be beneficial.’

Khanqah e Ashrafiya, Gulshan Iqbal Karachi, 1980s

Plead guilty!

Proprietor of Nauratan Jewellers-Karachi, Malik sahib  narrated that once I visited Arif-billah Dr Abdul Hayy Arifi (Allah have mercy on them). I was in hurry, time was running short. I requested for a brief nasiha (advise).

Hazrat ‘Arifi  told me to always remember the fact that, in the judicial system of this world if you plead guilty you are held responsible and punished. Sometimes you are fined or even jailed.

Whereas, in the court of Allah if you plead guilty, accepting your shortcomings and sins and repent sincerely you are forgiven and set free of the humiliation of any punishment. Moreover you are rewarded in most instances for returning back to Allah.

Malik sahib passed away in the blessed city of Makkah immediately after performing Hajj last year (2017/1438). Allah have mercy on him. Ameen!

Treatment for arrogance

Makhdoom Zayn ud Deen Chishti Malabari (Allah have mercy on him) said regarding the treatment of arrogance that

(One should contemplate that) throughout his existence he has been subjugated to terrifying diseases and dangers and various bodily challenges; he gets hungry and thirsty, falls sick and eventually dies-all against his wishes.

He desires to know something but does not, he wishes to remember something but cannot, he wishes to forget something but cannot, he delights in food that harms him, and hates medicine which restore his health.

At no moment in the night or day is he safe from being stripped of his hearing, sight, knowledge, or ability; his limbs may be paralyzed, his intellect destroyed, and his very life dissipated.

He is a mere slave with no power over himself or others. And this is the middle of his affair.

As for his end, he returns to his original state, a lifeless object; then he is placed in the dirt and becomes a filthy carcass just as he began as a filthy drop of sperm; his body decays and is eaten by worms, and becomes dirt, which is cultivated and built over.

And if only this were the end! How fine would his state be if he remained dirt! But he is brought back to life to bear the severity of the Day of Judgment and its horrors; then he will enter the fire unless his Lord has mercy on him.

(In spite of all these how foolish it will be to act arrogantly).

The guidance for the intelligent on the path of the saints

مراقبہ اتحاد/Muraqaba of Union

Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) instructed a spiritual seeker to perform muraqaba e etihad. That is, 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.’

Husn al Aziz, volume 1, page 35-6

Memoirs (English translation) – Updated

Episode 1 – 4 of Mufti Sahab’s autobiography.

https://ia601502.us.archive.org/4/items/Episode1_20180221/Episode_1.pdf

The translation of Episode 3 of Hazrat Mufti Sahab’s autobiography has been uploaded at the following link:

https://archive.org/download/Memories_Autobiography_Mufti_Taqi_Usmani/Memories_Episode_3.pdf

For readers’ convenience, a version with all episodes combined here:

https://archive.org/download/Memories_Autobiography_Mufti_Taqi_Usmani/Memories_All_Episodes.pdf

These translations are done by a very dear friend, a mureed of respected Mufti sahib (Allah protect & preserve him), and mujaaz of one of his student, Brother Kaiser Nizamani. He is based in Singapore, and originally hails from Hyderabad, Sindh. May Allah reward him abundantly with afiyet. Ameen!

Wife’s monthly Stipend

A newlywed spiritual seeker inquired:

“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.”

Islahi khutoot


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.

 

The real achievement

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

Learn the lesson/ درس عبرت

For the intelligent, a subtle reference is sufficient…

SubhanAllah, this story is filled with so many lessons for everyone. Please read it with the intention to learn the lessons from the life of Shaikh Abu Abdullah Al-Andalusi (Allah have mercy on him), and also the character of his devoted and loyal students. I pray that Allah grants every reader the tawfeeq to benefit from this and to protect us all from any tests of this sort. Ameen.

Note: Since this is not a formal Arabic written entry, the rules of Arabic have not been enforced such as in the name of the Shaykh, etc.

