اَلْحَمْدُ ِﷲِ رَبِّ الْعٰلَمِیْنِ۔اَلصَّلوٰۃُ وَ السَّلاَم ُ عَلیٰ خَاتَمَ النَّبِیینِ۔اَمَّا بَعْدُ فَاَعُوذُ بِاﷲِ مِنَ الشَّیْطٰنِ الرَّجِیْمِ۔ بِسْمِ اﷲِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ۔ وَلاَ تَقْتُلُوْا أَوْلادَکُمْ خَشْیَۃَ إِمْلاقٍ و قَالَ تَعَالىٰ وَلَھُنَّ مِثلُ الَّذِی عَلِیھِنَّ بِالمَعرُوفِ و قَالَ تَعَالىٰ وَ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَ لا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئاً وَ بِالْوالِدَيْنِ إِحْساناً وَ بِذِي الْقُرْبى وَ الْيَتامى وَ الْمَساكِينِ وَ الْجارِ ذِي الْقُرْبى وَ الْجارِ الْجُنُبِ وَ الصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنْبِ وَ ابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَ ما مَلَكَتْ أَيْمانُكُمْ. و قَالَ عَلیہ الصَّلوٰۃُ وَ السَّلاَمُ لْمُؤْمِنِ عَلى الْمُؤْمِنِ سِتُّ خِصَالٍ : يَعُودُهُ إِذَا مَرِضَ ، وَيَشْهَدُهُ إِذَا مَاتَ، وَ يُجيِبُهُ إِذَا دَعَاهُ ، وَيُسَلِّمُ عَلَيْهِ إِذَا لَقِيَهُ ، وَيُشَمِّتُهُ إِذَا عَطَسَ ، وَيَنْصَحُ لَهُ إِذَا غَابَ أَوْ شَهِدَ وَقَالَ عَلَیْہِ الصَّلوٰۃُ وَ السَّلاَمُ لاَ یَرْحَمُ اﷲُ مَنْ لا َّیَرْحَمُ النَّاسَ و قَالَ عَلَیْہِ الصَّلوٰۃُ وَ السَّلاَمُ المؤمنون کرجل واحد ان اشتکیٰ عینہ اشتکیٰ کلہ وان اشتکیٰ راسہ اشتکیٰ کلہ“ ۔و قَالَ اللہُ تَعَالى ٰ و انک لعلیٰ خلق عظیم۔صدق اﷲ العلی العظیم Elders and Friends, I have recited some Quranic verses and a few excerpts from the Hadith. Allah Almighty exhorts humans, “not to kill their siblings for fear of poverty and deprivation”, “women also have rights similar to the ones men have over them” and “treat your parents, relatives, orphans, poor/destitute, your neighbours near and far, your colleagues and contemporaries and the legal maids and servants (slaves) with compassion and benevolence”. The Prophet (PBUH) has proclaimed that a Muslim (momi’n) has six rights over another one, which are:- • When sick/indisposed he is visited. • On death, attend his funeral prayers. • Accept his invitations. • Wish him (sala’m) on meeting. • On his sneezing in reply to his saying, ‘Alhamd o Lillah’ reply by ‘Ya’reham k Ullah’. • In his presence and absence, treat him with compassion and wish him good. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) had said, “Allah Almighty does not take mercy on those, who do not exhibit compassion for others. He (PBUH) had also mentioned that all Muslims are like one body. The whole body can be in pain because of a sore eye. A headache puts the remaining parts of body in agony. Allah Almighty has declared that manners/ethics of The Prophet (PBUH) are supremely high.
Reformation of society is only possible through Practice of Sunn’a/Shari’a
We all suffer or benefit from the goods and bad of the society that we live in. All the members of a virtuous society benefit alike and in a bad one they all suffer together. A society transcends and reflects the cumulative effects of all its members. Like the proverbial rotten fish spoiling the whole pond, a bad person can spoil his surroundings. A society comprises of homes, offices, markets, shops and mosques where human beings interact with each other. The multifarious nature of human beings and their surroundings create complex problems and issues. These at times, become difficult to be resolve. Our comparative indices keep changing; anything which is right and acceptable today may not stay the same the very next day. It can become difficult to differentiate between right and wrong and the changing perceptions. So the only way out, is to abide by dictums of Allah Almighty. He is the one, Who created us all and our surroundings. He is aware of the genesis and end of everything. Therefore the path that He has indicated for us is the best to tread and follow. Anything that Allah Almighty has indicated as the cure is undoubtedly the best. We are fortunate to have been born as followers of the dea’n (way of life) of Islam, bestowed with the Divine message and also ordained to spread it to the humanity. This is shari’a.
