QASDUS SABEEL ILAL MAULAL JALEEL
The Straight Path to AL-MAULAA IL JALEEL (Allah, The Friend, The Protector, The Glorious)
By: Hakeemul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (Rahmatullah Alayh)
Translated by Mujlisul Ulama of South Africa P.O Box 3392 Port Elizabeth 6056 South Africa
نحمده ونصلى على رسوله الكريم
QASDUS SABEEL is the Straight Path which leads to the Mu’min’s final goal and destination, namely, Allah Azza Wa Jal, our Creator and Sovereign of the universe.
Allah Ta’ala has created man for only one purpose, viz., to reach Him. There is no way of reaching Him other than journeying along the Straight Path indicated by Muhammadur Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) the Path which the Qur’aan designates. QASDUS SABEEL.
It is not possible to reach Allah Ta’ala by following any way other than Qasdus Sabeel. It is the yearning of every sincere Taalib of Haqq (Searcher of the Truth) to journey along this Path to reach his ultimate Goal. But, this Straight and simple Path has become obscure and strewn with impediments as a result of ignorance, diversions, distractions and the deceptions perpetrated by “spiritual” and “religious” charlatans masquerading as spiritual guides. There are many such highwaymen lying along the Path, ready to pounce on the unsuspecting Taalib.
Hakimul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) has by the Fadhl of Allah Ta’ala cleared this Path, removed the impediments, laid bare the tricks and deceptions of the deviates and has simplified the way for the Taalib to reach his goal and destination. In simple language, Hakimul Ummat expounds the Straight Path which leads to Allah Ta’ala.
It is the obligatory duty of every Mu’min to reach Allah Ta’ala. He is, therefore, constrained to travel along this Straight Path. This treatise will immensely aid the Taalib in his journey unto Allah Ta’ala. The Path has been made crystal clear and has been simplified for both Aalim and non-Aalim. Every Muslim, irrespective of his profession, occupation or activity, has to travel along this Straight Path. Hakimul Ummat explains the ways and methods which have to be adopted by the different classes of Taalibeen – and no Muslim can say that he is not a Taalib of Allah. He who is not a Taalib of Allah is beyond the pale of Islam.
It is hoped that Allah Ta’ala will accept this humble effort of the translators. May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the taufeeq to travel along this chosen Path which leads straight to Him. May Allah Ta’ala shower his choicest blessings on Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat who has dispelled the darkness from the Path.
[Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]
QASDUS SABEEL ILAL MAULAL JALEEL
By: Hakeemul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (Rahmatullah Alayh)
All praises are due unto Allah, The Protector, The Friend, The Majestic, The Glorious. The Straight Path (Qasdus Sabeel) leads to Him and ends by Him. He is the Goal of the journey of the Saalik.
Peace and blessings on our Sayyid, Muhammad, the Nabi of Allah, the embodiment of virtue and excellence, Unique in the perfection of virtue and character, Muhammad has no comparison. He is the exemplar and the best guide of that Straight Path which reaches Allah.
Peace and blessings on his noble Family and his illustrious Companions who sacrificed their lives and their wealth for the sake of Allah along This Straight Path; who were the propagators and the narrators of This Path along which all Searchers of the Truth have to journey.
Faqeeri is the way for acquiring obedience for and love of Allah Ta’ala. The one who follows this Path of Divine Love and obedience is termed a Faqeer. Faqeer in the context of this subject does not mean a worldly mendicant or beggar.
In this treatise the Path of the Faqeer will be explained. Most people desire the path of Faqeeri. They are eager to follow the path which leads to Allah Ta’ala, but being unaware of this Path, they commit serious errors, blunder and go astray. Some people, although not deviating, nevertheless, do not attain the goal. They wander aimlessly in frustration and despondency. They may have reached their destination but being unaware of the Path, fail to realize this. It has therefore become necessary to explain in simple terms what actually is the meaning of Faqeeri and its goal.
Prior to compiling this treatise, which consists of ten sections (each termed “Hidayat” – Guidance), some friends had requested such an explanation to be written. However, since the format in which this treatise appears did not enter my mind, I had declined. Now the time for compiling it has arrived.
The sources from which the contents of this treatise, have been taken are the Qur’an, Hadith, the statements of the great authorities and experts of Faqeeri, the statements which I have heard from my saintly senior and such intuitive informative inspired into my heart by Allah Ta’ala.
For the sake of brevity – so that this treatise does not become a large volume – I have not furnished the proof or basis of every claim and statement.
The name of this treatise is ‘Qasdus Sabeel’ – ‘The Straight Way of Reaching Allah’. I make dua that Allah Ta’ala makes this treatise a means of reaching Him. I make dua that whoever practises in accordance with this treatise reaches Allah Ta’ala. May Allah Ta’ala lead this vagabond to righteousness. This is not difficult for Allah Ta’ala.
HIDAAYAT NO. 1
The meaning of Faqeeri is to adorn one’s zaahir (the body, the external act) and baatin (the heart and soul). The zaahir is adorned by means of acts related to and rendered by the physical body. Practising such acts is essential. Such acts are Salaat, Fasting, etc.
The baatin is adorned by the cultivation of true beliefs and virtuous qualities such as Ikhlaas (sincerity), shukr (gratitude), sabr (patience), zuhd (elimination of worldly love) and tawaadhu’ (humility).
This description, viz. adornment of the zaahir and baatin, is one stage of Faqeeri. This stage is called Wilaayat-e-Aammah or a general bond of friendship with Allah Ta’ala. Every pious Muslim is on this stage of Faqeeri.
The second stage of Faqeeri is called Wilaayat–e–Khaassah or a special bond of friendship with Allah. This second stage of Faqeeri is exclusive with the Auliyaa or Saints. This stage consists, in addition to the constituents of the first stage, of engaging the zaahir in abundance of Nafl Ibaadaat, and the baatin with constant Zikrullah (Remembrance of Allah). At no time is there any scope for neglect and forgetfulness in this second stage of Faqeeri. Thus, the second stage consists of everything of the first stage, plus abundance of Nafl acts and perpetual Zikr.
The acquisition of the first stage of Faqeeri (Wilaayat-e- Aammah) is Fardh (compulsory) on every Muslim. This first stage has two essentials, viz. Knowledge and Practice.
1. Knowledge: By knowledge is meant sufficient knowledge of the Deen to enable one to conduct one’s daily life in conformity with the teachings of the Deen. Such knowledge may be acquired by studying authentic books or by enquiring the masaa-il from the Ulama. Beheshti Zewar, Safaa-i Mu-aamalaat and Miftahul Jannat are books published by this humble servant. These books are sufficient for one’s daily requirement.
