Definition of the title
“Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah”
Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi
“Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah”
Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi
The words al-Sunnah and al-Jama’ah can best be concisely described in the following way. Al-Sunnah would way and manner of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). All the many branches that spring from the way of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) are included in the way of the ‘ulama of Deoband. Al-Jama’ah would include Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and all those who had benefited from his beneficence, like the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them), Tabi’in, A’immah Mujtahidin and ‘Ulama Rasikhin (Allah have mercy on them). Each one of them is honored and respected in accordance to their respective status and ranks. In the same way this ideology (of the ‘Ulama of Deoband) gains its hue and color from the principles and corollaries of the personalities who are the branches from the tree of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). The result of this is that no branch of the din can ever be free of the effects of the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Otherwise it will not be even termed as din. There can be no personality in the din who does not come under the shadow of the being of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Otherwise he would not be regarded as a person of the din. Hence, no group can claim to be following and in conformity with the desire of Nubuwwah unless it has a relationship with every aspect of the lineage of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and it adopts the principles and laws of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Every group of personages that is connected with Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) inadvertently lead up to him. It will therefore be seen that all the sectors of the Shari’ah, be it knowledge or practice, and not only these two, but every proof in the Din, are all the resultants and effects of Allah’s Messenger’s (Allah bless him and grant him peace) various connections.
For example Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) connection and relation to iman gives rise to the branch of iman, which is referred to in the Shari’ah as kalam. His connection to the din (Nisbah al-Islami) gives rise to the branch of rulings or practices, which in the Shari’ah is referred to as fiqh. His Nisbat al-Ihsani gives rise to the branch for purification of the soul and perfection of character, which in the Shari’ah is referred to as tasawwuf. His Nisbah I’la Kalimatullah (connection to raising the Kalimah of Islam) gives rise to the branch of politics and Jihad, whose general title would be imarah (leadership) and Khilafah. His Nisbah al-Istinadi gives rise to the branch of transmission of the din through sanad (chain of narrators), whose Shar’i name is riwayah and istinad. His Nisbah al-Irtiqa’i gives rise to the branch of knowledge of firasah and ma’rifah, whose Shar’i name is haqa’iq and asrar. His Nisbah al-Istiqra’i gives rise to the branch of rules and laws of the Shari’ah, which is termed usul. This refers to the usul’s (principles) of Fiqh, Tafsir and Hadith. His Nisbah al-Ijtima’i gives rise to the branch of mutual assistance and excellent morality, whose Shari’i term would be hadharat and madniyat. His Nisbah al-Taysiri gives rise to the branch of affinity for ease and moderation,whose Shar’i term is ‘adl and iqtisad .
if we look at the Shar’i
proofs,whereupon this concise Shari’ah is based, then we see
that Allah’s Messenger’ (Allah bless him and grant him peace) Nisbah
al-Anbayi (nubuwwah) gave rise to wahy, which is collectively known as
al-Qur’an. His Nisbah al-I’lami and Bayani, that is his example
of speech and actions, which personified the Qur’an, whose collective
term would be al-Sunnah. His Nisbah al-Alqa’i and Wajdani which gave
rise to the extraction of masa’il, is termed ijtihad in the Shari’ah.
His Nisbah al-Khatimiyah which gave rise to the state of perpetual
guidance of mankind and their deviation, when not in a group. Its Shar’i
term is ijma’. (ulamadeoband.wordpress.com)
Making an Effort to Improve one’s Character
Hazrat Shaikh Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned: Through studying the lives of our pious predecessors, we learn that one should not suffice upon expressing grief over one’s shortcomings and weaknesses. Rather, one should make a concerted effort to rectify oneself and improve one’s character. Together with making istighfaar, one should impose a monetary penalty on oneself in order to discipline the nafs. For instance if one had wrongly expressed anger upon a person, (then together with making istighfaar and seeking forgiveness from the person) one should impose a monetary penalty upon oneself. If one does not have the money to give in charity, then one should perform between four rakaats to twenty rakaats nafl salaah as a penalty for the wrong one has committed. By merely expressing grief and not making an effort to improve one’s character and ways, one will not achieve any good.