What is Shari’a?
Shari’a is the way of spending one’s life as laid down by Allah Almighty and practiced by our Prophet (PBUH). It was revealed onto him (PBUH) and then he preached and explained it for the humanity. Someone might say that with the passage of time, it has remained no longer valid. This is an absurd argument. One could have accepted it for academic reasons, had it been framed by the Holy Prophet (PBUH).We all, without an iota of doubt accept that all rituals of the Shari’a are Divine. So when we accept this, the question of redundancy of the Shari’a does not hold ground. Allah Almighty is completely aware of the happenings till the Day of Judgment. He knows who and what type of people will be borne, fully cognizant of the conditions and the environments of the future. Thus secret of success lies in accepting and obediently practicing what Allah Almighty has laid down for us.
Islam is the perfect Way of Life (dea’n).
Being all encompassing, there is nothing deficient or lacking in our religion. It begins with the correctness of beliefs. Which are so very essential to choose the right direction. Anyone going in the wrong direction, even if riding a perfect vehicle, can never reach his destination. Whereas the one going in the right direction, shall ultimately reach his destination despite repeatedly stumbling enroute. Making a comparison between a weak Muslim and a non believer; with very high morals, surely the weak Muslim shall qualify for Jannah (heaven) because of his correct beliefs, while the non believer shall fail because of his wrong direction. Beginning with the belief, our religion moves on to the worship of Allah Almighty. This has been spelled out as the reason for our creation. اوَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَلْاِنْسَ اِلاَّ لِیَعْبُدُونِ (And have not created the Jinn and mankind but that they should worship Me. Adh-Dhariyat - 56 ) We have been created for the worship of Almighty Allah. Rest of the things, in this world exits only to support us in that endeavour. Eating, sleeping, the marriage and all other things are only there to help us in our worship. All the bounties on the earth are only allowed/ become bonafide provided we seek and obtain them in the permissible way. Human beings have not been left free to exercise their free will. To live together in the society, we have to follow its norms. Although there is a streak of defiance existing within us, which compels us to challenge and revolt from the norms. This something will never allow us to do goodness (khai’r). What is it? This is our Naf’s (self).
Stronger Faith Needed for Human Dealings.
It is said that a much stronger faith, is required to handle the day to day affairs amongst the humans (ma’amlat) than needed for worship. The reason is that in such dealings self interest gets involved. You might have known people who despite being regular in their worship, who even offering Tahju’d (Late night prayer); indulge in malpractices in their business matters. They tell lies and bluff others. Little do they realize that by causing loss to others; they also loose. Their faith for worship may be strong, but it has yet to mature for the human dealings (ma’amlat).One has to strive hard to develop that belief. He has to reach a level when he starts feeling that he is being constantly observed by Allah Almighty. Any ill gotten profit shall land him into the Hell. It is only then that he will avoid wrong doings. We humans are too good at concocting justifications for our misdeeds, not realizing that all our actions are known to Allah Almighty. Our Prophet (PBUH) had once deputed someone to collect alms (zaka’t).On his return he told the Prophet (PBUH) that beside the zaka’t, people had given him some money as a gift. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) asked him to go back and sit at home, if he still received those gifts, he could keep them; otherwise the portion which he claimed as gifts were not his. These days, bribe is not offered directly to a person posted at a lucrative position. A suitable alibi is created. Some offer it as sweets for his children or bring a bicycle as gift. Others noticing the absence of a good sofa set in his home bring that along. The Pharmaceutical Companies present expensive gifts like watches etc to the doctors. Their sole aim is that their medicines be prescribed. These are just a few of the gimmicks of bribing. Despite being fully conscious themselves and understanding well that everything is known to Allah Almighty; yet people go along and accept bribe. There was this Tehsildar (official of land & revenue department), who after his Ishra’q (the prayer after sunrise) prayer would quietly sit on his prayer rug and posing to be meditating; would indicate with his fingers the money to be paid to him. People would place demanded sum under the rug and later he would put it in his pocket. Just tell me, isn’t this self deception? On the day of Judgment, standing before Allah Almighty, we shall have to account for all the misdeeds. Importance of these aspects appears at many places in the Holy Quran:- وَلِمَن خَافَ مَقَامَ رَبِّہِ جَنَّتَانِ (But for such as fear the time when they will stand before (the Judgment Seat of) their Lord, there will be two Gardens― Ar Rahman -46) Similarly anyone who controls his self (naf’s) from passions, fearing Allah Almighty, shall certainly enter the Jannah (Heaven). On the Day of Judgment, we shall all be presented before our Lord, Allah Almighty. Then the good deeds shall be rewarded and those with bad ones shall be punished. To be fair and correct in dealings; is the outcome of strong faith. This takes us a little further now. Reformation of the society takes precedence over human dealings. May Allah Almighty grant us the will and courage to do it. Amin
More Rigorous Effort is needed for Reformation of Society.