2. Practise: By practise is meant firm resolution to act in accordance with what has been learnt. This resolution is essential so that one will not be prevented from virtuous deeds by the desires of the nafs and by the criticisms of people.
The acquisition of the second stage of Faqeeri (Wilaayat-e-Khaassah) is Mustahab (preferred and meritorious). Generally, most people regard only this second stage to be Faqeeri. However, if cultivation of the second stage of Faqeeri leads to interference and neglect of any essential teaching of the first stage of Faqeeri, then involvement in the second stage will not be permissible.
Example: Some ignoramuses desert their wives and children and labour under the impression that they are journeying along the path of Faqeeri. They are, in fact, caught up in deception.
HIDAAYAT NO. 2
The first essential step for entry into the Path of Faqeeri is Taubah (repentance). A sincere Taubah has to be offered. The Taalib (searcher of Allah) must seek Allah’s forgiveness for all sins which he had committed. He must then set about fulfilling omitted acts of Ibaadat, e.g. Fardh Salaat, Fardh Saum (Fasting), etc. which he had missed. He must render Qadha of these omitted acts of Ibaadat.
He must initiate moves to discharge any rights (huqooq) of others for which he may yet be liable, or he must obtain their pardon. Without discharging the rights of others or without the people of rights releasing the Taalib from liability and obligation, he can never reach Allah Ta’ala no matter how much he may strive and engage in Ibaadat.
Along with making Taubah it is essential to make a firm resolution that no matter how great the loss of life, property and wealth one may sustain; no matter what criticism be levelled against one, and irrespective of any worldly benefit lost in the process, one will remain steadfast in obedience to Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam). If you lack the courage and determination to adopt this resolution, then know that you are not in search of Allah – you are then not a Taalib.
After having sincerely and fully repented and after having made the resolution of obedience to Allah and Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam), make arrangements to acquire a certain amount of Deeni Knowledge to enable you to regulate your daily life in accordance with the Shariah. You will now be ready to set out in search of an expert Shaikh of Tasawwuf to guide you along the Path leading to Allah Ta’ala.
HIDAAYAT NO. 3
The Signs of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil (qualified Shaikh)
A Shaikh is one who has full knowledge and experience of spiritual ailments (amraadh-e-baatinah), attributes of vice and virtue (akhlaq-e-razeelah and akhlaq-e-hameedah), their characteristics (khawas) and their effects (ta’theerat). 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 sheikh 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 a position to correctly diagnose the various states of the Mureed.
Shaikh Ibn Arabi (rahmatullah alayh) briefly summarizes the signs of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil (the perfect and qualified Shaikh) to be three:
1. Deen resembling the Deen of the Ambiya.
2. Prescribing like the physicians.
3. Management and control like that of kings.
The exposition of the above summary is as follows:
1. He should possesses 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.
2. He must be a deputy (Khalifah) of a Shaikh-e-Kaamil attached to an authentic Silsilah.
3. He should be up righteous and pious.
4. 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.
5. The people of knowledge (i.e. the true Ulama) hold him in high esteem and refer to him.
6. 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.
7. The majority of his mureeds are followers of the Shariat, their conditions conforming with the demands of the Shariat.
8. He is devoid of greed and desire (for worldly gain and benefit).
9. He engages in Thikr and devotional practices.
10. He does not leave his mureeds unfettered, but reprimands them when the need arises. He treats everyone according to their respective abilities.
Once you have located a Shaikh with these qualities then do not bother if he has demonstrated some miracle or not. Do not be concerned of whether he knows any mysteries or future events. Do not see if his duas are acceptable or not. Do not look if he is able to demonstrate acts by means of his spiritual power of not. Such things are not requirements for a Shaikh-e-Kamil.
Similarly, do not be concerned about his inner capacity of the mind to overwhelm and dominate others. This capacity is known in the technical language of Tasawwuf as tawajjuh. Tawajjuh is not a requisite of piety. In actual fact, the impression of such matters is related to the nafs. By practise, such effects are manifested. In fact evil people and even non-Muslims are able to demonstrate such seemingly supernatural feats.
There is no great benefit in tawajjuh because of its temporary nature. It’s effect is not lasting. A mureed’s heart may be such that Thikr makes no effect on it. By means of the Shaikh’s tawajjuh of a few days on the Mureed, his heart becomes conducive to accept the effect of Thikr. This is then the benefit of tawajjuh.
HIDAAYAT NO. 4
When you have found a Shaikh-e-Kaamil and you intend to become his Mureed (disciple). Then first understand the aim and object of becoming a Mureed. People entertain a variety of motives in becoming Mureeds. Some desire to acquire the ability to demonstrate Karaamat (miracles) and be recipients of Kashf (inspiration which comes from Allah Ta’ala to the Wali). It has already been explained in Hidaayat No. 3 that Karaamat and Kashf are not requirements for even the Shaikh. The Mureed should, therefore, not entertain such motives.
Some others again have the impression that the Shaikh will be responsible for the obtainal of forgiveness and salvation from Jahannum in the Aakhirah irrespective of the evil in which the Mureed may be indulging. This too is a grossly erroneous conception. In fact, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) said to his daughter Hadhrat Faatimah (Radiallahu anha) “O Faatimah! Save yourself from the fire.” And the way of securing salvation is to practise a’maal-e-saalihah (virtuous deeds).
Some people entertain the notion that the Mureed will attain spiritual perfection by the spiritual attention which the Shaikh will supposedly cast on the Mureed. On the basis of this misconception the idea is created that there will be no need for effort and toil along the spiritual journey nor is it necessary to form a resolution to abstain from sin. If this fallacy had any substance, then indeed, there would have been no need for the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) to endure such great hardships, efforts and sacrifices. Who can ever attain greater perfection than Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam)?
Transformation of a Mureed’s condition by the spiritual gaze or attention of the Shaikh is conceded. But, such incidents are by way of Karaamat (miracle) and are rare. Such events are not the normal rule and it is not necessary that every Wali demonstrate miracles. Therefore, it is a grievous error to repose one’s trust on such miracles for the attainment of spiritual and moral reformation.
Some again, desire absorption in ecstasy and enthusiasm; floating in mystical realms; automatic elimination of sinful desires and inclinations and total banishment of any thought of sin occurring in the heart and mind. They desire a condition in which there will not arise the need for even forming an intention of virtuous deeds, these being automatic expressions in their opinion. This motive is considered meritorious by people.
But, it is based on ignorance. The conditions mentioned here are termed haalaat (spiritual states) the creation of which are not within the power and control of man. Although haalaat are excellent states, nevertheless, they are not the aim and purpose of becoming a Mureed.