RESPECT LIES IN FOLLOWING ISLAM
Hadhrat Umar (Rad.) said,
Value, Integrity & Honour
Ulema of Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat
Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Hamid Ishaq D.B.
Ulema of Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat
Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Hamid Ishaq D.B.
The Aqidah of The Salaf and The Safe Position in Ilm al-Kalam
Hakim al-Ummat Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi, may Allah shower His mercy upon him, said:
‘Whatever the scholars of kalam have said regarding the Being and Attributes of the Divine is, in reality, only a defense from the errors of the People of Innovation and Atheism. It should only be restricted to what is known in academic nomenclature as manaʿ (theoretical probability). This would mean that if such and such a condition is found, this result is probable or feasible, and not impossible. It can never mean that in actual reality, it is exactly so in the Knowledge of the Divine.
What transpired, however, is that later Scholastic Theologians (Mutakallimun) became definers of religion, instead of remaining its defenders, and gave their theoretical probabilities the name of Islamic creed.
Let us understand this through an example of an important issue discussed in ʿIlm al-Kalam. The theologians have suggested that a body (jism) is composed of indivisible atomic particles (Atomism) as opposed to the philosophers’ suggestion that it is composed of Hyle (substance – hayula in Arabic) and form (sura).
This was necessary because if a body
was assumed to be a composite of Hyle and forms according to the
classification of the philosophers, it would necessitate the eternal (qidam)
of all bodies. To avoid this, the theologians presented an alternate
view that it is equally possible that bodies are composed of indivisible
Had this probability been kept at that only (i.e. a probability), there would not have been a problem. But, the later theologians began presenting this as though it was a part of Islamic creed. Creedal matters can only be established through incontrovertible proofs, which are substantially lacking in this instance.’
Hadrat (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) further added: ‘That is why I say that ʿIlm al-Kalam should be restricted to defense from erroneous ideologies and the technical manaʿ (theoretical probability). And, ʿAqa’id (creed) should be kept free from such intricacies, following the example of the righteous predecessors.’
From the discourses of Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi, after Jumu‘ah prayer, 21st Ramadan 1348 AH (www.ilmgate.org)
The sect destined for Jannah from the 73
Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) had distinguished the sect of Haqq from the other 72 sects in the Hadith; “Ma Ana Alayhi Wa Ashabi” or; “That (way) upon which I and my companions are” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi) by combining the words Ma and Ana into the sentence. By his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) using the word Ma is an indication towards al-Sunnah – that is, the way of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) or the laws of the din. This is the basis upon which the sect of haqq is founded. The words Ana Wa Ashabi denotes towards Al-Jama’ah. The Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah has formulated its basis and roots from the words of this hadith. In fact, Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud, when discussing this subject, states this Hadith of “Ana Wa Ashabi” under the caption of Al-Jama’ah. In the Hadith it is mentioned “this is the Jama’ah” when referring to the one sect which will be in Jannah and the successful one as opposed to the other 72 sects destined for the Fire. For this reason, the one portion in the title of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah is actually found in the text of the Hadith. Since the word Ma in the hadith refers to a way and path and the way referred to is that of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them) and this way is called the Sunnah, so the second part in the title of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah is also, so to say, found in the text of the hadith. This is one very strong proof that the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah are on the path of haqq, because Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) had himself formulated the title of this sect. We learn from this, that the sect which is on haqq is that one which comprises of these two roots and parts. When one contemplates carefully over this, then it will be realized that the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah are an embodiment of the words Ma and Ana which are found in the hadith. If for example, this sect was called Ahl al-Qur’an, Ahl al-Hadith, Ahl al-Fiqh, Ahl al-Tasawwuf, Ahl al-Kalam or Ahl al-‘Usul, then it would not encompass the word Ma, hence it would be an incomplete and incorrect title. Alternatively, if it was called Ahl al-Jama’ah, Muttabi’in al-Sahabah, Ashab al-Muhaddithin wa ‘l-Mujtahiddin, Ittiba` al-Fuqaha or Muhibbin Ahl al-Bayt, etc. then undoubtedly, whilst it would comprise the word Ana which appears in the Hadith, but it would be void of the import of the word Ma. Also, in this case, it would be construed as being a sect which comprises personality-worship and veneration, which is devoid of any sound laws or principles. Such a title would also be incomplete and incorrect. The title Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah comprises both the integral parts implied in the Hadith and it manifests the words of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace).