In Baghdad, the seat of the Islamic State, was a pious saint by the name of Abu Abdullah Al-Andalusi. He was a well-known scholar and muhaddith and twelve thousand disciples sat at his feet. He knew thirty thousand ahadith by heart, and could recite the Quran in all the various modes of Qiraat.

On a certain occasion he was going on a journey and was accompanied with a large crowd of attendants among whom were the well-known Junayd Baghdadi and Shaikh Shibli Rahimahumullah.

Shaikh Shibli continues the story: Our caravan was traveling along safely and comfortably with the grace of Allah, until we passed by an area where Christians were residing. When we reached the Christian village, we searched for water but could not find any. We went about the village and discovered that there were many churches, temples of sun-worship and synagogues. Some of the people worshiped idols and others prayed to the cross. We were amazed at their condition.

We passed all this and reached the outskirts of the village where we found a well and a few girls drawing water for people to drink. Among these girls was one who was exceedingly beautiful. She wore a gold necklace around her neck. When Shaikh Abu Abdullah saw her the color of his face changed. The Shaikh asked the other girls who she was.

They replied: “This is the daughter of the ruler of this village.”
The Shaikh replied: “But, why has her father dishonored her by leaving her to give people water to drink?”
The girls replied: “Her father has done this so that when she marries she will be able to honour and serve her husband. He does not want her to become boastful of her status.”

The Shaikh sat down with his head bent forward and remained silent. For three days he did not eat or drink. He would only perform his Salaah. His disciples and companions did not know what to do or say.

Shaikh Shibli says : ‘I decided to speak to him. I approached him and said, “O Shaikh, your disciples and companions are perplexed with your silence for the last three days. Please speak to us.”

The Shaikh replied: “O people, know that my heart has become filled with love for the girl I saw the other day. It is not possible for me under any circumstances to leave from here.”

Shaikh Shibli replied: “Our leader! You are the spiritual guide of Iraq. Your piety is well-known far and wide. Your disciples number over twelve thousand. By the sanctity of the Noble Quran do not bring disgrace to us and them.”

The Shaikh replied: “O people, my lot has already been sealed by fate. I am nothing. The cloak of sainthood has been removed from me and the signs of guidance have been taken away from me.”

Saying this the Shaikh began weeping bitterly. “Proceed and leave me alone. My fate has been sealed,” he told them.

We were astonished. We begged Allah for His protection and we cried until the land beneath our feet became wet with our tears.

We returned to Baghdad. When the people heard of our return, they arrived in large numbers at the outskirts of the city to meet the Shaikh. They saw that he was not with us and asked where he was. We told them the entire story. Many of his disciples died out of grief when they heard of his condition. Others cried in sorrow and disbelief. Many begged Allah to guide the Shaikh to the right path and return him to them. All his places of instruction and preaching were closed down.

We remained in this sad condition for one full year. Finally, I, together with a few companions decided to visit the village again and find out how our Shaikh was doing. When we reached the village we asked regarding him and were told that he was in the woods looking after pigs. We asked: “What has happened?” We were told that he had proposed for the girl in marriage. But, the girl’s father had refused saying that her suitor had to meet certain conditions : he had to follow the same religion as her, he had to become a servant in the church and he had to look after the pigs. The Shaikh had fulfilled all these conditions and was currently seeing to the pigs.

“With broken hearts and tears streaming down our eyes, we went to the woods to find him. He was standing amongst the pigs. Around his waist was a string of beads. On his head was the traditional Christian hat. He stood leaning on the staff that he once used to lean on when delivering the sermon in the mihraab!

When he saw us he bowed his head in shame. We came nearer and said, “Assalaamu Alaikum.” He replied: “Wa Alaikumus salaam”.

Shaikh Shibli then asked: “O Shaikh, what is all this? What has happened to you? What has happened to all your knowledge and virtue?”