The maqsood (aim and purpose of becoming a Mureed) can be only something, the attainment of which is within one’s power of acquisition. The maqsood is nothing other than the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.
The varied motives and desires mentioned earlier arise from a subtle trick of the nafs.
The nafs desires ease, pleasures and personal glory. Those desires of the nafs attain fulfilment in these ecstatic states. The one searching for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala does not concern himself with the acquisition of such states which are not the aim and goal of his effort and struggle.
One hankering after such non-volitional states will be involved in one of two harmful effects. He will either achieve these states or he will fail in achieving them. Should he succeed in their attainment, he will mistakenly believe that he has achieved his purpose. He will equate such states of ecstacy with Faqeeri, thinking that ‘this is the goal of the spiritual journey.’ He will then consider himself to have attained perfection and excellence. His efforts will terminate at this juncture and he will become neglectful of Ibaadat and piety. Ibaadat will not seem to him to be an essential requisite. If he does not totally refrain from Ibaadat, he will at least consider it to be of little significance.
If, on the other hand, he fails to realize these spiritual states of ecstacy, he will pine away in despondency and frustration. Whoever aspires for an aim beyond his power, will suffer dejection and frustration.
Some people become Mureed thinking the Shaikh is a master of amals (Ta’weez, Talisman and other metaphysical remedies and charms). Their motive is to secure the benefits of such metaphysical acts.
Others again view the Shaikh as a saint whose duas are readily accepted. They thus require his service in the sphere of dua for achieving material successes and victory in court-cases. They regard the Shaikh as an independent dispenser of their material affairs. In this way they confer divinity on the Shaikh.
Some people have the aspiration for holiness so that their touch and breath will possess miraculous curing powers. Such people labour under the misconception that such powers and their effects constitute piety. They dwell in error compounded with errors.
Some entertain the motive of visions – that by engagement in Thikr one will behold celestial lights and sounds. This idea also is error which is the result of lack of understanding. Celestial lights, visions and sounds are not necessary effects of Thikr and Shaghl, nor are such visions and sounds the aim of Thikr and Shaghl.
In fact, sometimes, such lights, sounds and visions are merely imaginations of one’s mind and not revelations of the unseen spiritual realms. Even if such visions and sounds happen to be manifestations of the unseen realms, there is no benefit in these. One does not gain any proximity to Allah Ta’ala which is the product of Ibaadat and Obedience. Even the shayaateen sometimes see the Malaaikah (angels). But, despite such observation, a shaitaan remains a shaitaan.
It is also a known fact that after death, the Kuffaar too will know, see and realize numerous things of the unseen realms. Thus, there is no excellence in anything which is common to even the shayaateen and Kuffaar.
Now when you have realized that all the aforegoing motives and ideas are not the aim and goal of Faqeeri, then you should banish them from your heart and mind. The actual aim of Faqeeri is to achieve the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. The method of this achievement is obedience to the Commands of Allah Ta’ala and constancy in Thikr. This then, is what the Shaikh prescribes and what the Mureed practises even if spiritual and metaphysical states (Kayfiyaat) are not attained.
Even if no excellence or perfection is acquired, the benefits of Thikr and obedience to the commands of Allah Ta’ala will be manifested in the form of Allah’s Pleasure in the Aakhirah. The result of Allah’s pleasure is Jannat, the Vision of Allah Ta’ala and salvation from Jahannum. This is the reality of the concept of Shaikh and Mureed.
The Shaikh pledges to show the ways of Thikr and the Commands of Allah Ta’ala while the Mureed pledges to act in accordance with the direction of the Shaikh. Although it is possible to achieve this purpose without resorting to this specific method of Shaikh and Mureed in vogue, the special advantage of this path is the greater attention of the Shaikh on the Mureed. Furthermore, the Mureed is more conscious of obeying his Shaikh.
The Mureed is advised to regard his Shaikh as the best among all the saintly men of his time. The wisdom of this advice is merely to ensure the strengthening of the relationship between the Shaikh and Mureed.
The procedure of the Mureed placing his hand in the hand of the Shaikh at the time of the pledge (Bay’t) is a beneficial custom of the Auliyaa. Where the Mureed is a female a cloth is held. The woman in the accompaniment of others sits behind a screen and a cloth passes from the hand of the Shaikh. The lady holds the cloth on the other side of the screen. This custom is also for strengthening the pledge.
However, the mutual pledge between Shaikh and Mureed is possible without this custom. Thus, one who is at a distance from the Shaikh becomes a Mureed without resorting to this custom of placing hand in hand.
The Hadith also asserts the virtues of the practice of placing hand in hand. According to the Hadith, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wasallam) had adopted this practice – holding the hand of a male in his auspicious hand on the occasion of a pledge. The practice of holding a cloth is representative of holding hands.
HIDAAYAT NO. 5
Now that you have understood that the Path of Faqeeri is to fulfil the commands of Allah Ta’ala, and its aim is the acquisition of Allah’s Pleasure. It will be clear that this Path is in no way in conflict with the Shariah. Therefore, the claim made by the ignorant, that Shariat and Tareeqat are separate entities, is absolutely baseless and deception. This impression may also stem from the statements of some genuine Auliyaa. But, in reality, its meaning is not that what the ignorant ones claim.
The correct meaning of Shariat and Tareeqat being separate is that the two are separate branches of the same whole or entity, e.g. Salaat and Saum. Although both these are separate acts they belong to the same entity. Thus, separateness of Shariat and Tareeqat does not mean that the one being in conflict with the other, repels each other as some ignoramuses assert. Such an assertion is absolutely fallacious and devious. Some ignoramuses understand that a particular act although unlawful in the Shariat, is lawful in Tareeqat (Faqeeri). Nauthubillah!
Regarding Shariat and Tareeqat being different, it may be said that Shariat is the branch of the Deen which deals with the laws pertaining to the external body of man – laws such as Salaat, Saum, etc – while Tareeqat relates to the laws pertaining to the heart, e.g. sabr, shukr, tawakkul, muhabbat (divine love), etc. it should, therefore, be understood that the divisions of Shariat and Tareeqat are not opposites. They are parts of the same whole, dealing with different subjects, viz. the external body and the heart respectively.
HIDAAYAT NO. 6
After having rectified his niyyat as explained in Hidaayat No. 4 and Hidaayat No.5, The Mureed should spend a few days in the company of his Shaikh whenever he finds the opportunity. If this opportunity does not arise, the Mureed should, nevertheless, act in accordance with the instructions of his Shaikh. Such instructions are acquired by means of letter communication with the Shaikh. Even if one never obtains the opportunity of physically visiting a Shaikh, one can become a Mureed by means of letter or through the agency of a reliable person. Physical presence in the company of the Shaikh although very beneficial, is not a requisite.