Since this ideology, path and way are in the actual words of the speech of the Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace), and it is also the import of his intention, then it can safely be averred that this path and way and the tile adopted by the adherents thereof is the desire of Nubuwwah and in it lies the pleasure of Allah. All praise to Allah, this is the path chosen by the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah and it has been made their way of life. Hence, the summary of the way and path of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah is in accordance to the desire of the Hadith of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). The summary thereof would be “Following the Sunnah via personalities”. And now to dissect this ideology:
Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Hamid Ishaq D.B.said:
"If you travel The Path of
Islah sincerely, or even
sincerely you will be
shocked at the change
Allah Ta'ala will bring
about in your condition.
Wallah this has been
Bid'ah (Innovations in Deen)
Is he possibly objecting to the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) that
Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) conveyed it to the Sahaabah
(radhiyallahu ‘anhum), but they did not practise on it nor did they
guide the Ummah? Or is he trying to snatch away the mantle of Prophethood for himself;
that just as Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained that certain
actions are part of Deen and whoever practices upon it will gain
entrance into Jannat, he too has the power to do the same (by
introducing something new as a means of gaining entrance into Jannat)!
It is recorded in Ibnu Majah (rahmatullah alayhe):
لايقبل الله لصاحب بدعة صلاة ولا صوما ولا صدقة ولا حجة
"Allah Ta‘ala does not accept the salaah, fast, sadaqah and hajj of a person who is involved in bid’ah."
It is mentioned in another Narration that he (the innovator) comes out of the fold of Deen just like how an arrow comes out of a body. In this technologically advanced world, it may be difficult to understand the example of an arrow. To understand the example of a bullet is easier. Shoot a buck and observe how the bullet penetrates the body! Therefore, to accept an action which is not Deen as an injunction of Deen is a very dangerous state of affairs.
Shaitaan’s vow to mislead man
It is mentioned in a Hadeeth that when Allah Ta‘ala sent Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) to the earth, he also sent Iblees with the collar of a curse around his neck.
وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ لَعْنَتِي إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ
“Indeed My curse is upon you till the Day of Qiyaamah.” (Saad: 78)
“O Allah, because of Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) you banished me from Jannat with the collar of a curse around my neck. Now I will not allow his progeny to enter Jannat.”
Do you understand the significance of this statement? Shaitaan had promised Allah Ta‘ala that he will not allow the progeny of Aadam (‘alaihis salaam) to enter Jannat. He will involve them in sin.
Allah Ta‘ala then said:
“Very well! You will involve them in sin and I will give them the taufeeq (ability) to repent and I will forgive their sins.”
“In that case I will involve them in bid’ah,” replied Shaitaan.
This is Shaitaan’s objective. A person repents from such actions which he believes to be sinful. Those actions that he believes to be acts of worship, will he ever repent from them? Bid’ah are those actions that are understood to be Deen, whereas they are not part of Deen. Did you ever see anyone repenting from fulfilling the obligations of salaah, zakaat, and hajj? Taubah is made for sins, but a person engaged in bid’ah, thinks that he is performing a great act of ibaadat. So why will he repent from it?
Consequently, our seniors have categorically declared bid’ah to be the most dangerous of all sins. A person commits zina (fornication), such a heinous sin such that the Quraan has stated:
وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَى
“Do not come close to zina.” (Bani Isra’eel: 32)
If one goes close to zina, it will entice him to do the action itself. When someone is committing zina, he no longer remains a Mu’min. Sins are verified by two witnesses, but verification of zina requires four witnesses. The sin of zina is so serious that if the adulterer is a Muhsan (has the qualities of a chaste person), then he will be stoned to death.
