ABSTENTION FROM ISTIGHFAAR
Diverging from the subject of his alleged inconsistency No.4, the miserable coprocreep disgorges the following drivel:
“You will find and witness and seen Deobandis (esp.Tableeghis) do Istighfaar or seek repentance, or tell others to do repentance, after carrying out good deeds. I believe this has Sufistic roots where some Sufis used to do Istighfaar from the acts of worship themselves, and this is based on that good deeds bring about self-arrogance.”
(We have reproduced the coprocreep’s statement verbatim, errors and all.)
The coprocreep has further displayed his jahaalat by uttering this pure rubbish. His conclusion regarding Istighfaar after ibaadat demonstrates his total lack of understanding of the practices and attitude of the Ulama of Deoband who in their own little way always tried to follow the Sahaabah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Again it should be clarified that when it is said, ‘Ulama of Deoband’, the reference is to the Akaabireen, not to the medley of molvies of a variety of persuasions and defective knowledge of this era. Only one who subscribes in entirety to the Minhaaj of the Akaabireen will be enumerated in the roll of the Ulama of Deoband.
The first stupid slander the coprocreep alleges is : “Some Sufis used to do Istighfaar from the acts of worship themselves”. This allegation is utterly baseless. Here the coprocreep implies that the Ulama of Deoband equate acts of ibaadat to acts of sin. Just as Istighfaar is incumbent when sinning, so too is Istighfaar essential when rendering acts of ibaadat. This is the absurd implication of the coprocreep’s fallacious conjecture. Our Akabireen act in accordance of the following Qur’aanic verses:
“And they (the Muttaqeen) recite Istighfaar (repent and ask forgiveness) in the times of As-haar.” (Aal-e-Imraan, aayat 17)
“And, when it is As-haar, they seek forgiveness (recite Istighfaar.” (Ath-Thariyaat, aayat 18)
A-shaar is the plural of sahr which is the last one sixth of the night, just before the ending of Tahajjud time, and commencement of Subh Saadiq.
The preceding verses state: “Verily, the Muttaqeen will be in gardens and fountains. They accept what their Rabb bestowed to them. Verily, even before this (on earth) they were people of piety. They used to sleep very little during the night. And, late at night (just before Subh Saadiq) they would engage in Istighfaar.” (Ath-Thaariyaat, Aayaat 15 – 18)
For the purposes of this discussion it is very significant that despite the Muttaqeen spending the greater part of the night in ibaadat, they engage in Istighfaar. Now what is the purpose of this Istighfaar? Why do the people of piety engage in Istighfaar despite being engaged the greater part of the night in ibaadat. This Istighfaar according to the Qur’aan follows immediately after hours of ibaadat late at night. Do these Muttaqeen repent and seek forgiveness because they had worshipped? Do they regret having engaged in ibaadat during the night?
Regret is a requisite of Taubah. Minus regret, Taubah is meaningless. It is essential that the one who seeks forgiveness (makes Istighfaar) for sins should have remorse. Another requisite of Taubah is to pledge never again to repeat the sin. Without this pledge, the repentance is not valid.
The coprocreep in effect implies that according to the Ulama of Deoband, it is necessary to “to do Istighfaar from the acts of worship themselves”. In other words, the acts of ibaadat “themselves” are supposed to be sins in terms of the doctrine of the Ulama of Deoband, hence they engage in Istighfaar after Ibaadat. Nothing can be further from the truth. It is totally absurd to read such a corrupt meaning of kufr into the act of Istighfaar after Ibaadat. Here in the Qur’aan Majeed, Allah Ta’ala Himself, commands us to recite Istighfaar in the last extremity of the night immediately after having engaged in hours of ibaadat during the night time. Why does Allah Ta’ala praise the Muttaqeen who engage in Istighfaar after practising good deeds?
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) reported that during this last portion of the night, Allah Ta’ala descends to the Sama-e-Dunya (the first heaven). He announces: “Is there any repenter (for sins) so that I may forgive him? Is there anyone seeking forgiveness (reciting Istighfaar) so that I may forgive him?”
Since this is a time of Maqbooliyat (Acceptance), the Muttaqeen engage in Istighfaar which is desired by Allah Ta’ala despite the fact that they had not indulged in any sins. They were engaged in pure ibaadat for hours during the night. Then immediately after the ibaadat, they engage in Istighfaar. Thus, it should be clear that Istighfaar should not be restricted to occasions of flagrant sin.
Since the Muttaqeen understand that their ibaadat can never measure up to the glory and majesty of Allah Azza Wa Jal, and that their ibaadat will always be defective in relation to Allah’s status, they seek forgiveness for their defective discharge of the ibaadat, not for the acts of ibaadat “themselves” as alleged by the coprocreep. The Qur’aan Majeed praises these Ulama of Deoband who engage in Istighfaar after acts of ibaadat.