Every Shaikh has his own way of Ta’leem (instruction). There are different ways of instruction. There is no need to enumerate here the various ways adopted by different Shaikhs. However, a brief program will be explained here. This program, by virtue of its great efficacy and benefit, befits the title, “The Fragrance of Tasawwuf.” This method has been acquired after much sifting. In fact, the actual aim beneath the compilation of this book is the explanation of this program.
This program may be adopted by all searchers of the truth (durwaishes) who are travelling along different paths, until such time that they link up with a Shaikh. In particular, I exhort my friends (i.e. those spiritually connected to Hadhrat Hakimul Ummat in this path) to permanently adopt this method. I have great hopes that Allah Ta’ala will not deprive those who act in accordance with this program.
After having linked up with a Shaikh, the Mureed should act according to his instructions. If the Shaikh upholds this program, well and good. If he alters it or orders abstention from it or instructs an alternative method, then follow his instructions. However, alteration is not possible in the essentials mentioned in the beginning of this program.
There are four kinds of people following the path of Tasawwuf. These are:
1. A layman, i.e. a non-Aalim, who does not have the responsibility of earning and discharging family rights.
2. An Aalim who does not have this responsibility
3. A layman who has this responsibility
4. An Aalim who has this responsibility.
For each of these four kinds is a separate program of action:
The program of the layman who has worldly responsibilities to discharge
Firstly, he has to rectify his Aqaa’id (beliefs) and learn the necessary masaa-il (rules of the Shariat pertaining to his daily activity). He must act according to these masaa-il with great diligence. If occasion demands information on a new happening of circumstance, then he must refer to an Aalim. If his Shaikh is an Aalim, it will be best.
If possible, he should perform Tahajjud Salaat in the later part of the night. If he is not able to do so, then he should perform a few raka’ts nafl with Tahajjud niyyat before performing Isha Witr.
After each of the five daily Salaat recite the following:
100 times Subhanallah
100 times La-ilaha-illallah
100 times Allahu-Akbar
If due to lack of time you are unable to recite the above after every Salaat, then recite these after the Salaat whenever time is available.
Before going off to sleep, recite the following Istighfaar 100 times:
أستغفر الله ربي من كل ذنب واتوب اليه
[Astaghfirullaha rabbee min kulli dhanbin wa atoobu ilayh]
At all times, while walking, sitting or reclining, recite Durood Shareef. Wudhu is not necessary for this nor is any specific number of times necessary for this continuous recitation of Durood. Do not walk around at all times with a Tasbeeh (rosary) in hand.
Daily recite a portion of the Qur’aan Shareef.
At the end of this book some naseehat (admonition and advices) are mentioned. Occasionally refer to these and practise accordingly. Occasionally do visit your Shaikh and sit in his company. If this is not possible sit sometimes in the company of some other saintly person who happens to be present.
Earning a halaal income and supporting one’s family are also acts of Ibaadat. Therefore, involve yourself in the search for a halaal earning.
If the Mureed is a woman, she should involve herself with her housework and service to her husband. These are acts of Ibaadat for her. A woman must not visit her Shaikh without her husband’s consent. Even during her haidh periods she should take wudhu and engage in Thikr. Only recitation of Qur’an Shareef and Salaat are not permissible during the state of haidh.
Program for the layman who is free from worldly activity
The program described above has also to be adopted by such a layman who is free from the encumbrances of worldly activities. In addition, he should endeavour to remain in the company of his Shaikh. However, he must ensure that the provision of his expenses is not a burden on anyone, if he has no source of income. He should not depend on others. He should either engage in earning a living or if he has the courage and determination, he should repose total trust in Allah. Whatever he then acquires he should utilize and be satisfied, and when nothing comes his way, he should adopt sabr.
If for some reason he is unable to live with his Shaikh, he should remain at home or stay in some Musjid. But, as far as possible, he should separate himself from the company of people. His association with people should be confined to necessity. When need compels him to meet anyone, he should guard his tongue. He must not allow any evil talk, e.g. gheebat, to pass his lips. He must perform Salaat with Jamaat. He must occupy his free time in tilaawat of the Qur’aan Shareef, Munaajaat-e-Maqbool, Nafl Salaat, Durood and Istighfaar. If he has the ability to read Deeni books, he should seek an Aalim’s approval for the book he wishes to study. If he is unable to understand anything in the book, he should not resort to personal interpretation, but should seek clarification from an Aalim.
If in one’s town there happens to be a pious man or Deeni scholar who engages in abundant Thikr and Ibaadat, one should spend a great deal of time in his service. Service to a holy man imbues Noor in the heart while at the same time pride is banished from one’s heart.
Occasionally he should engage in Nafl Saum (fasting).
Both types of non-Aalims (described above) should not be shown nor should they engage in any kind of shaghl (spiritual exercise). Shaghl gives rise to such factors which can be corruptive. Only an Aalim will be able to withstand such dangerous developments arising out of shaghl.
However, if the seeker (in the second class) is very eager and capable, he may be instructed to engage in Thikr of “Allahu Allah” 3,000 to 6,000 times sitting in solitude. But this Thikr should be rendered silently and without dharb (i.e. in the special way instructed by the Sufis). More than this is not advisable. One may engage in any amount of Nafl Salaat and Tilaawat.
Program for the Aalim involved in worldly or Deeni activity
An Aalim in this category should daily stipulate a time in which he will engage in Thikrullaah. At the time when he sits to engage in the Thikr, his head should be free of any worry and his stomach should not be full nor should he be hungry. He should be in the state of wudhu and make Thikr of “Allahu Allah” in a slightly audible voice. The number of times of his Thikr should vary from 12 thousand to 24 thousand. He should practise lightly dharb (the Thikr beat) when making the Thikr. He should be constant in Tahajjud Salaat and daily recite a portion of the Qur’aan Shareef and one Manzil of Munajat-e-Maqbool. He should be constant in these practices.
It is best if he happens to be a Mudarris (Islamic teacher). If he is not a Mudarris, he should necessarily spend some of his time imparting Deeni Knowledge to others. Occasionally he should lecture on the essential masaa-il of the Deen. He should not lecture on non-essential topics.
Regarding Deeni matters which are essential but controversial, the Aalim should not speak ambiguously. He should explain clearly, but without harshness. He should study Kitaabs such as Ihya-ul Uloom and similar books. He must not engage in shaghl without the sanction of his Shaikh.
Program for the Aalim not involved in any activity
If an Aalim has some free time of even 6 months, he should remain in the company of his Shaikh and engage in Thikr.
