ORCHARDS OF LOVE
(Compiled by Maulana A S Desai)
Suhbat (Companionship) with the Auliyaa is imperative for moral reformation and spiritual elevation. Without the company of the Auliyaa this is not normally possible. Suhbat of the Auliyaa has been the Sunnah of the Ummah from the very inception of Islam.
In the first phase it was Suhbat with the Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Then followed the Suhbat of the Sahaabah and then of the Auliyaa. And, this Sunnah has been transmitted down the centuries.
No man, barring rare exceptions, gained spiritual ascendancy without the Suhbat of the Auliyaa.
Those who had attempted the spiritual sojourn alone, ended up in deviation, some even prostrating to shaitaan. Those who seek to plod this path of reformation and spiritual elevation without the guidance of the Auliyaa, in the end formulate for themselves cults of satanism.
When the Suhbat — physical Suhbat — of the Auliyaa is not available, as is the case in the present day, the next best method is to study their lives and read in abundance the episodes, anecdotes, advices and admonition of the Mashaa-ikh.
In this book of Episodes of Allah’s Aarifeen, numerous incidents which cultivate a yearning for the spiritual sojourn have been narrated. It is not possible to practically follow every path and practice of the Auliyaa or the elite members of the spiritual kingdom. Certain acts apply exclusively to the Saint about whom these are related.
The purpose of the stories of the Auliyaa is primarily to gain the fervour and yearning to follow the path which leads to Allah Ta`ala and everlasting success and salvation in the Aakhirah. And that Path is only the Shariah of Islam.
While every act and practice of the Auliyaa is based on the Sunnah, every man cannot imitate them in exactitude. The total austerity and renunciation (zuhd) which some Auliyaa practised cannot be adopted by all and sundry. But, the minimum Fardh (compulsory) requirement in this sphere is to renounce the world to the extent that it does not interfere with the Mu`min’s strict observance of the Shariah and the cultivation of Taqwa.
Then, whomever Allah Ta`ala desires to honour with greater spiritual elevation, he will progress in that direction by way of Divine Guidance, for the Real and True Sheikh is only Allah Azza Wa Jal. But in this world He has created intermediaries for our ease.
May Allah Ta`ala accept this humble effort and guide those who read it with sincerity.[Maulana A S Desai]
MUJLISUL ULAMA, MUHARRAM 1422 (APRIL 2001)
[Note: For further exposition of the benefit to be derived from these anecdotes and a brief explanation on how some of the anecdotes of the Auliyaa, involving karamaat (miracles), kashf (inspirations) and other extra-ordinary events, relate to the Shar’iah, see: Foreword to Scattered Pearls]
(Maulana A S Desai)
This is a short compilation of selected sayings and anecdotes of the illustrious Auliyaa (the special friends—saints) of Allah Ta’ala. The perpetuation of Islam in its original purity has been ensured by the various classes of Auliyaa among whom are also found the great Fuqaha, Muhadditheen and Mufassireen.
The sayings and anecdotes presented in this book belong to the domain of Islamic morality, spirituality and the remembrance of Allah, which in fact is the goal of life. No order has been observed in this compilation. It is essentially a book of Naseehat—advice and admonition. The aim of these advices is to create a concern (fikr) in the Muslim for the Aakhirah for which mankind as been created. Rasulullah ( صلى الله عايه وسالم ) said:
“Verily, the world has been created for you and you have been created for the Aakhirah.”
Careful, sincere and reflective reading of the Naseehat of the Auliyaa will create the desired effect, viz. remembrance of Allah and the Aakhirah. The sincere reader in the quest of the truth will derive from this book the necessary enthusiasm to impel him further on in the search for the Path leading to Allah’s Proximity.
The company (suhbat) of the Auliyaa is the only sure means of acquiring Islamic moral character and Nearness to Allah Ta’ala. It is precisely for this reason that the Qur’aan commands:
“And join the company of the Saadiqeen (Auliyaa).”
“Devote your nafs to the company of those who call their Rabb morning and evening intending (thereby) His Face. . .”
Thus, the Qur’aan Majeed commands association–constant companionship–with the Auliyaa. Such company produces love for Allah Ta’ala. In these days of fitnah and fasaad (mischief and corruption) there is an acute dearth of Auliyaa. In fact, the world has become bereft of the illustrious type of Auliyaa – of former times.
In such spiritually and morally decadent times when there is no physical suhbat of the Auliyaa, the next best option is to study their lives, sayings and anecdotes which will most certainly imbue in the heart the yearning for Allah’s Proximity. Towards the achievement of this aim, we present this book which we have named SCATTERED PEARLS. Do remember the compilers in your dua.[Maulana A S Desai] Mujlisul Ulama, Ramadhaan 1417 – January 1997