However, bid’ah is a more serious sin than zina because if a person commits zina knowing it to be sinful, he can be given the taufeeq of repenting, but when an act of bid’ah is committed, understanding it to be an act of reward, such a person will not even think about making taubah from such an action. That is why bid’ah is the most serious of sins. It is therefore imperative to abstain from bid’ah. May Allah Ta‘ala save us from bid’ah. Aameen.
THE FIVE BRANCHES OF THE SHARIAH
The Shariat (Islamic legal Code) consists of five branches or parts: Aqqa-id, A'maal, Muamalaat, Akhlaaq, Husn-e-Muasharat (Social Etiquette).
1- AQQA-ID (Beliefs), e.g., beliefs in the Oneness of Allah (s.w.t- The Exalted) and the Risaalat (Prophet hood) of The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
2- A'MAAL (righteous deeds), e.g., Salaat (Daily Prayers), Saum.
3- MUAMALAAT (Transactions, Contracts), e.g., trade and commerce.
4- AKHLAAQ (Moral character), e.g., humility, generosity, etc.
5- HUSN-E-MUASHARAT (SOCIAL ETIQUETTE) (Beautiful social conduct, i.e.,
good relationship with people, e.g., abstention from acts which cause
others inconvenience, such as disturbing a person in his sleep.
The above mentioned five Branches are collectively known as the Shariat (Islamic legal Code). It is essential for Muslims to adopt all five Branches of the Shariat. But, in the present age people have abbreviated the Shariat. Some have taken only Aqaa-id, believing that only the proclamation of La ilaaha il lallaahu (There is no one worthy of worship except Allah) suffices for immediate entry into Jannat (Paradise). Such persons, while they believe Salaat (Daily Prayers), Saum (Fasting), etc., are Fardh, do not obtain the good fortune of practically executing these acts of worship. Others again, along with Aqaa-id-observe Salaat (Daily Prayers), Saum, etc., as well. However, they have discarded Muamalaat (mutual or business dealings). In their transactional dealings they are not concerned with the Islam, whether their acts are lawful or not. They are indifferent to the question of halaal and haraam (lawful or unlawful) regarding their earnings and dealings. Then there are those who maintain their Muamalaat (mutual or business dealings) on a healthy footing, but are unconcerned with the reformation of their moral character. Those who are concerned Akhlaaq are exceptionally few. In fact, there are even such persons who spend considerable time to reform others while others are inconvenienced and annoyed by their behaviour and attitude. They remain unaware of the difficulty they are causing others by their actions and behaviour. They are completely uncaring about their own detestable condition. There are numerous such persons who will not venture to offer Salaam to a poor Muslim along the road. On the contrary, they (those well off) wait in expectation of the Salaam to be initiated by the poor. Some people, along with Aqaaid, A'maal and Muamalaat (mutual or business dealings), are concerned about the reformation of Akhlaaq, hence they adopt ways and measures for the treatment of their morals. But, they have discarded Husn-e-Muashrat (beautiful conduct), In fact, they have excised (remove) it from the Islam. They assert that there is no relationship between the Shariah (Islamic legal Code) and social conduct with people. They therefore, behave as they please, thinking that the Shariah (Islamic legal Code) has no say in such matters. Many people are pious with good qualities such as humility, but in Muasharat (Social Etiquette) they are lacking. They are not concerned whether they annoy and inconvenience others by their behaviour. In most insignificant things they bring about difficulty and inconvenience to others. Their attention is totally diverted from little things which cause difficulty to others while in the Hadith there are numerous incidents narrated which show that The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) cared for the little things just as much as he cared for important matters.