He should engage in the following form of Thikr daily after having performed Tahajjud Salaat:
1. 200 times Laailaha-illallah
2. 400 times Illallah
3. 600 times Allahu-Allah
4. 100 Times Allah
This formula of Thikr will suffice for the Aalim in this category. Slight jahr (audibility) and light dharb should be practised when making this Thikr.
Slight jahr means to recite the Thikr in a voice which is slightly audible. The Thikr should not be so loud as to disturb others who may be sleeping or engaging in Ibaadaat. It is Bid’ah to hold the belief that jahr (loud Thikr) is essential. It is sufficient jahr that one’s own voice reaches one’s ears. This degree of slight jahr will serve the purpose of warding off stray thoughts since the heart and mind can be held engrossed by the sound of one’s voice coming to the ears.
Dharb or beating is the action of “striking” the heart with the Thikr. The heart is repeatedly “struck” with the motion of the head and mind in the endeavour to permeate the heart and mind with the Remembrance of Allah. This Dharb should be practised lightly, without much pressure. (in order to understand the correct performance of Dharb, practical demonstration by the Shaikh is necessary – Translator)
Dharb like jahr is not a goal to be cultivated. It is not among the aims and objects of Thikr. Its purpose is merely to aid concentration. It exercises an effect of warmth on the heart. This produces riqqat (tenderness) of the heart which, as a result, becomes receptive. In consequence, the heart becomes imbued with Divine Love and obedience to Allah Ta’ala is rendered simple. Such love and obedience are among the goals which have to be attained. Thus, Dharb is a means to the end. From this angle it is commendable.
But, excessive Dharb is detrimental for the heart. Hence, do not exceed moderation. The methods of Dharb described in the Books of Tasawwuf should not be adopted. Such methods are severe and were designed specifically for people of earlier times. People in those days were physically stronger. Their strong physical constitution required severe and tedious methods to create a responsive effect in the hearts.
But, in our day, due to the general weak physical states of our bodies, the strain of earlier methods is harmful. Adoption of the severe and strenuous of Dharb explained in the Books of Tasawwuf can cause mental and physical harm.
In fact, there is no essential need to adopt the practice of Dharb. The forceful verbal expression of the Thikr will suffice to produce the desired effect on the heart.
After having concluded the aforementioned Thikr formula, if overcome with sleep, then take a short rest. If not sleepy, engage in any of the Thikrs mentioned in this formula until Fajr Salaat. Alternately, you may merely rest until Fajr without engaging in any form of Thikr.
After Fajr Salaat, engage in some tilaawat of the Qur’aan Shareef. Thereafter recite one manzil of Munajat-e-Maqbool. Then perform Ishraaq Salaat. Then engage in the Thikr of Ism-e-Zat, viz. Allah. This should be recited any number of times between 12,000 and 24,000. Khafeef Jahr (slight audibility) and Mu’tadil Dharb (moderate beat) should be adopted in this Thikr which has to be executed in solitude. Thereafter perform Salatudh Dhuha (Chaasht Namaz).
At mid-day take a short nap (known as Qailulah). After Zuhr Salaat, again engage in the Thikr of Ism-e-Zaat (12 to 24 thousand times as you prefer) in the same way as described above. End this Thikr before Asr Salaat.
If your Shaikh is free after Asr, remain in his company until Maghrib. If the Shaikh is not free or not present or involved, then go for a walk in the forest, orchards or along the river banks. If the Shaikh is present, go with his consent. During these walks occasionally visit the Qabrustaan.
After Maghrib Salaat, perform Salaatul Awwabeen. Thereafter sit in solitude and engage in Muraaqabah-e-Maut (Meditation of death) and in Muraaqabah of that period and events after Maut until Hisaab (The Final Reckoning in Qiyaamah). Engross yourself in this contemplation for half an hour or even an hour.
Abundant and constant Thikrullaah will create the Love of Allah in the heart while this Muraaqabah will produce dislike for this transitory world. It is this love and dislike which will impel the traveller along this route to final spiritual success, Insha’Allah.
In all other available time, while walking, sitting or reclining, recite Durood Shareef and whatever form of Thikr the heart inclines towards. Not a single breath should be wasted in ghaflat (forgetfulness, carelessness).
If as a result of this program of Thikr, the Saalik (traveller along the Path of Allah) experiences greater ability of concentration, humility, peace of heart, progressive reduction in stray thoughts and greater spiritual yearning for Thikr and Ibadat, then there is no need for the adoption of shaghl (forms of spiritual exercises).
Constancy in Taqwa and in this program in Thikr and Muraaqabah should be maintained life-long. The fruits thereof will be seen in the Aakhirah most assuredly. In fact, the actual Divine Promise of reward applies to the Aakhirah. However, sometimes, purely as His Favour, Allah Ta’ala bestows some of the spiritual fruits to the Saalik here in this world.
Thus, if Allah Ta’ala wishes, He will inspire the Saalik’s heart with knowledge and cognition of a wonderful kind. Among the lofty bounties which Allah Ta’ala bestows to the Saalik are wonderful inspirations, superior states of ecstasy, mysteries underlying the ahkaam (laws) and the reality of the relationship between Allah and himself, etc.
Even possession of the kingdom of the whole world will appear utterly insignificant and worthless in contrast to the spiritual joy and ecstasy of the lofty states and bounties which Allah Ta’ala confers to the Saalik.
The spiritual states mentioned above are termed Haalaat in the terminology of Tasawwuf. These states appear differently to different persons. It is difficult to enumerate and explain the Haalaat. Certain of these Haalaat are very delicate and require the attention and remedies of the Shaikh. These cannot be committed to writing. It is, therefore, advisable for the Shaikh to be nearby on such occasions. He will know how to deal with such developments. This is one of the benefits of association (suhbat) with the Shaikh. There are other benefits as well which will be mentioned at the conclusion of this Hidaayat.
The wonderful knowledge of mysteries which settle in the heart of the Saalik is known as Uloom-e-Khashf-e-Ilahi or knowledge revealed by Allah.
If Masheekhat (the rank of becoming a Shaikh) and Roohani (spiritual) training and reformation of people are entrusted to the one who is blessed with Kashf-e-Ilaahi then he is known as Qutubul Irshaad.
If after having adopted this program of Thikr and Muraaqabah for a while, the heart has not become imbued with solitude, solace, fear and humility, then there is a need for some Shaghl. This will be prescribed by the Shaikh. Shaghl itself is not Thikr, but is an aid for Thikr.