Reformation of the society needs a much higher level of faith. You may have seen many pious people who are regular in their worship and clean in their dealings, but still succumb to demands and persuasions of their women folk during weddings. Their spouses force them to indulge in wrongs things on the plea of what the relatives, neighbours and others would think and say. Poor souls are wittingly led astray by their own kith and kin. Now this is what is termed as the pressures of the society (ma’ashrat).A far higher level of faith (e’man) is needed to stand up to their unscrupulous demands. Failure in the resolve can cause a lot of spiritual loss during the course of wedding ceremonies. Beside the marriages, two more items fall in the same category. One affects the women folk, while the other is a male issue. Today keeping beard is no longer is an individual matter. It has become a social issue. Lot of hurdles are created to discourage people from growing beards. Even a man of high virtue, regular in worship and straight forward in his dealings is scared to keep a beard. Why is it so? The reason is that this honest and pious man lacks courage to face the social pressures and succumbs to them. Similarly for women, veil or hijab has been turned into a social pressure. There are many pious and virtuous women who yield to these social pressures and do not observe pardha (veil). They are too scared of taunts and their security. Now you understand, why the reformation of society is far more arduous than rectifying personal dealings (ma’malat).Notwithstanding the difficulties it is still very essential. All our laws are basically framed for this purpose.
Satan (Iblees) is all out to Destroy our Society.
The recently passed Ha’dood Ordinance is a social matter. Satan had to work very hard to get the bill approved through the Parliament. This was so important for him that he used his minions, the Americans and the Brits to pressurize us. Not leaving it to them alone, he cultivated his ardent followers amongst our rank and file, who were very effectively used in this venture. These disciples of the devil refuse to accept the truth. Maulana Taqi Usmani had very vividly and emphatically pointed out the flaws in the bill. Yet these people were adamant not to anything wrong in the bill. This is really unfortunate to ignore the reality. Being in total grip of the devil, they became so shortsighted and myopic. You all know that social degradation is a national loss. The Satan is hell bent to cause that loss to our society and culture. He mostly targets two segments of the society in order to destroy the basic fabric. Firstly he dissuades the children from their studies. Secondly he attempts to destroy a family by sowing the seed of separation among a wife and her husband. A split family can be the cause a major social upheaval. Once he has succeeds in destruction of a family, then he uses both husband and wife as his agents to spread evil in their respective circles of influence. By opening these gates, we make the job of Satan and his followers easy. When the legal and religious options are made difficult and recourse to wrong practices become easier, it results in chaos and disharmony. This is exactly what our naf’s (self) desires –no hold bars. The laws regulating a society keep the evil desires in check. The moment these laws are relaxed, people tend to obey their passion and desires. When I was in Germany, a basic book was used to teach us German Language. Among its many chapters, one was titled,”Ohne rieraten tsusamin laben”. It means, “How to live together without a marriage”. Can you discern the satanic ploy in this game. There are surely better ways of teaching a language. Unfortunately such things have started happening here as well. One keeps hearing about them. Functions are held, articles and books published and dramas screened to encourage the growth of this menace. Their singular aim is to destroy our cultural and religious moorings. Here the question arises that how can we save ourselves?
Shari’a is the only Recourse.