The Shaikh replied: “My dear friend and brothers, I am now no longer in control. Whatever Allah has desired for me, has come to pass. I was once amongst His beloved ones. Now He has thrown me very far away from His door. O Beloved ones of Allah, beware of being rejected and distanced from Allah. O Beloved ones of Allah, beware of Allah’s anger and being cut off from Him.”

Then turning towards the heavens he said: “O my Lord, I never expected such treatment from You.” Then he began crying bitterly and appealing to Allah.

Shaikh Shibli also begged Allah in a loud voice : “Only from you do we seek help. Upon You only do we rely. By Your grace, remove this difficulty from us! We have been overcome. Only you can save us!”

When the pigs heard our crying they began to rub their heads in the sand and began to yell so loudly that the mountains appeared to wail. Shaikh Shibli says : “I thought Qiyaamah had come.” The Shaikh continued to cry uncontrollably.

Shaikh Shibli continues: We said to him : “Shaikh, why don*t you return with us to Baghdad?” The Shaikh replied : “How can I? I have to see to the pigs, although I once saw to the hearts of men!”

I asked the Shaikh : “You were a Haafiz of Quraan and you could recite the seven modes of Qiraat. Do you remember anything of the Quraan?”

The Shaikh answered : “I have forgotten everything except two verses of the Quraan: ‘He who Allah disgraces, none can grant him honour. Allah does as He wishes.’ And, secondly, the verse, ‘He who chooses kufr (disbelief) over Imaan (faith) he has certainly gone astray.’

I asked : “You knew thirty thousand ahadith of Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Do you still remember any?”

He answered : “Only one: ‘One who leaves his faith, kill him!’ ”

Amazed at his condition, we left the Shaikh and headed for Baghdad. However, after we had walked for three days we suddenly saw the Shaikh in front of us. He was coming out of a river, where he had just performed a bath. In a loud voice he proclaimed the shahaadah: “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is His messenger.”

We could not control our joy and happiness when we saw him. He asked us for some pure clothing which he then wore. He then performed Salaah. We expressed our gratitude to Allah for returning him to us and we asked him what had happened to him.

He replied : “When you left me, I turned to Allah with my former love and affection for Him : ‘O my Protector, I am a sinner and a transgressor.’ Allah forgave me and covered me in His mercy.”

We asked him : “But, why were you put through such an intense trial?”

The Shaikh replied: “When we arrived in the village and saw the temples, synagogues and churches I thought to myself: ‘These people are nothing compared to me. I believe and worship one Allah.’ At that moment I heard a voice from within me saying: ‘This Iman that you have, is not due to your goodness in any way. If you so wish, We will show you right now.’ Immediately I felt as if something left my heart and flew away. That was my Imaan leaving me.”

Shaikh Shibli says: “We were overjoyed. Our caravan arrived in Baghdad with great joy. The Shaikh’s places of teaching and preaching were reopened. In a short while his students numbered over forty thousand. Allah again returned to him his knowledge of Quraan and Hadith and blessed him with further knowledge.” (Al-Mustatraf Fi Kulli Fann An-Mustadhraf)

From: an Noor (edited)

*Mufti Mohammad Shafi (Allah have mercy on him) published the story in Urdu with this tittle.

Laziness

A seeker wrote, laziness and heedlessness persists. I humbly request for prayers (dua) for determination (himmat).

Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,

‘Supplication in this regards is not refused. However, you have to be determined to a degree yourself also. Supplication in these circumstances brings facilitation (barakah) only with it. Otherwise it will be similar to supplicating for a child without getting married. ”

Tarbiyet us Salik, volume 3, page 153

Seclusion from social media

Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (Allah have mercy on him) said,

‘You must seclude yourself from people, for they will preoccupy you from the worship of Allah Most Exalted.

Nay, they will prevent you from it altogether!

Nay, they will cause you to succumb to evil and ruin!’

Minhajal’abidin via The virtues of seclusion in times of confusion, page 20

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Please, note involvement in social media via internet is doing this in our era.