It is vital to abstain from two things at all times – from ghaflat (unmindfulness) and ma’siyat (sin). The remedy for ghaflat is Thikr. Ghaflat extinguishes the glitter of the spiritual heart. It is of utmost importance to abstain from ma’siyat, be it kabeerah (major sins) or sagheerah (minor sins). In addition to the Noor (glitters) of the heart being extinguished, sin also deprives one of Divine acceptance. This is indeed a colossal loss.
Should one occasionally fall in sin as a result of ghaflat or the mischief of the nafs, then in all haste resort to Istighfaar and Taubah. Repent with humility and much regret. Certain sins are specifically more harmful. Exercise greater caution in abstaining from such sins.
Some of these destructive sins are enumerated here:
1. Kibr or pride. At times it is on account of a worldly excellence and at times, the result of a Deeni excellence. All such kibr is sinful and spiritually destructive.
2. Ujub (vanity, self-esteem) sometimes arise from kibr.
3. Gheebat-speaking ill of others. Even futile conversation is harmful for the nooraaniyat (glitter) of the heart. It is, therefore, necessary that the Searcher of the Truth refrains from unnecessary association with people. Communication with people should be restricted to need.
4. Unlawful direction of one’s attention towards anyone, prompted by carnal lust, whether by the eyes, heart or mind.
5. Unjustified or excessive anger. To confront others with a harsh or intemperate disposition.
Similarly, some forms of ghaflat are more harmful, e.g. the ghaflat produced by mundane or worldly relationships. Such forms of ghaflat are not eliminated by even resumption of Thikr since the heart will be repeatedly attracted by these worldly bonds. The person who is the subject of this program should not involve himself in any propagational activity, be it pertaining to the zaahir or baatin, until such time that he has not attained a high degree of Nisbat-e-Baatini, (Nisbat-e-Baatini is the special and a high degree of spiritual relationship which the Saalik has with Allah Ta’ala).
As long as he has not attained a high degree of this Nisbat, he should not embark on teaching students, lecturing to the public, counselling, preparing Ta’weez and initiation of Mureeds. On the contrary, he should remain in total solitude unless compelled by circumstances to do otherwise.
There are two signs which indicate the attainment of the relationship known as Nisbat-e-Baatini.
1. Such a memory which totally precludes forgetfulness and unmindfulness (ghaflat), and natural alertness in constant Thikr.
2. Obedience to Allah Ta’ala. A natural love for practising in accordance with every aspect of the Shariah, be it Ibaadat, Muamalaat (transactions), morals, statements or actions. In all spheres of the Shariah there should be a strong inclination and enthusiasm to act according to the laws of Allah Ta’ala.
At the same time, one should have a natural aversion for vice. The heart should be devoid of worldly greed and covetousness. An occasional feeling of indolence and waswasah (stray thought) which are not given practical expression, do not negate the natural love and aversion explained above.
This degree of obedience which is the sign of Nisbat-e-Baatini, is the aim of Divine love.
If along with Nisbat-e-baatini, the heart of the Saalik is blessed with some inspirational and mystical knowledge (which descend onto the heart from Allah Ta’ala), then such a Saalik is known as an Aarif.
After the acquisition of Nisbat-e-baatini there is no objection in embarking in propagational activity, e.g. teaching, lecturing and writing in fact, service rendered in the field of Deeni knowledge is the most superior form of Ibaadaat.
If one’s Shaikh grants permission to initiate Mureeds and impart the knowledge and practices of Tasawwuf, then the Saalik should not hesitate in being of benefit to the servants of Allah Ta’ala. But always consider yourself to be the servant of creation. Never regard yourself worthy of being served upon.
If the Shaikh has not granted this permission, then never embark on this mission nor ever be so audacious as to request such permission from the Shaikh. Any such request is a display of inordinate ambition.
Your true and actual duty is:
1. Obedience and Thikr.
2. Abstention from sin and ghaflat.
Insha’Allah, by remaining steadfast on this program for a period of time, you will never remain deprived of spiritual blessings. In fact, the benefits commence from the very initiation of the program although this may not be discernible and understood by the beginner.
However, there will come a time when he will begin to comprehend. He should, therefore, not become despondent nor expect anything in haste. He should not become lazy nor diminish anything in the program. There is no time limit for the attainment of this goal nor can anyone undertake responsibility for assuring this attainment. One should, however, cherish the hope of successfully attaining the goal.
It will be an added blessing and of substantial benefit if in the beginning the Saalik is fortunate to be in the company of the Shaikh for a period. Even after the initial stage it will be very beneficial to occasionally be in the company of the Shaikh.
Among the benefits of being in the company of the Shaikh is the acquisition of the propensity to follow and emulate the Shaikh in moral character. At the same time the Saalik will experience tranquillity and pleasure in Thikr and Ibaadaat, and his fortitude will increase. The spiritual states and developments of wonder will be explained and clarified by the Shaikh. Besides these, there are many other benefits and advantages by physical presence in the company of the Shaikh. Such advantages will become apparent to the Saalik from time to time.
“Allah proclaims the Truth and it is He who guides to the path (which leads unto Him).”
HIDAAYAT NO. 7
The Thaakir (the Saalik making Thikr) should refrain from all acts and things which disrupt the tranquillity of the heart and destroy his peace of mind. Peace of mind is a valuable treasure.
There are various factors which cause such disruption and destruction of one’s peace of mind. One of these factors is to ruin one’s physical health by one’s own excesses. Health of the body and mind should always be protected and developed. In both consuming food and abstention, should be moderation.
Reduction in food consumption should not be so much as to bring about physical weakness, nor should consumption be excessive so as to cause digestive problems. Health is ruined by such immoderation. Do not indulge in excessive sexual intercourse. Such excess produces physical weakness and in particular if affects the heart and mind.
Eat only when feeling truly hungry, and do not over-eat. When you feel that you still can consume a morsel or two, then stop eating. Similarly, adopt moderation in sleeping. Excessive sleeping produces lethargy. Too less sleep causes fatigue.
Another factor which causes ruin of one’s peace of mind is to hanker after delicious foods. Among such factors is also to become involved in adornment of garments and external appearances. This does not mean that one should remain in soiled garments. Simplicity and cleanliness are to be adopted. However, delicious foods and fine garments are also the Ni’mats (bounties) of Allah Ta’ala. If these are procured without hankering after them – without striving and much effort – then make use of those favours of Allah, provided that there is no danger of pride and contempt for others. Be grateful to Allah Ta’ala for the bounties He bestows. Greed for wealth, engrossment in accumulation of wealth as well as wasting wealth by extravagance destroy peace of mind.
The covetous person (harees – one whose heart hankers greedily after wealth) is forever absorbed in the search for wealth while the extravagant person (musrif) will be caught up in difficulty, worry and frustration after the depletion of his wealth. His gaze will then drift to the wealth and possessions of others.