The only way out to save ourselves and our society is to adopt the Shari’a Laws. Let me here explain a basic principle of business. The Islamic rule of business is that until and unless you physically possess a thing, you cannot sell it. A simpleton may question the logic of this rule. He may argue that what kind of a restriction is this? If a thing can be used without its possession, why not utilize it? To find an answer, one has to just look around. The crisis of property in Islamabad is primarily due to non adherence to this basic Islamic principle. Our stock exchanges are repeatedly crashing. The reason is again the same. What actually happens is that when you do not physically possess a thing and yet finding a buyer, sell it on a marginal profit. The item is resold with more profit and it changes many hands. Without any physical movement, its profit reaches to the maximum level. Thus creating a big differential in the real and purported costs. To explain it further, let me elucidate it with a small example. Why do the people go to Friday or Sunday Bazaars? It is basically to circumvent the middle man, who makes money without any good reason. A farmer grows the corps. In between him and the buyer sits a money lender, who stocks the goods and resells them with huge margins of profit. This results in the price escalation. Now if this middle man is taken out and direct deals are made; how beneficial the system can become. Do you notice that how big a difference is made by removing just one link? Can you now see and appreciate the logic behind this golden rule of Shari’a. So remember till you actually possess them, the goods cannot be sold. Shari’a even forbids sale of raw fruits from a garden. It cannot be sold unless it has ripened and can be termed as a saleable commodity. All these are precautionary measures have been framed to obviate unnecessary loss to a consumer. I had explained in the beginning, six cardinal rights for mutual application amongst the momi’ns. I will now draw your attention to the last one. “In his presence and absence, treat him with compassion and wish him good (khai’r)”.Wanting and wishing good for other Muslim brethren is a great thing.
Khai’r ( goodness/benevolence) is the Best.
Once Hazrat Mulana Muhammad Omar Palanpuri (RA) while praying for me said, “May Allah Almighty treat you with goodness (khai’r)”.It delighted me tremendously, as this wish is so all encompassing and complete. Quran says:- والآخِرَۃُ خَیْرٌ وَ اَ بْقیٰ (and the life hereafter is better and permanent.) The life hereafter is permanent and goodness (khai’r) is omnipresent. What then is khai’r? It is something very good and profitable. So when you desire goodness for others, it means that you want them to profitably benefit. You discover that a useful commodity is being sold in the market reasonably cheap, so you tell your neighbour about it. A suitable matrimonial match comes to your notice and you inform the needy and also offer your services in arranging it. This is doing good for others. Unfortunately these days, such gestures have been linked to petty personal interests. When I was making my house, the path in front was a little low and needed to be elevated. One day someone came to me and gave me a long sermon about the need to elevate the front road. He also offered his services on the procurement of materials etc etc. On his departure, my builder asked me if I had known this person. On my reply in negative, he told me that, the person was the neighbor in front, who wanted the road to be raised without spending a single penny at others cost. Now this is no goodness. It is out rightly serving your personal interest and bluffing others. Goodness is selfless and it involves no personal motives. There are very few people who can match the desired standards. You shall be lucky to find one of them. There is one simple rule to determine goodness.
Choose for Others, What you like for yourself.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had laid down a simple and straight rule,” A Muslim chooses for others, what he likes for himself”. A sick person does not like to be disturbed. Now in this situation, being hale and hearty, if we can curb the impulse to recite the holy Quran aloud, solely caring for the sick person; it shows a genuine consideration and care. Otherwise it’s all lip service and a hoax. Most people never bother about blocking the road by parking wrongly. But if someone else blocks their way, they frown and feel offended. This is being selfish. We dislike our entrances to be blocked, but we keep doing it almost daily, totally oblivious to the agony that we cause to others. This is nothing but sycophancy and double standards. Compatriots (Sahab’a –RH) of our Prophet (PBUH) went a step ahead in implementing this rule. They (RH) would sacrifice their needs for the good of others. This practice was very common among them. Many interesting incidents have been recorded. A Companion of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was very poor. Another Companion (RH) brought for him something that he badly needed. When it was being given to him, he requested that it be offered to another Companion (RH) who needed it more than him. This went on, till it was finally brought back to the first person. You all have heard that famous episode in the battle field. Water was offered to a wounded Companion (RH).Instead of drinking it, he directed it be taken the wounded lying next to him. The next person pointed towards another injured person, who also did the same. When it reached the forth injured person, he redirected it to the first one. On reaching first wounded, it was discovered that he had already expired and embraced shahda’t (martyrdom).They quickly returned to the rest one by one, but they had all departed to their heavenly abodes. This is a glaring tale of supreme self sacrifice. All those four Companions (RH) in the most trying times of their lives stuck the spirit of goodness and sacrifice. Just appreciate the greatness of their deed. The real success is what we do for life hereafter. They would not have gained much, had they enjoyed sipping the water, quenched their thirsts and still gone. But not succumbing to their temptation, what they achieved was the greatest success. They had remembered that being the servants of Allah Almighty they would appear before Him for a reward or punishment. In comparison to these examples, things happening around us today are disgusting. There is so much of leg pulling in our offices. People trample over merit and rights of their colleagues for their personal gains. Taking credit on someone else efforts is rampant. Although no one likes to be at the receiving end of these malpractices, yet it is being done to others shamelessly/unabashedly. What we do not realize is that by harming others, we also loose. That’s why it has become so important to reform our society. How will this reformation come about? It can only happen when we remember our death. We remain conscious of the fact that it will all end. Then we shall be paraded before Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgment.