Principles of Deobandi Fiqh
"Firstly, it is essential to reiterate the fact obvious to anyone who studies the works of Senior Deobandi Scholars that their Beliefs and Practices are in complete conformance to the Teachings of the Qur’an, the Hadiths and Hanafi Fiqh. Their Suluk and Tasawwuf is also according to the Sunnah. They are staunch Hanafis and high calibre Ahl al-Sunnah. None of their Beliefs are against the Qur’an and Hadiths, nor are any of their Rulings against Hanafi Fiqh. Deobandiyat is not a separate Tract (Maslak); in this era it is synonymous to the Tract of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jama’ah…"
Say, “My prayer, my offering, my life and my death are for Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.”
The Method of Dealing with the Nafs
The Reality of
Peeri Mureedi and Khilaafath
Peeri Mureedi and Khilaafath
Excerpt from Aap Beti (Autobiography) of
“Hazrat Hakeemul Ummat writes in his kitaab, “Anfaas Eesa’ page 143: “The permission of a Sheikh for one to perform ‘Bay’at’ is no proof of that person’s high status. It is only a proof of that person’s ability to achieve.”
Hazrat writes in another place in ‘Anfaas Eesa’: Just as a certificate is issued at the time of completing a course of studies in a Madressa, the meaning is not this that this person has attained perfection on those subjects. The certificate is merely given with this in mind that there is confidence in him that, should he continue his studies and teaching, there is a good prospect that little by little he may progress towards a degree of perfection.
If, however, out of his own negligence and lack of appreciation, he destroys this ability and talent, the fault will not lie with those who issued the certificate, but with him alone.
Similiarly, when a Sheikh grants permission to anyone, it does not mean that at that moment this person is endowed with all the qualities of virtue. It only means that there is confidence in him, that should he continue with self-rectification and Mujaahadah (striving), there exists a strong possibility of him acquiring the good qualities leading to perfection.”
Hakeemul Ummat goes so far as to say that very often the Sheikhs even grant permission to unsuited ones. He writes in ‘Anfaas Eesa’ “There are times when the Sheikhs on observing the quality of shame and shyness in a person, grant him permission for Bay’at, hoping that when he sets about with the rectification of others, his shame will cause him to be involved with his own self-rectification, so that one day he will emerge successful on the road to perfection.”
He also writes: “Sometimes the Sheikh give permission to an incompetent and unsuitable one with this hope in mind that because of earnest and sincere seeker’s blessings, he too will become rectified. It had happened that a ‘Peer’ is himself incompetent but his ‘Mureed’ is very earnest and upright. Allah causes the righteousness of the Mureed to favour the Peer, so that when the Mureed becomes perfected, the Peer subsequently becomes perfected in qualities. In a case like this, this is the way for perfecting the ways of the Peer.”
Whatever Hakeemul Ummat had written here about the ‘Ijaazat’ of the incompetent one is an extremely delicate point. It does not follow at all that every incompetent one should be granted ‘Ijaazat’. All it means is that such things do happen among some Sheikhs, and that there are times when a Sheikh has become competent due to the effect of his Mureed. It has happened and there are many famous examples:
There is the story of a robber who in spite of his own weak character pretended to be a Sheikh. He started admitting people into Bay’at. With Allah Ta’ala sincerity has great weight. This is a fixed law. Allah Ta’ala caused the Mureeds to become very well benefited from him through their own sincerity. One day the Mureeds told him: “We have had a look at the qualities of the Sheikhs and their ranks and have realized the ranks of all the Sheikhs, but your rank is so high that we have not been able to realize it.”
(There is no doubt that there are blessings in Allah’s name. This no one can deny. I have already quoted in Hazrat Gangohi’s saying that no matter how unmindful one mentions Allah’s name, it does not go without any effect.)
This fake ‘Peer’ was beneficially affected by Allah’s name. When he heard this statement by the Mureeds, he burst out crying and told them who he really was. He then begged the Mureeds to help him.
All of them focused their attentions (Tawajjuh) upon him and he benefited by these spiritual favors. This is so because when the saintly ones cast their attentions upon anyone spiritually, it does not go without effect. The major thing is sincerity and in the presence of this, the incompetence of the Peer does not affect the Mureeds adversely.