Making friends and enemies also wrecks one’s peace of mind. The presence and gathering of friends and acquaintances will occupy the time of the Saalik and create problems while enemies will scheme to harm and frustrate him. It is imperative to refrain from all unnecessary acts which interfere with one’s peace of mind. However, adverse circumstances beyond one’s control should be taken in stride and patiently borne.
Similarly, if one courts the wrath of anyone in the course of a Shar’i demand, the resultant conflict will not be spiritually harmful and should be borne with patience, e.g. the gift of a devourer of riba is not accepted and in consequence he (the devourer of riba) becomes one’s enemy. His anger is of no consequence and one should not be bothered. Repose trust in Allah. He will aid. Even if some hardship and difficulty come your way in having upheld the Shar’i commands, consider it to be the effect of Allah’s wisdom. Be satisfied and resign yourself to Allah. This attitude engenders closer proximity to Allah Ta’ala.
HIDAAYAT NO. 8
Do not neglect the volitional acts – acts within one’s control, nor be concerned about acts which are beyond one’s volitional control. If such things which are beyond one’s volitional control are pleasing then do not hanker to acquire them; if detestable, do not occupy yourself in warding them off.
Example: Concentration of the mind in Salaat, Thikr and Tilaawat although difficult, is within one’s volitional power of acquisition. There are several ways for inducing such concentration, e.g. contemplating the omnipotence of Allah Ta’ala; reflecting of the meanings of the words or only on the words thereby being conscious when pronouncing each word. Since these acts and ways are within man’s ability, he should not be neglectful in their acquisition. He should be diligent in such matters.
On the other hand the different feelings such as pleasure, displeasure, distaste, satisfaction, etc., which arise in man are not within his volitional control. He should, therefore, not be concerned nor become despondent or frustrated if he does not experience taste or pleasure in Salaat, Thikr or Tilaawat.
Similarly, wasaawis (stray thoughts) which assault the mind are among the non-volitional things. Therefore, never be bothered about such thoughts which enter the mind without one’s design and contemplation irrespective of how evil these may seem. Involve yourself in the acts which are within your control and power. Distasteful non-volitional things, especially stray thoughts, are eliminated by totally ignoring them. Stray thoughts will only increase if one consciously strives to eliminate them. The result will then be great frustration.
The best remedy for stray thoughts is to renew concentration on Thikr, etc, and totally ignore the thoughts. Obedience to Allah Ta’ala is within one’s volitional control. Therefore, do not be neglectful and lacking in this regard,
The following things are beyond one’s powers of acquisition; Pleasant dreams, acceptance of dua, ecstacy, bad dreams despondency, reduction in Rizq, experiencing pleasure in Thikr, seeing of visions, illness, etc. Existence or non-existence of these acts, conditions and states should not concern the Saalik. Such non-volitional acquisitions, even if bad and detestable, are not sinful.
Sins which are within one’s powers of acquisition should be shunned. Strive actively against the commission of sins, e.g. speaking with a female who is prohibited to one, deliberately listening to her voice, introducing thoughts about her in the mind. Such acts are within one’s powers of acquisition. If is therefore obligatory to abstain from these sinful acts. By refraining from the struggle against sin, one becomes sinful while at the same time the heart is darkened.
It is not sinful if the inclination to commit sin arises involuntarily. Do not be bothered when such inclinations come to one involuntarily. The act of committing the disobedience and consciously contemplating it are sinful. Therefore, abstain from the sin and do not act in obedience to sinful inclinations.
The one who engrosses himself with acts which are beyond his powers of acquisition, either to acquire these or to ward them off, wastes away his whole life. Sometimes he is overwhelmed with frustration, depression and despondency. Some people in such conditions considered themselves accursed and in consequence committed suicide. Some again, in such conditions, abandoned Thikr and obedience.
In short both Imaan and life are put to disaster by engrossment with acts which are not within one’s powers of volitional control. Sometimes, as a result of having attained a pleasurable condition from among the Umur-e-ghair ikhtiyaari [non-volitional things which are not within one’s powers of acquisition], one becomes vain and believes oneself to be a man of excellence and perfection. As such, the Saalik is exposed to fitnah (test and trail). He becomes caught up in self-esteem and self-aggrandizement. He is then spiritually destroyed.
On the contrary, non-acquisition of such pleasant states constitutes a benefit for the Saalik since he considers himself as unworthy and contemptible. He thus becomes imbued with true humility. Sometimes an unpleasant state is also beneficial for the Saalik since he is constrained to strive against the evil inclination. He strives, suffers and experiences grief. This in turn purifies the heart. It is a reference to such events that the Qur’an Shareef says:
“Perhaps you detest something while actually it is good for you and perhaps you love something which actually it is bad for you.”
If you gain a pleasant condition think of it as a ni’mat and be grateful to Allah Ta’ala. In the same way consider non-acquisition too as a ni’mat and thank Allah Ta’ala.
HIDAAYAT NO. 9
Nowadays there are many customary practise. Some such customs are totally in conflict with the Shariah, e.g. making Tawaaf of the graves, kissing graves, spreading garments over the graves, taking a vow on the graves etc. Some such practices are unlawful because of the accompaniment of evils, e.g. urs, sama’ meelad, etc. the evils and harms of these customary practices have been explained in the books, islahur Rusoom, Haqqus Sama, Ta’leemuddeen, and Hifzul Iman.
Some practices are erroneously believed to be integral parts of sainthood, hence they are branded as evil bid’at (innovation) by the Shariah. Even if there perhaps is no corruption in belief regarding such practices, then they will be purely mundane, e.g. amaliyaat (charms, talismans, etc.).
Some practices are permissible if not accompanied by corrupt belief, e.g. recitation of the Shajarah, which in actual fact is to make dua to Allah Ta’ala through the waseelah (medium) of the illustrious names of the Auliyaa. Such Tawassul (supplicating through the medium of the names of great and pious personalities) is supported by the Sunnah. But, the permissibility will not remain if only corrupt belief is entertained in regard to the recitation of the Shajarah. If it is believed that by reciting these illustrious names the Auliya’s attention is directed to the supplicatory, then such belief will be false, having absolutely neither origin nor sanction in Islam. The prohibition of ascribing to such fallacious beliefs fall within the scope of the following Aayat: “Do not utter a thing about which you have no knowledge.”
Similarly, a person not fully versed in Tasawwuf and who has not enjoyed the companionship of Aarifeen should not study the books of Tasawwuf, e.g. the Mathnawi of Maulana Rumi and Diwan of Haafiz or the books of other Auliyaa in which their states of ecstacy and ecstatic utterances are recorded. These books are beyond the grasp of the layman’s understanding and constitute a danger for the Deen and Imaan of the general public.