Special Arrangements are done for Important Matters.
Salutation (Da’rud) to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is a very special thing. In Quran, it is proclaimed by Allah Almighty:- اِنَّ اللّهَ وَ مَلائکَتَهُ یُصَلُّونَ عَلَی النَّبَیِّ یا اَیُّهَا الَّذینَ آمَنوُا صَلُّوا عَلَیهِ وَ سَلَّمُوا تَسلیماً (Allah and His angels, send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! send ye blessings on him and salute him, with all respect. Al Ahzab – 56) Do you notice the strangeness in this Divine Command? This style is unprecedented and not used for any other thing. Vividly it shows that this is a very special matter and a very special style has been chosen to order it. There are three other things, which I also consider special for which similarly special arrangements were made. Hazrat Jibrae’el, AS (The Arch Angel Gabriel) personally descended to The Prophet (PBUH).Hazrat Omar (RH) has narrated. Someone with very clean clothes came to Prophet (PBUH).His clothes were strangely tidy, as if he had not undertaken any journey. He sat so close that his knees were touching the knees of the Prophet ((PBUH).We could discern that he was somebody very intimate. Then he asked tree questions. What is faith (ema’an)? What is Islam? And what is beneficence (ihs’an).In his reply to the first question, the Prophet (PBUH) explained various parts of the Imaa’n (faith).Answering the second question, he (PBUH) told him the basic five components of Islam. In response to the last question, the Prophet (PBUH) replied that one should worship with so much of concentration as if he watching Allah Almighty, or else he is being observed by his Lord, Jal e Shanaho. This last reply is the pivotal point in the life of a Muslim. Please ponder for a moment. Religious rituals have no value unless a person is firm in his faith and beliefs (Imaa’n). He may offer prayers, fast, pay zakaa’t (elms) or even attend the pilgrimage, but if lacks faith, all is in vein. To be a Muslim, it is essential to have imaa’n (faith).Similarly worship and rituals without the spirit of ih’san become meaningless. The physical body of the rituals can only be enlivened if you put soul into it. That soul in our worship can only come through ih’san. Allah Almighty have expressed in Quran, that He has no other partners with Him. Any deed performed in His name with considerations for others is not accepted by Him. He then foregoes His part of the offering too. So how do you expect that without sincerity our worship and other act can be acceptable by Allah Almighty? It is explained in the past legends (rawaya’t),”dead are all the people except those who are scholars.” It goes further, “dead are all the scholars except those who act and perform. “And it then continues “Dead are those who act, except who perform with sincerity.” Let me caution you here that even those who act and perform sincerely are also in danger. Reason being, that if your act inculcates pride of piety in you, then the danger bell rings. This is an ailment of the heart (qal’b) and soul called ’Eji’b’ (vanity).Both sincerity and eji’b belong in the realm of the qal’b (heart).Can you appreciate the dangers that surround us. It is not just sufficient to gain knowledge, and act on it sincerely. Dangers still remain, because another step has yet to be taken i.e. protection from eji’b (vanity/haughtiness). It is said that those acts performed without the purification of the naf’s (self), can go waste.
Purification is only possible under Guidance.
