Detailed Section - Information about Tasawwuf
Proof of Tasawwuf
Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ has given freedom to all the human beings to exercise their right to choose from right or wrong as all human beings have inherent tendencies to go either way. Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ says in Quran: “فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا”, meaning that “and by the soul, and the One who made it well, then inspired it with its (instincts of) evil and piety”
If a person chooses the right path and keeps on traveling in the same direction, he sometimes even surpasses malaika (angels) but on the other hand, the same person if carried away by the evil tendencies and keeps progressing in the same direction, becomes devil (satan-like). وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا “success is really attained by him who purifies it, and failure is really suffered by him who pollutes it.”
If we look deep in ourselves we will find that it is always difficult to make the evil choice (do misdeed) for the first time in life but as we move forward it becomes easier and easier and likewise with every step in the right direction the struggle to choose good from the evil gets lessening. We are sent in this purpose driven world for a test of our obedience and total surrenderance to Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ and for this purpose we are given the freedom to act. Therefore, Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ says those who surrender their will and act in accordance with shariah (Islamic code of life) or in other words choose good from the evil are the ones who will succeed in the life hereafter. As already said that due to our total inclination towards worldly desires, failure to understand the real meaning of life hereafter, non-realization that how the deeds in this life will have a likely outcome in the form of “guna” or “sawab” on the day of resurrection, preference of worldly things over things to come in akhirah, and constant perseverance on these things throughout our life takes us away and farther away from the right path, the path of Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ . This in turn adds volumes of negativity to our soul and we become habitual to always choose whatever our nafs (soul) demand, and nafs (soul) hates to restrict itself within the dictates of shariah and always act against the shariah as long as it is not trained to act in accordance with the teachings of Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ (shariah). This training process is called tassawuf. As it is evident that it is very important to follow the shariah in order to succeed in the life hereafter, therefore, Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ has sent his unbiah-e- karam (Prophets) to purify our soul (other name of training of soul). Hazrat Muhammad صلئ الله عليه وآ له وسلم is the last Prophet sent to us with islam as religion and he was given the Quran-e-Majid (the last book from Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ ) to guide us in the right path. Islam is the last divine religion and it marks the completion of divinely guidance towards human beings and with it all the previous religions be it divinely or man-made cease to hold any ground and are cancelled out. As the Quran karim is the last book of hidaya (guidance towards right path), thus, all mankind is required by Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ to read the message given in the Quran majid and act upon it. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad صلئ الله عليه وآ له وسلم and his sahabah (companions) have devoted all their lives to present to the world the practical example of leading lives as per the message given in Quran majid. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad صلئ الله عليه وآ له وسلم has truly performed his duties of being the last prophet for all the living beings as evident from surah Baqra ayat No. 151 كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولًا مِّنكُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُوا تَعْلَمُونَ “As also we have sent in your amidst a messenger from amongst you, who recites to you Our verses, and purifies you, and teaches you the Book and the wisdom, and teaches you what you did not know”
This ayat points out that Hazrat Muhammad صلئ الله عليه وآ له وسلم introduced recitation of Quran majid to his sahabah, purified their souls to establish bond with Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ , taught them the teachings of Quran & Sunnah (the most natural lifestyle, the lifestyle of Hazrat Muhammad صلئ الله عليه وآ له وسلم – it covers all spheres of life) and familiarize them to numerous treasures of knowledge, they were ignorant of.
Recitation of Qurran majid in real arabic dialect (the dialect of Quran) in vogue in those days is being taught by Qari hazrat thereafter, the ulema hazrat shared the burden to teach to the Ummah the teachings of Quran & Sunnah, the burden to train ummah to establish bondage with Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ through tassawuf is being shared by Sufis. Thus there are two types of deeds, the manifested (zahiri) and hidden (batini). The manifested (zahiri) branch of knowledge encompasses recitation of Quran in real arabic dialect and fiqh and batini branch is composed of fiqh-e-batin. Although all these branches of knowledge were developed later but they all have their roots traced back to Hazrat Muhammad صلئ الله عليه وآ له وسلم. This is why silsilah-e-hadith, silsilah-e-tilawat-e-Quran, and silsilah-e-tassawuf were all started to trace back the roots of all present teachers of respective branches to Hazrat Muhammad صلئ الله عليه وآ له وسلم. In other words, all our sisilahs have their ancestral trees linked back with Hazrat sul ala ali wasalam. Hazrat Syed Suleman Nadvi (rah) fashions the term “taqwa” for tassawuf, which is the threshold of the right path. Quran majid Surah Baqra ayat 2, “ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ” “This book has no doubt in it – a guidance for the God-fearing”
Its meaning could be derived as this wonderful book, without any doubt is hidayah for “God-fearing (mutaqeen)”. Thus people who do not exercise taqwa cannot obtain any hidayah from this book. It is indeed surprising to see that people who literally have full command on the subject of Quranic knowledge are themselves away from hidaya. Tassawuf could also be termed as “AHSAAN” as described in one of the very popular hadith-e-Ahsaan of Bukhari Sharif. No matter what we call it, it is meant to purify one’s soul to enable it to establish bondage with Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ . The external environmental effects on one’s soul are checked through tassawuf which enters one’s heart through eye, nose, tongue, and brain, etc. It is the same sort of training which one receives in their beginning years of training at cadet colleges or Armed forces institutes. In these institutes, the outside contacts of junior-most cadets is totally cut-off to mould their mindset in a selective manner. Tassawuf similarly trains a person to become effective human-being beneficial for the society in a way that no harm from them can be afflicted on the other members of the society. Through tassawuf, people are trained to abandon bad traits like egotism, enviousness, arrogance, self centeredness, jealousy, show-off, love of worldly things, status consciousness, and etc. and gain good behavioral qualities like self audit, devotion, contentment, sincerity, humbleness, love for Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ and etc. In plain words, tassawuf subdues worldly material desires to love for Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ . When a person loves Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ more than anything else in this material world then he remembers what Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ wants from him, prefers akhira over worldly things, and understands that the end is nearer and real. What really is required from us human beings is to follow the path laid out by Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ and handed over to us by his Prophets but the beauty of tassawuf is that it changes the mindset of the person through constant training to accept and establish the sole purpose of his / her life as to please Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ . Hazrat Masihullah Khan sahib RAH (Khalifa of Hazrat Thanvi RAH) says that the purpose of tassawuf in which one undergoes rigorous training of soul (nafs) is just to establish bondage with Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ to achieve targeted aim to please Allah سبحا ن ؤ تعا لئ only through the path of Hazrat Muhammad صلئ الله عليه وآ له وسلم.