HIDAAYAT NO. 10
Some persons, male and female, even after having become mureeds, are not concerned with self-reformation. The laws of the Deen are recorded in detail in the books of the Deen.
Naseehat for men in general
- Associate much with Ulama [i.e. true Ulama – men of Taqwa and Wara’] and enquire from them the Masaa’il (i.e. rules pertaining to one’s daily life).
- Read authentic Deeni books, e.g. Beheshti zewar and practise in accordance to what you learn.
- Do not wear garments which are un-Islamic.. e.g. it is sinful to wear the trousers below the ankles; western garb, silken clothing, bright feminine colours. Dress Islamically.
- Do not cut or shave the beard. It is, however, permissible to cut the beard which is in excess of a fist-length. It is not permissible to cut the beard to less than a fist’s length.
- Abstain from all customs which are in conflict with the Shariah, be such practices and customs in worldly or religious form, e.g. customs of Moulood, Faatihah, urs, marriage, circumcision, feeding guests for the sake of name, three-day, seven-day, Khatams, Muharram, Shabe-Baraa’t, etc. Abstain from all un-Islamic customs pertaining to these events.
- Do not participate in fairs, shows and amusements nor allow your children to attend such functions. Do not give your children money to spend in such nonsensical and evil practices. Do not allow them to participate in fireworks nor permit them toys on which there are pictures of people of animals.
- Guard your tongue against gheebat and abuse.
- Perform the five Salaat daily with Jamaa’t.
- Do not cast your gaze deliberately on women or lads.
- Do not listen to singing and music.
- Do not seek ta’weez and talismans from you Shaikh for everything. Rather seek the Deen from him. However, there is no objection in asking him to make dua for you.
- Do not adopt the attitude that you cannot go to the Shaikh if you have no gift to present.
- Never believe that the Shaikh is at all times aware of your condition.
- Do not study books of Tasawwuf which have not been prescribed by your Shaikh. Never discuss the question of Taqdeer (Predestination).
- Abstain from bribery and riba (of which interest is the most popular form). Abstain from all transactions which are in conflict with the Shariah.
- Do not act in accordance with dreams without first having ascertained the ruling of the Shariah.
- Should you visit the Shaikh, do not disturb him if he is engaged in some activity. Go into his presence when the opportunity arises.
- Study the books, Ta’leemu Talib, Ta’leemud Deen and Jazaaul A’mal (Insha’Allah, these works will be rendered into English – Translator)
Naseehat for women in general
- Do not approach near acts of shirk. Never indulge in customs, charms and talismans of superstition.
- Do not engage in the customary practices of Faatiha and Niyaz which are organized in the names of saints. Do not take vows (minnat) on the names of saints. Do not organize or participate in the un-Islamic customs which are customarily organized on the occasions of Muharram, Arafah, Shabe Baraa’t, etc.
- Observe Islamic purdah in regard to all those ordered by the Shariah, even if the man happens to be your Shaikh.
- Purdah for the Shaikh is essential.
- Purdah is also essential for al ghair mahram males, even cousins, brothers-in-laws, and adopted brothers. Observe rigid purdah in regard to them.
- Do not adopt un-Islamic dress. Cover the entire body thoroughly and do not don transparent or semi-transparent garments.
- Do not imitate the non-Muslims in attire.
- Do not expose the hair on the head. However, it is permissible to uncover the hair in the presence of only Muslim women, parents ,brothers and one’s children.
- Do not gaze at ghair mahram males.
- Do not attend social functions such as weddings, engagements, aqeeqah, birthday parties, khatams, etc. nor organize such gatherings and functions at your home.
- Do not render any deed for namesake and show.
- Guard your tongue against gheebat (scandalling, back-biting, gossiping and generally speaking ill of others).
- Perform the daily five Salaat regularly and punctually immediately when the time for Salaat commences. Perform Salaat with composure and concentration, not in haste. Perform Ruku’ and Sajdah properly.
- After cessation of the monthly periods, be careful of missing out any Salaat properly.
- If you have any gold or silver jewellery, pay the Zakaat thereon.
- Study the Kitaab, Beheshti Zewar and act accordingly.
- Obey your husband and be not ungrateful. Do not spend of his wealth without his consent.
- Never listen to singing and music.
- Daily recite a part of the Qur’an Shareef.
- Before reading any kitaab, firstly ascertain the authenticity and reliability of the book from some Aalim.
Naseehat specially for those engaged in Thikr and Shaghl
- Observe the aforementioned advices and act according to the Sunnat in everything. Practising in accordance with the Sunnat imbues the heart with much Noor.
- Adopt forbearance and patience when someone displeases you.
- Do not act in haste, more specially at times of anger and emotion.
- Be very careful when angry.
- Never consider yourself to be a person of excellent attributes.
- Reflect much before speaking. On being convinced of the correctness and need for making a statement, then only venture to speak. Speak only if there is worldly or Deeni benefit or need.
- Do not revile even an evil person nor listen to anyone abusing.
- Do not criticize any Saahibe Haal (one in the state of spiritual ecstacy)
- Never despise any Muslim even if he is a sinner.
- Do not hanker after wealth and fame.
- Do not make a profession of Ta’weez and Talismans.
- As far as possible remain in the companionship of Thakireen. Such companionship augment Noor, steadfastness and eagerness in spiritual path.
- Do not increase worldly relationships and associations and do not unnecessarily worldly wealth and belongings.
- Adopt solitude as far as is possible.
- Do not unnecessarily meet with people. When there is a need, then meet them in a nice way, displaying good character.
Hadhrat Maulana Sayyid Sulaimaan Nadvi (rahmatulah alayh) said:
“By virtue of his (Hadhrat Thaanvi’s) ta’leem (teaching), tarbiyat (spiritual training), writings, lectures and preaching, true aqaa-id (beliefs) were disseminated; correct masaa-il (laws) were propagated; programmes for Deeni Ta’leem were initiated; customs and innovations were eradicated; the Sunnah of Nabi (sallAllah u alayhi wasallam) was revived; the negligent were aroused; the sleeping one’s awoke; those who had forgotten, remembered; those without relationships were joined to Allah Ta’ala; hearts kindled with the love for Rasulullah (sallAllah u alayhi wasallam), and hearts lit up with the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala. That branch of knowledge (Tasawwuf) which had become empty, once again became adorned with the treasures of Hadhrat Shibli, Junaid, Bustaami, Jilaani, Suharwardi and Sarhindi (rahmatullah Alayhim).”