I heard a story from my father. There was once a robber and thief. As long as he was young and strong, he continued his robbery and theft, but later when he became old and weak, he consulted his friends as to what work he should now do. They told him that to play as a saint (Peeri-Mureedi), it being such a job from which without much hardship and effort, one can earn much. He would then be able to live a life of comfort and ease. (The story is quite long. Perhaps I have already told it somewhere in some of my books.)
He did just that and became such a ‘Peer’. It so happened that a True Seeker after spiritual progress, came to him. The Peer continued with this pretended piety but the sincerity and earnestness of the Mureed, did not allow him to even think about the Peer Saheb’s evil ways. He hardly saw it. With great sincerity he told the Peer:
“I have come to you for the sake of Allah, to learn from you the path towards Allah.”
It so happened that he made a mistake in coming to meet the Peer at a wrong time, with the result that Peer Saheb was very displeased. He replied: “ The path towards Allah is not attained easily at all.”
The Peer gave him a spade and ordered him to go and clean a certain orchard, fix the buckets and repair the water channels. The Mureed immediately took the spade and went off to the orchard and started working on the repairs.
The owner of the orchard was displeased with this interference in his personal affairs. The sincere mureed practically begged the farmer: “Allow me to proceed. I am not coming to take anything from you. My Peer has instructed me to clean and repair this orchard.”
Initially the people were quite suspicious of him and they even beat and scolded him. But they saw that he never asked for anything, not even food. If he found a piece of dry bread, he ate it. He lived like this for three months.
It is famous among the people of Tasawwuf that when an ‘Abdaal’ passes away, his substitute is chosen among the Majlis of the ‘Ghowth’ of the time. It so happened that a certain ‘Abdaal’ passed away and from the Majlis of the Ghowth, the other Abdaals submitted various names of people. The Ghowth listened to all the names and then asked if he could suggest a name from his side.
All of them said: “Certainly.”
He said: “There is a gardener in a certain orchard, who is a most sincere person and who has a sincere desire for spiritual progress. He is busy trying very hard in his efforts.”
All of the Abdaals accepted his suggestion. Thereupon the Ghowth and all his Abdaals cast their attention upon him and immediately he became one of extremely high rank. He gave the spade to the people of the orchard and asked them to deliver it to the Peer Saheb. Before he left them, they asked him to tell them who he really was. He told them nothing, begged them for pardon and went off.
This is what is meant by the well-known saying:
“To have complete faith and conviction (in the Sheikh) is all that is needed.”
In other words, it does not matter who and how the Peer (Spiritual guide) is. The main thing is, how is the faith and sincerity of the Mureed. There is great value in sincerity by Allah Ta’ala.
Once in reply to a letter of mine, my Spiritual Guide Maulana Khaleel Ahmed wrote: “I may be likened to a tap. As much as is the desire for benefit from the side of the mureed, so much will be granted to him from the Original Reservoir of Grace (Allah Ta’ala). What is however, to be noted is that it will only come through the tap.”
This is another fine and delicate matter to understand. Some people
have made objections and raised criticism, as to why certain persons had
been made Khalifas of certain Sheikhs. One should not criticize or
object against the Khalifas of a true Sheikh, because such criticism and
objections are in fact against the Sheikh himself. What do you or I
know about the hidden cause or foresight which brought the Sheikh
towards selecting him. What you and I can do if we have no faith and
confidence in him, is to avoid becoming a Mureed of his.” (http://www.kmsz.org.za)
beginning it came as a Stranger
(Ghurabah), and it will return again as a
Stranger; so welcome glad tidings to
The Strangers (Ghurabah)”
"Verily, the most honorable
of you with Allah is that
(Believer) who has At-Taqwa."
O nafs! Be grateful to Allah that
death hasn’t overcome you as yet whereby your life would be finished.
Allah Ta’ala has granted you another day in your life. If you begin
to die now, you will beg to Him with thousands of hearts and lives that if
He gives you one more day, you will make a genuine taubah from all your sins
and that you will never commit them again. And that you will spend that entire
day (which you have asked for) in His remembrance and His obedience. If this
will be your condition and these will be your thoughts at the time of death,
then think in your heart and consider this time to be the time of your death
and that because you have asked Allah Ta’ala, He has granted you one
more day and you do not know whether you will be granted another day or not.