Once a man visited Hazrat Ba Yazed Bastami (RA) and explained his problem. Despite praying regularly, offering tahaju’d, zik’r, and other rituals, he felt as if he had done nothing. Hazrat (RA) replied that all his deeds had been eaten up by his naf’s (self).How does the naf’s eat up worship? It’s simple, after offering his prayers, one starts imagining himself to be a pious person. His prayers are gone because they were basically meant for self projection. To become a Haji, pilgrimage is made. Then if this title is not prefixed one feels bad. So this Haj’j was basically undertaken to be called a Haji. These are the acts that damage our worships. I am reminded of a story here. A saint stayed at somebody’s place as a guest. The host shouted to his to bring the ewer of water (lota) that he had brought from his second pilgrimage. The saint got up to depart. On inquiring the reason for the abrupt departure, host was told that staying any more was dangerous. By boasting about his two pilgrimages, he had already wasted them. He was likely to lose many more of his worships by continuing to brag about them. So the saint left. Hazrat Ba Yazed (RA) told the visitor that as all his actions and worship had been eaten up by his naf’s. He should restart and to benefit take advice and stick to a set out course of rituals. This is the manifestation of Ih’san. All deeds and worship done with this spirit are not wasted and stay saved.
The Condition of Ih’san Breeds Humility.
In the condition of Ih’san strange things occur. May Allah Almighty expose us all to them. Amin. With this state, more you act and worship, more humble/modest you become. While the others are impressed with your prayers, you would be crying and begging forgiveness of Allah Almighty for your flawed worship. The more advanced one moves, his vision gets enhanced and cry for repentance and tears increase. You may have read the book,” Fazial e Ama’al “written by Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Zakria (RA). He has repeatedly called himself, useless, wrongdoer and many other things, trying to degrading himself. God forbid, this by no means is a showmanship or self exhibition. He had genuinely felt that way. Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (RA) had mentioned verbally and in his writings that he did not find himself courageous enough to ask for Jannah (Heaven). His only wish was that May Allah Almighty save him from the Hell; which would be unbearable and asked for a place in the shoes of those blessed with paradise. You can see that how humble Maulana (RA) felt despite his stature and standing. In his famous quote, Hazrat Mujadid Alfsanni (RA) said,” To be close to Allah Almighty and be blessed with ’Marifa’t (knowledge of Allah/gnosis) one has to consider himself to be worse than an infidel. All this may sound very strange and beyond comprehension. Obviously how can one understand and gauge what he does not possess. Matters of adolescence and adult life can only be understood only when reach there. Similarly those who truly act only for Allah Almighty, learn the unfathomable dimensions and magnitude of His greatness. To them their personal deeds and worship then appears trivial and insignificant. I will explain it further with an example. Meeting a person in market, you treat him with refreshment in an affordable restaurant. Later it transpires that the person was an important minister in the government. You start fretting and regret that you could not treat him according to his position and status. You keep blaming yourself for not doing enough. This is in spite of the fact you were hospitable and had treated him well. However, in your reckoning it looks too less and insignificant when compared to his status. In the same way, those who realize and understand the stature of Allah Almighty are never satisfied with their worship and actions. They rather feel embarrassed and ashamed for not being able to do enough in keeping with the greatness of Allah Almighty. Our elders always emphasized it and ensured that modesty and humility is inculcated in their disciples.
Emphasis of Sahab’a (Followers of the Prophet (PBUH)
You may be thinking that I have restricted my narration to Saints and Sufis only. Let’s have a look at the lives of the compatriots of our Holy Prophet (PBUH).It is through them that we received our religion (dee’n). Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddique-RH (who is the best amongst the humans after the prophets). In humility, he expressed,” Alas! I was a straw to have been consumed by an animal”, and added on,” I wish, I was not born.” His (RH) last wish on the death bed was to be buried in an old coffin cloth, because new clothes are for the living. In any case, he would merge with the dust.” One day Hazrat Omar (RH) met Hazrat Huziffa (RH), who kept the secrets of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and asked him,” I would not insist on you to share with me the names of the Hypocrites, but just quietly tell me if my name is included in the list.” Who is asking this? This was the result of his humility and fear of Allah Almighty in him. On going to a grave, Hazrat Usman (RH) would cry horse wetting his beard with tears. When people asked him the reason, he would say that grave is first destination of journey to the life hereafter (A’khrat). Anyone who succeeds here, will be finally successful. Hazrat Ali Karam Ullah Wajahoo (RH) after the night prayer (Ish’a) would grab his beard and curse himself. Other Compatriots (RH) were also similar in their humility, beliefs and practice. Now you tell me that am I talking of mystics or is it our dee’n?Those great Compatriots (RH) gave us Isalm. We can only succeed by earnestly practicing the dictates of our religion. But then there is a subtle difference.