In a self-contradiction, the coprocreep states:
“Although Deobandis do not seek forgiveness for the acts themselves, but they do seek forgiveness from any mistakes committed in acts.”
What sin do the Ulama of Deoband commit if they seek forgiveness for short-comings and deficiencies in their acts of Ibaadat? Common sense – simple Imaani sense is sufficient to understand the necessity for seeking forgiveness for the commission of ‘mistakes’. Is it then a sin in the Salafi belief to engage in Istighfaar for errors and mistakes? The absurdity of the Salafi minhaaj is self-evident from the corrupt idea peddled by the coprocreep.
When should one repent and engage in Istighfaar? It is quite apparent from the belief of the coprocreep that Istighfaar is not permissible without sin first preceding it. Only thereafter is Istighfaar valid in terms of modern-day Salafi’ism. This corrupt supposition will preclude a person from Istighfaar if he believes that he has not sinned. And, this belief is possible only if this person has a comprehensive list of sins besides which there are no sins. Now if this person does not commit any of the acts enumerated in his comprehensive handbook of sins, there will be no need for him to engage in Istighfaar. In fact, in terms of the Salafi belief it will be sinful to repent and engage in Istighfaar in view of no sins having been committed.
This belief leads to takabbur (pride), because the Salafi regards himself to be pure and holy, hence no need for Istighfaar. The arrogance which Salafis generally display and the disdain and contempt they have for the Imaams of the Math-habs and the Fuqaha, are therefore not at all surprising. They are morally and spiritually barren.
They advocate Istighfaar only when a person commits an act which he believes is a sin. But there are numerous acts and attitudes which are sinful without man even realizing that he has indulged in sin. The Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) are Ma’soom (Sinless). Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to repent and engage in Istighfaar 70 times daily, and in one narration 100 times. What constrained the Sinless Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to engage in Istighfaar in such abundance?
Committing an act which one understands to be a sin is not a prerequisite for Istighfaar. There are numerous actions and attitudes which are sinful, and which are committed without a person even realizing that he has sinned. Then there is the defective discharge of obligations. Then there is man’s nafs which is inherently evil as mentioned by Nabi Yusuf (alayhis salaam): “I do not exculpate my nafs from evil, for verily the nafs is a great commander of evil…” (Surah Yusuf)
Now when the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam) engaged in abundant Istighfaar, who are the coprocreeps who wallow in flagrant sin, and who are we all to justify abstention from Istighfaar?
Istighfaar after ibaadat is not seeking forgiveness for having executed the act of ibaadat as the coprocreep falsely alleges. It is the plea for forgiveness for defective performance of ibaadat, for sins already committed, for sins which cannot be remembered, for sins committed without understanding, for sins committed by mistake, for sins committed in the distant past and for which Taubah may not have been made.
In addition to this list of sins, Istighfaar is extremely efficient for the cultivation of Tawaadhu’ (Humility) which is the opposite of Takabbur. When a man understands his sinful nature and that he is always sinning, he is overwhelmed by remorse. His gaze is focused on his own weaknesses, not on the faults and sins of others.
The daily practice of Istighfaar of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Qur’aanic praise for the Muttaqeen who engage in Istighfaar at the time of Tahajjud after having spent considerable time in ibaadat are more than adequate substantiation for the validity of the practice and attitude of Istighfaar of the Ulama of Deoband. Hadhrat Thaibaan (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated: When Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) completed his Salaat, he would recite Istighfaar three times.” – (Muslim) This is the Sunnah practice which the coprocreep condemns, but which the Ulama of Deoband observe. Thus, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), himself instructed by way of his action that Istighfaar should follow ibaadat.
In a flabby attempt to justify the Salafi teaching of abstention from Istighfaar, the coprocreep says:
“What people SHOULD be doing after acts of worship is SHUKR and Duas of MORE TAWFEEQ.”
What is the coprocreep’s basis for believing that those who engage in Istighfaar abstain from Shukr? Istighfaar is not the antithesis of Shukr. In fact, Istighfaar cultivates a greater degree of Shukr in a man of humility who believes that despite his sins, Allah Ta’ala is bestowing his boundless bounties to him. The humble man’s heart inclines more to gratitude than the hard heart of a Salafi who believes in his innocence and holiness on the basis of which the coprocreep justifies abstention from Istighfaar.
Shukr is an integral constituent of the process of Tazkiyah Nafs of the Ulama of Deoband. The objective of the Tasawwuf of the Ulama of Deoband is twofold: elimination of the evil nafsaani attributes, and the adornment of the nafs with the attributes of moral excellence. This is the meaning of Tazkiyah Nafs and Tasawwuf by the Ulama of Deoband. This is our Minhaaj.