So you should spend this day as though you have been informed that this is
the last day of your life. In other words, repent from all sins and do not
involve yourself in any minor or major sins. Spend the entire day in remembering
and fearing Allah. Do not leave out any command of Allah. When the entire
day passes in this way and the following day commences, think that this is
probably the last day of your life.
O nafs! Do not be deluded into thinking
that Allah will forgive you because how do you know that He will forgive you
and that He will not punish you? Once He starts punishing you, what will you
do and how much will you regret? Even if we had to assume that He will forgive
you, you will not receive the rewards that will be given to those who did
good deeds. Later, when you see with your own eyes that others are being rewarded
while you are being denied these rewards, how much will you regret, and how
remorseful you will be! If your nafs asks you: “Okay, tell me what to
do?” Then inform it that it should abandon all those actions and habits
which will leave it at the time of death, i.e. it should abandon all the vanities
of the world and all evils. And that it should immediately adopt all those
actions which will help it in the future and without which it cannot exist,
i.e. all those actions which will please Allah Ta’ala. Furthermore,
it should occupy itself in the remembrance and obedience of Allah Ta’ala.
All evils and their cure, have been mentioned in detail previously [Hazrat
is referring to Reformation of the Heart, a section ing Bahishti Zewar]. In
making efforts in this regard, the evils will be uprooted and the good deeds
will be easily executed.
Address your nafs saying: “O nafs! You are similar to a sick person. You know that a sick person has to be extremely abstinent and cautious. Sinning is a sign of self-indulgence and carelessness. It is therefore necessary to abstain from it. Allah Ta’ala has laid down this abstinence for the entire life. Think to yourself that if any ordinary doctor informs you that a particular delicious dish is harmful for your sickness and that it will cause you great discomfort and that if you take a certain bitter medicine daily, it will benefit you and decrease your discomfort; then it is obvious that for the sake if your life which is dear to you, you will abandon the most delicious of dishes for the rest of your life and you will close your eyes and take the most bitter medicine day after day for the rest of your life. We have accepted that sins are very delicious and pleasing and that good deeds are burdensome. However, since Allah Ta’ala has shown us the harms of these delicious things and the benefits of these burdensome things knowing fully that these harms and benefits are forever (in the form of jahannnam and jannah), then O nafs! How surprising and sad it is that because your life is dear to you, you have full conviction in the advice of any doctor but for the love of your Imaan, you are unable to restrict your heart to that which Allah has advised, you do not make any effort to give up sins and that you are still complacent in executing good deeds. What type of Muslim are you that you do not even regard the advice of Allah Ta’ala to be on par with the advice of any ordinary doctor? How stupid are you in that you do not even regard the everlasting comfort of jannah to be equal to the fleeting comfort of this world. You do not even regard the sever punishment of jahannam to be equal to the few days of hardship in this world.”
“O nafs! This world is a place
of travel. When on a journey, one does not experience full comfort. One has
to bear various difficulties and hardships. However, the traveler bears all
these burdens in the belief that when he reaches home, he will experience
complete comfort and rest. If he becomes fearful of all these difficulties
and therefore decides to stop over at a place, make it his home, and gather
all his possessions over there; he will be unable to reach home for the rest
of his life. Similarly, as long as you have to live in this world, you will
have to bear all the burdens and hardships. Great effort goes in ibaadah and
it is extremely difficult to abstain from sins. And many other hardships are
experienced in this world. However, the hereafter is our home. Upon reaching
there, all difficulties and hardships will terminate. All the difficulties
and hardships of this world will have to be borne. If you search for comfort
over here, it will be difficult for you to experience any comfort at home
(i.e. in the hereafter). Once you have understood this, don’t ever desire
the comfort and pleasures of this world. You will have to bear all difficulties
willingly so that your hereafter will be proper.”