Real is Different than its Imitation.
We generally have proven to be stubborn and obstinate. Why? Doing nothing practically, we still try to imitate our venerable saints and elders. Pretending to be humble, we imply to be revered because of imitating the great saints. Pride and arrogance (takabbu’r) is a very dangerous trait, especially expressed in the garb of modesty. Hazrat Thanvi (RA) has suggested a very practical test to determine the varsity of such claims of humility. He suggests that the person claiming to be humble and modest be confronted with his own description of himself. Merely repeat what he has said about himself and see his face. His genuineness or otherwise shall clearly appear there. Unfortunately we not only forget ourselves, but tend to forget Allah Almighty too despite our belief that He knows everything. It is said that Allah Almighty does not look at the faces; He only sees the heart of a person. This being the case, how our imitated deeds and acts will be rewarded? Hadith has clearly spelled out that those entering the Heaven, shall be chosen not because of their good deeds and worship but by the blessings and grace of Allah Almighty. Some of us feel perturbed over this. Thinking that their despite good deeds, why shall Grace prevail. This is shortsightedness. Those close to Allah Almighty feel happy and see it as the only rescue considering meagerness of their worships and acts. Two things have to be done. Firstly we must remember that every one of us has to die. Secondly, on the Day of Judgment, everyone shall appear before Allah Almighty and account for his actions. In the love of this world, most of us tend to forget these realities. You may have witnessed people chatting and laughing while accompanying a funeral procession. Just tell me, at what other time shall we remember Allah Almighty, if not during a funeral. To succeed one has to part with love of this world. To do that remembering Allah Almighty (zik’r) is essential.
Zik’r is the Medicine for Qal’b (Heart).
Prophet of Allah Almighty (PBUH) has proclaimed that zik’r (repeated invocation of Allah’s name) is the remedy for all the ills of qal’b (heart). It has two types. The first type acts like food and provides strength to the heart. This type of zik’r includes the invocations like, ”Subhan Allah”, ”Alhamd o Lillah” ,benedictions (daru’d) to Holy Prophet (PBUH), deprecation/asking for forgiveness of Allah Almighty (Istigh’far), recitation of the Quran and سبحان اللہ وبحمدہ سبحان اللہ العظیم. The second type of zik’r is like a medicine.It is performed to take away the love of this world from our hearts. Our noble elders mostly prescribed the first type, which shall remain unchanged for ever. The second type of zik’r can change, because here the words are secondary. It is actually focused to induce a certain condition. I urge all those who want to reform themselves and purify their hearts; they must look for a spiritual guide and preceptor (sheikh). To purify one’s heart before death is a mandatory obligation (farz e ain).
Indications for Selecting a Sheikh (Spiritual Guide).
Look for the following eight main indicators in a person before you choose him as your mentor (Sheikh):- • He should belong to the Sunni School (Ahal – Sunnat wl Jamaat). • Should possess knowledge of the obligatory rituals (Farz e Ain).This knowledge teaches the methods of spending all twenty four hours in compliance with Shari’a. • He must himself be practicing them. • He should belong to a recognized convent of the sufi order (Silsila), succession traced back to the Prophet (PBUH). • He must have confide and authentic permission. • Those under his tutelage should visibly be benefitting from him. Like doctors someone may be very pious himself but may not be able to benefit (faiz) others. • Putting curtsey and kindness aside, he should only focus on rectification and reformation of his disciples. • One must be reminded of Allah Almighty in his presence. If you are seeking a sheikh and find the above signs in a person, accept him without much ado. Hazrat Shah WaliUllah (RA) has advised that if you find such a person then consider him to be everything for you. Do not wait for an exhibition of super natural power or revelations from him. Just ensure that he suits you. In order to determine his suitability for you should spend some time with him. If you start benefitting, then stick with him. May Allah Almighty may give us the ability to act in accordance with His desires.Amin وآخر دعوانا ان الحمد للہ رب العالمین ۔