In short, the nafs will have to be
guided to the straight path by addressing it in this way. It will have to
be made to understand this daily. Remember that if you do not try to reform
yourself in this way, who is going to come and advise you and wish good for
you? Now that we have explained this to you, it is left to you to do whatever
you wish (i.e. either to your advantage or to your detriment). (Bahishti Zewar)
The Finishing Touches of Deen
When we intend building a house we require an architect and engineer. They come for a short period of time and leave. Thereafter the builders come in, then the electrician and the tilers. The building is not completed until the carpenters complete the cupboard even though one can live in an house without the tiling and carpentry being complete. Today, we even say that the garden is incomplete. Similarly, the final touches of Deen are completed by Tasawwuf.
The knowledge of Deen is acquired in the Makaatib and the Darul Ulooms. The building is done by the Tabligh Jamaat where the Aa’maal of Deen come alive. Finally, the beauty and essence of Deen is done by the Khanqah. This is where one acquires the reality of Deen. When one gets a house that is completed perfectly with all the finishing touches, it is only a pleasure to reside in such a house. We need a complete house with the finishing touches completed. Therefore we need our Makaatib, Darul Ulooms, the Tabligh Jamaat and the Khanqahs.
THE SIGN OF SHAIKH-E-KAMIL
A shaikh is one who has full knowledge and experience of spiritual ailments (Amraadh-e-Baatinah), attributes of vice and virtue (Akhlaaq-e-Razeelah and Akhlaaq-e-hameedah), their characteristics (khawaas) and their effects (ta'theeraat). He should further be able to distinguish between their similarities and he must have perfect ability in devising plans and prescriptions for the acquisition of the attributes of virtue and the elimination of the attributes of vice. He has to be aware of the progress and retrogress of these attributes. He must be well versed in the hazards of the nafs and shaitaan, the intuitive senses and feelings pertaining to the angels and the Divine Being. He must be able to distinguish these various intuitive and extra-sensory feelings and perceptions. It is therefore imperative that the shaikh of tareeqat be one who is qualified in this knowledge, be a Mujtahid in this field and possesses natural ability and inherent propensity. If he has acquired the Tareeq by a mere self-study of books on Tasawwuf or by listening from others, he will destroy the mureed whom he is attending, because he will not be in position to correctly diagnose the various states of the mureed.
Shaikh Ibne Arabi (Rahmatullah Alayh) briefly summarizes the signs of a
- Deen resembling the Deen of the Ambiyaa.
- Prescribing like the physicians.
- Management and control like that of kings.
The exposition of the above summary is as follows:
- He should possess the necessary knowledge of the Deen which he must have acquired by either academic pursuit of such knowledge or from companionship with the Ulama-e-Muhaqqiqeen.
- He must be a deputy (Khalifah) of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil attached to an authentic Silsilah.
- He should be uprighteous and pious.
- He derived spiritual benefit by remaining for an adequate period of time in the company of the Shaikh. Such "companionship" is either by means of correspondence or by physical presence in the . association of the Shaikh.
- The people of knowledge (i.e. the Ulamaa) hold him in high esteem, and refer to him.
- The effect of his companionship (suhbat) is increase in the desire for Aakhirat and Divine love as well as detestation for the love of the world.
- The majority of his mureeds are followers of the Shariat, their conditions conforming with the demands of the Shariat.
- He is devoid of greed and desire (for worldly gain and benefit).
- He engages in Zikr and devotional practices.
- He does not leave his mureeds unfettered, but reprimands them when the need arises. lie treats everyone according to their respective abilities.
- The one in whom these attributes exist is worth y of being a Shaikh and he should be considered a wonderful alchemy. His companionship and service to him are in fact priceless treasures. Once these attributes or perfection are found in a Shaikh, one should not be concerned about karaamat (miracles) and kashf (inspiration). It is not necessary that these states exist in the Shaikh-e-Kaamil nor is it necessary that he be one who does not himself earn his livelihood.
(Hadhrat Maulana Masehullah Khan.